May I ask you, Mr. Hope, whether, to avoid difficulties which seem to arise continuously in connection with this Debate, you will give the Opposition some indication of what you propose to do with the various Amendment that deal with different aspects of the question, as we want to try and avoid, if possible, the possibility of being prevented from having a discussion on certain points.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must not be understood to give a final ruling in these matters, because it must depend to some extent on the course of the Debate, but I propose to allow the widest possible discussion on the first Amendment—to leave out Sub-section (1)—which really seeks to leave out the main object of the Clause. Then I shall be disposed to allow a discussion on a later Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Gentleman for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)—in page 7, line 24, to leave out from "the" to "the" in line 26, and to insert instead thereof the words "fourth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-seven." The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for East Newcastle (Mr. Connolly)—to leave out Sub-section (2)—appears to me to be contingent stout the accept a. nee or otherwise of the first Amendment to leave out Subsection (1).
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I beg to move, in page 7, line 23. to leave out Sub-section (1).
This Sub-section is the main operative provision dealing with the financial proposals and reads thus:(1) As from and after the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-six until the expiration of the extended period as defined in Section four of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1925, the contribution payable under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1925, out of 612 moneys provided by Parliament shall he a contribution of such an amount as may be determined by the Treasury to be approximately equivalent, haying regard to the estimated proportions in which contributions are payable in respect of men, women, boys and girls, to the sum which would be produced by weekly contributions paid in respect of insured persons and exempt persons at the respective rates set out in the Second schedule to this Act.The Second Schedule of the Bill shows the proportion of charge that will fall to be made, if this Clause is carried, from Treasury grants as the State's contribution towards the financial provision of the Unemployment Insurance Act. A memorandum was issued explaining the Clauses of the Bill and according to that explanationThe Exchequer contributions in 1925–26 at the 6¾rate is estimated to amount to £13,555,000. Under the Act of 1925, it would during. 1926–27 have been £15;900,000, taking the 8d. rate, or, if the 9d. rate had been payable throughout the year— £17,750,000. Under the proposals in the Bill the Exchequer contribution to the Unemployment Fund in 1926–27 is estimated at £12,160,000, a saving as compared with the provisions of the Act of 1925 of £3,740,000 per annum at the minimum or £5,590,000 per anti fit the maxi mum.''It clearly sets out that the minimum reduction of the Stale contribution will be £3, 740,000 and that it may under certain circumstances rise to a possible amount of £5,500,000.Whatever may have been the justifiable expressions of indignation at the financial proposals restricting the State's contribution the State's contribution under Part. I of this Bill the justification for increased indignation is mere than provided by idea by the proposals under the second part. In the first place, we have been healing with surpluses, but in this case the Government proposes to withhold contributions from a fund that is at the moment in deficiency. Let us take the proportionate importance of robbing the unemployed worker of the possibility of participating in a £4,000,000 contribution from the State, a sum which I pet as the average amount to be withheld in the future, side 613 by side with the proportions of the National Budget which the Chancellor will soon be called upon to raise, Members will find that I am within the mark when I say that the yearly joint contribution to this fund will be between £38,000,000 and £40,000,000, and that, in proportion to that annual income, the Government propose to diminish it by £4,000,000 in order to meet the national emergencies of a Budget of £800,000,000. Who can best afford to make the sacrifice? A Fund that is £7,000,000 in deficiency, that has an annual income of only £40,000,000, or the larger and wider sources that are at the call of the Government in raising revenue for the national service of £800,000,000. I submit that the £800,000,000 can best bear the strain of having made up to it from other sources this sum of £4,000,000, compared with the injustice that would be inflicted by robbing the unemployed worker and his dependants of the full use of that sum, small in proportion to the £800,000,000, but important in proportion to the £40,000,000 National resources are raised from many and varied spheres. Last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer eased the well-to-do, and he now looks to the poverty-stricken poor of the nation to make good £4,000,000 towards the contribution he had repaid to those whose general taxation -he eased in his last Budget. I do think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have looked somewhere else.
May I quote from a further White Paper that has been issued giving the tables of national expenditure, in order to refer to the item of Treasury grants for the purpose of unemployment In this White Paper it is shown that in 1914–15 the contributions from the State for unemployment was £600,000 and the estimate for 1925–26 was £13,105,000. There is, of course, no comparison between the two periods, because in 1914–15 there were only about 4,000,000 industrialists insured under the Unemployment Insurance Act. In 1920 there was a large increase, and the number was brought up to about 12,500,000. It seems to me that the price the State is paying through its contributions towards easing the distress in the country has been a very light one for the result that has accrued in a more pacific atmosphere amongst the workers of the country who would otherwise have been driven by very desperation by more 614 aggravated acts than we are pleased to see they have indulged in up to the moment. It. is necessary to review the ebb and flow in the State's contribution in dealing with the financial aspect of unemployment schemes.
In 1911, when the original Unemployment Insurance Act was passed, the scale of contribution enabled the Fund to accumulate a surplus of £22,500,000 by 1920. Then, in 1920, the nation was confronted with two very disagreeable aspects ill relation to unemployment. There was the rapid demobilisation of the service men, and the State itself at that time, from 1918 to 1921, promoted a scheme called the Unemployment Donations for ex-service men. It took that liability upon itself, it met those charges. But after the Act of 1920, it took over the £22,500,000 of surplus standing to the credit of employers, workmen and the State, and included within the scope of operations another 8,500,000 industrialists. The State said in effect: many of you are unable to qualify by contribution to the Fund, but we propose to take over the £22,500,000 that has accumulated to the credit of the Fund, and we arc going to put into benefit at once as many of you as may be able to prove that at some time or another you were employed in a trade scheduled tinder the Unemployment Insurance a; although you may not be able to show any stamp qualification, or establish any right, the mere fact that you are out of work, and were once employed in a trade covered by the Act will enable us to use the £22,500,000 of surplus, and put a large number of you unemployed persons at once into benefit under the Act of 1920.
That shows that unemployment contributors have borne more than their fair quota of the responsibility in helping the nation out of what truly is a national calamity, for which the insured persons were in no way directly responsible. But you did more. I put this particularly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has been looking around and raking up these little scraps, which mean so much to the funds, but so little in comparison with the greater volume of revenue to be raised. These ex-service men were on unemployment donation up to the end of 1920. Early in 1921 they were transferred from the State provisions to the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance 615 Act, and were thrown on to the Unemployment Fund. The State did not increase its contribution. The State was relieved of the payment of the unemployment donation paid to ex-service men, to whom so much had been promised. The ex-service men were transferred to the Unemployment Fund. That is one reason why we say that the Governments live register does not register the full volume of unemployment, because many of these ex-service men had not a honk to lodge and could never qualify for benefit under the later developments of the Unemployment Insurance Acts. How did you repay them the £22,500,000? You repaid them by restricting your responsibility to the general fund, thus adding to the other indignities that you I have heaped on the workers from time to time in that respect.
Apart from the transfer of the ex-service men in 1921, the State at that time, under the 1920 Act, was making a contribution equivalent to one-fifth of the total. After the employers' contribution had been balanced up, the workmen's contribution and the State's contribution thrown in, the State's proportion of the total was only one-fifth. You were entirely out of your reckoning as to the financial liability that you ought to carry in the matter. So clearly insufficient was the financial provision that in March, 1921, the funds were exhausted, the balance had been used up, and you came to Parliament. and Parliament authorised an advance from the Treasury up to £10,000,000. The Government said: "We will not pay more than one-fifth of the total as a contribution." hut within six months of the passing of the 1920 Act, owing to the great increase in the volume of unemployment which occurred early in 1921, they found that their financial provision had been so meagre that they were compelled to come to Parliament and ask that the Treasury should be permitted to advance up to £10,000,000. They did not even make the advance free of interest, but charged interest upon it, as they are now charging interest on the outstanding amounts which had to be borrowed in order to ease the nation of a responsibility which more directly concerns the State than it does the contributing partners in the unemployment scheme.
616 Not more than three months had passed before the Government again came before Parliament and said that £10,000,000 was not enough. The Treasury were then given power to advance up to £20,000,000. Thus, as can be seen from the actuarial statement which we had, within a year of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, there was the possibility, not only of using the £22,000,000 which had been brought forward—as also the contributions made in the interim— but, in addition, there was the possibility of a deficit of £20,000,000. A surplus of £22,000,000 was turned into a deficit of £20,000,000 within less than 12 months, and all the time the State's responsibility was restricted to one-fifth of the total income to the. Fund. Commencing On a basis like Putt had resulted in much trouble, and constant re-adjustment was necessary, and that fact ought to have weighed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer before he asked the Minister of Labour to allow him to reduce the future contributions of the State to the Fund. There was something more—and I ask the Committee to follow the sequence of these events. In March, 1921, the Government found it necessary to come to the House far another Act of Parliament. Early in 1921 there was an amending Measure, the object of which was to increase the payments of the contributors. The Government said, in effect, that they had suddenly thrown on to a new piece of machinery a heavy load which it was incapable of bearing, and so they raised the contributions of the workers to 5d. and of the employers to 6d., but the State contribution remained at the dead level of one-fifth. Under the 1920 Act the contributions had been 4d. workers, 4d. employers and 2d. from the State. Even at that time they ought to have had a more serious re-adjustment of the position, and the Government ought to have recognised their responsibility in the matter.
But 1921 was not allowed to pass without even another Act, because the 1921 No. 2 Act came along, and we find there that in consequence of the full use of the £20,000,000 for which they could call upon the Treasury, after raising the contribution of the worker and the employer, and still bearing their one-fifth of the total proportion, even that was not enough, and with all the talk of people on the dole and people getting something for nothing, all the time hundreds of 617 thousands of these men were ex-service unemployed men for whom you were previously responsible. Why did you not carry that burden over to the Fund rather than restricting your own responsibilities and having constantly to introduce amending Acts to increase the contributions? The second Act of 1921 increased the workmen's contribution by 2d. and the employers' contribution by a like amount, making the original 4d. of the workmen under the 1920 Act 7d., and the 5d. under the 1920 Act for the employers 8d., the State carrying the dead level proportion of one-fifth. Statesmen then could see that the Fund was bankrupt, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to make provision for it. Willy Hilly it had to be done. You could not afford a week to go by with no unemployment payment there for the men who had been signing on and whose dependants required ordinary sustenance. You had Co provide the money, and consequently you said: "We will provide it in this way: You can draw up to £20,000,000, and you must have your own contributions increased by 75 per cent., but our proportion will still be one-fifth," about which, of course, at a later period, I hope to say something more.
I am really serious over this matter, and I am sometimes rather led to the belief that in all the mushing up and the turmoil of the long period from late 1920 up to the present— over five years of the keenest distress that any nation has been confronted with and that every nation would pray it would never be overtaken by again—the impress on industry by direct taxes and on the workers' wages as well, has been out of all proportion to the responsibility accepted by the State as the third person in this matter. But you did something else in 1921. Is it not strange that the statesmen of the day in 1920, foreseeing the enormous volume of unemployment and the great slump in trade and industry, could not see three months ahead of them in the 1920 Act, and within a year introduced a Section in the second 1921 Act providing for the deficiency period? That is the first time it appears, within 12 months of the great scheme for making provision ahead for the unemployed of the country, who were suffering in consequence of the aftermath of the War. In that particular matter I think one is bound to call attention to 618 Clause 2 of the 1921 (No. 2) Act, which says:Section two of the Act of 1921 (which makes provision with respect to contributions) shall have effect as if the rates set out in the Schedule to this Act were substituted for the rates set out in the First Schedule to that Act, and as if 'fourpence ' were therein substituted for 'twopence,' anti the provisions of that Section providing for increases in the rates of contribution shall continue in force until the expiration of the deficiency period or the first day of July, 1923, whichever is the later, and the contribution to be made out of moneys provided by Parliament shall be increased accordingly.Within 12 months you have to provide for such a period, to make sure there shall be nothing to bring about a reduction of the contributions. Even then you had such great foresight that you thought all the unemployment problem was going to be got rid of by 1923. You say "the first day of July, 1923," or "the expiration of the deficiency period," but you estimated that 1923 would have seen you out. I think the basis of that calculation was entirely wrong, and has led to the whole financial mix-up of this scheme that has found its way in various forms in these various Acts of Parliament. I would also like to call attention again that up to April, 1922, or somewhere about then, £17,000,000 of the £20,000,000 open to the Treasury to help it out of difficulties had been used, because in April, 1922, you again come to the House and say that the power to advance to the Treasury up to £20,000,000 is not great enough. You are still within the serious and dangerous area; you cannot escape it. You say then that the Treasury might be permitted to grant up to £30,00,000. You therefore increase the draw on the Treasury from £20,000,000 to £30,000,000.
Would not one have thought at that stage you had really got to a serious pass, and that the State liability should not be restricted to one-fifth of the total, allowing you to draw on the Treasury, charging an interest against the contribution on the outstanding amounts. It does seem to me that to come along now, having gone through all this turmoil, and say that your deficiency is only £7,000,000 instead of £17,500,000 or more at one time, and now, because you are not quite so much in debt, it will not matter if the deficiency period is extended another year or two, and keep you to your contributions in order to ease 619 the State from a £4,000,000 contribution to the Fund. Because the contributions were not enough, the Act of 1922, according to the First Schedule, says that the workman should pay 9d. per week. That raised him another 2d. The employer was to be raised another 2d. to 10d. per week. The State there for the first time recognised that it might do a little bit more. The workman had come from 4d. in 1920 to 9d. in 1922. The employer had come from 5d. in 1920 to 10d. in 1.922. The State says now we will concede a little more than one-fifth and raise it to one-fourth, and so the Treasury contribution was one-fourth of the total sum accruing. One might say that that was a generous act on the part of the Government of the day, but there is something more in it. I wonder how many people in the country believe anything other than that the State machinery is provided for out of State money. That is quite misleading and does not prevail. You have paid up to this date one-fifth of the total but you are the dominant partner, and you make the Act and the Regulations.
Up to that stage you had been taking one-tenth of the income of the Fund for administration, and you had powers to use up to 10 per cent. of the total income of the Fund for administration purposes. Under the Act of 1922 you took powers to increase that 10 per cent. to 12½, per cent. In order to meet that extra cost of administration, you raised your contribution from one-fifth to one-fourth of the total. I do not suppose that will be questioned, because here is the Report of the Committee which held meetings upstairs upon this matter, and I find that statements were made by myself upstairs. Of course, I know it is not usual for hon. Members to quote their own statements, but what I said at that time shows that while £3,750,000 was taken out of the contributions last year, £38,000,000 was the sum above the total of contributions, and £62,000,000 had been spent. Tile other £24,000,000 represents the deficiency or draws that went to the deficiency account. I mention this to show that this was done in order that you might be in a position to draw more in that respect.
We were not done with Acts of Parliament on unemployment then. You had gone from 4d. to 9d. for the workmen, and from 5d. to 10d. for the employer, 620 but you had another Act in 1923 providing for a continuance of the rates during the deficiency period and fixing a maximum scale afterwards. That will be found in Section 4 of that Act. It will also be found that about that time a Memorandum was issued, in which the Government undertook that, so long as the deficiency period lasted, so long would their contribution last. The deficiency period is not at an end, and the scale still maintains the 9d., the 10d., and the State's proportion of one-fourth of the total. It provides that the Minister himself shall determine when his arrangement shall end, but that, after the deficiency period is wiped out, it shall come to an end at the following July period, when, of course, the deficiency period may be looked upon as being automatically wiped out. I am sure hon. Members of the House will quite understand. But they did something more, and this is what I put as being in the nature of a breach of contract, a breaking of faith with the men who come from 1920 right down to this period of 1923, the stage which I have reached at the moment, when these men all the time had been suffering and paying, and the State said that, so long as the deficiency period lasted, it would make a contribution on a certain basis.
The deficiency period is still here, but you are going to take away from the Fund part of your contributions. Yon say that, after the deficiency period, the maximum contributions will be so much, but you have not arrived at that stage just yet, and, consequently, it is perhaps rather too much to anticipate what will he the action of the Government of the day then. All I can hope is that then the Government will be a Labour Government, and that they will accept a nearer margin of their responsibility than the Government did up to 1923. We are very often asked, "What did you do?" We are often naked to what extent the Labour party is better than its predecessors in this connection. I will tell the Committee one thing where they at least have recognised a modicum of responsibility to the extent to which their own Chancellor of the Exchequer would permit them to meet an increased financial responsibility. We had a different Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924 from the Chancellor of the Exchequer today, who comes along in 1926 and says, 621 "You have got to help me by easing me of £4,000,000 from that Fund." In 1924 the Government of the day said: "We will be third partners in finance and in responsibility. Whatever the income from employer and workman may be, we will add one-third." I think it will be appreciated that the advance to one-third from the one-fifth of 1920 is a great advance in that matter.
I ought perhaps to quote this exactly, because it appears for the first time in an Act of Parliament. I have all along urged, upon every occasion, that the State has no right to have full control of administration, to make the Regulations and restrict the Regulations and rules. No other person could interfere with them at all; they did the whole of that, and then got away without the full financial responsibility. They do it, not out of the fulness of their desire to make a contribution, but they take from the fund not 10 per cent. but powers to utilise 12½ per cent. They came from one-fifth of the total to one-fourth, because they knew that that difference represented the extra 2½ per cent. they wanted to take from the income of the fund. It is no earthly use saying that the State does its part in this business. There are ex-service men who should have been on unemployment benefit or receiving an adequate pension to take them out of the realm of the unemployment donation, charge or benefit, if the State had not parcelled them all over on to the Unemployment Fund. Many of them to-day are disqualified because they are partially incapacitated and not likely to be rehabilitated into any industrial concern. Some of the men represent the wreckage of the transference on to the fund of the Unemployment Act of the Government of 1920.
I can quite imagine in that respect that the Chancellor will say, "Do not hold me responsible, for goodness sake, for the Act of 1920." I would not care to do that. There was quite a hotel-potch in 1920. [An HON. MEMBER: "He was one of them !"] If he was, he will take his share of the responsibility. I do not believe he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. Otherwise, perhaps he would not have been satisfied with only making a contribution of one-fifth. He would have wanted to restrict their payment into the Fund, and our opposition would 622 have been more vigorous than it is now, although it must reach the utmost limit of our capacity to express it without expletives, but in order that it may be thoroughly understood, not as representing a mere pious thought but an innermost feeling that something more ought to be done than the act committed at the moment by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Section 5 of the 1924 Act.—[HON. MEMBERS: "Read it !"]. I am going to read this one because, in this case, for the first time, appears that one-third responsibility, Real partnership You speak of co-partnership. You say, Let us all give of our best; but you do not do that. While you give lip service to it outside, in this case you say, "We will take all we can, whether you give it freely or not, and will give as little in return." Our responsibility must be your burden and not the burden of the State at all, and so Section 5 of the 1924 Act reads this way:Sub-section (1) of Section five of the 1924 Act—"The contributions to be made for the purposes of Section 5 of the principle Act out of moneys provided by Parliament shall be at the rate equal to one-half of the aggregate amount of contributions paid in respect of the employed person by himself and his employer, or, in the case of an exempt person, paid by his employer, and Sub-sections (3) and (7) of the said Section five shall have effect accordingly.Perhaps I ought to keep hon. Members acquainted with the principal Act, but I take it that Heathers of the House who have followed these things so diligently still quite, have in their minds what Section 5 of the 1924 Act means. At all events this Act, in providing for payment, says that the State shall from funds proved by Parliament pay a half of the contributions as paid by the employer and workman, representing really a third of he total. It may seem strange that here is a national Parliament that ought to have great foresight, that ought not perhaps to be worrying the House for a new Act; of Parliament on the Statute Book, particularly on unemployment, as if it was a fleeting episode. I think the 1925 Act was the fifteenth Act dealing with unemployment, so T am not quoting the many Acts, as I might have done, because every one of them has a bearing upon this proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take, £4,000,000 away from them when they are in these distressing circumstances. Here again you find that 623 this Act very cleverly introduces quite another principle, a financial one, about which no doubt either the Chancellor or the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour will perhaps have in mind.
The 1925 Act, of course, again made provision for a variation in contribution. These variations in contribution have been rendered necessary, I believe, by reason of the other Act of social insurance which found its way On to the Statute Book. Section 4, paragraph (a). says:As from and after the fourth day of Jannary, 1926, and therefore during the remainder of the deficiency period as defined in Section 16 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Act, 1921, and during a further period thereafter, ending on such date as the Minister may by order prescribe, not being a date later than the first day of the insurance year, commencing next after the end of the aforesaid deficiency period (the aggregate of winch two periods is in this Section referred to as the extended period ') the contributions payable as aforesaid by the employed persons and their employers ball he at the respective rates set out in the first Schedule to this Act.11.0 p.m.
The First Schedule to the Act shows the revised payments. I am sure hon. Members will see that as you come from 4d. up to 9d. as the workmen's contribution, as the Treasury advanced, or was willing to advance, up to £30,000,000 to meet deficiencies, for which they charged a rate of interest., as they themselves took from the Fund not. 10 per cent. but 12½ per cent. for administration, here is an accumulation of misdeeds until you come to the little shining light that some of my right hon. Liberal Friends used to quote as being the beam of light that opened up a new era and much brighter prospects. A land for heroes ! All our troubles were to be dispelled. Quite naturally, the Labour Government thought that it would direct its penetrating beams upon the situation, in order to bring a measure of comfort and ease to the people. They provided that one-third should be our share. Compare that with the Act of the previous Government. [Laughter.] It is no joke to me. It is no joke to the people outside, who have to pay contributions. It is no joke to those who were affected when, owing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Ministry of Labour had to save £6,500,000 624 and had to impose regulations which swept thousands of people off the Unemployment Insurance Fund. There was a sweep of £6,500,000 on one occasion, and £4,000,000 on another occasion, and we are told that these are only little bits. These little bits mean a big meal in the cottage.
A little bit of £4,000,000 out of a Budget of £800,000,000 is small in comparison, but £4,000,000 withdrawn from the purchase of the necessities of life and, incidentally, the sweeping of thousands of people off the Unemployment Insurance Fund on to the boards of guardians, is no joke to the people affected. It is no joke to those of us who have gone through it.
The country does not appreciate the great sacrifice made by the contributors since 1920. They do not appreciate to the full the meagureness of the contributions that have been made by the general taxpayers in comparison with the sacrifices which have been made by the insured contributors. After the Act of 1925, the amount of contribution for unemployment insurance was dropped by 2d., The amount contributed by the employer was also dropped by 2d., which was re-imposed in order that the Government might introduce a social insurance scheme, which is not a full scheme, and which is not a full mothers' pensions scheme. They led the people outside to understand that it would only cost them 2d. The Government did not really reduce the contributions; they only transferred them for the purpose, of another Measure of social insurance. The people now have to pay 9d., plus another 2d., making 11d. for unemployment and social insurance, compared with 4d. in 1920.
It is true that further benefits have been given in the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Pension scheme and where those benefits are applicable they very welcome and useful, and do something to ease the situation. It is arising from that that the Government are making their present proposal. You have got to the stage when you say to the workman that he will have to pay 2d. more, and you will take 2d., off your contribution, and that. 4d. will be transferred to your contribution for widows' and orphans' pensions. But you have altered your percentage payment from one-third of the total of that Fund, and you will bring it back again to one 625 fourth. How do you manage that? The State's contribution for 10 years, payable to the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Pension Fund, is at the rate of £4,000,000 a year.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
Now you see the hand of the artful dodger ! How is the State going to pay that five point seven million pounds? Does that represent a new responsibility of the State, or does it not represent what you are to take away from the Unemployment Fund? Your figure of what you propose to save is rising from £3,740,000 to a possible £590,000. It is significant, that that represents just your contributions to widows, orphans and old age pensions. Of what advantage is that, if you are now going to say to the Labour Minister, "Tighten up your Regulations, because you cannot have your deficiency period going on. You will have £4,000,000 a year less to meet it. You will have to chop some more off "? How does it ease the position if you are going to create a state of circumstances that creates widows and orphans by denying to the men the necessities of life, and harassing them between the hoards of guardians and the committees they have to meet—and there are cases of suicide and desperation going on—how does, it profit these people if you take away £4,000,000 that would give physical maintenance and enable a man to fend for himself, and hand it over as a contribution to the widows and orphans who will be left behind?
I want to take this opportunity again to point out that your live register figures do not represent the volume of your problem. From 1920 or from the early part of 1921 up to the present you hive had numbers varying from one [...] one and a-half millions of unemployed parsons. Gather in to that number their dependents and see what a large percentage of our population have during that five years travelled through the medium of unemployment relief under the Act. Try to imagine it if you can. I could take you to a little place, not far from Victoria Station, round seine of the slums, near Parliament itself and almost within earshot of our voices. You have that to contend with. I do say that you have gone the way already to give 626 a false impression to the country from your unemployment register. Why You want your live register to conic down to a maximum represented by 1,030,000, in the hope that after you have taken the £4,000,000 State grant away, the income will then be sufficient to meet the outgoings, and within three or four years you hope to clear your deficiency period.
Is it too late to urge that this is such a small thing that you might hold your hand? Your previous inroads were where there were surpluses available for extra benefit. Here you are making an inroad when the cupboard is empty, and where there is a deficiency and the brokers are at the door, figuratively speaking. There is no hen roost here to raid, only just the stark gaunt spectre of further depression and discontent possibly as the result of an Act like this. It is not worthy of a great nation such as we are, and certainly ought never to be touched by any self-respecting Chancellor of the Exchequer who, if he is in difficulties, ought to tap the sources which can better afford to make the sacrifice. He might even call for an increasing volume from where the surpluses are, in order that you might transfer some of them to where the deficiencies require making up, and give us fair play and a decent chance to recover from the long years of depression and distress.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MNISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
During the long time I have known the hon. Member who has just addressed the Committee, I have always been filled with admiration for his historical knowledge of this long series of Acts. I speak with complete sincerity when I refer to his very intimate knowledge of this very complicated series of enactments in the present Unemployment Insurance Acts.
I think the Committee will agree with me if I say that it would perhaps be convenient at this, stage to state in a word or two what exactly the proposal contained in the Bill means, and how far it affects the existing Section of the Act. The first point I want to make perfectly clear is this, that the proposal does not in any way involve any increase of contribution by the employer or the employed. The contributions remain exactly the same. The second point I want to make 627 perfectly clear—I am certain the Committee would not have gathered it from the speech which has just been made—is that it involves no reduction at all of any benefit paid to any insured person, nor does it affect in any way the conditions under which the benefits are paid. In the third place, it relates entirely to the State contribution during the extended period. I need not detain the Committee by explaining what the extended period is, but practically it is the deficiency period with a few weeks or months added. The present contributions by the State, under the Act of 1925, are a little complicated, and it may not be a waste of time, as we are having a general discussion which will to sonic extent cover subsequent Amendments, to explain exactly what they are. Up to January, 1928, they arc for men 8d. and for women 7d., with correspondingly smaller payments for boys and girls; but after January, 1928, that sum of 8d. for men is reduced to 7d. and the sum of 6d. for women is reduced to 5½d.
There is a further provision relating to what is called the contingent penny, which the State will pay under certain circumstances. The result of the proposal is that there would be a saving in the State contribution of £3,740,000 up to January, 1928, out after January, 1928, for the reason I have given, the saving would be less because after that date to the end of the extended period the State contribution is less. After January, 1928, the saving to the State would he £1,800,000 a year when I the contingent penny came into operation there would be an additional charge to the State of about £1,800,000 a year.
When the Bill of 1925 was under discussion these very intricate calculations were based, as they were bound to be, upon the estimate which the Government had of the number of persons likely to be on the register Upon the best calculations which we could get, aria with the utmost desire to form the best conclusions possible as to the situation that was likely to arise, we estimated a live register of 1,300,000 persons. Everybody in the House, I am sore, has been glad that our calculation was falsified and that the number of persons on the live register has been, 628 from that time to this, a good deal less than 1,300,000 persons. On 29th March of this year the number on the register was 1,013,600.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The latest figures which I have purposely omitted include the Easter week which does not give us a fair criterion of the situation. According to our proposals, the fund will balance on a register of 1,030,000, and we feel that with the figures as they now are we are justified in reducing the sum from the sum provided by the Act of 1925 to that which is proposed in the Bill.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary follow that up by telling us what proportion of the difference between the number on the live register and on the live register when the calculation was made is due to the new Regulations and men being transferred to another liability?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
That question was the subject of an examination which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour caused to he made by the very eminent statisticians at his disposal, and they found, in Command Paper 2601, that the number of persons who ceased to be registered on account of stricter benefit conditions is lees than 13,700 and, probably, not more than 10,000.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
It is difficult to discuss this matter unless the hon. Gentleman has the statement before him. One answer to the hon. Member is, that the number of persons disallowed benefit, who can still continue to register is continually going up, and has gone up from 20,000 in January, 1924, to 80,000 in January, 1926. The number of persons disallowed who continue to register is constantly rising.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
It is Command Paper 2601, which was issued about three weeks ago.
To return to the figures in the Bill. We calculated that for every 10,000 above or below the figure of 1,030,000 the debt of the Fund to the Treasury will increase or diminish as the case may be by the figure of £380,000 per annum. I do not think I need say anything more in explanation of the Clause. I have endeavoured to point out the reasons that scorn to us to justify the making of these alterations, and I have endeavoured to make as clear as I can what, at best, must be a very intricate and complicated subject.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
We all agree that the hon. Gentleman has given an admirable explanation, but certainly no justification of the Clause. This is the first time I have intervened in the debate on this Bill, primarily because my command of language rendered it quite impossible for me to express my opinion about the Clauses of the Bill, but I was glad to see here to-night the chief ventriloquist, whose voice has been heard in the proposals of this Bill, but whose fleeting figure has only been seen during Divisions. I note that he is no longer in his place, but I assume the right hon. Gentleman came in for part of this discussion, because this is the largest item of plunder which he expects to get as a result of the Bill. We on this side have, almost exhausted our powers of vituperation regarding this Measure, and the dictionary of Parliamentary language is quite inadequate to express what many of us feel bout Clause 8. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) in connection with this Bill likened the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a cat burglar. I think he was paying the right hon. Gentleman undue honour. After all, one may admire the dash and courage of the cat burglar, but I would prefer to describe this and other Clauses of the Bill as a species of pocket-picking of a particularly mean kind. It is particularly mean because first he picks one pocket and then he picks another pocket belonging to people of the same class. We had in the first seven Clauses a series of illustrations of petty thefts from 15,000,000 insured workers under the Health Insurance Acts. We have in Clause 8 a more subtle form 630 of plunder from about 12,000,000 people insured under the Unemployment Insurance scheme. The Parliamentary Secretary assures us it really means no increase in contributions, no reduction of benefit, no alteration of conditions, and that it only deals with the State contribution during the extended period. That is true, but it is worth following the thimble-rigging of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last year. His supporters on the Government benches were led to believe during the discussions on the Widows. Pension Bill that there was a pea under one of the thimbles. There was to be an increased State contribution in respect of unemployment insurance to compensate for the reduction in the contributions of employers and workers in order to reduce the burden on industry. Did the Chancellor of the Exchequor at that time temporarily put a pea under the thimble, or did he know at that time that he was misleading his own supporters, that he never intended to give any assistance from the Exchequer to the widows' pensions scheme indirectly, and that really all that he was doing was pretending that there was a pea under the thimble, or, if there was one there, that he was going to extract it at the earliest possible moment? He has done that now, and the argument, as understand it, is based on the assumption that, it is possible now, because the official figures for unemployment are less than they were last summer, to reduce the State contribution and not really prolong the deficiency period. In other words, this proposal is based on the assumption that the present figures for unemployment are not going to increase, but many of us on this side do not accept that assumption.
I leave aside the gerrymandering of the figures and the regulations, with a view to bringing down as speedily as possible the 1,030,000, and point to this fact, that the only substantial reductions in the figures during recent months have been in the coal industry and in the heavy metal industries peculiarly dependent upon the coal industry, and if circumstances should arise, whether through a cessation of the subsidy or some analogous cause, which would result in increasing prices for coal, the unemployment percentage in the mines would, I say, rise to 40 per cent., and with that increase in unemployment in the coal 631 industry we should have an increase in unemployment in the iron and steel trades and industries which have in recent months been profiting as a result of the lower prices following upon the subsidy. If that be true, then quite clearly the effect of the reduction of the State contribution is going to be to prolong the deficiency period. It is also going to increase the proportion of the contribution towards abolishing that deficiency made by employers and workers. It is in a sense comparatively and proportionately increasing the contributions of the workers and employers as compared with the State contribution. So far as the abolition of the deficit on the Fund is concerned and in so far as this proposal to reduce the State contribution does prolong the deficiency period, it is going to put in jeopardy the benefits of the unemployed workers, because the right hon. Gentleman's colleague might easily be induced to come forward with another iniquitous Unemployment Insurance Bill still further to degrade the conditions of benefit, on the ground that there is a deficiency on the Fund, and that, with the existing contributions, benefits cannot be paid on the same scale or for the same length of time.
This so-called economy is being obtained at the expense of the unemployed worker in the future, for whom, of course, the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not care a brass farthing. Why should he? He is too concerned in saving about 1 per cent. of the national expenditure, but to Members on this side Clause 8 is about as iniquitous a Clause as there is in this Bill. Our view is that as a measure of true national economy, the State contribution to unemployment insurance ought to be substantially increased in order that larger benefits might be paid out of the fund to unemployed workers, and in order that the drain upon the Poor Law and local authorities should be reduced. That method of dealing with the situation would mean a wiser expenditure of our public money than this method of dealing with the unemployment scheme. We world welcome a very substantial increase in the State contribution. So far from it being too generous, it is at the present time too small, with the result that the benefits which are payable under 632 the Act are admittedly—and it has been admitted in a fairly recent Government report—inadequate in themselves for the unemployed worker and his family, and with the result that the benefits are being eked out at the present time by poor relief, and by relief works of local authorities. It would be in the real interests of economy as far as possible to reduce the burden of the rates upon industry and transfer the burden to the National Exchequer. Instead of making real progress in the cause of national economy, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Clause 8 is moving backwards. With a desire at this moment to save something between £3,750,000 and £5,500,000, he is prepared to do a serious injustice to the contributors to the fund, workers and employers. He is prepared to put in peril the future benefits of unemployed workers, and really to push into the future the real cost of this economy, and to put it on the backs of people who are least able to bear the burden.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I listened carefully to what was said by the Parliamentary Secretary, who, if may he allowed to say so, always does his very best to give the Committee or the House the information at the disposal of his department, and he is always courteous to us all in trying to answer the questions which we ask. But I am bound to say the speech he made did not seem to me to deal with what is the substantial situation to be considered in reference to this Clause. It does not depend, I should have thought, on these very elaborate mathematical calculations which led to the conclusion that, it may be, the live register will carry the figure which has been mentioned. Surely the practical side of the matter, the side which the Committee have really to consider, is something quite different. The practical side of the matter, I thought, was this, and I hope I may be corrected by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or by someone in authority, if I am wrong. It is only some nine months ago that there was an Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill and the situation which was at that time established was that there was an extra penny put upon the contribution which was due from the employer week by week as compared with a contribution from the man of 8d.
§ Sir J. SIMON
Owing to the fact that there had been a sealing down, you still cad the disparity by which the employer was to contribute a penny more than the man. Everybody knows that the real ultimate economic effect is not to be limited to the particular party that provides the money. If you make the employer contribute more than he otherwise would be expected to contribute, that works itself out as the result of an economic adjustment with a corresponding effect upon the burdens which industry has to hear and the conditions upon which workmen have to he employed. Every great contract into which a contractor may be disposed to enter will be affected by the very substantial sums which will have to be found by employers under unemployment insurance. Therefore this is e matter which affects the whole trading of the nation. My memory goes back to the original Act, and I have always understood that unemployment insurance is built up on the basis that the contribution from the worker and the employer should be equal in amount. It was so to begin with although a lot of changes have been made but that has always been the basis of the scheme. Nothing is more clear than that, and when it was thought necessary to keep the employers contribution above the contribution of the men, that was held to be purely temporary.
On the Second Reading of the Economy Bill I happened to turn op and quoted to the House a declaration made by the Minister of Labour himself on this subject which showed what the Minister at the time said when the Act of 1925 was carried and 2d. was taken off the men's contribution and 2d. off the employers' contribution, the employer being left to pay ld. more. On that occasion the Minister of Labour said:The principle of equality has been accepted. It is in harmony with the principle of the Bill and really in harmony with the principle laid down by the hon. and gallant Gentleman that both sides should he treated on a parity and should be equal. Therefore, I think the arrangement laid down in the Bill should be allowed to stand.The position was that the employer for the moment had to pay an extra penny, and how is that going to be corrected? It was that if the Unemployment Fund 634 rose to a more solvent position, if its liability to the State was reduced, if trade improved, the very first use that would he made of that improvement, as soon as it was available, would be to knock that extra penny off the employers' contribution. That undoubtedly was the representation made to the House by this very Government by the Chancellor's colleague, only nine months ago, and it was on that basis that that. Act was passed. At a time when I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not anticipated hat this coming Budget was going to be quite such a tight fit, at a time when it was not supposed you would have to raid a fund of this sort for budgeting purposes, it was the intention of everyone, as of this Government, that as soon as ever circumstances so improved as to make it possible to make some change, advantage should be taken of the improvement to take this extra penny off the employers' contribution.
What is it that this Bill is doing? It is performing, as it seems to me, a juggle with figures which may be very satisfactory to the Chancellor of the Exchequer preparing for his Budget, but which does not really give any relief to the country. We are told there is good ground for hoping the size of the live register will continue to decline. It is big enough in all conscience, but better than it used to be. Everyone hopes it may turn out to be true. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is no doubt taking part in very grave and anxious discussions now in connection with the one great industrial anxiety that is over-riding the country, feels none the less that he can recommend the Committee to proceed on the basis that the live register is going to be this rather smaller number, good luck to him, but that is not any reason why the advantage that thus arises should be appropriated to the purposes of the Budget. It really appears to tile to be mere sham to pretend that by a Clause in this Economy Bill you are effecting some economy by doing that. The real situation is, if one accept the promises, that there has been such an improvement, such an advance towards better trade, as enables the Unemployment Insurance Fund to stand at a rather better level than it previously did. Then what are you going to do in view of that circumstance? You 635 can make one use of it or another. The use intended to be made of it nine months ago was to take off the extra penny from the employers' contribution. That is not merely in the interest of the employers or the contractors, but of the trade of the country. It is a relief pro tanto from one of the burdens that presses down the springs of industry. To say "I will not do that. I will leave that burden on industry and then I will in a Clause of the Economy Bill transfer to the Treasury the relief that thus arises"—is that, in fact, to give anything at all? It is merely to put this advantage at the disposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the purpose, of his Budget calculations on the terms that you are leaving a burden on industry longer than you need otherwise leave it. If the Chancellor is prepared to tell us frankly—he can be very frank when he pleases; we are most fortunate to have him here—if he is prepared to say, "That is true, it is as broad as it is long; either industry is going to get this relief or else the Budget is going to get it, and I must have it for my Budget, and industry must put up with it," we know where we are.
It seems to me to be little better than a sham to pretend that this Clause of the Economy Bill is really affecting any economy. There is no economy in leaving industry under a burden of which it will not now be relieved merely in order that you may have an exactly corresponding sum, which is a very substantial one, I think, made available for the purpose of his Budget calculations. I do not know whether I have made my own view clear to the Committee. I know I have not expressed it in very polished or prepared language bat I have in my own mind quite a clear view of what I mean. If I have made my meaning clear to the Committee I venture to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether that is not the position.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Undoubtedly the right hon. and learned Gentleman is right in indicating that the employers have some grievance in this matter. I said so quite openly when I moved the Second Beading of this Measure to the House. I said they would have the additional penny that rests on them over and above the rate of contribution of the workers reduced at the earliest opportunity and in so far as what 636 we are doing now may considerably prolong the deficiency period to that extent they are delayed in receiving that relief of the penny which we contemplated nine months ago would be their lot. But we have certainly not handled this question of the unemployed insurance fund in any ungenerous, narrow or grasping spirit. The hon. Gentleman who made us a very long but in many ways a very excellent speech was constantly endeavouring to prove his point throughout the whole of that speech. The hon. Member for West Nottingham, (Mr. Hayday), told us of the great burden upon the contributor. The rates are very high. The State only bears a small proportion of the general charge of unemployment. The great bulk of the burden is borne by the workers and by their employers. For this reason I always avoid the use of the expression "dole," which does not accurately apply to a fund where the great bulk of the contributions is borne by the bodies interested. It is only nine mouths ago that we reduced the contribution by 2d. from the employer and by 2d. from the worker. These are very large and sensible reductions. We did so, it is quite true, at a time when we were imposing other contributions for other benefits, which are in themselves far greater than the additional contributions. But we have effected a reduction in contributions only nine months ago, and we had reason to believe that the fund would be solvent on the basis of these reductions provided the State paid a considerable sum us its share to the fund. But, as my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has said, we were at that time proceeding upon the basis of an average unemployment live register of 1,300,000. I thought myself, at that time, that that was a somewhat pessimistic calculation, and have since made a most complete and careful examination into the whole history, month by month, of the unemployment figures during the last four years. As the result of that calculation we found, on purely actuarial grounds—apart, that is to say, from any unexpected improvement or development ill the trade of he country—that we were entitled to look forward to a live register of something in the neighbourhood of 1,050,000.
Was there any reason, at this difficult time, if that were so, for our burdening 637 the National Exchequer with a heavy charge that was not needed to maintain the solvency of the Fund? After all, the Fund is a very strong one. Its income amounts to about £50,000,000 a year. Its statutory borrowing powers, specifically designed by Parliament to meet exactly the time of difficulty through which we are now passing, entitle it to borrow no less than £30,000,000, if necessary. It has in the past borrowed upwards of £17,000,000, and it has reduced that indebtedness, with the normal working of the Fund, from £17,000,000 to £7,000,000; and, during the course of this difficult year through which we have passed the deficiency has only been raised by £2,000,000. Therefore, I say that the solvency of the Fund is undoubted.
Behind the Fund stands the State. We are, undoubtedly, intimately connected with the Fund. We provide the money, and are paying the interest upon the loan. When money has been lent to it, it has been the money of the taxpayers generally. Here is a fund, with its borrowing power amply sufficient at this moment to meet its needs and its difficulties. It is no part of our intention to allow the Fund to proceed to develop in deficiency on a larger scale, and get back to £15,000,000 or £20,000,000 of deficiency. Our calculation is that the Fund will continue solvent on the present basis if we reduce the contribution of the State as is proposed by this Measure, and the only party that has the slightest ground of complaint in the next year—and, after all, I cannot look much further ahead in this matter than next year—will be the employer, who was led to expect that he would get the redaction of ld. at the earliest possible moment, and who is now not going to get it. I say that quite frankly.
I trust that the Committee, now that he hour is late, and probably no very close attention is being paid by the public Press to our deliberations, will for one moment endeavour to do a little justice to the point of view of His Majesty's Government in this Economy Bill, and in this particular unemployment section of their proposals. The course of economy is, of course, very hard; everyone knows it is very unpopular; it gives plenty of opportunity for attacks of every kind; it will probably cost votes in many con- 638 stituencies, and embarrass many Members in their relations with their constituents. Everyone knows that that is undoubtedly the fact, and no one can complain that an Opposition, or two Oppositions, with all their duties of bringing to bear criticism upon the Government, should take the fullest possible advantage of the duty which the Government have to do of an unpopular and difficult character. I, for my part, although I have not obtruded myself on the Debate—not from any wish, I can assure the Committee, to shirk the issue, but with the desire not unduly to complicate the deliberations of the House—I, for my part., can sincerely say that we have been animated in these proposals only by a sense of duty and the general interest of the country. For every one of these proposals which has been put forward, four or five have been examined and rejected. When we see the kind of opposition—perfectly sincere opposition—and the severe character of the opposition which can be put forward in regard to our economy proposals: proposals which have been derided as being petty in their scope, as utterly inadequate for the need of the time—
§ Sir J. SIMON
On a point of Order. it is not our fault that the right hon. Gentleman was not here before. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to be at liberty to defend these proposals in general, we shall, surely, be at liberty on this particular question to debate the proposals.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I hope I am not straying from the rules of Order except in a sentence or two. [HON. MEMBERS: "We have been closured for discussing them."] My difficulties with the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir J. Simon) began a good many years ago. All I can say on that point is that it shows how very foolish are those who imagine that £50,000,000 or £60,000,000 can be struck from the National Expenditure easily without all the consequences that mould fall upon the social life of the people if those fierce inroads were made. [HON. MEMBERS "What about the Army and Navy !"]
With regard to this part of the Measure the solvency of the Fund, where would the Fund have been if we had had a 639 strike, a lockout, a stoppage, call it what you will, last Autumn? The State might have continued to pay its fullest contributions and the Insurance Fund could have gone into a £20,000,000 or £30,000,000 deficiency, and up to the full limit of its borrowing powers, but if we had had a recurrence of what occurred in 1920 when there were 2,500,000 unemployed, the provisions of this Insurance Fund would have been washed clean out. That is what we have endeavoured to the best of our ability, and what we are still endeavouring night and day, to save the country from. That is why I have been called upon, as the Minister responsible, to find £19,000,000 this year, and £4,000,000 in the estimates of nest year, in addition to some other sums. This immense sum, which has disturbed the whole range of our financial—[Interruption] I am dealing with the solvency of the Fund. The whole of this great sum has been incurred by the Exchequer with the object of avoiding an industrial disaster which would have ruined this very Fund and would have ruined many other things as well. When we are undertaking these great burdens, are we not entitled to some consideration and some tolerance in regard to the measures which are required in order to finance them and in order to sustain the burden? It is said that I have taken £4,000,000 from the Unemployment Fund, but we have put down nearly £24,000,000 in order co sustain one great industry throughout the past winter and to save it from catastrophy.
I say that this ought not have been a cause of sneers and jeers and taunts and charges of robbery, when these Measures have been put forward with the sincere object of averting a great difficulty and a great national disaster. It may well be that every party point should be taken, and I will never stand here and say that politicians never should make party points, but now at this hour I appeal to the Committee to drop all this talk about a narrow, sordid, grasping Treasury, about robbery and raiding this Fund and raiding that Fund when it is perfectly well known that the financial problem we have to face is one that arises out of the necessity of averting a catastrophe to the masses of the people—to the employers as well as to workers—a catastrophe 640 which would be ruinous to them and ruinous to this Fund.
I trust that the Committee will allow us to make such provision for the Unemployment Insurance Fund this year as we believe will be adequate to sustain it throughout the year, and to prevent the Fund going further into deficiency. We believe there are reasons to justify the expectation that employment will improve. Of course, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman says, we may have a great struggle, a great lock-out, a great stoppage, whatever it may be; hut I am not considering that at all. None of the proposals we are putting before Parliament, none of the proposals in the Bill will have the slightest reference to that. Altogether different proposals will be required, an altogether different scheme of finance will be required if such a contingency arises: but on the assumption that this danger does not arise, we have every reason to believe that a live register of 1,050,000 will carry us through the year, and that the Fund will be as solvent throughout the year as it is now, and the only people to suffer will be the employers whose expectations of a penny being taken off their contribution kill not be realised. I hope, therefore, that in this debate the difficulties not only of the Government but of the country as a whole will be considered at the same time as every fair debating point is taken against the Government.
I certainly do not object, and I hope none of my hon. Friends behind me will object to the wide view which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has found it necessary to take in order to defend his proposals. I welcome it, because I propose to follow in detail his general wide survey not only of the industrial field, not only of the late trouble, but of the situation at the moment, keeping in mind, of course, its implications and the consequences it is likely to have, upon the Clause we are discussing. But I think I should express to the Chancellor of the Exchequer our congratulations on his reappearance in these Debates, because we have missed him considerably. I say to him quite frankly that I like him to meet us in the spirit in which he has met us. No one is such a past master in the role of opposition as he has been, 641 and he knows perfectly well, although it has escaped the notice of some of his colleagues, that everything we have done in this matter has been strictly in accordance with the principles he has laid down. We know he is an audacious statesman and that there is no one who takes such risks, but is there anything to equal the audacity he has shown to-night? If I were going to the scaffold to-morrow morning I know of nothing which would be better than to send for the Chancellor of the Exchequer about five minutes to eight, for he would persuade me I was going there for the benefit of my health. Here he is responsible for what we have said, and repeat, is nothing but robbery and confiscation; here he is responsible for having said twelve months ago when introducing his Budget that as far as he was concerned, he looked for a reduction of £10,000,000 per annum in general expenditure, and then he brings forward the Economy Bill and he calls it a reduction in expenditure—that is to say, taking sums which do not belong to him and which were not subscribed for that purpose. That is his construction of national economy, but let us examine it a little further.
The Parliamentary Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer say "The reason we can do this is a two-fold one—firstly, because in our judgment there is such an improvement in trade that the actuarial calculation which go to make this fund self-supporting is such as tends, in our judgment, to a substantial reduction." That is the first point. He gave a figure and I asked him if he would follow it up by giving what figures were at his disposal as to the number of people turned off the live register by the restrictions, because it must not be lost sight of, that our complaint about the unemployment figures is not that we do not welcome a reduction of even one—we do —but what we object to are figures which tend to show there is an improvement in the unemployment situation, whereas, as a matter of fact, these restrictions and new methods simply turn people off one fund and throw them on to the boards of guardians. I think there is only one way of testing the accuracy or otherwise of these figures and that is to see what is the tendency so far as the number of people in receipt of Poor Law relief is concerned, as compared with the previous 642 corresponding period. That is the fairest method.
Here let me say we on this side appreciate the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he does not associate himself with the foolish people who are always calling this unemployment insurance the "dole," because that is not only wicked and mischievous, but the impression that is created abroad is that a great mass of our people are living on charity, and that is an absurd and a fantastic idea and contrary to the facts. Therefore I welcome the statement of the Chancellor in reference to this point.
I now turn to the figures as revealed in the Ministry of Health statement showing the number of persons in receipt of poor law in England and Wales in the quarter ending in December, 1925. I find that the number of persons receiving domiciliary relief on 26th December, 1925 was 246,710 more than in December 1924. It is probably true that the number includes, indeed it must include the very nature of things, a much larger number of people than would be insured persons. I frankly admit that, but after making all allowance for that fact there is this abnormal increase of a quarter of a million persons in receipt of poor law relief in one year.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
May I ask one question. Does the figure the right hon. Gentleman has quoted consist solely of insured persons or does, it include all the insured persons and their dependents. And is it not the fact that the bulk of the people in receipt of outdoor relief are also included in the life register though not in receipt of benefit?
As regards the first point, I thought I made it clear that it must include a larger number of people than would be insured persons. It is difficult for anyone to make any calculation as to how many it did include. I contented myself with drawing attention to the abnormal increase. The experience of hon. Members must assist them in any calculation as to how many more insured persons. I have received from my own constituency, from the Board of Guardians, a body consisting of Liberals, Conservatives, and Labour, details of cases in which they say the applicants have been forced to apply because they have been turned off the unemployment register. The difficulty I experience is 643 this. I wish I could be as optimistic as the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to the unemployment situation. I refrain from making any comment on the present industrial situation because I think the greatest contribution we can make to a peaceful settlement is to say nothing that is likely to aggravate the position. As far as I am concerned, I leave the question there and I do not intend to make any point whatever about it. But I come back to this point. How can the Chancellor of the Exchequer justify his attitude on the basis of economy? He says in substance that if there is any injustice it is an injustice to the employer. By implication that means that the employé is not affected. If there is any truth—and I believe there is—in the statement that heavy taxation, whether local or national, is reflected in the employment figures and in industry generally, you cannot use that argument when dealing with general taxation and then contend that the worker is not affected by this penny, because it happens to be a tax on the employer. That would be an absurd argument. We believe that there is no method so mean as the method adopted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this Bill. I congratulate him on "getting away with it." I did not believe it was possible, knowing some of his colleagues as I do. They are not very lively at the moment, but knowing what they are usually like about 2.45 o'clock in the afternoon, I would not have believed it possible for the right hon. Gentleman to have got over them as he has done. They are obviously uncomfortable. They have no spirit in this tremendous fight, and yet they have done their best and have done it very well. The way in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has persuaded them that this is an Economy Bill is amazing.
We do not believe this is an Economy Bill. If it is, why did not the Chancellor of the Exchequer adopt this attitude in regard to the nation's welfare a few months ago? Why did he not emphasise the need for saving every copper and for looking here and there for economies on a previous occasion which I shall recall? He has pointed out that the English, Scottish and Welsh unemployed if it is necessary to borrow money from the Treasury, not only pay interest on it, but 644 pay towards reducing the debt. He knows that when he went to the Treasury he found there a letter which said to Northern Ireland, "You have no more claim and you are to have no more money." He saw it and I saw it. It was not a letter from a Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, but a letter from a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, saying in effect, "This is the last penny you will get." Yet the right hon. Gentleman who is now talking about economy and saving money and telling us that we must take broad views, when his friends from Northern Ireland came along, said to them, "There is no question of interest; I will give you £5,000,000." He did it, and after he had done it he knew he would have difficulty in connection with the coming Budget. He gave them the £5,000,000.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL indicated dissent.
Yes, £5,000,000 for five years. To be quite accurate, it was £4,800,000. The total sum involved here is £10,000,000 a year and we are discussing on this particular item a matter of £3,500,000. The real fact is that under the guise of an Economy Bill we are discussing a part of the Budget. Next Monday week we are supposed to hear the Budget statement, but we have the first indication of it here, and we know what happened nine months ago. I ask the Committee to observe that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer talked about saving £10,000,000, it was before any question arose about the £19,000,000. There was no question then about a subsidy. Therefore, because this is not economy, because it is a breach of faith, because it violates a Clause of an existing Act, even at this late hour we feel compelled to continue to offer our strongest opposition to the Bill.
§ Mr. REMER
I have on a previous occasion expressed my views about this part of the Bill and the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer this evening has not altered those views in any way. He has told us that the only people affected by this proposal are the employers. It is mainly on the grounds that the employers are the people who are keeping together the industry of the country at the present time and that they are people on whom this Unemployment Insurance Fund is a serious charge causing 645 great embarrassment to them in the standing charges of their business that I make my last appeal. I ask the Government to consider that this is really not an economy and that it merely transfers a burden from the income taxpayer to the contributor to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is postponing the solvency of the fund in order to deny as long as possible the penny reduction to which employers and employed are entitled. For myself, contrary to the view expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) I have optimism. I think the right hon. Gentleman's views in that respect are largely erroneous, and that if we only face the situation like men, and reduce taxation in a bold spirit, we can also reduce unemployment. I believe we shall reduce it more effectively by that means than by any other. I did not support hon. Members opposite in their views on the National Health Insurance part of the Bill. I have not supported what might be called the popular side of their appeal. I would support the Government on a great many unpopular things which they might put forward and I am rather surprised they have not put forward more proposals on the basis of reducing the taxation of the country, because that is the only way to deal with the unemployment situation. But I cannot support this particular proposal, which is not to the advantage either of the employing class or the employed class of this country but is of great disadvantage to both.
§ Major CRAWFURD
The speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down, to we at any rate on this side of the House, is very refreshing. Rare and refreshing to hear a really candid expression of opinion from an hon. Member on the other side of the House is always refreshing. The Chancellor of the Exchequer comes down to the House this afternoon for the first time during the course of this Debate and gives us a lecture on patriotism. He lashed himself into a fury because we had passed certain criticism on his proposals. He had not taken the trouble to listen to hours of the Debate and yet he used expressions to the effect that we were not sincere on this particular vote. He tells us that we are entitled to make what he calls party points—legitimate party points 646 —but now that the country is facing great dangers and troubles he begs us not to talk in the way we have been talking about hen roosts and robbery. We use these terms because we believe them. I recall the Statements the right hon. Gentleman used himself last year, during the course of his Budget proposals. I think he was referring to the Silk tax. The old argument used by the right hon. Gentleman was about luxury tax and we on this side protested against the fallacy of the doctrines of the so called luxury taxation. I remember the right hon. Gentleman said he would not only tax Silk. Last year he employed some months in looking for new luxuries to tax. He found during the course of those months the National Health Insurance, and the Unemployment Fund. But the right hon. Gentleman offered no defence on this particular Clause. His defence, so far as he made any on this particular Clause was in recording his optimism as to future prospects of employment. The improvement such as it is has been largely due to the subsidies to the coal trade. If the right hon. Gentleman will take the trouble to compare the figures of unemployment with the figures of those employed, and see the increase in the number of people unemployed and uninsured who are getting out door relief he will see how far his optimism is justified. The right hon. Gentleman made a very good speech at St. Pancras dealing with the proposals of the Government to help Industry. He pointed out that he was going to endeavour to relieve those who were paying contributions.
§ Major CRAWFURD
The right hon. Gentleman was also holding out a hope that when the period of deficiency passed away he would be able to still further reduce the burden on the employed. The right hon. Gentleman was also talking about the Pensions Scheme. He was speaking at the annual dinner of the British Bankers' Association on 13th May, 1925. I will quote what he then said:But when the so-called deficiency period passes away, when, that is to say, unemployment falls into the neighbourhood of 800,000 and 850,000—as it will do in a reasonable, a certain period—and when the 647 fund in consequence becomes solvent, then by law the contributions of the employers and of the workmen over this great area fall to a common 6d., that is, a reduction of 4d. by the employer and 3d. by the workpeople. The key to the situation is the termination of the deficiency period.The right hon. Gentleman calls this an Economy Bill. It makes no economy at all. There is not a shred of economy in the proposals of this Clause. We feel that the right hon. Gentleman has been challenged on this point and he has not given us a reply. He has given us a Second Reading speech, but he has not dealt with this Clause at all.
§ Mr. PALING
In criticising the Tory party—he was a Liberal at that time—the right hon. Gentleman said something about patriotism by the Imperial pint and sentiment by the bucketful. We have now had rhetoric by the ream and irrelevancies by the yard. He has been trying to cloud the issue. The most of what he said had nothing to do with the subject. He has done all he can to obscure the point. In spite of the passion in which he lands himself he is trying economy at the expense of the working classes. I am glad that the Minister of Health and his Under-Secretary attempted during these discussions to persuade us that the fact that they were robbing the insured contributor of £2,800,000 was really for the good of the contributor. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself was candid enough to admit that so far as the employers are concerned they are going to suffer to the extent of the penny they were going to have.
§ Mr. PALING
I think that is to a certain extent a credit to him. But I think the right hon. Gentleman will admit when he is driven to such shifts to get economies such as are expressed in this Bill in face of the facts explained by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas)—about giving £5,000,000 to Northern Ireland and £10,000,000 to super-tax payers last year and £20,000,000 to Income Tax payers—that he is rather driven to mean shifts when he has to confiscate £3,500,000 from the Unemployment Fund. What are the things that have made it possible even to get this money from the Unemployment Fund. Who are the people who are paying part of the price of this £3,500,000 that is 648 being diverted to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to carry his Budget and carry out the promises he made so gaily last year to save £10,000,000 expenditure? I have here a memorandum from the Ministry of Labour, and if one goes through the columns of figures on page five, one gets a fairly clear idea of the sacrifice that is being made by tens of thousands of people in this country in order to enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to get his Budget. For the month ending 28th January, 1924, I see that the total disallowances during that month were 48,000; on 25th January, 1926, the total of disallowances was 83,350. A remarkable difference that ! These are some of the people who have to suffer and pay the price of economy under the Bill which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has brought in.
I think it is extremely mean and despicable that economy should be practised at the expense of a class of people who lose all by having economy practised upon them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the super man, is driven to mean expedients of this description in order to find money which he can give away to his friends. There is a saying that the Tory party always gives to its friends. In future years no one will be able to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ever ran away from that dictum. I submit to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he has almost destroyed his reputation as a superman when he is driven to such mean, petty shifts as to save £3,500,000 at the expense of the most distressed people in this country.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer in still maintaining his reputation as a natural marauder. It is the old spirit still maintaining itself. It is almost a family tradition. What I complain about is that the Government have never made up their minds about the question of unemployment at all. They have never made up their minds as to whether unemployment in its present form is becoming static or is a passing phase. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is trying to get the country to believe that unemployment is of a passing character. It is not so many weeks ago since he delivered some very optimistic speeches on this question. Arid shortly after he 649 was contradicted by people far more competent to know about the state of trade. The leaders of commerce made a solemn declaration that they could see no hope whatever of any real change so far as unemployment is concerned. It is just about time we got to know what is the Government's real view with regard to the position of unemployment in general. I am going to say this that even looking at the financial position, I deny that we are in such a desperate state as to render it necessary for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to go to the funds he has gone to for the purpose of relieving the Exchequer. He made certain very widespread and tremendous reductions, so far as taxation is concerned twelve months ago. He was warned, but he went on, and in spite of the reductions he made, I am going to say that his budget after all did not present such very bad calculations. Where he had gene wrong, of course, is that he did not foresee that he would have to pay a subsidy to the coal trade Otherwise his budget would have balanced well on the right side. I think probably about £5,0000,000 on the right side. [HON. MEMBERS "No !"]. Well I am giving the right hon. Gentleman credit for that. I want to make the point that we are not in the desperate position that it is necessary to raid this fund; that there is a source that can be tapped, so far as available wealth is concerned, for revenue purposes.
With regard to the reduction the Chancellor of the Exchequer made in the Super tax I shall be very interested to see the ultimate figures. I believe in spite of all the gloom and in spite of the unemployment from one source or another there is a small section in this country able to pay. I do not believe that the wealthy people of this country are getting poorer. The people who are getting poorer are the poor. The people who are getting poorer are the working people and the policy of the Chancellor is to make their condition worse. My hon. Friend has just read one or two figures from this paper that has been published bid- he did not read the worst. He gave the figures for January 1924 to show that the total disallowances from the register were about 48,000. But come down to 28th September, 1925 and the total disallowances jump up at once to 110,000 and these figures do not appear to be as 650 optimistic with regard to the reduction so far as the unemployment fund is concerned. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may argue as best he may but it comes back to this in the end that these funds affecting the working-class people are being used in the way they are in order to relieve the taxation of the super-rich not of the comfortable people. It is because of these reasons that we shall continue our opposition to this base kind of economy which is being practiced by the Chancellor in this Bill. I can only wish that there should be a fairly rapid cycle of bye-elections in order that the Government might realise the extent of the economy of the proposals they are making. I would not stop the Government in their mad career for a single moment. The sooner they go to their doom the better for the country and the more the Chancellor continues the way he is going the better. I am not going to raise any protest for it suits me very well. It is all part of the game that is being played. It is all part of the tremendous class trouble going on. I am not surprised that the Chancellor is what he is. He does what I expect him to do. He has been sent here to maintain his class. It is traditional and whether he likes it or not that is the point of view that those on these benches will continue to take and maintain and it is because of that that we shall continue to oppose to the best of our ability the proposals he is making in this Economy Bill.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
May I venture to intervent. We have had very full argument on this amendment lasting 3 hours which is a reasonable time and every shade of opinion has been frankly expressed. The fact that the Debate on this Bill is being carried on at a late hour On the second night shows the earnestness with which the Bill is being considered by the House but we have a very long way to go before we see our breakfast table and I venture to suggest that we may be able to have a decision on this particular question after 3 hours debate by normal methods without the closure and then go on with the Amendment of the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) that would enable us to make some progress.
This is a new departure which we, on this side of the Committee, want to welcome. Here we find the Chan- 651 cellor of the Exchequer coming in and doing what, if it had been done last night, would have avoided all the difficulties. I want to respond to him in the same spirit as that which he has indicated, and I want to suggest to him that we ought to stop now. Let its face the facts. He did not get the gruelling we got last night. As he has said, we are sent here to do our duty, and we have to do it. I think it can be done much more efficiently if the Government recognise that this was a matter which must take a tremendous lot of time. Would it not be better to start fresh on this matter? Supposing we agree to dispose of this Amendment and then adjourn, we can come on Monday fresh and energetic and almost as virile as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. See what an advantage it will be to you. You want us to approach this Economy Bill in the spirit you have indicated, and I think we can get a better grasp of it when we are fresh.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think it would be better if the right hon. Gentleman put himself in Order, and moved to report Progress.
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
I wanted to find out how far the Government wanted to go, and in moving to report Progress I would respectfully point out that we have had a very lean time. We are all tired because we have had to hear the brunt of the debate. I am tired, and I feel it would be better if we were to adjourn at this stage. And I move to report Progress in order to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of making a statement.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The Right hon. Gentleman, I am sure, has not deluded himself for one moment that there will be any response to the appeal he has made. I hoped we would come to a conclusion on the question we have been discussing for the last three hours, but as the right hon. Gentleman has now moved to report progress I venture to take advantage of the motion to say that we are strictly limited in our ambitions to-night. We do not intend to take parts 4, 5 or 6 of this Bill to-night. All we are trying to do is to get the extremely small question 652 of the register, which really has the effect of saving the Treasury £125,000 per year and will save an equal amount to local authorities every year. Of course, if we have to have some difficulty with hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite and not know altogether exactly how far they want to go and what they wish to give to this discussion it will make the matter less easy. But if we have, therefore, taken the step of limiting out ambitions to-night it is with the view that we have a very long discussion before us and we might now get on with the next half of the unemployment question.
When the Chancellor says "We have now limited our ambitions" it shows that he cannot possibly have had any conception of our view on these particular clauses. It is admitted that on this unemployment problem there are not only the aspects we are dealing with at the moment, but a number of others. While I admit the amount saved on this Clause is very limited, the whole question of Parliamentary franchise is involved. In this tired state, knowing the issues involved, is it fair for the Government to pursue this matter? I know they had a very ambitious programme. It was somewhat punctured by events. I do submit they are over-ambitious to put it no higher.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
I think the Chancellor under-estimates the importance of Clause 9. If he still remained in a Scottish constituency and relied on the votes of serious politically-minded electors such as mine he would realise the fundamental importance of Clause 9. A large number of people are feeling strongly about these proposals, which cut at the root of the compromise achieved in the Speaker's conference of 1918.
§ Mr. J. HUDSON
Surely the Chancellor forgets we are dealing with people who will have to wait much longer for their breakfasts than we do unless we make some effective protest. The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but if this money is taken away a far greater number will be removed as a result of the indirect pressure that comes from his department through the regulations of the Ministry of Labour from the live register. We feel that this issue is one of much greater importance than can be 653 dealt with even in a debate of three hours. There is no subject of greater importance to the House of Commons than this subject of unemployment. As a matter of fact if the whole day's session were set aside for this purpose no other subject whatever being taken it would not be too much. I would remind the whole party opposite and in particular i he Chancellor of the Exchequer that there is no matter on which more promises have been made by the party opposite than this question of unemployment. It is altogether too bad that after having given far more hours than three to the question of Health Insurance, important as that subject is, the right hon. Gentleman should be appealing to us in the interests of getting to our breakfasts at a particularly early hour to finish the debate in 3 hours. Speaking for my constituency and for hon. Members on this side I say we expect considerably greater time for the consideration of this matter.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
If the right hon. Gentleman will withdraw his Motion, we can get back to, the discussion.
Certainly I withdraw it, Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'expiration' in line 24, stand part of the Clause."
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
The Parliamentary Secretary has referred to men who have been disallowed and ceased to register. He said we would find these numbers in the White Paper issued about three weeks ago. Surely if this figure of 11,000 is correct then the Minister's remarks require amplifying because if you take the figures given in the White Paper in the month of August under the 1925 Act you find for the 6 months that are there recorded, there are 151,000 men who have been disabled and who have ceased to register, and if 11,000 is anywhere near correct, it means that 95 per cent, of the men who are going before the rota committees month after month must be the same. But I think the figures convey something very different to that. Those of us who are occupying part of our time in administering local affairs know of the enormous increase in the rate of the poor law funds. In the city that I have the honour partly to represent here, there is 654 nearly half of the figure that has been given by the Minister in an increase in the poor rates. These figures when quite superficially analysed give quite remarkable results. The increase of those on Poor Law relief is in round figures 170,000 and for the six months here recorded we get 151,000. My main purpose in rising was to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question, but I see he has gone away so I must ask it in his absence. He went at great length to assure us that as far as the deficiency period was concerned, it was to be safeguarded under the Economy Bill. If that is so, what is the meaning of sub-section 2 of Clause 8? It saysparagraph (c) of Sub-Section (1) of the said section four—That is, the Act of 1925—(except in so far as it relates to the meaning of the expression 'the 1925 debt') is hereby repealed.What is the Section of the Act that is about to be repealed? It is the part of the Act that carries forward from the previous Acts the provisions with regard to the deficiency period. It means that there is to he no provision whatever for the deficiency period—none whatever. These two paragraphs of the 1925 Act (c) and (d) are complementary. Paragraph (d) deals with the point that was enlarged upon the right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) the question of when a rebate or diminution of one penny in the employer's contribution should take place. It is complementary with paragraph (c) which deals with the increased deficiency. Therefore, it would be understandable if there had boon, in the light of what the Chancellor has said with regard to reducing the contributions of the employer by one penny is not now possible, if the proposal under the Economy Bill was to delete paragraph (d) of the Bill. But instead of that paragraph (d) is left in, and paragraph (c) which is a safeguard, is proposed to be repealed.
We are convinced that this is a prelude to a diminution of benefits. Nothing else can be in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If there is anything else in his mind, it is quite unintelligible to us. The balance is going to be destroyed if the subsection of the 1925 Act is going to be repealed. I am going to remind this House once again of what the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) spoke of to-night, and of which 655 I reminded the House last year—the difference between our attitude in this House now to the unemployed man and our attitude in 1918. I was sent for with other eight men to come to London in October, 1918, just previously to the cessation of hostilities. We were to meet representatives of the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, Ministry of Labour, and other Government Departments, and proposals were laid before us for increasing unemployment benefits. We were told that hostilities were about to cease and that the men were coming home up to 5,000,000 of them. The cost of living had increased, and more adequate provision, it was pointed out, would have to be made for them. We did not ask for it and the trade unions had not petitioned for it because they did not know that the war was coming to an end. Yet these proposals were put spontaneously before us because the Government knew that unless something of the kind were done there might be serious trouble with all these men coming home from the war. The attitude to-night is different to what it was then. That sort of thing can he pushed too far, and this Economy Bib is likely to do it. We are going to economise on that class that has been spoken of again and again as the most deserving class, and the class that has been hardest hit by acts of policy laid down here.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I think the lion. Member is under a complete misconception with regard to paragraph (c) of the 1925 Act. It refers entirely to the contingent penny about which I spoke. Paragraph (d) refers to the penny that, in certain circumstances, may come off the employer's contribution. Paragraph (c) refers to the contingent penny payable under this Act by the Exchequer if the deficiency in any one quarter exceeds the amount of the debt at 31st December, 1925. I think the hon. Member is under a real misapprehension.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
Paragraph (c) is as follows, if I may read it:If at the end of the first quarter of the year 1926 or at the end of any subsequent quarter of any year the minister, with the concurrence of the Treasury declares that the average of the amounts of the advances made by the Treasury to the employment fund (in this section referred to as "Advances") outstanding on the last day of each week in the quarter together with 656 the interest accrued up to the said last day in respect of advances exceeds the amount of the advances outstanding on the 31st day of December, 1925, together with interest accrued up to the said 31st day in respect of advances (which last mentioned amounts together with the accrued interest is hereinafter referred to as 'the 1925 debt"), the rates of the contributions payable out of moneys provided by Parliament shall be deemed to have been increased in respect of that quarter, in the case of an employed person being a man by one penny, and in any other case by one half-penny.What do I take from that, and I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will correct me if I am wrong? I take from that that if the advances at any time from the 1st April this year are less than the advances required at the end of December last year, then this Clause becomes operative.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
What this Section means is this. It means that if, in any quarter, the amount of outstanding advances is greater than it was on the 31st December lost, then there is another penny payable.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
Exactly. But this Bill proposes to repeal that. That is my contention. The whole thing is so involved it is very difficult to follow. We have not all had a University education. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now here. I take a great interest in the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps he was born the day after or the day before me. I have watched his career long before he took to Parliament. I happened to be in a colony at the time he was there. I am going to make a personal appeal to him, because I have always said that he has got his reputation by doing large things, and to-night he is doing one of the smallest things that a man can descend to. I am sorry to have to say it. This was a pettifogging Economy Bill, which meant accretions of slightly over 3¾ millions to balance a Budget of 800 millions. What is the position in the country to-day. We have the Inland Revenue figures showing that the assessable fortunes for income tax and super tax in 1913—the year before the War—was in excess by £4,180,000,000.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
These are Inland Revenue figures. The actual figures are £11,000,000,000 in 1913. The last figures given are £15,180,000,000.
Last year. What I want to say is that the Government's proposal is a mean thing with all this a cretion of wealth much of which was got out of the misery we went through during those four years. We are trying to save a few millions from unemployed men and dependants. The last thing I want to say is that if the deprivation of medical benefits in Clause 2 of the Bill has caused a storm of comment up and down the country, this proposal in Clause 8 will cause a greater. This deprivation will be immediately felt and will drive more on to the local rates. It is going to be no relief to Industry. To call it an Economy Bill is a farce.
§ Mr. WHITELEY
I paid great attention to the speech of the Chancellor of the, Exchequer and to the Parliamentary Secretary, in order to find real justification for this Clause in the Economy Bill. But I have heard nothing that was any real justification for taking a step of this kind. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that the employers may have some grievance. I want to suggest that while the employers may have some grievance the insured persons have even a greater grievance. He also pointed out to us that there was some justification on the part of the Government because they have reduced contributions by 2d., and transferred it to another fund with additional contributions for which some extra benefits are given. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would have great difficulty in convincing a body of workmen that there has been some reduction in the contribution when it is 2d., more than it was before the Widows' Pensions Act. I want to draw his attention to this fact. While his appeal to us may be on very high grounds, that the Government of the country has to face great difficulties and at this early hour in the morning we ought to withdraw our petty gibes and recognise the national responsibility and allow the Bill to pass in order that he and his colleagues may get en with their particular work, is all very fine; but if he represented my division he would not be able to go on to the public platform and make such a wonderful appeal as he would be brought face to face with the actual 658 situation of men's lives. Therefore I want him to look at this thing, not from the point of view of the people of this country who are extraordinarily well off and comfortable, but from the point of view of the men, women and children who are the real backbone of the country, the men who are the producers of the wealth of the country. I suggest that he should look at it from the point of seeing that this Fund is governed on business lines. It is a fund created by the contributions of three sections of the community—industry, workers and the Government—and any saving should be devoted to the removal of the deficiency. Then the benefits ought to be increased or the contributions reduced.
Under this Clause, if it goes through, you are going to put into operation through the Minister of Labour, more stringent regulations that you are imposing at the present time. Your young men now have no call upon the unemployment fund to which they have paid contributions as insured persons. They are always told that if the head of the house is in employment, or if two workers in the house are in employment, no young man in that house should receive anything from the fund to which he has contributed, but his parents should keep him. It is now coming to such a pass that old men from 60 onwards are being told, when they go before their rota Committees, that they are not likely again to get any insurable employment and that they cannot expect any more benefit from the fund. I know a number of cases where they have altered their decisions. Some of the Committees say that the men have not been making efforts to secure work. They also say that they do not think that they can expect in their search for work to find any more insurable employment. Along these lines we can see the danger of this clause of the Bill. We can see that regulations in the future are going to be so stringent that our people are going to have less benefit; we are going to get our people down to what the Tory Government regards as the workers basic standard of life—a ten shillings basis. We say that the workers have a right to insist on more from the country to which they belong than the Tory Government are prepared to give them and we say you have other resources from which you can secure assistance to help you over your difficulties.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I wish to express my feeling, having followed the main part of the discussion this morning and yesterday as well, that there is undoubtedly a very marked contrast between the two situations—one in defence of the Measure—and even with regard to this particular Clause under discussion now—and that presented by the Opposition. I do not think there is a single man on the other side but in his own heart knows that there is something not creditable for a powerful party like the Government party and represented in this connection by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in having to make a very animated appeal this morning to get us to cease making statements such as have been frequently made by not only members of the Labour party but by members of the right hon. Gentleman's former party, the Liberal party, to show that the Government with all its power of making demands upon financial resources of the country to meet any emergency at the present time—it cannot fail to stand out in the mind of any thinking man that, however much you dislike the words "robbery" and relentless invasion of the Health Unemployment Fund there are a million and a quarter of people actually out of employment. It means as many as the whole of the population of Scotland put together. The Chancellor, in his outburst of seeming indignation against such strong language, has altogether overlooked the fact of his own strong predilection for denunciatory and vituperative language. Indeed he is particularly well known for his heavy word painting.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
No, he would rather take credit for it. Here are the figures, as they now concern the Parish Council of that constituency with which the right hon. Gentleman was so long identified. At this time last year the Dundee Parish Council was paying £109 19s. per week, and, as a result of the Government's action, the weekly bill is at the moment:£425 7s. The numbers have risen from 167 adults, with 286 dependents, to 699 adults with 1,136 dependents. Instead of having a Govern- 660 ment to face a great emergency as they will eventually have to do, local authorities now are endeavouring to meet in some degree, what the Government are relieving themselves of temporarily. The step we are discussing to-night is a step in the wrong direction. I submit it is sowing wild oats of a political nature and at no distant date they will produce dire results.
§ Mr. BATEY
I am sorry that we are being compelled to discuss this important question at this early hour in the morning. It is far too important a matter to have to discuss in the dark hours of the morning. The House has spent several days and two full nights in discussing the question of insurance. But bad as that raid was, in my opinion the Exchequer raid upon the unemployment worker is worse. Therefore I consider that we are justified as an Opposition in resisting the Chancellor of the Exchequer in getting this Clause. As a matter of fact, I think we would be justified, feeling so keenly as we do upon this question, in opposing the Chancellor of the Exchequer getting this Clause, not only tonight but even all day to-morrow, and even on Saturday and Sunday. I am glad the Chancellor is here for so important a discussion. He said that the employers had a grievance. Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer not think that the unemployed workmen has a far bigger grievance. It seems to me that it is the unemployed worker who is in danger so far as the raid of the Chancellor is concerned. The unemployed workman is being exposed to a great big danger of losing his unemployment benefit by this raid. Why have the Government changed their mind so quickly? Last year we spent a good deal of time dealing with the Unemployed Bill of the Government, and we thought that at last we would not hear tell of an Unemployment Bill being brought before the House for some years to come. Yet although that was only last year, the Government have changed their minds already and want to repeal certain provisions in that Act.
We opposed last year's Bill and spent so much time on it because the Government were robbing the unemployed workers of £6,500,000 per year. Quickly they come along, and on this occasion to take and rob the unemployed workmen not only of £3,700,000, but, I believe, 661 their intention is to take and rob the unemployed workmen of the full £6,000,000 a year. That is a big and important matter, and certainly the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have hesitated before he came along and made this demand. Of course, the right hon. Gentleman said to-night that he wanted money; that he had a large expenditure. We believe that, but whilst it may be necessary for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to seek: every way to get money, we want to suggest to him that the very last people he ought to take money from are the unemployed workmen. There is an abundance of people in this country well able to pay the money the Chancellor of the Exchequer needs without coming along and saying to the unemployed workmen, "Now I have had a big expenditure. I have spent a lot of money this year, far more than I expected, and because of that big expenditure I want you unemployed workpeople to pay a good slice of that money." That is not fair on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But last year, when we were dealing with the Unemployment Bill, it was definitely settled that the payment of the Government should be 6¾d, per man, and beginning in April of this year, the Government would increase that to ad. Instead of the Government carrying out that arrangement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes along now and says, "Instead of paying 8d. or ¾d. we are now paying, we propose to pay 6d." The result of that policy can only be that if the House gives way to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and allows him to pay only 6d. per person of the Unemployment Fund, then it will either on the one hand increase the debt or there will have to be a large cutting up of unemployed men for unemployed benefit. The debt on the fund in March this year was £7,646,248. If the Chancellor had dealt with the British fund as he dealt with the Northern Ireland fend and said we are prepared to give you British credit, that would have been all right.
The effect of what the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to do must be to increase the debt, which is not wise, because it is the workman who has to pay. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer knew the mining trade he would recognise frankly that the workmen there are 662 already paying far more than they can afford without having to face in the future a still bigger burden. But the effect of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's action must be to increase the Fund. If it does not increase the fund they have to take the other course, that is, to put more men on the unemployment benefit. We have had some result following on the action of the Government last year in this respect, The Government by passing the Unemployment Bill last year and trying to save 6½ millions have put up the number of unemployed men on the Insurance Fund, not by scores of hundreds, but by thousands and some of my friends say even by tens of thousands. I notice the Under-Secretary is not in the House, but he said that as a result of that policy, as a result of the Ministers' discussion on the Unemployment Bill last year, there had only been put up some 13,000 men, when, as a matter of fact, in the county of Durham, where we have not less than between 40,000 and 45,000 miners idle at the present time, our experience is that there has been put up fully 50,000. It is no use pointing to a White Paper which says that all that has been put up throughout the country—and I take it that they mean not only England and Wales, but Scotland—all that has been put up is 15,000. If the hon. Gentleman can tell us that, it means that the White Paper cannot be relied upon.
Our experience with the hundreds of men tint off since last July justifies us in saying that the White Paper is not accurate. We believe in our own county of Durham alone we have as many as that put off as the result of the powers obtained by the Ministry of Labour last year and therefore we pay no attention to that argument. I know it was promised in the Bill last year that a reduction would take place and it would be a penny on the employers contribution. Even if that had taken place, it would not have benefited the miners in this way that all that is paid both to the Health Insurance and to the Unemployment Insurance by the workmen old the employers comes largely from the workmen and not from the employers, because in the mining industry the workmen pay 87 per cent. while the employers pay only 14 per cent., so that if the promise to reduce by a penny on the employers payment had taken effect the 663 workmen would have had the benefit of the reduction. I want to submit to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if it was possible to afford a reduction on any of the 3 parties who were contributors to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the last party to obtain it ought to be the Exchequer. The very first party who ought to have been considered is the workmen. At the present time the workman is paying to the Health and Unemployment Insurance 1s. 4d. per week. The employer is said to be paying 1s. 5d. per week, but I have pointed out that. out of this the workmen pay 87 per cent. Arguing from that point alone 1s. 4d. per week is an enormous figure to the workmen when you consider what wages the men are receiving. Take my own county. The great bulk of the workers in Durham county are being paid subsistence wages of 7s. 6½d. per day and there are a lot of people who think the miners ought to meet the employers and give a reduction on that 7s. ½d. per day. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer multiplies 7s. 6½d. by 5, which represents 5 days per week—and when our people get 5 days per week they are doing exceeding well—you reach the figure of 37s. 8½d. They have that amount per week before any deductions are made, then you deduct 1s. 4d. per week as the contribution to the Health and Unemployment Insurance without any of the other deducts. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will see that this does not leave the miner who has a family dependent upon him with a wage that will enable him to live as he ought to live.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Surely the hon. Member opposite, who, up to now, has maintained a most commendable silence, is entitled to one question?
§ 2 A.M.
§ Mr. BATEY
The force of my argument is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is taking the power to reduce the contribution to the Unemployment Fund from the Exchequer. Instead of reduction taking place by the Exchequer, my argument was that the reduction should be made from the payment of the workmen into the Fund. I was arguing that the workmen can ill afford the payments they are making. I will leave that question, as there are at least two questions in this Clause that I would like the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Under-Secretary to explain. In the first line of this Clause it says,as from and after time fifth day of April. 1926.We are now meeting on the 16th April. That is a fortnight after the fifth. The question I want to put is this: Does the Exchequer pay the contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund in the same way as the workmen and the employers; that is to say, weekly? The employer pays weekly, the workman pays weekly. I want the Chancellor of the Exchequer to tell us does the Exchequer pay weekly? If they do, have they not paid for the last week and this week, so that if they paid their due, and what they ought to have paid, then this date is wrong, because they ought to have paid just as the workmen and the employers paid, and it is impossible for them to get their money back. There is another question on the same Clause. I agree with what has been said by other speakers who have spoken to-night. They have said it is difficult to understand this Clause. I really do wish that the Government, when they are drafting these Bills, would give instructions that they are to be drafted in plain simple language, so that the ordinary Member can understand them. They are drafted in such difficult language that it is not possible for the ordinary Member to understand them, and because of that I have to ask those questions.such an amount as may he determined by the Treasury to he approximately equivalent.What does the Chancellor mean there by those words? Because if you go on 665 towards the end oil the Clause, you find he tells us the amount the Exchequer will pay has been fixed in the schedule. If the amount of sixpence per person has been fixed in the Schedule, why are these words in here that the amount may be determined by the Treasury? If a trade union official were drafting a Clause like this he would riot mix it up like this. If a trade union official meant that the Treasury pay sixpence, be would say it, and he would not take the power at the same time for the Treasury to determine what the amount should be. It seems to me that one contradicts the other. We are entitled to be suspicious. It may be some
§ subtle way on the part of the Government to get power that we cannot understand. At the rate we are going it does seem to me as if the Bill would not be passed at Whitsuntide. If that is so, I want to know where we stand. The Treasury would then owe a lot of money to the Unemployment Fund.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put":
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 154; Noes, 83.667
|Division No. 159.]||AYES.||[2.10 a.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Hartington, Marquess of||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Alexander. Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C, M.||Preston, William|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Radford, E. A.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Ramsden, E.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Remer, J. R.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hudson, Capt. A.U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rye, F. G.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Jacob, A. E.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William lamas||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Skelton, A. N.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Campbell, E. T.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Lockor-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F. (Willisden, E.)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Lode, J. dc v.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Cope, Major William||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Couper, J. B.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macintyre, Ian||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||McLean, Major A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Malone, Major P. B.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Margesson, Captain D.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Merriman, F. B.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Milne, J. S. Ward law-||Wells, S. R.|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fermoy, Lord||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Finburgh, S.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Oakley, T.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Penny, Frederick George||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D. A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Harland, A.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Bowyer.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Briant, Frank||Clowes, S.|
|Alexander, A. v. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Broad, F. A.||Cluse, W. S.|
|Barr, J.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Connolly, M.|
|Batey, Joseph||Cape, Thomas||Cove, W. G.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Charleton, H. C.||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sitch, Charles H|
|Duncan, C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Kennedy, T.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Kirkwood, D.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Maxton, James||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Harris, Percy A.||Morris, R. H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hayday, Arthur||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Owen, Major G.||Whiteley, W.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Palin, John Henry||Williams, T (York, Don Valley)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Paling, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hirst, G. H.||Potts, John S.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Allen Parkinson.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'expiration' in line 24, stand part Of the Clause."668
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 155; Noes, 83.669
|Division No. 160.]||AYES.||[2.18 a.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Harrison, G. J. C.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Hartington, Marquess of||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Preston, William|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Radford, E. A.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ramsden, E.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Ropner, Major L.|
|Briggs, J, Harold||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hume, Sir G. H..||Rye, F. G.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Jacob A. E.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Kennedy, A. R, (Preston)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Skelton, A. N.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Stanley, Col, Hon. G. F. (Will'sden. E.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Loder, J. de V.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cope, Major William||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Couper, J. B.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||MacDonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Macintyre, Ian||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||McLean, Major A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfred|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macnagnten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Malone, Major P. B.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K P.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Merriman, F. B.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Wells, S. R.|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Finburgh, S.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Oakley, T.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Penny, Frederick George||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Harland, A.||Pitcher, G.||Bowyer.|
|Adamson, Ht. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Potts, John S.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Barr J,||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G, H.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Briant, Frank||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Charleton, H. C.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Clowes, S.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Connolly, M.||Kelly, W. T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kennedy, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kirkwood, D.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lee, F.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Duncan, C.||Lindley, F. W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Lunn, William||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Mackinder, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D, (Rhondda)|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacLaren, Andrew||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Westwood, J.|
|Grenfell, D. H. (Glamorgan)||Maxton, James||Whiteley, W.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morris, R. H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Morrison, H. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Oliver, George Harold||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Owen, Major G.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Palin, John Henry|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Paling, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harris, Percy A.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
I beg to move, in page 7, line 24, to leave out from the word "the", to the word "the" in line 26, and to insert instead thereof the wordsfourth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-seven.''The first point I should like to know is whether by the proposal put before the Committee in this Bill the fund is really beginning to pay its way apart from the accrued deficit. I remember a question being put to the Minister of Labour in this House some little time ago and the Parliamentary Secretary gave the answer. He said the present weekly income and expenditure for the Unemployment Fund were approximately £825,000 and £900,000. This was as recently as February, and it showed a deficit between the receipts and the expenditure of something like £75,000 per week. I should like to ask the Treasury Bench, if they will tell us, whether there is still a larger expenditure each week in relief of unemployment from the fund than is actually being received from the contributions each week. Another reason that makes me ask that is that there have been one or two differing figures as to what number of unemployed will be sufficiently low to cause the income and expenditure of the Fund to balance. I remember sometime ago the figure was given of 1,070,000, but in the White Paper that 670 was issued with this Bill the figure was given as 1,030,000.
There is a very great discrepancy of 40,000 between these two figures. In that connection I would draw the Chancellor's attention to this fact. It is very significant. At the time he comes along with this proposal he gives us no actuarial statement. Last year, when we were considering the relationship between the charge for the Widows' and Orphans' and Old Age Pension Scheme and the Unemployment Insurance Fund, we got the Treasury to give as an actuarial statement. Whilst we have some figures, many of which have been taken from the actuary, we have no complete report from the actuary on this point, and I would like to know which is the figure we are to take—that of 1,070,000 or 1,030,000. One, of the main reasons for the Amendment we moved just now to limit the operation of this Clause is because of the effect we feel it will have on the trade of this country. We want to limit as far as possible the harm which the policy of the Government will do. It is, I believe, agreed in all parts of the House that one of the essentials for the recovery of trade and industry in this country is that we should do all we could to reduce the standing charges on industry. This was one of the things probably in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he was making that speech at the Institute of Bankers' function last year, 671 when he promised as soon as possible to arrange for a reduction of the charge on employers in connection with the Unemployment Insurance Fund. He has on more than one occasion, since he became Chancellor to this Government, stated that an aid to the recovery of trade would be a reduction of direct taxation. One of the reasons put forward for these many raids on working class Funds is that it will enable him to reduce taxation, or at least not to increase it. We hold the view that it is far more important in working for the recovery of trade and industry to reduce standing charges.
We would therefore like to limit the operation of this Clause in such a way that as early as possible we would get a reduction of these charges on employer and employed. We have had all kinds of cheery accounts about the employment roll from the Minister of Labour, from the Parliamentary Secretary, and on occasions from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but we find it very difficult to find their optimism borne out by the figures we get from other Departments. The monthly returns of the Board of Trade for March, compared with March, 1925, show a decrease of imports of over £6,000,000, a decrease of exports of nearly £4,000,000, and a decrease of re-exports of nearly £750,000. There is another point we desire to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and that is, that if this raid goes on for a long time it will have its effect on the purchasing power of the people. Those of us who are connected with the retail trade in a fairly large way, found that as soon as the policy of the Government began to work with regard to throwing people off the Exchange, that there had been an appreciable decrease in the purchasing power for foodstuffs. I believe in my own city of Sheffield —and I take the returns in our own Co-operative Societies—the purchasing power of foodstuffs has fallen—it is down all along the line for the last quarter of 1925 and the early part of 1926. The reports of the Home and Colonial Stores and the Maypole Dairy Company—firms with a wide knowledge of the retail trade throughout the country showed the same thing. Something not unconnected with the policy of the Government in connection with its unemployment insurance policy 672 is the cause. We don't want this Clause to operate too long because we fear that it will not be long before the screw is put on and people are turned from benefit to the Poor Law. I have here some Poor Law Relief figures relating to Sheffield, and concerning relief to able-bodied unemployed refused benefit. They are very striking figures. Take the comparative figures which have been growing ever since the Government announced that under the working of their circular of February, 1925, they were going to screw up unemployment insurance. For the week ended 21st February, 1925, there were in Sheffield 3,951 cases of Poor Law Relief concerning 14,764 persons, at a cost of £2,615. When I get figures more up-to-date supplied to me, to 21st November, i find that the cases have been increased to 4,412 concerning 15,355 persons, at a cost of £3,869. So that the Government's policy has nearly doubled the amount per week that was being paid out in the Sheffield Union from the time when the Ministry of Labour issued its circular screwing up the administration and leading up to the Act of 1925. On 20th February. 1026, there were 5,215 cases costing Sheffield £4,543 per week.
I think myself that it would be a very great mistake to let the decision of the Government go forward for more than the period for which we propose to limit it under this Amendment. It is within my own knowledge that in Sheffield it is likely to lead to very great hardship. I am very glad to hear from the Chancellor of the Exchequer an acknowledgment of the real character of the Insurance Fund. I wish we got the same acknowledgment from all the Members opposite. What is the position in Sheffield. We have had in that City, men, thrifty, the best type of craftsmen who had saved money during the period of the boom in the War and have been out of work for four years and have spent every penny they saved from their special earnings during the war, before they would deign to go for Poor Law relief. Some of these are men now being thrown out of the Exchange. These are the type of men who are being treated by the Ministry of Labour as if they were not willing to work and are being thrown off without any cause whatever. Nor is that confined to the City of Sheffield. Take one instance from the "Manchester Guardian" of 29th October, 673 —in which it is stated concerning Liverpool by a prominent official.Every week we read in the press about a magnificent reduction in the unemployed figures. This is absolutely fictitious and misleading," he said. What happens is a transfer of cost from national taxes to local rates. Thus whilst in June the Government's official figures for the Liverpool district showed 30,768 persons unemployed, and that on October 5 the number had declined to 26,396, the Guardians' figures showed an increase from 22,885 on the former date to 31,264 on October 5.My hon. Friends on these benches know that we can produce similar evidence from every great centre of industry in this country to-day. That means that in every centre of industry there is such a charge on the local poor rate that it is impossible to relieve local industry of the rating charge upon its buildings and establishments which has to he made not by the Income Tax on profits when profits are made, but has to be made all the time whether there are profits or not. It is for that reason that we also desire to limit the operation of this Clause. Take the position not only of Societies with which I am familiar—Co-operative and Friendly Societies, but the case with regard to trade unions. We are able to ascertain from the figures of the skilled trade unions the percentage of unemployment. We are able to see, from the actual trade union benefits being paid out, what is the tendency in the country. We find from those figures that these unemployed, who are members of the trade unions, are suffering in such a way that we would be false to them if we did not seek to limit the decision of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to as short a period as possible. That is why we move this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. Gentleman has made a very informative speech which goes all over again the subject we have debated for the past four hours, whilst, however, dealing only very slenderly with the actual Amendment which has been placed upon the Paper, which he was called upon so unexpectedly to move, that he thought the Amendment postponed the operation of the Bill, whereas it is to limit the operation of the Bill. I do not think that his case would be helped if we were to adopt his Amendment. The proposal would leave the 674 finance of the Bill quite unaffected for the next year. I would not get my reduction and saving up till the 4th April, 1927, but then there would be no provision for any State contribution of any sort or kind and I should not be allowed even to contribute the 6¾d. which I am proposing to contribute now. There would be absolutely no provision and they would be deprived of all contributions by the State and I am sure that is not the intention of hon. Gentleman opposite. I do not for a moment attribute that sinister intention to the hon. Gentleman opposite. But there is a serious side. If by any chance we got congestion of business and difficulties arose and the new legislation were not passed by the 4th April, there would be a hiatus in the Government contribution and we would be in a condition which regaled to-night.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I think the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer justifies our pressing this Amendment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer suggests that to press this Amendment would merely limit the amount of money he can take away. He says that if during the next 12 months business became congested so that no other Bill could be introduced, a very serious position would arise. It is scarcely conceivable that the right hon. Gentleman would permit any sort of business to forestall a very necessary piece of business similar to what this would be. The Amendment was designed, I believe, with the object merely to limit or at least to defer the withdrawal of this £3,500,000 for a year. That was the belief of those who intended to support the Amendment when it came before the Committee.
I want to refer to the Chancellor's speech on the Second Reading of the fill to justify my support of this Amendment. It is perfectly true the Chancellor told us earlier in the debate that this is a great Fund, with an income of £50,000,000 per year, with borrowing powers of £30,000,000 a year, and that it was only necessary to borrow £2,000,000 last year. So he suggested that the amount he was about to withdraw was comparatively small, when we remember that the amount of money that can be borrowed by the fund is more than £30,000,000. I want to suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted when reviewing the Economy Bill that the Fund was already in debt to the extent of £7,500,000 and if 675 we were to increase our borrowing powers because of any trade depression the amount of interest to pay annually would be a constant burden on the Unemployment Fund. The longer that burden remains the longer will the deficit be there and the more remote is the day when the floating penny will he taken away from the employers' contribution. It seems to me to be no argument at all to tell us of the colossal income under the statutory borrowing powers. It is the deficiency that the workers would like to see removed at the earliest possible moment and this Clause is certainly going to put off the day when the deficiency will be wiped away and when the Fund once again becomes solvent and the chance of the floating penny paid by the employer can be reduced. Therefore it seems to me that while last year, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer who made this statement, in spite of the unemployment last year it has practically balanced though not actually balanced, It has been necessary only to draw upon the statutory borrowing powers to the extent of £2,000,000 in the fall of last year. We ought not to he tampering with the funds of any society, while we know that the society is able to pay its way.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is arguing the whole question again. If this Amendment be carried, the contribution would cease at the end of the year.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If this Amendment were carried the power of the Chancellor to withdraw the money would be deferred. Until the fund is made to pay its way and to balance itself and to prove that it is capable of carrying its burden and giving some hope to the employers who are paying a penny per person per week more than they ought to be called upon to do, this £3,500,000 every year ought not to be taken away. I am supporting this Amendment be-cause notwithstanding what the Chancellor has said as to the possibility of a difficult position arising between now and next April, I am willing to believe the House would not permit that contingency to arise. If we can limit the operation of this unnecessary Clause, I think the Amendment would be well worth supporting and well worth defeating.
§ 3.0 A.M.
§ Mr. ERNEST EVANS
The point of the Amendment is that we want to limit the duration of the period for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to have the power to take this sum of £3,000,000 from the Unemployed Fund, and I submit with considerable confidence that there is admirable ground for that suggestion in the fact that the estimate with which this part of the Bill is concerned is admittedly made on a very speculative basis. The Bill proceeds on the assumption as the memorandum which has been circulated points out and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has pointed out this evening that the register of unemployed will he on an average 1,030,000. We have the advantage of the presence of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and I would like to ask him for how many consecutive weeks during the last five years has the register of the unemployed been down to the figure? I should imagine that the answer is very few, and in fact I believe it has happened one or two weeks but I do not believe for any period of consecutive weeks. The whole scheme of this part of the Bill is based on that figure and when you examine the Memorandum it is apparent that a difference of 10,000 one way or the other in that figure on the register is going to make a difference of about £380,000 per annum.
In dealing with the very large figures of unemployment which unfortunately prevail at the present time it will be realised that the sum of 10,000 is comparatively small in relation to the total number of unemployed and therefore this is a variation which may very well take place and completely upset the financial estimate on which this part of the Bill is based. I think I am also right in saying if the figure is maintained at what it was on the First of March this year that would lead to the deficiency at the end of the financial year of £3,000,000 in the Fund which the Chancellor properly has said we all want to see solvent as soon as possible.
It is due to the speculation on which this Bill is based and the variation which we know constantly takes place in the number of unemployed on the register that I think in the interests of the Government itself it would be wise to limit the operation of the powers of the Chancellor 677 of the Exchequer to a period of twelve months.
§ Mr. PALING
In the last two years in any event it has been no new thing to have a new Bill or a new amending Bill to the Insurance Act. That really is not detrimental to this Amendment going through. The history and experience of this business has been new amending Acts every so often, so there really is not much in that point. If the Government did limit the Clause to the end of the year it would be no hardship. They could then bring in a new Bill under new circumstances. At the end of a year's time the Chancellor of the Exchequer might find himself in a much better position. Just now he is short of money. He is having to make extraordinary efforts to get money from somewhere; this is one of the extraordinary efforts. He said an hour or two ago that one of the reasons for the shortage was that £19,000,000 had been spent on the coal subsidy; nobody dare prophesy what may occur next year. There may have to be some more found or not, but even so at, the end of next year he will be in a position to know whether there has been such an unlooked for call and he could levy under a new Bill with that knowledge. It might be that in a year's time he will not be hard pressed. Tinder the new Bill he might be able to give back the penny which is owing to the employers; I think he said this reduction is only postponed, and that it is his intention to give it at the earliest possible date. Such an Amendment gives him the opportunity perhaps sooner than he anticipates of reviewing the whole situation.
The right hon. Gentleman might accept this Amendment on the ground that during the last 12 months in particular his Government had found it necessary from their point of view, though we do not agree with them, to tighten up the regulations and make them more stringent. I believe, in his speech with which he introduced the Economy Bill he said that it was quite probable as a result of the stringent regulations put into operation that more people were off the Fund than otherwise would have been the case and, of course, it is admitted in the memorandum where it is given here in "A," "B," "C," "D," "E" and "G" and it shows what the effect of these regulations has been. For instance when the first was 678 put into operation on the 28th July, 1924, the number of disallowed was 27,000, on the 26th January, 1925, the number jumped to 55,000. In September after another regulation, it had jumped to 110,000. In the last week for which figures are given in 1926 the number is down to 83,000 but that is still a very considerable increase because of the regulations. It is the same in the last column; in January, 1924, the number was 20,700; in January, 1920, it is 79,400. This means that all these people have been thrown off. I would not like to suggest that the Government have put these regulations into operation simply because they are callous and do not care what happens to these people. I would prefer to think, whatever others might and do think to the contrary, that the Government have put them into operation out of sheer economic necessity. In twelve months the situation may have so altered that the Government can give their humanitarian instincts free play once again and remove these restrictions which have acted so harshly on the people; and thus bring joy back once again into the lives of the tens of thousands of people who have been thrown off the Unemployment Fund since these stringent regulations came into operation. The amendment will give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity for which I cannot but believe he is really hoping, to give the employers back the penny and review the whole situation once again. He would know at the end of twelve months whether it was any longer necessary to proceed on these lines, and it would give him an opportunity to withdraw the proposals now made which I am sure he does not really wish to see put into operation if they can he avoided.
I do not know whether it would be possible to introduce any new arguments and even if it were possible I am not sure whether I could even persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reconsider his position. I think I would have stood a better chance after dinner than at this time of the morning. It is very significant to see the hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) present in his place opposite. He is very much interested in what I might call the employers' contribution. I do not suggest that he is interested in any selfish or 679 sordid manner. Just as we on this side of the House are interested in the workers' side, so he is interested in the employers' side.
In the workers' side so far as he believes it to be the employers' side as well. That being so, I may mention that I have heard him frequently, both on the public platform and in this House, draw attention to the difficulty of commerce and industry in this country in its relation to foreign competition especially. I have heard him, and I have sympathised with him, expressing very strong views and pointing out that, viewed from the standpoint of the workman, if the employer cannot compete successfully it comes back on the workman and eventually people are thrown out of work and it has a disastrous effect on the employé He has invariably come back to this particular point of view. Efficiency, yes; get the best management possible, be as humane in your conditions as is consistent with generous business considerations, but all the time give the employer a fair chance to compete. He will develop the argument by saying that if you are going to do that you must have regard to two considerations. The first is the effect of local taxation. I think the burden of local taxation from the standpoint purely of industry itself is even a greater handicap than national taxation. It does at least mean that as far as national taxation is concerned the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes in with a heavy hand. At all events, that is the point of national taxation. But when you are dealing with local taxation, that must be met whether there are profits or not. From both points of view the employer is anxious. The hon. Member for. Moseley has, in two recent Debates, emphasised not only the difficulty but the danger, and I remember him developing this point with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He says it may be that instead of these proposals bringing in any revenue they may result in a loss if you make things so bad for the employer that he cannot earn profits, and it must re-act. That is the argument which I have summarised.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I presume the right hon. Gentleman realises that this is an Amendment for the limitation of the Clause only.
I only endeavoured to repeat what the hon. Member for Moseley said. I do respectfully point out that limitation means that it is not so hard on an employer. If he is going to be permanently hit, then I want to save him for 12 months if I can. If I can save an industry for 12 months it may be then that I have put it on the high road to recovery.
It is perfectly true to say that to-day, but if 12 months ago someone said that on the 16th April you would be discussing an Economy Bill which meant revoking a Clause in the Unemployment Insurance scheme which specifically said to the employer "you will get your penny back," I would have been the only one who would have found language to describe it. Therefore, if that was his position 12 months ago, I am justified in asking what may be his position in 12 months' time. I appeal to the hon. Member for Moseley, and I would make an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. No Minister sitting on the Treasury Bench, and certainly no Labour Minister would ever think of his job. When we were there we felt we were rendering a public service and feeling equally our public position was consistent with our individual tasks. When a Minister finds himself in difficulties, that his individual interests conflicts with his public duties, he hesitates. The Chancellor of the Exchequer knows as well as any other Member of the House that if this Amendment is carried it will relieve him of difficulties. See what the situation will be. There would be common agreement if I were to say that 12 months from now you will find a changed political situation, because we will be there and you will be here. At least, I put it. to the House that there is the possibility of this happening. For these reasons, and many more, I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the interests of everything that is good in this country, to reconsider his decision: and accept the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."682
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 146; Noes, 73.681
|Division No. 161.]||AYES.||[3.27 a.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Harland, A.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W, Derby)||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Radford, E. A.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Henderson. Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ramsden, E.|
|Balniel, Lord||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Held, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bird, E. H. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bowyer, Captain G, E. W.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Rye, F. G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Butler, sir Geoffrey||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Loder, J. de V.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Churchill, Rt Hon. Winston Spencer||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cope, Major William||Macintyre, I.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Couper, J. B.||McLean, Major A,||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Malone, Major P. B.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Merriman, F. B.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Newman, sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Finburgh, S.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Oakley, T.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Penny, Frederick George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Golf, Sir Park||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Pilcher, G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Major Hennessy and Captain Margesson.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barr, J||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cape, Thomas||John. William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Charleton, H, C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clowes, S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Kennedy, T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||Kirkwood, D.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lee, F.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Mackinder, w.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Westwood, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maxton, James||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morris, R. H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Palin, John Henry|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hamilton, sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Hay day, Arthur||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question, 'That the Clause Stand part of the Bill,' be now put."684
§ Question put, "That the Question, 'That the Clause stand part of the Bill,' be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 146; Noes, 74.685
|Division No. 162.]||AYES.||[3.35 a.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Centr'l)||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Allan, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W, Derby)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Radford, E. A.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ramsden, E.|
|Ballour, George (Hampstead)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Balniel, Lord||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Renter, J. R.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Ropner, Major L.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rye, F. G.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Shepperson, E. w.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Skelton, A. N.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Campbell, E. T.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Loder, J. de V.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Mac Andrew, Major Charles Glen||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||MacIntyre, Ian||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cope, Major William||McLean, Major A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Frase|
|Cooper, J. B.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macquisten, F. A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Malone, Major P. B.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Margesson, Captain D.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K P.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Merriman, F. B.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wells, S. R.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Morrison-Bell. Sir Arthur Clive||Windsor-dive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Finburgh, S.||Nicholson. O. (Westminster)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Oakley, T.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Penny, Frederick George||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Yarburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Pilcher, G.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Power, Sir John Cecil||Major Hennessy and Captain Bowyer.|
|Harland, A.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Grundy, T. W.||Lunn, William|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Mackinder, W.|
|Barr, J.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Harris, Percy A.||Maxton, James|
|Broad, F. A.||Hayday, Arthur||Morris, R. H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Palin, John Henry|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hirst, G. H.||Paling, w.|
|Clowes, S.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Potts, John S.|
|Connolly, M.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Cove, W. G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sitch, Charles, H.|
|Duncan, C||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown.)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Kirkwood, D.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lee, F.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Wallhead, Richard C.||Windsor, Walter|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Townend, A. E.||Westwood, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Whiteley, W.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|
|Varley, Frank B.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."686
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 144; Noes, 74.687
|Division No. 163.]||AYES.||[3.42 a.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Harland, A.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Harrison, G. J C.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W, Derby)||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Radford, E. A.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ramsden, E.|
|Balniel, Lord||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Russell, Alexander west (Tynemouth)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rye, F. G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R,||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Skelton, A. N.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Loder, J. de V.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)|
|Cazalet, Captain victor A.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Macintyre. Ian||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cope, Major William||McLean, Major A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cooper, J. B.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cowan, sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Malone, Major P. B.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Margesson, Captain D.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertfd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Merriman, F. B.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Edmonson, Major A. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J, T. C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston.-s.-M.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Newman, sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Finburgh, S.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Frauds E.||Oakley, T.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Penny, Frederick George||Wragg, Herbert|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Percy. Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Pitcher, G.||Major Hennessy and Lord Stanley.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kennedy, T.|
|Barr, J.||Grundy, T. W.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lee, F.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lunn, William|
|Frond, F. A.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mackinder, W.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Harris, Percy A.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Cape, Thomas||Hayday, Arthur||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Charleton, H. C||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Maxton, James|
|Clowes, S.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Morris, R. H.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hirst, G. H.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Connolly, M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Palin, John Henry|
|Cove, W. G.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Paling, W.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Potts, John S.|
|Duncan. C,||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Tinker, John Joseph||Whiteley, W.|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Townend, A. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Windsor, Walter|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Varley, Frank B.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Stamford, T. W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Stephen, Campbell||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Westwood, J.|