HC Deb 04 August 1926 vol 198 cc2972-6
10. Colonel WOODCOCK

asked the Minister of Labour why the form of Return A.R..21 and A.R. 21 (a) required to be sent by registered trade unions to the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies provides for unemployment (State and voluntary), travelling, and emigration pay being shown as one item; and if he will arrange that in future State and voluntary unemployment benefit shall be shown separately in order that there may be no ambiguity as to what comes out of the trade unions' own funds?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)

These items of expenditure (which all relate generally to payments to unemployed members) are included under one head, for the purpose of keeping the form as simple as possible. The annual returns are so arranged that the gross expenditure on unemployment and subsidiary benefits is shown as expenditure, and the amount of unemployment benefit chargeable to the State is shown as a separate item of income.

14. Mr. B. PETO

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Registrar-General of Friendly Societies regulates or restricts the investment of trades union funds and, in particular, whether he prevents the investment of trades union funds in the ordinary stock of industrial companies in which their members are employed; and whether the rules of any trades unions are framed to give them power to invest their funds in this manner?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The law only requires that, as regards registered unions, the rules should contain "a provision for the investment of the funds." The investment rule is frequently framed in terms wide enough to include such stock as is mentioned in the question.


Do I understand that there is no legal or other difficulties placed in the way of trade unions investing money in the manner indicated in the question?


Not necessarily so, if their rules permit.

15. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Minister of Labour if he can quote

LIST (a).
Register No. Funds at 31st September, 1825.
Benefit Funds. Management Fund. Dispute Fund. Other Funds not Separated.
T. £ s d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d.
26 Durham County Colliery Enginemen's Boiler Minders and Firemen's Mutual Aid Association. 12,740 15 3 3,153 4 6
106 South Staffordshire and East Worcestershire Amalgamated Association of Miners. 486 10 9 1,227 19 8
229 Cumberland Miners' Association. 92 13 0 5,797 5 10
301 Yorkshire Colliery Enginemen, Firemen and Allied Trades' Association. 5,101 4 10 55 9 2,643 12 11¾
401 Northumberland Colliery Mechanics' Mutual Protection Association. 1,826 7 10 768 4
1192 Northumberland Colliery Enginemen and Firemen's Mutual Protection Association. 1,714 12 4 765 4 11
1531 Staffordshire Underground Colliery Firemen's Shotlighters and Overmen's Association. 454 12 6 3,477 16 0
1681 Yorkshire Winding Enginemen's Association. 887 16 2 1,703 5 10½
1702 Midland Mining Officials' Association. 436 11 9 222 1 2
1837 South Wales and Monmouthshire Colliery Enginemen, Boilermen and Craftsmen's Association. *537 14 7 164 13 *342 0 10½
*1924 Figures.

any branches of the miners' trade unions which have separated their benefit, working, strike or political funds; and if he will give the amount in each case!


As the answer consists of tables of figures, perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will allow me to circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The annual returns furnished by trade unions in the mining industry registered in England and Wales show that the unions in list (a) below had separate benefit, working or strike funds at 31st December, 1925. List (b) gives those unions which had political funds.

Following are the tables:

LIST (b).
Register No. Amount of Political Fund at 31st December, 1925.
T £ s. d.
43† Durham Miners' Association 31,770 15 9
187 North Wales Quarrymen's Union
734 Cumberland Iron Ore Miners and Kindred Trades' Association 67 9 7
809† North Wales Miners' Association 1,068 11 2
814 Cumberiand Colliery Enginemen, Boilermen and Electrical Workers. 26 9 6
1208 Lancashire, Cheshire and North Wales Colliery Enginemen's, Boilermen's and Brakesmen's Federation. 325 19 4
1271 North Western Counties Quarrymen's Association 15 6 2
1466 Lancashire and Cheshire Colliery Deputies' Association 298 17 8
1647† Kent Mine Workers' Association 42 15 4
1780 Mining. Clerical and Administrative Workers' Guild *2 3 10
* At 31st December, 1924.
† These unions are also component unions for political purposes of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, and as such the political funds include the amount held on behalf of the Federation.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the Minister say, in view of the statements that have appeared as to there being great distress and starvation in the mining districts, how far the working expenses have been curtailed, and how far the miners' leaders' salaries are being employed in the relief of such distress?


I do not think that that arises here.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is not a single miners' leader who is receiving any salary during this dispute?


Again, that does not arise.


(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give a return showing for 1924 and 1925 in respect of each registered trade union possessing 10,000 members or more, information under the same heading as in the table of details of income, expenditure, etc., of trade unions in the Report on Trade Unions for 1906–1910, Cd. 6109–1912, and distinguishing salaries and allowances of officers, expenses of executive committee, and other working expenses?


I will arrange for this to be done, but I am not quite certain about the possibility of distinguishing the expenses of executive committees and other working expenses.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS - MORGAN

Will the right hon. Gentleman have a return made of the directors of the five great banks of the country?


Perhaps that question should be addressed to the President of the Board of Trade.


Having regard to the well-known scandals in connection with public companies, will the Government consider legislation to make the same requirement with regard to all public companies?


In issuing any such return, will the right hon. Gentleman state the number of branches in connection with each trade union, as that has a material effect on expenses?


I will go into that, and see if it can be done. I should add that when I received this question, I looked into it and found that it was merely a repetition of returns already made before the War.