§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)
I beg to move,That the Regulations made by His Majesty in Council under the Emergency Powers Act, 1920, by Order dated the 25th day of August, 1926, shall continue in force, Subject, however, to the provisions of Section 2 (4) of the said Act.I do not propose to deal with the details of the Regulations, which I have moved from time to time, but to move the Resolution which the House has agreed to discuss to-day. It is the same Resolution, except for an alteration of the date of the Order, which was passed a month ago. In order to justify the demand which I am making on the House, I propose to give a resume of what has been taking place in the mining areas during the last month. There have been, I am glad to say, during the last month, only 64 cases in which prosecutions have taken place under the provisions of any of these Regulations. The chief value of the Regulations lies in their preventive effect. There have been no breaches of the Regulations for which the Board of Trade is mainly responsible, with the Mines Department, dealing with the conditions of the coal trade in its retail character, and making it impossible for people to store up large amounts of coal. All parts of the House agree with those Regulations. But there are certain Regulations, notably Regulations 20, 21 and 33, on which there will be discussion and in regard to which I have received from the Front Bench opposite notices of Amendments to leave out these particular Regulations. On the whole, the mining districts have remained quiet and orderly.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
—I should like to pay a tribute to the conduct of the miners, many of whom, undoubtedly, most of whom, possibly, are suffering under what they deem to be 10 a great sense of grievance. It would not be surprising that that sense of grievance should break out from time to time into riots or other forms of disturbance. But the great mass of miners, over 1,000,000 of whom are out of work, have been content to leave their case in the hands of their leaders and have taken no steps against the provisions of the general law or against the provisions of these Regulations. At the same time there is a certain number of cases, which will be debated, presumably, this afternoon, where there is a conflict of opinion between hon. Members opposite and myself in regard to the action of the police in certain districts. On the whole, I want the House and the country to realise how enormously we are indebted to the moral force of the policemen scattered up and down the country—
§ Mr. J. JONES
And getting a pound a week more than the miners are getting. Three pounds per week minimum.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
There are many villages and small towns, with populations of 500 or 1,000 miners who are out of work, in which perhaps one, two, or three policemen—perhaps a sergeant and two constables—reside. These police are on the best of terms with the miners. They are respected by the mining community as men who are known in the district, and it is to these men and their moral influence, coupled with the way in which the miners themselves, with certain exceptions, have played the game in regard to these Regulations—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
—that a great deal of credit is due. These Regulations are mainly preventive in character. There are, of course, certain occasions, and it will be my duty to deal with them where sporadic outbursts take place, and the police have to see that law and order is maintained. It is a difficult job, but they do it well.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If the hon. Member for Peebles and Southern (Mr. 11 Westwood) has evidence which he can put before me and the House, he will have an opportunity of doing it this afternoon. If he can justify his statement, which I think I beard him make, that the police egg the miners on—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I have, quite frankly, apologised to the hon. Member for Peebles and Southern, and I am sure that he will accept the apology, for having inadvertently mistaken what he said. It was my fault and not his. I want the House to realise the difficulties which confront the policemen in these small, scattered mining areas.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Is the statement of the hon. Member for Peebles and Southern correct, that there are policemen signing men on?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The hon. Member will have an opportunity of making any case he chooses against the police. I have never been in any sense hostile to inquiry in regard to these matters. Some hon. Members have been kind enough to give me notice that they are going to raise certain questions in regard to the attitude and conduct of the police in certain districts. I propose, and I think it is the fair course for me to adopt, to allow those hon. Members to develop their arguments and to state their case to the House, rather than that I should attempt to forestall the case which they propose to make, by putting in a police defence in the first instance. That is the fair and straightforward course for me to adopt. Therefore I shall not now deal with individual cases. I will wait to hear 12 what hon. Members opposite have to say and to hear the attacks which they may make.
§ Mr. HARDIE
We are not dealing with the police as individuals. We want to know who is instructing the police. We want to push the blame upon those who give the orders.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The hon. Member can push it on to me. I am responsible to this House. I will explain exactly what is the position between the police and myself, other than the police in the London district. I am the Minister responsible, and I have to answer in this House for the conduct of the police, and also for my own conduct in regard to any advice which I may give to the police.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The Regulations are meant to be a protection to the general community and a protection to the miners themselves against the disorderly elements in this country. It is a very remarkable thing—and I shall be able to give proof of it—that very few indeed of the real genuine working miners have been concerned in any of the disturbances. The majority of cases are those of young men, and not of genuine, sober-minded miners, who are acting so honestly and straightforwardly in regard to these Regulations. The police over and over again do their level best to prevent disturbances. The man I spoke of just now, the sergeant of police, who has lived in a village or small town and knows the miners, knows practically every one there, time after time has gone to a man and said, "Now, So-and-So, you and I know one another. Do not let us have a row. Go home and do not make a disturbance." In hundreds of cases that intervention has been successful. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If hon. Members who interrupt intend to take any part in the Debate, they must listen in an orderly way to speeches from the other side of the House.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The importance of the Regulations does not lie in the number of prosecutions; it lies rather in the number of prosecutions 13 that have not been taken. The test is whether the Regulations have acted in a preventive way. There are 1,250,000 miners unemployed, and there have been only 64 cases of prosecution between 26th July and 21st August. That not only speaks wonders for the mining community, but also for the preventive effect of the Regulations. I admit, quite frankly, that where disturbances have taken place during the past month there have been massed baton charges by the police. I am bound to stand here and to say frankly that at times such a thing is inevitable. When you get crowds of 300, 400, 500, 1,500, and sometimes 2,000 men, armed with sticks and stones, and the stones are thrown at the constables, a time comes when it is absolutely essential that that disturbance should be ended and massed charges should take place. I am not going to stand here to-day and to tell hon. Members opposite that these things have not taken place or that they will not take place. My duty is to see that the law is obeyed, to see that anything which is illegal, such as stone-throwing and intimidation of any kind, is stopped, and stopped quite rigorously and definitely.
Now I come to a point raised by an hon. Member opposite as to the powers of the Home Secretary. A great many people seem to think that these Regulations confer enormous powers on myself, to do this, that or the other thing, but if hon. Members will read the Regulations, they will see that the power is conferred upon the Police Authorities of a town or county, upon the Chief Constable and not upon myself. He is the servant of a Watch Committee in a Borough or of a Standing Joint Committee in a county, and he takes his orders from them. He does not take his orders from me. I have no power, as far as I know, to direct any Chief Constable, against his wishes, either to prosecute anyone or to direct a baton charge. The Chief Constable is responsible. Of course he may ask me, if he is in doubt at all as to whether it is desirable to prosecute A or B in respect of a particular speech. He is quite at liberty to confer with the Home Office by letter or telephone, and to ask whether in my view he would be justified in taking proceedings. But when I have given my decision it is not 14 an order. I do not and I cannot compel any proceedings to be taken. They are taken by the Chief Constables on their own responsibility. Chief Constables are responsible to those who are over them in their immediate districts, and neither they nor I have the slightest power over the magistrates of the land. All these cases ultimately must come before the magistrates for decision, and the Home Secretary has nothing whatever to do in regard to directing, ordering, or forcing and controlling the decisions of the magistrates.
One hon. Member opposite has put down a question with regard to the number of cases since the Emergency Regulations came into effect. That question is not on the Order Paper for to-day, but I have some figures here which I am quite willing to give. Two thousand and sixty-six persons have been prosecuted under the Regulations since 1st May last. Out of that number there have been 1,372 convicted. That means that two-thirds of the persons concerned have been convicted. It does not look as if the magistrates were the servants of the Home Secretary; it does not look as if they were trying to curry favour with the police or the Home Secretary, when they have dismissed no fewer than one-third of the cases which were brought before them. In addition to that, 307 were discharged or bound over under the Probation of Offenders Act, and they got no penalty. The total amount of the fines imposed was £3,561. Since 1st May only 510 people have been sentenced to imprisonment, and of that number only 105 have been sentenced for the full period of three months. That clearly does not show that the action of the police has been unfair and that the action of the magistrates has been unfair.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have three times warned the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones), and I must now order him to withdraw immediately.
§ starve better men than yourselves into submission! You are not worth one man's consideration. One miner is worth the lot of you.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must name the hon. Member for Silvertown, for refusing to regard the authority of the Chair.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That Mr. John Jones be suspended from the service of the House."—[Sir W. Joynson-Hicks.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 235; Noes, 53.17
|Division No. 427.]||AYES.||[3.27 p.m.|
|Acland Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Ellis, R. G.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Elveden, Viscount||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Apsley, Lord||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Kindersley, Major Guy H.|
|Atkinson, C.||Falls, Sir Charles F.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fermoy, Lord||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Fielden, E. B.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Finburgh, S.||Lloyd, Cyril E (Dudley)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lord, Walter Greaves|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Frece, Sir Walter de||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Galbraith, J. F. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Gates, Percy||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||McLean, Major A.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gower, Sir Robert||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Grace, John||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Merriman, F B.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hammersley, S. S.||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hanbury, C.||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Neville, R. J.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hawke, John Anthony||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Oakley, T.|
|Christie, J. A.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hills, Major John Waller||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Hilton, Cecil||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Cope, Major William||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Pielou, D. P.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Holland, Sir Arthur||Pilcher, G.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Holt, Captain H. P.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Croft Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Preston, William|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Raine, W.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Remer, J. R.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Hume, Sir G. H.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Drewe, C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Hurst, Gerald B.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Rye, F. G.|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Styles, Captain H. W.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Sandeman, A. Stewart||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Savery, S. S.||Templeton, W. P.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Skelton, A. N.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell||Womersley, W. J.|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Smithers, Waldron||Waddington, R.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Sprot, Sir Alexander||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)||Watson. Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Watts, Dr. T.||Major Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Strickland, Sir Gerald||Wells, S. R.||Major Hennessy.|
|Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Baker, Walter||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Barnes, A.||Hardie, George D.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barr, J.||Hayes, John Henry||Stamford, T. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, G. H.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Taylor, R. A|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Lunn, William||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dennison, R.||Montague, Frederick||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Murnin, H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Palin, John Henry||Wright, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.||Mr. Batey and Mr. Westwood.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I have tried to put before the House all that has taken place during the last few months under these Regulations. I will now deal with the future. A very difficult question has come before me during the last few days, and that is as to how far I should advise Chief Constables to take proceedings with regard to speeches which have been made, or which may be made in the future in the mining areas. I do not think hon. Members, or the speakers themselves, quite realise the legal position in regard to peaceful picketing. There seems to be an idea that peaceful picketing means that a man may do almost anything he likes short of resorting to actual violence. That he may "peacefully persuade" is quite clear, but he may go further than peacefully persuade and he may act on the advice of Mr. Cook who, in one of his speeches a short time ago, said that booing is legal. Booing is not legal. [Interruption.] I am going to put the matter so plainly this afternoon that hon. Members opposite and people in the country may make no mistake as to what my views are in regard to this matter. 18 I have not up to the present advised proceedings against any—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
May I ask whether the Home Secretary is in order in interpreting the law and suggesting to the country through this House the interpretation which must be accepted by the whole of the people of the country?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I ask whether the statement the Home Secretary has just made will not be accepted by thousands of magistrates as the definite interpretation of the law relating to picketing, and whether that statement ought not to be controverted?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I will explain to the House my object in dealing with this matter. Speeches have been made during the last few weeks which have caused me great anxiety. There have been one or two by hon. Members of this House, and I have been asked my opinion in regard to them. I have advised 19 that no proceedings should be taken. An hon. Member on this side of the House called my attention just now to certain speeches, and I know I may be animadverted upon because of my lack of activity in this respect. I thought that, as Parliament was meeting this afternoon, it would be fairer and more straightforward—
§ Mr. GREENALL
With regard to the statement just made by the Home Secretary with regard to booing, will it not go forth to all the magistrates of the country who will be influenced by it, and will not they send people to prison as a result of it? Is the Home Secretary in order?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Home Secretary is quite in order, and there is an Amendment to be moved later which deals with the matter.
§ Mr. GREENALL
But is it not a fact that magistrates will take more notice of what the Home Secretary says than any other Member of this House. [Interruption.] We can make a noise if you want it.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If hon. Members will allow me to continue my speech, I will give a perfectly clear statement of what I conceive to be the law in this matter. I cannot for a moment enforce my view on the magistrates—that is quite clear. [Interruption.] Nor can I enforce my view on the higher Court to whom everybody has the right of appeal from a decision of the magistrates. But it is right that I should put before the House exactly what I conceive to be the law, and what my legal advisers tell me is the law. It is only fair that people throughout the country should know the view of the responsible Minister in regard to the law and whether they are likely to run any danger in what they may say. It is quite true that, under the Act of 1906, peaceful picketing for the purpose of peaceful persuasion or imparting information is permissible. But the Act of 1906 does not in any way do away with the Act of 1875. What was illegal under the Act of 1875 is still illegal to-day, except in so far as it is 20 modified by those quite simple words, in regard to peaceful picketing:for the purpose of peacefully obtaining or communicating information, or of peacefully persuading any person to work or abstain from working.Under the old Act, any form of violence or intimidation is illegal. If a man uses violence, or intimidates a person who wants to work, or his wife or children, he is, under the Act of 1875, guilty of an offence. If hepersistently follows such other person about from place to place,he is guilty; or if he hides his tools, and so on, he is guilty of an offence.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am entitled to read an Act of Parliament to explain what the position is. If a personwatches or besets the house or other place where such other person resides, or works, or carries on business,it is a criminal offence to-day, and if a number of men persistently beset the house of a miner who desires to work, and watch his house from time to time, watching him going in and watching him going out, that is an offence under the law as it stands to-day.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
No. It is not his place of business, but it is where he resides. I read that out.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Where hewatches or besets the house or other place where such other person resides, or works, or carries on business—The miner's house is the place, of course, where he resides—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I hope so, if he is a married man. If a number of men watch or beset the house of a miner who desires to work, that is a criminal thing under the law of 1875, and it is not altered by the provisions of the Act of 1906.
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman wishes to put the whole point. Will he also explain the 21 interpretation which was put upon that Statute by the case of Curran v. Treleaven? The words of that Act ware very much whittled down, and it only applies where the person is actually doing that which would bring about a breach of the peace. That earlier Statute has been interpreted by several decisions.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
It is a very difficult thing to say whether or not a man is actually doing that which would bring about a breach of the peace. That is a matter which the hon. and learned Gentleman may argue.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
If the present law is to be given to the House, I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the interpretation which has been put on the 1875 Statute by the Judges ought to be read to the House, as well as the Statute itself.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am quite willing to take the interpretation from the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, and say that, if a person watches or besets a house, with the intention of doing harm to the individual concerned, he is guilty. But the hon. and learned Gentleman will have an opportunity of speaking in this Debate, and I think it is better for him to do that than to attack me during my speech.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I am not attacking the right hon. Gentleman at all. He is explaining to the House a certain view of the law, and I am merely asking that the whole law, as interpreted by the Courts, should be given, and not merely the Statute, which has been amply interpreted, read out without the glosses put on it by the Courts. That is not attacking him.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am quoting from the Circular laid before the House in December last, which was submitted to the Law Officers of the Crown, and they may be presumed to know the law. I am not a lawyer. [An HON. MEMBER: "You are a lawyer!"] Only partly. I want the House to realise that that Act of 1875 is still in force, except in so far as it is modified by the peaceful persuasion provisions of the Act of 1906. I also want the House to realise—although perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman may not agree with what I am going to say—in regard to peaceful 22 picketing, that the Act of 1906 does not establish a right to mass picketing, and I am convinced that anything in the form of mass picketing, involving, as it does, mass intimidation, of men who desire to work, is illegal to-day. If that kind of thing goes on, and if mass intimidation is practised under the expectation that it is legal under the provisions of the Act of 1906, I think it is perfectly fair to warn hon. Members that, in my view, it is not legal, and that I shall be prepared to advise that proceedings be taken to test the right of such mass picketing.
Further than that I want to consider the question not merely of those unfortunate people who have come up against the police during the last few months and who have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment for various degrees of violence or intimidation. There is really something worse than that. There is the man who makes the speeches which lead to that violence or intimidation. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
These are not points of Order. If hon. Members are only prepared to shout, I think the thing to do would be to agree to take the business, and conclude the sitting.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I thought it would not be courteous to the House if I did not make a speech, when I was asking for great powers, in order to establish to the satisfaction of the House why I was doing so. I have been asked—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I did not try to take advantage of an Act of Parliament to get out of the consequences. If I mistake not, the hon. Member who interrupts me is the hon. Member for Leigh.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I beg the hon. Member's pardon. There are one or two speeches made by hon. Members opposite to which I think it right to call attention. The police are doing their utmost not to come in contact with the miners, but to carry on, as I said earlier in my speech to-day, without raising bad blood and without having to resort to baton charges or anything of that kind, but what do I find hon. Members opposite doing? There is the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker), who spoke on the 18th August, and it was just in the thick of the district round St. Helens where, in the following few days, disturbances broke out. I want the House to realise that that was after the hon. Member's speech. This is what he said, speaking about the so-called blacklegs, men who desire to work—and, after all, I stand at this Box to say that while a man has a right to withhold his work and to say: "I will not work except on satisfactory terms and at satisfactory wages," he has no right whatever to attempt to compel anybody else or to dictate to anybody else upon what terms he shall work. [Interruption.] This is what the hon. Member for Leigh said with regard to men who are going to work in the mines:The memory of their conduct would live for years. When the present dispute was settled, they would be regarded as men apart. They would not be able to join in an argument over a glass of beer without the fear of someone demanding their right to speak and recalling their present action.He went on to say:At Sutton Manor 12 to 15 wagons were filled on Monday last and again since, without any attempt at concealment. If anything can be calculated to incite men, that is.Men have a right to fill wagons if they like, and they have a perfect right in this country to hew coal. [Interruption.]They telephoned to me, and I said, Put a cordon round, picket, and dissuade them from going to work by every means in your power. They are keeping men on the premises at some places and feeding them. We have told the manager that we shall do all we can to prevent them.Why? Has a manager not the right to keep men on his premises?We must do all in our power to prevent them doing anything, as it will weaken our case. I know that you will do all you can in this district to prevent any weakness.24 On another occasion the hon. Member said:If there is any real work to be done, leave it to men like myself. You might do something and be taken, while the authorities would be very much afraid of taking me, for instance, as a Member of Parliament.The hon. Member for Leigh seems to think that he is to be allowed to say things which other men are not allowed to say, that he may incite other men to intimidation—[An HON. MEMBER: "As you did"]—and that the law is not to interfere with him because he is a Member of Parliament. The law is no respecter of persons, and neither the hon. Member for Leigh nor the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones)—
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
Will you, Mr. Speaker, express any opinion as to the desirability of the Home Secretary expressing himself as to the legality of words when he has the power to institute a prosecution?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Surely it is better that a Minister who is responsible should state to the House what in his opinion—[Interruption, and an HON. MEMBER: "Let the magistrates know what they are expected to do"!] The hon. Member for Pontypridd spoke also the day before the riots broke out near Cardiff, and on both occasions the speeches of the hon. Member for Leigh and the hon. Member for Pontypridd preceded the riots. The hon. Member for Pontypridd, also speaking of men who had returned to work, said that if peaceful persuasion would not do it, they would have to use other measures during the coming week.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
On a point of Order. Is it in order for the Home Secretary to refer to Members of the House without giving them notice?
Will the Home Secretary give us the place? "Near Cardiff" is very ambiguous. It 25 would be news to me to know that riots have broken out in Glamorgan.
Lieut.-Colonel WATTS - MORGAN
They are a long way from Cardiff, and I should be glad to have particulars.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The meeting was at Brynna, on the 11th August, at which the hon. Member for Pontypridd—
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY rose—
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
A question of privilege. I believe I am right in saying it has been the very ancient practice in this House to give notice to a Member when an attack is to be made upon him, or when he is to be referred to. May I put it to you that this is a very serious charge, and the hon. Member for Pontypridd is not in his place? The right hon. Gentleman should leave this part of his speech on one side.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
There is no question either of privilege or of order. [HON. MEMBERS: "A question of decency."]
I want to press my point of Order, because I am deeply interested in the affairs of Glamorgan, and as a member of the Standing Joint Committee I want to know the date and the place where riots broke out near Cardiff.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If hon. Members want me to go on I will do so. I have not finished the quotation I was going to make.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MacDONALD
I think the right hon. Gentleman will see the fairness of this. Whether he continues his indictment or not, he has made two statements, first, that riots broke out near Cardiff, certainly in the neighbourhood. He also made a statement that he connected those riots with a statement made by the hon. Member for Pontypridd. Will he be good enough to tell us where those riots broke out and the date?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I shall have to reply later in the Debate. I have got all the details here, but it is very difficult to carry them all in my head. If I have another opportunity of speaking, I will refer to that subject later.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If I act courteously, then hon. Members, apparently, object. The hon. and gallant Member and the Leader of the Opposition has made an appeal to me. I want to make it quite clear that there is not, and cannot be, any exemption whatever for Members of this House with regard to speeches made outside. Further, I want to make this clear. While I am not, as Home Secretary, concerned at all in the negotiations that have taken place or might have taken place between the respective parties—that is in the hands of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and will probably be dealt with in the debate tomorrow—while I have nothing to do with those negotiations, my duty, my sole duty, is to administer the law and to he perfectly fair between the man who does not want to work and the man who does want to work.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I want to go one further stage and say something in regard to the speeches made by someone more celebrated than many Members of this House. I refer to Mr. Cook, who occupies a very important position indeed in the Miners' Federation. He is the leader—I do not dispute his right to be so—of the mining world in regard to this question. He acts for them; he speaks for them. He speaks, therefore, with very great responsibility on his shoulders. He speaks as the representative of a million men. Equally, there would be very great responsibility on my shoulders if I interfered, or advised anyone else to interfere, in regard to a speech made by Mr. Cook. But I do want to say to the House that there are limits beyond which men must not transgress in their speeches. Mr. Cook on the 15th of this month made a speech in which he abused the Prime Minister and myself—that does not matter—and then referred to the police 27 who are doing their duty under very grave and difficult circumstances. They are doing it, as hon. Members admit, with a few exceptions, admirably. They are peaceful; they are kindly, and they save trouble rather than make trouble. There may be one or two cases which we may have to discuss—I hope in a friendly manner—but the great bulk, as I say, do their duty admirably. This is what Mr. Cook said with regard to them:Policemen must remember that their friends the Tories will not he in power much longer. We are having a Labour Government next. Oh, yes, there is no mistake about it.[An HON MEMBER: "That is true!"] That is quite allowable, but this is what he goes on to say:There is no mistake about it, and then we will remember some of them. The ranks of the unemployed will he swelled!That is not a fair speech to make
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The part I refer to is that where he says that policemen must remember that there will be a Labour Government in power, "and then we will remember them."
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
If that does not mean that policemen will be dismissed for doing their duty, I do not know the meaning of the English language. Then he goes on to deal again with the men who want to work. He has not merely made this speech in Wales, but he has made a similar speech in Scotland and, I think, in the Midlands:You must stop them, and I will see that, when a settlement is arrived at, they will not go back with us. I will see to that. I will see that they are stopped by fair means or foul. I will hang them, but not with a rope. I am going to propose that at all collieries where blacklegs are working the safety men he withdrawn. I am going to ask Tom Williams for the names and addresses of these blacklegs. We are going to have a roll of traitors, so that they will he known when it is all over.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must warn the hon. Member for Farnworth (Mr. Greenall) that I cannot allow his interruptions to proceed any longer. He has been interrupting all the afternoon. He must either sit quiet, or leave the House.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I have thought it my duty to refer to some of these speeches because I know that outside the House there is grave anxiety as to the limits that ought to be placed on speeches of this character. I should like in this very difficult position to make an appeal to those responsible. I should like to make an appeal to Mr. Cook himself, to those on that side of the House, and to the leaders of the miners generally not to embitter the situation by making speeches of this kind. [Interruption.] I say to hon. Members, even if they feel they would like to make such speeches: "Do not embitter the situation." We have got on without bitterness for four months. [HON. MEMBERS: "With no thanks to you!"] I am in the recollection of the House. I have done my level best not to have bitterness. I have done my utmost, I have advised the police not to take proceedings until absolutely compelled to do so, and I do appeal to all those who have responsibility in the mining world not to snake this kind of speech at the present time. It does not help matters; it does not lead to negotiations. It leads to bitterness and anger and puts the Home Secretary in the difficult position of having to decide whether to advise a prosecution or not. It is not fair to the men themselves that speeches of this kind should be made, because, the day after, they may embroil themselves with the police and get sent to prison, while the man who makes the speech and is really responsible goes scot free.
§ Mr. HARTSHORN
I wondered whether the right hon. Gentleman was going to make any reference to the speeches that I have been delivering in the same area with which he has been dealing. In a speech at a place on the borders of my constituency I have been giving advice to the men, and I have been to the same places as the hon. 29 Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) and Mr. Cook. I have told the men, "You have a perfect right to conduct peaceful picketing, but you must not do so in such a way as to establish intimidation," and I have been assured over and over again that the police in that area are refusing to allow the lodge officials, even when they go in ones or twos, to see workmen and telling them that it is illegal to do so. I should like to know whether the right hon. Gentleman has given instructions or has advised the police that peaceful picketing is still legal, and that as long as men do it in that way the police have no right to interfere.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I have not given any advice that it is legal and I have not given advice that it is illegal. I fully appreciate what the right hon. Gentleman has said. I have had the privilege of reading some of his speeches, and I do not think that I have any complaint in regard to them. I have no complaint as long as he says that peaceful picketing is legal and right. Any man has a right to impart information to his fellow-workmen and to say to him, "I hope you will not go back to the mines." That is perfectly legal. I say that, and that can go out as a statement from me. But the moment anyone oversteps that and does anything of an intimidating character it is illegal, and it is that I want to ask hon. Members to do their utmost to help me in stopping throughout the mining areas. There is only one other thing I think it my duty to say, and it is in regard to a statement made by Mr. Cook with regard to calling out the safety men. It is our duty, the Home Secretary's duty certainly, to stand between the warring parties in this question, but it is also the duty of the Home Secretary and of the Government to have regard to the interests of the country as a whole. There are millions of men who are not concerned in this dispute and who are not miners. If the safety men are called out by Mr. Cook or by anybody else I certainly deem it the duty of the Government to take all possible steps in their power to prevent the mines from being flooded and the future livelihood of the miners from being destroyed. That is an elementary duty of the Government, and that duty will be carried out to the full.
§ Captain BENN
Do I understand, if any body of opinion in the House were opposed to the Motion being taken to-day, it could not be proceeded with?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I should not have allowed it to be moved if objection had been taken when the matter was put to the House.
§ Captain BENN
The point of Order could not be taken until the Motion was made, and the Motion was not made until the Home Secretary had concluded his speech. If a body of opinion in the House objects to this Motion being taken without notice, is their objection valid?
§ Mr. DENNIS HERBERT
I raised this very point, with the result that the question was practically put to the House twice over.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I was myself most careful to make the matter clear to the House at the time, and, having done that and no objection being taken, I allowed it to be moved
§ Mr. MacDONALD
I think the House will agree with me, having listened to the extraordinary speech of the Home Secretary, that the right hon. Gentleman is in grave doubt as to what is the business before us at the moment. Really, with all due deference to the Home Secretary, the House is not in the least interested in his views about the law of the land. The Home Secretary may have this or that view upon the law, but, so far as the administration of justice is concerned, the least number of times that the Home Secretary appears in front of that Box opposite and delivers speeches such as he has just delivered the better. Even when he refers to the law, his brief is not sufficiently well prepared to enable him to state what the law is in relation to the decisions given upon it. He seemed to be under the impression, until he was corrected by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. 31 Slesser), that if he gave his opinion upon the Statute that ought to be the opinion of the magistrates upon it.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
Then what is the use of the whole thing? He did not seem to be aware of the fact that those words which he thought so very simple and so apposite to the condition of the country at the present time had actually been interpreted by the Courts, and that that interpretation was not in accordance with the meaning which he was putting upon the Statute. Really, when towards the end of his speech he counsels moderation and all the virtues of self-restraint, I look across the Table at him and say, "Example is far better than precept." There was another interesting little aside which the Home Secretary let out, and I was not quite sure if he was aware of what he was saying. He said, "I have been asked—I, the Home Secretary—not the Attorney-General—whether prosecutions should be laid for certain offences." Is that true?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I explained to the House in the early part of my speech that I was not directing prosecutions; the chief constables were the people who directed prosecutions. But that if any chief constables asked my advice about certain cases they were entitled to get it. In certain cases they have asked for it, and they have got it.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
Then the Home Secretary does not hold the doctrine, does he, that political considerations should enter into the decision of whether prosecutions are to take place or not? The Home Secretary is not a judicial authority. The Home Secretary has got just about as much to do with the administration of the law of the land as I have—not very much more. So far as prosecutions are concerned, surely the doctrine of the Tory party has been— until they came into power, at any rate—that no political considerations should be taken upon them but that the Attorney-General, with the Director of Public Prosecutions, sitting in a vacuum, carefully guarded against the polluting notions and considerations that enter into politicians' minds, should decide. In 32 that view, to take every into account—the whole of the national circumstances—and to apply good broad citizen common sense to the problem, has nothing to do with the decision as to whether he is to be prosecuted or not. The simple question is has he or has he not broken the letter of the law?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The Home Secretary is not dealing with political questions at all. These are purely police questions. Just exactly as the Commissioner of the Metropolian Police, who is directly under the direction and orders of the Home Secretary, may appeal to me, and does so, as to the action of the police, so the Chief Constables, though not directly under the Home Secretary, may and do from time to time ask for the advice of the Home Office, which is given to them either by my legal advisers or by myself, as advice on a police matter, and has nothing whatever to do with political questions.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
So that if Mr. Brown or Mr. Jones or Mr. Robinson, in the pursuance of this industrial dispute, were to say that he is going to take care that if the soldiers come down to a certain district they are not going to shoot, the Home Secretary would be the person who would be consulted as to whether a prosecution should lie upon that?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman again, but let me be quite clear. A. Chief Constable has the power and the right to decide the question whether Mr. Brown should be prosecuted or not; but if he has any doubt as to whether the speech was within the law or not, he is entitled to ask the advice of the legal department of the Home Office, and he asks it, and he gets it.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
That is quite satisfactory, so far as I am concerned, perfectly satisfactory—that when a certain statement is made which is outside the law technically, the question as to whether, in the public interest, a prosecution has got to be taken—
§ Mr. MacDONALD
What is the use of the Home Secretary having proceeded from that point, having given warning and having said if these things are repeated—[Interruption.] He cannot have his virtue and his laxity at the same time. He must stand either to one or to the other. If the position is as he now states, what was the use of all this long tirade of quotations from speeches which were to be the subject of prosecution if they were repeated? The Home Secretary has told us, told us perfectly definitely now, that he, as a political officer of the Government, does settle not what is legal or what is illegal, but whether prosecutions should lie or whether they should not.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I do hope we may get this straight. I advise, if anybody asks my advice, whether, in my view, a particular speech is within or without the law. That is all. I cannot direct a Chief Constable, I do not direct him. All I say is that, in my view, it is a prosecutable speech or it is not a prosecutable speech. That is, clearly, the position taken up by the Home Office.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
That is all right. That is quite satisfactory. The Home Secretary's words are a little bit vague. [Interruption.] Yes, a little bit vague. The Home Secretary says, "I can only tell you what is within the law and what is without the law." That is what he says to the constabulary. But he comes to this House and he says that if these speeches which we have decided are without the law are repeated, they will be within the law. I think it is a great pity that magistrates may be misled by the speech the right hon. Gentleman has made. I hope they will be wise and will really consult the authorities of the law before coming to decisions which they might come to by reading the right hon. Gentleman's declaration this afternoon.
But what has this to do with the Regulations? Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me of a single Regulation to which he was speaking during three-quarters of his speech? He has been telling us in general what his view of the law is, and what his extraordinary view of the power of the Home Secretary in relation to 34 prosecutions is—very interesting obiter dicta. We are always pleased to listen to the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. MacDONALD
Certainly we are always pleased to listen to the right hon. Gentleman when he is speaking, especially when he is in the vein of this afternoon. But we would have been a little more obliged to him than we are, and I think the House would have been a little more enlightened, if he had confined himself to these Regulations. Supposing anyone were to take this little pamphlet of Regulations and hand it to someone newly arrived in this country who knew nothing about the state of public order in this country now, and were to say to this stranger: "The House of Commons is being asked by the Government of the day, a Government that prides itself on being peculiarly the embodiment of the spirit of law and order, to pass this pamphlet in order to meet the public needs." What would be the conclusion to which that stranger would come? He would be bound to come to the conclusion that from John O'Groat's to Land's End there was riotousness, disorder and a preaching and practice of sedition, and that we had to get special powers for the police and for the magistrates—that we could not be content with the historical law of arrest and search and all that sort of thing, but that the hands of the ordinary law had to be strengthened; that, as a matter of fact, this good old peaceful country of Great Britain was on the very verge of a dangerous uprising, not to say a revolution.
That is the state of public order which would be indicated by this pamphlet. It is an insult to the men whom the Home Secretary has been praising with his lips. I much prefer the homage of action to the homage of words. Not in the history of our country, certainly, nor in the history of any other country, has there been anything like this quiet and orderly prosecution of a dispute. The Home Secretary talks about speeches which have been made. I very often think, and I am not at all sure that the right hon. Gentleman 35 does not agree with me, that when a man goes off the deep end in words he is very careful to keep on the other end in action. There is a great deal of good humour and good common sense in the British people. Any hon. Member on the other side of the House can go down and talk what he likes, be as hot as he likes, as fiery as he likes, as provocative as he likes; the miner and the miner's wife lose their heads occasionally—they would not be human if they did not—and get hot and ill-humoured and let out at blacklegs who are the most provocative creatures on the face of the earth; but in spite of it all there were only 64 cases under these Regulations last month. That shows how unnecessary and how insulting the Regulations are. The public in the mining areas believe that their case is in very good hands and are prepared to leave it there, without any attempt on their own part to interfere by lawlessness or disorder of any kind. The right hon. Gentleman says "Look at the police." I wonder if I may venture to ask a question? I know something about this, for I have seen it myself, I have been down there to look at it; I have seen policemen playing games with the men against whom these Regulations are issued. My question is this: How many of those policemen, or how many of the Chief Constables who have been encouraging that relationship between the policemen and the men out in this dispute, have thanked him for these Regulations? The fact of the matter is that the Government owe—not exclusively, but very largely—the peace of the country and the quiet and friendliness on both sides to the fact that everybody forgets the Regulations which have been passed. One side says to the other "Well, we know you have got a case and we are both up against it" and the police and the men out in the dispute play football and cricket. If those Regulations were present in the minds of the policemen on the one hand and the strikers on the other every hour of the day, there would have been rioting untold before we had reached this point in the evolution of this strike. It is because the Home Secretary has forgotten that there is peace in the country. Not only that, but the Home Secretary comes along to-day and admits to the House of Commons that he cannot justify these Regulations upon the ground 36 of disorder, and he says quite frankly that if we ask him to bring forward legitimate reasons to justify these Regulations by the crimes committed during their operation, he cannot do it.
He says, however, that he can do it in a better way. There is a way which is not capable of statistical proof and which is not entered in any of the official records. It is a way by which a man with a fussy imagination can act freely and come to any conclusion he likes without anyone pulling him up. The way the Home Secretary is trying to justify these Regulations is that there is no crime at all. The right hon. Gentleman practically says: "If there had been any such justification I would have justified these Regulations by the records, but as there has been no record, I am going to try and justify them because there has been no justification for them at all." The Home Secretary cannot have it both ways. For the last two months the right hon. Gentleman has not shown a tittle of justification amongst the peaceful people in the mining areas for asking this House to pass these Regulations. What the right hon. Gentleman has done is to encourage policemen to be over-officious, and he has encouraged the Magistrates to be rather lax in the administration of the law.
The Home Secretary knows as well as I do that as soon as the political authority impresses its fussiness upon the police and the judiciary, the effect is not to make them more careful or more friendly, but to make them more officious. If these Regulations have the least effect it will be to make the police more antagonistic to the peaceful conduct of the people in their disticts, and the magistrates more antagonistic to that calm, common sense which enables them to decide that a thing is right even though the letter of the law may happen to have been broken unintentionally. That is what the right hon. Gentleman has addessed himself to rather than the Regulations. He says there were four cases last month. The very worst case that has happened during this month is one which could have been dealt with perfectly adequately under the ordinary law. Whether the right hon Gentleman was dealing with a baton charge or a smash up of any kind, or whether he was dealing with 37 arrests for unpeaceful picketing, or intimidation, he has failed to prove that during his experience of this month the ordinary law was inadequate to protect him and protect the State.
The right hon. Gentleman comes here this afternoon with something behind his mind which has no relation whatever to these Regulations. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to certain speeches. He always is too fussy, and he seems to have been made more fussy by those speeches. Instead of attempting to justify the step he is taking by arguments he comes here and talks about the law relating to speeches and other things which are not germane to the business before the House. In the meantime he is bound to pay lip service and tribute to these men and their conduct, and if he had been where I have been during the last three or four weeks, he would have found almost a sabbatical calm amongst these men, and he would have found them cultivating their garden, gathering fruit, and he would also have found extra religious observances being put on. I thank God that it is so. The right hon. Gentleman would have found these extra religious services being put on, and there is absolutely no evidence that these men and women and their families have given any cause for this or any other Government asking for special protection against anything that might happen in those districts.
The Home Secretary might say to these people, "If you do a thing which is illegal, I, as Home Secretary, will see that you do not get off." They understand that, and they respect the man that says it, but they do not understand and do not respect the man who, under these circumstances and without any justification at all, says to them, "The ordinary British law is not enough for me and you; I must have special legislation, and I am going to call the House of Commons back to give me powers which I confess that I cannot justify and do not require to maintain law and order." I know the appeal I am making will fall upon deaf ears, but I do not hesitate to say that in my opinion the Home Secretary would be a. wise man to say even now, "I am not going to move this Resolution. These people for the last four months have 38 shown themselves to be magnificent, and I will not insult them by imposing these Regulations upon them."
§ Captain BENN
I should like to make one or two observations in regard to the procedure under which these Regulations have been put forward. These Regulations have been copied from the Defence of the Realm Act, a Measure which was instituted when there was a danger in this country from a foreign foe, and they contain powers of the widest and most arbitrary character. In this case some very important safeguards have been swept away. The procedure used to be that a Royal Message was received, and an humble Address was moved which gave the House of Commons an opportunity for discussing the necessity for such Regulations. Now that part of the procedure has been abandoned, and I understand that unless a Minister of the Crown moves the Address it cannot be moved without notice, and that important safeguard has gone. There was also a second safeguard to the effect that whoever proposed the Resolution should put it down on the Order Paper. That has gone. A precedent is established to-day by which a Resolution putting these Regulations into force may be moved without notice. Everybody knows that a Resolution of this kind comes under exempted business, and so the actual Parliamentary situation is that a Message may be read at the Bar of the House at midnight, and a Minister may move that the Regulations be enforced, and the House of Commons in this way may put into the hands of the Home Secretary these extraordinary powers. If I were the only one, I should feel it incumbent upon me to make some protest on behalf of Members of the House of Commons against these arbitrary powers being passed in this way.
As to the Home Secretary's remarks about what is and what is not illegal, and his interpretation of the Acts of 1875 and 1906, that is of no importance whatever, because no self-respecting magistrate would pay the least attention to any of his observations on the law. The duty of the magistrates and the Judge is to decide on the law as it stands, and not on the observations made by the Home Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman says, "That may go out from me," but what does he mean? How can law 39 and equity go out from the Home Secretary? They are administered by impartial people who are far removed from the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Twickenham. The right hon. Gentleman was not really talking about the Act of 1875 or the Act of 1906, but he had in mind Regulation 21, which does not define a new offence. The offence isusing language or attempting to use language calculated to cause disaffection.That is an absolutely undefined offence. According to this provision, the Home Secretary says a man may be charged with using language liable or calculated to cause disaffection among the civil population. On this point the Home Secretary comes to the assistance of the magistrates, and he says, "That may go out from me." What the right hon. Gentleman says is that he moves Regulation 21, the meaning of which is that a man may be locked up for doing what the right hon. Gentleman has defined as something which is illegal. That is the real purpose of the speech which has been made to-day. I would like the Home Secretary to tell the House how many persons have been convicted under Regulation 21. Can he give the figures?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The figures are as follows:—Under Regulation 21 there have been 29 cases—15 convictions and 14 are still pending; under Regulation 20, 17 cases—12 convictions and five pending; under Regulation 28, four cases—three convictions and one pending.
§ Captain BENN
Under Regulation 21 15 persons have been convicted. On a previous occasion I asked the Home Secretary to let us have the terms of the charge, but it seems that that was too much to ask. I wanted to know the words of the charge which were used and which caused the conviction of these men. The right hon. Gentleman refused to give that information, and he declares now that he intends to use his influence to tell the magistrates whom to convict and whom to acquit, and at the same time he declines to allow the House of Commons to know the words of the charge upon which those convictions took place. The whole thing shows that, except under the pressure of the direct necessity, such an 40 important principle of our Constitution, which is an absolutely sound one, should not be departed from. It is an indecent sight to see a Minister of the Crown standing at that Box asking for power to initiate prosecutions, and at the same time having the power or the quasi power of acting as judge, because such a thing is completely alien to our conception of the British Constitution.
§ Captain BENN
I expected a much better interruption than that from the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite.
§ Captain BENN
I think the hon. and learned Member will see that there is a great distinction between advising His Majesty to exercise the prerogative of mercy in the case of a man who has been convicted, and investing a Minister of the Crown with the power to be both prosecutor and Judge. [Interruption.] We are gradually sliding into the use of this exceptional machinery as a matter of formality. The Home Secretary told us that he would not have said anything in moving this Resolution except as a matter of courtesy, but these cases in which it is necessary to defend the people against oppressive acts on the part of the Executive are becoming common usage in this country. I say there is no word in what the Home Secretary has said to-day, or in the situation in the country, which justifies the continued use of these powers, and that he ought to abandon them at the earliest possible moment.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I beg to move, in line 2, after "1926," to insert the words "other than Regulations 21 and 22."
The effect of this Amendment would be to cut out from the Regulations, even if carried, the Regulation which deals with acts likely to cause sedition, and so forth, and the one dealing with public meetings and processions. I make no apology for coming immediately to this 41 Amendment, because practically the whole of the speech of the Home Secretary has in fact been devoted to the subject-matter of these two Regulations. I hope, therefore, that I shall be in order if I deal with certain of the observations of the right hon Gentleman, even though they do not appear to me to be immediately germane to the Regulations. As, however, he has thought fit to make them, it is only fair and proper that the matter should be considered as a whole. I must say that I am in great difficulty in understanding the right hon. Gentleman's argument. I could have understood him if he had come here and said that the existing Statute law, and more particularly the Act of 1875, was inadequate to deal with the situation, and that, therefore, he must ask for Regulation No. 21, which goes very considerably beyond the ambit of the Act of 1875, in order that he may be able to cope with the present serious position. But the argument of the right hon. Gentleman was entirely the opposite. He gave—erroneously, as I shall show the House—an interpretation of the Act of 1875 which, if he were right, would be so wide in its terms as to make Regulation No. 21 utterly unnecessary.
The right hon. Gentleman ought to have taken into consideration the interpretations which have been put on the Act of 1875 by the High Court. He would then have known that the Act is incapable of the interpretation which he gave to the House. It is of historical interest to know, and it becomes material in considering whether there is need for Regulation No. 21 or not, that it was at one time considered to be the law that any kind of persuasion which did not come within what may be called "peaceful persuasion," but which at the same time was not specifically wrongful, was forbidden under the Act of 1875. But the matter was taken before the High Court, and, if the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will give him the specific authority. It is the well-known case of Curran v. Treleaven, which, together with Gibson v. Lawson, discuss the whole question of the limits of the Act of 1875. In that case the Court came to the conclusion that the view that a threat to dictate was intimidation had been definitely overruled, and that now it must be held that intimidation must at 42 least be so much as would justify the binding over of the intimidator to keep the peace.
The right hon. Gentleman's observations, as I followed the cases which he cited, do not go nearly so far, in my submission, as to justify the intimidator being bound over to keep the peace. For instance, an intimidating letter to an employer saying that his shop would be picketed, in language so threatening as to make the employer afraid, was held not to amount to intimidation under the Act of 1875. I do not want to go any further into these technicalities, but I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary—and I am glad to see that the Attorney-General also is now here—that one cannot exercise too much caution in giving a view of the law to this House. I am not so much on the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn), that it is no function of the Home Secretary to tell us what is or is not the law on this matter, but I do ask that, if the Home Secretary does give us his opinion as to the meaning and ambit of the Act of 1875, he should give the matter the most grave consideration. The whole vice, if the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to say so, of the major part of his speech, was this confusion of the undoubted executive functions which he possesses with the judicial functions which are lawfully exercised by quite another body. As I have said before in this House, I think the right hon. Gentleman is unique among all other Members of the Government in that he is the only Member of the Government who pursues this line of argument, of threatening individual Members, mostly on this side of the House, with prosecution and telling us what is and what is not the law. In doing so I think he is departing from the very sound Conservative tradition—although, as I have often said, we dispair of finding any Conservatism in the party opposite—which would keep apart executive and judicial functions. I submit that it is no part of the Home Secretary's function to tell us what the law is or is not under the Act of 1875.
Coming to the really germane matter, namely, the necessity for these Regulations, I have had the curiosity to read 43 what the late Mr. Bonar Law said in moving the Second Reading of the Emergency Powers Bill in 1920. When Mr. Bonar Law recommended that Measure to the House, these Regulations were, of course, not yet in existence; he was dealing entirely with the question of the country being deprived of fuel and other material things, and there is no word in his speech from beginning to end which suggests that it was ever contemplated by the Government in 1920 that Regulations of this type would be introduced at all. There was no suggestion of any new functions being created, nor any suggestion that the functions and rights of juries would be removed; the whole of Mr. Bonar Law's speech was devoted to the question of dealing with fuel and other necessities in conditions which then arose. I understand that the Chanceller of the Exchequer has said that this coal dispute had not seriously imperilled the country's use of fuel and other supplies. I do not know whether that be correct or not, but, if it be so, then the last argument for saying that a state of emergency has arisen has disappeared.
I ventured to say, when this matter was before us a month ago, that the Act contemplated that each month Parliament should consider anew the necessity for these Regulations, for otherwise there is no object in calling Parliament together month by month to confirm them and to continue them. If we take the Regulation of which I am now speaking, we now understand that there have been fewer than 30 cases altogether under Regulation No. 21—only 29 cases. Therefore, for the sake of 29 cases, of which I understand only some have resulted in convictions, we are, in these matters of opinion, in these matters touching on sedition and the like, to have imposed upon us martial law—because that is what it really amounts to—for the sake of 29 cases in the whole of England which have arisen among a million persons engaged in the dispute. I welcome these Regulations in one sense, because I think that, while in this House the Government will naturally obtain formal approval of them from the people who support them, the Regulations will really arouse against the Government, not merely Labour, but also Liberal and Conservative opinion—Liberal opinion, because persons of any 44 Liberal mind will object to this unnecessary imposition of a kind of martial law, and Conservative opinion amongst traditional and constitutional people who wish to see the executive and judicial functions kept separate. Therefore, as I consider this to be one of the most impotent Governments we have ever had in this country, from my point of view a Regulation which will annoy Liberals and Conservatives as well as Labour is everything politically that I should desire.
This Statute says specifically that none of the existing law dealing with picketing in any form can be modified by regulation. I think that so far the right hon. Gentleman agrees with me. It is declared in terms in this Statute that the existing law shall not be modified by regulation. If that be so, then the right hon. Gentleman is entirely dependent on the existing law for anything which may be done, and these regulations can do nothing, as I have had to point out month by month to the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten), when he has spoken on this point, to strengthen the Executive or the law in cases of picketing which are not peaceful—cases of mass picketing or persuasion. This Statute in terms says that nothing in the Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, 1920, shall in any way prevent any person from peacefully persuading any other person to take part in a strike. That being so, the Regulations cannot be directed against anything that is happening in the coalfields to-day, and the only other part of them is the part dealing with sedition. On that point the right hon. Gentleman has not suggested any single case amounting to anything like sedition. All the cases of which he complains have been what I might call trade union cases—cases in connection with the question of the abuse of picketing. Those cases are excluded from the operation of the Statute and of Regulations under the Statute, and if the only things of which the right hon. Gentleman complains cannot be dealt with, then I ask what, in Heaven's name, is the need for these Regulations and for our being here at all to-day? So much for Regulation No. 21.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Would the hon. and learned Gentleman deal with the point with which he began? When 45 I was quoting the Act of 1875, he interrupted me and said that that was modified by the Curran case, but he has not dealt with that.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I thought I had. What I said was that the Curran case considered how far these words relating to intimidation went. I think we were dealing with intimidation, and not with watching and besetting, but I am not quite sure, and I do not attach so much importance even to my own remarks as to remember exactly where my interruption took place. The right hon. Gentleman was quoting the Statute, and what I pointed out was that, whereas in the case of Judge v. Bennett, which was the earlier case, an interpretation had been given to the words, in the three cases of Gibson v. Lawson, Curran v. Treleaven, and Connor v. Kent, which were all considered at the same time by a special Court, the Statute was considered, and substantially the view was taken that something in the nature of an offence which would otherwise be wrong—that is to say, something which would threaten a breach of the peace—was necessary in order to constitute a prosecutable offence under the Act of 1875. What I complained of was that the right hon. Gentleman, in quoting the Statute, made no reference at all—I am not suggesting that that was deliberate; it only shows the difficulties and dangers of quoting opinions on law across the Table of this House—he made no reference to the case of Connor v. Kent and the other case of Gibson v. Lawson. What I say is, if we are to have legal expressions of opinion, let us have the whole law, and not part of it. But it is very much better that we should not have such expressions of opinion at all, because there are other tribunals and other places where these matters can better be discussed.
With regard to Regulation No. 22, that Regulation has, I believe, scarcely been used at all. It is the one dealing with public meetings and processions. Therefore, I am in great difficulty as to what the right hon. Gentleman really meant with regard to the references to these speeches which have been made. Is it the case that to-day it is unlawful to make speeches which would be lawful 46 were these Regulations not in force? We really want to come to the point, so that people may know where they are. Certain speeches under common law are seditious. Do these Regulations purport to make unlawful that which otherwise would be lawful or do they merely take away the right of trial by jury? Which do they purport to do? That is very important. I have some idea of what a seditious speech is, but I do not know whether—apart from depriving me or the right hon. Gentleman, if he were to be tried, of the protection of a jury—he suggests that the passing of Regulation 22 creates a new offence or not. If it does, it is a very serious matter indeed. Let the House consider what that means. It means, when we have an emergency in regard to a particular commodity—fuel or light, or whatever it may be—that, therefore, things which might be said if an emergency did not exist are to be prohibited because it does exist. Surely that is an untenable position. I mean that, if in fact there is a dispute going on anywhere and observations may be made with regard to the calling out of safety men, for example, or anything else, and to say, if the dispute does not amount to an emergency within the meaning of the Regulations, that that would be lawful, but that directly this dispute became slightly larger it would not be lawful—that is surely producing an extraordinary uncertainty in people's minds as to what may be said. I am quite sure the right hon. Gentleman does not want that uncertainty to exist.
I suggest that Regulation 22 was intended merely to deprive the alleged seditious speaker under Regulation 21 of the protection of a jury. We have not been told by the Home Secretary, and it is important to know, whether he suggests that Mr. Cook or anybody else who comes under these Regulations is now forbidden to say things which he would be allowed to say directly the Regulation lapses. If we are going to have opinions on the law, then I and, I am sure, the country, would very much like to know whether things are made wrong here which would otherwise have been made right or whether all that this does is to deprive us of the right of trial by jury. With regard to public meetings and processions under Regulation 22, the omis- 47 sion of which I have moved, I do not know whether this Regulation is being used at all. The right hon. Gentleman said nothing about public meetings or processions. It has been used very little. Does the right hon. Gentleman say it has been used?
§ Sir H. SLESSER
It has been used. The Regulation has been used to prohibit processions because of their conducing to a breach of the peace. I have already discussed that on a previous occasion, and referred to the Salvation Army and cases of that kind, so familiar to the Attorney-General and the Home Secretary himself. The present common law is sufficient to deal with the question of processions and meetings conducing to a breach of the peace. I submit there is no case, because a certain number of men meet together, for allowing extreme powers to be taken to prohibit meetings or processions. It is very much more likely to create a feeling of discontent and coercion than if the meetings and processions take place. Take whatever precautions need to be taken, but to prohibit the normal right of meeting is a thing which we need not do. Therefore, for these reasons, and primarily and particularly because I do not believe that the Emergency Powers Act was ever designed to extend the operation or procedure of the law in the way that is here proposed, I venture to move this Amendment that Regulations 21 and 22 be omitted.
§ Mr. TINKER
I beg to Second the Amendment.
I want to say a few words in regard to my own position because, according to the Home Secretary, I have been coming under these Regulations. When I attended here to-day I heard the Home Secretary say he was going to refer to certain Members on this side. Never for one moment did I think that I should be one to be referred to. I have always understood it to be the case that when a serious charge is to be made, a Member of the House should be given some intimation of what is going to be said and also that a copy of the statement should be sent to him. Nothing of that sort was done in my case and therefore, I am going to say that I am not prepared to com- 48 ment on what was set out by the Home Secretary. I want it to be known that what I said in my speeches was said calmly and deliberately, and if it brings me within the law, I am prepared to stand the racket.
I would like to ask the Home Secretary when he got word of my so-called mis-doings, because on Monday, 23rd August, I was rung up by the Chief Constable of St. Helens, who told me there was rioting taking place, that he had addressed the crowd, and that they had taken no notice and said they wanted Tinker; and he asked me would I go along to them and speak to them. This was the man whose speeches have been inciting to a lot of trouble and yet the Chief Constable was prepared to go with the man who was, so it is said, within the grip of the law, and stand on the same platform with him. I refused, and I said why, Previously to that some of our people had been batoned and I could not go on the same platform with the chief constable, whom I must hold responsible to some extent for that. When I refused to go, the whole tone changed and he said to me:You have been making certain statements that may bring you into trouble.I answered:What have I said?He replied:It is stated you have said that you will use all means to stop blacklegs working.I said:If you have got the whole statement, you will see what I said was that I would use all the legitimate means in my power, and you know as well as I do exactly what I said.To this he replied:No, my people have not taken down reports of your speeches, but I will have to do that for the future.That was on 23rd August. I want the Home Secretary to realise the position. Here the Chief Constable is willing to take me on to a platform to try to quell a disturbance. Not one word has been said about my speech before that, but when I refused to go, as I had a right to do, then I am told that possibly I may be involved in trouble. If I have done anything wrong in speeches before 23rd August—because I had never spoken up to Saturday last in the same place 49 since Wednesday, 18th August—it must have been before the Chief Constable wanted to have me as a pal on the platform with him.
I want to say a word about the conduct of the police. We called a meeting at Sutton Manor Collieries for Saturday last and my name was given out to be there, because I am prepared to go with my men anywhere. I gave it out that there must be no attempt at rioting or any sort of violence, for we did not require that. We went in orderly procession to Sutton Manor Collieries, and on the way they were rushing police past us in wagonettes and chars-a-bane. While the meeting was in progress, and while I was speaking against the winding of coal—because that is something we did not agree with—the pulleys go round and some of the blacklegs show themselves right in the face of the crowd. A number of the crowd turned round ready to rush on to the premises. If that was not a direct incitement then nothing could be. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Let us see what the position was. There were 3,000 men, a number of them on the point of starvation. Here I was addressing them against the winding of coal. The pulleys have not gone round for three hours, and in the midst of my speech the pulleys go round and some of the blacklegs come and look at the crowd. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I am trying to show you. That is the kind of incitement which leads people to rioting. Everything was prepared for it, and I am told—I am not going to say it is correct—that the police were ready to rush in so that they could give us the lesson they thought we should have. I am pleased to say we managed to control the crowd. We have had two mass demonstrations, on Saturday and Sunday, in the affected areas, and people were told from the platform that there must be no rioting. We can win our case on the great moral issues involved and, as far as I am concerned, that is the stand I take, for I believe that our case is right and just, and that we shall come out in the end in the way I have described. If my speeches have brought me within the reach of the law, there will be no backing down as far as I am concerned.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I want to get a little information from the representatives of the Government. We have been told about the peacefulness of the campaign 50 and how few cases there have been under the Regulations. I myself feel that the Home Secretary has really made out a case for the Regulations not being in operation at all. He wants to have them again and the point I want to make in connection with the Regulations to which the Amendment refers is, that I want to have some sort of feeling, if we are going to have these Regulations, that they are going to be operated with more impartiality than they have been hitherto. I want to refer to a particular instance in connection with this causing of disaffection or arousing trouble owing to inflammatory speeches or anything of that sort. I want to ask the Attorney-General or the Home Secretary if they can tell us what steps were taken in connection with what happened after the meeting held at Chelmsford by Mr. Cook and Mr. Walter, a member of the General Council, when those two individuals were assaulted by a crowd at the railway station. If, say, the Home Secretary or, say, Lord Birkenhead, had been making a speech and had proceeded to a railway station and some miners had surrounded and knocked out Lord Birkenhead's teeth, I think some of those miners would have got twelve months or two years for their act. Here is the leader of the miners, as the Home Secretary himself has said—the leader of a million men—making a responsible statement in that district, and I want to know if any steps have been taken by the responsible authorities to deal with those people who assaulted Mr. Cook and Mr. Walker, which might possibly have been the basis of a big riot in that district. I want to know what is being done with regard to those who are taking action on the other side. While the dispute has been on, many people have suggested that the labour movement would require to set up a workers' defence corps, and I think this case is of sufficient importance for the Government to show that it is acting impartially in its administration and that law and order are going to be maintained impartially. I think they have got to prove that some step has been taken to deal with those who are responsible for creating this situation, which might have led to a great deal of rioting up and down the country. I hope some member of the Government will be able to give us some information 51 as to whether any steps have been taken in this case when the individuals have been leaders of the men and not owners or members of the Government.
§ Mr. SEXTON
I do not propose to go into the merits or demerits of the Regulations as they stand. I am rather impressed by the statement of the Home Secretary. I have always thought the Regulations unnecessary, and I shall oppose them to the best of my ability whenever I have the opportunity. But I am more concerned, not with the merits or demerits of the Regulations, but with the administration. The Home Secretary professes to have a difficult job. I am not going to argue that he has not. Any man in his office has a difficult job, even under normal conditions. Even the Chief Constable, perhaps even the ordinary police official, in times like the present has a difficult job. We are asked in these Regulations to endeavour to persuade our people to keep the peace. That should be applied all round—even to the police themselves. It is an old saying, but a true one, that in the case of a riot or a disturbance the policeman's baton, like the rain from Heaven, falls upon the just and the unjust alike. I am not going to say that does not happen, because it does, and it is only natural that in the case of a baton charge in the dispersal of a crowd some of the just and the unjust suffer alike. The case I am going to quote is entirely apart from that. I represent a constituency where some trouble has been going on in the past few days. It has been exaggerated. I have seen bigger fights after 11 o'clock outside a public-house. However, there was trouble, and a body of men congregated. I am not sure whether any provocation was given or not. I believe some windows were broken, and the police were ordered to charge. There was nothing like a crowd or a riot. As soon as the men saw the police coming they ran. I have gone into this matter thoroughly. I went all round the district on Saturday, and I got the evidence of eye-witnesses. A youth of 17 or 18 was sitting down reading the "Evening Express." The men passed him as he sat there. Two police officers passed him on horseback. Then a solitary policeman came along and saw him. I notified the right hon. Gentleman that I was going to raise this ques- 52 tion in order to give him an opportunity of preparing a case if he had one. I also notified the Chief Constable of St. Helens.
The evidence I got, so far as I can see, is indisputable. It comes from three women who had no part in the dispute. One was hanging up her clothes, and there were two or three others attracted by the noise, one carrying a baby, who came to see what the disturbance was about. The boy ran into the backyard of an ordinary miner's house. It is a place where you could scarcely swing a cat. The policeman got the boy into a cul-de-sac, threw the women away who were pressing him, batoned the boy unmercifully, and he was unconscious for half a day. I know the right hon. Gentleman has got a report. An inspector came, accompanied by another constable, and inquired into the boy's condition. Naturally he said he would give them no information. He said, "If I had a gun I would shoot the two of you." The Chief Constable had no report when I spoke to him in the Town Hall. I asked him if he was going to send one and he said he was. According to the report the boy threw stones and one whizzed past the ear of the policeman and he called the policeman some foul names. It is reported on the evidence of women that the constable, after batoning the boy, went out into the street, swung his baton and shouted, "Come on, you dirty, bastard swine!" If the right hon. Gentleman is so careful about his language, he should instruct his own policemen as to the language they use. It is said the boy took part in the rioting. I have evidence that he had nothing whatever to do with it, but even if he took part in it, even if he flung a stone, the constable could have taken his name and address and summoned him. There may be conflicting evidence. The Chief Constable is blameless in the matter, but in view of the conflicting evidence I think it is a very modest application that the right hon. Gentleman should inquire into the conduct of this officer. I can understand the policeman retaliating. I have been in riots myself—open confession is good for the soul—and I can understand a policeman retaliating on a man who hit him or took part in a riot, but here was a case where 53 the crowd had been gone 10 minutes. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will agree to have a local inquiry into the conduct of this officer.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
In submitting these Regulations the Home Secretary spent most of his time in explaining his view of peaceful picketing. I assume he did that in the knowledge that the Labour party were going to move the deletion of Regulations 21 and 22, which specifically state that peaceful picketing is still allowed. I interjected that the police were being used in some instances as the pimps of the employers. I am going to seek to justify that so far as one district is concerned where we have the most law abiding miners in England, Scotland or Wales, where they believe they are fighting for a great moral cause, and that they can get it without any breaking of the law. There was a women's guild meeting where the women were discussing the rights and wrongs of the dispute, and the women there are even more strong for the fight than the men, if that is possible. One of the women after the meeting suggested to another that Cook was a better man than the Prime Minister, mentioning the Prime Minister by name. I am not allowed to mention it here, and I am not very anxious to do it because he is away, for I should have given him notice if he were here that I was going to mention it. Later a policeman went to the home of the woman who had made that seditious statement to warn her that under the Emergency Regulations she would have to be very careful or she would get herself into trouble. If that is not a policeman acting as a pimp of the employers I do not know what a pimp is. I do not believe he desired to do it, but he had his instructions from the managers of the colliery, and had to carry them out and act practically as the pimp of the employers. These Regulations are not necessary for the police. They rather help to cause trouble than otherwise.
I will give another instance. In my constituency also the people believe in the law. There has been no trouble up to the present, but they believe they have the right of peaceful picketing. They have never picketed any man prior to his going to his work. They have picketed men after they have come from 54 their work. They have even asked the right to hold a meeting in ground owned by a farmer. They went to hold the meeting and the manager of the colliery went to try to get farmer to put them off the ground on which he had given them permission to hold the meeting. Are you going to apply the Emergency Regulations to managers of collieries as you would apply them to the men in the collieries, because that man was creating dissatisfaction where there was none for the time being, where they were out of the way of any miners who might have been blacklegging. I will call a miner who works during this dispute a blackleg despite all your Regulations, and I will do it on the platform. They were a mile and a half away from a place where any blacklegs might be working. The manager tried to get them off that ground so that the excuse might be made that they were going to break these Regulations.
One of the finest law-abiding constituents I have is a J.P., who may be one of the 15 against whom the Home Secretary suggested there has been no decision given at present. It is cowardly on the part of the Minister to seek to use the position to influence magistrates in Midlothian with a view to getting a decision against these men if they are taken before the magistrates. The police are on good terms with the people generally. I feel sure they do not want to do this dirty, contemptible work that the employers, backed up by the Home Secretary, evidently are trying to get them to do. These Regulations give power to imprison anyone who causes dissatisfaction. I have seen the pay lines of a young man of 17½ and a boy of½. The total pay for a week is 11s. for each. One of them received fourpence after deductions were taken off, and their pay will be affected by whatever is the result of this dispute. They have not created dissatisfaction at all. The dissatisfaction is there because you pass Regulations to support the employers in trying to defeat the men in the struggle in which they are engaged. I oppose these Regulations, which merely prove that the Government are the tools of the coalowners and are prepared to force the men back to unjust conditions.
§ Mr. LOOKER
This dispute which has been going on for so long in the coal industry, whatever it may have been at the outset, and however much it may have affected the interests engaged in that industry, has for a considerable time now become a matter of national concern for everyone. It has affected very much, and it will affect in some way or other every man, woman and child throughout the Kingdom. Therefore, everyone is entitled, whether connected with the industry or not, to express any views which they may have, regardless of the fact that they have no personal experience of mines or mining areas. What the country is more concerned with than anything else at the moment is the intimidation which has been practised and is being practised in the mining areas upon the men who are willing and anxious to work and the men who are actually going to work. As far as mass picketing is concerned the police seem to have dealt effectively with that, and it seems to me no longer taking place in the districts in which it began; but there is a far more insidious and far more cruel form of persecution now being practised in those districts, in the shape of what may be described as domestic picketing, and in regard to which the country feels very much concerned. There is hardly a woman or child or a workman throughout the country who does not realise that if we allow this system of intimidation to be practised, they will never know when their own turn will come. In any industrial dispute which may happen in the future they themselves will be exposed and liable to this same form of insidious persecution.
It is not to be wondered at that this persecution is taking place, because it is a direct result of the counsel and advice which has been tendered by those who are the miners' leaders. Last week, Mr. Cook made the following statement:We have the names and addresses of the blacklegs. In future, they will never get a job in any coalfield outside their own. We will see to that.Yesterday, he said:The blacklegs are industrial lepers and must be isolated.It is the policy which is the result of that kind of council that is now being pursued in the mining districts, and it has a tremendous influence upon the women and a large influence upon the 56 men. There are supposed to be something like 100,000 people who come under the influence of this species of intimidation. The men who are willing to work are put, roughly speaking, at a figure of 20,000, and if we add their wives and families it means a total of somewhere about 100,000 people who are concerned. The result is that these people are frightened. The men are sometimes constrained to refrain from going to work when otherwise they would want to work in order to support their wives and families. In the mind of the country at large there is no doubt that this represents intimidation in its worst form. It is not persuasion, and it is not peaceful picketing. I would like to ask the Attorney-General whether the law has no remedy for this state of things. Under the actual wording of the law as it stands, apart from these Regulations, one would think that this sort of intimidation was amply covered, but it is possible that decisions in the Courts have shaded it down into something which may prove rather unexpected to people who have no knowledge of those decisions. It appears to me that under Regulation 21, which I understand hon. Members opposite are anxious to leave out, there is ample authority for dealing with intimidation of this description. That Regulation says:If any person attempts or does any act calculated to …. impede, delay or restrict the supply …. of fuel … he shall be guilty of an offence against these Regulations.I do not think anyone would deny that when people in a public position, like Mr. Cook, make speeches of the description of which I have referred, which are followed by domestic intimidation of the nature I have described they are doing something calculatedcalculated to impede or restrict the supply of fuel.Either the law allows a man to work freely in this country or it does not. Either the law protects a man's wife and family from persecution, or it does not. If the law does not allow a man or his wife and family to be intimidated, then the country expects that law to be enforced. If that protection cannot be enforced under the ordinary law, the country expects it to be enforced under these Regulations. The Home Secretary has told us that it is his duty to see that 57 no intimidation is carried out. He has also told us—whether it correctly interprets the law or not is a matter on which each individual member must form his opinion—that the moment a man does anything of an intimidatory character, it is illegal. Whatever the law may be, the country believes that speeches of the nature to which I have referred are of an intimidating character, and the country is intensely indignant that the more lawless elements of the miners should be appealed to and incited by public remarks of this description, and they look to the Government to take whatever steps are permissible, either under the law or under these Regulations, to see that these acts are not repeated, and that proceedings are taken, if necessary, against any person or persons who bring themselves within the meaning of the law, whether it be the general law or any of these Regulations. I hope the Home Secretary will have no hesitation in taking any steps which he may be advised are permissible to prevent this insidious persecution against the miner in his own home and particularly by means of the intimidation of his wife and family.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I am afraid the hon. Member who has just spoken has had little or no experience of workmen, or he would have known that the kind of intimidation to which he has been referring is the daily experience of any individual who has to work for wages. Had he encountered the troubles and trials that are met with every day by the worker, particularly in the coal mines, he would not have referred to intimidation in the terms to which he has just given expression. To refer to picketing as being intimidation, or to a speech made in Swansea intimidating men residing in Scotland and as borderng upon the breaking of the law, is surely bordering upon the ridiculous. When the hon. Member refers to 20,000 men out of more than 1,000,000 locked out men wanting to go to work because they conceive that they ought to go to work and that it is their plain duty to do so, he seems to forget that while 20,000 may desire to go to work there are 1,180,000 miners whom the mineowners will not permit to go to work except on terms that no decent, self-respecting miner will accept.
§ Mr. LOOKER
Is the hon. Member aware that the terms which the coal- 58 owners are offering to the men give them a much higher wage than is received by any agricultural labourer in my constituency?
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
Does the hon. Member suggest that a wage of 11s. a week for a young man of 17 years of age is a high wage?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am surprised that any hon. Member should dare or should have the audacity to compare the wage of the agricultural labourer, which has always been recognised as a scandal, with that of the man who has to descend into the bowels of the earth and go 700 or 900 yards before he begins his work. Even if the miners' wage happens to be something over and above that of the rural worker, that is in no way a compliment to the hon. Member or the party he represents, who for centuries have been supposed to be the only people capable of producing an agricultural policy which would give a decent wage to the employé. The 1,200,000 miners, who with their families dependent upon them constitute at least one-tenth of the whole population of the country, have a right to safeguard their livelihood in the only way open to them, when intimidation by means of starvation is practised by the employers as a weapon to drive them into submission to the coalowners' terms.
It is rather extraordinary that the speeches of miners' representatives of Labour Members of Parliament are the only speeches referred to when these Regulations are under review. One never hears about the intimidation by coalowners, who recently issued a circular pleading not only with the shareholders in coal mines but with shareholders in distributing concerns to use their energies in every conceivable direction to pollute the minds of mineworkers and other people in order to force the miners to accept the terms laid down by the coalowners. The best piece of intimidation that has taken place during the past four months has been the Eight Hours Act which the Conservative Government passed to intimidate the miners to break away from what they know to be their legitimate rights which ought not to be tampered with either by Governments or coalowners or anyone else.
59 The Home Secretary this afternoon stated that many men might do certain things while they were suffering under a sense of grievance which they would not do under other circumstances. The fact that, although there are 1,200,000 miners affected, apart from their wives and families, only 64 cases in the last month have been taken up under these Regulations, affords clear proof to me, and it should be clear to the House, that intimidation has not taken place and that there is no need for a repetition of these Regulations. I think it, is a waste of the time of this House that we should be debating the continuation of these Regulations when we ought to be applying our minds to finding some solution for the real problem, namely, the stoppage of the coal mines in Great Britain.
I should like to refer to one matter that was dealt with during the last Debate when these Regulations were passing through the House. On that occasion I made reference to the action of a certain Magistrate, and the Home Secretary rose in amazement because he felt that I was levelling a charge against an individual who happened to be a presiding Magistrate. At that moment he consulted the Attorney-General, who suggested, if I heard him aright, that the matter to which I referred was altogether irregular and was not a usual practice in Courts of Justice in Great Britain. The Home Secretary promised to inquire into the matter and to send the fullest explanation at the earliest possible moment. This he did in the course of a few days, and I noticed that a copy of the letter which the Home Secretary sent to me found its way into the majority of the newspapers. I do not know whether that is the usual procedure or what; but it seems to me that the letter itself in no way answers the query which I put to the Home Secretary on that occasion. Here was a presiding Magistrate—he was in an unfortunate position, I willingly admit—who was presiding when several men were brought before him under these Regulations. Sentences were inflicted, and an appeal was lodged, and when the appeal was being heard the same gentleman who was the presiding Magistrate on the first occasion entered the witness box and gave some evidence arising out of what took place at the original trial. I do not 60 suggest that the presiding Magistrate gave evidence in the ordinary sense. The letter of the Home Secretary indicates that all the presiding Magistrate did was merely to refer to the notes that he took down when the original trial took place. I want to ask the Attorney—General whether it is a regular practice in the British Courts for a magistrate who presided over the original trial to be called into the witness box, even if only to refer to notes taken at the original trial, when an appeal is taking place against the sentences imposed by the Court over which he had presided. I cannot help feeling, not that I think the magistrate himself would desire it, that in some small measure these men would be prejudiced as a result of this gentleman having been called upon, even to refer to his notes, and to give any sort of evidence when the appeal took place. I would like the Attorney-General to be good enough to tell the House whether he can recall any other instance of a similar nature, and if not I submit that the very existence of these Regulations has been responsible in the first instance for sentences that are by no means moderate, secondly, that they are indirectly responsible for what seems to be an irregularity in regard to the confirmation of sentences which I believe would never have taken place if the same men had been brought before the Courts and dealt with under the ordinary civil law. Perhaps the Attorney-General would be good enough to reply to this point, because many people wish to know the real judicial truth in this matter.
My experience in South Yorkshire and other mining districts during the past few weeks has been such that I am convinced there is no need for the continuation of these Regulations. Men, women and children have been wonderfully quiet during this very difficult period, and it is a testimonial to their good sense and their self restraint that the number of people who have been prosecuted, even with the intimidation that has come from the police in many instances, is so small. It is a gross insult to 1,200,000 men that they should be reffected upon in this manner by the prolongation of Regulations which ought not to have been extended beyond the first month.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. KELLY
I wish to draw attention to a point raised by the hon. Member for South-East Essex (Mr. Looker) who told us about domestic picketing and reminded us of the sin of picketing of any kind. I am amazed to hear hon. Members opposite reminding us that it is quite a decent thing to enter a fight and then to break away from it. I understood that the code of honour was — honour does play a part in this struggle—to stand fast in the struggle you are engaged in, and not to desert your mates. I believe that that code is taught in the public schools? At least I hear hon. Members asking what school another fellow comes from, and, when satisfied, they are prepared to stand by him. But when the miners stand together and fight against the impositon of a starvation wage and inhuman conditions, they are not applauded by hon. Members opposite. The Home Secretary says it is necessary again to impose these Regulations. He gave us no reason whatever, and did not attempt to justify the Regulations. Last month there were 64 prosecutions in a dispute that concerns over 1,000,000 men. I understood that every one of those cases was for some breach of picketing law, in the main. Not one body of employers has asked for the Regulations. The Home Secretary did not tell us that even a chief constable or a watch committee or a standing joint committee had asked for the continuance of the Regulations.
The hon. Member for South East Essex told us how wrong it was to restrict the supply of fuel, and he hurled all his points against the men. I wonder what he thinks about that Noble Lord who owns one of the Cheshire mines, who is so regardful of the interest of his country, and who, I suppose, has his mine worked so that fuel may be supplied for domestic and industrial purposes, and yet last week threatened to close the mine unless the men returned to work on his conditions. [HON. MEMBERS: "On very fair terms"!] Hon. Members opposite ought to work under them for a period and then they would know whether the terms were fair or not. [HON. MEMBERS: "What were they? Let the House know them"!] Ten per cent. reduction in wages with another half hour's work per day.
§ Mr. KELLY
No. Seven-and-a-half hours per day with a 10 per cent. reduction. It is a habit of mine to tell the truth. I can quite understand hon. Members asking for it to be spoken. In this dispute the Press and so many of the people on the owners' side have told so many untruths that I am glad that a request for the truth is now coming. There was nothing said with regard to this lord who is going to close down his mine. The Regulations allow for the intervention of the Government. But the Government do not operate those parts of the Regulations which in any way interfere with the owners. The whole of the time the Government have taken the side of the owners, and they are taking the side of the owners now. It appears to most of us that their one desire is to continue the Regulations so that they may have an opportunity of continuing their assistance to the owners, who on their part are determined to make the biggest endeavour that any body of employers has made in this country to crush the people who have carried on an industry for them. I ask the learned Attorney-General to say whether there has been a request for these Regulations from any body of employers. [HON. MEMBERS: "From the mine owners!"] I can quite understand the mine owners asking for a continuance of the Regulations. They have shown such incapacity for conducting their own affairs that I can quite imagine them looking to the Government, who have not been able to help them much throughout the dispute. I hope that the House has had enough of this type of legislation, and that we may get back to a common sense way of dealing with industry and with the people.
It seems to me that, however legitimately divided opinion may have been in the first instance as to whether these Regulations should have been passed at all, there can be no reasonable doubt in anyone's mind that the present is the very worst moment for discontinuing them. If they were ever necessary, they are necessary to-day, and they are more likely to become necessary in the course of the next few weeks. A Debate as to whether they should be discontinued now lacks a certain amount of 63 reality. It ought to be said from these benches that we profoundly disagree with the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition that the Home Secretary has never found the ordinary law inadequate. It is the contention of some of us that if industrial disputes are to be regulated and conducted fairly from both points of view in future the ordinary law will have to be supplemented and will have to be rendered more adequate to meet the case of people who desire to work and are continually intiimidated. Owing to reasons which one need not enter into at great length, economic disputes in this country have been robbed of a great deal of their acerbity. Whatever hon. Gentleman opposite may say, it is undoubtedly true to-day that there is not the hardship and the suffering which would have occurred, say, 25 years ago, in a dispute of this magnitude. That lends lasting power unfairly to one side.
There is not the smallest doubt that the people who now desire to break away from the existing impasse are the best people among the miners. They are the people of courage and of self-respect, who no longer desire to be put in the false position of international mendicants. Nothing has been more distressing to those who have had the honour of knowing miners, of leading them in the field and of being in intimate contact with them, than to see the way in which they have been made pawns in this game of international mendicancy. As this dispute goes on, it will be found that there will be an increasing residuum of people who are staying out merely for political purposes and because they lack that self-respect which is causing others to return to work. In the minds of most reasoning people, now is the time, above all others, when these Regulations must be continued.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
It is evident from the speech of the last speaker that the struggle is lasting a little longer than he anticipated. Whatever may be the merits or demerits of the dispute to-day, those concerned feel that they have a very strong case. I have said at meetings of miners, and I repeat, that the miners have the whole of the argument, but the employers unfortunately have the whole of the power, inasmuch as the stoppage 64 arose out of an act on the part of the employers. There is no doubt that the miners are suffering under a very great grievance. The Government might have done more than they did. They are very largely responsible for the continuance of the dispute by the passing of the Eight Hours Act and by the action of the Prime Minister in breaking off negotiations at a time when a stoppage might have been prevented. A continuance of the negotiations would not have settled the dispute in a day or two, but it would probably have done so in a week or two. This is not a little tin-pot dispute. It is a very big thing. There are 1,200,000 men concerned, and it would be foolish to anticipate changing the life of an enormous body of men like that in a few seconds. The greatest justification that Messrs. Cook and Smith ever had was in the ballot whereby the miners themselves turned down the proposition that was advanced by the Christian churches. It is easy for hon. Members to sneer at Messrs. Cook and Smith and other people, but surely it is realised that when the miners turned down that proposal in a ballot, Messrs. Cook and Smith got all the justification that could be demanded.
My view is that much very valuable time has been wasted by the Government. Negotiations might have been undertaken after the speeches that were made from this side by the right hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Hartshorn). More reasonable speeches were never delivered in this House. We hoped that some attempt would be made to answer them, but no answer was forthcoming. They were speeches couched in most reasonable language, and the suggestion was made that men on both sides should get together and discuss the dispute in the hope of finding some solution. It is all very well to throw taunts at this side and ask what terms are suggested. Anyone with experience in negotiations knows that it is a question of men getting together and thrashing out the subject so as to find whether there are points of agreement. In this matter, in a question affecting 1,200,000 men, no time would have been wasted if a fortnight had been devoted to an endeavour to find points of agreement between the two sides. Of all men in this country, Mr. Speaker has perhaps done more to get agreement 65 between employers and workmen, by means of Whitley Councils, than all the rest of the Members of the House.
§ Mr. HANNON
On a point of Order. Would not the hon. Member's speech be more appropriate on the Motion for the Adjournment? He has not yet made any reference to the Amendment before us.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I presume that the hon. Member's contribution is that these two Regulations would not be necessary had certain things been done.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
That is my contention. It seems unreasonable to suggest that the Regulations are even desirable or necessary when it is admitted on all sides that the stoppage has produced very little crime. Let us remember the straits to which many of these people must be reduced and the sense of injustice in their minds. Here is an industry which is very largely a sheltered industry. At least four-fifths of the coal produced in this country is used in this country. It has often been suggested that people in sheltered industries are in a special position; but the miners are not, as four-fifths of the coal they produce is used in this country. I want to draw the attention of the House to some correspondence I have received from some of my constituents as to the action of the police. I understand that some police from Manchester have been drafted into a place called Holmwood in Derbyshire. On one occasion, although a crowd was in the street, nothing was happening or was likely to happen; it was a perfectly peaceful meeting. The police from Manchester were brought there, and the first thing that happened was that the crowd was divided into two. The second thing that happened was that a gentleman—I suppose I must call him a gentleman—Inspector Boone, of the Manchester police, struck a man and then struck a woman in the mouth, knocking her down. That is not the kind of thing the people of this country admire, and I want to ask the Home Secretary if he will make an inquiry as to what happened in Holmwood on this occasion.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
I cannot give you the date, but I will read the part of the letter which I think is important.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
I am only giving the information I have received from a constituent, just as the hon. Member himself would if he received any communication from any of his constituents. This is the part of the letter I want to read:I was picketing at the pit lane end (Holmwood), and all was well until the police split the crowd into two sections, Inspector Boone of the Manchester police waving his truncheon about in driving the crowd back. As you know by the Press, one man was struck by this inspector, and the same man also struck a woman in the mouth and called out, 'Bring her in.' The police interfered with us as pickets, one remarking to me, 'Come here, clear off, you have not got Derbyshire police here now.' One also made this remark to another picket, 'Come, clear off, we don't make fish and flesh.'There is one other letter I want to read.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
It may be a weak tale, but if the hon. Member had been struck in the mouth we should have heard a great deal more about it. I am giving the House a statement that has been sent to me by constituents of mine, and I ask the Home Secretary to be good enough to make an inquiry into the matter. There are plenty of people in Holmwood who will be able to testify as to what transpired; as to whether Inspector Boone did strike a woman in the mouth or not. That is the case to be tested. I understand that some people have been warned because they have been clapping the blacklegs, and I should like to ask the Home Secretary if people who clap when blacklegs are passing along the street are acting illegally. At any rate, there can be no doubt that the miners have conducted this dispute in the most peaceful fashion. Not long ago I was in a place called Bolsover, where it was reported a thousand men had returned to work. They have not started yet.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
Only a very small number then. I was there a week last Sunday. I understood that at least one thousand to two thousand people had signed their names to start work. I know they have not yet started. There is only one policeman there, and I 67 suppose that no report of my speech was taken. At any rate, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the effort of the mineowners to persuade the men to go down the pits has ended in a fizzle and a failure; the whole thing has proved a fiasco. That is high testimony to the men who have been out for 17 weeks. I hope that this dispute may go through to the end without any serious rioting. The miners have shown a really wonderful spirit, as good a spirit in this dispute as they displayed in the War. Nobody can challenge the action and the conduct of the miners on that occasion, and on this occasion as well they have set an example to all sections of people in this or any other country in the world. When this dispute is over it will be to the lasting credit of the miners that they have conducted the greatest struggle the world has yet seen with less interference from the police and with less recurrence to the Law Courts than in any other dispute that has ever arisen.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Perhaps hon. Members would like, while the case referred to by the hon. Member is fresh in their memory, to hear the report from the police inspector on the matter.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
No; from the inspector who did not strike the woman. A rather serious charge has been made, and I should like to read to the House the actual report of the occurrence which I have received from Inspector Boone, who was in charge of the Manchester Police on that particular day:About eleven o'clock in the evening we arrived outside the Holmwood Colliery, and our arrival was the signal for a storm of screams, groans, and ironical cheers. The crowd at the head of the lane leading to the colliery was about 500 people. I instructed the Manchester detachment to move the crowd along the road in the direction of Chesterfield, while another portion of the crowd was moved in the opposite direction, and in this way a road was cleared to enable the colliers who were working to go home. A section of the crowd apparently resented being moved, and I observed a man, who was a miner on strike, throw a large stone at a constable who was immediately on my left. The stone narrowly missed the constable's heart. The man who threw the stone was in the rear 68 of the crowd, and I dashed through the crowd to arrest him. When he saw me, he ran away, and, as I had to force my way through the crowd, several people were knocked down. I apprehended the man, and I brought him back through the crowd, and he was charged with unlawfully assaulting the police. In no case did I observe any violence used. On the contrary, I beg to state that in my opinion the men under my control carried out a difficult task with admirable restraint.
§ Mr. WALSH
One labours under the feeling that, whatever may be said, these Regulations will be carried again as they have been on two or three previous occasions, but, as an old Parliamentary hand, one never quite loses hope that Members of Parliament are willing to listen to a case and decide upon the merits of the evidence presented. Parliament is meeting to-day under such circumstances that it is more than ever desirable that Members should bring the highest sense of responsibility to the vote they propose to give. We are meeting to consider laws that are very exceptional, laws that can only be justified when there is a case of great emergency; laws which really in effect, although not in name, constitute Martial Law. The Home Secretary has stated with perfect sincerity that he desires to convince the House of the necessity for a renewal of these Regulations. I do not doubt his sincerity for a moment, and everybody will admit that he has a terrific task and a tremendous responsibility. We all believe that he is speaking sincerely when he says that as Parliament is called together for the purpose of renewing these Regulations he desires to establish a real necessity for their renewal.
I listened very attentively to his speech, as I think did all other Members, but did he give a single jot or scintilla of evidence that justfied a renewal? He stated, and again most sincerely, that on the actual number of cases that have taken place and on the character of the cases, there seemed to be no necessity for the Regulations. There have been only 64 cases in one month, in a dispute in which more than one million people are engaged. He said that if his case for the renewal of these Regulations arrested upon that fact he would have no case at all. That was the meaning of his statement, but he said, and I ask the House to pay particular attention to this point, that it is not so much the number of cases that have 69 occurred as the number of cases that have been prevented. He was on safer ground there, because nobody on earth can tell the number of cases that have been prevented. So far as such a statement can be tested and compared, the House can inquire for itself what happened in disputes comparable in magnitude to the present dispute, and by comparing the conditions in previous disputes with the present conditions ascertaining whether crime was greater, by comparing like with like, we can, so far as it is humanly possible, find out whether there have been a great number of cases prevented or not. The Home Secretary will, I think, admit the fairness of that comparison.
My experience of the mining industry goes back a long way. There have been three occasions in which hundreds of thousands of miners have been affected. There was the occasion, in 1893, when the owners in the English and North Wales mining areas gave notice of a 25 per cent. reduction in wages. The whole of the miners in England and North Wales were locked out. No less than four hundred thousand men—that is an under-statement, as the number was nearer five hundred thousand—refused to accept a 25 per cent. reduction in their wages. Notice what happened. Parliament went on in its ordinary way, the ordinary law of the land was not interfered with. A Liberal Government was in power then under the Premiership of Lord Rosebery, but Parliament did not interfere with the ordinary law. The struggle went on fo 16 weeks. The feeding of school children was unknown then, distress most acute was rampant throughout the mining areas. Public sympathy was not nearly so aroused as it is to-day, but after 16 weeks of great suffering an agreement was eventually reached in the Foreign Office in November, 1893. No change in the ordinary law, no Emergency Regulations, no Emergency Powers Act, no talk about disaffection or sedition. The ordinary law sufficed, and when the dispute came to an end, after 16 weeks, the general verdict was that a better-conducted class of people did not exist in the nation than were to be found in the miners. Under the operation of the ordinary law of the land, in the presence of distress of the most acute character, in the presence of 70 suffering most intense, there was an almost total absence of any crime, certainly of anything like the crime that would be covered by Regulations 21 and 22.
Now let us take 19 years later. In 1912 the whole of the miners of the kingdom, not merely the English and North Welsh miners, but the miners of England, Scotland and Wales, came out. On this occasion they were not locked out, but they stood out to enforce a minimum wage. Nearly a million came out, and they stood out for six weeks. Again great suffering was inflicted upon the nation itself, and there was a great deal of serious and acute distress throughout the whole country. If ever there was a time when it might be thought that the conditions were calculated to develop crime of this character, that was the time, but, as a matter of fact, chairmen of magistrates were constantly being presented with white gloves during that period, and there was a condition of things in which the nation was more free from crime than it was even under the ordinary workaday conditions. Again there was no special law passed; there were no Emergency Regulations passed; the ordinary law sufficed. Therefore, when you are comparing like with like, you find that there has been an almost total absence of crime of any kind in those conditions in the mining districts. A little later, in 1920, the miners were again out, on this occasion for three weeks. It is a sufficiently serious thing, but I am quoting that case because of its magnitude. There was a stoppage of over a million workers in 1920, in the back end of the year, and that stoppage took place without the slightest increase of crime. There was no crime of any kind, and on each of those occasions the testimony of chief constables in the country, of presiding magistrates, and of everybody responsible for the keeping of the peace has been that a more law-abiding community cannot be found than is to ho found in the miners of the kingdom.
That is the only comparable way in which we can test what strength there is in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the reason for these Regulations being renewed is not the amount of crime that has occurred but the amount of crime that has been prevented. He has not prevented any crime. The 71 miners are not a community that can be charged with being criminals in any sense. The miners as a community largely live in self-contained areas, in small communities of 2,000 or 3,000 or of 400 or 500, but the fact is that it is a self-contained community, and during long generations it has been taught to become a self-respecting and quiet community. That is the real reason why crime has not taken place. The influence of the religious leaders in that community, the influence even of the miners' leaders, I think I may say, is all for the maintenance of peace, and I say with perfect sincerity that if these Regulations had never been brought before this House, there would not have been one jot or title more crime than there is to-day. There is really no necessity for them, and particularly is there less necessity because it is said that they are only applied because of the miners being locked out. It is really directed against one particular branch of the general community, and I have tried to prove that, as against that branch, there is no necessity whatever for these Regulations.
But, of course, it is a much more serious thing than that. This is really an abrogation of the ordinary law of the land, for although the title may be somewhat different, the right hon. Gentleman knows very well that these powers are such as would be conferred on the military and police under martial law, and I say that it is a most important point, and one that ought to be present to the mind of every Member of this House, that we should not lightly, because of our minds being made up on the merits or demerits of a dispute, agree to the ordinary law, which is sufficient for all general purposes, being abrogated in this manner. What possible action can the most quiet individual take on his own behalf if he is to be charged with promoting disaffection or sedition among the civilian population? I think I am the quietest man on earth. I have travelled a good deal in England, Ireland and Scotland and on the Continent of Europe, and I know no man more quiet than myself. I have had a lifelong friendship with my hon. Friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker), than whom, I am prepared to say, there is no man among the miners' leaders who has 72 done more to keep down any idea of tumult or strife. I have known him since he was a little child, and I know that there is no man who has done so much as or more than he in the way of preserving the peace, and that which I am saying more particularly of him can be said very generally of every miners' leader. I must have delivered many speeches that would, within the terms of this particular Regulation, cause disaffection among the civilian population, and I am quite sure that many hon. Members opposite have done the same. When I say, as I have said and as I believe from my heart, that the colliery owners are pressing a policy which really will lead to the semi-starvation of the people, is such a statement as that not likely to cause disaffection? Of course it is, and I suppose I really ought to be taken up by the nearest chief constable after communicating with my right hon. Friend.
The Regulations, first of all, are hopelessly unnecessary. They are wholly unnecessary as against the mining community, but they are more than unnecessary; they are a very serious breach that is being made into freedom of speech and public meeting so far as the general community is concerned. The right of printing is very seriously affected in Regulation 21, and the right of any decent liberty of speech is practically cut away, and my right hon. Friend knows perfectly well that the word "disaffection" can be so extended as to bring in the most peaceful of men. In the case of disputes such as this, where the merits or demerits lead to tremendous controversy and heat, it would be possible for the most innocent man or the quietest citizen to be brought within the scope of this Regulation, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General knows very well that there is hardly any form of words, however meek, that could not be held to be calculated to promote disaffection among the civilian population. It is a complete overturning of the Common Law of the land, which has been held to be in defence of the rights of the citizens of this country. All that goes by the board, merely because the most law-abiding section of this community is at present engaged in a dispute with its employers. Regulation 22 says:Where there appears to be reason to apprehend that the assembly of any persons 73 for the purpose of the holding of any meeting or procession will conduce to a breach of the peace"—One always gives very great credit to the lawyers, of this House and outside, but can anybody conceive, in a time of industrial conflict, that, if a meeting is to be arranged at all, there is not some person so apprehensive, so timid, that he could say: "I have reason to apprehend that the assembly of such persons will conduce to a breach of the peace?" The whole thing is so framed as to leave it to the option of any chief constable, or mayor, or responsible person in any particular locality to say: "I have reason to apprehend that the holding of this particular meeting will conduce to a breach of the peace," and then that meeting must be stopped. The right of public meeting—of far greater significance than the holding of a miners' meeting merely—is a matter of infinite importance to the general community, and yet, under these Regulations, not merely a miners' meeting, but any meeting—a meeting of employers—might be stopped. [interruption.] It is quite possible that such a meeting would not be stopped, but under certain conditions it might be prevented. It would not be prevented just at present, but what I am endeavouring to point out is that a Regulation such as this is of vastly greater significance than the mere fact of its being passed during the time when the miners are engaged in a struggle with their employers. It is a complete abrogation of the ordinary law of the land, which confers upon every citizen the right to engage in public meeting, and merely to say that upon a person gifted with a little brief authority, such as a mayor, who may have to retire in November next, or one magistrate, or any person of that character, shall devolve the responsibility of saying: "I have reason to apprehend that the holding of such a meeting will cause a breach of the peace," is simply to wipe away the unchallenged right of public meeting which belongs to the citizens of this land.
In those circumstances, even the staunchest adherent of the right hon. Gentleman cannot say that a single argument has been advanced by the right hon. Gentleman to justify the renewal of these Regulations. A state of emergency ought to be of the greatest possible magnitude to justify these Regulations—a state 74 really practically amounting to that of civil war. There was, perhaps, some justification for the establishment of these Regulations when there was a general strike, when, not only the miners, but millions of other workers were involved. That was a condition which went very far to the justification of these Regulations, but since then, all that has taken place in the mining areas, and all the history of the past show how utterly unnecessary these Regulations are. I would appeal to hon. Members opposite, who, after all, whatever else they may claim to be, claim to be constitutionalists, and claim to have a due regard to the law upon which English liberties are framed, who claim to be men who will not permit an invasion of the constitutional rights—I do ask them to consider whether the conditions existing to-day are such as to justify the continuance of such a grave infraction of English ordinary law, English common law and English general law as is involved in these Regulations.
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
I would not have intervened in the Debate on these two Regulations, had it not been the case that two hon. Members opposite, I think, have addressed specific questions, and challenges or appeals—I do not know which is the right word—to myself. The hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) specifically referred to something which happened when the House was last meeting, when, as he reminded the House, he gave a description of a case in which, on appeal at Quarter Sessions, the presiding magistrate had left his place to give evidence against the accused person, and he said—and said quite truly—that he overheard me remark to the Home Secretary that if that were done, it was wholly irregular. But we now know that that is not what was done, and my answer to the question which he put to me to-day, as to whether there was any irregularity committed, in the true facts, is that there was no irregularity at all. We now know that the magistrate did not give evidence against the accused person at all. But what actually happened was that, on appeal, some question arose as to what had taken place in the Court at the first hearing. Accordingly, as there was no shorthand note, the Magistrate who was sitting on the Bench, and had been present at the first hearing, was asked to 75 inform the Court what was done at the first hearing. And, in order that it might be perfectly fair to the accused person, who might be able to hear and check the accuracy of what was said, instead of the Magistrate merely telling his colleagues on the Bench, as he might well have done, what happened, gave his evidence in Court. There was no irregularity whatever in doing that, and certainly no injustice to any human being.
The hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) challenged, as I understood, some of the legal propositions laid down by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. I would only like to say that the Circular, which, I understand, the Home Secretary read to the House, was submitted to me and to my colleague the Solicitor-General, was carefullly considered by us, and we believed, and still believe, that it accurately represents the law.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I was asked on the last occasion whether that Circular might be laid on the Table, and it has been laid.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I did not challenge the Circular. The Home Secretary made a certain statement, which, he afterwards told us, was taken from a Circular. I have never seen the Circular, but what I have seen across the Floor of the House contains a great many more observations than the right hon. Gentleman read. What I did was to challenge the interpretation of the law which the right hon. Gentleman gave to the House.
Lieut. - Colonel WATTS - MORGAN
Was that Circular laid on the Table since the House rose? Nobody has seen it.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
It is Command Paper 2666. It was laid on the 76 Table of the House after I gave a pledge on the last occasion that it should be laid.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I think I have made my position clear to the right hon. Gentleman. I am not criticising the Circular. What I said was that what the Home Secretary stated to the House—an extract possibly from the Circular—was not an adequate representation of the whole of the law on intimidation.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I did not hear my right hon. Friend's statement on the law. Certainly it would be very difficult to state it all in the House. The one case to which, I understand, the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite referred really is a case which decides very little indeed. It merely decides that it is not enough to render an agreement illegal because it would have the effect of injuring another person, unless it was done with the intention of injuring that person. How that could assist or qualify any statement of the law, as far as anything that we have to consider in these Regulations is concerned, I at present do not understand. I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman that it is a mistake to try to thrash out points of law across the Floor of the House. But that does not mean that, when a Minister is asking for Regulations to be passed by the House, he should not state to the House what he believes to be the law with which he is asking the House to deal.
There has been some discussion as to whether or not these Regulations ought to be continued, especially, of course, the two Regulations which are the subject matter of the present Amendment. I can only say for myself, applying as best I can the unprejudiced judgment which the right hon. Member for the Ince Division (Mr. Walsh) appeals to us to bring to bear, that there could be no stronger justification for the continuance of these Regulations than some speeches to which we have listened this afternoon. 77 They seem to me to indicate a mentality in the minds of those who delivered them which certainly must lead to very grave results if translated into action. The hon. Member for Don Valley said that if 1,100,000 men wanted not to work, and 20,000 men wanted to work, the 1,100,000 were entitled to stop the 20,000 by any means open to them. All I have to say is—and I am sure I am stating a proposition of law with which the hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite will not quarrel—that if 1,100,000 men seek to compel 20,000 men not to work, because they do not approve of the terms on which they want to work, they are committing a breach of the law, and a breach of the law which it is the duty of any Government to put down.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS rose.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I think the Attorney-General did me an injustice. I never suggested that 1,100,000 persons should by any means in their power prevent the 20,000 persons who felt they ought to work from working. What I did suggest was that by any legitimate means those 1,100,000 men were perfectly justified in attempting to dissuade 20,000 men from destroying their livelihood.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the hon. Gentleman meant to say that, I entirely accept that as being a perfectly legitimate thing to say, always remembering that legitimate means do not include intimidation. To give another illustration, in which, I hope, I shall be less unfortunate this time, the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) said that some speech of his was possibly going to be the subject of some challenge. In view of that, I do not desire in any way to refer to that speech. I do not think it would be right that I should attempt to do it, but there is something he said in the House which I do not think I ought to allow to pass quite without comment. He told us, if I did not misunderstand him that he put himself at the head of a number of men, and led them in a procession to some colliery, where work was being started; and he said that some people in the colliery who were intending to work actually had the 78 audacity to attempt to wind coal, and, said he, "Can you imagine a greater incitement to violence than that?" Regulation 22 does not require any further justification. Any hon. Member, or any person outside the House, who thinks it within his duty or power to lead a body of men to a colliery where people are trying to work, and considers that it is an audacious incitement to violence if the men inside exercise their undoubted right to fulfil their term of labour or employment, is somebody whose activities had better be stopped. The hon. Member for Clay Cross (Mr. Duncan) read a letter as to the alleged conduct of some inspector. That has been answered by the right hon. Gentleman. Obviously, the hon. Gentleman's information was merely hearsay, and the Home Secretary gave the best information to the House.
It is a mistake to suppose, because you call yourselves "pickets," that you are at liberty to stay in the street or wherever else you please in such numbers as to intimidate men who want to go to their work, or who want to work. There is no right for people to assemble in such numbers as may in itself constitute intimidation, in order to compel people not to go to work, and those who seem to form the view, as I gather from the letter which the hon. Gentleman read, that because they call themselves "pickets" they cannot be moved on, are under a very great misapprehension which ought to be corrected as soon as possible.
I pass from that to reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh). He referred to the fact that the colliers were a law-abiding section of the population. I am not in the least challenging the accuracy of that statement. I am quite sure that under very considerable provocation the great mass of the miners have acted with great moderation and restraint, but, when he cites the two great strikes of 1893 and 1912, I think, as instances of there being no necessity for these Regulations, I would remind the House that one object of these Regulations is to prevent such a state of affairs arising as may induce the use of forces other than the police force and cause incidents which everybody would very greatly regret. In 1893, I would remind the House, there were riots at a place called Featherstone in which 79 the military were called out, and in which a number were killed and injured as a result directly of the incident which took place during that strike. It is much better to avoid the repetition of incidents like that and to have regulations which will prevent people from inciting others rather than to allow them to incite to disaffection and afterwards see the unfortunate victims possibly dead and mutilated. It is that sort of catastrophe which men on both side of the House wish never to see repeated. It is to avoid that sort of grave risk, which must arise when you have very large bodies of men and some irresponsible people, at any rate, seeking to mislead, that Regulations such as those we are discussing are necessary.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I think I am right in saying it was the 8th of December. The strike went on until after that. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] May I see again? There was a conference called in November by Mr. Gladstone. That was followed within three weeks or 17 days by the intervention of the military, and two men were killed and many wounded. I beg your pardon; the riots were on the 7th September. The House will realise I am not seeking to reopen memories which we all would leave in oblivion. I am only reminding the House that incidents of that kind are the sort of thing we all want to avoid, and which in order to avoid it is essential to have some such powers as are asked for.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
At any rate, 1893 forms a bad enough example. It is not merely in order to protect those who ought to work that these Regulations are necessary. It may be necessary to ensure that those who want to work should be at liberty to do so that there are such Regulations. But we have also to think of a large body of men who are ignorant of the law—who are misled by those whom they trust, and who may very easily be stirred up to do things which in cold blood they themselves would not desire. There is a great deal 80 in what is called "mass psychology." It is easier for a great body of men to do things, and it is also to protect these men from the danger of incitement, which is likely to lead them into acts of violence which they themselves in cold blood would deplore, and make them criminals that these Regulations are necessary. It is in order to protect these men from irresponsible people who are only too ready to take advantage of a state of disturbance and industrial stoppage such as exists to-day to stir up strife that they are necessary. When one reads some of the speeches made at such meetings as that of the National Minority Movement, or hears of the activities of such bodies as those who profess the doctrine of Communism, one remembers that there are in this country to-day, not a very large number possibly, but a very vociferous number of people, who are only too anxious to turn any industrial dispute into that civil war, which the right hon. Gentleman deplored. I would finally remind the House, when we are told that there have only been 64 cases under the Regulations, and that this proves there is no need for measures of prevention, a very great man, who was not a politician, the late Dr. Jowett, said:Measures of prevention are never fully appreciated, because when most effectual they are never seen to be necessary.That is why I ask the House to continue these Regulations—which, on the testimony of both sides, have been successful in preventing collisions—so that we may continue to make possible the orderly government of the country as long as unhappily the dispute may endure.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
We object to Regulations 21 and 22 because, as was pointed out, they destroy the very foundation of freedom of speech. I think the best guarantee for safety and good conduct in this dispute is to permit freedom of speech. I rise simply because I understand that in his opening speech the Home Secretary made some reference to myself. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get all he said, and it appears to be very vague, as he did not carry on with what he had to say, but I rise to point out that I welcome a full statement in this House of anything and everything I may have said during this 81 dispute, and I am prepared to stand by every word of my speeches on the 10th and 11th August. I do not say I stand by every word as reported to the Home Secretary. There may be a difference. I certainly want to make it quite clear that I and every other Member of the Labour party—particularly every miner Member—have not made a speech which has not defied these Regulations absolutely, because we cannot say a thing
§ to the miners which is not in defiance of these Regulations which prevent freedom of speech. In so far as they are in defiance of freedom of speech, we shall continue to defy the Regulations.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 90; Noes, 252.83
|Division No. 428.]||AYES||[7.12 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon, W. (Fife, West)||Groves, T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, Walter||Grundy, T. W.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barnes, A.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhiths)|
|Barr, J.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Hardie, George D.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Stamford, T. W.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hayday, Arthur||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, G. H.||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Briant, Frank||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kennedy, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Duncan, C.||Naylor, T. E||Whiteley, W.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Palin, John Henry||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gosling, Harry||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wright, W.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ritson, J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Greenall, T.||Scurr, John|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Sexton, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston.||Mr. Alien Parkinson and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Buckingham, Sir H.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Dawson, Sir Philip.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Bullock, Captain M.||Drewe, C.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W||Burman, J. B.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Atkinson, C.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Ellis, R. G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Caine, Gordon Hall||Elveden, Viscount|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Campbell, E. T.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir R.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Falls, Sir Charles F.|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Christie, J. A.||Fenby, T. D.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Fermoy, Lord|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Clarry, Reginald George||Fielden, E. B.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Finburgh, S.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Colfox, Major William Phillips||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Braithwaite, A N.||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Gates, Percy|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davies, David (Montgomery)||Grace, John|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Lord, Walter Greaves-||Rye, F. G.|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Lougher, L.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Hall, Vice-Adm. Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A (Brecon & Rad.)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sandon, Lord|
|Hammersley, S. S.||MacIntyre, I.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||McLean, Major A.||Savery, S. S.|
|Harland, A.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Skelton, A. N.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Malone, Major P. B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Meller, R. J.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col, V. L. (Bootle)||Merriman, F. B.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hills, Major John Wailer||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Neville, R. J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Sykes, major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Nuttall, Ellis||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Oakley, T.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Pennefather, Sir John||Waddington, R.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney. N)||Penny, Frederick George||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Perring, Sir William George||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wells, S. R.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Philipson, Mabel||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Pielou, D. P.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Pitcher, G.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Power, Sir John Cecil||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Preston, William||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Price, Major C. W. M.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Raine, W.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Ramsden, E.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Remer, J. R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rentoul, G. S.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Rice, Sir Frederick||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Looker, Herbert William||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Major Cope and Captain Margesson.|
§ Mr. KELLY
I beg to move, in line 2, after "1926," to insert the words "other than Regulation 33."
One would have thought the Government themselves would have seen the necessity for omitting this Regulation. It is one giving a police constable power to arrest without a warrant; and not only that, but he may, if authorised by the chief officer of police, enter by force any premises which are suspected. We heard from the Home Secretary this afternoon that he was not responsible for the whole of the police of the country, and that in some cases the chief constables were not responsible, but that it was a watch committee or a standing joint committee. It appears that even the people who axe held responsible, those whom the Home 84 Secretary told us would be responsible, the standing joint committees and the watch committees, are not to be consulted. These chief officers of police may, if they suspect a place, give an order to a police constable to enter the place by force. When these Regulations were last before the House I quoted a case where a detective officer from Scotland Yard entered a trade union office during the period of the general stoppage in this country. Somebody had informed the police that drilling was going on inside that particular office, although the place was hardly large enough for the clerical staff working there. I suggest to the Home Secretary that this Regulation, instead of being an advantage to him, only helps to create that type of person, 85 that vile type, which we know as the informer or the secret service person, the person who, believing that he will not be called to account, passes along word that something is going wrong in a particular place; and, on such information, a police officer may, under these Regulations, enter the premises. I do not know that the Home Secretary has had to use this power except in the case of the trade union office, and force was not required in that instance; and the House should know why he is asking for the continuance of this Regulation 33 before sanctioning it.
Then we are asked to agree that the police shall have power to enter any premises which may be intended for uses such as may involve the commission of an offence. Will the Home Secretary tell us what premises in this country may not be used for the commission of an offence? I suggest that no house, not the house of any hon. Member opposite, is free from the suspicion that it may be used for an offence such as is mentioned in these Regulations. There is not one place that is sacred to the individual while this Regulation is in force. Then we are asked to agree that a police constable may stop and search any person who is suspected of being likely to commit a wrong—a power which, I am sure, it was never intended should operate in this country. My great surprise has been the way in which Members on the other side of the House support the putting into effect of Regulations such as this Regulation 33. We find that regard is being paid to the newspapers. The Government may not be afraid of the Press, but it certainly has to pay greater regard to the Press than to any other section of the community. We find that before the police may enter any premises of a newspaper, a printing establishment, they must have the certificate of the Secretary of State. I do not know why a newspaper office should be more sacred than the homes of the people, and require a certificate from the Secretary of State, unless it be that those people who are responsible for newspapers are probably behind many of these suggestions to operate such Regulations in this country.
I am afraid the Home Secretary treated the whole matter very lightly this afternoon by his want of justification for the operation of these Regulations, and he made out no case whatever for them. 86 I hope hon. Members will have some regard for the traditions of this country, and will not agree, as they did on the last occasion, to hand over to police constables and to informers, than whom there is nothing worse in the community, the possibility of people being informed upon and arrested by police constables without even taking the trouble of securing a warrant to arrest them. For these reasons I ask the House to agree to the omission of Regulation 33 in order that we may get back to something like normality, and not take fright, as we appear to have done, because of a dispute between the mineowners and the mine workers of this country. I have been concerned in disputes in connection with many trades in this country. I have had even during recent months discussions upon these Regulations with employers and with some of the members of the Miners' Federation, and I cannot find one who can give the slightest reason why these emergency powers should operate. On the contrary, their opinion seems to be that by the operation of these Regulations the effect has been to retard and not hasten the bringing about of a settlement.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I hope the hon. Member will not press this Amendment with regard to Regulation 33, because hon. Members must realise that in matters of this kind these Regulations form a code, and it would be very unwise for me to omit one section because it has not been used for the reason that it might be necessary to use it on some subsequent occasion. No application has been made to me under these Regulations for power to search a newspaper office, and really this is not a serious matter of dispute because I have not used these powers. The hon. Member might move an Amendment to omit the privilege given to newspapers under this Regulation, and it might obtain the support of the "Daily Herald," which is, by the way, protected by this Regulation. The whole object of the major portion of this Regulation is preventive, and I hope the hon. Member will agree to withdraw his Amendment. The Home Secretary on these matters has to take advice, and I am advised that it is desirable to 87 retain this Regulation. I trust the hon. Member will not press his Amendment, but if he does I hope the House will reject it. I am sorry that I have been accused of treating this matter lightly. I am within the recollection of the House, and I can assure hon. Members that it was not at all a pleasant matter for me to stand up at this Box for about an hour and argue the case which I put forward for these Regulations. In these circumstances, I think it is a little hard that I should be accused of treating the matter with lightness because I have more or less kept my temper. I did not treat this matter lightly, and I hope hon. Members will not think I have treated this subject other than in a very serious manner.
§ Captain BENN
The charge made against the right hon. Gentleman that he treats this question in a light way is due to the fact that he has not the remotest conception of the inroads which his proposals are making upon the liberties of the people of this country. By not putting this Motion on the Paper, we have not been given an opportunity of moving an Amendment.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
May I point out that I stated that, as this Resolution was not on the Paper, I would read it out, and I did so and moved it. I agree there was a good deal of noise at the time.
§ Captain BENN
What the right hon. Gentleman does not appear to understand is that these Regulations are making a very serious inroad on the liberties which some people value very much, and they are not necessarily people concerned in the mining industry at all, but they are people who believe that the British people can exercise self-restraint without such Regulations as these. You do not want to treat them as they might be treated by General Pangalos in Greece. On these questions the Home Secretary shelters himself behind his officials, and he says: "My officials advise me that this Regulation is necessary, and, therefore, I need not take up any more time." The right hon. Gentleman is taking away something of very great value, and he is supposed to be doing it because of a great emergency. 88 Now the right hon. Gentleman has invented a new phrase, and he calls these Regulations a Code. Having previously assumed the role of Pangalos, he now assumes the role of Justinian. The right hon. Gentleman seems to have exalted these Regulations to what is called a code, but the Act of 1920 says nothing about a code and deals only with great emergencies. The right hon. Gentleman says, "Yes, it is true that we have had very few offences under the Regulations, but think of the number of people who have not committed offences because of these Regulations." When the right hon. Gentleman comes to Regulation 33 he cannot use that argument because the instance given of power to arrest without warrant cannot prevent anyone committing anything, but it is all the same an inroad on the part of bureaucracy on the rights of the people, and for that reason we protest. The Home Secretary said that he has never used this power and, therefore, it is a perfectly unnecessary power to place in the hands of the bureaucracy and we oppose these proposals because we wish to safeguard our old liberties which should be valued just as much by Members of the Conservative party as by Members on this side of the House.
I do not rise to deal so much with Article 33 in this code. The hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) has already described these Regulations as "the 39 Articles," but I wish to raise two or three points referred to in the general Debate in the statement made by the Home Secretary. I put a question to the right hon. Gentleman, but he has not dealt with it. I raised a question with respect to a Circular which I now find was originally issued in December, 1925, and the right hon. Gentleman was referring to a circular issued since that time in August and July of this year. I find this is an old Command Paper, and it has been published for some considerable time. I want the Home Secretary to give some information in reference to the riots which he referred to as having taken place in Glamorgan. For the last six or seven weeks I have been visiting the districts all around the Vale of Glamorgan. I do not know whether the reason why the right hon. Gentleman did not answer 89 my question is because the names are difficult to pronounce. He has already named Pencoed, Hoelycue, Llanharran, the Brynna area and other districts. If I can render the right hon. Gentleman any assistance in giving the names I shall be glad to do so. I am much more concerned with getting information on this point conveyed to the standing joint committee in my district because there have only been two cases since the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) addressed a meeting there. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to qualify his statement in respect of the riots which he mentioned as taking place in Glamorgan. As vice-chairman of the police joint committee, I feel proud of the county of Glamorgan in regard to the very small amount of crime that has arisen there. When we remember that for the past 18 weeks there has been a stoppage in the main industry of that county, it is very satisfactory to note that there has been such a very small increase in crime. I think on this account the miners deserve the greatest praise from everybody because in the congested county of Glamorgan we might naturally expect, under the circumstances, some small increase in crime, but fortunately such an increase has not taken place and I am very proud that we have been able to accomplish this result.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
In reply to the hon. and gallant Member I wish to say that the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. Mardy Jones) made his speech on the 11th August at Brynna. On the 12th August there was disturbance at Hoelycue and also at Pencoed. In both these cases proceedings are pending and therefore I will not say anything about them. There was a further meeting at Llanharran, and on the 12th and the 13th August there were further disturbances at Hoelycue in regard to which inquiries are now being made but no proceedings have yet been taken.
It is hardly right to describe those cases as riots because only two of them came into court at all.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I was not reflecting in any way on the good conduct of the people of Glamorgan. It was only to justify my statement that I have given the hon. and gallant Member the names of the places where the trouble took place. I hope it will prove not to have been of a very important character.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON rose—
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I desire to make one or two observations on this Regulation. In the first place, I would point out to the Rouse that this power of arrest without warrant is not limited to offences against the Regulations. I think it is rather important that that should be understood. The wording is:Any police constable may arrest without warrant any person who so acts as to endanger the public safety, or who is guilty, or suspected of being guilty, of an offence against the Regulations.The power is given there to arrest without a warrant, and it is a very serious power. It extends altogether beyond an anticipated breach of these Regulations. It extends to cases where any police constable arrests any person who acts in any way so as to endanger the public safety. While there exist in the law at present certain powers of arrest without warrant, they by no means go so far as to give the police power, on every occasion where persons act within the meaning of the wordsto endanger the public safety,to arrest without a warrant. Therefore, the House should realise that these words go outside and beyond the cases contemplated in the Regulation. I have always opposed in this House, and shall continue to oppose, the tendency to increase the number of cases in which people may be arrested without a warrant. I am very fearful that, gradually but surely, the whole protection of the warrant is being abandoned. Year after year, one offence after another is given this consequence, that the commission of it can excuse the arrestor from having a warrant. We had the case not very long ago of the book maker in connection with the Betting Duty. I opposed then on the ground of the liberty of the subject and the common 91 law right to the protection of the warrant. We succeeded in persuading the right hon. Gentleman last year, on the Criminal Justice Bill, to take out a general power, which it was sought to insert in that Measure, to arrest without a warrant. Therefore, apart altogether from this coal emergency, I think the House should look with great suspicion upon any extension of the power of arrest without warrant.
The protection of the warrant was invented, like many good things, many years ago, by persons who were more respectful of the traditional liberty of the subject than many of our modern legislators, for the protection of the subject against arbitrary arrest. It was realised in the past that a mistake made in the matter of arrest, even if the man were ultimately acquitted, was a very serious matter. I have heard with some horror in this House lately the suggestion made that, if someone were wrongfully arrested, it could be put right in the Court, or in the Court of Criminal Appeal; but the mere fact that a man is arrested when he ought not to be arrested may result in irreparable damage to that man, and we ought to be very careful before we allow any arrest to be made without a warrant. When a warrant has been granted, it means that some consideration has been given to the matter, that some responsible person has considered whether the person in question should be arrested or not; and, with every respect for the ordinary police constable, who performs his executive functions very fairly and very well, I doubt if he has the necessary knowledge or training to be entrusted with this power of arrest without a warrant first obtained.
No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will say it is only in certain cases. I agree, but if I had been a Member of the House at the time I personally should have opposed, and should have endeavoured to persuade the party to which I belong to oppose, these cases, or most of them, as they came up. There are certain cases, like the commission of felonies, in which the common law recognises this necessity, but are the cases contemplated in these Regulations cases of the type of suspected murders or other felonies? I say that they are not. 92 They are very much milder cases, merely in connection with an emergency in the coal trade. I say, as I have said before on other Regulations, that, just as there is no ground for dispensing with the protection of a jury, so there is no ground for dispensing with the warrant. It may be that the only people who take the conservative view in this matter are those on this side of the House, but that cannot be helped. The fact is that Governments to-day are making more and more inroads into the rights and liberties of the individual. Whether it be called bureaucracy, or necessary Government, or precaution, or prevention, the fact is that respect for the right of the individual to be free from molestation without proper cause is decaying, as is shown very clearly by our being asked to accept any Regulation enabling any constable to arrest without warrant any person who acts, as he thinks, so as to endanger the public safety, or acts against any of these Regulations. I hope my hon. Friend will press this Amendment to a Division, and that, whenever any question of dispensing with a warrant comes up, it will meet with similar opposition on this side of the House.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
May I ask a question of the Home Secretary, even though I have already spoken in seconding the Amendment? I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman if paragraph (2) of this Regulation No. 33 gives him the power, as Secretary of State, to allow or permit any police constable to seize any part of a printing plant, or any part of the property of a registered newspaper, and dispose of that property in such manner as he may determine, without being under the compulsion of seeking the approval of a Law Court for his action? I ask this question because I happen to have been an unfortunate victim—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]—of a previous Regulation of that kind under the Defence of the Realm Act. I should not take the same exception to this Regulation if the Home Secretary is to be compelled to go into a Law Court and seek the approval of one of His Majesty's Judges or of a jury for his action, but I would ask if the power he takes under this Regulation—
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am always ready to do my best to answer a question. The hon. Member's question, of course, raises a point of law, and I would much rather it were discussed in a Court of Law than here. It seems
§ to me, however, speaking as a layman, that there is power for a chief officer of police with my assent as Secretary of State, to enter a newspaper office and take the necessary steps.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 91; Noes, 236.95
|Division No. 429.]||AYES.||[7.55 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Smillie, Robert|
|Baker, Walter||Hardie, George D.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Barnes, A.||Hayday, Arthur||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bent, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Buchanan, G||Kelly, W. T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kirkwood, D.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dennison, R.||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||Naylor, T. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Palin, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G M.||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gosling, Harry||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ritson, J||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenall, T.||Scurr, John||Wright, W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Sexton, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Groves, T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Sitch, Charles H.||Hayes.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Apsley, Lord||Buckingham, Sir H.||Davies, David (Montgomery)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bullock, Captain M.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Drewe, C.|
|Balniel, Lord||Burman, J. B.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Ellis, R. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Caine, Gordon Hall||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Campbell, E. T.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Falls, Sir Bertram G.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Falls, Sir Charles F.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Christie, J. A.||Finburgh, S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Clarry, Reginald George||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Colfax, Major William Phillips||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||Gates, Percy|
|Brass, Captain W.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Grace, John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.(Bristol, N.)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||MacIntyre, Ian||Sandon, Lord|
|Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||McLean, Major A.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Macmillan Captain H.||Savery, S. S.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Harland, A.||Malone, Major P. B.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Meller, R. J.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Merriman, F. B.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Neville, R. J.||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Nuttall, Ellis||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Oakley, T.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Homan, C. W. J.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Pennefather, Sir John||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Penny, Frederick George||Waddington, R.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Perring, Sir William George||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hurst, Gerald B||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Philipson, Mabel||Wells, S. R.|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Pielou, D. P.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Pilcher, G.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Preston, William||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Raise, W.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Ramsden, E.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Remer, J. R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Rentoul, G. S.||Womersley, W. J.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Ropner, Major L.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Looker, Herbert William||Ruggles-Brice, Major E. A.|
|Lord, Walter Greaves-||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lougher, L.||Rye, F. G.||Colonel Gibbs and Major Cope.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
§ Sir H. SLESSER rose.—
§ Captain BENN
On a point of Order. I desire to move the omission of Regulation 34. Am I right in giving that notice?
§ Captain BENN
I do not know what the hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) is going to move, but I understand he is moving a new proviso.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
It would be more convenient if I give way now. Mine is an addition to the Regulations; his is to leave one out.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I now find that the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) is barred. He has exhausted his right. He has already spoken on the main question.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I beg to move, in line 3, at the end, to add the wordsand to the modification of Regulation 32 by the inclusion of the following provision: "Provided that no magistrate shall hear or determine any matter under these Regulations if he has any pecuniary interest either individually or as a member or shareholder in a company which carries on business within the petty sessional area in which he is accustomed to sit and which is concerned in any way in the dispute in the coal industry.Regulation 32, which I seek to amend, is the one that gives to Courts of Summary Jurisdiction their power under 97 this Act and which deals with the question of penalties. What I am asking, therefore, in short, is that, while these Regulations give special and peculiar powers to magistrates, special and peculiar precautions shall be taken that every magistrate who hears the subject matter of these disputes shall be in no wise interested in the subject matter of the dispute. This, unlike the other Amendments which have been proposed, in no way tends to weaken the code of Regulations, as the Home Secretary has called them, but merely tends to guarantee the complete absence of pecuniary interest on the part of magistrates who hear the case. The important fact, which has to be remembered in connection with this Amendment, is that this code of Regulations only arises, as is declared in the preamble of the Proclamation, because of a dispute in the coal industry. That being so, it is not a case of magistrates sitting and determining ordinary offences. It has from the very beginning arisen out of a dispute in the coal industry. It is a dispute in the coal industry which has caused the necessity for any Regulation at all. Therefore, it becomes more important than usual that no person shall sit or have anything to do with these transactions who has any pecuniary interest in the coal industry.
It may be said that the existing law is sufficient to deal with this matter. Of course, it is the law at present that, where justices are interested directly in any matter which may come before them, the proceedings may be upset and quashed on the ground of bias, and there are a large number of authorities in licensing and other cases which lay down that very salutary rule. But it is not at all clear here, unless words similar to those which I propose are added, that a particular magistrate who is interested in the coal industry would be interested in any particular subject matter of a dispute. These Regulations, although they take their origin in a dispute in the coal industry, give very great powers and cover all kinds of offences which may not be directly concerned with coal. Therefore, unless something of this sort is added, you may very well have a case—a charge for example of spreading disaffection—which is not directly against the coal industry as such. There will be 98 nothing there in the ordinary law of bias to prevent a coalowner sitting on that case unless it be disaffection against the coal industry. The origin of these Regulations is a dispute in the coal industry, and, where you have a dispute and an offence committed only against coal as such, the existing law would possibly be sufficient there to prevent a coalowner sitting and hearing the case. But, having once got Regulations dealing with a dispute in the coal industry, they are so widely drawn that they will cover all kinds of offences no longer concerned as such with coal. That being the case, the coalowner can sit to hear many of these cases, although not directly affected and susceptible of bias in the common-law, technical sense of the word.
It is much more satisfactory, I submit, that it should be declared by Parliament in terms that no coalowner, shareholder or person having any pecuniary interest in the coal trade, should have anything to do with this business from beginning to end. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about miners?"] I will deal with that in a moment. It is very much more satisfactory that it should be made quite clear in the Regulations that all such persons are precluded from sitting. Hon. Members asked me if that applies to a miner? The Amendment says:if he has any pecuniary interest either individually or as a member or shareholder in a company.If hon. Members are desirous of strengthening this Amendment by applying it equally to anyone concerned with an association of miners in this matter, I think such an Amendment would be received by the Government. When this Amendment was to have been proposed on the last occasion there was an Amendment extending it to trade union leaders and the like. I am not saying that that particular matter could not be rectified, but I decline to be lead away from my main argument on the need of preventing persons taking part in these proceedings where they have a bias on the mere ground that the Amendment does not go far enough. If hon. Members do not agree with me perhaps they will put down some amplification of my words.
Personally, I doubt whether a case can be made out for preventing a miner from sitting on these matters. Bias has been defined as pecuniary interest. The 99 interest of the miner, as such, is not bias in this sense. If he were to sit now it would be held outside the rule relating to bias and, as my object is to prevent all magistrates concerned pecuniarily with coal sitting in these cases connected with coal, the question of the miner in my view does not arise. If the Government were to accept my Amendment and couple with it equally the case of the miner with that of the coalowner—I am not speaking with any responsibility—personally it seems to me that that would be a proposal that my friends could reasonably accept. The main object is to prevent the coalowner with an interest sitting and taking part in these proceedings. I think I have made my point clear. Such an Amendment in no way weakens the Regulations. It merely guarantees the purity of administration. I have no cases in my mind on this point, but I have no doubt my hon. Friends will supply cases where persons concerned with coal have sat in adjudication. The principle is a right one, which should have been inserted at the very beginning. It is not too late to remedy this defect in the Regulations.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Captain Hacking)
The hon. and learned Member for South East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) raised this question on the last occasion when we discussed these Regulations.
§ Captain HACKING
It has been on the Paper, and the arguments against it are probably well known to Members of the House. In the first place, if this Amendment were carried and the proviso attached to the Regulations, it might quite easily debar cases from being heard in colliery districts, because no doubt in some colliery districts all the magistrates sitting on the bench may be directly or indirectly concerned with the coal mining industry. It would mean, if the proviso were accepted, that the cases would either have to be taken outside the district for trial or that magistrates would have to be brought in from other districts, and that would not be very satisfactory. In any case, the penalties are 100 very great if a magistrate takes part in proceedings when he is himself directly interested in the case before the Court. That is surely quite sufficient.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
There must be some misunderstanding. I said nothing about penalties. I said the proceedings might be quashed.
§ Captain HACKING
I understand there is a penalty attaching to a magistrate who takes part, but certainly the proceedings might be quashed, and it would certainly be a very great risk for any magistrate to run, a risk which no one, as far as I know, has run. I do not know any instance of a magistrate taking part in any case in which he is directly interested, and it would be a risk which a magistrate would probably not be prepared to run. It is true these Regulations cover all kinds of offences, and they are not necessarily concerned with offences under the coal dispute. I am sure the House will agree that it would be wrong for a shareholder in any colliery to be prevented from sitting on a bench to try any case arising out of any Regulation contained in this long list of Regulations. Finally, if this proviso had to be accepted, it would certainly cast a slight on the integrity of magistrates. The magistrates have carried out their duties impartially throughout the whole of the dispute, and the Government feel that there is no necessity for the proviso.
§ Mr. B. SMITH
I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman has given the answer one would expect, which is that practically the whole of the magistrates in a mining area are in fact biased, because they are either directly or indirectly concerned with the mining industry.
§ Captain HACKING
I did not say they were directly concerned. It is possible they might be indirectly concerned, but I did not see why that should debar them from taking part in any case brought before them which might have nothing to do with the coal-mining industry.
§ Mr. SMITH
The point I am making is that, whether directly or indirectly concerned, they must of necessity have a bias when operating the Regulations against something that is inimical to their best interests. The case against it is that this would necessitate taking people from 101 a mining area into another area for the purposes of trial, or bringing fresh magistrates within the area to deal with the miners in the area. The view I take is that, provided interest is eliminated by this sort of thing, and that the tendency all the time is to secure equity and justice, it does not matter whether the miner is tried in another area or whether fresh magistrates are brought in. The aim all the time must obviously be to see that equity prevails in any one of these cases. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has said it is fair to assume that indirectly at least most of the magistrates in a colliery district would be interested. What does indirectly mean? Is he a solicitor for the company? Is he a shareholder in a particular colliery undertaking? Is he the manager of some colliery undertaking?
§ Mr. SMITH
What does indirectly mean? [An HON. MEMBER: "A shareholder!"] A shareholder who finds his dividends practically nil as the result of a miners' strike will obviously sit there with a bias, and it is unfair to a man who has been arrested under these Regulations. If the Government had any show of equity at all, or any desire to play a straight game on these Regulations, they would see that any possible charge that might be levelled against them was eliminated from the Regulations. The fact that most of the magistrates in a colliery district may be indirectly interested spells to me that the miner cannot get justice. For these reasons, I support the Amendment.
§ Captain BENN
I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman made a surprising defence. I presume many districts could
§ be found in which it was impossible to find a magistrate who was not interested, directly or indirectly.
§ Captain BENN
The Regulation refers to a pecuniary interest. It is amazing that the convenience of the Court, and the convenience of having the trial on the spot, comes before the necessity for having an absolutely impartial tribunal. If it be true that there are districts where the magistrates are all pecuniarily interested in the coal-owning industry, I think the case for the Regulations becomes weaker than ever, because these men who are pecuniarily interested, according to the Home Office, are required to decide whether people, not only have used language which might be calculated to cause disaffection among the civil population, but haveattempted, or solicited or incited or endeavoured to persuade another person to use language which may be calculated to cause disaffection among the civil population.and that vague and comprehensive form of charge is to be heard in a Court in which every single member of the Bench is pecuniarily interested in the coalmining industry. If that be the best defence, it is a very poor one. I thought the hon. and learned Gentleman's case was put with his accustomed skill, but the best case for the Amendment came from the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, and, as a tribute to his speech, if for no other reason, I intend to go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 91; Noes, 226.105
|Division No. 430.]||AYES.||[8.25 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dennison, R.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Baker, Walter||Duncan, C.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Barnes, A||Fenby, T. D.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Barr, J.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Batey, Joseph||Gosling, Harry||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Greenall, T.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bromley, J.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kennedy, T.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Buchanan, G.||Groves, T.||Lawson, John James|
|Cluse, W. S.||Grundy, T. W.||Lowth, T.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Lunn, William|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Connolly, M.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||March, S.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hardie, George D.||Murnin, H.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Naylor, T. E.|
|Palin, John Henry||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Paling, W.||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Potts, John S.||Stamford, T. W.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Richardson R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stephen, Campbell||Westwood, J.|
|Ritson, J.||Sullivan, Joseph||Whiteley, W.|
|Scurr, John||Sutton, J.E.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Sexton, James||Taylor, R. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Windsor, Walter|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Tinker, John Joseph||Wright, W.|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Townend, A. E.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Smillie, Robert||Varley, Frank B.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Hayes and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McLean, Major A.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Ganzoni, Sir John.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Apsley, Lord||Gates, Percy||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gower, Sir Robert||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Balniel, Lord||Grace, John||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Meller, R. J.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Merriman, F. B.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristrol, N.)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bellairs, Commander Canlyon W.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harland, A.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Harrison, G. J. C.||Oakley, T.|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hawke, John Anthony||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Brown-Lindsay, Major H.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hills, Major John Waller||Perring, Sir William George|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hilton, Cecil||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G||Philipson, Mabel|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pielou, D. P.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Pilcher, G.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.- Colonel Sir Alan||Holland, Sir Arthur||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Preston, William|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Homan, C. W. J.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Raine, W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ramsden, E.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Remer, J. R.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hume, Sir G. H.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hurd, Percy A.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Rye, F. G.|
|Cope, Major William||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Jephcott, A. R.||Sandon, Lord|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Savery, S. S.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davies, David (Montgomery)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Drewe, C.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Looker, Herbert William||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lord, Walter Greaves-||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lougher, L.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Falls, Sir Charles F.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Finburgh, S.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Watts, Dr. T.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Wells, S. R.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Tasker, Major R. Inigo||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Templeton, W. P.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Waddington, R||Windsor Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Major Hennessy and Captain|
|Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Viscount Curzon.|
|Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
§ Mr. BATEY
I beg to move, in line 3, at the end, to add the wordsand to the substitution in Regulation 14, lines 1 and 16, of the word 'shall' for the word 'may.'The object of this Amendment is that the Board of Trade should take possession of the mines and reopen them. For 18 weeks the Government have had a discretionary power in this Regulation, but they have regarded it as a dead wood, and have not used it. During the whole of the time they have been helping the coalowners and using the resources of the State in order to defeat the miners. To-day we have been discussing other Regulations which the Government propose to use against the miners. Regulation 14 is a far more important Regulation. It is the one thing for which a good word can be said. If the Government would use the Regulation in the way I suggest, they would see an end to the dispute within a week, and there would be no need of an eight-hour day for the miners, no need for any reduction of wages, no need for district settlements and no need for a subsidy. The Government have the power, if they will use it, to settle this dispute in a reasonable way. Had the Government utilised this Regulation and threatened the owners that they would put it into force, the coalowners would have been far more reasonable than they have been. They would not have continued to ride the high horse
The Government have been inclined not to adopt this Regulation because they foolishly believe that there is a prospect of the miners rushing back to work. If that be the reason why they have not adopted the Regulation, then I tell them that they are under a delusion. There is no large district where there is any sign of weakening amongst the men. You may find here and there a very small mine, which can scarcely be called a mine, that may be working, or you may find one or two small districts where the men may 106 be inclined to go back to work, but as far as the great coal districts are concerned there is no sign of weakening, and it would be a delusion on the part of the Government to ignore this Regulation and refuse to put it into force on the ground that if they hold out a little longer the miners will rush back to the pits. If the Government take that course, we shall see Christmas here before the large mining districts are prepared to get on to their knees and accept the inhuman terms which the coalowners are offering.
I urge the Government to put this Regulation into force because there is no prospect of the coalowners desiring a reasonable settlement. They seem to have made up their minds that they do not desire a reasonable settlement. At the recent meeting between the Miners' Federation and the Mineowners' Association, the owners adopted a stupid and brutal policy. They locked the door on our negotiations, and the Prime Minister, it seems to me, then said to them, "You have done wisely in locking the door on the negotiations. Give me the key." He put the key into his pocket and away he went to the Continent. I am justified in suggesting that the facts of the case warrant us in assuming that is the attitude of the Prime Minister. He ran off to the Continent very quickly after the owners had locked the door on our negotiations. As far as he is concerned, he says to himself, "The miners can starve. Let them starve. What does it matter to me? Let their wives and bairns starve, until they are prepared to submit to the coalowners." That is the only conclusion that one can come to in regard to the Prime Minister. He is off to the Continent and not attending to this great dispute.
On the 14th May the Prime Minister said that he had come to the conclusion that there was no possibility of the two parties coming to an agreement by themselves. His position to-day is that they must come to an agreement by them- 107 selves. He is enjoying himself on the Continent and not troubling a little bit about the millions of miners with their wives and children who are suffering from starvation. The adoption of this Regulation is the only way out. There is no sign of the coalowners and the miners being able to come to an agreement, and only way out now is for the Government to take over the pits. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, that is what I want. The only way out now is for the Government to take over the pits. The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered a speech in Kent in which he said that the State should not interfere in this dispute. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in speaking like that was as innocent as a little lamb. The State has intervened in this dispute. The miners could have beaten the owners before now had it not been for the State interfering and using all the resources of the State in order to defeat the miners. The Chancellor of the Exchequer came to the House and succeeded in getting a Vote for £3,000,000, to be used for buying foreign coal.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain FitzRoy)
The hon. Member is going beyond the subject of the Amendment.
§ Mr. BATEY
I want to keep in order. I am suggesting that the only way out now is for the Government to take over the mines, and as an argument in favour of that I am suggesting that the State has intervened, and that it is no use Members of the Government saying that they have not intervened. It is because the State has intervened that the dispute has lasted so long. That is contrary to the manifesto published by the Prime Minister at the General Election, when he appealed for a strong and stable Government. He got it, and for us it is a little bit too strong and a little bit too stable.
§ Mr. BATEY
I do not intend to read the manifesto. I only want to read one or two lines which are applicable to the Amendment. The coalowners seem determined to keep the pits closed. I suggest that coal owning is not a matter that affects the coalowner alone. The owning of a coal mine is a public trust, and the owners are really trustees for supplying the nation with coal. They are failing in their duty now, and, that being so, I want the Government to step in, to take possession of the mines, and to supply the nation with coal. In my mind there is no clearer instance of the failure of private enterprise than in the failure of the coalowners to keep the pits open and to work them. The Sankey Commission said that the present system of ownership stood condemned. All that has happened since then has proved that the Sankey Commission was right and that the private ownership of mines is a failure and ought to be ended. I urge the Government, not only in the interest of the miners but in the interest of the country, to be bold and to take possession of the pits and work them.
It is often said that the coalowners have learned nothing during the last 100 years. They still live in the stone age. They have made no progress. They regard the pits as theirs, to do with them just what they please. In the interest of the nation the Government should tell the owners that they cannot do what they please with the pits and cannot keep the pits closed. I see in the Press that Lord Londonderry in a recent speech referred to "my pits at Seaham." He has had his pits all to himself for 17 weeks, and a lot he has made of them. He has not hewed a shovelful of coal. The fact is that the owners' pits are of no use to them unless the miners go down and produce the coal. If the coalowners will not open the pits, it is the duty of the Government to take over the pits and to work them.
§ Mr. WHITELEY
I beg to second the Amendment.
On the last occasion when my hon. Friend moved this Amendment the Secretary for Mines told the House that it was our way of taking a short cut to nationalisation. We make no apology for the idea that we have in our minds in moving the Amendment for that purpose. When private enterprise in any 109 industry has failed to meet the reasonable needs of the workers in that industry, so far as we are concerned that is the only alternative. If the Secretary for Mines has another alternative that is better, we are prepared to hear what he has to say and to consider it. The control of the stocks of coal and the purchase of foreign coal at the expense of the consumer surely cannot be considered as acting in the interests of the general community. This particular Regulation deals with production and manufacture and treatment and distribution, and gives the Government power in these important matters. It would be much better to take over the whole of the affairs of the industry and to prevent the suffering of the whole community than to allow the present state of affairs to continue.
We consider that this industry can be brought to a sounder economic basis by the Government taking control of it in order to see that fair prices are fixed, particularly with regard to transfer coal. This Regulation gives them that power; it gives them power to fix prices for various classes of coal. Particularly with regard to transfer coal they would have power to see that a fair price was fixed, in order that the total proceeds coming into the industry from all classes of coal would be sufficiently high to give a reasonable return and to insure a reasonable standard of life to the workers engaged in the industry. It would eliminate the distrust that is so manifest to-day amongst the consuming public with regard to the wide difference between the pit-head price and the retail price in the home. The Government would have control of that under the Regulation. They would be able to fix their own selling agencies, to eliminate all the waste that is going on between the pit-head and the home, and there would be greater confidence in the minds of the people that they were getting fair treatment.
Those Members of the House who have taken the trouble to examine the quarterly statements issued by the Secretary for Mines will have seen the very singular position in which this industry is at the present time. Economists reading those returns would say that where there is a greater production for a lower cost the men concerned ought to be in enjoyment 110 of a higher standard of living. But if you compare the different districts you find that in some cases, where they produce 3½ cwt. per man-shift more at 4s. 6d. per ton less, the men are offered a lower standard of life than in other districts. Under this Regulation, as we wish to amend it, the Government would have power to deal with the various classes of coal produced in all the districts, and to fix such maximum prices as would allow reasonable proceeds to come in, and these would insure, even in existing circumstances, even in the worst period through which the industry has passed since the end of the 1921 stoppage to the end of last year, our April standard of life, and probably something a little better, and would give those interested a fair return for their capital. The time has come when the Government ought to have regard for the interests of the whole community, not particularly the interests of the mining section or of the employing section. After all that has happened the Government should have come to the conclusion that the owners have not put up a case which has justified their position. When people have to resort to the tactics that the owners have resorted to, the general public must realise that their case is not sound.
I had an opportunity recently of visiting Warwickshire. I found one colliery, called Atherstone, situated between two villages. The colliery officials went to the people living in the village on the north-west, about half a mile away, and told them that all the miners in a village about half a mile to the south of the colliery, had signed on, and that they had better hurry up or all the good stalls would be taken. Three hours after that story was told in the village on the north-west, they went to the village to the south and told much the same story there about the other village. That is the method which the owners are adopting in order to break our very stubborn front. They think that if they can find a weakling and use methods of that kind they can bring us into submission to their most unreasonable terms. The Press even has been suggesting during the past few days that after all this industry is a basic industry. It is a basic industry on which all other industries depend for their continuance and development. They will die a natural 111 death if this basic industry does not receive proper attention, and I believe it would be in the interest of the whole community if the Government would seize this opportuiity of bringing this dispute to an end by taking over this industry and running it in the national interest and not allow the selfishness of the coalowners to stand in the way.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
In supporting the Amendment I desire to put forward one or two propositions with which I feel sure no single Member on the Government side will disagree. They will not agree with everything I shall say before I sit down, but I think they will agree with one or two suggestions I propose to make. The first suggestion I make is that coal is one of the chief raw materials for practically all our industries. Secondly, that the coal industry is a basic industry on which the real wealth of the nation has been built. Hon. Members opposite will agree with that. Then I would go further and suggest that British coal is better than German coal. I do not think anyone will dispute that. Fourthly, I suggest that the chief policy of the party opposite can be summed up in the words, "Buy British goods," and if British coal is better than German coal surely it would be much better to use British coal than the German muck that is being used at present. So far, I think, I shall have the complete agreement of every Member of the House. I want further to suggest that anyone who has read what took place at the interview between the coalowners and the miners' executive at their last meeting will agree that there is no possibility of agreement so far as the coalowners are concerned. No one on the other side of the House will dispute that. The Prime Minister has pointed out on more than one occasion that it is absolutely impossible to get the two sides to agree, and after the statement made by the chairman of the coalowners at the last meeting with the miners there is no one on the other side of the House who will think there is any desire for peace on the part of the coalowners. I remember a speech made by a colleague of mine on these benches which roused the ire of every Member opposite.
The Conservative Press of this country practically howled for the blood of the 112 hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) because he attacked the heir to the Throne. But he never insulted the heir to the Throne as much as Mr. Evan Williams did in the speech he made at the first meeting with the miners' representatives. Yet the party opposite are defending the coalowners, who have not only made up their mind not to come to an agreement, but have insulted the Church and also the heir to the Throne because he was good enough to give £10 as a donation in order to relieve starvation and distress. I further suggest that the party opposite, particularly as a result of the last speech delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, are definitely pledged not to have nationalisation of mines at any price. I recognise that, but this Amendment does not necessarily involve nationalisation. These Regulations have to be enacted every month. The whole of the argument used on a former occasion was directed against nationalisation, but so far as this Amendment is concerned, it would only mean opening the mines until an agreement could be arrived at between the coalowners on the one hand and the miners' representatives on the other. There is no question of nationalisation. I prefer nationalisation, and am prepared to fight for it, but this is an industrial quarrel, and all we suggest is that the Government should take over the mines, not nationalise them, for the period of the dispute, work the mines during the dispute, and then as soon as a reasonable and just and lasting settlement is arrived at between the miners and the employers, you need not enact these Regulations one single day longer. I support the Amendment for these reasons, and also because it will give power to the Government to regulate the price of coal.
On the last occasion on which I spoke the Secretary for Mines challenged a statement of mine that exorbitant prices were being charged for coal. Although the Board of Trade have power to regulate prices, I know of no single instance in which this power has been used, and where I live we have been charged, in my own home, 3s. 8d. per cwt. for coal. It will be interesting to hear how the Secretary for Mines justifies a charge of 3s. 8d. per cwt. It is because it cannot be argued that this Amend- 113 ment is in any sense a step towards nationalisation, because coal is necessary, because the dispute has cost the nation £200,000,000, the lowest estimate—the highest estimate is £600,000,000—and because it has caused a tremendous amount of human suffering and distress that I support the Amendment. Hon. Members opposite will not agree that there is a great deal of starvation, but there is not one hon. Member opposite who will argue that 15s. per week by way of parish relief is sufficient for a wife and four or five children. You cannot feed, rear, grow and train real honest British citzens on 15s. per week, and on account of the human suffering that has been going on during recent weeks I plead with the Secretary for Mines to accept this Amendment. It is not the nationalisation of the industry. We can fight that out at the next General Election, and we shall then be on that side and the party opposite will be on this side, Then nationalisation of the mines will be on our terms, and they will not be nearly so generous to the coalowners as yours. Meantime you can take over the control of the mines without nationalisation, get the coal that is required until a fair and lasting settlement is reached, and allow the old country to progress on better lines than it has during the course of the last 17 weeks.
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Colonel Lane Fox)
Hon. Members who have moved and supported the Amendment have done so on very conflicting lines, and on a small alteration in this particularly small Regulation they have built up a wonderful structure. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment said that he was out for nationalisation. The Seconder also followed the same line, but he elaborated it with a picturesque detail of all the advantages which will come to the State from such a policy and all the benefits which may be derived by the community. All these advantages are to be derived by this small and simple change, merely altering one small word in one of these many Regulations. The hon. Member who spoke last took an entirely different line. He said, this is not nationalisation, but if you take over the pits you will so terrify the owners that they will at once come to terms and the whole trouble will be at an end.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I think the hon. Member, when he reads the OFFICIAL REPORT, will see that he said something very like it. It is remarkable what enormous advantages can be built up by the alteration of one single small word. I am not accepting the whole of their statements or the whole of the advantages which they suggest could be derived from this Regulation. The Opposition's attitude on this Regulation is a very complete change from the continual moan that has been going on, for the whole time apparently, as to how wrong it was to have any of these Regulations at all. Here at least is one which is so satisfactory to hon. Members opposite that they only wish to change it from being merely permissive to being absolutely compulsory. I am always glad to find hon. Members who are prepared to welcome the proposals of the Government in such a whole-hearted way, but I should like to point out that there is a great deal which hon. Members opposite forgot. I noticed, for instance, a significant omission from the speech of the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. Whiteley). He made no suggestion that there would have to be any additions to this Regulation. He suggested that, by merely putting in the word "shall" instead of the word "may," the Government could take over the pits, and all would be well, but he made no suggestion of any compensation to be paid; and I should naturally like to know—because this is very interesting to some of us, and it will be very interesting to some on the Front Bench—whether it is the policy of the Labour party to take over the whole of the pits of the country without paying any compensation to anybody.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
But the hon. Member went further than that, and elaborated a scheme by which the price of coal would be regulated so that all the miners would be able to get all the wages they wanted, irrespective of what other industries would say when they had to pay a great deal more for their coal. He talked about setting up a selling syndicate, which takes rather a longer period than he seemed to imagine, and he suggested that it would be possible to put 115 up the prices even of export coal. All these things would take a long time. I only just wish to say that it is obvious that this is a Regulation which can be of considerable use to any Government that is trying to protect the community during a difficult period, and considerable use has been made of it. Hon. Members said that nothing had been done with this Regulation, but they omitted to remember that from the very start the Government have been able to commandeer, and control ever since, the supplies of coal that were in the country at the time, as well as the wagons and premises and other things dealt with in this Regulation.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
The Government have taken very considerable action, which has tended to keep prices down below the level to which they would naturally have soared had it not been for the action of the Government. The object of this Regulation is that, where it is necessary for any particular purpose that this should be done, the Government have the option of doing it, but to suggest that every colliery in the country is to be taken over, that every wagon and all the premises are at once to be taken over, and that all the expense that is involved is to be incurred by the Government unnecessarily, is surely a proposition which no one could seriously put forward. As far as they are necessary, they will be put into operation, and as far as they are unnecessary the House of Commons ought not to be asked to put them into effect. I find it difficult to believe that the supporters of the Amendment meant the proposition seriously.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I am certain that when the hon. Member saw the results, he would not wish to press such a proposition.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. If he takes exceptional powers under the Emergency Powers Act, he also takes on exceptional responsibilities, and this is just one way in which the Government 116 can bring pressure to bear to end thin dispute. Under the Emergency Powers Act, the Government have power, if they choose to exercise it, to take over wagons and pits, and that is a power which the Labour party, when it was in office, did consider, and when that power is embodied in the Emergency Powers Act, I do not think it is so ridiculous to suggest that the Government should use the power given them in order to bring this lamentable dispute to an end. If it was considered in connection with the transport strike, and the omnibuses and trams, two or three years ago, it is a hundred times more important that it should be considered in connection with this coal dispute. The right hon. Gentleman laughs at the suggestion as though it was madness, but did the drafters of the Act believe it to be madness? Did they mean it as merely a ridiculous suggestion?
§ Colonel LANE FOX
What was put into the Emergency Powers Act was a permissive power, but what the hon. Members opposite suggest is that in every particular that power should be made compulsory.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The Amendment is to get the Government to do their duty and to use this power, as we would have it used, in order to put an end to this dispute. Those who have studied the Act very closely know well that if we put this Regulation into operation, whether in connection with the pits or any other form of industry, the Government would be liable to very considerable claims for damages. The claims might be large, but I am quite certain that, however large the claims fox damages from the owners of the pita might be, they would be less serious to the taxpayers of this country than the continuation of this dispute.
I do not believe that the Government or the right hon. Gentleman appreciate how much this dispute has become a struggle, not so much for wages or for hours, as a struggle against injustice. The miners in my constituency regard the suggestion of lower wages, coupled with a permissive Eight Hours Act, as an example of injustice used against them by both the Government and the owners. Once the dispute was no longer a question between the masters, who have shown themselves such masters, and the 117 men, once it became a question of working for the Government during the dispute under these Emergency Regulations, under temporary arrangements, you would get the men working willingly, and willing to accept even some sacrifices, as long as they felt they were not being swindled or driven down in the interests of people who have no claim on securing lower wages. The Government ought to take the psychological question into account as well as the economic question. Working for the State is a very different business for most miners from working for the masters. Therefore, I would say that this Amendment really is the most practical Amendment that has been put forward during this Debate. This is a definitely practical way in which the Government can now bring pressure to bear upon the owners, it is true, but pressure which the owners will not mind, because they will get ample compensation—a way in which the Government can use the exceptional powers they claim, to secure them the exceptional authority which they have under this Act in the interests of the people of this country.
I have felt, and I dare say many Members in this House have felt over and over again, that it is very often unfair to blame the Government. After all, the Government cannot make the men go down into the pits, and cannot make the owners pay wages if they have not got the money. There is often a great deal of unnecessary criticism of the Government, whatever Government it may be, from both parties in every dispute. But here is a case in which the Government, by securing dictatorial powers under the Emergency Powers Act, do put themselves in a position where they can bring the dispute to an end to-morrow if they choose to do so, and when we in this Amendment ask them to use "may" as though it were "shall," without even altering the words in the Act, because they have the power there already to use "may" as though it were "shall," to insist that this dispute has gone on long enough, and that they shall take powers to take over these pits, arranging, if necessary, first of all, with the Miners' Federation that the men will work for the Government, although they will not work for the owners, then something 118 practical will be done, and a good use made of these Emergency powers, which, otherwise, we on this side of the House must always oppose, not merely on party lines, but on principle.
§ Mr. WRIGHT
I beg to support this Amendment, and I very much regret that these steps were not taken in the early days of this dispute. In my judgment, no dispute affecting over 1,000,000 men, and with their wives and families something like 5,000,000 of the population, in a basic industry should be allowed to continue for more than two or three weeks before emergency powers are taken to deal with the problem from a national point of view. In the first place, I plead on behalf of those people who are destitute and in a state of semi-starvation. We have people in my own division, and I am quite sure in many other mining areas, who are now destitute, who are living on occasional gifts from friends, and who, but for the assistance which has been forthcoming during the last two or three months, I am quite sure, many of them would have perished from starvation. If that had happened, the Government and their followers would have been responsible. There is the public at large wanting to see the dispute come to an end. If the owners can fight with determination, the miners can fight with equal determination, but for the fear of the weapon of starvation. This is a very old weapon which has been used against the miners on many occasions in the past. I well remember being involved in a dispute of this kind 33 years ago, when one of the largest colliery owners in South Yorkshire declared that it was being pursued primarily with the object of smashing the Miners' Federation and starving the men into submission. A similar statement was made by an hon. Member of this House in the dispute of 1893, and he expressed the view that it was the intention of some of the colliery owners to starve the men into submission. Such a policy is an absolutely diabolical one which ought to make the men who pursue it absolutely shamefaced.
The whole nation is concerned. Dismay is spread broadcast throughout the land. There is the shadow of starvation in a great number of districts, and many people who are indirectly concerned find themselves either deprived of employment 119 altogether or working very short time. There is a vast number of business men who are dismayed at what is going on, and it seems to me the last word in ineptitude is the failure of a Government to deal with the affairs of a nation after a dispute has lasted for four months and more. Whatever men may say or think, there can be no doubt at all in the minds of a vast number of people that when a crisis like this occurs, you are bound to get back to first principles, and ask yourselves whether, after all, the mineral wealth of this nation should be locked up in this particular way, and the nation deprived of its advantages. I appeal to the Government now not to waste any more time I have been thinking upon these lines for many weeks past; indeed, I have put this question, I venture to say, at 100 public meetings during the last three or four months, in many cases to people who were not supporters of the Labour party, and in every case where a vote or a show of hands has been taken, it has always got a very large measure of support from the people assembled.
The public is looking for a lead from the Government, either to take some definite action to bring this dispute to an end, or else to resign and appeal to the nation with a view to putting this issue before the nation. I submit that these are the alternatives—either these emergency powers should be used now, and the men get back to work with the least possible delay, and get as near as possible to a normal state of affairs until a settlement can be arrived at, or if the Government are not prepared to do that, it is the duty, at any rate, of the Opposition and the trade unionists in this country immediately to go to the country and put the case from the national point of view, with a view to overthrowing the present Government, and allowing a more competent Government to take their place.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I think this Amendment is the most important, because it puts the whole interest of the nation in its proper place. At school we were taught that statesmanship meant that type of mind which was so rare in the community that it could conduct the affairs of the nation, use them only in the interest of the nation, and keep in the background, as we say in our prayers every day in this House, all private interests. 120 Yet, after all these years, we have had from the speeches delivered to-day still more evidence that it is not the national point of view, the national interest or the national need, but it is simply a Government of interests standing behind a small interest in the nation as against the interests of the whole nation. The hon. and gallant Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) referred to-day to the fact that, 25 years ago, the same resistance by the miners could not have taken place, because there was less support in various ways, organised and otherwise, than in these days, and what the hon. and gallant Member for Luton was honest in was that he felt, as he said, that of all times, this was not the time to withdraw these Regulations. Why did he say that? He said it because the Government know that the coalowners cannot win if they withdraw these Regulations. We heard from the hon. and gallant Member for Luton that what he meant was that if the Government would only take steps in order to intimidate all forms of subscriptions in support of the miners' families, the owners would be able to get their own terms very soon.
In view of that very frank but brutal Fiji Island atmosphere, hon. Members opposite who have been less direct in their speech must be taken to mean the same thing. They do not seem to be interested in the business of the British nation. This Amendment places the nation first. Before this lockout came the whole of the Press against organised labour directed its readers towards the great dangers which would result from a miners' stoppage, the danger being for the miner. They had great headlines, wonderfully constructed, confused arguments and articles to show how oil, for instance, was going to make it impossible almost for the miner to resist again the conditions of the coalowners. Since this stoppage has taken place we have not been troubled in the Press by these headlines showing the great advantages in mineral oil. I smiled the other day at a cartoon in a London paper. It is not often you can smile at the humorous efforts of an English artist. This cartoon depicted two men in a boxing ring. One was "Electricity," and he was giving a knockout blow to "Coal." There must have 121 been something wrong with the education of the artist, because had he known anything he would have known there could be no electricity without coal. Yet you have papers in London publishing arguments why the miner should reconsider his decision. It is too stupid but it shows the low mentality of the newspapers. We have heard something to-day about the stealing of the British coal markets, but if such were the case this Amendment would immediately put a stop to it. Let us examine the question of the foreign market. We heard before the stoppage what could be done with foreign coal. Ask a man who used foreign coal what he thinks about it. You have in this country just now an effort being made to use foreign coal for locomotives. Last week, in Glasgow, leaving the Central Station in the local train, the terminus of which was 10 miles out, the train stopped about 3½ miles from where we started, and, after sitting three-quarters of an hour, we put down the window and asked the engine driver what was keeping us back and when we were likely to get on. He told us that he had sonic foreign coal.
§ Mr. HARDIE
The narrative is a tale; what I was telling is the truth. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the train story?"] The train story is finished, because the coal finished. This Amendment would give the nation a chance at once to do something in the interests of the whole community. We have never had the coal business in this country organised as an industry. It has always been a form of gamble. We have never organised the working of our mines. This Amendment will give us a chance to do so. You can find in a part of the North Lanark area, where I spoke on Thursday afternoon, a pit—No. 17—which was closed down, not because there was no coal and the miners could not work it, but because in the area in which the shaft was sunk the coal of the owner of that ground had been worked out. The owners wanted to take 122 the coal out in the surrounding area but discovered that between royalties and increased wayleaves it was not going to pay them to do so. This Amendment would give us a chance of getting down to all these things that hon. Members opposite try to keep from the public. They never see the justice of exposing these things that make the closing of a good mine compulsory. In the Press and in their speeches they concentrate on asserting that it is the high wages paid to the miner which prevents the getting of coal. In the case of pit No. 17 it is not a question of being unable to work the mine, but of three little royalty owners having the power, in face of the needs of the nation, to say whether coal shall be got or not. If the owners have the right to lock out men and stop the production of coal they cannot complain if the nation, through its great minds, its ministers, says: "We are appointed by the people to conduct the affairs of the nation and we are going to see the nation carried on, and until something is evolved out of this dispute we are going to take such control as will enable the nation to go on in the meantime."
More than that would come from the adoption of this Amendment. I have said already that the industry has never been run as an organised industry but largely as a gamble, and when we come to the question of the treatment of coal we ought to take our minds back 30 years, to the time when the first of the plants for partially treating coal was erected on the banks of the Tyne. If we had had an organised coal industry we should have carried the treatment of coal to its climax; but all we did was to extract from that coal the raw toluol and built special tank ships to carry it to Germany, which in that way was enabled to develop a chemical industry such as we are not able to touch. We are still sending Scotch hard coal—when we are winning coal—to Germany in order that she may keep her chemical works going. If we had had an organised coal industry instead of a lot of gamblers we would have had the benefit of all this development, because it was in this country that the basic knowledge of treating coal chemically was evolved, though the man who was the first to bring it to the notice of this House was laughed at.
123 How much better it would have been if the nation, through the minds of its great men of those days, had seen the advantage of this new addition to the coal industry, which would be turned from the crude raw business which it has always been into a really scientific industry? If the coal industry had been organised, as it could be under this Amendment, we would have had to-day the greatest by-product industry in the world. We are bringing in oil now, and trying to run locomotives on it, and find the cost works out at £10 for oil as against £3 for coal. If we had been a saner nation, and had taken a real interest in the development of our industries, we could have been producing from our own coal better oil at a cheaper rate. Even in this Parliament the Prime Minister promised that the electricity business would be linked up with coal—that the whole thing was to be so organised that the development of electricity was going to help the coal industry; and yet when the Electricity Bill comes up to this House in November, we shall find it has no relation whatever to the coal industry. There is the question, also, of the segregation of the different qualities of coal. We can only obtain that economical segregation by scientific methods in dealing with coal. We are burning under boilers coal that should not be burnt there at all, and we are sending into houses coal—
§ Mr. HARDIE
If you look at (b), Sir, you will see the wordsproduction, manufacture, treatment.I am dealing with treatment, and if I am out of order then I shall want an alteration made. An improvement in the method of treating coal will mean not only the reorganisation of the industry following the introduction of new methods, but it will mean that by increasing the wealth we obtain from every ton of coal we shall be enabled to pay every one connected with the industry a proper wage. Under the terms of this Amendment we can take the power to do that now if we are interested and put the nation first instead of putting a handful of coalowners first.
Since we last met here I have spent most of my time in my own constituency and amongst other mining communities, and I think this Amendment ought not to be voted down without very serious consideration. I will say frankly that I have learned many lessons from the miners since I left this House—more lessons than I ever learned in my two years here, and one of the lessons I learned was the extraordinary tolerance and patience with which those men are struggling; their example might well be imitated by some of us in the future—by Members on both sides. A million decent citizens—nobody denies that; neither the Home Secretary nor any speaker who carries any weight on the opposite side denies that statement—are exposing themselves to a curtailment of every luxury and some necessities, and a million households are rapidly being reduced to misery, and seem to be pledged to a very unhappy future, because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that it is the only reasonable course to take.
We cannot condemn those million men as being all fools, who do not know their own business, or say that they are all intimidated from going to work. We cannot say that Cook, however clever we may think he is, is capable of keeping from working a million men who want to work. They are simply staying from work because, rightly or wrongly—leave it at that for the moment—they believe that they have their backs right up against the wall and should no longer be called upon to carry upon their shoulders the burden of a mismanaged industry which the community does nothing whatever to assist. I know that view is shared by a great many hon. Gentlemen opposite. There are a great many hon. Members on the Conservative side of this House, even if they do not say so in these Debates, make no secret of it in ordinary discussions and the expression of their views, that they consider the mining industry, just as Sir Herbert Samuel and Mr. Justice Sankey considered it, to be a bad and mismanaged industry. We have had a leading Conservative organ continually saying, "If you are going to avoid the necessity of nationalising the coal mines, then you must put into its place an efficient capitalist form of organisation." I know it seems a rather futile thing for 125 a minority in this House to urge a majority who believe in the efficiency of private enterprise to adopt an Amendment such as this, but I put it to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen that if you are not going to accept this Amendment or the very carefully worked out details supplied by the men in this industry, surely it is up to you, as people who believe in the capitalist system, to, at any rate, rescue this industry, and bring it back from the dark ages to a more modern and efficient type of organisation.
There are very few hon. Members in this House who have made any reputation for themselves in business or in the financial world who would allow their own industries to be carried on in the slipshod way in which the mining industry is carried on to-day. It is difficult to blame the miners because, as a matter of fact, the mineowners are not competent and the royalty owners know nothing of the industry from which they draw their wealth. The miner says, 'However much I suffer or wherever I go in the end I am going to stick this out and fight it to the bitter end." The miner for that reason is remaining obstinate. I have been in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and it is my considered belief—I am not attempting to utter anything in the nature of a threat—that the men in those two areas are capable of hanging on and submitting themselves and the whole community to this heavy loss for an indefinite time longer. I do think that the Home Secretary who is so anxious that liberty should be protected and that men who want to work should be allowed to work; who is so anxious that policemen who want to charge should be allowed to charge, and that even the people who boo, which has for so long been the privilege of the Englishman who does not like the subject he is booing, should see that the whole of the great potential wealth of the coal
§ industry is not kept from the community for many months longer because of a quite inefficient and incompetent method of management. The right hon. Gentleman told us that he considered these Regulations to be absolutely necessary, or he would not have brought them before the House. It is a remarkable thing that Regulation No. 14, and one or two others which do not benefit the coalowner, do not appear to be considered in a practical light by the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues, and, although they are very keen on the Regulations which allow them to suppress free speech and liberty to put aside the common law of this country, they show absolutely no enthusiasm whatever for the Regulations which allow them to put 1,000,000 men capable of great efforts of sacrifice and of undergoing great privation and suffering, and of bearing misfortune in a very cheerful and a very brave manner. All these things are to be wasted because after providing the mineowners with a cudgel the Government themselves step in to see fair play. They have said to the mineowners, "We will not interfere in this dispute, but here is the eight hours' day." Just as you have been prepared to interfere with the miners' hours on behalf of the colliery owners, why are you not prepared to interfere with the mineowners when you find that ineptitude, incompetence and greed are preventing the community from benefiting by the labour of all those skilled and good men who are kept out of work, while the price of starvation which you are paying would keep them all decently at work for a year.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 89; Noes, 235.129
|Division No. 431.]||AYES.||[9.55 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Connolly, M.||Hardie, George D.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Cove, W. G.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Baker, Walter||Day, Colonel Harry||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Dennison, R.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Duncan, C.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Barr, J.||Gosling, Harry||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Batey, Joseph||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Greenall, T.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Bromley, J.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Groves, T.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Buchanan, G.||Grundy, T. W.||Kennedy, T.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lawson, John Jame|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, G, H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lowth, T.|
|Lunn, William||Sitch, Charles H.||Walsh, Rt. Hon Stephen|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|March, S.||Smillie, Robert||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Montague, Frederick||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Murnin, H.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Westwood, J.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Whiteley, W.|
|Palin, John Henry||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Paling, W.||Stamford, T. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Potts, John S.||Stephen, Campbell||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Sullivan, J||Windsor, Walter|
|Ritson, J.||Sutton, J. E.||Wright, W.|
|Scurr, John||Taylor, R. A.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Sexton, James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Townend, A. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Varley, Frank B.||Charles Edwards.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Elveden, Viscount||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kinloch Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Apsley, Lord||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Falls, Sir Charles F.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Atkinson, C.||Fenby, T. D.||Lord, Walter Greaves-|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fermoy, Lord||Lougher, L.|
|Balniel, Lord||Finburgh, S.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Ford, Sir P. J.||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Fraser, Captain Ian||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Frece, Sir Walter de||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McLean, Major A.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gates, Percy||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Gower, Sir Robert||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grace, John||Meller, R. J.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Briant, Frank||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Neville, R. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harland, A.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oakley, T.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. H.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hawke, John Anthony||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Burman, J. B.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hills, Major John Waller||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pielou, D. P.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Holland, Sir Arthur||Pilcher, G.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Homan, C. W. J.||Preston, William|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cope, Major William||Hopkins, J, W. W.||Raine, W.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Ramsden, E.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Moseley)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Remer, J. R.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hurd, Percy A.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery)||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rye, F. G.|
|Drewe, C.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Jephcott, A. R.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Ellis, R. G.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sandon, Lord|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Skelton, A. N.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Tasker, Major R. Inigo||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Smithers, Waldron||Templeton, W. P.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Sprot, Sir Alexander||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F (Will'sden, E.)||Waddington, R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Storry-Deans, R.||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Stuart, Crichton, Lord C.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Styles, Captain H. W.||Watts, Dr. T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sueter, Rear-Aumiral Murray Fraser||Wells, S. R.||Major Hennessy and Captain|
day of August, 1926, shall continue in force, subject, however, to the provisions of Section 2 (4) of the said Act.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 232; Noes, 91.131
|Division No. 432.]||AYES.||[10.3 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Ellis, R. G.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Apsley, Lord||Elveden, Viscount||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Everard, W. Lindsay||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Atkinson, C.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Balniel, Lord||Falls, Sir Charles F.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Fenby, T. D.||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Fermoy, Lord||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Finburgh, S.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Lord, Walter Greaves|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Ganzoni, Sir John.||Lougher, L.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Gates, Percy.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Braithwaite, A. N.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gower, Sir Robert||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||McLean, Major A.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Meller, R. J.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hammersley, S. S.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Harland, A.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Morden, Colonel Walter Grant|
|Christie, J. A.||Hawke, John Anthony||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Neville, R. J.|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Cope, Major William||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Oakley, T.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington,N.)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hills, Major John Waller||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. Willliam|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Penny, Frederick George|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Homan, C. W. J.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Davies, David (Montgomery)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Pielou, D. P.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pilcher, G.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Hume, Sir G. H.||Preston, William|
|Drewe, C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Raine, W.||Smithers, Waldron||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Ramsden, E.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Spender Clay, Colonel H.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Remer, J. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Wells, S. R.|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Stanley, Col. Hon, G. F. (Will'sden, E.)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Storry Deans, R.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ropner, Major L.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Styles, Captain H. W.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Rye, F. G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Womersley, W. J.|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Tasker, Major R. Inigo||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Sandeman, A. Stewart||Templeton, W. P.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Sandon, Lord||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Waddington, R.||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Skelton, A. N.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Viscount Curzon|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hardie, George D.||Smillie, Robert|
|Baker, Walter||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Barnes, A.||Hayes, John Henry||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Townend, A. E.|
|Clowes, S.||Lawson, John James||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Compton, Joseph||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Connolly, M.||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Cove, W. G.||Montague, Frederick||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Murnin, H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dennison, R,||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Duncan, C.||Palin, John Henry||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gosling, Harry||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenall, T.||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Scurr, John||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Sexton, James|
|Groves, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, T. W.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Charles Edwards.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Sitch, Charles H.|
That the Regulations made by His Majesty in Council under the Emergency Powers Act, 1920, by Order dated the 25th day of August, 1926, shall continue in force, subject, however, to the provisions of Section 2 (4) of the said Act.