HC Deb 23 July 1926 vol 198 cc1572-81

Order for consideration, as amended (in the Standing Committee) read.


I beg to move, "That the Bill be recommitted to the former Committee."

This Bill is alleged to be the fruits of the labours of the Samuel Commission, but in our judgment it does not in the least carry out the recommendations of that Commission. I could, if necessity required, go through a number of points in which I allege, and I think with real force, that this Bill is but a faint reflection of what is required as laid down by the Government's own Commission. In view of the fact that it is really so ineffective, I move that it be recommitted to the former Committee, in order to see what they can do with it.

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)

I take it that the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not expect the Government to accept his Motion, for he did not take the trouble to support it by any argument. These little manœuvres are not unknown in this House. Their object is extremely well known indeed. It has nothing to do with this Bill, or any other Bill; it has much more to do with the clock. The argument is the argument of the clock. Of course, the hon. and gallant Gentleman has still a party. There are some Members of it who are still in this House, and there were some Members of it on the Committee on the Bill upstairs. Why did they not represent the views of the party? Why did not they go to the place where they could have brought in Amendments, could have set down new Clauses, and have filled all the gaps that the hon. and gallant Gentleman at the very last moment has found in the Bill?

The truth is that there are no gaps in the Bill except on two matters which have been discussed again and again, and which I have no doubt will be raised, indeed, are raised, in the new Clauses which will subsequently have to be debated at this stage of the Bill. There are the gaps with regard to the nationalisation of mines, and there are the gaps with regard to municipal selling. The latter is dealt with in a new Clause that we shall have to consider presently. The hon. and gallant Gentleman did not call attention to a single gap of any sort, and actually, in the Clauses of the Bill, there is, with the exceptions I have mentioned, everything that the Royal Commission recommended as far as legislation is necessary. There are many recommendations in the very long Report of the Royal Commission which do not require legislation at all. They require further investigation, and steps are being taken to secure that further investigation. Only this morning the appointment of a very important Committee has been announced, to deal with one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission which does not require inclusion in the legislative Measure. Was that the objection which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had to make to this Bill? It is quite likely, because he very obviously had not read the Bill, and did not know what was necessary and what was not necessary.

There is in the Bill a power the necessity for which is emphasised by the Royal Commission, and which is a great departure in practice from anything in any Bill that has ever been introduced into the House of Commons. It has always been recognised by all parties that there is a power in any Government to take or to interfere with private property upon proper compensation, but never has a Bill been brought into this House with such wide powers as this Bill gives—powers to take going concerns, and to amalgamate them compulsorily with others for the better and more efficient working of the industry. That is the main object of the Bill; that is the main recommendation of the Royal Commission; and yet the hon. and gallant Gentleman comes here, and asks for the postponement of this beneficent work, not having taken the trouble to read the Bill and see what it really does contain. I say that there is no substance in this Motion. It is a mere attempt to delay and harass the Government, who are carrying out in the very best sense the recommendations of the Report of the Royal Commission. I could, of course, go through each one of the various provisions of the Bill, and show by a process of exhaustion that there is little or nothing left to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman could fairly and properly call attention. Then the House would then see how hollow is the pretence of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, for by such a process we should see that Clause after Clause of the Royal Commission's Report is brought into this Bill in the only practical way.

It is quite true that the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Leader, who has graced the House with his presence to-day, at the very last moment—last night, indeed—put down five new Clauses, which I have not even been able to read, because they have never appeared upon the Paper until just now, and the most important of which, by the way, is not a product of the Liberal party at all, but is I understand, a slavish copy of a new Clause that was moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Exchange division of Liverpool (Sir L. Scott). At the last moment, the right hon. Gentleman seems to have gathered up all the Amendments and new Clauses which were rejected in Committee upstairs, although only one Member of his Party ever appeared there, and then contented himself with leaving batches of his own new Clauses unmoved, I was thankful for it, but it ill becomes that party to endeavour to waste the all too short

Friday which is to be devoted to the consideration of the Bill. I hope I have been able to show that there is no ground whatever for the Motion except the clock, which has fortunately moved on, and I ask the House to reject it.


On a point of Order. Will it be in order, having regard to the extreme importance of the Motion, to move that it should take the form of a Motion to commit the Bill to a Committee of the whole House, because, if so, I should like to address you upon it.


Standing Order 40A instructs me to put the Question after a brief statement from the Mover and a brief statement from the Member who opposes the Motion.


Is it, in order for a Minister to charge another Member with malicious motives?


I did not hear anything disorderly.


He kept referring to the clock—


You cannot libel a clock.

Question put, "That the Bill be recommitted to the former Committee."

The House divided: Ayes, 81; Noes, 155.

Division No. 385] AYES. [11.18 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Ammon, Charles George Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Attlee, Clement Richard Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Sitch, Charles H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hardie, George D. Smillie, Robert
Barr, J. Harney, E. A. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Batey, Joseph Harris, Percy A. Snell, Harry
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hayday, Arthur Taylor, R. A.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hirst, G. H. Thorne, G. R. {Wolverhampton, E.)
Cape, Thomas Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Charleton, H. C. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Thurtle, E.
Compton, Joseph John William (Rhondda, West) Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, W. G. Kelly, W. T. Townend, A. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Kennedy, T. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Crawfurd, H. E. Lawson, John James Viant, S. P.
Dalton, Hugh Lee, F. Wallhead, Richard C.
Davies, David (Montgomery) Livingstone, A. M. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Day, Colonel Harry Lunn, William Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth. Bedwellty) Maclean, Neil {Glasgow, Govan) Welsh. J. C.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) March, S. Whiteley, W.
George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Gibbins, Joseph Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Riley, Ben Windsor, Walter
Greenall, T. Rose, Frank H. Wright, W.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine) Scrymgeour, E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Sexton, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Grundy, T. W. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Sir Godfrey Collins and Sir Robert
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Apsley, Lord Balniel, Lord
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover) Barnett, Mayor Sir Richard
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Atkinson, C. Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)
Berry, Sir George Finburgh, S. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Betterton, Henry B. Ganzoni, Sir John Power, Sir John Cecil
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Preston, William
Blades, Sir George Rowland Goff, Sir Park Raise, W.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Grace, John Ramsden, E.
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'Y)
Briggs, J. Harold Grotrian, H. Brent Ropner, Major L.
Briscoe, Richard George Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Ruggles-Brine, Major E. A.
Brittain, Sir Harry Gunston, Captain D. W. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hanbury, C. Rye, F. G.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hartington, Marquess of Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brown, Brig.-Gen H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Sandeman, A. Stewart
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P. Sandon, Lord
Bullock, Captain M. Henn, Sir Sydney H. Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Herbert, S.(York,N.R.,Scar. & Wh'by) Shaw, Capt. Walter (Wilts, Westb'y)
Campbell, E. T. Hills, Major John Waller Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Holt, Capt. H. P. Skelton, A. N.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Chilcott, Sir Warden Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Christie, J. A. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hume, Sir G. H. Strickland, Sir Gerald
Clayton, G. C. Huntingfield, Lord Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Mid1'n & P'bl's) Styles, Captain H. Walter
Cooper, A. Duff Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Cope, Major William Jacob, A. E. Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Couper, J. B. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Thomson, F. C, (Aberdeen, South)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) King, Captain Henry Douglas Tinne, J. A.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Lamb, J. Q. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Crookshank, Cpt. R. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Dr. Vernon Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Loder J. de V. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple
Drewe, C. Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Eden, Captain Anthony MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Edmondson, Major A. J MacRobert, Alexander M. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Ellis, R. G. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Wise, Sir Fredric
Elveden, Viscount Manningharn-Buller, Sir Mervyn Withers, John James
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Womersley, W. J.
Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Mitchell, S. (Lanark Lanark) Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Everard, W. Lindsay Murchison, C. K. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Falls, sir Charles F. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Major Sir Harry Barnston and
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Lord Stanley.

Bill, as amended, considered.

  1. New CLAUSE (Municipal Sale of Coal). 11,160 words, 1 division
  2. cc1609-22
  3. NEW CLAUSE.—(Settlement of Disputes.) 5,524 words
  4. cc1622-39
  5. NEW CLAUSE.—(Board of Trade to provide establishment of agencies.) 7,074 words, 1 division
  6. cc1639-66
  7. CLAUSE I.—(Power to prepare amalgamation and absorption schemes.) 11,834 words, 2 divisions