§ It shall be lawful for the council of every county and of every borough and urban district to establish or purchase or carry on any business or undertaking for the sale of coal.—[Mr. Lawson.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This Clause gives the right to county boroughs and other municipalities to be able to sell coal. I hope the Committee will not follow the spirit of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War and impart bitterness into the discussion. I have been very much surprised this morning that we should have such a spirit from the Government benches. We stand for peace and goodwill generally, and we want that spirit to be shown in the discussion. The fact that a municipality cannot sell coal is 1582 one of the outstanding anomalies in our municipal life. It may not be known to the bulk of the Committee, that in a mining area or outside a mining area any Tom, Dick or Harry can come along and begin to sell coal. He may have nothing behind him, but he can begin at once to supply people with coal and very often to rob the average person who buys the coal. On the other hand, a municipality has not the same right to sell as the average individual, however insignificant the individual may be. It is high time that this right should be given by law to the municipalities to supply coal to the persons who need it. In mining areas we have municipalities engaged in all kinds of municipal activities, and doing the work very efficiently, and cheaper than the ordinary private trader, but when it comes to the question of selling coal, they have to stand by and see private persons making profits, and sometimes not doing the 1583 work very well. In district after district combinations of citizens have been formed in order to be able to buy coal by co-operative action, because they could not be supplied by the municipality and they had often been the victims of the methods of private distribution by ordinary private persons.
I suppose the right hon. Gentleman will say, what was said upstairs, that the new Committee which is being set up for the purpose of considering and investigating co-operative selling is the right body to deal with this matter. We are not sure that they would investigate this matter, and therefore we would like an understanding that they will give close consideration to the question of municipal selling. Even if they do give such consideration to the subject, we think it is time to give a definite legal right for local authorities to sell coal. Later, we shall discuss fundamental questions at greater length, and we do not wish to discuss this Clause at great length, although we feel very strongly upon it.
§ Mr. LUNN
I beg to second the motion.
This, I think, is one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission. The Government, I understand, accepted the Royal Commission's Report, but I think there is very little in the Report which they are prepared to carry out, even since they made the promise. The supply of coal by municipalities is a principle which most of us on this side have supported long before the last Royal Commission investigated the question of coal. Many of us who have taken part in local government and in local elections for many years, believe that this principle would be to the advantage of the ratepayers, that it would be no disadvantage to those who are working the coal, and that it would certainly be a great advantage to those who have their money invested in the production of coal. The high price of coal has for many years prevented hundreds of thousands of people from purchasing the coal which they needed for their comfort and warmth in domestic use. I am satisfied that had we had this principle established many years ago instead of allowing a large number of people—there are 27,000 people en- 1584 gaged in selling coal—to build up fortunes out of the industry — larger fortunes, perhaps, than those who have had their money invested in the production of coal—and had we given these powers to municipalities, they could have distributed the coal cheaply to the people within their areas.
Had this power been in the hands of municipalities, domestic users might have purchased coal, even at a modest estimate, at 25 per cent. less price than has been the position in purchasing from merchants. There are municipalities who this year have brought coal at less than 15s. a ton, while the domestic users in those municipalities are paying more than £2 a ton for coal. For a great number of years I have taken part in municipal elections in Leeds, a municipality which has storage room and all the appurtenances near to the pits, and they could have purchased coal at a very low price, and have supplied their ratepayers with the coal, at no disadvantage to the colliers, at 25 per cent. less price than has been paid in that city. Yet we see coal merchants who have become tremendously rich out of the industry. I hope the Government will accept the recommendation on this point. We see in this House municipalities coming forward with Bills, or asking with Provisional Orders, for purposes of securing extended powers for dealing with various matters of trading, and one is the power to sell coal.
I have no doubt hon. and learned Members opposite will oppose this proposal because it may prevent them benefitting financially if it is passed. Thousands of pounds are spent upstairs in legal fees which might be saved to the ratepayers if this Amendment were accepted as municipalities who wished to use this power would be able to do so without the tremendous cost of having to get a Provisional Order or a public Bill. In the interests of the ratepayers, as well as in the interests of the mining industry, I hope the Government will accept this new Clause and give municipalities the power to purchase and distribute coal within their areas.
§ Sir L. SCOTT
I desire to say a few words only on this Amendment. In my view, the proposal that municipalities should be entrusted with the selling of 1585 coal has nothing whatever to do with the welfare of the mining industry. I recognise that in some other great towns it is difficult sometimes for the poorer classes to get their coal retail at reasonable prices. I do not want hon. Members opposite to think that I do not appreciate the gravity of that situation. I do. But I suggest that this evil must be dealt with as a question of social reform, and that it does not fall within the general category of questions affecting the prosperity of the mining industry, to which this Bill is devoted. I read with some surprise the passage in the Report of the Coal Commission advocating this policy as a lever for the purpose of reducing coal distributors' profits. It does not seem to me to have anything to do with the real object of this Bill, or the Report of the Royal Commission—namely, how to make the mining industry pay better. The whole object of the Report was to ascertain how the industry could be made to pay better so that it could pay better wages to the miners. That is the whole thing. This proposal does not touch the subject.
If this Amendment be what it looks like, an Amendment to get in the thin end of the wedge of municipal trading, as the thin end of the wedge of nationalisation, then I can understand that there is an additional reason why hon. Members opposite are anxious to support it. That is my reason for opposing it. I am perfectly frank. My view is that no municipality ought to be given powers by Statute to indulge in trading unless there are exceptional grounds for providing the facility. In the case of electricity and tramways I recognise that there are certain aspects of monopoly, the use of the streets, which makes a special case. I know many undertakings, tramways and electricity, which have been extremely well run, and many which have not been well run, but the experience to which this side in the House attaches so much importance to these matters, and to which the Liberal Party opposite attach so much importance, is fundamental—namely, that you do not get efficiency in trading unless you have the trading motive of private profit. I have recognised the evil that exists, but I submit that this proposal does not touch the industry itself, and does not promote the efficiency of the industry. That is, 1586 shortly, an unsupenable objection to the proposal.
§ Mr. WHITELEY
For the first time we have heard that this is a Bill to secure the welfare of the miners. We on this side of the House have understood that, apart from that, it is a Bill to secure the reorganisation of the industry and put it upon a basis which will make it more economic and able to render more service to the country as a whole. This new Clause will help to put this industry on an economic basis as much as anything else. Everytime we bring this question forward the Government say it is such a small matter that it will have no material affect, but if all these small matters are added together we are confident that by a real re-organisation there can be brought into this industry such an atmosphere that will enable the worker to have a better standard of life and better social conditions. From the experience through which we have passed, we are confident that it can be saved by a proposal of this kind, which will reduce the cost of production of coal in this country. I live within a mile of 11 collieries, and have to pay 27s. a ton more for my coal than the pithead price. We want to know where this 27s. is going. I have no objection to paying 27s. a ton more than the pithead price if I know that the miner who is getting the coal is getting a decent standard of life and that the consumer is not being bled for someone else's special advantage.
With a proper re-organisation in the distribution of domestic coal there can be saved a sufficient amount to give the miner a higher standard of life, the consumer cheaper coal, and still leave a sufficient margin to reduce the cost of production by 3s., 4s. or 5s. a ton. That is at least worth trying. It is no good hon. Members opposite saying that these things are of no use unless you give them a trial; at least, they are not entitled to say they are not worth consideration until they have been proved to be failures. The Government should give proper consideration to this subject, particularly as this Bill is supposed to be for the purpose of the re-organisation of the industry and getting it back to an economic basis. We are not putting this forward as a kind of side line in order to get in the thin end of the wedge of nationalisation. When we were in office we made 1587 no bones about our proposals. We brought in a Nationalisation of Mines Bill. That is where we stand, and we say that if you want to secure these advantages, small or great, and put this industry on a true economic basis, this is one of the proposals that should be adopted.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
This is one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and as I have been in favour of the adoption of the whole Report of the Commission, I shall certainly vote for the new Clause. The question is not as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Sir L. Scott) put it, whether municipal trading in coal is good or bad, or whether it would be better to leave it in the hands of private enterprise. That is not the point. The question is, whether you ought not to have this power in reserve to check private enterprise when it has the effect of putting up the price of coal extravagantly. This is one of the recommendations of the Commission upon which, according to the Commissioners themselves, there was general agreement. They say so in their Report. They certainly are not nationalisers, not one of them. They turned down quite unanimously the demand of the Labour party for the nationalisation of mines. Nevertheless, they recommend this municipal trading as men who were opposed to nationalisation, and who think it is essential that there should be a power of this kind in reserve in order that it may be used where there is an extravagant and unfair charge put upon the coal consumer. I do not agree with my hon. and learned Friend that this proposal would have no effect upon wages. What the miner sees is that at the pit mouth the coal is sold at a certain figure, and he hears from London and from other places that double, and even more, are charged for it. He finds that his wages are cut down, and he says that it is not the consumer who is cutting down his wages but someone else. According to the Report of the Commission, there is someone who is charging too much for the service rendered, and in certain cases that is the middleman.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON - EVANS
Would the right hon. Gentleman refer to 1588 the passage in which the Commission says that the charge is too much?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I have here only the recommendations of the Commission. I have not the full Report. What I am referring to is on page 93.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I am obliged to the hon. Member. At the bottom of Page 92 there is this statement:It ought to be possible, either to reduce the price of coal to the consumer, or to raise it to the colliery.That is prefaced by this statement:The information collected by us as to costs of distribution and summarised above, though less complete than we should have desired to make it, is sufficient to show that there do exist between producer and consumer substantial margins of profit or expenses, which might be narrowed to the advantage of one or other or both of them.That is a very conclusive declaration. It shows that in the opinion of these four gentlemen, who are not nationalisers, there is too much being charged in the interval between the pit mouth and the consumer. That has the effect of both raising the charge to the consumer and of narrowing the profit out of which the miner can be paid. All those who have gone into the question, such as the right hon. Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond) are of opinion that one of the solutions of the problem is in the selling of the coal. There is a margin there which is available to pay profits to the coal owner—the actual coalowner, not the one who indulges in agencies and things of that kind, but the coalowner who is a bona fide worker of his mine—and at the same time to increase the pay of the miner. That is the conclusion to which practical men have come, and undoubtedly it is the conclusion of the Commission. They have unanimously recommended it, and most of the members of the 1919 Commission came to the same conclusion.
Even those who do not agree with the nationalisation of mines were in favour of this particular proposal. The question is not whether it is desirable that County Councils or Town Councils should enter into the business of selling coal within their areas. The question is whether the knowledge that that power 1589 is there cannot be utilised where there is a combination of merchants in an area to put up the price beyond the figure at which it ought to be put. Mr. Rickett, one of the greatest of the coal merchants, is not in the least afraid of this proposal. He thinks that they would be able to compete with the municipalities. I have no doubt that they would. But they would cut their prices. Every excellent business man would be able to compete with any municipality or county council, but the knowledge that it was necessary to compete, that there was this rival, this possible resort, would in itself force them to consider the question either of reducing prices or of leaving a margin which would be available in order to raise the wages of the miners.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I ventured to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman just now because I thought that he was making a case on the footing that the Royal Commission had found that there were excessive profits being made out of the distribution of coal. It is the general belief, because it is extremely difficult otherwise to account for the differences between the pithead prices and the prices that all of us as retail consumers have to pay. It is because of that general belief that a little less than fairness may be done if we are not extremely careful. What the Royal Commission actually said was:The information collected by us as to costs of distribution and summarised above, though less complete than we should have desired to make it, is sufficient to show that there do exist between producer and consumer substantial margins of profit or expenses, which might be narrowed to the advantage of one or other or both of them.The Commission did inquire closely into all the processes between the raising of the coal and the actual receipt of it by the consumer. If they could have found evidence and reached a finding that at any one point excessive profits were being made, their recommendation would be infinitely more convincing. The hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) said that the Government did agree to accept the Royal Commission's Report, and he asked why we were not accepting this new Clause. I want to make the position of the Government quite clear, though I thought it was well known. The Government did agree to accept the whole of the Commission's Report or offered to do so, provided that the owners on the one hand 1590 and the miners' representatives on the other hand would also accept the Report, so that we all three might co-operate in getting a lasting settlement on the basis of the Report. But there was no acceptance on the part of the other parties. So the Government naturally reserved its liberty. No one supposes that the Government, being what it is—[Interruption,]—being what I am proud to say it is, a Conservative Government, a supporter of individual rights and liberties, is likely to welcome a proposal for municipal trading. It was prepared, in the interests of peace, if its offer had been accepted, to bring in a Measure which would have authorised that, but the offer was not accepted.
§ Mr. HARNEY
Did I not hear the right hon. Gentleman on a previous Motion say that this Bill was the carrying out of the Report?
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
The The hon. and learned Gentleman has not been sufficiently often at the Standing Committee meetings to have heard what took place.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
The hon. and learned Gentleman had better refresh his memory, because I will undertake to state I used the words "With some exceptions." I am within the recollection of the House. There was, the Commission says, no sufficient evidence before them, and there is no sufficient evidence before us to make it quite certain that municipal trading is a necessary check upon private trading. If it were really proved to be a necessary check it would have to be accepted, but it has not been proved to be a necessary check. I do not see any evidence in the Commission's Report, or in anything they have said, or even in the arguments brought forward by hon. Members opposite, to show that it has been so proved. The hon. Member for Rothwell said he had been in politics in Leeds for many years, and that he knew that in Leeds 25 per cent, on the price of coal might be saved to the consumer, if the sale were undertaken by the municipality. A profit of 25 per cent, on the turnover seems to be the sort of profit which would make 1591 any retail trader jump into the coal-distributing trade, especially if the 25 per cent. can be obtained in addition to profits which are already said to be too high. I cannot myself believe that the trade is so profitable as that, and that we do not find other people immediately joining it. If it is found to be necessary to do something more the Government will not shirk doing something more. [HON. MEMBERS: "Do it now."] There is no evidence now upon which we can go. What we are doing is to set up an extremely strong Committee under Sir Frederick Lewis to consider the desirability and practicability of the cooperative selling of coal, and we shall await their report before we ask the House to come to any conclusion as to the ultimate development of the retail selling of coal.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I do not say it is within the terms of reference. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] There is nothing extraordinary about it. We intend to await the Report of that Committee which is considering, as I say, the desirability and practicability of the co-operative selling of coal before we take any further steps. It may well be that they will be able to find some method of co-operative selling, even from the source—from the collieries themselves—which may cut out a good many middlemen's and distributing profits. If they can do that, there is no necessity for reversing our ordinary policy and authorising municipalities to sell coal. It may well be that they will solve the question; and when we have their report we shall be in an infinitely better position to dsa1 with this matter.
§ Mr. J. H. THOMAS
I gather that the Government's answer is that they cannot accept this proposed new Clause because the consideration of the whole question is to be determined by this Committee. If the terms of reference to the Committee do not include this question, how can the Committee consider it?
§ 12 N.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I hope the right hon. Gentlemen will listen while I repeat what I said. The original Commission's Report, as shown by the passage which I have read, is to the effect that there is a large difference between the pit-head price and the consumers charge, which may be due either to profits or expenses. The Commission made a considerable investigation on its own account and came to no further conclusion than that, except that it recommended the municipal selling of coal. [Hon. Members. "Hear, hear!"]. I am only stating the facts, and I hope I am summarising the report fairly in this respect. As I have said, the Government have set up a Committee to consider the very wide question of how best to get the coal from the pit to the consumer. That is a very wide reference, and deals with all the processes, between the getting of the coal and the consumption of the coal. We intend to await that report before we decide whether municipal selling ought to be authorised or not. The Committee, as I have pointed out, is a very strong one, and it may advise checks on existing methods of retail sale. They may even cut out the present methods of distribution from pit to consumer, and may suggest a co-operative method which will reduce the price, but, until we know what they do recommend, I do not propose to go further.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Would it be competent for that Committee to consider the advisability of municipal selling, among other methods of dealing with the question, or would that point be excluded?
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
No, it is not excluded. The wording of the terms of reference is of the very widest character. I do not want, on the other hand, to say that I am specially referring to them the question of whether municipalities are, or are not, to be allowed to sell coal. I do not want to be understood as saying so.
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
I think the terms are wide enough to enable them to make inquiries into the subject, if they wish to do so.
§ Mr. SPENCER
One is surprised to learn this morning that the Government are turning their backs upon the recommendations of the Royal Commission. Some of us have been endeavouring for some time past to turn the mind of our own organisation to the Royal Commission, as the way out of the difficulties which we are facing. Yet, just at the moment when there seems to be an indication in our own organisation that our efforts in this direction, backed up by a great body of public opinion, are succeeding, we find the Government turning their backs upon their own statement that they were prepared to give effect to the recommendations of the Commission. Among those recommendations is this one on the question of the right of municipalities to sell coal, and it is one to which the mining community attach great importance. If the Government are going to adhere to the attitude which they have taken up this morning, what faith can any of us have in any statement which the Government have made? We can attach no importance to their statements. All we can say now is that those who have been endeavouring to secure the adoption of the Royal Commission's Report, as a basis of settlement, have been misled by the pretensions of the Government. We shall be told from our own side that all the statements which have been made by the Government are but hollow shams, and that the Government are running away from their promises.
I should have liked the Government this morning to have shown that they were sincere in their promises and were prepared to give effect to the recommendations of the Commission. The right hon. Gentleman himself has said that there is going to be a delay in dealing with this matter, because it has been submitted to an impartial committee who are going to investigate the whole question of selling agencies and the retail trade. As a matter of fact, nothing of the kind is going to be done. The right hon. Gentleman says he is going to await the report of that Committee, but the Committee is not going to deal with this question at all. What is the use of trying to palm off a statement of that character on the House? It has no reference whatever to the subject under discussion, and, so far as we are concerned, we cannot accept it as conclusive or satisfactory. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1594 Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) was speaking, the Secretary for State for War seemed to cast some doubt upon his argument and upon his statement with regard to the possibility of a saving in the retail trade which would augment the wages of the miners.
All along the line we have held the opinion that there have been large profits somewhere which ought to have come into the coffers of the industry, to have augmented the wages of the miners, and if the right hon. Gentleman opposite will let his mind rest on the evidence submitted, not only to this Commission, but to the last previous Commission, he will find that there is substantial evidence to justify all that we have been thinking and saying this morning. The Commission of 1919 said:The evidence shows that considerable saving is possible in the distribution of household coal.That was the conclusion of Mr. (now Sir) Arthur Balfour, Mr. R. W. Cooper, Sir Adam Nimmo, Sir Allan Smith, and Mr. Evan Williams, not members of the Miners' Federation, but men who were competent to speak with authority for the industry, and that evidence has been again endorsed by the further evidence submitted to the recent Commission. I would like to draw attention to the passage which the right hon. Gentleman read out a minute or two ago. In the first place, they say:The information collected by us as to costs of distribution ….. though less complete than we should have desired to make it"—It is those last words to which I wish to draw attention. I am quite sure that if we had to-morrow a Commission which was going to examine not merely accounts which were incomplete, but accounts which were complete, and whose investigations were not confined merely to the statements put in by the merchants themselves, but were going to follow them up and examine the colliery books and see how far they could be verified, there would be a revelation to this country with regard to the price that the merchants were paying at the pits for their coal. It is said here that the price paid by private enterprise is 35s. per ton at the depot, and 33s. by the co-operative societies. Is there any man here who believes for a single moment that private enterprise is paying 2s. a ton more for its coal than 1595 are the co-operative societies, whose experience and knowledge of the industry are limited, whereas you have had merchants in the industry for from 50 to 100 years? Every coal owner on the other side knows perfectly well that that statement is not entirely a statement of fact.
§ Mr. SPENCER
I could take the hon. and gallant Member into little places in London where the top price is charged for little more than rubbish. The ignorance of the London population with regard to coal has been exploited by the people opposite, and on this side, so far as the coal merchants are concerned, in the quality of the coal put into the cellars of the people. I have witnessed coal that has been brought in at top price which has been little more than the very refuse of the coalfield, because the people knew little or nothing about the quality, and when they tell us that what they are receiving is Derby Brights it is very often not true. Coal owners get up and state that there is not more than 10 per cent. of the coal seams containing the best coal, and yet we are asked to believe that what is coming into London and every other city is the best coal, that they have to pay top price for it, and that, consequently, they have to charge top price for it retail. That is not a fact, and, therefore, I come back to the point I have already made, that if you could have a complete investigation into the charges to the consumer and the prices at the pits you would find there was certainly room for the establishment of municipal selling agencies. If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to page 89 of the Report of the last Commission, he will find this:If all the retail trade in London could in these respects be conducted as economically as that of the Co-operative Society whose accounts have been examined, a very substantial margin would be available, either for reducing prices to the consumer or for increasing prices to the colliery, and increasing wages to the miner.I would like to commend that passage to the hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Sir L. Scott), to whom I would like to pay my respects for the very valuable service he rendered in the Committee. His legal 1596 knowledge has been made available for the Committee on many points, and to that extent I pay my respects to him, but on this point I beg leave to differ from him. I think he is wrong when he says that this has no relevancy whatever to the question of the miners' wages and the general financial position of the industry.
§ Sir L. SCOTT
I did not suggest, nor do I think, that the disparity between the pithead price and the price paid by the ultimate consumer of domestic coal has no relevance to the questions considered in the Commission's Report or to this Bill. I agree that it has. That aspect of the matter, as I understand it, is going to be considered by the Committee that has just been appointed. It is of vital importance that we should know how it is that there is so large a gap between the pithead price and the price paid by the consumer of domestic coal, and to the extent of the 30,000,000 tons or so consumed as domestic coal it is very important. All that I said was that the question of municipal trading seemed to me to be an essentially different kind of proposal altogether from the general proposals that are being considered for the purpose of improving the industry as a whole, and that they had no place in this Bill. I think strongly that that is a matter that will have to he looked at by the Committee that has been appointed to consider the whole question of selling.
§ Mr. SPENCER
That seems to be begging the question altogether, if it be true, as the Commissioners say, that there are substantial margins of profit and expenses that might lead to the advantage either of the consumers or of the miners. If you establish a medium such as has been described by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, which is going to stand as a rival to check the exorbitant prices charged by private enterprise, it stands to reason that the consumers or the people engaged in the industry will derive a financial advantage from the establishment of that agency. Therefore, if that be so, the remarks of the hon. and learned Gentleman are not really strictly accurate. That is the least that I can say about them. I think a case is made out here for the right of municipalities to engage in the selling of coal. 1597 I submit to the House that the worst thing you can do now, in face of the alarming stoppage which is going on, is to break faith with the British public, whom you have led to believe that you are standing by the Report. If you are now finally departing from the Report; if it has got to be a fight to a finish, do not think for one moment that that is going to have a bearing upon the stoppage. It is rather going to rally the forces on this side to continue as long as we can the struggle. It is making us rather more bitter and hostile to the other side of the House, and the Government and the owners as a whole, because we are beginning to realise that we have been misled, and for the Government to turn round on its best friends on this side, who have been endeavouring to get an end to this stoppage, is one of the most disastrous things they can do. Instead of bringing the more moderate men to their side, they are driving even the moderate men into the ranks of the extremists, because we realise that the battle we are fighting now is a battle against the Government and the owners combined.
It has been a great surprise to me to see the sudden hostility which this proposal has aroused among Members of the party opposite. One of the first things I did when I first came into this House was to introduce a Bill under the Ten Minutes' Rule, in order to try to bring this scheme before the notice of the House. At that time, I remember, a considerable amount of sympathy was expressed by Members on the other side. A certain number went further than to express sympathy, and supported me in the Division Lobby, I cannot believe that opinion has so desidedly altered among the less class conscious Members opposite that they should be solidly behind the very casuistical arguments brought forward by the Minister, and the hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division (Sir L. Scott). It seems to me not only away from the point, but very dangerous at the present moment to argue that any of these things which bear on the amount available for the miners and the mineowners, have nothing whatever to do with the position of the mining industry. The actual fact is—and we have heard it from many 1598 Members on the opposite of the House that as far as accountants are able to discover, with their limited access at the present moment, there is not enough money being made out of the coal industry to pay miners an adequate wage, or to pay mineowners an adequate return on their capital, and all the other charges. I submit to the House, that the normal thing to do when you find that the total amount of income from an industry is not sufficient to meet its legitimate charges, is to go through that industry, and prune very carefully every excrescence of expenditure, every person who is drawing anything from the industry to which, perhaps, his services do not entitle him to draw, in an effort to see, that whatever is raised from the industry, whether it be adequate or inadequate, shall be shared principally between those people who are rendering the main service to the industry.
I have seen it stated in Press organs representing the views of hon. Members opposite, that the position which gives rise to this continual unrest in the coalfields is not only an economic position, but a psychological position as well. The miner believes, that while the Government hasten to accept that part of the Report which says he must make a sacrifice, he finds every kind of casual argument that they can possibly discover, in order to avoid accepting, and to discredit, any part of the Commission's report which involves the making of sacrifices by people who are more likely to be congenial to them than the miners. I have here a copy of the "London Coal Market Report," a paper which anybody can buy in the ordinary way, published by the retail coal merchants themselves. One paragraph gives an interesting insight into the method by which they distribute coal in London. They say there is little or nothing to report in the retail section of the market. When, however, the volume of orders has increased to appreciable dimensions, a revision of prices to the public will at once be brought forward. In another part of the report they say that coal, which was actually sold at the London Coal Exchange at 29s. a ton, was going into the cellar of the consumer in London at 51s., and in places, such as the East End of London, where coal is sold in very small quantities—and it is, as the hon. Member pointed out, courteous to call it coal— 1599 it is sold at prices which work out, in the aggregate, to much more, perhaps, than the prices which those who buy larger quantities have to pay for very good coal.
The miner does not get that money. According to the figures given, the miner gets something around 3s. a ton for the coal he hews. Yet he sees coal being sold in the streets of our great cities at these prices, and none of the arguments of the Secretary of State for War or the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite are going to persuade the miner that when coal, for which he gets 3s. a ton, in sold in London at 60s. there is not some leakage somewhere.
The average price, as supplied by the Miners' Federation Executive, which the miner gets over the country, is 3s. a ton. That is what the coal hewer gets for the coal he hews. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman wishes to give an authoritative correction, I shall be glad to have it.
§ Major PRICE
If the hon. Member will refer to the figures issued by the Mines Department, he will find that the wage cost per ton of coal is anything between 10s. and 12s., out of which the hewer gets his proportion.
That is just the kind of argument about which some of us complain. I was dealing with the average wage of the man who hews the coal, and I said he got an average of 3s. a ton. The hon. and gallant Member contradicts that statement. He says the Mines Department states—and I am quite aware of it—that the average wage cost is something in the neighbourhood of 9s. or 10s. a ton. I did not say that 3s. a ton was the average wage cost, taking all the people engaged in the industry into account. What I said was that the coal hewer, the miner, looks at the position, and sees the coal for which he himself gets 3s. a ton, sold in the streets of London at from 55s. to 65s., and he wants to know where the leakage is, why it is he is the only person called upon by the Government to make sacrifices, while everybody else, who, apparently draws the rest of the 55s. to 65s., is not to be 1600 called upon to make any sacrifice at all. It is all the more surprising that this suggestion, which was supported last year by many Members opposite in the Division Lobby, which we have continually urged forward, which is a purely permissive measure, we do not want force, or to interfere with the liberty of the subject, it is treated in this way. When the right hon. gentleman waxes so eloquent about this purely permissive Measure, why is it that he offers such constant opposition? The miners are suffering. Consumers are suffering. If any hon. Member will take the trouble at the present time to go down into the poorer districts of London, he will find that the present coal shortage is being exploited by someone. He will realise that not only the miner, but the consumer needs protection not from the unrestricted play of competition, but because there is no competition, but from the London coal dealer. The miner believes that a very considerable proportion of this matter is largely interwoven and largely tied up with the interests of the coalowners themselves. A paper case has been made out on the other side for a reduction of wages of the miners, but when the Government refuse such a simple permissive measure as we are putting forward, then there can be very little wonder that many of us on these benches should begin to despair even of getting the smallest measure of justice for anybody else but the trader himself from the Tory Government.
§ Mr. WRAGG
I do not propose to follow the hon. Member who has just sat down, into many of the arguments that he has used because I think he knows very little about the coal trade. His arguments are intended for propaganda throughout the country with a view to showing that the coal miner only gets 3s. per ton.
I said that the difference in the price paid to the miner and the high price at which this coal was sold brought the inevitable suggestion as to what became of the difference?
§ Mr. WRAGG
I accept that suggested alteration on the part of the hon. Member but may I say that I know from long experience and everyone engaged in the coal industry knows that apart from the managers, directors and so on, those 1601 who earn wages receive over 10s. a ton and in some districts such as South Wales considerably more than 12s. Therefore, I submit that it is unfair to throw out the suggestion that the miner is only paid 3s. a ton, whereas the miner, which term includes the hewer, the filler, the men engaged underground and the men engaged on the surface screening the coal—they are all technically miners —gets from 10s. to 15s. a ton according to the different areas of the country.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I think it is wrong to convey the impression that the miner gets 12s. per ton. The miners collectively get 12s. per ton—that is, spread over the whole body of workers.
§ Mr. WRAGG
I said before that you do not include in wage cost the higher officials such as the directors and the managers. I said that the figures 10s. to 15s. per ton excluded these. Hon. Members opposite look at this matter, I think, from an exaggerated point of view, as to what they think would be likely to happen with a municipal supply of coal. But hon. Members ought to know that house coal or domestic coal in this country is only 12 per cent. of the total coal which is used.
§ Mr. WRAGG
On Page 4 of the Report of the Royal Commission the hon. Members will find that for the year 1924 there were 267,000,000 tons of coal raised, while if they turn to page 11 of the Report they will see that of that total domestic use has accounted for only 33,000,000 tons which shows a proportion of just over 12 per cent. I cannot go into extraneous matters, but what I can say to the hon. Member for North East Derbyshire (Mr. Lee) is that if he refers to the Report of the Commission on page 4, he will see that in 1924 there were 267,000,000 tons of coal raised, of which as I have said 33,000,000 went in home consumption.
§ Mr. SPENCER
But I see on page 11 of the Report that in 1923 the percentage was 33.50 and in 1924, 33.75.
§ Mr. WRAGG
I have gone carefully into these figures and, they are as I have stated, 267,000,000 and 33,000,000 respectively. With household coal only 12 per cent. of the total produced. If you eliminate the merchant trading in house coal about whom so much has been said and allow the colliery the shilling per ton on 12 per cent. which the merchant may be getting you get something like 1 per cent. added to the proceeds of the collieries, of which 87 per cent. goes to the men and 13 per cent. to the owners. It is absolutely ridiculous therefore to make such a point of what can be saved in the distribution of household coal.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I know how anxious hon. Members are to raise many different subjects in the course of this debate, but I would suggest that it is not necessary to go into these detailed figures on this Amendment.
§ Mr. WRAGG
I apologise to the hon. Member for not giving way, but I have already given way half-a-dozen times. The point I was trying to make was that the profits of the coal merchant over the whole of the proceeds would make very little difference. I notice on page 87 of the Report that the profit of the merchant in London worked out at 6½d. per ton. The Commission say that the profit was 6½d. a ton, and the profit on coal dealt with in a wholesale way, which may not go to household consumers, was 6d. a ton. If we add those two profits together the resulting Is. a ton on household coal will not make all the difference to the situation seeing that household coal is only 12 per cent. of the total production of coal in this country. It is always a surprise to me that hon. Members opposite, many of whom represent co-operative societies, cannot find a solution to this question themselves. I believe the co-operative societies own coal mines—they may own one or two—and it is well known that they have their own organisation for the distribution of coal, and yet we find that they do not sell coal to consumers 1603 any cheaper than do the coal merchants. A solution is in their own hands—to distribute the coal themselves and give the consumer the benefit of the large profits which they say are being made by coal merchants.
In a way I rather regret that the Government will not accept this new Clause. It would be a sort of gesture to hon. Members opposite, and to the coal-miners of the country who have exaggerated ideas on this question of profits. But I quite agree with the Government in not accepting it, seeing that the miners will not accept the Report on the Coal Commission, seeing that they have held the country up for 12 weeks—[Interruption] — the coalowners may be to blame to same extent, but I put the blame mostly on the miners for holding up the country for 12 weeks. My own view is that if all three parties would agree to carry out the whole of the Coal Commission's Report we might have a solution of this problem on those lines. But to lay undue importance on a proposal of this sort, and to try to make out that the municipalities can sell coal much cheaper, seems to me rather ridiculous. Of course, they might be able to sell it cheaper if they had a free hand to dip into the pockets of the ratepayers, but that is expressly prohibited in the Report. I do not propose to detain the House any longer, but I shall support the Government, having regard to all the circumstances.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The speeches we have heard from the Government side are typical of the kind of thinking which has brought the country to its present difficult situation. I was astonished to hear the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Sir L. Scott) putting forward the point of view he has submitted. With all respect to him, the arguments he used would have been applicable to the industry 50 years ago; but the attitude of the supporters of the Government generally towards this particular question seems to ignore the point that economic factors are continually changing, and that the conditions to which their arguments might have been applied are disappearing for ever under modern forms of industry. The right hon. Gentleman in charge of the 1604 Bill threw cold water on the suggestion that 25 per cent. profit was made on the retail side of the industry. I might agree that it is an exaggerated statement to say that is the profit of an individual retailer of coal, but the figure is a fair one if it is spread over all those who handle the coal in between the transporter and the coal consumer. In the last few years there has grown up in the coal industry, as in many other industries, a parasitic element which renders no useful service whatever. The Government may say this point has nothing to do with the Bill, or that it will not effect the ultimate solution of the coal problem, but it is no use their trying to blink the fact that more than 1,000,000 people in this country believe that in some form or another, though they may not be able to put their finger on the spot where the robbery takes place, they are exploited and robbed of the fruits of the labour they perform.
The hon. Member for Belper (Mr. Wragg) speaks of a wage cost of 12s. a ton. That is the figure of the Department for Mines; it includes high salaries as well as low wages, and also the cost of administration. Surely there must be something radically wrong when coal costing 12s. a ton at the pithead is sold at £3 5s. a ton to the consumer here in London. In the very districts where coal is produced the collier himself, who is receiving 3s. a ton as an individual for hewing coal—and there is another 9s. a ton to be added to cover the other costs of production—is compelled to pay as much as £2 10s. a ton for the coal he buys for consumption in his own fire grate.
§ Mr. WRAGG
I am much obliged to the hon. Member for giving way to me. The prices given are, of course, average prices, and they include slack, small stuff and house coal. At my own pit we sell coal at the pit mouth as high as 35s. a ton, and we also sell coal as low as 4s. a ton. I hope the hon. Member will bear in mind that house coal for London is not bought at the pit mouth at 12s. a ton, but more probably at 25s. or 27s. a ton.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
May I say to the hon. Member for Belper (Mr. Wragg) that in the area where I am we have two prices for household coal. For the best screened coal we pay 25s. and for unscreened coal 24s.—just as it comes out of the pit.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The hon. Gentleman might tell us what is the actual percentage of best coal produced in this country. My hon. Friend the Member for the Broxtowe Division (Mr. Spencer) has quoted 10 per cent. as the actual quantity of best coal that can be obtained in the country, and it is interesting to know how these prices for best coal arise. Everybody sells best coal. There are millions of tons of "best coal" sold, and millions of tons for which the price of best coal is received. The actual quantity of best coal is strictly limited by natural factors, which even the most ingenious of coalowners cannot overcome. These are some of the factors which contribute to that sense of exploitation existing in the minds of the miners. What I would suggest to the Government is that if they think the retailers of coal can hold their own with the municipalities, if the owners think the municipalities cannot make the business a success, why not give the municipalities a chance to exhibit their incompetence and to prove that private enterprise is best in retailing.
At any rate, if the Government had accepted a Clause such as this it would have been an indication to the miners,
§ who are now bitterly struggling in the country for what they believe to be their elementary rights, that the Government were attempting to secure fair play. This would have sweetened the rapidly souring tempers of the men.
§ I think the Government would be wise to accept this small permissive Clause under which any public authority could buy coal at pithead prices and distribute it if they thought it was a reasonable venture. At the present time, the municipalities do buy coal directly and sell the products of coal, and it seems an anomaly that they cannot sell the coal they buy at a retail price. They buy coal for all kinds of municipal undertakings. They can sell coke, and they can sell gas and its by-products, sulphur and ammonia. Why cannot they sell coal? That would have been a sensible proposal quite in line with the findings of the Royal Commission, and it would have been an indication that the Government are bolding out some evidence of their goodwill.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 110; Noes, 257.1609
|Division No. 386.]||AYES.||[12.48 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Sakiatvala, Shapurji|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanten)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Sexton, James|
|Barnes, A.||Hardle, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barr, J.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hayes, John Henry||Smillie, Robert|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromley, J.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Charieton, H. C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thorne. G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Kelly, W. T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kennedy, T.||Thurtle, E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lee, F.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Livingstone, A. M.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dennison, R.||Lowth, T.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Duncan, C.||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Watson, W. M. (Duntermilne)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||March, S.||Westwood, J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Montague, Frederick||Whiteley, W.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Palin, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham. Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Paling, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenall, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wright, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Purcell, A. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Charles Edwards.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Falls, Sir Charles F.||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Albery, Irving James||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Fielden, E. B.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Finburgh, S.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Apsley, Lord||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Fraser, Captain Ian||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Atkinson, C.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gates, Percy||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Bainiel, Lord||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Goff, Sir Park||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Gower, Sir Robert||Pielou, D. P.|
|Rena, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grace, John||Pilcher, G.|
|Berry, Sir George||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Birchall, Major .J. Dearman||Grotrian, H. Brent||Preston, William|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Raise, W|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hail, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hammersley, S. S.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hanbury, C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hartington, Marquess of||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs. Stretford)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Haslam, Henry C.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ruggies-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Barks, Newb'y)||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Rye, F. G.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R.,Sear. & Wh'by)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hills, Major John Walter||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hilton, Cecil||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Sandon, Lord|
|Campbell, E. T.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Savery, S. S.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Scott, Sir Les/le (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shaw, Capt. Walter (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hume, Sir G. H.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Huntingfield, Lord||Smith. R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & p'bl's)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Somerville. A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth. Cen'l)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Jacob, A E.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stanley. Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cope, Major William||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Couper, J. B.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir clement||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lamb, J. Q.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Craft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sueter. Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Crookshank, Cpt H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Loder, J. de V.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lougher, L.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vera||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Lumley, L. R.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dixey, A. C.||Maclntyre, Ian||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Drewe, C.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Elliot, Major Waiter E.||Malone. Major P. B.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Margesson, Captain D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Meller, R. J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Mitchell. S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Withers, John James|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Womersley, W. J.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)||Wragg, Herbert||Bowyer.|
|Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|