§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ Mr. WILLIAM GRAHAM
I beg to move to leave out from the words "That," to the end of the Question, and to add, instead thereof, the wordsThis House, while willing to render financial assistance to meet the deficit in the Unemployment Insurance Fund of Northern Ireland in order to safeguard the rights of unemployed insured persons, cannot assent to a Bill which would establish an unfair differentiation in the methods of dealing with the respective deficits in the Unemployment Insurance Funds of this country and of Northern Ireland.I desire as clearly as possible to state the reasons which have moved my hon. Friends and myself to put; down an Amendment, the effect of which would be to turn this into a loan to the Government of Northern Ireland rather than leave it in its present form as an out-and-out gift. We made it clear during the discussion on the Financial Resolution that in this part of the House there was the greatest sympathy with the industrial misfortune which had overtaken Northern Ireland, and certainly during that Debate no obstacle would have been offered in our ranks to any proposal which, in our judgment, would have had the effect of assisting Northern Ireland without imposing an undue penalty upon the taxpayers in Great Britain. That is precisely our spirit to-day, and in moving this Amendment, which will alter the whole character of the contribution, I cannot make it too plain that we have every desire to try to safeguard the position of the industrialists in linen and in shipbuilding, the industries particularly affected in Northern Ireland, and that we firmly believe that our proposal would not in any way be an injustice to them.
This proposal may be advanced to-day on three or four general grounds. First of all, I think we are entitled to plead the ground of the undeniable burden which in different directions we are 2146 shouldering in Great Britain. After all, we owe a very clear duty to the mass of taxpayers, direct and indirect, in our own country. Since the War concluded, and during the early years of the settlement, it has become increasingly plain to all of us that we are to shoulder in Great Britain a very large part of the post-War obligations. We have made very heavy sacrifices, as the earlier debate showed, in our return to the gold standard. We made a very heavy sacrifice in writing off one-half of the debts due to us by our Allies in the War. We made a further sacrifice in the Italian debt settlement which was recently discussed, or at all events announced, and I think most hon. Members will agree that in the other post-War debt settlements, which we have still to overtake, we stand on the whole to lose on the transaction. All these facts are before us to-day together with the dead-weight debt of £7,700,000, and all the other obligations, which I have not time to describe but which are perfectly relevant matter when we come to consider a new proposal of an exceptional character imposing a fresh burden upon the masses of our people. That is an environment which I think no Member of the House can ignore, and accordingly we are obliged to view all new proposals for fresh burdens in the light of the vast obligations we have already undertaken.
Let us look, in the next place, to the precise terms of the scheme that is before the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his White Paper describes this as mutual re-insurance, but a little later in the Debate it will not be difficult to prove that there is very little in the proposal which is of an insurance nature at all. Broadly and generally speaking, the scheme is that within the limits of the remaining period of this financial year we are to provide about £680,000 for this equalisation payment towards the unemployment insurance fund of Northern Ireland. That is a payment which, on the basis of population, is designed to bring the contribution into something like parity with the position of our unemployment insurance fund in Great Britain. Then for a period of four years ahead, we are to pay, in round figures, a sum which may be £875,000, subject to this condition that if by any chance that greater obligation rises to £1,000,000 per annum, then and only then will the Chancellor of the 2147 Exchequer be entitled to intervene and re-open the whole settlement or arrangement without being exposed to any charge of breach of faith.
Let the House observe the liability that is involved for the people of Great Britain, the £680,000 this year and these four payments unless there is a dramatic improvement, of £875,000—in all rather more than £4,000,000. Assuming that our later payments come nearer to the £1,000,000 than to the £875,000, it is not unfair to suggest that we may expend in all, by way of what I think I call perfectly fairly an out-and-out gift, anything between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000, and, in my judgment, rather nearer the £5,000,000 than the £4,000,000. That is a very remarkable payment to make at a time when the Chancellor of the Exchequer is cutting down grants to local authorities in equal if not greater distress in Great Britain and when, according to all accounts, although we dare not anticipate legislation, an Economy Bill is on the stocks providing for all kinds of niggling reforms and changes, the nature of which we cannot investigate to-day. In those circumstances, it is plain that we are committed to £4,000,000 or £5,000,000 under this proposal in a time of exceptional difficulty in finance, and in the midst of circumstances where the Chancellor of the Exchequer is saying "No" to legitimate and urgent demands because of our own social distress.
Then may we notice the so-called scheme of mutual insurance or reinsurance that this proposal involves? I cannot help thinking that that part of the White Paper was introduced for the express purpose of gilding the pill in this House. Anyone who has regard to the circumstances of the Northern Ireland Unemployment Insurance Fund will see at once that there is very little reinsurance about it. The broad facts are that Northern Ireland entered into a bargain under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, under which it undertook to take care of this fund for itself, but that subsequently to that date, due principally to heavy unemployment in the shipbuilding and linen industries, a very heavy obligation was imposed upon the Unemployment Insurance Fund of Ulster, and in the intervening years frequent requests have been made to the Treasury to re- 2148 consider that decision and make certain grants, or other concessions. Those requests have up to the present always been refused on the ground that there was an understanding in 1920 that Ulster was able to borrow on or mortgage the fund, as we have done in this country, and she must undertake that duty herself, and that with industrial improvement the difficulties of the fund would disappear. The pleas have prevailed with the present Chancellor of the Exchequer who, although he set out on a great campaign of economy has responded to a plea involving a grant of £4,000,000 to £5,000,000 to Northern Ireland.
It is fair to argue this afternoon that before any country comes to us for what is an out and out grant, that country ought to be in a position to show that everything possible has been done on its part to meet the obligation. Northern Ireland pleads, in the White Paper, that to meet the obligation would be to impose an undue burden upon her taxpayers. Well, there are great burdens upon the taxpayers of this country. If it is to be a matter of comparison between the two countries, they should establish their case and all the circumstances should be taken into account. It is also perfectly fair to argue that Northern Ireland could probably mortgage its Fund or borrow on its resources to an even greater extent without serious difficulty. I am by no means satisfied that that would impose an undue burden upon Ulster.
It is true of the Ulster Unemployment Insurance Fund, as it is true of the Fund in this country, that there are considerable numbers of good industrial insurable lives not within the scheme of Unemployment Insurance. That has been one of the undeniable difficulties of our own Unemployment Insurance experience. Before our Fund was able to stand the terrible test of the grave unemployment, it had not sufficient actuarial or other basis in contributions. That is to say, it had not been running long enough to respond, without borrowing, to a great and sudden burden of that kind. That position would have been very greatly assisted if the basis of our contributions had been widened. While there are undeniable difficulties in bringing more people in, the fact remains that if we view it as an insurance scheme purely, 2149 it can only be on a sound basis when it is comprehensive, and when it fulfils the test of insurance that it takes the good lives with the bad. We have tended to get a great many bad industrial lives from the point of view of employment, and I am rather inclined to think that that is the case in regard to the fund in Northern Ireland also.
Ulster now requests, in effect, an out-and-out grant of from £4,000,000 to £5,000,000. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to tell us what steps he has taken to find out whether the basis of contributions in Northern Ireland could have been extended. Although linen and shipbuilding are the chief industries of Northern Ireland, there are other industries, and we should like to know whether that point was fully weighed before he finally agreed to the scheme which he now proposes. Had he considered the possibility of an extended basis? The House is entitled to know that, before we vote.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what he means by an extended basis?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
There are a considerable number of industrial workers who are outside any scheme of unemployment insurance, and I want to know from the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has investigated that question in Ulster. What numbers are outside the scheme there who could have been brought in to assist the Fund, before they came to us to ask for an out and out grant of £4,000,000 to £5,000,000? These are relevant considerations.
Let the House note the principle of re-insurance. The Government of Northern Ireland are to finance this Fund by paying in one-quarter of the extra sum necessary to achieve a broad parity with this country, and we are to contribute the other three-quarters. That is described as mutual re-insurance, because there is a Clause in the agreement which says that if at any time within the four or five years of the operation of this scheme, there is such an improvement in the position of the Fund in Ulster as to enable Ulster to make a contribution to help us in our difficulties, that contribution will fall to be made. On paper, that looks a kind 2150 of quid pro quo, but I ask any hon. Members who have reviewed the whole of the circumstances to consider this fact, that even if there is far more improvement in the industrial conditions in Ulster than we can reasonably anticipate to-day, the position would ever be such as to enable Ulster to make any contribution to us. I should have thought that it would have been infinitely better for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have said that frankly and candidly to the House.
What is the use of talking about mutual re-insurance unless there is mutual re-insurance on conditions which afford the usual tests of insurance? Anyone has only to look at the facts to see that there is no kind of test that we can take in this matter along such lines. It is far better for us to make up our minds at once that we are proposing to give from £4,000,000 to £5,000,000 to Ulster. These considerations lead, quite naturally, to the proposal which we have put on the Paper. We suggest that it is perfectly fair to ask Ulster, in existing conditions, to accept this contribution from us in the form of a loan. I do not see any particular difficulty in Ulster accepting a very reasonable request of that kind.
If we put it on the basis of a loan to Ulster at the present time, I imagine that the general effect of a step of that kind would be, perhaps, not to relieve the taxpayers of Northern Ireland to the same extent on the one hand, and on the other to prolong the period of their deficit or their borrowing on the basis of their Unemployment Insurance Fund. A comparison is made between the £3,600,000 which they have already borrowed on the basis of a rather narrow fund, and the £7,900,000 which is the outstanding debt on our fund at the present time. In the terms of the White Paper it is suggested that if Northern Ireland were on a comparable basis in respect to insured population, her obligation would be no more than £183,000. That does not appear to me to be a fair comparison. There was a time, not long ago, when the debt on our Unemployment Insurance Fund, which has been shouldered by the mass of our people, was £16,000,000. The only proper basis of comparison is the existence of that debt over a reasonable 2151 term of years. If that comparison were taken, I am by no means satisfied that the comparison would be so favourable to Ulster as the terms which the White Paper suggests.
We propose to turn this grant into a loan, and we commend the suggestion very strongly to the House. I commend the proposal (1) on the ground of the undeniably heavy obligation on the taxpayers of Great Britain, (2) on the ground of a perfectly fair comparison between the Unemployment Insurance Funds of the two countries, (3) on the ground that if there is improvement in the trade of Ulster the Fund will very speedily recover. On these three grounds and many others I propose the Amendment, and suggest that, without any injustice to the Government of Northern Ireland and still less to the unemployed of Northern Ireland, this out-and-out gift might legitimately be turned into a loan.
§ Mr. T. HENDERSON
On a point of Order. In the event of this Bill becoming law, will hon. Members of this House have the right to raise questions with the Minister of Labour respecting the administration of the Unemployment Fund in Northern Ireland?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not think there is anything in this Bill which takes away from Northern Ireland complete control over the Fund.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I am sorry for some reasons, that we have not had the pleasure of an explanation by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the meaning of this Bill. I hope he intends to give us a full and careful reply. It is always a great pleasure to listen to the Chancellor of the Exchequer explaining any Measure or proposal, and it is never more so than when he is not fully seized of the facts of the proposal which he is endeavouring to explain. Then, he is able to give free play to his imagination, and his romance is able to carry him to heights that if he stuck to precise particulars he would not be able to reach. As far as this particular proposal is concerned, I think there is a good excuse for the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he does not altogether understand what it means, in spite of the benediction which he gave during the Committee stage of the Financial Resolution, when he said: 2152I cannot myself attempt to improve upon the detailed and succint account contained in the White Paper. I think it explains the somewhat complicated method of the Bill with a maximum economy of words.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd February, 1926; col. 92, Vol. 192.]Although he referred to the terms of the agreement in that way, anyone who has read it will agree that it is an exceedingly complicated document. Therefore, I think there is a good deal of excuse for the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he does not fully understand the proposal. But it is important for Members of this House, before they put their names to a bill for several million pounds, that they should be fully seized of what this Measure will do. What are the conditions under which we are to pay this money to Northern Ireland? How long may these conditions be reasonably expected to last? Under what conditions, if any, shall we in this country get any money back from Northern Ireland on account of this proposal? Bearing upon the latter question, I put an interrogatory to the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Financial Resolution was passing through Committee, and the answer he gave was entirely incorrect and not at all in accordance with the agreement. I asked what we might expect back during the period of the four years' operation of this Bill. He described my question as a complicated conundrum, and proceeded to say:It seems to me very unlikely that the rate of unemployment will fall so fast that, not only will they be able to pay the cost entirely from their local fund, but, in addition, be able to pay off the three and a-half million pounds of debt which hangs over the fund, and to do all that in the space of the four years covered by this Measure.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd February, 1926; col. 149, Vol. 192.]As a matter of fact, there is no mention in this agreement of paying off the capital deficiency of the fund, and therefore that statement has no foundation at all in the Bill. He went on to say that any hope of this country recovering anything from Northern Ireland for four years was very unlikely. He said:We may well see the fund in a much better position, but I think it is asking too much of fortune to hope that the entire debt will be liquidated by then. If the hon. Member repeated his question to me in two or three years' time, when things will be better, it would be appreciably 2153 nearer the confines of practical politics.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd February, 1926; col. 149, Vol. 192.]Putting aside this fancy sketch by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what are the terms we are being asked to assent to in this Bill? It is a Bill extending over four years, but most Members of the House will agree it is very unlikely that we shall be able to bring the agreement to an end when the four years expire. It may be reasonably supposed that it is intended to be an agreement which will continue to operate after the four years have passed, and it is, therefore, much more important we should study the precise details rather than think we are going to get off lightly because it is confined to a period of four years. Most Members probably imagine that we are only going to pay this sum to Northern Ireland as long as the Fund in Ulster is in arrears or when there is a deficiency in any particular year. That is entirely incorrect. It is perfectly possible under the terms of this agreement for Great Britain to pay money into the exchequer of Northern Ireland not only when there is no deficiency in any particular year, but when there is no deficiency at all in the Irish Fund. The time may come when the Irish Fund is not only solvent in a particular year but has wiped off the whole of its deficit, yet if this agreement is perpetuated we may be called upon to pay year by year a sum of money into the Exchequer of Northern Ireland. This House, I suggest, has no idea that this is the position under this agreement, but if its terms are carefully read it will be found that it is so. This agreement says nothing about paying so long as there is a deficiency. What it says is that in any particular year the situation of the two Funds will be compared, and whether there be a deficiency or surplus, it shall be the duty of those concerned with the management of the Fund to compare the finances of the two Funds in order to discover what is known as the equalisation payment between the two countries. No question arises as to whether the poorer of the two Funds is in deficiency for the year or has a surplus.
Take some approximate figures. Suppose our unemployment fell to 3 per cent., and in Northern Ireland it fell to 6 per cent. In that case both Funds would be in surplus, but this country will still go 2154 on paying to Northern Ireland three-quarters of the equalisation payment although the Irish Fund may be in surplus for that year; and may be in surplus altogether. This House ought to be seized with this fact, and if it is not possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to alter the agreement to which he is asking the House to assent, at least this fact should be taken into account. While we on this side of the House are ready to recognise some claim on the part of Northern Ireland for assistance as long as her Fund is in the serious condition it is at the present time, I think it would be very undesirable for us to consent, in advance, to payment to Northern Ireland in all cases where the Fund in Northern Ireland is in a worse position than our own fund.
The second main question I want to ask is this: Is there any chance of our getting money back? So far as the four years' period is concerned the answers of the Chancellor of the Exchequer have ruled out that possibility. He says that it is exceedingly unlikely. But setting aside the four years I should like to ask what chance there is of our getting anything back if the agreement is prolonged over a considerable number of years. The point is this, we are not able to expect anything back from Northern Ireland if we finance our own Fund in the way we do at present. While our Fund is in deficiency we lend money to the Fund from the National Exchequer, and so long as we continue to lend money to the Fund and recoup ourselves when it is in surplus, we shall not under any conceivable circumstances get any money from Northern Ireland in repayment. The only possibility under this agreement of our getting money from Northern Ireland is this—if at a time of deficiency we pay money by way of grant out of the National Exchequer into the Fund to the amount of the equalisation payment.
Let me take a case. Supposing in any particular year our own fund was in a worse position than the Irish Fund, what should we have to do in order to get any money under this agreement? Suppose the equalisation payment was £100,000, then, in order to obtain anything from Northern Ireland, we should have to pay, as a grant, not as a loan, from the National Exchequer to the Insurance Fund a sum of £100,000, and 2155 under this agreement we should then be able to get £75,000 back from the Exchequer of Northern Ireland. In other words, we can only expect to get any money back providing our National Exchequer is prepared to pay as a grant into the fund a sum over and above the amount we are entitled to recover from Northern Ireland. I suggest it is exceedingly unlikely that any Government of this country would take that course. Our own fund is essentially a fund for a long period of time and is therefore solvent. It is designed to be solvent, and I do not think anyone seriously suggests that it will be permanently in deficiency. I think we shall carry out the plan and loan money to our fund when it is in deficiency in the confident expectation that when times are better we shall see it back, and I do not see any Government of this country handing over a grant to our fund under the terms required by this agreement and in that way earning a contribution from Northern Ireland.
The point is this. This agreement goes a great deal further than almost every Member of this House imagines. It involves us in the payment to the Exchequer of Northern Ireland even when the Irish fund is in no deficiency at all and further, it is practically impossible we shall see any money back from Northern Ireland because we shall only do so, first, if our own fund is less prosperous than the Irish fund, and, secondly, if we change the whole method of financing our fund and make a grant from our Exchequer to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. For these reasons I heartily support the Amendment substituting as it does a form which is really more in accordance with the justice of the situation.
§ Sir MALCOLM MACNAGHTEN
I believe everyone will heartily agree with the observations made by the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) when he said that this House should hesitate long, in the present state of our finances, before it undertook any fresh pecuniary obligation. That is a sentiment which appeals to every Member of the House and more especially to Members from Ulster. It does not seem to be realised, and the right hon. Gentleman who one would suppose to be familiar with the financial arrangements between this country and Northern Ireland does 2156 not seem to realise, that we in Ulster pay every penny of taxation that is paid in this country; Income Tax, Super-tax, Death Duties, Customs and Excise.
Every penny of taxation that is levied on the people of Great Britain is levied on the people of Ulster, and no one I think can deny that the taxable capacity of the people of Ulster is less than the taxable capacity of the people of Great Britain. Even the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) will agree that Income Tax at 4s. and 5s. in the £ is more easily borne by the people of the City of London than by the people of the six counties of Ulster, so that while we are bearing exactly the same burdens as the people of this country, yet by reason of our comparative poverty the burdens fall more heavily upon us than upon them. Therefore an appeal for economy and a desire to avoid incurring any fresh obligations is an appeal which comes to the people of Ulster with especial force.
Still, with all our regard for economy and our dislike to incurring any fresh obligations, if there is an obligation which this country ought to undertake, surely we are in a position to undertake it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Central Edinburgh said that the people of Ulster entered into a contract in 1920 and that they were now trying to have that contract revised in their favour. If there was a contract at all it was a contract that the people of Ulster in taking over the Unemployment Insurance Fund for the people of Ulster should have no further obligation imposed upon them than the obligation to make contributions which the Government of this country makes and the Government of Ulster makes under the unemployment insurance scheme.
Before the Act of 1920 was passed, when it was a Bill, as the right hon. Gentleman well knows a number of White Papers, three in fact, were circulated showing the obligation which Ulster was going to take over and the liability she would have to meet. He cannot point to anything in those White Papers which indicate that the taxpayers of Ulster were to bear any burden of unemployment insurance beyond the contributions specified in the Unemployed Insurance Act, and if there was a contract at all it was that this was to be the limit of the burden on the taxpayers of Ulster. Naturally if that was the position in 1920 it was assumed that 2157 the unemployment insurance fund was actuarially sound, and that it would not be necessary to make any further contributions beyond those specified in the Act. We know now that the result is a little different. Large deficits have been made in this country, and still larger deficits proportionately in Ulster. In this country you have a deficit of £7,500,000. If you had a deficit in this country comparable with the deficit that we have in Ulster, your deficit would be £160,000,000. How is that to be borne? You can hardly bear the burden in this country. In Ulster what means have we of doing so? Almost all the taxation in Ulster is charged by this House. Only about one-fifth of the total revenue raised in Ulster is subject to the Ulster House of Commons; the rest of it is levied here. How can Ulster possibly raise these enormous sums to wipe out the deficit incurred on the Ulster Fund? The truth is that no one has yet proposed that these deficits should be borne otherwise than by the Fund. Let the House not forget that, so far as unemployment insurance is concerned, Ulster has followed step by step the legislation and the practice of this country. Our workmen pay the same contributions as the workmen of this country, our employers pay the same contributions as the employers of this country, and the Ulster Government pays the same contributions as the Government of this country.
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
The total number of insured persons, I believe, is 250,000, whereas in this country it is very many more. Owing to the fact that nearly half of our insured people are engaged in the linen trade and the shipbuilding trade, and that these two trades have suffered from exceptional unemployment, the contributions made to the Fund have been wholly insufficient to pay the benefits. The result has been a deficit, and that deficit has been supplied 2158 in Ulster in the same way as the deficit in this country has been supplied, that is, by loans from the Government. Loans have been made to Ulster to the extent of £3,500,000. That being the position, the Fund being insolvent, if nothing is done the people who will suffer will be the workmen who have insured themselves. That is a conclusion from which I suppose even the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh would shrink. It is bad enough when an ordinary private insurance company fails and poor people are unable to get the benefits which they expect, but where you have a compulsory insurance scheme, to which you compel people to subscribe, it would be too gross a fraud to deprive them of the benefits to which they are entitled because you have made a miscalculation as to the amount of contributions which you require for the purpose of the benefits to the trade.
The right hon. Gentleman comes forward with the suggestion, Why should not the Ulster Government include more workpeople under the Unemployment Insurance Fund? Where are they to be found? Our total population is 1,250,000. Of that total 250,000 are insured. Where are the rest to be found? How can we enlarge the number of contributors? Every trade that is insurable in this country is insurable in Ulster. Then the right hon. Gentleman said, "We do not like giving this money as a gift. Why not give it as a loan to the fund?" That would only make the fund continue insolvent. Is interest to be paid? That makes it only the worse for the workmen. If you propose to lend money without charging interest, and to lend it in perpetuity, that is a scheme which is scarcely distinguishable from a gift. But if you propose only to lend it at interest you are making an illusory suggestion. There is not any difficulty about the Ulster Government borrowing money, for its credit stands high. If it were merely a question of borrowing money for the fund the Ulster Government could borrow it and hand it to the fund, but the time would come when the workman would be told that the fund was so obviously insolvent they could not have any benefit. That is the inevitable conclusion of the proposal which the right hon. Gentleman puts forward.
2159 May I say a few words as to what is contained in the agreement? Although I hesitate to say so, I am not sure that the right hon. Gentleman appreciates how onerous this scheme is on the people of Ulster. We are taking, under this agreement, a very heavy burden. In looking back to 1920 everybody sees now that the Fund ought never to have been separated, that for this purpose you ought to have kept this wide range of insurance covering the whole of Northern Ireland and Britain. In view of what has happened it was a mistake to separate the Fund. If only we were allowed, we would like to amalgamate the Ulster and the British Funds again and to put ourselves into the Central Fund. But the Treasury will not have it. The Treasury are the guardians of the public purse, and, naturally, if they can get off more cheaply they will do so. They reject the scheme of amalgamation of the Funds, and they put forward this proposal. It is a relief to us, or rather a relief to the Unemployment Insurance Fund; it is a relief to the workmen who have subscribed in the hope of getting the benefits promised by the Act. But it is a great burden to the taxpayers of Ulster.
Up to now the Fund has been financed by these loans. Under this agreement the taxpayers of Ulster have to pay down to the Fund the whole of the deficit of over £1,000,000. They have to pay that by way of a gift to their Fund before they can get anything back. It is only when they have actually paid the money into the Fund, not as a loan but as a gift, that they can get back the contributions from this country to the extent of three-quarters of the money that they have paid. The moneys so paid are to be shared, levied rateably upon the whole tax-paying population of both Northern Ireland and Great Britain. We ourselves will have to contribute. As a matter of fact, you are going to raise £1 per head of the population. The burden of so doing will fall more heavily on the people of Ulster than it will on the people of Great Britain, because on the whole the people of Ulster are poorer than the people of Great Britain. It is going to put the Ulster Fund, we hope, in a position towards regaining solvency. If this scheme is not carried through it is quite 2160 impossible that the Fund can become solvent. The only way of dealing with the situation would be to cut down the benefits of the workmen; that is to say, the benefits in Northern Ireland of men who have subscribed to the Fund on the faith of the assurance that they were going to get the benefit specified under the Act. They would have to be told that through the action of the Socialist party in the British House of Commons the benefits had to be cut down because the Socialist party would not do the fair thing by Ulster.
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
If the principle of making a grant to the Fund is sound for Ulster, it is equally sound for the United Kingdom. Therefore, I am rather inclined to disagree with the two speakers on this side of the House, because I think that the Government have at last seen the error of their ways. The principle of their Bill is sound, but the application of it is too limited. The last speaker referred to the case of Ulster and unemployment in the shipbuilding and linen trades. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking earlier on the Financial Resolutions, stressed that point considerably. He told the House that in Ulster the shipbuilding industry showed 38 per cent. of unemployment on 25th January last. I would remind him that Ulster is not the only place where unemployment in the shipbuilding trade is severe. If 38 per cent. of unemployment justifies a grant to Ulster, what about; 49 per cent., which is the unemployment rate in the shipbuilding industry on the North-East coast of England? Reference was also made to linen. It was stated that in the linen trade there was 29 per cent. of unemployment on 25th January last. What about marine en engineering, another of the staple industries on the North-East coast of England? There you have 35 per cent. of unemployment. Therefore, I contend that what is good for Ulster is equally good for this country, as good for Northern England as for Northern Ireland
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us that while the average unemployment in this country was 10 per cent. to 11 per cent., in Ulster it was nearly 20 per cent. I can point to parts of this country, particularly in the North of England and the County of Durham, where the unemployment rate is more than 20 per cent. If 2161 this is a sound policy for Ulster it is equally sound for relieving the Fund in England. What will this partial application mean? It will mean that those districts in the North-East of England and other industrial areas which are so severely hit, will have to pay with their taxes for the grant of £5,000,000 which is to be made to Northern Ireland. I submit that is obviously unfair. If you are going to apply this principle at all, you must apply it wholesale, and not differentiate between one part of the United Kingdom and another. It seems extraordinary that the Government should come forward with this proposal, involving between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000 of the taxpayers' money, at a time when they are curtailing grants towards unemployment relief in our own country and turning a deaf ear to the appeals of distressed areas, and when we are piling up on our Poor Law rates an excessive burden on account of the reduced payments made in unemployment benefit and, particularly, in extended benefit. We ought to treat the whole Kingdom alike and apply this principle equally, if it is a sound principle. I believe it is sound, because I do not think it is possible, either in Ulster or in England, for an insurance fund started in normal times to meet normal unemployment to face the abnormal amount of unemployment which we have at the present time. Had we built up a reserve fund in the good years it might have been possible, but the present policy seems to be one of taking out a fire insurance policy when the house has begun to burn. I submit that this proposal is faulty in its limited application, and that it is unfair to treat Northern Ireland differently from England and the rest of the Kingdom. If the Government are not willing to apply the principle wholesale, I hope they will then treat all parts of the country alike and grant a loan to Northern Ireland in the same way as they would grant a loan to the Unemployment Insurance Fund of this country.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
This question was very fully debated on the occasion of the Financial Resolution, and I therefore thought that it would be for the convenience of the House if I awaited some, at any rate, of the speeches which were to be made by hon. Members on the Second Reading, before reiterating—in, 2162 I trust, a somewhat different form—the arguments which I ventured to offer to the House in moving the Financial Resolution a fortnight ago. I may indeed be excused if I do repeat to some extent those arguments, because the same objections which were raised in the previous Debate, and which were, as I understood, answered in the previous Debate, have already made their appearance this afternoon. For instance, there is the argument of the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), who raises the question of necessitous areas. He asks: "What are you going to do about the necessitous areas in England? Ulster is an area where there is exceptional unemployment. You are giving her special and favoured treatment. Why will you not give the same treatment to areas on the East Coast and elsewhere in Great Britain, which are also the centres of exceptional unemployment?" That is his point—that Ulster is receiving privileged treatment, and he asks: "What will you do for the necessitous areas in Great Britain?"
I say those necessitous areas are at the present moment sustained by the whole strength of the Insurance Fund based upon this country, and supported by the credit of the British Exchequer. If Ulster were privileged to share in that fund, and permitted to contribute to it, equally, man for man, £ for £, she would be entirely satisfied, and the only party inclined to cavil would be the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who would undoubtedly find the fund behind which the Exchequer stands burdened to a heavier extent than we are actually burdened at the present time by this arrangement we have made. I agree with the hon. Member that all should be treated alike and no favour shown to Ulster which is not also shown to districts in similar difficulties in Great Britain. Show me in any way, in any feature, that Northern Ireland will derive any advantage which is not at the present time open to similarly oppressed districts in Great Britain, and I will immediately admit that a flaw has been discovered in the reasoning of the Bill.
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
The right hon. Gentleman has pointed out that in this country, in regard to the Fund, we are relying on the general credit of the country, and that loans are made on the 2163 understanding that they will be repaid to the Exchequer in due course. It is not, however, proposed to do that in Northern Ireland at all. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to make a gift—which is an entirely different thing.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
That gift is less than the advantage which comes from the borrowing facilities and general strength of the fund which exists in this country, and is a gift which only extends to 75 per cent. of the relative deficiency. Moreover it takes no account of the existing heavy burden of £3,500,000 of debt which has already been accumulated on this fund. But taking the case of an unemployed workman in Belfast and an unemployed workman in Middlesbrough, there is absolutely no advantage or favour shown to the unemployed man in Belfast. On the contrary if there is any differentiation. it is adverse to the position of the workman in Northern Ireland who has to find his fund sustained by—proportionately—much more frequent and heavy contributions from the Government of Northern Ireland. That is only an instance of the way in which arguments have to be repeated in these Debates, and I ask myself what is really the attitude of the Labour party and the official Opposition to this Bill? Here is a Bill, an unwelcome Bill, a Bill which throws a new charge on the Exchequer at a most inconvenient time, but it is introduced by the Government for what purpose? For the sole purpose of making sure that the trade unionists in Northern Ireland, belonging to the same trade unions which exist on the other side of St. George's Channel, shall not be denied the same benefits, having paid the same contributions, in a time of great distress. That is the whole matter, and what is the attitude of the Labour party. What is the attitude of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It is an attitude which cannot be better described than by the quotationWilling to wound, and yet afraid to strike.We are assured nothing would induce, them to do anything to hamper or injure the position of the trade unionist and working man in Northern Ireland, but—and then begin every form of cavilling and every form of argument, designed to prevent these reliefs being received, 2164 without at the same time allowing the Labour party as a whole to be committed to the extremely dangerous, extremely questionable, and if I may say so, extremely undemocratic ground of standing in the way of maintaining a general minimum standard throughout the whole area of Great Britain for which we are responsible. Of course we on this side have no reason to object to the criticisms and opposition which have been levelled against this Bill. They are, of course, all reported and they are all carefully studied by the trade unionists of Belfast and I should have thought that we certainly had no reason to object. But I think it is no use for hon. Gentlemen opposite to use every form of criticism to find fault, to carp and to make every sort of suggestion for retarding this legislation and then when the Financial Resolution comes to be voted on and on the occasion of this Bill, to move an Amendment which would destroy the Bill, while all the time professing their sincere desire to help the working people of Northern Ireland and their great earnestness in that cause.
What is the issue, and what is the method which the right hon. Gentleman's ingenious mind has discovered for opposing the Bill while yet rendering it possible for his party to say, "We never opposed it, we were in favour of it"? The suggestion is that the money should be advanced by loan, and not on this reinsurance arrangement—which I freely admit is a reinsurance arrangement and bound to be much more beneficial to the smaller and poorer organism. Why, the debt which Ulster has already accumulated in the insurance fund is already £3,500,000—that is a debt of £14 per head of the insured population! Our equivalent figure in this country is only 15s. per head. Here is one community of insured persons on whom rests a burden of £14 per head. On the other side of the channel there is a community whose burden is 15s. per head, and the recommendation of the official Opposition, who are not opposed indeed to giving help, is that a loan should be made and not a reinsurance grant, and that those who already have a debt of £14 per head shall, in addition, take the continued and growing deficiency in the years that are to come. It is far from my wish to import 2165 any heat into the discussion, and I am quite sure, as a matter of fact, there is not really very much disagreement between the two parties, but I am only trying to warn hon. Gentlemen opposite—
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what proportion per head of the National Debt is taken by Northern Ireland? When he speaks of debt, it has to be taken all round. What portion of the National Debt is accepted by Northern Ireland as their share?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
They are absolutely involved with us. They are equally a part of the United Kingdom, and pay exactly the same taxes as we do, apart from certain additional taxes which they pay for their own upkeep.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
That has been settled by the Treaty arrangement and by arrangements which have received the practically unanimous assent of the House. I stated very clearly last year how that matter was settled, very much to the advantage of Southern Ireland. But that matter is out of order in this particular discussion, and I cannot attempt to pursue it. However, I do suggest that the Amendment proposing that we should proceed by way of loan instead of by way of a reinsurance grant, is a most impracticable and unreasonable manner of treating the problem. It is perfectly clear that with the burden such as it is, and increasing at the rate it is, a loan on these terms would not in any way meet the case. The only alternative to the present process and plan is the amalgamation of the two funds, and there is a great deal to be said for it. The administrative difficulties alone have deterred us from undertaking it. If this plan should fail, that problem will undoubtedly come to the front, and it will be a solution, I have no doubt, more costly to us than this interim proposal which we have made. However this discussion may proceed, do let hon. Members opposite and below the gangway get out of their heads the idea that there is any favour to Ulster in this matter. There is no favour. She 2166 is in a position of exceptional hardship in the matter. She has not had the same support behind her Fund as exists behind the British Fund, although her employers pay the fame and her men pay the same, and they have the same reasonable right to the expectation of benefit.
I wish to answer only one rather technical question of the several ingenious enigmas which the research and industry of the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) have produced. He asked: What happens if both the Funds are in surplus, and not in deficiency? Should we in any of those circumstances be called upon to make a payment? If Northern Ireland gets a surplus in any particular year, and if we also get a surplus in the same year, and our surplus per head of insured population is larger than the Irish surplus per head of insured population, then there would be a transfer of funds. But is not that really a very unlikely contingency to occur? When our Insurance Funds begin to show surpluses instead of deficiencies, I presume that the rates of contribution which now press so heavily on employers and employed will be promptly reduced, and that is the form in which the relief will be given. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Road Fund?"] The hon. Gentleman has only just come in, and may I tell him that this is the Ulster Unemployment Insurance Fund?
The hon. Member for West Leicester, whose contributions to the Debate I, without hesitation, admire, because he has evidently mastered thoroughly the intricacies of this subject, also asked: Supposing the British Fund were to become the poorer Fund during the period of the Agreement, could we claim an Exchequer contribution from Northern Ireland without making an equalisation grant ourselves into the British Fund? The answer is, No. In order to obtain a contribution from Northern Ireland, we should have to make an equalisation contribution in cash into our Fund, not by loan, but as a grant. I admit, quite frankly, that it is unlikely, for the sake of the small proportionate sum that is likely to be received—Northern Ireland is only 3 per cent. of the general area of the Fund—that we should derange our general finance by making an equalisation cash payment into the Fund, when at the 2167 same time we should have a very large margin of our £30,000,000 statutory credit guaranteed by the Exchequer, which would be open to the Fund, and I can imagine that our Fund would play up and down, as good and bad years came, within the limits of these statutory borrowing powers. Therefore, I frankly admit that it is in form more than in fact that any contribution from Northern Ireland could be expected during the four and a-half years of the life of the Agreement on this Fund. The Agreement is drawn up in a form which is calculated to place it on a self-respecting basis as regards both parties to it, and one which we consider is fair and just, and I am convinced that, although it is not the best arrangement which could justly be claimed by Northern Ireland, it is the best arrangement which in the circumstances it is possible for the British Exchequer to make.
The right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) told us on the last occasion that two previous Chancellors of the Exchequer had turned this proposal down. Well, the conditions were entirely different. The deficiency on the Ulster Fund had only begun to make its appearance and had not reached anything like these serious dimensions. Neither he himself nor his Conservative predecessor was confronted by the facts with which I have been plainly confronted, namely, that there would either be a bankruptcy of the Fund or it would be necessary to reduce the benefits paid to the working people as a result of the contributions which they have made. Confronted with that alternative, and with the fact that the deficiency has reached a height of £3,500,000, and has been increased in the present year by nearly £2,000,000, I certainly felt it my duty to withdraw, on behalf of the Treasury, any opposition to the decision to which the Government had come, and to come to the support of the Ulster Fund in the manner proposed and explained in this Bill.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
If there were any doubt in the mind of any hon. Member at the opening of this Debate as to the reason why neither the Chancellor of the Exchequer nor the Financial Secretary to the Treasury introduced the Second Reading of this Bill by any explanation or defence of its provisions, the speech 2168 of the Chancellor of the Exchequer has removed all doubts. I think I never heard the rhetorical resources of the right hon. Gentleman desert him to such a degree as they have done on this occasion. I remember many occasions upon which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had to defend an indefensible proposal, and he has generally succeeded in doing it with a great deal of rhetorical success, but on this occasion the right hon. Gentleman's speech has been as devoid of rhetoric as it has been devoid of argument. The right hon. Gentleman in one part of his speech said that, after all, there did not appear to be very much difference between the two sides of the House upon this question, and that statement followed the statement made immediately before it in which he charged the party on this side with professing an insincere and mocking sympathy with the unemployed in Northern Ireland. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to reconcile those two statements. As a matter of fact, our sympathy with the unemployed in Northern Ireland is neither mocking nor insincere, and in suggesting, as we do in this Amendment, that the assistance should take the form of a loan rather than of an out and out gift, we are proposing to treat the unemployed workmen in Northern Ireland exactly as their fellow trade unionists and unemployed workmen in Great Britain are treated.
The right hon. Gentleman tried to draw an analogy between the way in which the temporarily insolvent condition of the Unemployment Fund in this country is treated and the way in which it is treated in Northern Ireland. It can make no difference whatever—this is in reply to a point which the right hon. Gentleman urged at very great length—to the unemployed workmen in Ulster, whether the assistance be given in the form of a loan or in the form of a grant. They will get their unemployment pay just the same, but the people who will benefit will be the Government of Northern Ireland. Their contributions and the contributions of the workmen remain the same, and the amount of benefit will remain the same, but the liability for restoring that fund into a solvent condition will be the responsibility of the Government of Northern Ireland, and we are, therefore, by the proposal in this Bill relieving the Government of Northern Ireland from a 2169 liability which the Government of Great Britain has shouldered. Here in this country it is a loan granted by the State, but what is proposed in regard to Northern Ireland is that we shall relieve Northern Ireland from raising a loan for this purpose, and to that extent we are relieving the general ratepayers of the area of Northern Ireland.
The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Londonderry (Sir M. Macnaghten) was rather unfortunate in one confession that he made. He said that the credit of Ulster was very good. Why then, if the credit of Ulster be so good cannot the Government of Ulster borrow this money? The amount of money involved is not large. We are told that, £3,500,000 is the amount of indebtedness at the present time, and even if Ulster had to borrow the whole of that sum, the amount of interest she would have to pay upon that loan would be a comparatively small sum and would not, at any rate, strain unduly the resources of that part of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
But we are going to relieve them from having to bear that interest. My right hon. Friend who introduced our Amendment began with the observation that it was inconsistent on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who two days hence is going to introduce what we understand will be an Economy Bill, and to-day is proposing to make a grant out of the Imperial Exchequer, which, it is admitted, will amount to between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000. I am not going to discuss the Economy Bill, but I will make this observation, that I should be very much surprised if that eagerly awaited Measure, if its proposals are carried, is going to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer anything like the amount which he proposes to hand over, without any condition whatever, to the Government of Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I am prepared to wait and see, and I will, as far as it is possible for me to do so, try to restrain my impatience and anxiety for two or three days longer. Meanwhile, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a time like this, when in 2170 some directions he is making great efforts, to effect an economy of a few hundred pounds a year, is generously handing over to his political friends in Ulster a sum which will certainly amount to not less than £4,000,000 or £5,000,000. When we have disposed of the Second Reading of this Bill we shall be asked to grant more than £1,000,000 in addition to £5,000,000 or £6,000,000 which has been given during the last four or five years. Before I turn to one or two points of detail in connection with this matter, may I refer to the observation made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to the proposal having been turned down by two of his Conservative predecessors in that office? The right hon. Gentleman cast doubt upon the accuracy of my statement a fortnight ago.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I did not cast doubt. I inquired as to the source from which the right hon. Gentleman obtained his information, because he cannot quote from secret papers which fall into the possession of other Governments.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
There was no secrecy whatever. According to my information, there was no breach of any official confidence in giving the House of Commons the facts of the case. The House of Commons has a perfect right to know the facts. A proposal similar to this had been turned down by two predecessors of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "Ah," says the right hon. Gentleman, "but the circumstances then were not so bad as they are to-day." Well, the demand could not have been put forward with greater emphasis and energy than it was put forward two and three years ago. Even if unemployment in Ulster had been as bad as it is to-day, they made out a case in those days, I am quite sure, as strong as they could, and neither of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors could consider the matter for a single moment.
I said just now I would refer to two or three matters of detail in the Bill. I ask the attention of the House particularly to this point. Speaking a fortnight ago, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a strong point of the condition laid down, not in the Agreement but in a communication which was addressed by the Government of Northern Ireland to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, namely, 2171 that if at any time the amount of Great Britain's annual grant exceeds £1,000,000, then the British Treasury should have the right to re-open the whole question, and it would not be regarded by the Government of Northern Ireland as being any breach of the Agreement. That is in a letter which appears in the Appendix to the White Paper, but I would ask the House to note that that condition is not incorporated in the Bill itself. It is not in the Agreement. That is a very vital matter, because should unemployment in Ireland unfortunately get worse, it is by no means improbable that the demand upon the British Exchequer may reach considerably more than £1,000,000. It may be a matter of honour between the British Government and the Government of Northern Ireland to conform to the conditions laid down in the Memorandum, but I think it is most important that it should receive Statutory recognition, and it ought to have been incorporated in the Agreement itself.
We are giving this money to Northern Ireland without any real control whatever. An hon. Friend of mine put a question to the Speaker in the course of the Debate this afternoon, as to whether the British House of Commons would be entitled to ask any questions in regard to the administration of the Unemployment Fund in Northern Ireland, and Mr. Speaker said he understood that the making of this grant would not in any way alter the procedure hitherto adopted, and, therefore, we are justified, from that statement of Mr. Speaker, in believing that no Member of the House of Commons will be entitled to put a question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the way in which this fund or this grant is being administered. The main argument used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in defence of this Bill, both this afternoon and on previous occasions, has been that the burden of unemployment in Ulster was greater than the burden of unemployment in this country, but I would like to remind the right hon. Gentleman that the amount contributed in Great Britain to the Unemployment Insurance Fund is only a comparatively small part of the cost of unemployment to the ratepayers and taxpayers of this country, and I would like to ask what Northern Ireland has done comparable with the sum which has been 2172 spent in this country in supplementing unemployment insurance—a sum which, in one year, I believe, amounted to between £50,000,000 and £60,000,000. I should like to know what the Government of Northern Ireland have spent in regard to unemployment relief schemes? So far as my recollection goes they have done nothing, or practically nothing, in this respect, and, therefore, they have been saving considerably on means and methods of expenditure for the relief of the unemployed, compared with what has been done in this country.
Those are the two or three points of detail arising out of this Bill about which I wanted to say a word or two. My right hon. Friend the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) said that the Government of Northern Ireland might, perhaps, have considerably increased the income of the Insurance Fund by extending the area of insurance, and the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Sir M. Macnaghten) dealt with this point. So far as I can make out from what he said, about one person in five is insured for unemployment in Northern Ireland, whereas the number in this country is not quite, but nearly one in three. Of course, I am quite prepared to admit that that difference may be, to some extent, accounted for by the fact—I do not know, but this may be the explanation—that in this country a larger proportion of our population is employed in industrial occupations than is the case in Northern Ireland.
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
A large number of our population are peasant farmers, to whom the unemployment insurance scheme is wholly inapplicable.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
That confirms the suggestion by way of explanation I made just now. I have only this further observation to make. The same hon. and learned Gentleman referred to what he described as the unfortunate division of the Fund when the Government of Ireland Act came into operation six years ago, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer also referred to that to—day. I admit that that was a mistake, and it may be too late now to remedy the mistake that was made at that time—a mistake for which the right hon. Gentleman himself must take a very large measure of responsibility. I am afraid it is now too late to remedy the mistake, and therefore, if we 2173 are going to meet the Government of Northern Ireland in their present distressed condition, that is not the way we can afford them any immediate relief. Therefore, the choice is between the proposal embodied in this Bill and the proposal which is adumbrated in the Amendment now before the House. I have been amazed at the lack of fertility on the part of the Treasury Bench. It is a charge that can rarely be made against the right hon. Gentleman, but I have not heard a single argument put forward from the Treasury Bench in defence of the method that they propose to adopt as being better than the method that we propose. They have never attempted to answer the point that we have made, that you are creating by this Bill an invidious distinction between the methods of dealing with the Unemployment Fund in the two countries.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald McNeill)
They have met that assertion by denial.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Denial is the only argument which the Treasury Bench use, Denial, however, is not an argument, and it is not proof. I understand the right hon. Gentleman is going to speak.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman is not going to speak. He is well advised, because he could only succeed in adding another example of the weakness of his case and the incapacity of the Treasury Bench.
§ Mr. D. REID
I only wish to deal with one or two points made by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. The right hon. Gentleman says that nothing has been done to justify the acceptance of this Bill but I should have thought that was answered by his own speech. He said the division of this Fund was a mistake. I think when he has admitted that, he has admitted everything, and has knocked the bottom out of his own case. May I remind the House exactly what the historical position is with regard to this Fund? As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the bulk of the taxation levied in Northern Ireland is collected by the Imperial Exchequer. He knows that when the Northern Ireland Government set up the various services allotted to Northern Ireland, funds were trans- 2174 ferred to allow the services to be financed. He knows also that unemployment insurance up to almost the time when the Government of Ireland Act was passed in 1920, was a compartively small service, and that there were no data in existence to enable an estimate to be made of what would be required to finance the very much extended scheme that was contained in the Insurance Act of 1920. There was not any data available. No reliable estimate could be got when the funds were transferred.
The Colwyn Committee, which was set up to advise or to determine what the financial arrangements should be between Northern Ireland and the Imperial Treasury had certain terms of reference, and by these the Insurance Fund was excluded. I think I am right in saying that the Colwyn Committee thought it was impossible to determine what the proper relations were until the Estimate to which I have referred was made. Therefore, the question is not an open question. It is not, as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, a case of reopening a bargain. There never was a bargain. There should have been an amount granted to Northern Ireland at the time which would have enabled the fund to be actuarially sound. That was not done. What the Government of Northern Ireland has done is to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to deal with the situation—a situation made by this House. My contention is that it is not a fair way of dealing with the question if it leaves a deficit on Northern Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer under this scheme is to provide three-quarters of the money. We say that the reasonable thing is to amalgamate the funds. The people of Northern Ireland—workmen and employers—pay the same contributions. The Northern Ireland Exchequer pay the same contribution. These correspond to the payments by the people of this country. The people of Northern Ireland pay the same taxes as the people of this country. Is it suggested that the only effect of the loan can be that the taxpayers in Northern Ireland can pay interest on it?
What is the position in Northern Ireland going to be if the result of legislation thrown upon the people by the Act of 1 20 is to make their financial position 2175 different and their taxes heavier than Great Britain? That is not a reasonable situation. We are not asking for a sum of money to be raised in Great Britain. We are only asking for the proper allocation of the money raised by the Treasury in Northern Ireland. We ask to be given sufficient money to provide for the same social services as in this country, for we carry the same amount of burdens as is carried in this country.
§ Mr. T. HENDERSON
Hon. Members on this side of the House, I think, do not fail to understand the suggestion made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We understand what he meant was that a combination of orange and green influence would be put into practically every constituency and in every part of the country to work against any Labour candidate who should attempt to stop the progress of this Measure. But politics change very rapidly. I remember when the right hon. Gentleman himself visited Northern Ireland not many years ago. He had a different reception from his last visit. It may be unkind on the part of friends of the Labour party to tell the country that this is a long price to pay for an Irish hat, new ribbons, a shillelagh, and an Irish cutty pipe!
I desire to congratulate the people of Northern Ireland and the Government of Northern Ireland, because they are going to do what we of the Labour party have failed to get done here. We believe that unemployment ought to be a national charge. I contended when the Financial Resolution was being discussed, that the position in Ireland was totally different from the position in either Scotland or England. You have been using your unemployment funds to pay extended benefits to unemployed persons. In this country—in England, or in Scotland at least—you had to pass special legislation to allow the parish councils to pay able—bodied relief to unemployed persons. I think it rather hard, but I feel inclined to support the Bill. I feel inclined to support it because of the audacity of the Measure. It is Irish. No one but an Irishman would have thought of it. We believe in making unemployment a national question.
What are the facts? In Northern Ireland the only relief you give is paid to blind persons, and when you are paying 2176 that relief in Northern Ireland you put the names of the recipients on a bill and post it up in a public place. In Scotland we have had our payments increased because of the action of this Government. The parish councils are up by 200 per cent. since the Government came into office. In 1924 the Labour Government made extended unemployment benefit a statutory thing. We made it that unemployed persons were to have extended benefit. This Government decided to wipe that out, and have done it, and have thrown it upon the parish councils in Scotland. In my particular parish the payments have gone up from £1,600 per week to £4,380 per week. Yet you are handing over there millions to Northern Ireland for unemployment benefit! I do not mind them getting it. But I think the people of this country ought to know the circumstances. There is perfect agreement between Northern Ireland and the Irish Government. Of course there is. One can easily understand it, because the Irish Government is going to get what we in the Labour movement believe in, and that is that unemployment should be a national charge. The Government itself—a reactionary Government, Tory of the Tories, for nothing could be more Tory than the Northern Ireland Parliament—are not going to hurt their friends by imposing taxes. They are going to make the British taxpayer pay for it. If the Members of this House understood it; if the people outside understood it, then I am just afraid that this Government would hesitate before they gave this money.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
So far as we on these benches are concerned, the case has not been met by any speaker on the opposite side. A while ago I raised the question of necessitous areas in this country, and said, for the purpose of comparison, that Northern Ireland was a necessitous area from the point of view of unemployment. In this country we have for a long time been in favour of the equalisation of the rates, of the equalisation of the burden of poverty. There are areas in this country where the burden of poverty carried is exceedingly low, but there are other areas where the burden is exceedingly high. In my own constituency the rates are 26s. in the £. There is at present a rise in these because of the increased burden of 2177 the Poor Law for the relief of able-bodied persons who are denied extended unemployment benefit. That is a point that we in connection with this question wish to be considered.
In Northern Ireland, I understand, there is no relief whatever given to able-bodied persons. They have no more Poor Law burden or rates than are carried by the necessitous areas in this country. There are places like those represented by my hon. Friend the Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), the North-east coast; there are areas like that I represent in South Wales; there are vast areas in Monmouthshire, where there are thousands and thousands of men unemployed who have been refused extended benefit, and thrown upon the Poor Law. Many of these places have low rate-able values, and the values are decreasing because of unemployment, and because of the pits having closed down. In the name of humanity the public authorities cannot allow these men and women to starve. Yet when we come to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and ask for relief for our necessitous areas not one single penny can we get, or even a promise, and a further injustice is done to the employed people by denying them Poor Law relief. In a little while the Chancellor of the Exchequer will bring forward his Economy Bill. Yet you are advancing this £5,000,000 to Northern Ireland. It is a free gift, which will cost the taxpayers of this country millions a year. The Chancellor will endeavour to save a few paltry hundreds at the expense of the poor in this country. In violent contradiction to his treatment of Conservative Northern Ireland, you get his treatment of some of the working—class districts of our own country.
There are working class districts in the East End of London. There are districts like Merthyr, the Rhondda Valley, Middlesbrough, and places of that description that need help, and so we protest in the way we do. We want equalisation. We want fair play for all. We are not going to see additional burdens added to our own burdened ratepayers and taxpayers here for the purpose of giving this to Northern Ireland, and so carry the burden which they themselves 2178 ought to shoulder. Moreover, may I point out that it has been admitted that the average of unemployment in Northern Ireland has been less intense in character than it has been here. Exceptional circumstances have arisen in Northern Ireland, and this has made the immediate percentage higher than in our own country. On the average, however, it is not higher. It is so in specific trades and specific areas, but it is less high generally than in some of our districts, and less high, in my opinion, or not so high, as in Middlesbrough, and it is not so high as in many areas in South Wales, where the average of unemployment is higher than the average in Northern Ireland.
It cannot be denied that in spite of a comparatively high average of unemployment now in Northern Ireland, the time will come when the average will be considerably lower. If, then, the normal standard is likely to be restored, there is no reason why a loan should not be sufficient for Northern Ireland from its own unemployment fund to carry it over the present time. If trade is going to revive, Northern Ireland will get its share. If it is not going to revive, then we shall all go down into the same abyss. If the Government believe that trade will revive, then the loan can be repaid later when trade has revived. If, on the contrary, the Government believe that trade will not revive, then, in God's name, let them prepare a plan for dealing with unemployment on a really national basis: let them not go forward with these arrangements. Those are the reasons why we protest against this special treatment, and in spite of all that is said about the orange and the green and the effect it may have upon the Belfast Labour party, I shall have the greatest pleasure in voting against this proposal. I believe it will in no sense harm the unemployed men, but may make the Government of Northern Ireland do its duty.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 271,Noes, 124.2181
|Division No. 71.]||AYES.||[6.16 p.m.]|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Edwards, John H.(Accrington)||Locker-Lampson, G.(Wood Green)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Elveden, Viscount||Looker, Herbert William|
|Albery, Irving James||England, Colonel A.||Luce, Major-Gen.Sir Richard Harman|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Lumley, L. R.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Apsley, Lord||Fairfax, Captain J.G.||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Major A.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F.W.||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Fermoy, Lord||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Astor, Viscountess||Fielden, E.B.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Finburgh, S.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Ford, Sir P. J.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Balniel, Lord||Forrest, W.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C.M.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Meller, R.J.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Fraser, Captain Ian||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Gates, Percy.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Gee, Captain R.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Blundell, F. N.||Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John||Murchison, C. K.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Glyn, Major R.G.C.||Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Gower, Sir Robert||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Grant, J. A.||Neville, R. J.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gretton, Colonel John||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Grotrian, H. Brent||Oakley, T.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hall, Capt. W.D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hanbury, C.||Philipson, Mabel|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Harland, A.||Pielou, D. P.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Radford, E. A.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ramsden, E.|
|Burman, J. B.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hawke, John Anthony||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Reid, D. D.(County Down)|
|Butt, sir Alfred||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Henn, Sir Sydney H||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hills, Major John Waller||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hilton, Cecil||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Holland, Sir Arthur||Rye, F. G.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hudson, Capt. A.U.M. (Hackney N.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Sandon, Lord|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Huntingfield, Lord||Savery, S. S.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hurd, Percy A.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ.,Belfst)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Jacob, A. E.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Jephcott, A. R.||Stanley,Col.Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Kidd, J.(Linlithgow)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd,Hemel Hempst'd)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lloyd, Cyril E.(Dudley)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Tinne, J. A.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)||Wood, B. C.(Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Wallace, Captain D. E.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Winby, Colonel L. P.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Wells, S. R.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Wragg, Herbert|
|Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.||Wise, Sir Fredric||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple||Withers, John James|
|Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Wolmer, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Major Hennessy and Major Cope.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barnes, A.||Hudson, J. H.(Huddersfield)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Barr, J.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Broad, F. A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Smith, H. B. Lees.-(Keighley)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cape, Thomas||Kennedy T.||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Clowes, S.||Kenyon, Barnet||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lee, F.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Connolly, M.||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Cowan D.M. (Scottish Universities)||Lunn, William||Thorne, W.(West Ham Plaistow)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. J.R.(Abreavon)||Thurtle, E.|
|Davies, Evan(Ebbw Vale)||Mackinder, W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Day, colonel Harry||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Duncan, c.||Maxton, James||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Edwards, C.(Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morris, R. H.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Morrison, R. c. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T.E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen c.|
|Gosling, Harry||Pethick-Lawrence, F.W.||Williams, David(Swansea, E.)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, Dr. J.H.(Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Williams, T.(York, Don valley)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Purcell, A.A||Wilson, R.J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Robinson, W.C.(Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G.H.(Merthyr Tydvil)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Warne.|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question"2182
§ The House divided: Ayes, 277; Noes, 120.2185
|Division No. 72.]||AYES.||[6.26 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Benn, Sir A. S, (Plymouth, Drake)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bennett, A. J.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Buckingham, Sir H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Betterton, Henry B.||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bird, E.R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool,W.Derby)||Blades, Sir George Rowland||Burman, J. B.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Blundell, F. N.||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Apsley, Lord||Boothby, R. J. G.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Butt, Sir Alfred|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward|
|Astor, Maj. H n. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Caine, Gordon Hall|
|Astor, Viscountess||Brass, Captain W.||Campbell, E. T.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cassels, J. D.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bridgeman, Rt. William Clive||Cautley, Sir Henry S|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Briggs, J. Harold||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Balniel, Lord||Briscoe, Richard George||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M,||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Chapman, Sir S.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Preston, William|
|Christie, J. A.||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hills, Major John Waller||Radford, E. A.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hilton, Cecil||Ramsden, E.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St.Marylebone)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Holland, Sir Arthur||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Cope, Major William||Hope, Capt. A. 0. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Robinson, Sir T.(Lancs., Stretford)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ruggles-Brice, Major E. A.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Huntingfield, Lord||Rye, F. G.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hurd, Percy A.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Jacob, A. E.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sandon, Lord|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Jephcott, A. R.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Savery, S. S.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Kidd, J.(Linlithgow)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Elveden, Viscount||Knox, Sir Alfred||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|England, Colonel A.||Lamb, J. Q.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Loder, J. de V.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Looker, Herbert William||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Luce, Major-Gen. sir Richard Harman||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lumley, L. R.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Finburgh, S.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacIntyre, Ian||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Forrest, W.||McLean, Major A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macquisten, F. A.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Gates, Percy||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Margesson, Captain D.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Gee, Captain R.||Meller, R. J.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Meyer, Sir Frank.||Wells, S. R.|
|Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Mitchell, S.(Lanark, Lanark)||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquey)|
|Grant, J. A.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Murchison, C. K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Neville, R. J.||withers, John James|
|Harland, A.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Nicholson, 0. (Westminster)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nuttall, Ellis||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Harvey, G.(Lambeth, Kennington)||Oakley, T.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Perkins, colonel E.K.||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Peto, Basil E.(Devon, Barnstaple||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Philipson, Mabel||Wragg, Herbert|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Philipson, Mabel||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Pielou, D.P.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Major Hennessy and Lord Stanley.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Batey, Joseph||Cape, Thomas|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Broad, F. A.||Clowes, S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Bromfield, William||Cluse, W. S.|
|Baker, Walter||Bromley, J.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Barnes, A.||Buchanan, G.||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)|
|Barr, J.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Compton, Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Cove, W.G.||Kennedy, T.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kenyon, Barnet||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kirkwood, D.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lansbury, George||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Smith, H. B. Lees.- (Keighley)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lee, F.||Snell, Harry|
|Duncan, C.||Lindley, F. W.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lowth, T.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Lunn, William||Stamford, T. W.|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Mackinder, W.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Gillett, George M.||March, S.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Gosling, Harry||Morris, R. H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thurtle, E.|
|Greenall, T.||Naylor, T. E.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Oliver, George Harold||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Groves, T.||Palin, John Henry||Viant, S. P.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Paling, W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hardie, George D.||Purcell, A. A.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Riley, Ben||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R. Elland)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Rose, Frank H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Windsor, Walter|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scrymgeour, E.||Wright, W.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sexton, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Warne.|
Bill read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Tomorrow.—[Mr. Churchill.]