Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed [4th March] on further Consideration of Eighth Resolution,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1926, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Ministry of Labour and Subordinate Departments, including the Contributions to the Unemployment Fund, and Payments to Associations, Local Education Authorities, and others for administration under the Unemployment Insurance and Labour Exchanges Acts; Expenditure in connection with the Training of Demobilised Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men, and Nurses; Grants for Resettlement in Civil Life; and the Expenses of the Industrial Court; also Expenses in connection with the International Labour Organisation (League of Nations), including a Grant-in-Aid.
Which Amendment was to leave out "£10," and insert instead thereof "£5."—[Mr. Lansbury.]
§ Question again proposed, "That '£10' stand part of the Resolution."
§ Mr. KELLY
When this Vote stood adjourned, I had one or two points still to put before the Minister. I wanted to ask the Minister how many people he was paying out of this Supplementary Estimate for the purpose of going round the country in order to drive people from the receipt of unemployment benefit. When he tells us how many people are engaged in that way, would he also give some idea where these men gained their experience and knowledge of commerce and industry which warrants them in saying that people could find employment if only they were looking for it in some way which appeals to members of the committees? On what basis and standard did the Minister arrive at his figure of 10s. per week as being adequate to maintain a British citizen at the present time? How can he justify the decision that, providing 13s. per head is coming into the house, that household is not only able to maintain itself but have a margin which enables it to keep one member of the family who happens to be unemployed? I have dealt with, standards of living in connection with 2334 wages questions, and I have never heard even the worst employer in this country say that a 13s. per week standard is adequate to maintain anyone to-day.
How much of this Supplementary Estimate is being expended on the juvenile section of the population? We have something like 300,000 children leaving the schools each year and endeavouring to enter the industrial and commercial life of the country. Up to the present very little has been done, despite the efforts of many men and women who have tried to assist the Ministry in the work of securing adequate places, with a prospect of reasonable employment when the children grow to adult age. How much of the Estimate, if any, is being expended in looking after the juvenile section of the population and seeing them properly placed in industry?
Are any of the officers who are dealt with under this Supplementary Estimate engaged in placing labour in the sugar-beet factories? If so, under what Statute or Regulation has the Minister acted in refusing to send land workers to obtain employment in the sugar beet factories? It is evident that the Minister of Labour has agreed with somebody, with whom we do not know, that land workers must remain land workers, on their sweated wage, and not be given an opportunity of employment at rates higher than those paid to agricultural workers. It is a sad commentary on the Employment Exchanges that they have become parties to keeping wages down and to preventing people from obtaining employment at the rates of pay which operate in the sugar beet factories. I hope that if the Minister has agreed to any such course, he will speedily take steps to allow the people employed in the neighbourhood of sugar beet factories to obtain work in them rather than be forced to remain at the 28s. per week rate of wages, such as obtains in Norfolk and Suffolk. How far has the Minister been responsible for these happenings? If he is responsible, I hope he will be so ashamed of the work performed by his Department that he will put an end to this prohibition on agricultural labourers obtaining employment at more than 28s. per week.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
It will be the desire of hon. Members in all parts of the House to express regret at the 2335 reason for the absence of the Minister of Labour. We are very sorry from the point of view of his own personal inconvenience and suffering, and we hope that he will speedily be restored to the service of the House. We are also very sorry at his absence because he will not be here to answer the very severe indictment which was made in the Debate by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). We hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will reply in detail to the points which my hon. Friend made.
We find an explanation in section "A" of this Vote that the increase of £230,000 asked for for salaries, wages and allowances, is for additional staff required by the greater volume of unemployment as compared with the original Estimate. It is a curious commentary on the statement of the Government that there has been a decrease in unemployment, to find that we are now faced with a Vote for another £220,000 for the staff to deal with the increased volume of unemployment. In that connection I should like to ask what are the Government really doing to prevent such a volume of unemployment as necessitates their coming to this House for a Vote of this character? I want to say to the Government that, as far as our information goes, and also as far as the information given us by the Government indicates, they are not doing anything really to reduce the volume of unemployment. Their policy has, in fact, in many cases already increased the amount of unemployment in this country. Take their attitude with regard to unemployment relief grants. We have a peculiar example of that in the City of Sheffield, which I represent—a necessitous area, if ever there was one. We have had to rely a good deal for finding work on relief schemes, with the aid of the grants we got from the Unemployment Relief Grants Committee. What is the position there? The Chairman of the Sheffield Finance Committee said recently:The effect of the circular will virtually be to stop all unemployment schemes, and consequently the burden of unemployment will fall to a still greater extent upon the Poor Law guardians. Not only has a Sheffield application to spend £50,000 on street and sewerage works on the Manor Housing Estate been refused, but a further scheme to spend £75,000 on similar work will not be eligible and there are schemes including bridges and sewers which will have to be 2336 stopped. These schemes were to have gone forward this winter, and we cannot afford to proceed with them without Government assistance.Instead of helping to reduce the volume of unemployment the Government, by their policy, are actually increasing it, and we must expect still further applications by the Ministry for increased Estimates for the staff necessary to deal with the volume of unemployment. During the last General Election we heard a great deal from Conservative platforms about "work, not doles"; but, apparently, the policy of the Government is neither work nor doles. I should like to say a word about the effect of the Government's policy on unemployment insurance schemes. Sufficient attention has not yet been drawn to the admissions made by the Minister of Labour himself in this House as to the effect of the 1925 Act, which he introduced. On 16th December he said that for the quarter ending 16th November, 1925, 175,396 applications for extended benefit were disallowed, and only 74,558 of these had continued to register. It means that out of the 175,000 applications, 101,000 had actually ceased to register. That is a conclusive answer to the statement and the figures issued by the Ministry of Labour indicating a reduction in the volume of unemployment.
Moreover, this throwing of people off the register is being made still worse by the subsequent policy of the Government. I have in my hand Circular L.E.C. 82, Sub 21, with, which I have no doubt the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour is perfectly familiar. It is a circular which deals with the limitation of the grant of extended benefit in the case of certain classes of applicants. I am not sure that it is available to Members of the House. It may be that there is a single copy in the Library, but most Members of the House have not seen it at all. It lays down a new instruction for the guidance of local unemployment committees in dealing with applications. This is what this circular says:A recommendation to allow benefit would ordinarily be approved where the average incomings per head of a household are 10s. per week or less; where the incomings per head per week are betwen 10s. and 13s. a claim would normally be allowed, but closer scrutiny would be necessary as the incomings approach 13s.2337 I do not know what that means in print, but I know how it works out in practice by an unemployment committee.Where the incomings per head per week are over 13s., the claim could not properly be allowed in the absence of quite exceptional circumstances.What are the "exceptional circumstances' which will allow a local committee to exercise discretion under a circular like that? The hon. Member will be quite familiar with the case I put to him from Sheffield. It is the case of a young man, not 18 years of age, or 19, or 20, but a man who has served his country in the trenches, and is nearly 27 years of age. He has worked since his discharge for regular periods. It is true his employment has been intermittent, and consequently he may not have the requisite number of stamps to entitle him to standard benefit, but because his father and mother are getting between them about 54s. or 55s. per week, they are, by the policy of the Government, called upon to keep this young man, who has served his country and who has worked regularly when work has been available, or he must go to the Poor Law. And what happens? If he says he will not continue to be a drag upon his parents, and is forced by a hard-hearted and callous Government—that is the only way to describe them—to go to the Poor Law guardians and ask for relief, the answer is, "You are a single young man, and there is nothing to be done for you unless you go into the workhouse." That is the result of the policy of the Government in this matter.
There is a further point on which the Parliamentary Secretary promised a reply at Question Time to-day, and which was referred to in the last Debate by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). I should like to emphasise the figures. I understand from a letter sent to my hon. Friend on the 2nd March, that during the three months ending 26th January, 1,170 applications were made by women for standard benefit and 232 were disallowed as not genuinely seeking work. Out of these 232, 142 of the disallowances operated from the date of the application. Without beating about the bush I think we should have a straight answer from the Government as to whether, having by Statute compelled these young women to pay their insurance contributions, they are or are not entitled to standard benefit from the date they register the fact that 2338 they are unemployed. It is a matter of complete inequity to call this an insurance scheme when persons who have been in work and have the stamps requisite make application for benefit are refused on the ground that they are not genuinely seeking work. If they have paid for the benefit you have no opportunity of testing whether they are or are not seeking employment.
I want also to refer to the result of the Government's policy in the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Scheme upon local authorities generally. I am not at all sure that the country as a whole has realised what the effect is upon the local ratepayer. When they do the Government will hear more about it than they will to-day. I have actual figures from Sheffield which I can submit to the Parliamentary Secretary. Ever since the beginning of the Government's policy, outlined in the Circular of February, 1925, there has been in the city of Sheffield a continuous increase week after week in the charge upon the Poor Law, not for general Poor Law purposes but for the direct relief of the unemployed who have been turned away from the Employment Exchanges. The cases I am going to put are not general Poor Law cases; all of them refer to people who are unemployed and denied benefit. On 21st February, 1925, a week before the issue of the Circular, the Poor Law cases of unemployed persons numbered 3,951, and the cost to the Poor Law that week was £2,615. By November, 1925, the number of cases had increased to 4,412, and the cost per week to £3,869. By 20th February, this year, the cases had increased to 5,215 and the cost to £4,543 per week.
That is an amazing position. We had an answer from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health to the Debate on the question of necessitous areas. This Government are not only doing nothing to help necessitous areas, they are actually making the burden worse every week. By the Act of 1924, under which insured persons were treated as human beings, we saved the local rates in Sheffield £70,000 in one year. But the Government, by the policy they are adopting, are not only wiping out the whole of the benefits conferred on necessitous areas by that Act but actually increasing the cost to necessitous areas; 2339 in the case of Sheffield by nearly 30 per cent. That is a position which I am perfectly certain the Government cannot logically defend; at any rate, I shall be very interested to hear what the Parliamentary Secretary has to say about it this afternoon.
The White Paper which has been issued during the last few days gives a startling confirmation of what I have said, not from the Sheffield point of view, but from the point of view of the whole country. I find that during the whole period of 1925 there has been a continuous and startling increase in the number of persons relieved under the Poor Law. I will not quote the whole of the figures in this White Paper, only those who are described as receiving domiciliary relief There is an increase for England and Wales—this is "a statement showing the number of persons in receipt of Poor Law relief in England and Wales in the quarter ending in December, 1925, with some particulars as to the number of unemployed persons in receipt of such relief." The increase in the number of persons in England and Wales in receipt of domiciliary relief in 1925 was 246,710. Practically the whole of that was due to the policy of the Government in throwing men and women and young persons off the Unemployment Insurance Fund. We would like to have some justification from the Minister for such a maladministration of the Unemployment Insurance scheme, and the maladministration of justice to the people of this country.
There is one other point of criticism. The Government have instituted one or two training centres to deal with unemployment. But somehow or other, unless I misread a Circular which I have before me, they seem to be following an evil genius and always to do the wrong thing. The Circular is T.F.M.4. I quote that identification so that it may be recognised by the Parliamentary Secretary. It sets out a scheme of training. The second paragraph deals with conditions of eligibility, and: the very first of the conditions is as follows:Applicants must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of unemployment benefit.Therefore, the whole of the people who have been grossly and unjustly thrown off from benefit for unemployment 2340 insurance are to be denied any training at all in the centres which are established. That is a most extraordinary position for the Government to take up with a view to reducing the volume of unemployment. The Minister should know that the persons who have been most liable to long periods of unemployment, and who have come most severely under the harrow of this wicked Government, are the very people who most need training. The Government ought to have made provision for them in this Circular.
There is one other point of criticism on that matter, and it relates to the disposition of the centres of training. We have pleaded again and again that necessitous areas should have some consideration. What has happened? So far as I can gather from answers to questions in the House, there are three centres, one at Wallsend, one at Birmingham, and a third at Claydon. We pleaded for a centre for Sheffield. There we have well over 20,000 people upon the Unemployment Insurance register. It is a place where there is plenty of opportunity for training men in skilled or semiskilled occupations. As far as I can gather, the unemployed of Sheffield are being sent to the centre at Claydon, near Ipswich, and, if my information is correct, the training there is confined almost entirely to agricultural training. I will be glad to receive further information on the subject, for we have had very scanty information hitherto; we seem to have to drag the information bit by bit from the Minister. My information is that the larger part of the training at Claydon is agricultural. The Government send men right away from Sheffield to Ipswich for training. In one or two of the great centres like Sheffield, where you have a very large volume of unemployment which is likely to continue, the Government should arrange their training centres. For these and for many other reasons which I intended to state and which I do not mention because I do not want to take up too much time, I very cordially support the Amendment, and I hope that we shall get a satisfactory answer from the Minister.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I want to add my word of regret at the absence of the Minister of Labour and at its cause. In common with my right hon. Friend, I 2341 hope that the right hon. Gentleman will have a speedy recovery. In connection with the Vote now under review, I note that there is an item referring to a Grant-in-Aid to the International Labour Office. To what extent the Labour Ministry is getting results for the expenditure, and endeavouring to carry out the Labour conventions, I am at a loss to know. Certainly they have hung fire for a considerable time.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I am afraid that the hon. Member has been misled, as often happens, by the heading of the Vote. The heading to a Supplementary Estimate must always be the same as the heading to the main Estimate. If the hon. Member looks at the items, he will find that no money is voted for the International Labour Office, and it does not come under review on this occasion.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I am obliged. The heading states "also expenses in connection with the International Labour Organisation (League of Nations) including a Grant-in-Aid."
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is making a very common mistake. The heading to this Supplementary Estimate must be the same as that of the main Estimate. Hon. Members should look at the items in the Estimate.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I will pass on to offer a few severe criticisms of the administration of the Labour Ministry. I would reinforce the arguments used on Thursday last by my hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) in relation to that class of case which has become so common, namely, the disqualification of applicants for standard benefit almost before they have qualified for same by putting in their waiting period. From the very moment of the book being lodged, without any rhyme or reason, an inquisition is commenced, and before the week of the waiting period is up the applicant attends before a committee and the old plea is put forth, "You do not satisfy us that you are genuinely seeking employment." Cruel fate indeed it is that throws a person out of employment. It is a crueller fate when no employment is available to re-absorb that individual. Yet with complete local knowledge that the trade from which the applicant has come has almost closed down its opera- 2342 tions for a long period, it is expected in the large towns and cities that the individual applicant will undertake a heart-breaking trudge round the city interviewing separate employers who could not, or who would not if they could, take the applicant into employment because of the vast difference between the industry from which he came and the industry which he seeks to enter. It would be much fairer and cleaner if the Ministry officials would take the word of the employer that the person has been "stood off" because of slackness, that in the trades there are common periods of idleness according to the season or month of the year, and that there is no similar trade in the locality.
Why should an applicant be sent trudging five, six or 10 miles every day, interviewing all kinds of employers? It is encouraging the very thing that the Ministry try by their inspectorate to destroy—encouraging applicants to go to friendly employers and to get notes from them that they have called and that no work was available. I have known of cases where a list of interviews with between 20 and 26 employers in one week has been shown, but that did not satisfy the committee as representing a genuine effort to seek employment. The last speaker knows full well what I am about to say. If a blast furnace closes down in an area, the whole of the men are thrown idle. The fires are damped down. There is no other similar class of employment to which the persons can go. Why, in a case like that, cannot the word of the employer be taken? Surely the Ministry can trust the word of the employer just as it ought to trust the word of the applicant? I can see no justification in the Act for disqualifying a person on the very day that he should be entering into standard benefit. What I have described is the only loop-hole that the administration has. The committee at once fastens on to it, and then in a more or less callous way, whether acting on instructions or not, with a desire to misrepresent the gravity of the unemployment problem in this country, the course described is taken, and the country is given a false idea of the actual state of affairs.
The administration is somewhat remiss also in settling refunds. I have in my hand a list from Bradford showing that 2343 for a considerable time past applications for a refund under the Act have not been met. For instance, the Bradford City Council applied for exemption from the operations of the Act for a large number of its employés. They had paid contributions for a considerable period before the request was made. The request was granted, and then some of the men concerned received a communication such as I have in my hand. It reviewed the whole position, set off against the men a certain number of stamps which were paid as from November, 1922, to January, 1924, cut down the amount, and actually put on the debit side the amount of £1 7s. There must be something very loose in administration of that sort. I hold here a list of the names of men who have not yet received their refunds, and in looking through the communications I am led to believe that these applications must have been made not less than 12 months ago. Certainly they are a class of case that does not come within the limiting period for the claiming of refunds.
Let me put one other serious aspect of the Ministry's administration. There is a large number of men in receipt of a certain percentage of disability pension. I would like to know at what stage or on what basis the Department is depriving of extended benefit, ex-service men who are in receipt of pensions. Ex-service men complain to me that recently there has been a tightening-up of the system and a searching into their circumstances. If they are in receipt of from 30 per cent. to 40 per cent. disability pension they are told they cannot be looked upon as likely to be absorbed in general industry, and this excuse is used to disqualify them from extended benefit. That is a serious handicap to place on men concerning whom there were not sufficient words in the dictionary of the English language to sound the praises of their sacrifices and their work during the awful period of the War. We should remember that the partially disabled ex-service man is not like the ordinary unemployed person with his full physical capacities at his disposal, liable to be absorbed in industry. That being the case, you put the ex-service man in the position of being between the Devil and the deep sea. He cannot be absorbed into 2344 employment; he can be refused extended benefit because he is not likely to be absorbed into employment, and thus he must go to the board of guardians because his pension is not sufficient to enable him to live. On what basis does the Ministry proceed in cases of that sort? I would like the Ministry to consider this matter seriously and perhaps on some other occasion the whole question may be gone into, because it is a matter which also involves the Ministry of Pensions. I ask whether the time has not arrived when these pensions should be made sufficient?
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted; and 40 Members being present—
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I was calling attention to the position of the ex-service man in receipt of a percentage disability pension. I urge that we should have a clear and explicit statement as to the actual position of these men at the moment. I hope that upon some other occasion when, perhaps, it will be more in order to deal with the matter, proposals will be made whereby these men shall no longer be in this anomalous position between outdoor relief and unemployment benefit. If their pensions are not sufficient, those pensions ought to be made sufficient and these men ought to be freed from the anxiety of this phase of our unfortunate economic position. I have a still more serious matter to which I wish to draw attention. Until recently, all seamen—whether able seamen, firemen, cooks or stewards—were liable for insurance. During the present yachting season at Cowes there has been created a most exasperating condition of affairs in this connection, for which I can find no justification in the Act. I can only imagine that some outside person has made a test and that the administration of the Employment Exchange have taken powers which they ought not to have taken. It appears that, at the moment, cooks and stewards on yachts are being disallowed both standard and extended benefit. It may sound peculiar to the House that these men should be denied standard benefit, because it is to be supposed that they have the stamps qualification which entitles them to that benefit, but the Minister will find, notwithstanding the fact that these employés have stamps on their cards, the 2345 mere circumstances that they are employed as cooks or stewards on pleasure yachts is taken as placing them in an uninsurable industry, according to the point of view of the Employment Exchange, and they are, therefore, denied the benefit of their previous stamps.
I am led to believe that this practice has been brought about by the Department's own ruling and that in one case an application was made by Captain Herbert of the steam yacht "Restless," owned and commissioned by Lord Tredegar. The application was that cooks or stewards serving on the yacht should be regarded as domestics and therefore not in an insurable occupation, and that view was acquiesced in by the Department. As a result these men were disallowed benefit, without any inquiry being made by the Department as to whether this was their normal work or whether it was only undertaken by them as a temporary occupation, in consequence of unemployment in their ordinary occupation. Complaints generally have been made regarding all those who become disqualified on the general ground of being in domestic service, but I think particular attention should be given to the case of the men in a yachting centre, who ordinarily follow an insurable occupation, but who, rather than remain unemployed and drawing unemployment benefit, seek employment on the pleasure yachts which during the season are frequently in and out of ports in the South of England. It is a serious matter if in the case of these men their temporary occupation is to be used to disqualify them and to make inoperative their previous contributions. It may be thought clever to do so, but I do not think it decent that such tactics should be adopted.
Up to this time all yacht owners and masters have seen to it that unemployment books were taken out for all members of their crews without exception, but since this application has been acceded to naturally they all see a possibility of saving on their running costs and expenses and are availing themselves of this opportunity. Previously, if sufficient stamps were on a man's card he was entitled to benefit. Now we see a different state of things. If it is to be asserted that cooks and stewards are domestics, what of the able seamen, the stokers and the 2346 greasers? These yachts are not engaged in business; they are pleasure yachts and the stoker and the able seaman is ministering to the comfort and pleasure of the owner, as much as the cook or the steward. They are all employed on a pleasure cruise and you can no more term the cook or the steward a domestic, than you can the able seaman who cleans the decks, the greaser who oils the machinery in the engine room or the stoker who fires the furnaces and supplies the impetus for the yacht to travel into those pleasant regions which are conducive to the benefit and rest of the yachting party.
I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us something definite on this point. I think the Minister should undertake a serious investigation of this matter. I accept as authoritative the information which I have here and we will be able to prove that men of the class I have indicated with 30 stamps on their cards have been refused unemployment benefit and have been forced to seek Poor Law relief—though the stamps to their credit would have counted in respect of any other occupation. I am sure the hon. Gentleman appreciates the gravity of the point. If you are to include in the wide term "domestic service," men who, up to recently, were admitted by the administration to be part of the seafaring community, it is a very serious matter. Are these men to be disqualified because they serve in these capacities on a pleasure boat owned by a noble lord, a peer of the realm perhaps, who can take his pleasure—probably by reason of sweated wages and unemployment among his own employés. The name of Lord Tredegar sounds very familiar to me in connection with the coal industry and royalties. Are the Employment Exchanges to say to the yacht owner, "We agree with you. Your pleasure should not cost you any more by having charged up against you the stamps which are the only protection of these men, and when you have had your pleasure, they can be thrown back again on the unemployment market without any benefit."? Can the hon. Gentleman see his way to make an arrangement by which the rights of such men will be continued? If their normal occupation for six or seven months of the year Is not that of ministering to the pleasure of yacht owners, then let the yacht owners help to 2347 keep these men in the benefit to which they are entitled. This is a new decision. I do not know that there has been an Umpire's decision on the matter, but I am told it is a Departmental decision. I shall be pleased to be disabused, but I certainly want to know the extent of this iniquitous imposition upon a body of men who otherwise should be entitled to benefit when out of work.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
Before I deal with the points raised the other day and to-day, I should like to thank the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) and the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday), who has just sat down, for their kindly references to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. He had fully intended to be present to-day and to answer the points raised in the Debate, but, for reasons with which the House is well aware and with which, I think, they will sympathise in every part of the House, he cannot be here. I will deal at once with the last point which was raised by the hon. Member for West Nottingham, namely, the position of persons employed on yachts and ships in regard to unemployment insurance. The question that he raised is one of extraordinary difficulty, and it was brought to my personal notice for the first time a few weeks ago. I realised at once that it was a very difficult question, owing to the service and the nature of the contract of service, because, of course, it is not limited to hands on board a yacht of the size of that owned by Lord Tredegar, but applies equally to small yachts that perhaps ship only two or three hands. I confess, quite frankly, that some of the doubts which the hon. Member expressed to-day passed through my mind when I had to consider the question, and so I took a course which I think was the right course under the circumstances, and for which the Act provides, namely, the course of seeking to get a decision of the High Court Judge appointed for the purpose under, I think, the Act of 1920—at any rate, under one of the Insurance Acts—to whom we can send for his judicial decision, "Aye" or "No," the question: Does a certain class of person come within the scope of the Act at all? That is as the position stands now, and as soon 2348 as we can, we shall get that decision, and I will, of course, let the hon. Member know what it is.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
No. It was through an hon. Member of this House, who is the owner of a small yacht, and who brought me the personal case of his own cook, I think.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
But where was the first decision arrived at to disqualify them? Was it a departmental decision?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Of that I am not quite certain, but perhaps I shall be able to tell the hon. Member before I have finished. With regard to the Bradford case and refunds, to which he referred, as he will be aware this question of refunds under the last Act has been a very big business, involving many hundreds of thousands of claims. They are very quickly being dealt with, and, having regard to the magnitude of the task, I think it is not too much to claim, on behalf of the officials who have been responsible, that they have done their work expeditiously and well. With regard to the Bradford case, in which, for some reason, there appears to have been some delay, I am told that that also is in process of settlement, if it is not actually settled at this moment.
With regard to the question of the disabled men, it is very difficult to deal with that large and important question under the limited scope of to-day's Debate, but the point which the hon. Member made is shortly this: He said—and, I think, truly—that you may get men who are, say, 60 or 70 per cent. disabled, but who, owing to the difficulty of obtaining employment at all, are never really likely to get any work in the locality in which they live. That, as he also truly said, is a point partly involving the Ministry of Pensions—the case he made clearly involves the Ministry of Pensions—but I can assure him, as I said in answer to a supplementary question to-day, that that aspect of this very difficult case is at present being considered by my right hon. Friend, because in considering his powers and what he can do he is bound, as the hon. Member for West Nottingham knows as well as anybody in the House, by the statutory conditions contained in the Act of 1924. I can, however, assure the 2349 hon. Member that both my right hon. Friend and I are doing what we can to see if some more satisfactory arrangement cannot be made.
I have just got the answer to the point put in regard to the men employed on yachts, and I am told that there has been no formal decision so far, but that the Department, in view of other decisions by the High Court, have had to proceed on the assumption that the work is not insurable.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
May we take it from that that no applicant in those circumstances has been disqualified from benefit?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
We have had to proceed on the assumption that the work is not insurable, but that is the very point which, as I say, is going to the Judge of the High Court for decision.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I think that is so. As the hon. Member knows, this point was only raised this afternoon, and if there is anything that I have said which I can amplify when I have gone into it outside, I shall be only too glad to give the hon. Member all the information in my power.
I will now come to one or two points which were common I think to all the speeches which were made the other day and which have been made today. The hon. Member for Hillsborough raised a question in regard to Circular L.E.C. 82/21, and the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) raised it the other day. They suggested that the decision which the Minister has come to and the limitations referred to in this Circular are harsh, and they, therefore, urge that the Circular ought to be withdrawn. But I want the House to consider this: the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury), with his long experience of local work in connection with the relief of distress, has emphasised as clearly as anybody in this House—and I entirely agree with him—that there is nothing more demoralising, particularly for the younger men, than, as I think he put it, that they should get something for nothing. The Minister, therefore, has to draw what I may call a fair dividing line between the view which was expressed by the hon. Member 2350 for Hillsborough and the view so well expressed by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
But we are really complaining that you are putting the cost of keeping a young man on to his parents. You are not redeeming the evil of which I complain a bit; all that you are doing is to shift it and to lower the standard of life of the whole family.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I quite appreciate that point, but I think I can make my point clear. With regard to this Circular, there are two overriding considerations, neither of which has been mentioned to-day. One is that the Committee has a discretion, in cases where it considers the refusal of benefit would entail hardship, to increase the amount, and, in the second place, the figures mentioned in this Circular are exclusive of and do not include rent. If you take, therefore, on the lowest scale mentioned here, the case of a man and wife and three children, they would get 50s. a week, plus rent, on the lowest scale. They might, of course, get more—up to between 10s. and 13s. per head would normally be allowed—but that is the minimum referred to. If you compare that rate, as you are bound to do, with the scale which is prevailing in many of the large towns and municipalities in the country, if you compare it with the wages that are paid by some of the principal authorities in Great Britain, I think the House will probably agree that the line which my right hon. Friend has drawn is not an unfair one. I am not discussing for this purpose whether the rates here referred to are sufficient or insufficient, whether they are accurate or inaccurate, but I am simply stating what the figures are. A general yard labourer, for instance, employed by Cardiff gets 56s. 9½d., Glasgow 55s., Hull 52s., Leeds 48s. 11½d., Manchester 53s., Bristol 60s., and London 62s.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Do those figures apply to young men who have paid and have enough stamps on their cards for standard benefit?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
That is the other point to which I am coming in a moment. If you take this scale, in answering the charge that this Circular is harsh and that the amount is much too low, unless you are to encourage the very thing which the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley wishes us not to do, you will see that these rates are not unfair rates, but bear a fair relation to the rates actually prevailing in the country.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
That is referred to in the Circular, which says that recommendations to allow benefit would ordinarily be approved where the average earnings per head of a household are 10s. per week. Therefore, I was taking the case of a normal family of five, where it would work out at 50s. minimum.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The hon. Member for Rochdale raised a number of questions when this matter was last discussed with regard to a subject in which he has taken as active a part as anyone in this House, I mean the question affecting juvenile employment. The hon. Member is Deputy-Chairman of the London Advisory Council, and I am sorry he is not in his place, because I should like to take the opportunity of saying that we appreciate, as I am sure the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) appreciates, what he has done for a very long time in this connection. He said the other day:Does the same difficulty still exist between the Ministry of Labour and the Board of Education with regard to the placing of these juveniles? It is a saddening spectacle to find a quarrel going on between the two Departments.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th March, 1926; col. 1724, Vol. 192.]The short answer to the hon. Gentleman is this: Prior to 1921, I think it was, and, indeed, long before, there were differences of opinion between the Ministry of Labour and the Board of Education, and the then President of the Board of Education, Mr. Fisher, and the then Minister of Labour, Dr. Macnamara, did not see at all eye to eye in this matter. Mr. Fisher, for instance, thought that all the juvenile unemployment work should rest with the local education authority.
2352 To that Dr. Macnamara was opposed, and the matter was referred to Lord Chelmsford by way of arbitration, and his report was adopted, under which the local education authority were given power to take over all juvenile work, including insurance, if they chose to exercise it. That has not altogether eliminated the difficulties to which the right hon. Member for Preston referred. In consequence, my right hon. Friend has recently referred this matter to a committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Malcolm, one of the terms of reference being to inquirewith particular reference to the adequacy of the arrangements for enabling young persons to enter and retain suitable employment.Therefore, it would seem, I think, in answer to the hon. Member for Rochdale, that my right hon. Friend is making every effort he can, and he hopes for this purpose to get the assistance of this Committee in disposing of any outstanding differences which may exist between the various Departments.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I am not sure, but I think it was a joint appointment by my right hon. Friend and the President of the Board of Education The hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) referred the other day to the question of women employed at the Exchanges, and what he said, if I might summarise it quite shortly, was this: "Here you are turning off experienced women who have done you good service and good service for the Department, and you are putting in their place young trainees who happen to have passed some examination." With regard to that point, I might say that the policy, not only of the Ministry of Labour, speaking broadly, but, I think, of all other Ministries, is that permanent work should be done by permanent officials, but in a Ministry like the Ministry of Labour, where we have to deal with unemployment which is abnormal, and where a temporary staff is necessary, then, of course, we must have a number of persons who are temporary. Of these women, there are at present about 246 with from five to 10 years' experience, and during the last six years we have held 11 qualifying examinations, each woman having at least one chance 2353 But my right hon. Friend authorises me to say that, as the need for discharges arises, every possible consideration will be given to those women who have not qualified at these examinations, but who have given efficient service to the Department, in some cases over a period of years.
§ Mr. PALING
That still means that these women cannot be permanent servants unless they have passed the qualifying examination?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Yes, that is so. The hon. Member for Don Valley raised another point, which, I think, was raised by one other Member in the Debate the other night. He said the Estimate showed that we want £230,000 more for salaries and wages, and another contribution to the Unemployment Fund of £450,000. He said these two claims are, on the face of it, inconsistent, and he wants to know the reason. With regard to the £230,000 which is needed for the salaries and wages of further clerical staff, that is caused, as I said the other day, because we budgeted last year for an average of 1,100,000, and, in fact, the number exceeded 1,200,000, and, therefore, we want more staff. With regard to the second point, although the numbers of unemployed were more than was anticipated, there was a large increase of insured persons, and, of course, the more that is contributed by employers and employed, the more the State has to contribute. But it is also due to the fact that there was a very considerable increase in the number of persons working short time, who, therefore, come under both heads, because they not only draw benefit, but they also pay contributions.
I think I have dealt with the points raised by every hon. Member except those raised by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley. He wanted to know how this estimated saving in the training of ex-service men was effected. He mentioned the sum of £439,000. I know it was a slip on his part, and I do not make any point of it, but, as a fact, as will be seen, the estimated amount saved on training is £395,000. He wanted to know why there is this large saving. The reason is that fewer men are in training than was anticipated, but when it is suggested that this is owing to some policy 2354 of economising at the cost of disabled men, I can assure the House there is no foundation whatever for that statement, because the conditions with regard to those men are precisely the same now as they were then.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
It is not a new rule; it has been in existence for the last four or five years. The two conditions to which I was referring are, first, that he has to give reasons why he did not apply for training before, because, in theory, the scheme stopped as long ago as 1921. The second condition is, that he has to show he is not capable of following either his pre-War or his post-War occupation. One of the reasons there are fewer men in training is that many of the men for whom we budgeted a year ago were undergoing treatment, and a larger proportion of those than we anticipated did not need or desire any training at all. These different reasons will account for the smaller number who have taken advantage of the training which we are prepared to give them.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Cathcart is an old story, and I think I am right in saying we took men from Cathcart and other places which we closed, and sent them to other centres.
If you took the men from Glasgow to Nottingham, it meant that Nottingham men could not get entrance.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I do not think that point is a substantial one, because the waiting list is not large, and I think there will be no difficulty in getting these men absorbed soon. There was another point 2355 raised by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley the other day, when he said:I believe that this scheme broke down mainly because the Government and those responsible since the War have never been generous enough to find sufficient money."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th March, 1926; col. 1706, Vol. 192.]I think it only right, as that statement has been made, that the House should he in possession of the amount that has been spent and the number of persons who have been trained. Since August, 1919, the number of men who have been trained is 97,000. In addition, there are at this moment 2,300 still in training. The total cost up to the end of the present financial year borne on the Ministry of Labour Votes, excluding administration and excluding all expenditure by the Pensions and other Government Departments, is over £20,000,000. In addition, nearly 1,500 persons have been given grants after training to set up on their own account, and about 2,400 men have been given grants in lieu of training. The greater part of the expenditure has been on allowances to trainees. These have been on a generous scale. The minimum to a single man without dependants is 40s. a week. In addition there are allowances to wives and children, travelling allowances, living away from home allowances, etc. The average weekly allowance is about 62s. Therefore let not the House suppose that either this, or the previous Government, or the Government before has not appreciated the situation. I think it is only right that hon. Members should know the actual facts.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Oh, of course. The hon. Member also referred to the 40 per cent., but that was laid down not by the Ministry of Labour at all, but by the committee composed of representatives of the employers and the trade unions. These cases have been revised from time to time, and not infrequently extensions of not less than three months per man have been granted, but the condition of trade makes it difficult for these men to find employment. I thought it a useful opportunity, in view of the attack on this training to give these pretty full details. Another point was raised by the hon. Member. I will deal with the small 2356 aspect of it first. It was an individual case to which he referred, the case where he said a good deal of correspondence took place. I have ascertained the facts of that case, and they are these. The woman was refused benefit because the employer did not stamp the woman's card. The woman in question was employed, or said to be employed, by a Madam Curnow. There was great difficulty found by the Ministry in deciding whether this woman was or was not an insured person.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
It was a question of some doubt, therefore, whether this lady was or was not entitled to benefit. The case went to the Court of Referees and we asked on two grounds whether the woman was entitled to benefit. The grounds were those of "voluntarily leaving" her employment, and afterwards "not genuinely seeking work." The Court of Referees found in her favour. Therefore you have this: That if she was an insured person, as we now think, she was entitled to benefit when the contributions had been paid. Until they are paid we cannot do anything. Until the contributions are paid by the employer she is not entitled to benefit. When the money is recovered as I expect it will be from the employer then the benefit will be given if she is still on the spot.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but my complaint was that it took from December to March for his Department to discover that the woman was in the position that he has stated, and that they took no steps whatever when the woman applied and told them that the employer had not paid—the Department took no steps from December to collect the money.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I agree. I say quite frankly that the case occupied a long time. It had to be decided whether this lady was liable for the contribution, or her employer. Be that as it may, it is the fact as I have gathered, that steps are being taken to recover the contributions of the employer and I hope we shall succeed in getting them. There is just one other point, for I must not detain the House longer.
§ Miss WILKINSON
When you have a case where the employed person has complied with the law and has been paying 2357 her contributions all the time, and so far as she knows her card was being stamped, and she had no reason to suppose it was not—surely is it not for the Department to pay the woman and then recover from the employer?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
No, I understand not. No contributions have been paid either by the woman or by the employer; that is one of the difficulties of the case.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I think not. Nothing has been deducted from the wages of the woman from the beginning of this employment. She has not paid anything, which, of course, is the basis on which the case rests. I am glad I have had the opportunity of clearing up that point.
There is another outstanding material point that was put by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) and by every other speaker that has taken part in this Debate. It was this: When a man or a woman's card is stamped, and he or she leaves the employment, how can it be said at once that they are not genuinely seeking work? That is the point. The provision that a person must genuinely be seeking work is contained in the Act of 1924, and is a provision which really is a necessary part of any system of Unemployment Insurance. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) knows this point. Really there is nothing inconsistent at all in a refusal to pay these grants immediately after the person ceases work. We know in many cases that there is no desire or intention to seek employment for a certain period. There is the case of special workers, special trades such as the fur trade, seasonable trades. We have many of them where, when their season comes to an end, they deliberately wait until the new season begins two months later, because they want to go back to their old jobs with their old 2358 employers. During that period they are not genuinely or in any other way seeking work. They are waiting to go back to the old employment. The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley made complaint against the officials at Mansell Street Exchange. When I communicated his complaint to my right hon. Friend he himself went down in order that he might see what the position was. The result of his visit there was that he found out about 12 persons named by the hon. Member in the question he asked a little while ago. They were offered work in a manner I shall describe through the instrumentality of our officers at the Exchange. Now that work was not so utterly different from the work they had been doing. It was in fact work in machining.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I have already explained the details. I thought I had explained that the Court of Referees, to whom this point went, found in these cases that they were not—except in one case out of 12—genuinely seeking work. Then, as I say, there was an offer of work in this other trade. Hon. Members, possibly, would like to know exactly what happened to these 12 women. Seven turned down the offer of alternative training in the tailoring trade without giving it a moment's consideration. The rate of wages was that fixed by the trades board. In some cases the wages are higher, but the particular trade in which they were offered this work is one of those under the Trade Boards Act, and the wages actually offered to these people at the time were higher than the minimum Trade Board's rate for the same work.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Surely the point is this: Quite honestly there are rates fixed under any trade board which may be higher than the rate in the ordinary insured trades. That would still leave the question of the wages paid to the new entrants. What were the rates paid?
§ 6.0 P.M
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The employment was at the guaranteed rate of 30s. per week. It is above the Trade Board minimum. The other five women said they did not mind trying? Three out of the five, however, made it so clear that they were expecting almost at once to be called back by their own employers that it was useless offering to give them 2359 training. The other two accepted it, and I think one—I am not sure whether it is one or two—is still at work. I give that as an illustration of what is common knowledge, that many of these women, and many men also, do not genuinely seek work, because they do not want it, for the reason that they want to go back to their old employers when the next season begins. I would add this further point, that this phrase—and the Section—inserted in the 1924 Act is one which it is not very easy to administer, and it is one about which from time to time we have a good deal of trouble; but the right hon. Gentleman for Preston (Mr. Shaw), who inserted it in his Act, no doubt had in mind the idea that there was machinery in previous Acts which would absolve the Minister from having to interpret the Section in such cases, and it provided for cases to be taken to the Court of Referees.
Another point to which I wish to refer was also raised by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley, and it has been very often mentioned to me outside the House by hon. Members who hold the same views upon it as he has. At present the right of appeal from the Court of Referees to an Umpire is limited to cases where the Court of Referees gives permission—unless it is a case in which the applicant belongs to an association and applies through that association. It has been represented that that limitation ought not to exist. I think it is a great tribute to the confidence in which the Umpire is held—
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I was wondering how soon the hon. Member would correct me; but I have had requests for an appeal in all oases to the Umpire, and I can only say that that is one of the matters which is being considered by the Blanesburgh Committee, and that we hope to get some guidance from it. I have taken much longer than I had intended in order to answer the various points raised, and in view of the fact that we have had discussions on two previous occasions I hope the House will shortly give us the Vote.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I wish, as all my colleagues have already done, to express my 2360 sympathy with the Minister of Labour, and, if I may, to express a hope that he will soon be in his place, as we want to see him not only recovered but very strong when the question of his salary comes up for discussion.
§ Mr. SHAW
The hon. Member who has spoken for the Department has, I think, scarcely answered the questions, or dealt with the very important charges that have been made against the administration of his Department. One of the charges is that the system of administration has led not to finding work for the workless but to reducing the apparent list of unemployed by taking people off the list and putting them on to Poor Law relief. To that allegation the hon. Gentleman has not attempted to make any reply at all. From beginning to end of his speech he made no reference at all to one of the gravest charges that could be made against any Ministry, and we are left where we were. May I repeat, for the benefit of the House, one simple statement made by the Minister of Labour himself in answer to a question which proves definitely that the present figures of unemployment are absolutely unreliable? The Minister said that for the quarter ending 16th November, 1925, benefits had been disallowed in the case of 175,396 applicants, and only 74,558 of them continued to register. That means that more than 100,000 people disappeared from the register, but there is no proof that work was found for a single individual; so the figures as to unemployment are absolutely valueless. They do not represent the truth as to unemployment, nor even an approximation to the truth.
That is the gravamen of one of the charges we make—that the administration has been conducted in such a way that the country does not know what the extent of unemployment is. What we do know is that as, owing to these methods, this list of the unemployed declines, the list of persons in receipt of Poor Law relief increases. That is a charge which the Government ought to take seriously into consideration. From all over the country we have complaints that the administration is harsh, unjust, and altogether devoid of sympathy, and there has been no attempt to offer any defence to the charge. When the Minister asks 2361 the House to pass an Estimate we have a right to ask him what his administration has been, and the House has a right to know whether it is or is not true that the administration has been tightened up, and whether the result has been what we allege it has been, a transfer of the burden from the unemployment fund to the local rates. If these things are not true, we are entitled to a statement showing that they are not true. It is quite evident, however, that these things are true. The very Circular of the Ministry itself shows exactly what the Ministry think working people ought to subsist on. Committees are told that when there is an income per head of the family of 10s. a week, excluding rent, benefit might be given; but when the income per head of the family gets between 10s. and 13s. a week, then it has to become a serious question for them; and, apparently, when the income is 13s., it becomes an absolute certainty that the committees ought to recommend the disallowance of benefit.
Take the maximum sum of 13s. per head per week. It is equal to 1s. 8½d. per head per day. If 1s. 8½d. per head per day is going into a family, benefits are to be refused—when benefits can be refused by any method under the Acts. I hope every hon. Member who votes for this in the House will be compelled to live on 1s. 8½d. a day for about six months. It would cure every hon. Member of any desire to issue circulars like this. The thing to me is so appallingly mean and so monstrous that I cannot speak of it without indignation. When we fall so low that we get to the point that Poor Law methods must be adopted if an income of 1s. 8½d. per head per day is going into a house, then I think this House has indeed fallen low, and the country has indeed fallen law. We are told to think of the cost. We ought to think of the fact that these people had definite promises made to them after the War, and to think of the fact that we can find nearly £1,000,000 a day for those who lent money, whereas of those who lent their blood and their sinew and risked their lives, hundreds of thousands are valued at 1s. 8½d. a day. If that amount of 1s. 8½d. per head per day is going into a family, then the boys and girls must be made spongers on their parents. I can imagine nothing worse the House could do—than consent to this kind of thing going on.
2362 It is not small details that matter in this case. The point is, Are we going to accept responsibility for these people or are we not? Are we going to lay down the principle that if work cannot be found there shall be a decent living for the people, or are we going to screw and screw and screw year after year until the condition of the people becomes worse—administer, administer, administer until the position gets absolutely intolerable and unbearable? If that is his idea I think the Minister is doing his very best to realise it. If, on the other hand, the idea is this—that if for the time being the Government cannot discover any method either of improving trade or providing palliative measures the people are to live in decency and comfort, every Member of the House would be behind the Government in that course. It is not that Members of the House are unsympathetic—certainly not Members on this side of the House—to those who are out of work, and these paltry, miserable, mean, despicable methods are not the methods that ought to be adopted by any Government in the present condition of affairs. Think of the position of the man who for years has never known what it was to have a full week's employment?
There are men and women in my own county, some of the most decent people that God ever put the breath of life into, who, for years, have never known what it is to have anything like comfort, and on the top of that they get treatment like this. A girl may have been working as well as the state of trade would allow her to work for years, and may have exhausted what is known as her standard benefit. Immediately that is the case, if it can be proved that the household has an income of 1s. 8½d. per head per day, excluding rent—if there is that sum to cover food and clothing—benefit can be disallowed. And I suppose the working people have a right to a certain amount of pleasure—have they not—a certain amount of right to some of the good things of the world. Working people have eyes, senses and feelings; they know what a good picture is; they know what a good play is; they know what a good performance is, and they have a right to have them. But 1s. 8½d. a day! What can they do on this sum? And yet, should it be the case that there is that amount going into a household, decent boys and girls have to become parasites 2363 on their parents, and day after day their position becomes worse and more intolerable.
I am not going to make a long speech on this matter, I shall probably make a much longer one on the salary of the Minister, but with all the goodwill in the world I could not let this Estimate go through without voting against it, because I believe it represents a policy that is bad, that is inhuman, and, apart from that, possesses no sense of justice whatever. If we were assured that the Government's method was doing some good we could understand the policy, but what is the result of it? The result is that the already over-burdened poor are having another load laid on them, that just those districts where the distress is greatest are being handicapped by heavier rates. If the House wishes to know what is the result of a liberal administration of unemployment insurance they can find it from the figures of the Poor Law Returns. During a certain period in 1924, when a different method of administration was adopted, Poor Law figures fell by 80,000. I estimated at the time, and it was estimated, I think, by the Ministry officially, that something like 80,000 unemployed could fairly be said to have been paid benefits who previously were refused them. That was a rough approximation between those who came on unemployment benefit and those who went off the Poor Law benefit. Now it is the reverse way, and therefore we have another injustice added. We see the number of unemployed persons receiving benefit decreasing, while the numbers who are drawing Poor Law relief are increasing, and that is a state of things that ought not to exist.
We believe that this method is wrong, and it is not even economy. On this side of the House we are not impressed when supporters of the Government speak about economy when we see Northern Ireland, Singapore, and half a dozen other sources of expenditure in regard to which the Government have no sense of economy, but when it comes to crushing down the unemployed workers, that is the time they preach economy. We shall have no part or lot with that kind of economy, and for us there is only one way. We believe that this should be made a national responsibility as quickly as possible. We believe that the benefits now being paid are small enough without 2364 being reduced, and to take away, under the circumstances described, the standard benefit of an unemployed person on the allegation that he ox she is not genuinely seeking work is what I should call, if I were an unemployed man, robbery.
What did the Parliamentary Secretary say about these cases? These people are out of work and they are refused benefit ostensibly because they are not seeking work; but nobody knows where to find work. The Parliamentary Secretary said these people would be at work in their own trade in a short time, and that it would be useless to start training them. Did anybody ever hear anything like that statement from a responsible Minister? Here are people who cannot find work, and they are genuinely out of work at their own trade, and yet they are refused benefit because it is said that they are not genuinely seeking work. If that be the frame of mind of the Government, then there is a gulf between us, and we shall express our opinion of the policy of the Government by going into the Lobby against this Estimate, and we shall take the earliest opportunity on the Vote for the salary of the Minister of Labour of raising the whole question of unemployment insurance, and we shall move a reduction of the Minister's salary.
§ Miss WILKINSON
There is one important point upon which the Parliamentary Secretary has not given us any reply. We greatly regret that not one word was said upon it although at question time when the hon. Member for Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) and I were raising the matter the Minister promised us a reply. The point I am referring to is with regard to the training scheme for women workers, and the cutting down of the grant for this purpose. The position is that all over the country there has been a large amount of money extended on relief schemes for men while the grant for women is being cut down. We do not consider that the present grant for women is sufficient, in fact, it is utterly insufficient, and we regret to see that a reduction has been proposed in the amount.
With regard to unemployed women there has been no money at all spent on relief works for them. On this subject I have made careful inquiry in Manchester where I am a member of the City Council and while I find a large sum has been spent on relief work for 2365 men barely £200 has been spent upon the employment of some extra, women cleaners. The only scheme that the Parliamentary Secretary has brought forward in connection with employment for women has been the domestic scheme arranged by the central committee for the employment of women. I agree that that committee has done very good work. Its work has been commended by various Ministers and various parties in this House, but I would like to point out that that committee has been starved for funds, and is compelled to carry on its work in a most pettifogging fashion.
The idea which that Committee started with was that women, and especially young girls, should be provided with some general training, and there was training for special work and for domestic work. I do not think anyone will imagine for a moment that the only work that should be given to unemployed women is domestic work, but at any rate many hon. Members opposite have urged that the insurance benefit for women under 30 should be taken away because domestic service places could be found for them. That is a position which is often put forward by hon. Members opposite. Here is a scheme for the training of women for this very particular class of work which is considered to be so necessary. The Parliamentary Secretary stated this afternoon that the number of women who have obtained employment by this means shows such a large percentage of the number who have been trained as to justify the carrying on of the scheme. Now we are to understand that the grants for this important work, the only work which is being done for unemployed women, are to be cut down to about 50 per cent. of the total which was voted last year, and the reduced amount is to be spread over the whole year.
I can assure the Parliamentary Secretary that a large number of women workers resent the amount of money they are called upon to pay in insurance contributions and the very small amount that is being given back to them. When all these things are added up, let us see how the women are penalised. They are paying their ordinary contributions, and in addition they are paying the extra 2d. for dependants' allowances and yet the proportion that goes to women is only a 2366 minute fraction of the total amount paid for dependant allowances. That is one way in which they are penalised. They are also penalised before the rota committees, because a woman is supposed to have someone to keep her, and these women are being refused standard benefit. I know a number of cases of women who work in the textile trade, tailoring and dressmaking, where they are normally employed as married women, but they are told after paying their contributions that they cannot have even one week's standard benefit, because they are not genuinely seeking work, and they are not given an opportunity even of showing that they are genuinely seeking work, because it is assumed that they are dependent upon their husbands. These women now find that nothing whatever is being done for them except this pitiable amount which we are now asked to vote, and yet the Minister not only thinks this matter is not worth the faintest reference, but apparently he thinks it is not even worth attending to when it is pointed out to him in the House.
There is another matter I want to raise with regard to this question of standard benefit, and it is the large number who are being refused standard benefit on the ground that they are not genuinely seeking work, or on the ground that they left their employment through some misdemeanour, or some similar fault, and they are never given even a chance to know on what evidence their dole is cut down. A considerable number of cases have come before me where the women have been turned down on secret reports from their employers. I have in mind the case of a woman employed as a cook in a factory who was asked to do work on a rush day which was far in excess of human endurance, and she broke down under the strain and was sent home. Later another woman was given her place at £1 a week less wages, and the woman who was dismissed was never told her crime, and besides this she was deprived of six weeks' benefit.
I am not blaming the Employment Exchanges in regard to this matter, and I am glad the Minister is taking a certain amount of money to increase his staff, because Heaven knows it needs it. I know there are many cases of really wicked overwork on the part of the Employment Exchanges staff, who have to work very long hours and put in a great deal of un- 2367 paid overtime. We all realise that some of the nerves of these officials must give way under the strain, and more work is being placed upon them than they can humanly be expected to perform. For this we blame the policy of the Minister, and the policy laid down in the circulars which he has issued, which tend to deprive people not only of their standard benefit but also deprive them of benefits for which they have actually paid.
If we were dealing with the Prudential Assurance Company or any other assurance company, and they refused to pay the benefits which they had agreed to pay they could be prosecuted in the Court, and they would be accused of obtaining money by false pretences. That is practically what the Minister of Labour is doing, because these people have been told that if they pay their insurance contributions they will be protected when they are unemployed and yet they are now deprived of the benefit for which they have actually paid, and deprived of it in cases, as the Minister himself has stated, where obviously they were going back to their own trade after a fortnight or three weeks. It is ridiculous waste of money to suggest that they could be trained for another trade in the course of that time; all that they can do, in a seasonal case like that, is to wait until their work opens again. It is one of the cases which was brought forward when the first Insurance Act was brought before this House, and it was stated that in cases such as those of seasonal trades people ought to be protected during these seasonal periods of unemployment.
§ Finally, on this question of the younger people, especially, being deprived of their benefit on the ground that they ought to be living with their relations, I want to ask the Minister if he realises that that in itself is putting a premium on the children being turned out of their homes, and living with neighbours or living in lodgings, because that is the only way in which they can qualify for their benefit. The more one goes through this, the more one sees the pettifogging meanness of the Ministry of Labour. It is not a question of bringing forward individual cases; there is riot one of us here who could not bring case after case—hundreds of cases; and, when they are all added together, I am perfectly certain that the Minister of Labour himself must blush for his Department. Are these people to be told that they must live on Poor Law relief? If so, let the whole thing be amalgamated with the Poor Law system itself. But, if you are going to have an insurance scheme, let it be an insurance scheme as far as standard benefit is concerned, and at least protect those people who have paid in on the word of the Ministry of Labour, and not get their contributions and then try in every tiny little pettifogging way you can to deprive them of that for which they have paid.
§ Question put, "That the Question he now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 268; Noes, 131.2371
|Division No. 75.]||AYES||[6.32 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Albery, Irving James||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)|
|Alexander. Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brass, Captain W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Chapman, Sir S.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Briggs, J. Harold||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Briscoe, Richard George||Christie, J. A.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brittain, Sir Harry||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cohen, Major J. Brunei|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Buckingham, Sir H.||Cope. Major William|
|Balniel, Lord||Bullock, Captain M.||Couper, J. B.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Burman, J. B.||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Butt, Sir Alfred||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Campbell, E. T.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Remer, J. R.|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Jacob, A. E.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Jephcott, A. R.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Kidd. J. (Linlithgow)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Elvedon, Viscount||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sandon, Lord|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Savery, S. S.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Fielden, E. B.||Loder, J. de V.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Finburgh, S.||Lougher, L.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lumley, L. R.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Forrest, W.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macintyre, Ian||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McLean, Major A.||Stanley, Major Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Macmillan, Captain H.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macquisten, F. A.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Malone, Major P. B.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Margesson, Captain D.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Grant, J. A.||Marriott, Sir. J. A. R.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Meyer, Sir Frank||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hanbury, C||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison, P. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Harland, A.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arther Clive||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Murchison, C. K.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Wells, S. R.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Neville R. J.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Oakley, T.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Penny, Frederick George||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hilton, Cecil||Perring, Sir William George||Withers, John James|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Womersley, W. J|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Preston, William||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Radford, E. A.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Raine, W.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberi'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ramsden, E.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Major Hennessy and Lord Stanley.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Buchanan, G.||Dennison, R.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Cape, Thomas||Duncan, C.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Charleton, H. C.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cluse, W. S.||Fenby, T. D.|
|Baker, Walter||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Gillett, George M.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Connolly, M.||Gosling, Harry|
|Barnes, A.||Cove, W. G.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Barr, J.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Crawford, H. E.||Greenall, T.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Dalton, Hugh||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Broad, F. A.||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bromfield, William||Davies, Rays John (Westhoughton)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Bromley, J.||Day, Colonel Harry||Groves, T.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Maxton, James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Montague, Frederick||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morris, R. H.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Hardie, George D.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Harris, Percy A.||Naylor, T. E.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Oliver, George Harold||Taylor, R. A.|
|Hastings, Sir Patrick||Palln, John Henry||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Paling, W.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Thurtle, E.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Riley, Ben||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Viant, S. P.|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Rose, Frank H.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Scrymgeour, E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Scurr, John||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Kennedy, T.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lawson, John James||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lee, F.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Windsor. Walter|
|Lowth, T.||Sitch, Charles H.||Wright, W.|
|Lunn, William||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mackinder, W.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Warne.|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|March, S.||Snell, Harry|
§ Question put accordingly, "That '£10' stand part of tine Resolution."2372
§ The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 134.2375
|Division No. 76.]||AYES.||[6.42 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Forrest, W.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool,W. Derby)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M.S.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Chapman, Sir S.||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Christie, J. A.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Astor, Viscountess||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Goff, Sir Park|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Grant, J. A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cooper, A. Duff||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Couper, J. B.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hanbury, C.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harland, A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Brass, Captain W.||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Eden, Captain Anthony||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. J.||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Elveden, Viscount||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.)||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hilton, Cecil|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Burman, J. B.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fermoy, Lord||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Fielden, E. B.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Finburgh, S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whlteh'n)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Murchison, C. K.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. P. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Neville, R. J.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Jacob, A. E.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Nuttall, Ellis||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Oakley, T.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Pennefather, Sir John||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Penny, Frederick George||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Perring, Sir William George||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Tinne, J. A.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Preston, William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Loder, J. de V.||Radford, E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Lougher, L.||Raine, W.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Ramsden, E.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Wells, S. R.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Remer, J. R.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|McLean, Major A.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Salmon, Major I.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Withers, John James|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Sandon, Lord||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K||Savery, S. S.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew. W)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Smith, R.W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Major Hennessy and Major Cope.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gosling, Harry||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lansbury, George|
|Ammon, Charles George||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lawson, John James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Greenall, T.||Lee, F.|
|Baker, Walter||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lowth, T.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William|
|Barnes, A.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Barr, J.||Groves, T.||Mackinder, W.|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy, T. W.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||March, S.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Bromfield, William||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Bromley, J.||Hardie, George D.||Montague, Frederick|
|Buchanan, G.||Harris, Percy A.||Morris, R. H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Hastings, Sir Patrick||Naylor, T. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hayday, Arthur||Oliver, George Harold|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hayes, John Henry||Palin, John Henry|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Paling, W.|
|Connolly, M.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hirst, G. H.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Potts, John S.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Purcell, A. A.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Riley, Ben|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Dennison, R.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Duncan, C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Kelly, W. T.||Scurr, John|
|Gillett, George M.||Kennedy, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Stamford, T. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Stephen, Campbell||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Taylor, R. A.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Thurtle, E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Tinker, John Joseph||Windsor, Walter|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Townend, A. E.||Wright, W.|
|Snell, Harry||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Varley, Frank B.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Viant, S. P.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Warne.|
|Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Wallhead, Richard C.|
Resolution agreed to.