HC Deb 05 December 1927 vol 211 cc1123-8

Paragraph (1) in the First Schedule to the Unemployment Insurance Inclusion Order, 1925, dated the twenty-third day of December, nineteen hundred and twenty-five, made by the Minister under the principal Act (which includes among the persons employed within the meaning of the Unemployment Insurance Acts any person employed as a sub-postmaster remunerated by scale payment who is mainly dependent for his livelihood on the earnings derived by him from employment as a sub-postmaster, and renders on the average eighteen or more hours' personal service in each week in that capacity), shall cease to have effect. — [Mr. W. Baker.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

I understand that certain sub-postmasters are included within the Unemployment Insurance Act as a result of a Statutory Order which was laid upon the Table for a period of 30 days and, although the organisation which represents the men took exception to the proposal, it became a part of the Unemployment Insurance Act at the expiration of that time. I want to submit that, so far as these men are concerned, they are not persons to whom the Unemployment Insurance Act should apply. Sub-postmasters, who do not depend upon their earnings as sub-postmasters, are not, I submit, employés of the Postmaster-General, but are contractors who enter into certain arrangements with his Department. I submit, in the second place, that they are retailers who normally would not be called upon to insure under the Unemployment Insurance Act; and, thirdly, that, in the main, they are employers who pay the employers' contribution so far as their own clerks are concerned. In these circumstances, I suggest that there is no case for the inclusion of certain of these sub-postmasters within the Act. As I understand it, half the sub-postmasters are excluded and half are included. The request I have to make, made on behalf of the Federation of Sub-postmasters, is that they shall be excluded from the operations of the Insurance Act as they were excluded for a period of six years as a result of' a decision of a previous Minister.


The question is whether certain sub-post-masters should or should not be still under the Unemployment Insurance Act. The point is a very simple one. As sub-postmasters, they are insurable persons; as shopkeepers, or people with other employments which are not normally insurable, they would be not insurable. The question is, therefore, under which category are they to come? The compromise which has been arrived at provides that if they are more shopkeeper than postmaster they are not brought under the Act. If they do more than 18 hours' work in their own time in postmastering they come under the Act; otherwise, they do not, and I think, on the whole, that is a fair arrangement. It is similar to the arrangement which has been followed in other cases, and on the merits of the case and also because the general opinion, both of the Blanesburgh Committee and of most others, is against the extension of contracting out, we think it is not right that further contracting out should be allowed. Therefore, we cannot accept the proposed Clause.


Is the question as to the line of demarcation submitted to the umpire?


It is decided, I understand, by the Minister, and up to now this line of demarcation has been accepted. As a matter of fact, it is done by an Order of the Minister.


Have any of these sub-postmasters ever had unemployment benefit?


I should require notice of that question, but I can confidently assure the hon. Member that in certain circumstances they might draw unemployment benefit.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 274.

Christie, J. A. Heneage, Lieut-Col. Arthur P. Price, Major C. W. M.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Henn, Sir Sydney H. Radford, E. A.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Raine, Sir Walter
Clarry, Reginald George Hills, Major John Waller Ramsden, E.
Clayton, G. C. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Rawson, Sir Cooper
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Holt, Capt. H. P. Remer, J. R.
Cohen, Major J. Brunel Hopkins, J. W. W. Remnant, Sir James
Colman, N. C. D. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Cooper, A. Duff Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Cope, Major William Hume, Sir G. H. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Huntingfield, Lord Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)
Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Hurd, Percy A Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Rye, F. G.
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro) Iveagh, Countess of Salmon, Major I.
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Samuel, A M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Jephcott. A. R. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Sanderson, Sir Frank
Davies, Dr. Vernon Kindersley, Major Guy M. Sandon, Lord
Davison. Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) King, Commodore Henry Douglas Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Dawson, Sir Philip Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Savery, S. S.
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Lamb, J. Q. Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie
Dixey, A. C. Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Drewe, C. Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Little, Dr. E. Graham Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Elliot, Major Walter E. Loder, J. de V. Shepperson, E. W.
Ellis, R. G. Long, Major Eric Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
England, Colonel A. Looker, Herbert William Skelton, A. N.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Lumley, L. R. Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Lynn, Sir R. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Everard, W. Lindsay Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Storry-Deans, R.
Fanshawe, Captain G. D. McLean, Major A. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Fermoy, Lord Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Fielden. E. B. Macquisten, F. A. Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Ford, Sir P. J. MacRobert, Alexander M. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Foster, Sir Harry S. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Fraser, Captain Ian Malone, Major P. B. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Frece, Sir Walter de Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Tasker, R. Inigo.
Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E. Margesson, Captain D. Templeton, W. P.
Galbraith, J. F. W. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Ganzoni, Sir John Meller, R. J. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Gates. Percy Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Tinne, J. A.
Goff, Sir Park Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of.
Gower, Sir Robert Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Grace, John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Waddington, R.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Moore, Sir Newton J. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Grant, Sir J. A. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Morden, Colonel Walter Grant Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Greene, W. p. Crawford Moreing, Captain A. H. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Grotrian, H. Brent Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Wayland, Sir William A.
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Nelson, Sir Frank Wells, S. R.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Neville, Sir Reginald J. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Wilson. R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hammersley, S. S. Nuttall, Ellis Winterton. Rt. Hon. Earl
Hanbury, C. Oakley, T. Withers, John James
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford Luton) Womersley, W. J.
Harland, A. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Hartington, Marquess of Perring, Sir William George Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Haslam, Henry C. Pilcher, G. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hawke, John Anthony Power, Sir John Cecil Captain Viscount Curzon and Mr.
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Pownall, Sir Assheton Penny.
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Preston, William

Ordered, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[Sir A. Steel-Maitland.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.