§ Mr. BETTERTON
I beg to move, in page 13, to leave out from the word "who" in line 25, to end of line 29, and to insert instead thereof the words:is employed in an occupation which is of a seasonal nature and does not ordinarily extend over more than eighteen weeks in any year and who is not ordinarily employed in any other occupation employment in which would make him an employed person within the meaning of this Act.My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, in considering this matter, came to the conclusion that the words in the Schedule as it stands were too wide, and he accordingly proposes to insert the words of this Amendment. His object is to give effect to a recommendation which was made in the Blanesburgh Report, in paragraph 117, dealing with seasonal and occasional work. It is quite clear—and, indeed, it has been clear to all of us who have had experience of the administration of these Acts—that there are certain classes of persons who are somewhat hardly affected by the law as it stands. There is the illustration, for instance, of persons engaged in the seasonal occupation of fishing, who are at work, say, for 15 weeks or so in the year, but whose occupation after that period comes to an end. It is obvious that their chance of ever qualifying for benefit is rather remote, and, therefore, my right hon. Friend proposes to allow exemption, if it is asked for, to those working in a seasonal occupation, assuming 1292 always that they come within the words of this Amendment, and assuming that the occupation does not ordinarily extend over more than 18 weeks in any year. This not only carries out the recommendation in the Report, but is also an act of justice and fairness to those engaged in this seasonal occupation.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I hope very much that the Committee will accept the Amendment, and for my own part I would like to thank the Government and the Minister of Labour very sincerely for the most valuable concession that they have made by introducing this Amendment. I would like to remind the Committee that this Amendment covers the case of seasonal workers in the herring fishing industry, and that there are 4,000 or 5,000 of such workers in Scotland alone. The position of these workers in the past has been one of very great difficulty. The normal season of the herring fishing work lasts about 18 weeks, so that they are covered by this particular Amendment. There is hardly ever unemployment among these workers during the actual herring fishing season. The demand for fishing workers is as large as can possibly be taken up.
Therefore, they are very unlikely to be able to get any benefit for unemployed time during the season itself; but I want to remind the Committee that this is a very real concession on the part of the Government, because, not only under this Bill is extended benefit to be abolished, 1293 but, as they stand at present, it has been rightly decided that no other work is likely to be available for them in the districts from which they come. That is covered by the second part of the Amendment. Therefore the position was—and it was a position that had been causing some of us who are interested in the fishing industry grave anxiety for several months past—that these workers were compelled to contribute to a fund from which it was in the highest degree unlikely they would be able to obtain any benefit. The effect of this Amendment is that in future they will not have to contribute at all to the Fund, and I believe most firmly that this is by far the best solution of what has been in the past a most difficult problem. I would therefore like to thank the Minister for the concession, which will not only be a satisfactory, but a permanent, solution to what has been a very difficult and complicated problem in the past. He will get not only the thanks of myself but of others who are interested in the fishing industry.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am disturbed by the somewhat narrow definition of "seasonal worker" as one whose work lasts only for 18 weeks. Every one who is familiar with conditions in Scotland is well aware that in all our great rivers we have salmon net fishers whose work is no less seasonal, although their season is considerably longer. I am constantly putting before the Minister extremely hard cases of men whose work lasts from six to seven months and who just on that account find it even more difficult to get any other work in the remaining four or five months. It is a decision of the most arbitrary kind to say that if a man works for more than 18 weeks he is not a seasonal worker. I urge the Parliamentary Secretary to carry his view to its logical conclusion, and let us include in this Amendment all those persons who, when it comes to getting unemployment benefit, are told by the local committees that they are seasonal workers. I am constantly putting before the Minister decisions of the Dundee Committee with regard to the Tay fishermen, for they are decisions that cannot be supported. I know hard working men who tramp round the country looking for work as soon as the salmon fishing closes, and who are told that they are not genuinely seeking employment. I am tempted to 1294 read a letter which came to my hands only a day before yesterday on this point. It is about one of those salmon fishermen who was refused benefit on the ground that he was not genuinely seeking employment. This is an account of his efforts by a clergyman who knows him very well and whose accuracy cannot be called in question:This man's movements and efforts since he left the fishing work on 20th August have been as follows. He reported to the local Labour Exchange at once and still does each week at the least. Through the Exchange he obtained 3½ days' work at Dunning—11 miles away, to which he cycled daily. This work was only temporary. It was digging trenches for cable laying. …. He has appeared twice before the local board, but his claim to any unemployment benefit has not been allowed. Hence he has to go to the parish for relief. It is his custom to go out daily in the early morning seeking work, and sometimes he has secured a casual job, but not a day's employment. He regularly goes a round of coal merchants and likely firms and shops who might need a labourer. He keeps on. To use his own phrase, 'It would be foolish to give up because there has been nothing doing on other days. Some morning they will be sure to want a man and I want to be there.'That man was refused benefit on account of not genuinely seeking employment. He has most unquestionably a trade which the Minister of Labour would agree ought to be defined as seasonal, and he will be kept in the anomalous position of having in five months of the year practically no opportunity of getting work, and yet he is refused benefit. I urge the Parliamentary Secretary, therefore, that he should reconsider the length of the period.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
This is one of the things that shows the utter folly of the Government. A most important proposal like this is raised when there is only a short time for discussion. There is much more involved in the Amendment than meets the eye. I think the men ought to have benefit. All they will save is some weeks of contributions, amounting to 9s. The great thing of importance is to get the men benefit, and not to relieve them of the payment of 9s. It may, however, be the lesser of two evils. At the end of their season, these people are willing to take any work that is offered, and, having fulfilled the conditions, and having paid for their benefit, it was the duty of the State to keep them until they got work again.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
In the past these workers have been entitled to benefit only if they were unemployed during the fishing season itself, but not after the season was over, and they never are unemployed during the season.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I understand that. I think that was the umpire's decision. But that is all the more reason why we ought in this Bill to alter the umpire's decision. All I say is that this proposal is the lesser of two evils. The former position is bad and this Amendment will lessen the evil, but it does not provide the solution of the problem. The proper solution would be for the men to be given benefit.
Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I beg to move, in page 13, to leave out from the beginning of line 34, to the word "in" in line 39.
This is merely a drafting Amendment. It was thought at first that it was necessary to have these words in the Schedule owing to the introduction of the new classes, but on further consideration we are advised that the words are redundant, and therefore unnecessary, and this Amendment is moved in order to delete them.
Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. VIANT
I beg to move, in page 15, line 20, at the end, to insert the words:Section 13…At the end of Sub-section (3) there shall be inserted the following new paragraph:Where a member of a court of referees is unable to attend a meeting of the court he may nominate a substitute from the same panel to attend in his place.I do not think this Amendment will need much discussion. The purpose of it is almost obvious. We are seeking to provide for the contingency, which arises from time to time, of one of the referees being unable to attend the Court. In those circumstances, we ask that he may be given the power to nominate someone from the existing panel of referees to act in his stead.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The reason why we cannot accept this Amendment is that our officer is responsible for the constitution of the Court, that is to say, he 1296 is responsible for the Court being in readiness to hear the appeal. Under the existing law he has to form a complete Court, unless the applicant is content to allow his case to be heard by the chairman alone, or by the chairman and one other member. We always endeavour to take members from the panel in their order so that everyone on the panel should, in his turn, sit on the Court. For this reason we think it would not be right if at any time any particular member who felt himself unable to attend should be able to appoint a substitute. At the same time, if the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, and any other of his friends who are interested in the matter, care to discuss either with me or with my right hon. Friend the Minister any administrative difficulty which they think we might remove, I shall be only too happy to consider their suggestion.
In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said I think, although we must press this Amendment to a Division, that we can go to a Division direct without further discussion.
§ Mr. MARCH
Well, the Chairman may be a lawyer, but he is none the better for that; with an employer on one side and a workman on the other. It may be that the employer who is selected from a panel to act as one of the referees is not in a position to attend, and surely he ought to be able to send a substitute; and the same arrangement ought to apply to the workman representative on the Court. In our local Courts of Justice, if we are on the rota to attend a sitting and cannot be present, we can always call upon one of our colleagues to take our place, and the work can go on. It is true, as the Parliamentary Secretary says, that the applicant may, if he chooses, not proceed with his case that day or may consent to the chairman acting, but when a man has been buffeted about from pillar to post for week after week he is glad to get his case dealt with. I am perfectly certain that applicants 1297 would prefer to have their cases tried by an employer and a workman independent of the chairman. I can quite understand an applicant saying: "Oh yes, I will submit to the chairman being the Court, I will not bother about wasting any more time," but really he is not satisfied. I thought the Minister would have accepted this Amendment, seeing there is a precedent for this procedure in what is done in local Courts of Justice.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
We are very anxious, when this Bill becomes an Act. that the Courts of Referees shall be as efficient as possible and shall enjoy the confidence of those who appear before them, and I will most carefully consult with any hon. Member in any part of the House on any method by which these Courts may be made as efficient and as respected as possible. I hope, therefore,
|Division No. 449.]||AYES.||[8.36 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Groves, T.||Scurr, John|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, F. (York. W.R., Normanton)||Sexton, James|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Amnion, Charles George||Hardie, George D.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Blleton)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Smith, H. B. Lees-(Keighley)|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Stamford. T. W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfleld)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Townend, A. E.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Varley, Frank B.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Viant, S. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Lindley, F. W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lunn, William||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Mackinder, W.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Westwood, J.|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Whiteley, W.|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Edge, Sir William||Oliver, George Harold||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Owen, Major G.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Palln, John Henry||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Paling, W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Ritson, J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atterclifield|
|Gillett, George M.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenall, T.||Rose, Frank H.||Wright, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Sakiatvaia, Shapurji||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.|
|Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
§ the hon. Member will not press his Amendment.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The concession offered by the Parliamentary Secretary is interesting but it is exceedingly vague and I do not think he has made out a good case for rejecting the Amendment. If substitution is permitted, as we propose, surely that will be a guarantee that a quorum will be present to constitute the Court. The person nominated will be taken from the rota of persons who have been approved to act as referees; nothing is altered, except that we make absolutely certain of getting a quorum. I am sure this method would have the confidence of all applicants and be preferred by them to any other method which can be suggested.
§ Question put. "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 13.1; Noes, 233.1299
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Galbralth. J. F. W.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Albery, Irving James||Ganzoni, Sir John||Oakley, T.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gates, Percy||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Apsley, Lord||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Goff, Sir Park||Penny, Frederick George|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Grace, John||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Perrlng, Sir William George|
|Atkinson, C.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Pilcher, G.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Pownail, Sir Assheton|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad)||Preston, William|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hammersley, S. S.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Berry, Sir George||Hanbury, C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Bethel. A.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ramsden, E.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harland, A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Harrison, G. J. C.||Remer, J. R.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Haslam, Henry C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Hawke, John Anthony||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'yl|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Cllve||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Robinson. Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Walter||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Rye, F. G.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkins. J. W. W.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K||Savery, S. S.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew. W.)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Huntingfield Lord||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jackson, Sir' H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Jephcott, A. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kennedy. A. R. (Preston)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cope, Major William||Lamb J Q||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Courtauld, Major J. 8.||Lister', Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon.-Sir Philip||Suetel, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnibro)||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Waddington, R.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies. Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||McDonnell. Colonel Hon. Angus||Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||McLean Major A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macquisten, F. A.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Drewe, C.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D steel||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Duckworth, John||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Marnesson. Captain D.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ellis. R. G.||Meller, R. J.||Wilson. R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Merriman, F. B.||Windsor-dive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge A Hyde)|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Mond. Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Ford, Sir p. J.||Monsell. Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Forestier-Walker, sir L.||Moore, sir Newton J.||Wragg Herbert|
|Forrest, W.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T C.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Major The Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND (Mr. MacRobert)
If hon. Members will look at the Bill they will find that the new paragraph reads:If the employer, being a company, fails to pay to the employment fund any sum which it is liable so to pay under this Subsection, any director of the company may be brought before the Court and may, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Court that he knew, or could reasonably be expected to have known, of the failure or neglect to pay the contribution or contributions in question, be ordered to pay the said sum.The wording of that paragraph will not do, for this reason, that the directors would be called before the Court and that means the Court where the question of the penalty was discussed. That is a Summary Criminal Court and in Scotland there is no form of procedure under which this claim could be properly put forward before the Summary Criminal Court. Consequently, the wordsany director of the company may be brought before the Courtare not suitable and other words have been substituted. The effect of the three Amendments on the Paper on this point is that the sum unpaid is constituted a debt against the director and that debt can be recovered summarily in a Civil Court,
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made:
In page 15, leave out from the word "Sub-section," in line 41, to the word "knew," in line 45, and insert instead thereof the words:
that sum, or such part thereof as remains unpaid, shall be a debt due to the unemployment fund jointly and severally from any directors of the company who.
In page 16, leave out from the word "question," in line 9, to the end of line 11, and insert instead thereof the words:
and proceedings for the recovery of the said sum summarily as a civil debt may be commenced at any time within twelve months from the date of the Order for payment made on the company."—[The Solicitor-General for Scotland.]
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND
I beg to move, in page 16, line 46, at the end, to insert the words:and Sub-section (4) shall have effect as though there were inserted at the end thereof the words and as though in each of the said paragraphs (e) twelve months were substituted for four months'1302 This Amendment also is of a formal nature. It will be seen that, at the bottom of page 16 of the Bill, referring to Section 26 of the principal Act, it says:In Sub-section (1) the words 'twelve months' shall be substituted for the words 'four months'That means that contributions were to have a preference in bankruptcy to the extent of four months originally, and that under the Bill it is proposed to give those contributions a preference for 12 months. The alteration proposed in the Bill only provided, however, for the case of a company, and not for the case of a private person or firm becoming bankrupt. The Amendment now proposed is simply to insert words which will have the effect of making the provision the same for a company, a private individual and a firm, and the period of priority, instead of four months, will be in all three cases 12 months.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
I have had some cases where firms have gone into liquidation, and the first charge, when such a case goes before the Official Receiver, is the wages of the men. Whether that is the law in Scotland or not I cannot say, but so far as Wales and England are concerned it is. Under the present Bill, as we have pointed out to the Minister, the unemployment insurance contributions are the first charge while a man is working on his wages, but I should like to ask whether, if a company or firm becomes insolvent or goes into liquidation, the Government will now have the first claim on the firm, or whether the workmen's wages will have the first claim.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL for SCOTLAND
My understanding is that there are four or five different claims, including Crown claims, that have preference, and one of those claims is wages. The contribution here will be preferred, with those other claims, before any other debts, but, if there should be a deficiency, they will each have to bear a pro rata diminution. That is as I understand it, and it is confirmed by information which has just been given me. The wages would rank pari passu, equally with the contributions. If there were sufficient to pay the wages and the contributions, no question would arise, but, if the funds 1303 were not sufficient for that, then all the preferential claims would be reduced in the same proportion.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I beg to move, in page 17, to leave out lines 14 to 25.
This Amendment, which has been put down by myself, two of my hon. Friends, and three of my honourable opponents, has reference to Sub-section (1, b) of Section 47 of the Act of 1920, which reads as follows:A person engaged in temporary work provided by a central body or distress committee under the Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905, or towards the provision of which any such central body or distress committee has contributed under that Act shall not be deemed to be an employed person within the meaning of this Act.The addition proposed in the Schedule to the present Bill is an extension of this principle, which was accepted as regards the Act of 1905. From our experience of the working of the Act of 1905, there have been continual complaints with regard to people who have been working on distress schemes, and everyone in this Committee must know how very indignant are those people who have worked on these schemes at finding that their labour has been put into a different category from that of other people. No matter how hard their task may have been, nevertheless, because they were in temporary employment on a distress scheme, their labour was not reckoned as insurable employment. The Minister proposes in this Bill to extend that principle.
There has also taken place in various parts of the country—I do not think it has been on a very widespread scale so far—an extension of what was done under the Act of 1925. In connection with this problem of unemployment, it has been said right through that what people desire is not a dole. Unemployed people do not want to get something for nothing; they want to get the opportunity of working, and also of maintaining their self-respect. Members of the House of Commons belonging to all parties have said a great deal in this strain with regard to the importance of the provision of work, and in some districts this opinion has culminated in attempts to provide work on various 1304 schemes. Local authorities have undertaken to put through certain works on condition that they receive some assistance from the Poor Law authority in regard to the payments in connection with the scheme. It has been done in so many places, and the question has arisen as to whether the people employed on those schemes were in insurable employment. They were engaged at the trade union rate of wages for the work, they worked as if they were ordinary workmen, and yet the question has arisen on several occasions as to whether it could be considered that they were in insurable employment or whether they were to be regarded as in the same category as the people who had been employed by central distress committees under the 1905 Act. Cases have gone to the umpire, and the umpire's decisions have been in favour of the men being regarded as in insurable employment.
I think the Minister is proposing here to settle those cases in a different way from what they have been settled hitherto. He intends that they are to come under the same category as the 1905 Act. I dare say there might be some reasons adduced for that. It might be said that otherwise there might be an attempt by the Poor Law authorities to throw their burden on to unemployment insurance. I should like the Committee really to understand how difficult that would be. Under the new scheme of extended benefit, there is not so much possibility of anything happening in the way of a Poor Law authority throwing its burden upon the Unemployment Insurance Fund. There is another provision in the Bill which would militate against any Poor Law authority doing something which was not in accordance with good, sound, business and ethical principles in the fact that employment under the Bill has to be bona fide employment. There was quite a long discussion with regard to the carrying of this provision that the employment had to be bona fide employment. It gives the Minister sufficient guarantee with regard to the matter. After all, if there be this opinion among all parties in the Committee that an attempt should be made to provide work, this will be some encouragement to the Poor Law authorities and the local authorities to conceive of schemes which will be useful and will 1305 add to the real wealth of the district, and, consequently, to the wealth of the whole community.
I want to appeal to the Minister not only on that ground but also from the point of view of the unemployed person. If he is put into the position contemplated by the Bill he is engaged on this work. It is not insurable work, and there is, to my mind, a sort of idea of degradation in it—it is something he has been put to; he is one of the miserable people, and society has practically no place for him, and we put him on to this—whereas, if he had worked at his own job that was going to add to the amenities of the district and to be of value to the whole community, we should recognise it as insurable employment and the individual concerned might maintain his self-respect. Therefore, whether you look at it from the point of view of the local authority or of the individual concerned, it is, surely, all to the good that the Minister should accept this Amendment and regard such employment as really insurable.
The only real difficulty I can conceive in the way of acceptance of the Amendment is what it would mean to the Insurance Fund. You do not want to burden the fund unduly. After all, it is unemployment insurance, and you do not want to take away from your district local responsibility with regard to the provision of relief. But the responsibility of the district with regard to the provision of relief should be a responsibility towards the ordinary poor people in the district, and, after all, the State has to undertake its responsibility with regard to the able-bodied unemployed in the districts which have been most hard hit by this kind of unemployment. The overwhelming opinion of local authorities is in favour of this. I think 600 out of 625 boards of guardians are strongly in favour of the Amendment. The names appended to it are a testimony to the feeling that there is in the various districts. If the Minister would take the Whips off and leave the matter to the free vote of the Committee, I am confident that there would be an overwhelming opinion in favour of acceptance.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
My name appears as a supporter of the Amendment, and I wish to state the reasons why I do support it. The hon. Member has suggested that a free vote should be taken. I am quite confident that, if the Whips were taken off, the Amendment would be carried by a large majority, but I am hoping for something even better than that. I know the Minister has been carefully considering the matter, and I believe he will accept it, and our trouble will be at an end. I have had considerable experience of dealing with relief schemes both under the 1905 Act and later Acts, and I agree that the men who were sent on to relief jobs in the old days before the War regarded it as work of a rather degrading character. What were the jobs given them? Emptying out park lakes, digging holes and filling them up. It was work that was not at all pleasant, and the people engaged on it were not looked upon in the same way as ordinary workmen. There was this further disqualification when we got unemployment insurance on the Statute Book. As regards the schemes which this proposal of the Minister seeks to bar also from the Act, I say quite unashamedly that I was a member of the Committee which was the first in the country to bring schemes of this sort into being.
I can assure the Minister that we did not do it with the intention of pushing the responsibility off our own shoulders on to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. That was not our idea at all. We received a Circular from the Ministry of Health suggesting that in future schemes of relief work should be based on a co-operative principle as between the Poor Law authorities and the local authorities. There was a very sound reason for that, because we were going in various directions, both doing the same job and probably not doing it quite as well as we might have done if we had joined forces and worked in co-operation. We followed the suggestion of the Ministry of Health and formed joint Committees to consider the question. Responsibility of finding the work, the real work that could be of some use to the public, was placed on the local authority. What the Poor Law guardians could find in the way of relief work was a job which was really a mechanical sort of thing, such as breaking stones, sawing wood, or making concrete slabs, and so 1307 on. But the local authorities could indeed find useful work which the men could take a pride in doing, and which, after all, would be regarded as a job completed and not merely as a matter of marking time. Therefore, the scheme that was brought into operation worked out very well.
We were faced with this position, that many of these men—and I know it from actual experience—owing to the fact that they had been out of work for so long were not in a physical condition to do the same amount of work as the trained navvy, and therefore their earning capacity was not in proportion to the amount that they were going to receive, because we had decided, and rightly so, that the standard rate of pay prevailing in the district for similar work should be observed. The suggestion had come from the guardians that they would have to pay money to men in the nature of outrelief—not sufficient perhaps to do more that keep body and soul together—and that it would be much better if they contributed that portion towards the men's wages, so that the men could receive the full wages they would have received if they had followed an occupation at the standard rates prevailing in the locality.
This scheme worked very well indeed, and I believe that it would have continued to do so if it had not been for certain people interfering and wishing to test these questions. They brought them before the Court of Referees. The Referee decided in favour of the men. I suggest to the Minister that the Court of Referees took the matter into full consideration, and reviewed the whole facts of the case. I take it that they were men of practical knowledge, and they came to a decision that in their opinion the men were entitled to have stamps on their cards and to receive the benefit of the work that they were doing. Again, if you put men on to relief work and say, "You are doomed to remain on relief work for six months, simply because you will not, if this proposal of the Minister is put into effect, be able to go back to the Employment Exchange and draw your unemployment pay," what chance are these men going to have of ever finding a job? If a man has done work for two or three months on relief schemes, I do not care who he is, he is entitled to be given a 1308 fortnight, at any rate, in which to try and find a job somewhere else. Do not let us have a man kept on relief work for all time.
I do not say this from the local authorities point of view, although I gather that they do not look upon the proposal of the Minister with favour, neither the local authorities as represented by municipal corporations nor by the board of guardians. They believe that the best way to deal with this problem and to test whether a man really does want work or not is to give work to him. We say that you should not penalise a man for being willing to work. Let us for a moment look at the question from the men's point of view. I have talked to many of them and tried to find out what is their point of view on this matter. They contend, and I think it is a fair contention, that providing the work is in the insurable class, which most of the work that is now provided is, providing that they are taken on in the normal way, and providing that the rate of pay is the proper rate for the particular job, they should not be debarred from being considered as working in an insurable occupation, receiving the rate of pay observed in that special occupation. If you can prove that the job is needed, and it is a bona fide job, and to my mind these are the main essentials, surely a man has a right to have his card stamped and qualify for benefit. I hope the Minister will take the matter seriously into consideration and that he will accept the Amendment. If he does so, he will save a considerable amount of trouble. I know that in my own party there is a very considerable feeling in favour of this Amendment. I suggest to him that, as the schemes which are at present in operation are only something like 33, it is hardly worth while to put the Clause he suggests into a permanent Act of Parliament. I sincerely hope that the Department concerned is out to find even better kinds of relief jobs on which to place our men, and that the Department will get very busy before long. Let us have more of these schemes rather than fewer.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I have never imagined that many of the boards of guardians and the local authorities who have been engaged in work of this kind have done it with any intention of taking an undue advantage of the Unemploy- 1309 ment Fund. I know of a number of them which have quite genuinely supported schemes for an excellent purpose; where there have been unemployed whom otherwise the guardians would have felt bound to relieve, they have said, "At any rate, if our relief is going to be given, some work might be done to earn it." Moreover, if a person who applies for out-relief is willing to work, that is the best test of genuineness that he can give. That is true, and I have never disguised my view that the offer of a job is the best test that exists. That is the case, I quite agree, for these schemes, of which there are only a limited number, and, from that point of view, I recognise the strength of the case. There is the consideration on the other side that such qualifications as are imposed—in this case it is the 30 contributions qualification are intended as a test to show quite clearly whether a man, judged by the kind of work that he does in a year or in two years, really is a workman in the field that an insurance system ought to cover. That, I think, is a perfectly fair criterion.
Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAMD
I am talking of general principles. I will come to the question of normal times if the hon. Member wishes. In normal times, at any rate, it is quite a fair criterion. The hon. Member will realise that from this point of view the value of the 30 contributions does not lie in the actual pennies worth of stamps that would be on the man's card; it lies in the fact that the man whose card has these stamps upon it has done that amount of work in the ordinary course which would enable him to be considered a proper person in the insurance field in normal times. When it comes to these arrangements between guardians and local authorities, it is very likely that, in the majority of cases or in a large number of them, it might perfectly well be that you would get people so employed who in normal times would be able to get work and who might satisfy the ordinary criterion of being in the insurance field. On the other hand, you have to look to the possibility that in some cases under a particular scheme you might get people to whom a qualification is given which does not represent their real industrial quality. They might get a qualification 1310 in this way, but it would not mean that they would be workmen normally in the insurable field.
That is the real difficulty which I have to face, and my difficulty is made material and tangible by the instances which I gave in the Debate on bona fide employment. I gave a case where one half-day's work a week for eight weeks was given to a man in order to give him a qualification. Quite obviously, a qualification of that kind would not be a qualification proving that the workman was of the kind who would be normally in the insurable field. It was obviously intended, as both the hon. Members who have spoken would admit, to give a qualification, but it was not a proper test of the workman's industrial quality or a test which should give him, so to speak, a valid qualification. I am faced with this difficulty on the one hand and I am faced with a difficulty on the other that I realise that a certain number of schemes have been perfectly genuinely entered into between local authorities and boards of guardians for two quite legitimate purposes—for giving work, and for making sure of the bona fides of the people who have applied to the guardians for relief. That is the sort of dilemma which I have to face.
I readily admit the genuineness of the difficulty on both sides, and if it is the hon. Members' wish between now and the Report stage I will consult with them and I shall be perfectly willing to try to bring forward some kind of Amendment of this Clause which will meet the difficulties of the genuine cases of schemes which have been entered into not only legitimately but, I think, perfectly rightly between local authorities and boards of guardians. T will try to do that if hon. Members wish before the Report stage.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The right hon. Gentleman says that he will consider schemes which have been entered into. Am I to understand that he will include any schemes in the future which may be entered into?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I have to consult the Minister of Health, and I shall have to consult hon. Members. Then I will try to remedy any legitimate grievance that there is in regard to this point, before the Report stage.
That is all very well, but we are going to be placed in another difficulty on Thursday. There are only two days between now and the Report stage, and that will be a congested day, and we shall be in the same difficulty that we are now in. Why should this difficulty arise? It is some days since the Association of Poor Law Unions went to see the right hon. Gentleman to put their point. He has had days in which to consult the Minister of Health. He has had time, had he chosen, to declare his intention to introduce in the Committee stage words which would have met the position. I am sorry that we have to be put in this position, because I am in a difficulty whether or not to advise my hon. Friend to withdraw his Amendment. If I were satisfied that the case of the Poor Law Unions was to be met substantially—I am against the faked qualification—I should be satisfied; but we must be perfectly sure that so far as these schemes between local authorities and boards of guardians are concerned, they will be covered in whatever proposal is made. It we could be sure that where there are bona fide schemes which are being carried out, they will be covered, we should be agreeable to the course suggested, but I do wish the right hon. Gentleman had taken time by the forelock. Can he state specifically that all he is concerned about is to rule out the faked qualification?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That is all that I am concerned to rule out. I wish to rule out the faked qualification. The hon. Member seems to think that I have had ample time and an easy and quiet week or 10 days.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am shocked to hear that from a Scotsman. I might have imagined it as coming from a degenerate person South of the Tweed in the days before the deposited book.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That is sacred to the national poet, Burns. All that I am anxious to do is to try to prevent what the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) has described as the faked qualification. If hon. 1312 Members opposite will consent to let the matter remain, I will undertake to communicate with the hon. Member before the Report stage and to see that what I have suggested is done. I should have been very glad to have done it to-day had it been possible, because I do not want any more remnants left over than I can possibly help. The question of the faked qualification, and nothing else, is my reason for saying that I would like more time to deal with the matter.
In the ordinary way it will not be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to put an Amendment on the Paper before Thursday. That might be somewhat inconvenient to hon. Members; but I understand that the right hon. Gentleman and myself may consider the matter to-morrow and that the new Amendment will appear on the Paper on Thursday morning.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
Before the hon. Member withdraws the Amendment, I would like to have it made clear what the right hon. Gentleman means. He says that he is going to consult the Minister of Health. He mentioned that the River Tweed separates England from Scotland. That river also separates the Ministry of Health for England and the Board of Health for Scotland. When the right hon. Gentleman consults the Minister of Health for England, will he also consult the representative of the Scottish Board of Health, because it is a very important matter as far as Scotland is concerned? I hope that if there is to be an arrangement it will be one that will apply equally to Scotland as to this country.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am far too sensible, by residence if not by constituency, not to include the country North of the Tweed in any arrangements that have to be made.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
I wish to speak in the interests of necessitous areas, especially in Monmouthshire. The Minister pointed out that he had been busy during the last fortnight, but I understand that a deputation representing 600 boards of guardians met him on 1313 the 17th of last month, and he has surely had time to discuss the matter with the Minister of Health and the other Departments. I do not know whether he has seen the circular which was sent, but this was what it said:I am directed by the Executive Council of this Association to inform you that they have the gravest objection to the Amendment of Section 47 of the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1920, proposed by Schedule 4, page 17, lines 14 to 25 of the Government Bill now being considered in Committee in the House of Commons, and I am to respectfully ask you to support the Motion of which notice has already been given that those lines be left out of the Bill.I understand that this deputation met the Minister who was very sympathetic, and I hope that he will really do something effective in order to meet the objection which is raised in the Amendment which has been moved.
§ Mr. LUKE THOMPSON
I wish to say just one word after the pronouncement of the Minister. It was my intention to speak on the Amendment, but, after the very favourable announcement we have had from the Minister, I can only say that we are delighted to hear that he is favourably considering it with a view to action on the Report stage.
I beg to move, in page 17, to leave out lines 26 to 34.
The object of this Amendment is to deal with the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to limit still further the operation of Unemployment Insurance. As hon. Members will be aware, it is possible for a number of workpeople to be excepted under the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act. Those persons are employed under Part II of the First Schedule of the principle Act of 1920 and one of the headings of excepted employment is employment under any local or other public authority. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman is to make this exception read:Employment under any Government Department (including any Department or Office declared by a Minister of the Crown to be under his ultimate control) or public or local Authority.In short, the purpose of this Bill is to exclude from the Unemployment Insurance Act certain civil servants and 1314 people who only by a great stretch of imagination could be called civil servants, because it obviously applies to persons employed by Government Departments or any Department or Office declared by a Minister of the Crown to be under his ultimate control. How far that may go I have not the faintest idea, but I can imagine it might be applied to the case of certain contractors of the Government, some of whom are under the ultimate control of certain Ministers or, at any rate, of the Office of Works. The view which we have broadly taken of that is that more people should be brought under the Unemployment Insurance Act and not fewer, and all the Amendments that we have put down on this point have been to prevent the Minister limiting the number of people who come under the Act. If we were to have our ideal scheme, we should have one under which everybody came under the Act, and, therefore, on principle we object to any limitation of the Unemployment Insurance Acts by restricting the number of persons to whom it applies. It may be that this Amendment will apply to a very large number of people who are engaged in occupations which normally are insurable occupations, and to men who are not necessarily people who are likely to be employed all their working lives at the dockyards or other Government establishments. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman should, by extending the number of excepted employments, have limited the number, of people who may take advantage of the benefits of the scheme. It may be that the Minister has certain reasons on his side, but it has not been made at all clear, and with a view to expressing our attitude on this, and in the hope that the right hon. Gentleman will explain why he should have made these exceptions, I beg to move this Amendment.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The explanation is a simple one. There is no intention whatever of excepting large new classes, and, much less, people who in the normal course of employment would be in an insurance scheme, and might reasonably come under any ordinary system. I think that is really sufficiently safeguarded by the concluding words of paragraph (d) of Part II of the First Schedule of the Act, because for 1315 anybody to come under that paragraph the employment has got to be such that the Minister shall he able to certify that the employment is, in his opinion and having regard to the normal practice of the employer, permanent in character, and so on. That would rule out at once those classes about the exception of whom the right hon. Gentleman is apprehensive. The main scope of the Amendment really concerns what is known as the new P class of civil servants. As everyone in this Committee is probably aware, at the present moment the ordinary established civil servants are not insurable at all. On the other hand, excepted employments up to now included those who have got permanent employment under local or other public authorities. Since 1920 we have seen the new class of P employés in the Government service. They are not established civil servants in the ordinary sense, but their employment is permanent. Consequently, this is not so much the creation of a new class of excepted persons under the Act, as assimilating to those already excepted this class which has been a growth since 1920. It means that the ordinary P class—permanent but not established—of persons in the Government service shall he assimilated to the condition of the permanent employés under local authorities. That is really the whole effect of this Clause, which concerns the P class and a handful of others of a precisely similar character, for example, those in employment under the Crown agents whose tenure and prospect of employment is a permanent one. That is the whole effect of the Clause. It does not do any more than do away with what is an anomaly which has arisen, at any rate in its present proportions, since the principal Act was passed, and it gives to those permanent servants of the Crown who are not established civil servants the same advantages.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
They are like those in the permanent service of local authorities, and they contribute for three years to start with. That is the whole scope of the Amendment, and I hope it makes the position clearer.
May I put a concrete case? What would happen in the case of the people at Woolwich? They are not subject to dismissal except for misconduct or neglect in the performance of their duties. Would not the right hon. Gentleman certify that they are in this particular category; and would they be insured? Are not those in the dockyards in the same position?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Those in the dockyards are not established civil servants, or what are called the new P. class. I am speaking within the knowledge of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham), who is more conversant with these matters than I. The new P. class is a perfectly distinct class. In our own employment at the Ministry of Labour we have a considerable number of them, and it is proposed to assimilate the conditions of their service to the conditions of permanent servants under local authorities.
That is why I put the case. They are not in the P class, and it is not clear that they would come under the terms of the Bill.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
The explanation of the right hon. Gentleman is interesting, but what we are concerned with is how these words will be interpreted. It says:Any Government Department (including any Department or office declared by a Minister of the Crown to be under his ultimate control).The dockyards are under the ultimate control of the First Lord of the Admiralty, and he lets us know they are whenever we visit him on questions of conditions and wages. This would certainly be interpreted as meaning that the First Lord has control as far as dockyards are concerned. The right hon. Gentleman has said that men in the dockyards are not established in the same sense as civil servants, but I would remind him that Hinder the Trades Disputes Act they are established, and treated as such. We want the position made a little clearer.
§ Mr. D. GRAHAM
I should like to know whether there are any safeguards against dismissal. The Minister of Labour has spoken of the permanent staff in the same category as the established class, and I should like to know whether there are any safeguards against the dismissal of these permament men. I have no desire to go into the Lobby against the Government, and shall be glad if we can have a satisfactory answer and the position made a little clearer.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I fully appreciate the Minister's guarantee. My difficulty, however, is the same as that of the hon. Member for Newcastle East (Mr. Connolly) and the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham). It is all very well for the Minister to give us an assurance on this point, but it is not an assurance that the Act will be interpreted in this way. The proposal of the Minister says:Any Government Department (including any Department or office declared by a Minister of the Crown to be under his ultimate control) or public or local authority.I understand that this refers to people who approximate to the P class; a new class created some years ago. They are not pensionable, although they are in full time steady employment and are not likely to be dismissed. As regards pensionable rights they are practically civil servants. Take the case of a man employed by the Post Office, either as an electrician, or a tradesman. Is it intended that he should be included? We are quite prepared to accept the right hon. Gentleman's guarantee, but we are anxious as to how the umpire will interpret this provision. I can quite see the position of the dockyard worker and those men employed by the Office of Works, who have never been established but who have been employed for 20 and 30 years. I want to know whether they come under these provisions.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The point is that they do not, unless they belong to the new classes. It is the object of this provision to bring the P class in, together with one or two other classes like those employed by the Crown Agents, who are permanent in the same way as those of the P class. It is these distinct classes which this provision is intended to cover. Persons employed under the Crown really fall into three categories, established civil servants, the new P class and 1318 others, and those who are not in the new P class or in the Crown Agents' Office. The last class will continue in ordinary insurable employment as before.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
We quite accept the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman, but we are anxious as to the interpretation which will be put upon the Bill itself, and we feel that the words can be read to mean a host of people whom the right hon. Gentleman does not propose to touch.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
May I most respectfully point out that under the Trades Disputes Act, with certain clearly defined exceptions, men in the Royal Dockyards are established, and under any interpretation in a Court of Law, under this provision, these men can be said to be under the ultimate control of a Minister of the Crown. I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that the matter should be cleared up.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am quite willing to make it as clear as I can. Let me repeat what I have said. You have now three classes of persons in Government employ, one, established men, including those established at the dockyards. Established people are not insurable. Then you get excepted employments, which up to now have included railways, and also permanent servants of local authorities. In that second category we wish to put the P class civil servants and those who are like them in the Crown Agent's Office, that is those who are permanent but not established. Thirdly, those who are neither permanent nor established, even though their continuity of service may have been a long one in fact; as these are not on a strictly permanent basis, they will not come under this Sub-section. Is that clear now?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
It is quite clear. The only point that is annoying me is that I cannot read the Minister's interpretation into the Act.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I think it is clear from the Act, because the conditions attached to paragraph (d) are these. It is employment under the local authorities, on the railways and so on, and says:Where the Minister certifies that the employment is in his opinion, having regard 1319 to the normal practice of the employer, permanent in character, that the employed person has completed three years' service in the employment, and that the other circumstances of the employment in his opinion make it unnecessary that he should he insured under this Act.Provided that where the employed person is not under the terms of his contract subject to dismissal except for misconduct or for neglect in the performance of or unfitness to perform his duties, the foregoing provision in respect to three years' service shall not apply.Those are the actual terms of paragraph (d) as amended by the Act of 1921, and in view of that I think the position is clear.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I beg to move, in page 17, line 34, at the end, to insert the wordsand at the end of the said paragraph there shall he inserted the words 'and where a person serving under any public or local authority in employment which is excepted under this paragraph ceases to serve under that authority, and on so ceasing enters the service of another such authority, he shall, on entering the new employment, be treated for the purpose of the power of the Minister to certify under this paragraph as if he had completed three years' service in the new employment.'The object of this Amendment is to secure that transferability shall take place without hardship as between the different authorities. The Amendment means this: Where a person goes from one local authority to another at the present time, apart from the provisions made, it has been a question whether he would have to serve three fresh years and have stamps put on his card by the new authority to which he goes. This proposal means that if he has served for three years under one local authority and become excepted and then goes to another, he can be excepted under the new authority to which he has transferred without having to serve three years again with the new authority. I hope the Committee will agree to the Amendment.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I wish to ask a question upon a matter that was brought to my notice only late this afternoon. The case was that of a man who has left 1320 his position as the servant of a railway company, with whom he has been for a long number of years, and who has gone to a local authority, in this case the Glasgow Corporation, to do the same class of work. He was an exempted person as a railway servant, and now he is being asked to serve his three years over again with the local authority. It was put to me that the railways should be put in the same category as regards transference as one local authority transferring a man to another. I have no-wish to oppose the Amendment, but would like an assurance on the point mentioned. In Scotland the old local rating authorities have been or are to be abolished. The rating authority was the parish council, but now the town council is to become the rating authority.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I could not answer the question offhand. If the hon. Member had given me notice I could have replied to him. I cannot answer in regard to a transfer from a railway to a local authority, but I can say to the hon. Member at once that, apart from any objection that might occur to me on subsequent consideration, it would seem to be fair that where there has been the three years qualification for exception under any authority the aggregation on transfer from one to another ought probably to be allowed. I will look into the matter gladly and favourably from that point of view, but I cannot say more at the present moment.
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
As to the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), I think that he and others may take an assurance from the Act which was passed last year, the Act which amalgamated departments in Scotland, under which definite provision was made covering all local government officers and completely safeguarding all servants of this kind. What we have before us now is the removal of an anomaly under the Unemployment Insurance Act applying to a certain group of local government officers where you have a superannuation scheme permitting the aggregation of service. Local government officers contend that the service should be regarded as an entity and that a distinction should be drawn between the position of men who happen to be employed under authorities with a superannuation scheme and men who are under 1321 some other authority. Very largely because this Amendment removes that anomaly and allows the aggregation to run, we support it. The position of the man whom the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) has in view is completely safeguarded in the appropriate Clauses of the Act amalgamating these Departments in Scotland which was passed last year.
§ Mr. FENBY
I should like to say how much I appreciate the action of the Minister in introducing this Amendment. It seemed a strange thing that men transferred from one local authority to another should not have the benefit of their service under the authority which they are leaving. A man in such a position is taking his administrative experience to the new authority and it seems only proper that any service that was to his credit should be transferred to him under the new authority. This Amendment will meet a grievance which has been very much felt.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Am I to understand that any person employed in an excepted trade who may be transferred to some other trade which comes within the meaning of the Unemployment Insurance Act, can come into benefit under that Act in case he is thrown out of work within a period of, say, six months?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
No. That is not the meaning of the proposal. When a man has been in the employment of a railway company for three years his employment may be considered permanent and therefore for three years he pays contributions under the Unemployment Insurance Act. After three years he is an excepted employé and contributions are no longer paid in respect of him. He passes out, as it were, into the excepted area. If, however, he gives up his employment in the excepted employment and comes back into a normal insurable trade within the ambit of the Insurance Act, then he must start again to acquire his qualification. The effect of the Amendment is quite different. It is something quite particular. It deals with the case of men transferred from one excepted employment to another and its effect is that if a person serves the whole of his qualifying period of three years, that period is carried to his benefit in his employment under the new excepted authority.
§ Mr. D. GRAHAM
Supposing a man has been in an excepted occupation and has paid three years' contributions to the fund. If he fails to find employment when transferred to another excepted occupation and has to take work in an ordinary insurable occupation, what is to be his position?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
His position is safeguarded by the fact that no employment can be certified as excepted under this Section unless the Minister can certify that the employment, in his opinion, having regard to the normal practice of the employers, is permanent in character. It means that if he gets into one of these excepted occupations then ex hypothesi his employment is permanent in character, otherwise it would not be excepted under the Act.
§ Mr. D. GRAHAM rose—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I ought to point out that this Amendment only deals with persons who cease to serve one public authority and enter the service of another. It does not cover the whole ambit of excepted occupations.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I understood the right hon. Gentleman to deal with the question of men who were employed in railway companies.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
There is no need to issue Regulations. All this proposal does is to confer an advantage on certain people in certain excepted occupations by enabling them to aggregate their service on transfer from one to another.
Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I beg to move, in page 17, line 36, at the end, to insert the words:Section 5…In Sub-section (3), after the word 'shall,' there shall be inserted the words 'unless otherwise provided for.'The effect of the Amendment is to enable sums due to the National Debt Commissioners to be paid direct to the 1323 Commissioners, instead of toeing paid first to the Treasury and then handed on to the Commissioners. This is done already with regard to other payments, and the Amendment merely means that the same practice is to be followed with regard to repayments in the matter of the Insurance Fund.
§ Mr. PALING
What is the particular virtue of this Amendment? The Minister said that instead of going to one Department these payments would go to another. Are we to take it that all the time the Act has been in operation hitherto the payments have gone through this channel?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
It is really a simple matter. This Amendment is intended to shorten work and avoid extra trouble. It will enable the interest on the Unemployment Fund debt to be paid direct to the real lenders, who are, as a rule, the National Debt Commissioners. At present the money is paid to the Treasury who pass it on to the Commissioners. The amount of interest payable will not be affected. The Treasury lend the money to the Unemployment Fund under Section 5, Sub-section (1) of the Insurance Act, 1921. Section 5, Subsection (2) authorises the Treasury to borrow the money necessary to make advances to the Fund, and under Section 5, Sub-section (3), the interest on such borrowings is charged on and payable out of the Consolidated Fund. When amended Section 5, Sub-section (3) of the Act of 1921 will merely read as follows:The principal of and interest on any security issued under this Section shall, unless otherwise provided for, be charged on and payable out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof.These payments have to be paid to the National Debt Commissioners, and the Amendment saves trouble by making the payment direct instead of going through a sort of circumlocution.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
No, it has no effect in regard to money at all except insofar as it is a saving of time and trouble.
§ Amendment agreed to.1324
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this Schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill."
I rise at this stag© to refer to two questions of substantial importance on Schedule 4. In the first place, it seems to me unfortunate that we should have had so many minor Amendments of the law thrown upon the Committee in this Bill, especially as a number of these so-called minor Amendments raise questions of very considerable importance. I should have thought that a good many of these Amendments ought properly to have been incorporated in the Bill itself. We are presented with an Unemployment Insurance Bill which nobody can understand, as a whole series, of Acts is involved, and the matter is further complicated by a long series of so-called minor Amendments, which make the position of the law even more complicated than it is at the present time. There is hardly any subject on which the law is so complicated as the subject of unemployment insurance. The law on this subject is now embodied in a whole series of legislative enactments, going back to the year 1920, and on the top of the present complicated legislation we have this Bill imposed with a whole series of minor Amendments. But it goes further than that. This Bill is intended to be a permanent Measure, a foundation for all time for unemployment insurance, and that being so, the Bill ought to have been a readable Bill, with all these minor Amendments incorporated in the body of it.
My second point is the character of certain of the Amendments. We have more or less disposed of one to-night which would have made a very great change in the law, as it would have affected Poor Law authorities very considerably. That is not the only minor Amendment of very substantial importance in the Schedule. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, if he tries to carry through any unemployment insurance legislation in the future, will have regard to the limited minds of all Members in all parties in the House on this question. Certain of these Amendments have had to be subject to amendment since the Second Reading of the Bill. I think I am right in saying that the majority of the Amendments that the Minister has had to put down have been Amendments 1325 to the Fourth Schedule. That is scamped legislation, and the right hon. Gentleman ought not to have produced a Fourth Schedule which stood in need of so many Amendments as he has had to introduce to it, to-day. If hon. Members look at the Order Paper, so far as it affects the Schedules, they will see that on Schedule 4 the greater part of the space on the Paper is devoted to the right hon. Gentleman's own Amendments, with the result that at the moment nobody knows what Schedule 4 contains, unless they have got colossal, superhuman memories, and I think there is a certain justifiable criticism to be levelled against Schedule 4 being a Schedule to the Bill, having regard to the fact that, since he introduced it, the right hon. Gentleman has had to change his mind on several points. I hope, therefore, that hon. Members on this side will pause before agreeing to this Schedule.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I think I was the first Member of the House to call attention to this question of legislation by reference on the Second Reading of this Bill. This Fourth Schedule is really beyond all bearing. There are references in it to no fewer than six different Insurance Acts. In regard to the principal Act, the Act of 1920, we are referred 12 separate times to it, and in regard to the Act of 1921 we are referred three times to it; and on top of that, there are four other references to other Acts. I hope this will be the last time that this House will have to deal with a Bill drawn up by a Department in this way, because when the House has passed the wording, it can never be quite sure what the interpretation will be in a Court of law. It may be good for the Department, but it is thoroughly bad for the ordinary man and for the citizens who have to obey the law, and it is bad also for free discussion in the House of Commons. It is entirely out of all reason that hon. Members who have no legal knowledge should be expected to understand what they are voting for or against in a Bill drawn up in this way. I sincerely hope this will be the last time that any party will bring in a Bill drafted by a Department with so many cross references in it as this Bill contains.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I also want to enter a mild protest against a Schedule of this description, which occupies no fewer than six pages in the Bill, and makes, approximately, 23 or 24 different Amendments to six previous Acts of Parliament. It was quite impossible for any ordinary Member, to understand the Schedule even before amended, but after the Amendments that the right hon. Gentleman himself has been obliged to make, it is a thousand times more difficult. I want to draw the right hon. Gentleman's attention, although there should scarcely be any need to do so, to the difficulty that is bound to be experienced by every Member of the House when he is called upon in two days' time to deal with the same Schedule on the Report stage. It is a physical impossibility for any ordinary Member, or, indeed, for the right hon. Gentleman himself, to have a thorough grasp of the whole of the implications of this particular and most complex Schedule, and yet we shall be called upon on Thursday next to deal with this Schedule; and it is fair to assume that we shall not have had it in our hands more than a few minutes beforehand. I think, as the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) has just suggested, that this Fourth Schedule is the last word in impossible legislation, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will take the earliest possible opportunity of having a consolidating Bill, so that people may understand what the different Unemployment Insurance Acts are driving at. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman will say with regard to the possibility of dealing with the Schedule on Thursday, but I think he ought to be the first to recognise the unfortunate position in which he places hon. Members, and I hope this will be a warning and that in future, at all events, notwithstanding any urge there may be from behind, he will bring his Bills before Parliament in an understandable form, so that intelligent discussion can take place, instead of bringing in a quite impossible Bill like this one, with this most impossible of all Schedules, Schedule No. 4.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want to ask the Minister two or three questions with regard to this Schedule. Ever since the Bill was in my hands, I have puzzled over the precise meaning of the Amend- 1327 ment to Section 9 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1923—"After the word 'fund,' there shall be inserted the words 'or to a local education authority.'" I cannot, with the best will in the world, understand why the local education authority comes into the Clause now. Then there is another thing, which I think is merely an instance of the Minister's feeling for a perfect literary style. What is the reason for the change from "local or other public authority "to" public or local authority," in Section 11 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Act, 1921? I think there is merely a question of literary rhythm here. Am I right?
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I said to myself when I read it that "local or other public authority" and "public or local authority" meant the same. It really seems as if the Minister cannot bear the slightest verbal blemish in his Bill. My third question is as to what are the precise effects of the introduction of the words "or on account of" in Section 14 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1922? I think it may or may not be a very important thing.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I think the hon. Member lost her time somewhat, because she might have put her points as they came by, but I am willing to give her the meaning of them gladly. The reason the words "public or local authority" are being substituted for "local or other public authority" is that if you have "local or other public authority" the word "other" might mean that "other public authority" was local in character. In this case we have a "P" class of civil servants who do not belong to a local authority, but belong to the Government, and, therefore, "public" in that case might be construed as having a larger connotation, including the central authority, whereas in the other case it might be construed as merely applying to some other kind of local authority, though it was also public.
Coming to the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1922, Section 14, Sub-section (1), where, after the words "relief to" there shall be inserted the words "or on account of," this merely gives an 1328 advantage to the local Poor Law guardians, because repayment is often made in the case of unemployment benefit (when it has been subsequently decided to be payable) to the local guardians who had previously advanced money to some applicant for benefit. Some person makes a claim for benefit. The claim for some reason has not been decided. The claimant meanwhile goes to the guardians. The guardians advance some money. Subsequently the claim is decided to the claimant's benefit, and some of the benefit so given is repayable to the guardians who have advanced the money. The point of the alteration is this, that if it is merely payment back to the guardians for relief given to an applicant, it does not cover all the cases. Relief is generally given to the head of the family, but it may be on account of the members of the family and therefore this Amendment authorises a repayment to the guardians of relief paid on account of members of the family, as well as of relief given directly to the head of the family. As regards the third point, that there shall be inserted the words "or to a local education authority," that merely gives to a local education authority the power to recover money when it is acting for the Ministry of Labour. That is rather a loose expression. A local education authority under some circumstances pays benefit to juveniles on behalf of the Ministry of Labour. This Amendment gives it a power of recovery such as the Ministry of Labour has under similar circumstances.
Those are the three conundrums the hon. Member has put to me. As regards the Fourth Schedule generally, I say at once that I do not think, so far as the Amendments to-night are concerned, that there is any Member of the Committee who will read the Schedule when it has been reprinted after to-night who will have any difficulty in understanding it—any greater difficulty in understanding it after it has been printed than he has had already in mastering it before this Debate. [Interruption.] I never meant to suggest for one moment that any Member of the calibre of the hon. Member on the other side had the least difficulty in understanding it for the purposes of this Debate. I only meant that he will find it at least equally easy to read to-morrow morning when he sees it in print. The 1329 whole of the Fourth Schedule is perfectly justifiable. There have been only one or two Amendments of substance. The Amendment with regard to seasonal trades is one, and that is an Amendment which is not of large character. Even the Poor Law Amendment is not an Amendment of the principle of the existing law. So far as the work used to be done by distress committees it was not insurable before; the Amendment is merely carrying out the principle of the existing law perfectly logically. Those who took exception to it were trying to establish a new principle; in itself it was not introducing any new principle.
There are a number of other points with regard to the Fourth Schedule, but all, I think, are what I should call quite minor points. They are, for the most part, small points of procedure, items of procedure shall we say, common to the Ministries under the Health Insurance Acts and under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, and they make the practice between the two the same. A Royal Commission on Health have recommended certain slight alterations which at some convenient moment the Ministry of Health wish to adopt. We adopt them in this Schedule in order to have the same procedure as they when they are able to adopt it. I suggest to the Committee that this is a perfectly right and proper place in which to put in small Amendments, which are not Amendments of principle, but Amendments moved in order to insure some uniformity on similar points by the administration of different Departments. On the whole Schedule, I think only two main points have been raised. The first is that the hon. Member talked about scamped legislation. I do not know whether hon. Members opposite consider that this Measure is a more intricate Bill than the Act of 1924. All I can say is that the Government Amendments to this Bill are not greater in number than the Government Amendments to the 1924 Bill, and I confidently believe that if they were totted up they would be found to be fewer.
Of course, Government Amendments of some kind are perfectly right and desirable, unless hon. Members opposite contend that no Government should ever be willing to make any concessions of any sort or kind. As regards the form 1330 of this Bill, I quite agree with those who have described it as intricate. Every Act dealing with unemployment insurance has tended to be intricate, and this Measure is not unique in that respect. If ever it could be a matter of common consent on the three sides of the party triangle in this House to pass a Consolidating Act which does not alter the law, but merely writes it out in common, plain, straight, understandable English, not necessarily metrical or beautiful, but which is clear and concise, I should be the first to welcome such a possibility.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I must ask my hon. Friends on this side of the Committee to go into the Lobby against this false step and against the blind unreasonableness of passing a Schedule of this kind. When this Bill becomes an Act the people who have to administer it will find, if they want to refer to a certain point, that they are face to face with words of this kind.In Sub-section (1) after the words 'within the meaning of this Act' there shall be added the words 'or(d) a person who has not been employed within the meaning of this Act for the prescribed number of weeks during any prescribed period'Then they will be referred to the Act of 1920. They go a little further down, and they will come across another dozen or 20 different things, and they will find themselves wandering over the Act of 1921. How is the ordinary individual with a copy of the Act of 1927 before him after it has become law, to form the slightest idea of what the law actually is? It is really an unbearable thing. I am willing to march to the penitent form and admit that I brought in a Bill myself which legislated by reference, but every Bill which has been passed since that Measure has made things worse. My crime was bad enough, and no punishment would have been too great, but that is no reason why the present Minister of Labour should commit a bigger crime because he has a larger majority. How can anybody consent to this kind of thing going on?
Let me take a case. A trade union secretary is approached by a member of his union, who thinks he has been badly treated by the Employment Exchange, and he asks for the secretary's advice. The secretary has to refer to the Act of 1331 1927 to find what is the condition of affairs, and he finds himself in a jumble of words which seem to have been deliberately contrived to hide the meaning of the draftsman. I do not believe that it is absolutely necessary to have language which is not understandable in order that we should have a legal document. We want a plain statement in plain English, but I have no hesitation in saying that there is no man in this country who can pick up this Bill when it becomes an Act and find out what is the law. The Schedule we are now con-
§ sidering is one of the worst in the Bill. It begins with the year 1920, and finishes with the year 1926. There is nothing in the Bill that tells you what it does.
§ It being Half-past Ten of the Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 1st December, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That this Schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 143.
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Rye. F. G.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Oakley, T.||Salmon, Major I.||Tinne, J. A.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Waddington, R.|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Penny, Frederick George||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavo D.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Perring, Sir William George||Savery, S. S.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Shaw. Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel.(Renfrew, W.)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Pilcher, G.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Shepperson, E. W.||Wells, S. R.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Preston, William||Skelton, A. N.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Radford, E. A.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wilson, R R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Raine, Sir Walter||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ramsden, E.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Winterton. Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Storry-Deans, R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Remer, J. R.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Wood, B. C, (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stuart. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes. Stretford)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Major Cope and Major The Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardie, George D.||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barnes. A.||Hayes, John Henry||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Siesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, G. H.||Smith. Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Broad, F. A.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Hudson. J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||John, William (Rhondda. West)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Clowes, S.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Compton, Joseph||Kirkwood, D.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Lansbury, George||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawrence, Susan||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cowan. D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawson, John James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lindley, F. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Livingstone, A. M.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennison, R.||Mackinder, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duckworth, John||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Westwood, J.|
|Edge, Sir William||Murnin, H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Naylor, T. E.||Whiteley, W.|
|England, Colonel A.||Oliver, George Harold||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Owen, Major G.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Forrest, W.||Palin, John Henry||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gillett, George M.||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gosling, Harry||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ritson, J.||Wright, W.|
|Greenall. T.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks. W. R., Elland)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Rose, Frank H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Sakiatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles|
|Groves, T.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Edwards.|
§ The CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Question necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion.
§ Question, "That this be the Fifth Schedule to the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Whereupon The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report the Bill, as amended, to the House, pursuant to the Order of the House of 1st December.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, and to be printed. [Bill 210.]