§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Mr. MITCHELL BANKS
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
The object of the Bill is to prohibit any person or association from inviting, accepting or using funds from foreign sources for the furtherance or maintenance of industrial disputes in Great Britain. I am conscious of the responsibility I assume, sitting as I do for an industrial constituency which includes in its electorate many trade unionists, and yet I do so in great confidence that the object which I have in view will meet with the approval of my constituents at large. I am animated by one motive alone in introducing this Bill. I do it because I believe, in all sincerity, that a very serious mischief exists. I believe, in all sincerity, that it is in the highest degree injurious to the welfare of this realm that industrial disputes in Great Britain, whether legal or illegal, should be financed by foreigners. In my view, our quarrels, whether political or industrial, should be our own affair and we should strive to settle them without the intervention of people whose motives are always questionable, and who invariably stand to gain by our loss. That is the principle upon which my Bill is based, and I think it should command the approbation of the House and of all who hold that the interests of the community at large should prevail over the interests of any section of the community, however powerful or however deserving that section may be.
The provisions and the phraseology of the Bill are alike simple and I shall deal with them very briefly. The first Clause is the important one. It makes it an offence for any person or persons, or body corporate or incorporate—in plain English any person or group of persons—to solicit, accept or use contributions provided by any foreign State, or person or groups of persons, whether directly or indirectly, so long as the object is to incite, encourage, promote, further or 1276 maintain any trade or industrial dispute in Great Britain. There are words at the end of that Clause which carry the scope of the Bill somewhat further. I am no wedded to those words and I shall be willing indeed to accept any reasonable suggestion which may be made to alter them. The words to which I refer are:or for any purpose or action the reasonable consequence of which is or may be calculated to prolong any trade or industrial dispute in Great Britain.It might very well he that money would come in, masquerading in the guise of charity and yet, urdoubtedly, originating from sinister motives and, in fact, devoted to furthering trade disputes, though according to the letter of the law it might be held not to do so. Supposing I am told—as I will be told—that these words will prohibit the entry into this country of funds which are genuinely charitable in character, I say that I should be sorry to stop them. But I also say this—if we cannot exclude money sent in for revolutionary purposes without, at the same time, excluding some money which may be genuinely charitable in its motives and origin, then I prefer the lesser of the two evils. If I cannot get rid of one without getting rid of the other, I shall be prepared to make them both contraband and I do not flinch from the consequences.
The Clause logically includes as offenders those who invite as well as those who receive funds, and the second Clause provides that, in dealing with persons who commit an offence against the Bill the offence shall be made a misdemeanour punishable by fine or imprisonment. There is a sub-section which provides against aiding and abetting, and the third Clause deals with what is to be done where the money is received by associations. The procedure will not be by giving any powers to any Law Officer or Secretary of State. While I know that everybody in this House, including hon. Members opposite, repose the greatest possible confidence in the present Home Secretary, he might be succeeded by somebody in whom they have less confidence; and while one Attorney. General may be held to be too vehement in his views against revolution, we have cases in our minds where other Attorney-Generals have been held to be too slack. Therefore, I think the proper procedure 1277 is that the Court should decide in ail these cases. Anybody who has reason to suspect that such funds are coming in or being used, may go to the Court and on affidavit or information on oath, prove, if he can, to the satisfaction of the Court, that there is reasonable ground for his suspicion. In such case the funds are sequestrated and then he must go further and prove to the satisfaction of the Court on evidence that the origin and purpose of these funds are what he suspects them to be, and in that case the money is to be forfeited to the Crown—greatly, I have no doubt, to the relief of the general taxpayer. It was suggested to me that we might make the money returnable to the donors. I fail to see the force of that proposal. I do not think it would discourage the donors. If the money finds its way to the recipients whom they have in mind, their object is effected; if we send it back to them, all they have to do is to try again.
It may be that some association will receive money and, when the necessary procedure has been taken, will inform us, "You cannot take money out of empty pockets; we have already expended and distributed it." In such a case, upon proof that a certain sum has been received and that a certain sum has been so distributed, the money shall be deemed to have been forfeited and shall be recoverable as a debt due to the Crown. With regard to the provision for ascertaining evidence, I propose to give power to the Court to direct any bank or banking institution, where the Court makes an order upon such information upon oath, to disclose where the money came from and where it is going. That is no new invasion of public liberties or attack on confidential documents. It goes no further than the Bankers Books Evidence Act, 1879, which gives the Court power to do even more than that in the matter of investigation in any legal procedure, civil or otherwise. The expression "funds" is to include, besides money, securities for money, credit and money's worth.
Rightly or wrongly, we expect the Government to deal with the subject of trade union law shortly. We do not know what the Government's Bill is going to be, though some of us have criticised its provisions in advance, but it is highly 1278 probable that it may contain provisions declaring certain disputes and strikes to be unlawful. I think in all probability it would follow as a matter of course that contributions to unlawful disputes would themselves be unlawful and, certainly, in any serious case that the Government would take powers, as the Government did take powers in the case of money sent on the occasion of the general strike, to intercept that money. We know that a cheque was sent from Russia to the Trade Union Congress. I refer to a statement made in the House by the Home Secretary—The first sum of £26,427 which came to one of our London banks was refused by the Trades Union Congress.Why they refused it, I do not know. If they refused it because they knew they they were engaged in an unlawful dispute, it puts them in a curious position. If they refused it because they thought it was discreditable to their movements to accept it from that source, I can only say that, logically, they ought to vote for my Bill—A second sum of £200,000 was sent from Moscow by transfers of £175,000 from the Deutsche Bank of Berlin and £25,000 from an American bank with instructions from Russia immediately to transfer £100,000 part of this sum to the Trades Union Congress."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th June, 1926; cols. 2466–67, Vol. 196.]That money, with the assent of the Home Secretary, was returned to Moscow. I wish it had been retained in the hands of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As far then, as my Bill applies to funds for unlawful strikes, it should have the support of His Majesty's Government, but in so far as it only does that, it is hardly more than a declaratory Bill, with small practical force.
With regard to the Home Secretary's view upon this matter, he may tell me "It is all very well to make these contributions unlawful, but, in fact, you cannot stop them." The answer to that is, that when the money was for an unlawful strike, he did stop it. He knew what banks had received it, and he sent it back to Moscow. There should be no more difficulty in stopping contributions to another strike than there was in stopping them to the general strike, and I am strongly inclined to think that there would be, in all such cases, ample knowledge and information at his disposal, so 1279 that if he did not take the course proposed by my Bill, it would not be so much for lack of proof as for lack of the necessary resolution.
First of all, there is no power at this juncture to do so. My Bill proposes to confer such power. In my submission, the test applied by the right hon. Gentleman is not the right test. The test is not, as I think, whether a strike is legal or illegal. The right test surely should be this: Does this practice, in fact, inflict an injury on the community? If it does, however legal it may be in form, we should put a stop to it on the fundamental maxim: "Salus populi supremo, est lex." On that point the motives of those who contribute and those who collect are most material. The facts were, I understand, that a total sum of £1,087,000 was received in connection with the general strike and subsequently the coal dispute. So far as the coal dispute is concerned, £1,150,000 came from Russia, £430,500 from the British trade union and Socialist movements, 250,000 from miners in foreign countries, excluding Russia, £59,000 from the Amsterdam International Federation of Trade £20,000 from Continental Communists, and £16,620 from the American Federation of Labour, Those were the contributions, not to the general strike. but to the coal dispute, and I am bound to say—and I think the right hon. Gentleman's language in the statement to which I previously alluded supports my case—that there is and can be no logical distinction. He said:His Majesty's Government have been under no illusions as to the motives which inspire these professedly eleemosynary gifts, and as soon as I received this information I gave directions to the London bank in question not to make such transfer, and the money was, with my assent, returned to Moscow. The views which I have already expressed in regard to the money which Dame for the Trade Union Congress apply equally to that sent from Russia to the Miners' Federation." — [OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th June, 1920; col. 2467, Vol. 196.]In regard to injury to the community, I need not deal with the general strike. Its consequences are known to and lamented by everybody, and I hardly think that anybody at this time will dispute that it was revolutionary in its character and disastrous in its effects. Many right hon. Members opposite did 1280 express themselves most strongly in favour of that view. But in regard to the coal dispute, whatever the original rights or wrongs of that case, its prolongation, after a certain point had been reached, did nothing but mischief to mineowners, to miners, to railwaymen, and to the community at large, and that is well known to hon. and right hon. Members opposite.
Mr. W. M. ADAMSON
On a point of Order. Are the remarks of the hon. Member in order in connection with the Bill which he is introducing?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think so. I do not consider it would he in Order to discuss the merits or demerits of the coal dispute. But I imagine that the origin of this Bill is closely connected with the fact of the coal dispute and the length of it.
§ Mr. BANKS
I was careful to say that, whatever the rights or wrongs of that dispute may have been, its prolongation was, in fact, a disaster, and I was about to say that the prolongation was un doubtedly due to some extent, at ail events, to the subsidies that were received from foreign sources. Mr. Cook, in a speech on 3rd June, said: "Thank God for Russia," and he added that there was a cheque for £270,000 received last week, that the Central Co-operative Societies in Russia had sent £40,000, that the Central Russian Union had sent £70,000, and so on. Mr. Herbert Smith, speaking at Doncaster, said:They were told the miners would not have gone on so long if they had not accepted money from Russia. If the Soviet Government had sent it, he would have accepted it.Mr. McGurk, Vice-President of the Lance shire and Cheshire Miners' Federation said on 2nd June of that year:Six shillings out of seven-and-six strike pay that week was Russian money.It may be said that an odd million, though it sounds formidable, is not a very large sum when you come to consider the prolongation of the strike, and so far as the relief of distress is concerned, it is a very small sum indeed. The burden of relieving distress fell upon the British ratepayer, but so long as the leaders of that dispute knew that they could gel money from Moscow when their own resources were exhausted, I think they hardened their hearts, refused to listen 1281 to wiser counsels, and would not engage in negotiations fox a reasonable compromise that was put before them by many right hon. Members opposite, who realised that the obstinacy with which that strike was prolonged could only result in the securing of worse terms for them.
I think these sums from Russia were very nicely calculated. They were not calculated to relieve distress, but they were calculated to effect Russian objects, which were to prolong the strike and to protract distress. I know that this dispute was admittedly a lawful dispute, but its prolongation was disastrous, and, in my opinion, it was both prolonged and aggravated by contributions from foreign sources which were sent here with entirely malevolent designs. Whether the strike was legal or illegal, the motives with which the money was sent are the same. In the case of some countries other than Russia one motive was clear enough. They profited by the coal stoppage in this country. So long as the coal stoppage was in progress, we were bound to purchase our coal from them; they captured our customers, and they ousted us from other markets. I am well aware that any man who finds himself in straitened circumstances is justified in appealing to his friends for help, but, if I may suggest, it, a man who takes pecuniary assistance from his wife's admirer is either a fool or a knave. He is a fool if he does not see the motive, and he is a knave if he connives at it. I think the miners were in the same position. They took money, not from people who wanted to support them, but from people who wanted to supplant them. In the case of Russia, the motives are clear enough, and I propose, if I may, strictly with regard to tin money sent for the coal dispute, to cite two authorities. The one is the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who, on the 25th June, 1926, said:When I am challenged by hon. Members opposite to say that this money is not Soviet money, they ask me to say what am not prepared to say. What is the explanation that is given? It is, that it is collected from the members of the Russian trade unions, miners and others, not one of whom is as well paid as his opposite number here; not one of whom has a standard of life equal to the standard of life here; that it is collected from them as a voluntary contribution for the relief of distress in this country. Sir, you cannot 1282 find a word, perhaps I had better not say that, but you will find in almost every Russian Soviet newspaper, in the speeches of almost every Soviet leader, ample proof that it is not collected for the relief of distress, that the sufferings of the miners as such, or their wives and families, are perfectly indifferent to them—[Interruption]—and that the money is collected and sent not to help people in distress but to foment revolution."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th June, 1926; col. 772, Vol. 197.]That is the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and the opinion of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) entirely coincides with it. He said:Before the War men like myself, together with Liberals like Dr. Spence Watson, put up money in the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom in order to help Anarchists, Nihilists and Communists fighting against the Tsarist autocracy. Therefore, I cannot think it wrong that the workers of Russia should be sending money to this country to-day to help the miners in their fight. The great argument is as to whether the workmen are sending the money or not. I received this letter on 12th May from my daughter in Russia."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th June, 1926: col. 750, Vol. 197.]The hon. Member's daughter, after describing certain conditions in Russia, ended up as follows:'The talk of Russian gold and that ancient rot is too thin. If we believe in the brotherhood of man in the broadest sense that you religious people believe, then the money could be taken just the same, because you may be sure that if the capitalist class need money to oppress the workers, the British capitalists would get it in some other way, and if you believe in the class war—and some of you say you do, at any rate—then you do not believe in the national boundary, and levies of money from Russian workers can be accepted just as levies from British or any other workers.'"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th June, 1926; col. 751, Vol. 197.]Then said the hon. Gentleman:That exactly puts my position with regard to this money. I do believe in the class war." [OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th June, 1926; col. 751, Vol. 197.]It was the class war, and the class war advocated and defended not by some obscure Communist, whose words we are always urged to treat with contempt, but by an hon. Member who occupies a seat on the Front Bench opposite, and it is the class war which the leaders of the Labour movement have advocated, and are advocating to-day. There are many 1283 not obscure persons, but prominent leaders in that movement who to-day openly advocate the new method of class war—in plain English revolution by an interminable series of industrial disputes. There is a class of politicians who openly profess those views. You may call them Bolshevists or revolutionists, extremists or left-wingers. They all belong to the same clan, and no hairsplitting casuist of the Middle Ages could find a logical ground for discriminating among them. Although I know right hon. Gentlemen opposite repudiate such doctrines and affect to dissociate themselves from them, I cannot take their protestations to be in earnest, while I see them fraternising both outside and inside this House with the advocates of these doctrines. It is not formal adherence to the Communist party that makes a Communist; it is the holding of Communist doctrines. It is not the tonsure that makes the priest, and I warn right hon. Gentlemen opposite there was many a pirate crew that did not hoist the "Jolly Roger" until it had captured the ship and disposed of its officers. Though the right hon. Gentleman opposite may be as respectable a seaman as Captain Smollett in Treasure Island, I am much mistaken if I do not see Long John Silver and Israel Hands on his quarter deck, and many other buccaneers in the fo[...]c'sle behind. In every case, I admit, a dispute, though lawful in form, and genuine in its inception may change its character as it progresses. It is all right at the start, but as it goes on it is moulded and prolonged by revolutionaries, and the reason they are in a position to prolong it is that when their own trade union resources are exhausted, they know they can "Thank God for Russia," and get some more money.
If I may say so, the Government will not easily draft a definition which will make a strike of that sort unlawful. It begins lawfully but ends in a disastrous effect to the community. Aliens contribute the money; Communists collect it; our enemies profit by it, and we suffer. When this House thought fit from time to time to confer upon trade unions various powers, various immunities and various financial expedients, it was never dreamt of that they would not rely upon British 1284 resources, that they would go cap in hand to foreign paymasters, who are frequently the bitterest enemies, not only of this country but of the very men who solicit aid. I shall be told, I suppose, that I belong to that class—the accusation is so common—who desire to starve women and children. I think the less of that accusation because it has been constantly used in circumstances so ludicrously disproportionate to the gravity of the charge. Although some of these funds may have filed a few hungry stomachs and alleviated some passing distress, yet in the long run the consequences were worse even to those on whom the charity was supposed to be conferred. To-day in my own constituency, men and women who were previously prosperous and doing well, are out of work, or are on shorter hours in consequence of the unnecessary and mischevious prolongation of the dispute. History, it is said, repeats itself. I have already informed the House that in my opinion—and I think I have a certain amount of support for my views—it was prolonged by revolutionaries who were enabled to prolong it because they were subsidised from Russia. There is the closest parallel between the circumstances of our time and those of the French Revolution. I recall to mind the warning which that great man Edmund Burke gave to his contemporaries about the mischief that was being fomented in Germany and Spain by the revolutionary government of France. He used these admirable words:Even England is within the comprehensive scheme of their malignant charity."Malignant charity" is exactly the description of this money. In my submision, British Trade Unions disgrace themselves by accepting it. They should, in my submission, scorn to receive it. But if they do not, then I propose that we should intercept it. So far as hon. Gentlemen opposite are concerned, I can expect nothing but the bitterest opposition to my Bill. Any proposals, however meritorious, or however justifiable, will be received with bitter opposition from hon. Gentlemen opposite if in any way whatsover, even indirectly, they touch trade unions. We are aware of that. We discovered that from last Monday's debate, when they damned and denounced the Government Bill before having read a line of the 1285 text, or heard an argument. I thought as I listened to the Leader of the Opposition and the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) of the words of the old song—To teach our flock we never missed,Kings are by God appointed,And damned are all who do resistOr touch the Lord's anointed.The doctrines of passive obedience and divine right have been transferred from the Sovereign to the official oligarchs of the Labour party. I fear I can hardly expect a benediction from the Government. It may be their attitude will be one of benevolent neutrality. I am rather disposed to think, from their attitude on previous occasions, it must be so. I have read to the House what the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary had to say about these foreign contributions. No one knows better than he how his work is thwarted at every turn by Bolshevist activities. Yet when we plead with him for action, he behaves like the messenger that Humpty-Dumpty wanted to send to the little fish. I believe hon. Members still read "Alice through the Looking Glass"—it is a topsy-turvy world, very much like the one they create for themselves—and in it they will see it says of the messenger:He was so very stiff and proud,He said, You need not shout so loud';And lie was very proud and stiff,He said, I'll go and wake them, if—' ".That is the attitude of the Foreign Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has in my view, already committed himself by saying that he did not really distinguish so far as motive went between those funds which came here for the coal dispute and those funds which carne for the General Strike. And certainly he is bound by this, that if he could stop the one then he had information about them he can certainly stop the others. But there, again, I am afraid that although he says these things, that although in his enforced retirement—and we are very glad to see the right hon. Gentleman back to-day—he issues to his constituents and others some formidable ex-communications, they have about as much effect on the recipients as the Papal Bulls had on Queen Elizabeth.
Other people are very bold, and there is one right hon. Gentleman who has practically detailed the firing party and selected the wall. I certainly think he 1286 ought to back my Bill. It is a milder measure than that. It does not propose violence to the persons of any one of His Majesty's lieges, whatever his opinions may be. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister himself is not quite so proud and stiff in his attitude as others. He has a genial way with him, and when we ask for a day to discuss these vexed questions he says to us, in effect, "What, want a little chat about these horrid Bolshevists! There is no subject I like to talk about more from time to time, and some of these afternoons we will have a real good talk about it—but for the moment I am too busy." Nobody knows better than hon. Gentlemen opposite that the Prime Minister when he prayed for peace in our time, was absolutely sincere. [Interruption.] I am convinced that he was, but he is not likely to get peace while the Labour movement is in the hands of some hon. Gentlemen whose sentiments are apparent from their interruptions. They do not mean to have peace.
For myself, I am neither a manual labourer nor a capitalist. I suppose I am a member of what hon. Members opposite call the bourgeoisie. We do not want to fight, Heaven knows. The middle class wants peace more than anybody, but if there is going to be a fight, then let us be referees, and let us have these foreign backers out of the ring. It may be that I address myself in vain, not only to hon. Members opposite, but to Members of my own Party. But I do appeal with confidence to a good many colleagues in this House who, I know, share my views, and my views, stated in the briefest way, are these: If there was one clearly discernible wish on the part of the electors at the last General Election it was that we should grapple vigorously with mischief makers at home and abroad, and, if we fail to discharge that duty, I think they may say to us, and I am sure my constituents will say to me, "We gave you the clearest instructions. We provided you with a record majority. Have you done your duty? Have you been rulers, or have you been rabbits?"
§ Sir BASIL PETO
I beg to second the Motion.
I have a certain amount of hesitation, in view of the fact that the 1287 Bill in part deals with a legal subject; but when I came to read it I found it had been drawn up by a lawyer who was singularly lucid, plain and direct in his language; that it showed quite clearly what it wanted, the way it proposed to go about it, and what it meant. That is an enormous advantage to anybody who, like myself, is not a lawyer, and who has spent the greatest part of his life in the industrial business of production in this country. I do not feel it to be inappropriate that a lawyer should move the Bill and that I, as an industrialist producer, should second it. One thing I regret about this Bill is that it is confined to money, or money's-worth, and so forth, which is sent to this country from alien sources to prolong any trade or industrial dispute. Although the Title of the Bill is wide, the text leaves out money sent directly to this country to spread Communism here and directly to promote revolution. I feel this Bill deals with a very definite channel of attack upon British trade and upon Britain itself, and in a few moments I shall be able to show that the purpose of the money is announced quite clearly by the senders; in the classic case last year the money sent to prolong the coal dispute was sent to promote revolution in this country. Therefore, although the Bill does not deal with all the funds sent here from alien sources it does deal with funds sent for that purpose. When trade disputes were confined to disputes about wages, conditions of employment, and the like, in one industry or another, we did not find that foreign countries took such a vast interest in our small domestic affairs that they would contribute over £1,000,000 to prolong a single trade dispute. Now we find they do so. If the real object of these contributions was charity and a sign of goodwill nobody would wish to interfere with them, and they would not have reached a proportion to constitute a menace to the State.
There will be two lines of opposition to this Bill. The first is, that the Bill will prevent perfectly harmless and charitable funds coming into the country; and the second is, that whatever maybe the motive for the fund or whatever the amount of the fund proposed to be stopped by this Bill, the money is sent here for a perfectly legitimate purpose. What has given rise to this Bill, of course, is the money that 1288 was sent here from Russian sources to prolong the coal stoppage last year, and therefore I want to consider the sources of that money and the motive for which it was sent. Was it charity? In the "Soviet Union Monthly" for December, 1926, I have looked up a few figures with regard to the coal industry in that Soviet country. I find that in 1925 there were 146,000 persons engaged in getting coal, and in 1926 there were 169,000. The House will note the rather remarkable fact that there was an increase of 23,000 in the number of persons employed in coal getting in Soviet Russia at the very time when people in this country engaged in the same industry were wholly unemployed. That fact alone shows there may be more than one object for prolonging a dispute in any industry in a foreign country. I also find from that same official publication that the wages of those persons amounted to 50 roubles a month. I have worked out a simple sum, and as the sums contributed from other sources other than through the International of Russia were quite negligible, and assuming that Mr. Cook was disclosing all the facts when he said that he had received £1,150,000 from Russia, if you assume that that was contributed from purely charitable motives by the fellow workers of the miners, we find that the Russian miners must have contributed one-fifth of their weekly wages, which only amounts to 25s. a week, leaving only 20s. to support themselves and their families.
Does anyone believe that for a moment? It is perfectly obvious that that was not the source from which the money came. I can give the House something further with regard to the motives and the real source further which this money came. I will quote from the official report of the proceedings of the Third International published in November last by the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R. I have extracted from that report a passage so pertinent that I should like to read it. The report says:A mighty political upheaval the signs of which are already seen. The internal struggles weaken Britain's external power; with repetitions of workers' struggles of the duration and intensity of the coal strike; with a repetition of sympathetic strikes such as those of May the British bourgeoisie will soon have not enough strength. It will not have enough strength to repress the revolutionary movements of the Colonial 1289 and semi-Colonial peoples. The British already to-day must-endure with sullen rage the boycott of British goods in China.Was there ever such a malignant charity-against this country as that contained in every line of the passage I have quoted? These large sums of money were sent by organisations so inter-locked with the Government of Soviet Russia that all these other names are really aliases, and it does not matter which particular body is referred to. I will give one other reference from that same Report in which occurs the following words:The Communist International will hinder and hamper all efforts at trade revival in this country.That is the motive, and I think in that connection it is worth quoting what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in this House on 8th December last:Why do you suppose that public opinion was not active and forthcoming? Largely because of the fact that this foreign "element has been introduced. There is no doubt that that has darkened the whole course of this dispute, and although I do not grudge the miners the relief they have obtained from Russia, which, I am told, is one-eighth of what they received. from the British guardians, so that when Mr. Cook says, Thank God for Russia!' he ought, by mere arithmetic, to say, Thank God for England eight times more!' I believe it has had the effect of hardening and embittering this matter. The foreign interference has been the main explanation, or at any rate a chief explanation, of why one peace effort after another has been overturned."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December, 1926; eel. 2248, Vol. 200.]That is the view expressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to this subject. I should like to quote one or two passages which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Swindon did not quote from that very enlightening and lengthy answer to a Private Notice Question which was given on the 17th June last in answer to the right hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton) by the Home Secretary in which he said:His Majesty's Government is satisfied—as stated by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on Monday last—that the Soviet Government waived the Regulations for the export of money in order to enable the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions to transmit certain funds to this country in aid of the general strike, and subsequently in aid of the miners' strike. They are further satisfied that for all practical purposes in this connection the Government of Soviet Russia and the various Communist and Trade Union 1290 organisations in that country are instruments of a single controlling authority, and this view is in accord with the statements in the note of the right hon. Gentleman the present Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) which he sent to the Russian Government on the 24th October, 1924."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT, 17th June, 1926; col. 2466, Vol. 196]I have shown that these people say quite candidly that their object is to overthrow the Government of this country, and one of their methods of attempting to do this is by prolonging and embittering trade disputes in this country. If any hon. Members are inclined to doubt the responsibility of the Soviet Government, I only need to refer them to page 411 of the OFFICIAL REPORT of the 14th July, 1926, in which the whole of the constitution of these organisations is set out. We find that the members of these bodies are absolutely interlocked with one another, and they really constitute a single great organisation. We propose by this Bill to prevent money coining into this country with the object of prolonging trade disputes, and we are not dealing with any question of money sent here for a charitable purpose.
As the mover of this Motion said, if now and again under the provisions of this Bill it is impossible not to prevent some small contribution that might be regarded as charitable from coining into this country—personally I do not see that that should ever be so—I would call the attention of the House to the provision of the Bill to the fact that it cannot be put into operation except on an application to the Court. It would not be in the interests of the Home Office to stop charitable contributions, and the Bill would only be put into operation if and when there arises a similar threat of danger to this country, like the money sent by Russia during the coal dispute. I note this Bill is wide enough to stop money being sent, not only from Communist sources or Soviet sources, but also from capitalist sources. It is very noteworthy that, during the long coal stoppage various foreign countries profited enormously by our distress. That is the inevitable result of all trade disputes in any country, and while a strike is going on enormous profits accrue to other countries where there is no similar stoppage. In Russia, as I have pointed out, that resulted 1291 directly in an increase of 23,000 miners, nearly one-sixth of their total mining population, while our own people were out of work. We know that Soviet coal went down the Black Sea to many of our customers in the Mediterranean trade. Enormous advantages also accrued to the German producers of the coal and to the United States producers of coal.
It is not always going to be a question of coal. There are other trades which are more closely competed for by foreign countries. Although I could easily do so, it is perhaps better not to suggest the name of any country or trade, but, supposing that in future disputes in this country it was obviously enormously profitable to any group of producers in a similar trade in any foreign country that a stoppage or, dispute should be accentuated and prolonged and supposing they were to say "This is very good business; let us put up £1,000,000 or so to prolong the strike or stoppage in Great Britain; we shall get £20,000,000 or £100,000,000 hack in trade for every million or two that we send," would that be considered as money sent to this country for the purposes of charity? Would hon. Members accept money from that source? Would they not rather with one voice exclaim "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes?"—which I roughly translate in this connection. They distrust capitalists even when they send a million or so to a Strike Fund. I am convinced that this Bill will not interfere with any charity or with any money sent to this country for any legitimate purpose, but that it will protect the livelihood of our people from a new menace which is now attacking us and will protect us equally whether that money comes to this country from Communist or from capitalist sources.
§ Mr. KELLY
I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words, "upon this day six months."
Since entering this House I have not, even in its worst moments, known such a vicious proposal pot in such a vicious way as that which we have had this morning. The hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks), who introduced the Bill, expressed the opinion that his constituents of Swindon would certainly 1292 approve of his action. I can put him at rest with regard to that matter. I have here a resolution passed by the Swindon Trades Council. [Interruption.] May I remind the hon. Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Mrs. Philipson), who has been applauding—I am afraid without realising what she has been applauding—
§ Mr. KELLY
This Trades Council is representative of at least 13,000 men and women who are employed in the Swindon railway shops as well as other works in the vicinity, and, in the course of this resolution, they express their strongest protest and objection to the anti-trade union legislation to be introduced by their local Member of Parliament. They further ask when he ever consulted his constituents with regard to the principles embodied in the Bill, and they conclude by a demand for the withdrawal of such a measure. I think the hon. and learned Member will learn the opinion of those people in Swindon who earn their livlihood in the railway shops and in the other establishments in that part of the country. In moving and seconding this Bill, the two speakers referred to Russia and never got away from Russia. But this Bill does not deal with Russia as the only foreign place in the world. I take it that the mover intends to designate America and that a contribution coming from Kentucky would be one that 1293 ought to be refused and one in respect of which one ought to apply to the Courts in order to have it forfeited to the Crown. I hope that this will be recognised by those people in America with whom he has associated and who are now being told that when they subscribe in order to help people to have a chance of improving their wages and conditions in this country they are acting against the best interests of this country. There are trade unions in America with which I am in close touch—
§ Mrs. PHILIPSON
Can the hon. Gentleman tell us how much the trade unions of America subscribed to the Miners' Relief Fund?
§ Mr. KELLY
This Bill is not a Bill dealing with the miners' trouble of last year, nor with the general dispute of last year; this is an attack upon the trade unions of this country, and an attack upon every man or woman in this country who attempts to raise their standard of life in a contest with their employers. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] We have had no definition of what is meant by a trade dispute, or an industrial dispute—they use both terms. What is meant by it? Does it mean that, taking, for example, a concern with which I am closely in touch, a concern with which the Seconder and another of the backers of this Bill, and the Home Secretary, are closely concerned, supposing there is a dispute with the Morgan Crucible Company in order to lift up the miserably low wage that is now paid in that particular establishment, in the event of a contribution coming from Belgium—with which country the Seconder, I think, was in close touch during recent years—does he suggest that any contribution coming from Belgium is being contributed against the interests of this country and with a view to over-turning the Government? That is what is stated here; that is what is in the Bill.
I am inclined to say at once in this House that those people who are backing this Bill are afraid that, because of the low wages now paid in most of the industries in this country, there may be some opportunity of raising the standard, and they intend to prevent contributions of any kind from coming to the assistance of those people who 1294 are fighting for improvement. I would ask the Mover what he is going to do with regard to those unions in this country which have branches of their organisations in other countries? Suppose that the Amalgamated Engineering Union, or my own union, the Workers' Union, with its branches in various parts of the world, were to ask for a sum of money to help them in a dispute that there might be in the engineering trade. Does that mean that under this Bill, if it becomes an Act of Parliament, some informer—that type of individual who is despised by anyone with decent feelings—may go to the Courts and apply for the holding-up, not only of that sum of money, but of all the funds of the organisation? There can be only one intention on the part of the promoters of this Bill, and that is to endeavour to weaken whatever strength is possessed by the workpeople in their endeavours to improve their conditions.
§ Mr. BANKS
Would the hon. Gentleman allow me to interrupt him, in order to save one misconception? With regard to branches, he will see that Clause 1 of the Bill saysderived from any foreign State, association or body corporate or incorporate or any national or naturalised subject of or domiciled resident in any foreign State.Therefore, British trade unionists residing in America, or British trade unionists in America, could send their money, but a foreign organisation of American subjects could not. That is really what is meant.
§ Mr. KELLY
I am delighted to have that statement. But in the trade unions in America there are citizens of the United States holding membership cards of British trade unions, and they are excluded by this Bill from contributing to their own trade union for the purpose of improving their conditions.
§ Mr. KELLY
It requires a legal mind to put forward the suggestion. Here is a man or woman who is making a weekly contribution to their trade union, and an attack is made upon the wages and standards of the people engaged in that particular industry or trade. Then it means 1295 that the Movers are putting into the hands of an informer the opportunity of applying to the courts for the holding up of all the funds of that organisation, a part of which is subscribed by the national of the United States, or may be subscribed by the national in any other country, so as to weaken the the people in their endeavour to improve their conditions. What is meant by a trade dispute? Does it include a lockout?
§ Mr. KELLY
It does. Then we know now what they intend. The employers lock us out, and then the hon. and learned Member and his backers go to the courts and say, "The employers have locked you out; now we are going to tie up all your funds, so that the employers can get at you and smash you." That is a trade dispute; the hon. and learned Gentleman's own answer a moment ago made it clear. I can remember some lock-outs in this country. I can remember the lock-out of last year in the mining dispute, and the only construction one can put upon the statement of the hon. and learned Member is that there should have been no contributions from outside, so that the mineowners could have smashed the miners at an earlier date than that at which they managed to close that particular dispute. There can be no other interpretation of the speeches of both the Mover and the Seconder of this Bill. I was interested to note the people who are supposed to know something of industry, and whose names appear on the hack of this Bill. I wish they were all here, because I am convinced that, either from want of knowledge of industrial negotiations—and I know of none of them who have ever appeared in industrial negotiations at any time—
§ Sir B. PETO
As the hon. Member has referred to a business with which I am connected, may I say that the reason why I have never appeared in industrial negotiations is that we have never had a strike for over 50 years?
§ Mr. KELLY
Exactly. When there is a strike, it is because injustice is being perpetrated and inflicted upon the people engaged in that industry. But what is the position that they are taking up with regard to Russia? One would imagine that the people of this country are anxious to have nothing at all to do with Russia or Russian trade. I would advise the hon. Members to come into my constituency, where great it numbers of the people of Rochdale have been able to engage upon full-time work for the last 12 or 18 months on orders for manufactures for Russia. It is because of the absence of a knowledge of conditions and because of prejudice and want of understanding that we have speeches such as those we have listened to to-day from the other side of the House. I am wondering with what criminal association this Bill intends to deal. As the Seconder said, it has been very carefully drawn. It will be an offence toinvite, solicit, procure or accept or knowingly to receive, use or provide funds contributed,or money's worth contributed by any foreign State or any individual or any association in a foreign country, whether directly or by or through an agent or intermediary, for the purpose of inciting, encouraging, promoting, furthering or maintaining any industrial dispute in Great Britain. Any attempt to finance such e dispute by the smallest contribution from a foreign country would give cause for action in court. I wonder whether hon. Members opposite intend that to apply to employers. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I wish the Mover or the Seconder had explained that.
§ Mr. KELLY
There was no explanation. How are you going to deal with the chemical combine and its close association with Germany and other countries on the Continent of Europe? How are you going to deal with the Steel Trade, with its understanding with the Continent? How are you going to deal with the British Aluminium Company, with its 1297 and receiving money from those sources that would enable it to conduct a dispute in this country? There is not a line in this Bill that would deal with employers or with employers' associations, and the Mover and Seconder know that well.
If this Bill is good for Great Britain, I would ask why Northern Ireland is left out. There are some thousands of members of my trade union employed in Northern Ireland. Under this Bill we are to be left to raise any amount of money from any sources outside this country for purposes in Northern Ireland, but not for Great Britain. If it is wrong in Great Britain, why is it right la Northern Ireland? I have wondered why this point is not dealt with. Why has the Mover come to the conclusion that he is prepared to accept an Amendment to the last line of Clause 1, where he speaks ofany purpose or action the reasonable consequence of which is or may be calculated to prolong airy trade or industrial dispute hi Great Britainbeing an offence. What will be the position of the national of another country passing through this country who might speak support of a dispute here? I can imagine some of my Belgian friends am happy to say that I possess friends in most of the towns in Belgium, for whom. I have had to fight in order to help them to lift up their conditions. If some of them happen to be is this country, and they subscribe to any of our disputes, does that mean that under this Bill the whole of our funds could be tied up? There is nothing in this Measure, so far as I can see, except that it intends, if it can, to tie up the whole of our funds and to prevent us from conducting any dispute on behalf of our people. Then, certain penalties are to be imposed.
§ Mr. BANKS
I think the hon. Member is somewhat confused. There is nothing in the Bill which would enable the Court to tie up the whole funds of a trade union because some foreigner had contributed. Clause 3 saysthe Court shall be satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable ground to suspect that such funds have so originated and are intended for such purposes.1298 Then that part of the funds, whatever it may be alleged to be, may be tied up, if it was 2s. 6d., that is the amount which the Court would tie up.
Some years ago my union sent £10,000 to the German railwaymen who were in difficulties. If the Germans in reciprocation send something to help us in a dispute, would that be an offence under this Bill?
§ Mr. BANKS
Not if it were repayment of money. You say that your Union sent money to the Germans at a time when they were in trouble. The Bill, in Clause 5, provides that'funds' means all forms of money, securities for money credit and money's worth.The word "credit" comes in because it is quite obvious that moneys contributed might very easily escape by being arranged as a loan.
We helped the German railwaymen during a certain stage of their difficulties which, incidentally, the German Government appreciated and did not resent. Let us look a few years hence and, say, the Germans reciprocate that by a grant to the railwaymen here. Would that be an offence?
§ Mr. BANKS
Unless it was a specific sum in repayment, it would be a grant and it would come under this Bill. I understood that the right hon. Gentleman was talking about the repayment of a loan. Unless it was a repayment of a loan, it would be a contribution from a foreign source and would be an offence under this Bill; but the repayment of a loan would not be an offence, nor would returns from money invested abroad by British trade unions. They can invest in any security or companies abroad.
§ Mr. KELLY
I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) intervened, because I remember being locked out by the Engineering Employers' Federation during 1897—I was working in Lancashire at the time—because the engineers of London desired to have an eight hours day. During that time our German friends and others subscribed to our funds. We appreciated that, we were thankful for it, and we have reciprocated by helping them in their endeavours to lift up their conditions, and we intend to do so.
§ Mr. KELLY
We intend to subscribe to disputes in foreign countries where they are for the upliftment of the people. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite laugh. I am not referring to the Mover of the Second Reading. When we are in conference fighting for wages and conditions, the employers in most industries in this country tell us that our duty before we attempt to lift our own standard is to do our utmost to lift the standards of the people in other countries, because of the competition. We are subscribing to lift up those conditions so that we may have a chance of raising the standard of conditions in this country. So narrow is the view of those backing this Bill that they endeavour to keep us from having any assistance. When we 'are told as to the penalties to be imposed, this seems to be a very serious offence when the Bill asks not only for a fine of £100 but that there may be 12 months' imprisonment given for raising money to help men and women to get a decent wage. Imagine the engineering trade, or the moulding trade, that the Seconder of the Bill ought to know something about, with wages ranging between 37s. and 43s. for a labourer. That is a wage which means starvation and semi-starvation, and if a contribution is received from the United States, or if a. name in the list of contributors happens to strike Members opposite as being a foreign one, they may go to the Court and have us tied up. In addition there is one Clause which was not described by the hon. and learned Gentleman. He did not tell us that if anyone committed an offence in another country he may be dealt with in this country. Does he know of any offence committed in another country which can be tried in this country?
§ Mr. BANKS
The Clause to which the hon. Member refers is Clause 2 (2). It only says:Any person who aids, abets, counsels, procures or is accessory to any offence against this Act, or any Act without Great Britain.1300 It only means that if anyone here abets or counsels something that is committed abroad he may be tried as an offender here.
§ Mr. KELLY
The hon. Gentleman is placing trade unionists in this country who gather contributions in order to help them in their fight against miserable conditions in the same category as those who are convicted of high treason. There is only one other offence that can be dealt with in this way and that is piracy. Pirates are the only people who can be dealt with in this way, and this is the opinion held by the hon. Member for Swindon of trade unionists whom he is supposed to represent in this House. The same applies to fie hon. Member for Barnstaple, whose constituents, with whom I have some close connection, will demand some explanation of the opinions held by the hon. Member. Then there is the suggestion that not only money but money's worth—that if food is sent to this country in order to help us in oar trade disputes, that may be forfeited. I am not going to sneak of charity. I cannot understand the terms used by the Mover and Seconder when they speak of "malignant charity." I do not understand the phrase. They may be masters of English, but malignant charity seems to be a contradiction of terms—
§ Sir B. PETO
It is like the phrase the Home Secretary used in the same connection. He called it "professed eleemosynary gifts."
§ Mr. KELLY
I have come to the conclusion that the only reason for introducing this Bill at this time is because it is well known that it is the endeavour of men and women of this country to raise their standard in the near future. They are not going 1,o rest content with the conditions they are now working under, and an endeavour is now being made by hon. Members opposite to tie them up in such a way that it will be more difficult for them to move, and it will be the easier for the employers in their endeavours to crush them. This is the method of pea good will and frankness in industry. This is the way they show it. If hon. Members opposite have their way it is not going to be peace, it is going to be war in industry, and all to the disadvantage of this country. The Bill is a vicious one, and 1301 it shows a mind that one finds it difficult to understand which would introduce such a Bill at such a time.
§ Mr. ROSE
I beg to second the Amendment.
If I had not outgrown the possibility of being surprised at anything, this extraordinary measure would have caused me very considerable perplexity. There was a saying when I was much younger that is not altogether inappropriate in this connection. When any person was confronted with an amazing proposition he would say, "Well, that bangs Banagher." I do not know in the least who Banagher was, or why he was banged, or what was the result of his being banged, but. I know the phrase "banging Banagher" was supposed to express in some way the superlative or the abysmal as the case might be. I should say that, as an example of legal fatuity, the measure we have now under contemplation bangs Banagher, and, as the Americans would say, "and then some." I do not know whether we are to take it as a manifestation of legalism incarnate, parading through the mouth of a modern Dogberry who has a grievance that certain things have not been written that ought to have been. When we come to analyse not only the Bill hut the reasons that appear to have actuated the Movers, a somewhat interesting position arises. I take it that the inspiration for the Bill is that Soviet Russia sent £1,000,000 to this country to prolong the coal dispute. Let us have a look at that. There were a million colliers out, and they had about 3,000,000 dependants, so that there were presumably 4,000,000 hungry mouths to be fed in some way by a contribution of £1,000,000. That is five shillings apiece, spread over 28 weeks. That is rather less, if you work it out, than a farthing per day per person. I want to know what sort of effect, practical or moral—I suppose it was the moral effect of this farthing—this could have had? The hon. and learned Gentleman may be able to estimate more accurately than I can the precise moral value of a farthing. I do not know whether he was ever briefed at that price, hut I have no doubt that at some time in his legal career he has secured that amount' for one of his clients.
1302 It is somewhat peculiar that the hon. and learned Member has overlooked something in framing this Bill. I do not know whether it is owing to the enormous anxiety which he must have undergone in compiling it. I am reminded of an ancient fable, the one about the mountain that was in labour, and, after many paroxyms, was delivered of a mouse. If the birth of a mouse would so affect a mountain, I must ask the House to try to consider the frightful pangs of mental parturition of the hon. and learned Member in giving birth to this prodigy. I do not know whether it is assumed that because I am seconding this Amendment, it means that I have, in some sort of way, acquired some sympathy with Bolshevism or Communism, or with strikes or lock-outs. Let me say that I have for 30 years past stood almost alone amongst my fellows as a vehement and uncompromising denouncer of strikes and lock-outs, and of industrial revolution in all its forms, and under all its masquerading disguises. That being so, I should warmly welcome any Bill that really blistered Communism. That is why I am opposing this—it will not hurt it a bit.
Perhaps that is the principal reason I have for intervening in this Debate, because it is not my usual practice. I do not as a rule trouble this House with much speaking. In order to pass this piece of spiteful legislation, the backers of this Bill are likely to hurt their own friends. For instance, there is an association, not unfamiliar to Members on that side of the House, called the Licensed Victuallers. Supposing the Licensed Victuallers of Great Britain say that they will not draw another pint of beer until both hon. Members for Dundee solemnly agree to open all their public meetings by leading communal singing of the Frothblowers' Anthem. There may be sonic divergence of opinion as to whether that would be a laudable object, but as to it being perfectly legal, there can he no doubt; they have a right to sell their own beer or not. Now supposing the amalgamated bootleggers of New York and ten miles out decide that they will assist their British brethren by monetary contributions, would you confiscate, or sequestrate—or whatever happens to be the legal phrase for pinching—so pious an offertory as that? The 1303 hon. and learned Friend and his backers know perfectly well that if such a thing came to pass, they would endeavour to find a hole big enough in the. Act—if this Bill becomes an Act—to get all their friends through, and we should not be able to find a hole big enough to see through.
I am not objecting to the broad principle underlying this Bill, if you can find it I strongly dislike industrial disturbance of any sort or kind, but how on earth such a trumpery contribution can help or injure, retard or prolong an industrial dispute in this country, passes my comprehension absolutely. One is almost ashamed to get upon one's feet to oppose so puny a thing, and it is very difficult to find words—Parliamentary words, that is—which can clearly express one's sentiments about it. I do not know what the House would think of itself if it passed a Measure like this. It does not matter what the country thinks about it—that is another consideration altogether. But we ourselves, surely, would not feel that high sense of self-respect and pride in this great institution if we endorsed a Measure of this kind.
I do not suppose it is much use arguing with the hon. and learned Member and his friends, or appealing to them to withdraw this Bill, but, perhaps, I may be allowed to suggest to the Government that, if they want to maintain the character of responsibility, they will be unwise if they put Government influence at the back of this exceedingly amateurish and ill-considered proposal. Naturally, they will make their own choice, and I do not suppose any advice from this particular quarter of the House is likely to affect. their sentiments very profoundly. I am speaking from a more or less detached point of view. Although I am sitting here, I am not all here. This is one of the things—and admit there are few things—on which I and those sitting on these benches with me are wholeheartedly at one, and that is why I so willingly associate myself with the activities of the Labour party this afternoon. The hon. and learned Member for Swindon, if he cannot do better than this had better give it up. [An HON. MEMBER: "Brief him."] I do not think I would; it is according to 1304 what is at stake. Perhaps I could not better conclude than by quoting from the prototype of the hon. and learned Member. I refer to the immortal and illustrious Sergeant BuzzfuzzChops, gracious heavens, and tomato sauce! Gentlemen of the jury, are the tender susceptibilities of a gentle and confiding House of Commons to be frittered away by such shallow artifices as these?
§ Mr. CYRIL LLOYD
I want to occupy the time of the House for just a few moments in an endeavour to look at this Bill and the causes which underlie it from the point of view of a serious industrialist. The first thing I want to say in that relation is, that I think this Bill transgresses what is the uppermost principle in the minds of all people seriously engaged in industry—that is, that they resent the interference of politics and the politicians in industry, and their one ambition and hope—a hope which I am afraid is very often sadly suppressed—is to see industry as clear as possible from any form of political interference. This Bill does transgress that principle because it does introduce yet another political interference in industrial disputes.
§ Sir B. PETO
May I answer that? Industrialists do not object to this Bill. It is to prevent foreign political interference.
§ Mr. LLOYD
I am glad to have that specific definition from the Seconder of the Bill, but I do not think that it changes my mind at all. I do not think that industrialists in this country, as a body, welcome foreign interference in industry any more than they do interference from home political sources. In that respect I want to make myself quite clear because I think the fundamental mistake in this Bill is that it is directed to industrial disputes and not to such operations as a general strike which has no true relation to a trade dispute at all. Foreign interference, foreign organisation and foreign propaganda, or any plot against the State, any attack on the State or the community such as a general strike, is a matter which is entirely apart from industry; it is a matter with which Government must concern themselves and which I think in our own case may safely be left to our own Government. But industrial dispute§ can be quite clearly defined, I think, as distinct from general 1305 strikes and such like political and revolutionary aims, and as far as industrial disputes are concerned, I believe that the mind of employers is not at all in the direction of endeavouring to win any industrial dispute simply through poverty or the attack of hardship or hunger. The employers of this country are not concerned in, or desirous of winning any dispute in that way. Their aim is to secure the solution of all disputes by conciliation. They object to strikes or lockouts. They resent the propagation of such strikes, whether from the benches opposite or from foreign sources, equally. But they demand that if the sources from which those strikes come the power by which the conciliatory spirit is killed or suppressed among the workmen with whom they have to negotiate—they demand that that power and that anti-conciliatory aim and anti-conciliatory conspiracy—if I might put it in that way—shall be suppressed by Government and not through some secondary means such as the suppression of contributions, but directly by the suppression of disloyal and revolutionary conspiracies of every kind in this country.
I think, therefore, that in this respect my hon. and learned Friend who has brought in this Bill is aiming at the wrong target. The employers in that country, as I say, dislike all political interference, and, I think I may say, have little faith in either one party or another. If I may draw a parallel simile from nearly the same source as my hon. and learned Friend, I think the employers stand to the parties in this House very much in the same relation as the oysters to the Walrus and the Carpenter. If industry is to continue to be battered by the constant impact of political action from one side or the other, we shall never get that peace at which we are aiming. The only hope for industry is that the political interference can be gradually suppressed.
I do not think I shall be out of order if I say a word on the possibility of such alternative action as might be taken to deal with the undoubted threat to industry which is represented by the insidious conspiracy of Communist and other revolutionary agitators, most of whom are outside this House, but some of whom are in close touch with Members 1306 on the benches opposite and receive considerable, although suppressed, support from them. There is no doubt that, if such disorganisation of industry as occurred last year should be repeated under the influence of such agitators, industry will be so damaged that the possibilities of social progress, of greater prosperity and of increasing the pay of the workers will be effectively damaged, not by the employers, not by any industrial action from the employing side, but by revolutionary colleagues of the trade unionists of this country.
The cure can only come, mainly, from the ejection and rejection of that revolutionary element from trade union circles, and I am very glad to see throughout the country a gradual move to that end. The leaven is working. Those trade unions which are most revolutionary are, I think, most decaying, and are most likely to come quickly to complete impotence. On the other hand, those trade unions which, realising the danger as it was exposed to them last year, understanding that it was just bad leadership and leadership interested not in the trade unionist or his welfare, but in their selfish aims of political power—realising that that had got them into distress, many of the best unions are setting their house in order. I belong to a. trade which, through intimate negotiation between masters and men, has had comparative peace, and practically no strife for nearly 50 years, and it was with a, sense of real disaster that the iron and steel trade found itself last spring faced with a complete breach of contract, a complete breach of the understanding, which had been set up in that industry by mutual accord, as the result of the action of an extraneous body, and it was particularly unfortunate that at the head of that extraneous body there was a man who was connected with that trade itself. We hope that will never recur, but nothing but time can mend the immense damage which was done to the unions in that trade and other great unions, particularly to that in which the constituents of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) are concerned. Why did they suffer? Simply because the trade union governance has drifted into the hands and control of a party in this House.
1307 Let me put it from an employer's point of view when I emphasise the fact that employers are at this present time in a genuine difficulty in this matter. Employers' associations have now, and will have, nothing to do with political action. They are subservient to no party, and it is scarcely too much to say that they regard all parties with equal suspicion. They want to find someone with whom they can negotiate who is equally free from political bias, and they would like to see the Government demanding also as a negotiating body a body which was also free from any political adhesion. But they have not got it. To-day all negotiations in industrial matters are masked and damaged and made less friendly by the fact that employers know and realise that, however friendly their relations with a specific trade union may he, that trade union has behind it, and controlling it or trying to control it, a revolutionary, disloyal body of men who are seeking, not the welfare of industry in this country but the destruction of the whole machinery by which that industry is carried on and maintained. This is indeed the problem for which the employers of this country desire the attention of the Government. Their feeling, I believe, is that much can be done by the suppression of these disloyal and revolutionary conspirators whose one aim is to sow discord and destroy the fabric of industry in order to establish themselves as political bosses. We have seen in Russia a body of alien Jews seize the reins of government and carry it on to their own great personal benefit and to the entire destruction of the welfare and prosperity of the working men of that country. They are egged on and inspired by a desire to obtain the same tyrannical control of the political organisation of this country. By every means in their power they are striving ever to control the trade unions; but they never tell the members of the trade unions what the inevitable concomitant of their action must be, namely, the degrading of the members of the trade unions to a level similar to that which obtains in Russia.
That is the danger which the employers of this country desire to see fought, but they want to get at the men who are carrying on that conspiracy. They do not want to fight it by removing the 1308 possibility of support in an industrial dispute for the poor misguided and misled trade unionists who have been induced to strike for these revolutionary and political purposes. It does not seem to be logical, considering that we as a nation ourselves accept the responsibility of maintaining strikers, that there should be any interference with voluntary contributions for the same purpose, however offensive the source from which those contributions come, or however malignant the intentions with which those contributions are made. The poor deluded striker is not the true objective for action to suppress this revolutionary tendency. It is the men who promote revolutionary action whom we want to see restrained. If this Bill does nothing else, I hope it will draw the attention of the Government to the intense determination, not only of employers but of trade unionists throughout the country, that these agitators, these revolutionary organisers, should be restrained from dragging the trade unions down to the state of poverty and helplessness which many of them are rapidly reaching. I f it does that, it will have done some good. Trade unionists will realise that, however much the contributions of foreigners may have helped in recent strikes—and I think that help was a mere drop in the bucket and did not relieve the strikers substantially—the result of that strike and of all strikes must he an enormous weakening of the trade unions themselves. It must mean an enormous weakening of the financial power of the unions, and I can assure them, from the employers' side, that there is an equal weakening in the industrial body of the power to pay high wages and of the capacity to develop trade in this country, which is an equal blow to the interests of the trade unions. I am sorry to find myself in this matter at variance with my hon. and learned Friend, but, for the reasons I have stated. I do not feel that this Bill offers any hope towards the solution of the industrial difficulties with which we are faced, and, therefore, it will not be possible for me to support it.
§ Mr. PURCELL
I am hopeful that this Bill will not pass, because there may be some danger of making it retrospective, and that would place me in a very diffi- 1309 cult position, in view of the fact that I was one of those who did a great deal last year in diverting money from the Continent to Great Britain. But I want to oppose the Bill mainly because of what the supporters of it have said so far. It will be quite easy for the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) to move a Bill of this kind, as I understand it will not affect him very considerably, because he is likely not to be in the next House, and, judging by appearances, that will also apply to his Seconder, who will have a very difficult task in getting back here. Therefore, it is easy to propose a Measure of this kind, because not much responsibility is expected from them towards their constituents. But even in their cases some of this foreign money has on occasions gone into their areas. I remember that in Barnstaple, for example, in 1919 I had the honour of assisting considerably in money being gathered from abroad, which was partly the means of uplifting the very poor rates of pay of certain employés in that district towards a more respectable rate. In Barnstaple in 1913 the scale for cabinet makers was 6d. an hour, but to-day it is 1s. 6d., which is a great advance, and a good deal of that was assisted by contributions of this description.
The trouble seems to be with a Bill of this kind that its administration is likely to cause considerable difficulty. I assume that the Bill is a good one if it can be put into operation and bring the relief which hon. Members opposite desire, but, personally, I do not think it will do anything of the kind. The whole thing is an attack upon Russian contributions. We are always told that the Russian contributions amounted to £1,100,000, which is pretty well the sum contributed by the Russian workpeople, but the fact is that the Russian trade union movement today has a registered membership, through the various organisations affiliated inside the Federated Soviet Republic of roughly 9,200,000. The total contribution, therefore, at somewhere about £1,000,000, was, roughly speaking, 2s. per head. We could take you quite easily to other countries in Europe, whose contribution per head was much higher. Sweden, for example, works out at 3s. 6d. per head of the trade union membership, and if I come down to little Latvia, which is in 1310 great difficulties now, we got a contribution of no less than 4s. 10d. per member, and similarly with regard to other countries. We have places like Czechoslovakia and Denmark, and, of course, we have Germany, which contributed not only to the miners' lock-out fund, but in a degree to that of the general strike, and, even when the general strike was over, it continued to assist not merely by way of direct contributions in the way of gifts, but it subscribed to a very large extent in loans. Speaking from memory, I think that, up to December 31st, the amount of loans from Germany alone would be about £40,000.
There are large numbers of others who contributed through the International Secretariats, such as the International Cotton Operatives' Secretariat, the International Mine Workers' Secretariat, the International Wood Workers' Secretariat, every one of them, including the International Metal Workers, from countries outside Russia, and they sent nearly £1,000,000 in all, one way and another. The total could easily be got. I have not got complete figures, but in any ease, through our own body, not through the Miners' Federation, the sum was considerably over £250,000, exclusive of all the sums that came through the various international secretariats. In my own constituency, when the so-called Russian money was distributed, every recipient of Poor Law relief had the amount he received in Russian money deducted, and that was done generally, so that really it was in relief of the rates, this Russian money. Here you have a very good instance of where our friends, our good comrades abroad, our fellow-workers abroad, the men and women who assisted us to a very considerable degree, and made a great contribution to international working-class solidarity, contributed in such a way that it actually helped the ratepaying class in this country, and I think you ought to move them a vote of thanks.
I do not resent this Bill or your speeches. I glory in them. I think we ought to appoint you as honorary organisers of the trade unions throughout the country. You will render us a great service, and we want all the help we can get. While we will take help in this regard, we are bound to say that the British trade union movement, with 1311 its wonderful powers of recuperation, will recover pretty early, but if you can help us by bringing in handy trade union legislation of this kind, we shall welcome it, and we shall use it for the purpose of showing the attitude of our friends of the Capitalist class and their political supporters in the House of Commons towards us. It is all very well to complain about this money coming from abroad. Speaking personally, as a very old member of the trade union movement—it is some 36 years now since I came out of my apprenticeship—I have always agreed that we should, whenever we are attacking the employers or the employers are attacking us, take the attitude that it does not matter to us where the money comes from. If the money will help us to survive in the struggle and to succeed in the struggle, I am in favour of using every manner of means for the purpose of seeing that our people are fed and clothed during the course of a dispute. I am in favour of us getting what help we can from any part of the world. I am unconcerned as to where it comes from, and in that respect I think we are taking a leaf out of the book of our masters.
After all, it is all very well to complain about this or that man's attitude and to talk about the Soviet Republic bodies, the Council of Commissaries and so on, but could we not just as easily give you a list of the international companies in which Members opposite are interested? Could we not say: "How many of you are interested in what was the chief of the sweated and brutal methods that were employed in Mexico in connection with the workers out there? How well some of our Friends in opposition to us have profited thereby! Do you forget, for example, that it was a British lawyer who led the first strike of cotton operatives in Shanghai, who was so convinced of their terrible plight? If you look up the records, you will find that it was another British lawyer who, in 1925, did similarly. He was satisfied that the wages of these cotton operatives in Shanghai were so low that he led a dispute and tried to get new agreements for them for the purpose of improving their conditions and bringing about peace in industry. It was the employers who violated those agreements, for they would not even pay the 2¾d. a day for eight- 1312 years' old children under the agreements. The Chinese rickshaw men actually sent £25 to this country during the miners' lock-out. They are the people who carry the people who do not want to walk about, and they are kicked if they do not go fast enough. They tell us haw, if you go to Japan and try the same thing on a Japanese, they give you a Chinese holiday by getting a month in a Japanese gaol. That is the beauty of this international connection between us, that we are getting to know more about these things.
This question is not new. It is very old now. In 1889 money was sent to this country to help the dockers. Was there any complaint against that? It came from Australia in that case. In 1897, as the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) has said, money came from various parts of the world at the time when the engineering employers locked out the engineers in the great metal industry. The same applied in the 1898 and 1902 lock-outs in this country in various industries, and again in 1919, almost immediately after the War. All that has happened in this case is that there has been a tremendous expansion in the amounts contributed, which means that as each five years or ten years have gone by, we have got a very big increase in contributions, and that will continue. We also have contributed. We contributed, owing to the terrible inflation in Germany and the terrible conditions under which their workers were being forced because of the constant rampages in the currencies, a considerable sum to Germany. In the case of the German newspapers, we helped them to keep their newspapers going to some extend. I forget the amount, but our organisations sent them, I think, £1,000, and others sent similar sums. Is it, not natural that, when something of this kind occurs here, they should return that fraternal gift in some form or another? So far as contributions from foreign countries are concerned, the amount from abroad has always been far greater than we ourselves have contributed to them. I do not say that to our discredit, except in the sense that we have not developed so much the idea of internationalism as they have on the Continent. We have the Channel between us, while they have simply an ordinary border or a railway to separate them, so 1313 that it is easier there. I do not say that that is the reason, but the fact is that the larger sums have come from foreign countries.
I think that that will continue. I do not think you can stop it. I agree that in the case of getting notice through banks, as on the 4th of May last, when the amount from the Soviet trade unions was notified here, you can stop it. But I can see difficulties, such as in the sending of food ships. They tried to stop our food ship that we sent to Hungary, but the dock workers at the ports agreed that in any case, legally or illegally, they would unload the stuff, and the railwaymen agreed to transport it. It was the same in regard to the food ships that we sent to Dublin. We should have forced the unloading and distribution of the cargoes if necessary. We should have taken our courage into our hands. It would be extremely difficult to prevent that kind of thing.
Let us look at the matter from another point of view. It is all very well complaining about these contributions from abroad and saying that they are for revolutionary purposes. I say frankly that I do not think you will ever get a revolution in this country by contributions from other countries. It is the most foolish conception of our own history and of all that we know about our own people in the various workshops and in the branches of trade unions. It is absurd to think that we could get five, 10, 15, 20 or 100 million pounds from someone abroad for running a revolution in this country. The thing does not admit of consideration. When the people of this country do want a great change they will see that they get it. They will have a terrific struggle for it, but so far as the making up of their mind is concerned, at the present time they have a majority of votes, and they can change the whole face of this country if they will. While they have got that, I do not think we should gather money from abroad. It would be much cheaper to do it ourselves.
The workers of various countries have got it into their heads that British capitalism and capitalistic interests have to a large extent made things very difficult for their neighbours. Take the case of the Central American continent, 1314 Mexico, Venezuela, and places like the nitrate area. British bankers have urged that it would be better to invest in Chilean nitrate than in our Corporation stock. Why is that so? In that part of the world people have been shot for forming trade unions. There was trouble because they presented plans for the improvement of the compounds of British companies. In Mexico, under the Peon system, where the money was company money, it could be spent only on the company's premises and in the company's stores. But these workers have got into touch with the British movement. They are organising in the South American States far more rapidly than the workers were organised in any other country. There is nothing secret about our list of receipts. Every penny that we have got from any part of the world is published in the broad light of day. There are contributions from the backwoods of Canada and Australia and various other places. There are Scandinavian, Chinese and Indian contributions. The Indian railway men, who are again out on strike, have even sent their contribution. What does it all mean? That they are tired of the pressure being put on the workers in those parts to force down still further their wages and working conditions.
You charge us, when we have a dispute in this country, with injuring trade. I think that is a very short-sighted view of things. Think for one moment. Bad as we are, if we are able to assist these people to improve their wages and conditions, would it not be better for the British worker? The British worker has seen that; so also has the Chinese worker and the Russian worker. The Russian worker knows that no matter what the religion or the calling or the country of other workers, there is an affinity between all workers so far as wages and hours and general conditions are concerned. No shouting about the use of Russian Government money will get you out of the difficulty. The Russians can easily reply to you, "What about your use of British money on Denikin and Wrangel and Koltchak and all the rest of them, to the tune of £100,000,000?" My wonder has always been, when I have been to Russia, that they have not hunted me out of some places when I have heard of some of the things that our people have done. It is 1315 a wonderful tribute to their tolerance that British visitors are received as they are.
You may try to limit our powers so far as money from other countries is concerned, but I do not think you will stop it. You may clap a few men into gaol and arrest others and try them, and you may get the funds of trade unions tied up. But that will not get you out of the difficulty. Your forefathers tried that on the trade union movement in 1824, and long before that. They tried to prevent men working for a code of wages and conditions that would have been of uniform value to all. The "Times" newspaper itself was involved in a stoppage, as were other newspapers. I do not think you will affect the position one iota, but I do believe that you will encourage the working classes throughout the world to organise on an international scale. This exchange of contributions is the first step towards international working-class organisation. I welcome this discussion. I hope we shall have the same opportunities for debate when the proposed Bill, dealing with trade union law, comes before us. I hope that then we shall not be led into a maze of legal formalities and terms. I hope we shall put forward the plain fact that the trade union movement hopes one day to be in the forefront of the administration of industry in this country, when it will administer it for the whole of the people and not for a special class as such.
§ Lieut.-Colonel JAMES
I cannot claim to stand here as an industrialist, I cannot claim that the constituency I represent is a large industrial one, and I cannot pretend to have any sympathy with the Bolshevist and Communist movement, any more than I can claim to sympathise with the views expressed by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Purcell) or the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly), both of whom opposed this Bill and both of whom stated, in effect, that industrial disputes and strikes are good for industry and workmen. I cannot associate myself with them, but, at the same time, I oppose this Bill. I do not hesitate to say that, fundamentally, to me as an Englishman, it is extremely repugnant that foreigners should interfere in our domestic manage- 1316 ment of our social, religious and political life. Alien interference is utterly abhorrent to the great bulk of Englishmen and Englishwomen. We like to manage our own affairs by ourselves for our own people, and not have other people doing it for us. One of my great objections to this Bill is that it makes a discrimination against industry—or trade unions, if you like to put it like that—and omits to deal with a large number of other alien organisations which work, perhaps for good, perhaps for evil, in the promotion of political, social and religious causes in which their alien promoters have an excessive interest. I would like to see all those people debarred from interfering in our domestic affairs.
As is well known, there are a large number of people who dislike the irruption of the Latter Day Saints, an alien organisation with alien ideas, and others who view Mr. Johnson's periodical visits to this country with considerable aversion. Again, when we have had disputes on fiscal questions, others have disliked the machinery which appeared to get into motion at once in certain centres of public opinion, and the extraordinarily speedy manufacture of propaganda in support of a particular cause. I would like to see all those things inquired into and, if possible, suppressed. Let us manage our own affairs after our own fashion, even if we do not do it so well as the internationalists would have us believe we should if they were conducted under international principles.
I oppose this Bill, as I say, because it discriminates, and unfairly discriminates, against the poor, weak, shattered trade unions. We know they have lost considerable sums during the last 12 months, and this discrimination unquestionably will not tend to peace, cannot tend to peace. If the legislation applied to all subjects, well and good, the Party opposite could not complain; and I should not complain if this were a universal Bill to deal with the alien propaganda going on; but this Measure is not universal, and for that reason I am against it. There are one or two points of a minor character which arise. It is no use saying of the money sent over from Russia, as did one hon. Member, that it amounts to, say, £1,000,000, and that with so many strikers that amounts to so much per head; and I am surprised the hon. Mem- 1317 ber for the Forest of Dean did not elaborate that point a little more. It is an open secret that at the present time there are many propagandists in this country receiving money on behalf of certain causes, for which I, personally, do not care, who are getting very considerable weekly wages, much more than they are worth at either face value or any other value, and that the money has been contributed mainly for subversive purposes. Is that in the £1,000,000 or is that something fresh? Where did the funds come from for the "circus"? We all remember the "circus." Someone had to pay for it; the money did not come out of their own pockets. I very much regret that the Measure has been brought forward, and for the reasons I have given I should welcome a proposal of the Government to set on foot an inquiry to see if it were not possible, with fairness all round, to prohibit alien interference in our domestic affairs.
§ Mr. SEXTON
After the scathing exposure, ridicule and satire from my hon. Friend the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Rose), there are few things left to be said in this debate. After all, his is the only way to treat a Measure like this. I suggest that the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) never had any serious intention in his innermost mind when introducing the Bill. I suggest to him that the whole thing smacks of the midnight oil, and that his whole object was to introduce into this House some little bit of humour, or what he regards as humour, in order to vary the grey monotony of our proceedings. I can visualise him standing before his looking-glass, strutting about, framing Gilbertian situations, accumulating the quotations from the dramatic authors to which he treated us in his speech, and flattering himself that at least he would be able to add to the joy of nations. Such language and such attitudes may tickle a jury's taste, but they are never accepted here. While the hon. and learned Member was addressing the House I had only to close my eyes to visualise not the floor of the House of Commons but the sawdust arena; and it needed only the crack of the ringmaster's whip and an occasional "Here we are again!" from the hon. and learned Member to complete the illusion.
1318 The House of Commons shows considerable patience, but there is a limit even to my endurance, and I sometimes feel inclined to indulge in language which is not particularly Parliamentary. This is neither a comic opera nor a circus arena. It is a serious assembly for the purpose of considering serious matters which affect members of the community irrespective of whether they are employers or workmen, and a Bill like this is not going to help in this direction. There is a serious side to this Bill and although the hon. and learned Member did not intend it, unconsciously he touched on the serious side. The first Clause of the Bill tells us that it shall be an offence forany person, association or body corporate or incorporate to invite, solicit, procure or accept or knowingly to receive, use or provide funds contributed by or proceeding from any foreign State, association or body—for the purpose of continuing an industrial dispute. What is the moral? It is that workmen suffering in a dispute make up their minds to refuse to observe the conditions which are to be enforced upon them by this Clause. The principle of that Clause is that, no matter what the conditions are, or however unjust they may be, all the employers have to do—and they are combined internationally—is to sit down and impose any conditions, no matter how cruel or unjust, until the funds of the men are exhausted. Not only that, but they use their international finance to achieve their ends as they did in the last dispute by importing material from foreign countries in order to further crush and reduce the wages of the men.
The hon. and learned Gentleman who has introduced this Bill, and those who think with him, expect us to sit quietly and take the thing lying down. Personally, I am one of those who hate strikes, and I do not think there is a responsible trade union official in this country who would not say the same thing. Strikes are only a last resort, but the methods proposed by this Bill would put into the hands of the employers powers of such a character that no strike would ever have a chance of being successful, if, indeed, any strikes can be called successful. There never was, in my opinion, a successful strike. A strike may bring about a temporary 1319 gain to one party or the other, but there is always, in the end, a big permanent loss. If the hon. and learned Member who has introduced this Bill would only devote himself to the only way to really cure a strike, it would conduce very much more to peace in disputes than the introduction of Measures of this kind. Is this Bill likely to produce industrial peace? The more attempts of this kind are made, the more industrial war is likely to prevail.
The Mover of this Measure apparently thinks that it will only affect money coming from Russia, but I would remind him that it will affect all international trade union organisations. As a matter of fact it would have prevented my own organisation accepting money from other unions during the big strike of 1889 and 1890. It would have prevented us accepting money from our international branches abroad, and it would so tie up the trade union weapon that it would become absolutely useless. I think we may fairly asume that this proposal is only another of the side-shows in the big circus that is eventually coming along. I am waiting to see what the attitude of the Government is going to be towards this absurd Measure. I hope the Government will recognise that this Bill is going to have the opposite effect to that which is intended. Hon. Members opposite in and out of season are continually reminding us of the fact that trade union organisations are being gerrymandered by the Communists. I would remind them that we have always believed that negotiation is better than industrial war. The right hon. Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond) in a speech the other day asked:What is the use of talking about negotiating with Mr. Chen, because in order to negotiate successfully you must have a force behind you to influence the negotiations.Is that to be the attitude towards trade unionism to-day? We want our working people to be able to live in peace and comfort, and we do not want to simply act as a sick nurse towards them. We want to keep their bodies healthy mentally and physically, and that is the object of trade unionism. I can assure hon. Members that we are not going to sit down under the conditions of this Bill, even if you pass it. The hon. and learned 1320 Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) is fond of quotations, and I would like to suggest one of my own as follows:I love to hear of freedom's causeFor birds of my own feather,And mean to fight with beak and claws,That we may flock together.But for working class old freedom's causeWe'd better, perhaps, keep off itIn case that it might interfereWith sweating and with profit.
§ Sir PARK GOFF
It is obvious that there are three schools of thought in this House, firstly those who think the Bill goes too far; secondly those who think it does not go far enough; and thirdly, those who think it does not go at all. I place in the last category the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Rose). I listened to his speech with great interest, for he spoke with that light touch which was quite refreshing, in fact I was rather perplexed and thought he might have made a, mistake and imagined that he was speaking in regard to the Bill of the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Reiner) on licensing. If this Bill does nothing else, it deals with one great grievance in the country. At the last election we won that election, I will not say entirely but to a very great extent on the Russian menace, and on the promises made at the time about dealing with the Russian menace. These promises up to now have not matured, and this Bill, I hope, shows a certain feeling in this House and a certain feeling in the country and will give a lead in that direction.
I am going to deal briefly with only two Clauses of this Bill. In my judgment, it is essential and the essence of the contract that this Bill should be penal and judicial in character. I mean that the power should not be taken away from the Court of Justice and handed over to any Department. I say so, because I know that there is nothing that the foreigner—the same is true of the man in the street in this country—despises more than weakness, and there is nothing that he respects more than strength. We ought to discourage in every way the foreign competitor and the foreign contributor and show him—and I say show him advisedly—that he cannot with impunity send money into this country for ulterior and sinister motives. The only tribunal to deal with this matter is a Court of Justice. We 1321 have heard a great deal about Departments. While we are sometimes compelled to invest State Departments with emergency powers, we do it reluctantly. Public opinion is always prejudiced against officialdom as opposed to English justice. The purity of English justice is proverbial throughout the world. As regards a Court of Justice compared to a Departmental Committee, I think most of us in these days would rather be tried before a jury of a Court of Justice than before a patriarchial pacifist or permanent official. Some people obtain justice—very few I am afraid—others have justice thrust upon them.
As regards the third Clause of this Bill, namely, forfeiture to the Crown, I venture to suggest that that should be allocated to out-door relief for necessitous areas, which will relieve the rates. I have hacked this Bill, because I considered that to a certain extent it coincided with my Election pledges, and I also considered, as I have said before, that I, myself, and others owed our election to this Russian menace, and in particular, in many instances, to Russian money and red gold coming into this country. My reason for supporting this Bill is that I intend, as I have always done my best, to live up to my Election pledges, but, whatever this Bill is and whatever the result of it may be, I am thoroughly satisfied and convinced that the motive underlying every Clause of it is to give a reflection of a large body of public opinion in this country. It is a reflection of the feeling of the country, and it is a reflection of a strong desire for action. It is mind that, matters; it is courage that counts; it is brains that build up; it is ignorance that tears down.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
The Mover of this Bill is not an hon. Member whose name is associated very much with prohibitory proposals. He is rather strongly inclined in other directions, as are also some of his particular supporters. In this case, he is concerned about importation. There is nothing said about exportation. There is no doubt about our internal trouble. It can safely be said, as has already been indicated by some of the previous speakers, that the Mover and Seconder are somewhat in the posi- 1322 tion of advertising agents, or advance agents, for more important proposals to be forthcoming. There is undoubtedly, as the last speaker has said, a deep-seated anxiety in the country about what is really at the bottom of this trouble. The Government are, or ought to be, well aware of what is the essential trouble. There is a definite organisation which unquestionably has no hesitation in being out for illegal action. That being so, we can quite realise why there is anxiety in the country as to what may be the reason or reasons which account for the Government failing to take action. This certainly is not getting down to it. On the contrary—and this is the special reason why I oppose the Measure—this is really a Bill which, if it were taken seriously and adopted by the Government and put into operation, would do very serious damage to legitimate trade unionism in the country which has done splendid service for the workers. We frequently hear from platforms on which hon. Members opposite are mostly identified, that legitimate trade unionism is essential for the proper interests of the workers of the country. At times we hear the phrase, "Class war." I do not believe in the interpretation that is given to that phrase or to the actual phrase at all. The real rouble is, if that there be a war, it, is a war which involves selfish and unselfish interests. There are two sides, and all sections and all parties are more or less involved on both sides. Take the wider issue that is involved in this proposal. All parties are theoretically, and to some extent practically, identified with the ideal of the League of Nations, and in the industrial department of that great undertaking we find some approach to knitting together the industrial interests of all the countries. We know, of course, that on the eight hours' issue, our own Government, unfortunately, have thus far failed to come up to the scratch.
So far as the main point is concerned, it is an effective illustration of what I want to point out in reference to this Bill, namely, that all over the nations that are represented in the League of Nations there is a strong and growing feeling that we must knit the interests of the peoples of those countries with a view to avoiding war. The carrying forward of the struggles which are involved in every country like our own on 1323 the issue of selfish against unselfish interests, naturally calls for, and reasonably expects, a reciprocatory policy, not only of sympathy among those various nations, but of practical expression of that sympathy. I have said that the Mover and Seconder and other supporters of the Bill have not dealt with the question of exportation. What about the money that is invested in foreign countries by capitalist concerns of our country who are quite well aware that in investing that money they are equipping armaments for the destruction of our own people at home?
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I cannot give the hon. and learned Gentleman credit for misunderstanding my statement; he understands it so well that he is very cleverly evading the point. We are not legal men, but we are trying to be straightforward on this business, and I hope he will do the same. I am talking about people who are particularly well represented by the hon. and learned Gentleman himself, who are not in any way troubled from the point of view of conscience in investing money in foreign countries whereby they are going to make profits in the production of armaments which will eventually result in the destruction of our people—a much more important point than the trivial matter which you are handling at the present moment. If our League of Nations movement means anything, we are having proposals that would meet the international issue—the greater issue, the momentous issue that is involved in this struggle. If we are going to do justice by the trade unions, we are surely going to give respectful consideration to the statement that was made by the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Rose), that all the moneys are duly recorded and properly registered for the fullest 1324 possible public examination. Can that be said by some Members on the other side concerning the interests which they support, and which are not really and truly for the best interests of the country?
Some reference has already been made by previous speakers on the other side to other organisations that have been proclaimed publicly as receiving moneys for the propagation of other undertakings in this country, and I gather that one of the speakers was referring to Mr. Johnson, better known as "Pussyfoot Johnson." He, who represents that great organisation, has made the declaration, about which we have no doubt, that no money has been forthcoming from America for the carrying forward of anything of that kind. Certainly, speaking for the particular organisation which I have the honour to represent, we made no bones at all, in 1908, about asking for financial support over in America. We did not get it, but we should have had no difficulty in proclaiming the fact and making good use of the money in the best interests of this country for the overthrow of its most powerful enemy. This sort of thing does not get down to the question whether we have in our country forces that are adverse to the State, forces that are working wastage, forces that are producing crime, forces that are effecting anarchy in our country. Hon. Gentlemen make no bones about boasting of it as a legalised force, whereas in reality it is only a licensed assassin.
If there were real consideration for the interests of the working classes and the prosperity of our country, we should get down to that straightforwardly, and I commend our Labour party themselves to that particular point. Reference has already been made to the Zinovief Letter, and oft-times we hear of it on the other side. I think it would be better if the Labour party had followed out their own conclusions and findings, and had got down to the real question of what was at the bottom of the Zinovief Letter. Let them make answer on that, instead of arguing with the opposite side. If we are dealing straightforwardly with the interests of the working classes and the country at large, I take my stand, as I have in the past, in direct antagonism to any Communist, uncon- 1325 stitutional force; but I am not going to be in any way side-tracked, or to land myself in responsibility for doing serious damage to a legitimate movement, the great trade union movement of our country. As has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens (Mr. Sexton), while strikes have many times not been of any particular advantage, nevertheless, on the whole, the operation of the movement has produced remarkably good results for the workers.
I could not help being struck with the picture presented by my hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Purcell) with regard to the international evidences. There you find "Hands across the Sea" from every part of the world—from our own Empire and from other nationalities—the toiling workers willingly, readily, wholeheartedly placing what they had at the disposal of the strugglers in this country just as the strugglers of this country have done in the case of other nations. Is not that a gratifying sign? Does it not mean the banding together of the interests of the Empire and the interests of the nations at large? I say to the Government that if they want to do something substantial, if they want, to use the phraseology of a previous speaker, to get at the real target, let them not try to hamper those who are their legitimate constitutional opponents, who are coming up strongly, because in every part of the world the ignorant Chinese are beginning to know better that they ought not to be exploited, that they ought not to be kicked as we have heard to-day. That is the style and the policy of the Englishman very often, and probably of the Scotsman as well. Hon. Members know that they have gone abroad and ill-treated those whom they thought were of no consequence whatever, but that is not the spirit to show if we want to be true, if we want to be really loyal to what we speak of as our Empire. If we want to be true to our own Conscience and to the needs of humanity at large, and especially true to the professions of religion which we make as a Christian nation before other nations, then, I say, stop all this fooling, and, if you mean business in the interests of the workers and all concerned, let us have the practical application of the doing of God's will on earth as it is done in Heaven.
§ Mrs. PHILIPSON
I am not like the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Purcell), and am not so much interested in the workers of other countries. I put the workers in our own country first. The hon. Member said that the money coming from foreign sources will not cause revolution in this country, but he knows full well what misery and want can do among the people of our country. I cannot follow the international idea. When they are helping the workers here, while our miners are out of work and in want, the Russian miners, many thousands more of them, are in work. I cannot follow that idea when I am out to help the workers in this country. There are plenty of women and children in my constituency, and many of them miners' wives and children, and I should be the last in the world to attempt to stop funds which would do them good or help them, but I feel that this is a false charity and it only makes them worse off in the long run. I also think it is an insult to our British men and women to think or say that they will allow our own women and children to starve. The hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) has shown great courage, because this is an attempt to prevent money from foreign sources coming into this country, and we well know there are Members of this House who believe in Communism. I hope the Government, even if they do not care for the Bill, will leave it to a free vote of the House so that Members of any party may at least show their constituencies and the public that they will do all in their power against Communist interference in our country.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I am not surprised in one sense at the Government introducing a Measure of this character. [Interruption.] It is the same side of the house, and means in its intention practically the same thing. In one sense I am not surprised at such a Bill being brought in, but in another sense I am somewhat startled that the people represented by so many Members opposite are so easily disturbed in their mind at the power of trade unions. I take it, of course, that the Bill is based almost, if not entirely, on the fact that certain sections of the Russian people sent money to support the British miners during their long struggle. What did it amount to? Less than £1 for each miner who was in dispute.
§ Sir PATRICK FORD
How much of that money actually got to the miners and their dependents, and how much was intercepted?
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I am somewhat surprised at that question. It appears that some hon. Members opposite are like restive horses. They are very easily touched on this question. I have no personal knowledge to answer the question adequately, but I believe practically 100 per cent. of that money got to those for whom it was subscribed. If not, as the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Purcell) says, there is so much less argument against it. What I want to put to people who, in their abject terror of trade unionism, have been responsible for producing this Bill, is this. Do they believe for a moment that this less than 20s. per man, in a struggle of so many months, had much effect on the miners holding out? Do they believe the miners, after their tremendous exhibition, lacked courage to hold out even though these few shillings more had not got to them in such a long time? The supporters of the Bill may make some people believe that, but it is more deep-seated than the intention to prevent, on another occasion, a few paltry shillings in eight or nine months getting to the striking people in the country. It is only another portion of the network of machinery which they are endeavouring to form for the destruction of British trade unionism. May I suggest, with no truculence, that they have taken on a much larger bit than they will be able to chew. We hear it often in personal conversation, we read it in the Press, and we hear or read of it in speeches. We think trade unionism is good. We hope it has come to stay. We think it can be of very great assistance, but it is always followed by a "but." It is to be trade unionism such as we approve of—tame trade unionists.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I am speaking for British trade unions and, as a member of the General Council of British Trade Unions, and as one who had some responsibility in the recent long dispute, I hope hon. Members will not forget that, badly as we may have needed money 1328 at that time, officially the General Council of British Trade Unions refused to receive money from Russian sources.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I will endeavour to put it like this, that we were conducting on behalf of a number of unions a great strike and we should have had to consult the whole of those unions before we accepted money from outside our own affiliated unions. Individual unions may do as they wish, as the miners did, driven by stress of circumstances, but we were speaking and acting for British trade unions. The hon. Lady who spoke last indicated her very fierce determination to destroy Communism. That may be a very much greater task than either she or the House as a whole is able to undertake. Let us always remember that the greater the spring is compressed—and history tells us this in all industrial and political movements—the greater is the rebound of the spring after compression. But I would at once join with the hon. Lady to the extent of saying that as far as some of the exponents of Communism in this country are concerned, I am as much against them as any Member on either side of the House, and if hon. Members opposite who are so terribly afraid of these people will leave them alone and leave them to us we will give them their quietus without any panic or commotion and without having to put a Bill through the House.
The real aim and object of the Bill is to prevent the legitimate organisation and functioning of British trade unions. We, in common with an organisation represented very strongly on the benches opposite, have our international relationships with legitimate trade unions in other countries in the world. That is condemned by hon. Members opposite. Why? Do they not believe in the brotherhood of man? Do they still cling to the old fetish which was tried to be taught to some of us in our school days that one Britisher is worth 10 Frenchmen, 15 Germans and about 20 of any coloured people? If so, I can understand it.
We see meetings of industrialists and financial interests, which are international, and they assist each other in many ways, both morally and financially. The British trade union movement has 1329 only taken the pattern set by people who are represented on the other side of the House. We have our international associations and we are proud of them, and I do not think that any Bill of this description, although it may be forced through the House by weight of numbers, will have the slightest effect or compel us to drop them. We see certain statesmen hobnobbing with Mussolini and people of that kind and giving expression to opinions, apparently speaking on behalf of the Government of this country or, at least, making many people in the world believe so. We know that information and financial assistance coin, from organisations of this character to the employing and master classes of this country. Where is the terror of it? If it meant that in one long struggle for the greater part of the year less than £1 per striker to assist them, it cannot have been the volume of that assistance which has caused terror to those who are promoting and supporting this Bill. What other cause of terror can they have? Do they believe that a dispute in this country will be settled by the amount of financial assistance we may receive from abroad? If they do, they are more optimistic about what we shall get from abroad than I am. Every battle in this country will be settled by the stamina and the justice of the cause of the British trade unions.
This Bill aims at severing the whole of these connections, or it is hoped to do so, of the British trade unions. Following the War, my own trade unions feeling that as soon as the bitterness was over, human sympathy would again become triumphant, had reason to take notice of the terrible starvation of children belonging to members of an equivalent union in Austria. We were able at that time to send them a few hundred pounds. We took some of the children, poor little starvelings, into our homes. They were the children of our terrible enemies, of from five years upwards; the brutal children of a brutal foe, but we were sufficiently happy to help them, and we sent them back encouraged, in better health and with more respect for the British people, of whom we are proud to form a part. When we had a lean time our colleagues across the water, in our dispute, were able to make some return for that which we gave, and because it 1330 was Austrian money we did not refuse it; it was needed. Later, our late gallant Allies the French turned railway men who had refused to work trains for the French invading and occupying force into the street. The military forces of the French nation went to the houses of the railwaymen and said, "In 12 hours you quit. You get out. You will leave all the furniture, even the baby's cot." Within 12 hours the French railwayman had his baby in the cot from which the German man's baby had been taken. My union sent money to help those who had been thrown on the road, bag and baggage.
I say now, in a spirit of indignation against these unwarranted attacks on British trade unionism, that no Bill passing through this House will stop us from having these sentiments of brotherhood and generosity. Later, our time of trouble came again, and our late brutal enemies, the Germans, returned that money to us, with interest. That is what hon. Members opposite want to stop. They want to sever the international relationships of the workers whilst they continue the international relationships of their own capitalist and employers' organisations. They want to prevent an understanding of peoples that will make the horrors of war impossible a few years hence. I say "a few years hence" because the more the working people of the world understand each other—although there is the difficulty of language, there is the understanding and human sympathy —it will make capitalist wars impossible, because cannon fodder will not be found for the purpose of fighting these wars.
I wish to be as emphatic as I possibly can. No one who sits down and thinks about the matter calmly for about five minutes could suggest that the small amount which was received by the miners from abroad had the effect of prolonging the struggle. It was the heroism, the misunderstood heroism, of the miners, and not the money, which, prolonged the struggle. Hon. Members who go into the Lobby in support of this Bill must accept the fullest responsibility. It is a deep attempt to shatter trade unionism or, at any rate, it is one of the tools used for that purpose. It will not succeed, but it shows the willingness to wound, although the fear to strike is sometimes there. The hon. and learned Member 1331 who moved the Second Reading, in an interjection when an hon. Member on this side was speaking, appeared to give the impression that he thought it was less reprehensible for wealthy people to invest money abroad to make armaments with which to fight British troops than for a British trade union to send money to assist other organisations of a similar character abroad, or to receive money in return from them. With all respect, I fail to understand the mentality of the hon. Member.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I am within the recollection of the House, and I shall leave it to the intelligence of hon. Members on both sides to decide as to whether I am very far wrong in my interpretation of what the hon. and learned Member said.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
Despite the misunderstanding, and I am afraid sometimes it is a wilful misunderstanding, on the part of certain hon. Members opposite, we on this side are not standing for some of the exponents of Communism in this country. Even the slight assistance which the miners got from the Russians came through an International of Labour Unions to which the Russian unions are attached. That has nothing to do with organised British trade unionism; it was not for the protection of Communism. Again, I would say that if hon. Members opposite will not hurry, through fear, in trying to upset the organised British trade union movement on account of a few wild hot heads, and will leave them to us, we shall be able to control and deal with the situation. The purpose of this Bill cannot be hidden. No excuse that is given for it can hide its real purpose. We shall pillory it everywhere in the eyes of the working men in this country, because we see in it part of the mosaic of an attack against British trade unions.
It is bound to be ineffective, because trade unionism is too well implanted, and the rank and file, to say nothing of what- 1332 ever we who are supposed to be leaders or officers may teach them, know full well that all that we are able to get from the employing class in this country is just as much as the last ounce of our strength is able to demand. All these very kindly stories which I have heard and read, of the lion lying down with the lamb and fair consideration and just negotiation—I have been trying it for 25 years, and I have always found that the result of the negotiations could be measured in its justice by the strength with which I was backed in the negotiations. That has sunk into me through years of understanding. It has sunk very firmly and definitely into the mind of organised workers in this country. I could, if I wished, compliment the promoters of this Bill because they are helping us to organise the disorganised. They are helping to strengthen British trade unionists, who will know exactly what is coming. The mistaken idea of those responsible for the Bill may lead them into a position from which they will have difficulty in retreating, and possibly may make them wish that they had not gone there. That is not a threat. This House should turn its attention and energies and abilities to far higher things than this Bill. The nation needs them. The nation is in difficulty, and is drifting, and time is wasted in this House in an attack on practically the only protective organisation which the workers have against the most exploiting capitalism that this country has ever seen.
§ Sir PATRICK FORD
I regret this Bill for one reason, and that is that it enables speakers on the other side, men of action, moderate and reasonable, to make this an occasion for attacking all on this side of the House who do not see eye to eye with them, and to impute to them motives which in their own hearts the speakers know are not the motives which produced this Bill. I think the Bill has been so widely drawn that it misses its mark, that it is going to bring in, both on the side of the workers and the employers, contributions and so on, which are perfectly legitimate, and I think that the promoters of the Bill would have been much better advised if they had not drawn it in such general terms, but had made perfectly clear that it was the kind of contribution coming from the kind of tainted source with the sort of tainted motive that came 1333 into the coal strike, that was in mind. If they had made that clear, even the hon. Member opposite who has spoken would probably agree. But unfortunately we find that in order to protect himself from the attacks of his extremists, he has to get up and make the kind of speech that he has just made.
This sort of rather ill-considered legislation, or attempted legislation, is very unfortunate, because it does not tend to what we ought all to try to do without taunt from one side or the other. We ought to try to get at a solution of our affairs. What we do resent is the interference of a highly political sort from outside countries, in settling our trade disputes. It is an inherent sentiment in our people that we want to manage our own affairs. If I might digress, I would say that even in the religious sphere the great Reformation was not so much due to differences on dogma as to an opposition to the dictation of policy from Rome. We are not going to have dictation from Rome or from Russia; we are going to have it from nowhere outside this country. I say to the responsible leaders of trade unionism that they should make it perfectly clear that they are not going on the devious path of encouraging foreign intervention, for by so doing they will weaken themselves. From their past record, I feel that they can do a great deal of good in putting down the type of Communism that they themselves condemn, but they want to make it clear to everyone on this side or the other side that they are free from the taint of ultramontane intervention.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I want to make it clear to the hon. Member that I did not condemn the science of Communism. I spoke against some of its exponents in this country.
§ Sir P. FORD
But all these things have to be taken in practical terms. Whatever we may think of the theoretical side of Communism, we are not going to have it. I want to say a word in reply to some of the things that my colleagues from Scotland have said. I am reminded of the words of Robert Burns:That man to man, the warld o'er,Shall brothers be for a' that.I want to recall to him that which, with that wonderful sense of the real genius of the Scottish and English people—he 1334 wrote as a Briton—Burns said when this country was threatened or thought itself threatened by a French invasion, in 1795, and when Burns felt that the peasantry of the country in particular suffered great and grievous oppression. He was no man to kowtow to any class or Government, but he did realise that we, with our genius for real liberty, were best left to settle these things ourselves, and that it was a bad thing to bring into a family quarrel someone from the outside. I will conclude by quoting what Burns wrote, though I will not quote the whole of the poem in a House which is not predominantly Scottish:Be Britain still to Britain true,Amang ourselves united;For never but by British handsMaun British wrongs be righted.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
I am not going to make a speech on this amazing Bill. I wish to ask the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) one question. Does the Bill apply to coal which was imported during the strike for the purpose of enabling factories to carry on?
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
It is not quite as easy as that, for the Bill applies to credit and money's worth. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman mean that any coal imported would have to be paid for with cash immediately, and would not coal not paid for for two or three months come within the provisions of the Bill? Suppose that coal is imported at a lesser rate by the miners' organisation, as it very well could be, as a form of assistance, and is sold at an increased rate. Would that come under the Bill? Does the hon. and learned Gentleman propose to bring under the Bill coal imported for the purpose of prolonging disputes, provided it is not paid for at once?
§ Mr. BANKS
Of course not. If it is an ordinary commercial transaction it has nothing to do with the Bill. The case I had in my mind was the case of a foreign country sending over to this country ships full of timber or coal consigned, not to purchasers, but to asso- 1335 ciations, and saying, "Here you are; sell this, and convert it into money for the maintenance of strikes."
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
We have been told so many times in this Debate not what is in the Bill but what is in the mind of the hon. and learned Member who introduced it, that I venture to address the House. If this Bill is to become law, we shall not be able to argue in the Courts what is in the mind of the hon. and learned Member, but the Courts will take the Bill or Act as the intention of the Legislature. The Bill is so badly drafted that it is extremely difficult to know what it does mean. For example, in the second line it speaks of bodies "corporate or incorporate." I have been puzzled to know what is the difference, as I thought they meant the same thing. Then there is a reference to a "national or a naturalised subject." Indeed, from beginning to end, the Bill does not do credit to any learned Member in this House.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
The definite defect in this Bill from our point of view is that it suggests, as so much recent talk has suggested, that there is something illegal or immoral in a trade dispute. That is really the most serious thing about this Bill. It attempts to make it wrong to send money from abroad to assist a trade or industrial dispute in this country. That can only be so because in some way or another the promoters think there is something illegal or immoral about a trade dispute. This is merely, as some hon. Member on this side has said, part of a general mosaic for the destruction of the rights of the whole trade union movement. Once it is established that it is wrong to finance a trade dispute from any quarter, it follows that someone else win say that it is wrong for an Englishman to finance a trade dispute. Therefore, the serious part of this Bill is that it exposes all hon. Members opposite, and shows that little by little they are endeavouring to get through this House legislation that will curtail the rights of trade unionists to 1336 take part in industrial action. We say that a person is perfectly entitled in this country to receive money if he likes to assist labour and that it is no business of the State whether they receive money from relations who happen to be naturalised abroad and sending a pot of jam or a postal order, which would under this Bill be a crime.
What the hon. and learned Member calls a national, or as I should say, a naturalised subject, of America, might send assistance for a coal miner in this country and the unfortunate man, who might be a cousin of the other man, has under this Bill committed a crime because he has sent assistance to someone on strike in this country.
By this modern legislation more crimes are created. The particular qualification for legislation of hon. Members who sit on the two bottom benches below the Gangway opposite is that they should always create new crimes. I hope that before my speech is finished that bench will become empty through other hon. Members having followed the hon. Member who has just left the bench. Cannot hon. Members consider this Measure in all its bearings? It is all very well, like one hon. Member opposite has done, to lecture my friends on this side of the House on how they should keep their trade unions clean and sweet, but has that hon. Member ever heard of combinations of bankers and financiers? Do they never assist one another in their trade disputes? It is really time that this kind of sermonising now going on almost daily in this House, teaching my friends on this side how they should be good citizens, should be repeated in kind. I want to tell hon. Members opposite how they could be good citizens. Let them cut themselves adrift from the entanglements of international finance and look with the same suspicions on them as they do on trade unions. Let them dissolve their Federation of British Industries and the great combinations of employers, and then talk about our trade unions. Let them abstain from locking-out workers. If this business is to be the matter of comment, I hope that one good result will come from this attack on the trade unionists of this country and that the country will realise that it is in the grip, not of trade unions and Communists, but of bankers and international financiers. 1337 The party opposite is very largely dominated by international finance and combines, and this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. As for this Measure, I cannot believe the Government will entertain it for a moment. If they do it is quite clear that most of the assistance that comes to hon. Members opposite and those they represent, and their interest in most of the big international combines of the world, will be seriously restrained and they will not be able to receive money from any part of the Continent to help them. I am not therefore surprised to see that there is nearly as much opposition from that side of the House as there is from this side.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
The chief Law Officer of the Opposition, if I may so describe him, has been so unable to read the Bill that he has had to make the inaccurate points he did. I am not an expert on legal interpretation, but I can read a Bill. One point he made was based on what is obviously a typographical error, as incorporate obviously means unincorporate. It is precisely the small legal mind that makes these points. The hon. and learned Gentleman wanted to dissolve a lot of institutions, including an institution with which I happen to be associated—the Federation of British Industries. The Federation of British Industries is a body which exists entirely for commercial purposes, and is debarred from acting as an employers' trade union. It spends 90 per cent. of its money trying to get orders, the result of which is that British workmen will be employed. When trade unions have done one-thousandth part as much for the purposes of solving unemployment as a body like the Federation of British Industries, then they will be entitled to start criticising.
I listened with very deep interest and admiration to the interesting speech of the hon. Member for Barrow in-Furness (Mr. Bromley), whom I do not see for the moment in the House. He said that those who were responsible for this Bill were in abject terror of trade unionism. He also said that what we ought to do was to "leave it to them." He said: "Leave it to us to look after the Communists and the more excitable members of the Socialist party." Let us just contrast those two 1338 statements. We left it to them on the 1st May, and they had not got the moral courage to stand up against those who were then promoting trouble, and on the 13th May it was they who, in abject terror, crawled to Downing Street and called it off. I am not going to be in abject terror of those people. It would require very much greater courage than those who are criticising this Bill possess before they could create in our minds any sense of abject terror.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member for Barrow in Furness said that we wanted trade unionism to be this kind or that kind or the other kind. The only kind of trade unionism I want to see in this country, a kind which has been much lacking in recent years, is intelligent trade unionism—trade unionism which will seek to put men in employment and to ensure that more employment will be found for our people and to ensure a higher level of productive efficiency and a higher standard of living. Nowadays nine-tenths of the efforts of trade unionism are directed in the opposite direction. [HON. MEMBERS: "What has that got to do with the Bill?"] It has as much to do with the Bill as the remarks to which I am replying have to do with the Bill. I understand it is in order to reply to the remarks of previous speakers. If I am out of order it is hon. Members opposite who set the bad example. The point has been made that the total of these contributions received during the coal stoppage only amounted roughly to £1 a miner per week.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I have a recollection of reading speeches in which it was represented that the £1 that had already arrived was going to be followed by many other pounds. They were used as a basis for stimulating those who had already been fooled to go on fooling themselves a little longer. I remember an interview given at Waterloo Station by distinguished members of the party opposite when they were off on their mission to the United States of America, and the talk was not about 100,000 dollars or 1,000,000 dollars, but it was about 1,000,000 dollars a week. I do not think they came off very well. They had the 1339 same kind of luck that the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) had when he was trying to get some money from America for prohibition. They seemed to be very careful as to the objects of their charity in America.
What is the real reason for the introduction of this Bill? This Bill may not be perfect in all respect. Probably in some respects it may go too far and in others it may not go far enough, but the intention behind it is that the people in this country hate foreign interference. The Labour party are a little inconsistent in this matter. They profess to be a party of internationals and they proclaim their international sentiments, but they can always be relied upon to back the nationalists of any other country against British nationalists. I do not say a word about the importance of giving effect to the nationalist aspirations of the people of Egypt. They have had effect given to their nationalist aspirations, BO much so that they have the right to decide who shall go within their own territory. They have the right to visa passports so that the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala) could not get his visa, and when he came to that point, he profoundly regretted the assertion of Egyptian independence. He thought that Egypt was a part of the British Empire. The real reason which has inspired this Bill is the large contributions that came from Russia; not contributions that came from individuals who, out of the goodness of their heart said: "Here are a lot of poor fellows having a rough time, and whatever the merits of the dispute I want to help them." I think all of us appreciate that point of view.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I did not help because I thought they were wrong and because I believed that by contributing I should merely be contributing to folly.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The money did not come only from Russians but it came from organisations which were, in fact, an integral part of the Government of Russia. It is perfectly evident from the 1340 personnel of the various organisations that it was the Russian Government which really arrived at the decision to send this money and that it was by the machinery of the Russian Government and its associated bodies that this money was collected. It did not represent the voluntary contributions of the ill-paid Russian miners whose standard of living is probably half as low as that of the miners of this country a hundred years ago. It is a forced contribution and it is perfectly well-known that the object of it was not to raise the standard of living of the British miners but to do definite injury to this country's interest.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am talking about the contributions from Russia. The contributions of the Russian Government did not come from the pockets of the Russian miners, but came in the form of exacted contributions. That is the sort of thing which the people of this country resent and which ought not to happen again. But do let us realise that this Bill does not only apply to trade unions of work people. It applies equally to trade unions of employers and to individual firms that may have disputes with their workpeople. It also may apply—and this is where I think, although I support the Bill, that it may require certain amendment in Committee—to members of British trade unions who are living overseas. There are some trade unions that had a substantial overseas membership. The trade union of which the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Rose) is a notable member, is a trade union which has a large overseas membership.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Then the difficulty which I anticipated would not exist and there be no need for the amendments which I anticipated so far as the hon. Member's union is concerned, but if there are other unions which have a foreign membership then there would be a legitimate difficulty to be met by hon. 1341 Members in Committee. There is also a somewhat similar case of a company which may be a manufacturing company in this country but which is in fact a subsidiary of a foreign company. As between this company and its foreign company there are obviously costly financial transactions taking place, and there again a difficulty might arise because it might be suggested that the funds passing from the foreign company, say in America, to the subsidiary company in this company, were funds passing in furtherance of a trade dispute. That case will have to be met in Committee. Some of the speakers on the Labour benches to-day suggested that the Bill was a joke and a waste of time. Others have indicated that there is violent indignation against the Bill. I am surprised at this double line of attack. I am also surprised at the very large attendance of Members of the Labour party in the House.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Hon. Members opposite may have turned over a new leaf in 1927, but if he consults the Division Lists for last Session, I think the hon. Member will not find that his assertion is well supported. I do not think that, at any rate, the hon. Member will suggest that I am often absent. The question was raised by the hon. Member for Cleveland (Sir P. Goff) that, in fact, what we are discussing to-day was an issue at the last General Election, or a branch of an issue at the last General Election. [HON. MEMBERS: "The Red Letter!"] On every occasion when the "Red Letter" is mentioned on either side of the House, it gives rise to a certain amount of indignation. If it was a forgery, the Leader of the Opposition was the first to be deceived.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the present Foreign Secretary, speaking from that Box, after the "Red Letter" had done its work, made a statement to the effect that, having seen the papers, he not only was satisfied with what my right hon. Friend had done, but that he would have acted in precisely the same way as my right hon. Friend?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am more grateful than I can say to the right hon. Gentle man for that interruption.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MacDONALD
Even the most insignificant of Members is capable of spreading falsehoods— [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"]—and I desire to say—[Interruption]—that the statement made by my right hon. Friend just now in no way justifies the repetition of what is not true.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition places himself on a very high mountain, and me on a tiny molehill. It is not my business to teach him either courtesy or manners; and I am not going to suggest that either my skill or his receptiveness would lead to much result. May I just point out to the two right hon. Gentlemen who have intervened—not, I think, with much satisfaction from their point of view—that what I said was that, if the letter was a forgery, the first person to be deceived was the right hon. Gentleman. Now he has asserted that that statement was inaccurate, and he has overlooked that, in doing so, he asserts that he was not deceived. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) was asserting the same thing, and bringing to his aid the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Therefore, I think these three distinguished right hon. Gentlemen—far more significant than I am—are agreed that the letter was not a forgery. That is all I was seeking to establish. It would be wise for the right hon. Gentleman to bear in mind that significance or insignificance is not necessarily measured by the length of one's service in this House. [An HON. MEMBER: "You have been here too long."] I quite agree—much too long for the comfort of the interrupter. Let us pursue this point. This was an issue at the General Election, and the "Red Letter," we are told, was a forgery, but the curious thing is that what the "Red Letter" suggested, fundamentally, was that there should be ceaseless work for the purpose of seducing the armed forces of the Crown, and that is precisely what these organisations have been engaged in ever since. I am unable to understand why at one moment the Opposition suggest that the letter was a forgery, while ceaselessly there is going on the work which the letter suggested. Sometimes they repudiate it, 1343 and sometimes they endorse it, yet it as precisely the same people who are carrying on this work and who were responsible for the issue of the Red Letter —for which we have now, if I may say so, the most unequivocal endorsement from the Leaders of the Opposition, an endorsement which will entitle me on every platform in the country now to say it was not a forgery. We have this extraordinary anomaly, that one time the letter is repudiated, another time it is endorsed, and at all times—
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I point out to the hon. Member for St. Helens (Mr. Sexton) that if I am dealing with this issue it is an issue which was raised by my opponents. I made no reference to the "Red Letter" until I was interrupted, and I rejoice that the interruption came, because it has given me an opportunity for which I have long wished.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)
I am not going to complain for one moment of the introduction of this Bill which has given us one of the most interesting Debates I have heard for a long time. I may be allowed to congratulate particularly my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) who moved the Second Reading. It is a pity that more Members of the House did not hear his speech, which was one of the most brilliant I have listened to here for many a long day. I am not surprised at some effort of this kind having been made. It is, undoubtedly, the result of the very strong and growing feeling in this country that the Government of another country is, through its agents, seeking to influence policy and industry in our midst. That feeling has undoubtedly been for a long time growing in our party. We have felt that this is a proud country, which has always been able to manage its own affairs and our hearts have been very sternly tried—certainly on this side of the House, and I think among many hon. Members opposite also—by the effort which is being made in conjunction with a section—only a section I agree—of the community here, of extreme Communists and of the left wing element, to influence 1344 by foreign means the Government and control and particularly the industrial affairs of this country. The right hon. Gentleman who was formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke quite as strongly as I should do in regard to it. He, I am sure, like many of his colleagues, is as determined as I am to do all in our power to prevent the industry of this country falling under the control or domination of the Communist party directed from Russia or anywhere else.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am merely trying to suggest what I conceive to be the underlying powers of the pressure which has induced my hon. Friend to bring in this Bill. It is a Bill of very great moment; it is a Bill which would have very serious consequences if it were passed into law. It is a Bill which would be very difficult indeed to administer. But at the same time it is a Bill which Members of this House are honestly entitled to submit to the House if they so desire, and they are honestly entitled to express their adhesion to it by voting in the Division Lobby.
I need hardly say the Government have considered this Bill with great care, and is falls to my lot, as Home Secretary, to state the views of the Government in regard to it; to state to the House that, feeling as we do that Friday is reserved for the rights of private Members it would not be right to put on the Government Whips. I have been asked by the hon. Lady the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Mrs. Philipson) whether the Government Whips will be put on either on the one side or the other in regard to this Bill. I think undoubtedly the fairest attitude the Government can take up, the proper attitude towards a Private Member's Bill of this kind, is to leave the decision entirely to the House. At the same time, just is hon. Members have spoken with great ability, great earnestness and great determination in favour of the Bill, those of us on this Bench who think it would be a mistake to pass the Bill are bound to submit our views to our colleagues who have spoken against the Bill, and to ask them—and those, moreover, who have not spoken against the Bill, the great bulk of the Conservatives in this House—to consider seriously whether, in the first place, it is really 1345 desirable and, secondly, whether it would really effect the purpose which my hon. Friends have so much at heart. They desire if they can to cut the connection between a certain foreign country and the extreme left wing of the Communist party. That can be done, but not by this Bill. This Bill would not carry out the object which they have in view. It is in my view a very proper object to try to destroy that connection, to try to prevent the subordination of a great section of the industrial community to the dictation of foreign sources.
§ Mr. MAXTON
The right hon. Gentleman has repeated a most important statement, and as he is an important Minister of the Crown, I would like to have it made very plain. Is he now saying that no foreign element of any description is to be allowed to interfere with the internal industry of this country?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I never said anything of the kind. If the hon. Member will look at the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow he will see plainly that what I have said is this, that there is a great feeling, not merely on this side of the House, but on the other side, that it is undesirable that any section of the industrial community should be controlled and directed or financed from any Government other than that of this country.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Is this a definite statement of Government policy—the right hon. Gentleman makes it stronger now—that neither foreign labour agitators nor foreign financiers are to be allowed to take any part in managing British industry?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am in the recollection of the House. The hon. Member can see the words to-morrow morning. I think the whole House understands that what I have said is, in effect, what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) has said and written.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am explaining at the moment what I conceive to be the views which induced this Bill to be brought forward, and I am also explaining to the House why, in my view, this Bill will not carry out the objects which my hon. Friends have at heart, objects which as I think are, with very few exceptions, agreed to by practically the whole of the hon. Members on the other side. We must distinguish between revolutionary and industrial activity. There are in this country, admittedly, a certain number of men whose object is revolution. That is not disputed by anybody, it is admitted on all hands, by the Labour party as well as by this party But there are an enormous number of men who hold with the rights of industrial combination, who hold with the right of their trade union, who have had their whole lives built up, as it were, on trade union principles, and who have undoubtedly received very great benefits from trade unions, and we have got to distinguish between the revolutionary and the industrial side. We have got, in effect, to distinguish between what is illegal and what is legal.
Reference has been made to-day to the action which was taken by me, as Home Secretary, during the General Strike The General Strike was admittedly an illegal operation. Under the powers that were then conferred upon the Secretary of State by this House I was able to investigate accounts, to see letters, to see telegrams, and so forth, in fact, all the powers of a State were, in a time of peril, concentrated in the Government, and that must always be the case in a time of peril. Using those powers, I found that certain moneys were coming in, or being offiered, for the purposes of the General Strike. I exercised those powers, and, if I may say so, those powers were exercised with the general support of the entire community. There was no attack upon me for using those powers, because all sections of the House, all sections of the community, realised that in the ease of a strike which was illegal the State was justified in using its utmost endeavours to prevent foreign money coming in. Then followed the coal stoppage. Complaints were made to me that moneys were coming in for the purpose 1347 of supporting the miners in their efforts. The Government then had to consider whether the moneys that were coming in, chiefly from Russia, though not entirely from Russia, were to be stopped. I had the same powers. The same powers were still conferred upon the Secretary of State by this House, and during the whole of the seven months of that coal stoppage I could have used those powers, as I did in the first week in May, to stop the whole of that £1,100,000 coming in. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Wycombe Division of Buckinghamshire (Sir A. Knox) asked me a question on the 20th May, and I then and there stated the views of the Government on this matter:Power was taken by Regulations to prevent the transmission of moneys from abroad in furtherance of the General Strike. A payment in aid of the miners, who are engaged in a genuine trade dispute, clearly stands on a different footing, and, whatever view may be taken of the motives of either the donor or the recipient, the Government do not feel called upon to interfere."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th May, 1926; col. 421, Vol. 196.]That was a considered statement of the views of the Government at that time, and we knew that the illegal character of the strike was no longer present. It has always been the contention of our whole Parliamentary position that any man may withhold his labour and may strike for that purpose. I believe the seconder of the Motion for the Second Reading of this Bill agrees that that is not an unfair position. That being so in the case of an industrial dispute, the motive of the donors are not entitled to be taken into consideration. In this connection the words of the Foreign Secretary have already been quoted. We believe that in the case we are considering the motives were designed to do harm to the trade and commerce of this country and even to promote revolution. The Foreign Secretary stated that to the House, but I do not think we are entitled to regard those motives in that way when the dispute here is a legal one and not an illegal one.
I want the House to realise that in this matter we have to consider the effect. It has been stated in this Debate that every single shilling that was handed to the miners on strike in the shape of Rus- 1348 sian money was balanced by a reduction in Poor Law relief during that time. That being so, having regard to the fact that a strike may not be illegal and is only industrial and that legal strikes and industrial strikes are permitted by our law, I am going to ask my hon. Friends very seriously to consider whether they think it desirable to pass a Bill of this very frequent character giving such tremendous powers. I should like to call the attention of the House to the fact that this Bill applies to foreign countries and not to the Empire. During the coal stoppage, contributions came for the same purpose not only from Russia but from other parts of the Empire. Money was sent to the miners from America and from Canada for the same purpose and the same object, namely, to enable the, miners to prolong the stoppage, and under this Bill that money would be allowed to come in from our own Empire but would not be allowed to come in from America. That is a small point but one which requires consideration.
What will the Bill provide? It is about the strongest Bill I have ever seen in this House, and it is very far reaching and sweeping in its provisions. Under the Bill it would be an offence for any person to invite, procure or accept money which comes from abroad for this purpose. One hon. Member has quoted of the American cousin of an English miner who desired to send a subscription to the miner to keep the home fires burning, and he said that would be illegal under this Act. I would also point out that it would be illegal for the Englishman to receive that money. It would be illegal for a man out on strike and who was poor and whose wife and children were, I will not say starving, because we do not permit that in this country—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]—it would be illegal for such a man or such a wife to write to a relation in France or America asking such relation to send £5 in order to tide over the bad times of the strike. That would be distinctly illegal under this Bill.
§ Sir B. PETO
Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that anybody would do that? Does he contend that the Law would be put in motion about a pot of jam, for example?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I will not deal with the pot of jam. I wish to point out, however, that I am the Minister who would be responsible for the working of this Act, and I have to consider where it would lead, and what I have stated would undoubtedly be the case under this Bill.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am quite sure that my hon. Friends do not mean to include in this Bill a provision of that kind. The whole of the provisions of this Bill are in the hands of the common informer. It is not merely a responsible colliery proprietor, it is not merely the Iron and Steel Federation who can go to the Court and say that a strike is being prolonged because money is coming in from abroad. Under the provisions of the Bill, any person may go to the Court, and, upon oath, say that he believes that money is coming in from such and such a country, and the whole machinery of the Bill can be put into operation. The money which this fund represents and which is in a bank may be confiscated, and, beyond that, the Court may order, on the application of any such person, a roving inquiry into the books of our banks. I do not quite know what the commercial community in the City of London would say if the Government, without warning, allowed a Bill of this kind to pass through the House of Commons.
There is something really more important than the details of the Bill. Possibly, the details could be amended in Committee, though I think the theory of the Bill is so constructed that it would be very difficult indeed to so amend it in Committee so as to make it really workable for the object which my hon. Friends have in mind, without at the same time doing damage to other causes. Have my hon. Friends considered whether, in passing this Bill into law, they would not be doing that of which the Conservative party have been accused during the past few weeks, namely, striking a real blow at the whole principle of trade unionism. We are about to bring 1350 in a Bill, as we have heard from the Prime Minister and from my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General the other night, to deal with the position of trade unions. It is admittedly a very difficult Bill to bring in. It is a Bill which will raise very angry feelings in many parts of the country. But we have as a Government consistently stated in the country that we are no enemies of trade unions, that in the provisions of the Bill we are seeking only to improve their position in the country, and that therefore in that Measure there will be no attack whatever on the principle of trade unionism. If, however, we pass this Bill this afternoon, will it not be said, and be said with a great deal of justice, that we have passed a Bill which cuts right at the root of trade unions to strike in an industrial conflict? Give us the powers for which we shall ask the House—powers for dealing with illegal strikes, powers to deal with anything like a general strike, powers, which may be necessary at some future time to deal with the Russian menace in regard to Communism in our midst—and at the right time we shall not shrink from asking the House of Commons to give us such powers as we need.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Should not the right hon. Gentleman turn his face towards you, Mr. Speaker, and not his back?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The hon. Gentleman will, perhaps, forgive me for one minute more. I was making a special appeal to this side of the House. I apologise to him if my back is not as good to him as my face. I conclude by making a serious appeal. If anyone on this side of the House feels it right, the Government Whips will not interfere—the Lobbies will be quite open to any number of my colleagues who feel that they are in duty bound by their conscience to vote for this Bill. I would not ask an hon. Member who has spoken in favour of this Bill, or who has supported this Bill, to do otherwise than support by his vote, his conscientious feeling. At the same time, I do appeal to those who may not happen to be absolutely pledged to it to think once, twice and thrice of the very serious character of the Bill, and of the absolute necessity of carrying out the views which are and have been the 1351 views of the Conservative party, that we will always distinguish between industrial and revolutionary movements, and will do nothing which will harm industrial development or the trade union movement.
§ Mr. WALSH
I have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, with a great deal of which I am in complete agreement. The real trouble is that, in his generous breadth of view, he has failed to pay much atention to the real effect of this Bill. He spoke, in the central part of his speech, of the hostility that we all felt to any foreign State financing, or encouraging, or controlling the supply of funds with the purpose of promoting a revolution in Great Britain. I am quite certain that the vast majority of the Members of this House will agree with the right hon. Gentleman there, but it is hopelessly remote from this Bill. In the latter part of his speech he did come to the Bill, and he showed with very great clearness the extraordinary character of its provisions. In fact, when I was listening to the hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced the Bill, a friend of mine described it as a nursery piece of legislation. The hon. and learned Gentleman spoke about Long John Silver, the "Jolly Roger," Alice through a Looking Glass, the Vicar of Bray, Dick Turpin, pirates, the death's head and cross bones, and so on, and I really wondered, after all, whether the state of his mind, with all this wonderful combination, indicated the character of the Measure he has placed before the House.
Mr. WALS H
The whole burden of the case made by the hon. and learned Gentleman and his friends was the amount of the contributions made by Russia, not by the Russian Government, and not by order either, but collected from the hardwon earnings of the workers in Russia. Hon. Members who repeat the lie which they know to he a lie—[Interruption.] What did it come to altogether? It was supposed to prolong the dispute in the mining industry. Altogether it ran to about 7d. a week for 30 weeks. How wonderfully the struggle was prolonged 1352 by 7d. a week from Russia! The Chancellor of the Exchequer said we ought to appraise the boards of guardians in Britain eight times more than we appraise the Russians. Supposing they do, we should get 4s. 8d. a week, that is eight times the 7d., plus the 7d.—5s. 3d. per week is the amount, all combined, upon which we prolonged the dispute. I cannot imagine, if hon. Members would really think on what basis they place their case, they would bring forward legislation of this character. We established the International Miners' Federation 36 years ago in Belgium and into that International Miners' Federation we brought the Germans, the French, the Italians, the Belgians and the Dutch, and as members of that Federation there were the right hon. Thomas Burt, who became the Father of this House, the right hon. Charles Fenwick and ever so many who were then Members of the House, who remained ever so many years honoured Members of the House, and this is the kind of thing that has now developed into Bolshevism. That organisation for 36 years has had good results both to the Contimental miners and to ourselves. At a later date we brought in the American miners. Of all the miners in the world, I should think they are about the most prosaic. I do not think the American miner understands the meaning of Bolshevism as we conceive it. Knowing the very generous attitude the hon. Member for Swindon has taken on many occasions. I hoped better things. I hoped he would not have been frightened by this horrible bogey. He reminds me of Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner." He seems,Like one, that on a lonesome roadDoth walk in fear and dread,And Laving once turned round walls onAnd turns no more his head;Because he knows a frightful fiendDoth close behind him tread.Has he got into that state of fear? Is he, with his enlightened conception, with his ideas of unionism so afraid of the bogey of a Bolshevik? What Bolshevism was shown by the miners? The Home Secretary had charge of the peace during the whole of the seven months. Can be, either of his own knowledge or from information obtained otherwise say that there was ever a body of men and women and children in the country who maintained themselves in such a magnificent manner as did the miners, their wives and 1353 families during the dispute? What was there of the Bolshevik there? This Bill goes a great deal further than that. We all know that in the great country out west there are hundreds of thousands of people who are closely related to people in this country, and when a trade dispute takes place here appeals will be made to those close relations in the United States to send over some little assistance. The mere fact of inviting that assistance becomes an offence under this Bill. My hon. and learned Friend who moved the Second Reading will not deny that. The words are:It shall be an offence against this Act for any person, association or body corporate or incorporate to invite, solicit, procure or accept or knowingly to receive, use or provide funds contributed by or proceeding or derived from any foreign State, association or body corporate or incorporate or any national or naturalised subject of or domiciled resident in any foreign State, whether directly or by or through any agent or intermediary whatsoever, for the purpose of inciting, encouraging, promoting, furthering or maintaining any trade or industrial dispute in Great Britain.These words are so widely drawn and, in my opinion, deliberately drawn, for the purpose of preventing the least assistance coming to those who, unfortunately, are engaged in a trade dispute. Let it be understood that to be engaged in a trade dispute so far as the Miners Federation is concerned has been the direct and immediate consequence of the action of the employers and not of the action of the miners. In 1893, about 500,000 miners were locked out. They did not give in their notices; they did not make any demand upon the employers. The employers made a demand upon those 500,000 men to consent to a 25 per cent. reduction. The miners have never been in a position to accumulate funds for emergencies. I am one of the oldest miners' agents in the country and I know that at no time have the wages of the miners ever been, speaking in a broad general sense, sufficient to enable them to keep more than one week free, practically, from the poorhouse. They have never been able to save, and whenever they have been locked out by the employers the first week or two has seen them in a position of complete poverty. If they were to maintain the struggle at all, if they were not to surrender at once, they had to depend upon assistance. We have heard 1354 references to eleemosynary charity. I think it was by the hon. Member opposite.
§ Mr. WALSH
I am referring to eleemosynary charity. The very fact of inviting any relief whereby their struggle could be a little prolonged would penalise them. "Ah," say our friends, "does anyone believe that a pot of jam or a five-shilling piece or a five dollars note sent across would be held to have a tendency to prolong a dispute?" Why not? Anything which enables the power of resistance of the individual to be increased, is tending to prolong a dispute. The hon. and learned Gentleman says, "We do not intend to do a single jot of harm to trade unionism as such, only against the members of which the trade unions are composed." The common informer is to come in, and it will be necessary only to call to the mind of the Judge a reasonable suspicion.
§ Mr. WALSH
To lock up the small supply of charity, small even in the very greatest cases, is to put things on a very low plane. That small supply of charity has never been as great as in the case of the miners' lock-out in recent months but even then it did not average one shilling per week, and in the past it has not averaged 6d. a week or anything like it. Yet all this machinery, with all its tremendous implications, is to be set in motion. Why? As has been said, the mountain has, indeed, been in labour and has brought forth a ridiculous mouse. Whatever may be the result of the Division this afternoon, this particular Bill is as dead as mutton. It will have no more effect upon the broad general activities and the strength of trade unionism than would the slightest ripple on the broad Atlantic Ocean. This kind of legislation is silly, beneath contempt. Only the motive of those who bring in this kind of Bill is worth con- 1355 sidering. I appeal to all who do value the work of the House of Commons to assist in rejecting the Bill.
§ Mr. DUFF COOPER
In the few moments that remain, I wish to explain to the House the reasons why at least one Conservative will vote against the Bill. In the first place, I have a prejudice against a Bill which is designed to keep money out of this country. I do not find that there is too much money in the country. I never take it as a fault in any of my fellow subjects to receive money, wherever it comes from. We are told that we have to look to the motive that inspired these grants. The motive may be a good one. I will only suggest that as a possibility. We know that during the trade dispute a great deal of money reached the miners from people in this country who did not particularly sympathise with their cause. They have not the courageous logic of the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams), who refuses to contribute one penny to a cause with which he does not agree. It may be good logic, but, thank Heaven! logic is not a strong point with the British people. We know that money reached the miners in that way from people in this country. Some money also reached them from men in this country who were not British subjects. Under our law every penny was lawfully theirs. Suppose some kind-hearted Frenchman or Italian living in this country had contributed towards that fund, that money under this Bill would have illegally passed from one side to the other. We know that the motives that inspired the contributions from our fellow subjects were of the purest. We must get ourselves into the frame of mind of believing that even a foreigner can be inspired by pure motives. The Russian money was inspired, we know, by other motives. What have they got for it? Nothing! The Russians handed over this money and they got nothing for it at all.
§ Personally, I am delighted that this money should have come to the miners and helped them a little bit and not in the least have affected their loyalty or goodwill. It is a remarkable fact that, in spite of the length of the strike and the conditions under which it was waged, there was less bitterness and certainly less violence than has characterised any other strike in the country. We may be congratulated on the fact that there are such fools in the world as Russians or Bolshevists who really think that they can provoke a revolution in this country by a few million pounds.
§ Mr. COOPER
In this particular instance there is no doubt on which side the folly lay—on the side of the people who laid out the money and got no return. I do not think in another dispute the Russian Government will be equally eager to pour money into the coffers of either side. I have too strong a faith in the robust common-sense of the British people and their loyalty and allegiance to think that their political views will he seriously changed by one shilling a week.
§ Mr. KELLY rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. SPEAKER withheld his assent and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. BANKS rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 175; Noes, 97.1357
|Division No. 11.]||AYES.||[4.0 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Barnes, A.||Cape Thomas|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Batey, Joseph||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Charleton, H. C.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Berry, Sir George||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Bondfield, Margaret||Cluse, W. S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Broad, F. A.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Apsley, Lord||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Bromley, J.||Compton, Joseph|
|Baker, Walter||Burgoyne, Lieut-Colonel Sir Alan||Couper, J. B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burman, J. B.||Courtauld, Major J. s.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Cove, W. G.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kennedy, T.||Scurr, John|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sexton, James|
|Dennison, R.||Kirkwood, D.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Duncan, C.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Dunnico, H.||Lansbury, George||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lawrence, Susan||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lee, F.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lindley, F. W.||Smillie, Robert|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Looker, Herbert William||Smith, H. B. Lees. (Keighley)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gardner, J. P.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Snell, Harry|
|Gillett, George M.||Mackinder, W.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Goff, Sir Park||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Malone, Major P. B.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||March, S.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Groves, T.||Maxton, James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Grundy, T. W.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Montague, Frederick||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Viant, S. P.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Mosley, Oswald||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Naylor, T. E.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hardie, George D.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Oliver, George Harold||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Palin, John Henry||Wells, S. R.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Paling, W.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Whiteley, W.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Raine, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hirst, G. H.||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Mr. Mitchell Banks and Sir Basil Peto.|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Forrest, W.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gates, Percy||Neville, R. J.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Gibbs, Col Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Pitcher, G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Ramsden, E.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hartington, Marquess of||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hudson, Capt. A. (J. M. (Hackney, N.)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Jacob, A. K.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Livingstone, A. M.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||McLean, Major A.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Meller, R. J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Meyer, sir Frank||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Morris, R. H.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Womersley and Mr. Skelton.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."1360
§ The House divided: Ayes, 75; Noes, 183.1361
|Division No. 12.]||AYES.||[4.10 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland N.)||Ramsden, E.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Grant, Sir J. A.||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Apsley, Lord||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Slaney, Major p. Kenyon|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Smithers, Waldron|
|Couper, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. p.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, Capt A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Hurd, Percy A.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Jacob, A. E.||Wells, S. R.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Erakine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wood, Sir S. Hill. (High Peak)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Woodcock, Colonel H. C|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Neville, R. J.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Mr. Mitchell Banks and Sir Basil Peto.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Fermoy, Lord||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Forrest, W.||Lucas-Tooth, St Hugh Vere|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William|
|Ammon, Charles George||Gardner, J. p.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gates, Percy||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gillett, George M.||Mackinder, W.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Baker, Walter||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||MacNeill Weir, L.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grentell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||March, S.|
|Barnes, A.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Maxton, James|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Groves, T.||Meller, R. J.|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy, T. W.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Berry, Sir George||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Montague, Frederick|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hall, F. (York, W. B., Normanton)||Morris, R. H.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morrison R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hardie, George D.||Mosley, Oswald|
|Broad, F. A.||Harris, Percy A.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hartington, Marquess of||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Bromley, J.||Hayday, Arthur||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hayes, John Henry||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Palin, John Henry|
|Cape, Thomas||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Paling, W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry s.||Hirst, G. H.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield).||Potts, John S|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon, John R.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Raine, W.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Compton, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kennedy, T.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Dennison, R.||Kirkwood, D.||Sandon, Lord|
|Duncan, C.||Lansbury, George||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Dunnico, H.||Lawrence, Susan||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lee, F.||Scurr, John|
|Sexton, James||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Whiteley, W.|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Thorns, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Thurtle, Ernest||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Skelton, A. N.||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smillie, Robert||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Windsor, Walter|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Varley, Frank B.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Viant, S. P.||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wallhead, Richard C.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Snell, Harry||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Watson, W. M. (Duntermline)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Taylor, R. A.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Mr. Kelly and Mr. Rose.|
Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ Words added.
§ Second Reading put off for six months.