HC Deb 21 February 1927 vol 202 cc1501-43

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a supplementary sum, not exceeding £220,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Ministry of Health; including Grants and other Expenses in connection with Housing, Grants to Local Authorities, etc., in connection with Public Health Services, Grants-in-Aid in respect of Benefits and Expenses of Administrations under the National Health Insurance Acts, certain Expenses in connection with the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925, and certain Special Services.


There are just two or three items to which I should like to refer in asking the Committee to approve of this Supplementary Estimate. The first one about which I think I should say a word or two is the sum of £350,000 which is required for sickness and disablement benefit under the National Health Insurance Act, and, in addition to that figure, there is a sum of £13,000 for Wales. Indication has already been given, in considering the last Vote, of matters which have arisen in connection with National Health Insurance owing to heavy and abnormal sickness expenditure, and, as in Scotland, we have found in England and Wales that, during the current financial year, although there has been for the most part no prevalence of any marked epidemic or exceptional outbreak of sickness, there has been a wholly exceptional increase in claims upon certain approved societies, especially in the coal-mining areas; and the same conditions have led to an increased expenditure on drugs, necessitating an extra grant of £25,000, which the Committee will find under Sub-head H.1.

I may say at once, because certainly the Ministry of Health regard this as a very serious matter, that it is estimated that, after making an allowance for the increased amounts distributed as additional benefits, the claims experience of the approved societies has exceeded that of 1925 by no less than £2,309,000; and it is very significant that the rate of increase and the expansion of sickness benefit was not uniform throughout the country, but that its geographical distribution has corresponded very closely with the incidence of unemployment due to the coal dispute. I only desire to state quite simply to the Committee the figures which have been supplied to me by the Department. It appears that the increase in the requirements for ordinary benefit for the year 1926, over the year 1925, was an actual increase of no less than 9 per cent., but the extent of the increase in expenditure has varied considerably as between different approved societies up and down the country. In one selected group of societies it has actually increased by no less than 20 per cent., and in other societies it has grown very considerably indeed, especially in the mining societies. Up to the beginning of May, the sickness experience of the country, apart from a slight tendency to rise which has been general during the last two or three years, was fairly normal. After that date we have experienced a tremendous rise in the expenditure of the approved societies, just as I have indicated.


Is it not that there was a considerable amount of destitution in the mining areas and that many miners had insufficient food? Does not that, apart altogether from the ordinary epidemic curves, prove that there was a great likelihood of excessive sickness in the mining areas?


The next statement I am going to make is rather a complete answer to that suggestion because, while the expenditure of the approved societies rose in the way I have indicated, after the termination of the dispute the average weekly expenditure of certain of the societies specially affected actually dropped as much as one-third, and in the case of some of the societies, in December last year the average weekly expenditure was less than the corresponding expenditure in December, 1925. I agree that in times of industrial depression one might naturally look for some measure of increased sickness. There are, no doubt, a number of insured persons whose condition borders upon incapacity for work, but who remain at work as long as work is available. When they cannot work, there may be cases where they are properly entitled to a medical certificate of incapacity, but in reviewing the situation in June, the Minister, and I think everyone concerned with the matter, could not escape the conclusion that there were large numbers of insured persons who had succeeded in obtaining medical certificates, although they were not in fact incapable of work within the definition of the National Insurance Act, and this fact has been confirmed by the very large number of eases that were referred to the medical referees. That has been a very high proportion indeed of claimants who, when they were referred to the medical referees, signed off in preference to presenting themselves for examination, and in this Supplementary Estimate there is a sum of an extra £30,000 which was spent in the increased employment of medical referees, because directly we saw this abnormal rise in the increase of sickness expenditure, we got into communication with the medical men of the country and with the approved societies themselves, and they have increased very largely the employment of the regional medical staffs.

Simply as illustrating the abnormal condition, and the reason why we are ask- ing for this extra Vote, I will tell the Committee that the normal number of people who are referred to the medical referees under the National Insurance Act every year is some 200,000. The approved societies refer these cases to the medical referees. In the period I refer to, from the beginning to the end of the coal stoppage, the societies, largely on their own account, and certainly with the support of my right hon. Friend, were referring at the rate per annum of between 400,000 and 500,000 persons to the medical referees. It is a very astonishing thing that, of those people who were referred, some 40 per cent. signed off in preference to presenting themselves for medical examination, and as for the remainder the examination proved that instead of the usual experience, which was that of the number who actually present themselves to the medical referees some 80 per cent. are found incapable of work, although there were two or three times the number referred it was only found that some 66 per cent. were incapable of work. Therefore, we found this situation, that out of every 100 cases referred to the medical referees in the period referred to, 40 per cent. immediately signed off and did not present themselves for examination, so that there were 60 out of the 100 left to present themselves. Of those 60 it was found that another 20 were not incapable of work. That is a bare recital of the facts which are well known to the approved societies and which have been a source of constant anxiety to all those who have been interested in national insurance work during the last few months.

Undoubtedly it has been a very abnormal period and the resumption of work has had a very marked effect upon the expenditure so far as sickness benefit is concerned. One does not want to refer to the names of societies—I think they are well known to those who are interested in the work—but I have in my hand the names of a number of societies in colliery districts. There is one here with an approximate membership of 880. The number of men on the funds in a week which ended the coal stoppage was 197. The number that declared off during the last fortnight following the termination of the coal stoppage was no less than 132. So I could go on giving these figures. I am only doing so to account to the House for this very large sum which I am asking for in respect of national insurance expenditure, but also to assure the House that so far as ordinary foresight can see, this is an unforeseen and unfortunate experience so far as national insurance is concerned which I am sure everyone hopes will not be repeated. I do not think anyone could blame the Department or the approved societies or the accountant who is responsible for these figures and the Estimate so far as my Department is concerned during the past year or hold them responsible for the undoubtedly disastrous consequences which followed the recent industrial dispute, and so far as we can judge at the Ministry—we have taken account of this in the Estimate—things are now rapidly approaching the normal and the normal rate of sickness insurance experience will, I hope, soon be reached. Undoubtedly this particular experience has been a very unfortunate one to approved societies, not by any means affecting their stability or security, because that is very strong, but undoubtedly it has had a very serious effect and has been a source of very great anxiety indeed to a very large number of societies up and down the country who have been engaged in national insurance work.

There are other items which are of a more pleasant nature. In this Vote, there is an item which arises in connection with a new dental service, which is for the first time being inaugurated in connection with national insurance. The money is required for the salaries of regional dental officers for the last two months of the present financial year. The Committee may remember that out of the surpluses available for additional benefits, as the result of the second valuation of approved societies, some £2,000,000 had to be reallocated to pay benefits under the additional benefit scheme, and I am glad to say that 6,300 societies are engaged in administering this extra benefit. This dental benefit is one of the most popular additional benefits under the National Insurance Act. The scope of the new service has been agreed upon between a committee representing the approved societies of the country and the dental profession almost with unanimity—I think there was some objection by a very small body—as to the terms and conditions of the service, and we are asking to-night that the Committee should sanction this new advance, so far as dental treatment is concerned, which I believe will have very far-reaching consequences in improvement in the health of the people.

There is an additional sum of £80,000, which is required for the salaries and wages of the staff employed in the administration of the new pension scheme. Our original Estimate was presented, the late Minister of Health will remember, before the cost of the Act could be fully foreseen. Very many alterations were made in the Measure, and as a consequence of that, and also, undoubtedly, due to the very large additional work which has been thrown upon the staff in connection with the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Scheme, we are asking for this additional sum. The scheme has now been in operation for 13 months, and already over 340,000 pensions to widows, orphans and insured persons over 70 years have been granted. If we take children into account, the 340,000 pensions cover over 600,000 people. That represents a very large amount of work and it has made very great demands upon the staff. In addition, as many hon. Members know, we are taking immediate steps in order that within a few months time we may be properly prepared for those pensions which will become payable to over half a million people who, having reached the age of 65, and being between 65 and 70, will be drawing old age pensions under the conditions laid down by this House as far as the Widows, etc., Pensions scheme is concerned. Very rightly, the additional staff has been required to make arrangements for the 1,200,000 people who by the end of next year will be drawing their pensions and allowances under this new scheme. Very few people in this House will grudge the very small amount, if I may so call it, that we are asking for in order that we may be able to cope with the large amount of work which this Act has brought with it.

There is a sum of £100,000 mentioned in the Supplementary Estimate in regard to which it would be wise to say a word, because it is represented as a saving in respect of housing expenditure. I do not want any hon. Member to think that this means any curtailment as far as the housing programme is concerned. It is purely a matter of account as far as the Addison Act is concerned, and is really in relation to large amounts which have been outstanding for some time in respect of a few local authorities. People who have had experience of housing accounts know that in respect of the Addison scheme it has been a subject for some time of negotiation between various authorities up and down the country, with a view to adjusting the necessary expenditure between the State and the municipalities. In that respect, we are anticipating a saving of £100,000. It does not affect the housing schemes under the Chamberlain Act, as we call it, or the Wheatley Act, but is purely an adjustment of the accounts outstanding in respect of the Addison Act.

To the best of my ability, I will endeavour to answer any questions asked concerning this Supplementary Estimate. But I would emphasise the fact that the extra amount for which we are asking is very largely due, in the first place, to the matter with which I dealt at the beginning of my speech, secondly, to the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, and, thirdly, to the inauguration of the new dental service under the National Insurance Act. I hope that the Committee, after putting whatever questions they may desire, will feel that this is a fit and proper Supplementary Estimate, and I shall then ask them to approve of it.


I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.

I would like to congratulate the hon. Member on his very clear and lucid statement, and to express my own gratitude to him for having left us in no doubt as to the view of the Government regarding the integrity of the medical profession. Until the hon. Member spoke, I had been almost convinced by the temper of the Committee, while discussing these Supplementary Estimates, that we were rapidly qualifying to be held up to the people who are asking for industrial peace as an example of how far we have succeeded in achieving peace in politics. The hon. Member's statement regarding an honourable, honoured and respected profession is not one that can go unchallenged and uncriticised in this House. It amounts to this, that during the coal stoppage large numbers of the medical profession were guilty of fraud, and that they were aided and abetted in carrying out their fraudulent policy by large masses of the working classes in this country. There is no use in mincing matters. If it be true, as the hon. Member, speaking for the Government, alleges, that the approved societies of this country have been deprived of large sums of money through members of the medical profession granting certificates that were not warranted, then those medical practitioners were guilty of a very gross system of fraud. Now that is not the view of the medical profession that I have learned from experience in life and during my brief experience at the Ministry of Health. I have always been taught to look on the members of that profession as being among the most honourable sections of the community, and I am sure they will read with amazement to-morrow the statement made on behalf of the Government to-day. One wonders if there is any limit to the number of evils that have to be credited to the recent coal dispute. The Garden of Eden has been superseded; original sin is no longer responsible for all the mischief in the world. It all dates back indeed to the 1st May, when the miners of this country entered upon their industrial struggle.

I have no doubt that if the hon. Member pursues his investigation of what has happened to insurance societies during that period in the frame of mind that dominated his utterances in the Committee to-night, he will be able to reveal to us on an early date that Bolshevist influences have been active in the medical profession and that, somehow or other, Mr. A. J. Cook, acting under instructions from Moscow, has set out on a deliberate policy to ruin the approved societies and bring about a social revolution in Great Britain! I leave the Government and the medical profession to settle that for themselves. I have no doubt that the medical profession in this country will find means to clear its character from the imputations—in my opinion the unjust imputations—,hat have been cast upon it to-night by the representative of the Ministry of Health.

The hon. Member referred to other items in the demand which he is now making on the House, and, having given his statement in support of these, said that he hoped no section of the Committee would grudge the money which his Department desires. I think I can say for this side of the Committee that we do not grudge the money but I want to say that we are surprised that it should be necessary, not merely under one head but under five heads, and year after year, to come to this House with Supplementary Estimates. We are here spending an evening which might have been well spent in discussing the social conditions of the people, but probably to prevent our discussing adequately those conditions, the Government embarrasses this House by keeping most of its time devoted to passing Supplementary Estimates. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite may laugh at this statement, but I wonder what they would think of the managers in their own businesses who found it necessary, not merely once, but year after year and ender various headings, to come up and tell them they could not make a reasonably careful estimate of the expenditure for the 12 months. They would not think much of the capacity of such managers.

I know that the hon. Member has a very competent staff at the Ministry of Health, and I am quite sure that he would not give the answer that they could not estimate for him the expenditure of the ensuing l2 months. At any rate, they would not go wrong year after year and under various headings. It might be the case that under one heading such as the administration of the widows' pension scheme, where the work was new, they would find it impossible to estimate accurately their financial requirements. If it was only under that heading that the hon. Member came forward to seek additional money we might not have much to say. But when he comes forward and asks us under the ordinary headings of expenditure, then we can only assume that the Government treats this House very lightly when it makes up its Estimates and comes here and throws them at our head and says, "Well, you can pass this under the strict assurance that before the financial year closes we will take up a considerable amount of our time in granting Supplementary Estimates." I want to protest again to that, and I want to renew my protest against the attack which has been made on the medical profession.


Could the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee how he explains the figures which the Parliamentary Secretary has given?


I am sure the hon. Member does not expect that I am going to explain the financial policy of the Government. I want to revert to the other point. The only evidence in support of this amazing charge is the results of the appeals that were made to the medical referees. The hon. Member pointed out that large numbers of people whose cases have been referred to these referees had been turned down as not being unfit to work, but when the hon. Member has taught us to doubt the honesty of the medical profession, how can he expect us to accept without question the decision of the medical referees? If one section of the medical profession, acting under Bolshevist influences in the mining districts, may grant bogus certificates to please the miners, may not another section of the same dishonest profession, grant medical certificates to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Health? You see, once you have destroyed faith in the honesty and integrity of that profession you have nothing at all to go on, and I hope that the Committee will very largely support the Amendment that I am going to move, namely, that as a protest against the attack on the medical profession, this Vote be reduced by £100.


I do not want to follow the Parliamentary Secretary very closely in regard to the detailed questions that he has raised as to the reason for asking for this additional amount of money for health insurance and I do not want to debate the question as to whether it is solely entirely due to the recent stoppage. I should like to point out to him that, however far the stoppage may be responsible for the sickness benefit, there is, at any rate, one thing which is constantly going on in this country which is always swelling the amount of sickness and that is the conditions of housing in very many of the crowded centres of our great cities. The Parliamentary Secretary has referred to one item in the figures before us that deals specifically with housing and he said that we were to understand that the suggested saving, so-called, was not actually a saving because the houses were built and, as I understand him, instead of the amount being paid by the Government, this £100,000 is being paid by the locality. That does not remove us from the point that we in this House have voted a certain sum of money to be used for the purpose of helping in providing further houses. If I agree to what the Minister is now suggesting, it seems to me that I agree to a reduction in the amount. But there is nothing to prevent him spending the money on some other housing scheme.

I cannot say that because some localities have found the money for their needs, there is no reason why this money should not be spent in the centre of London. The Parliamentary Secretary has indicated that the housing shortage is being met to some extent, but if the Minister thinks that this £100,000 need not have been used, I would point out to him that, in central London, he and his Department have not touched in the slightest the great need of housing for the people. I do not suggest that the London County Council have not made great efforts, but if the Minister thinks that he and the London County Council have met all that is required and that £100,000 can be handed back now to pay sickness benefit, then I say it is an exceedingly short-sighted policy. I have in mind the housing problem in Finsbury. I think of the men and women who are constantly asking for further accommodation. We are the most crowded district in the whole of London. I asked the Minister, therefore, why it is that this £100,000, if he has it to spare, cannot be allocated for use in Finsbury. The housing shortage is one of the most appalling tragedies in our midst to-day.

It is not only poor people without money who are crowded together. I had a visit recently from a woman whose husband and three sons, young men from 18 to 22 years of age, were all at work. The accommodation available was not sufficient to provide them with decent housing. In spite of the income that was coming into that family, they could not find the accommodation that they required. They might have got it if they had gone out to some of the London County Council estates, but, as she said, the sum of money that would be taken out of the family income in order to provide the railway fares for the whole of the wage-earners, made the thing impossible. Only two or three days ago I was interviewed by a man whose family are under orders to leave their house because it is required in connection with some improvements. The Finsbury Borough Council have some more housing schemes in hand, but this man informed me that, although he was making £3 to £4 a week, having received this order to quit, he had spent his time in trying to find rooms. That prevented him from earning his living, and he could not find accommodation any where near the place where he is living to-day, and he said that if he removed a great distance his trade was gone.

That is the position in which we are in central London. Then there are the old houses that are crowded with people. The Minister of Health is asking for large sums of money to provide for sickness, but these old and crowded houses are the places in which the greater part of the sickness that the Minister is trying to remedy is being caused. According to a report of the Lone County Council, dated 1919, 50,000 houses were required annually to meet the needs of London. To-day, according to a recent report and a statement in the "Westminster Gazette," that figure, instead of being reduced, is 62,000 houses. That is the position of housing in the County of London. It is the great unsolved problem. I know that the Minister will say—


It seems to me that the hon. Member is now discussing the policy on which the saving has arisen. That will not be in order on this Vote. All that the hon. Member is entitled to do on a Supplementary Estimate of this kind is to ask for information ac to how the sum has been saved.


I want to ask the Minister why this money has been saved. I suppose I should be in order in asking why he could not spend the money in the way I suggest? I disagree with him in having made any saving whatever. By allowing the conditions of housing which I have described to go on in central London, he is only adding to his difficulties in regard to sickness benefit. Fie is laying the blame on the coal stoppage, but it ought also to be laid on the housing conditions that we have in London. This is one of the great examples of the benefit of private enterprise.


There, again, the hon. Member is getting back to policy. The question for the Committee to consider is how this money has been saved.


I do not know how far it is policy. As far as the money is concerned, surely the policy has already been laid down that the Government ought to be spending more money upon helping to provide houses for the working classes. I was trying to suggest that in Finsbury, where we are suffering from too much private enterprise, we would have liked a little more Government enterprise to remove this evil. We find that one of the great landed estates in the centre of London is allowing the houses practically to fall down. If the Minister is not prepared to build houses with this money, why could he not use some of it in order to help to keep in occupation the houses in which families are now living? We understand that the Minister has not been able to use this money because there is not enough labour. Another reason suggested is that the rate of interest is so high as to make an additional charge upon all the houses that are provided. When the Minister has money to use for housing purposes, I ask him to consider whether it is not possible to use it in order to keep in existence some of the houses that are now occupied. In the centre of London you find these houses which have been used as dwelling houses, now empty or let for business purposes. I am convinced that if we really want to cut at the root of much of the sickness in our midst to-day we must tackle the housing question properly. The problem of central London is still left untouched. It is one of the abominations in our midst to-day, and no word that can be used in this House could be too strong to describe the condition of the people in the centre of London. People are herded together worse than horses or cattle.


I must again ask the hon. Member to keep to the question that is before the Committee.


On a point of Order. I would direct your attention to a paragragh on page 536 of "Erskine May," which deals with this point. I submit that the hon. Member is entitled to discuss policy, because policy is distinctly raised by the Estimate before us. The paragraph says: Debate on supplementary and excess grants is restricted to the particulars contained in the Estimates on which those grants are sought, and to the application of the items which compose those grants; and the debate cannot touch the policy or the expenditure sanctioned, on other heads, by the estimate on which the original grant was obtained, except so far as such policy or expenditure is brought before the Committee by the items contained in the Supplementary or Excess Estimates. I submit that the point which my hon. Friend raises is covered by the Estimate before us.


This particular item deals with a saving, and it has been frequently ruled by my predecessors in the Chair that on an item of that kind the merits of the policy which has resulted in the saving should not be discussed. The only question which arises is how the money has been saved.


Is it not in order to discuss whether or not the saving is a legitimate one and whether the money should not have been expended?


The hon. Member was discussing the merits of the policy by which the money was saved, and to do so is not in order in this Debate.


I suggest, Sir, that I am in order in raising this point because this money was to be used for private houses, and what I have been trying to point out is that the money has been saved by withholding it from the locality in which I am interested and in which it is so badly needed. Had the Minister let us have this sum of £100,000 in Finsbury it could have been utilised to advantage. I do not wish, however, to infringe your ruling, Sir. I have done what I wanted to do, namely, to impress upon the Parliamentary Secretary that if he really desires to assist the sick benefit societies the most effective way of doing so is to press on with the improvement of housing conditions. The hon. Gentleman knows the Borough of Finsbury. At one time he was anxious to represent a part of it in the House of Commons. The people of Finsbury never had the opportunity of saying whether they would have been favoured by his presence in the House as their representative or not. Judging by their views to-day, I imagine he would not be acceptable to them. At any rate I press upon him the needs of this district in which he was interested, and I hope when next he has a sum of £100,000 to spare he will do something with it towards removing what is a standing disgrace to our civilisation.


Referring to the statement by the Parliamentary Secretary regarding the increased sickness in the mining areas, as indicated by the Estimate, I desire to call his attention to certain statements which he made during the coal dispute. It is a very narrow kind of satisfaction to say, "I told you so." But I think, following on the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary this evening, Members on this side can truly point out that during the whole of that dispute we claimed that the Government policy was causing increased sickness and destitution which would be reflected in the Ministry of Health figures when they became available. We were then told by the Minister himself, and by the Parliamentary Secretary, that there was no malnutrition; that as a matter of fact people in the mining areas were better fed, in better health, and better off generally, than they had ever been before. Those of us who had been through the mining areas, people like myself—I presided over a miners' relief committee—knew that the statements made from the Government benches regarding conditions in the mining areas were false and bore no relation whatever to the actual facts of the case. But all the Government spokesmen were concerned with was comforting the public. When they were issuing circular after circular to cut down relief, they were, as a matter of fact condemning large numbers of people in the mining areas to ill-health and excessive sickness and that is shown in the figures which the Parliamentary Secretary has placed before us to-night.

Some of us have bitter memories of the letter which the Prime Minister himself sent to America stating that there was no distress in the mining areas. I wish the statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary to-night could be given as wide publicity in the American Press as that letter received, so as to give the lie to the Premier's own statement at that time. It is always most difficult to get out the truth and to follow up an untruth, but that is what these figures do. The Parliamentary Secretary has said that men who were capable of work did not sign on so long as work was available, but that when work was no longer available they went on to the Health Insurance. That statement bears out what we have always said about the conditions in those areas. The men will go on working until they drop because they do not want their families to suffer, but when malnutrition is added to their other difficulties, of course they have, to sign on to the Health Insurance Fund. I would recall to the Parliamentary Secretary, who seems to find so much to smile at in my statement, what the facts are, and I wish he would face the facts which his own actions have brought about among these unfortunate people. All this seems to he a matter for amusement for people who have never gone into the mining areas and who merely see figures which are explained away comfortingly by the Parliamentary Secretary.

What did the Minister's own Circular do? Steadily throughout that dispute the Ministry of Health Circulars concentrated on preventing relief of any kind getting to able-bodied men, and not only to able-bodied men, but even to pit lads. We had case after case where the only person in the household who was able to claim relief was the mother. She was getting her 10s. and she might have three or four grown-up sons and a husband. Where were they to get food? The whole family was trying to live on a miserable pittance that would scarcely have kept the woman herself, and then the Ministry's representative comes here, and, although the effect of their own policy has been to cause excessive sickness, he has nothing better to do than to libel the medical profession. I am sorry that these statements seem to cause so much amusement on the other side. We had cases in Scotland where, in order to prevent men or pit boys sharing in any relief which might be given to the mothers and the younger children, these mothers and children were gathered to the schools and fed in public halls, in order that the fathers should not share in the food that was given them. The result of that is that the man, because of ill nourishment, has to go to his panel doctor and then the representative of the Ministry tries to explain away these figures on some utterly irrelevant issue. The Women's Relief Committee had to send some of these pit lads abroad in order to get homes for them. The pit lads had to be sent out of this country altogether in order that they might get food. Had they remained at home, they would have had to go on to the sick fund and swell still further the figures which have been given us.

The Ministry of Health try to excuse the fact by saying that the men did not actually go up for medical inspection. Those who know the mining areas better than hon. Members on the other side of the House know the amount of pressure that was brought to bear on the doctors to prevent them putting anyone on the fund they could possibly keep off. The result of mal-nutrition, and the ill-health caused by it, is not a disease which a doctor can cure by administering a pill. It is food not medicine that is needed, and the Ministry of Health say that these people have no right to be on the National Health Insurance Fund. The statement of the Parliamentary Secretary this evening is the most appalling condemnation of the whole policy of the Ministry of Health throughout the mining dispute. No fact could have borne out more distinctly what we said during the whole of the Poor Law Debates and the insurance Debates and the Debates on the mining dispute than the figures which the Ministry of Health has now put before us, and for the Parliamentary Secretary to try and explain them away, these figures, the result of his own policy, by saying that the doctors put on the fund people who ought not to have been put on is not only a libel on the medical profession, but an insult to the intelligence of this Committee. The doctors at any rate hehaved like decent citizens and as men with some humanity. They tried to get food for these unfortunate men whom the Ministry of Health tried to starve. It is the greatest compliment that can be paid to the medical profession to say that, rather than put up with official Regulations, rather than starve these men, they did their best to get them some food. I say that the figures which have been given to the Committee this evening—it is no laughing matter in spite of the amusement of the Parliamentary Secretary—condemn the policy of the Department and they also condemn the Prime Minister, who could send that letter to America with all its falsehoods saying that there was no distress in the mining areas.


It is rather an unusal experience, but a very pleasant one, to hear my own profession so belauded as it has been to-night from the benches of the Labour party. My own experience is that we have not received many compliments from hon. Members opposite. But to-night we have had the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) applauding the honour and kindness of the medical profession and honouring that profession to the extent of proposing a reduction of the Vote on account of the numerous shortcomings of the Department. The hon. Lady the Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) has handed many bouquets to my profession, and I feel rather overcome. But her compliments were rather of a backhanded nature, because, as far as I understood her argument, she said that the medical men had been more kind and charitable than the Department and had put these men on medical benefit when they ought not to have been put there. That they were, in fact, doing a dishonest act; that they were men of dishonour. Mal-nutrition is not a disease for which a medical benefit can be given. If a doctor puts on a medical certificate that the person is suffering from disability or mal-nutrition, the approved society would not accept that certificate.

10.0 p.m.

The question which has been raised by the Parliamentary Secretary this evening opens up a very wide subject and has brought to the front one of the inherent defects of the National Insurance Act which we recognised from the beginning was bound to come up some time. His statement as to the great increase in medical benefit, which coincided with the coal stoppage, shows or rather is implication, that a certain number of men, an extra number of men, went on medical benefit either because they were not genuinely sick or because doctors were lenient in giving them certificates. That is a most serious implication against my profession and one which ought to be most carefully examined. Doctors are human beings like their patients. They have their hopes and desires, they have their anxieties too, and while in practice they are anxious not to offend their patients unnecessarily. There are one or two points, however, which strike me very forcibly, to which we ought to address ourselves and see if we can find some explanation. One very funny occurrence was that as soon as the coal stoppage was over there was a sudden drop in benefits. If the hon. Lady the Member for Middlesbrough is right, that a great amount of the sickness was due to starvation or mal-nutrition, one would not expect that as soon as the stoppage was over, these people would suddenly recover their health and strength and go back to work. There was not sufficient time for them to regain their health. That is rather an awkward circumstance.

Another point that is suspicious is that the approved societies sent a larger number of cases to the medical referees, 100 per cent. more than the average. That leads to the suspicion that the approved societies thought that some of these people were not genuinely ill and that they ought not to have a certificate. There is no other way of accounting for that sudden increase in the number. The approved societies must have been suspicious that there were some cases which were not properly entitled to medical benefit. And a very suspicious sign also is this, that 40 per cent. of those who ought to have gone to the medical referees suddenly decided to sign off. If they were genuinely sick and entitled to benefit they would be only too pleased to go to the referee and obtain his corroboration of the genuineness of their case, and the fact that 40 per cent. suddenly decided not to go before the referee gives rise to the suspicion that they were not genuine cases.


May I ask you a question? Did you sign any certificate when you had any doubt about the case?


I will explain to the hon. Member. When I was in practice we were up against this great difficulty in national health insurance. A patient would have an accident or some illness, a genuine illness like pneumonia or acute rheumatism, and after a certain time, from the medical point of view, that person had recovered except for a certain amount of weakness. They were not quite up to their usual and normal strength. One of the peculiarities of the Insurance Act is that a person can do no work or he can do full work. They cannot do part work. You cannot say that a person is suffering from debility, you must give a definite disease. The result was that very often I thought the patient was well enough to do light work, but the patient said, "I really have not the strength to do the amount of work I have to do," and I had to take his word. And so the case comes to this, that the panel doctor is practically in the hands of his patient. If the patient says, "I am not strong enough to do a certain thing," the doctor cannot say that he is. He may have a strong suspicion, but if he tells the patient, "It does not matter whether you are strong enough or not. I will sign you off," the patient goes away and tells all his friends: "Dr. So-and-so signed me off. He is a brute. Don't you ever go to him." That is reported around the district, and the doctor may lose ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred panel patients.

At the present time the doctor has to please his panel patients if he wants to keep his panel practice, and that is the particular dfficulty. If the doctor wants to be absolutely honest to his own conscience, he has to run the risk of offending patients and losing his practice. In all cases there is a certain element of doubt. Hon. Members will see that this is the difficulty of the doctor in this matter of National Health Insurance. It is very difficult for a doctor to prove whether a man is fit to work. Supposing a man says, "I have a pain in my back." you examine him carefully and you say, "I cannot find any pain, although you tell me you have a pain." The patient says, "No, but I feel the pain." What are you going to do in that case?

So, although I think the doctors perhaps are under a little suspicion and perhaps have been a little too lenient and have not exercised sufficient care in sending patients back to work, I think the main result that we arrive at from the Estimate that the Under-Secretary is bringing forward is this. That a certain number of people, be they large or small, finding they were locked out and finding that they could not get relief from the Poor Law, suddenly remembered that there was such a thing as a panel doctor, and if they had a cough or a cold they could legitimately get medical benefit. Having got on the list they took good care that they did not get off until they were absolutely fit and well and strong. That perhaps is human nature. So long as you have national health insurance on its present basis, you will have that difficulty to face—the man who is anxious to get benefit and the doctor in the awkward position of having to decide whether the patient is ill or well. The result is that the morale of the patient and of the doctor in some cases is sapped, and we get what we have had to-night, a huge increase in the medical benefit, suddenly increasing with the coal stoppage, suddenly decreasing when the coal stoppage is over, and leaving an uneasy suspicion in the minds of many people that things are not as they ought to be.


The debate so far has been extremely interesting and I want, if I may, to clear up a doubt that is in the mind of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Royton (Dr. Vernon Davies). Those of us who have something to do with National Health Insurance know full well that the doctors are doing their work very well indeed in connection with the panel practice. I think it would be a mistake, however, if we did not realise that there are good doctors and bad ones. If one per cent. of the panel doctors issued certificates in a loose way that would be sufficient to account for all the money we are discussing. Some people blame the doctors; others the approved societies. I would like to go beyond those two classes and say that if anybody is to be blamed it must be the Government. Our difficulties in connection with this problem arise from the passage last year of what is called the Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. Some of us predicted at that time that the Government's action in taking away part of the State grant towards the funds of the approved societies would undoubtedly shake the foundations of the societies as a whole. It has not actually done that yet; but it has had a very serious effect upon the finances of the approved societies, as witnessed by what the Under-Secretary has -already told us. I would like to correct the Parliamentary Secretary in one statement that he made. He compared what was happening now in the approved societies by way of payment of benefits with what transpired during the coal stoppage. He will find that during the last fortnight benefit payments from approved societies in this country, owing to the epidemic of influenza, will probably be as high if not higher than anything witnessed during the coal dispute. That is the experience of some of the approved societies, at any rate.

I should be very sorry indeed if national health insurance became the subject of political party warfare. I want to keep it clear of that and to place it on a sound financial and financial actuarial basis. I want the Parliamentary Secretary to be good enough to reply to a few questions which I shall put to him. He has a sum down in the Estimates of £800 in respect of regional dental officers. I was always under the impression that more than one were appointed to this staff. If eight or nine have been appointed, how comes it about that we have only £800 here? I would like to know from him what are the conditions under which these gentlemen are employed.

There is another point in connection with the administration of National Health Insurance which comes under our purview this evening, and it is this: The dental profession, as the hon. Gentleman knows full well, has gained considerably from the scheme which has been adopted recently whereby dental benefit is paid as an additional benefit by most of the approved societies. If an approved society is not in a position to pay the full cost of treatment in connection with dental benefit, will the Ministry allow the society to pay, say, 50 or 75 per cent. instead of crippling their funds by being called upon to pay the 100 per cent.? Again, how many approved societies, and what is the membership covered by them, have declined to operate up to now the scheme of additional benefit in respect to dental treatment and dentures? I understand that some of the societies, in Lancashire in particular, have thought fit to decline to carry out the Ministry's Regulations in this connection, and it would be interesting to know the exact position at the moment.

I do not know whether this point will be new to the hon. Gentleman, but I trust he will be able to give us some explanation as to what is going to happen on this, perhaps, a rather small point, but a very important one to the individuals concerned. On the passage of the Widows Pensions Act we never foresaw everything that would transpire as a consequence of its passing. In practice, in the administration of this new scheme, plus the National Health Insurance Act, we find this happening. It is rather a technical point, but I hope the hon. Member will follow me. An insured person who was a voluntary contributor becomes compulsorily insured for, say, a period of 20 weeks. Strangely enough, that compulsory insured person cannot now become a voluntarily insured person although he was once a voluntary contributor, merely by virtue of the fact that he has not the necessary number of contributions to his credit under the Widows' Pensions Act. The result is that one provision of the Widows' Pension Act has actually torpedoed a provision of the National Health Insurance Act. We understand the present Government to be the Government of all the talents, and I should have thought that, whatever we on this side missed, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health would certainly have foreseen an anomaly of that kind. In any case, the position is unfair to the class of person that I mentioned, and I trust he will be able to do something to meet the complaints that are met with on all hands in that connection.

We are asked to-night also to pass a Supplementary Estimate in connection with the inspectorial staff. I was under the impression that the Government, in their economy proposals, had intended to carry out before now some arrangement whereby the inspectors under the National Health Insurance Act would undertake work in connection with the Unemployment Insurance and the Widows' Pensions Acts. I would like to know whether the Government have done anything at all to co-ordinate the work of the inspectors in connection with these three State schemes, and thereby reduce the expenses.

I would call the attention of the hon. Gentleman to one statement that he made. When he informed the Committee to-night that the coal dispute was responsible for an increase of £2,309,000 in the cost over the previous similar period, he did not say if there were more persons eligible for benefit in the latter period than in the former. If so, that accounts for a great deal. Further, I would ask whether some of the societies which paid benefits to these people in 1926 were not only paying more benefit, but that the rate had been increased in some cases over 1925, which would account automatically for the increase in the total sum paid. It is grossly unfair for example to say that in 1925 1,000,000 people at £1 each received £1,000,000, because the benefit was £1 a week, whereas, in fact. in 1926, the rate of benefit may have been increased by 5s. a week. It would be wrong to say that the 1926 benefits were in that case greater than the 1925 benefits.

He has told us also about the mining areas, but he has not divided the sum of the increased benefit as between men and women, and it would be very interesting to know what is the proportionate increase in 1926 as compared with 1925 as between men and women. The experience of the society with which I have something to do is to the effect that the increase is not as great in respect of the men as the women; and if the case all over the country is as I have seen it within my own sphere, then I think the argument of the hon. Gentleman falls to the ground in part, at any rate.

There is one other point. When we are told of the number of persons who were sent to the regional medical officers, and of the percentage that did not turn up, I hope the hon. Gentleman will agree with me when I say it does not follow that if a society sends an indivdiual to the regional medical officer for a second examination and he fails to turn up, the man is therefore fit for work. In fact, a large number of insured persons decline to go a second time for reasons other than their fitness for work. They dislike going there in the same way as the man serving in the army and injured in the War declines to go before a medical board. He has reasons of his own for not going.

Let me say my final word on this problem. As I said at the commencement, I hope that national health insurance will emerge clean out of party political discussions. We want a scheme based on financial and actuarial calculations, so that the societies will know from one year to the other exactly where they stand. The approved societies of this country know full well the reasons for the increased cost of benefits. We feel certain that, when unemployment is rife, the societies, for some reason or other, feel the result of that unemployment. There is no doubt about that. Whether it be from mal-nutrition, Or for any other reason, that is the case. Ii ought to be made quite clear to those Members who are interested, that the approved society by Act of Parliament is not called upon to pay benefit on any medical certificate. It rests with the approved society and not with the doctor as to whether or not benefit shall be paid.

As I said, this work is being carried on under great difficulties. The difficulties last year were enormous, consequent upon the coal dispute, the general strike, and the general destitution which prevailed throughout the land. I am hoping, as I have said, to see this scheme going on without being torpedoed in any way by party political strife, nor affected in the future, as it was in 1926, by taking from the funds of the societies sums of money upon which they had built their future.


I think I had better reply, in the first place, to a few of the questions which have been put by the hon. Gentleman. Let me say, in the first place, with regard to the particular case which the hon. Gentleman mentioned of the insured person who became first a voluntary contributor and then became a compulsorily insured person, think he is right in the facts, but I would like to look at the matter further, and communicate with my hon. Friend if I have further observations to make. If hon. Members will do me the honour to peruse the statement which I made on the serious part of the Estimate concerning excessive sickness claims, they will see that I made no condemnation of the approved societies or anybody else. My duty in connection with this Vote was simply to state the facts. I have had to come to the Committee for a sum of no less than £350,000, and I endeavoured to account for the wholly exceptional experience of approved societies, which I believe they are not likely to undergo again. As regards the figures, I am very glad the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) who, I suppose, speaks with more experience than anybody in this House, because he is intimately connected with a very large approved society, has not seriously contested any of the statements I made to-night. Let me tell him, as regards the comparison between the figures of 1925 and 1926, that there has been no appreciable increase in the numbers at all. As regards the question of additional benefits, he was quite right. I should have been deceiving the House if I had not taken into account the additional cash benefits which, as the hon. Gentleman knows, became payable in 1926. Of course, I have taken that fact into account. The £2,000,000 which the approved societies have to pay above the figures of last year and 1925 takes fully into account the amount of additional benefits that have to be paid.

As reference has been made to the position of the medical profession, it is only right that I should state that they themselves took action in this matter. It is not a matter which has escaped the notice either of the approved societies or the medical profession. As a matter of fact, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health communicated in July with the appropriate authority, and in October the National Insurance Commissioner who, as my hon. Friend knows well, is one of the most experienced officers in the service, attended a representative conference and put the whole of the facts before the medical men chiefly affected. I have here a copy of the resolution, because I was, not unnaturally, prepared for the very obvious reply that I was attacking the medical profession and putting on to them something which I ought not to. A very significant resolution was passed by the conference of local medical and panel committee practitioners, which is the authoritative body in this matter: That the Insurance Acts Committee be asked to consider what practical steps can he taken to meet the difficulties raised by Sir Walter Kinnear, and that meantime the representatives pledge themselves to use their influence locally in endeavouring to secure strict adherence to the principles governing certification for the purpose of the National Health Insurance Act. Therefore, I hope that no hon. Member will go away with the impression that I have overstated the case. This case is very well known to the approved societies and medical men, and I hope no one will go away with the impression that medical men themselves are not alive to the evils which resulted from the state of affairs I have indicated. I support—naturally anyone would—the account given by an hon. Member opposite of the difficulties of medical men confronted with the situation which existed in the mining areas; but in the interest of national insurance itself and of the other contributors would emphasize that when you have a national insurance system based upon benefits being paid when members are incapable of work, that however sympathetic you may feel, rightly or wrongly, to the person who presents himself, directly you do away with that fundamental test then away goes the whole of the financial position of national insurance. Unfortunately that is an aspect which has to be seriously considered.


I wish the Parliamentary Secretary would make it clear what proportion of the £2,000,000 increase in 1926 is due to an increased rate and not increased benefits.


The whole £2,000,000 is entirely due to increased benefits paid, after additional benefits have been taken into account. The figures are the actual figures of the excess paid for sickness over and above additional benefits. An hon. Member has put a question to me about the medical service. May I say that we have appointed some seven or eight new dental regional officers. This Estimate only covers two months of the period. The chief dental officer will receive a salary of £1,100, and the others £900 a year, and I think these sums are moderate and quite adequate having regard to the duties.

The hon. Member asked me what would happen if a society had not enough to pay 100 per cent. of the treatment. In that case we should have to reduce the percentage to 75 or 80 per cent. I have been asked to give the number of societies which do not come within this scheme. May I point out that we have set up a Committee on which approved societies, trade unions, and other types of societies are represented. May I also point out that as far as we know at present only about 3 to 5 per cent. of this very vast number of insured persons are not actually in the scheme, and I have not the slightest doubt that with good will even this small number will come in and help us to work what I think is a very necessary and desirable scheme.

I have only one further observation to make, and it is with reference to the item of £100,000 for housing. The Addison Act has been in operation some time, and we found that we had to make adjustments with various local authorities. The accounts connected with the 1919 Act stand alone and the money in question was entirely for the purposes of the 1919 Act. Therefore I hope no hon. Member will go away with the impression that it is any question of money that is holding up housing in any part of the country. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) is a member of the London County Council and he knows that, so far as money is concerned in connection with house building in London, that has never been a difficulty. I remember reading reports of the London County Council concerned with housing, and I know that they have actually voted more money than could be expended so far as housing was concerned. Therefore., if this £100,000 were available, it would not help so far as the situation in London is concerned—


If the hon. Gentleman goes into that, it will open the way to a lot more speeches on the same subject.


I only just wanted to reply. I will deal with that by saying, in the first place, that the £100,000 arose entirely under the 1919 Act, and, in the second place, that I do not think that is it a question of money that is stopping building so far as London is concerned. I hope the Committee will at any rate agree that to the best of my ability L have endeavoured to answer, as fully and completely as I can, the questions put to me, and that they will, as soon as possible, permit me to have this Supplementary Estimate.


We have had an innovation in our Debates this evening—we have had a Minister cross-examining a private Member who hesitated to intervene in this discussion. I am challenged, and I challenge the hon. Gentleman. I want to know who are these two mysterious authorities who find that housing is so unnecessary that they would not have to spend the money which they have had an opportunity of getting from the Ministry of Health. We ought to know where these two unique places are. They may be at bright seaside spots, where there is no overcrowding. I do not want to go outside your ruling, Sir, but I think we are entitled to know, as the Ministry of Health have mentioned these two local authorities, where they are, what are their names, and how they achieve this remarkable result. There is money in the coffers of the Ministry, they have the right to spend it, it has been voted by Parliament, and yet there is so little overcrowding, there are so few slums there, that they have allowed the money to go by. I think we ought to have that information before we pass this Vote.

This is one of the most remarkable evenings that we have had. An hon. Member of the House of Commons, who belongs to a very noble profession, who has had practical experience of administering this Act of Parliament, has come down and told us in all seriousness that the administration of this Act is open to grave abuses. I hope that when he reads his speech in the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow he will repent. If not, it ought to be sent to the British Medical Association to ask if they confirm the statement that, in order to keep their patients on their panel, they are inclined to be lax in their administration, to pass many patients when they cannot exactly diagnose their disease, and to put them on the panel, and give them the right to dip into the funds of the approved societies.


On a point of Order. I think the hon. Gentleman is reading very much more into my remarks than I intended, and I would advise him, too, to read the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow.


It is within the recollection of members of the Committee who heard the speech. It was certainly a revelation to me. I was surprised, and I do think that that kind of statement is thoroughly mischievous, and that it is not likely to inspire confidence in the members of these various societies if they are to believe that the medical profession cannot diagnose, or dare not diagnose—for that was really what it amounted to—the complaints of their patients properly, because they are afraid that they will no longer remain their doctors.


On a further point of Order. The hon. Gentleman is misstating absolutely what I said. I never made such an accusation at all.


I am glad to have that denied. if the hon. Member withdraws the statement, or suggests to the Committee that that was not in his mind, I shall have achieved something in intervening. What we have to believe, and what is really necessary for the health of the country, is that this is a great profession, and that the country can trust them, that they can be relied upon to carry out the terms of the National Health Insurance Act. Owing to the fact that the doctor is paid, not by the visit, but by the patient, there is no inducement to him to keep a patient on the sick list, since the fact that he is on the sick list means no necessary additional medical advantage to him. The figures are puzzling, but it is a very serious thing to allege that advantage is taken of the chance of getting this small benefit to get put on medical benefit. The great bulk of the working classes are members of friendly societies and value them, take pride in their good administration, and on the whole are very anxious that they should be on a financial basis which will enable them in the future to get full benefit. Nothing has been more remarkable than the pride and esprit de corps that exists in all these friendly societies. No one knows it better than the Parliamentary Secretary.


These are not Friendly Societies. They are Approved Societies.


The Approved Societies are associated with the great Friendly Societies. If there are a large number of persons drawing benefit the members of a society suffer accordingly. It is perfectly correct to say that. The money is not only found by the State but by the various Approved Societies, who are associated with the various Friendly Societies that existed before the passing of the Act. It is very unfortunate that for the second year we get these attacks on the whole principle of Health Insurance. In its origin the party opposite were against Health Insurance and everything it stood for. Last year we had an inroad into the founds in order to help the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This year we have the Parliamentary Secretary trying to make out that advantage is taken of the existence of this fund to help men out of a great difficulty when there is a great trade dispute. Insinuations of that kind should not be made unless there is clear evidence to justify them and the Minister is prepared to defend those statements at the box, but when he is challenged he is inclined to climb down and assure the House that he did not wish to make insinuations of that character. It is very unfortunate. I hope there will be some inquiry into the matter and we have not heard the last of it.


The discussion on this Estimate has been concentrated to a very large extent upon the somewhat unfortunate condemnation of the medical profession by the Parliamentary Secretary. There are two points to which I wish to refer. The first is one on which I congratulate the Government. There is to be a saving of £12,000 on the demonstration houses. Of all the ill-starred ventures of an ill-starred Government this is perhaps the worst. We were told early in the day that they were going to solve the great housing problem by setting up in all the towns of this country an object lesson in houses built by alternative methods. A sum of money was set aside for the purpose of giving a very substantial subsidy to houses built by alternative methods. There never was a more miserable fiasco. The local authorities of the country almost without exception rejected the idea of housing their inhabitants by what were called alternative houses, and the result has been not that the Government has merely escaped the responsibility of paying subsidies on hundreds of thousands of steel houses that were to be built, but that it has not even been able to spend the money that it set aside on the demonstration houses. What it means, in effect, is that this great plan of the Government for providing large numbers of small tin houses for the masses of the people has been rejected by the local authorities of the country, most of whom are authorities where the predominant parties share the views of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. I am glad to think that His Majesty's Government have, against their will, saved £12,000 this year by not providing demonstration houses.

A second point the enormous increase in the expenditure on health insurance benefit. The Government, as usual, are trying to have it both ways. The Parliamentary Secretary solemnly declares that this enormous increase in the amount of sickness least Year was due to the big industrial stoppage. My mind goes back to the monstrous letter sent by the Prime Minister to the American public, in which he declared that all was well in this country, that the people were happier and healthier than ever they had been before, and that it was grossly untrue to suggest that there was the slightest form of hardship amongst the people in the coalfields. Time after time in this House, when we accused the Government, by its own policy, of undermining the health, physique and vigour of the people of this country, we were told by the Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary, who has moved this Estimate, that those charges were utterly untrue, that there was no child, no mother, no father who was in any way suffering as a consequence of this prolonged industrial stoppage. We were led to believe that the coalfields were populated by rosy-cheeked children, by healthy mothers and vigorous fathers. Now, we are told that as. a result of the wickedness of the Miners' Federation the charge upon the State for increased sickness, disablement and maternity benefit is £350,000.

The Government may have it one way, but they are not entitled to have it both ways. A few months ago they were prepared to swear with their hands on their bosoms, that the people of this country were as healthy as ever they have been, that there was no hardship in the coalfields, that nobody was going short, that there was no privation, and that the general physical vigour and health of the people was as good as, if not better than, before. Now, we are asked to agree to a Supplementary Estimate including the figure of £350,000, the reason for which, so we are told, is that because of this great stoppage, the health of the people was impaired and an increasing number of people came upon the health insurance fund. I am not satisfied with that reason, in view of the statement of the Government last year. One of the two explanations must be wrong. I have said in this House that the health and vigour of the people was being impaired by the policy of the Government, but that idea was rejected by the Government. They have no right in trying to excuse this increased Supplementary Estimate to take the arguments which I used in this House last year, and attempt to use them against my hon. Friends.

I am prepared to believe that this enormous toll of sickness and disease for which payment has had to be made and for which the Supplementary Estimate is asked, is in large measure due to the policy of the Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary in encouraging boards of guardians to reduce the amount of out-relief and in a considerable cumber of cases in imposing lower rates of out-relief upon boards of guardians in the mining areas. The result of this policy of the Government has been to leave them with a bill for £350,000 to be paid as a Supplementary Estimate, and I say that the Government are deserving of the strongest possible condemnation. They have by their policy during the past 12 months deliberately taken away from those who were affected by the dispute the means to maintain them in decent physical condition, and they now attempt, directly and indirectly, to blame a body of men in this country for the fact that we are having to find to-night £350,000 as a Supplementary Estimate because of the disease and disability incurred by the policy of His Majesty's Government. I say that for that reason alone we on this side of the Committee are entitled to force this question to a Division.

There are many items in these Supplementary Estimates to which reasonable objection could be taken, but I think there is no item which merits graver disapprobation than this enormous increase of sickness during the past year, a volume of sickness which, frankly, I did not anticipate would be so large, and which is large enough to involve the State in a substantial additional expenditure, the responsibility for which lies at the door of His Majesty's Government.


I have been trying to secure an opportunity of congratulating the Parliamentary Secretary all the evening. I want to congratulate him on that item to which he referred, namely, the dental side of the Estimate. But I am sorry to say that is about the only thing on which I can congratulate him. The first point to which I want to draw his attention is the statement that he has made, because after all while it is quite true he made no definite charge against the medical profession, it was a case of not hesitating to wound while fearing to strike. When he says that all he did was to state the facts, surely he knows that he left behind in that statement of fact an implication that the hon. Member for Royton (Dr. Vernon Davies) did not hesitate to take to his own heart, though he made an endeavour to put up a defence on behalf of the Ministry, which certainly will not enable his profession to congratulate him upon when they read the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow. He was too late in his denial of the charge made as regards the medical fraternity in the exercise of their responsibilities. The Parliamentary Secretary certainly made a charge, when dealing with panel patients, that sometimes they were very lenient, so lenient and to such an extent that patients on their panel could sometimes receive a certificate because, if they did not—to almost use his exact words—they go straight from one surgery and say to other men on the panel, "There is So-and-So, who has signed me off." and as a result the man's income would be very seriously affected by their withdrawing their name from the panel.

When the Parliamentary Secretary made his statement, he whittled down that 500,000, more than double the normal number of 200,000 who usually claim benefit, and the increase to 500,000 and the reduction by 40 per cent. of those who sign on and the further 100,000 whom he referred to and who refused to go before the referee. It was a wonderful way in which he made a reference implying not quite honestly to the panel patients. It was not a question of their desiring to take advantage of the benefits under the Act, but whether or not they were suffering disabilities. Anyone who has knowledge of the working men of this country knows that after a stoppage of something like seven months, with a bare pantry and most of their furniture gone, despite the disadvantages of ill-health and the disabilities attaching to malnutrition, those men were only too ready to go back once again to even the sparse wage that was far better than the benefit given under the Act. The explanation is quite simple. The Parliamentary Secretary not only suggested and implied dishonesty on the part of the medical profession, but he suggested that the members of it were ready to enter

into a conspiracy with their patients, and that it was a question of the patient having to go before the medical referee for fear of being discovered, and sent back by him to sign on—surely a most unfair and ungallant suggestion on the part of the Parliamentary Secretary. I hope that when he next has occasion to submit an Estimate to the House, he will find sounder reasons and reasons which do not reflect upon the honesty of a very honourable profession or upon the fair-mindedness of the average working man.

Sir K. WOOD rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 79.

Division No. 14.] AYES. 11.0 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Everard, W. Lindsay MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Fairfax, Captain J. G. MacIntyre, Ian
Albery, Irving James Fanshawe, Commander G. D. McLean, Major A.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Fielden, E. B. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Ford, Sir P. J. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Apsley, Lord Forestier-Walker, Sir L. MacRobert, Alexander M.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Forrest, W. Maitland, Sir Arthur D Steel-
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Fraser, Captain Ian Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Atholl, Duchess of Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Margesson, Captain D.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Ganzoni, Sir John Merriman, F. B
Balniel, Lord Gates, Percy Meyer, Sir Frank
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Goff, Sir Park Moore, Sir Newton J.
Betterton, Henry B. Gower, Sir Robert Murchison, Sir C. K.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph
Blindell, F. N. Greene, W. P. Crawford Nelson, Sir Frank
Boothby, R. J. G. Grotrian, H. Brent Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Gunston, Captain D. W. Nuttall, Ellis
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh
Brass, Captain W. Halt, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad) Penny, Frederick George
Briscoe, Richard George Hammersley, S. S. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Brown, Brig. Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hawke, John Anthony Radford, E. A.
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Raine, W.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Ramsden, E.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Campbell, E. T. Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P. Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Carver, Major W. H. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Remer, J. R.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hills, Major John Waller Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Clayton, G. C. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Holbrook, sir Arthur Richard Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Hopkins, J. W. W. Ropner, Major L.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Couper, J. B. Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Rye, F. G.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Salmon, Major I.
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Jacob, A. E. Sandeman, A. Stewart
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Sandon, Lord
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Kindersley, Major G. M. Savery, S. S.
Davies, Dr. Vernon King, Captain Henry Douglas Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. H. Knox, Sir Alfred Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Little, Dr. E. Graham Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Skelton, A. N.
Ellis, R. G. Lord, Sir Walter Greaves- Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
England, Colonel A. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Smithers, Waldron Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell- Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Tinne, J. A. Wise, Sir Fredric
Sprot, Sir Alexander Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Withers, John James
Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P. Wolmer, Viscount
Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Waddington, R. Womersley, W. J.
Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland) Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle) Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Storry-Deans, R. Watts, Dr. T. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H. Wells, S. R. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Streatfeild, Captain S. R. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H. Wragn, Herbert
Styles, Captain H. Walter Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay) Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. P. (Dumbarton) Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Thompson, Luke (Sunderland) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Major Cope and Mr. F. C. Thomson.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Ammon, Charles George Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Smillie, Robert
Barr, J. Kelly, W. T. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Batey, Joseph Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Snell, Harry
Broad, F. A. Kirkwood, D. Stamford, T. W.
Bromfield, William Lansbury, George Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Lawrence, Susan Sullivan, J.
Charleton, H. C. Lindley, F. W. Sutton, J. E.
Dalton, Hugh Lowth, T. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Mackinder, W. Tinker, John Joseph
Day, Colonel Harry MacLaren, Andrew Townend, A. E.
Duncan, C. Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Viant, S. P.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. March, S. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gardner, J. P. Naylor, T. E. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D.(Rhondda)
Gillett, George M. Oliver, George Harold Welsh, J. C.
Greenall, T. Owen, Major G. Westwood, J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Palin, John Henry Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Grundy, T. W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Whiteley, W.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Potts, John S. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hardie, George D. Riley, Ben Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Harris, Percy A. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich) Windsor, Walter
Hayday, Arthur Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hayes, John Henry Salter, Dr. Alfred
Hirst, G. H, Scrymgeour, E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Scurr, John Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield). Sexton, James Charles Edwards.
Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Shiels, Dr. Drummond

Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £219,900, be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 78; Noes, 187.

Division No. 15.] AYES [11.8 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Ammon, Charles George Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Smillie, Robert
Barr, J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Batey, Joseph Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Snell, Harry
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Kelly, W. T. Stamford, T. W.
Broad, F. A. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Bromfield, William Kirkwood, D. Sullivan, J.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Lansbury, George Sutton, J. E.
Charleton, H. C. Lawrence, Susan Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Dalton, Hugh Lindley, F. W. Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Mackinder, W. Townend, A. E.
Day, Colonel Harry Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Viant, S. P.
Duncan, C. March, S. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Naylor, T. E. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gardner, J. P. Oliver, George Harold Welsh, J. C.
Gillett, George M. Palin, John Henry Westwood, J.
Greenall, T. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Potts, John S. Whiteley, W.
Grundy, T. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hall, F. (York, W. R, Normanton) Riley, Ben Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hardie, George D. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland) Windsor, Walter
Harris, Percy A. Salter, Dr. Alfred Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hayday, Arthur Scrymgeour, E.
Hayes, John Henry Scurr, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hirst, G. H. Sexton, James Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Ramsden, E.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Goff, Sir Park Rawson, Sir Cooper
Albery, Irving James Gower, Sir Robert Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Remer, J. R.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Greene, W. P. Crawford Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Apsley, Lord Grotrian, H. Brent Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Apsley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Gunston, Captain D. W. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Atholl, Duchess of Hall, Capt W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Hammersley, S. S. Ropner, Major L.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Balniel, Lord Hawke, John Anthony Rye, F. G.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Salmon, Major I.
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Sandeman, A. Stewart
Betterton, Henry B. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Sandon, Lord
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Blundell, F. H. Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh' by) Savery, S. S.
Boothby, R. J. G. Hills, Major John Waller Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI.(Renfrew, W.)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belf'st.)
Brass, Captain W. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Skelton, A. N.
Briscoe, Richard George Hopkins, J. W. W. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Smithers, Waldron
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Sprot, Sir Alexander
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Jacob, A. E. Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Campbell, E. T. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Carver, Major W. H. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Kindersley, Major Guy M. Storry-Deans, R.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood) King, Captain Henry Douglas Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Clayton, G. C. Knox, Sir Alfred Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Little, Dr. E. Graham styles, Captain H. Walter
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Sugden, Sir Wilfred
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Lord, Sir Walter Greaves- Thom, Lt-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Couper, J. B. MacAndrew Major Charles Glen Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. MacIntyre, Ian Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) McLean, Major A. Tinne, J. A.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) MacRobert, Alexander M. Waddington, R.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Makins, Brigadier-General E. Watts, Dr. T.
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Wells, S. R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Merriman, F. B. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Meyer, Sir Frank Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Ellis, R. G. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
England, Colonel A. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Everard, W, Lindsay Moore, Sir Newton J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Murchison, Sir C. K. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Wise, Sir Fredric
Fielden, E. B. Nelson, Sir Frank Withers, John James
Ford, Sir P. J. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wolmer, Viscount
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Nuttall, Ellis Womersley, W. J.
Forrest, W. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Fraser, Captain Ian Owen, Major G. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Penny, Frederick George Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wragg, Herbert
Ganzoni, Sir John Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Gates, Percy Radford, E. A.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Raine, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Major Cope and Captain Margesson.

Original Question again proposed.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY rose

Sir K. WOOD rose in his place, and

claimed, "That the Original Question be now put."

Original Question put accordingly.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 189; Noes, 75.

Division No. 16.] AYES. [11.17 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Atholl, Duchess of
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Apsley, Lord Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
Albery, Irving James Ashley, Lt-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Balfour, George (Hampstead)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Balniel, Lord
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hammersley, S. S. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Hawke, John Anthony Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Betterton, Henry B. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Ropner, Major L.
Blundell, F. N. Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Russell Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Boothby, R. J. G. Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P. Rye, F. G.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Salmon, Major I.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Brass, Captain W. Hills, Major John Waller Sandeman, A. Stewart
Briscoe, Richard George Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Sandon, Lord
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D,
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Savery, S. S.
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Hopkins, J. W. W. Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)
Campbell, E. T. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Skelton, A. N.
Carver, Major W. H. Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Jacob, A. E. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Smithers, Waldron
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Clayton, G. C. Kindersley, Major G. M. Sprot, Sir Alexander
Cobb, Sir Cyril King, Captain Henry Douglas Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Knox, Sir Alfred Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Little, Dr. E. Graham Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th) Storry-Deans, R.
Couper, J. B. Lord, Sir Walter Greaves- Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Styles, Captain H. Walter
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) MacIntyre, Ian Sudden, Sir Wilfrid
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert McLean, Major A. Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Davies, Dr. Vernon MacRobert, Alexander M. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Tinne, J. A.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Elliot, Major Walter E. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Ellis, R. G. Margesson, Captain D. Waddington, R.
England, Colonel A. Merriman, F. B. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Everard, W. Lindsay Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Watts, Dr. T.
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Wells, S. R.
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Monsell, Eyres, Com, Rt. Hon. B. M. Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Fielden, E. B. Moore, Sir Newton J. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Ford, Sir P. J. Murchison, Sir C. K. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Forrest, W. Nelson, Sir Frank Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fraser, Captain Ian Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Nuttall, Ellis Wise, Sir Fredric
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Withers, John James
Ganzoni, Sir John Owen, Major G. Wolmer, Viscount
Gates, Percy Penny, Frederick George Womersley, W. J.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col, Rt. Hon. Sir John Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Goff, Sir Park Radford, E. A. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Gower, Sir Robert Raine, W. Wragg, Herbert
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ramsden, E. Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Greene, W. P. Crawford Rawson, Sir Cooper
Grotrian, H. Brent Reid, D. D. (County Down) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Remer, J. R. Major Sir George Hennessy and
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Major Cope.
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Oliver, George Harold
Ammon, Charles George Hardie, George D. Palin, John Henry
Barr, J. Hayday, Arthur Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Batey, Joseph Hayes, John Henry Potts, John S.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Hirst, G. H. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Broad, F. A. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Riley, Ben
Bromfield, William Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)
Charleton, H. C. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Dalton, Hugh Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Scrymgeour, E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Kelly, W. T. Scurr, John
Day, Colonel Harry Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Sexton, James
Duncan, C. Kirkwood, D Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Lansbury, George Smillie, Robert
Gardner, J. P. Lawrence, Susan Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gillett, George M. Lindley, F. W. Snell, Harry
Greenall, T. Mackinder, W. Stamford, T. W.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Grundy, T. W. March, S. Sullivan, J.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Naylor, T. E. Sutton, J. E.
Thomson Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.) Westwood, J. Windsor, Walter
Tinker, John Joseph Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Townend, A. E. Whiteley, W.
Viant, S. P. Wilkinson, Ellen C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne) Williams, David (Swansea, East) Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly) Charles Edwards.
Welsh, J. C.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.