HC Deb 02 March 1927 vol 203 cc473-524

I beg to move, That, in view of the large number of men who have not yet been able to resume their customary employment in the mining industry, this House urges the Government to take energetic measures to augment the volume of available employment in the industry and to secure other employment for those miners who cannot be re-absorbed; further, this House deplores the action of those employers in the industry who, in the re-engagement of men, are discriminating against active trade unionists. I should like to preface my remarks by a reference to the two terrible disasters which have taken place this week. The Welsh disaster has led to the usual amount of talk in the country and the usual amount has appeared in the Press. There is only one thing which is gratifying to us as miners. It is this. We deplore the terrible loss of life and extend our sympathy to the wives, the mothers and dependants of our comrades who have lost their lives. The House will forgive me for saying that. But we miners feel very strongly in a matter of this kind, and I want to say that we do not want a great deal of sympathy from certain hon. Members when a disaster of this kind happens—

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain FitzRoy)

The hon. Member must not take advantage of this occasion to make remarks of that kind.


I was drawing attention to the condition of the mining industry—


They are quite irrelevant to the Motion.


I will obey your ruling. I want to explain the position we take in regard to mine accidents. The loss of a single miner is as much to the dependants of that miner as if it was one of 500, and every day of the year we give three lives for the coal which is produced to the country. When the House takes that fact into account they can understand the position we take up in connection with these disasters. We have used all our powers and influence to convince the Government of the necessity for ensuring the safety of the miners, but, unfortunately, it is only when a big disaster occurs that the conscience of the people is touched. We do not want great disasters to occur. We would much rather that safety were ensured to the miners than have sympathy after lives have been lost. In 1925 we had the usual heavy death rate in mines, and the usual number of non-fatal accidents peculiar to miners. As a matter of fact, we had about 43 per cent. of the total non-fatal accidents in the heavier industries of the country, and we claim that steps should be taken to safeguard the miners at work all the year through and not wait until after a disaster has occurred.

I want to refer to unemployment in the mines. Unemployment is almost a recent thing in connection with the mining industry. Prior to the War there was very little unemployment in the mines, and I suppose it is one of the results of the War that we are suffering so much unemployment now. In the beginning of 1925 there were 7.9 unemployed in the mining industry. In June the same year there were 25 per cent. unemployed, and in December 11.3 unemployed. That brings us to the beginning of 1926 and despite the fact that we had so much unemployment among the miners, the Government of the day add an hour to their working time, right in face of the Report of the Samuel Commission which said that it was likely to add 130,000 men to the unemployed list. I do not want the House to accept my figures. Let me quote from a reply to a question which was addressed to the Secretary for Mines on the 15th February. The question was as to the number of miners working on the last available date in England, Scotland and Wales, and the number working on the 26th April last. The reply was to this effect, that on 26th April, 1926, there were 747,458 men employed in the coal mines in England, and in February the number was 695,937, a decrease of 51,521. equal to 6.89 per cent. of the total. In Wales and Monmouthshire at the same period there were 234,977 employed, and in February, 195,769: a decrease of 38,308. In the Scotch area there were 124,646 employed in April last year, and in February of this year 108,593; a, decrease of 16,053. That gives a total decrease, as compared with April, 1926, of 105,852, and it justifies my claim that we have fully 200,000 miners unemployed at the present time.

We have that number on the unemployment register, but the unemployment register does not always give the total number of miners who are idle because the mining industry has had more trouble in getting payment of unemployment benefit than any other industry in the country. It is almost enough to say that you have been previously employed in the mines to prejudice your claim for unemployment benefit. That is the condition of things against which we are protesting, and at the risk of wearying the House I want to show how this works out. In April last the output for England was 3,771,700 tons. In February of this year it was 3,540,878 tons. That was a decrease of 230,822 tons, or 6.12 per cent. It will be remembered that the drop in the number of men employed was 6.89 per cent., and that has to be compared with a drop in output of 6.12 per cent. For the same period, in Wales and Monmouth, in April we had an output of 1,131,700 tons, and in February last a decrease of 128,269 tons, or 11.3 per cent. The percentage in the case of the men employed was 12.9. For the Scottish area we had an output of 757,400 tons, and in February of this year an output of 721,996 tons, a decrease of 35,404, but only 4'67 per cent. as compared with the previous term. In other words, the output in England and Wales has remained practically stationary despite the hour added to the working day. In Scotland for some reason or other we have increased our output. I do not know whether it is because the men are driven harder or because the conditions are more favourable there than in other areas, but, at any rate, we have done more in that direction, than other parts of Britain. Now we would like the Government to face this question in connection with unemployed miners. It is not goad for the miner to be idle for a long time. It is not good for the country to have so many men idle. The Government, so far, have added 100,000 to the number of idle men. They have done nothing whatever either to give employment or to create employment to cover the difficulty that they have created.

I want to refer to the second part of the Resolution, which alleges that employers in taking on men after the lookout have discriminated against active trade unionists. I do not believe in trying to make a picture worse than it is. We had a big fight which engendered much feeling. We had peace imposed on the victims by the victors. Employers in many cases thought it a splendid opportunity to strike at those who were most obnoxious to them. In such cases only the active men were victimised. When an employer has a large number of idle men from which to select, there are always two sections singled out for bad treatment. You have the men, probably the most skilled, who are getting on in years. In these modern days managers want men who are physically fit, men probably with stronger backs than heads, in order to do the work. We have miners being refused employment for no other reason than that they are showing signs of age, though probably they are the most highly skilled of our mining population. Then there is the other element. In time of war there are always men who are more active than others. Miring the great dispute of last year there were committees formed at every colliery throughout Great Britain. I do not know that anyone can blame the individual members of the committees for anything that happened. The stoppage was brought about mainly by the action of the Government. There is no question at all that the rank and file of the miners were opposed to any additional working rime and to any reduction in an already inadequate wage. The men had decided, and as a result of negotiations between the miners and the Government breaking down the lock-out was enforced. I do not think that even Conservatives will claim that men who are doing committee work in time of peace should run away from their job in time of war. They would not be the men that we think they are if they ran away in time of danger.

During the long-drawn-out fight those men had become prominent. When work was resumed, with very few exceptions, the colliery managers all over the country singled out these men for special victimisation It may be that they had their own reasons, hut the best way to make a man a rebel is to prevent his getting employment. I have never claimed to be an extremist. I have my own views as to the way to bring about a change in society, but I can tell the Rouse that if I had a wife and family dependent on me, and someone refused to give me an opportunity to earn my bread by the sweat of my face, there is no doctrine that would be too extreme for me to adopt in such circumstances. Over the length and breadth of the country we have had men treated as pariahs for no other reason than that they took an active part in the fight of last year.

I want to give the House some proof. I have here a letter from a constituent of mine. I think the Secretary for Mines has the same letter. At any rate my constituent says that he has sent it on to the Minister. My correspondent con-plains that not only were men refused employment, but were refused the right to go underground to obtain their tools in order that they might have a chance of work elsewhere. I do not know what the Minister will say about actions of that kind. Colliery managers may say that they have a right to decide whom they will or will not employ, but when a colliery manager takes up the position that he will not even allow men to go down a pit in order to collect their tools, it is something that cannot be condemned too strongly. If I am right in my assumption that unemployment in mines is a legacy of the War, then the action of the Government last year in adding another hour to the working day has doubled it. The men are in no way responsible, and it is up to the Government to do something either to create employment or to give additional help in some way to these men. We maintain that it is much better to provide work than to give money for which no work is being done, but it is not for us to suggest what is to be done. Mr. Justice Sankey, in his Report in 1919, made certain suggestions. He said the present system of working in the mines was to be condemned, and he went further than we go, because he advocated then a shortened working day, and in 1921 under certain conditions the day was to be shortened to six hours.

I suggest to the Government, as a way out of our difficulties, that until such time as they can do something to clear up the mess which they themselves have made, it would be more businesslike to have a shortened working day than to have an increased working day. The time may come when we shall require the labour of all these men, hut meantime, they are running to seed, because no work can be found for them. In some parts of the country employers have taken advantage of the action of the Government to work additional time beyond the hour allowed, and in many cases they are compelling men or asking men to violate the Eight Hours Act in connection with the working of overtime. If every man had employment, there would not be much to be said against the working of overtime, but when you have men working overtime while their comrades are going without work there is something bad in the state of society. The Secretary for Mines will be able to justify this statement. If a colliery has 60 minutes for lowering men and 60 minutes for raising men, and if the last man down and the first man up come within the eight hours' limit, there is no room for a prosecution; or at any rate the inspectors, for some reason or another, will not prosecute, and we have the spectacle of violations of the working time taking place every day, and there is no redress. Mr. Justice Sankey rightly described the "eight hour day" as a misnomer, and in fact the average working time at present for the whole of Great Britain is 8 hours 39 minutes, and in some cases it is more. We claim that under modern conditions of mining that is scarcely necessary.

We are going deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth. A Committee was appointed by a previous Government to inquire into industrial fatigue—the Industrial Fatigue Research Board—and among other matters which they investigated was the relation of atmospheric conditions—heat and ventilation—to the working capacity of men in coal mines. To me, as a miner, the report of that Board is very remarkable. They selected two collieries in the Eastern area, the reason for their selection being that in one case the workings went 540 feet to 660 feet below the surface, while in the other the workings reached a depth of from 2,655 feet to 2,715 feet, where the temperature was as high as 82 degrees, wet bulb. They desired to know the effect of these conditions on the productive capacity of the men employed, and their report states flat tub-filling took eight minutes in the shallow working—and 9.6 minutes in the deep working. The rate of production for the men was, calculated to he 41 per cent. less in the deep mine than in the shallow mine. There is something to think over. The employers and the colliery managers are trying to get increased production, but men are compelled to work under these conditions in deep shafts, where it is utterly impossible for the same amount of work to be done a in other mines.

Another point from this report in connection with accidents is very interesting. The accident rate also appears to be influenced by atmospheric conditions. At one colliery where the "cooling power" of the atmosphere in three seams was 15.2, 11.3 and 10.2 respectively, the rate of accidents calculated in proportion to their frequency and severity as measured by the length of absence from work entailed, was 3.2, 4.8 and 4.9 respectively. At one colliery where the ventilation in the airways was worse than in the other, the accident severity rate for underground workers, other than colliers or trammers, was 55 per cent. greater than in the other colliery. That shows that not only is it humanly impossible to do the same amount of work in the deep mine, but that there is a greater risk to the miner in the deep mine. We who speak on behalf of the mining community desire, in every case, to safeguard the working conditions of our men, but above and beyond all we desire to save the lives of our men. I hope the House will accept this Motion as a protest against the action of the Government last year.


I beg to second the Motion.

In calling the attention of the Government to the conditions in the mining industry, our object is to ask the Government to face the economic consequences of the so-called peace brought about in the mining industry by the legislative interference of the Government. The conditions in the mining industry at the present time are deplorable, and they have been emphasised by the disastrous accidents in Monmouthshire and Nottinghamshire. While not imputing any blame at all in connection with these two accidents, and while, undoubtedly, the Government are giving their sympathy to the relatives of the deceased miners and to the injured, I think it desirable that the Government should also turn their attention to ascertaining whether the coal-owners and the officials, obsessed with the idea of increased production and cheap production, are adopting policies at the present time which tend to minimise the possibility of accidents in mines. What do we find at present in some collieries? In order to reduce the cost of production, certain colliery examiners have been dismissed. There has been an extension of the areas of examination. Where pre-stoppage there were one examiner or two examiners for each district, under some of the largest combines in South Wales at the present time they have now placed the responsibility of two districts upon one examiner.

Take the question of the absorption of men into the industry. During the last five or six weeks there have been 400 coal hewers absorbed in one pit, and not a single repairer, and the absence of repairers and the increase of coal hewers is bound to mean a tendency towards increasing accidents, rather than the reverse. The Motion deals specifically with unemployment and victimisation in the mining industry, and the Amendment on the Paper asks why we should single out the mining industry. Why call the attention of the Government to unemployment in the mining industry more than the other industries? The reason is because the Government, and the Government alone, are responsible for the major portion of the unemployment in the mining industry, for in no other industry have the Government introduced measures for increasing hours, but in the mining industry the Government have introduced legislation increasing the hours of work. Therefore, inasmuch as the Government are directly responsible, it is only logical and reasonable for the attention of the Government to be called to the results of their own, I was going to say, folly, or at least to their own legislative Measures. The unemployment in the mining industry at the present time is very intense, and it may be said that that is directly the result of the policy of the Government, which was adopted notwithstanding the conclusions and the recommendations of their own Commission, and notwithstanding repeated assurances from these benches as to the results of that policy. The truth of those repeated statements is verified at the present moment, so far as the conditions in the mining industry are concerned.

The coalfield finds itself embarrassed by reason of a definite and, in my opinion, permanent contraction of world markets, which synchronises with an increase in the world's productive capacity. The capacity for production in the coalfield has increased day by day, while the demand for coal has not, proportionately, increased, and the increased hours intensify the problem. If we take the output of the last few weeks as a criterion of the output for this year, we find that we have reached practically the average output pre-war and have passed the average output for the last 10 years pre-stoppage. The average output prior to the War was about 260,000,000 tons, and for the last 10 years pre-stoppage—if we exclude 1926 and 1921, two years in which stoppages took place in the mining industry—the average output was about 248,000,000 tons, but if we take the last few weeks as a basis for calculation purposes, we find that the average output for this year will be somewhere about 260,000,000 tons. The result is that, the increased capacity for the production of coal has more than outrun the demand for coal, and we have got in the coalfield at the present time, taking the figures given in the Beard of Trade "Gazette" for last month, 200,608 unemployed. That is not quite a fair figure, as has been pointed out, because those are the numbers on the live registers of the Employment Exchanges, and our experience is that practically every week there are hundreds and hundreds of miners who are thrown off the Employment Exchanges and deprived of their rights to benefit, for some reason or another, on the ground that they have been too long unemployed or that they cannot prove reasonable efforts to secure employment.

Just consider what that means to the unemployed man in the mining areas that are one-industry areas. He travels the mining lands, he goes from one colliery to another, and he finds that every colliery has its own unemployed. He travels across the mountains, and there he finds the same difficulties and conditions, and it can be safely said, therefore, that there are at the present time somewhere about 250,000 unemployed in the mining industry. How are these men going to be employed? Is there any hope for them to be employed in the mining industry? It may be possible for a number of them to be absorbed in the natural course of developments in the immediate future, but the belief that the 250,000 are going to be absorbed in the mining industry is one that will be doomed to disappointment, because, in addition to the increased output in Great Britain, we find that America, Germany, France and Belgium have all increased their output and, in addition, France intends to increase her duties upon the importation of fuel and of anthracite coal. What will be the effect of that on the anthracite area in South Wales, which exported into France 1,500,000 tons of every 5,000,000 tons output? To the extent that France increases her import duties on anthracite coal, it means the displacement of the anthracite area from competition with France, and that displacement will mean loss of work or irregular employment, which will increase the costs. The standing charges will be increased, there will be an increased cost for the consumers of coal, and there will be unemployment. In South Wales at present the unemployed number about 74,000, and if there is to be an increased number of unemployed in the anthracite area, how are you going to absorb them?

Take for a moment the figures of the exports from this country for two given periods. In 1913 the country exported 79,000,000 tons, 21,000,000 tons of bunker coal, and 4,000,000 tons of patent fuel, snaking a total of 104,000,000 tons. In 1925, we exported 50,000,000 tons, 16,000,000 tons of bunker coal and 4,000,000 tons of patent fuel, making a total of 70,000,000 tons. S0 you have a reduction in export as between 1925 and 1913 of 34,000,000 tons, and we have still got 200,000 men at least unemployed in the mining areas. Does anybody in this House believe that we are going to get sufficient export markets not only to make up the difference of 34,000,000 tons, but additional tonnage to absorb the unemployed in the coal mining areas at the present time? The w hole point seems to be that there must be a kind of general organisation of the mining industry in order to deal with this problem. I think this House ought to sit down seriously for a week or a fortnight to consider the whole aspect of the mining position. After all, the future of the mining industry is bound up with an entire change in our outlook and node of procedure as far as that industry is concerned, and by a scientific treatment of coal.

There is one other point, the question of victimisation. Possibly the Government will say, "What have we to do with that victimisation?" The Government are responsible for the position which makes victimisation possible, and in so far as the Government are responsible for creating the position, naturally the Government ought to be responsible for removing some of the difficulties which exist. Speaking for South Wales particularly, I say you cannot go to any part of that area, but you find in every colliery a large number of victimised men who are unable to get a day's work. So callous are the coal owners that they are not satisfied with victimising the individual, but there are cases where the father and two or three brothers have been victimised for the so-called sins of one man. A father and three sons are unable to get employment at a colliery simply because one son is a committee man. In dozens of cases owners have refused to employ a single committee man or lodge official, simply because they have been looking after the interests of the men, and have been faithful and loyal to the duties imposed upon them.

9.0 p.m.

If the Government and the coal owners believe that they are going to smash the organisation by victimisation of those who have been engaged in the work of the organisation, they are making a great mistake, because while the present economic conditions remain in the mining areas, not only will the miners' organisation be necessary, but a more virile organisation than has existed in the past.The Government cannot evade their obligations with regard to victimisation, and they ought to take steps to approach the coal owners not only with regard to the victimised individuals but with regard to agreements. Where the local management pay no regard to the agreement which has been signed in the various counties, to that extent it is creating a great deal of friction, and if you want peace in the industry, you must remove causes of even small friction. The Government ought to approach the coal owners on this queston of victimization, and, as far as unemployment is concerned, they ought to assert their responsibilities and their powers as a Government. Unemployment is getting more serious because they refuse to govern. One of the functions of government is to look after the interests of the community, and to harness the activities of the miners and workers in general. The coal owners have failed to bring the energies and the needs of the miners into close relationship, and it is the duty of the Government to step in and bring those into closer relationship. Therefore, we move this Motion in order to call the attention of the Government to the economic consequences of their policy, to ask the Gov- ernment to remove this particular Act, and get into touch with the coal owners on the question of policy and victimisation.


I beg to move, in line 2, to leave out from the word "the" to the end of the Question, and add instead thereof the words iron and steel, shipbuilding, cotton, and other industries, this House, while anxious to augment the volume of employment in all industries on sound economic lines, is unable to single out one industry for exceptional treatment in preference over others which have suffered from unemployment of even greater intensity and duration. Meeting, as the House does to-day, practically under the shadow of two terrible disasters in the collieries of this country, there is no section or part of the House which will not agree with the references which have been made by the Mover of the Resolution to these disastrous events. It always seems to me, who have never worked in a colliery, but have had the experience of going down a number of collieries in different countries, that of all the occupations of which I know, the one I should least desire to follow is that of a coal miner. I, therefore, start the consideration of any question relating to coal-mining with the very greatest sympathy and respect for the work of the miner. I always feel that if I had to choose an occupation it would be other than going below ground, but it has also to be remembered, as is known to those of us who have lived in the neighbourhood of mining districts, such as, I have no doubt, the hon. Gentleman who moved this Resolution has done, and I have done, that there is a large number of people in the country who do not share the views I have just expressed, and which have been received with approbation on all sides of the House. There is, in fact, a number of people in the country who do not at all look upon coal-mining as an objectionable occupation, and it is within the knowledge of all Members who have lived in coal-mining districts, that sons follow fathers in the pits as a matter of course, and prefer that occupation to many others which, from time to time, have been available to them. It has also to be remembered that, in spite of there terrible disasters, coal-mining, although a dangerous occupation, is not the most dangerous occupation, in the country. Statistically, I believe that is so, but it does not alter the fact that, when a disaster comes in connection with coal-mining, it is of so arresting a character, it generally involves the lives of so many men, that it evokes immediate sympathy from all parts of the country.

The Seconder of the Resolution referred to the possibility that, since the dispute in the coal mining industry, the desire for increased production might have brought about some reduction in the safety measures to be taken at the pits, or the amount of inspection required If there be anything in that suggestion, it will not be to his own side of the House alone that the hon. Member can look for support in putting right anything that is wrong. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is true."] I am not questioning it in the least; I am not saying whether it is so or not, because I do not know; but I say that if there be anything in that suggestion I strongly agree with the necessity for inquiry. This Resolution, however, does not confine itself to the question of safety in the mines or the results of the coal mining dispute, but asks that the Government shall take measures to provide more employment in the mines and, failing that, more employment elsewhere.

The Amendment which I have the honour to move draws the attention of the House to the fact that coal mining is not the only industry suffering from unemployment—very far from it—and also, without expressing any feeling against coal mining, draws attention to the fact that other industries are not only suffering heavily but are to some extent suffering because of the coal mining dispute. A right hon. Member, one of the leaders of the Socialist party, writing just before the coal dispute last year, pointed out the great reduction in unemployment which had taken place, and it is a fact that when that dispute began the figures of unemployment were the best—if such a phrase can be used for it—that we had seen, probably, for five and a half years. Ordinary people would hardly regard that as the moment for a serious strike or lock-out—which-ever you like to call it—to be brought about, because just then there was a possibility of the country recovering from a period of great depression. And not only were the figures comparatively good, by contrast with those of the few previous months, but the country had spent a very large sum of money on a very full inquiry into the conditions of the coal mining industry. All sections of the population had been shown what those conditions were, and had been told precisely what difficulties the industry had to face. While I agree with some of the remarks of the Mover of this Motion, I think it is a great pity to use such expressions as: Dispute entirely caused by the Government—Government threw 100,000 men out of work. It must be perfectly clear that statements like that are not true and cannot be substantiated. There were 97,000 odd men in the mining industry out of work at the time of the dispute, and there are to-day 200,000 out of work, so that there are 100,000 more men out of work to-day than before the dispute; but I would ask the House to note this very important fact, that while there are 100,000 fewer men engaged—roughly speaking, one-tenth less—employed in the industry, we are producing one-twentieth more coal. That is a very interesting point, because it seems to me to bear out one of the arguments used in this House from time to time as to the possibility of putting the industry on a more profitable and a more satisfactory basis.

In that connection may I say that there is one point in the Report of the Coal Commission with which I profoundly disagree. I entire y disagree with the Report where it deals with the unlikelihood of our being able to sell a larger output of coal. I think I may claim as much knowledge of trade and industry as is possessed by the average Member of the House, and I am bound to say that I have never known a time in the history of any industry when any really expert man in it would say that, if he were given a larger output at a lower price, he would net be able to sell it. I firmly believe that what applies to every other trade applies to coal. If we can produce a larger quantity of coal and sell it at a much cheaper price, we can find a market for it. That cheaper price is not necessarily to be secured through longer working hours, but by more scientific management of the industry and putting real hard work and goodwill into it.

This Amendment has been put down because I think it grossly unfair that the Government should be called upon to deal with the mining industry alone. At the present time there are nearly 200,000 men unemployed in the iron and steel, the shipbuilding and the cotton trades, apart from any others, and in some cases these men are suffering from the result of the mining dispute. When that dispute started, the figures of unemployment went up from something like 1,100,000 to 1,600,000, and a very marked reduction took place immediately the dispute ended. What can the Government do? What is it in the power of the Government to do to help unemployment, whether in the mining industry or in these other industries, which, if anything—I do not put it higher than that—have an even greater claim upon our consideration? I am one of those who believe that the powers of the Government are extremely limited, and that the things the Government can do are mostly of a negative kind. The first thing for them to do is to cease interference with trade in every possible way. [Interruption.] I agree, as I have already said, that there must be inspections and the like, but as far as interference with trade goes, I want the Government to keep as free from it as possible, even in times of dispute. Let them hold the scales evenly—[Hon. MEMBERS: "The Eight Hours Bill!"]—as they more than undoubtedly did in the last dispute; and also let them avoid spending something like £30,000,000 of the taxpayers' money in subsidies.

There is something else they can do. When we get to saner times they can reduce taxation, and they can also consider taxation from a somewhat different angle. I think that in the past the Government's attitude about taxation has been to favour unduly the middleman and the merchant at the expense of the manufacturer. It is often forgotten that it is the manufacturer and the people who work for him who, to a large extent, are producing the wealth. We are told constantly on platforms—I do not say it is done so much in this House, because I think most hon. Members have got beyond that stage—of the dreadful things which the capitalist does.

I would like the House to consider who are these capitalists who do these dreadful things. I do not know whether certain figures given recently in the "Economist" were studied by hon. Members, but they show that in a series of large industrial concerns which were examined for the purpose—I think that something like 18 different companies were taken as examples—that over 80 per cent. of the total shares was held by people with less than £500 each invested and 36 per cent. with less than £100. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Swansea said there were 16,000,000 capitalists in Great Britain. In the same survey of the capitalistic position a very interesting point is brought out. The percentage of people holding in those companies over £10,000 is 2 or one-fifth of 1 per cent. and in only one case was there any possibility of such a capitalist having control. Therefore the idea that the control of trade in these companies is in the hands of a few great industrialists is quite exploded, and this will readily be seen by anyone who studies the facts. Capitalists consist mainly of those who have saved a little money and if they are placed in the position of constantly having to pay 20 per cent. or 30 per cent. of their profits to the Government in the form of taxation, it is manifest that there is bound to be a considerable shortage in the supply of new capital for new undertakings. It is only common sense that a man will not engage in a new enterprise if there is somebody else taking 20 or 30 per cent. of his profits, and taking no liability for his losses or share in his risks. That is the position of those responsible for a large number of the industrial proposals which are made from day to day in this country.

I have just said that the Government should reduce taxation, but I think they can do a few other things. They may not be the kind of things which are in the minds of hon. Members who put forward this Resolution. For example, the Government might use the credit of the country a little, more. Undoubtedly, during the last seven years we have secured a unique position which might have been used without danger of inflation. I think we could do a little more, especially if we could induce the country to agree with the views of those sitting on these benches, in the way of Empire development, and the development of our Empire trade, which is now something like 50 per cent. of our total. I think we could do more with more credit in the direction of Empire settlement, and when the Government come to deal with such questions they might be able to assist the Dominions to assist us by giving them every facility for the raising of further loans. I have already said that what the Government can do is more or less of a negative character, but what the people of this country can do in this matter is certainly not of a negative character at all, but it is of a very definite character. We can bring about—I believe we are already bringing it about to a certain extent—a new spirit of co-operation in industry. I know that phrase is perhaps too often used, but there are two sides to this matter as to every other. There is the point of view of the employer who is somewhat afraid of what will happen if he holds out any further inducements to the workpeople than they are accustomed to, and until co-operation is fully established. There is also the point of view of the man to whom it is useless to offer some vain hope of gain this time next year, when his real interest in life is where he is going to get his next day's breakfast from. I think the new spirit in industry will come when labour is assured of a really definite and almost immediate return for increased production. If the man who works hard can be made to realise that his prosperity depends upon that production and co-operation, and That he will definitely and directly benefit, it will riot be long before we get that new spirit in full working order.


Is the hon. Member not aware that the miners are producing more and are actually getting less money at the present time?


I do not think they are getting less, and therefore I do not believe that statement is correct. They are working longer hours but there is no question about the extra production of coal, which will end in better conditions ultimately for the miners and probably result in shorter hours and better wages for the workers. There is one thing I think we ought to do and which we can stop, and that is the continual belittling of our own resources. A great deal of harm is being done in that way by under-estimating the skill of our own manufacturers. The men who are most concerned with the actual work do not believe these things, and other countries know pretty well what we are capable of doing, and if we can stop this belittling of our own resources the people of this country will have done a great deal towards bringing about better conditions.

I want to say one word, in conclusion, upon an aspect of this question which, is not generally put forward in this House. There is one statement made by hon. Members on the Socialist benches with which I am in profound agreement, and that is the desirability of raising the standard of life of the people, and thereby raising the consumption of goods in this country. The point where we differ from hon. Members opposite is as to how that is best to be brought about. One thing is certain, that it can only be brought about by aiming at a higher standard and by protecting ourselves at that standard. We have either to level up or level down. We have to level up working towards such a standard of life and prosperity which exists in countries like the United States, or come clown to competition with cheap labour and a lower standard of life like that which exists in some foreign countries. I think the proper course for us to follow is to continue to work for the higher standard, working always towards shorter hours and higher wages, and avoiding, above all things, lowering our standard to the basis of the competition of other countries in Europe. I hope the House will realise that in moving this Amendment I have done so not in any spirit of antagonism to the mining industry but in order to try and bring before the House the necessity of considering industry as a whole. We do not want to take any measures to spoon-feed one industry, which can only be done at the expense of others, and above all things we should remember when we come to deal with industries as a whole that the remedies do not lie in the hands of any Government, however constituted. I am glad the Government have not the power to do some of the things which they are asked to do across the Floor of this House. The real remedy for our troubles lies in the hands of the people themselves.

Lieut-Colonel LAMBERT WARD

I beg to second the Amendment which has been so ably moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne), and in doing so I should like to be allowed to join with the hon. Member for Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan) in expressing my sincere sorrow at the two terrible disasters which during the past few days have overtaken the mining industry in supporting this Amendment, I do so, not because I am ignorant of am ignoring the very difficult times with which the mining industry is confronted, nor because, my sympathy is not as sincere, although perhaps a little less vociferous, as that of certain hon. Members on the opposite side of the House for these unfortunate men who are having so great a difficulty in finding employment to-day. I am seconding it because I consider it would be hopelessly and utterly unfair to give preferential treatment to one industry at this particular time when so many other industries are suffering from unemployment to an even far greater extent than the mining industry itself. Thanks to the activities of the representatives of the mining constituencies, and to Motions such as this, which during the past 12 or 14 months have been regularly tabled in this House, the unemployment in the mining industry has bulked large in the public eye for some considerable time, yet compared with the unemployment which is rampant in so many other trades, unemployment in the mining industry, looking at it as a whole, is comparatively insignificant.

What are the facts and what are the figures? It is not my intention to weary the House with an orgy of statistics. I am just going to put the percentages and the figures of the unemployment in the mining industry before the House and compare them with the percentages and figures of unemployment in certain industries in that part of the country from which I come, and leave it to the House to judge in which direction the activities of the Government can better be exercised. The figures that I am going to give are the figures for last January. The figures for February have to some extent been published, but they have not yet been tabulated; at any rate they nave not been put within my reach, but the figures for January are sufficiently close for all practical purposes. It is quite true that since then there has been a small improvement of one or two points, but to all intents and purposes the figures are sufficiently accurate for the purposes which I have in view to-night. During the concluding week of last January the percentage of insured persons in the mining industry who were registered as unemployed was 16.3 per cent.—a sufficiently alarming total I am quite prepared to admit. During the same period the percentage of people in the shipbuilding trade registered as unemployed amounted to the appalling figure of 37 per cent. That is the average for all over the country. If we take the percentage for the part of the country in which my constituency is situated, we find the appalling figure of no less than 49 per cent. That practically means that one out of two of all the men normally employed in the shipbuilding trades are walking the streets trying to find a job. On the wharf and at the docks—another staple industry of my constituency—the percentage of insured persons registered as unemployed is 27 per cent. Among the sea faring folk and fishermen, it is not so easy to get accurate figures, but I am told—and from what I have seen with my own eyes I am quite prepared to believe it—that one out of every three of the fishermen and seamen are hanging about the docks ready to sign on for any job that comes along. These men are in no way responsible for this trouble that has been brought upon them. The mining industry between them—employers and the employed—are to a large extent responsible for their own troubles, but the fitters, the boilerworkers and the dockers are the innocent victims of ill-will and quarrelling in another industry.

If there is any justification for the Motion before the House to-night, it is because there is a certain risk and danger that a part of the unemployment from which the coal-mining industry is suffering may to some extent be permanent, and it may be necessary for the Government to find alternative employment for those men who have been displaced and for whom no work is available. But surely it is up to the Government, first of all, to deal with those trades where unemployment is so much more serious. It is for them to deal with unemployment in the shipbuilding trade and the unemployment in the shipping industry generally before they attempt to touch a trade where the percentage of unemployment is so infinitely lower than it is in the trades I have already mentioned. It is possible, of course, that the coal trade may in the future never employ the same number of men as it employed before the stoppage. Now the Government by their permissive Eight Hours Act have made it possible to recover some of the markets which we have lost abroad. They have made it possible, by decreasing the costs of production and thereby decreasing the price at which we can sell the coal, to recover some of those markets which we, temporarily, I trust, have at present lost abroad. If I might suggest it, it is a far better way of dealing with the unemployment in the coal trade to recover those markets rather than, in the words of the Motion, to secure other employment for those miners who cannot be re-absorbed. I remember not so very long ago hearing from the lips of no less a person than the Leader of the Opposition, that the best way of curing the unemployment problem was to put every man back at the work which he was trained to perform. I entirely agree with him, and it is because I believe in that that I think it would be an infinitely better thing, if we could do it, to increase the demand for British coal in the foreign markets rather than to attempt to find new employment for the men who will be displaced if we do not succed in extending those markets.

I suppose I shall not be out of order if, as an alternative to the suggestions in the Motion, I put forward one or two suggestions with regard to the markets which have been lost and which we hope to recover. It might be well to differentiate between those markets that we must admit, however optimistic we may be, are gone from us for good and all, and those markets which we hope, with a little bit of luck and enterprise, to recover. It is not so very long ago that we used to export a considerable quantity of coal, not only anthracite coal, but also domestic and industrial coal, to New York and Newport News. Only a very few months ago we used to export a considerable quantity of coal to the River Plate—nothing like what we exported 20 or 30 years ago, but still a very considerable quantity. I am very much afraid that the New York market, except, perhaps, for anthracite, has gone from us for good, but I think we ought to be able to recover a very considerable proportion of our River Plate trade. It is only a question of the price; it is only a question of enterprise. At the present moment, the price is very little against us; it is only a question of increasing production and reducing the cost to enable us to compete once more in that market.

Again, not so very long ago ships used to be chartered regularly to take coal to Cape Town, and even to Durban. That trade, I am very much afraid, has gone for good and all, because the proximity of the Natal coalfield does not give us much opportunity to compete there. To other ports, like Bombay, Colombo and Singapore, we used, years ago, to take large quantities of coal; but, again, Calcutta coal, at the price at which it is being sold at the present time, does not appear to me to leave us much opportunity for competition in that market if, however, we come nearer home it seems to me that the prospects are brighter, and that there is not only some chance, but a very good chance, of our being able to employ once more the vast majority of our unemployed miners at their own trade. Egypt used to be a big purchaser of Welsh coal. I think I am right in saying that Port Said and Alexandria between them took something like 500,1100 to 1,000,000 tons. I believe the Egyptian railways alone took something like 250,000 tons. Those railways have for the past year bee n running on oil and on coal from Czechoslovakia, but I am informed that the quality of the coal they have had from Czechoslovakia is not such as would encourage them to enter into contracts for the future. The cost of oil has also been considerably higher than they had anticipated, and there, again, I think there is a very excellent opportunity in the immediate future to recover, the contracts which we lost there. The same applies to Odessa. Of course, no trade is being done there at this particular moment, but not so long ago Welsh coal, and also North-country coal, used to be exported in large quantities to Odessa, and there is a reasonable prospect that that trade may be reopened before many years are over.

Another good market for Welsh and English coal was Italy, and it is to Italy that we must look. We must recover the Italian market if we are really going to bring back into employment the men who are unemployed at the present time in the coal trade. Of course, I admit that things there are not as they were 20 years ago. The vast expansion of hydro-electric plant, the extraordinary progress they have made with water power, has to some extent reduced the demand for coal in the industries of Northern Italy, but, at the same time, we must remember that, however good and however cheap that hydroelectric power may be, it is not available, in the majority of cases, during the whole year. There are two periods in the year in Northern Italy when water power is almost unavailable. There are the three summer months, July, August and September, and there is also a month or six weeks in the winter, when the frost freezes up the water on the mountains, and an inadequate supply is sent down for the requirements. During that period coal must be used.

Most—indeed, I think I am right in saying all—of the big industrial concerns in Turin, Brescia, Bergamo, and all those industrial cities of Northern Italy, have alternative power plants, in which they can use coal or, in some cases, oil, during the period when their water supply runs short. Not so many years ago we used to export something between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 tons of coal to Genoa alone, almost entirely from South Wales, but I think I am right in saying that during 1926, instead of 1,500,000 or 1,750,000 tons, we only sent 25,000 tons. There, again, the coal which they have brought across the mountains from Czechoslovakia to make good the shortage in their water supply and replace the coal which they formerly had from Wales, has not proved too satisfactory, and I think it is only a question of a little enterprise and a little reduction in price before we can once more secure many of those contracts which, for the last two years, we have lost. I feel that I have said enough to prove that the unemployment case in the English coal trade, serious though it may be, is not by any means desperate. I support this Amendment for two reasons—firstly, because, as I have already said, it would be unfair to give preferential treatment to an industry which is far from being the hardest hit among the industries in this country; and, secondly, because I think it would be a mistake to attempt to find alternative employment for these unemployed miners when there is such a very excellent opportunity of their being employed once more in their own trade and industry.


The two hon. Gentlemen who have moved and seconded the Amendment have used many phrases with which we are familiar. They have spoken of co-operation between Labour and capital; they have talked about the worker getting justice and, in proportion to his increase of output, getting an increase of wages. They have used many phrases, but their speeches, stripped of those terms, are frankly 'and brutally characteristic of the early nineteenth century capitalist. If, on such an occasion as this, those two hon. Gentlemen express the mind of the capitalist party opposite, if they express the mind of the governing classes of this country, then. I say there is very little hope for this country, which we on this side, love just as much as any other Members of this House. When one understands the terrible solemnity of the, feeling that has prevailed in that mine in Monmouth during the past two days, when one understands something of the solemn spirit, almost of worship, that prevails in those circumstances, and yet when we read to-night of that attack upon the Prime Minister, who went down in well-meant sympathy, I want to say to this House that that is a matter of terrible import for this country, and one that might well be a warning to the Government and the governing classes of this country, and might well make them take heed of their ways in dealing with this great industry, which involves such terrible things for the great masses of the people who are in it. Both hon. Members, I suppose, would claim to belong to the Disraelian party. Speeches such as they have made might well make that old gentleman turn in his grave. The hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne) does not want any interference from the Government. He wants the Government to let industry alone. Then he suddenly thought to himself, "There has been a mining disaster. Of course, we must have Regulations for mining and so on."


It is within the recollection of the House that I began, long before I dealt with the question of the Government and industry, by agreeing with and emphasising the necessity for Government Regulation and inspection.


I do not deny that. What I say is that the hon. Member paused in the middle of it to emphasise that fact. But one could follow the hon. Member and the Seconder into that line of argument and show quite clearly that the capitalists only accepted Government regulation when they were compelled by the great mass of the people of the country. When the first Mines Regulation Act was put through there was a gentleman in the other House who told the Government that if inspectors went down they could stay down, and there is still on record the very definite reply of the Government of that day to the great coalowner who spoke the mind of the capitalists of that period. The hon. Member wants impartial treatment from the Government. Impartial treatment is when the Government protects his pocket and passes an Eight Hour Act and compels men to go into the mines to suffer as men have suffered during the present; week. I should like to follow that line in a detailed way, but I will not be taken too far off my own line. We are asking the Government to give special consideration to unemployment in the mining industry. The hon. Member for Kidderminster gave reasons for that himself. Mining is an industry by itself. A miner cannot go to any other industry. He is isolated. His son cannot go to any other industry. [Hon MEMBERS: "Why not?"] For the very simple reason that he is too far from other industries. The hon. Member implied that a miner goes into mining because he likes it. I read the other day of an old gentleman who had been so long in Broadmoor Asylum that, when they let him out, he went back again. He had got used to it. It is very much the same with the members of many industries as well as miners.

But take the broad question. There is unemployment on a large scale. The figures have been given for South Wales and for Scotland, and figures could be given for the North of England. For instance, take Durham. The right hon. Gentleman is very often troubled with the state of unemployment in Durham and Northumberland. There are mines closing. They opened and then they closed. The men are not aware whether they are closed temporarily or permanently, and they do rot know whether they are closed because of foreign coal contracts or merely because there is a shortage of wagons. I live in the midst of half-a-dozen collieries. When I go home at the week-end I meet the men's representatives. They have been in touch with the employers. They are told indirectly sometimes that it is foreign coal and sometimes that it is wagons. Sometimes they are told the mines are closed permanently and sometimes that it is only temporary. The point is that we who are involved in the industry do not even know those elementary facts, and we have no right to get to know them. We are not entitled to know anything about the industry. The men in the mining industry are entitled to nothing but to die in the gloomy depths. If we do not know, is it not about time the Government was getting to know what the position is in those areas? Is it not time they were getting into touch with the coalowners to try to get some estimate of the extent of this problem? And is it not time they were taking some hand in the passing of men and their families from one district to another? I had three good women in my own home some weeks ago and this is what happened. They said, "Our husbands are in a certain part of the country working in a mine. They ate satisfied. They have even got houses to go to. We are penniless. We have no money for moving furniture, and the men are paying almost prohibitive prices for board and lodging so that they have no money to spare."

The right hon. Gentleman could do many things. He has the Mining Industry Act on the Statute Book. What are the Government doing about it? Are they doing anything at all, or are they simply going to let the coalowners go about in the good old haphazard way they have done in the past? The hon. Member himself admitted that there are fewer employed in the industry and the output is increased and yet there are less wages coming to the men for that work. When the capitalist class reduces output, as the rubber planters have done, they increase their profit. When the miner increases his output his wages are decreased. I have heard that challenged in the House, hut I am in a position to deal with it to-night. It is about time the country knew something of what is happening in the mining areas. I believe the country is plunged in sorrow for what has happened this week. One can feel it in the streets and everywhere, and if the country had an opportunity of expressing itself, this House would not be as empty as it is to-night. I do not believe a Government that was prepared t look at this matter in the cold reasoning spirit in which the hon. Member spoke of it, would last five minutes if the people of the country could have an opportunity of dealing with it. I want the hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. A. Hopkinson) to pay attention to this. He is one of the architects of the misfortunes of the miners and they will not forget hire for a long time. These figures concern one of the companies that he has been particularly interested in. Here are four pay rolls. They can be examined or questioned by anyone. The output for these two men for eight days was 11 tons 13 cwt. and their wages were £2 12s. 2d. altogether. [HON. MEMBERS: "Each?"] I say altogether, for both men for eight days. I wonder what the country will think about this, when they are paying now £2 10s. for a ton of coal.[HON. MEMBERS: "Three pounds!"] What will the country, which has to pay £3 for a ton of coal think when they know that there are two men in the County of Durham who produce 11 tons 13 cwts. of coal and only get £2 12s. 2d. altogether. One of the men has a wife and five children and the other has a. wife and four children. In another case, they work for eight days—these are coal hewers—and produce 9 tons 8 cwts. and their wages are £2 11s. 6d.: eight days' work, and only £2 11s. 6d. for two men. In another case, they produce 14 tons 14 cwts. and their wages are £3 8s. 1d. In another case, they produce 6 tons 13 cwts. and the wages for two men for eight days amount to £1 13s. 6d. That is not much more than half the price of a ton of coal.

This pit where the men work is 1,700 or 1,800 feet deep. I rememeber a friend of mine having to go into the pit on one occasion, to a place where the machines were, and he had to go in like a snake, crawling upon his stomach. You cannot walk into the pit. It is a hot pit. The men look as if they are boiled alive. This is a favourite pit of the hon. Member for the Mossley Division (Mr. Hopkinson). It belongs to the Consett Coal Company: one of those perfect companies which if only they could get rid of certain types of men could do wonderful things for the men who are working. They have done wonderful things. That company has refused to employ some of the miners' officials. Although some of those officials are very mild, moderate and decent men, they have not been employed. Up and down the county of Durham—there are, I am glad to say, exceptions—owners have refused to meet the men, not Communists, but men of the best type of character in this country. I made a speech some woks ago, at the end of the conflict, when I said that I would do anything to hinder a repetition in the mining industry of what has happened in the last few years, hut I say that as sure as day follows night, if the present condition of things is to continue in the mining industry in the North, South, East and West of this country, we shall see a conflict more prolonged and more ruinous in the industry than ever before. It is written as clearly as if it were in the book of fate, and surely no man wants to see it.

Talk about discrimination! We have known a system, and it is a good system, which is called the caveling system. The men draw lots who is to go to work and who is to stop out, if the owners do not want all the men. If, say, 40 men have to receive their notices, the men put in lots as to who is to go out. Now, that old system has gone. There has been discrimination. Here we are, short of wages, working eight and a-quarter hours at the very least down in the mine, bitterness prevails, there is widespread unemployment, and then the hon. Gentle- man opposite says, "All that can be done is that the Government, should leave us alone. Let us do what we like, and continue on the present lines." That is the capitalist outlook, pure and simple. The business of the Government is to look after the industry, to look after the country's interests and the nation's welfare. If it does that to-night, and if this House does it, it will accept this Resolution, which has been moved in the best spirit, with the best interests of the industry at heart, and with an ardent desire to do what is best for the industry and to see that the men shall have justice and decency. They have grey days, they live in narrow ways, they go down to the depths, and they die in the gloom, and we ask this House to give them, at least, an opportunity of living a decent life, and of having a little bit of fair play.

10.0 p.m.


There are two points to which I would like to refer. The first one, is the system of caveling, referred to by the hon. Member. Is he aware that the Inspector of Mines, in the last Report for Northumberland and Durham, stated that the system of caveling is a danger in the mines? If the hon. Member will look at the Report for last year, he will find that statement.


May I paint out that the owners for their own purposes have used the caveling system, which used to be applied for the purpose of deciding who should be employed or unemployed. It was used by the men, who cast lots as to who were to be employed. The employers have since used it for their own purpose, and have discriminated against decent men.


I merely called attention to the fact that in the opinion of the Inspector of Mines caveling is a danger in the pits. The second point raised by the hon. Member relates to the Consett Iron Company. I do not know what I have to do with the Consett Iron Company. I have never had anything to do with the directorate and I have never had anything to do with the company itself. I have no interest whatsoever in it and I do not know what the hon. Member was driving at. Having got rid of these controversial points, it will be well if I endeavour to put before the House what I think, and what in the opinion of coalowners generally, is the immediate future of the industry in this country. When the struggle of last year began, and particularly when the struggle turned very largely upon the question of the hours worked in the pits, the whole matter was gone into very carefully. There was a great dear of discussion as to what would be the effect of an increase in the hours from seven to eight. Eventually, I think, it was a matter of common opinion that the effect, roughly, would be that within a very short time of the termination of the dispute we should be getting an output from the pits practically equivalent to the output immediately before the War, not, perhaps, the actual output of the boom period at once, but the average output for five or ten years before the War. That anticipation has been fulfilled already.

The second anticipation was that that output would be obtained with the pre-War number of men in the pits, that is, roughly, 1,000,000 men in and about the pits. That anticipation also has been fulfilled. We have, therefore, gone forward to the first stage of what was anticipated when we put forward the plea for the release of the industry from the bar to its prosperity caused by the seven hour working day, namely, that we have got the pre-War output with the pre-War number of men. The next stage of the development is this, that that output must be increased, and 't must be increased—this is the unhappy thing that has to be said but, nevertheless, it is true, if the industry is to thrive and if the country generally is thrive—with approximately the same number of men employed in the pits as the present time, that is, the pre-War number of men. It can be done with technical development. The industry is endeavouring to increase its output year by year to meet the increasing needs of the country and the increasing population, and without any great increase in the number of men who are employed. It must be obvious to hon. Members opposite, if they look at it in a reasonable light and without any idea of controversy, that, if the standard of living of the mining population is to be maintained and improved, it can only he done by increasing the average output of the country and by not increasing the number of men employed in the same proportion. One of the great reasons why those concerned in the coal industry objected strongly to the Royal Commission's Report of last year was that, undoubtedly, the Commissioners did contemplate a drastic reduction in the size of the coal industry of Great Britain. Undoubtedly, underlying their recommendations and the whole of their Report, they had in their mind the possibility of drastically reducing the size of the industry, of artificially raising the price, and of being able by that means to continue the artificially shortened hours and the artificially high wages. From the very first, the coal owners refused to do any such thing. They said, "If we are to contemplate this being done, then it is all up, not only with our own industry but with the industrial and commercial greatness of this country."

They actually took the trouble to get figures taken out and prepared showing how, over a long period of years, the production of coal in this country had gone up steadily year by year and also showing how the population of this country has increased year after year during the same period. These returns, which were very interesting, although they have not been much noted by the general public, showed that, over a period of 50 or 60 years, the production of coal in this country per annum and the increase of population had mounted side by side, and the curves were practically parallel when they were worked out on the same scale. They remained parallel until a critical time, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) started to interfere with the coal industry. Although the population went on increasing, the production of coal in this country began to go down heavily year after year until one curve crossed the other. If hon. Members opposite will consider the matter, quite apart from any prejudice, they will, I think, be bound to agree that the whole industrial life of this country, not only of those engaged in the coal industry but of those engaged in all industries, is directly affected by the production of coal. Take the shipping industry, with its subsidiary industry of shipbuilding, and, again, its subsidiary iron and steel industry; they are all very largely dependent upon a constantly increasing production and export of coal, coal being the only really bulky outward cargo for which we have a good overseas market. It is necessary, if we are to maintain our shipping industry, to be able to produce coal as a bulky outward cargo from this country. There are plenty of bulky inward cargoes, but we have only the one means of producing the bulky outward cargo. If we are to keep our shipping industry, we must maintain, by one means or another, those outward cargoes of coat which have been our salvation industrially and commercially in the past.

It seems to me that, if the coalowners of Great Britain had adopted the pessimistic attitude which underlies the Royal Commission's Report, they would undoubtedly have been neglecting their obvious duty to the people of Great Britain. They were determined that, in no circumstances, no matter what happened would they allow themselves to be tempted by the possibility of the drastic reduction of the industry which the Royal Commission's Report seemed to suggest. It will be said by hon. Members opposite, and with truth, that this means a very unhappy outlook for the men who have been displaced in the coal industry. Undoubtedly it does; but the only thing I can bring against that is this, that other industries will have to face the same thing. My own industry, engineering has had to face this terrible difficulty for several years, and theirs is as great a difficulty as that which has to be faced by the coal industry. We have our unemployment problem, and, unlike that of the miners it is a problem for which there is no solution in the industry itself. Every industry has this problem to face. It seems to me unfair to suggest that the unfortunate engineers, whose position is even more parlous and critical than that of the miners themselves, should be expected to bear the burden alone. Let us all do our level best to bear our own burdens, and if we can, to a certain extent, the burdens of others, but do not let us throw these burdens of unemployment in the coal mining industry upon men who have suffered far worse than the coal miners and who up to April of last year were receiving far lower wages for longer hours of work. The whole thing is not fair, and I hope that those who are responsible for this Resolution will look at the matter in this light and have some regard for the other industries of this country.


I think I can quote a few facts which will make a fool of the statements which we have heard from the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. There is the Lanelag Colliery, Llantrisant, in my division where, before the coal stoppage, 114 men were employed. Since the stoppage; it has been employing 240 men, a most unusual instance of enlarged development and increased output. The remarkable thing is that, out of the 240 men now employed, only 20 of the 114 who were employed before the stoppage have been engaged by the company. They have refused to employ 94 of the old hands, who were the ablest and most experienced men they had. These men live in the villages around this colliery, and the local tradesmen have made a protest against them not being engaged because they are suffering through lack of business. Over 200 miners have been brought in from six, 10 or 15 miles around to this colliery, while there are 94 men and boys there still idle. Most of these men have been in the service of the company from 20 to 30 years. A few of the men who have not been included have only one fault, they are men from 60 to 65 years of age, and they are deliberately left out because they are getting rather old.


Will the hon. Member tell me, just as a matter of interest, which of my arguments is this supposed to dispose of?


The argument that it is not the business of the coalowners to discourage unemployment; the argument that the company is free to employ men from anywhere, regardless of a moral obligation to their old employés. That is the argument. In this case the policy of the company has increased the number of accidents, because this pit is on the South crop, the seams are very thin and very steep, and they require far more experience and skill to work than an average coal seam. As a result of the importation of over 200 men, there has been an alarming increase in the number of accidents in this mine. This is an instance where the accidents have more than doubled because the company have refused to employ skilled men, accustomed to these thin seams, and have brought in less skilled men from outside. Why have they done this? At first sight it would appear to be stupid and unbusinesslike, and from the point of view of efficiency it is stupid, but they have done it because they are animated by a spirit of spite and spleen against the local men who have been employed there for years. The local teen have always stood up for their rights and insisted on the old customs. These men are now paying the price for their loyalty to themselves, to the Miners' Federation, and to their class. They are deliberately left out, many of them after 20, 30 and 36 years' service with this one company.

The chairman of the miners' lodge is a miner of about 45 years of age. He has been a miner since he was 10 years old, and he is known locally as one of the most skilled men who ever took a pick in hand. He has brought up a large family of very intelligent children. He is a Welsh-speaking Welshman, a local preacher. He is not a. Communist, but a man of very moderate Labour views, always standing up for the men as their spokesman. This man, and every member of the lodge committee who has shown his sense of independence and stood for his rights, has been blackballed by the company and deliberately kept out of the pit. This is a very extreme case, so far as regards the percentage of the men who have not been reinstated, but it is typical of many colliery companies in England and Wales. We hear a great deal about a spirit of harmony which should exist between capital and labour, but there will never he goodwill as long as these tactics go on in the coalfields. No man has done more to build up the prosperity of this country than the miner, and his services will he required in the future. 'Two terrible accidents have occurred this week. They have cast a gloom over the country, but they are only an illustration of how the miner carries his life in his hands. His womenfolk never know when he leaves home whether they will see him alive again. The miner works as hard as anyone, and he is entitled to a living wage. The miner, more than the sailor on the high sea, risks his life, and I think he is entitled to special consideration.

What has the Minister of Labour done to put the Regulation under Section 18 of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, into operation? Has he laid the Regulation on the Table of this House? Under this Section he has the power to bring pressure to bear on companies, and when that Act was passing through this House it was understood that it would be the duty of the Government to help the miners in the recruitment of fresh labour. Surely it is the first step that local workmen, if they are fit and able arid willing, should get the first chance of employment in a local colliery, and that no miners from a distance should be brought in to replace them. The Government can do a great deal in that direction. I hope we shall hear from the Minister of Labour that he has not been idle, and that he will bring to hear all the pressure possible to put a stop to this kind of victimisation. Unless he does so, there is not going to be any peace in the coal industry, and without peace in the coal industry there can be no peace in any other industry.

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)

There are very few remarks I wish to make. Even so, I must say a few words about the two disasters of which we have heard. I have lived long enough in mining districts to realise the feelings in the village of Owm to-day. One does not need to live in a mining district, however, to share, as every one in this House shares, in a common sympathy with the people who are left behind as mourners for the victims of the disaster. After that, and I have said it very sincerely, I turn to the Motion before the House. I listened carefully to the speech of the Mover. If he will permit me to say so, the readiness of his speech betrays his country of origin, and so also does the nice little turn of invective of which he is capable. But the pessimism that he showed, I think, was alien to his original nationality. I do not know whether it is due to a prolonged stay north of the Tweed or elsewhere, but I think he must have screwed himself up or down to it, and I hope that when to-morrow comes, he will not feel it to that degree any longer.

The fact is that employment in the mining industry has improved, is improving, and is likely to improve still further. Let me give the actual figures. Of course at the beginning of December last the effects of the coal stoppage were still being felt. The figures, in round thousands, were then 730,000 men. They had grown to 886,000 by 11th December. I ask every Member of the House to realise the steady growth of employment in the industry since then. By the 18th December the figure had grown to 925,000, and in succeeding weeks the figures were: 945,000, 952,000, 966,000, 978,000, 989,000, 996,000, 1,000,000, and on 12th February the total was 1,006,006. As far as I know there has been a continuous increase since then.


That is taking no cognisance of the fact that 40 per cent. of the men in the Midlands are not working full time.


I am perfectly aware of all the facts to which the hon. Member alludes. I have also made sure as far as I can that the prospects are that the increase of employment will steadily continue until a considerable proportion of those who are out of employment now are absorbed; that is to say, if we get back to anything like the production of 1913. If there is any upheaval in trade, if it is not possible for the other industries of the country to consume coal, and if the price of coal is so high that it is not possible to export coal, then, of course, there will be no increase to the same extent in employment. Otherwise employment has been steadily increasing up to date, is increasing still, and will continue to increase. I ask the House to note the actual words of the Motion and the words of the Amendment, and to compare the state of affairs in the mining industry with that in the other industries mentioned in the Amendment. I would be the last to deny that where unemployment exists in the mining industry to-day it causes hardship. So it does in all the big industries, and at this moment unemployment in the mining industry is not nearly so severe as it is in the iron and steel industries, and it is not half what it is in the shipbuilding industry—[HoN. MEMBERS "Have you lengthened the hours?"]and the hours are no longer, in fact the working hours are not as long.

I beg the House to note that what tells upon industry is not only the degree of unemployment, at any given moment in its intensity, but the duration of it, and if the House will bear in mind the history of the last few years, they will realise that, as compared with these other industries, the mining industry has been in its own circumstances fortunate. On the average, since the great slump, the rate of unemployment in the cotton trade has been half as much again as in the mining industry. In the iron and steel trades it has been three times as great, and in the shipbuilding trade it has been four times as great. Therefore, if I am to follow the advice of the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) and pay attention to the national welfare as a whole, quite obviously I must agree with the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment in saying that preference cannot be given to an industry which has not suffered so acutely as these other big industries. That does not for a moment mean that, so far as there are means of helping any industry which are peculiar to that industry, those means should not be taken. The hon. Member who spoke last asked me about the question of recruiting. If I am to judge from the speech of the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street, regulations or measures for recruiting are not needed. If I am to deduce any inference from his words, it is that the mining industry is such that persons from outside industries do not want to go into it, and that he does not want these measures to deal with recruitment. I would ask him does he want us to go forward with measures for restricting recruiting to those who have been in the industry earlier or does he not?


Emphatically yes.


I took a note of the hon. Member's words, and he cannot have it both ways. He cannot first say that no one from outside wants to go in, and that boys only grow up and go into it because they cannot go elsewhere and then—


That was a Durham joke.


I found it difficult, from the somewhat agitated way in which the hon. Member spoke at the end of his remarks, to say what part was Durham jokes and what part Durham earnestness. As regards recruitment, let me assure my hon. Friends that we have got proposals in draft and we hope to consult with the principal parties interested in the industry in the course of the next few days.

I now propose to deal with great brevity with one or two of the main attacks. The Mover of the Motion condemned the Government for their past action, and he supported his condemnation by the assertion that, although hours had been lengthened, the production per man was no greater. The Seconder of the Motion condemned the Government because, owing to the lengthening of hours, the production per man was greater. I do not know on which leg it is proposed that the condemnation should stand. As a matter of fact, it is the hon. Member for West Rhondda (Ms. John) who was right in his statement of fact, and be gave as the result of it that the production would more than outrun the demand. If there is anything in experience in the sale of any goods, and coal amongst others, it is this, that if an article is produced more economically, so that its selling price is less, its sale is greater than it would be otherwise. If that be true of any article, it is certainly true both of the export trade in coal, as we have realised by the experience of the last few years, and of the internal consumption of coal, as every employer or man in the iron and steel works or the shipbuilding trade will be able to confirm. The question of wages, I would submit, is not really germane to this Motion. I would only say to the hon. Member for Chester-le-street—I am not certain whether that was another Durham joke or not—that he produced four pay slips and treated them as though they were typical of the industry in the country.


There are only too many like them.


The hon. Member did treat them as typical, and, therefore, he asked the House to infer that the rates of remuneration in the country are to be judged from those pay slips which he produced, and which he offered to show to any of us. I would ask him, if he will, to hand them over to me to examine, because I am willing to challenge him on this, that if he says that those particular pay slips are typical of remuneration as a whole, he is not correct. I am willing to stand by the comparison, and I will gladly await the first general ascertainments for the different districts in order to see again by the facts who is right and who is wrong.


Assuming that these are typical, not of the whole, but of 10 per cent, or 20 per cent., is it not a scandal in any industry at this time of day?


I will examine the particular cases later, but let me now take the other two charges that were brought. I have taken down, as far as I. could, the actual statements, and the first is that the Government are responsible for an increase in unemployment in the mining industry, as compared with April last, of 100,000 men. Even if that he true, what does it mean? It means that, as compared with the policy of the miners' leaders last April, we have benefited the mining industry largely in the matter of employment. I read the articles writ ten by the Member for Derby, and in his opinion, as given to him by the miners' leaders, there would have been an increase, with their policy, not of 100,000, but of 200,000. Or again, I read in an article written by the Member for Barrow (Mr. Bromley) that, if the policy of the miners' leaders had been followed, there would, on their own admission, have been an increase of unemployment among miners of no fewer than 300,000. Therefore, I am sure the mining Members in this House will be grateful that it was the Government's policy that won the day from the point of view of employment in their own industry, rather than that of their own extremist leaders. The other argument, stated quite briefly —and this one I am not going to try to traverse—was that the Government were responsible for the coal stoppage. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear!] I hear the conventional cheer in reply. It is exactly what one expects. I would only ask the Member who cheered to read the report of the Trade Union Council, and let that united party settle the question between themselves.

There is one other statement that has been made, and that is about victimisation. I cannot criticise the statements that are made. Of course, I do not know the facts. We offered our mediation between the two sides, but it was refused consistently by the miners' leaders, and if it is anyone's fault, it is their own fault for refusing that mediation. There is only one instance of victimisation of which I really do know—of a man—to use the words of the hon. Member opposite—faithful and loyal to the men he represents—and that is the victimisation of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Spencer).


I find it exceedingly difficult to take part in a debate on the position in the mining industry, in the presence of the two great disasters which have befallen men engaged in that industry. For some reason or other, it is a little bit of a nightmare to me. I, cannot get away from the scene of yesterday morning, it is like so many scenes that I witnessed before I was ten years of age. Within a few miles of where that great disaster occurred in, South Wales I was born, and before I was 10 years of age I saw three similar disasters with all their great evils. But, in addition to seeing the evils, I also saw what is calling forth the admiration of the world to-day, the wonderful acts of heroism which take place whenever a great disaster of this kind occurs. I can just imagine yesterday morning, about one o'clock, the telephones ringing and the managers, the general managers and all the workmen rushing through the little grey valleys to the pit top, all of them anxiously waiting to descend into the jaws of death and hell, not one of them asking who is to he the first volunteer to take the risk, but everyone of them, officials and workmen alike, all ready at any moment to place his life at the disposal of the men who are entombed. That is the case with the miners, and I am not saying the miners as workers merely. It is the ease of all those engaged in the mining industry—whether workmen, officials, or mine inspectors.

There is no distinction of persons when it comes to a crisis such as that through which we are now passing. While there is such a splendid body of men engaged in the mining industry, we are called upon to-night to discuss, and have been discussing for the last two and a-half hours, the ill-treatment that has been meted out by one section of the industry to another, and when I realise the readiness with which men are prepared to risk their lives, I say to myself, "What devil's instrument has come into this industry which prevents both sections getting together and working for a common interest?"

I would be delighted to-night to avoid saying one word of a condemnatory character, if it were possible to do so, but I want to say that in my opinion it would be well for this House and for the Government to take seriously into account the relationship which is developing between the miners on the one hand and the mineowners on the other, and of the possible consequences that may ensue unless that relationship is changed. I very much regret that the Minister of Labour;had so little to say on the question of wictimisation. I would like to give the Rouse my experience. Yesterday I was in Cardiff, dealing with disputes in my, own district which had been hanging about for 13 weeks. In one case I was dealing with a group of collieries where not a single committee man has been re-employed, although 80 per cent. of the workmen in those collieries have been found places. Those committee men have been singled out for no other reason than that in days gone by they were the representatives of the workmen as between the workmen in the collieries and the miners' headquarters. That is a state of things which cannot possibly be tolerated by the miners, and unless there is a change we are bound to have very serious trouble.

In another case I had to deal with the representatives of a very big company employing some 6,000 or 7,000 men. I tried to get them to deal with matters on the basis of the agreement. I said, "This agreement is of your own making. The men were beaten, you imposed your own terms, now carry out your terms.' I put on the table details of 20,000 minimum wage cases which had been settled on a certain basis, and I said, "You put down one case against those 20,000; show a single exception to that rule and that agreement." They could not. They admitted that the custom and the practice had existed for over 20 years, and they admitted that the agreement they had forced upon the workmen provided that in so far as those customs and practices could be established, and except to the extent to which they had been varied by the agreement, they were part of the contract; and yet they declined, in the face of 20,000 items of evidence, with not one to the contrary, to carry out their own agreement.

I had another case in which half-a-dozen check-weighers who have been doing their work for the last 13 weeks have not received one penny in wages, for the simple reason that the companies will not make the deductions on behalf of the check-weighers, such as has been done for 20 or 30 years at those collieries. If those check-weighers put down their tools and said, "We are not going to work unless wages are paid," every one of the colliers would say, "And we will not continue to produce coal unless we have someone to cheek the weight of the coal." The Communist element in my district are saying, "Put down your tools. Bring the colliers out," and I am preaching patience, moderation and good relationship. Employers in this country have to change their attitude, and not merely talk about the new spirit in industry but introduce it; they must be prepared to reciprocate to the full, not merely in words but in deeds, the spirit which a number of men in the Labour movement are seeking to import into the mining industry as well as other industries. For that reason I hope that the influence of this House of Commons will be used in the right direction, because, after all, on the benches opposite sit the great captains of industry, and the representatives of the Federation of British Industries, men with immense influence upon the employing classes, and if they care to use that influence they can change completely this attitude of hostility that exists and which is going to bear evil fruit unless it is changed. I, therefore, appeal to right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite to use their influence in that direction. I would say to the Government also, and I submit it is a grave national responsibility, that they should exert all their influence to ensure a change of policy on the part of the coal owners in the future.

With reference to unemployment, I would like to divide that under two heads. First of all, I would like the Government to look at the way the miners are being treated at the present time. Apart altogether from finding other employment for them, we have to-day, in the mining industry, collieries which were closed 12 or 18 months ago and there is no other employment. I can give typical cases from my own constituency. I can give a typical case in the Rhondda, Valley of a colliery in which the men have worked from boyhood and they are anxious to obtain employment. They have tried everywhere to get work and yet their names are struck off the list. I could give other instances. I submit that the Government are not helping in any shape or form by treating these genuinely unemployed miners in this manner. Surely, nothing can be gained, even politically, by reducing your live register not by finding employment but by merely striking these men off benefit? You merely say to these men, "Go to the board of guardians." These men have not been able to find employment and they do not deserve such treatment.

I suggest to the Minister of Labour that he should get his representative to consult with the miners' representative in each of these cases, and unless it can be shown that the men are idle when there is an opportunity of employment they should be treated as genuinely unemployed, and they should be given their proper benefit. As to the effect of the arrangements which we have entered into on the question of employment it is true that we started with 500,000 to 600,000 and the number has gone up to over 1,000,000, but the number employed will continue to increase for a short time only. What I want the Government to take into account is not what we have in the nature of unemployed miners at the present time but what we shall have a year from now.

Unless the Government will face the real cause of the trouble in the mining industry and endeavour to solve the coal problem, as certain as I am standing en the floor of this House, 12 months from now, whatever takes place, unless we get a big American miners' strike, there will be fewer men employed in the mining industry than at present, and in 18 months or two years from now there will be hundreds of thousands less employed than are employed at the present time. The problem we have to deal with has been present with us for very many years. As long as you have an industry in which you have big blocks of output, scores of millions of tons of output, separated from other scores of millions of tons in the matter of cost of production by from 5s. to 10s. per ton, and you have running with that the scramble for the trade, and intensified competition, you are always going to have that portion of the industry unable to hold its own. What have you got at the present time? You have got a market because we have had a seven months' stoppage and stocks have been depleted and have to be replenished, and when that has taken place, and you have got back to normal markets with the abnormal output which will result from the longer working day, we shall have an intensified form of competition which will make it impossible for the high-cost collieries in this country to survive the ordeal upon which they have embarked. That has been the problem ever since 1916. When the Government took over the mines even during the War under control they had to find a pool in order to keep those high-cast collieries working and they could not have kept them even in the War without taking 15 per cent. from the profitable undertakings in order to keep them alive.

In 1921, when the slump came, they tried to keep them going by sending scores of thousands of miners to the boards of guardians, who, after having put in a full week's work and received a week's wages, had not as much money to take home as would be got by going on the board of guardians' relief lists and they had to go to the guardians. Evidence was submitted to the Commission by Sir Ernest Cowers that had it not been for the gap which had been created in 1921 on account of the stoppage and in 1922 by the big American strike and in 1923 by the occupation of the Ruhr, these collieries would have gone out of employment in either of those years. In 1925 when they were kept alive by the subsidy and an attempt is being made to keep them alive at the present time by the longer working day and lower wages, and as soon as you have got over the point where the effect of the depleted stocks due to the stoppage has been reached, we shall have exactly the same conditions in the mining industry as we had in 1925 when the subsidy was first put on, except that we shall have it in an intensified state due to the fact that we have an increased working day.

That being the case, I really make an earnest appeal to the Government to face the problem now that there is no stoppage and while the miners are sill at work—to face the facts. Unless that is done now, we must make provision for a huge army of unemployed who in a year's time or fifteen or eighteen months at the outside, will be coming out of those mines which cannot continue in production and more and more the unemployment will go up by leaps and bounds. That is a prospect which neither the Government nor the nation, any more than the miners themselves, can look upon with equanimity. It is because we realise that that will be the inevitable outcome of the policy being pursued that we urge the Government to take it seriously into consideration and to see if it is not possible to apply the only possible solution to the coal problem which will prevent a big addition to the ranks of those already unemployed.

Is it too much to ask that the Government will exert their influence in these two directions—that they will, first of all, see that fair play is given to those who are at present unemployed, who are being struck off the list for no sort of justifiable reason, who are not offered employment, who cannot find employment, and are anxious to get into work? I hope the Government will change their policy with respect to these men. With regard to

the broader question of the reconstruction and reorganisation of the coal trade, I hope that now, when there is time and when there is peace, they will take that job in hand. If they do, then a year hence, instead of having a big increase in the number of unemployed, we may hope for a movement in the direction of curtailing it, by the simple process of using the credit of those highly efficiently-equipped concerns to enable more coal to be produced at a lower cost, and give us a larger margin of low-cost output. That is the only solution of this problem. If it be not carried into effect, nothing can prevent very many men being unemployed. I cannot for the life of me understand why there should be any opposition to this Motion. All that it asks is that the Government be urged to do all that they can to find work outside the industry where they cannot find employment in the coal trade, and, in the next place, it asks the House to declare that it is regrettable that there should be a policy of victimisation. A policy that is making for bad relationships in the industry is an undesirable state of affairs, and ought to be remedied as speedily as possible.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 135; Noes, 224.

Division No. 30.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Fenby, T. D. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Forrest, W. Kelly, W. T.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Kennedy, T.
Ammon, Charles George Gibbins, Joseph Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Gillett, George M. Kirkwood. O.
Baker, Walter Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lansbury, George
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Lawrence, Susan
Barnes, A. Greenall, T. Lawson, John James
Batey, Joseph Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Lee, F.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lowth, T.
Bondfield, Margaret Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lunn, William
Broad, F. A. Groves, T. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)
Bromfield, William Grundy, T. W. Mackinder, W.
Bromley, J. Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) MacLaren, Andrew
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Buchanan, Q. Hardle, George D. March, S.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Harris, Percy A. Montague, Frederick
Charleton, H. C. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Clowes, S. Hayday, Arthur Naylor, T. E.
Clynes, Rt. Hon, John R. Hayes, John Henry Oliver, George Harold
Compton, Joseph Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Palln, John Henry
Connolly, M. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Cove, W. G. Hirst, G. H. Ponsonby, Arthur
Crawfurd, H. E. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Potts, John S.
Dalton, Hugh Hudson, J. H. (Huddersdeld) Purcell, A. A.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Day, Colonel Harry John, William (Rhondda, West) Rlley, Bon
Dannlson, R. Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Ritson, J.
Duncan, C. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Robinson, W. C. (Yorks,W.R.,Elland)
Dunnieo, H. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Rose, Frank H.
England, Colonel A. Janes, Morgan (Caerphilly) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Scrymgeour, E. Taylor, R. A. Welsh, J. C
Scurr, John Thomas, Rt. Hon. Jamas H. (Derby) Westwood, J.
Sexton, James Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey) Whiteley, W.
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Thurtle, Ernest Wiggins, William Martin
Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Tinker, John Joseph Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Slesser, Sir Henry H. Townend, A. E. Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Smith, Rennie (Penlstone) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P. Williams. Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Snell, Harry Varley, Frank B. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Vlant, S, P, Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles Wallhead, Richard C. Windsor, Walter
Stamford, T. W. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen Wright, W.
Stephen, Campbell Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline) Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Stewart, J. (St. Rollox) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Sullivan, J. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Sutton, J. E. Wellock, Wilfred Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel Fielden, E. B. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Ford, Sir P. J. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Alnsworth, Major Charles Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel
Albery, Irving James Foster, Sir Harry S. Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Fraser, Captain Ian Margesson, Capt. D.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.
Apsley, Lord Gates, Percy Meller, R. J.
Atholl, Duchess of Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Merriman, F. B.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Goff, Sir Park Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Gower, Sir Robert Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Benn, sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Moore, Sir Newton J.
Bennett, A. J, Grant, Sir J. A. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Bethel, A. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Betterton, Henry B. Greene, W. P. Crawford Murchison, Sir Kenneth
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Greenwood, Rt. Hn.Slr H.(W'th'e'w,E) Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vanslttart Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Nelson, Sir Frank
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Neville, R. J.
Brass, Captain W. Grotrian, H. Brent Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Brittain, Sir Harry Gunston, Captain D. W. Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Pennefather, Sir John
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Had.) Penny, Frederick George
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hammersley, S. S. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Hanbury, C. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Buckingham, Sir H. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Philipson, Mabel
Bullock, Captain M. Harland, A. Pilcher, G.
Burman, J. B. Harrison, G. J. C. Pownall, Sir Assheton
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Hawke, John Anthony Radford, E. A.
Butt, Sir Alfred Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Ralne, W.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Henderson, Capt. R. R.(0xf'd,Henley) Ramsden, E.
Campbell, E. T. Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Reld, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)
Carver, Major W. H. Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur p. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Rice, Sir Frederick
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Hilton, Cecil Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Chapman, Sir S. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Ropner, Major L.
Chilcott, Sir Warden Holland, Sir Arthur Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Christie, J. A. Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Rye, F. G.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hopkins, J. W. W. Salmon, Major I.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K. Sandeman, A. Stewart
Cooper, A. Duff Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.) Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Cope, Major William Hume, Sir G. H, Sanderson, Sir Frank
Couper, J. B. Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Sandon, Lord
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.) Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Jacob, A. E. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Kennedy, A. R. (Preston). Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Kindersley, Major Guy M. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kins'dine, C.)
Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Llndsey,(Gainsbro) Lamb, J. Q. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Smithers, Waldron
Davies, Maj, Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil) Loder, J. de V. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lougher, L. Sprot, Sir Alexander
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Stanley, Col. Hon.G.F. (Will'sden, E.)
Dawson, Sir Philip Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Herman Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Dixey, A. C. Lumley, L. R. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Lynn, Sir Robert J. Storry-Deans, R.
Ellis, R. G. MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) McDonnell, Colonel Han. Angus Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Everard, W. Lindsay Maclntyre, Ian Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Styles, Captain H. W. Waterhouse, Captain Charles Wise, Sir Fredric
Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley) Withers, John James
Tasker, R Inigo. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle) Womersley, W. J.
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton) Wattt, Dr. T. Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'gs & Hyde)
Thompson, Luke (Sunderland) Wells, S. R. Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)
Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South) White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Tinne, J. A. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern) Wragg, Herbert
Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay) Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Vaughan-Morgan, Col, K. P. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Waddington, R. Wilton, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Wallace, Captain O. E. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Mr. Wardlaw-Milne and Colone Lambert Ward.
Warner, Brigadier-General W. W. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."

Several hon. Members rose

It being after Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.

Adjourned accordingly at Eight Minutes after Eleven o'Clock.

The remaining orders were read, and postponed.

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