Amendment proposed [11th May]: In page 1, line 6, to leave out Sub-section (1), and to insert instead thereof the words:
Where any trade dispute exists or is threatened the object or natural consequence whereof either alone or in addition to the furtherance of a dispute between employers and workmen is or would be to coerce the Government or the community such dispute shall be deemed to be illegal and the persons or parties taking part therein shall not be protected from any civil action by reason of anything in any of the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1917, or the Emergency Powers Act, 1920.
Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provision Section three of the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, shall continue to apply to protect any person or persons actually taking part in such dispute: "— [Captain O'Connor.]
§ Question again proposed, "That the words 'It is hereby,' stand part of the Clause."
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
The right hon. Gentleman interrupted me as I was about to speak. The reason I did not rise at once was that I understood from your ruling yesterday, Captain FitzRoy, that you were taking this and the next four Amendments more or less together as a general discussion and I thought, therefore, that it would have been perhaps more convenient if the Committee could have heard first from someone representing the point of view of the Liberal party the reasons why they desire their particular alternative to the Clauses put forward by the Government.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
On a point of Order. I was not aware of that ruling. I was under the impression, from what I had been informed, that the Amendment 596 at the top of the page of the White Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Anglesey (Sir R. Thomas) was in order and could be moved.
I am entirely in the hands of the Committee, but my suggestion was that those hon. Members who have these various Amendments down should say what they have to say on the general discussion and, if necessary, make only a short speech on the particular point at issue subsequently when the actual Amendment was reached.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Then if that course is followed it will be in order for my hon. Friends to move their Amendment?
It will be in order to move the Amendment when this is disposed of but, of course, we cannot have the same discussion again on that Amendment.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Like the right hon. Gentleman, I am only anxious to do what is convenient and I rise at once. I thought possibly they would prefer the opportunity of speaking first, but I am perfectly ready and glad to have an opportunity to deal with the Amendment on the Paper. My hon. and learned Friend the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) said on the Second Reading that we had invited the collaboration of Members in any part of the House in moving any Amendment which would tend to clarify the Bill and ensure that its operation did not go beyond the purpose we had stated, and he said in response to that invitation he and some of my hon. Friends associated with him had drafted this Amendment and therefore he appealed to us not to treat it too harshly, even if it should turn out that the language was not quite apt to meet the point they desire to make. I should be sorry, indeed, to seem to deal with these Amendments merely from the point of form. There are, of course, two quite separate points raised. There are, first of all, questions of substance in regard to which my hon. Friends desire to be reassured, and there are also questions of form arising from the exact language which they have used. I only desire to say in regard to the question of form that I think perhaps, 597 as indeed one of the supporters of the Amendment said speaking a little later, those who have tried to draft the Amendment have become aware of the difficulty of ensuring that the language they use exactly carries out their intention. But it is important, not indeed to make meticulous criticisms of language but to see what would be the effect of the language used, at any rate to this extent, in order to make quite clear to ourselves what it is that we intend to deal with in Clause 1. My hon. Friend, in moving the Amendment, explained that in his view the Clause as drawn was not aptly drawn to deal with a general strike and that in fact what he was dealing with in his Amendment was what he described as a "coercive strike." I cannot help thinking that my hon. Friend a little misunderstood the expression "general strike" and fell, to some extent, into the same error as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) fell into on the Second Reading Debate when, as the Committee will remember, the right hon. Gentleman explained— I do not think I am doing him an injustice— that a general strike was really an impossibility, because, said he, "If you have a universal strike the result would be there would be no means of feeding the trade unionists themselves and therefore the strike must come to an untimely end." If, by a general strike, you mean a universal strike, no doubt that is a sound proposition, but I have never understood that the expression "general strike" is equivalent to "universal strike." I think that it is much more closely allied to what my hon. Friend referred to last night as a coercive strike.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I quite agree. It was not my phrase, it was the phrase that my hon. Friend used last night in moving his Amendment. He went on to explain that he meant a strike which was, in its effect, calculated to coerce the Government. In fact, when I was speaking on the Second Reading, I think I made it clear to the House that when I used the expression "general strike" I used it in the same sense as such a distinguished statesman as, for instance, Lord Oxford used it in another place, and, for that matter, as the right 598 hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) in this House used the expression. Lord Oxford— I think it is worth while reminding the House of what he said— stated:There is a very broad and obvious distinction between a general strike and those particular strikes or lock-outs in various industries which have from time to time taken place and have been painfully frequent in our industrial areas. What distinguishes a general strike from all others is this. It is a blow, not struck by one combatant at the other but directed, whether intentional or not intentional, by its inevitable results at the very vitals of the whole community.That is, I think, very nearly what my hon. Friend was referring to as coercive last night. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, when he was speaking on 11th May, 1926, used almost precisely similar language in discussing what he meant by a general strike, because he said:The plain fact is— not as a matter of narrow law, but as a matter of broad fundamental constitutional principle— that once you get the proclamation of a general strike such as this is, it is not, properly understood, a strike at all because a strike is a strike against employers to compel employers to do something, but a general strike is a strike against the general public to make the public, Parliament and the Government do something."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th May, 1926; col. 862, Vol. 195.]Later on he said:You may do what you think right in the exercise of the right to strike against your employer, but you are not only breaking the law, but you are inflicting a most serious blow on the whole constitution of the country if you abuse that undoubted right with totally different effects. So that the result of what you do, whether you mean it or not, must be that you are putting pressure upon the community, the Government, the people as a whole."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th May, 1926; col. 864, Vol. 195.]That is the sense in which I understand the phrase "general strike" is to be used. If you use it in that sense, it is obvious that the question of whether a strike is a general strike or not does not depend upon the number of people taking part in it, but upon the inevitable result of it upon industry. [Interruption.] I am glad to see that proposition has the approval of hon. Members. If that be, the true definition of a general strike, then I think the Committee will agree— I am sure those who are trying to draft Amendments have appreciated it— that you have two dangers to guard against 599 in framing a definition. On the one hand, you must be careful not to use language which defines a general strike merely as one whose inevitable result is to coerce the Government. You must not limit it in that way, because the effect of such a limitation would be that any strike on a large scale in an essential service would become an illegal strike. On the other hand, you must be careful not to limit it to strikes whose avowed object is to coerce the Government, because if that were so, then, of course, the proverbial coach-and-four could be driven through any Act of Parliament by merely taking the trouble to say you were aiming at some objective other than that of coercion. So you have to use language to show that the strike which, in Lord Oxford's words, is designed by its inevitable results to strike at the whole community is intended.
If one approaches the consideration of the Amendment before the Committee from that point of view I think that my hon. Friend and those Members associated with him will see at once that the words which they propose would undoubtedly extend the prohibited strike and would prohibit strikes which I do not think they desire or the Committee desire to render illegal. The phrase in the Amendment advanced is:Where any trade dispute exists or is threatened the object or natural consequence whereof either alone or in addition to the furtherance of a dispute between employers and workmen is or would be to coerce the Government or the community.It is obvious, I think, that if these words were used, then a strike in an essential service on a large scale, although for a purely industrial end, such as the improvement of the conditions of labour in that industry, might well come within the prohibition, because the natural consequence of it might be to coerce the Government or the community. Therefore, and I say it at once, I cannot accept the alternative Clause which my hon. Friends have put down here. There are other difficulties in the way of phraseology which I do not want to develop at length, but I may point out, for instance, they use the expression "trade dispute" and then proceed to give it a definition. The Committee will know that "trade dispute" is already defined in the Act of 1906 and used in the Act of 1875, which Acts are 600 to be read with this proposed Act of Parliament. It will be in the highest degree inconvenient if the same phrase "trade dispute" were defined as meaning one thing in the Act of 1906 and the Act of 1875 and meaning something quite different in this Bill.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
If Clause 1 is to be read in conjunction with the Act of 1875, how can it be said to be expressly defined for the purpose of this Bill?
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am sure it is my fault if the point is not clear. In the existing legislation the expression "trade dispute" is expressly defined as "For the purpose of this Act," that is, the Trade Union Act, 1906. It is in Section 5, Sub-section (3), I believe. The Amendment uses the same expression "trade dispute," but gives it a different meaning for the purpose of this Bill, which has to be read with the existing Acts, and you will have at the same time to re-enact both Sections in the Act of 1875 which actually use the words "trade dispute." I do not know which of the two alternative definitions would then be considered to be the right one. All that we are doing in our Clause 3 is not to define for the purpose of the Trade Disputes Act a term which is already defined, but to explain that for the purpose of Clause 3, and Section 7 of the Act of 1875, the word "intimidate" shall have the meaning defined in that Clause and Section, and nowhere else. Therefore you are not causing the sort of confusion as that to which I am now calling attention.
There is a further difficulty, and I hope my hon. Friends will not think I am pedantic for pointing out these difficulties. They would make any threatened trade dispute illegal, and a trade dispute is defined as a dispute between employers and workmen. The result would be that, as soon as there was the threat of a dispute between employers and workmen, if the result of the dispute would naturally be to coerce the Government or the community, then, before any 601 dispute had actually broken out, there would already be a criminal offence, and conspiracy. I do not want to go through all the points. It was quite fairly said by my hon. Friend behind me, when speaking last night, that the main purpose which the supporters of the Amendment had in mind was to protect what I may call the innocent striker, that is to say, to protect the person who joins in a strike at the orders of his trade union, who is merely called out to take part in it, and does nothing more than cease work in compliance with orders, from thereby becoming liable to criminal proceedings.
That, I think, fairly summarises the main object of those who put this Amendment down. It is a matter which the Government have had under very careful consideration. It is not altogether an easy matter with which to deal. In the first place, if there be a strike which is illegal, as being a conspiracy against the State, it is, I think, a novelty in our law that the persons who take part in that conspiracy are not deemed to be conspirators, and, in the second place— this is a matter of practical difficulty— under the criminal law, every fact has, of course, to be strictly proved in evidence, and although it may be comparatively easy to show that a person has taken part in a strike, it is not easy from outside to prove the exact share which he has taken in the strike. Therefore, if you exclude from liability all those who have merely taken part in a strike, you may find yourself landed in very considerable difficulty to prove against people whom you are perfectly well aware are, in fact, amongst the ringleaders of the strike. Those are, I think my hon. Friends will appreciate, very grave difficulties, and, in view of those difficulties, we have, as the Committee will remember, in Sub-section (2) of the Clause, included as liable to penalties those who take part in a strike declared to be illegal. That is a matter which has given concern to my hon. Friends. We have considered the representations which have been made. It would be impossible, I think, for the reason which my hon. Friend pointed out last night, merely to leave out from Sub-section (2) persons who take part in a strike. That would not be adequate inasmuch as in the first Sub-section you are declaring a 602 strike to be illegal— and, obviously, by that you mean criminal, for you are imposing penalties— it might very well be held that if there were no express provision, any person who took part in that conspiracy was liable at Common Law to be indicted for conspiracy, and liable to two years' imprisonment, as opposed to the lighter penalties under Subsection (2).
Therefore, merely to omit those who take part in a strike from that Sub-section would not achieve, I think, the object in view. But, in view of the representations which have been made, the Government have been considering with those who are able to advise us in the matter whether it would not be possible, in spite of the risk which such a course would undoubtedly involve, to use language which would exempt from liability those persons who were merely strikers, and nothing else. When I say nothing else, I mean people who were not amongst those who organised or incited a strike, or who endeavoured to further it by picketing, or endeavoured to assist it by putting an embargo on foreign ports, or by taking any other active steps to render the strike a success. I think it would be possible to find a proviso— it might involve a slight alteration in the first line of Sub-section (2)— which would make it clear that persons who merely cease to work, or refrain from taking employment in pursuance of a strike, who take no active part themselves in furthering the strike, shall not be liable to any penalties for that act. (An HON. MEMBER: "Cold feet!"] The hon. Member who made that interruption will have opportunities of judging, before this Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, whether we are getting cold feet. I am trying to deal with what, I think, is a difficult point to meet, which involves, for the reason I have shown, some substantial amount of risk, but which, at the same time, is a real point which, I know, has oppressed the minds of those who feel, quite as strongly as I do, that it is essential that the general strike shall be prohibited, and put outside the law.
Mr. ROSSLYN MITCHEIL
When the right hon. and learned Gentleman puts in the category of ringleaders people whom we do not usually recognise as ringleaders, does he include, or exclude, 603 those who apply any sums in furtherance of a strike?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am going, in the course of this evening, I hope, to put down the exact words which I am proposing to use, and I shall be quite happy then to explain them. What I was trying to deal with at the moment was the point raised by the Amendment under discussion, and I was seeking to explain to those who had put the Amendment down the steps I was endeavouring to take to meet what they quite frankly said was their main object, and why I was not able to accept the language they propose, because I do not think it would achieve their object, and would certainly achieve other objects which I do not think they intend, and which the Government could not accept.
§ Mr. NAYLOR
The right hon. Gentleman introduced, for the first time in this Debate, the words "universal strike." I presume he does not take the literal meaning of the words, which would mean a strike taking place simultaneously over the entire universe. As the term has been used for the first time, and for the purpose of elucidating the meaning of the words "general strike," I think the Committee would like to have a little more elaboration from the right hon. and learned Gentleman as to what he means by a universal strike.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I was not introducing a word, but quoting a word which had been used, I think, both in writing and in speech, by the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes).
§ Mr. CLYNES indicated dissent.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Of course I accept the right hon. Gentleman's disclaimer. I had understood his argument to mean that a general strike was an impossibility, because you could not have a universal strike of everybody which would not at once starve the strikers, and that, therefore, a general strike, in that sort of sense, was one which, he said, could not take place. I used that in order to point out that that was not the meaning I attached to a general strike. I meant, not a strike over all the universe or any part of it, but by a general strike I understand a strike directed against the State as opposed to a strike against an employer.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman bring to memory any time where there has been a strike against the State?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I think there was one just 12 months ago. I think there was also one, or at least, an attempt at one in the year 1843, at the time of the Chartist Riots.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Well, we are agreed about one. The point here is not in which category a particular strike comes, as long as we are clear what this Bill tries to deal with. It is, as I have said over and over again— and I will repeat it once more— a strike directed against the State, as opposed to a strike which is directed against an employer, that I want to make clear beyond doubt this evening is illegal.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
How can that be reconciled with the definition of a forbidden strike, which is one which inflicts hardship on the community? Will the Attorney-General explain how any strike of any kind can exist without inflicting hardship upon the community?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I will try to explain in greater detail when we come to the Amendment which deals with it. We have had a fairly general discussion, but I suppose there are limits to the extent to which I can discuss Amendments which come later on. I can reassure the hon. Member by pointing out that nobody has ever said in any Amendment that every strike which inflicts hardship upon the community is illegal. What has been said is that no strike which is merely industrial can be illegal, and that a strike which is not merely industrial and not related to the conditions of the industry in which the strike is taking place may be illegal only if it tends to coerce the Government, and One of the ways of coercing the Government is by inflicting hardship upon the community.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
What strike can be imagined which does not inflict hardship upon the community? If that be the case, any strike, for instance, a strike to regulate night hours in baking or to regulate other hours by law, would be illegal.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I hope the hon. Member does not suppose that there is anything in the Bill as it stands or in the Amendments which we have put down which says that strikes are illegal which inflict hardship upon the community. When we come to the Amendments I will develop that point at greater length. I can say now, definitely, that the Bill does not say so, and if the Amendments which we propose are inserted, it will not say so.
Will the Attorney-General deal with the point which I attempted to make about the use of the word "besides"?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I think the point which the hon. Member makes is a proper one and that the word "besides" is open to ambiguity. There is an Amendment on the Paper in the names of the hon. and learned Member for Rusholme (Mr. Merriman) and other hon. Members— in page 1, line 7, to leave out the word "besides" and insert instead thereof the words "other than or in addition to." I propose to accept that Amendment. I have tried to deal fairly with the Amendment and to make clear the reasons why I cannot accept it in the form in which it stands. I have also tried to indicate how we propose to meet the real point underlying the Amendment, and I hope that we shall be able to meet it in a way that will satisfy my hon. Friend and those associated with him. For the reasons I have given, I am afraid that I cannot accept the Amendment; but we propose to make the alterations which I have indicated, when the time comes.
On a point of Order. Those associated with me in the moving of the Amendment will, I feel sure, agree that the concession made by the Attorney-General is a very considerable one and fulfils all the expectations we had of the pledge that was given when the Bill was introduced. I would therefore desire to withdraw the Amendment. My point of Order is this. Would it be for the convenience of the Committee that the Amendment should remain on the Paper, so that the general discussion may be taken, the understanding being that our desire will be to withdraw it.
§ Mr. LUNN
In view of the statement of the Attorney-General that Sub-section (1) is to be completely remodelled, and that the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) has asked to be allowed to withdraw his Amendment on that point, would it not be advisable to adjourn the Debate until the Government have had an opportunity of considering their position as to what Sub section (1) is to be, so that they may be able to place it before the Committee? I think that we ought to report Progress until that has been done.
When this Amendment was called an indication was given from the Chair that it opened a wide discussion on Clause 1. In the speech of the Attorney-General we have had an indication of a change on the part of the Government. If the Amendment is to be withdrawn now, when will the general discussion take place which was indicated from the Chair would take place upon this Amendment?
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL
No statement has been made by me this afternoon that the Government intend to make any alteration in Sub-section (1), We are going to make an alteration in Sub-section (2), in the form of a proviso, on the lines I have indicated. I would suggest that in as much as the proposal was that this and the next four Amendments should be discussed at the same time and treated generally, it would be possible, if the Committee desire it, to allow the present Amendment to be withdrawn and we could then continue the general discussion on the Liberal Amendment which immediately follows, which stands in the names of the hon. Member for Anglesey (Sir Robert Thomas) and other hon. Members:
In page 1, line 6, leave out from the word "hereby" to the word "illegal" in line 12, and insert instead thereof the words:provided that any strike or lock-out is an illegal strike or lock-out, as the case may 607 be, if it be designed to compel the Government to comply with the demands of the workmen or employers taking part in the same, and it shall be.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The Attorney-General has stated that it is not the intention of the Government to make any change in Sub-section (1). In reply to the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) he said that one of the points of substance which he and his colleagues had in mind was the word "besides," which comes in the second line of Subsection (1), and he intimated his intention of withdrawing that particular word, which is in a very early part of the Bill and is a most vital word to hundreds and thousands of people. Therefore, it seems to me that the hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) was justified in suggesting that in view of the statement made by the Attorney-General this afternoon that not only are very substantial alterations to be made in the whole structure of the Bill but that those alterations are to begin in the second line of the first Sub-section of Clause 1, the Debate be adjourned until the Government have had time to submit their proposals.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I understand that if this Amendment were withdrawn and the next Amendment were moved, the general discussion which the Chair indicated would be permissible, could take place. I understand that to be the suggestion of the Attorney-General, and that if the Committee assented to the withdrawal of the present Amendment the same discussion could be continued on the next Amendment.
That is the suggestion which I was going to make in reply to the suggestion that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Luton should be withdrawn. On the next Amendment, I think we could continue the general discussion, if the Committee would allow the present Amendment to be withdrawn.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I did not understand that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Luton had been moved. I understood that we were now dealing with the question "That the words 'It is hereby stand part of the Clause."
The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN
The Amendment was definitely put from the Chair, but it is the custom only to move 608 down to certain words, in order to safeguard subsequent Amendments. If the discussion on the question as to whether the Amendment should be withdrawn continues, I shall not be able to allow it to be withdrawn. It must either be withdrawn or not; one or the other.
§ Mr. CLYNES
From our point of view I want to put a point of real substance. There is a very great difference between the terms of this Amendment and the terms of the other Amendment which it has been suggested should be taken in substitution for this Amendment. The Amendment now before the Committee raises the vital question of the responsibility of groups of workmen or of individual workmen who may be engaged in the act of a strike, as compared with officers, leaders and members of the executive who may be guiding them in the strike. In view of the discussion having proceeded and the case having been heard from the Government side, the proper procedure would be to listen to our view on this vital issue before the Amendment is withdrawn.
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
I was going to say the same thing as my right hon. Friend in this sense, that the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) having moved his Amendment and the Attorney-General having spoken on it, in common fairness I should be allowed to state our views. Therefore, I propose to proceed with what I have to say on the subject. The Amendment moved lo; the hon. Member for Luton is entirely unacceptable to the Labour party, but it has performed a useful service in that it has called up the Attorney-General, who has now given us, quite clearly and beyond any qualification, what really are the intentions of the Government in regard to this first Clause. We have endeavoured, on the Second Reading and yesterday, to try to discover what the Government really mean by their famous first point, that general strikes are illegal. It is a very edifying sentiment that general strikes are to be illegal, but the most important and most material question for us is, what do you mean when you use the expression "general strike"? Until we had the good offices of the hon. Member for Luton we were unable to extract from the Attorney-General what the Government mean by a general strike. Therefore, if 609 for no other reason, the hon. Member's Amendment has done great service to us and, may I say, to the country as well.
We know for the first time, after all the discussions in this House and in the country, what the Government really do mean by a general strike and what they have in their mind. The first observa-which I would make on the speech of the Attorney-General is that the term "general strike" has a meaning in the mind of the Government which nobody has ever attached to it before. One would assume that the word "general" had something to do with "generality," but we are now told that the generality of a strike in no sense makes a strike general. The definition which the right hon. Gentleman has given us of a general strike is that it is a strike directed against the State. That by itself is possibly an intelligible notion. If that strike has to do with sedition and conspiracy, it is already a criminal act, but if the term "directed against the State" means anything, it means that the persons embarking on the strike, promoting and furthering it, intend to injure the State. Therefore, I was the more astonished when I found that the right hon. and learned Gentleman said that it was a general strike whether you meant it or not.
Haw you can direct a strike against the State when you do not know whether you mean it or not, I do not understand. This is something in the nature of an accusation of treason or sedition. Imagine a person accused of treason, and the prosecuting counsel, possibly the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself, says: "This fellow is accused of treason, but we do not know whether he meant it or not." How can you possibly have any element of treason or sedition, which make these strikes so terrible, if persons do not know whether they mean it or not. The Attorney-General, however, was not content to leave it there. He said it was something which inevitably would cause injury to the constitution. Again, there is the suggestion that the strikers themselves never had the intention of oversetting the constitution at all. He said it was not limited to its avowed object. In all these things it is quite clear what is in the mind of the Government. The Government wish to prevent by law sympathetic strikes on a large scale or on a small scale. They 610 say it does not matter whether the strike has anything to do with an intention to injure the State if they can say it is inevitable that it will injure the community. And now we have a definition of what "injuring the community" means. It means inflicting hardship on the community.
It is really tune the Attorney-General gave over pretending that he is considering here some conspiracy of conscious sedition mongering, when we are told that the very people who are engaged in it need not necessarily know what the result is. I am reminded of a little rhyme:Oh what a tangled web we weave.When first we practise to deceive.Having from the beginning advocated this Bill, pressed it through this House, on what I have always declared to be the false understanding that it was limited to what are called "general strikes" at, last on the second or third day of the Debate, the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) has been the innocent instrument to bring the Government out into the open. We now know that whatever the intention of the strikers may be is immaterial. If what they do in the course of their ordinary industrial right is, in fact, liable to inflict hardship on the community, it constitutes an illegal strike within the meaning of this Bill. It is true, as we have always declared, that what is hit at here is the ordinary, normal, sympathetic strike. That being the situation in which we find ourselves, no man can say at the time when the strike takes place whether somebody else is going to say it is calculated to inflict hardship on the community or not. The intention of the strikers and strike officials are immaterial. It does not matter. May I point out to the hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) who represents in some way the employers, that this Bill is going to be applied to them and that what they say is immaterial. If the employers lock-out a number of men in a trade in which they have a direct interest and result is the infliction of hardship on the community they are also engaged in a seditious illegality. Their intentions are immaterial. An official may go to the Court and say, "I never intended to injure the community. "It does not 611 matter either way. Directly the hardship is established the crime is established also.
The Attorney-General must not expect us to treat his proposals with anything but the gravest suspicion. It is easy for him to satisfy his own followers, but it is the fact that on two critical matters affecting this Bill the Government have shown themselves to be actuated by intense hostility to the whole trade union movement. In the first place, they have omitted all reference to the employers and have directed their legal shafts solely at the workers. That is a point which we shall not forget, and we shall not let the country forget it either. The second point is this: whether they do or do not conciliate the more decent-minded of their supporters like the hon. Member for Luton, who is horrified at the notion of the ordinary working man being liable to be made a criminal against his will under this Bill— and I appreciate the hon. Member's feelings on these matters— the fact remains, that the Government, before these decent-minded persons influenced them, were prepared to lock up every striker in England. A concession made in this way will not disguise from us the reality that it is not the Government but the hon. Member for Luton and his friends, who have brought this pressure to bear on the Government, who are responsible for the concession. We shall wait until we see the actual terms of the Amendment before we say whether the Government have carried out their intentions or not. At present the ordinary striker is definitely liable, in my view. Although the strike on which he embarks is legal, if some official uses that strike afterwards for purposes which are illegal under this Bill he will become liable for an illegal act made illegal during the course of the proceedings.
The result is that certain hon. Members opposite have revolted from the designs of the Government. We have not yet seen the actual terms of the Amendments which the Government propose to put on the Paper, and I, for one, cannot trust them until I see them. We have had experience of the one-sided and unfair way in which it has been introduced, the false arguments put to this House and to the country in support of it, and we cannot trust any Amendment to the Bill 612 until we see it on the Paper. I will say this, that if the Government exonerate the strikers from this Bill they will find themselves in this position: that just as the individual striker must be exonerated because he is not criminally responsible, so it will be found that the strikers' organisation and the strike leaders ultimately will have to be free also from the liability. Again may I point out to the party opposite, who have lost all sense of Conservative tradition for the common law of this country, that it has been for centuries the law of this land that persons are not to be found guilty without a guilty intent. There is a limited number of exceptional cases, such as a burglar found at night with tools for housebreaking. Perhaps the right hon. and learned Attorney-General will compare a trade union official with a burglar at night and assume that he is on a guilty errand. Under this Bill if he calls a strike he is there on a guilty errand, and I say that a trade union official has the same rights under the common law to be assumed not to have intended to upset the Constitution or commit a seditious act, although the prosecution have proved that there was some conspiracy to inflict hardship and encourage sedition. Under the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, which exempts from liability persons who take part in strikes in combination, it is expressly provided:Nothing in the Section shall affect the law regarding the right of unlawful assembly, breach of the peace, sedition, or any offences against the State or Sovereign.''That is the existing law. The right hon. and learned Gentleman wants to go beyond that. What he wants to do is to say that any strike or lock-out of any magnitude which clearly may inflict hardship on the community shall thereby be assumed as intended to coerce the Government, and it will be something in the nature of a seditious act without any proof of sedition at all. The right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) has an Amendment on the Paper which would limit the whole liability to a specific seditious act to coerce the Government or the State. That is very different from what the Attorney-General is saying. He is going to assume that where hardship is inflicted by a sympathetic strike that 613 necessarily the State or the community is being intimidated. To import treason and sedition into our law when you are dealing with perfectly innocent strikers is to court disaster and trouble. Nothing which the Government propose to do has made this Bill more acceptable to the people of this country than it was before the Government started amending. One Amendment of the Government will make it even more definitely certain that sympathetic strikes will be within the Bill, because they propose to substitute for the words "intimidate the community," the words "inflict hardship on the community."
The whole thing is a fraud— the House will pardon the expression. Its whole object is to prevent sympathetic strikes and individual strikes in one industry where the object is not to improve trade conditions. The people who objected to print newspapers, gave notice, not in breach of any contract, and came out because they would not print a newspaper which, they thought, contained offensive matter from their point of view, would have been guilty of an illegal strike. It was not a strike to alter conditions of labour or conditions of employment. There are many other strikes which would have come within the definition. It is not true to say that the only liability is in a trade other than a trade in which the industry is concerned. There are many disputes in one industry which do not concern the State in the least. If the men in one industry were to come out on strike because one of their fellow-strikers refused to pay a fine which had been imposed, that is not to be a dispute within the meaning of the definition, and, if the consequence of the strike is to inflict hardship, you have all the conditions of an illegal strike. Is anyone going to suggest that a strike of that sort is really sedition or treason? Our business in this House and in this Committee stage is to expose the Government. We shall do that as long as the Committee stage lasts. We are not here to obstruct. We are going to expose. We are the prosecutors, the Government are the defenders, and I shall be surprised if the nation does not unanimously return a verdict of "guilty" before the trial concludes.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
It is not in the least surprising, after the learned 614 Attorney-General has indicated that he feels there must be a reconsideration and change in the language of this Clause, that the hon. and learned Member for Leeds (Sir H. Slesser), the prosecutor, should chortle. It may be that the role which the hon. and learned Member sets himself is that of prosecutor. He wants to do nothing at all except put the Government in the dock, or to expose them even to some more serious punishment. All that is very human and very natural, but, after all, on the Committee stage, when we are discussing the language of Clause I of the Bill, there may also be another and not nearly so exciting or impressive a part to play, which is to see how far the remarks which the Government have made really do go in the direction of improving the language of this Clause. I cannot help thinking that there are a great many people in the country— I suspect, in all parties, and certainly many people of no party— who are just as anxious as many of us are that, if this Clause is passed into law, it shall be in clear language and shall do what the Government say they want to do, neither more nor less.
I, therefore, just rise to note two points, very distinct points, I think, which have been made much clearer by what the Attorney-General has just been saying. First of all, he has pointed out— and I join thoroughly with the hon. and learned Member who has just sat down in marking the point and suggesting that we should remember it— that what we are trying to do in this first Clause is not to pronounce judgment on the events of last May and put them in a particular category, but to write, in the clearest English we can find, the general rule which ought to apply to what I may call strikes or lock-outs against the State, without prejudice to the question of whether what happened a year ago is an illustration of that rule. It is extremely important that we should all bear that in mind. Nothing but confusion would result if in these Debates we were to spend too much time in going back over the historical event of a year ago. People are going to differ about that for a great many years to come and, I dare say, for ever, and it must be so. People who played different parts in it, people who knew more of it from the inside or from one side, are 615 quite certain to take, some of them a more, and some of them a less friendly view of that particular event. Let that event take its place in history, and let us concentrate upon this question.
If we are going in Clause 1 to declare a rule, let us not treat it as though it was pronouncing judgment on the events of a year ago, but let us see that the rule itself is, as far as possible, a clear and a fair rule. I entirely agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down that it is very important that the Attorney-General should have made that clear. Then, again, though he has made very good fun of it, and very good-humoured fun, it really is important that we should have this also once and for all clearly understood. When you speak of the thing that is called a general strike— not speaking of the thing of a year ago, but of the abstract thing called a general strike which, as the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. Rosslyn Mitchell) said yesterday, is a thing which undoubtedly has occurred in parts of the Continent of Europe, which is a movement which has been debated and discussed by political theorists and students of the development of institutions— there can be no doubt at all about this, that when you speak of that abstract thing and call it a general strike, you use the word "general" not because you wish to suggest that the test is that everybody is doing it, but because the thing has an object and is of a nature different from the industrial strike. The right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb), who speaks on this subject with the most exceptional authority— [An HON. MEMBER: "With more authority than you!"]— far more than most of us can ever hope to have— pointed out, and, of course, students of the subject know it is true, that that is the classical meaning, the proper meaning, of the term "general strike."
You cannot put in an Act of Parliament the phrase "general strike," and it would not do you any good if you did, because you would only start a debate and discussion as to what the term meant. Therefore, you must use words, the best words that the Committee can settle upon, which aim at describing the kind of thing you mean. The kind of 616 thing, at any rate, which some people mean by it has, I think, been made very clear in a passage which ought to receive much attention in the speech that was made by the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) in the course of the Debate yesterday. If hon. Members of the Committee will look at the OFFICIAL REPORT of yesterday's Debate, they will find, in column 437, that the right hon. Member for Derby puts an illustration and expresses his view about that case. Let me just summarise what he said. It was only an assumption; he was putting an imaginary case; he was not pronouncing judgment about last year, but he was indicating the sort of thing that he had in mind, and, in effect, he said this: Supposing it was announced in advance that on 1st May next year the trade unionists of this country, advised by their leaders.propose that there should be a general stoppage of work in order to compel the removal of this Government from office and the substitution of another Government.That is the assumption he makes, and after saying that he thinks that if such a thing happened, it would certainly be countered and prevented before it actually occurred, he says that that case is plainly a case in which the aim is to use their industrial power by withholding their labour, not for an industrial purpose, but for a political end. That is the true test. Are you using your industrial power for an industrial purpose or for a political end? Then, the right hon. Member for Derby went on and, after saying that any Government, however composed, would have to deal with such a situation and could deal with it, said he understood thatthe law as it has been propounded by every legal authority in the House of Commons and the country would immediately declare such a strike to be seditious and actionable, and the Government could and probably would prevent it."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th May, 1927; col. 437, Vol. 206.]I say that the right hon. Gentleman's statement is well worth meditating upon for a few minutes. He put it most clearly and courageously, because he was saying: "If that is the kind of thing which the House of Commons is trying to declare to be an illegal thing, I am not one of those who deny it." I think it is fair to say that, if you go along with the right hon. Member for Derby, his 617 reasoning must, at any rate, include some slight variation of the facts.
I am not going to make a misuse of what he said, but, for example, if it is agreed by sensible people that if such action as that were taken— deliberate, prepared, conjoint action— by bodies of either employers or workpeople, for a political end as distinguished from an industrial purpose, in order to compel the removal of this Government from office, it is quite, plain that the same reasoning will show that the matter is equally illegal or equally to be condemned if the object is to tell the Government: "You must either be removed from office, or you must pass a particular piece of legislation." There cannot be any difference between saying: "I am going to remove them in any event," and "I am going to remove them unless they do so and so"; and the real division between these two things, about which we are all of us now so anxious to get the right line drawn, must in the end, in substance, be whether the thing which is being sought to be done is to promote a political end as distinguished from an industrial purpose, or to promote an industrial purpose as distinguished from a political end.
It is perfectly true, as the Attorney-General said in his speech just now, that of course we cannot in this matter simply have regard to what people say they are after. That is, of course, true enough. You must have regard to what in common sense they really are after. Nobody is going to say that, if a particular thing is an unlawful thing to do, it becomes a lawful or reasonable thing merely because the person says he is doing something else. But it is equally true to say that you cannot classify every large movement of organised industry, whether on the employers' or on the workmen's side, as an illegality merely because it has the incidental consequence of producing some political reaction. Most modern discussions in the industrial sphere always will have such incidental reactions. We have got, if we can, if we are going to put this Clause into proper order, to recognise those very obvious considerations.
5.0 p. m.
It was, if I may say so, as reference has been made to it, from that point of view that some of us ventured to put down a suggestion, which will be found 618 on the Order Paper, in my name, as it happens, on page 551, which I will ask leave to read. It is not, of course, that any private Member sitting down and putting an Amendment on the Paper can possibly claim that his language is the final language which must be preferred to anything else; it is not that there may not be in the suggested words difficulties and ambiguities which good temper and fair play will try to get rid of and so improve the whole thing; but, at any rate, this Amendment which we have put down does quite plainly point out this sort of distinction. It is the sort of distinction, I think, which the right hon. Member for Derby was after. These are our proposed words:notwithstanding anything in the Trade Union Acts, any combination, whether of employers or of persons employed, the main object of which is to coerce the Government or Parliament, as distinguished from furthering a trade dispute, by means of concerted and simultaneous refusal to continue employment or work is an unlawful conspiracy.We thought that in principle words like that, at any rate, drew the contrast. If you use language like that, you really cannot be accused of trying by a side wind to drag in a lot of things which ought not to be dragged in at all. I have no more desire to see dragged into this Clause by a side wind, for condemnation, things which in a country like ours must be allowed to take place, than I have to see any other incidental injustice perpetrated. Therefore, while I am not in the least sense setting up my words in competition with anybody else's, I do point out to the Attorney-General, as this is to be a general discussion, that it is some distinction of that sort which, I think, the country expects this Clause to draw. The reason why we have in the Clause put the contrast between combinations to coerce the Government and Parliament and combinations for furthering a trade dispute— put them both in and contrasted them one against the other— is just this, that in this practical world you will never be able to classify those outbreaks with the precision with which a naturalist tickets a specimen and puts it into a museum. All these great human movements partake of more characteristics than one. I have never thought it to be true that what happened last May was 619 a deliberate conspiracy against the State. I have always taken the view that a great deal of it was due to the fact that I think there was misunderstanding both as to the power which organised labour has and as to the thing which was really being aimed at. Therefore, I think you will have to have a Clause which sets those two things in contrast. A Clause like this is not really being drawn for the purpose of filling the Law Courts with cases. The real object is to try to put, with the authority of Parliament, where everybody may refer to it and read it, what we mean really when we draw this distinction. It may be that our words are not quite rightly phrased, or that the balance is not correct, but the main thing is that we really are bending ourselves to the right object, and the right object, I think, is not merely to denounce the Government as though they were in the dock, but to accept the fact that this Bill is before us and that we have to do what we can with this Clause, and unless it can be put in some clear form which is felt by most reasonable people not to do injustice, then there is a very great deal of difficulty in putting in a declaratory Clause at all. One thing which is fair comment is that it may be said that, technically, the Clause would lead the small man, the person who was merely incidentally concerned, at any rate, to the risk of a charge of conspiracy and all the rest of it. The Attorney-General said, I think most sensibly, that whatever we do, we must have some provision in this Clause which shows that that is not intended, any more than anyone intends that you should have a Clause which makes people resume work when they do not want to do so. You could not do it. It is ridiculous to suppose that it could be done, and nothing would persuade me that the people who are trying to carry this Bill either contemplate it or mean to do it.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I deny that it is intended. I do not think the language ought to be left in doubt. But, if I may say so, I am not trying to quarrel with people who are proposing a form of words or to join in any denunciation of them. What is quite clear is that at present the language of the Clause is not sufficiently clear. It raises anxieties which no fair-minded man could say are imaginary or unnatural. It has, therefore, got to be altered, and as it is going to be altered, I do hope the Government, before we come to the end of this business, will find a way of drawing a broad distinction and a perfectly fair distinction between combinations who put pressure upon Parliament and the community, on the one hand, and, on the other, combinations which in substance are pursuing a purely industrial object.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has argued that we ought not to attack this Clause from the point of view that people will be charged with conspiracy. I would like to ask whether, from our point of view, he recognises that this Bill has been framed for the purposes of class war?
§ Mr. MITCHELL BANKS
I only want to say a few words to express the gratitude, which I think the Committee as a whole will feel, to the two right hon. and learned Gentlemen who have addressed it. The hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) last night, in a speech of great clearness and force, said very properly that this Clause was the central and useful Clause in the Bill. He felt the difficulty, which I also feel, and to the removal of which the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) is bringing not only, I am sure, his great legal skill, but his goodwill into the bargain. I do believe, speaking for those of us who have got to go down and defend, and defend enthusiastically, the principles of this Bill in the indutrial constituencies— I may be right or wrong, but I feel that I am right in believing that the majority of my constituents in Swindon will agree with me when I say that the four objects of the Bill, as laid down by the Attorney-General, are really and truly the object and the sole object which we on this side support. I think they will believe me when I say that I would not give my support to a Bill which went 621 beyond these objects, and which either failed to carry them out honestly or sincerely or which, while affecting to carry them out really failed to do so. If we say to our constituents: "These are the objects of the Bill; how many of you are going to be in favour of them?" I think I shall find that a large majority of the workers will be in favour of them. I believe some of our constituents may say, "But are you perfectly sure that it is only those objects which will be carried out, or may it not be that the text of the Bill goes a great deal further and brings in some objects with which neither you nor I will sympathise." It is to that point that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley has been addressing himself. I feel very humbly that, even although the discussion on Clause 1 may take rather a long time, so long as we are all honestly doing our best to clear up the matter, it will not be time entirely wasted.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley says that the philosophical distinction between the kind of strikes which we want to prohibit and the kind which we do not want to prohibit is that the latter kind is directed towards industrial purposes and the former to political ends. Whether you use the word "purposes" or the word "ends," I think both these words really mean "motives." It is motives that we come back to as the test. I do not believe that anybody in any quarter of the House would say that the philosophical distinction would depend upon any numerical calculation. There might be a strike, which was confined to comparatively few industries, which would be much more revolutionary in character and much more dangerous than another strike which comprised a far greater number of industries. Numbers by themselves will not do, and we come back to motive, and motive is a very difficult thing to ascertain. There are some people who are not willing to give any other people credit for any straight and direct motive at all. There is an old maxim which says:The thought of man is not triable; the devil himself knoweth not the thought of man.I can imagine that all the effects and disasters of a revolutionary strike might be produced if it occurred not as a matter arranged, shall we say, by the leaders of the various trade unions in conference 622 at a particular trade union congress at one time, but as a concerted policy of a series of strikes, each of them apparently independent of the other, with no apparent or demonstrable or provable concert between them, and in each case the leaders thereof being in a position to say, "As far as we are concerned, our motives are industrial and industrial alone." It might be said, for example, "We, the railwaymen are going out in connection with a dispute in the coal industry for an industrial motive. We feel that if the miners are compelled to accept lower standards of wages or longer hours, it is part and parcel of an attack upon us, and we must show our employers that we are not prepared to suffer that and that we will resist such an attack by a demonstration of what is called solidarity." In fact, I think that is what a great many railwaymen thought and said last May. How difficult to prove that their motive was purely industrial or that their ends were political.
But it is said, "Yes, but that is one thing. We have to go further and look at the consequences." There are two consequences which are used as a test in these cases. There is coercion of the Government either directly or by the infliction of hardship upon the community. There can be no strike on an important scale which is not attended by at least one of these consequences. The coal stoppage of last year— I am using a colourless phrase; I am not calling it a strike or a lock-out— was, by the admission of everybody, an industrial dispute. Nobody denied that, as we said over and over again from this side of the House. Yet it would be hard to call to memory an instance of a dispute which inflicted greater hardship upon the community. There is another inevitable consequence of inflicting suffering and hardship upon the community, and it is this, that the community immediately begins to put pressure upon the Government to come to its assistance. The newspapers begin to say, "Why does the Government not do something about it?"
Everybody who sits by an empty grate in the cold weather during a coal stoppage says, "The Government ought to bring these miners to book" or "these mineowners to book," as the case may be; so that wherever there is an infliction of hardship on the community upon 623 a large scale, it inevitably follows that the community in turn, morally, and in the Press, and on the platform begins to coerce the Government. Therefore it seems to me that unless we can go a little further in finding differentia we may very well have strikes where you cannot say that the motive is other than industrial, but where two consequences are the infliction of hardship and the coercion of the Government, which would bring such strikes under the ban of the Bill. At the same time they may well be strikes of the type which neither the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General nor anybody else really desires to prohibit.
I take one instance of the sort of difficulty which we may find. Everybody can see the extremes. Such a case as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) quoted yesterday is at one extreme. At a glance, that can be seen to be a strike for a political end and only for a political end. Then at the other extreme is the strike which is clearly industrial, where one set of men in one industry go out on a definite point of wages and hours. Those are two extremes, each easily recognisable. It is when we come to what may be called the borderline cases that we are in difficulties— just as when we do not know if the insect which the naturalist is collecting is plainly a butterfly or plainly a moth. It is not distinguishable to the uninstructed mind, or it may be to the expert mind, either, because it is an unknown or hardly recognisable species. Nowadays there is not only what some people have called a vertical cleavage in labour, but there is a horizontal cleavage as well. You have the Amalgamated Engineering Union with members in all sorts of trades in the railway shops at Swindon, and in the shipbuilding yards and elsewhere. Supposing that in the railway shops at Swindon the Amalgamated Engineering Union has a grievance, and withdraws its men. Would it be a dispute "within the trade or industry," if the members of that same union, engaged in other methods of transport, were to go out in sympathy? There is a very great difficulty. The Attorney-General said in the strongest terms, and I think everybody on this side of the Committee agrees with him that we do not mean 624 to prohibit the sympathetic strike. The test to be this— if it is a strike against the employer, well and good; if it is against the Government, and the nation, then very far from good. At the same time, as I read the first Clause of the Bill, and find in it those strange familiar wordsAny strike having any object besides the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry,I find myself certainly in a difficulty here. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Well, we are all trying to clear up these difficulties, and even for me to tell the Committee the difficulties which I experience myself may be of some assistance. I was asked point blank the other day by a man who was perfectly ready to listen to what I had to say on the Bill whether this Clause did, in fact, prohibit the sympathetic strike— whether, for instance, in the case of a railway strike, the omnibus men or the men engaged on the tubes could go out in sympathy without incurring pains and penalties. Frankly, I was not able to answer him, but I said to him, "I know this. I know the Government does not want to stop the sympathetic strike." I do know that because the Attorney-General said so in the clearest terms— — [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]— and I am perfectly certain this Committee knows that when he said that, he meant it. Would the Attorney-General be such a fool as to make a clear pronouncement like that with no intention of carrying it out afterwards? That would be a foolish thing to do. At the same time, I was countered by my interlocutor with the question, "Then what on earth are these words 'within the trade or industry' doing there?"
I am afraid like many others, I have raised more difficulties than I have solved, but the more we can put before ourselves in a vivid and realistic light practical instances of this sort, in order to see whether the language of the text of the Bill does or does not cover them, the less likely are we afterwards to be accused of having carried out not only the object of the Bill but something beyond those objects. We may be accused of having done something unscrupulous or cunning, when, Heaven knows, neither the Attorney-General nor any one of those who are enthusiastically supporting the Bill have the faintest design of any such purpose.
§ Mr. SEXTON
This Amendment appears to seek to dissociate the rank and file of the trade unions from their leaders in the event of a strike. If my interpretation of it in that respect be correct, I should like to point out to the Mover that a gratuitous insult is being offered by it to the trade union rank and file in this country. What does this mean? The leaders of the trade unions carry out the instructions of the rank and file. Any proposal for a strike is submitted to a ballot, and the rank and file give their authority for it and the officials and the leaders of the organisation have to carry out the instructions of the men themselves. Yet, the Mover of the Amendment comes forward with the suggestion that the men who give the instructions to the officials should be relieved of responsibility, and the leaders who have been carrying out the instructions of the men should bear the whole responsibility. I should like to see the hon. Member who is responsible for this Amendment putting such a proposal direct to the rank and file of trade unionists. There would be a roar of indignation at the suggestion, that the men after putting their leaders in such a position were going to desert them in the hour of difficulty.
I understand, Sir, that you have already ruled that in this discussion we can deal generally with the principle of Clause 1. I am not going to trouble the Committee to that extent, but I propose to refer to a most extraordinary statement made by the Attorney-General. I have sat here for some time listening to this legal Tower of Babel until what thoughts I had on the Bill have been considerably mixed up, but I have one consolation and I find it in a paraphrase of an old adage— "When lawyers fall out other people get their own." We may be able to get a little of our own back out of this confusion. But I was quite surprised to hear the Attorney-General declare that a strike which inflicted hardship on the community was not a strike against the State. He qualified that by saying that if it did affect the State or if it was calculated in the beginning to affect the State, or if matters developed so that it might affect the State, then it was an illegal strike. I often wonder, during the discussions on this Measure, if the legal 626 minds and the lay minds who are responsible for it— and it is a big responsibility— have the slightest elementary knowledge of the psychology of the trade union movement, or of the men with whom they are dealing. May I deal with the first three lines of Clause 1? I take the question of a strike "within a trade or industry," and I hope I may be forgiven if I commit the fault of repeating to some extent what I said on the Second Reading of the Bill.
The organisation to which I belong— the Transport Workers' Union— includes nine different trades. We have the deckhands on coastal steamers; the stokers down below; the river tug-boat men; the bargemen on canals and rivers; road transport men; men discharging and loading ships; men looking after dock gates, and some others. Supposing any one of these particular trades finds it possible— personally I do not see how it will be possible— to conduct a local dispute within the four walls of this Bill. Supposing the road traffic men, all employed by separate employers, each of them a separate industry, have a dispute with their employers, and it comes within the definition of a legal dispute under this Bill, and supposing all the other trades represented in the union have no dispute. They are all inter-dependent. The others of the nine are dependent on the one, and the one is dependent on the others. Then supposing that in the one trade where there is a dispute, blacklegs carry goods to a ship on which other members of the union are working who have no dispute but are carrying out their agreement with their employers. When those goods come alongside the ship, if those men refuse to take the goods from the blacklegs— who have displaced our own members to whom we are paying strike pay— they are engaging in a strike which is illegal under the Bill. What follows on that? This Bill lays down the principle, though not in Clause 1, that people must not refuse employment. Our contracts end automatically at the end of the half-day. When we knock off at five at night we have no guarantee that we shall be taken on the next morning. We are told to muster on the dock in the morning. Although our contract is up, if we do not muster the next morning we may be fined £20 or sent to jail 627 for three months. Was there ever a more absurd situation? It is impossible to think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues can expect that human beings, with human instincts, will submit to tyranny of this kind. They are making a mistake.
During the great War, one of the strongest points made by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite and by ourselves was that the rigid rule of the mailed-fist in Germany, which had driven her people into the army, had ignored the human element, and would eventually be responsible for a break-up. That proved to be correct. The Prime Minister and the Attorney-General and their colleagues are ignoring the human element in connection with this Bill. Sooner or later that human element will assert itself, industrially and politically, to the extent that it exerted itself in the great War. I do not know of a more stupid thing for any Government to do. It is said that any strike calculated to impose hardship on the community will be an illegal strike. Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman any knowledge of why people enter upon a strike? When trade unions enter upon a strike, they calculate deliberately what are their chances of winning, and how they are to win. Incidentally, I may say I do not think any strike or lockout is profitable. In a strike the only chance of winning is by stopping supplies and inflicting hardship on the community, but the right hon. and learned Gentleman says it is just possible that by doing that they may also intimidate the Government.
Several interesting statements were made during the Second Reading Debate, and one in particular struck me as very applicable to the present question. I have taken this from the OFFICIAL REPORT of 5th May:Workers whose sole object is to improve the conditions of labour in their own industry are free to strike, even if the national and probable consequence of their action may be to bring pressure to bear upon the Government, or even cor pel the community to submission. … If that is not the effect of this Clause I can say here and now that the intention on the part of the Government is that it shall have that effect."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th May, 1927; col. 1888, Vol. 205.]I am glad to have the right hon. and learned Gentleman's corroboration of the 628 truth of that quotation. I wish I could accept that declaration, and I wish the Courts would accept it; but in an official career of 40 years in the trade union movement I have bumped up against the Courts at times, and more often unsuccessfully than successfully, and found that it is not a question of what is said in this House but of what the Act says. Judges and Magistrates will give no sentimental interpretation, but a literal interpretation, to the wording of the Act.
If I am not digressing, may I give one or two crude examples? Those who are familiar with Acts of Parliament know the mischief and confusion caused by a badly-drafted Act. There is the instance of the Workmen's Compensation Act. I can quote from personal experience in dealing with that Act. The first Workmen's Compensation Act deliberately left out the word "ship." A dock was a factory but a ship was not a factory except when she was moored alongside the quay, and only that side which was alongside the quay was a factory— for the time being during the process of loading or discharge. I was working on the off-side of a ship, which was not the factory side. There was a man working on the port side of the ship, which was tied to the quay and which was a factory. We were sending pig-iron from the non-factory side to the, factory side. One of the pigs fell out of the sling and hit a man who was in the factory and killed him, but because the pig came from the non-factory side it was said the man was not killed in the factory: actually he was killed in the factory by something from the non-factory side.
Here is another example. During the process of loading and discharging a ship was deemed to be a factory. A man putting on the hatches after the day's work was done fell down the hold and was killed. The Judges decided that the putting on or the taking off of the hatches was not part of the process of loading and discharging— as though one could load and discharge a ship without taking off and putting on the hatches! Therefore no compensation was payable. Then there was the case of buildings 30 feet high. If a man fell 30 feet and was killed his dependants were entitled to compensation, but if he fell 29 feet 11 629 inches they were not. There was one case where a man was putting a copingstone on a well 32 feet deep. He fell down the well and was killed, but because it was a well and not a building no compensation was payable. Those are examples of interpretations of the law. It is not a question of what is said in the House but of what the Bill itself says.
I sincerely hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman will accept the advice of hon. Members on this side and take back not only this Clause but the whole Bill and reconsider it. There is not a word from beginning to end of this extraordinary document which is clear— to my lay mind, at least. I have not a legal mind— the gods be praised !— and I do not want to have one after the exhibition we have seen in the House this afternoon. I have more respect for my sanity, and in the interests of humanity and of common sense, and in the interests of logic, the Bill ought to be redrafted in an intelligible form so that the unsophisticated lay mind will be able to understand it.
§ Lord HENRY CAVENDISH - BENTINCK
I do not rise to take part in this discussion, because I am not a lawyer, and therefore can hardly be qualified to do so, but in a very few words I wish to make an appeal to my right hon. Friend the learned Attorney-General to give us a somewhat better definition of a general strike. I have lately been in close touch with my supporters in my constituency, and although they were naturally annoyed with me for voting against the Second Reading of this Bill, they absolved me when I pointed out to them the danger involved in the present wording of this Clause. My constituency is a typical working class constituency, and my supporters realised that I could not possibly go to my constituents and ask them to support me if I had voted for this Clause; because I think it is quite obvious that the Clause as at present worded travels very much farther than the Prime Minister said it did, and even further than the learned Attorney-General says it did. It is quite obvious that the miners and the railwaymen in my constituency could not undertake a perfectly genuine industrial dispute without inflicting hardship on the community and also, of course, bringing 630 pressure on the Government. I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to cudgel his brains, if I may use such an offensive expression, and try to give us a better definition of what a general strike is— I mean a strike which has a seditious intent. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) has given us something which, perhaps, gets as near to that desideratum as possible, though I am afraid even that is not as perfect as it should be. I have given my constituents a pledge not to adopt any factious attitude towards the Bill, but I am sure they will absolve me for rising on the present occasion and making this appeal to my right hon. and learned Friend.
§ Mr. HARNEY
The speeches we have just heard describe more eloquently than any argument how inadvisable it was to introduce this Measure at all. There seems to be a general notion that there is something which we ought to prohibit, but there is the greatest variety of opinions as to how that prohibition should be brought about. What was it the Attorney-General set out to say ought not to be done? The Government and the right hon. and learned Gentleman experienced the unpleasantness of what occurred last May, and in the panic of the moment there were wild cries urging a law to stop this kind of thing in future. The Attorney-General and the members of the Government joined in that cry, but then the time came when the unfortunate Attorney-General, with his clear and great precision in the use of language, had to put on paper what he and all his party had been mouthing on the platform. That is the position, and having to struggle to write something down that would hold water and cover the sort of thing it has wanted to condemn, the Attorney-General comes to this House and takes up what I consider for a man of his mental power and his experience is the humiliating position of saying, "Members of Parliament! I cannot do the job I set before myself; please help me out." As a guide to the House he carefully enunciates four pious propositions and says, "These represent what we want to do; we meant to have done it in our Bill but please help us out." It is easy to say, We all want to bring about a state of things under which no man will 631 tell a lie," but it is quite another thing to put forward on paper a method of bringing it about. As I said yesterday, this is the first time in the history of this country when an attempt has been made to make unlawful the doing by a number of persons what each of them might do lawfully alone. If this Bill had been content to provide against a strike in breach of contract there would be something to be said for it, but it is simply to condemn a "strike." What is a strike? The Bill states that it is a cessation of work by a body of men in concert. Of course all strikes begin in concert in connection with an industrial dispute. As they develop the purpose of the strike changes, new forms of attack arise, dimensions grow, and at last the strike reaches a point that is a real menace. It is what it then becomes it is wanted to stop, and if it could at the right moment be stopped by law there would be something to be said for such a law, but my view is and it is a very strong view that this is an undefinable thing and will evade any attempt to deal with it in advance. The true way to deal with a strike that reaches such dimensions and assumes the character of a real menace to public life is to leave it to public opinion. If public opinion says it will not have it, then it stops; if public opinion says it is right, then how futile is an Act of Parliament. If public opinion does not stop it an Act of Parliament will not stop it, and if public opinion is against it then an Act of Parliament is needless.
Now I come to the speakers we have heard to-day. There are various ways by which you are to ascertain whether a strike that has grown to menacing dimensions ought to be stopped. One of the tests mentioned was, "Is it of a coercive character?" Another was is it of a political as distinguished from an industrial character? There is something to be said for all those tests, but let me take them in turn. The one which the Attorney-General has relied upon is neither of these but is motive. He says the proper test is motive. I particularly ask the attention of the Attorney-General to this point. It must have some object other than mere bettering labour conditions, and it must be designed to put pressure on the Government. Is not that 632 motive? Am I not right in saying that the way you can test whether a body of men ceasing work is a strike or not is what is their motive? If the motive was to better their labour conditions, all right. If the motive was to coerce nobody but their employers, all right, but if the motive was other than these two things then it is illegal. I do not profess to have had the experience of the law which the Attorney-General has had, but I have been brought up to think that what was quoted in the excellent speech of the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) is true, namely, that:The thought of man is not triable because the devil himself knoweth not the thought of man.That was a phrase used hundreds of years ago and it has lived through the centuries and is quoted to-day because it is true. That phrase is only a quaint way of putting the law of this country more fully described in the well known text book "The Law of Torts" by Sir John Salmond. It is a student's book which makes it essential to see that the fundamental principles of law are correctly stated. What does Sir John Salmond say on this point? He says:A good motive is no justification for an act otherwise illegal, and a bad motive does not make wrongful an act otherwise legal. The rule is based partly on the danger of allowing such a tribunal as a jury to determine the liability of a defendant by reference to their own opinions and prejudices as to the propriety of his motives, and partly on the difficulty of ascertaining what these motives really were.I hope the Attorney-General will deal with this question, because I wish to emphasise this point. This is an honest endeavour on my part to do what the Attorney-General himself has tried to do, namely, put this Clause into a better shape. Am I right in saying that as the Clause is now drafted the test and the only ultimate test by which those who would be prosecuted for an illegal act could be found guilty is the best test as to their motive? Was the "object" the motive other than the improvement of their labour? Was their "design" directed not against the employer but against the Government? That is the test, and I ask does the Attorney-General intend to say that we are now going to change a principle which has been put 633 into students' text-books as the fundamental principle upon which the whole of our law of torts is based?
But it does not stop there. It would be bad enough if you made the test simply one of motive of the accused person. But you do not do that. You find a person guilty on the motive of somebody else. Here is what this Clause says. It says you must find out the motives "in the strike." What do you mean by "in the strike"? Does it not mean the organisers of the strike? What is the result of saying that you mean the motives in the minds of the organisers of the strike? It means that somebody who has nothing whatever to do with the organisation has to go to gaol, for the motives of someone else. Nor does it stop there. Take the case of a strike in which 10,000 colliers come out. It may be perfectly legal even according to the requirements provided in the Bill. The object of these 10,000 men coming out on strike is no other than to improve their labour. Their design is not directed against the Government, but after a week or so the 10,000 grows to 100,000 and the railway men come into the strike because they refuse to carry blackleg coal. The transport workers come in and at that stage it is found that the only way the original strikers can force their employers to do industrially what they want them to do is that the Government bring in a Bill like the Eight Hours' Bill for miners, or some regulation or some administrative change. A month after that strike has been started perfectly innocently by 10,000 men it may have grown to such an extent and so altered in character as to become one that has an object other than pressure on the employers, namely, pressure on the Government of the day. After a month, instead of being an innocuous small thing, it is so immense that it amounts to coercion. The position then is this: You have 10,000 men who down tools, having given their notice and worked out their time, and who, by no law of the land, even if this Measure were enacted, could be said to be guilty of anything. They are perfectly innocent men; no one dare say they have done anything in the slightest degree involving legal or even moral turpitude; but, in the course of a few weeks, their innocence on the 1st January becomes guilt on the 634 1st February, not by anything that they have done, but by something which others with whom they have no connection, and of whom they may even disapprove, have done. That is this Bill. I do not wonder that the hon. and learned Member for Swindon who gave such an interesting, able and very honest speech, was obliged to say, though wishing to support the proposals of the Government, "I was unable to say to my constituents that it did not rope in innocent sympathetic strikers."
The Attorney-General has recognised, by virtue of the force of the arguments that have been used, the impossibility of adhering to this Clause as it is drafted, and he has told us to-day, as I understood his speech, "The test we really mean to make is no longer mere motive, is no longer mere coercion of the Government; the test we mean to make is, does it work hardship on the community?" Therefore, the new Clause may be put thus: Men cease their employment, perfectly honestly, perfectly lawfully, having given their notice. Their cause is a just one, or is thought to be a just one. Others come out and assist them. The result is that the community suffers, and men are to go to gaol and be branded as criminals for an offence when they had no opportunity beforehand of seeing whether it was an offence or not.
We are entitled to call no man a thief who has not the opportunity of knowing, before he takes the article, that if he takes it he will do harm. There is really no crime that does not involve a choice, in the man beforehand knowing what he is doing. This is to give no choice. A man strikes. He does not know how many are going to join; he does not know how many sympathisers it may bring to his assistance; he does not know at what time, if ever, it will work hardship to the community, but his crime is to be determined, not at the time when all crime must be determined, that is to say, at the moment of the act, but a week afterwards, by some accidental circumstance. My hon. and learned Friend who gave us, as he always does, a most informing and lucid speech, and who has one of the most acute legal brains this country has ever had for a generation past— he, too, struggled, in the same way as the Attorney-General, to find language that would aptly express condemnation 635 of the particular phantom they have in view; and how has he to do it? He has to do it by drawing what the hon. and learned Member for Swindon called a philosophic distinction between "aimed at the State" and "aimed at the industry," between "political" and "industrial." But, as has been already said, how can you tell at the beginning what is going to be the ultimate target at which this strike will be directed?
Moreover, why are we to say off-hand that there is anything morally wrong in a strike directed against the political power, any more than in a strike directed against the industrial power? Really, I confess I do not see why. Suppose that a number of seamen say that it is dangerous to go to sea with the Plimsoll mark where it is at the present time, and that they desire an Act of Parliament in order that the Plimsoll mark may be lowered. They agitate for it; they say they will not go to sea. Then there is a seamen's strike, the object being to force the Government to do something which will save the seamen's lives. There is nothing wrong in that. The truth is that you cannot get a distinction which makes it more morally wrong, in many cases, to seek to redress your grievance by putting pressure on a Government, than it is to seek to redress your grievance by putting pressure on employers. Each case must stand on its own merits. The real point is that if, when there is an uprising of the people, whether they be in industry or wherever they be, it reaches a point when the State, for the protection of the community, ought to step in, then it is seditious conspiracy if the intention be wrong.
You have that law at the present moment, and all this confusion has arisen from the Government undertaking to do the impossible— on the one hand to say, "We recognise that strikes are lawful and ought to be allowed," and, on the other hand, to say, "They ought to be stopped at a point when they are dangerous." It is impossible to define that point, and a wise Government would not try to do so. I, therefore, agree with the two or three concluding sentences of my right hon. Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). If it is found to be impossible to get into apt language either a, description of the 636 thing we condemn or an appropriate method of condemning it— if that is found to be impossible, and this Debate, so far, seems to prove that it is— we had better leave it alone altogether. More mischief will be done in trying by this Clause to stop something that can never be stopped by an Act of Parliament, than would be done by leaving it alone and letting it be stopped ultimately by the force of public opinion.
§ Sir GERALD HOHLER
The hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) has written a book on this very subject, and so he ought to know something about it, and I have listened to his speech in the hope that he would give us some definition of sympathetic strikes. My view of the law is this: I may be wrong; I may be subject to correction; but my view of the law is quite clear. If within, say, the Amalgamated Engineering Union, in whose industry there are, I suppose, tens of thousands of employers throughout the country, they object in the case of one employer to the conditions that he proposes— it may be to reduce their wages, or some trade condition which would tend to reduce their wages or lower their standard of life— and they strike, then, as I understand the law, the whole of that trade union, the Amalgamated Engineering Union, can go out throughout the country, and there is no actionable wrong done. That is what I understand by a sympathetic strike— [Interruption.] Hon. Members laugh. Is not that a sympathetic strike? [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I think it is a sympathetic strike. [HON. MEMBERS: "Then you are wrong!"] They give notice, determine their contracts, and go out, and they are within their rights in doing so. But if I am told that a dispute has arisen, say in the coal-mining industry, and that thereupon, say, the Seamen and Firemen's Union come out in support of the colliers, I do not think that that is a sympathetic strike. They may sympathise with the colliers, but that does not mean a sympathetic strike.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
May I ask if the hon. and learned Gentleman has read the definition of a sympathetic strike in the Munitions of War Act, 1915?
§ Sir G. HOHLER
I am not concerned with the definition of a sympathetic 637 strike, if there be one, in the Act of 1915; I am concerned with trade union law and the Acts relating thereto, and I was giving my view of what the law is, namely, that, in the case I have supposed, the seamen and firemen would not be protected under the Trade Union Act if they went out on strike in what they were pleased to call sympathy with the colliers. They are not employed by the same people; they are not in the same industry or trade; the seamen and firemen are doing nothing to create better conditions in their own trade or industry, and, in my view, that is not to be regarded as a sympathetic strike. [Interruption.] It may be that I am wrong, but the noise from that quarter of the House, having regard to the particular Benches from which it comes, does not convince me that I am wrong, and the late Solicitor-General, the hon. and learned Member for South East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) has not up to the present moment suggested that I am wrong. He can speak again in this Debate, and can produce his own book and quote from it and say whether I am right or wrong. What I want to get at, at any rate, is what is really a sympathetic strike which is allowed by law, and what is not. If you regard a sympathetic strike as a strike throughout the same union or throughout the same industry or trade, of men employed, it may be throughout the country, by hundreds of employers, who, although they are not directly affected, say they will defend their members who are attacked by an employer, let us say, in the South of England, while they are working in the North, it may be in Glasgow or elsewhere, that, I believe, would be legitimate within the Trade Union Act.
§ Mr. KELLY
Taking the illustration that the hon. and learned Member has just given, might I ask if he would include, in a sympathetic strike which he would regard as legal, members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union employed in Chatham Dockyard if they came out with their fellow-members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union? Would they be doing a legal act?
§ Sir G. HOHLER
I should think they would. That is my opinion, but if that question is put to me, it may be that there are distinctions to be drawn 638 between established and unestablished men. As a matter of fact, they did threaten to come out during the War unless they got the rise in wages which was given to engineers outside. The shipwrights and others did threaten to come out. However that may be, if you look at this Clause in the Bill, it quite clearly deals with two matters. It absolutely protects the men's right to strike, because it saysIt is hereby declared that any strike having any object besides the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged, is an illegal strike if it is a strike designed or calculated to coerce the Government, or to intimidate"—and so on. Two things have to happen. The first is that you have to have a strike, but, when you have proved that, you have proved only one step on the way; you have to show, in any prosecution or in any proceedings under this Act, that a second thing has happened. You have to show that there is evidence that the strike has not for its object merely the furtherance of a trade dispute, but that it has a further object, and is designed or calculated to coerce the Government— taking the words of the proposed Amendment— either directly or indirectly by inflicting hardship upon the community. The position is quite clear— [Interruption]. I think the position is quite clear— [HON. MEMBERS: "As clear as mud!"] As I was saying, the position is quite clear— [Interruption].
§ Sir G. HOHLER
In my judgment the position is quite clear, namely, that, if the object of a strike is the furtherance of the strikers' own conditions in trade, if it is the result of any dispute between themselves and their employer, say as to a demand for increased wages, there is absolutely nothing illegal in that, and this Clause in this Bill would not touch it at all. But if, as was the case in the trouble we have gone through— whether it be called a strike, or a lock-out, or whatever it may be called— a number of other unions are called out who cannot be said, in my view, to have created or brought about a condition of affairs which is called a sympathetic strike— 639 if a number of other unions come out who have no dispute whatsoever with their employers, when there is no trade dispute of any sort or kind, and who, it was quite clear, to me at any rate, had another object than a trade dispute, namely, to coerce the Government, all I have to say is that that was always an offence. But, even in the case of a strike which may involve hardship to the community, or even, in a sense, may be said to be coercion of the Government, if its object be simply to better the conditions in the particular trade concerned, then, in my view, no offence would be committed under this Bill at all.
In my opinion, the words used here are perfectly clear. I would like to get a definition from anyone of what they call a sympathetic strike. If it can be shown that the law is that, if there is a strike in the coal mines, that justifies, say, the seamen and firemen coming out on strike, hon. Members opposite will have gone a long way towards establishing their point, but if I am right in saying that that is not the law, then this question of a sympathetic strike does not really arise. In other words, the law, as I understand it, will be that a man in striking is confined to furthering his own particular interest, to protecting his own trade conditions or the conditions of his labour. Take the case of the recent coal stoppage. In my view, in that case, the men came out solely on the question of the wages and conditions of labour, and in my view the fact that other unions of different classes of men in different trades came out subsequently would not have made their strike illegal if they had come out solely for the purpose of maintaining their wages in their trade and bettering their conditions of living. In that case, I do not know of anything that they did which would have brought them within this Act of Parliament. But were you get the case of a number of other unions coming out, what was it? Clearly some evidence that they did it in furtherance of an object other than a trade dispute. The only question remaining is that you have to inquire upon the evidence whether the object was, besides the furtherance of a trade dispute, a strike which is illegal, designed or calculated to coerce the Government or inflict hardship on the community. I should have thought on 640 the last occasion there was abundant evidence of that. Take the strike of the transport workers. You remember the difficulty about getting food. We were offered vans to be labelled, "This is by permission of some of the trade union councils." There is abundant evidence that subsequent strikes were entered into with the view, intent and design to coerce the Government and to injure a large portion of the community.
Take the miners' dispute of last year. If the railwaymen had said "We come out sympathetically," although they are not a part of the industry, is the hon. and learned Gentleman's contention that this Bill would make that illegal and that it would be punished?
§ Sir G, HOHLER
No, that is not my contention. It is very ingeniously put. My contention is that it is illegal at present, and it never has been legal, and if the Solicitor-General had directed his, mind to the question what a sympathetic strike really is and what is legal and what is illegal it would have helped me very much. It has been the subject of conversation between us. I therefore hope the Government will be very careful before they abandon any portion of this Clause. The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), whatever the law is now, would legalise every union coming out. There is nothing to prevent it. That would be a very dangerous thing. The language is very similar, though differently expressed, to the language used in the Government Clause, and I prefer the Government's Clause because I believe it to be the law that up to the present there is no right to what is called a sympathetic strike unless it is a sympathetic strike within the trade or industry involved. I have explained what that is. I hope and believe I am right, and if that is so, I am satisfied that this Clause does not go beyond the law and should be retained.
§ Mr. CLYNES
It cannot be said that hon. Members on this side of the Committee have not tried during the discussion to address themselves to the merits of the Clause, such as they are, but I ask the attention of the Committee to the extraordinary position in which we find ourselves. Three hon. Members have addressed the Committee from the other side, two of them speaking as lawyers. 641 and it can scarcely be said that either of them agrees with the others in any respect as to the meaning either of the Amendment or of the Clause. As to the Amendment, it is understood to be the intention of the Mover in due time to ask leave to withdraw it. Upon that we understand that it is the intention of the Attorney-General at some stage to put upon the Order Paper something in substitution of a part of the Amendment. In all these circumstances I suggest that the Clause together with the Amendments relating to it do not form intelligible matter upon which a debate can any longer be conducted. We, of course, never expected the Government to understand the job on which it is engaged, but we did not think so complete a mess of it could have been made at so early a stage of the undertaking. I want to ask that the Committee should be put in a position of being able clearly to understand what the Government proposals are, and accordingly I ask you, Sir, whether it would now be proper for me to move the postponement of the consideration of this Clause to some later stage in our deliberations, and that meantime the Government should be given an opportunity of placing upon the Order Paper some more intelligent and understandable proposal than the one now before the Committee.
§ The CHAIRMAN
A Motion to postpone a Clause is only in order at the beginning, before the Clause is called. It is not in order to postpone it in the middle of a Clause.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
May I draw your attention, Sir, to this? Sub-section (1) of Clause 1 contains no more than 8¼; lines.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This appears to be a different point. I was asked if it is in order to postpone the Clause after discussion has begun and I have ruled that it is not.
§ Mr. CLYNES
If it is not competent for me at this stage to move in that form may I to overcome the technical objections, in face of the circumstances which I have recited, and which of course are not altered by your view as to the rules, move "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I could not accept that for two reasons. First of all, the House has already decided that this 642 Debate should go some substantial period, at any rate beyond eleven o'clock. In the second place, the Amendments to come on the Paper will be in Subsection (2) and there is plenty of material between now and then with which we can occupy ourselves profitably.
§ Mr. CLYNES
May I ask the Attorney-General to respond to the invitation which has been made to him from his side to make more intelligible to the Committee the meaning of the language of the Clause and to give some indication of the particular Amendments to which he himself has referred. It is not fair to the Committee. It is in short a disgraceful waste of Parliamentary time to be debating matters about which no two Members agree. May I ask for some more clear statement of what is meant?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I do not think I can do better than make the statement I made two hours ago and, as you pointed out, Sir, the Amendment propose, the nature of which I endeavoured to explain, relates entirely to Sub-section (2), which I do not think we shall reach for some little time to come.
It is true that since the Attorney-General made his speech and indicated the intentions of the Government, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Swindon (Mr. M. Banks) himself indicated in the clearest possible terms that, whatever may have been the Government's intention, the Bill itself, as he admitted to his constituents, did everything that we alleged it did. Secondly, lawyers from all sides of the Committee, notwithstanding what the Attorney-General said, have made it clear that they themselves are fogged. Every speaker, whatever his view of the Clause has to apply himself to it when he does not know what form it is going to take. Surely, while we can appreciate your difficulty, Sir, it is for the Government to help the whole Committee out of the difficulty by accepting my right hon. Friend's suggestion.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
May I remind you, Sir, of the Attorney-General's statement after Questions, that he was going to make a change in the second line of the first Sub-section and to eliminate the word "besides" and substitute other words. 643 We have a Sub-section here of eight lines. The Attorney-General has already intimated that four Amendments are going to be moved by the Government. He gave us to-day, verbally, a further promise that another Amendment is going to be made in this Sub-section. It seems to me an impossibility for anyone to apply himself to the Sub-section until we can see the proposed changes on paper. For that reason it seems to me, owing to the confusion on all sides of the Committee and to the obvious demoralisation of the Front Bench, we ought to report Progress until we know what we are talking about.
Mr. ROSSLYN MITCHELL
I wish to support the idea that we should bring an end to this artificial discussion.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have already ruled that I am not able to accept such a Motion. If the hon. Member addresses himself to the Amendment I will hear him.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
On a point of Order. You gave us your ruling with regard to the Motion to report Progress, in which you stated that one reason which ruled the Motion out was that the House has already decided to have an extended sitting. Might I suggest that the events of to-day and the Attorney-General's statement constitute a new situation entirely which was not before the House? Suppose the Attorney-General were to say he was going to drop the whole of the first Clause and replace it by another. That would be a legitimate reason for reporting Progress.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Would it be in Order for the Attorney-General to read the proposed words of his Amendment?
Mr. R. MITCHELL
I am sure the Committee would like to offer its congratulations to the hon. Member for Gillingham (Sir G. Hohler). As far as I can gather from listening to the whole of the Debate, he is the only Member of the Committee who finds this first Clause clear. I have met experts in the industrial world and not one of them has found it clear. I have heard 644 speeches from right hon. and learned Gentlemen of high eminence, some as draftsmen, some as pleaders, and some as Judges, and I find each one of them has a different interpretation to put, not only upon the words as they are read but upon the consequences which will inevitably follow. The hon. and learned Gentleman when he had expressed his pleasure at finding it so clear, set out to define one of the matters which have given us some concern, a sympathetic strike, but he purposely avoided doing what he set out to do. The one thing he did not do was to define a sympathetic strike. He told us certain particular instances would not amount to a sympathetic strike and other instances would. He reminded me of the little boy who was asked to define salt, and he said, "Salt is the stuff that makes the porridge taste nasty if you do not put it in." When anyone is setting out to express his thoughts for the purpose of guiding someone else, there are certain very definite rules he must follow. First, he must be quite clear in his mind as to what it is he intends is to be done. Secondly, he must be very careful how he puts it down and must know the language which expresses his intentions. Thirdly, he must so frame it that the people who read it will understand the intention at the back of the mind of the drawer. If you judge this Clause by those three standards of conveyancing, as supplemented by the Debate we have had here, I think we can come definitely to the conclusion that the Attorney-General does not know what he wants to express, that if he did know what he wanted to express he would not have been able to do it, and that all of us who have read it have come to a different interpretation from that which he desired us to find. Let me take one example. I have heard to-day six very definite explanations of what is meant by a general strike, and I question if any of us knows which of the six definitions really is the one the right hon. Gentleman means to adopt or whether, as is very likely, he has behind his benevolent smile some other interpretation altogether.
Let me ask the Committee, for the purpose of concentrating our thoughts on this, to consider some interpretation of the expression "general strike." I do not apologise for using the expression, 645 because we had from the right hon. Gentleman, in introducing the Bill, a very definite statement that its purpose was to make a general strike illegal. He added very properly that, in his opinion, the Bill is well and aptly drafted to secure the principle which he proposed to enunciate. He was so satisfied about the Bill being well and aptly drafted to secure the principle which he proposed to enunciate that during the night he set out to redraft it, and so we are left now to consider the purpose of this Bill as making a general strike illegal. I think it is well that we should know the meaning applied to the term "general strike" by hon. Members on the other side of the House. At first we had it used in its purely doctrinaire sense, as part of the well-known technique of revolutionary movement in Europe. The general strike in that sense has not one single supporter in the whole of Great Britain. Secondly, we come to what is called the general strike judged in generality by its extent over industry, as differentiated from a specific strike applied to one industry. We heard a great deal about that, but, of course, that cannot be the one that is aimed at, because I find that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has already told us that, even if a strike of that nature were to come into the other sentences in Clause 1, it would still not be illegal. He said quite definitely that it might be upon so large a scale as to amount to a menace to the life of the community, and yet, in his opinion, would not be struck at by this Bill. That rids our minds of a lot of difficulties. Though a strike be intended or calculated— it does not say intended and calculated— to become a menace to the life of the community— and I can think of no more appalling condition of affairs than that— a sympathetic strike, no matter how extensive, no matter how dreadful the responsibility, no matter how immoral in its intent, if it be an industrial intent, is without the restrictions of this Bill.
Take the third instance, that is, the general strike, using the word "general" as meaning coercive— nothing to do with extent, nothing to do with one industry or another industry or an accumulation or aggregation of industries, but its coercive intent or effect. That is to say, that it was to 646 have a general purpose towards the community instead of a specific purpose towards the employer in the trade. Is that struck at by this Bill? The right hon. and learned Gentleman this afternoon has purposely divorced himself from such an interpretation. He did not like the idea of a strike being represented as a coercive strike. He did not like to apply to it the intimidation he is quite content to use in other Clauses of the Bill. Now, we come to a political strike, which is a general strike, not because it is general in area or extent or in effect but because it becomes general by having a specific political purpose. It seems to me that the words do not convey anything like the same idea. I cannot understand a political strike being a strike without a definite political aim. I should not call that a general strike. I should call it an indefinite strike. Then we have the right hon. and learned Gentleman quoting Lord Oxford's definition, wordy, of course. A general strike, according to Lord Oxford, is a strike which is directed, whether by intention or not, at the very vitals of the community. What does that mean in terms of law, industry and political science? What are the vitals of the community? Where does a strike which is directed, whether by intention or not, at the very vitals of the community differ from the strike which the right hon. and learned Gentleman said may bring death to the community? [An HON. MEMBER: "Menace."] No, not menace, death. It may menace the whole life of the community. It is just befogging the issue and making the whole thing nebulous to talk like that.
Then we have the more hybrid description of the right hon. Gentleman himself, when he was pinned down to it, that really what he wants to get at is a general strike, and by a general strike he means one which is going to exercise a coercive influence upon the Government, either directly or indirectly, by causing hardship to the community. You might think that the British people were a lot of jujubes. If any people enter upon a conflict because they think that the laws of the country are wrong, and particularly any law which affects their life or health, why, surely by taking any steps of an industrial nature, they are indirectly coercing the Government by causing 647 hardship to this pampered, cotton-wool community that we used to call the British nation. Where is the first purpose of this Bill now? What is the purpose? We must know what the Bill is designed to make illegal. We must not, any longer, be satisfied by the use of the words "general strike" when no less than six definitions have come from the Government themselves. We must get something more precise than that.
May I take an example? We have heard a lot about what happened last year. What happened last year was really a result. The movement among the men was not a primary thing; it was a secondary thing. I am not going to say anything about it, I expressed my opinion when it happened. I thought that what was called, in general terms, a general strike, was a most foolish and reckless thing on the part of those who fostered it, but a most magnificent demonstration of the loyalty of the workers. If you have the emotions of a great nation stirred and their instincts touched by the idea that an injustice is being deliberately done, either to them or their friends, you might just as well try to stop the Mississippi flood by declaring it to be illegal. People do not worry their heads about what is illegal. They recognise, perhaps wrongly, that they are in control of forces which are greater than the declared legalities and illegalities of Parliament. But it was a secondary thing. What preceded it? A declaration by the mineowners that they would lock out all their men? They declared that the men whom they employed should only continue in their employment subject to one of two conditions. The first was that they should accept lower wages. That was a dispute in an instant. The second was that they should work longer hours. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not in every case."] No, not in every case. As between the men and the masters on the question of less wages, there was no attempt at discussion, no attempt at arbitration, no attempt at inquiry, no attempt at conciliation. It was a most deliberate thing. As regards the hours, it was a threat that unless the men agreed to come back on conditions which were in themselves by Statute illegal, they were to be locked out.
Now, surely, it is a political purpose for mineowners to say to their men, 648 "You shall be locked out unless you come back in breach of the law." I know something about mineowners. I know many of them well. When they had their fingers on the declaration, they had their eyes on the Government. And what was the result? They received from a benevolent Government £22,000,000, and were called patriots and got the law altered, and the men whose actions were the direct consequence of the operations of the mineowners get no money, are called criminals, and have an Act passed which is to prevent them from doing even the thing which was encouraged by the Government on the part of the mine-owners. Well might a modern psalmist say that "the prosperity of the wicked causes great pain." The Government are now asking us to pass a Bill with nebulous definitions so that they can catch the men on every occasion. That does not seem fair to me at all.
Why do not the Government take another way out? It is all nonsense to talk about people here and people there hating each other. We are all more or less subject to various complexes. Fundamentally, do we not know that directly we get out of this little Chamber we have thousands of things in common for every one upon which we differ? And why, after we have had this great experience, unparalleled in the history of this country, and I hope never to be repeated, do not the Government take other means, and why do not they say, not necessarily to us or to the trade union leaders to independent people who know both sides— and I must confess that my experience is more among the bosses than among the men— why do not they get them together and say, "There are certain things which we all want to alter. What are those things, and how can we alter them"? It is very important that Clause 1 should be clear. Tremendous consequences follow on the Clause. Great organisations that have been built up for years by the sacrifices of their members for all sorts of benevolent purposes may find at any moment, if this definition be not clear, all their funds locked up by a simple application of the Attorney-General or the Lord Advocate. And we need not pretend to feel that the Court is going to regard an application by the Attorney-General or the Lord Advocate in the same way that it would regard one made by me acting on behalf of the men. 649 Because of the very nature of his office, with the atmosphere of the nation's security and safety behind him, a purely ex-parte statement will be taken from him as being sufficient and he has the power, even if in his opinion a strike is threatened, to go before ever it happens. That is a terrible consequence. It is a terrible consequence of a bad definition to think that you may have in the Law Courts a great series of litigation, and I am perfectly certain that if this Bill passes as it is now, I myself shall keep the Courts open for a long time. You cannot help it. That is not all. The next thing is that we have not defined what is a general strike. We are not told in the Bill whether last year's events were a general strike. We are not told whether the general strike or last year's events are illegal, and yet we say in a subsequent Clause that all people who suffer because of last year's events are to be treated as if it were a general strike, and as if it were included in this definition. In circumstances like these, I ask the Government to consider whether it is not a bigger thing in the eyes of the nation to admit that they have made a mistake, either in intention or in drafting? I do not think they have made a mistake in intention, but I do submit they have made many mistakes in drafting, and the Bill, even if amended as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, will not express his intention. When it is read, not by lawyers in the House of Commons who have plenty of time to study it in chambers or in reading rooms, but by the ordinary man-in-the-street, who is to be the victim of it if it be wrong, it is so cloudy, so indefinite and so misleading that it should be withdrawn altogether and a new Clause substituted which would be clear to us here and clear to the country. I submit that for the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I cannot join with the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. R. Mitchell) in congratulating the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham (Sir G. Hohler) on being quite clear in his mind as to the meaning of the Clause. Perhaps the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham will permit me to present to him a little parable which seems to sum up the situation for non-legal Members of the House like myself. There is an Eastern parable that five 650 blind men were taken to see an elephant. The first got hold of his trunk, the second placed his arms round a foreleg, the third leaned up against the side, the fourth got hold of the tail and the fifth was impaled on a tusk. They all went away to define an elephant, and they all quarrelled over their definition. That parable seems to me to be apt. If the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham finds the phraseology clear, I can only inform him that he will be now in the happy position of being able to go down to his constituents and tell them that a sympathetic strike is not included in the terms of the Bill. There are other hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in this House who do not find the thing so clear as that. An hon. Member has asked, what is the definition of a general strike? I am not going to give it, but I would refer to page 566 of these Amendments, where the hon. Member will find that some Members on the benches around me have attempted to safeguard the workers of the country against a general strike.
I have tried to clear my owe mind, and, perhaps, speaking as a non-legal Member with no legal knowledge at all, it may be an advantage to the Committee if I state the conclusions to which I have come upon this Clause as far as the Debate has gone. As I have listened to every speech in the Debate except three, perhaps I am entitled to claim to have made some effort to clear my mind. The first conclusion to which I have come is this. It is generally conceded that it is very difficult to define a general strike, and there are some Members of the House, old servants of the House and learned in the law, who are rather of opinion that it is impossible to define. The second thing which seems to be generally conceded is that to proceed to operate against this great elephant by the devious route of defining an illegal strike as against a general strike, has made fresh difficulties not only for the Government and the House, but for the country as well. The third thing which, I think, is clear is that the Clause as it stands is ambiguous to everybody except the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham. The fourth thing which, I think, is conceded, is that the Government themselves have been thinking a first and a second time and even a third time about this Clause. The fifth thing which, I think, is clear, is that there are 651 many Members representing industrial constituencies on the other side of the House who are by no means as easy in their minds about the results of the phrasing of this Clause as some hon. Members who sit for other constituencies on the same benches.
The next thing which is quite clear is that the new forms suggested by the Attorney-General contain in them a series of conundrums no less difficult than those brushed aside by wiping away the verbiage of the original Clause. I have come to the conclusion that there is a four-fold cleavage in the House. First of all, it is a political cleavage, the cleavage shown on the Second Reading Debate on the political issues, for and against various views. The second cleavage is one between the legal Members on all sides as to what a general strike means and what the effect of this language will be if operated in the Law Courts. The third cleavage is between those who take a merely legal view and those who are conscious of the industrial life of the country, so complex in its bearings, to which that legal phraseology will have to be applied, when this Bill becomes an Act.
I wish to raise a point which has not been raised in this Debate, although it was hinted at in the admirable speech of the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks), namely, the effect on industrial life of apparently simple language in a Bill like this. I wish to go further than he did, and I should like to point out that it would be well to have three or four days' discussion on Clause 1 before we part with it, or even six, eight, or 12 days, first of all, because of the number of workers and employers in the industrial life of the land who will be affected directly by the phraseology in the Clause. I should like to point out that the last return of the trade unions in this country shows that this Bill will directly affect the operations of no less than 1,155 unions, and, according to the last return of the Ministry of Labour, they have a membership, not of 4,000,000, as the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) suggested, but of 5,531,000. I suggest that the Government will do well to give the utmost discussion to the vital issues concerned in the application of this legal 652 phraseology to those vast numbers of working men and women who will be concerned in any dispute which arises after this becomes law.
The point I wish to make in reference to the hint of the hon. and learned Member for Swindon is that it is by no means as simple to apply this to industry as the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to imagine. I speak with all due modesty as a non-legal Member and as an ordinary English Member sitting for a Scottish seat, and, therefore, of course, entitled to a good deal of latitude from my friends above the Gangway. Let us take the great group of trades known as engineering, ironfounding, shipbuilding and other metal-working trades.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman is getting some way from the question of what is and what is not an illegal strike.
§ Mr. BROWN
With all respect, I do wish to be allowed to put the fact before the Committee that it is of much greater importance in Debates to understand the effect of this phraseology upon the industrial life of the land than it is merely to have half a dozen lawyers in this House giving half a dozen different views about it. I am going to suggest that whether you can define a general strike or not will depend on one definition in your Bill which is not there. It is not there, but it ought to be there. That definition is the question, "What is a trade or industry?" this is where I hope to convince the Chair that my figures are germane to the issues at stake. What is a trade or industry? In the engineering, ironfounding, shipbuilding and other metal working trades there are no less than 109 trade unions operating in that group of trades, and there are 586,455 trade unionists in that group alone. I ask the Committee to consider this point. Here is a trade union secretary in that group— he may be the boilermakers' secretary. He has been discussing with his employers in the industry a wage dispute for 15 months. Long and protracting discussions have gone on, and he is of opinion that it justifies a stoppage of work in the end. He comes to the point where he feels he must either break off negotiations with the employers or ask his men to cease labour, that is, 653 to strike. At the moment he decides that purely industrial question, two secretaries of other unions in the same group who have been declaring on the platforms for some political end in connection with their particular trade or industry, advise their workers to cease work. I ask the Committee how that trade union secretary, putting up a purely industrial case, can ever hope to convince any Courts that he is an honest man pursuing a trade dispute, when the other two were out for political ends, or an illegal strike?
I suggest to the Committee that before they part with this Clause, they would do well not merely to consider the effect of its drafting on this one group of trades, but upon the groups inside it. I do not wish to detain the Committee too long, for I know there are a great number of Members who wish to speak, but I do want to say, as one of a group of Members on these benches who have honestly tried to sit down and grapple with the problem of defining that elephant and putting it down in language, that the further we go with the positive definition of a general strike the harder we find it to make it. I confess that the words on the Order Paper, in the name of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) do seem to me to come nearer the simplicity of language necessary, which will leave the fewest possible doubts for the unwary to grapple with, instead of the vague phrases in the Clause. Indeed, the Committee should give attention not merely to the legal and political effect of the drafting, but to the industrial effect upon the complex life of our great industrial civilisation of passing anything which is not clear as daylight. If the Government would make Clause 1 as clear as daylight, I think they would be well advised in their own interest and in the interest of the community to withdraw their intention to try to define this undefinable thing, the general strike.
§ Mr. B. SMITH
The previous speaker has dealt with Clause 1 from the point of view of a large section of the industrial workers. I want to raise a question with the Attorney-General as to what would be the position of that large and complex industry known as the dockers. The dockers or transport workers, or waterside workers in this country number 125,000 people, but they 654 are divided into a number of groups. We start with the tug boatmen, the lightermen, the wherry-men, the timber-porters, the corn-porters, the coal-trimmers, and the general cargo men. All these men have separate agreements with their employers on a national basis. What is going to be the position of these men if they act together on a given question in any one of these sections in the industry? The Attorney-General has said that within a trade or industry sympathetic action might take place, but what we are anxious about is, what is a trade or industry? Would the Attorney-General define lightermen as a trade or industry? Take the case of anybody connected with waterside transport, warehousemen and carters, and contract carters who serve people outside the docks, what is to be the position of these people if they take action nationally on a purely trade matter, on a matter of wages or hours, or conditions of service?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am not saying that the hon. Member is out of order, but there is an Amendment on the Order Paper dealing with this specific point, which, all being well, I propose to call.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I was only calling the hon. Member's attention to the point that there is a specific Amendment on this question which, all being well, I propose to call.
§ Mr. SMITH
I should like to have taken it over a wider field, but, if I am limited, then I should like to ask again what is to be the position of passenger workers in places like London. You have the omnibus men, the cab men and the tube men, all passenger workers. If any one of those sections are involved in a dispute, which is a genuine trade dispute, can the other elements of that trade, including public servants employed by municipalities, take sympathetic action with them? That is the point I want to put to the Attorney-General. If they can, I ask him what is the implication of the Clause, since none of these actions could take place without rendering some 655 hardship to the community. That is the point to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman should apply his mind. The Clause, as it stands, is certainly ambiguous, and leads to real doubt amongst the community as to what action they may take. It is ridiculous for the Attorney-General to say that practically anything that has taken place on purely industrial matters can in future take place if this Bill becomes an Act, for under the very wording of the Clause, as originally drafted— whether it affects the community as a whole or a substantial portion of the community, or as in the suggested Amendment, if it creates hardship on the community, there can, in fact, be no trade dispute in this country of any magnitude that does not in some way affect a substantial portion of the community or create hardship on the community.
During the last strike in London of tubes, omnibuses and trams it was said to be a horrible crime for these men to join together to improve their conditions when the poor working lass had to walk to her work in downpours of rain, or in the hot sunshine. The fact was that the Press tried to disunite these people and to unite opposition against them. If such a thing takes place in the future I imagine we should have the Press not only sympathising with the people affected by the dispute but asking the Attorney-General to make immediate application of the Courts for the dispute to be declared illegal, because it inflicts
§ some hardship on a substantial portion of the community. The Clause as it stands only creates doubt, and if it is the view of the right hon. and learned Gentleman that it will stop actions, I want to disabuse his mind of that at once. No law, it does not matter whether it is this Bill or any Bill, unless it carries the good will of a substantial body of the community, is a bad law.
§ The Government itself, by this very Bill is inflicting a hardship on a substantial portion of the community. I am not a lawyer, I am a trade union official, and I suppose we get as many problems, but not the fees, as lawyers do in regard to trade and industry. There is a genuine feeling that this Bill is brought in with malicious intent, and that the first Clause is the most malicious of all. It is designed to engender fear in the community, to cheek action in any dispute, and the end will be that the employers, ably supported by the Government, will be able to win. I want to say frankly to the Government that if that is in their minds the effect will be practically nil, because the people, feeling that the Bill is a bad one, will take identical action at any time if and when the occasion arises.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question he now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 270; Noes, 156.659
|Division No. 116.]||AYES.||[7.24 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Chapman, Sir S.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brass, Captain W.||Chlicott, Sir Warden|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Briggs, J. Harold||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Briscoe, Richard George||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Atkinson, C.||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Cope, Major William|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Buchan, John||Crooke, J Smedley (Deritend)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Buckingham, Sir H.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Bullock, Captain M.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Burman, J. B.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Berry, Sir George||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Bethel, A.||Campbell, E. T.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Carver, Major W. H.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cassels, J. D.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Drewe, C.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Jephcott, A. R.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|England, Colonel A.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rye, F. G.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M-)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Salmon, Major I.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Knox, Sir Alfred||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lamb, J. Q.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W-)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Fielden, E. B.||Loder, J. de V.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Finburgh, S.||Looker, Herbert William||Skelton, A. N.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lougher, Lewis||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Forrest, W.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lumley, L. R.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Gates, Percy||MacIntyre, Ian||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||McLean, Major A.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macmillan, Captain H.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macquisten, F. A.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Grace, John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Margesson, Captain D.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mever, Sir Frank.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hall, Capt. W. D' A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Waddington, R.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Harland, A.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Neville, R. J.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wells, S. R.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Oakley, T.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pennefather, Sir John||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Perring, Sir William George||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Plicher, G||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hudson, Capt. A.U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Preston, William||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)||Radford, E. A.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Raine, W.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Ramsden, E.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Remer, J. R||Wragg, Herbert|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Remnant, Sir James||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Rice, Sir Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bromley, J.||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Day, Colonel Harry|
|Ammon, Charles George||Buchanan, G.||Dennison, R.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Duncan, C.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Cape, Thomas||Dunnico, H.|
|Baker, Walter||Charleton, H. C.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Clowes, S.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)|
|Barnes, A.||Cluse, W. S.||Fenby, T. D.|
|Barr, J.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Connolly, M.||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Cove, W. G.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Briant, Frank||Crawfurd, H. E.||Gillett, George M.|
|Broad, F. A.||Dalton, Hugh||Gosling, Harry|
|Bromfield, William||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Snell, Harry|
|Greenall, T.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Groves, T.||March, S.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Grundy, T. W.||Maxton, James||Stewart, J. (St. Roilox)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Mitchell, E. Rossiyn (Paisley)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Montague, Frederick||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morris, R. H.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Hardie, George D.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Harney, E. A.||Mosley, Oswald||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Murnin, H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Naylor, T. E.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hayday, Arthur||Oliver, George Harold||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hayes, John Henry||Palln, John Henry||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Paling, W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Potts, John S.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Purcell, A. A.||Watson, W. M. (Duntermline)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Riley, Ben||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Ritson, J.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Welsh. J. C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Westwood, J.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Whiteley, W.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scrymgeour, E.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Scurr, John||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Kennedy, T.||Sexton, James||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lawson, John James||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Windsor, Walter|
|Lee, F.||Sitch, Charles H.||Wright, W|
|Lindley, F. W.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Smillie, Robert|
|Lowth, T.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lunn, William||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. B.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words 'It is hereby' stand part of the clause."660
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 264; Noes, 159.663
|Division No. 117.]||AYES.||[7.34 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bullock, Captain M.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Alnsworth, Major Charles||Burman, J. B.||Ellis, R. G.|
|Albery, Irving James||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Elveden, Viscount|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Campbell, E. T.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Atkinson, C.||Carver, Major W. H.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Casseis, J. D.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Fielden, E. B.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Finburgh, S.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Chapman, Sir S.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Bennett, A. J.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Berry, Sir George||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gates, Percy|
|Bethel, A.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cockerill, Brig,-General Sir George||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Blundell, F. N.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cooper, A. Duff||Grace, John|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Grattan, Doyle, Sir N.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Greaves Lord, Sir Walter|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Davidson, J. (Hertf'd. Hemel Hempst'd)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hall, Capt. W. D' A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Buchan, John||Drewe, C.||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Eden, Captain Anthony.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Harland, A.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Nelson, Sir Frank||Templeton, W. P.|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Neville, R. J.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Nuttall, Ellis||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Oakley, T.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Waddington, R.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Pennefather, Sir John||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Penny, Frederick George||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Perring, Sir William George||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Jacob, A. E.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barpstaple)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Plicher, G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Preston, William||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Radford, E. A.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Raine, W.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Ramsden, E.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Reid D. D. (County Down)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Remer, J. R.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Remnant, Sir James||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Loder, J. de V.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Looker, Herbert William||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Lougher, Lewis||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Lumley, L. R||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Rye, F. G.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Salmon, Major I.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|McLean, Major A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie||Wragg, Herbert|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Shepperson, E. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Skelton, A. N.||Major Cope and Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hardie, George D.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Harney, E. A.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Day, Colonel Harry||Harris, Percy A.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Dennison, R.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Baker, Walter||Duncan, C.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Dunnico, H.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Barr, J.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||England, Colonel A.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Briant, Frank||Fenby, T. D.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Broad, F. A.||Forrest, W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Bromfield, William||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Bromley, J.||Gardner, J. P.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan Neath)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Gibbins, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Buchanan, G.||Gillett, George M.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Gosling, Harry||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Cape, Thomas||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Clowes, S.||Greenall, T.||Kennedy, T.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Clynes, Right Hon. John R.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Connolly, M.||Groves, T.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Cove, W. G.||Grundy, T. W.||Lawson, John James|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lee, F.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Ritson, J.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Lowth, T.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Lunn, William||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Varley, Frank B.|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Scrymgeour, E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Scurr, John||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|March, S.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Maxton, James||short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Sitch, Charles H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Montague, Frederick||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Morris, R. H.||Smillie, Robert||Welsh, J. C.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Westwood, J.|
|Mosley, Oswald||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Whiteley, W.|
|Murnin, H.||Snell, Harry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Palin, John Henry||Stamford, T. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Paling, W.||Stephen, Campbell||Wilson, C H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Sullivan, Joseph||Windsor, Walter|
|Potts, John S.||Sutton, J. E.||Wright, W.|
|Purcell, A. A.||Taylor, R. A.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Riley, Ben||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. B.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
In regard to the Amendments on page 550 of the Order Paper, that at the bottom, in the name of the right hon. Member for Ince (Mr. Walsh) and others— in page 1, line 6, after the word "that," to insert the words "without prejudice to the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906" — should come in some form on Subsection (3). The others on that page I do not select.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I beg to move, in page 1, line 6, to leave out from the word "that" to the end of Sub-section (1), and to insert instead thereof the wordsnotwithstanding anything in the Trade Union Acts, any combination, whether of employers or of persons employed, the main object of which is to coerce the Government or Parliament, as distinguished from furthering a trade dispute, by means of concerted and simultaneous refusal to continue employment or work is an unlawful conspiracy.This is an alternative form of words which I hope at least will be recognised as being clearer than the language at present used in the Clause. Without in the least claiming that these words are words which could be finally adopted without the closest examination, and without suggesting that they would not need, it may be, some alteration or amplification later on, at this stage the question for the Committee is whether or not that sort of test does not come very much nearer to the objects which the Government avow, and which they certainly ought not to be permitted to exceed, than the language of the Clause 664 as it stands. I cannot claim to occupy the time of the Committee for the length that I did earlier in the afternoon, but I must just point out these two things. Comparing the Clause as it stands with this suggested alternative, I wish to point out two or three of the respects in which the form of words we are suggesting at any rate avoids some of the ambiguities and difficulties of the Bill as drafted, and, on the other hand, I want to point out one or two respects in which the alternative form of words in itself could be justified.
First of all, taking the Bill as it stands, it is useless to deny that the Clause does raise a, very large number of complicated and difficult questions. It is really idle to deny it. Hon. Members in all parts of the House realise that that is so, and nobody realises it more clearly than the Attorney-General, because he has already stated that he contemplates substantial alterations to it. If I were to take three or four of the substantial criticisms to the Clause as it stands, and endeavour to make a list of them, I think these would be very important points. First of all, there is the undoubted difficulty— a difficulty, I should think, which Judges themselves might feel, and, what is far more important, a difficulty which certainly would be felt by the ordinary man— as to the phrase "within the trade or industry." It was illustrated very well by the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) just now. I do not believe anybody could with much confidence draw the boundary 665 line in a large number of cases. Then, again, if I take the Bill as now drafted, there is this phrase, of which, I believe, it is proposed to get rid, about "any substantial portion of the community." We may be certain that, if this thing is intended to be understanded of ordinary people in the country, there would be no end to the criticisms and cavilling about such a phrase, and it is most important to avoid that complication if we can. There is the question, which it is difficult perhaps to say is entirely avoided by any form of words, connected with the phrase "designed or calculated." There is the difficulty pointed out by the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor), in his speech late last night, which comes from using the word "besides" in the second line of the Clause.
Some of these things the Government have already appreciated are genuine difficulties, which they would seek by Amendment to correct. I understand they propose to get rid of the word "designed" and to suggest some other word, and they are getting rid of this phrase about "any substantial portion of the community." But I believe that persons of experience in House of Commons procedure, persons who have taken part before in the close, detailed examination of the language of a, Clause in Committee, will agree with me when I say that it is becoming fairly evident that this first draft of the Clause cannot be got into a satisfactory shape merely by pieces of patchwork. The House of Commons procedure is such that we are bound to move, as a rule, to leave out a particular word and substitute something else for it, or to put in a parenthesis, which is in order, but which is none the less not always very simple to do. I very much doubt whether the Clause as now printed is a Clause which, with all the good will of the loyal and skilled people who are trying to support the Government or to help them about it, is capable of reconstruction by the method of patchwork, taking out a word here and putting in a phrase there. I doubt if that is going to do what is wanted, and, therefore, I have ventured to take what I know is a much bolder course. I have ventured to put down a suggested alternative. You pointed out, Captain FitzRoy, when you first had to indicate 666 the course you thought ought to be taken, that these alternatives, according to the strictest rules of Parliamentary procedure, might have to be regarded more as new Clauses to be discussed later, but it is always the case that the Chair helps the Committee from being involved in a merely technical difficulty, and you indicated that we might raise these questions now, though I recognise that you pointed out that you did not expect me or anybody to make a long speech about them, and I will not do so.
I think I have shown, and I hope I have shown clearly, that the Clause as it is proposed by the Government really is a Clause which at so many points contains, to say the least of it, matters of difficulty and doubt— some people would use stronger language— that it is not really constructed in a way which would satisfy those who are most anxious to see the Government's declared intention about Clause 1 being fulfilled, without going beyond that intention in the smallest degree. The thing which many hon. Members are thinking about this Clause is this. They say to themselves, in different parts of the House: "Can I go down to my constituents, who have been accustomed to trust me as trying to serve them faithfully, and as trying to explain to them Parliamentary language which I am more accustomed to hear than they are— can I go down to them, and say: 'I give you my word, after having attended the Debates and considered the matter myself, that the language of this Clause does nothing more than was declared at the opening of the Debate to be the intention of the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister?'" I think a great many are feeling anxious about it, not anxious in some merely selfish, narrow, electoral sense, but anxious because we have all got a very solemn duty about this matter. We have all got to go and say to people who have been accustomed to trust us, who believe we try to tell them the truth, aye or no, whether this Clause is one which does that and nothing more.
I should find it very difficult to assert that of the Clause as at present drafted, and I am sure a great many other people would too. Therefore, I would invite the Solicitor-General to consider whether this is not a case where we ought to 667 approach this difficult question on rather a different line, by rather a different road. I am not in the least unduly proud of the words I have suggested. I will make a very modest claim. The only claim I will make for them is this, that they are a great deal clearer than the language of the Clause which I am seeking to alter. Let me point out what I think might be fairly said in criticism of my proposal on two points, because I think the criticisms can be met. First, it may be said, is it not rather a vague way of dealing with the matter to speak of acombination, whether of employers or of persons employed, the main object of which is to coerce the Government or Parliament, as distinguished from furthering a trade dispute"?There is, of course, some force in that criticism. You do not want an Act of Parliament to say: "While on the one hand one thing, yet on the other another." But there is this double answer. First of all, I do not believe that a Clause of this sort, even if you could put it in the best possible shape, is going to be the subject matter of constant litigation in the Courts. That is not really the object which I should think reasonable people, who want to have a declaratory Clause, would have. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who are reasonable people?"] Probably we should make a different list of the people who are reasonable, everyone of us, but giving the most benevolent view to those who are trying to carry Clause 1, I imagine that their principal object is rather to put it on record, so that those who may counsel extreme measures may realise that it is there in black and white, that there is a perfectly well understood distinction between the legitimate exercise of trade union rights and the abuse of those powers of combination for a perfectly improper purpose. Nobody has put that with greater firmness or clearness, as I said earlier on, than the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), in the speech which he made yesterday, when he pointed out that, as far as he was concerned, he did not seek to deny— on the contrary, he affirmed— that, if you were to have, say, to-day the trade unionists and their leaders announcing that at some future date they were going to combine to suspend work over a great 668 range of trades for the avowed purpose of turning the Government out of office, that was not a legitimate use of trade union rights.
Therefore, I think the first answer that may be made to the criticism is that the Clause is not really designed for the purpose of providing a chopping block for endless lawyers in endless Courts to litigate. It is a declaration which some people, at any rate, think might be of some use if a situation arose like that which, in my view, did arise not so long ago, when all the wisest and most moderate leaders of the trade unions were wholly opposed to an extreme measure which was being urged by people much more foolish than themselves, but when they, at any rate, had not got a Clause to which they could point and say: "You must remember that, for good or for evil, this is quite plainly recorded by the Statute law of the land as a thing which is not within the law." The second answer would be this: I myself strongly support the view so eloquently stated this afternoon, if I may be allowed to say so, by the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. R. Mitchell). You really cannot, as a matter of fact, classify these tremendous movements of human feeling and comradeship and passion, with the calm deliberation of a man who is making up a list of commodities and putting them on one shelf or another. Therefore you will always find in practice that the real question is whether or not— remembering that the furthering of trade disputes is perfectly lawful but, on the other hand, that the deliberate coercion of Parliaments or Governments is not lawful— you have always got to remember that really it is the substance of the matter which determines on which side of the line it may fall. There is another criticism which I was going to mention and it is a sort of criticism which would very much follow the same lines. It may be said, "Well, is it not a curious idea that you should propound this test, which does involve balancing one thing against the other?" The truth is that that kind of problem, that kind of test, is constantly being considered and applied in these matters of controversy. If you have a smash between two motor cars in a road— get rid of all the penalties: I care nothing at all about them 669 — the substance of the thing is this. There may be some fault on each side; there may be some excuse on each side; but what is the substance of the thing? Who is it who has really brought about the disaster? That is what the law tries to decide. Take a dispute between husband and wife, in another part of the law, where the question is whether the Court should grant a judicial separation. The problem really is that one has to compare the two contrasting sides and see where the substance of the thing lies. I do not think, in practice, that the application of the Clause, as we are suggesting it in this Amendment, will be found to be so difficult, because it can only be in cases of real and palpable abuse of the legitimate rules of combination that the question will arise.
It is perfectly plain in regard to our discussions to-day— I trust I may be allowed to say this— that every speech has been a speech which shows that we really have been debating this thing in all honesty. There has not been the smallest attempt from any quarter to create obstruction. But I do think that all our Debates to-day have shown that this cannot possibly be the end of this matter. We are only at the beginning of it, and do not think that this suggestion which some of us wish to put forward is at all to be regarded as though it came merely from a particular quarter of the House, nor do I care anything at all as to who are the individuals who make the suggestions. Our desire— and I believe it is sympathised with in every quarter of the House— is that if you are going to have the Clause, for Heaven's sake have a Clause which is as clear as it can be made; which plainly does not go beyond the Government's declared intention; which may be regarded, I hope, rather as an assistance than as a hindrance in matters of this sort; and which is not going to create 50 new conundrums of an aggravating kind but which will make one particular problem a little clearer. If this Amendment is any contribution towards that I shall be very glad, because I feel, and many Members of this House feel, that it is my duty to say honestly and candidly, as every member of the House wishes to do, whether I think the Government's Clause, in its final form, does or does not satisfy this test, and some day I am going to say that. I am most anxious, therefore, to do all I can to make 670 my reasonable suggestion to the Government as to the kind of way in which I think it would have been possible to make their intention clear.
On a point of Order. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question. I am sure it would assist the Committee to know whether his Amendment, which reads on the Paper at present to leave out from "that" to the end of the Clause, involves the incorporation of the; Government's definition of a trade dispute? Would it involve the incorporation of Sub-section (2), dealing with penalties, and Sub-section (3)?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman; it was my fault entirely for not having made my point clear. My intention really for the moment was to concentrate attention on Sub-section (1). I do not say that I agree with everything in Sub-sections (2) and (3), but the matters with which they deal obviously have to be separately considered. For the moment I was really thinking of the main Clause, Sub-section (1), and I should like to have the Question put, not to leave out to the end of the Clause but to leave out to the end of Sub-section (1).
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he does not think that, in justice, this definition of coercing the Government should be extended to an employer who may force other men to coerce the Government?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)
Nobody from the Government side could possibly complain of either the spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) has offered his Amendment to the Government, or of the consideration which he has raised as worthy of the reflections of the Committee. We are not at all anxious to refuse any offer of amendment, from no matter what quarter of the House it comes. I most gratefully recognise the right hon. Gentleman's evident anxiety to improve the Clause so as to make it effective in its intention. But I think I am not doing the right hon. Gentleman an injustice if I say that he was more successful in explaining some of the difficulties that might possibly arise or may arise, in the construction of the Clause 671 in the Bill if it were amended by the Government, than he was in elucidating his own Amendment, or in pointing out why it would facilitate a decision whether or not a strike was illegal. I hope I am not doing the right hon. Gentleman an injustice, because I listened with great anxiety to hear the points discussed by him in which he regarded his own Amendment as preferable to the words of the Clause for which the Government are responsible. He has said, what I think was said yesterday, that a great many people have been trying to prepare and draft a Clause which would be better than the Government's Clause, and the way in which we seek to approach every Amendment is not by saying that it must be bad because it is not ours, but we have to consider whether it really offers any better solution of these questions which we have to consider than the Clause in the Bill. It is in that spirit, quite honestly, that I am trying to consider the Amendment before the Committee.
The right hon. Gentleman quite truly pointed to one or two important matters which arise that require consideration on the Clause as it stands. One or two of them, as he has said, the Government propose, if the Committee agrees, to get rid of. He has pointed to the difficulty of defining a trade or industry, and he has said that it is difficult to draw the boundary line between one trade or industry and another. I do not suggest that the Clause, with the alteration I am about to make, is a complete answer to what he has said, but may I say this, that it is often very difficult to draw a boundary in advance between, as in this case, one trade or industry and another. But it is much more difficult, when you have a concrete case before you, to say on which side of the line a particular industry falls. The next point he mentioned was one which we propose to get rid of, the words "substantial portion of the community," and then he referred to the words "designed or calculated to coerce." They possibly may be the subject of further discussion. I respectfully think that, so far as our own Clause is concerned, I may, first of all, point out its advantages, such as they are, since the right hon. Gentleman has spoken of his advantages. The second 672 thing is that our Clause has, at any rate, one advantage, that it does enable the people who are concerned, that is to say who are striking, to form some opinion of their own as to the illegality of the strike. They are to consider whether the strike is in furtherance of a trade dispute within their own trade or industry. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) is laughing or not. If I was not making myself plain, I will say it again.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. I always welcome the right hon. Gentleman's smiles. But I was saying that our Clause does enable a person to form some opinion as to whether he is taking part in an illegal strike, because at any rate he is in the trade or industry in which the dispute arises and he has to consider, therefore, whether the strike is in furtherance of a trade or dispute in his own industry. The right hon. Gentleman assents to that, and I imagine that almost every worker in well-informed trade union circles will have some opinion in advance as to a dispute in his industry. He will be told, if I may take the railway industry as an illustration, that there is some question of the hours of signalmen, or the wages of locomotive men, or even of the conditions under which the carriage cleaners operate, or it may be some general question of the reduction of wages. At any rate, he will have notice of a trade dispute in his own industry.
I want, if I may, to point out one fact in regard to the right hon. Gentleman's illustration, taken from the railway industry. The London Underground Railway is an industry owned by one concern, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the men making carriages for the London Underground Tube Company are part of the industry of the railways?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I would point out to him that I was trying to illustrate a different point at the moment. I am not seeking to evade any question which he may raise or which he may have raised on the first Amendment when I was not in the Committee. 673 But, for the moment, I was passing by the difficulty which it is said might arise in defining a trade or industry, and I said that, assuming there is no difficulty for the moment in defining a trade or industry, at any rate the striker knows, or ought to be in a position to know, whether there is a trade dispute in his trade or industry. That being the case, I turn to the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley. That Amendment provides, that, instead of strikers considering whether there is a genuine trade dispute in their industry, which is the first question which they would have to decide under our form of Clause, they would have to consider whether the main object of the strike is to coerce the Government or Parliament as distinct from furthering a trade dispute. That is to say, if their own trade or industry is committed they have considered the matter at large. They say, "Here is a strike, and we have to ask ourselves what is its main object." It may be a strike which is not in their own industry at all, because the right hon. and learned Gentleman deliberately leaves out of consideration the question of "within the trade or industry," so as to avoid the difficulty of defining the trade or industry.
Therefore the strikers say, "Here is a dispute, and we have to ask ourselves whether its main object is to coerce the Government, as distinct from furthering a trade dispute." It may be a trade dispute in another industry altogether different from that with which they are connected, and so far away from their own industry that the sort of question which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) mentioned just now, would not be material. It would be obviously a different industry altogether. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment would require a worker in the North of England, for instance, to ask himself whether the main object of a dispute in another part of England and not in his own trade or industry, was one to coerce the Government or Parliament as distinct from furthering a trade dispute with which he and his union had nothing in the world to do. I think that is a much more difficult question for the striker to answer than the question, "Is there a genuine 674 trade dispute in my trade or industry?" That, broadly speaking, is the criticism which I respectfully make of the proposal of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I think there is another objection in the words "main object." I think those words are very difficult to interpret. I do not know how anybody is to say what is the main object of a strike. Conceivably there may be two nicely-balanced objects. Supposing there were two running, as it were, in double harness. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will not think I am meticulous. I am not basing my case on verbal difficulties alone, and the objection which I feel to be most important is the one I have just mentioned, namely, that the striker would have to ask himself questions about a dispute in an industry with which he had no conceivable connection, even indirectly.
§ Sir J. SIMON
In regard to the second criticism of the Solicitor-General, I think there should be no difficulty in answering it. If you had the suggested balance of objects, the strike would not be illegal.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman then believes that if there is not an object to coerce the Government, which is greater than the trade dispute object, the strike will not be illegal. That may be an answer. I do not myself think that the case is likely to arise where the aims of a strike will be so nicely balanced; but at the same time the words "main object" are not easy of interpretation by a Court. It is still less easy for the man in the dispute to apply them for himself. I take it that what the right hon. and learned Gentleman is anxious to do is to provide a form of words which will enable not merely the Courts and the lawyers to decide these questions, but will enable the workmen in advance to know where they are. The Government are honestly solicitous that the workers shall be in that position. I recognise that both in Parliament and outside there are some people who think that the Government are only anxious to mislead and puzzle the workers. There may be some hon. Members who attribute all sorts of motives to the Government.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I should expect the hon. Member to attribute the worst motives to the Government in this matter. I have known him long enough to be able to anticipate that from him; but assuming that the Government are anxious to make these matters as plain as possible for the workers, I think for the reasons I have mentioned, the Government Clause is a better one than the words proposed by my right hon. and learned Friend, and although the Amendment has been moved with the most admirable motives, and has been useful in so far as it has helped us to clear our minds on this question, I am afraid we are unable to accept it.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
The speech of the Solicitor-General is a very serious one when we consider what were the arguments of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen (Sir J. Simon) and the reasons he gave for introducing this Amendment. His case was that as the Government Clause stands now, it is capable of a meaning which extends far beyond any political general strike. The hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks), a supporter of the Government, earlier in the day said frankly that if he were asked by a constituent whether the Bill, as at present drafted, did or did not apply to the ordinary sympathetic strike, he would not be able to tell that constituent that it did not do so. Now the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley brings along an Amendment which may or may not be exactly apt to deal with the situation but at any rate has for its purpose the limitation of this legislation to the specifically political strike of the type which my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby has unequivocally condemned, and which most members of the Labour party have condemned. Having, therefore, before us a proposal limiting the Clause to the type of strike which is condemned by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, we are now told by the Solicitor-General, in a series of arguments which I might almost say verged on the sophistical, that the Government can have no dealings with the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley in endeavouring to limit this Clause to the specifically political strike.
What I observed earlier in the Debate is becoming clearer every moment. The 676 Government do not intend to limit this definition of a general strike by words such as "seditious strike" or anything of that kind. The right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley, being less ready to jump to conclusions than I am, and more cautious, is slower in coming to that view; but I think he will agree with me before we are many days older. One Amendment after another has been put up to bring about a limiting definition of the strike to be declared illegal, and one after another has been refused by the Government; and when the Government speak of making general strikes illegal, they go so far that, at any rate, the hon. and learned Member for Swindon is unable to say that their proposal does not extend to all sympathetic strikes. Thus the danger in the first point of the Attorney-General becomes very apparent. It is easy to say: "We wish to make general strikes illegal," and then go on to define "general strike." in such general terms that it includes all kinds of normal industrial strikes. The consent of the country is being sought for what might appear to be an innocuous proposition. The people think it refers to a general strike in the sense in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby has used that expression, meaning a political and coercive strike, but really it involves much more.
I think the most important thing which has happened to-day has not 'been anything said in this Debate. It has been the manner in which the Solicitor-General has dealt with this Amendment. The Committee will have observed that the Solicitor-General became very solicitous for the individual striker, as to whether he would know what his rights were or were not. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that under the Government's proposal the man would know which was the trade or industry but under the proposal of the Amendment he would not know. Personally, I think the poor striker will have to attend a protracted law course in connection with this Bill. However that may be, the Solicitor-General appears to have forgotten that we were assured in an earlier stage of the proceedings that the striker was no longer to be made liable under this Bill. As I understood the Attorney-General, they have been persuaded, on the solicitation of the hon. 677 Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) to take the striker out of the Bill. Then what becomes of the argument that the striker does not know whether he is sriking legally or illegally? There ought to be, if I may quote the language of the Bill, a more fully concerted understanding between the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General. This is not the first time— the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) pointed it out yesterday— the Attorney-General has said one thing and the Solicitor-General the opposite, and I do plead for a concerted understanding. Whether they are coercing us or intimidating anybody else, let the two right hon. Gentlemen agree. Stripped of that point as to the opinion of the individual striker, no answer has been given to the right hon. and learned Gentlemen the Member for Spen Valley. If the hon. and learned Gentleman had got up and said on behalf of the Government "We quite agree with the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley, and we sincerely and honestly mean to limit this Bill to political, seditious and coercive strikes and none other, but we think his words are scarcely apt" I could have understood his attitude; but I listened in vain for any intimation that they accepted the general principles of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Therefore we find ourselves in this situation, and if the country does not know it to-night the country will know in the next day or two, that it is the intention of the Government to spread the net so that strikes of an industrial nature, or predominantly of an industrial nature, or purely sympathetic strikes, may very well be brought within the ambit of this Bill, with all the legal and penal consequences thereof.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
May I interrupt the hon. and learned Gentleman for a moment? He criticised me for not meeting the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) as to his principles. We had a very long discussion on the question of principles on the first Amendment, and I understood that the next Amendments would be confined to the narrow points raised by the actual words of the Amendments, and for that reason and for that reason only I confined myself, and 678 I think properly so, to discussing the advantages, such as they were, of the Amendment instead of discussing principles.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
The hon. and learned Gentleman receives his applause somewhat prematurely. I am not talking about general principles, I am talking about the issue which was raised on this Amendment by the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley. He said in my hearing when we were having a general discussion, "I am going to raise subsequently this question of words which will confine this to what you may call a political general strike"; and that is the issue which we are discussing now. Surely the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not say that he has dealt with the right hon. and learned Gentleman's contention that the Bill ought to be confined to political and coercive strikes? I am commenting on the fact that he has not stated whether the Government agree with the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley or not. Do the Government agree? Whether they tell us now or whether they do not, we are going to extract it, either by painful or painless dentistry, before we have finished with this Bill. Do they, or do they not, agree that this Measure is limited to purely political strikes, such as receive the condemnation of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas)? We cannot get an answer. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer"!] The operation which is to-night being performed with an anæsthetic may be a more painful process before we are finished. We can assure the Government that they are not going to escape this issue. A proposal affecting 4,000,000 men is not going to be settled on a legal quibble. We are entitled to know, and the country is entitled to know. If the Government do not answer, they need not; but let them not pretend that they have met the point of the right hon. and learned Member. These discussions about strikers knowing their position do not carry us an inch. The hon. Member for Luton extracted from the Government this afternoon that a general strike in their intention meant something very much wider than had been suggested by 679 the Prime Minister, and in refusing to deal with the point put to them by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley the Government have corroborated the suggestion which I personally made both in this House and out of this House as to the meaning of this Bill— that it was a Bill to paralyse and intimidate the whole trade union movement.
§ Sir ELLIS HUME-WILLIAMS
Unlike the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken, I propose to address myself solely to the Amendment. I do not propose to suggest surgical operations, either of a painful or painless character, neither shall I attempt to offer general criticisms upon the Bill such as made up the greater part of his speech. Let me say at the outset that I am by no means one of those who think Clause 1 is perfectly clear and does not require amendment. I think the friends of this Bill realise perfectly well that they have a very difficult task before them. I think the task of framing this Bill has been performed with great clearness and intrepidity, but I do not say that it is not capable of amendment or that everybody in this House must understand it. I am going to offer one criticism of the right hon. and learned Gentleman for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon),. who has framed his Amendment with that clearness which we expect from him both here and elsewhere. I have not heard from him any answer to the objection which he foreshadowed, namely, the phrase:The main object of which is to coerce the Government.As his Amendment stands, it provides that somebody will have to determine whether a strike is legal or illegal. He may find a strike part of which is for an economic object, that is, is occupied with a dispute in trade, and part of which goes beyond it, this part having as its object the coercion of the Government. This somebody has to determine at what point the coercion of the Government becomes the main object. That is really an almost impossible task. Difficult as it is to interpret this Clause, that seems to me to be adding to the difficulty. Let the right hon. and learned Gentleman suppose himself to be in a judicial capacity and to find a strike in existence part of which was a legitimate dispute in trade and part of which was intended to coerce the 680 Government. Before he arrives at the vital decision of whether this is a legal or illegal strike he has got to determine the exact point at which the coercion of the Government becomes the main object of the strike. That is almost impossible. For that reason I prefer the phrase in the Clause as it will stand after amendment. After the Amendment of the Attorney-General's is adopted the Clause will read in this way:It is hereby declared that any strike is illegal if it has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute.I am not arguing now whether that is right or wrong; I am dealing with the Amendment which is the object of our present discussion.
§ Mr. NAYLOR
Has not the hon. and learned Gentleman overlooked the phrase "within the trade or industry"?
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I am glad to add that phrase, but it does not add to what I have said. If it pleases the right hon. Gentleman I will read it again:It is hereby declared that any strike is illegal if it has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged.Then it is an illegal strike— if it is a strike designed to or calculated to coerce the Government. The Clause put in that way, seems to me to be clearer than it would be with the suggested Amendment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, because instead of having to hold the balance and to say which way it is swaying, instead of having to go into any question of whether the main object is so-and-so, you have a clear definition that if there is any object beyond the trade dispute the strike is illegal. It may be right or it may be wrong, but from the point of view of clearness I confess that I prefer the Government's definition to that of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. WEBB
I want to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) upon having produced a form of words far better than we have had before. The hon. and learned Member who has just sat down said there was a difficulty in deciding what was the meaning of the main object of a stoppage, and 681 that he thought the phrase used by the Government was much clearer. May I point out that if a stoppage had any object whatsoever beyond that of furthering a dispute within the trade or industry concerned, in certain circumstances it might be held to be illegal. That point may be in the Government draft clearer, but it has only been made clearer by including a whole range of other stoppages which the Prime Minister did not intend to include, and which some of the phrases of the Attorney-General seemed to exclude altogether. If a stoppage has any object other than an industrial object within the trade concerned then, if it coerces, it will become illegal. Look at the actual facts of any of these big stoppages and you will find that it is quite impossible that all the strikers can have the same motives. It would be impossible to say what were the motives of the 1,000,000 miners who were discharged by their employers for continuing to refuse to accept employment for 7½ months. They might have been held under certain circumstances to have been engaged in an illegal strike. The reason why they might have been so held is that it might be argued that many of them had another motive besides that of resisting a reduction of wages or an increase of hours which were the fundamental causes of the stoppage. I know it was said that they had another motive. It was said that some of them wanted the mines to be nationalised; others argued that the profits of one mine should be used to help the losses of other mines, and all sorts of other reasons were alleged by responsible persons and even by Ministers of the Crown. I am not prepared to deny that among that 1,000,000 men there were some who had this, that, or the other object or motive. All that is required is that you should find that some of the men have some other object or motive than that of a furtherance of a trade dispute, and then it would fall within the definition of a general strike, which is the sole object aimed at in Clause 1.
There is a still more fundamental difficulty and that is in regard to the meaning of the phrase "trade dispute." If we take the phrase in the Bill it is as follows:For the purposes of the foregoing provision a trade dispute shall not be deemed 682 to be within a trade or industry unless it is a dispute between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen, in that trade or industry.Therefore we must criticise the use of the phrase "trade dispute" in the amendment in the light of the definition given by the Government to which the Government is determined to adhere. There it is quite clear that the Bill as it now stands, provides that a trade dispute mentioned in the Bill and in the Amendment must mean a trade dispute of a particularly narrow kind within the trade or industry. I pass over what is meant by an industry, and I come at once to the point of the exclusion of the sympathetic strike. I must say that I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley has not made it clear whether he is excluding the sympathetic strike or not. If we are to interpret trade dispute in the usual way it seems to me he excludes the sympathetic strike from being a permissible industrial operation.
§ Sir J. SIMON
What I had in mind when I put this Amendment down was a trade dispute as used for example in the Trade Disputes Act, 1906. I am aware that in Sub-section (3) there is a special definition, but I was not thinking of that.
§ Mr. WEBB
I thought the right hon. Gentleman could not have meant to exclude the sympathetic strike. I know the Attorney-General does not mean to prohibit the sympathetic strike, because he said:it would have been easy to declare that the sympathetic strike, that is to say, the strike of persons not directly interested in the subject-matter of the dispute, was illegal. I think I could even find some authority from some hon. Members opposite for saying that that is a foolish and wrong course. But again we have not thought it right to take that course. The sympathetic strike remains under this Bill perfectly legal, so long as it is a strike directed against the employer and not directed against the Government or the community."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1927; cols. 1320–21, Vol. 205.]I am not quite sure whether the right hon. Gentleman means by the sympathetic strike the same as I do, that is to say that this would be the case if the railwaymen were to strike in support of the miners. But leaving that out for the moment the right hon. Gentleman has stated very definitely that tile sympathetic strike under this Bill remains legal 683 in the ordinary sense. I am bound to say that I cannot understand the right hon. Gentleman's colleague, because again and again the Solicitor-General has said most emphatically that the sympathetic strike would under this Bill not be legal, that is to say, that the only permissible strike would be one between employers and workmen in the trade or industry connected with the employment or non-employment, or terms of employment of persons in that trade or industry. I must agree with the Solicitor-General that the definition in the second paragraph of Clause 1 excludes the sympathetic strike. That is what I believe, but, at any rate, perhaps the Attorney-General will be good enough to consider the matter. After all, various learned Members on his own side have taken the view that I am now trying to express. I heard it put very emphatically this afternoon by the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham (Sir G. Hohler), who had not the least doubt that the sympathetic strike— that is to say, the strike by one industry in aid of a dispute in another industry— was illegal per se. I think that, under the Trade Disputes Act, that view is wrong. The Trade Disputes Act is very carefully so worded as to allow the sympathetic strike to be used. Now I come to the words of the Amendment, where the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley has adopted— and these are the chief and most important words of the Clause— the words of the Government,the main object of which is to coerce the Government or Parliament.That, clearly, is to be made illegal in the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, as also of the Government. My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) put very candidly the sort of criminal conspiracy which we admit to be a criminal conspiracy under the existing law, namely, a concerted cessation of work in order, for instance, to remove the present Government from office and substitute someone else. That may be a laudable object; it may be a very worthy object indeed; but we do admit that under the existing law that would be a seditious conspiracy, and would be criminal and in every way illegal. But there again, do the words "coerce the Government or Parliament" cover exactly that kind of thing and no 684 more? I just want to test it. These are the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, which, unhappily as I think, he has adopted from the Government draftsman. I want to put, for the consideration of the Attorney-General, two or three cases, because we want to understand exactly what it means. The hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) put very forcibly one case which he believes is perfectly legal at present, but which I think would be illegal if this Bill passes, both under the words of the Government and under the words of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley. Suppose that all the sailors unanimously came to the conclusion that the Plimsoll line as at present fixed not by the shipowners themselves but by the Board of Trade under Act of Parliament endangered their lives. Suppose that they then ceased work in concert. I venture to suggest that at the present time they are perfectly entitled to do that. By law they can cease work, giving proper notice, for any reason or for no reason, unless, indeed, they want to engage in a seditious conspiracy.
Will the Attorney-General tell me that, if at the present time all the sailors in the Kingdom with one accord, peacefully giving due notice, ceased their employment as sailors because they thought the ships were unseaworthy, and if they went on to say that they did this in order most emphatically to impress upon the Government and upon Parliament the necessity for altering the Plimsoll line— will anyone say that that is illegal now? And the Attorney-General has assured us that the Clause does not make anything illegal which is not illegal already. I would ask the Attorney-General to be good enough, when he comes to speak, to give me an answer to that question as to whether a simultaneous concerted termination of their employment by all the seamen in the Kingdom, on the ground that they thought ships were unseaworthy because of the present position of the Plimsoll line would be illegal. There is something to be said in support of that contention. Suppose that they ceased work and said definitely after they had ceased to be employed, without having any employers, that they did so in order to call the attention of the Government and of Parliament to the necessity of altering that line which no 685 shipowner can himself do; that would be to coerce the Government or Parliament, and it would be illegal and criminal under this Clause. When the Prime Minister told us that the main object of Clause 1 of this Bill was to prevent another general strike, and that it had no other object, I do not believe that he meant that such a seamen's strike should be made illegal and criminal.
That may seem to be a fanciful case, because it has not actually happened, but let me take some cases which have happened. Let me take, for instance, the great miners' disputes which have happened up and down the country in past years on the ground of safety— that is to say, the men have ceased work, and refused to accept new engagements in order to secure greater safety, as they thought, and in order to call the attention of the Mines Department or the Home Office to the necessity of greater precautions for safety. In my own constituency, years ago, there was a terrific strike, which lasted for a long time, in order to protest against the introduction of a particular new kind of rope which let down the cage in which the miners travelled. The men said and thought that that rope was insecure, that that new kind of rope ought not to have been allowed by the Mines Department, and they struck. It does not matter whether they were right or wrong in their opinion about the safety of that particular kind of rope, but they were entirely within their rights in striking, and not only were they within their rights, but it might be said that it was laudable that they should have done that in order to promote safety in the mines. As a matter of fact, the Government gave way, and did introduce various provisions to ensure the safety of those ropes in actual working. That was undoubtedly a strike intended and designed, or at any rate calculated, to coerce the Government and to coerce Parliament. Will it be said that the Prime Minister, when he said that the sole object of the Clause was to prevent the occurrence of another general strike, meant to make that strike illegal? I do not believe he could have meant that.
Then take another case. Take the questions of the hours of labour. It so happens that the hours of labour of the 686 miners are regulated by law. Of course I know it is perfectly true theoretically that any particular owners might agree with the men to work less than eight hours, but we all know that in common practice it is quite impossible to get all the mine-owners in the Kingdom to agree to shorten their hours, and a long course of experience has convinced everyone that the only way to regulate miners' hours is to have a law settling what the maximum hours shall be. Suppose that the miners were to say that they find by experience that this eight hours period of labour is too much for their health. As a matter of fact, I have no doubt myself that it is too much. From what I have seen in Durham, I have no doubt whatever that the young men— the youths— in the mines are overworked, and are suffering seriously from that overwork. Suppose that the miners take the view, rightly or wrongly, that they must demand that their hours of labour should be shorter than at present. That would be quite a legitimate thing, I suppose. Hours are not mentioned, but conditions of labour are mentioned, and clearly hours would come within that. Suppose that the miners alone, without any general strike or anything of that sort, without any assistance from any other union, struck in order to get a shorter working day, which, as we know, can only be done by altering the law. They have done that before, and, in my opinion, they will do that again. Certainly that has never been considered an unlawful thing for them to do: and the Attorney-General tells us that there may well be, in one of the essential services, an industrial strike on so large a scale as to menace the community, and that such a strike would not be stopped by this Bill. The million men in the mines may cease work, giving proper notice, in order to secure shorter hours of labour by law. Will the Prime Minister say that he wishes that to be made an illegal and criminal act— because that, undoubtedly, is intended in the words of the Amendment we are now discussing— it would be calculated, and even designed "to coerce the Government or Parliament"?
It is a perfectly legal thing for the miners— whose trade is one trade by itself, taking the simplest case— to cease work in order to get something done by the Mines Department under the Mines Regulation Act which they think 687 is essential to their safety, or to their life, or whatever you like. That is perfectly lawful at present. There has never been a prosecution under any of the successive Governments in the case of any of these previous disputes, which had quite definitely a very serious coercive effect on the various Governments of the day, and, as a matter of fact, on the Parliaments of the day. There has never been a prosecution. Can it have been that all the successive Attorneys-General and Public Prosecutors have been lax, and have never prosecuted in these illegal strikes? The Attorney-General tells us that nothing is made illegal by this Clause which was not illegal before. I will give other instances. Take the cotton operatives. Suppose that the cotton operatives come to the conclusion that the atmosphere in which they work— I do not want to introduce technicalities, but I am speaking of the over-steaming Clause which governs their atmosphere— suppose that they came to the conclusion that that was a very serious cause of the tuberculosis which prevails among them. That is settled by law; over-steaming is regulated by a Clause in the Factory Acts. Suppose that, having failed to induce the Home Secretary of the day to remedy their complaint, they give due notice, keeping strictly within their own trade or industry, and withdraw their labour and stop the cotton trade. Is that an illegal strike? It is certainly calculated to coerce the Government; it is certainly calculated to put immense pressure on Parliament, and it would be attended to in a moment; but it has never been considered illegal hitherto. There has never been a prosecution of the cotton workers' trade union for putting pressure on the Government, and I must believe what we are told, that this Clause is not intended to, and will not, alter the law or make any strike illegal or criminal which has not been illegal or criminal hitherto.
I hope the Attorney-General will be good enough to tell me whether all these strikes, in the instances I have given, were illegal before, and whether prosecutions ought to have been brought. Does the Prime Minister consider that his instructions have been carried out when he says that he only wanted to prevent a general strike? I have not been talking about a general strike in any sense 688 whatsoever, but about a strike within an industry which cannot be said to concern a dispute between employers and workmen at all, but which is calculated or designed to coerce the Government. If I may go on, I just want to say one other word on that. After all, as regards the words of this Amendment, "to coerce the Government," is there any big industrial dispute which has taken place during the last 25 years in which the Government has not very quickly intervened between the two disputants? We have erected a special Ministry to undertake that, and actually, in these days of economy, the Government has decided once more that that Ministry is so indispensable that it cannot be got rid of even if the others can. The function of that Ministry is very promptly to inquire in reference to any big industrial dispute, and consequently when the Minister intervenes on behalf of the Government is it not clear even with regard to what is in the strictest sense a trade dispute that at that moment at any rate any continuance of the dispute becomes a means of exercising pressure on the Government? There is no big dispute which is not a matter for the Government, which is not in practice taken in hand by the Government, and consequently every big trade dispute will become a strike which, according to these words, is calculated or designed to coerce the Government. In fact the Minister of Labour can make it one, and thus render it illegal, merely by intervening. So prone are we to think evil that I have sometimes thought, when the Prime Minister said the only thing the Clause was intended to do was to prevent another general strike and that all other industrial disputes were to be left untouched, he has been betrayed and those who carried out the instructions of the Cabinet have not been careful to see that the words they use were confined to the main object the Prime Minister had.
There are some people on the other side of the House who are very frank about it. I cannot give names because I do not know the name of the Member I heard talking about it who said, "We have made a great mistake I think. We ought to have said frankly that we want to prevent all large strikes." That hon. Member was frank and candid and very rash and inexperienced. I cannot help 689 thinking the words of the Amendment, like the words of the Government Clause, will be used to hamper and try to prevent and damp down any large strike which causes hardship to the community. You cannot have a large dispute without it causing hardship to the community. The Attorney-General was very definite. "We recognise that harm is done to large bodies of the community by large scale strikes but so long as it is an industrial strike only we have not thought right to prohibit it," meaning a strike which is not calculated or designed to coerce the Government.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. WEBB
Then perhaps he means one which has no other object than a trade dispute as defined in the second paragraph of Sub-section (1). But that definition of a trade dispute is enormously less wide than the existing Trade Disputes Act definition of a trade dispute. As a matter of fact there are lots of strikes which are perfectly legal to-day which are not included within this new definition. One was mentioned in the course of the Debate to-day, a concerted withdrawal of labour to compel a man to pay a fine which he has incurred to his union. That is a perfectly lawful strike, but it is not included. There are lots more. There might be a strike to compel all the workers in a works to join the union. Remember what that means. The workers have a perfect right by law to decide with whom they will work and with whom they will not work. Is it intended to take that right away? No one denies that they have that right now. They may say, "We do not like the colour of your hair and we will not work with you." That is lawful now, just as an employer can say, "I do not like the colour of your hair and I am not going to employ you." The workers have that same right. Is it intended to take that away? It is taken away by this Clause.
I come to the next line of the Amendmentas distinguished from furthering a trade dispute, by means of concerted and simultaneous refusal to continue in employment or work.I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley was not a little 690 more cautious about that. He says he is describing there what he thinks is a permissible trade dispute, and he uses the words "refusal to continue in work." Since when has a refusal to continue work been held to be a strike? After all a man may refuse to continue work in concert with others for all sorts of reasons. He is not at all bound to continue at work after the expiration of his contract. He may want to go for a holiday. They may all want to go for a holiday and that may be one of the motives for refusing to enter into new contracts of service. It has often been alleged that the young men are willing to vote for a strike because they want a holiday, and a good thing too. They want one and they are entitled, if they think fit, to forego their wages.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that is a reasonable basis for a strike?
§ Mr. WEBB
I do not know whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman means to suggest that the workers are not to be allowed to strike except for reasons that are reasonable. That would be a very serious alteration in. the existing law which we are told is not to be altered. It is the desire of hon. Members opposite that the Bill should be made to apply equally to employers as well as to workmen. Therefore, I suppose the hon. and gallant Gentleman who interrupts me would wish in the same way that employers should not to be allowed to refuse to employ anyone except for reasons that are reasonable. The Attorney-General tells us he is going to move an Amendment to bring lock-outs into the Bill. We shall have to ask him to define a lock-out in corresponding terms to the definition of a strike. There may be a lock-out by one employer who may employ 50,000 men in many different trades.
§ Mr. WEBB
I am applying myself to the words of the Amendment, "by means of concerted simultaneous refusal to continue in employment or work." To cut the argument short, I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether that word "refusal" is the right term. That is not the existing law. Consequently it 691 ought to be "by means of concerted and simultaneous cessation of work or refusal to continue employment." Those would be the proper words.
I must refer to the words of the Solicitor-General that we must not suppose this Amendment or the Clause itself was intended or calculated to lead to constant litigation in the courts. If that is the intention and desire, the proper thing to do was for Parliament to lay down as clearly as possible what the law was, with a view to letting people know, and of course in the hope that if people know the law clearly they will, on the whole, refrain from breaking it. On that point I must refer to the question of the courts. How is this Clause going to be enforced? How would the Amendment be enforced if it were adopted, and how would the Government Clause be enforced if the Amendment is not adopted? The Attorney-General, addressing himself to that point on the Second Reading, took my breath away because he said it would be all right. If he apprehended or foresaw that there was going to be a general strike he could apply for an injunction and serve notice on the other party. It would be discussed, and within a week the question could be decided by the court whether or not it was an illegal strike. I thought, for the moment, the Attorney-General could not have read his own Bill, because under the Clause as under the Amendment, if it becomes law, an offender would be liable on summary jurisdiction to three months' imprisonment. That means two justices of the peace sitting in petty sessions, and there are 600 or 700 petty sessions in England. In the mining districts the Petty Sessions are often almost entirely made up of mine managers and royalty owners.
My next thought— second thoughts are not always best, though I think it was a little natural— was that he would not have made that argument before a Court of Appeal, and that it was calculated, if not designed, to mislead the House of Commons. In the very first week of a strike the leaders might be summoned before a Petty Sessional Court of two justices, who would decide straight away that this was an illegal strike and had some other object than wages or hours. I will not say a word against the honesty and impartiality of the bench 692 of magistrates, but to suggest that we were saved because this complicated and supremely important issue would be decided by injunction was hardly right. My third thought was the right one. This accidental blot in the Bill had been discovered by one of his friends, and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) has put down an Amendment to say that no proceedings shall be taken under the Clause until the Attorney has gone for an Injunction and got the matter decided by a competent court as to whether it was an illegal strike. Then I realised that the reason why the Attorney-General told the House of Commons it would be all right and it would be settled in that way must be because when the time comes the Government will tell us they are accepting the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment, which will protect the community against a possible miscarriage of justice in the decision on this Amendment if it becomes law. The final summing up of my remarks comes to this, that I think nine-tenths of the words of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley are better than those of the Government, but, unfortunately, the right hon. and learned Gentleman still uses the, words "to coerce the Government," although he knows perfectly well that every big dispute at present is calculated if not designed to coerce the Government and is perfectly legal in so doing. The Attorney-General knows perfectly well that for 20 years there has been a Minister of Labour whose duty it is to intervene in any large dispute, and, consequently, as soon as he intervenes, from that moment one or other of the parties in the dispute is attempting to coerce the Government. Take the mining stoppage of last year. The Government were buffeted from one side to the other and coerced, first by the Miners Federation; and then by the Mining Association and it was perfectly legal. I am not in the secrets of the Cabinet, of course, but I do not mind betting there was no advice given by the Law Officers of the Crown that the action of the mining employers in discharging all their men, or that of the miners in refusing to enter into new contracts was criminal and could be proceeded against by law. The Prime 693 Minister has said in the plainest words that this Clause does not make anything illegal except prevent a general strike which was not legal before. I do not know with certainty what the Clause means, but there is evidently the greatest danger that means roping in and bringing in under this Clause more than the prevention of the general strike. I think we can trust the Prime Minister to see that this danger is averted.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) does not approve of all the words in this Amendment, but he approves of nine-tenths of them. If the Question were put from the Chair whether the words "ten-tenths" of which he disapproves, shall stand part, or whether in substitution for them you shall have the Amendment of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), nine-tenths of the words of which he approves, should be accepted, I think he will choose the lesser of the two evils. My right hon. and learned Friend in commending this Amendment to the Committee made it quite clear that he was not wedded to all the words; that he was putting forward suggestions. There were certain suggestions put forward by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down for an improvement of the last two words. But the real value of this Amendment is not to be found in the particular words. They are a test of the bona fides of the Government claim that the object of this Bill is to make it impossible to have a repetition of a strike for some purpose which is not industrial. From their point of view, if that is really all they are asking for, that is embodied in these words. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down said a great deal more is embodied, but, at any rate, that is embodied, and this will be a test, not merely of the bona fides of the Government, but of the bona fides of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the Committee. We shall be in a position to quote this Amendment which is put forward in the House of Commons deliberately by my right hon. and learned Friend in order to make it illegal to have strikes of that character which are not industrial in their purpose. We should be able to point to the fact that 694 the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen voted against a clear, definite Amendment of that kind. That is the real value of this Amendment.
I belong to the humbler ranks of the legal profession— the more hard-worked and therefore the less well paid branch of the profession. Therefore I do not claim to be what is known as a lawyer, but I have had some experience of law. I have read this Clause over and over again, and I say, without hesitation, not that it is doubtful— I do not think it is doubtful in the least— I am absolutely certain that in the words of this Clause, either as drafted now, or even as proposed to be amended by the Attorney-General, it will be within the competence of any Court of Summary Jurisdiction or the High Court to declare a strike of the same character as the coal strike of last year or a sympathetic strike purely for industrial purposes— both of them— illegal. I go beyond that. I say it would be very difficult for Judges or magistrates not to declare both illegal if they have the effect of coercing the Government or of inflicting hardship upon the community with a view to coercing the Government. Let us take the two test cases.
Take, first of all, the coal-mining industry. Nobody believes that present conditions are going to continue for very long. It is no use pretending. The question is not settled, not by any means, and everybody realises that. In the first place, I doubt very much whether the mining community will accept finally the decision of this House, because it was the decision of this House, in spite of its optional form, to extend the hours of labour. I doubt very much whether that will be accepted finally. I do not need to say there is going to be trouble this year, next year or the following year, but sooner or later it is going to be challenged again. Then, in connection with that, there will he a dispute in regard to wages. There is only one way in which you can restore the Seven Hours Act, that is by the way it was imposed originally by Act of Parliament. I was in this House, I think, during the whole of the controversy with regard to the Eight Hours Act. It was just developing about the time when I came in. What was the difficulty there? I am simply using this as an illustration 695 and am not going to enter into the merits of it. Although the overwhelming majority of the pits of the country were in favour of the Eight Hours Act, the mere fact that there were a few that were not favourable made it impossible to make it of general application, because there would be unfair competition between the mine working eight hours as compared with the mine working seven hours. Therefore, it was necessary that there should be an Act of Parliament for the purpose of making it of universal application. You cannot restore the Seven Hours Act merely by a strike against employers. It has got to be done by means of a strike which will compel the Government of the day to legislate to restore the Seven Hours Act exactly as they were compelled last year by the mineowners to restore the Eight Hours Act. Here you have a strike, let us say, in the mines for wages and hours. There is a great dispute on the subject, and a strike. In that case, and I am taking first of all the words of the Act of Parliament even with the Amendment, the question is if it is a strike designed or calculated to coerce the Government. I understand the other words are taken out, including the words about hardship, for there is no doubt at all that any great coal strike in this country will inflict hardship, and will compel, force, and drive the Government to act. Under those circumstances the two objects which the miners must have in mind, if they are going to restore the conditions which they had before the stoppage of last year, must have legislative action and Governmental action as part of the machinery which they would want to bring into operation.
That is a strike within an industry. The Solicitor-General said that a strike within an industry was all right. It is not. I have read it over and over again. If it is a strike within an industry which is designed or calculated to bring pressure upon the Government, to force the Government to take action, it appears to be illegal. The Attorney-General shakes his head. Far be it from me to set any authority I have on the little law I know against one of such ability in his profession. I ask anybody reading this to say if it would be unreasonable for a court of summary jurisdiction to take that view upon these 696 words. There is considerable doubt on the matter.
I will now take the other case given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas). Take the transport workers acting together. I remember one of the cases with which I was confronted in 1921 was an arrangement between the transport workers and the miners. It did not operate, but it might have done. Take not the "Triple Alliance," but something less extensive than that. Supposing you had all the transport workers deciding to stand and act together— dock labourers, railway workers, omnibus and tram men, carters. There is no doubt that the effect would be to bring terrible pressure to bear upon the Government, but it would be for the promotion of a legitimate trade dispute. It. might be that the railway workers whose wages were being threatened were supported by the other transport workers. Under those circumstances I say that., under the words used by the Attorney-General either in his amendment or in the original drafting of the Bill, that strike would be an illegal strike.
After all, every strike at the present moment, ever since the conditions pointed out by the Prime Minister, is a strike in which the Government is bound to intervene. I agree with my right hon. Friend who has just sat down upon that. I remember perfectly well that it used to be said of the Government of which I was the head that we were too ready to intervene. I find other Governments act in the same way. In exactly the same way the Prime Minister intervened last year now on this side, now on the other. He had constantly to intervene and ultimately he had to legislate, and to introduce two Acts of Parliament to deal with that one trade dispute. And the same thing may happen again with regard to other disputes. In a coal strike it may be that one of the questions that will affect wages is whether the Government of the day are putting into operation their own Bill of last year with regard to the reorganisation of the industry, and pressure may be brought to bear through the House of Commons upon the Government to force them to insist upon amalgamation and upon savings in that respect.
Under those circumstances I trust that the Attorney-General will not, in any 697 reply he may give, definitely close the door to the consideration of any Amendment. I will not say to this particular Amendment. The value of this Amendment is that it is a test of the aims and purposes of the Government. There is no doubt at all that these words have created a very honest suspicion indeed in the minds of the people. There is a good deal of talk going on that this is aimed at something more than the general strike, that it is really aimed at making the legitimate weapon of the strike almost impossible of operation. That is the suspicion. I say without hesitation, speaking rather as a layman than as a lawyer, that these words lend a good deal of support and countenance to that suspicion. I do hope that the Attorney-General will not close his mind altogether to the possibility not of accepting these words, but of accepting words which will make it clear, even to the lay mind, that the Government are only aiming at strikes which are political in their character, which have nothing whatever to do with the promotion of better industrial conditions in any particular industry, but which are aiming at something, which is outside mere industrial conditions, either in the constitution or in the amendment or alteration of the laws.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down appealed to me not to close my mind to any Amendment which might make the position the Government has taken up in this matter clear. Let me say at once— I think I said it on the Second Reading for I certainly intended to make it clear— that I have not closed my mind to any Amendment which is designed to make the meaning of the Clause more clear. The reason why my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General expressed his dissent from the particular Amendment which we are discussing was because, as he thought and I thought, there are objections to its language which make it less well designed to carry out the purpose than the words we have ourselves selected. I am far from saying that any words we have down by way of amendment are perfect and incapable of improvement. If anything can be done to improve them, and any shortcomings can be pointed out I am really quite sincerely anxious to receive any suggestion 698 that may be made. But the right hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I say that his preference for the words of his distinguished colleagues rather than the words used by the Government is based upon a complete misapprehension as to what I have suggested has been the meaning of the Government's words as used. The right hon. Gentleman said that as he read the Government's words even what I described as a purely industrial strike, a strike having no other purpose than the furtherance of a trade dispute in Great Britain, might be held by the Court to be illegal if it reached such a dimension as to coerce or be calculated to coerce the Government. It is a little difficult to follow the words of an Amendment when you have to pick them out from different pages of the Order Paper, but if the right hon. Gentleman and the Committee will look at page 559 they will find the words which we are proposing to use with regard to lock-outs, and they will see that they are identical with those which we are proposing to use in regard to strikes. I refer to it only because it is a convenient place in which to find almost the whole of the Clause as it will read, set out. The Clause, as amended, would read:It is hereby declared that any strike is illegal"—what are the conditions?—if it has any object other than and in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged, and if it is a strike designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community. …Surely, it must be plain to the right hon. Gentleman that no strike can be said to be illegal under that definition until it satisfies both those conditions. Therefore, no Court could possibly hold that a strike was illegal if it only satisfied one of the conditions, if it only satisfied, say, the second of the two conditions and did not satisfy the first.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I will deal with the sympathetic strike. I am explaining what I am quite sure is true, and what I think the right hon. Gentleman will see is true, if he looks carefully at the language. I agree that when we have to pick it out in the Order Paper, 699 it is not quite so simple or obvious. It is a mistake to say, as has been said more than once, that a strike which is purely industrial can be held to be illegal under these words because it is calculated or designed to coerce the Government. The right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) asks what about the sympathetic strike. Again, I think the language which I have used and which the Government are using is clear, although I am prepared to consider any improvement which makes it clearer. The sympathetic strike, obviously, satisfies the first condition of illegality, that is to say, it is not a strike which has no object other than the furtherance of a trade dispute.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that it does not satisfy the first condition, that it has no object other than the furtherance of a trade dispute in the industry in which the primary strikers are engaged, then, of course, it is perfectly safe, because it has not satisfied one of the two conditions and therefore it cannot be illegal. But he is mistaken in that view. The sympathetic strike, obviously, very often, at any rate, is a strike which is in a different trade or industry from that in which— [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]— At any rate, those who are not outside the trade or industry in which the primary strikers are engaged are obviously protected, so we need not trouble about them; they are safe. Now I come to those who are not in the same category. Take the case of the railwaymen who go on strike with the miners. Such a strike would be illegal if, and only if, it was a strike which was designed or calculated to coerce the Government.
§ Mr. WEBB
I am not talking about the general strike. The question I asked was whether a sympathetic strike, that is to say, a strike in another trade or industry in furtherance of the objects of a trade dispute of the primary strikers was an offence under this Clause. It is 700 not criminal at this moment. No one has ever asserted that it is criminal. I do not think the Law Officers of the Crown have ever advised that that is a criminal strike. Are we told that this Clause will not make it any more criminal.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
It is impossible to answer that by a direct negative, for the very simple reason that some such sympathetic strikes are illegal to-day and some are not. That depends upon whether or not— — [Interruption.] It depends upon— I admit it is a matter of controversy— whether the general strike is lawful or unlawful.
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman says, "No." If he or those behind him will allow me, I will tell him why I am right. The reason why I am right is this, that if a sympathetic strike in a different industry from that in which the primary strikers are engaged is embarked upon merely for the purpose of bringing pressure to bear upon the employers who are refusing the just demands of the strikers, or what are believed to be the just demands of the strikers, then that is a strike which is not illegal to-day, and which is not illegal under this Bill. If, on the other hand, the object of the sympathetic strike is not to bring pressure upon the employers but to bring pressure upon the Government or the community, to compel them to intervene, then, in my opinion, that strike is unlawful. That is what this Clause says is unlawful.
§ Mr. WEBB
The Clause says, "calculated or designed." At the present time a sympathetic strike which is calculated, not necessarily designed, and is even certain to bring pressure upon the Government and to coerce the Government and to inflict great hardship upon the community is, as the right hon. Gentleman himself has said, at present legal, and has never been prosecuted. Under this Clause, if it is calculated to bring pressure upon the Government, and if it is large it is certain to bring pressure upon the Government and always to inflict great hardship, it is going to be illegal.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman is stating his view. 701 May I state not my opinion, because that, apparently is not acceptable to him or his friends, but may I quote, I have done it before, the views expressed by Liberal lawyers. [Interruption.] We will see— — [Interruption.]
The right hon. Member for Seaham has been putting a series of questions to the Attorney-General, and the Attorney-General ought to be allowed to reply to them.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
What Lord Oxford and Asquith said was this:What distinguishes a general strike from all others is this, that it is a blow not struck by one combatant at the other but directed, whether in intention or not, by its inevitable results at the very vitals of the whole community.What is that but saying in other language "is calculated to coerce the Government"? [Interruption.] The right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon)— [Interruption]— gave this definition of a general strike:So that the result of what you do, whether you mean it or not, must be that you are putting pressure on the community, the Government, the people as a whole.That is his definition of a general strike which is unlawful, and it is my view— — [Interruption.] Three or four specific questions have been put to me by the right hon. Gentleman. [Interruption.] If he and his friends do not wish to hear the answer I will not give it, and I shall ask you, Mr. Hope, whether it will be necessary to continue the Debate. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand that quite a number of questions on legal points have been put to the Attorney-General. Presumably those hon. Members who put them, and the Committee generally, will wish to hear the answers.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose—
§ Mr. MAXTON
On a point of Order. Is it your ruling that hon. Members on these benches may not converse with their neighbours when the Attorney. General is speaking, but may converse 702 when any other hon. Member is speaking?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Hon. Members should not converse with their neighbours if the result of their conversation is to prevent the arguments being heard.
§ Mr. PALING
May I ask you whether closing of the Debate lies with the Attorney-General or with the Chairman? It does not matter whether the right hon. Gentleman is being interfered with or is speaking in a quiet atmosphere.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It lies with the Chairman and not with the Attorney-General. But obviously if he is not heard it is futile to proceed with the Debate.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Is it not the case that if we sat down as the Attorney-General did— — [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] There is the evidence, Mr. Hope, that one kind of treatment is served out to back benchers and another kind to members of the Government. If the Attorney-General behaves himself, he will get a hearing, not unless.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I wish to put to you, Mr. Chairman, the point put by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Paling). If our conversation gets to such a stage as to become disorderly you will take the necessary steps to control it, and it is not the province of the Attorney-General to direct your ruling of the Committee.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not the province of the Attorney-General or any other Member to direct my ruling. I must point out that the function of the Committee is to discuss, discussion should take place, and discussion cannot take place unless silence is observed.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Is it not the case that at no time during the course of the Attorney-General's speech did you feel called upon to call hon. Members to order?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have only just come into the Chair, but if hon. Members interrupt either the Attorney-General or any other person I shall have to take the necessary steps.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Are we to understand that you received your instructions from the Attorney-General and then acted upon them? [HON. MEMBERS: "Name!"]
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Is it not the fact that you did not call any hon. Member on these benches to order during the course of the Attorney-General's speech?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I was endeavouring to answer the legal points which were put to me by the right hon. Gentleman. He put it that the definition of a trade dispute in the Sub-section is much narrower than the definition of a trade dispute in other connections, and that in his view it would exclude certain strikes. He gave one instance, a strike of persons who objected to work with a non-unionist. If the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to look at what I am sure he knows perfectly well, the definition of a trade dispute which is at present the governing definition, and which is to be found in Section 5, Subsection (3) of the 1906 Act, he will find there a definition which is not altered at all by this Bill. In the 1906 Act a trade dispute is defined in the following terms:The expression trade dispute means any dispute between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of the employment, or with the conditions of labour of any person.That is the whole definition of a trade dispute under the existing Trade Disputes Act. What we have done is this, we have copied that definition word for word in order to define a trade dispute within a trade or industry. What we have done in this Section is not to redefine a trade dispute. We have used the very same expressions with the same meaning, but we have explained when a trade dispute is to be deemed to be within a trade or industry, that is to say when it is a dispute of the character named in that Section and relates to persons in that trade or industry. The Committee will see that so far from our having a different and narrower definition of a trade dispute we 704 have not defined the expression trade dispute at all. What we have defined is when a trade dispute is to be a dispute within a particular trade or industry. That is to happen when it is any dispute which satisfies the terms of the definition, and we have added the words "of persons in that trade or industry."
The right hon. Gentleman himself gave this illustration: Supposing the miners struck work, and the railwaymen sympathetically struck with them, that, he said, is not at present an illegal action, and, he added, there was no intention to interfere with such action. Under the Bill, when the new Clause becomes operative, supposing the miners say, "An eight hours' day is too long, and we will strike for a seven hours' day," — the only people who can alter that being the Government— and supposing the railwaymen come out in sympathy with them, to coerce the Government, would that be legal or illegal?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Both before and after his Bill, if the railwaymen came out in order to coerce the Government in connection with a mining strike, that, in my opinion, is illegal.
Mr. ROSSLYN MITCHELL
Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider that the interpolation of the words "in that trade or industry" following the words "between workmen and workmen" does in fact restrict the definition?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I think not, because what we are defining in this Sub-section is not the question of a trade dispute, which has already been defined in the 1906 Act, and we do not alter that, but what we are defining is the expression which has been used earlier, "trade dispute within the trade or industry." That is all we are saying. We are not saying what the meaning of a trade dispute is, but we are saying when a trade dispute is to be deemed to be "within the trade or industry." I had not quite finished with the question which I was endeavouring to answer. The right hon. Gentleman put two or three cases of strikes which he suggested would be forbidden by this Bill. He put the case of sailors who thought the condition of their ships was unsafe owing to the fact that the load line was too high, and who therefore struck in order to insist 705 on ships with a safer load line; he put the case of miners who thought the safety regulations were unsatisfactory and who were not prepared to work in mines unless stricter precautions were taken for their safety; and he put the case of miners again who wanted to work for less than the length of time which the present Act makes legal. Those are all strikes, quite legitimate, which relate, and relate solely, to the conditions of labour or terms of employment in the particular trade or industry in which the sailors on the one hand and the miners on the other are engaged. The strike has no purpose except the furtherance of that dispute with regard to those conditions of labour, and I have no hesitation in saying that that strike is perfectly legal to-day, and that it will continue to be legal after this Bill becomes law.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY- GENERAL
Certainly, and I say so for the simple reason that in order to be illegal the strike has to satisfy not one, but both, of two conditions. One is that it is to be a strike for something other than what I may call, for shortness, purely industrial purposes, and the other is that it must be calculated to coerce the Government. So long as it does not satisfy both those conditions, it is not hit by this Clause, and since the particular strikes which the right hon. Gentleman put to me are strikes which do not fall outside the first condition, it is obvious, therefore, that it does not matter whether or not they fall within the second.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Really, I think the right hon. Gentleman is mistaken about that. Let me take the case of the sailors. What they are doing is to say: "The Plimsoll line, the load line, is too low in the water, and we will not go to sea in ships unless they are not loaded down to that level." That may be 706 a very reasonable objection— I do not know— but, at any rate, it is an objection directly relating to the terms of employment and conditions of labour. If it relates to the terms of employment, it is a trade dispute, because that is the definition of a trade dispute.
§ The ATTORNEY- GENERAL
I am sorry to be at issue with the right hon. Gentleman, but in fact I do not agree with him. If a master mariner, a shipowner, says to his sailors: "I want you to go to sea in a ship having such-and-such a load line," which is legal at the moment, and the sailors say: "We will not go in such a ship because we do not think it is safe," that is a dispute as to the conditions of employment, and a strike in furtherance of that trade dispute, in order to get an alteration of the load line, would, in my judgment, be perfectly legal, both now and after this Bill becomes law.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The dispute is one as to conditions of labour between employers and workmen, and in furtherance of that trade dispute, they want to get the load line altered. [Interruption.] I have done my best to give a straight answer to a straight question. I believe my answer to be perfectly accurate, and, at any rate, I can only assure the Committee that that is my view and that that is the intention of the Government.
§ Mr. NAYLOR
It cannot be said that the further we proceed to-night the clearer the matter becomes. I look upon the Amendment which is before the Committee as the acid test of the Government's honesty of its ease in proposing this Bill. But I am not prepared to say whether I am in a position to support the Amendment moved by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) for the reason that I consider any legislation on this question 707 is an interference of the right of trade unionists to do a perfectly legal thing if the law was not manufactured against them. I am not myself a supporter of the policy of the general strike in industry, but I do at least claim that the trade unionists of this country have the right to frame their own policy without any interference on the part of the Government by means of Acts of Parliament to prevent them doing in combination what is a perfectly lawful thing. I approach the matter from several points of view. Some years ago I got my living as a corrector of the Press and it is one of the duties of a corrector of the Press to draw the attention of writers to any phrases that they use that are either incorrect or not clear. I am bound to say that if I had in my professional capacity to attack either the grammar or the clearness of the first Sub-section of Clause 1, I could make half a dozen queries, and I should want to know what the Government meant. But my first query would be as to the grammar of the Clause. I also have some regard for my position as a Magistrate, and if I am called upon to administer this Act it may be that I shall have to consider the question as to whether or not I have to commit a trade unionist to prison. I am bound to confess that if the intention of the Government is no more clearly expressed in the amended Clause that they intend to submit to the Committee, I and other Magistrates will be at a complete loss as to the meaning of the law that we are called upon to administer.
Again, I may be, as a trade union official, the man who is put in the dock, and I may be judged on this particular Clause as having committed a crime for which punishment has to be inflicted upon me. But, more than all, my position is that of a Member of the House who has to make laws that are to be administered, and at least I could be called to answer to my constituents if I gave my consent to any particular Claus, in this Bill the meaning of which was not clear. Every explanation made by the Attorney-General seems to me still further to confuse the issue. If the Government were honest in their intentions with regard to Clause 1 as merely aiming at the general strike, then they would accept the Amendment proposed 708 by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley. At least it is quite clear, according to that Amendment, that the sympathetic strike is not barred by that particular Clause, but according to the Attorney-General's own statement a few minutes ago, in turning the illustration of the load line in favour of his own position, may I ask what would be the result if the sailors struck in order to alter the law relating to the load line? They would be striking for the purpose of coercing the Government to alter the law, and I submit that they have a perfect right to bring pressure upon the Government, as any other section of the community. We know that many combinations are brought to bear in order to press Members of this House upon various forms of legislation, and therefore I suggest that the intentions of the Government go much wider than the expression of the Attorney-General. I hope that when the time comes and the Government has made up its mind as to what the actual terms of Clause 1 are going to be— and we do not know yet what the Government are going to do with regard to the framing of the phraseology of the Clause— when they are in a position to try and understand the peculiar technicalities of the trade union movement, which they have not done yet, we may be in a position to judge as to whether they are competent to legislate on so intricate a matter.
At present I am not convinced that either the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General has sufficient knowledge of the trade union movement to make it competent for them to frame legislation that they desire to frame for their own particular purpose. But we are asked at this particular moment to choose between Sub-section (1) of Clause 1 of the Bill, not as it is printed, bat as it is proposed to be altered by the Government, and the Amendment proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley. While, as I have said, I am not prepared to commit myself to vote in favour of that Amendment, I am bound to say that the Government ought seriously to consider their position in the light of the improvement that has undoubtedly been made in the phraseology of Sub-section (1) of Clause 1. If the Government were honest, if they really intended to confine this Bill to the question of the general strike so far as it is dealt 709 with in Clause 1, they would remove all those phrases and ambiguities that are undoubtedly in the Clause as it is printed in the Bill. The Amendment now before the House gives the Government all it wants unless it has some other motive in its mind permitting them to interfere with the freedom of the trade union movement.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
I am disposed to accept the challenge which has been thrown out that this Amendment is a test of the bona fides of Members on this side of the Committee. It is a test not merely of the bona fides of Members on this side but also of the bona fides of Members of the party responsible for it. I suggest it is almost impossible to conceive of a case which would be covered by the Amendment, and I wish to test it with reference to the general strike of last year. There you began with a perfectly bona fide trade dispute in the mining world. Whether it was a strike or a lock-out does not touch this point, but conceive a strike in the mining world to achieve the objects which the men then had in view. So far, no one could suggest that such a strike would be illegal. But then a number of other unions say: "We are going to join in to further a trade dispute. That is our real and ultimate object, and the means we are going to adopt is to coerce the Government by inflicting hardship upon the community.'' Test that position by the Government Clause as it will be and it is a perfectly clear case of illegality. Qua the new unions which have joined in, it is not a trade dispute. Undoubtedly it would be calculated to coerce the Government, and therefore their action would be illegal. Test it by the Amendment and there would be no illegality about it at all because they could argue perfectly truly that their real object was to further a trade dispute and that the coercion of the Government was merely a means to an end. What would be the "main object"? The words of the Amendment are:The main object of which is to coerce the Government or Parliament as distinguished from furthering a trade dispute.Who could have said that of the general strike? The means to an end was the coercion of the Government, but you could not possibly say that the ultimate and real object was not the furthering of a trade dispute, because the Committee 710 will notice that in the Amendment there is no limitation at all with regard to the words "trade dispute." There are no words limiting "trade dispute" qua a particular union or industry to a dispute in that industry. They are quite at large. Anybody can join in to further a trade dispute although it is not concerned with the industry in which he is engaged. Once you leave out that limitation you have only to say that you are furthering a trade dispute and the coercion of the Government is, as I say, merely a means to an end. Trying to look at the matter quite impartially, I cannot see how any tribunal could say that that general strike would have been affected by the words of the Amendment. You could not have said that its main object was to coerce the Government as distinct from furthering a trade dispute. The Amendment, I admit, is very astutely framed, but when analysed we find it would not cover a strike like that of last year and it is an Amendment which this Committee should not be asked to accept.
I do not suppose that it will add to the weight of the opinion expressed by the Attorney-General as to the meaning of the Government Clause, but, speaking as a lawyer trying to take an impartial view of it, I cannot see any difficulty in the application of that Clause. In every one of the instances which have been put forward, such as that of a dispute about the Plimsoll line or a dispute about safety devices in the mines, once the object is the furtherance of a trade dispute it does not matter whether it is designed to coerce the Government or not. Once it is genuinely concerned with a trade dispute in the industry in which the people are at work, it does not matter a bit whether the strike is designed to coerce the Government or not. To me it seems perfectly clear that once you have got that, it is wholly immaterial that you may be seeking to coerce the Government in furtherance of your trade dispute. It is only when there is a part trade dispute within the meaning of this Clause that it becomes necessary to go further and say, "There is no trade dispute qua the other unions striking, let us see what their object is." If their object is a mere sympathetic strike, there is no illegality about it, but if they say, "We are going to join in and we are going to join in by making things uncomfortable or disastrous for the community, 711 and in that way force the Government to interfere," I think it is perfectly obvious that within the terms of this Clause it would be an illegal strike. The Committee may say, "We do not want to include cases of that sort." If not, by all means vote for the Amendment. It all depends on what hon. Members want included. To my mind it is perfectly clear that the Government Clause does include it, and it is equally clear that the Clause with the Amendment does not include any of those things.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I have listened yesterday and to-day to many important dissections of this Clause by the legal gentlemen in this House. I agree with the hon. Member who has just sat down that it would be perfectly possible under the Amendment to carry through a strike which would have the effect of intimidating or coercing the Government without coming within the legal disability thereby imposed; as it is not at all likely that any combination of workers would put on their banners, "We are out to coerce the Government." They could follow out the course of procedure indicated by the hon. Member who has just sat down. I think the House should fairly and squarely face the issue of this Clause being directed against any coercion or intimidation of the Government, without all this legal finessing on the point of whether this word or the other means this or that. Let us have a fair and straightforward facing of the issue. I do not think there is any dubiety about the Government's position. They want to pin down the workers as firmly as possible and prevent them from making any particular defence of their own interests. A study of this Clause by the man in the street, apart from any consideration of political partisanship, would compel the view that it is the intention of the Government to hem in the workers as much as possible. The very fact that the Government decline to have the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment, and are sticking tenaciously to their phraseology, shows that the trade unions would be faced with a serious legal situation in carrying through any strike. The individual trade unionist, the intelligent trade unionist would have to face the responsibility for helping to involve his union in what would incur 712 tremendous expenses in the law courts in order to find out whether the decision would be in favour of a strike or against it.
It is all very well to have the very valuable deliverances by the Attorney-General; it is all very well for him to say this that and the other in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) about the seamen's dispute, but that will not be the law of the land, and the Attorney-General's deliverances here have no more significance in the court than the utterances of any other Member of this House who is not a legal representative. We must be safeguarded upon the score of refusing the accept an opinion by the Attorney-General as to what is legal or illegal under this Clause. For the lawyers this Clause will be a veritable gold mine because there is something more than pickings in it, not to mention "refreshers." I am mainly concerned with the question as to the very marked disparity between the powerful influence of employers in their vast and strong financial organisations. I am specially concerned about the power they will have irrespective of any Clause that can be introduced into this Bill to bring pressure directly upon the Government in ways which the workers cannot possibly touch. Up to now the workers are in the position of having nothing to bargain with except their refusal to work. Up to the present they have been able to say with very good reasons "We are not going to do work for this employer or those bodies of employers" and that unquestionably has been a legitimate power for them to exercise in order to better their conditions of work. In my view we should never have had this Bill but for the fact that there is a Communist Party in this country. I am convinced of that. The Government has banked at the last election on the Communist—
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I was only trying to show that the latter part of the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment is directed towards the prevention of a strike which in any way seeks to intimidate or coerce the Government, and that is the proposition with which I am dealing. The consideration of such a Clause, or of such an 713 Amendment as that which is before us, would not have been taking place to-night had it not been for the prevalence of a movement in this country which in my view is illegal, and I feel quite satisfied on that point. When we come to deal with it, as we are now, I am out for the condemnation of the Government for their determination to penalise every legitimate trade union in the country, to put a penalty upon the legitimate operations of bodies of workers in trying to gain as much legitimate power as they can to contend against, the ferocious oppression that is imposed upon them in many parts of the country. It is a terrible struggle, but one which has to be faced. The influences which are operating are appalling. I put it against, the employers that selfish interests constitute the propelling force at the back of this Bill— that they are concerned first and foremost, not with the best interests of the country, not with the ideals of which we hear from political platforms, but with the clear and ostensible object of the accumulation of wealth at the cost, whatever it may be— —
§ The CHAIRMAN
This might be in order on the Second or Third Reading, but it is not in order on the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I believe you are quite correct in that, but I had four days of efforts to get in on the Second Reading. As to coercion of the Government, is there anything serious in the suggestion that the body of workers are seeking to coerce the Government in any reasonable meaning of the word? To intimidate or coerce the Government is really a political phrase. If we are not going beyond the criminal law, if we are within the scope of legitimate operations on the part of bodies of people for good reasons to bring their influence to bear on the Government, what is all this concern on the part of the Government, or of one of the leaders of the Liberal party, to say that you are not in any way to endanger or intimidate or coerce the Government? Suppose that we proposed, as the Amendment proposes to say that the employé must not refuse work or in any way take steps of that kind. The employer can take other courses to bring pressure upon the Government than the refusal of work. The employers, through their powerful 714 federations to-day, are able to use their financial strength in ways that will enable them to exert direct and indirect influence upon the Government. If you take the strength of the Press combinations of our country, they can bring powerful influence to bear upon the Government without refusing work at all. The powerful effect that is being produced in this country by the Press combination alone is positively appalling. If you are going, as this Amendment proposes, simply to make it a question of work, that settles the matter for the employer. That is a Liberal blockade of the employé, and it is quite well understood by the eminent lawyers of the Liberal party that it is not going in any way to hamper the employers in other methods and schemes whereby they can bring their influence to bear upon the Government. The definition of a trade and industry involved is not only a difficult matter for the Government, or, for that matter, for the Liberal party, but is a difficult matter for the trade unions themselves.
We are quite well aware that the joiner and the carpenter can have their own disputes as to whether a particular job is a job on which one or other of them is entitled to work. They have not cleared up that point. But it is true that trade unions have been making a very distinct march of improvement, in that they have seen through the folly of one union blacklegging another, that they have seen through the preposterous situation, which, of course, is quite satisfactory to those who are working a Bill like this, that you have one union out, and no one troubles very much about it. The man in the next union may be engaged in the cleansing of the streets If he is involved in a strike, the man who is setting up type in a printing establishment does not trouble, and there is no sympathetic strike there at all. That phase of blacklegging in trade unionism is very largely a thing of the past. You have the unions now putting themselves into such formidable strength that the real truth lying at the back of this Clause is not only the determination to see that you are going to blockade these workers from having a direct influence upon the Government, but you are taking steps to try, in another portion of the Bill, to check the financial advance of the workers in trying to coerce the 715 Government legitimately in the House of Commons. An attempt is also being made in the House of Lords to change that, and to blockade the workers there, so that in coercing the Government you are taking this step in the present Bill and in other Bills to see in every way that the march of these strugglers to get a chance to make substantial efforts is held up completely. All these statements about the matter being engineered from the top are the most ridiculous phrases that we can hear. What sort of public movement does anyone know of that is not engineered from the top?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is not addressing himself to the Amendment. He is making a Second Reading speech.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I am trying, as far as I can, to put through what I have very much at heart about this business. I am not trying to make any obstruction. I wish to take my share in expressing the feelings we have had over these things for many years.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I am not in favour of backing even the Amendment. I quite agree that it is a very crucial test of the Government as to their position. I have been trying to devote myself especially to the reasons why I do not support the Amendment. I say the workers are entitled to bring every legitimate influence to bear upon the Government. What is the Ministry of Labour for if it is not for the purpose of enabling the workers to have a chance and to facilitate the settlement of these struggles? If you are having the Ministry at all, you must bring your influence to bear on the Government. If you are not bringing your influence to bear on the Government, you must cut out the Ministry of Labour and say you are to take no interest in the Labour question at all. You cannot have it both ways. The Amendment is seeking to prevent any impression being made by a combination of workers on the Government. If the country does not have the benefit of the Government's concern about the struggles of the workmen, and the Government is to be permitted by 716 your Bill to be influenced by finance or social prestige and power and you are to block the workers from doing so, it is a dastardly act and one which I am convinced will be eventually overthrown.
§ Major CRAWFURD
The hon. Member who has just spoken, besides having a good deal to say about the Government, also passed some criticisms upon this Amendment. The Amendment is an honest attempt to improve the Clause in certain directions, and I want to give the reason why I prefer the Amendment very much to the Government's own Clause. I wish the right hon. and learned Gentleman when speaking a few minutes ago had devoted a little more time to an examination of my right hon. Friend's words instead of spending so much time over the Government's own proposed Amendment. What I feel about the Clause and the Amendment is that if you are passing legislation which limits the freedom of men to act in certain ways, if particularly you are passing legislation which limits the freedom of men to act in certain ways in which a good many men at certain times desire to act, and if most particularly you are proposing to limit the freedom of men ways where it is very difficult to define what they may and what they may not do, there are two things you want to be very careful to secure, first of all that your legislation does not travel beyond the bounds you have set for yourself, which in this case are covered by the first of the propositions the right hon. Gentleman made on the Second Reading, and in the second place you ought to secure, so far as it is humanly possible, that the people who are affected may clearly know what they may and what they may not do.
Judged by these two tests, to my mind there is no question at all that the form of words embodied in this Amendment is far better than the form of words in the Government Clause at present or even with the Amendment the right hon. Gentleman has foreshadowed. I will take as an example the controversy we listened to a few hours ago across the Table, between the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) and the Attorney-General. In listening to the Debate I have not been quite certain whether I am glad or sorry that I am not a lawyer, because it takes a lawyer 717 to follow a Debate of this sort in all its intricacies. On the other hand, if one were a lawyer, there is the appalling prospect that you would have to spend your life in a similar form of exercise. I would take as an example of that the controversy about the seamen's dispute on the Plimsoll line. No one would for a moment suggest that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham is an extremist. He has been very moderate in stating his views. No one will suggest, that he took a very extreme view. The Attorney-General said on the Second Reading that our attitude to the Bill was an example of political dishonesty. I am prepared to grant that the right hon. Gentleman himself is actuated by higher motives than he is prepared to ascribe to us. If that be so, I do not think the Committee could have had a better example of the difficulty into which the language of the Government has thrown two eminent, honest and able gentlemen like the right hon. and learned Gentleman and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham in that particular case of the seamen and the load line. When the Solicitor-General criticised the Amendment we are bringing forward he gave only two grounds of criticism. One was, he objected to the difficulty of interpreting the phrase "main object." Well, I agree— we should all agree— that to define or to decide what is the main object of a strike, if part of the object is industrial and part is political, may, in some cases, be very difficult. But I would ask the Committee to take notice that to one dubious phrase in our Amendment there are half a dozen dubious phrases in the Government's Clause.
The other ground of criticism which the Solicitor-General put forward was that it would be impossible for the individual worker to decide whether a dispute, the main abject of which is to coerce the Government, in which he was invited to take part came within that category or not. Again, after listening to the presentation by experts of the difficulty of knowing what is a particular trade, or what is a particular industry, or what is a sympathetic strike, or what is a political strike, I say that the difficulty 718 the individual workman would be in under this Amendment is as nothing compared to the difficulty he would be in under the Government's proposed Amendment of the Clause. I am not going to pretend, nor would my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), that these words are perfect, but I do say we are honestly trying to make it easy' for the individual workman in this country to know whether an action proposed to him is right or wrong, legal or illegal. If we are honestly trying to keep the operation of this Bill within the bounds laid down in the first of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's own propositions, there is no question whatever that the form of words we are submitting is the best— as the right hon. Member for Seaham said— the Committee has vet conceived. I go further; I believe that if this Amendment were left to the unfettered decision of the Committee as opposed to the Government's own Clause or its proposed Amendment— I put it no higher than that— it would be carried by a large majority.
§ Major CRAWFURD
I will not be drawn into any description of hon. Members opposite. As I said before, the right hon. and learned Gentleman in one sweeping phrase was good enough to stigmatise our action, but we will give him and his friends credit for the highest and the purest motives. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has given no indication whatever that he has clarified the first Clause by his proposed Amendment, that the doubts Members on his own side have expressed are going to be set at rest, that this Clause is going to keep this part of the Bill within the bounds which he and the Prime Minister set on the Second Reading Debate.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose in his place, and claimed to more, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 263; Noes, 154.721
|Division No. 118.]||AYES.||[10.52 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Ford, Sir P. J.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Albery, Irving James||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gates, Percy||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Atkinson, C.||Goff, Sir Park||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gower, Sir Robert||Neville, R. J.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Grace, John||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oakley, T.|
|Bethel, A.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Blundell, F. N.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hammers'ey, S. S.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hanbury, C.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pilcher, G.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Harland, A.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Buchan, John||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Radford, E. A.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Haslam, Henry C.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hawke, John Anthony||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Burman, J. B.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Remer, J. R.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hume, Sir G. H.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Skelton, A. N.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Conway, Sir W Martin||Jacob, A. E.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Jephcott, A. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Crooks, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lamb, J. Q.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Streatfeild. Captain S. R.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Stuart, Crichton-,Lord C.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Loder, J. de V.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Looker, Herbert William||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lougher, Lewis||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Templeton, W. P.|
|Drewe, C.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thom, Lt. Col. J, G. (Dumbarton)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Maclntyre, I.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Ellis, R. G.||McLean, Major A.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Macmillan, Captain H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|England, Colonel A.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Waddington, R.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macquisten, F. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Malone, Major P. B.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Finburgh, S.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-||Wise, Sir Fredric||Worthington-Evans. Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)||Wolmer, Viscount||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wilson, M. J. (York, N. H., Richm'd)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)||Major Cope and Captain Lord|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Wood, Sir S. Hill, (High Peak)||Stanley.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Harris, Percy A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barr, J.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smillie, Robert|
|Briant, Frank||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Broad, F. A.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwood, D.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Charieton, H. C.||Lawrence, Susan||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Clowes, S.||Lawson, John James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, F.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Connolly, M.||Livingstone, A. M.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Mac Neill-Weir, L.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maxton, James||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dennison, R.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Webb. Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mosley, Oswald||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Forrest, W.||Oliver, George Harold||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gosling, Harry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Vallsy)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Purcell, A. A.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wright, W.|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, H. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben|
|Hall, F. (York., W. R., Normanton)||Ritson, J||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Sir Robert Hutchison and Mr.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Rose, Frank H.||Fenby.|
|Hardie, George D.||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words 'any strike' stand part of the Clause."722
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 154.725
|Division No. 119.]||AYES.||[11.9 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Buchan, John|
|Albery, Irving James||Bennett, A. J||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bethel, A.||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Betterton, Henry B,||Burman, J. B.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey|
|Ashley, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Caine, Gordon Hall|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brass, Captain W.||Campbell, E. T.|
|Atkinson, C.||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Briscoe, Richard George||Cassels, J. D.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Ramsdell, E.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Herbert. S (York. N. R-, Scar. & Wh'by)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Remer, J. R.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Rhys, Hon. C A. U.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Oh'ts'y)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rye, F. G.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hume, Sir G. H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cope, Major William||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Can'l)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Jacob, A. E.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew, W)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Jephcott, A. R.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertt'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Skeiton, A. N.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)||Kinlocn-Cooke. Sir Clement||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Knox, Sir Alfred||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Dixey, A. C.||Lane Fox Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Drewe, C.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Loder, J. de V.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Elliott, Major Walter E.||Looker, Herbert William||Stanley, Lord(Fylde)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lougher, Lewis||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||storry-Deans, R.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lynn, Sir H. J.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. Of W.)||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macintyre, Ian||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Major A.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Macmillan, Captain H.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Fielden, E. B.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Finburgh, S.||Macquisten, F. A.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Stoel-||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Malonc, Major P. B.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Captain D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Gates, Percy||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Waddington, R.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col, Andrew Hamilton||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Merriman, F. B.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Goff Sir Park||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C, R. (Ayr)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Grace, John||Morrison, H. (Wills, Salisbury)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Wells, S. R.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Nelson, Sir Frank||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Neville, R. J.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)||Newton. Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nicholson. O. (Westminster)||Williams. Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wilson, M, J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nuttall, Ellis||windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Oakley, T.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hall, Lieut. -Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||womersley, W. J.|
|Hanbury, C.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wood, B. C (Somerset. Bridgwater)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Penny, Frederick George||Wood. Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Harland, A.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Perring, Sir William George||worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Haslam, Henry C.||peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Pitcher, G.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Power, Sir John Cecil||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Preston, William||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Radford, E. A.||Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Barr, J.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Baker, Walter||Batey, Joseph|
|Ammon, Charles George||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Barnes, A.||Briant, Frank|
|Broad, F. A.||Hore-Belisha Leslie||Sexton, James|
|Bromfield, William||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfleid)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Bromley, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Slesscr, Sir Henry H.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontyprldd)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Clowes, S.||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Snell, Harry|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Connolly, M.||Kirkwood, D.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawrence, Susan||Stamford, T. W.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lawson, John James||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lee, F.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Llndley, F. W.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Livingstone, A. M.||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowth, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lunn, William||Taylor, R. A.|
|Dennison, R.||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Duncan, C.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Dunnlco, R.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||March, S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Maxton, James||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|England, Colonel A.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Montague, Frederick||Viant, S. P.|
|Forrest, W.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Mosley, Oswald||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Murnln, H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermllne)|
|Gillett, George M.||Naylor, T. E.||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Palin, John Henry||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wlgan)||Westwood, J.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Whlteley, W.|
|Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Hall, F. (York., W. R., Normanton)||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllffe)|
|Hardle, George D.||Riley, Ben||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stratford)||Wright, W.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Rose, Frank H.|
|Henderson, Ht. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Sir Robert Hutchison and Mr.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Scrymgeour, E.||Fenby.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John|
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment on the Order Paper, I do not select. The Amendment which follows does not read. Mr. Clynes.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
On a point of Order. There are 400 Amendments on the Order Paper, and efficiency of debate depends on prior consideration. Unless we have some more advanced notice of which Amendments you, in your discretion, are going to take, we shall not be able to give them that full consideration which they require. The question I wish to ask is whether there is any method under which you can give some longer notice— say a day or two days.
§ Mr. CLYNES rose— —
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is wrong in saying there is one Amendment before that which has been called, there are two Amendments. One of them, I have said, I do not select and the other, to which the hon. Member's name is attached, does not read. If it were put in at this place, it would not make sense.
§ Mr. CLYNES
Before I move the Amendment which has been called, may I be allowed to put a question? I believe I speak in the interest of the general convenience of Members of the House when I say that it is advisable, even at this late stage, that we should have some idea as to how long the Government expect Members to sit to-night for the consideration of further Amendments. Therefore, I would like that some indication should be given as 727 to the Government's intentions regarding the remainder of the business for this evening.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)
The Government feel that an earnest effort should be made by the Committee to make progress with the Bill to-night, but it is not contemplated by the Government to press the Committee too hard if we make reasonable progress in the course of the next few hours.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The word "few" must be interpreted in relation to the word "reasonable." If we were to make some reasonable progress we could separate, and regather our strength for the struggles of next week. But there ought to be some definite result achieved, and, as a consequence of the Debates of yesterday and to-day, we have got only a very few words, and those not carrying any particular meaning. It will be universally agreed that we ought not to end our proceedings this week without adding to those words the other words which are necessary to carry us at any rate some way further in our forward progress.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I beg to move, in page 1, line 6, after the word "strike" to insert the words "in breach of contract."
We observe that the Government have sent for reinforcements, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has now announced the intentions of the Government in language making it quite as clear as is the language of the Bill how long the Committee are to be expected to continue their duties to-night. What may be meant by the terms "a few hours" each member may interpret for himself. One point the right hon. Gentleman has made clear to the Committee is that, so far, their labours have amounted to nothing, and that the words so far agreed to are absolutely without meaning taken by themselves. I can claim for my Amendment an absolute definiteness of meaning and of aim, and I hope we shall have support for it from quarters of the Committee other than our own, and especially support from the Liberal benches, in view of what they have just suffered at the hands of 728 the Government in respect of the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). From the beginning of these discussions— and they started in the early part of May in last year— the right hon. Gentleman has been taken as the high court of the party opposite as to what is a general strike, and as to whether a general strike was legal; but when he reduced his views on the matter to the words of an Amendment, it was treated by the Government with the same hostility as they have offered to every other Amendment. In regard to the words of my Amendment, I would point out that they are to be found in other parts of the Bill. They are to be found in Clause 6, relating to conditions as they may affect local authorities.
I think there are ample precedents for the words which, I suggest, should be inserted in Clause 1. I cannot understand why a local authority should be placed in one position, and the State in another. This Bill does not seek to typify a general strike on grounds of dimensions, and other circumstances and conditions determine eventually whether a general strike exists or does not exist. Therefore, in the ease of local authorities, if it be proper to put in words that a strike in their case is to be covered by this Bill only when a strike actually takes place owing to a breach of contract, then I urge upon the Committee the fairness on applying precisely the same conditions to the State itself. We have had in the course of these debates many speeches from lawyers of different degrees, and for once I have noticed that, after all, there is some use in lawyers, for whether intentionally or not, they have directed much of their criticisms to showing how incompetent the Government have been in drafting this Bill, and how impossible it is for any two hon. Members to give the same meaning to any particular phrase in this Bill. Irrespective of the parties to which they belong, the lawyer Members of this House have given their views as spokesmen of the law, and up to the present we have not an instance where two of them have agreed as to the exact meaning of any of the proposals covered by this Clause.
I submit that there is not in all our commercial and business activities any word which is held in greater reverence 729 than the word "contract." We are often accused of treating contracts lightly, but here is an instance which gives the Members of the Government an opportunity of taking us at our word. It has been said that the general strike stood condemned because proper notice was not given, that it was a surprise plan sprung upon the country and the Government, that the men by not giving notice had violated their contract and had committed a very serious offence not only against the law but against the commonly accepted standards of British contracts. Therefore, I urge that the Government should accept this Amendment, and provide that where a man does cease work, and does it after he has given due notice of his intention to do so, and has fulfilled every condition of his contract, he should be free from any of the penalties and liabilities laid down by this Bill. There is no word in the Clause to which this Amendment relates, indicating what is a general strike in the sense of enabling anybody to recognise a general strike by the terms of the Bill itself; indeed, it appears that throughout this Bill, which is intended to prevent a general strike, the one word which the Government will not allow to be inserted in the Clause is the word "general." Consequently it must be by other ways and means that we shall have to identify any stoppage, which certainly people will deem to be a general strike should anything like a general strike occur again. Nothing was regarded as more odious to workmen than the alleged breach of contract in cases where it was said that they did violate their contracts in the act of a strike during May of last year.
I would put also to the Committee, broadly, a view from which I believe no hon. Member in his private life would dissent. Each Member in his private affairs and transactions would agree that, when a man has conformed fully to all his legal obligations, he should be personally and individually free to take whatever course he thinks proper, and, if the law requires men to give notice to cease work if they are under terms of contract to go on with their labour, and if they have properly and in accordance with the terms of their contract given notice to cease work, then I say they have honourably and fully carried out every obligation 730 which any law has a right to exact from them, and that then they should be completely free fully to exercise every liberty that is said to be prized in this country. In short, the use of these words in the Clause would, for the first time, make a serious effort to define the kind of strike at which this Bill aims, and I say that on those grounds this is a reasonable Amendment, that it would endeavour at least to make plain, to men who will remain puzzled if the terms of the Bill are carried through as they are now before us, the fact that every man has a right within the law, and if he puts himself outside that law, his rights will be forfeited, and he must take whatever consequences or penalties may fall upon him. I, therefore, urge that this is a fair and reasonable proposal to make, and it would go very far to clear the air, and enable men to know exactly when they were entitled to strike and when they were not.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I entirely agree with one observation that the right hon. Gentleman made in moving this Amendment, and that was that there is no doubt at all about these words. There is no doubt about their object. The object of these words is to emasculate the Bill; their object, to put it plainly, is to make Clause 1 of the Bill provide that, as long as everybody gives notice that he is going to engage in a general strike a week or a fortnight ahead, the general strike shall be legal. In vain is the net spread in sight of the bird. We do not propose to accept the right hon. Gentleman's attempt to make legal a general strike, even if a week's notice be given of its intention. The right hon. Gentleman complained that we had not agreed to put the words "general strike" into Clause 1. When we know the right hon. Gentleman's idea of a general strike, it is not surprising that we refuse to put those words in. This is what the right hon. Gentleman's idea of a general strike is, as expressed in his speech a few days ago:Let me turn to what actually preceded the general strike, or what more accurately ought to be described, not as a general strike, but as a sympathetic strike on an extensive scale."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1927; col. 1345, Vol. 205.]The right hon. Gentleman's idea of a general strike is a sympathetic strike, and that a sympathetic strike, I suppose, is a 731 general strike if it is on a sufficiently extended scale. I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman finds it difficult to understand this Bill if his ideas are so confused as to confound a sympathetic strike with a general strike. If hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will confine their attention to the words of Clause 1, instead of fastening upon such vague and elusive words as "general" and "sympathetic," they will find no difficulty about the Clause, and they will find that it is not in accordance with the intention of Clause 1 to introduce this qualification that it need only be in breach of contract, because that would defeat the principal object of the Clause, which is to prevent a general strike, whether notice is given of it or not. I hope that these few observations will make it plain that the right hon. Gentleman's intention are the exact opposite of the intentions of the Government. I give the right hon. Gentleman complete credit for having made his intentions perfectly plain. His language is unambiguous, and, because we understand the language of the right hon. Gentleman's intentions, we propose to adhere to the Clause as it stands, in the language which the Government have at present adopted.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
It is obvious to every Member of the Committee, I am sure, that we now know what the intentions of the Government are. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am glad that hon. Members opposite agree with that. It was not so obvious during some of the Debates that hon. Members on the other side knew what the intentions of the Government were. The Clause was so obscure, that some of them had to move Amendments for the purpose of getting explanations. But now we understand that the Government's intention is to take away what has been understood to be the inalienable right of British working men for hundreds of years. They are now claiming the right, no matter what a man's conditions of service may be, and they are putting a Bill on the Statute Book, to refuse to British workmen the right to withdraw their labour after having terminated the contracts into which they have entered with their employers. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] Yes, that is exactly what the Solicitor-General said, that no matter what the intentions of the individual might be, if the 732 Government think it wrong, no matter what the terms of service may be, if he has terminated that contract, he is to be made a criminal in accordance with the wishes of the Tory party.
The Debate has been mostly a battle of lawyers. I do not claim to be a lawyer, for which I sometimes thank God when I listen to the mix-up that has been made by lawyers, but I know some of the varying conditions in connection with employment. Contracts of employment vary in very many of our mining districts. In some they are compelled to work a fortnight's notice; in others, only a week's notice is necessary, and in others a day's notice. What this Clause proposes to do, as far as we have arrived at the words of the Clause, is that, supposing a man gives a fortnight's notice, or a week, or a day, it is going to be an illegal action, if this Bill is passed and some lawyer, Judge or Sheriff comes to the conclusion that the strike is to coerce the Government, or is directed against, or will cause hardship to, a substantial part of the community. But we have even more difficult conditions applied to some workmen before they can terminate employment. Engineers have different conditions from miners, and woodworkers have different conditions from engineers, and yet this Clause is proposing, as far as we have got on with it, that no matter what conditions may be largely sought to be imposed upon the men by the employers, despite all we have heard about having a Government Amendment putting employers in the same position as employés, we know quite well that the law can never apply to the employer as it will be applied to the employés.
We have been reading in the Press, and we have heard from the Tory platform, that this is a right-to-work Bill. I am a Socialist, and I have been an advocate of the right to work for 22 years at least, and if this were a right-to-work Bill, I certainly would be supporting it. But this is not the right to work. Not only does the Bill not give the right to work, but it is going to refuse the right of a man to withdraw his labour. Surely the Attorney-General is not going to support a policy that is going to make a slave of every man who is employed in industry? I believe the general strike can never lead the working class to their economic emancipation, 733 but supposing the desire of individuals to withdraw their labour is wrong, if you take from them the right to withdraw their labour after they have given the necessary notice, you make every man to whom you refuse that right a slave. To quote what the Solicitor-General said, in vain is the net spread in sight of the bird. We realise that the net is spread for the purpose of enslaving the working class, and we are proposing these words to give a man the right to terminate his employment if he gives the legal notice.
§ Sir ROBERT HORNE
When I find a countryman of mine getting up and making such a speech as we have just heard it appears to me to betray a state of confusion of mind which it is necessary to clear up. I know by past experience the hon. Member's sincerity, and I cannot believe he would have made the speech we have just heard if he really understood what is being attempted in the Bill. I should like to direct his attention to what really is the effect of the Clause, because I value his intelligence too highly to suppose that what we have listened to represents an opinion which could be expressed upon a complete understanding of what is being done. It is not a question of denying a man the right to terminate his contract. If you do anything with a view to coercing the Government, it does not matter whether it is withdrawing your labour or some other more positive act, you are committing a crime against the State. What is democratic government? It is in its essence the submission of the people to the will of Parliament as expressed through its representatives.
§ Sir R. HORNE
The only reason the Closure can be carried is because the country has sent a majority of representatives to this House who are in a position— —
§ The CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman seems to be beginning to leave the subject of the Amendment.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I was led somewhat astray by the interjection I was attempting to reply to. One is rather given to chasing hares 734 when you see them rise. I really desire to point out to the Committee that what is being struck at in this Clause is not the right of a man to terminate his contract; he can do that at any time he likes with perfect impunity. But if he commits an act which is intended to coerce the Government and the community, it does not matter of what that particular act consists, that act ab initio is bad as against the interests of the State. It is not merely an argument in this particular Debate to say that this is an attempt to prevent a man terminating his contract— [Interruption]— if hon. Members will listen to me for a moment— it is an attempt to prevent an act which is wrong, in whatever circumstances it occurs, namely, the act of trying to defeat the declared will of the country as expressed by Parliament. That is the whole foundation of democratic government. Whatever the act, whether I do it, or you do it, or whether the employer does it, it is an act which is reprehensible in the eyes of the law, and cannot be tolerated.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I hope that I may claim to put the point which this Clause is intended to establish. I have only one thing to say before sitting down, because I think this matter has already been fully debated. The hon. Member for Peebles and Southern (Mr. Westwood) said that if this Bill involved the right to work, he would vote for it. I venture to say that it does enforce the right to work. But it seems to me that the only time the hon. Gentleman asserts the right to work is when no work is available. The Bill is intended to protect the rights of workmen.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) could have heard all the contributions as to the meaning of this particular Clause. The right hon. Gentleman has not heard what was said, for example, by the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks), who addressed the Committee earlier in the evening, when he said the Clause as 735 drafted was so uncertain that he would not be able to tell his own constituents whether the sympathetic strike was or was not made illegal under this Bill. And after the observations which the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) made, very much to the same effect, it is late in the evening to ask us to believe that the compass of this clumsy Clause is limited to protecting the State. I do not want to travel over that matter again. We have observed from the speeches of the Solicitor-General and the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) that whenever the Government or their supporters are in difficulty on the Clause, they think that by merely talking about the State and the general strike, they have decided the whole issue.
As a matter of fact, we know that the Bill is to be extended to make illegal any strike which indirectly coerces the Government by inflicting hardship on the community. It is trifling with the Committee to contend that the Bill is dealing only with the general strike. When the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley moved an Amendment to do this very thing, which the right hon. and learned Gentleman says is the purpose of the Bill, the Government, by a large majority, refused to limit the Bill to a general strike. So what can we believe? The right hon. Gentleman voted against the attempt to limit it to coercive conspiracy against the State. They declined to limit it in that way. We come to this, that in the opinion of one of the most learned Members opposite— but I am not going to start lecturing the right hon. Gentleman; I am not going to spend time in weighing the learning of one right hon. Gentleman against another. It was regrettable to hear my right hon. Friend lecturing my hon. Friend on his learning, but I say, after listening to both gentlemen in the House, that I would as soon trust the learning of my hon. Friend as I would the learning of my right. hon. Friend. In any case it is unnecessary.
Leaving personality aside, I come to the realities. What is the fact? It is this: We have here a position in which an illegal strike may well, in the opinion of the hon. Member for Swindon include the mere sympathetic strike. The fact is we have here a provision under which it 736 becomes illegal for any person, in consort with others, to leave his employment or refuse to take employment. The object of the Amendment is at least to say that we will not create in 1927 a criminal liability for participating in a general strike, or any other illegal strike under Clause I unless at any rate there is some vestige of illegality in law attaching to it. Personally, I think it is a recognition that we are living under a condition of affairs where there is one law for the worker and one for other people, that even breaches of contract among workers should be treated as criminal, while merchants and traders can only be held liable in a civil court for breaches of contract. It is an invidious distinction which could only arise in a semi-servile State. But leaving that aside, the fact is that even under the Combination Acts it was not illegal for a man to refuse to accept employment. This Bill puts us in a worse position than under the law before the Repeal Act, 1825. Is it so absurd, as the Solicitor-General thinks, that my right hon. Friend should ask that when you are making a new illegality it should be confined to a breach of contract. Apart from the law the fact is that when the General Strike, as it was called, was continuing last May the chief accusation which was made against the strikers at that time was that they committed a breach of contract. That was the point which was chiefly relied upon. It was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, amid the cheers of the whole House, that it was illegal because it was a breach of contract. That is the chief factor relied upon. As the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) said yesterday, there was illegality, and it was based on breach of contract, and on the breach of contract alone. Therefore I think the Solicitor-General is a little curt and cursory with my right hon. Friend the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) when he seemed to suggest it was such a trivial thing and merely to emasculate this Bill. If you must make these things illegal, at least you might confine them to cases where there is a vestige of illegality by the breaking of an agreement.
This is one of the most important Amendments of the Bill, because it raises the whole distinction between what civilly is a legal wrong— the breaking of 737 a contract, and the attempt to impose upon us a servile state by refusing to allow people the right, in combination, to withdraw their labour or refuse employment. The Government themselves in Clause 6 have restricted the criminal liability, when they are dealing with a local authority, to cases of wilful and malicious breaches of contract. That is borrowed, with some extension, from the existing Act of 1875. There never has been from the beginning of this country to this day a law which has made it unlawful for people in combination to refuse to accept employment. We cannot pass what is a revolution in the canons of English liberty and English law without expressing our horror and detestation of the revolutionary and seditious action of the Government: seditious, because I believe this Bill is directed against the community and is calculated to intimidate a substantial portion of the community. Whether it will be successful or not in that respect I do not know. We are entitled to protest that if the Government will rivet upon the people of this country a deprivation of the right to have a sympathetic strike or strikes which of necessity inflict hardship upon the community, they shall be limited to breaches of contract and not to the deprivation of civil rights.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
The statement that I made last night has been confirmed by the Solicitor-General. I referred to the Act of 1871 and said that a number of men employed at gas works had tendered their notices with the result that they were brought up at Maidstone Assizes and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. In consequence of that, the Act of 1871 was passed making it legal for men to tender notice and leave their work. I can put a case in connection with the Solicitor-General's constituency. The hon. and learned Gentleman represents one of the Divisions of Bristol where there are very large gas works. All the men employed at the two or three stations in Bristol are members of our union. Gas is used as the motive power of gas engines. If the gas workers in Bristol have a grievance against their employers and they tender their notices, in accordance with the law as it now stands, when they have completed their notices they will not be able to leave their work, according to the statement made by the Solicitor-General, because 738 if all the Bristol gas workers came out on strike there would be no coal carbonised, no gas would be made, a very large number of the community would suffer injury in consequence, and a number of factories would be shut down, because they use gas engines for motive power.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL indicated dissent.
§ Mr. THORNE
The Solicitor-General shakes his head. What is the use of the hon. and learned Gentleman shaking his head?
§ 12 m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I was only shaking my head, because I fail to appreciate what this has to do with the Amendment.
§ Mr. THORNE
It is a breach of contract. If this Amendment be accepted, the workers in Bristol will be entitled to leave their work without having an injunction obtained against them, but without it I am convinced that if they gave notice to terminate their employment, the Solicitor-General would apply for an injunction to restrain them from doing that which they are entitled to do now. Suppose the dock workers of London gave proper legal notice to cease work in order to rectify a grievance. Suppose the employers of the Port of London Authority, 130,000, tendered proper notice, under this Clause the Attorney-General would be entitled to get an injunction to restrain them from coming out on strike. He would get his injunction. It would probably go to the Appeal Court and to the House of Lords, and that, in my opinion, is the only place where this question will be decided. It is perfectly plain to me that if any body of workmen give proper legal notice, the Government can apply for an injunction. This is one of the worst Bills ever introduced into the House of Commons.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
I am rather surprised that the Solicitor-General did not reply to the direct questions put to him. In Clause 6 there is a provision that workmen employed by public authorities must not wilfully break their contract. There is a distinction made between workmen employed by public authorities and those employed by private firms. One would have thought 739 that the Government, who do so much lip service to the question of harmony between capital and labour, would have accepted the Amendment, because it clears up the point with regard to strikes. All we ask is that a strike should not be declared illegal after workmen have given in their due notices to terminate their employment. That, I should have thought, would have been welcomed by the Government, because it would make it clear to the country that the only kind of strike that is dealt with is one in breach of contract. Unless this Amendment be accepted, the workers of this country will be put under conditions of servitude. The Solicitor-General said that if the Amendment were inserted, it would emasculate the Bill. That raises the question whether there can be a general strike; and whether there has ever been a general strike. The Solicitor-General said that a general strike might be interpreted as merely the spreading of a sympathetic strike.
§ Mr. JONES
It is mine, too, and it Is the opinion of many people outside as well. It is quite evident that the Clause as it stands will make practically any strike illegal, and if the Government do not say that that is their intention, why cannot they accept this Amendment? The right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) started a new hare when he said that the Government had a perfect right to legislate in this direction because they are the Government of the day and have a majority of the votes in this House, but they have not a majority of votes in the country, it is evident, and there is another thing which is evident, and that is that they have never had a mandate for this Bill or for this Clause.
The hon. Member must not pursue that line of argument, which deals with the general question of the whole Bill.
§ Mr. JONES
I beg pardon. I did not know. Unless this Amendment is accepted, we can truthfully go to the country this week-end and say that the Government's intention in Clause 1 is to break all the rights and liberties that have hitherto been enjoyed by the trade unions and to bring the unions back into a condition of serfdom.
§ Mr. DUFF COOPER
I was not surprised to hear the hon. and learned Member for South East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) speaking in defence of this Amendment, though I should have been surprised if I had not been lately getting used to the reckless misrepresentation of the Bill in which the hon. and learned Member has indulged. He has made statements about this Bill which have been so obviously untrue, and which have been pilloried in the Press of the country as untrue, that they would do discredit either to his legal knowledge or to his political morality if they were known as widely throughout the country as they are to those who have listened to them here. I was not surprised that he was unwilling to extend the usual courtesies of this House, even to an ex-Chancellor, who rose to intervene in his speech.
§ Mr. COOPER
I am sure we all remember the reception given to the learned Attorney-General last week, and the patience with which he put up with the Interruptions. To one who has no particular legal training, the point of this Clause is to make a general strike illegal. We are not now discussing the difficult question of what a general strike is. We have not yet received from the Opposition a statement as to whether they are in favour of or opposed to a general strike. Possibly, they think a general strike never took place, like the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. W. Thorne). From the point of view of history, the hon. Member is wrong. He may say the Civil War never took place, because it was not his idea of a civil war; he may say there was no Grand Remonstrance, because it was not grand enough for him; or he may say there was never a Great Charter, because 741 it was not great enough to meet his views; but, so far as English history is concerned, there have been a Great Charter, a Grand Remonstrance, a Civil War, and a general strike, and these things will be remembered and weighed up.
§ Mr. COOPER
I apologise for giving way to interruptions, which always lead one from the point. The question of the legality of the general strike is not now before the Committee. We are speaking as though we were legislating to make the general strike illegal. That is the point of this Clause, and the point of the Amendment is that the general strike shall not be illegal if people come along beforehand and give notice that they are going to make a general strike in due time. That seems to me to be bad law— that anybody shall be able to say: "I am going to break the law next Tuesday week, and, therefore, anybody can take the consequences, and I shall be free from any prosecution." That kind of law does not hold. I have no knowledge of law at all, but I do know that when a man puts up a notice in a hotel to the effect that the management will not be responsible for property lost on the premises, it does not protect him from an action for recovery of any property lost there. It is not enough to say that you are not responsible, and still less ought it to be enough to say that you are going to break the law, and that you therefore are not responsible. How any ex-Law Officer— —
§ Mr. COOPER
I have listened with great pleasure to the hon. and learned Member's speeches, and have read with great pleasure his eloquent letters to the newspapers, in which he disagrees with his own party, and in which he says that every institution in this country, except the judiciary, is decadent and vulgar. I 742 suppose he includes in that the House of Commons. For many of his qualities I have great regard, but in regard to this Bill, his record is one on which I think he will look back with shame. His support of an Amendment which enables men to break the law if they give due notice of their intention to do so is an act on which he will look back with shame.
It is left until 12.15, after a long sitting, to find the Committee listening to a speech, not only more personal than is usually accepted as being at least good taste in this House, but we have been reminded many times from the Chair that the one thing above all others was at least to say something germane to the subject under discussion. We have now had an exhibition not only of bad taste, but of bad manners, from a quarter from which we have the right to expect something better. It may be that the hon. Gentleman is very disturbed as to the ultimate future of my hon. and learned Friend, but if that is a source of worry to him, then I can assure him that, as far as the Members on this side of the Committee are concerned, everything he has said in this Debate to-day, and on the Bill, is being confirmed every hour that we are further discussing the Bill. The first delivery from that side of the House to-day was not only an indictment against the Government, but substantiated everything said by my hon. and learned Friend. The speech that we heard this time last night, in the moving of the previous Amendment, was in itself a justification for everything that my hon. and learned Friend said. Incidentally, I would respectfully submit that the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Duff-Cooper) may be absolutely sure what this Bill intends, but there is a large number of Members on that side, at least as learned in the law as he is, who are not only doubtful, but gravely apprehensive of the whole situation. That, however, is not germane to the Amendment, as much as to the speech we have just heard, and I proceed to ask the Committee to realise that there is probably no Amendment on the Paper more important than this. There has been a great deal of talk about how a general strike did take place or can take place or will take place. If there is any sincerity in the Committee on the 743 simple issue of how to deal with a general strike, this Amendment will test it. Not only will the Amendment do so, but I assert— and I welcome all the publicity that can be given to the statement— that the acceptance of this Amendment must render a general strike impossible. I am going to bring the Committee away from mere debating, to consider certain details in proof of my statement. I ask members of the Government particularly and hon. Members on the opposite side who are going to speak in public on this Bill, to note these details because they will be talking to people who know the practical side of the question— the workers themselves. In this Amendment we ask the Government to say that any and every strike, local or general, by one union or two unions, or all unions, which takes place without requisite notice having been given is an illegal strike. That is all we ask.
Hon. Members who seek to interrupt did not hear the speech of my right hon. Friend the Mover.
My right hon. Friend moved the Amendment, which is "In Clause 1, page 1, line 6, after 'strike' insert 'in breach of contract'." I have said that if these words were accepted, no general strike in this country is possible, and I defy contradiction. Take my own Union first and then apply the principle right through all the others. There are 670,000 railwaymen, and it will be generally agreed that theirs is a key industry. There will be no dispute as to their importance so far as any general strike is concerned. There are 228 different grades and practically each one of those is under different terms of contract. Drivers and firemen on some railways are compelled to give a month's notice. Some guards give a month's notice. Some signalmen give a fortnight's notice, some a week's notice, some a day's notice— on a day-to-day contract. Apply those conditions to a strike in the railway service. How could you have a railway strike without a general strike, supposing it was to take place on a named day? Suppose, for example, that next Monday was the selected day. The driver 744 who is subject to a month's notice would have had to give notice a month ago; but the guard who had to give only a fortnight's notice would have been out of work a fortnight waiting for the notice of the other chap to expire. So I could go on, applying those considerations to the mining industry, the transport industry and all the other industries of the country. It would be an impossible thing in actual practice.
These big disputes are not brought about by the leaders meeting in secret and saying to themselves, "We are going to have a strike and we are going to injure the community or force the Government. Those things are not done. Strikes are never brought about in that way. The pressure always comes from the mass of the men, who feel that an injustice is being done to their fellow workers and want to help. I would like the big employers of the country to give their opinion on this Amendment, which has been submitted from this side of the Committee. I have heard a number of hon. Members talking on this Bill who assume that they are talking from capital, but I compare them and the men who, I know, can talk for capital, who employ not 10, 20 or 100 men, but thousands, hundreds of thousands of men. These large employers view this Bill with horror, and they do not hesitate to say so. They know, as practical men, that you cannot solve industrial disputes by legislation of this kind. The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), knows that all the general managers of the railways of the country proclaimed it as a triumph for the railways when at the close of the last dispute I gave them, on behalf of my own union, a clause in the agreement on the lines of this Amendment. He knows it, and every railway director who sits there knows it— knows that when we, as a union, conceded this particular thing, it was hailed as the greatest triumph that had ever been known.
What did it mean? It meant that before any dispute of any kind takes place, not only is it necessary to give legal notice, not only is the form of contract to be carried out but it always carries with it those negotiations that, in the main, invariably stop disputes before they come to a critical stage. The value of this is that it gives a negotiating 745 stage. And yet we are in this position. This Amendment was moved in a reasonable argumentative speech by my right hon. Friend, and it is met by the Attorney-General curtly saying "Oh, no; you merely want to destroy the Bill." That is true. Not only do we want to destroy the Bill, but, to be quite plain and frank, we think it would be a good thing to destroy the Government.
I have known the right hon. Gentleman to be optimistic on many things, and come down a buster. I ask the Committee to take serious note of the importance of this Amendment: It has already been admitted that. Clause I goes beyond the original intention as stated in this House. That is admitted by hon. Members opposite. It has now been conclusively proved that a sympathetic strike under this Bill will be an illegal act. It is admitted in all quarters that it is impossible by legislation to stop a general strike. All we say is that if your intention is to observe contracts and encourage their observation, surely you have an opportunity of securing that by accepting this Amendment, and, if you do that, you will have the consolation of knowing that you are doing the right thing.
§ Mr. D. HERBERT
I did not intend to intervene in this Debate, and I merely do so now because, when I attempted to remove a misapprehension in the mind of the right Hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), he fell upon me rather heavily, but he fell further into the pool of misapprehension into which he has already got a considerable distance. The right hon. Gentleman said that we ought to welcome this Amendment because its effect would be to make a strike illegal, if that strike was in breach of contract. That is a misapprehension which I am trying to correct. The right hon. Gentleman has his legal friends sitting beside him, and if he will consult them, I think he will find that they are in agreement with me on this point. If the right hon. Gentleman looks at the Clause as it is proposed to be amended by this Amendment, he will find that it runs:It is hereby declared that any strike in breach of contract having any object besides the furtherance of a trade dispute.746 and so on, is illegal. The words which it is proposed to insert will not make the strike illegal, because it is "in breach of contract." It merely deals with the breach of contract which is necessary in order to make it illegal. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will believe me when I say, in answer to his statement, that I was not present when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) moved this Amendment, that not only did I listen to his right hon. Friend's speech, but I listened to it with a little more intelligence than the right hon. Gentleman himself appears to have done.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
I should like to support this Amendment, because it seems to me one of the most important and vital Amendments that are down on the Paper. The difficulties in which the Government have got already in relation to this Clause are an indication that the Government have gone the wrong way to deal with whatever problems may exist in relation to the present position of trade unions. Had the Government preceded their action by careful, patient and exhaustive inquiry, such as was the case prior to the 1871 legislation and prior also to the 1906 legislation, they might have avoided the difficulties that have come upon them already in the first Clause. They might also have preserved in this country the better feeling that was beginning to develop in the relations between Capital and Labour. Unfortunately, however, they have taken this particular line of action, and I want to ask the Attorney-General as to the real reasons which prompted the Government, in this first Clause, and the reasons why they propose to resist this Amendment. It has been stated by the Prime Minister and by the Attorney-General on several occasions that the real reason for this legislation and for this Clause was to prevent a General Strike taking place in this country— except, of course, as an illegal strike, because the Government will never be able to prevent a General Strike by means of repressive legislation. If the conditions exist in which a General Strike is possible or probable, no legislation of this kind will be able to break the spirit that prompts such action, and it seems to me to be quite the wrong way of meeting this problem. We have heard a great deal in this House 747 during the last few days of the opinions of various eminent legal Gentlemen. The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), who made a very bitter speech during the most critical moments of the General Strike, urged at that time that the General Strike was illegal because it involved a breach of contract. That was the main ground of his first speech in this House expressing the opinion that the General Strike was illegal. It is quite true that the right hon. Gentleman subsequently amended that opinion, but I am going to suggest that the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley in the early days of the General Strike was much more the opinion of the politician than the considered judgment of an eminent legal authority. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley and the Attorney-General and other eminent legal gentlemen who have taken part in this Debate have not one of them been able to convince the House that there is any evidence that a sympathetic strike was, in fact, illegal, or that a sympathetic strike is unlawful even to-day. I submit to the Attorney-General that the opinion of an eminent legal authority like Lord Loreburn, is perhaps of far more importance than expressions of opinion from Lord Oxford or the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley during a moment of great national crisis. In 1909, in the case of Conway v. Way, Lord Loreburn laid down this judgment. Referring to the case of a dispute he said:Any single colliery of which the subject is so important to the whole industry that either employers or workmen may think a general lock-out or a general strike is necessary to gain their point.
This, again, seems to be on the general question of a general strike, and not confined to the Amendment.
§ Mr. PALING
May I ask whether it is possible to keep out the argument of a general strike? Most of the speakers have directly related the question of breach of contract to the question of a general strike.
The question must be related to the Amendment, and it does not allow the raising of the 748 question of the merits of the general strike.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
If you would permit me to develop my argument, I was about to relate this to the specific point of the Amendment, and I trust you will allow me to read to the Committee this judgment of Lord Loreburn which, at any rate, many people in this country regard as much more important than expressions of opinion by Lord Oxford or by the eminent gentleman who represents Spen Valley.
Has what the hon. Member is going to read anything to do with the question of breach of contract?
§ Mr. THURTLE
May I submit that the object of this Amendment is, in effect, to preserve the right to strike? By maintaining that, if due notice is given, the right to strike shall be reserved, is not a Member entitled in arguing the ease on that Amendment to point out the importance of the right to strike even in relation to a general strike or a sympathetic strike?
That has been pointed out at great length on a previous Amendment, and I do not think it is necessary to point it out again.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In pervious speeches connected with the general strike in this Debate, the argument has commonly been used by prominent legal members that the general strike was a breach of contract, and as such was punishable. Is not a Member speaking on this Amendment entitled to use the general strike— being an alleged breach of contract— as a perfectly good illustration in order to develop his argument as a reason why the Amendment should be accepted.
I have already explained hat, if he used the general strike in connection with breach of contract, he would be quite in order, but not otherwise.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Surely the hon. Member might be allowed to develop his conception of the general strike. There has been a lot of discussion as to what a general strike is, and what exactly should be in this Clause. Surely he might 749 be allowed to say something in that connection, and to point out how this Amendment would make perfectly definite all that the Prime Minister said he wished to convey through this legislation.
That is exactly what the hon. Member was not doing. If he had been doing that, I might have allowed him to proceed, but he was not dealing with breach of contract at all.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
When I entered the Chamber some time ago I heard the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Cooper) discussing the vulgarity of the Labour party. I do not know what that has to do with the general strike.
We are not concerned at the moment with that particular point. If the hon. Member was here at the time he would have realised that I called the hon. Member for Oldham to order during his speech.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
When I was interrupted I was in the middle of a quotation from a judgment of a very eminent legal authority at a point which would have brought me exactly to the point at which I was going to relate it to the whole of my argument in relation to this Amendment. If you rule that it is out of order for me to read that quotation, then I am perfectly ready to leave it at the point which I had reached.
I hope the hon. Member will not misrepresent the ruling which I did give. I said that if the quotation was connected with the question of breach of contract, then the hon. Member was entitled to read it, but not unless it was connected with the question of breach of contract.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
That was my intention. I will proceed, then, to read over again this quotation. It is a quotation from Lord Loreburn and it is as follows:In a single colliery of which the subject is so important to the whole industry that either employers or workmen may think a general lockout or a general strike is necessary to gain their point few are parties to, but all are interested in, the dispute. If, however, some meddler sought to use the trade dispute as a cloak to interfere with other people's work or business the jury 750 would be entirely justified in saying that what he did was done in contemplation or furtherance not of a trade dispute but of his own designs, sectarian, political, or purely mischievous.The position laid down there is that so long as the exercise of the right of a general stoppage of work is in furtherance of a trade dispute and for no other purpose it is a perfectly legal proceeding.
I am sorry to say that the hon. Member has taken advantage of me, which I should not have expected of him. All he has read has nothing whatever to do with breach of contract.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
If it is going to be impossible from this side of the Committee to express an opinion on what is perhaps the most important thing that this House has yet had to face, then I must of course accept your ruling. But I would point out that the right hon. Member for Hill-head (Sir R. Horne) was allowed to make a speech on this Amendment in which he urged its rejection on the ground that a general stoppage of work was wrong at all times for any purpose whatsoever. That was the whole basis of the observations which he offered to the Committee What I would like to know from the Attorney-General is this. This Amendment, as has been pointed out, by the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), would in effect make illegal those stoppages of work that took place throughout the whole industry where no proper notice to terminate the employment had been given to employers. I myself had some doubts as to the wisdom of our party committing themselves to that extent in relation to the Bill. It is a very great contribution to the settlement of this problem by appealing to the reason, if there is any left on the Government benches or in their hearts, because there are many of us who believe that the maintenance of the rights embodied in the 1906 Act, which was based on the principle that workmen had a right to withdraw their labour in combination for whatever purpose they thought fit— that that right is a very valuable one to the workers of this country and ought to be preserved This particular Amendment, which would only make illegal strikes which were in breach of contract, does represent a spirit of concession and indeed creates 751 an opportunity by means of which the Government might very well seek some easement of the difficult situation in which they obviously find themselves. If the Government refuse to accept this Amendment the position as I see it is this: The Clause as it stands will completely abolish the existing rights of trade unions as far as combination is concerned in relation to the rights given to them under the 1906 Act to act in combination without any restrictive fetters on the scope of their action. Now, if the object of the Government, as has been stated by the Attorney-General and by the Prime Minister, is solely concerned with the prevention of a general strike, it seems to me that the point of view expressed by the right hon. Member for Hillhead when he stated during the Debate last week that the real purpose of the Bill was to curb the privileges and rights possessed by trade unions for many years, it seems to me that if the Government are really sincere
§ in their statements that the Bill is based on the desire to clear the situation in relation to a general strike, they might very well accept this Amendment. I do hope they will give consideration to this Amendment in the spirit in which it has been moved and will not continue to force through the House of Commons by aid of a great and powerful majority, elected and given power by the country for an entirely different purpose and with no mandate to take the course that they are now taking, but rather to restore industry, peace and good will. I do hope the Government will reconsider their position and realise that this carefully considered Bill is the greatest mistake in the lifetime of this generation.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 209; Noes, 112.753
|Division No. 120.]||AYES.||[12.50 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harrison. G. J. C.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Albery, Irving Jamas||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd,Hemel Hampst'd)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Atkinson, C.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Herbert, S. (York. N.R., Scar.& Wh'by)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Dixey. A. C.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Barclay-Harvey. C. M.||Drewe, C.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Eden, Captain Anthony||Holt. Captain H. P.|
|Bennett, A, J.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Bethel, A.||Elveden, Viscount||Hopkins, J. W. W|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Home, Rt. Mon. Sir Robert S.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fermoy, Lord||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Flelden, E. B.||illffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Finburgh, S.||inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Ford, Sir P. J.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Lane Fox, Col- St. Hon. George R.|
|Buchan, John||Ganzonl, Sir John||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Burman, J. B.||Gates, Percy||Loder, J. de V.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Looker, Herbert William|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Lougher, Lewis|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Goff, Sir Park||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Gower, Sir Robert||Macintyre, Ian|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grace, John||McLean. Major A.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Maltiand, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gulnness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencar||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hammersley, S. S.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hanbury, C.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Harland, A.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. R. C. (Ayr)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Shepperson, E. W.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Neville R. J.||Skelton, A. N.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Nicholson, D. (Westminster)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wells, S. R.|
|Nuttall Ellis||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Oakley, T.||Smithers, Waldron||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Penny, Frederick George||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)||Wilson, M, J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Storry-Deans, R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Perring, Sir William George||Strickland, Sir Gerald||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C||Womersley, W. J.|
|Radford, E. A.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Remer, J. R.||Templeton, W. P.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'v)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Rye, F. G.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Salmon, Major I.||Tinne, J. A.||Major Copt and Captain Bowyer.|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'daworth, Putney)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silverlown)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Briant, Frank||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Broad, F. A.||Kirkwood, D.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Bromfield, William||Lawrence, Susan||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lawson, John James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lee, F.||Taylor, R A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lowth, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Pialstow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lunn, William||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cluse, W. S.||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Maxton, James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Montague, Frederick||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Morrison, R. C. (Totlenham, N.)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duncan, C.||Mosley, Oswald||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Hardie, George D.||Scrymyeour, E.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John||Wright, W.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sitch, Charles H.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."754
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 112; Noes, 210.757
|Division No. 121.]||AYES.||[1 a.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Briant, Frank||Charleton, H. C.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Broad, F. A.||Cluse, W. S.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Bromfield, William||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Barnes, A.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dalton, Hugh|
|Barr, J.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vate)|
|Batey, Joseph||Buchanan, G.||Day, Colonel Harry|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Cape, Thomas||Duncan, C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Stephen, Campbell|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacLaren, Andrew||Strauss, E. A.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Maxton, James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gillett, George M.||Montague, Frederick||Taylor, R. A.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Morrison. R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Mosley, Oswald||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Murnin, H.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Grundy, T. W.||Naylor, T. E.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Oliver, George Harold||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hardie, George D.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Welsh, J. C.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Scrymgeour, E.||Westwood, J.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Scurr, John||Whiteley, W.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sitch, Charles H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Kennedy, T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlibe)||Windsor, Walter|
|Kirkwood, D.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wright, W.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Lawson, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lee, F.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lindley, F. W.||Stamford, T. W.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hogg, Ht. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Davidson, J. Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Albery, Irving James||Davidson, Motor-General Sir J. H.||Hope, Capt, A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Dixey, A. C.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Drewe, C.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Balniel, Lord||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Elveden, Viscount||Illffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Everard, W. Lindsay||Jacob, A. E.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Bethel, A.||Fermoy, Lord||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Betterton, Henry E||Fielden, E. B.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Finburgh, S.||Lane Fox. Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Fraser, Captain Ian||Looker, Herbert William|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lougher, Lewis|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Gadle, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Ganzonl, Sir John||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Gates, Percy||MacIntyre, Ian|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||McLean, Major A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Buchan, John||Goff, Sir Park||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Gower, Sir Robert||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Grace, John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Campbell, E. T.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w. E)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Merriman, F. B.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hall, Capt, W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hammersley, S. S.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Charteris, Brigadler-General J.||Hanbury, C.||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Harland, A.||Neville, R. J.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harrison, G. J. C.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Oakley, T.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W, (Berwick)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Herbert. S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sip S. J. G.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Smithers, Waldron||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Perring, Sir William George||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wells, S. R.|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)||Wheler, Major Granvilla C. H.|
|Radford, E. A.||Storry-Deans, R.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Remer, J. R.||Strickland, Sir Gerald||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Rye, F. G.||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Salmon, Major I.||Templeton, W. P||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Tinne, J. A.||Worthington Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Skelton, A. N.||Wallace, Captain D. E.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Warrender, Sir Victor||Major Cope and Capt. Margesson.|
§ The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of MR. THOMAS:
§ In page 1, line 6, after the word "strike," to insert the words "or lockout.''
I have considered the next Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas),, and I have come to the conclusion that if it is to be moved at all it should be moved at the end of line 14 instead of in the place where he has put it down.
§ The following Amendment stood on the Order Paper in the name of MR. DIXEY:
In page 1, line 6, after the word "strike" insert the words
or lock-out which is called without the Parties thereto first appearing before an arbitration or conciliation board, provision for the setting up of which is made in a further provision of this Act, and before an award of such court has been given after a full hearing of the matters in dispute such award to be made within four weeks from the conclusion of the inquiry before the court, and without notice in writing of disagreement with the decision of the court being duly served by the dissatisfied party thereto on the other party to the award, shall be illegal.
With regard to this Amendment, in its present form it does not read, but if moved at all it ought to be in the form of either a New Clause or a proviso.
§ Mr. CHARLETON
I beg to move, in page 1, line 6, to leave out from the word "strike" to the first word "is" in line 9, and to insert instead thereof the wordswhich does not arise out of a trade dispute within the meaning of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906.
§ Major CRAWFURD
On a point of Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but should not, in this Amendment, the word be "within"?
§ Mr. CHARLETON
The object of my Amendment is to endeavour to bring to a head the many complaints that have been levelled against the Attorney-General from the point of view that no one understands Clause 1. This Amendment will give the Attorney-General the chance to make the rough places plain and the crooked roads smooth. I am fortified in making this appeal on the ground that no one understands the Clause, because all the lawyers who have spoken to-day or yesterday support me in that. The right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) made a very moving appeal to the Attorney-General to make the Clause clear and quite a number of other lawyers have made that appeal. If the lawyers cannot interpret this Clause, it is quite obvious that laymen like myself cannot be expected to understand it. But we do understand the Act of 1906 and we have no misgivings about that. I would suggest to the Attorney-General that he should make it clear what is legal in the strike so far as the strike is concerned. But, as I have observed, if the lawyers in this House are unable to understand and interpret Clause 1 and the Sub-section with which I am dealing, we, on this side of the Committee, are not satisfied that the Clause should go as it is to be interpreted by the Courts, because we are quite sure, from the opinions that have been expressed concerning this Clause, 759 every Judge in the land will give a diametrically opposite opinion of what it means from that of the Attorney-General because every lawyer in the House has disagreed with him.
What does the Act of 1906 say? The Attorney-General has read the third Subsection of Clause 5. I will not trouble the Committee with that, but I propose, with the permission of the Committee, in order to prove my case to read two other Sub-sections. One reads:An Act done in pursuance of an agreement or combination by two or more persons shall, if done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, not be actionable unless the act, if done without any such agreement or combination, would be actionable.Another reads:An act done by a person in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute shall not be actionable on the ground only that it induces some other person to break a contract of employment or that it is an interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person, or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or his labour as he wills.It seems to me, as far as the Attorney-General has explained this Clause, that people can be brought within the criminal law if this Clause be adopted. We have also some other difficulties. It deals with a trade dispute within the trade or industry, and the difficulty that I feel, as a railwayman, is to know what is meant by a trade or industry. We have had a number of people trying to find out, but we have not found out yet, and the learned Attorney-General does not attempt to tell us. The membership of the National Union of Railwaymen is composed of men of all grades and all professions working on or about the railway, and the question arises whether the railway constitutes an industry, or whether some of the trades within the railway industry are trades within the meaning of the Clause or not. We have bricklayers on the railway, and many of these bricklayers are members of the N.U.R. It might be, if this Bill becomes law, that an attack would be made on the bricklayer as an organised body throughout the Kingdom, because the employers, being fortified by the fact that a sympathetic strike is forbidden by this Bill, might make a savage assault on the terms and conditions of service of the bricklayers. What, then, would be the 760 position of bricklayers working on a railway? If they strike in sympathy with the general bricklayers of the community, will they be striking in furtherance of a trade dispute or not, and will my union be liable to be sued for damages if we pay them strike pay? On the other hand, if an attack is made on, the conditions of service of the general railwaymen in the traffic sections, and if all the members of my Union come out on strike, will the bricklayers, the plumbers, the engineers, the labourers, the electricians, the paperhangers, the waiters, the hotel staff, and the other people be considered as coming out in a sympathetic strike, not in the trade or industry, or will they be coming out within the trade or industry? What will be the position of the Union if these men, after they come out on strike, and it is found they are not within the trade or industry, have been paid strike pay?
My Amendment makes all this perfectly clear; it leaves all these questions exactly as they are. [Laughter.] Some Members opposite laugh somewhat ironically, which seems to give the show away. On this side of the Committee, we have long suspected the Attorney-General of not having quite unfolded what is in his mind, and we do not agree that this Bill will do what he says he wants it to do. It can do what he wants to do if he adopts my Amendment, by leaving these particular problems to be dealt with under the Act of 1906. It is not easy to show what is a trade or industry, and people sometimes laugh at the difficulties on board ship when a workman is called to screw up a joint in sonic steam-pipe. The plumber comes first, and says "That is not my part." Or, if he screws it up, the engineer says, "That is my job." You must have a line of demarcation where these two industries are concerned, and it is not easy. I do not know what is the dimension of a steam-pipe when the plumber leaves off and the engineer begins, but you can lay that down. Although this Bill talks about a trade or industry, the Attorney-General will not tell us what a trade or industry is, and he wants to leave it to people who know nothing about trade or industry. We are not satisfied with that. This Amendment of mine will do away with all these difficulties, and, if it be true that it is only the political general strike that is being 761 hit at, there is no earthly reason why my Amendment should not be accepted.
Let me show some other reasons why I think it ought to be accepted. We are told that the sympathetic strike is not being practised. I have served for a number of years on the executive of the N.U.R., and we were called upon from time to time to come to the assistance of some trade unionists who have been very badly treated from our point of view. We were asked what we could do, and what we have done quite a number of times was to tell our people not to touch the stuff if blackleg people were working, because in many cases the conditions offered to the men employed there regularly were intolerable. According to the Attorney-General, the sympathetic strike is not being touched, but, as far as the railwaymen are concerned, this goes a bit deeper than that. Railway companies are common carriers, and, although the Government might not be officially aware of a sympathetic strike, I feel somewhat uncomfortable, as far as our members are concerned, as to what would happen if the railway companies said to the Government or to the Attorney-General, "What is your advice? We are common carriers, and we have to report to you that we cannot accept certain goods offered to us by our customers because our men are refusing to shift stuff through sympathy with some men who are out on strike." I am sure that this Clause will make that an unlawful act. If the Attorney-General is really sincere, he will accept my Amendment, because it deals with the whole question as far as we are concerned. Then he can deal with the particular general strike in quite another way, and I am quite sure he is able to do it if he wants to. Take the case of a general railway strike. My union was founded in 1872. I was waiting for the applause. During that time we have only had three national strikes— only three. So that we are not people who are always out shouting for strikes and that sort of thing. But we carried mails, milk, and passengers. Now, if we stopped work and we could not run the mails, the milk, the fish, and the passengers, we are going to inflict hardship on somebody, on quite a number of people, and the Bill plainly says, and the Attorney-General himself says, that if we inflict a hardship on people, we are coercing the Government, 762 and that is illegal. If that be so, and this Clause remains unchanged, it does mean that it is absolutely impossible for the railwaymen to go on strike, however just their case may be. Therefore, if the Attorney-General wants to put himself right with the railwaymen, he had better put himself right in this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHARLETON
I want to saw a word here on the general question, as far as I can deal with it, of the sympathetic strike. I would like to point out— and I have done a good deal of negotiating with railwaymen for their wages and conditions— that the great central feature of all railway negotiations is the comparative relation of labour in one industry with that of another industry. There is a general level of wages for ordinary labourers, porters, and fitters, and so on. I ask the Attorney-General, when men see that those in another industry are having a savage attack made on there conditions of service, wages, and hours, how he can reasonably expect that men in the same class of labour in another industry, knowing full well that the wages are reduced in another industry, can refrain from lending there strength to resist the wage reductions and the worsening of conditions in some other industry? If I may give a case in point, an illustration of what I mean, a few days ago I was interviewing a number of young men from Universities on behalf of the House and one young man we were asking questions to find out what was in him, told us that he had spent some months in a University on the Continent. I will not mention the country, as I do not wish to give offence to a foreign Power. [Laughter.] This is serious, not comical. We asked him how he got on with the people at the University, and he said that they were not like the British public-schoolboy. He said that you could not tell them things like you could, in a University at home, tell a chum, who would, perhaps, rather lose his life than give away a confidence. That pleased the public school men who were there with me, but I am only a Board School boy, and do not understand that sort of thing. But I do suggest that the same spirit goes through the working class, and they do see that 763 esprit de corps is more necessary and it is becoming more pronounced. But it is denounced on the other side, and I believe this Clause is designed to chop off its head. If the Government are really serious, they can have no alternative but to accept my Amendment. As far as the general question of ordinary trades dispute is concerned, my Amendment simply says that the 1906 Act gives us all we require. The Attorney-General says he does not want to alter the law as far as that is concerned. I therefore invite him to give my Amendment very serious consideration, and I feel sure that if he does so, the country will say that it is the wisest thing he did throughout the passage of this Bill.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The hon. Member who has moved this Amendment sought to induce me, not by threats, but by the most attractive persuasion, to accept it. He assured me that there was no coercion about this, and that he was endeavouring to appeal not to my fears but to my sentiments. It was persuasion in its most persuasive form. He assured me that if only I accepted this Amendment, it would carry out all I desired, and, further, it would put me right with the railwaymen— a most potent inducement. Finally, and most persuasive of all, he said that his Amendment made it all clear, and he added that it made it all clear by leaving all questions just as they were. I am not sure that I, myself, would not like to make all things clear by the same easy method. When I am driven from his attractive arguments to face the hard facts of the Amendment, I am afraid that even his blandishments will not quite succeed. They will succeed so far, that I shall ask the Committee to support the Question to leave out the word "having," which, I understand, is to be put presently from the Chair.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The hon. has not followed me. You, Captain FitzRoy, pointed out that the Question you had to put was, "That the word 'having' stand part of the Clause," and I am saying that I am so far in agreement with the hon. Member who has moved the Amendment, that I shall ask the Committee to vote against the word remaining in. But that is as far as I can go with 764 him, because when we have left out the word "having," we shall then proceed to put in other words. The Committee will find that I have some words I am going to ask the Committee to insert on that point. The reason I cannot accept this Amendment is that in principle it goes a great deal further than I have any desire to go, or than the Committee desire to go. I am not going to re-embark on the controversy which arose earlier in the evening between the right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb) and myself as to whether or not certain instances he gave were or were not in furtherance of a trade dispute, further than to point out that if the right hon. Gentleman is right then the amendment the hon. Member is now moving would go very far from meeting the wishes which he says he designs for me. The hon. Gentleman in moving his Amendment is a convert to my view. Be that as it may, the effect of the Amendment would be to exclude from the operation of the Clause any strike which had its origin out of a trade dispute. The Committee will see that goes a great deal too far. Let me take as an instance a strike such as took place last year, which we are accustomed to call a general strike. That was a strike which had its origin in and arose out of a dispute in the mining industry and was a trade dispute. Although in our view that was a strike which was certainly illegal and which we design in this Bill to make clear as being illegal instead of legal, it was originally a trade dispute in which afterwards a number of other industries combined to bring pressure on the Government to compel them to take action which the Government thought it wrong to take, in order to establish their will or to assist the other trade unions which gave rise to the original trouble.
That is the very thing which we have regarded on this side as a general strike and which we denounced last year as flagrant interference with the rights of the public. It is not a strike which can he legalised by a Clause designed expressly to render it illegal. For that reason it is impossible for me, as the hon. Gentleman will realise, to accept the Amendment which he proposes. I am not going to follow him at this moment into the various instances as to 765 the action taken by the railwaymen in regard to the persons who had been blacklegs or questions of that kind. If such persons refused to carry goods which their masters were bound by law to carry, it would be a breach of their obligations and might easily involve them into serious liabilities.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
The point surely is that if they gave notice and left their shops they would not be employed.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The point I was making is that as it was a breach of contract and was endangering valuable property, it would probably be a criminal offence already under the existing Act. These are really the points which have arisen on this particular Amendment. They will arise no doubt at later stages in the discussion of the Committee. It is enough for me to say it is not possible for the Government to accept the Amendment the hon. Member moves because, when you analyse what will happen, the result will be that you will exclude from the operation of the Clause a great many strikes which I think everybody will regard as general strikes which this Bill is designed to render illegal. On these grounds I am unable to accept the Amendment.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I do not think we can quarrel with the description which the learned Attorney-General has given of the purpose of this Amendment, As I understand it, it is quite accurately described by him. The only reason for bringing in the Trade Disputes Act as I understand it is to get the same definition which is already in this Bill, except, of course, that the special trade dispute in the Trade Disputes Act is extended to a dispute whether or not the man is in the employment of the employer with whom a trade dispute arises. It is rather wide, but the intention of the Amendment is really not very unlike that attempted earlier in the evening by the hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon). The object is by another attempt to exclude from the definition the stigma of illegality for strikes which cannot be said to be political general strikes. What is said here is this, that where a strike does have the effect of causing 766 hardship to the community— to use the Attorney-General's new words— or where it intends to coerce the Government— whatever that means— wherever that result arises from a proper industrial strike that should not be held to be an illegal strike within the meaning of the Bill. I must call attention to the fact that the learned Attorney-General, by refusing this Amendment, has again shown us that he does not propose to limit this strike to a general strike. The reason he refuses this Amendment is because he refuses to accept a position of a strike of some magnitude or a strike inflicting hardship on the community if a strike arose out of an ordinary industrial strike. To that extent we have again corroboration, if it were needed, that the intention of the Government goes far beyond that of a general strike.
I had hoped, until the Attorney-General finished his speech, that he was not again going to bring in his opinion that the last general strike was illegal. On every single Amendment he has made the same general speech; whatever we are moving, he asserts that the last general strike was illegal. I am almost prepared to state it was illegal for the purpose of getting on with the business. We are not talking about the general strike, we are talking about the situation put by my hon. Friend for South Leeds (Mr. Charleton) that ordinary industrial strikes have other strikes which arise out of these strikes. That excludes a political or revolutionary strike which cannot arise out of an industrial strike. When one strike occurs out of another that second strike is really a sympathetic industrial strike. If the Attorney-General really wished to exclude this type of strike from the ambit of the Bill he would take it back and amend it himself. Our intention is to exclude from the operation of this Bill the sympathetic strike in sympathy with a strike as defined by the Trade Disputes Act.
Apart from that part of the Attorney-General's speech which emphasised that general strikes were illegal— a statement which seems useless at two o'clock in the morning, although we know it is the only argument the Government have, and which they repeat on every single Amendment and say that it is illegal and that we cannot tolerate another— we ask if the railwaymen have a legitimate strike 767 and if the railway clerks at Crewe and Derby join so that it arises out of the original strike and that causes hardship to the community, would that be an illegal strike? If hardship to the community arises, the idea is that it is coercing the Government, directly or indirectly, by causing hardship to the community. The words "coercing the Government" really become unnecessary as the Court would be asked if the strike was causing hardship to the community. If locomotives be not run or repaired, hardship does occur. It is obvious by the refusal of the Amendments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) and my hon. Friend's Amendment that the Government intend to make the sympathetic strike causing hardship to the community an illegal strike. We have done a great work. We have completely exposed the Government, although the Government will pay little attention to what we say. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley, whom they have advertised as a real authority on the subject, has himself been defeated by the Government on this issue. The Government have declined to limit this the way the right hon. Gentleman has suggested. We have the hon. and learned Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) who cannot tell his constituents whether a strike is legal or illegal. The Government should cease to make rhetorical speeches about general strikes and admit that their purpose is to destroy sympathetic strike action.
§ Mr. J. JONES
I have listened to lawyers all through the Debates connected with this Bill. Regarding this particular Clause dealing with the general strike I would wish that lawyers were labourers— that they had to work in the docks and factories and find themselves up against it.
§ Mr. JONES
From the amount of economic knowledge displayed by those taking part in the Debate on the other side it would appear that they know all about the law but nothing about industry. 768 We are face to face with the fact that no man knows where his work begins and where his labour leaves off. We are all dovetailed in together. If you ask in a factory in my constituency, no man can tell where he starts and where his comrade finishes. They all work together.The more we are togetherThe merrier we will be.I would like to have some information from the clever people who know more about it than I do. Supposing the docker who unloads the ship has a quarrel with his employer— it may be a shipping company or a company that unloaded ships— supposing he wants better conditions of employment and is not satisfied that the answer he gets from his employer is the best his employer could give him and he decides to strike, that is a strike in the trade or industry. But supposing the stevedore who loaded the boats as they went out said "I am going to back up the man who unloads the ships," that is a sympathetic strike, that, as I understand it, is a sympathetic strike. Is that man entitled to stop work? It may hold up the food supply of London.
The magistrate at West Ham Police Court, at Colchester, or Chelmsford, may say "This man has acted illegally by standing by the other man." Sailors and firemen may say ''We are not going to carry on." Under their articles sailors and firemen are compelled to do certain things because they have signed on. But if they join in sympathy with their comrades they are also acting illegally, so far as I can understand. I am not a lawyer and hope I shall never be one because I know very well what it means— I might become a K.C. I know very well it is very easy for you to say to us that the docker can stop work; that the stevedore, the seaman and the fireman may stop work individually, but everybody knows that none of these men by themselves could want any strike. Therefore it means this, that all sections of workmen are going to be hamstrung. That is the meaning of the Bill. They are to be powerless. The bosses can always find blacklegs. They know how to organise them. We know in the docks in the East End of London how the Shipping Federation have organised scores of blacklegs, but by co-operation, by all 769 sections of the transport workers joining together we have beaten them in that particular respect. Now what are you going to do? Sectionalise us, so that we cannot act together, and the sympathetic strike is being declared illegal by this Bill. I want to ask the Attorney-General, does he mean that we cannot act in co-operation with each other? I happen to be a representative of labourers in the building trade. We have a row with the bosses. We want another penny an hour, or the bosses want to reduce our wages by a penny an hour. Supposing the labourers go out and the bricklayers back us, that is an illegal strike— "A strike in a trade or industry." What is an industry to-day? It is impossible for any man to say, however clever he may think himself to be. It is impossible for him to say what is a trade or industry. We are so co-related and so interlocked. I therefore say that, in spite of the pretensions of right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite it means that the right to strike is being taken away from the workers of the country. Who is going to decide what is a legal or illegal strike? The magistrates!— God help us and the people! A judge may decide in one case and be perfectly right. Another judge in another district may decide we are wrong. Where are we then? Are Trade Unionists to be held to ransom? Can we hold the employers to ransom! What chance have we against employers Can we say to an employer— You cannot shut your factory down? He can easily say trade is bad; there are no orders; I cannot carry on; I will close down my factory, and he does so. What can we do? But if we stop work, it is a strike, and we are liable to penalties and pain. Well, I hope it will keep fine for you. Some of us have decided that we are not going to work the Bill when it becomes an Act. Our fathers went to prison before, and we are willing to go to prison again to fight the battle for the right of workmen to say when we shall or shall not work if the conditions are not satisfactory. The right to strike is going to be preserved at whatever cost, and I am going to ask the Attorney-General if he is prepared to lay it down by law when does a strike become illegal.
I took part in the last general strike. I did my best to try to make it a success 770 I have no apologies to offer for it, It was a strike in strength for our fellow workers who were being degraded and brought to conditions that nobody should desire and ought not to be approached. The miners of this country have been the finest men from the trade union point of view and the country's point of view. Fifty thousand of them went to the war; 20,000 of them more or less disabled and you were so hard up for their services that you asked for them to come back to the mines because the nation was going short of the necessary munitions of war. They came back. But what is the position now? We are told that the miners were the cause of the general strike. The general strike was not a revolutionary strike. The general strike was a strike in sympathy with the best body of workers in this country, and so far as we are concerned we say that this is a paltry excuse for the introduction of a Bill of this character. Now a general strike is going to be declared illegal. I do not believe in a general strike; I believe in a general election. A general strike may be all right as a means of solving social problems, but it is all wrong. It is general nonsense and I have said so in my own trade union. But I want to say this to you. What you are going to do is to make the general strike more possible in the future than ever it has been in the past. You are going to drive the constitutional workmen into the arms of so-called revolutionaries. You are going to make them have less hope in constitutional action. You are introducing a Bill that is going to destroy our belief in constitutionalism. This Bill is an attempt practically to cripple us in all the efforts made for the democratic movement in this country. The only people who are going to gain advantage out of it are the die-hard friends on that side, and the die-hard friends on this side.
§ Mr. JONES
All we want you to realise is our position. Are you going to place us in watertight compartments? If he is a bricklayer, a labourer or a plasterer, has he the right to strike individually? Has he the right to strike collectively? Cannot he associate with his colleagues? Who is going to decide the trade or industry?
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is a very intricate legal question, purely a legal question as to whether a strike can be declared illegal which does or does not arise out of a trade dispute within the meaning of certain words of the Act of 1906.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
It is as plain as possible. The Act ends with the words: "Whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute occurs." I put it to you that those words merely mean that the definition of the sympathetic strike has been continued ever since the Act of 1906, and that therefore the whole of the argument of the hon. Member with regard to the necessity of the sympathetic strike for industrial action is perfectly in Order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If everyone had the words of a particular Section of a particular Act of 1906 in his head as well as the Hon. lady, perhaps it would be an easy matter, but as this Amendment is an example of legislation by reference it is almost impossible to describe it as simple. I must ask the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) to apply himself to this particular question on the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Leeds (Mr. Charleton).
§ Miss LAWRENCE
The Act of 1906 includes in trades disputes a sympathetic strike— a strike where the workman is not in the employment of the person struck against. I put it to you that the argument of the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) is to the effect that that right to concerted action is absolutely necessary for the preservation of the standard of life of the workers in such industrial disputes. Therefore his remarks are strictly in order. It is the very center of the whole business that this possibility 772 — — [Interruption]. The Chairman of Committees is very patient. If he shows a trace of impatience I will sit down, but he is a very patient listener.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Perhaps the hon. Member for Silvertown will bear in mind the points and the particular sections quoted by the hon. Lady.
§ Mr. JONES
I thank the hon. Lady for giving me such an excellent idea of what I ought to do. I was dealing with the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Leeds as far as I understand it. I have not had the education of some Members of this House, therefore I may be a little bit dense. When I talk about a primary strike I mean a strike of a particular body of workpeople. Under modern conditions you cannot separate one body of workmen from another. Those of us who are engaged in the trade union movement know that that is physically impossible. It may be easy for lawyers to make nice distinctions, but, when a body of men of all kinds of trades and occupations are working together on the same job, how are you going to say that one is a primary strike and the other a secondary strike? You cannot do it. This Clause means that a sympathetic strike is illegal. Cannot we have a definite declaration that the sympathetic strike is not illegal? Will the hon. Gentlemen on the benches opposite, who get more money in a year than I get in a onth— — [Laughter]. I am saying this because that is the kind of story that is trotted up and down the country. We are told that we are getting so much money that we are really living on the fat of the land while gentlemen have to walk and leave their motor cars behind them.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is not following the line of argument sketched out for him by his colleague, the hon. Lady. I think the hon. Member is arguing on an Amendment lower down.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is by no means the main Amendment. There are other Amendments on which I think the hon. Member's argument would be quite relevant.
§ Mr. JONES
I do not care whether they are relevant or not. I was brought up in a school of politics— the Irish Nationalist Movement— where they said the best way to find out the rules was to break them. I do not understand the rules; I plead guilty to that. All I want to point out is that we are ordinary common or garden trade union workers, and we want to know when a strike is legal or illegal. Up to now we have not got any definite expression of opinion, from the legal standpoint, from the representatives of the Government.
§ Mr. JONES
Yes, but we want it in the Bill. Take a strike at the docks, where the docker stops work. Is that legal? Suppose the stevedores stop before closing time— [Interruption]. The hon. Member who interrupts me is a man who is advocating the absolute opening of public houses, all hours of the day and night.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The proceedings have been very harmonious and I should be very sorry if they ceased to be so, but I think the hon. Member's excursions into these paths will call on me to take some action if he continues.
§ Mr. J. JONES
I hope you will forgive me. I was supporting the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for South-East Leeds (Mr. Charleton) in the hope that we shall get from the legal representatives of the Government exactly what they mean by the first Clause of the Bill.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I think there is a good deal to be said for this Amendment. Some of my Friends had tried to say the same things in other words, but it was not called, and whether this Amendment is turned down by the Government or not, one thing is certain, that another attempt will be made by another Amendment later on to do exactly what the hon. Member for Silver-town (Mr. J. Jones) wanted to do— to get a definition from the Government in clear language that would exclude sympathetic strikes from the operation of the Bill. As I understand it, "strike" is only defined once in legislation, and that legislation has since been repealed. Since the words on which this Clause is 774 based may not be in the minds of hon. Members, perhaps I might be permitted to read them. A trade dispute, according to this Amendment, is defined by Sub-section (3) of Section 5 of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906, which says:In this Act and in the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, the expression 'trade dispute' means any dispute between employers and workmen, or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms of the employment, or with the conditions of labour, of any person, and the expression: 'Workmen' means all persons employed in trade or industry, whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom a trade dispute arises; and, in Section III of the last-mentioned Act, the words 'between employers and workmen' shall be repealed.That definition expressly excludes the sympathetic strike, and it certainly seems to me that the hon. Member for South-East Leeds (Mr. Charleton) is on firm ground. I would like to point out also that this would make it quite clear that a sympathetic strike would be excluded, because in the words in the Bill two conditions have to be satisfied, which are, that it is designed to coerce the Government and is "designed or calculated." That seems to me to be a very peculiar phrase. It is quite obvious that it cannot mean calculated in the sense of designed. Therefore the word calculated must mean: "Likely to be," and it is just inside that word calculated that the difficulty arises in the minds of those who do not think that the Bill is clearly expressed to exclude the sympathetic strike. Unless we can have a much clearer explanation from the Government I shall be forced to vote for the Amendment in the hope of excluding the sympathetic strike. The Government itself has declared its intention to exclude the sympathetic strike, but it is quite clear that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and uncertainty about it. I understand a trade dispute as defined in the Section I read and therefore unless there is a fuller explanation making it much more clear than it is at present I shall vote for the Amendment on the Paper.
§ Mr. CAPE
I rise to support the Amendment, and I do so because up to now during the Debate on this Bill everyone has been speaking about clarifying or giving an explanation of what is meant 775 by Clause 1. Several Amendments have been move from this side of the House making an attempt to clarify the meaning of Clause 1, but up to now none of these Amendments have been accepted by the Government. Every time the Attorney-General has got up, to me at any rate, he has made the position more mystifying than clear. Every time he has replied to the different arguments put up it seems to me that he has left an impression on the House of not knowing himself the real meaning of the Clause which he is fathering. He mixes up the question of a general strike with that of a sympathetic strike. The hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) spoke about bricklayers and bricklayers' labourers. I would like to take that point just a little bit further. Let us assume that some bricklayers on a job and bricklayers' labourers go on strike. In order to replace these men the employer or contractor gets blacklegs. The result is that the bricklayers cease work because they refuse to work with blackleg labour. That would come under the heading of a sympathetic strike condemned by Clause 1 and would mean that all those men would be liable to be charged with participating in an illegal strike. First of all, you have to find out whether all these men were in one trade or industry or not. There is no provision in this Clause to define what is a trade or an industry. Then we have got to find out whether it was a legal strike or an illegal strike, and it seems to me that we should have to take it before the local bench of magistrates for them to define the meaning of this Clause. During that time other unions might have shown their sympathy by sending sums of money to the men on strike, and eventually the decision of the magistrates that the strike was an illegal strike would mean that all those participating in the strike were acting illegally under this Clause.
I want to suggest that if this Amendment is accepted it would at any rate give us this satisfaction that we should know exactly what was meant by a general strike and what was meant by a sympathetic strike. I want to suggest to the Committee that in regard to the sympathetic strike it is going to be difficult for anyone to define what that is, because according to the general law of employment between a workman and an employer there is certain notice to 776 take effect. The workman has either to give 7 or 14 days', or it may be one day's, notice and the employer on his side, unless the man commits misdemeanour, has to give the workman the same notice. That is an agreement entered into under the condition of employment, but according to what the hon. Member for South-East Leeds has said, even though a man legally gives in his notice that he terminates his work the right the man now possesses would be taken away by this Bill. I suggest to the Committee that every little freedom we have in the law of contract between employers and workmen is being taken away by this Clause. If this Amendment is accepted, I believe that while it does not exactly clarify this Clause and does not give us the right we now ask, at any rate it would give us a little more freedom than the Bill intends to give us.
All these various matters are so complicated that I frankly confess as a layman— though I have had experience as the general secretary of a trade union— that although I have sat attentively in this House during the Second Reading Debate and in the Committee stage and have listened to the long legal arguments which have been given from both sides of the House, I am as mystified as when this Bill was first published. Unless the Attorney-General or some other Member of the Government gives us some clearer exposition of the meaning of this Bill I can foresee that when it becomes an Act it will find every trade union leader in this country not knowing what the position is and they will not be able to advise their men whether a strike is legal or illegal. The only way will be to take the risk and to let the employers or somebody else take them to Court to let the Court decide. It is going to be a process of confusion. The workmen I have come across during the last week or two have confirmed my impression that when the Bill becomes an Act, instead of it preventing strikes, sympathetic or otherwise, it will intensify strikes and make the men more careless and indifferent. Therefore I support this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."777
§ Question put, ' That the Question be now put."778
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 194; Noes; 110.779
|Division No. 122.]||AYES.||[2.34 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Oakley, T.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Goff, Sir Park||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Albery, Irving James||Gower, Sir Robert||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Grace, John||Penny, Frederick George|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Balniel, Lord||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Perring, Sir William George|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Grotrian, H. Brent||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Radford, E. A.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bethel, A.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Remer, J. R.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hammersley, S. S.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hanbury, C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Blundeli, F. N.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harland, A.||Rye, F. G.|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Harrison, G. J. C.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Buchan, John||Holt, Captain H. P.||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Stanley Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cassels, J. D.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jacob, A. E.||Stuart, Crichton-,Lord C.|
|Chapman, Sir S,||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Knox, Sir Alfred||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lamb, J. Q.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cobb. Sir Cyril||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Loder, J. de V.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Looker, Herbert William||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cope, Major William||Lougher, Lewis||Tinne, J. A.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lynn, Sir Robert J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macintyre, Ian||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||McLean, Major A.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macmillan, Captain H.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Macquisten, F. A.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Drewe, C.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Malone, Major P. B.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Margesson, Captain D.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fermoy, Lord||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Finburgh, S.||Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Wragg, Herbert|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Neville, R. J.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gates, Percy||Nuttall, Ellis||Major Sir George Hennessy and Lord|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Stanley.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Broad, F. A.||Cluse, W. S.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Bromfield, William||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dalton, Hugh|
|Barnes, A.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)|
|Barr, J||Buchanan, G.||Day, Colonel Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||Cape, Thomas||Duncan, C.|
|Beckett, John, (Gateshead)||Charleton, H. C.||Dunnico, H.|
|Briant, Frank||Clowes, S.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Lunn, William||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||MacLaren, Andrew||Strauss, E. A.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Gillett, George M.||Maxton, James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Montague, Frederick||Taylor, R. A.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Mosley, Oswald||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murnin, H.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oliver, George Harold||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hardie, George D.||Paling, W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Scurr, John||Westwood, J.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Whiteley, W.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sitch, Charles H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wilson, C H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Kennedy, T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Windsor, Walter|
|Kirkwood, D.||Snell, Harry||Wright, W.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Lawson, John James||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Lee, F.||Stamford, T. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell||Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
§ Question, "That the word 'having' stand part of the Clause," put accordingly, and negatived.
Question put, "That the words,
which does not arise out of a trade dispute
§ be there inserted.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 111; Noes, 194.781
|Division No, 123.]||AYES.||[2.45 a.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kennedy, T.||Sullivan, J|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kirkwood, D||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lawrence, Susan||Taylor, R. A.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawson, John James||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clowes, S.||Lindley, F. W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lowth, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacLaren, Andrew||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maxton, James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Morrison, R C. (Tottenham, N.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelity)||Mosley, Oswald||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T, D.||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Windsor, Walter|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||Wright, W.|
|Hardie, George D.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.||Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Goff, Sir Park||Ormshy-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gower, Sir Robert||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Albery, Irving James||Grace, John||Penny, Frederick George|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Perring, Sir William George|
|Bainiel, Lord||Grotrian, H. Brent||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Radford, E. A.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Remer, J. R.|
|Bethel, A.||Hammersley, S. S.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hanbury, C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Harland, A.||Rye, F. G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harrison, G. J. C.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Buchan, John||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Butter, Sir Geoffrey||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N).||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hume, Sir G. H.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Cassels, J. D.||Jacob, A. E.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Lamb, J. Q.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Loder, J. de V.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Looker, Herbert William||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lougher, Lewis||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||MacIntyre, I.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||McLean, Major A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macmillan, Captain H.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Macquisten, F. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wells, S. R.|
|Drewe, C.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Malone, Major P. B.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Margesson, Captain D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fermoy, Lord||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Finburgh, S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wragg, Herbert|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Neville, R. J.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Gates, Percy||Nuttall, Ellis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Oakley, T.||Major Cope.|
§ Major CRAWFURD
On a point of Order. I should like to have your ruling on this point. I understand by the decision of the last Amendment the word "having" has been deleted from the Bill. The word "having" is not therefore in the Bill. This is an Amendment to leave out the word "having" so it is an Amendment to leave out something that is not in the Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It would not be in order to leave out something that is not in the Bill. It is perfectly in order to put in certain words in place of the word "having" which has already been left out.
§ Major CRAWFURD
On the paper in my hand the Amendment reads as follows: "Clause 1, page 1, line 6, leave 783 out "having" and insert "is illegal if it has." Surely the Amendment is to leave out the word "having" which is not in the Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Part of the Attorney-General's Amendment on the Paper has already been dealt with. The word "having" has been left out; nobody wished to have it. What the Attorney-General desires to do is to put in place of the word "having" the words "is illegal if it has."
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
For personal guidance on this question certain of us, who represent and have gained for ourselves a certain standing in this House— I do not want to get into conflict with the Chair on this matter— certain of us who happen to come from a certain district have regularly and constantly attended the debates not only on this occasion but on every Measure that has been before this House and we have sat up on many ocasions, but the Chairman or Deputy-Chairman has refused to call upon us to speak. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] Well I withdraw that, if it is any reflection on the Chair. We see other Members who are not so regular called and the question I wish to put to you, without any reflection on the Chair, is, is there any reason why we who are regular in attendance should not be called in these particular debates?
§ The CHAIRMAN
There is no reason why the hon. Members have not been called and in the ordinary course of events on the law of averages they will undoubtedly be called.
§ Mr. J. JONES
I should like to ask, in view of the fact that we have been having such a nice time to-night, cannot we have a definite decision that- the word "having" shall be included or excluded.
Is it in Order for an hon. Member to appear in this House either wearing of carrying a borrowed plumage which he has not asked the owner to lend him and to plant it in the face of the House when he rises to address it. I am alluding, Mr. Hope, to my hat.
§ 3.0 a.m.
§ Mr. J. JONES
I humbly apologise to the hon. Member opposite. I did not know his hat was so big. Evidently my head is more massive than his. I did not know it came from the hon. Gentleman's periphery. I shall have the greatest pleasure in restoring his property, because I am not a Communist, and I do not believe in annexing other people's property without due compensation.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
I was asked a little earlier in the evening what the intentions of the Government were in regard to business. I said that we should have to press forward for a certain length of time to enable some reasonable progress to be made. We have not made very satisfactory progress, but, we have, at any rate, reached a point at which an Amendment standing in the name of the Attorney-General falls to be moved, and it is an Amendment of considerable consequence, with subsidiary contingencies attached to it. Perhaps it might be in accordance with the wish of Members to report Progress. We have reached the end of our discussion in a spirit which enables us to end on a very light note struck by the hon. Member for Silver-town (Mr. J. Jones) and I am prepared to move to report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
As far as we on this side of the Committee are concerned, we are quite indifferent in this matter. It is well known that large numbers of my hon. Friends have lost, not only their trains but all hope of getting home at this, hour of the morning. That is well known to the Government. If the Government feel that their justification is measured by the progress they have made, I hope that the same rate of progress will continue to the end of the Bill.
§ Mr. PALING
Does it not come rather badly from the right hon. Gentleman that he should move this now, in view of the fact that the progress they have made has been made at the expense of the Closure being moved on every Amendment? Is he aware that on two of these 785 Amendments of the very utmost importance, there are about 150 Members on this side who are all being vitally affected by this Bill? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that about fee or more, out of the 150, have never had an opportunity to speak at all on any Amendment or on the Second Reading Is he further aware that the explanations that have been given by the legal Gentlemen have all been different? In face of all this, we have been denied the opportunity of continuing this Debate. Is it fair? The only reply has been that the right hon. Gentleman himself, in the absence of the Attorney-General, has got up and moved the Closure.
The hon. Member has been long enough in the House to know that he is not entitled to criticise the moving of the Closure. It is not only a reflection on the Chair, but a reflection on the House after having accepted the Closure.
Surely we are entitled to discuss the Motion before the Committee and to give reasons why the Committee should not accept it. It is quite true the Chair has accepted it, but I presume there will be a Division, in which the sense of the Committee will be taken.
Anyone, of course, is entitled to discuss an actual Motion before the Committee.
§ Mr. PALING
If I have transgressed, I can only say I had no intention of making any reflection on the Chair. I think the use of the Closure is too bad, and, now that this protest has been made, and in view of the importance of the Bill, I hope they are not going to force it through in the way that has been adopted to-night.
I do not want this Report to be made until I have associated myself with the protest. If the Government felt that this was a Bill that it was vital to get through in the shortest possible time, there might be— although, in my opinion, there would not be— justification for shutting out a large number of Members who really are anxious to find out exactly how they and the people they represent are going to be affected by this Bill. The party that is hit hardest by disbanding at this time of the morning 786 is the Labour party. If Members on these benches are sufficiently interested in this Bill to be willing to stay up at night to discuss it, it seems to me to be rather mean on the part of the majority on the other side to Closure us so that we cannot speak for half the night, and then— —
I am sorry; I did not mean it in quite that way. The point is that, if we are to report Progress at 10 minutes past three in the morning, I cannot see why the discussion should have been stifled all the time the Debate was going on. There is no urgency for their Bill to be got through. Almost every Member who has spoken on the other side has expressed a different point of view in regard to it. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks), who expresses a very learned legal opinion in this House, said yesterday that he thought it was a Bill that needed a very great deal of discussion and he hoped the Government were going to give it a very great deal of time. I believe that is the view of a considerable number of hon. Members on the other side who are not quite easy in their minds that this Bill does exactly what they want. But I think a great number of hon. Members on the other side of the Committee are inclined to agree with us that the Bill not only does what they want it to do but that it also does a great deal they do not want it to do as well. In view of that it seems to me a mean and very shameful thing that the Government should Closure speeches.
§ Major CRAWFURD
I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer or, at any rate, his colleague the Attorney-General, who has been in the House for the whole of the Debate— will admit that the Debate to-day has really been conducted on proper debating lines and that all of the speeches have been speeches of substance, and indeed, good-humoured and effective. In these circumstances, would it not be fair in the interests of hon. Members above the Gangway that either the Debates should close somewhere about midnight or, instead of sitting twice until four or five in the morning, we should sit once until 6 or 7 o'clock? I think I can speak on behalf of hon.
787 Members both above and below the Gangway in asking whether it would be possible in future to give some indication of the extent to which the Government intend to go.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
With regard to the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken, while those remarks may have been well intentioned I do not want to support them. I do not wish that we should come to any understanding with the Government at all. If they choose to put hon. Members to any inconvenience, we consider that privilege and not a displeasure. I am quite sure that the country will understand the motives of the Government. We want to give the Attorney-General time to think over what he is going to say on this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I certainly think that the Government have a right to remind hon. Members opposite that earlier in the evening a question was asked in the usual way as to how long we proposed to go on, in the sense of urging the Government not to put any undue strain on the Committee. From that point of view we felt it our duty to make such progress as we could, but we never anticipated an all-night sitting. In these circumstances I think it is a little hard that we should be reproached with meanness for actually bringing our sitting to a close at almost exactly the time we considered would be the right moment. I trust that hon. Members opposite will believe that no such idea as causing them unnecessary inconvenience existed. We have to make a serious and substantial effort to make progress, and we have made practically no progress. In the four hours that have passed since we were asked this question practically no progress has been made. Actually, the words approved by the Committee now amount only to seven. That being so, I think we are entitled, at this stage in the proceedings, to accede to what in all other circumstances has been the usual course in the House, and carry the discussion no further to-night. Therefore, making my apologies to hon. Members if they have been put to any inconvenience in being disappointed of an all-night sitting, the Government must move to 788 report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
No one need be pained at the suggestion that there has been disappointment with the Government's action, but I hope the Government will keep in mind when, perhaps next week or in the country, they are pointing out that, as far as the Opposition was concerned, no Progress could be made, that the Opposition were, and still are, prepared to Debate this matter. At all events, the explanation having been given now, I have only again to say that no one on the other side of the House who has been present all day would do other than admit that the Debate has not only been a successful contribution, but has proved how difficult and, indeed, dangerous is the situation of the Government.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
I want to raise a matter to which I referred earlier on in the Debate on a point of Order with regard to the selection of Amendments. The Motion is that we report Progress and ask leave to sit again. Before that Motion is passed I think we ought to know what we are going to discuss when we sit again. It appears to me that although there are nearly 400 Amendments on the Paper, no one knows until a few minutes before an Amendment is called what is going to be discussed. May I, therefore, ask on what principle the Chair is guided in selecting Amendments?
That does not appear to me to have anything whatever to do with the Motion before the Committee.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
If we are asking leave to sit again proper reasons ought to be advanced to show why we should sit again, and what we are to discuss when we do sit again. I desire to ask you whether you can improve on the procedure which lays it down that although there are 400 Amendments on the Paper no more than 5 per cent. of them can be discussed.
I told the hon. Member that this has nothing to do with the Motion, and I must ask him not to continue his speech on those lines.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
May I ask, then, in what circumstances I can raise 789 this very important matter in the interests of party procedure?
That may be a very proper question to ask at some other time, but not at this time.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
Will you give me some guidance on this question? I have already attempted to raise it on two separate occasions, on each of which, without any reason being given, it has been ruled out of order.
By the Standing Orders of this House, on a Motion of this kind the debate is to be kept strictly to the question at issue, and I have ruled on three occasions that the hon. and gallant Member is not doing so. If he continues to disregard my ruling, I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
I will go, then, to the other point I desire to raise. We are being asked to report Progress. I strongly resent that we should report Progress at all, when we have made no progress at all. We have made no progress on Clause 1 for the simple reason that the Government, when asked to define what is meant by certain of the words in the Clause, have made no attempt to offer any suggestion, and they have avoided giving us any explanation of the questions that will have to be decided by justices of the peace in times of stress when they ought to be interpreted in times of peace. I shall not allow this Motion to pass without protesting against its hollow insignificance.
§ Mr. J. JONES
The Motion to report Progress means that a large number of us, the poorer Members of this House, will be stranded for about three hours. I would like to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite if they really mean business in that connection? Our turn will come yet, and we may commandeer their motor cars. [An HON. MEMBER: "Will they commandeer your salary also?"] You can have my salary. We want to know why it is that the arrangements have been altered on their side. They have made alterations in their programme. They have not got a programme, but they have altered it. They were going to carry this Bill through in a whirlwind campaign. Some of us have to start off to-morrow morning for South Wales on this particular Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: 790 "What about West Ham?"] West Ham can look after itself. We want to know why there should be a Motion to report Progress when you have made none. You have taken up nearly two days discussing the first Clause of the Bill, and you have not got through it yet. As far as we are concerned, we are willing to fight this Bill through to the bitter end and get done with it. We shall manage to beat you at the end. We have every confidence that we shall win in this fight. We want to know why this Government, with its great majority, are so anxious to get to bed. We protest most emphatically against the time of this House being wasted in this fashion.
§ Mr. JONES
You will put us up in the birth control movement. We really protest against this curtailment of the Debate. The Government have told the country this is a Measure which will save the country from eventual ruin. They go to the Albert Hall with a primrose in their coats and they tell us that this is going to be a Bill to save the nation from future destruction. Lord Birkenhead, in one of the moments in which he is capable of expressing himself —
§ Mr. JONES
We want to have the time necessary for the discussion of this Bill. We are willing to stop here all night and all day to-morrow if necessary in order that the Bill may be properly discussed. Up to now we have had nothing from the other side except generalities. There has been no explanation. Some of the hon. Members opposite are not as great as they look, but they have told us what this Bill means. Up to now we have not had a real definition of what a strike is, what a lock-out is, what a general strike is, what a partial strike or a sympathetic strike is. All we have had up 791 to now is a plentiful supply of English as understood in the West End of London. As far as the East End is concerned we are in the dark. We are asking therefore that this discussion shall continue so that somebody on the other side shall tell us exactly where we are. We do not know where we are and I am sure you do not know where we are. Their leaders know even less where we are than we do. We want a continuation of the discussion to know where we are. The right hon. Gentleman has moved this Motion to close the Debate for the time being and to report Progress,
§ but he does not believe in it. He never believes in anything, not even in himself, because the other day he said he would like to put another 2d. on the Income Tax. Why did he not do it? [An HON. MEMBER: "Because he dare not!"] If he does riot believe in himself how can we believe in him?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 187; Noes, 106.793
|Division No. 124.]||AYES.||[3.30 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gates, Percy||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Bainiel, Lord||Gibbs. Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Goff, Sir Park||Neville, R. J.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Gower, Sir Robert||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Grace, John||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bennett, A. J.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Bethel, A.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oakley, T.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Penny, Frederick George|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hammersley, S. S.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hanbury, C.||Radford, E A|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Harland, A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Buchan, John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Burman, J. B.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Rye, F. G.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Holt. Captain H. P.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N).||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hume, Sir G. H.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Jacob, A. E.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Cope, Major William||Knox, Sir Alfred||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Lamb, J. Q.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Loder, J. de V.||Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Looker, Herbert William||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Daikeith, Earl of||Lougher, Lewis||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Templeton, W. P.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||MacIntyre, Ian||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dixey, A. C.||McLean, Major A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Drewe, C.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macquisten, F. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fermoy, Lord||Malone, Major P. B.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Finburgh, S.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wells, S. R.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wolmer, Viscount||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Wragg, Herbert||Capt. Margesson and Capt. Bowyer|
|Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawrence, Susan||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawson, John James||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clowes, S.||Lee, F.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, F. W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lowth, T.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Watson, W. M. (Dumfermilne)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maxton, James||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Morrison, R. C, (Tottenham, N.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Dunnico, H.||Mosley, Oswald||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Graham, D M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Purcell, A. A.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John|
|Hardie, George D.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Whiteley.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again," put accordingly, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.