As usual, I think it will probably be for the convenience of the Committee if we have a general discussion on Sub-section (2) at the beginning of the proceedings, and that opportunity arises on the Amendment put down in the name of the hon and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne)—in page 2, line 5, leave out Sub-section (2), and insert instead thereof a new Sub-section:(2) Where any such dispute as defined in the preceding Sub-section exists or is threatened any person or body of persons or body corporate or incorporate which incites, organises, furthers, assists, or maintains the same shall be deemed to be engaged in a criminal conspiracy notwithstanding anything in any Act to the contrary"—I shall put the Question, "That the word 'If' stand part of the Clause," and upon that a general discussion upon Sub-section (2) can take place. A little lower down on the Paper there is an Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams)—in page 2, line 5, at the beginning, to insert the words:If, in the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown a strike as herein defined has begun and legal proceedings are necessary the Attorney-General shall forthwith apply to the Court of Appeal for a declaratory judgment as to whether such strife is legal or illegal. On the hearing of such application the Court of Appeal shall have all the powers of a Judge of first instance as to the taking of evidence and the production of documents, and no proceedings shall be taken or entertained under this Act unless and until the Court of Appeal has held the strike to be illegal, but thereupon"—which raises rather a different question. If the general discussion, which perhaps need not be long, as there are specific points which hon. Members would like to raise lower down, were disposed of, 1200 the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw could have a Division upon his specific Amendment.
§ Mr. CLYNES
Before we begin to discuss the Amendments to which you have referred, may I suggest that it would be for the convenience of the Members of the Committee that some indication should be given from the Chair as to the succeeding Amendments which it is intended to call during the course of the day's discussion?
I am anxious to meet the wishes of the Committee, and my suggestion would be that when we have disposed of the first three Amendments, we should then go on to No. 9 on the Order Paper, in the name of the Attorney-General—in page 2, line 5, to leave out the words "furthers, or takes part in a strike," and to insert instead thereof the wordsincites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lockout"—and after that, I should propose to take No. 18, in the name of the hon. Member for the University of Wales (Mr. E. Evans)—in page 2, line 7, to leave out the wordson summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or"—which raises another specific point, and then the Amendment of the Attorney-General, numbered 22—in page 2, line 10, at the end, to insert the wordsProvided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Section or at Common Law by reason only of his having ceased work or refused to continue to work or to accept employment.Then there is an Amendment lower down, after that in the name of the Attorney-General, No. 287, in the name of the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), No. 25—in page 2, line 11, to leave out Sub-section (3)—but we shall have to see how we go on.
§ Sir LESLIE SCOTT
On a point of Order. Does your ruling mean that the Amendment standing in the name of myself and other hon. Members, No. 4 on the Paper—in page 2, line 5, after the word "If," to insert the wordsany employer declares or causes a lockout, as defined by this Act, in contravention of the provisions for conciliation contained in the Third Schedule to this Act 1201 in any essential service as, defined by this Act, or if a strike, as defined by this Act, takes place in contravention of the said provisions, it is hereby declared that such a lock-out or strike is illegal"—is in order or out of order?
The question as to whether or not the right hon. and learned Member's Amendment is in order does not for the moment arise, but the point will be raised on other Amendments.
§ Sir L. SCOTT
This is one of a series of Amendments, including a new Clause and a Schedule, at the end, and this seems to us to be the appropriate place at which to raise the matter, and f submit that it would be convenient to raise it here because it is essential that this Amendment No. 4 should be inserted, supposing the Committee were in favour of the adoption of the subsequent Amendments in the series.
§ Mr. CLYNES
May I submit, on that point of Order, that other Amendments are being ruled out or may not be taken, not because they are not in order, but because of the limitation of time?
In giving the right hon. Gentleman the list of Amendments which I proposed to take, I did not raise the question as to whether or riot they were in order. As a matter of fact, I think they are nearly all in order, but it was with a view to giving the Committee the opportunity of discussing the Sub-sections with which we have to deal to-day to the best advantage.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I refer to the question of the business immediately before, which you were good enough to indicate to the Committee? If you call the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne), which is No. 2 and also expect a discussion on Amendment No. 3, in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams), there is a very great possibility of the discussion lasting over the whole of the time we are allowed under the Guillotine. I want to point out that the Attorney-General has at least four Amendments, of which three are of substance, on Clause 1, and that we have to pass Clause 1 at 10.30. If we have a full discussion on the matters 1202 raised by the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw and the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford, which could easily last till 10,30, we shall have no explanation from the Attorney-General about his Amendments, one of which appears to-day on the Order Paper for the first time, and is an Amendment of great substance. I put it to you that you should consider the matter very carefully if the Government's Amendments are not to be passed sub silentio under the Guillotine by the Government majority. I put it to you, Captain FitzRoy, very specially, that it is through no fault of yours, and certainly through no fault of mine, that we are in an extraordinarily difficult position owing to the fact that there are only a few hours in which to discuss the whole of the rest of Clause 1.
The Committee will understand that I am entirely in their hands, with regard to the length of time which they care to devote to these Amendments. It has nothing to do with me. The suggestion I made at the beginning was to facilitate the discussion, so as to get in as much as we could in the time at our disposal.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I would like to reinforce the appeal of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). Seeing that it is most likely that the Bill when it goes through Committee will contain the four Amendments of the Government, surely, it is for the convenience of the Committee to have the maximum time in which to take those Amendments.
I think it is unnecessary for each hon. Member to reinforce what the preceding hon. Member has said. That would take up half the afternoon.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In view of the fact that all the Amendments you propose to call are those of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne), the hon. and learned Member for Basset-law (Sir E. Hume-Williams), and the Attorney-General, you are not likely to call a single one of the Opposition Amendments. In view of the fact, therefore, that the whole of the Amendments are going to belong to the Conservative party, would you not reconsider your decision and at least give some of the 1203 rights of the Opposition to the Opposition by calling some of their Amendments?
I can assure the Committee that in giving the selection I did, I did not take into consideration at all to which party the hon. Members whose Amendments were excluded belonged. I considered the convenience of the Committee, so that the fullest discussion could take place on the whole of the Sub-section.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Under the Guillotine procedure, is it not customary to give special consideration to Opposition Amendments?
§ Mr. MAXTON
Now that your attention has been called to the fact that the only Amendments that will be discussed to-day are Amendments put forward either by the Government or by private Members on the Government side of the House, and having regard to the fact that the Guillotine has already limited the powers of the Opposition to a merely farcical extent, will you lend yourself to making it more farcical still?
§ 4.0 p.m.
I do not think any useful purpose would he served by any statement I might make on this matter. I have refreshed my memory as to the names of the hon. Members whose Amendments I expect to call, and I find that there is one from each party in the House.
§ Captain BOURNE
I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, to leave out Sub-section (2) and to insert instead thereof the wordsWhere any such dispute as defined in the preceding Sub-section exists or is threatened any person or body of persons or body corporate or incorporate which incites, organises, furthers, assists, or maintains the same shall be deemed to be engaged in a criminal conspiracy notwithstanding anything in any Act to the contrary.I think it is a very good point to take, that where any strike has taken place to coerce the Government, it is the ringleaders who should be punished, and the rank-and-file excused; but I think it is necessary to state the exact nature of the criminal offence which the leaders permit, and that they should have an opportunity of having their case heard before a jury if they so desire. As far 1204 as I can understand from the Bill, it is the general intention that a strike or a lock-out which is illegal under Clause 1 is in the nature of a criminal offence. English law has plenty of means by which penalties are imposed for criminal proceedings. Under Sub-section (2), which makes a man liable on summary conviction to a penalty of £10, the man is not given the option of appealing to a jury. As long as the ordinary striker was liable to be convicted in a criminal court, there was a great deal to be said for dealing with the cases by means of summary jurisdiction. But it is quite evident that, under the Bill, conflicts on facts and law will arise in Court and that, where a man is convicted, he will be guilty of a serious offence. Therefore, he should have an opportunity of being tried, if he wishes, by a jury and by a more experienced Judge than usually exists in the ordinary Courts of summary jurisdiction. I have a great respect for our system of summary jurisdiction, but it was never designed or intended to deal with such complicated points as may arise here. Therefore, I would ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General to consider this point between now and the Report stage, so that anyone accused under this Bill may have the right of trial by jury.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
This Amendment gives an extraordinary insight into the mind of Tory democracy. I think a number of hon. Members opposite were a little uneasy about the intention of the Government, and they wanted to ease the Bill in the interests of the working men of the country. Here we have the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) going back to 100 years ago, to the transportation days, to the days of criminal conspiracy and to trial by Judge and jury, with the whole majesty of the law. Instead of the £10 fine, which was originally proposed in the Bill, be now proposes that there shall be criminal conspiracy. That, as I say, gives an extraordinary insight into the minds of so-called Tory democracy and of those hon. Members who are trying to revive the dead glories of their party. But whether the right hon. and learned Attorney-General accepts this or not, it is guite obvious that the whole thing will be useless.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
I appreciate the object which my hon. and gallant Friend has explained as underlying his Amendment, but I venture to think that it is not one which the Committee can be asked to insert. In the first place, my hon. and gallant Friend and those who are acting with him in the matter were careful to make it clear at an earlier stage of the proceedings that they were very anxious that the person who merely took part in the strike, who was merely a striker and nothing more, should not be penalised, and the Committee will remember that I undertook to put down an Amendment, and they will see that I have put down an Amendment, which meets this point. If this Sub-section were substituted for the one I am proposing, I think that it would be impossible for any striker to say that he does not come within one or other of the provisions of this Amendment. The result would be, although I know it is not the intention of my hon. Friend—[Interruption]—I know it is not the intention, because he and other hon. Members were the very people who pressed this matter upon me—but I think the effect of the proposed Amendment would be to do what they are particularly anxious to avoid, that is, to bring in every ordinary striker in an illegal strike as being subject to the pains and penalties of a criminal conspiracy.
Secondly, as has been pointed out, if you are to leave out the words which were proposed, it would be treating everyone as a criminal conspirator, with the result that all would be liable on indictment to two years' hard labour. I do not think that is desirable. It is quite obvious that the degree of criminality may vary enormously in cases of this kind. There may be some cases with which it might be desirable to deal by way of indictment, but there may be other cases which are much less serious in character, and which can be much more properly dealt with summarily. In the case in which there is a summary conviction, there is always a right of appeal to Quarter Sessions, but I think it is desirable that we should first of all get the exclusion that we are proposing of the mere striker for whom a small fine would adequately meet the case. I hope, for these reasons, my hon. and gallant Friend will not press his Amendment.
§ Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
The right hon. and learned Attorney-General has stated that there will be a right of appeal, on summary conviction, and I would like to ask whether that provision will be in the Bill. There is no right of appeal now from the magistrates to the Quarter Sessions, unless a punishment of three months' imprisonment has been imposed. In view of the Amendment that is set down later on, I think we should be quite clear on the point. There is another point. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Amendment is really proposing that there should be a charge of criminal conspiracy against every person taking part in a strike.
§ Mr. DAVIES
The hon. and gallant Gentleman shakes his head, but the language of his Amendment is quite clear. He will find in his Amendment that anyone who takes part in a strike may be brought within a charge of criminal conspiracy.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
I think the hon. and gallant Member for Central hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) misunderstands the reason for this Amendment being on the Order Paper. If he had seen the whole series of Amendments set down by some of my hon. Friends and myself, he would realise that this is one of a comprehensive series, which was originally put down altogether for the purpose of suggesting a new Clause, and it remains here rather by accident, as previous Amendments on the Paper have been disposed of. The main purpose of the series of Amendments was to call attention to the need for a distinction of treatment between those who incited and those who merely took part in a strike of an illegal character. The fact that the point was first raised on these benches may cause some jealousy on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite, but that point has been agreed to by the Attorney-General, and very substantial changes have been made. The only reason why my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) did not remove the Amendment from the Order Paper was in order to raise this only remaining point of the question of trial by jury or otherwise. It was for the purpose of raising the point that where persons are accused of inciting and 1207 running a strike they ought to be entitled, if they desire, to trial by jury.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I say that I accept the hon. And gallant Gentleman's apology? This Amendment only shows the danger of trying to tinker with a thoroughly bad Bill.
§ Sir ELLIS HUME-WILLIAMS
Do I understand, Captain FitzRoy, that you will call upon me to speak upon the present Amendment?
I have been giving consideration to the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment, and I think it should be really put down as a new Clause, because this particular Sub-section with which we are dealing deals with penalties, and the Amendment which the hon. and learned Member has put down deals with another matter.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
The reason I put down this Amendment in this place is because Sub-section (2) deals with criminal procedings. It says:If any person declares, instigates, furthers, or takes part in a strike declared by this Act to be illegal he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten poundsand so on. The whole gist of my Amendment is, that before such responsibility is put upon the police magistrate, there should be a declaration of the law by the highest Court of the Realm. With great respect, I suggest that the appropriate place for this Amendment would be at the beginning of the Clause, which is the first time when criminal proceedings are to be taken. I appeal to you, Captain FitzRoy, to allow me to proceed.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Are you ruling that the Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) is in Order? I should like to say a word before you do so.
The Question, "That the word 'If' stand part of the Clause" does not affect that Amendment at all. It does not affect any of the Amendments.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Before the hon. and learned Member is called upon, may I ask whether Amendment No. 2 is to be passed over? That, of course, deals with the whole of Sub-section (2). I should have imagined that that would have been the Amendment to which we might have addressed ourselves.
I explained at the beginning of the proceedings that my suggestion was that a general discussion should take place on the first Amendment, and if any hon. Member wished to discuss any matter he could do so on that Amendment. I suggested that there might be a general discussion on the Question "That the word 'If' stand part." I have put the Question that that word stand part but am afraid that the Committee did not understand. Exactly the same question will be raised on the subsequent Amendments in the name of the Attorney-General, and hon. Members can raise a general discussion on that Amendment instead of this one.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The first Amendment was so irrelevant and so impossible that no hon. Gentleman could have addressed himself exclusively to it, and have dealt with the Sub-section as it requires to be dealt with, in view of the Attorney-General's Amendment. It seems to me that the first Amendment is better out of the way, so that a general discussion can take place on more useful Amendments on the Order Paper. I am suggesting that the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short) looks a most suitable Amendment for a general discussion.
§ Miss WILKINSON
It was your suggestion, Captain FitzRoy, that you were prepared to accept a discussion on Clause 1 on the Amendment that had been moved, and you were further prepared to accept a discussion on the question that the word "If" stand part, but as it is felt that these suggestions would not make it possible for us to put the points we want to put, I suggest that you should call the next Amendment.
I am afraid I cannot go back. I am sorry that the Committee did not understand. I suggested a general discussion on the question that the word "If" stand part. That was my proposal, but it does not make any difference whatever to the convenience of the Committee, because the discussion can take place on the Attorney-General's Amendment No. 9.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
There are three Amendments in the name of the Attorney-General of substance and of great importance to the rank and file of trade unionists. Is it your intention, Captain FitzRoy, that we should have a general discussion on the first Amendment? I put it to you that that would be the best way out of the difficulty.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am only anxious to do what is convenient, but may l point out that one of the Amendments to which the hon. and gallant Member has referred is not an Amendment to Sub-section (2) at all, and I should have thought that there was some little difficulty in discussing that at the same time as Sub-section (2). I should have thought that it would have been more convenient that the two Amendments in my name, which raise exactly the same point, should be dealt with together.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, after the word "If," to insert the wordsin the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown a strike as herein defined has begun and legal proceedings are necessary the Attorney-General shall forthwith apply to the Court of Appeal for a declaratory judgment as to whether such strife is legal or illegal. On the hearing of such application the Court of appeal shall have all the powers of a Judge of first instance as to the taking of evidence and the production of documents, and no proceedings shall be taken or entertained under this Act unless and until the Court of Appeal has held the strike to be illegal, but thereupon.I have no intention, as the Attorney-General will understand, of prolonging the proceedings. When he introduced this Bill, he invited anyone who thought he could make useful suggestions to make them. I have put down this Amendment with a view to strengthening the Bill. I think it is as much in order as the last Amendment. I have no desire to take up time, and I have put the point 1210 quite shortly. I venture to suggest that it is, at any rate, worthy of consideration, and that this is the appropriate place. The suggestion I have to make is this: It seems to me that, under the Bill as it stands, there will be questions of great difficulty to determine. There will be cases at both ends of the line. There is the case of a sympathetic strike, of which we have heard, by railway men, in favour of a strike of coal miners, we will say. That has been put beyond question by the Attorney-General. That, clearly, would be illegal, because it would be of necessity a danger to the community, and it would do no good to the masters or to the miners in the dispute which was taking place. Then there are disputes and strikes at the other end of the line, cases of multiple businesses where there might be a strike in a coal mine, and where the coal-owners might have works which are working together with a coal mine. If the men go out on a sympathetic strike, it would clearly then be an industrial strike and would be legal. No difficulty, therefore, would arise. But there must be a considerable number of cases which are neither one nor the other, cases where, really, with the best intention in the world, it is impossible under this Clause to give a clear definition as to whether the strike is legal or not. Somebody has got to determine it, and who is that somebody to be? As the Act stands at present, the first legal proceedings will take place under Subsection (2) of Section (1), which we are now considering. That Sub-section says:If any person declares, instigates, furthers or takes part in a strike declared by this Act to be illegal he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £10 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.As the Bill now stands, the first proceedings will be taken before the Police Court. Surely that is very undesirable. The police magistrate would be called upon to determine an important question before arriving at a decision whether the person should be convicted or acquitted—the question whether the strike was legal or illegal. There might be half a dozen summonses issued in half a dozen different places in the country, and the magistrates may arrive at half a dozen different conclusions on the same question. Now the terms of my Amend- 1211 ment provide that the application which I am now going to detail should be taken in two circumstances. The first is where the Law Officers of the Crown are of opinion that a strike is illegal, and, secondly, when they were about to take proceedings in regard to it. If there was no necessity for legal I roceedings, the question does not arise, and this Amendment would have no application at all. If no proceedings are contemplated, the Government must be the judges as to whether a strike is legal or not. But if you are going to take criminal proceedings the Court cannot come to any conclusion unless it first finds the strike is legal or illegal. The suggestion I make is that when there is a national necessity and a national crisis arises, what you want is that this question shall be decided normally, authoritatively and finally in order that every Court in the realm which is called on to deal with the question may have the guidance of the highest tribunal. This is an entirely new suggestion. I do not think it is any the worse for that. It is that as soon as the Attorney-General or the Government of the day desires to take legal proceedings because, in their opinion, the strike is illegal, that they shall go straight to the Court of Appeal and get from the Court of Appeal then and there which would be binding on the whole community with no appeal to the House of Lords.
Let me deal shortly with objections which will be made. First of all it will be said, "What is the exact procedure you must adopt to get to the Court of Appeal?" Any lawyer will follow me when I say it is done on a motion. There will be no pleadings of any sort; you issue a motion, and go straight to the Court of Appeal at once. So that is a minor difficulty, which will not embarrass anyone. The next objection is, "You will be interrupting the business of the Court of Appeal. It has got plenty to do." I am bound to say that does not alarm me in the least. The private interests of individual litigants might very well give way for a few days to the national necessity which must arise before such an application would be made. I think the Court of Appeal may quite well be asked to put aside the work they are doing in order to consider this vital question to the community at large. The next question, 1212 which is, of course, a vital one, is, "On such a motion, who is to appear, who is to be represented?"
The Court of Appeal may, I am sure, be trusted to see that everybody who ought to be heard on such an application will be heard. They are most punctilious always in prescribing in any case before them that anybody, however remotely interested, is entitled to be represented and heard—even infants and children if their interests are involved. As my hon. and learned Friend opposite knows, the Court of Appeal always insists that they should be represented, and I think it might well be left to the Court of Appeal to determine who is to appear on behalf of the union, that is, who shall be heard before the decision is arrived at. It does not seem to me to be a very difficult question. Possibly it will be the secretaries of the trade unions concerned, or possibly the officers; at any rate, the Court of Appeal can be trusted to deal with that matter. Those are details only, which any lawyers could work out if the idea be adopted.
The next question is one which, I dare-say, may weigh with some Members of the Opposition. It will be said, "This question of fact ought to be tried by a jury, and you cannot very well have a jury in the Court of Appeal." Nobody has greater admiration for trial by jury than I have, in cases where it is entirely appropriate. When the credibility of witnesses has to be considered, when you have witnesses on one side saying one thing and witnesses on the other saying another, it is very useful, and a great help to the Court, to have the commonsense of the jury to help it in arriving at its conclusion; but that is not the sort of question which would come before the Court of Appeal on a motion such as I am suggesting. The facts relating to a strike can scarcely be in dispute: The difficulty is to draw conclusions. [Interruption.] I should imagine the facts cannot be disputed. If there is a strike, there is a strike. [HON. MEMBERS: "A lock-out !"] Call it what you like. If there is a cessation of work arising from a dispute, that question will not require very much proof. Speeches will have been made, and declarations issued publicly. All the trade union movements are open. Everybody knows if a strike or lock-out takes place why it has occurred, 1213 and, therefore, although there must be an examination of the facts, which the Court of Appeal can quite well ascertain from the interested parties before it, I do not imagine there would be such a dispute concerning the actual facts as to constitute the type of case in which a jury is so useful. I really do not know what would he the questions left to the jury.
The real difficulty which has been felt by the Opposition, and largely, too, by hon. Members on this side of the House, is this: Given the facts, does it amount to a legal strike or not? The Clause as it will run now refers to anything that is "calculated to coerce the Government" by bringing "hardship upon the community." That is not an easy question to determine; but the difficulty is not to get at the facts, which are generally common ground. The difficulty will be for some tribunal to come to a conclusion as to when the hardship on the community is such that the strike becomes illegal. Also, the Court will have to determine what is meant by "community," whether it is only the local community or the community as a whole. I hope nobody will think I am criticising this Section. [Interruption.] If hon. Members opposite will take the four propositions which have been laid down by the Attorney-General and take a pencil and a piece of paper and try to express it in clear language, I venture to suggest they will find it a very difficult task.
The hon. and learned Member is really discussing the merits of the Sub-section with which we dealt yesterday. I understood his Amendment had regard to the preliminaries to criminal proceedings being taken and penalties inflicted. The merits of the description given in Sub-section (1) would be out of Order.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I was only illustrating the difficulties of the tribunal I am suggesting, by pointing out the questions which would arise under Clause 1; but if you think I am not in Order, I will not go any further into that. I have summed up several of the objections, and the only remaining objection is this. Several people have said, "If this case has to be tried, would it not be better for it to be tried by some tribunal appointed for the purpose, by a tribunal ad hoc, called into being for 1214 the purpose of determining questions under this Act?" All sorts of difficulties occur to one's mind. Who is to appoint such a tribunal? It cannot be the Government of the day, because it would then be suspect at once. It cannot be the Opposition. Who is the judge to be? The Lord Chancellor? He is a Member of the Cabinet. The Lord Chief Justice of England? My recollection of several Lord Chief Justices of England is that all of them owe their position to a political career—Lord Hewart, Lord Russell of Killowen, Lord Alverstone—as far as my memory takes me back. In my opinion, they are none the worse for the training they had in this House; but we have to think of the effect which the decisions of the tribunal will have on the community at large. It must carry the respect and adherence of the whole of the community, and therefore it might not be convenient to have a judge with a political past, however distinguished his position.
How are you going to appoint a fresh judge? Why appoint one at all, when you have got a Court of Appeal for the purpose? The only remaining objection I can see is one which, I presume, is influencing the Government, supposing they are not prepared to accept either the whole or any part of the Amendment which I have suggested. It will be said that, under Clause 7, the Attorney-General has power to make an application for an injunction, and that this, would involve the determination of the question. I will read Clause 7:Without prejudice to the right of any person having a sufficient interest in the relief sought to sue or apply for an injunction to restrain any application of the funds of a trade union in contravention of the provisions of this Act, such an injunction may be granted at the suit or upon the application of the Attorney-General.Let me point out why I suggest that is not a satisfactory solution of the question. First of all, an application for an injunction has to be made to a Judge of first instance. You cannot go straight to the Court of Appeal. Application for an injunction will have to be made either to a Judge in Chancery or common law, and there will be an appeal, the result of which will be to lengthen and embarrass the procedure. You would not get what I am so desirous of getting, a prompt and final decision, but only an interlocutory one, which will certainly 1215 go to the Court of Appeal, and might go further, and in the meantime the strike would be progressing and the harm would be happening. The next objection is that this is only an injunction to prevent the application of the funds of a trade union in contravention of the provisions of this Act. The Committee will remember that that is founded upon Clause 1, which says:it is illegal to commence, or continue, or to apply any sums in furtherance or support of any such illegal strike.It is upon that that the Attorney-General would apply for an injunction.
I am still in doubt as to whether the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment ought to be taken on Clause 7. If that were so I could not allow this discussion to go on.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
On that point of Order. Surely the distinction between the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment and Clause 7 is that he is dealing with the criminal character of the offences dealt with in this Bill, whereas Clause 7 deals solely with the funds of the union. Surely this Amendment, which deals with the question of the criminality of the strikers or the inciters to strike, comes before Clause 7?
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
May I reinforce that point of Order? Surely Clause 7 deals with a common law application for an injunction solely to restrain the expenditure of the money of the union. This Clause is dealing with criminal liability, and the Amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman is to qualify that criminal liability. I wish to submit, with every respect, that whether this Amendment be in order or not, and I understood that up to now it was in order, it cannot have any possible relation to Clause 7, which is dealing with a civil application to the Courts. Here we are dealing with criminal liability in the Police Court or at the Assizes. May I suggest, with every respect, that your first ruling may still commend itself to you, and that we may go on discussing this extremely important matter, which can relate only to Clause 1 and no other Clause?
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
The reason I was dealing with Clause 7 is this: The 1216 application made under that Clause would not be founded solely upon the legality or the illegality of the strike, and it was for that reason I wanted to have an application made to the Court of Appeal to decide that question, and that question only. That is the only reason I was arguing about Section 7 at all. I had really completed my argument, and if you are good enough to allow me to go on I have only half-a-dozen more words to say.
My difficulty has been to connect the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment with Sub-section (2) of Clause 1. I stretched a point in order to do so. I think it is right that this Amendment should not come in under Clause 7, but I am very doubtful as to whether it is in order on this Sub-section. I should like to know what the Attorney-General has to say.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am most anxious not to stop this interesting discussion, but it would embarrass me in my answer, if I had to make it, if I were not to point out at once that it is an entire mistake to think that this Amendment deals only with criminal proceedings. If the Committee will look, they will see it stated in the Amendment:no proceedings shall be taken or entertained under this Act unless and until the Court of Appeal has held the strike to be illegal.If those words were inserted, you could not take any proceedings under Clause 7, because they would be proceedings under this Bill, until the strike had taken place and until the Court of Appeal had given a decision. I respectfully submit that the proposal of my hon. and learned Friend really amounts to a new Clause, because this proposed Sub-section deals with the whole of the proceedings under this Bill, whether criminal or civil, and renders them incompetent unless and until this decision of the Court of Appeal is taken.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
My Amendment comes in at the beginning of Sub-section (2), which deals with the question I have been discussing. Somebody must be appointed to carry out the terms of that Sub-section. Therefore, by my Amendment, I am simply providing 1217 that that somebody should be the Court of Appeal, and I submit that my Amendment is in order.
§ Mr. CLYNES
If, technically, this Amendment has not been moved in its proper place, could we not proceed with the consideration of it on the understanding that the Attorney-General will propose the necessary words to make it fit in Clause 7? May I ask whether, in the event of this question being considered later as a separate Clause, we can have an assurance that it will be discussed?
That raises a serious question, and it shows the difficulty of discussing questions under the Guillotine. We are now dealing directly with the Clause which says that someone must determine whether a strike is illegal or not. Under the Bill, it can be a local magistrate, and we have been told that a magistrate's decision may ultimately be reversed. Surely what is now proposed must be in order in connection with a Clause which deals with the liability of the individual, and this particular Clause is the one which deals with that question. Even if this subject be dealt with by a new Clause, it may never be reached, and, in the second place, it may be argued that this point has already been determined. I think this is a highly important matter.
§ Mr. KIDD
With regard to prosecutions under this Bill, I think the Lord Advocate will agree that, as far as Scotland is concerned, they will be brought in the County Court before the Sheriff or before the High Court. The question as to which Court will consider them will depend upon the decision of the Lord Advocate.
That question does not arise on a point of Order. The whole question is whether this Amendment is in order at this point, 1218 or whether it should be dealt with as a new Clause.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I have only half a dozen more words to add. I was alluding to Clause 7, because I surmised it would be one of the objections taken to my Amendment, and that is the only reason why I was proceeding to deal with Clause 7 at all. The real answer to the Attorney-General's suggestion that he can get the decision required under Clause 7, is that it will not be a clean decision, and rules might be adopted under which it might be difficult to grant an injunction of this kind. I can imagine my hon. and learned Friend passionately addressing the Court when such an injunction is asked for, and pointing out that, quite apart from any decision as to the legality or illegality of the strike, you cannot attach these particular funds. A good deal of confusion arose in regard to the decision of Mr. Justice Astbury, simply because it was not a clean decision, and, surely, it is better, instead of leaving the Attorney-General with such remedies as are provided under Clause 7, that we should start at the very beginning of the Bill, before any criminal proceedings are taken, and provide for obtaining a decision before the highest Court in the realm.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I may say at once that I am very grateful to my hon. and learned Friend who has just sat down for any suggestion to make the Bill work more smoothly. Although the Amendment which my hon. and learned Friend has moved is one which, on the face of it, is attractive, I have, after considering it very carefully, come to the conclusion that it will not work in practice. There are some objections in regard to procedure which appeal rather to lawyers than to Members of Parliament, but there are one or two points of substance which are conclusive from the point of view of the average man in the street, and from the point of view of the legislator. May I briefly indicate what they are My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Basset-law (Sir E. Hume-Williams) is well aware that the jurisdiction he is seeking to confer upon the Court of Appeal is an entirely new and unprecedented jurisdiction. [An HON. MEMBER: "All the Bill is new and unprecedented !"] The 1219 Court of Appeal is by the Act which constitutes it an appellate Court with no original jurisdiction at all, and there is no procedure for bringing any party in the first instance before that Court.
What you do is that you proceed by writ or summons obtained in the appropriate Court, and there is no such procedure known for bringing people directly before the Court of Appeal. Even when you get to the Court of Appeal there is no machinery for dealing with any interlocutory proceedings. There are a number of interlocutory questions as to pleadings, the discovery of documents and matters of that kind, but in all the Courts there is a staff of trained lawyers, sometimes masters of the King's Bench and the Chancery Division and Registrars, whose business and duty it is to deal with these matters in order that the case may be presented in proper form. No such machinery exists in the case of the Court of Appeal because it has no original jurisdiction. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bassetlaw does not say who are to be the parties, and he does not say whether the Attorney-General is to apply ex parte or bring in persons, and if so, what persons, before the Court. Of course that would be dealt with by appropriate rules.
I assume from what the hon. and learned Member says that he did intend that some sort of means should be provided somehow for bringing such parties before the Court to support the appeal as he thought necessary, in order that they might have both sides presented to the Court. That again is a matter which obviously would have to be provided for, and which obviously might take a good deal of time to decide. My hon. and learned Friend said the Court is most careful to see that all the appropriate parties are before them before they decide the question, and that is the invariable practice. In case of an alleged illegal strike on a large scale it is obvious that there might be people whom the Court might think it right should be heard, and the question of who are those persons and getting them before the Court might easily occupy a very considerable amount of time.
Those are questions of procedure which everybody will recognise are grave 1220 matters, although no doubt it may be said that if you constitute a new jurisdiction, you can constitute a new body to deal with it. The fundamental and vital objection to this proposal is as follows: Under this Amendment no proceedings are to be taken or entertained under the Act unless and until the Court of Appeal has held the strike to be illegal and no application can be made or taken before the Court of Appeal until after the strike has begun. My hon. and learned Friend provides that the Attorney-General would have to apply to the Court of Appeal for a declaratory judgment as to whether such strike is legal or illegal.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
The magistrates have to decide that. Under Sub-section (2) any person who is found guilty of inciting others to take part in a strike, on summary conviction by a magistrate may be fined £10 or imprisoned for three months. What the Attorney-General has just said seems to be a contradiction of that provision.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the hon. Gentleman looks at the definition, he will see that a strike consists of the acting in combination of a number of people who cease work, and, until that strike has been organised or people have ceased work, there is no strike.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
After all, this is for the purpose of clarifying the matter, and, if the right hon. Gentleman is unable to clarify our minds on the subject, weare entitled to give him our reading of it. If a large body of working people are already locked out or on strike, the Attorney-General said yesterday that, if another section of people entered into the dispute, that would be illegal. Assuming, however, that, the first set of people being either locked out or on strike, someone addresses meetings of men in some other trade or industry appealing to them to come out on strike, would they not come under the terms of that portion of this Bill which has already been passed, and could they not be dealt with summarily by the local magistrates?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I think that if, when a strike was in existence, someone sought to organise and incite what I will call for shortness an illegal strike—[An HON. MEMBER,: "A sym- 1221 pathetic strike !"]—that question does not arise—if someone sought to organise an illegal strike, I think he probably could be summoned before the magistrates—
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
—subject to a case stated for the consideration of the High Court. That, however, is not really the question with which I am dealing. I am dealing with the Amendment which is before the Committee, and the Committee will see that it provides that, if an illegal strike has begun and legal proceedings are necessary, the Attorney-General is to apply to the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Appeal is to determine the question; and that no proceedings are to be taken or entertained unless and until the Court of Appeal has held the strike to be illegal. I want to make it perfectly clear that in my opinion, and in the opinion of the Government, the mere fact that you can, after a general strike has begun, start proceedings which may result, after a longer or shorter interval of time, in some declaration by the Court of Appeal that the strike is illegal, and thereupon in the prosecution of the people who have taken part in it, is no sort of protection to the State. The main object which I have in mind in this part of the Bill is not to punish people who have taken part in an illegal strike, but to prevent the occurrence of an illegal strike. My hon. and learned Friend will see, I am sure, that the prohibition of the taking of any proceedings at all under this Act unless and until a decision has been given by the Court of Appeal, seeing that such proceedings cannot be started in the Court of Appeal until after the strike has begun, and cannot be determined in the Court of Appeal for a very considerable time—certainly two or three weeks, or probably more—is a method which would really destroy very largely the usefulness of this Bill. Let us just look back once more to the general strike of last year, and let us assume that we desire that such a strike as that shall be regarded as impossible and illegal. I certainly so desire—
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
No proceedings could have been instituted in the Court of Appeal in that case until the strike had begun, which was, I think, on the 4th May. It would then have been necessary by some procedure to find out from the Court of Appeal who were the necessary parties. They would have had to be served, and there would have had to be, I suppose, discovery on either side to see what were the relevant documents on each side, which is a very important matter in ascertaining the facts. There would then have had to be a trial, in which, I suppose, all the unions interested in the strike, or taking part in it, would have had to be parties, and would have had to have an opportunity of being separately represented. Therefore, one thing at least is quite certain—it would not have been possible to get a decision in the Court of Appeal until long after the last general strike had come to an end.
On that point, would the Attorney-General answer this simple question? Taking the same illustration that he gives, if this Amendment he not accepted, a magistrate could give a decision declaring a strike illegal and punishing certain people, which the Court of Appeal could ultimately reverse. Therefore, if the Amendment be not accepted, we should have this situation, that the ultimate tribunal may decide that something, which a magistrate has decided is illegal, is not illegal, but the people will have already been punished.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
That is quite a proper question, and I will deal with it in a moment. I want to finish, however, if I may, the argument I was putting. The right hon. Gentleman interrupts at a moment when I was trying to make a point which seems to me to be an important one, but I will not forget his question, or, if I should, perhaps he will remind me. It is quite obvious, on the dates which we all have in mind and on the wording of this Amendment, that it would have been impossible to have got any decision from the Court of Appeal, and, therefore, to have instituted any other proceedings, until long after the general strike had come to an end. What I desire is that, if it becomes apparent that a general 1223 strike is going to take place—and, as I pointed out on the Second Reading, a general strike is not a thing that happens without any warning, because even the most autocratic of trade union leaders would at least tell his followers what it was that he was going to bring them all out for on a scale of this kind—if a general strike is apprehended, what I desire to happen, and what I intend shall happen under this Bill, is that at once it shall be possible for the Government, acting through the Attorney-General, to apply to the Court—
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
To the High Court, under Clause 7——and to get from the High Court, on an application for an injunction, an interlocutory decision as to whether or not the strike which is apprehended is illegal, and whether or not trade union funds may be used in its support. The Committee will realise that an application of that kind could reach the Court of Appeal almost at once. I have had in my own experience cases in which a decision has been given in the Court of first instance on one day, and the appeal has been heard in the Court of Appeal on the next day. Of course, it has been necessary to apply to accelerate, but obviously, as my hon. and learned Friend himself said, in a case of that kind there would be no difficulty in getting such an acceleration. Therefore, under the Bill as it stands, we could get a decision from the High Court and from the Court of Appeal, after the evidence had been sifted by the Judge of first instance, more quickly than would be possible under this proposal, and it would be equally satisfactory, coming from the same Court acting in its ordinary appellate jurisdiction, and coming at a time which would prevent the strike happening, instead of merely punishing people after it had happened.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Is it not a fact that, under that procedure, the Attorney-General would be able to tie up the union's funds on an interlocutory judgment before the matter had gone to the Court of appeal, whereas, under this Amendment, the Attorney-General could not touch the funds of the union until a final decision had been given?
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
Are we to understand that, in such an interlocutory proceeding, the Judge to whom application would be made for an injunction is to decide whether the strike is illegal, and, if so, how is he to do that before the strike has begun?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am rather surprised at my hon. and learned Friend putting such a question, but I will answer it at once. I am sure he will realise what the answer is. The Judge will act in exactly the same way as in any other case in which he is asked for an injunction to restrain an apprehended nuisance or other illegality. It constantly happens that, when some illegality is threatened, some act in breach of covenant, or some act which will constitute a nuisance, application is made for an injunction. The Court hears the evidence, and it has to be satisfied by the evidence that there is a real danger of the apprehended illegality, and that it is an illegality; and, of course, where any such application comes before a Court, there is, as my hon. and learned Friend will remember, a right of appeal without leave, and in that case it would go straight to the Court of Appeal, who would decide it. Two other questions were put to me. The hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) said that the Attorney-General could tie up the trade union's funds under my procedure, whereas under my hon. and learned Friend's Amendment there could be no tying up of fends until after the Court of Appeal had given its decision. My answer is that the Attorney-General cannot tie up anybody's funds; what he can do under Clause 7 is to apply to the Court for an Order, on proper evidence, restraining the use of the funds for an illegal strike.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The officials of the trade union. If the injunction is granted, the case can be taken straight to the Court of Appeal and within, it might be, a matter of 24 or 48 hours, the Court of Appeal would either confirm or discharge the Order.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
Will evidence be called on the other side when the injunction has been applied for by the Attorney-General, or will it be an ex parte statement?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am glad that that question has been asked, in order that I may clear up what is obviously, to a lawyer, an absurdity. On an application of that kind, each side files its evidence, and the Judge considers whatever evidence may be placed before him.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
We have had many things explained in this House during the last few days that are not obvious to lawyers.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
At any rate, I am glad to know that they have been explained. In any case, the Court hears all the evidence on both sides, and hears all that can be urged by the representatives of both sides before the Order is made. Now I come back to the question of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas). He asked whether it would not be possible, without this Amendment, for a summons to go before a magistrate and for a conviction to take place before the High Court had had an opportunity of expressing an opinion. I think the answer is theoretically "Yes," but practically "No." It is theoretically "Yes" because, at any time when people were inciting others to strike, or committing what was alleged to be an offence, a summons could be applied for against them and, that would be heard, probably, in a week or 10 days.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
What are we going to do in a week or ten days—stand looking at it? Do not make a mistake !
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If I might answer the right hon. Gentleman's question—I was only just beginning to answer it—there would ultimately be a hearing before the magistrate, and, if he saw fit to convict, there would, of course, be a right, in every case where there was a conviction, of appeal to quarter sessions, or, if the matter were, as my hon. and learned Friend thought would normally be the case, a question of law, there would be a right to have a case stated for the Divisional Court, a Court which is at least equal in authority to the High Court, consisting, as it does, generally of three, or at least two, Judges of the High Court. They would determine any question of law. In practice if people were organising and inciting to a general strike to such a 1226 degree as to direct the attention of the authorities, obviously that would be the very case in which, if it were regarded as illegal, application would be made by the Attorney-General to prevent the prosecution of the strike by the use of trade union funds, and the application would come before the Court and be decided before the magistrates' proceedings could have been determined, and, of course also, any magistrate who was told there was pending an application in the High Court raising the same point would obviously adjourn the case.
The right hon. Gentleman is continually quoting the experience of last year. At ten-thirty on the Sunday night the Prime Minister and the Cabinet were discussing with the leaders of Labour a possible settlement. At eleven o'clock the negotiations broke down on this legal or illegal strike. If the Amendment were accepted the final court would be the people applied to on the Monday morning, but if it is not accepted some other authority, whose decision will ultimately go to the Court of Appeal on the Monday morning, would have to be applied to. Surely taking the experience of last year, if legality or illegality was the issue involved, the final authority ought to be the body to determine it right away.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Assuming the right hon. Gentleman's view of the occurrences of last year is accurate, in the case he puts, no doubt on Monday morning, the Attorney-General would have applied for leave to serve notice of Motion with a writ claiming an injunction. That case would probably come on on the following Wednesday or Thursday and the matter would then be finally determined by the High Court Judge.
§ The ATTORNEY- GENERAL
That would be decided on appeal, possibly on the following Monday. If on the other hand there had been a summons, that would probably not have come on for decision certainly till the following Monday week—until after the High Court decision.
So that the Court of Appeal would have given its decision on the day the general strike was declared off !
§ Mr. HARNEY
Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to tell the Committee that the decision of the Judge on the application for an injunction would be a decision as to the legality or illegality of the strike?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Most certainly. Unless he held that on the evidence put before him there was a prima facie case made out that the strike was illegal he would not grant an injunction.
§ Mr. HARNEY
But would it be a decision that the contemplated strike would be an illegal strike? Would it not be a decision that prima facie there was a case made out that it was illegal, but it would be left for the trial of the action to determine whether in fact it was illegal.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Of course an interlocutory judgment is always until trial or further order. It is easy, if there is no matter of fact in dispute, to expedite the trial before the High Court Judge. You get a decision, after evidence has been given, on which the Judge is satisfied, after hearing both sides, that a prima facie case of illegality has been made out. What I have tried to make clear is, first of all, that this procedure, however well intended, has very many inconveniences and difficulties which render it impracticable and, secondly, the procedure would paralyse what I regard as the most efficient means of dealing with the general strike, and that is stopping it before it begins. That, to my mind, is a conclusive answer to the Amendment, because I cannot accept an Amendment, the effect of which might be, on the plain language of it, that you cannot even apply to the Court of Appeal until the strike has begun and you cannot begin to apply for your injunction to restrain the use of trade union funds until the Court of Appeal has given a final decision, which must take a very considerable time. When all the harm has been done, then at last you get a decision that all that has been done has been illegal. That would be a most unsatisfactory result, because I believe myself the people will always be strong enough 1228 to defeat a general strike. We are not putting forward this legislation because we think a general strike can defeat the people but because we think the loss and damage and harm to the community of an unsuccessful general strike is so enormous that it is essential in the public interest that there should be sufficient provision made so far as possible to prevent it taking place. Because this Amendment would prevent that step being taken it is impossible for the Government to accept it.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
As so often happens in these Debates, the Attorney-General towards the end of a discussion which is really dealing with a difficult technical and important matter, once more gets back to the mere political element. Even the very quality of his voice changes. From a reasoned legal argument with which we may agree or not, his whole manner stiffens, he becomes the politician of the platform and delivers again an oration on the iniquities of the general strike. We are dealing with a critical, technical and difficult point, and we are entitled, therefore, at this time of day, to abandon this political rhetoric and get back to the realities of the case. But if the Committee think we are going to allow the Attorney-General to make his answer to every Amendment an excuse for a further political oration without protest they are very much mistaken. The Amendment is one of the most extreme importance in this Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bassetlaw is an addition to the learned King's Counsel opposite who have shown, consistently with their party loyalty, that they think this is a very bad Bill and will be unworkable. In fact, with the exception of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Norwood (Sir W. Greaves-Lord), who I believe is the author of the Bill, I have not heard a single learned Member opposite commend it. We are dealing with the situation not of general strikes in particular but of all kinds of strikes of uncertain extent, some of which the Attorney-General himself yesterday admitted would be legal and some would be illegal. That is a very difficult problem as to whether any particular strike or lock-out is or is not illegal. It is useless to try to simplify the matter by talking about a general strike. We have not 1229 forgotten what the Attorney-General said, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), yesterday about a sympathetic strike. Some sympathetic strikes which inflict hardship will be illegal, and others which will not inflict hardship will not be illegal.
The test of this legality or illegality is to be decided by a bench of magistrates in the first instance on a criminal proceeding, a state of affairs which may render a man liable to two years' imprisonment. They are going to deal with the question whether the community does or does not suffer hardship, and what is the community. Can you imagine a more unsuitable body to be asked to determine whether hardship is imposed, or what are the limits of the community, or what are the limits of industrial action inside a particular trade union than a bench of magistrates? In all probability the man will not be represented. He may possibly be represented by a local solicitor. In all probability the local magistrates will be assisted only by their clerk. The right hon. Gentleman must realise, there-fore, in the first place that what the hon. and learned Gentleman is saying is that this matter is much too serious, much too far-reaching in its consequences and putting an unfair burden and strain upon a local bench of magistrates to determine an issue of this sort. There-fore, he says with all these uncertainties, with all these perils, let us at least have a competent authority beyond all question, uninfluenced by local considerations and with a real knowledge of law, to determine this matter, and he chooses for this purpose perhaps the most competent judicial body in the country, the Court of Appeal. But that, of course, is a matter of minor importance as I understand it—which particular tribunal is chosen. You want the issue as to whether these strikes are or are not illegal—a very difficult matter involving heavy criminal liabilities involving, as we shall see later, the suspension of the protection of the Trade Disputes Act, about which nothing has been said so far, and also involving the possibilities of other matters, determined by a body of Judges beyond suspicion and of proved competence. Surely that is a reasonable thing to ask for.
1230 I have said I thought the object of the Government, from the way they are handling this question, was to put the trade unions in jeopardy so that they should not know where they are, and everything the Attorney-General has said in response to the hon. and learned Gentleman strengthens my opinion that that is the Government's object, for the Amendment one way or another would make the issue certain. People would know, after the decision of the Court of Appeal, that if they went on they were doing something illegal. If the Court of Appeal decided in their favour they would know they were doing something legal. As the Bill is drawn, one magistrate may decide one thing, another another, a third case may go to the High Court, another to the Assizes, and another might find its way drifting by injunction into the Chancery Division. You may have seven or eight different actions going on at once, all unco-ordinated and all under appeal, with different results in every case. That is the very object the Government wish to achieve in this Bill. They want to produce the maximum of terror, peril and jeopardy. They do not want to make the law clear to the citizen who wants to obey the law. They want to prevent the occurrence of a general strike. Now the right hon. Gentleman wishes to prevent the occurrence of a sympathetic strike also and we see, from his point of view of terrifying the trade unions, how bad would be the Amendment, because under it all the peril and jeopardy would come to an end. Trade unionists would know where they were. This is a most fatal situation from the point of view of the Government.
What is the objection to the Amendment? The right hon. Gentleman says under Clause 7, which deals with injunctions, he has a means of determining whether a strike is legal or illegal. He made the point on the Second Reading, but really does he do justice to the intelligence of the House, which, I am glad to say, contains a lot of lawyers? Lawyers are very useful on these occasions. We all know what the effect of an injunction under Clause 7 would be. Let me read it:Without prejudice to the right of any person having a sufficient interest in the relief sought to sue or apply for an injunction to restrain any application of the funds.1231 Does the Attorney-General really think that while he was speaking we had forgotten the fact that the Bill authorises heavy criminal proceedings in relation to matters dealing with the funds?
Does the learned Attorney-General really ask us to believe that an injunction granted or refused for restraining the use of the funds of a union would determine the consideration by a magistrate of the fact whether a particular striker or official acted legally or illegally There is no connection. There is no reason to suppose that a magistrate would ever know that the Court of Chancery had decided on an injunction. The whole thing is preposterous. If the learned Attorney-General really wishes the trades unions to know what the position in law is, he should at least have taken powers to get a declaration under Clause 7 as well as an injunction. The whole thing is left in the dark. He knows very well—he must know, because he said on another occasion that a man cannot avoid the consequence of his act—that Clause 7 has absolutely nothing to do with the subject we are discussing now. We are discussing the criminal liability of strikers or officials under Clause 1 of this Bill. Clause 7 is giving power to go to the Chancery Division, and to get an injunction restraining the application of the funds of a trade union. The people on strike may not even be members of a trade union at all. There is nothing about trade unions in Clause 1. Some trade unions are mere temporary combinations. Clause 7 is dealing with a collective association. Clause 1 may be dealing with unofficial strikers, and every other kind of striker, and the same is true with regard to the employer. We have heard that the employer is going to be made a criminal under the Act as well as the workmen. Many employers may infringe Clause 1, but they may not be members of associations, and, therefore, no question of going under Clause 7 need arise at all. Clause 1 deals with trade unions; Clause 7 deals with injunctions.
On the Second Reading, and this afternoon, we heard that Clause 7 has no relation at all to this Clause, and, therefore, I hope that another fallacy will have been exploded in defence of this Measure. Clause 7 has gone. What is left? The learned Attorney-General 1232 comes here and says, "I will do nothing to enable the person who is lawfully charged with a crime to know what his position is. I am going to leave it to the Magistrate." The question of demarcation of trades, the question of hardship or no hardship, the question of coercion or no coercion of Governments, the question of high politics and constitutional principle—all these are to be decided by the kind of benevolent gentlemen who spend their time in shooting boxes. These are the men who are going to decide. [Interruption.] And now the hon. and learned Member for Basset-law (Sir E. Hume-Williams) comes along with what I believe to be, not a proposal to make the Bill in all respects acceptable, but, at any rate, a proposal which would do away with a great many of the perils and dangers of the Bill. The learned Attorney-General says that the Court of Appeal is to be invited to exercise a new jurisdiction. Does it lie in the mouth of the learned Attorney-General who, for the first time in English law, is introducing a new principle in Clause 7, to say that he is shocked by the introduction of this proposal. Clause 7 introduces a new principle, and a very vicious principle, too. Is he really so alarmed that the Court of Appeal should be given a new jurisdiction?
If we are to descend to technicalities, let me remind him of an analogy in the Privy Council. The Privy Council normally hears appeals from the Dominions, but it also has original jurisdiction to decide matters sent to it by the Sovereign. The Irish Boundary case, the learned Attorney-General will remember—I think we had the pleasure of meeting one another on that case—was decided, as a matter of first instance, before the Privy Council. Why should not the Court of Appeal be given jurisdiction of first instance here? The right hon. Gentleman knows that under the Workmen's Compensation Act the Court of Appeal hears cases from the County Court. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is in favour of the principle that people should know beforehand whether they are committing a crime under this Bill or not, and not have it decided after they are undergoing two years' imprisonment for an offence they do not understand, surely it is not out of the power of the Gov- 1233 ernment to meet the right hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw? From what I understood from his speech, I did not gather that he was wedded to this particular form of machinery. He would be agreeable, I am sure, that the Government should take his Amendment and redraft it themselves in order to produce his idea that there should be some competent body of skilled lawyers to decide the point. I did not quite follow him when he talked about the Lord Chief Justice having been once a politician. If he will allow me to say so, that was a very unfortunate observation. I think the Lord Chief Justice would be as impartial as any other Judge.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I was not impugning the impartiality of the Lord Chief Justice for an instant. I was examining what I believe to be obvious difficulties. I ventured to suggest it would be very difficult to find anybody to preside over cases, as their decisions might not generally be accepted by the community at large.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I do not really want to do the hon. and learned Gentleman an injustice, but I do not think that exception could be taken by any really responsible person.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
Opportunity is taken in the Press almost every day to attribute motives to Judges.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
I am not responsible for what appears in the Press, either in letters to the Press or in articles. I was about to say it does not particularly matter whether the Court which is chosen is a Court of Appeal or the King's Bench. The real question is, whether some tribunal should be set up which should deal adequately with these matters. The other objection which the right hon. and learned Gentleman took was with regard to the parties. He said you cannot ascertain who the parties were. Again, I do not want to speak without authority, but I should have thought the hon. and learned Gentleman would have allowed rules to be provided arranging for all these things. I apologise to the hon. and learned Member if he thinks that I was suggesting that he thought there was political bias on 1234 the part of our Judges. I think the suggestion is an unsound one, and does not prevail, but the real point is that the Government have refused to set up any machinery whatever for letting the people know what their decision is. That means that the Government intend to leave all the parties, all the trade unions and their officials in a state of jeopardy, peril and risk, and that they speak the truth when they say they wish to prevent strikes. The way they wish to prevent them is to make everybody so fearful that they will be imprisoned and that everything connected with them will be put in peril, that with the sword of Damocles over their head they will not take any action. We have obtained from the learned Attorney-General what we have always suspected to be the motive and intention of the Government, and it has now been amply proved beyond all question and doubt.
§ Sir MALCOLM MACNAGHTEN
I am sure everybody agrees thoroughly with the object of the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams). Everybody must agree, that cases may arise where it is really a matter of doubt whether a strike which it is proposed to call is legal or illegal, and everybody must agree that when that is the situation it is in the interests of the workpeople, the trade unions, and the community in general that the question should be determined finally as soon as possible. It is desirable, if possible, that the question should be determined before the strike is begun. If you can stop an illegal strike before it is begun, you will stop a great deal of injury. May I put another point which will appeal to those hon. Members who happen to be trustees of the funds of trade unions? If they, in fact, expend the funds of their unions for an illegal purpose, they may certainly find themselves in a very awkward position from the point of view of the civil law, and they may find themselves in an awkward position from the point of view of the criminal law. Therefore, it is, in their interests, most desirable that, if there is any doubt as to whether a strike is legal or illegal, the question should be determined before they have paid away any funds. If what I have so far 1235 said meets with the agreement of every Member of the Committee, the only question is whether the proposal of my hon. and learned Friend is a better proposal than that of the learned Attorney-General for ascertaining, if possible, before the strike begins, whether it is legal or illegal. Here, may I venture to say, speaking very humbly, that, from my experience of the Courts—the application for an interlocutory injunction is the simplest, easiest, and best way of determining a question of that sort than any system of jurisprudence the world has ever known.
Let me give an illustration. Sometimes a ship comes into the Port of London and there is a quarrel as to whom the cargo belongs. It is of the greatest importance to get the question determined at once. Our system is such that by applying for an interlocutory injunction, I have known that question determined within 48 hours of the ship's arrival. The parties are anxious to get it determined, as presumably they would be in this case. They go to the Judge, and the Judge can hear the application as soon as the parties are ready to present their case. With regard to going to the Court of Appeal, the learned Attorney-General spoke of a case where he went to the Court of Appeal on the day following the decision of the Judge of first instance. I can recall an appeal being heard in the afternoon although the case had only been decided by the Judge in the morning. It was very desirable that the matter should be determined at the earliest possible moment. If a strike which the Government think is going to be an illegal strike is threatened—let us deal with the matter in a common-sense way; you are not going to have an illegal strike without there being a good deal of fuss about it beforehand—it is not going to happen without anyone knowing about it. If such a strike is threatened, the learned Attorney-General applies to the Court for an injunction. The application for an injunction can only be granted if the Judge comes to the conclusion, on the evidence placed before him, that the strike, if it is called, will be an illegal strike. Therefore, the very foundation on which he grants the injunction must be his decision that the strike is an illegal strike.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
Is it not a fact that the Judge can grant an injunction without determining whether the strike is legal or not? He may grant it or refuse it on some other grounds in connection with the strike.
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
The Judge might dismiss the application on the ground that the Attorney-General had not made out his case. The whole foundation of an application under Clause 7 is that the funds are about to be distributed "in contravention of this Act," that is to say, that they are going to be distributed in aid of a strike which is illegal. The Judge will only make an order if he is satisfied that the threatened strike will be illegal. Let us assume that the case is decided in favour of the Attorney-General. It is, obviously, in the interests of the trade union to get a decision of the Court of Appeal at once, and they will get the decision of the Court of Appeal at once.
The point is, what is the best judicial procedure for ascertaining what all members of the Committee wish to be ascertained namely, whether the strike is legal or illegal, at the earliest possible moment? It is obvious that under the proposal of my hon. and learned Friend, an application cannot be made until the strike has begun. Under the suggestion of the Attorney-General, it can be made before the strike has begun. If I may refer to the events of a year ago, surely if we cast our minds back we must realise that a week before the strike, if this proposal had then been on the Statute Book, the Attorney-General would have applied to the Court, for an injunction. By the time the Trade Union Council met on the Saturday, the matter would have been determined by the Judge, and if the case had been taken to the Court of Appeal, it would have been decided by the Court of Appeal on the Friday or Saturday. If it had been decided that the strike was illegal, the strike notices would not have gone out. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] They would not have gone out, surely, if it had been declared that the strike was illegal. What is more, the trustees of the funds of the trade union would not have parted with the funds, or if they had parted with the 1237 funds the people who had the guardianship of them would have run the risk of being sent to prison for contravening an order of the Court.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
The hon. and learned Member says that the Attorney-General could have secured an injuction in the case of the last strike, but is it not the case that the Court might have granted an injunction on an entirely subsidiary ground, say, that the return of the ballot had not been received, and that the whole question would have been reopened when those subsidiary requests had been finally complied with?
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
The answer is, no, because the Attorney-General can only apply under Clause 7 to prevent the distribution of the funds "in contravention of this Act," with which we are now dealing. Therefore, he can only apply to the Court and say that a strike which is illegal under the Act of 1927 is in contemplation. My learned Friend does not appreciate, what the Attorney-General has already pointed out, that if an illegal strike is apprehended, the Attorney-General or any other party interested can apply to the Court to prevent the trustees from paying away any funds of the trade union to this threatened illegal strike.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
Under Clause 7, the injunction may only be granted to prevent the application of trade union funds "in contravention of the provisions of this Act," but if we look at Clause 1 we find that the only provisions of this Act are that trade union funds are not to be applied in furtherance or support of any strike when it has begun.
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
I think I made it plain. Let us assume that an illegal strike is about to be called. The Attorney-General goes to the Court and satisfies the Court that an illegal strike is going to take place next week, and that the trustees are going to apply funds in support of it. Thereupon, the Judge grants an injunction to restrain the trustees from doing that act in the future. My learned Friend is mistaken in supposing that Judges cannot make orders against things taking place in the future. They can, and it is perhaps the most useful thing which they can do. It is much more useful to prevent people from doing wrong, to 1238 prevent people from misapplying funds than to send them to prison afterwards for having misapplied funds. I hope the Committee will supoort the proposal of the Attorney-General.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Does the hon. and learned Member suggest that in every case the Attorney-General will apply for an injunction? Does he not think that it is possible to take criminal proceedings under Clause 1, even in cases where the Attorney-General does not at any time apply?
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
Assuming a case where the Government are gravely concerned, and where it is reasonably certain that the Government will apply at once, because if hey can apply and stop funds from being used for an illegal purpose, they will stop the strike. It is inconceivable that they would prosecute people and not apply to the High Court. I entirely agree with what was said by the hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser)—
§ Sir M. MACNAGHTEN
Although we come from Northern Ireland, we are also Members of this House. The taxation of Northern Ireland is imposed by this House, and we pay every penny of taxation that other persons in this country pay. I would not have intervened in this Debate had I not thought that I might put some useful point. Hon. Members opposite are anxious, I presume to secure the object which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) has in view, and it is because I think the proposal of the Attorney-General is much the better proposal that I support it. I think that anyone familiar with practice in the Chancery Court will agree that there is no better system of ascertaining whether a strike is legal or illegal than that of applying for an injunction before the strike takes place.
§ Mr. HARNEY
This Amendment presents an interesting feature. It shows that the Bill is so clear and that the grievance which is intended to be remedied is so decadent that those who wish to assist the Government use every 1239 available opportunity of throwing their thoughts into the pool. We have here a, Bill which is said to be nothing but a declaration of the existing law; but this Bill makes something a crime. I have always understood that before a person can commit a crime he ought to have an opportunity of knowing, quite definitely, whether the thing which he is going to do or attempt to do is right or wrong. A crime involves a stigma upon character. It involves imprisonment and social degradation, and in no case that I know is a man ever put in the position of having to go to gaol unless he had a clear choice beforehand as to whether he would do the wrong thing or the right thing.
We have in this Amendment evidence that so far from this Bill being a declaration of what is now a crime, it is manufacturing a new crime of such a very doubtful and indeterminate character that in mercy and in fairness to the criminal when he has done the act, the Court of Appeal is to determine whether what he has done is right or wrong. That is, in the twentieth century, a departure not only from the principles of ordinary law but from the ordinary principles of ordinary justice. I am tempted to say that this Clause and the Amendment suggested well illustrate what was said by the ex-Solicitor-General yesterday, that the Government have given six months' time to the Bill, a lengthened period of gestation, and I would add, paraphrasing the words that Shakespeare put into the mouth of Richard III, in described himself, that they have brought forth a thingDeform'd, unfinish'd, sent before its time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at it.Having started, apparently, the Government, and the Government's supporters are of opinion that the crime has to be found by somebody, after the event. My hon. and learned Friend suggests that the more proper tribunal for finding out this ex-post facto crime would be the Court of Appeal and not the magistrate or Attorney-General. The Attorney-General objects, because he says: "Oh, no, I want it to be in my hands or in the 1240 hands of some future Attorney-General to go, in anticipation of the crime being committed, to the Court and say: 'I, the mouthpiece of the Government, anticipate that something is going to be done in contravention of the provisions of this Act which will amount to a crime and, therefore, I ask you in advance to tie up the funds of the trade unions so that the crime cannot be committed.'" The Attorney-General rather led the lay Members of the House to think that on an interlocutory application there would be a determination as to whether the thing in contemplation was really legal or illegal. The right hon. Gentleman, I know, will not contradict me when I say that nothing of the kind is decided or could be decided on an interlocutory application. All that is decided is that, when you have given certain facts and told of certain apprehensions, the Court will say that on the whole we consider a sufficient case has been made out to tie up the funds until a later period when the whole of the evidence can be heard and a decision given.
The matter had been treated very lightly by some hon. Members. The last speaker said that he had known of cases having been decided in a few days, and another hon. Member has lauded the skill of the magistrates. Let us see what they have to decide. It is for them to say, for the first time in English history, whether a man who has acted without any knowledge that he was doing anything wrong is to be discovered some time afterwards to have committed a crime. How do they find that out? Not by finding out whether he has a good or bad motive. What they have to find out is this: whether the strike had a good motive or a bad one; and a strike is an illegal act if it "is designed or intended." How can you get at what a strike designs or intends? The only way is to get into the minds of the organisers of the strike, and when a man is brought before a magistrate and charged with what is an ex post facto crime, the magistrate has to find out not whether the poor defendant himself had anything wrong in his mind, but whether some other persons who are not brought before the Court at all had something wrong in their minds.
1241 There is another difficulty. A strike may start, as the Attorney-General has explained, perfectly innocently, but as it goes on there may be a change in design. There may be a new volume of hardship which causes it to move in a certain direction. A strike may begin really to improve the conditions of employment, and as it goes on it may be discovered that the only way to do that is by compelling the Government to repeal some regulation or bring in some new regulation or Bill. That may be a month afterwards. But the magistrate, in order to ascertain whether a crime has been committed, has to find out the time when this change of attitude came into the brains of the organisers, not whether there has been a change of attitude in the brain of the man before him. All these things illustrate the absurdity of the whole Bill. It is legislation that manufactures a crime after the criminal may be in gaol, it is legislation that bases a crime upon the motive not of the individual himself but of someone else, it is legislation that says the acts constituting the crime may all have been done perfectly innocently, it is legislation which says that a man may on the 29th January do an act which is perfectly legal and something may occur on the 1st February which makes a man who was innocent on the 29th of January liable to conviction and imprisonment on 1st February for an act committed on the 29th of January.
I support the Amendment. There are defects in it, but I support it for this reason. I welcome any manifestation from hon. Members sitting behind the Government of their dissatisfaction with the Measure, and it will be a great satisfaction to me to walk into the Lobby with my hon. and learned Friend, because at all events I shall know that one of the most able and intelligent Members of the Party opposite thoroughly and absolutely disagrees with the Bill as it stands, and is of the opinion that, so far from this being a declaration of the law, it is the manufacture of such new law which will take the Court of Appeal to discover whether a crime has been committed or not.
§ Major HILLS
Unlike the last speaker the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney), I support the Bill, but at the same time I hope the Attorney-General 1242 will find some way of meeting the point raised by the Amendment. I do not care, and I do not think my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume- Williams) cares either, as to the exact words that are used, but in the opinion of many hon. Members there is a doubt whether the Bill will work properly unless some such provision as this is inserted. The Attorney-General gave several reasons against the Amendment I need not deal with the smaller objections he put forward regarding procedure and rules of court, which can certainly be amended to meet this special case. He said that one objection was that a great many parties must appear before the Court of Appeal. That may be an objection, but it is better than the procedure before a magistrate, where only one defendant may appear and where you will get local magistrates giving different decisions in various parts of the country.
The real objection of the Attorney-General to the Amendment is this. He says that it is too late; he wants to prevent the occcurence of a strike. He wants to prevent it breaking out, and he contends that considerable time will be spent in taking the opinion of the Court of Appeal. I do not think the time will be so long, and in two or three days, or something like that, the Court will be able to give a decision on this important question. I do not think any more time will be, spent than would be the case in applying for an injunction under Clause 7. The main objection of the Attorney-General is that he prefers the procedure under this Clause; by way of injunction. First of all, a procedure for an injunction means that it will come before a Judge, probably in the Chancery Division, who has to decide whether or not an injunction shall be granted. He may decide that question entirely independent of the legality of illegality of the strike; that may not come into the issue at all. He may refuse the injunction on some technical ground. But a much stronger objection to the proposal is this. The decision of a Judge of the Chancery Division upon the special point of an injunction does not prevent the prosecution of those who instigate a strike under this Bill and you would not get that clean-cut decision which most Members of the Committee desire. I 1243 am certain that the hon. and learned Member for South Shields, who seems rather to rejoice in the complexity of this Bill, would welcome the fact that we should know very early, in some such event as the general strike of last year, whether it was legal or illegal.
Now I come to a point which I approach with some diffidence, for my uninstructed brain is no match for that of the Attorney-General's. He said that the advantage of his procedure was that he could apply for an injunction in anticipation of a strike taking place. It may be so, but I cannot find any words in the Bill which allows him to do that. Clause 7 gives him the right to apply to restrain any application of the funds of trade unions in contravention of the provisions of this Bill, and the only provisions applicable to that right which I can find are contained in the last words of the Sub-section (1) of Clause 1, which makes it illegal to apply any sums in furtherance or support of any such illegal strike." All that he can restrain is the application of the funds; and until a strike has broken out there can be no application of the funds. He is anticipating two things. He is anticipating that an illegal strike will take place, and that funds will be applied in the furtherance or support of that illegal strike. I can see no claim whereby he can persuade the Court to grant an injunction. Many hon. Members on this side of the House would like to see some means of preventing a strike before it breaks out. I rather think there are some hon. Members opposite who would not be sorry to see some such provision in this Bill, especially after the experience of last year. I do not think they want to be engaged in another general strike.
My further objection to the alternative of the Attorney-General is this. I should like to see a decision of the Court of Appeal given quite impartially, and I should like the decision to be given on its own motion. Perhaps I have not made my meaning very clear. I do not mean to imply that the Court of Appeal is partial. I should much prefer if the application for a decision as to whether a strike was legal or not was merely an application to decide the question, "Is this strike legal or is it not legal?" If you have to go under Clause 7 the 1244 Attorney-General, so to speak, has to take sides; he has to make up his mind that the strike is illegal and that he wants to restrain the funds. If the application to the Court is not merely one for guidance and for information as to whether a strike is legal or illegal, it is a definite move in the proceedings and an attempt to restrain the trustees of the funds of trade unions from using those funds. I do not know whether what I suggest is possible. In any case it is very difficult to carry on an argument with constant interruptions from hon. Members opposite. I am trying to make a point in objection to the alternative that the learned Attorney-General proposes.
I would much rather that the decision of the Court of Appeal, if possible, came, so to speak, from the Court of Appeal itself. I agree that it is very difficult, but I would much rather that some proceeding was laid down for obtaining the pronouncement from the highest authority, the Court of Appeal—a quick decision as to whether the strike is illegal or not. I do not want that decision to be on the Motion of any Attorney-General who is a member of the Government, and w ho is seeking to do some definite act in the dispute that has arisen. I should much prefer that it should be the calm decision of the Court of Appeal after the Government or someone else went to the Court of Appeal and asked for a decision as to whether the strike was illegal or not, and that then the Court of Appeal should give that decision. I hope that the Attorney-General will find some way of meeting this suggestion. I support the Bill. I have not spoken on it before. I confess, however, that I do want this one point made clear; I do want a definite decision as to whether a strike is a legal or an illegal strike. The decision has to be taken at some time. Either it is taken by prosecution before the magistrates, which is very undesirable, or it is taken by the procedure for an injunction under Clause 7. I see great objections to that procedure. I would much prefer the procedure that is laid down in the Amendment. Whether that is accepted or not, I do feel strongly that the Government have to meet us in some way. There must be some means of obtaining a clear and definite decision, and I see no better 1245 means that the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend. For that reason I hope that the Government will meet us.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I do not rise for the purpose of making a speech on the merits of the Amendment. I want to suggest that quite early we should take a decision upon the Amendment. I am content with what has been said on it by my hon. and learned Friend and by hon. and learned Gentlemen on the other side of the Committee. I want merely to draw attention to the fact that in his Second Reading speech the Attorney-General declared to the House that the Government were aware of the faulty and defective features in the Bill and would welcome assistance in making it more nearly perfect. I think particularly it was anticipated that that assistance would be offered from the opposite side of the House. This is another of a few instances we have had so far of the clear intention of the Government not to amend the Bill by accepting suggestions even from their own side. This is an instance where clearly the Amendment would remove very many of the doubts which the Bill in its present form places in the minds of all those who would have to handle or control a dispute either before it began or after it had started. Therefore, it would at least look better if the Government would completely drop all pretence that they welcome co-operation from any side of the House in respect of further Amendments.
§ Sir L. SCOTT
The Committee have already enjoyed a perfect orgy of delicacies from lawyers, and I hesitate to test their digestion any more. But I want to say that in my opinion the Amendment is unworkable, and will not achieve the abject which those who support it have in view. With that object I completely sympathise, but I want to point out very shortly what seems to me the fundamental objection of common sense to the proposal, an objection which I believe will commend itself on consideration to the Members of the Opposition. It is this: If we are to have, as we should all like to have a clear statement at the earliest possible stage as to whether a strike or lock-out is legal or illegal, what we want is an authoritative statement which will carry conviction and weight 1246 and be accepted by everyone. In these Debates Members of the Opposition have frequently criticised interlocutory judgments of the Court on the ground either that they are ex parte or that they are not sufficiently fought out to make certain that the decisions given are given with knowledge of all the facts. This Amendment does not even indicate that there is to be a defendant to the application. It says that the Attorney-General shall make an application to the Court of Appeal. Who is going to argue it against the Attorney-General?
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I hoped that I had made it clear that I purposely left that out, so that the Government might have their own plan for bringing the matter before the Court of Appeal and for providing for everyone who was interested to attend.
§ Sir L. SCOTT
I accept that explanation, of course, but my criticism remains equally forcible. With the best will in the world, whom is the Attorney-General to find as a defendant to the application? Who is going to argue it? What trade union leader is he to select for the purpose, to instruct counsel to argue it against him? Unless a case of that kind is properly argued by both sides, you cannot get a decision which will carry weight. The opposition, the leaders of the trade unions responsible for the general strike, would be the first to say that the decision of the Court of Appeal was not thoroughly argued from their point of view, and was not a decision to which any weight ought to be attached. That is a fundamental difficulty in any proposal for going to the Court, whatever Court it may be, on an application in which you have not got a definite party on the other side already determined. Under Clause 7 that objection does not apply, because it is an application in regard to a trade union which will fight to protect its own funds and make certain that all the factors are brought before the Court. Whereas under the Amendment you do not get a satisfactory fight to bring out the facts, you do under Clause 7, and in addition there is inherent power, under the rules of Court as they stand to-day, upon an application for an injunction by the Court, to give a declaratory judgment, and it can give a declaratory judgment which is sought by this Amend- 1247 ment, upon an application under Clause 7. For those very practical reasons, I ask the Committee to say that this is not a workable proposal.
§ Mr. OLIVER
As one who has taken part in many trade disputes I should be very pleased to know that some decision will be given whereby those concerned would know beforehand exactly whether the dispute in which they were taking part or were likely to take part was legal or not, and by that means know what their pains and penalties were likely to be. Conceive for a moment trade unionists entering into a dispute. Is it not right that they should know precisely what the law is before they take that step, rather than that they should wait until after they have taken the step to find out whether their act is legal or a criminal act? What is the position at the moment under the Clause as it stands? Who is going to bring the action? I ask the Attorney-General, would it be an informer who could go to the magistrate and bring his action? Would an informer not be entitled to go to the magistrate and bring his action, and on that action the whole question of the legality or illegality of the dispute be determined according to the definition of the Court of Petty Sessions? To trade unionists it is most important. I ask also, when will trade unionists be able to know whether their strike is legal or illegal? As has been pointed out this afternoon, a strike can start and be perfectly legal, but certain elements may ultimately come into the dispute and make it an illegal dispute. The trade unionists of the country are entitled to know beforehand whether their trouble is likely to land them into a criminal prosecution.
I want to draw the attention of the Attorney-General to this point. A trade union is not an incorporated body. It is a voluntary association. The leaders of the trade union movement are elected democratically. If this democratic body decides to strike, the leaders may possibly be indicted for inciting or declaring a strike although the act is quite outside themselves. If the members declare for a strike it is not the general secretaries and organisers who do so. In the main they have no vote to determine whether a strike shall take place or not. 1248 It is left to the rank and file, and if the rank and file declare for a dispute, according to the Amendment which is to be moved by the Attorney-General, it will not be the rank and file who will be proceeded against, but the leaders, the trade union officials who have been democratically appointed. The official's alternative will be either to disobey the instructions of his members, or to be brought before the Court and perhaps sent to prison for two years. In these circumstances I ask the Attorney-General if it is not of great importance that these matters should be clearly defined in order that trade unionists may know precisely what they are embarking upon if they decide to have a strike.
§ Mr. DIXEY
There is one point upon which I should like to ask the Attorney-General a question. If this Amendment is not persisted in will he see his way to strengthen Clause 7? That Clause, which is a very important one, deals with the question of the Attorney-General applying for an injunction and if that Clause were made mandatory instead of purely optional, as it is at the present time, I, for one, as a supporter of the Amendment would be inclined to reconsider my position. Some of us are anxious to see that a proper definition is obtained from a competent Court of law in the first instance, and to my mind if Clause 7 were mandatory instead of it being left to the will or whim of any Attorney-General to take the procedure indicated by that Clause, I would be prepared to agree to the withdrawal of the Amendment.
§ Mr. MORRIS
The Amendment illustrates the difficulty into which we are getting in discussing a Bill of this kind. The Amendment is open to two serious objections. It proposes to transfer to the High Court the power of declaring what is a legal strike. It is transferring the work of the High Court of Parlia meat, in which we are at this moment engaged, to another tribunal. It virtually admits that in the discussion of this Bill we have failed to make that clear and that we are setting up another tribunal to do the work which we have failed to do. There is another objection to the Amendment. I agree with the object Which the promoters of the Amendment have set out to achieve, namely, to make 1249 the law clear, but what is actually being done in the Amendment? This Measure may, possibly, result in men being placed on trial and imperil their liberty, and what is the first step that is going to be taken in that connection? The first step is to make an application to the Court of Appeal which as to declare whether a strike already engaged in is legal or illegal. Assuming that the Court decides it is illegal what is the result? In the present state of the Criminal Law every man is entitled to a fair and full trial by jury. That is a fundamental principle of our Criminal Law. If the Court of Appeal decide that a strike is illegal you may have thousands of men placed upon trial for acts in which they had already engaged, and they would be virtually deprived, as a result of that judgment, of trial by jury. You are abolishing a primary right; you are putting in jeopardy by accepting this Amendment the right to a fair trial by jury. Much as I dislike the whole of the Government's scheme and this Clause in particular, Ii think the result of the Amendment would be far more perilous to the liberty of the subject than even the Clause itself. I hope the Committee will not accept the Amendment, plausible though it may appear, without the fullest consideration of the results which may flow from it. This Amendment and the whole of the first Clause indicate the morass into which we are getting.
§ Sir E. HUME-WILLIAMS
I moved this Amendment in the modest hope that it might answer the invitation given to us by the Attorney-General that we should try to help. I am sorry my efforts have not succeeded. At any rate we have had an interesting Debate, and, in the circumstances, I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
After all this discussion, is the Amendment to be withdrawn? We have heard nothing but lawyers, and the way in which the Debate has been carried on to-day has been shocking.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask the hon. Member to allow the hon. Member for Gateshead (Mr. Beckett) to proceed uninterrupted.
I am sorry the hon. and learned Member desires to withdraw this Amendment, not because it had any useful purpose in assisting trade unionists under the Bill, but because it showed a somewhat more gentlemanly attitude towards warfare than that shown by the original drafters of the Bill. The Attorney-General intended by his Clause to make the carrying out of collective bargaining and legitimate industrial strikes impossible. At any rate he meant to put the ordinary powers of a trade union under the control of a Court of Law, but the Mover of the Amendment proposed to put a little softening cloth around the rope noose in which it was proposed to hang us. The Attorney-General even denies a last breakfast to the criminal. Under the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member, however, the trade unions would have had to pay heavily for the privilege of this last orgy of law before the Attorney-General was allowed to declare their strike illegal. The Debate on this Bill so far has been nothing but an unseemly wrangle between lawyers as to the exact meaning and purpose of the tools of their trade and no two hon. and learned Gentlemen have made statements exactly tallying on the details of this Bill. If hon. Members who are not in the legal profession are so hopelessly bemuddled and misled by the lawyers in the House on the wording of the Bill, what on earth is going to happen to the unfortunate trade union officials or members when they are asked to construe a Measure upon which the lawyers themselves have not yet been able to express an agreed opinion? In saying that I am not casting any slur upon the Attorney-General in his legal capacity. As I see this Bill, the Cabinet first decided—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I would point out to the hon. Member that there is an Amendment before the Committee and that this is not a general discussion.
I thought I was entitled to discuss the Attorney-General's reasons for refusing the Amendment. He does not think that the proposed form of words is clear and firm enough to meet the purpose which he has in mind. It therefore seems that the Cabinet considered the purpose for which the Bill should be drafted before the Attorney-General arrived at the wording which is at present proposed and they must have said to themselves: "We are determined before we go out of office to repress progress in the form of trade unions and to strengthen reaction."
I was just coming to the Court of Appeal. The Attorney-General, having drafted his Bill, resolutely refuses any Amendments even from his own side of the House or from the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) on the ground that those Amendments would destroy the purpose which the Government have in mind. My sympathies go out to the Attorney-General on the way in which he has had to repel even the most reasonable Amendments, including this Amendment which it is now sought to withdraw in a very cowardly way. It seems to me that the Government lack the courage to obtain the ends which they desire by open and frank discussion and they have decided that they will not accept any Amendments which would clarify the Bill, but that they will go to the House of Commons and say, "We wanted a Clause to define a general strike, but our Attorney-General was such a confounded fool that he could not draft one." [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw !"]
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Member ought to withdraw those words; they add nothing to the force of his argument.
I would withdraw the words with pleasure had I been expressing my own opinion in using them. I think hon. Members have misunderstood what I said. What I said was that the Government lacked the courage to put their desires into clear and legible black and white and that they then said to themselves, "We must pretend that our 1252 Attorney-General is incapable of drafting an understandable Bill and we will let him draft a Clause which neither he nor anyone else understands, which will disturb the existing law and will place trade unions in the future as regards taking any decisive action completely in the power of the legal machinery of this country. That contention is abundantly proved—
When I said that the future of the trade unions of the country was to be put in the hands of the legal machinery, I meant the Court of Appeal. Why the right hon. Gentleman, if he is determined that the trade unions shall have no powers unless the lawyers give them to them, should object to an authentic Court of Appeal instead of a bench of magistrates, who, whatever their qualifications, are not particularly learned in the law, adjudicating as to the rights or wrongs of an industrial dispute, I do not understand. I regret that the hon. and learned Gentleman has asked to withdraw his Amendment. The way in which Conservative Amendments to this Bill have been constantly withdrawn, or their Movers have tamely sat still while they have been guillotined, is a disgrace to the Conservative party in the House of Commons. In the country hon. Members opposite are constantly saying that if there is anything in the Bill that is not clear or fair or just, they will do their best to see it removed. We get an Amendment put on the Paper by hon. Members opposite referring the question to the Court of Appeal in order that we may get what they would call an unbiased decision as to the legality or illegality of a strike, and they sit quiescent while that Amendment is withdrawn, just as they have sat quiescent while other Amendments that they intended to move, making the Bill fairer and more just, have been ruthlessly guillotined. Hon. Members opposite must he beginning to realise by this time that the Government are introducing a ruthless and reactionary Measure and are attempting to hide behind the camouflage of the Attorney-General's incompetence, and I much regret that the Attorney-General should have to mask his legal ability in the 1253 House in this way in order to provide a scapegoat for the Government's Fascist policy.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must really address himself to the Amendment, or I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
Yesterday, when there were 61 Amendments guillotined, the discussion that took place on four Amendments was given rather a wide range, and the hon. and learned Member on this side who preceded me was allowed to deal with two other Amendments on the Paper which had not yet been reached, without any intervention from the Chair Therefore, I thought we were allowed a certain amount of latitude under the guillotine process in discussing this Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Deputy-Chairman informed me that he had told the Committee that a general discussion would be allowed, I think it was, on the next Amendment to be called, on Subsection (2). This is an Amendment purely providing for recourse to the Court of Appeal. It is a point of legal procedure.
I read the Amendment, and I have sat patiently listening to a large number of speeches which had very little to do with it, which were delivered before I rose. The final appeal that I wish to make is that, if hon. Members opposite are going to allow these Amendments, about which they have talked so much in the country, to be withdrawn or to be guillotined, it will be very little use them going out into the country and saying they endeavoured to amend the effects of the Attorney-General's incompetence or to soften the effects of the Government's ruthlessness.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
There are some hon. Members opposite who are very consistent in one thing, and that is in the way in which they speak one way and vote another. I know that the Attorney-General is getting very unhappy in regard to this Bill, and I am not going to stand in the way of the withdrawal of this Amendment, but I do want to get it clear that we do not consent to its being withdrawn on the conditions suggested by the hon. Member for Penrith (Mr. Dixey), who, as 1254 a way out of his trouble, suggested that he would withdraw his name from the Amendment provided the Attorney-General would strengthen Clause 7 in a way that would make it mandatory on the Attorney-General to apply to the Court for an injunction to ascertain whether or not a strike was legal. If the Attorney-General responded to that appeal, we should find that in every case of a strike he would be going to the Court to apply for an injunction to restrain the funds of the union in question from being used for a strike. If he responds to the appeal of the hon. Member the Attorney-General with all his authority and influence, in the ease of every strike, large or small, must go to the Court and apply for an injunction to restrain the use of the union's funds, and if this Amendment is going to be withdrawn, we do not acquiesce in its withdrawal on the conditions suggested by the hon. Member for Penrith.
There is only one other point that I wish to make in regard to this Amendment, though there are many which we wish to discuss on this Clause. The Attorney-General said very clearly that it was not possible for a person who incites to a strike to be convicted before the strike has begun. That was an example of the utter confusion in which the Attorney-General is finding himself. Sub-section (2) of Clause 1 states clearly that if any person incites to an illegal strike, he is liable to three months' imprisonment, and we find that an illegal strike is defined in Clause 8 as a collective cessation of work. It is quite unnecessary for the work to be actually stopped before you incite to a strike. A man can incite another to commit a crime long before he commits that crime, and it is exactly the same in this Bill. A person can be convicted for inciting to strike before the strike begins. We are getting into the most utter confusion on this Bill, and every hon. Member knows that the confusion becomes worse confounded with every five minutes that we spend—
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
The Attorney-General made a blunder when he stated that incitement to strike would not be an offence before a strike began. That blunder reminds me of the fish 1255 which, when attacked by its enemies, kicks up a cloud of mud and escapes in an unperceived direction. That is the cuttle fish. [Interruption.½ I know that some fish have certain fluids which they can discharge in order to conceal themselves, but others stir up mud. This is exactly what we are doing in this Bill. On every Clause, on every word, objections are piled up to the Bill, and a case is made out which shows that the Clause or the word is foolish. The Attorney-General then substitutes another, and that word or Clause is
§ shown to be equally foolish, and so we go on. By the time we have finished with this Clause, not only the Attorney-General but the whole country—certainly the whole House of Commons—will be in a state of utter confusion. There has never been any more laughable proposal drafted by lawyers, and I hope that before the end the Bill itself will be withdrawn altogether.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 141; Noes, 266.1257
|Division No. 135.]||AYES.||[6. 57p. m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife. West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardle, George D.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harney, E. A.||Saklatvala, Shapurjl|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Briant, Frank||Hore-Bellsha, Leslle||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighiey)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromfield, William||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snell, Harry|
|Bromley, J.||Jenkins, W. (Giamorgan, Neath)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||John, William (Rhondda. West)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Clowes, S.||Jones. Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kelly, W. T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Connolly, M.||Kennedy, T.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lansbury, George||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lee, F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Llndley, F. W.||Tinker, Jonn Joseph|
|Davies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lowth, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William||Vlant, S. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Walsh. Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duncan, C.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||March, S.||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Maxton, James||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Mosley, Oswald||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Murnin, H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Palin, John Henry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John s.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, w. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Betterton, Henry B.|
|Albery, Irving James||Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Birchall, major J. Dearman|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Sklpton)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Blundell, F. N.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Boothby, R. J. G.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bennett, A. J.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft|
|Astor, Viscountess||Bethel, A.||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'Id.)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Oakley, T.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hammersley, S. S.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harland, A.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Plicher, G.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Preston, William|
|Burman, J. B.||Haslam, Henry C.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hawke, John Anthony||Radford, E. A.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Raine, W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L.(Bootle)||Ramsden, E.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Remer, J. R.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Hilton, Cecll||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Christie, J. A.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone]||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fltzroy||Ruggles-Brlse, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Clayton. G. C.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Rye. F. G.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyrll||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hudson, H. S. (Cmuberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Savery, S. S.|
|Cope, Major William||Hurd, Percy A.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Couper, J. B.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm Henry(Islington, N.)||Jacob, A. E.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Crooke. J. Smedley (Derltend)||Jephcott, A. R.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kind, J. (Linlithgow)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Daiziel, Sir Davison||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Stuart, Crichton-,Lord C.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stuart. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lamb, J. Q.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S)||Lane Fox. Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Dlxey, A. C||Lister, Cunllffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Drewe, C.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Duckworth, John||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Loder, J. de V.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Looker, Herbert William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Ellis, R. G.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Elveden, Viscount||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Waddington, R.|
|England, Colonel A.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Maclntyre, Ian||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McLean, Major A.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Falrtax, Captain J. G.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Wells, S. R.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Macquisten, F. A.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple.|
|Finburgh, S.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Malone, Major P. B.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wilson. Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Ganzonl, sir John||Mline, J. S. Wardlaw-||Withers, John James|
|Gates, Percy||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Womersiey, W. J.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. R. C. (Ayr)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Grace, John||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Morris, R. H.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Morrison. H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nelson, Sir Frank||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Neville, R. J.||Lord Stanley.|
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, to leave out the words "furthers, or takes part in a strike," and to insert instead thereof the words:incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lock-out.This Amendment is the one which, I gather, gives rise to a general discussion on the Sub-section, and in order that it shall be intelligible, I would ask the Committee to look at the Amendment, also standing in my name, in page 2, line 10, to insert the words:Provided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Section or at Common Law by reason only of his having ceased work or refused to continue to work or to accept employment.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
On a point of Order. Do I understand that on this Amendment we are to have a general discussion?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand that was so arranged with the consent of the Committee by the then occupant of the Chair.
I have no objection to that, but on which Sub-section are we to have a general discussion?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
It is a general discussion on Sub-section (2). The two Amendments read together are designed to carry out the promise I gave to the Committee on an earlier occasion so to modify this Sub-section that it shall not be rendered criminal for any person merely to take part in a strike without taking any more active part in regard to it. We propose to effect this by leaving out the words "furthers, or takes part in a strike," and substituting these words:incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lockout,and then since that by itself might very well be thought to cover the case of a striker whose act is merely his striking, we put in, in line 10, a new Amendment as follows:Provided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Section or at Common Law by reason only 1260 of his having ceased work or refused to continue to work or to accept employment.Perhaps I may explain at this moment that the reason why we are inserting the words "or at common law" is that if we were merely to exempt anybody from the operation of the Sub-section it might possibly have been considered that, inasmuch as they were taking part in an illegal combination, they were guilty of conspiracy at common law, and instead of the penalties inflicted by the subsection they would find themselves exposed to the more serious penalty of liability under indictment to two years' hard labour, with no possibility of summary prosecution. That explains the alteration we have made, and the position of this Sub-section, when it becomes part of the Act, will be that if there is a strike which is declared by the Act to be illegal, namely, a strike defined by Sub-section (1), it will not be an offence merely to be a striker but that any person who actively furthers the strike either by inciting others to take part in it or by instigating it, or by starting it, or by, let us say, acting as a picket in furtherance of it, or anyone who in any other way takes an active part, will be liable.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Being a member of the local committee which is managing the strike, certainly. Anybody who takes some active part in the furtherance of the strike as opposed to somebody who merely strikes, and takes no active part in inducing others to join in it, or carrying it forward.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If by funds are meant funds which are merely meant to support people in distress, no, but anybody who makes a collection and collects funds in order to carry on a strike is affected.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If I am asked that question, merely supporting the wives and families of strikers is not, in my judgment, supporting a strike.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The local authorities do that already. There is all the distinction in the world between merely relieving distress occasioned by an illegal act, and finding money in order to encourage others to indulge in an illegality. The one is innocent and may be legal, and the other is criminal and liable to a penalty. The effect, therefore, is that a person who merely strikes and does no more will not be punished. A person who takes an active part either in starting the strike or in persuading others to take part in it, or in bringing it to a successful conclusion or attempting to do so, will be taking part in an illegal conspiracy against the State and will be liable, therefore, to the penalties for so doing. It is obvious that the gravity of the offence may vary enormously. There might be cases in which the ringleaders who attempt to attack and overthrow the State might well be deemed to be engaging in a conspiracy which falls little, if at all, short of actual treason.
There will be, on the other hand, the comparatively light and harmless acts which, while culpable, are not deserving of any very severe punishment. Accordingly, in the Bill there are two alternative methods of procedure. In the minor and less serious cases, there is provision for summary procedure, and for a maximum fine of £10 or a maximum term of imprisonment of three months, whereas in the cases of a more serious character the right to prosecute by indictment, and to ask for the penalty which at present is inflicted at common law for taking part in a seditious conspiracy, namely, imprisonment for two years, is still retained. I hope that this Clause, so drafted, meets the anxiety of some of my Friends who are anxious to avoid any risk of men being sent to prison or being liable for merely ceasing work, whereas, on the other hand, it retains the penalties for those who are taking an active part in encouraging what this Bill declares to be an illegal attack on the State and the community.
If any evidence were needed to demonstrate what has been urged from this side, the absolute farce and waste of time in connection with this Bill, it is provided by the Amendment we are now considering. I cannot 1262 believe that any hon. Member or right hon. Member who might think of supporting this Clause, as amended, could do so if he had any knowledge whatever, not of a general strike, but of any serious strike which takes place in this country. But the first observation I would make is that we were told, prior to the introduction of this Bill, that there never had been a Measure more carefully considered, on which the Cabinet were so unanimous, and to which the best brains in the country had been directed, than the particular Bill which we are now discussing. The Committee will have observed that every day we have met to discuss the Measure there have not only been criticisms from both sides of the Committee, but Amendments have been moved by the Government themselves. What is this Amendment? I will summarise it, and I will put it in another way. I will first show what is being said in public by hon. Members opposite in connection with this, and then I will show how it works out in practice.
It has been said that the Government now have no desire to punish the innocent victims that take part in a strike, and they are only now going to deal with the leaders. That is the statement made in connection with this particular Amendment in the country. That is a fair summary of the case. What are the facts? First of all, how does the ordinary strike take place? Do hon. Members think that it is by the leaders deciding that there shall be a strike? Is that the idea? Is that what people imagine happens? If they do, I would tell hon. Members that I have never heard of such a thing. Not only have I never heard of it, but it would be farcical to assume it. I am going to apply then to this Amendment actual experience. The Swindon Branch of the National Union of Railwaymen—and this will apply to other unions as well—discuss a certain matter in dispute. For the purpose of bringing the distinction of the Attorney-General into this I assume that a miners' strike is taking place, because it is much better to adopt the illustration which we had yesterday. The miners are already engaged in a dispute, either by a lock-out or a strike; it does not matter which. But the Swindon Branch of the National Union of Railwaymen met on the Sunday night to discuss the miners' strike, and one of the ordinary members, in no office what- 1263 ever, having argued and discussed this dispute, moved a resolution to the effect "That we hereby decide to urge our Executive to assist the miners." That is seconded, adopted, and ultimately carried. We will assume that there are 100, 200, or more members present out of a membership of a couple of thousand.
That is an actual concrete illustration of how these things happen. That Resolution is sent to the head office of the union, and it becomes a legitimate matter for the consideration of the executive committee. But what has happened in Swindon may have happened in 50, 100, or 200 other branches on the same Sunday night, and when the executive meets they have a request from 100, 200, or perhaps 300 branches. They then discuss the matter. What do they discuss? They discuss the application from their own members; they do not discuss the miners' dispute, that is not even on the agenda. They discuss the application of 100, 200, or perhaps 300 of their own branches to do certain things. Following the matter out logically, supposing, they decide to accede to the request of their 100, 200, or 300 branches. They have committed an illegal act, and what follows? Now take this Amendment and apply it to the actual illustration. Who are the guilty people? Who are the people that incited it? Who are the people that encouraged it? Who are the people that initiated it? This Amendment that we are now discussing, if it is even logical, means that the first people to be indicted under this Bill are not the executive leaders, but every branch secretary, every ordinary individual, that moved the original resolution in his own branch for something to be done. They have committed an illegal act. Can that be disputed? Will the right hon. Gentleman or anyone from that side of the Committee dare to dispute the interpretation that I now give, that all the people that I have mentioned, who initiated the strike, would under this Bill be the leaders? So there is the first point, and it is that the so-called immunity for the rank and file is not only a farce, but the rank and file in this case become absolutely the leaders. That is the first stage of this Amendment.
Now apply the second stage. A strike is sanctioned. Take the case of the 1264 miners as an illustration. The miners cannot have a strike unless there is a ballot; that is a condition of the Miners' Federation, but the miners in this case, having taken a ballot, the ballot vote has decided in favour of a strike. First of all, everyone who voted for a strike would become in this connection one of those responsible, and he is therefore subject to the penalty. If that is not so, this must be farcical. It must be so, and therefore who is there who is going to pretend that when we are talking about the innocent rank and file everyone in practice knows—
The right hon. Gentleman has just mentioned that a ballot has been taken, but, surely, in a ballot nobody knows who has voted?
I agree. That means that those who have incited to a strike cannot he punished, so that those who do not can. We are now getting this interesting situation. The leaders who are compelled to give effect to this ballot, which is to be taken in secret, are the people to be branded, but the people who are responsible for this decision cannot be got at.
We are getting much nearer to Russia than I thought. Now we have the new method of this Bill and its supporters, and that is to have a real rank and file movement, and to have all the leaders resign. Now hon. Members voting for this Amendment will observe that the industry of this country, the trade union movement, and all the ordinary relationship that goes on in conciliation and arbitration in trade disputes, is for the future, under this Bill, to be conducted by the rank and file because the leaders, in order to escape their responsibility, must resign their position.
Now we come to the third point. The strike is sanctioned. How do hon. Members assume that that strike is given effect to? Take again my own union of 1,700 branches. A strike is decided upon and a communication, I presume, must go to someone, and that someone must be the branch secretary. The branch secretary again follows legal procedure and does not interfere in a strike and does not attempt to interfere with the right of the 1265 worker to withhold his labour—none of that is involved. All that happens is that the executive forwards a communication to the branches. The request of the branches is that there should be a strike, and someone has to give effect to their instructions. The person who does so is the branch secretary, so that here we have the branch secretary, who is merely acting at the request of the members, who is the innocent person, but he has to give effect to the strike and he is the chap who is to be branded in this connection because he incites the men to come out on strike. The branch secretary has a local committee and the first duty of that local committee is to pay the strikers, to bring out the strikers, to issue notices to the strikers, so that the members of that committee are the leaders. They are branded in the Bill, but the head office officials get clear. The Attorney-General made a fine distinction between separating the strikers' wives and the strikers themselves. The noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) is hound to be in gaol under this Clause. She went to Tonypandy, and to the Rhondda Valley, and she saw so much distress there—
I must answer this point. It was said that there was starvation. I went down to find whether there was starvation, and I found that that was not true.
She found that it was not true, and yet she went and broadcast and asked for money. [Interruption.] The noble Lady attempted to interrupt——
That was exactly what I did not do. I said there was no starvation but that there would be distress, but that there were no starving children.
We are now reduced to this situation. That is a legitimate strike. I believe that it is so legitimate that it is my duty to help and encourage the strikers. That is not an unusual thing. I see that the Solicitor-General is here.
1266 I am going to remind him of an instance which will show how very distinguished people can be landed. We have heard a lot about the famous Taff Vale decision. I have told the House before how we fought that judgment. One of the Taff Vale directors was the late Lord Rhondda, then D. A. Thomas, and D. A. Thomas, as a Taff Vale director, lent me £500 to fight that case in the law Courts. D. A. Thomas, who was a director of the Taff Vale Railway Company when the Taff Vale strike took place, lent me £500 to fight that Taff Vale case in the House of Lords. The money was paid back to him. It is only fair to say he was so disgusted with the action of his colleagues that he resigned from the Board. Another very distinguished Member of this House took the same view, Mr. Russell Rea.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)
The right hon. Gentleman looks at me as if my father had something to do with it. My father resigned his chairmanship in the early years, before the strike took place.
I did not say he was there, but I was pointing it out because I knew the hon. and learned Gentleman's father was intimately connected with the Taff Vale. That was why I mentioned it. Here is a railway director who disagrees with his own colleagues on the railway board to such an extent that he even lends £500 to support the strikers. He went beyond that. I think I am right in saying—I will not mention individual names, but some of my Welsh friends will support me—that he even subscribed to the miners' funds in the following strike. At all events, I know I had the money from him. Under this Clause what would D.A. Thomas have been doing? D. A. Thomas was inciting. D. A. Thomas was guilty of a criminal offence. He was aiding and abetting and supporting a strike.
Major-General Sir NEWTON MOORE
I understood that this £500 was subscribed in order that you could appeal to the Courts of law of the country, and not to support the strike.
The Taff Vale judgment was declared illegal. [An HON. MEMBER: "Was the strike declared illegal?"] There are a lot of people intervening here. I suppose you know that 1267 by this Bill you are amending the Act that followed the Taff Vale judgment? The Taff Vale judgment laid it down, for the first time, that the funds of trade unions were liable at law, and damages were paid. That was reversed ultimately in the Act that followed. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer made his contribution towards the reversal. We as a union, following the strike, even during the strike, challenged that view, and we received funds from, amongst others, D. A. Thomas. But I will come much nearer home than that. At one stage of the late miners' dispute His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to his everlasting credit, in spite of the things that were said and the bitterness that was engendered, had the courage himself to make a contribution. [HON. MEMBERS: "For the children !"] He made a contribution to the relief fund. Obviously and clearly it was his intention to relieve the suffering. Did hon. Members opposite, when the question of Russian contributions to the same fund was under consideration, say that the money from Russia was for the women and children? They said then that it was given in order to keep the strike going. If credit is given to one person who subscribes to a particular fund for a given object, the same credit must be given to other people who contribute to that particular fund.
I certainly do not feel inclined to vote for anything that imposes a penalty on any innocent victim. If the Attorney-General thinks that this does it, all I say is that he is living in a fool's paradise. I certainly shall not advise a vote against this Clause, but if it be carried, then in its application and in practice, and in the way it must work out, it will only be one more illustration of the farce of the whole proceedings. Who is there on the benches opposite, or what Judge in the land is there, who is going to differentiate and determine between the leaders of a strike and others? I have known a strike determined by a majority of one on the Executive Committee, but with loyalty to their colleagues all say, "The decision having been given, we accept the verdict." According to one hon. Member, those who dissented ought to resign. Well, there would be a lot of resignations from boards of directors if all resigned when they did not happen 1268 to agree with their colleagues. In any case here we have the innocent victims, the branch secretary, the branch committee, and all those people, being landed as leaders of the strike; whereas, as was shown earlier, those who vote in a secret ballot and are responsible for the strike, are to be treated as the innocent victims and as having nothing to do with it. All this illustrates that the Government when they undertook this task undertook it without any knowledge of the realities of the trade union movement, and demonstrates how absurd it is to go on.
Mr. A. HOPKINSON
There is one point in the right hon. Gentleman's speech which puzzles me. He said that these resolutions were initiated by the branches in every case. It has been my experience in recent years to receive a large number of resolutions from branches of various trade unions. What is the cause of the most remarkable fact about these resolutions? If they are, as he says, initiated by the branches, why is it that they are always couched in exactly the same words?
Because, in any case simplicity of language—[Interruption]—I am dealing with a point the hon. Member put to me, and the first observation I make is that the right hon. Gentleman could not have received resolutions dealing with a strike, and he must know that I was dealing with resolutions as to a strike pure and simple. I do not know what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health sneers about, because up to now either he could not or he has not been allowed to make any intelligent contribution to these Debates. The hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentlemen who are sitting on the Treasury Bench will not have to give effect to this legislation outside, and those of us who have got to do that are entitled to try to get explanations in this House. I am sorry I was diverted from my point. I was dealing with the case of a strike, dealing merely with resolutions asking a union to sanction a strike, and those resolutions must, of necessity, be couched in very similar language.
Then it is the case—I am asking this for the information of the Committee—that it does happen sometimes that there is a complete similarity in the wording form of the resolution?
In my experience I have never known it. I think I know to what the hon. Member is referring. Let us be quite frank. I have a resolution from a Unionist Association in Durham—at least, from a member of my own union in Durham, protesting against the political levy, but I happen to have had in advance a printed copy of the particular resolution that was suggested; and just as the Unionist Association stage manages things, so do other people. That is the answer to that. I go back to this point. If the head office send down any resolution on a strike, such as I was dealing with, obviously, according to the Attorney-General's own statement, they are the people responsible for initiating it; but I am not dealing with the head office at all, I am dealing with branch offices asking for a strike.
There is either a head office or there is not, and if there is a head office it is the duty of a head office at least to do something. In the case of sending out ballot papers, I presume the hon. Member would agree that ballot papers, which are to determine as to a strike, should not be printed locally, with the result that the ballot papers would differ in different districts.
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain one point in his speech, so that I may know whether I understand him correctly? He was referring to the gifts of money sent to relieve the distress amongst the children and the funds which were received from Russia. Is it a fact that the funds received from Russia only went to assist the children, or is it a fact that on at least one occasion, if not on two occasions, it was stated that the money had been subscribed in order to prolong the strike?
I do not know. I did not introduce that into my speech. I dealt with it only in connection with an interruption. I do not know anything about that. I only speak of things within my actual knowledge; everything I said in connection with all the other funds were things arising out of my own actual experience, and I myself can substantiate them.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) devoted his speech to enlightening hon. Members on this side as to the exact procedure and working of trade unions in connection with strikes, and I think hon. Members will agree that we have never listened to a speech which showed such confusion of thought or one so misleading. I will take the case the right hon. Gentleman himself quoted, in which he assumed a perfectly spontaneous act at a branch of his own union. He instanced the branch at Swindon. His first assumption was that that meeting would be attended by perhaps 100, or possibly 200, members out of 2,000. To begin with, there are obviously 1,800 out of 2,000 who take no part in instigating this strike. Therefore, on the Attorney-General's Amendment, 1,800 out of 2,000, if they were called out on strike, will be the "innocent victims"—that has been the term used, though I should perhaps say "dupes"—of those engineering it. The next thing the right hon. Gentleman said was that these resolutions are sent up to the head executives, and they have to decide whether they should grant the petitions or not. The head executives will, I presume, as part of their duty study this Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament and make themselves acquainted with the circumstances which decide whether a particular strike is legal or illegal.
Clearly it is not within the purview of an ordinary member of any branch of a union to decide such a question and the responsibility for any such decision lies with the leaders. I want to know whether there are leaders of trade unions or not. If there are leaders, then they must take the responsibility of their decision, and whether the motion for a strike originates in the innocent manner suggested by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby or whether they originate as suggested by another hon. Member in a less spontaneous way does not matter. It seemed to me that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby tried to make out that the leaders of trade unions were innocent and helpless tools in the hands of irresponsible members of different branches who were private members of the union in no official position, and who proposed a strike on their own motion of such a nature as the Bill proposes, and proposed a vast strike 1271 for an illegal purpose. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can seriously expect the House to believe that statement. It does not make the slightest difference where the strike originates and that is not the point.
§ Sir B. PETO
The branches send resolutions for the executive to come to a decision upon; that is the ordinary practice. In public companies the board of directors deal with these matters and in trade unions they are dealt with by the executives. Take, as an instance, the grave decision of an executive to tell their members to come out on strike knowing that it is an illegal strike.
§ Mr. OLIVER
Does the hon. Gentleman know that before any big strike takes place a vote of the rank and file of the union has to be taken, and it is not a decision of the leaders at all?
§ Sir B. PETO
That did not occur in the case of the General Strike of last year, which is the only example we have at present of an illegal strike. The right hon. Gentleman went on to refer to the activities of the Noble Lady the member for Plymouth (Viscount Astor) in getting money for the miners families and even to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales' gift to miners families and suggested that this Bill would render such action illegal. Nobody has ever maintained that the stoppage in the coal trade last year was an illegal strike, or that it was aimed at by this Bill, and certainly the Attorney-General has never suggested such a thing. That stoppage was obviously an industrial strike and it is utterly outside the question we are considering. I was rather surprised that you, Mr. Chairman, allowed the right hon. Gentleman to go to such lengths in discussing matters which have nothing whatever to do with this particular Amendment.
I submit that you at least, Mr. Chairman, as the guardian of our rights in this House have to decide these questions of Order and if the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) was not present when you indicated that there was to be a general discussion on this Amendment I think it is a great pity that he should be allowed to reflect upon your ruling in the way he has done.
§ Sir B. PETO
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby was undoubtedly dealing with this Amendment, and he was trying to show that anybody contributing in the way,suggested would be rendering themselves liable to imprisonment under this Bill. Not only has that question no relevance to this Amendment—
§ Sir B. PETO
I thought that when one hon. Member was answering a speech made by another hon. Member he was quite justified in saying that what the hon. Member had said had no relevance to the Amendment, and all I said just now was that I was surprised that you, Mr. Chairman, allowed him to do so. I did not mean that remark as a criticism of your ruling. My argument is that it is quite clear that anybody making a contribution for the maintenance of a strike which has been declared to be illegal may come within the provisions of this Bill, and the same thing would apply to the providing of money for carrying on a strike as would apply to the case of a person inciting people to go on strike. The question is whether the strike is legal or illegal. With regard to illegal strikes it is desirable that the Bill should make it perfectly clear that it is illegal to incite or bring people out on strike or when they are on strike, if it is an illegal strike, to urge them to continue their defiance of the law. That is clear and it has no bearing whatever on the arguments put forward that the provisions of this Bill would apply to the perfectly legitimate strike last year, namely, the stoppage in the coal industry.
I hope we shall hear from other hon. Members opposite some arguments which are relevant to this matter, and that we shall not be told again that because a motion to start an illegal strike may in some instances come from the branch of some union that it entirely absolves from all responsibility the directors and executive of that particular union which accepts the motion authorising a strike applying to the whole of the members of the union when it is an illegal strike. I do not think there is any ambiguity or difficulty in regard to the words of this particular Clause as amended, and I shall be perfectly satisfied to support it not only in this House but outside.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I rather regret that we are not going to oppose this Amendment because I think it makes the position worse. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) told us how impossible and hopeless it was to imprison tens of thousands of the members of various unions who might go on strike, and he said that it was impossible for any provision of that kind to be carried out. That point was backed up by a large number of hon. Members and in reply to that argument we were told that there was no intention of applying that provision to the rank and file but it was going to be applied to the leaders.
We are told now by the Attorney-General that the Amendment which they are now proposing is only to apply to the leaders and not to the rank and file. In the common phraseology of the common mind, who are the leaders? Not the branch secretary or the local branch committee members. What the average person understands by a leader is the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby or such men as Mr. A. J. Cook, Mr. Herbert Smith or the various general secretaries. I think that is the commonly accepted definition of leaders, and it does not mean the local persons at all. The Government say: "Let us imprison the leaders," but nobody believes that they will do that. We have been told that the last general strike was a strike against the community and therefore the leaders of that strike ought to have been imprisoned. I can understand the point of view which says that the general strike was illegal. On this matter I have nothing but absolute contempt for the point of view taken up by the Government. What did they do in regard to this matter? In the general strike the persons who took part in it acted on an instruction from the General Council of the Trade Union Congress. They were the leaders, and every one of the persons who struck work acted on the instruction of the General Council. If the general strike was illegal, then the real criminals were not the people who came out on strike but the persons who ordered them out.
Let us consider the honesty of the Government in regard to these matters. A few weeks after the strike was finished the Government sent out inquiries to certain justices of the peace putting to 1274 them the question "Did you take part in the general strike?" They found out certain men who, although they were not leaders, had obeyed the call of the General Council to take part in a strike, and the Government sent those persona a letter stating:You are a Justice of the Peace; you have done an illegal act, and vice are going to deprive you of the honour which, in the past, has been conferred upon you.I think that is contemptible conduct. The Government sent an instruction to St. Helens to remove a Justice of the Peace from the bench who was a member of the rank and file. The same day that letter was sent to St. Helens they sent another letter to the General Council asking them to come and meet the King at Buckingham Palace, although those people who were invited were those who bad been described as criminals and rogues and the persons who ordered men to come out on strike. Fashionable dress and everything that money could buy was given to the members of the General Council, while the poor people who only carried out the instructions of the General Council had the honour of Justice of the Peace which had been conferred upon them, taken away. Is there an answer to that? You know well enough that no one seriously intends to imprison the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. How can the Prime Minister one day imprison him and the next day give presents at his daughter's wedding? It cannot be done. [Interruption.] One of my difficulties in this House is frankly that, if I can help it, I do not want to be friendly with a single Member on the other side. I know perfectly well that I am human, and that, if once I become friendly with people on the other side, I cannot carry out the things that I fundamentally believe. You cannot fight people and remain friends with them. Some time ago I got married. How could anyone who gave me a present come the next week to put me in gaol for doing my duty? During the miners' dispute the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) was charged with an offence, and stood his trial, and he is not a leader in the same great sense as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby; he possibly comes nearer to myself in the sense of what I might term 1275 a real leader. Be that as it may, ha was charged with the offence of using certain words, and the Court found him guilty. I am not going to say he was guilty or not guilty; all I have to take is the decision of the Court, which said he was guilty. Any Court finding a miner guilty of using the same words which they found the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs guilty of using would have put him in prison for six months. Men in Fife to-day—and hon. Members opposite know it—and miners in Wales, have been in prison for the past 12 months, and they were not found guilty of 50 per cent. of what the Member for Dumbarton Burghs is alleged to have said.
Why was he not dealt with? Because he is a leader, or holds a prominent position. I know well enough that neither the right hon. Member for Derby, nor the right hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson), nor any other leader will be prosecuted. Who on the other side does not know that Mr. Cook said ten times worse than the men who have been put in gaol in Fife said? He made incitements, but he is free, he is honoured among trade unionists; but poor people who acted on the instructions they received are to-day lying in prison. I remember, when I first started to take any interest in polities, that Tolstoy used to write attacking the old Tsarist Government. The people who sold his works in Russia were imprisoned, and Tolstoy on one occasion said, "Why do you imprison the dupes? Why do you not imprison Tolstoy?" But the Tsar's Government refused to do so, because they knew he was a leader; and this Government will never imprison the leaders. Buckingham Palace for the leaders; silk hats for the leaders; fancy dress and the best of wine and everything for the leaders; gaol for the people who carry out their orders.
I know as good a man who ever walked on two feet, who was not a Socialist, who was not Labour, but was a Liberal, who simply carried out general strike orders because he was loyal, and his position as a Justice of the Peace was taken from him; but on the same day that he got the letter he read in the "Daily Herald" that the persons who told him to come out were at Buckingham Palace. Can anyone here defend that, either on this side or 1276 on the other side? That is how the leaders are always dealt with. All this is sheer humbug. I know who is going to be put in gaol. The person who is going to be called a leader is the poor fellow down in a branch. The right hon. Member for Derby was perfectly right in saying that leaders seldom or never call a strike. The right hon. Gentleman can make an unanswerable case, because he could prove that the whole of his efforts were used to prevent a strike. Again, take the hon. Member for Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan). He is a leader locally, though not nationally. Supposing that he were charged, he could get counsel. He has some sort of funds; at least, he knows people, and could see that he was properly defended; and the right hon. Member for Derby also could see that he had a decent counsel defending him. But the local fellow who is a leader and is hauled up—would he have anyone to defend him? Not a soul, and this Amendment is sheer cant and hypocrisy. It is well born of the Prime Minister. It resembles him in every line. The Prime Minister, with smug satisfaction, makes speeches about peace while decent miners lie in gaol. This Amendment is typical of a Government headed by him, and is only worthly of the utmost opposition and contempt that His Majesty's Opposition can give.
In as much as I have taken a particular interest in trying to get a provision of this kind into the Bill, I think I ought to say how much we feel that the Amendment does carry out to the full the impressions we had, and satisfies the pledges that were given by the Government when the Bill was introduced. As regards the speech to which we have just listened, I am sure many on this side will feel that it really endorses the case for the Amendment, because what the hon. Gentleman has been saying is that, if is the leaders who ought to be punished but it is the poor men at the bottom who always get punished. If that be so, I am sure the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his opposition to the Amendment and come into the Lobby with us if there is a Division.
On the other hand, we have the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), who says, "Pity the poor leaders," and to a certain extent one sympathises with the position of 1277 responsible trade union leaders. I am prepared, having a little practical knowledge of the working of trade unionism myself, to believe that in a great many cases they do not want strikes to occur at all, and I believe that the right hon. Gentleman has worked time and again to try to prevent strikes occurring which were agitated for in the branches. What an extraordinarily powerful weapon this Bill gives him, because now, when he gets recalcitrant resolutions from his branches, all he has to do is to sit down and write a postcard and say, "What you are asking us to do is entirely illegal, and, of course, we cannot support it." That is a perfectly good point, because we are assuming, now that we have got to this stage, that the leaders are being asked to endorse something which is clearly, by Clause 1 of the Bill, illegal. It may very well be that hon. Gentlemen are not satisfied with the definition of illegality that is given in the first Sub-section, but, at any rate, on that hypothesis, the leaders are being asked to do something which is entirely illegal.
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but, as he was saying that this Amendment meets all that he had in his mind, might I ask him whether he would say, when branches such as I enumerated in my speech pass resolutions desiring to withhold their labour, that they do it for fun, or because they are satisfied that they have a genuine grievance?
That is a perfectly fair point, but what I mean is that many branches of every trade union, and I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will agree with me in this, pass resolutions for the purpose of getting things effected which no sane trade union leader would allow to be effected, and I am assuming that no sane trade union leader wants to involve his trade union in a criminal conspiracy. I do not think it is unfair to assume, therefore, that, when leaders receive these resolutions from their branches, they will take proper advice as to whether what they are being asked to do is legal or not, and communicate with their branches giving them that information. If they do that, they have nothing to fear themselves, and they will be actually assisting to protect the people in the branches who have not quite the same knowledge of 1278 the law as themselves, by preventing them from taking part in a conspiracy which at first they did not know was illegal. There is another point that I want to make on this Amendment. I do not think that hon. Members opposite have realised the very great length to which the Government have gone in making this concession.
Is it not an undoubted concession to relieve from criminal penalties the vast majority of the people engaged in an illegal conspiracy? It cannot be disputed that, even in these degenerate days of trade unionism, there are more men than leaders, and, therefore, as you exempt the greater part of the men, you are making a substantial concession. You are giving a great deal more even than concession by numbers, and the full extent of the concession has not, I think, been realised. Assuming that, by Subsection (1), you say that a strike would be described as an illegal conspiracy, you are saying that, notwithstanding that this is an illegal conspiracy, certain persons who commit that criminal act are not liable for the criminal consequences of their act. So far as I know, there is no Measure which discriminates in the way in which this Bill does between people who commit what is practically identically the same act, and says that one set of people is guilty and the other is not guilty. Inasmuch as that novel principle has been introduced, I think it is only fair that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite should realise what a very far-reaching concession it is, and what a long way the Government has gone, with a genuine desire to remove from the minds of people in the country any impression that this Bill is one-sided or oppressive.
§ Miss WILKINSON
One of the most amusing parts of this Debate has been to listen to the lesser lights of the Conservative party, these young gentlemen who, when the Bill was first brought forward, acted as a smoke screen to their reactionary Government by going round the country and in the Press and saying that while perhaps it went too far they were prepared as the young Tory democrats to bring forward Amendments which would make the Bill really accept- 1279 able to the mass of the working people. What has been very amusing is this, that as the Attorney-General wagged but a little finger in their direction, as in the case of two hon. Members who have already withdrawn Amendments, they rush forth and, almost without troubling to read or understand the purpose of these so-called concessions, they hail them as a great victory.
I should like to make it quite clear that neither on this nor on any other occasion have I sought the assistance of the Press.
§ Miss WILKINSON
I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman is one of those fortunate people who manage to get a great deal of assistance from the Press while preserving a modest retirement. I congratulate him. Listening to the Attorney-General's previous remarks one was rather amazed to see how far the end is being achieved. We have been told by many lawyers in the House on many occasions that the Courts do not judge on intentions or on speeches when a Bill is going through, but they decide on the actual wording of the Act when it is passed. Now we have the words of this Amendment:incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lockout.Where are we going to draw the line? Mention has been made of the Prince of Wales's contribution to the Miners' Relief Fund. That generous donation of £10 was not, in fact, sent to the fund administered purely on behalf of the women and children. His Royal Highness sent it to the Somersetshire Miners' Relief Fund, and it was paid out in strike pay. Strike pay is something that is spent to keep the homes of the strikers going. Then any money that is paid to a miner or to any kind of relief fund is used in furtherance of a strike. In fact, it goes further still. Any member of any board of guardians who gives relief to another person's family who is in a dispute would himself be covered by this Clause. If they are paying out relief, and because of that relief the strike can go on longer, are they not acting in furtherance of a strike or lock-out? It goes further still. A banker who cashes cheques sent to a branch secretary who is paying out money is indirectly doing 1280 something in furtherance of a strike or lock-out. It is no use saying this is not intended by the Clause. Heaven alone knows what is intended by some of the Amendments, but that would be the effect. The Solicitor-General will tell me if I am wrong. Is it a fact that cashing a cheque is doing something which brings a banker in under this Amendment?
Then on the question of responsibility that the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) and similar Members are so anxious about. I am a trade union official when I am not engaged in being a Member of Parliament. What is the position of a subordinate organiser like myself when this Bill becomes law? We receive instructions from our executive council to call out certain people on strike. Earlier in the afternoon the Attorney-General refused an Amendment which would give us some machinery which, right at the beginning of a dispute, would tell us whether a certain strike was illegal or not. Therefore you have this position. Trade union organisers receive instructions from the executive council arid have to decide whether to obey them or whether, in fact, they are illegal instructions. They are given no guidance in the matter. They are left to find out afterwards whether, in fact, they have been acting illegally or not. We have heard a great deal about meetings, but there is not a word about meetings in the Amendment. What it says is anybody who incites—that is to say, not only the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) or the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Plotting (Mr. Clynes) who sit in the head office, but any person who gets up on a soap box outside the works and advocates a strike. If you mean the leaders in the sense of the executive council, the executive officers, the paid officials, why do you not say so? You do not say that. You say anyone who incites or acts in any way in furtherance of a strike or lock-out. A messenger boy who carries a message from the branch office of the union to a works is acting in furtherance of a strike or lock-out, but you do not say that. You say anyone who acts in furtherance of a strike or lock-out. In each case this is a Clause that deals with summary jurisdiction. There is not going to be 1281 any question of any High Court. This is a question to be decided by summary jurisdiction. Some of us have pleasant memories of how the Home Office sent out a circular to every magistrate when the Emergency Powers Act was declared and of the meetings of magistrates that were called and of the backwoodsmen who had never sat on a bench of magistrates for years who turned up in glee in order to administer the law. These are the people who are going to decide what constitutes incitement.
I should like to ask the Government whom they think they are dealing with. Here we have a set of men who people like the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General on the recruiting platform said were the best men in the world, or people who are told, when hon. Members address the electorate, what intelligent electors they are when they vote Conservative. Does the Solicitor-General imagine these people are sheep, waiting merely for the words of sonic so-called leader? Does he imagine that when a man is working the hours the miners are working, seven and eight a day, for the wages they are getting it takes an agent from Moscow or a leader to make that man discontented? His wife will do it for him without any assistance. But here we get this position. The Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General are telling the electors that they are sheep, that they have not got minds of their own, that they are dupes and that it is only these silver-tongued leaders who can make them discontented with their condition. Suppose you put the leaders in prison. Suppose you put the General Council in prison during the general strike, you would not have had it called off so easily. There are some of us who were out in the country during the general strike who would not have been at all sorry if Eccleston Square had been put into prison. For every leader you put into prison you would have three other men and women anxious to take their place. Where are you going to stop? It is a question of arithmetic, because by a process of geometrical progression it will not be long before you have two-thirds of the inhabitants of the British Islands in gaol. Do you think men and women who have gone through what they did go through from 1914 to 1918 are going 1282 to be afraid of prison, and if you are going to drive men down, as the employers are driving them down, do you think the threat of prison is going to stop them?
You are doing just the very thing you have always claimed we are doing. You are forcing the men into illegality. You are forcing them into an unconstitutional position. You are rendering the position of the constitutional leaders utterly impossible. Suppose you have the most moderate-minded leader the Attorney-General or Solicitor-General can imagine? He goes before a body of men and quite honestly thinks the time for a strike is inopportune. These men say, "We want to come out in a sympathetic strike in order to help the miners." That moderate general secretary may know perfectly well that that is illegal. There may be no question of the illegality. What is the position? If he gets up and gives them the best advice they will say, "You are afraid of being put in prison. You are not giving us honest advice. You are afraid of going to quod." Any man who is a man, however moderate he may be, rather than face that talk will probably give advice against his own better judgment. In fact, what the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General have managed to do by this Clause is precisely the opposite of what they are always claiming to do. I am concerned to see a law being put into operation of which nobody can give a very clear interpretation and which will render thousands of very decent, honest, industrious trade unionists liable, in the words of the Attorney-General,for criminal conspiracy and treasonable felony.The one way in which to bring the law into contempt is to enact penalties which you know you cannot enforce. You cannot put thousands upon thousands of men into prison, and you cannot put thousands of leaders into prison, if it comes to that. The whole law is being brought into contempt. There are men and women who are not making even the protest we are making in this House. They are smiling, and they are saying: "You may make strikes illegal, but if you are going to continue social injustice in this country, with all your prisons, we are going to fight you, and 1283 we will fight you and your laws to the very end."
§ Lieut.-Colonel THOM
Perhaps, after the remarks of the hon. Lady who has just sat down, I should have a certain diffidence as one of the lesser lights of the Tory party in intervening in this Debate at all, but as one who has always been a very keen student of constitutional history and of constitutional law, and who has had, during the course of his professional career, a certain amount to do with the law regarding trade unions, I may be permitted to detain the Committee for only a few minutes. The hon. Lady said in her closing remarks that if any law is regarded with contempt by the great majority of the people of the country it is impossible and futile to endeavour to put it into operation. I quite agree, and that is the lesson we are learning from the history of every other country in the world. I say this, and I say it with confidence, having gone about the country a good deal since this Bill has been introduced, that the law as laid down in this Bill, when it becomes an Act of Parliament, will not he regarded with contempt by the majority of the people in this country. I would remind hon. Members opposite that there ale only something like 4,500,000 trade unionists in this country, as against 17,500,000 workers, while there are 45,000,000 people in this country. The Solicitor-General, speaking earlier in this Debate, said this Bill was a citizens' Bill. It is a citizens' Bill; it is conceived in the interests of the community at large.
With regard to this particular Amendment, I wholeheartily support it, because it does bring the activities of trade union leaders into conformity with the fundamental principles of our Constitution. As one who has studied the history of trade unionism very carefully for many years, I have never had any doubt that sooner or later the leaders of trade unions in this country would be bound to come into conflict with the sovereign power of the State. That is what happened last year. We had a very interesting speech from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling) yesterday, when he appealed to the Committee to leave the settlement of industrial disputes and the 1284 working out of the great problems which the events of last year have raised to him and his colleagues and the employers of the country. It is all very well to say that now. Nothing is easier to-day than to rise superior to the temptations of tomorrow. If hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite were masters in their own house, we might be able to accept the advice proffered to us, but it is quite obvious from the events of last year and from what is going on in the country at the present moment that the responsible leaders of trade unionism in this country are not masters in their own house.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
Allow me to put a question. If there are 17,000,000 workers, 4,000,000 of whom are members of the trade unions, what power have the trade union leaders over the 13,000,000 they do nut control? Does it always follow that the person who incites, or even leads a strike, is a trade unionist?
§ Lieut.-Colonel THOM
There is no doubt about this—if I may answer the hon. Gentleman in this way—if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) and his responsible colleagues on the Front Bench had declared against a general strike, a general strike would never have taken place. I have made it my duty to go among the railwaymen and ask their opinions, and they told me that if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby had not signed the fiat calling a general strike, they would never have come out. Of course, the majority of the men who came out were trade unionists. Theoretically, every trade unionist who comes out during a general strike commits a crime against the State. He does so under the present law. He does so under the constitutional principles which from time immemorial have ruled this country, but the Courts of this land have never endeavoured to put such a rigid law and principle into operation. They have always differentiated. There has never been an attempt to put the law, theoretically and rigidly, into operation. If two or three hundred thousand, or a million men came out on an illegal strike, no one would suggest for a single moment that any Government or Court of law would endeavour to bring those strikers within the ambit of the law and inflict upon 1285 them the penalties the law provides. The law has exercised a certain discretionary power. In this Amendment the Attorney-General asks the Court simply, in the event of an illegal strike, to deal with the men who are responsible for inciting, encouraging and furthering the strike. It is very easy to figure out and to imagine circumstances under which it might be difficult to decide who was and who was not the leader inciting the strike. You can imagine these legal conundrums in connection with any Act of Parliament that has ever been passed. What the Court has to do, is not to decide hypothetical questions, such as hon. Members have been endeavouring to put and to decide in this House during the last three or four days, but to decide questions of fact. When an illegal strike arises, there will be no difficulty at all in deciding who is the leader or who is mainly responsible for it. I ask hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were mainly responsible last year? [An HON. MEMBER: "You were."] There was no doubt in the minds of the public. When these cases arise and come before the Court, they are judged upon their merits. Although it may be difficult in this House when endeavouring to pass a Bill of this kind, to adopt language which is best fitted to carry out the intentions of the Government, and although it may be difficult in these circumstances to decide hypothetical questions which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite may put to this side of the House, when actual cases do arise there will be no difficulty, as there has been no real difficulty in the past, in deciding them. Might I remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that it is possible to take any Section in any Act of Parliament and to imagine circumstances under which it would be absurd to put the literal words of that Section into operation. The Court never attempts to do so. The Court looks at the general spirit of the whole Statute—the real intention of Parliament—and applies that spirit.
§ Lieut.-Colonel THOM
There is one thing which is in the Act, and that is the spirit, and it is the spirit of freedom. May I remind hon. and right hon. Members opposite that the real difficulty with which we are confronted is that almost 1286 for the first time in the history of our country we are endeavouring to write a part of the British Constitution. The British Constitution has always been an unwritten Constitution, and that has been its main virtue. In our past history we have had organisations and institutions growing up, the inevitable concomitants of progress, and time after time they have come into conflict with the main fundamental principles of our Constitution. The result has been that it has been necessary from time to time to limit their activities, and as our Constitution has been unwritten it has been possible sometimes to modify it, but always there has been preserved inviolate the fundamental principles of the Constitution.
When you have trade union leaders who have behind them the loyal support of hundreds of thousands of workmen, and those trade union leaders have powers of domination, control and discipline, and when we hear the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) saying that the working classes of this country must submit to be led by the trade union leaders, must accept them as their leaders and must obey, and when you have those trade union leaders with those great powers of domination, control and discipline, sooner or later they are bound to come into conflict with the sovereign power of the State. That is all the more so when you have these trade union leaders interfering—perhaps that is an unkind word—or taking an active part in politics. I know that there are many hon. and right hon. Members opposite who are doing their best at the present time to propagate peace in industry and to secure better conditions and better feeling between employers and employed, but with the best will in the world no trade union leader can combine the attributes of an industrial pacifist and a political belligerent.
Sooner or later, the trade union leader, because he is mixed up in polities and because he has the power to which I have referred, is bound to come into conflict with the State, and here we are for the first time trying to limit and control his activities. The whole trouble as far as this country has been concerned is that he has been allowed to go so far and, having gone so far, it is necessary that his activities should be controlled now. It is a difficult job, because it 1287 means bringing all these activities into line with the Constitution, and writing a part of our Constitution. That will always be a very difficult task. This Amendment, as I understand it, brings this part of the Bill into line with the spirit of the Bill as a whole, as that spirit was envisaged and adumbrated in the four propositions which the Attorney-General laid down when he introduced the Bill. Because it brings this Clause more within that spirit, I give it my support.
§ Mr. CLYNES
What I have to say will be brief, because there are two or three other topics which we would like to discuss before again we are muzzled at half-past 10. The speech to which we have just listened illustrates the bewildering ignorance from which many hon. Members suffer in handling this question. With all respect, I would say that my hon. and gallant Friend opposite simply does not know what he is talking about. These things do not happen in that way. For 36 years I have been a trade union official, and since I was 16 years of age I have held a trade union card. I have been close up to the realities of these things as they occur. Hon. and right hon. Members opposite have it in their heads that trade union leaders are masters, that they give out a signal and tell men to move this way or that. This Bill is due to the general strike, we are told. As we allege, that general strike was due to the general lock-out of the miner, which was a prolonged lock-out. We know what were its causes and I am not going into those causes. Twice during the progress of that lock-out the miners' leaders, from the secretary to the humblest member of the council, recommended the men to accept certain terms and go back to work, and twice the men refused.
The real jury about these matters who decide in the last resort, as in the first instance, are the masses of the men themselves. The effect of this Amendment, the purpose of this Amendment, is to relieve the mass offenders from any prospect of penalty or punishment and to put the punishment upon the ringleaders. May I respectfully say that no ringleader would be worth his salt if he did not fearlessly do his duty, in spite of the risks; indeed, the greater the risks the more sternly 1288 would the consequences be faced and the more fully would the duty be done. In short, this Amendment is only another proof that the Government are stumbling from one blunder to another in their attempt to accomplish what is impossible. This thing cannot be done. When you have framed your Bill, and got it through and made it a Statute, masses of men will, and from my own view I hope they will, continue to use the weapon and power of the strike whenever they think they are morally entitled to do so. The Amendment is due to a little of that form of corecion against which this Bill is supposed to be a protest. It is another of those little instances of where pressure has been brought to bear upon the Government by their supporters and their adherents to make it appear that they do not wish to punish the poor workmen or, as the right hon. Gentleman said in an earlier speech, "the mere striker."
May I inform the right hon. Gentleman how these things really do happen. First, as the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) said in her admirable speech, if the workman himself does not think that he wants more money or better conditions or that he ought to take some militant action or run a risk: if these emotions do not move him, there is the wife and the household. The wife speaks, and then it occurs to the husband that it is about time he suggested a change. Then they begin to talk in the clubroom, in the workshop, and even in the village alehouse or the town tavern. In that way the movement begins, and it finds its way through the branch lodges to the offices of the different trade unions, and when it has become a movement of a conscious potent nature it is placed in the hands of the elected officers of the organisation and, as a rule, nine-tenths of those elected officers are the workmen themselves, who meet at the week ends or occasionally at night on various occasions to determine the matter submitted to them. Finally, through other democratic channels, the case comes to the official who usually has become the mouthpiece of a formed policy which he did not originate; and the very worst strikes in which I personally have taken a part are those strikes in which we have advised the men not to strike at all.
The truth is that the leaders of British trade unionism who for 30 years have 1289 taken part in national and international trade union activities have almost unanimously been definitely opposed to a general strike policy, and it is on record that, whilst on the Continent trade union leaders have rather favoured that plan, because they are not possessed of the same democratic instrument which we can wield here, and are, therefore, rather in favour of seeking working class advance through the agency of a strike policy, at these great international conferences British trade union leaders have uniformly been found to be against that policy. In spite of that the event of last May will, I am sure, recur; a general strike will recur, if it is preceded by the same set of circumstances and by the same sustained policy of employers and Government which produced the general lockout.
In short, our view is that our strikes may sometimes be foolish and unwise and may occasionally be ruinous to the workers' interest, but there is a thing in this country which we call right, and the working classes must not forfeit a right which every other class possesses, that is the right under any circumtances to give or withhold its labour as it may choose, whether the employer be a Government, a firm or a company. There is that right for our class, and we shall insist upon it, because in the actualities of life we know that the balance of advantage rests with the employing class, who can terminate contracts, discontinue services, and themselves commit in every form of lock-out, boycott, and victimisation, such offences as are deemed to be illegal by this Bill if committed by workmen. The sure way to widen disputes and embitter quarrels, the sure way to call in leaders who will be more stern and extreme than the moderate leaders, is to act in the spirit of this Amendment. I suppose it is useless at this late hour to repeat an appeal to the Government to withdraw this Bill. They will, go ahead with it, but I wish we could have had a little more time, in spite of the severities and limitations of the Guillotine Rule, in which to show to the country the impossibility of doing anything at all by this Measure should it get through, and the follies of a Government which is attempting to pass it.
§ Mr. KIDD
I think many of his own supporters must have heard with some 1290 surprise the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. I seem to have read somewhere that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes) was opposed to the general strike of last year, but all the same, so far as the members of his trade union are concerned, I am entitled to assume from the fact that the right hon. Gentleman raised no word against the strike, that the men in his union really believed that the right hon. Gentleman had approved it. He made no declaration against the general strike, until it had taken place; and in the meantime they had come out. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. CLYNES
Let me correct the hon. Member and set him right in advance. My own union has an executive of some dozen or fifteen persons, most of them are working men, not officials, and when they were considering the question of the general strike I expressed my views, which were against it. I was not content with merely saying what we ought not to do. I suggested another course showing how we might assist the miners. I am not going into that matter now. I merely point out that in spite of the advice from the leaders, in the case of my own union the working delegates decided in favour of a general strike and supported it.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Miles Platting (Mr. Clynes) was listened to in complete silence and surely the hon. Member opposite has the same right to be heard in silence.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
He has been told he is wrong, but he persists in repeating it. If he is a gentleman he will withdraw it.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting is quite able to take care of himself.
§ Mr. KIDD
I will put it this way; that the members of the union of the right hon. Gentleman did not know that they were striking contrary to the advice and 1291 opinion of the right hon. Gentleman. If that was their position, surely the responsibility for their ignorance as to the position of their leaders is a responsibility which rests with the right hon. Gentleman. Therefore, by his own action or inaction this Amendment is amply justified. I pass from the right hon. Gentleman. He was not alone in explaining after the general strike had taken place that his views were contrary to that movement. There were other distinguished leaders of trade unions who raised no voice and made no public utterance before the general strike took place of their objection to it, and what I have said with regard to the constituent members of the union of the right hon. Gentleman applies equally to the constituent members of these other trade unions. Again I say that the inaction and silence of these leaders of trade unions on a matter of this kind is a complete vindication of the justice of the Amendment now proposed. I speak for a mining county where I see hundreds of men who have sacrificed the savings of a lifetime and who, now in middle age, are faced with broken time and broken wages. These men, because of the silence of the right hon. Gentleman and other distinguished leaders of trade unions, came out in support of the general strike, believing that they had the support of the right hon. Gentleman and other leaders. Speaking for this mining county which has been sacrificed to this abuse of the trade union movement, I want to tell the Attorney-General that I warmly welcome the Amendment.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I have been waiting a long time to say something on this subject. What puzzles me are the two voices we have heard from the Government side. The right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General tries to explain what the Bill does not mean, and what it does mean, and he assures us that there will be no difficulty if we will be content to be guided by lawyers. My experience is that in law you always get what you pay for. If I engage a lawyer I get his advice. But the other fellow gets an opinion from another lawyer. We go before a third, and he decides that we are both wrong. We have a sequence right up. What has struck me as a backbencher is the wonderful power that 1292 trade union leaders have, according to some hon. Members. The hon. and gallant Member for Dumbartonshire (Lieut.-Colonel Thom) told the House that there were 17,000,000 working people in Great Britain, and only 4,000,000 organised trade unionists; vet the hon. and gallant Gentleman challenged us and asked why we did not control the 13,000,000 people over whom we have no control. Of course the trade union official is to be liable in every case. Having regard to the terms of this Amendment I would point out that it does not always follow that the person who "incites" has anything whatever to do with the trade union; it does not always follow that you are getting at the big trade union leaders by an Amendment of this kind. When hon. Members get that into their minds they will be a bit clearer on the position.
The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd) has astonished me by his declaration. I understood that that county was badly hit long before the lockout, and that the lockout was only an incident in the sufferings of the people there. The hon. Member gets up in this House and tries to insinuate that the only thing that is wrong in Linlithgow is the result of the general stoppage of last year. In that statement the hon. Member was scarcely as honest as I generally give him credit for being. I am one of those who have scarcely ever supported a strike. I would much rather try to get through industrial difficulties without any stoppage of work. Yet I rather welcome the action of the Government in one sense. They are doing something that the men believe to be in the interests of the party opposite. I can assure the Government that if they wanted to stir up the feeling of our men, they could not have adopted a better method. A result of this Bill will be to bring about another strike much greater and more general than that of last Year.
Hon. Members opposite profess a lot of ignorance about the thing that we call the general stoppage of last year. Members of the Trade Unions Council who are present will bear me out in the statement that the Trade Unions Council had no intention whatever of calling a general strike. That accounts for some of the feeling that exists amongst the rank and file. The action 1293 of the Government forced the hands of the Trade Unions Council, and they were in a general strike before they knew it. Under this Bill they would all have been put in gaol and there might have been a different type of leader and a different type of member sent to the Trade Unions Council; and the lock-out, instead of being called off in a week, might have lasted as many months as it lasted days. As a miner, I think it would have been much better, in view of the action that the Government took, if the general strike had lasted much longer than it did. After all, we have nothing for which to thank the Government. We have had lip service from Members of the Government in our difficulties, but they have openly allied themselves with the employers, and they have made declarations from the Treasury Bench which should be thought over before they go further.
Last year I heard the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General explain that the Eight Hours Bill was permissible. He can say to-day whether that statement is true or not. Having heard that statement, I put a great amount of salt on the statements that the right hon. Gentleman makes here. The Government believe that there is a. change taking place in this country. I believe that there is a great change taking place in the world. The Government are like King Canute, trying to keep back the waves of the incoming sea with a broom. It is much better to recognise when a change is inevitable and to try to control it, than to attempt something as foolish as this Bill. The Government are going to drive out every moderate official from the trade union movement, and are going to get in their place men and women of a different, type. My right hon. Friend the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) tried to explain how things are managed in trade unions. Trade unions have branches. In our country there are 120 branches. One branch may send in a resolution, and if its representatives are able to carry it at, our council meeting, what has the executive or the agent to do? We are not bosses of the union. Once they come to a decision we have to carry it out, or they send other men to carry it out. We are only servants and we do the best we can to help our 1294 followers. There are people who say that the rank and file are always incited. If you took a ballot in the coalfields to-day, it would probably show that 90 per cent. of the men are in revolt against the present degrading conditions.
I have never known a trade union leader who would be afraid to advocate a strike because he was threatened with prison. I have always been law-abiding, but the carrying of this Bill into law makes me more militant than ever I was. No man in the rank and file will ever be able to say that I was afraid to give an opinion because someone told me that if I did so I would go to gaol. We have passed through a lot of these troubles and we know. I say to the Government: "You can carry your Bill, but you will never be able to operate it." If you were able to operate it, it would simply mean that all that fine spirit and that grand fighting material which we have among the working class of this country would be crushed out. In other words, it would mean that we were on the down grade as a nation. Your countrymen and mine will riot stand this kind of thing. They will not be led by the nose and they will riot be frightened; and when they make up their minds that they have a grievance they will take the only step in their power to try to get the redress of that grievance. They will not be afraid of the results of a strike under his Bill when they feel that they are justified in taking such action.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
The main remarks of the last few speakers have been to the effect that trade union leaders do nor lead. If they do not lead, of course, this Sub-section will protect them because they will not be actively engaged in furthering strikes and consequently they are all going to escape under it.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
It may be my poor intelligence, but I think it will be seen to-morrow that that is just what these Gentlemen said. The right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) in secret council told the members of his committee that the recent strike was foolish and that he was opposed to it. They evidently paid no attention to what he said because, having heard him, they went the other way. Had I been one 1295 of those members I would have been strongly affected by what the right hon. Gentleman said, and I am perfectly sure that if he had said it publicly and generally the vast mass of his supporters would have thought twice about going on strike. The general strike was called in a very extraordinary fashion. The men were called out without any ballot being taken generally. They resigned their powers. I remember addressing a meeting in a town in my constituency and a man there who was on strike was heard to say that I was quite right in declaring that the men ought to have thought for themselves in the matter. Most of the strikers never thought of the matter at all. There was a wave of mass feeling. It was like one of those religious revivals which sometimes occur. I think the whole trade union movement lost its head for the time being with ruinous consequences. Think of the money that was dissipated and the general feeling of revulsion against the trade union movement on the part of the other 17,000,000 workers and the vast mass of the population. I agree with the last speaker that the threat of imprisonment is not likely to deter a trade union leader from doing his duty, or what he thinks to be his duty. I am also satisfied that the trade union leaders as I know them—the great majority of them with a few exceptions, like the humble disciple of Lenin—will be thankful for the protection of this Subsection. I do not think the exceptions which I have mentioned are very strongly represented on the benches opposite. Indeed I think most of the hon. Members opposite have just as strong an antipathy to the humble disciple of Lenin as I have myself and they feel just as angry as I do with him on account of the fact that he has managed to make fools of the whole trade union movement. I do not think the majority of trade union leaders, as I say, will be deterred from doing their duty but I believe most of them will be grateful for the protection which this Measure will give them because they will be able to say to the followers who lead them, or to the leaders who follow them£I do not know which describes the situation—that in certain eventualities they will be committing an illegality and I believe that the mass of the working men, whether members of unions or not, are all in favour of keeping within the scope 1296 of the law. I should be the last to stop a man from downing tools when he wants to do so but it should be in his own quarrel. I think the claims that are made that everybody is entitled to interfere in everybody else's quarrel would lead to a position in which there would never be any end to these disputes.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
This Clause puts limits to the scope of these disputes and if the leaders do their duty properly they will not suffer under it. In the main, they are law abiding citizens and, as such, they have nothing to fear from this particular Sub-section.
§ Mr. BARKER
My great objection to this Sub-section and to the Amendment moved by the Attorney-General is that it inflicts penalties upon the workers for exercising what has always been considered a natural right, without securing for the worker adequate wages and fair conditions of labour. It is an extraordinary thing that in the twentieth century we should have to bring forward legislation with the definite object of destroying the trade union movement. Under this Bill and under this Amendment if it should be carried, no trade union in this country can exist. The trade union movement will be suppressed by it. We have 17,500,000 workers in this country, and it has been said that about 5,000,000 of them are in the trade union movement. This Bill will affect not only the members of the trade union movement but every working man and woman in the country. It will destroy the only defence which the workers have for their rights, and their only means of securing fair and humane conditions of labour. The working class of this country are a disinherited class. They have no land and no capital. They have nothing to sell but their labour. This Bill strikes vitally at their freedom and places them entirely at the mercy of the employing class. The wealth of this country amounts to about £3,000,000,000, which is created and re-created by the working classes. Of that, £1,000,000,000 goes for national and local government. Another £1,000,000,000 goes for land, interest and profit, and the remainder is divided among 38,000,000 workers. They have been subject to the most oppressive tyranny, and during the last five years 1297 they have been reduced to unparalleled poverty. It is a tragedy to see the mining districts of this country.
I think it would be for the convenience of the Committee if the hon. Member were to confine himself more strictly to the question which is raised by the Amendment.
§ Mr. BARKER
I will try to keep within the limits of the Amendment. I was going to say, inferentially, that the working class have no other protection but their trade unions, and that this Bill is full of penalties against trade unions but gives no guarantee to the worker that he will get fair conditions of labour.
The particular question now before the Committee is one of penalties. The Amendment does not raise the points with which the hon. Member is dealing. It would be for the general convenience if he confined himself to the Amendment because there are other hon. Members who desire to speak and there are other Amendments to come after this Amendment.
§ Mr. BARKER
I do not want to disobey the Chair, but this is the first time I have had an opportunity of speaking since this Bill was brought in, and I think I am the first representative for Wales who has spoken on this Bill.
§ Mr. BARKER
But I am not going to take advantage of that, and inasmuch as von have reminded me twice already that I am outside the scope of the Amendment—
§ Mr. PALING
On a point of Order. Is it not justifiable to argue that, because of the poverty of the workers, the chances of remedying it and getting high wages are made worse by reason of the penalties inflicted by this Amendment?
No. I am afraid I cannot see the point of that argument, but in calling the hon. Member to order I had in mind other Members of the Committee who wished to speak and the other Amendments which ought to be discussed to-night.
§ Mr. BARKER
This Sub-section deals with penalties. We, on this side, are in an extraordinary position, because we are under this Bill potential criminals. As 1298 a matter of fact, this Bill is aimed at us, at the Labour party. It is because there are 154 Labour Members in this House that this Bill has been brought in. If this Bill had been passed 20 or 30 years ago, I should have spent the greater part of my life in gaol, and so would my colleagues. We are, as I say, potential criminals under this Bill, and what is the crime that our people will commit? The crime for which they will be liable to two years' imprisonment is simply that of withdrawing their labour.
The hon. Member cannot have read the Amendment now before the Committee, which specifies those who will be liable to penalties under this Bill.
§ Mr. BARKER
I understand we are discussing Sub-section (2) of Clause 1, which deals with offences contemplated tinder the Bill, and I understand that you allowed us at the commencement to have a free discussion upon the Sub-section on the understanding that we were to have a Division at 10.30.
I said there was to be a general discussion on Sub-section (2), in connection with the Amendment moved by the Attorney-General, and if the hon. Member will read the Sub-section and the Amendment he will see that they raise the question as to who is to be liable to penalties under this Bill, and what those penalties are to be.
§ Mr. BARKER
I should like to ask the Attorney-General, inasmuch as I am very much restricted by the Amendment, and by adhering strictly to the Amendment, one or two questions with reference to the mining industry. If the miners went on strike against the Minimum Wage Act, would they be subject to the penalties in this Clause? I will pay this testimony to the mineowners, that the Act to which I have referred is such a wretched Measure that they have voluntarily paid a higher rate than is guaranteed by that Statute, but, supposing they did not do that, would the miners be doing an illegal act under this Sub-section if they went on strike against the statutory minimum?
If the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General were to answer that question, he would be just as much out of order 1299 as is the hon. Member in asking it. We dealt with the question of illegality yesterday in Sub-section (1). This Sub-section deals with those who are liable to penalties when penalties have been inflicted upon them. There is no question of an act being legal or otherwise.
§ Mr. BARKER
This is the first time a miners' representative has been able to speak on this Bill, and there are some very serious things in this Bill. As a matter of fact, this legislation goes right—
A general discussion on a Sub-section means on the Sub-section itself, and not on the Bill as a whole. We must confine ourselves to Sub-section (2).
§ Mr. BATEY
On a point of Order. There was no miners' representative allowed to get in on any of the other three days on this Bill, although the Miners' Federation is more affected by this Bill than any other trade union, and on that account, could not the hon. Member be allowed to deal with that question now?
Because the hon. Member did not get in at an earlier stage, I cannot allow him to speak out of order on this Amendment.
§ Mr. BARKER
In conclusion. I hope the Government will bear in mind what they are doing, that in putting these penalties upon the right to withdraw labour they are striking across the fundamental liberties of the working classes, and they are offering them no guarantee that their rights will be respected. They are offering them no——
The hon. Member must obey my ruling. If he continues to disobey my ruling, I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
§ Mr. BARKER
I will not contest your ruling any longer. I am very sorry I cannot have the opportunity of saying what I wanted to say.
§ Mr. PALING
The one thing that has struck me more than anything else has been the amazing difference of opinion as to what, not only this Amendment or Clause, but the Bill itself means, and the effect it will have on the trade unionists or other people who go out on strike. 1300 No two lawyers in this House, even including the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General, who should be agreed. I suppose, but who were not at all agreed in the first speeches they made on this Bill, are agreed about it. Eminent King's Counsel, the most eminent in the country, have varied almost as widely as it is possible for people to vary in their interpretations of this Bill, and when I have listened to these eminent legal men, I have wondered where we people, as ordinary trade unionists and trade union officials, come in. [An HON. MEMBER: "In gaol !"] I am reminded that it is the intention to put us in gaol, but even so, I am sure our places will he readily snapped up by somebody else, and the Government will find themselves in a very difficult position. I want to say, quite genuinely, that I think we should have more clarity than has yet been given to us.
The Attorney-General seems to have dodged every question asked him in which he has been asked to give an illustration. I was interested last night in a question asked from the Conservative benches. It is true the hon. Member professed himself satisfied. I suppose he had to, as a loyal member of his party. But he did not get an answer to his question. I ask the Attorney-General now what this Amendment really means:Incites others to take part in or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lockout.Suppose that in an ordinary branch meeting the question of a strike or lockout comes up and the men are discussing it in the ordinary way, and they think a strike is inevitable, and that an ordinary member of the audience proposes a resolution saving that certain things should be done in connection with the strike that is talked about. Will he come under this Amendment as inciting or furthering a strike? Will all the people who vote fur it he liable under this Amendment? The hon. and gallant Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) and one or two other of the Disraelian Tories, as they call themselves, want to exclude the great number of ordinary trade unionists who simply obey the call. They will find that there are a great many other people to take into consideration besides the actual leaders. When a strike is being talked about, branch 1301 meetings are very well attended indeed, and there are hundreds of thousands of people who talk about when the strike should take place and how it should be conducted.
I would like the Attorney-General to give us some idea of where this Amend-merit begins and ends. The hon. Member for Dumbartonshire (Lieut.-Colonel Thom) said that it was a question of fact, that we need not worry about the wording or interpretation because it would be a question of fact when it got before the Court. He went on to say that the Judges or magistrates would take into consideration the question of the intention of Parliament in passing this Bill. He knows that that is incorrect. King's Counsel on the benches opposite have argued that, whatever the intention of the Attorney-General or of Parliament, it will not count if it is not in the Act. The Judges will interpret the Act according to the words it contains. I ask the Attorney-General to explain to us who will come under these words. Nobody seems to know. I ask him to be a little less vague and to give us ordinary people without a legal mind an idea of how we are likely to stand under the Amendment. He will not only help to satisfy us, hut he will satisfy Members on his own benches.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I want to turn to the actual effect which the insertion of this Amendment in Sub-section (2) will have. The reason for the Amendment is that some of the rank and file of the Government party are beginning to realise that trade unionists in their constituencies may ask them some very awkward questions at the next election about this instrument for crushing the life out of trade unions. The Amendment appears to say that the leaders will be more liable to fine and imprisonment than the ordinary rank and file. I suggest that it will have a far wider effect than that of merely dealing with the permanent or executive officers of trade unions. Take the position of our railway unions. Under the Railways Act, 1921, we agreed—not with the best of grace but because we were asked to make a gesture of peace and to assist in fixing up machinery that might avoid strikes—to a very elaborate system of machinery from representatives of the men in local depots up to two National Boards. There is not 1302 the slightest doubt that this machinery has saved the railway industry, and consequently the nation, to a great extent from the disturbances of strike's, whether local or national, and it has therefore very largely had the desired effect of keeping the peace. I do not know that it has always helped the railwaymen to get the conditions and wages to which they are entitled in every case. In the union I have the honour to serve, we have attached to the various sections of this machinery something like 100 people who could be said in a greater or lesser degree to be leaders of the men, although not in a permanent capacity as officers of the union, but as elected representatives. I would like to show the Committee how all these people could be brought under the hammer by the insertion of this Amendment. Dealing with grievances in addition to the general questions of conditions and hours of labour of the men, these representatives know every move that is made. They realise the case of the men in detail and they consequently come upon the frustration of justice in many cases by the incidence of the working of this machinery. The Attorney-General has rather led the Committee to believe that a sympathetic strike within the railway service would be legal under this Bill when it becomes law. With all respect to his legal knowledge, as a trade unionist of 32 years standing I beg to differ. This Bill is designed to destroy any effective use by railwaymen of their organised power. Let us suppose that such a position arises that the representatives elected from the rank and file and working on behalf of the men and employed by the railways find, as we have found and do find practically every month, that a fair deal is not given, that because of our accepting machinery rather than continually pitting our strength with the employers the machinery is used to frustrate the legitimate desires of the men as to protection for safety, as to hours, and as to general conditions of service. Under the machinery there comes a point when the matter is submitted to the executive of the union; that is when the machinery has broken down and has had no effect, and when the union has the power under the Act of 1921 and its addendum machinery to take action. Under the suggested Amendment, if any of these people, knowing the full cir- 1303 cumstances, report the matter to the executive and to myself, and prove to us that an injustice has been done and if the union take action in withdrawing labour and refusing to perform certain duties, they could be possibly indicted for inciting others to take part, etc., and could be obliged to pay fines, or suffer imprisonment in some cases for a term not exceeding two years.
That, I suggest, is put there with the intention not of sending officers like myself to prison for inciting men—that would not make the slightest difference, because, if you put us all in prison there would be some people willing to take on our jobs and carry the fight along—but it is intended, in my opinion, to terrorise representative men from daring lucidly and fearlessly to put the case, where the men have not had justice under this machinery of the Railways' Act, 1921, to the authorities of a trade union who could take action by withdrawal of labour. That is even supposing that a railway strike would not inflict any hardship on the community and bring us under the hammer in that direction. We are hedged in, and the full effect of the Bill is to destroy all our effectiveness. This apparently innocuous Amendment, which was brought forward at the behest of members of the Tory party, who fear for their seats at the next election, will enable the spokesmen of the Government in the country to say, "Oh, yes, but it is not you we are aiming at; it is these pernicious fire-brand leaders who are leading you into trouble that we are aiming at." But we shall be able to show to our people that it does mean the terrorising and suppression of the honest consciences of these humble representatives on the various sectional councils and departmental committees of the railway services, working under the Railways Act.
That brings me to rather a serious thing. We, as organizers—my own union particularly—as I have said, not perhaps with the best of grace, have to deal with a large minority who are against the functioning of this machinery because of its ineffectiveness. We accepted it, and the organisation has paid a very large amount of money in assisting to function machinery from which we have not gained the satis- 1304 faction that we ought to have gained. That money averages about £7,000 a year, and, therefore, from the passing of the Act of 1921 it is something over £40,000. If the Government intend that we, having spent that money to assist in keeping peace on the railways, and therefore peace with the nation to that extent, are now to see the men who are conscientiously working it without payment—they are paid no salary or anything of that sort—having this hammer held over their heads, that, if they advise their rank and file that they are not getting a fair deal and that leads to withdrawal of labour locally or nationally, they are to be liable to imprisonment and fines, then my duty is apparently very plain. It is to advise my union very earnestly to scrap the machinery, which is really a mockery, and save the £7,000 a year to prepare to meet law costs and the fines that will be inflicted. Why should we continue to spend £7,000 a year for machinery to keep us in order, and the Government of the day are so appreciative of what we are doing and the sacrifices of those men whom I have mentioned, that they are to hold this terrible repressive Measure over their heads and say, "You will be bound against taking any effective action until you have moved all this machinery, causing delay, causing loss to you"? I see an hon. Member smiling. Possibly if he had been a trade union member for 32 Years and an officer for 15 years, he would understand that trade unionism advances in what might seem to him mysterious ways, but they are not half so mysterious as the turnings and twistings of the legal minds in reference to this Act. I have been listening to them and trying to get a grasp of it, and the result is that I have suffered from acute mental indigestion.
I think it would be a tragedy for us now, having so many years' experience of this machinery and hopes—some of us very sincerely, after the lessons learned last year—of bringing it into more practical use as a lasting instrument for peace, if we have to go to our men and say, "Yes, we have advised you to shackle yourselves with certain machinery for the purpose of keeping peace. When the machinery of this Bill, if it becomes law, is strengthened, it can strike you as it wishes. It can have no sympathy with you, and if you turn, as worms sometimes 1305 will turn, according to the old adage, then you can be prosecuted, you can be fined two or three weeks' wages at least and possibly sent to prison for two years." What is our duty? What would be the duty of any right hon. Gentleman or hon. Gentleman opposite who was similarly in the service of his fellows? Would it be to say, "You have been mocked; you have been led to believe that this machinery would make for peace and that you will get a square deal. You are not having a square deal but you must stick to it; it will yet pan out; it wants oiling and so forth"? This Bill is not the oil; it is sand, it is gravel in the machine. Why should we ask our followers to contribute, as my union does to the extent of over £7,000 a year, to keep the machinery going when in future it will fail every time except when it gives the employer the advantage? Why should we advise them to go on spending the money?
I have come to the conclusion that my duty is perfectly plain. Next week my national annual conference of delegates assembles, and I see my duty as plainly before my eyes as I see the Attorney-General physically at this moment. My duty is to say to them, "Save your £7,000, because you are going to be in the law courts, that is, those of you who are not in gaol, to be dissected by avaricious lawyers about every move that you make, and you are going to have this Act held over your heads. Save your £7,000 per annum in order to be able to protect our men, and do not fool about with machinery which will be only a mockery. The machinery is merely your shackles, and if you burst those shackles, then the Government have a greater punishment to deal out to you." Undoubtedly, the effect of the insertion of those words is not only to deal with your leaders, the servants or officers of the union, but to terrorise every man who serves his fellows working at the bench or in the factory or in the mine or on the railway. Where there is any machinery such as the machinery we work under on the railways, and anything happens which causes men to say, "You are not getting a square deal, send it, to the executive committee," and you get a withdrawal of labour, then it is "To gaol you go"—for working under the 1306 machinery set up by the Railways Act of 1921 !
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I intervene only for a moment because there may be others who want to discuss the Amendment, but I think it is right that I should intervene to correct what appears to be an entire misconception in the mind of the hon. Member for Barrow (Mr. Bromley) which is, possibly, shared by some other Members in the House. This Sub-section imposes penalties only—to summarise the words—for actively furthering a strike which is declared by this Act to be illegal. It does not impose any penalty for furthering any other sort of strike. The hon. Member must advise his own union in their best interests, and I am not seeking to influence him, but it is right that he should not be giving them advice under a misapprehension as to the position. Supposing the conciliation machinery of the railway unions breaks down, and supposing that thereupon the responsible leaders of the railways unions advise their men to strike in order to enforce their just demands or to vindicate their just grievances. That would be a strike which is in furtherance of a trade dispute in the industry. It is, therefore, not an illegal strike, and the hon. Gentleman and these associated with him can do it with perfect impunity, without the slightest fear that they are running any risks whatever of any penalties under this Sub-section.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer this point? I am very much obliged to him for trying to clarify the position, though it is inevitable that some other lawyer will get up and say something else. The first Clause of the Bill makes a strike illegal which inflicts hardship on the community. Can he tell me of any railway strike that will not inflict hardship on the community?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The first Clause of the Bill does not make any strike illegal which inflicts hardship on the community. It only makes a strike illegal which inflicts such hardship as to coerce the Government—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ah !"]—please hear me—only if that strike is not a strike merely in furtherance of a trade dispute. Where there is a strike in furtherance of a trade dispute in the industry—I have said it 1307 already a score of times—that strike is not rendered illegal or interfered with in any way, whatever hardship it may inflict on the community or whatever coercion it may bring to bear upon the Government, and therefore such a strike as the hon. Member is referring to, a strike to vindicate the grievances of the railwaymen when the conciliation machinery breaks down, is a strike which is not illegal under this Act, and nobody who incites, or declares, or assists or furthers it is running any penalty with regard to this Bill.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will pardon me for rising again. I would like to be convinced if I could, because it means so much to break up this machinery after so many years. My point deals with a sympathetic strike within the industry. This trouble which I suggest might arise might occur on one of the four great railways. Somewhere or other all those railways run over the same country, run side by side and serve the same district. Our duty would be plain—to call out the men on the other railways. That would be a sympathetic strike of the men on those railways to assist the other railwaymen, which would inflict hardship on the community and coerce the Government, and be declared illegal.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
May I answer once more? I will not intervene again. I will talk to the hon. Member outside. [HON. MEMBERS: "No !"] I will do whatever is convenient. The answer is this. The railway industry is one industry, and if on the railways men came out in a sympathetic strike because some of the railwaymen were suffering injury, that would be in furtherance of a trade dispute within that industry and is not interfered with. To make that clear beyond doubt in the case of the railways I have an Amendment down a little later on which says that wherever wages are regulated by one Conciliation Board, or anything of the kind, that is always to be treated as one industry. Without that I think it would be clear; but that puts it beyond any shadow of doubt.
§ Mr. CLYNES
May I put a point to you, Mr. Hope, as to our procedure? I imagine that you will be required to put the two points which are in this Amend- 1308 ment to the test of one vote only. The Amendment proposes to delete certain words and to insert other words. On this side of the Committee we are in favour of the deletion of the words, but we are opposed to the insertion of the others. I wish to ask whether on those two points we shall be compelled to give a decision by only one vote?
§ The CHAIRMAN
No, that is not so. That procedure applies only to Government Amendments moved after the time at which the guillotine operates. In this case the two Questions have been proposed already from the Chair, and whether the Division takes place immediately or at half-past 10, the two Questions will be put separately. The first will be, "That the words propose to be left out stand part of the Clause," and the second will be "That those words be there inserted," so that there will be no such dilemma as the right hon. Gentleman suggests.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I have only just come in, and I want to ho quite clear as to the meaning of the Amendment. As I read it it seems to convey this, that after all this bother and the upsetting of the industrial life of the community we are now told that the only purpose is not to deal with the possible mischief makers but the half-dozen persons who tell them to do the mischief. I wonder whether the Government think they will effect anything by that? After all, the terror of imprisonment is largely made up of the stigma which it casts upon the person in prison, and when the ringleaders of men feel that they are being sent to gaol for telling men to do what the Government say the men are not wrong in doing, then I think all the moral obloquy will vanish, and that we shall easily find martyrs who will submit to bodily privations when there is no bruising of their souls. I say further that it is a very mistaken policy to make it a penal offence for persons to do that which carries with it no real obloquy, because it removes from the community that sense of shame and degradation which is the real deterrent to crime. I do not see very much point in making an Amendment to a Clause which in effect says that those who do the real harm are to be blameless while those who told them to do it are themselves to be blameworthy. That is only on a par with every portion of this 1309 Bill which we have discussed, and it shows the lack of thought that was behind it and the insincerity of the Government. It is one of the oldest principles of our law that those who do the overt act which is condemned ought not to escape merely because they obey others. It would be an appalling thing if those who order men to do murder or loot were punishable while those who do it should go free because they had been told to do it by other people.
I am glad enough to see an Amendment which does not brand innocent strikers as criminals. I am pointing out that the Government are driven to do this because they have discovered that the men were made delinquents not because of anything bad in their own minds but because of something which was alleged to be bad in the minds of the organisers. In order to overcome that position the Attorney-General now says that in regard to those who do an illegal or criminal act only those who incited them shall be punished. The best thing the Government can do is to get back to the old common law of England and do not insist upon making mere motive the test of a crime. If a person takes a pound note out of my pocket knowingly he is a thief and I do not stop to inquire whether he took it with the object of relieving a dying mother or with the object of putting it on a horse, which is not thought to be quite so excellent an object. The man who took the money is a thief in either case. Here are men who have come out on strike and they have ceased work for a certain purpose. To say that their criminality depends upon what their purpose was is to reduce to chaos the whole basis upon which the superstructure of our social edifice rests. The Attorney-General is now forced into a position in which he says those only shall suffer who have the bad object in their minds, and that the people who commit the overt act and do the real mischief are not wrong-doers, while those who tell them to do what is wrong, then are guilty of an offence.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
There is one particular feature of this question which I should like to raise. Take the case of a man who has decided to withdraw his labour in order to express his sympathy with those who are taking part in a strike, 1310 I presume that man is free from all liability and penalisation under this Bill. Am I to understand that a man who so comes out is not legally entitled to express to his fellow workmen his sympathy with those who have joined him in his attitude of refusal to work. This Bill brings us down to that particular point, and we should have it definitely stated. I can see no other position for the man I have mentioned than that he is only entitled under the proposed Clause to withdraw his labour, and then to entirely withhold any expression of opinion upon that matter to his fellow workmen. If that is the position it is very drastic, and it goes so far as to say that you are going to prevent entirely anything in the way of a sympathetic strike.
Here is a man who has come out on his own action and he is relieved from penalisation. Has it come to this, that the Conservative party, with its owe record of Disraelian legislation for working-class people and claiming that they have clone so much for trade unionists, have now sunk to such a level at the bidding of the desperadoes of their party that they are going to try and deprive that working man of his right to leave his work in sympathy with his fellow workmen, and then you will find him compulsory work for two years with hard labour. The Government are evidently bent upon providing work for such men accompanied by imprisonment. If there is one point in the Bill more than another which is more to be condemned it is the proposition that a man shall not go the length of consulting with his co-workers on the simple point of expressing his sympathy in a practical fashion We have heard of people having sympathy with the workers, and no doubt the Conservative party have sympathy with them, but if they are putting forward this Bill as a tangible proof of their affection for the workers, I think even the most stupid Conservative working man will begin to have some doubts about their sincerity.
§ Mr. MORRIS
The Amendment which has been moved by the Attorney-General proposes to leave out the words 1311furthers, or takes part in a strike," and to insert the wordsincites others to take part in or otherwise acts in further of a strike or lockout.By this Amendment it seems to me that the Attorney-General is proposing to insert words which have the same legal effect as the words which he proposes to omit.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
Up to the present I have had no opportunity of addressing the House in these Debates, and have only been listening, but I should like to ask the Government whether they themselves, in presenting this Bill to the House, are in complete unanimity. I feel convinced that that is not the case, and, if they are not unanimous, then, by inference, those who have submitted to the majority and consented to this Bill being brought forward are as great sinners as a trade union leader who advises g against a strike, but whose imperative duty, as a servant of his association, when a strike has been determined upon, is to see to it that the will of his people is carried out. I want to warn the Attorney-General that all that can be done by Measures like this is to add to those who break the law. I know something of leading trade unionists, and I can only say that these men will be placed in such a position that nothing whatever will be of any service to them except to break the law. I would submit to the Cabinet that it is not good government to make criminals. It is the duty of Governments to prevent criminality rather than make criminals, but this Bill will make criminals by thousands, and if persisted in, will drive the country to complete ruin. I warn the Government that this Measure will not act. I tell them here and now that it will never be accepted by trade unionists in the North of England. If it be put upon the Statute Book, I consider it will be my plain and imperative duty to go to my people and tell them to ignore it, and let the Government take what course they care to take. If the Government put two or three of the leaders into prison, they will find that others will remain to carry out what their leaders have tried to carry out for thorn. Let reason prevail. It. has been said, and I believe quite truly, that this Government is digging the grave of 1312 the Conservative party. If such a Measure as this were necessary, it was their plain duty to go to the country and have the country's will on the matter before putting it before Parliament. They have neither mandate nor reason for it, and the ultimate end will be to drive the country into a state of revolution that will make matters vastly worse than they are. Many of us have been doing our best to prevent strikes. I have said before in this House that I have prevented far more strikes than ever I created as a trade union leader. But how can I go to my people and say that things are being done in a way that will be in the best interests of everyone? The Government are doing their best to drive people into such a. state of revolutionary feeling as will ruin this country for many years to come. Having said this, I am content to let the matter go as it is. If I had my way I would nor plead with the Government, but would let them have their Bill, the results of which will follow as surely as night follows day.
§ Mr. ELLIS DAVIES
I notice that the words "common law" have been introduced in the Debate for the first time today. Last night I suggested that all the matters with which this Bill will deal could he dealt with at common law. The Amendment of the Attorney-General—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask hon. Members to be more quiet. There is so much general conversation going on that it is impossible to follow the argument of the hon. Member who is addressing the Committee.
§ Mr. DAVIES
There is a reference in the second Amendment of the Attorney-General which has a bearing on the Amendment now before the Committee. I should like to ask the Attorney-General whether the proceedings which we now understand may be taken in connection with a general strike against the leaders might not have been taken at common law, as I suggested last night. This Bill appears to be intended to give to the State and to the Government additional powers by Statute. I hope that, before the Amendment goes to a Division, we shall have an answer to the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) and to the question which I am now putting. I submitted last night, and I submit again, that the 1313 powers of the Government under the common law enabled them to deal with what took place last year, or anything of the same kind inimical to the State that may take place in the future.
§ Mr. J. JONES
It has been very interesting, during this Debate, to have law for nothing. We do not pay lawyers for what they know; we pay them for what we do not know. That has been demonstrated up to the hilt in the course of this Debate. I am one of the common or garden minor trade union officials. I cannot make a strike. I can only organise it after it takes place. Who makes the strike? The ordinary members of the union. They are the bosses of the union—not the men at the top but the men at the bottom. We are not like right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who give their orders and other people have to obey. It is the members of the union who decide what the policy of the organisation shall be—whether it shall be peace or war. Therefore, this Amendment is a reversal of all history and of the practical experience of those who are in the trade union movement. The right hon. Gentleman knows very well that there are not enough prisons to put all the trade unionists in, so he said: "Let me make a nine selection. Let me have a tour round the garden of trade unionism and pick out all the choice bulbs." The inevitable result of the Amendment, carried into law, will be that Mr. Thomas will be in gaol and Jack Jones will be out.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member should remember that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby is a Privy Councillor.
§ Miss WILKINSON
On a point of Order. Does that remark mean that under no circumstances can the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby go to gaol?
§ The CHAIRMAN
In reply to the hon. Lady's point, I am afraid she missed the point of a very remarkable observation. On that point, I also am a Privy Coun- 1314 cillor and am perfectly liable to go to gaol along with the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. JONES
Perhaps I might be allowed to point out that I have already been there, and familiarity does not breed contempt. Those who are inventing penalties must try to understand the psychology of those whom the penalties are invented against. I am an opponent of what is called the Communist party. It is the best thing that has ever been done for them. They are all challenging us now as to what we are prepared to do, and if we are not prepared to obey the crack of the whip from their point of view we are all called traitors, and we are all opposed to the working classes' real interest. As a matter of fact the Attorney-General is the best friend the Communist party have got. I remember reading the Debates in the anti-Socialist days of Prince Bismarck in the German. Reichstag so far as they were reported in this country, and the leader of the German Social Democrats said that every time Bismarck made a speech it meant 5,000 more votes to the Socialist party. Every time the Attorney-General gets up in the course of these Debates to tell us what the law is—and God knows when he has finished no one knows—he has added thousands of votes to those of us who stand for real democracy in the administration of our industrial and political affairs. I may go down to any factory in my constituency to-morrow morning. I may be rung up to go to a certain factory where the men have stopped work. That factory represents not merely one body of men. There are transport workers, dockers, and all sorts of inter-related industries involved. They may send for me. I may be in bed any hour of the day or night. I have seen Members of the House asleep when they should have been awake, and awake when they ought to have been asleep.
If I am brought down, as an official of the union, to a place where my members are employed and where members of other unions work side by side with them, and I am called upon to hold a meeting of those men to discuss the situation which may have arisen in the factory or workshop—a factory providing food, because in my constituency I may point out, we do produce food: we make butter in Silvertown. [An HON. MEM- 1315 BER:"And margarine."] We make all sorts of things, men as well—and they decide to come out on strike, are the men who decide upon a strike going to be held responsible, or am I? It is going to injure the community, because as soon as the dispute begins all other bodies of men associated with them will stop work also. You may say what you like, but you will not stop them from doing it. I joined the Irish Nationalist movement when a boy of 16 years of age. You passed a Coercion Act, but that did not frighten us. You were compelled, later on, to give to force what you would not give to reason. Hundreds of thousands of our countrymen went to prison and to exile because of legislation of this character. Now you are honouring the men against whom a few years ago you were organised to fight. Cosgrave is a statesman now. He can go to Geneva and sit, cheek by jowl, with the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary. They can go all over the world with their plenipotentiaries—the very same men who only a few years ago were armed to the teeth to stop you.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The question is whether anybody, and, if so, who, shall be subject to criminal penalties.
§ Mr. JONES
If I were a lawyer I might be better able to contend against these greater legal authorities, but I think the people who ought to be sent to prison are the people who brought in this Bill, because they are creating revolution. They are attacking the State. They are taking away from the workers their old-established rights, rights laid down in laws which represent at least 100 years of struggle for the recognition of the workers' rights. The right of a workman to withhold his labour is the only thing whch separates the free man from the slave. As far as we are concerned, we are going to fight to the very death against the taking away from us of that right. Under present-day conditions who can say where one industry ends and another one begins? They are all dovetailed into one another. Are we going to appoint some magistrate who may know about as much as the Connemara pig knows about astronomy, or some Judge who may be prejudiced owing to his connection either with politics or 1316 industry to decide whether a body of workmen are right or wrong. You are going on a dangerous path. The chickens will come home to roost. Our turn will come, and I believe that when it does come we shall be able to say that you placed upon us burdens and responsibilities at a time when you thought we were too weak to resist.
You may make them illegal but you cannot make them impossible. The biggest strike that I have ever taken part in was a strike where the men never consulted the union. It took place in 1911–12, when the transport trade of London was practically paralysed. It was an unofficial strike. The men started it at one dock and it spread like wildfire throughout the whole of London. All means of transport, including the omnibuses and the trams, were brought to a standstill. Do you think you can stop that kind of thing? Do you think you can stop men from standing together, when they feel they are injured, when they feel their interests are at stake? You cannot. The gaols will not be big enough. I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman has made the concession that only the leaders are to go to gaol. It is because the Government are talking about economy.
As far as we are concerned, you can get on with it. You can collect the few you imagine to be the cause of the trouble. You can do what you like in that connection, but you cannot crush movements. You cannot crush an organisation which has been in existence sufficiently long to get into the minds of great masses of people in this country the knowledge that their only protection against servile conditions of labour is their own combination and power to sell their labour in the best possible market, and the only way to do that is by the method of collective bargaining. Whether you work for the State or a private individual, the fact remains that nobody pay more than they are compelled to give. This Government does not pay more wages than it can help. The Minister of Health will not go to Heaven for showing too much generosity to the poor.
§ Mr. JONES
I do not wish that the right hon. Gentleman should be given 1317 the same penalties that we have to suffer in this Bill. All that I wish him is that he will be treated more generously in the place to which he is going than he has treated the poor while he has had the power. We say that this Clause is simply an attempt to cripple the trade union movement. Whatever the Government do, and whatever the supporters of the Government say, the more I have listened to the lawyers, the more convinced I have become of the fact that we shall never get any justice in this country so long as the Courts are held in Hell and the Devil is the presiding magistrate.
In the minute which is left I would like to remind the Committee of two facts which appear to have escaped the notice of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) and the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. Jones). Last year, the very first thing that was done when the general strike was on the tapis was that the power of the members of the trade unions to refuse to strike or to order a
§ strike was taken away from them entirely. The General Council of the Trade Union Congress was given the power, without any ballot or without consulting the members of the trade unions concerned, to call a general strike. That fact has been completely forgotten by right hon. and hon. Members.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Is it not a fact that the executives were required to consult the members of their unions?
Every single one of them, but it was an essential condition that as a general strike was to be called, the first thing to be done was to deprive all the members of the constituent unions of any voice whatever in the matter.
§ Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause, put, and negatived.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 301; Noes, 148.1321
|Division No. 136.]||AYES.||[10. 30 p. m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cassels, J. D.||Eiveden, Viscount|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||England, Colonel A.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, (Cest'l)||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Unlv.)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Han. Wilfrid W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N, (Ladywood)||Fielden, E. B.|
|Astbury, Lieut-Commander F. W.||Chapman, Sir S.||Finburgh, S.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Ford, Sir p. J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Christie, J. A.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Forrest, W.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Clayton, G. C.||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A, D.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Bethel, A.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cooper, A. Duff||Gaibraith, J. F. W.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Couper, J. B.||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Sklpton)||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Gates, Percy|
|Blundell, F. N.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Crawfurd, H. E.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brass, Captain W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Grace, John|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dalkelth, Earl of||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Drewe, C.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Burman, J. B.||Duckworth, John||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Ellis, R. G.||Hammersiey, S. S.|
|Hanbury, C.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Macqulsten, F. A.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Harland, A.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Skelton, A. N.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Malone, Major P. B.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Smithers, Watdron|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Margesson, Captain D.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wn'by)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J, T. C.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar)||Morrison-Beil, Sir Arthur Clive||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossiey)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen. S.)|
|Horilck, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Neville, R. J.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Oakley, T.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whlteh'n)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Waddington, R.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hutchison, sir Robert (Montrose)||Penny, Frederick George||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Jacob, A. E.||Pilcher, G.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Preston, William||Wells, S. R.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Price, Major C. W. M.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Radford, E. A.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth)||Raine, W.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Ramsden, E.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Remer, J. R.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Remnant, Sir James||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rentoul, G. S.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wise, Sir Fredrlc|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Withers, John James|
|Loder, J. de V.||Ropner, Major L.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Looker, Herbert William||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Lougher, Lewis||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'gs & Hyde)|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rye, F. G.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Lynn, Sir. Robert J.||Salmon, Major I.||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Maclntyre, Ian||Sanderson, Sir Frank||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|McLean, Major A.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D||Major Cope and Captain Lord:|
|MacMillan, Captain H.||Savery, S. S.||Stanley.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Charleton, H. C.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Clowes, S.||Greenall, T.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Cluse, W. S.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Connolly, M.||Groves, T.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bliston)||Cove, W. G.||Grundy, T. W.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton).|
|Barnes, A||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)|
|Barr, J.||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hardle, George D.|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Harney, E. A.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Day, Colonel Harry||Harris, Percy A.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Dennison, R.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Duncan, C.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Briant, Frank||Dunnico, H.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Broad, F. A.||Fenby, T. D.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Bromfield, William||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Henderson. T. (Glasgow)|
|Bromley, J.||Gardner, J. P.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gibblns, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Gillett, George M.||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie|
|Buchanan, G.||Gosling, Harry||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jenkins, W. (Giamorgan, Neath)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Potts, John S.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Pialstow)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Rlley, Ben||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Kelly, W. T.||Ritson, J.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Kennedy, T.||Roberts. Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Townend, A. E.|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Eiland)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Rose, Frank H.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lansbury, George||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Lawson, John James||Scrymgeour, E.||Watson, W. M. (Dumfermilne)|
|Lee, F.||Scurr, John||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondds)|
|Lindley, F. W.||Sexton, James||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Lowth, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Lunn, William||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Sitch, Charles H.||Weish, J. C.|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|March, S.||Smillie, Robert||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Maxton, James||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Smith, H. B. Lees-(Keighley)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morris, R. H.||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Snell, Harry||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllffe)|
|Mosley, Oswald||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Murnin, H.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Oliver, George Harold||Stephen, Campbell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Palin, John Henry||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Paling, W.||Sullivan, Joseph||Whiteley.|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wlgan)||Sutton, J. E.|
§ It being after Half-past Ten of the Clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 16th May, successively, to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Ten of the Clock at this day's sitting.
§ Amendment made:
§ In page 2, line 10, at the end, insert the words
"Provided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Section or at Common Law by reason only of his having ceased work or refused to continue1322
§ to work or to accept employment."—[The Attorney-General.]
§ Amendment proposed:
§ In page 2, line 10, at the end, to insert the words
"(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the expression "trade or industry" workmen shall he deemed to be within the same trade or industry if their wages or conditions of employment are determined in accordance with the conclusions of the same joint industrial council, conciliation board, or other similar body, or in accordance with agreements made with the same employer or group of employers."—[The Attorney-General.]
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 304; Noes, 145.1325
|Division No. 137.]||AYES.||[10. 41p. m.|
|Aciand-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brass, Captain W.||Chapman, Sir S.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Briggs, J. Harold||Charterls, Brigadier-General J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Briscoe, Richard George||Christie, J. A.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brocklebank. C. E. R.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Clayton, G. C.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cohen, Major J. Brunet|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Astor, Viscountess||Buckingham, Sir H.||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Balfour, George(Hampstead)||Bullock, Captain M.||Cope, Major William|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Burman, J. B.||Couper, J. B.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Campbell, E. T.||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Carver, Major W. H.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Bethel, A.||Cassels, J. D.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey,Galnsbro)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Daikelth, Earl of|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Dalzlei, Sir Davison|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hume, Sir G. H||Remer, J. R.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Remnant, Sir James|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hurd, Percy A.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Drewe, C.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Duckworth, John||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Jacob, A. E.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Jephcott, A. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Elveden, viscount||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newlngton)||Rye, F. G.|
|England, Colonel A.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||King, Capt. Henry Douglas||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D|
|Flelden, E. B.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Savory, S. S.|
|Finburgh, S.||Lamb, J. Q.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lane Fox Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lister, Cunllffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Forrest, W.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Shepperson, E. W|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Loder, J. de V.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Looker, Herbert William||Sianey, Major P. Kenyon|
|Frece, Sir Waller de||Lougher, Lewis||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Luce-Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gaibralth, J. F. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Gates, Percy||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. Of W.)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (WIll'sden, E.)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macintyre, Ian||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gllmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McLean, Major A.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macmillan, Captain H.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Grace, John||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Macquisten, F A.||Templeton. W. P.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Malone, Major P. B.||Thomson, f. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Tinne, J. A.|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N)||Margesson, Captain D.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Marriott. Sir J. A. R.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. p.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Milne, J. S. Wardiaw-||Waddington, R.|
|Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull>|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hanbury, C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-col. J. T. C.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Harland, A.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wells, S. R.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Darlymple|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Nelson, Sir Frank||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Neville, R. J.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Oakley, T.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford; Lichfield)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Pennefather, Sir John||windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hilton, Cecil||Penny, Frederick George||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||withers, John James|
|Holt, Capt. H. p.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Pitcher, G.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Preston, William||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Radford, E. A.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Raine, W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ramsden, E.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain Bowyer.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Attlee, Clement Richard||Barr, J.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Batey, Joseph|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Beckett, John (Gateshead)|
|Ammon, Charless George||Barnes, A.||Bondfield, Margaret|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Briant, Frank||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bromfield, William||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Siesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smillie, Robert|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snell, Harry|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Clowes, S.||Kelly, W. T.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Connolly, M.||Kirkwood, D.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lansbury, George||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Sutton, J. E.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Taylor, R. A.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lee, F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lindley, F. W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lowth, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)|
|Dennison, R.||Lunn, William||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Duncan, C.||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dunnico, H.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Townend, A. E.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||March, S.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Maxton, James||viant, S. P.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Mosley, Oswald||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermllne)|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Oliver, George Harold||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Graham, Rt. Hon-Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Palln, John Henry||Weilock, Wilfred|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Whiteley, W.|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hardie, George D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)|
|Harney, E. A.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Eiland)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Rose, Frank H.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Hayes, John Henry||Salter, Dr. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Scrymgeour, E.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. B.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scurr, John||Smith.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Sexton, James|
§ Amendment proposed: In page 2, line 15, after the word "strike," to insert the words "or lock-out."—[The Attorney-General.]1326
§ Question put, "That the Amendment be made."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 307; Noes, 139.1329
|Division No. 138.]||AYES.||[10. 54p. m|
|Aciand-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brass, Captain W.||Charterls, Brigadier-General J.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brlant, Frank||Christie, J. A.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Briggs, J. Harold||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Aibery, Irving James||Briscoe, Richard George||Clayton, G. C.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cohen, Major J. Brunei|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Astor, Viscountess||Buckingham, Sir H.||Cope, Major William|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Couper, J. B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bullock, Captain M.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Burman, J. B.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. p. H.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Campbell, E. T.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Carver, Major W. H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Bethel, A.||Cassels, J. D.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cauttey, Sir Henry S.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Daikelth, Earl of|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Dalziel, Sir Davison|
|Biundell, F. N.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. univ.)||Davies, Eilis (Denbigh, Denbigh)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovli)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Chapman, Sir S.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Drewe, C.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Duckworth, John||Ilife, Sir Edward M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Jacob, A. E.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Jephcott, A. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Elveden, Viscount||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newlngton)||Rye, F. G.|
|England, Colonel A.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Savery, S. S.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lamb, J. Q.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Finburgh, S.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lister, Cunllffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Forrest, W.||Loder, J. de V.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Looker, Herbert William||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lougher, Lewis||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Luce, MaJ.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Smithers, Waldron|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Gates, Percy||Maclntyre, Ian||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||McLean, Major A.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macmillan, Captain H.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Stuart, Crichton- Lord C.|
|Goff, Sir Park||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Grace, John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Tempieton, W. P.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Malone, Major P. B.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Margesson, Captain D.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Meyer, Sir Frank||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatram)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Waddington, R.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morris, R. H.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hanbury, C.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Wells, S. R.|
|Harland, A.||Nelson, Sir Frank||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Harney, E. A.||Neville, R. J.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Oakley, T.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wilson. Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Penny, Frederick George||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Herbert. S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hilton, Cecil||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pilcher, G.||Withers, John James|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Preston, William||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, E. (Chester, staly'b'ge & Hyde)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Radford, E. A.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Raine, W.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Ramsden, E.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Remer, J. R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Remnant, Sir James||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Rentoul, G. S.||Captain Viscount Curzon.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Beckett, John (Gateshead)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Bondfield, Margaret|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hilisbro')||Barnes, A.||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Barr, J.||Broad, F. A.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Batey, Joseph||Bromfield, William|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silver town)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kelly, W. T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)|
|Clowes, S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Kelghley)|
|Clute, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, F.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lindley, F. W.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lowth, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Dunnico, H.||Maxton, James||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Darby)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mitchell, E. Rossiyn (Paisley)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Mosley, Oswald||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.||Townend, A. E.|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Oliver, George Harold||Vlant, S. P.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Palin, John Henry||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pethlck-Lawrence, F. W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-ie-Spring)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Riley, Ben||Welsh, J. C.|
|Hardle, George D.||Ritson, J.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Whiteley, W.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Eiland)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Rose, Frank H.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Sakiatvala, Shapurji||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hore-Beilsha, Leslie||Scrymgeour, E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scurr, John||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sexton, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Hayes and Mr. Allen Parkinson.|
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."1330
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 295; Noes, 156.1333
|Division No. 139.]||AYES.||[11. 4 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)|
|Alnsworth, Major Charles||Buckingham, Sir H.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Albery, Irving James||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bullock, Captain M.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Burman, J. B.||Dalziel, Sir Davison|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovli)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Caine, Gordon Hall||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Campbell, E. T.||Drewe, C.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Carver, Major W. H.||Duckworth, John|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cassels, J. D.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cautiey, Sir Henry S.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Ellis, R. G.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Elveden, Viscount|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||England Colonel A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth|
|Bennett, A. J.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Bethel, A.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Chapman, Sir S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Christie, J. A.||Fielden, E. B.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Finburgh, S.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Clayton, G. C.||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Forestler walker, sir L.|
|Bowater Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Forrest, W.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Cooper, A. Duff||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Couper, J. B.||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Loder, J. de V.||Rye, F. G.|
|Gates, Percy||Looker, Herbert William||Saimon, Major I.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Lougher, Lewis||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Goft, Sir Park||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch(Inverness)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Grace, John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. Of W.)||Savery, S. S.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Macdonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Maclntyre, Ian||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||MacLaren, Andrew||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'ths'w, E.)||McLean, Major A.||shepperson, E. W.|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Sir Ronald John||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Macquisten, F. A.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Malone, Major P. B.||Stanley. Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Margesson, Capt. D.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hanbury, C.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.||Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.|
|Harland, A.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Tasker, R. Inigo|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Thom, Lt. Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Morrison, H. (wilts, Salisbury)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Herbert, S. (York, N.R.,Scar. & Wh'by)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Nail Colonel Sir Joseph||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Nelson, Sir Frank||Waddington, R.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Neville, R. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Nicholson. O. (Westminster)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Oakley, T.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forlar)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wells, S. R.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Penny, Frederick George||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Plicher, G.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Preston, William||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Radford, E. A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Jacob, A. E.||Raine, W.||Winterton. Rt. Hon. Earl|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Ramsden, E.||Wise, sir Fredric|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Withers, John James|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||Remer, J. R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Remnant, Sir James||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Rentoul, G. S.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rice, Sir Frederick||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Richardson. Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Ropner, Major L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lister, Cunilffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Major Cope and Captain Viscount|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Curzon.|
|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, Hilisbro')||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, Bliston)||Charleton, H. C.||Dunnico, H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Clowes, S.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Unlver.)|
|Barr, J.||Cluse, W. S.||Fenby, T. D.|
|Batey, Joseph||Clynes, Right Hon. John R.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.|
|Beskett, John (Gateshead)||Connolly, M.||Gardner, J. P.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Cove, W. G.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Gillett, George M.|
|Briant, Frank||Crawfurd, H. E.||Gosling, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||Dalton, Hugh||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Bromfield, William||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Greenall, T.||MacLaren, Andrew||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||March, S.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Groves, T.||Maxton, James||Stephen, Campbell|
|Grundy, T. W.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Palsley)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Morris, R. H.||Sullivan, J.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mosley, Oswald||Taylor, R. A.|
|Hardle, George D.||Murnin, H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Harney, E. A.||Naylor, T, E.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Oliver, George Harold||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Palln, John Henry||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Paling, W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hayes, John Henry||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Varley, Frank B.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Potts, John S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Riley, Ben||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Ritson, J.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwlch)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Rose, Frank H.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Welsh, J. C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Scrymgeour, E.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Scurr, John||Whiteley, W.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (pontypridd)||Sexton, James||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Kelly, W. T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Kennedy, T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Lansbury, George||Sitch, Charles H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lawson, John James||Smillie, Robert||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lee, F.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Lindley, F. W.||Smith, H. B. Lees-(Kelghley)|
|Lowth, T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lunn, William||Snell, Harry||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A.|
§ It being after Eleven, of the Clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Friday.1334
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.