§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not select the first Amendment—in page 2, line 20, to leave out the word "strike" and to insert instead thereof the word "dispute"—which stands in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) and other hon. Members. The second Amendment—in page 2, line 20 after the word "strike" to insert the words:declared by this union shall be entitled to claim exemption from the penalties imposed on him by his trade union if such penalties are a part of the registered rules of his union,which stands in the name of the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala), does not read.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)
. I beg to move, in page 2, line 20, after the word "strike" to insert the words "or lock-out."
§ I gather, Mr. Hope, that you are not proposing to take any general discussion on this Amendment, but that it will take place on the next Amendment. Therefore, I think the present Amendment can be disposed of in a few words. It is merely consequential upon the introduction of the word "lock-out" in Clause 1. The word "lock-out" has to be inserted in Clause 2.
I acquiesce in what the Attorney-General has said. We understand that on the next Amendment—on page 2, line 20, to leave out the words "which is by this Act," and to insert the words "after such strike has been"—which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Parkinson), a general discussion will be allowed, because both points, are involved in that Amendment. We propose to divide against the present Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I take it that it will be convenient to have a discussion on the first Amendment of substance to the Clause. I propose, therefore, to allow that discussion on the next Amendment on the Paper which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Wigan.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 131; Noes, 67.1537
|Division No. 143.]||AYES.||[11.13 a.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Dixey, A. C.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Elveden, Viscount||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)|
|Berry, Sir George||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fenby, T. D.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Finhurgh, S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Buchan, John||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Gates, Percy||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Locker-Lampson. G. (Wood Green)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||McLean, Major A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm.,W.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Makins, Brigadier-General E|
|Cope, Major William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Couper, J. B.||Harland, A.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Morris, R.H.||Sandon, Lord||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Skelton, A. N.||Wells, S. R.|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,'C.)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Penny, Frederick George||Smithers, Waldron||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Streatfelid, Captain S. R.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Preston, William||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Raine, W.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Ciement||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Vaughan-Morgan Col. K. P.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Captain Lord Stanley.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Kelly, W. T.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Lansbury, George||Taylor, R. A.|
|Barnes, A.||Lawrence, Susan||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Barr, J.||Lee, F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Batey, Joseph||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||March, S.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Buchanan, G.||Palin, John Henry||Viant, S. P.|
|Cape, Thomas||Paling, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Rlley, Ben||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hardie, George D.||Sexton, James||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snell, Harry|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
§ Mr. PARKINSON
I beg to move, in page 2, line 20, to leave out the words "which is by this Act," and to insert instead thereof the words "after such strike has been"
As I understand we are to have a wide range of discussion on this Amendment, I need not direct myself particularly to the actual words. This Clause proposes many alterations. In fact, it proposes a complete reversal of the existing law. It proposes to protect all workmen who are willing to become what are called blacklegs, and, when I say "blacklegs," I mean those people who are willing to take part in arriving at a decision, and then give themselves over to the tender mercies of the employers. It prevents any action being taken by a trade union organisation against them. During the progress of the Committee stage there has been a great deal of discussion as to the meaning of the Bill, and how it will be interpreted. It will have to be interpreted by someone; someone will have to say whether a strike is legal or illegal 1538 under the provisions of this Measure. Although many hon. and learned Members have spoken, so far we have never had any real guidance as to what the Bill actually means, or will be interpreted to mean. It appears to me to be leading into a mire. When any strike takes place it must either be legal or illegal. If it is illegal, it must be defined by some authority, and we believe that by striking out these words and inserting the words of the Amendment, it will at least help to clear the atmosphere, and enable a better interpretation to be placed upon the language of the Bill.
This Clause prevents any organisation being true to its own decision. When a decision has been taken by a trade union organisation, it is generally a decision arrived at not by the officials but by the whole body of the members of that organisation. I speak particularly of my own organisation, as I know that best. It gives an opportunity, after a decision has been taken, after the men have cast their votes for or against a proposal, for 1539 a man to go back upon the decision of his union. It gives many opportunities and privileges to the men whom we term blacklegs. It prevents any action being taken against a man who goes back on a decision of his organisation. It prevents him from being expelled or subjected to any fine or penalty, or deprived of benefits. It holds him up in an exalted position, he is to be hailed as a kind of national hero, simply because he has dared to flout the considered decision of his own organisation. This Clause gives him an exalted position among men, and permits him to enter an action for compensation or damages against his union if it begins any action against him for his disloyalty to its authority. The promoters of this Bill have very little knowledge indeed of the trade union movement. The Government believe that by a law like this they can alter the decision of the men. It will have no effect whatever. If the men believe that they must strike in defence of their wages or the standard of life, they will take such action whenever they consider it necessary. They will run the risk of whatever the law may inflict upon them. In the Debate on the Second Reading of the Bill the Attorney-General, referring to this particular Clause said:It refers not to all strikes, but to strikes which are declared by this Measure to be illegal.If the question had to be submitted to a body composed of the lawyers in this House, they would never arrive at a decision, for the variations in the expositions of the law as it stands have been so pronounced amongst the legal authorities of the House that it would be almost impossible for them to arrive at a common decision. They would have the job of declaring whether a strike was legal or illegal. The Attorney-General in the same speech went on to say,It provides that no man shall be turned out of his trade union or otherwise penalised in his trade union because he refuses to take part in a conspiracy against the State.Are we to take it that all strikes are to be regarded as conspiracies against the State? The Attorney-General also said, in reference to Clause 2:The Bill provides, in Sub-section (2), that any person who is penalised in breach of this provision can apply to the Court for 1540 reinstatement or compensation for being so treated; and by Sub-section (3), which is the only retrospective part of the Measure, that particular provision is made applicable to the general strike of last year."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1927; col. 1326, Vol. 205.]I ask the Attorney-General whether there is any other association, either of employers or of professional men, who are subject to the conditions that are being imposed on the trade unions by this Measure. I ask him, what is going to take place in the case of a federation of employers? Of course, such a federation has the wherewithal to face a struggle during a period of stress and the workmen have not. If one or two people break away from the decision of a federation of employers, what is to be their position? Would they have any remedy if they were penalised or punished in any way by their federation? Would they have any right of redress? What would take place in a professional organisation, say, of doctors or solicitors; what would be the position of a particular man who flouted the authority and disregarded the decision of the general body of members? He would be immediately dealt with; he would be struck off the roll or off the register, or something of the kind. And, of course, I should say rightly so: when a man has taken part in the considered decision of any organisation, that man is bound to be loyal to the decision in which he has taken a part. What action is to be taken against those bodies? Are they to be permitted to "dismember" their people and at the same time is the trade union organisation which "dis-members" one of its people to be liable to damages? I believe that the man who has taken part in arriving at a majority decision should be loyal to that decision or accept the penalty which it may have been decided to impose upon him by the general body of members.
The Attorney-General in the same speech made full use of a statement which the Prime Minister made in May of last year. That statement, of course, was one to encourage blacklegs; it was one to encourage people to throw over the rights and the determination of their own people as expressed by themselves, in order that these men might become either tools of the employers or satellites of a political party. The Attorney-General's 1541 statement was that the Prime Minister, in May last, guaranteed thatEvery man who does his duty by the country and remains at work or returns to work during the present crisis will be protected by the State from loss of trade union benefits, superannuation allowances, or pensions. His Majesty's Government will take whatever steps are necessary, in Parliament or otherwise, for this purpose."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1927; col. 1327; Vol. 205.]I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that by making a declaration like that, at a time like that, he was speaking in the interest of the country. He must remember that there are 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 trade unionists, with their dependants, and that they are a very substantial portion of the community and the State. In making that statement known to the country, thousands of pounds of our national money was spent, with a view to getting employers to take action under the Prime Minister's promise. Immediately, in the district from which I come, Lancashire, we found employers instructing their officials and agents to wait upon the men in their homes, to meet them in the public houses, and to urge them to go back to work eithér by promises or bribes or threats. They were inducing men to break with their trade organisation. Fortunately it took a very long time to have any serious effect on the organisation. That, of course, leads to another point. When the employers are permitted to force on the Prime Minister their individual desires, the workmen have not any opportunity of saying nay. If a workman said "No, I am not going back to work, I have decided to remain loyal to my organisation, I have decided that I am going to stand with my fellow men through thick and thin for good or evil," I do not think it is right that any employer should have the power to say "When the trouble is over there shall be no work for you here." That means that there will probably be no work for that man in that particular district. That view was fully endorsed by the right hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. A. Henderson) in his speech on the Second Reading. The Bill permits the employers to take action against their workmen, action which is not above board and in keeping with British prestige and manners, but action by subterranean methods to persuade people to 1542 break with their trade organisation and to let down their own fellows. Was any action taken against any employer or will any action be taken in future against employers or agents for this particular kind of work? Are these people to be permitted, with impunity, to carry on this kind of thing? It is, of course, entirely approved by the Government, and is encouraged by all the authorities.
I have in mind the cases of many people who were persuaded by their employers to go back to work. I have also in mind the fact that many of these people have been discharged since the resumption of work. Of course, one has not very much sympathy with them, because they took upon themselves an opportunity to break away, probably under pressure by an employer, and they are now reaping what one may term to be the results of their action. It has been said by the Attorney-General that they are to be safeguarded for their trade union benefits, superannuation allowances and pensions. Beyond that he will give them an opportunity of claiming damages or compensation from their organisation. Moreover, they have the right to claim an unlimited amount of compensation, and if an action is entered under the present law, they will almost certainly get a decision in their favour. Whatever the amount of money awarded, it will be given to them out of the contributions of the whole of the members of that organisation, no matter whether those contributions have been made for trade benefits or for other purposes in connection with the trade union. In order to satisfy demands for compensation, the whole of the money of the union up to the amount which is awarded, will be impounded. That I look upon as an absolute imposition. That money subscribed for purely trade union purposes should he utilised in order to satisfy the demands or, shall I say, gratify the desires, of some weak-willed individuals, is an outrage upon British law in the British Constitution. Privileges are to be given to persons who in similar circumstances, would be cast out of any other union, deprived of membership and treated with scant courtesy. Their company would not be encouraged in any other section of the community, but they are to be tolerated by the trade union movement.
The Bill is so unintelligible as to make it almost impossible to say if a strike 1543 is legal or illegal. It makes everybody wonder—even the lawyers are wondering more than the people who are not lawyers—in what position the trade unions will be placed when it becomes law. In view of the uncertainty as to what the legal position will be after the passing of this Measure, I should like to know who is to be the authority for declaring whether a strike is legal or illegal? Is it not better to wait until after a strike has been declared illegal before taking any action under this Measure? I should also like to know what penalty, if any, is to be imposed upon employers who, by bribes or threats, seek to compel workmen to return to work even against the men's better inclinations. I am not speaking from this point of view without some experience. I have known in a recent mining dispute of cases in which colliery managers waited upon the workers at their homes, or sent messages to workers to meet them in hotels and public-houses and used all the influence and pressure and threats at their command to get the men back to work. Had there been picketing by the men, of course it would have been out of order and would not have been tolerated. The employers were allowed to coerce people; the men were only allowed to speak to their fellow-workers. The employers have been praised for their action, but the workmen have been hounded into gaol, or have had heavy penalties imposed upon them.
This is nothing more or less than an effort to sow discord among loyal men by offering inducements, and if it is made permissible to offer such inducements on the one side, some alternative should be allowed to the workmen. They should be permitted to approach their fellow-workers with a view to keeping them loyal to decisions in which all have taken part. This proposal reverses the position laid down by the Act of 1871. It penalises the loyal trade unionist who desires to work in conjunction with or to strike in harmony with his fellow-workers. A body of men come together and arrive at a decision, either unanimously or by a majority, and if the majority say that certain action is to be taken, then, of course, that action is taken, and all the 1544 members of that body should act in harmony with it. This Measure affords opportunities to the half-hearted trade unionist and to the man who is always looking out for the chance of taking advantage of somebody else. Workmen of that class are not the men who have built up the great industrial concerns of this country. The loyal workman stands by his fellow-workers through thick and thin, and accepts either the reward of victory or the loss of defeat. Men of that type are the men who have built up the industry of this nation, and when it is proposed to confer such advantages as this Bill proposes on men who at all times are prepared in one way or another to sell themselves to the highest bidder, it makes one wonder what the law of the land is going to be.
The provision as to declaring a strike to be illegal is altogether too vague and, when such a strike has been declared illegal, it is quite time enough to give any man such protection as is contemplated by this Clause. I believe that the Clause in itself will be disregarded. I believe that we have so good a hold upon the working men that if the employers are not encouraged and permitted to act as touts on behalf of their particular industries and, by bribes and pressure and promises and threats, to get some of the men to break with the men's organisations—if that can be stopped on the employers' side, then, I am quite certain we can hold the men loyal to the decisions which are made on action to be taken by the workers.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I confess that although some parts of this Bill, are, obviously, contentious, I was in some little doubt as to whether even the Socialist Opposition would find anything to criticise in this particular Clause. My doubts have been very much strengthened by the speech of the hon. Gentleman to whom we have just listened, because he could not find anything to attack in the Clause as it stood and, accordingly, he proceeded to make a violent attack upon a Clause which is not there. He declaimed in indignant tones that the workmen would continue to strike in defence of their wages and of their standards of living, notwithstanding this Clause. Of course they will, because this Clause has nothing whatever to do with a strike in 1545 defence of wages or standards of living. He said this was a Clause for the protection of blacklegs, whom he described as people who were willing to share in the benefits of a trade dispute without taking their share in the risks. Again, this Clause does not, in fact, touch or affect anybody who refuses to take part in a strike in furtherance of a trade dispute. The Clause is the obvious and, I submit, the necessary corollary of the Clause which we have already passed. Clause 1 provides that certain strikes, that is strikes which are directed against the State rather than against the employer, are to be illegal. Clause 2 provides that people shall not be penalised by their trade unions for refusing to join in a crime. The hon. Member asked indignantly whether employers' organisations were penalised in the same way. Thanks to the Amendment which he voted against this morning, they are treated in the same way, because we have just inserted the words "or lock-out" in this Clause.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
Will the penalisation of the lock-out affect the employers in the same way as the trade unions are affected?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the hon. Member will follow my answer, we have put the employers' organisations in exactly the same position as the trade unions
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
There is nothing about sick benefit or any benefit. Really, the hon. Lady is, I think, misunderstanding what I was saying, though I am sure it is my fault. The employers' organisations are put in exactly the same position, by virtue of the Amendment which we carried against the Opposition just now, as the workmen's organisations, that is to say, if there were to be an illegal lock-out, no member of an employers' organisation could be turned out of that organisation or deprived of any of the advantages which that organisation confers upon him by reason of his refusal to join in such a lock-out. If he were so turned out, then the organisation would be liable to pay him such compensation or damages as the Court might order.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
That is probably because the hon. Member was not here in time to hear the Amendment carried. We were asked if any other body of persons was put into a like position as trade unions under this Clause. The answer is that, even with this Clause, trade unions are in a better position than any other body which takes a like course, and for this reason, that whereas any other body which embarks upon a conspiracy against the State would render the whole of its members liable to two years' imprisonment, under the Clause which we passed at the last meeting of the Committee, we have exempted the ordinary member of a trade union who merely took part in a strike.
Having dealt with the arguments based on the Clause that is not here, I would like to tell the Committee, in a very few words, what the Clause does in fact mean. The Clause provides that those persons who refuse to take part in an illegal strike or in an illegal lock-out shall not be penalised for such refusal; it provides further that if they are penalised, they shall have a right to redress in the courts; and it provides, finally, that these provisions shall apply to those persons who refused to take part in the general strike of last year, that last provision being in fulfilment of the Prime Minister's pledge to which the hon. Member referred a few moments ago.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Obviously, if anybody claimed that he had been penalised by being turned out of a trade union or an employers' organization for refusing to take part in an illegal strike or an illegal lock-out, he would have, under Sub-section (2), to go to the court, and he would have to prove that the strike or lock-out was illegal, and unless he succeeded in proving that, he could get no compensation, and the court to whom he applied would have to determine the question unless it had been previously decided by the courts. Those are the provisions of the Clause, and those are the only provisions.
1547 The only Amendments which I have down to-day are purely drafting Amendments. I have accepted and, therefore, put in my own name, Number 48, which was originally put down by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Moss Side (Mr. G. Hurst), to insert "the legal personal representatives" as well as the trade union member. That is to cover cases of funeral benefit and the like. Then there is a slight alteration to the Clause in Amendment No. 304, to substitute the words "settlement of disputes in any manner" for the words "reference of disputes to arbitration." That is to cover cases where the rules do not provide for arbitration and where decisions are made by the executive committee of a union. Finally, there is Amendment No. 60, to alter the language of the third Sub-section in a way that is designed to meet three different objections. First, it brings in lock-outs, consequential upon Clause 1 being altered: secondly, it fixes the date at 1st May, 1926, in order to make it quite certain that there will be no suggestion of a claim in respect of any strikes before the last general strike; and, thirdly, it makes a slight alteration in the language in order to meet a point, for which I am indebted to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rusholme (Mr. Merriman), who pointed out that the words in the Bill "declared by this Act to have been illegal" might be ambiguous because the Bill did not declare strikes to have been illegal but only to be illegal. They are all three merely drafting Amendments.
In the event of there still being people who were fined and whose fines could be remitted under Sub-section (3), what is their course of procedure? What have they to do?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Until this Bill becomes law, they have no redress. Sub-section (3) is to be passed in order to give them redress, and after the Bill becomes law, if the trade union in question still refused to remit their fines, 1548 they would then apply under Sub-section (2) to the Court and get an order of the Court. I think it is right and fair to the big unions concerned in the last general strike to say here to the Committee, in order that there should be no misunderstanding that, as far as the Ministry of Labour has been able to ascertain, in the very great majority of cases, at any rate, the fines or other penalties have been remitted, and the men have been restored to their proper position. I do not, therefore, anticipate that there are many cases which will be affected by Sub-section (3). In the great majority of cases, certainly in cases which have been dealt with by the responsible headquarters of the different trade unions, the fines have been remitted, and the men have been replaced, as far as we have been able to ascertain.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
Claims for compensation are an alternative, and only an alternative, to the claim for restoration of membership where that course is not practicable. I am saying it really in fairness to those responsible for the management of these trade unions. In cases which have been brought before the headquarters' executives, certainly in a very great majority of cases, the matter has been righted before ever this Bill was brought in. It may be said: "Then why trouble to put in Sub-section (3)?" My answer is that if there be only one case—and I have no doubt there are certainly a good many more than that—when the Government of the day have given a promise to the loyal trade unionists that if they refused to take part in what the Government regarded as an attack upon the State they should not be penalised for so doing, that promise has to be implemented, and it is in discharge of that promise that Sub-section (3) is incorporated in this Bill.
§ Mr. MORRIS
As I understand it, Subsection (3) is aimed to give redress to people who worked during the last general strike, but before that redress would be possible, it would be necessary to declare the last general strike illegal under this Bill. I am not expressing any view as to the rights and wrongs of that general strike, but how is it declared illegal by this Bill?
§ The CHAIRMAN
During these discussions in Committee a habit has arisen, which has alternately affected Government spokesmen and Opposition spokesmen, of subjecting them to a catechism at the end of their speeches. It is very difficult to know where to draw the line in such cases, but I would remind hon. Members that they and right hon. Gentlemen have power to speak an unlimited number of times, in Committee, and I very much deprecate the practice whereby whenever any prominent spokesman on either side makes a speech a catechism immediately follows. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"]
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
May I ask, Mr. Hope, whether there is anything in the Standing Orders which is opposed to that procedure? I submit that during these Debates that practice has proved to be of the utmost value in illustrating points of information which have been brought out during the speeches of prominent spokesmen on either side, and I think that in the case of a legal Bill of this character that procedure is of the greatest value and ought not to be discouraged.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There are no Standing Orders on the point, but there are certain regular customs in debate. I do not say for a moment that one or two hon. Members, with the consent of the speaker who is about to sit down, should not ask questions, but if that procedure is repeated constantly the Debate really becomes a conversation.
§ Mr. CRAWFURD
Would the right hon. Gentleman allow me, with the consent of the Chair, to put to him a point bearing on the point raised by my hon. and learned Friend? I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in effect, accepting the position of the Clause as he has just outlined it, the actual Amendment we are now considering would weaken the Clause from his point of view, or whether it would not strengthen it by making it more definite, so that unions and individual men alike would be better able to know where they stand in regard to any particular strike?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I will deal with the two points which have been raised. In answer to the first question, I am not sure that the hon. Member has 1550 observed the Amendment, to which I called attention, which, I think, makes the position absolutely clear. It will make the Clause read that as respects any strike or lockoutbefore the passing of this Act but since the first day of May, Nineteen hundred and twenty-six, which, according to the law as declared by this Act, was illegal,this Section shall have effect. I do not think if any persons found themselves penalised by their union for refusing to take part in the last general strike, there would be any doubt as to what the decision would be if they claimed that the last general strike was, according to the law, as declared by Section 1, illegal.
Another point is as to whether the Amendment suggested would not improve the Clause from our point of view. Most certainly it would not, and I do not think it would be an improvement of it from the point of view urged by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Parkinson). The effect of the Amendment which he suggested was that any person who refuses to take part in an illegal strike can be penalised by his trade union for such refusal unless the refusal happens after the strike has been declared to be illgeal. Take one of the instances he himself gave. If a man refused from the first to take part in the strike because he regarded it as an illegal attack against the State, he could be punished with impunity, and Clause 2 would not protect him; but if he joined with the majority of his fellows in voting for the strike, and went out on strike, and then, when the strike was declared to be illegal, went back again, deserted his fellows, as the hon. Members puts it, then he would be entitled to protection under Clause 2. Quite obviously it is unreasonable to say that the man who from the first says, "I will have no part in this illegal attack against the State; I will abide by my duty as a loyal citizen," shall be allowed to be punished for taking that course, whereas the other man who votes in favour of a strike and afterwards, when he finds the Courts are punishing those who take part in it, goes back to work, should be put in a better position than the man who refused to join from the first. I would add that the Amendment leaves it entirely at large as to who is to declare the strike illegal. I do not know whether the declaration would be made 1551 on a prosecution before a magistrate, or on an application by the Attorney-General under Clause 7, or how else, but, at any rate, there can be, in my submission, no logic in a suggestion that anybody can be punished for refusing to take part in an illegal strike as long as be refuses before the Courts have pronounced it to be illegal, but, if he refuses to take part in it after such a declaration, he cannot be punished. That does not seem to me to be a logical position from whatever point of view you regard the provisions of Clause 1, and, therefore, the Government cannot accept the Amendment.
If during the Committee stage of this Bill large employers of labour could be present in the gallery or some other place where they could follow the proceedings, I wonder what their feelings would be with regard to the future of industry in this country. I say frankly and seriously to hon. Members that while they are talking politics in this matter, and are arguing from a party point of view, the large employers, men who employ thousands, to my personal knowledge, view with utter dismay what is to be the prospect if all this litigation such as has been described is going to follow. Instead of the country recovering itself, we are going to be in a, hopeless position. Every Clause trotted out here is argued from the mere legal point of view, without any knowledge whatever as to the circumstances in which it will have to be applied. This Clause is presumed to give effect to the Prime Minister's pledge, that if any man were aggrieved, or were punished or victimised by his union, he should get redress. I think I am stating it fairly.
I will put this question. We have heard from the Attorney-General that as far as victimisation, penalisation, or the application of this Clause is concerned, all the big unions are absolutely immune right away. What does that prove? What do members who have got to face the industrial situation say to this? As I will show by a resolution, immediately the strike was over there was a general anxiety that the whole thing should be wiped away. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Yes, and you are rehashing it. Here is a resolution 1552 passed by my own Executive Committee—Having had submitted to us communications respecting the attitude of certain branches, who suggest taking steps to penalise those of our members who remained at work during the general strike, this Executive instruct all our officers and members that no action of a vindictive character must be taken regarding those cases, and desire to point out that this is a time for reconstruction, and that any action of a vicious character is a direct contravention of the instructions of this Executive Committee.
My hon. Friend asks me how will they carry it out. I asked the Minister of Labour if there was any complaint from the whole of my organisation, and his answer was "No." That is how it was carried out. You have heard the Attorney-General say this morning that to his knowledge there has been no violation of that resolution. Let the House observe what we were discussing yesterday in this connection. There was the argument, and the plea that it was only the leaders who are to blame, and that they are the people responsible and not the rank and file. The resolution I have just read out was the answer to the rank and file who wanted these men penalised, and I will tell the Committee who those men are. When a man makes an application to join a trade union—this applies to all trade unions—the first thing he has to do when he joins is to sign a form as follows:I, John Brown, accept the existing rules of the organisation and how they may be altered in the future,and so on. Consequently the man you are dealing with is a man who knowingly joins the trade union and accepts the conditions, and when he breaks them he has to come to hon. Members opposite to ask for protection. I will deal with these cases because it is very curious that both Liberal and Tory organisations have tried to manufacture these cases against the trade unions. The first Labour party Secretary was a man named Arthur Peters, and his services were so recognised that the Liberal party took him on. Mr. Peters on behalf of the National League of Liberal Trade Unionists took up the case of a man at Peterborough named Clipstone, who claimed that he had been wrongfully 1553 expelled from the union. That case was officially taken up by Mr. Peters. I ordered an investigation into that case, and I found, so far from this man having been expelled, all that was asked of him was that he and three other members who had not struck were merely asked to attend the branch meeting to explain their position. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!" and "Why not?"] What is the difference between those three members quite honestly being asked to come and explain and the Noble Lord the Member for South Nottingham (Lord H. Cavendish-Bentinck)? There is no legislation to penalise the Nottingham Tory party. That was the first case, and it was proved that the man was not expelled at all.
The next case which came along was equally interesting. I am not now dealing with imaginary cases, but with actual cases. The case I am now dealing with came from Bathgate, where the branch had asked that this man should be expelled. I had that case investigated, and what did I find? This man not only took part in the discussion prior to the general strike, but properly struck work with all his mates, and he was out for five days, and drew £1 strike pay. Having drawn that £1 on the Saturday morning, he went to Edinburgh and got a job in his own grade. These are the people whom hon. Gentlemen opposite are so anxious to protect, and they are what they call "the innocent victims of the strike." These are the people who provide the litigation in the Law Courts.
I ask any hon. Member of the House, is this kind of thing not playing with the question when you have all these kind of things admitted? I have read the resolution passed by the Executive Committee of my own Union, and I have dealt with the only two cases which were brought to our notice. I have shown that these matters are dealt with by the branches themselves. Clause I says it is illegal for a railwayman to strike with the miners in order to secure a minimum wage for the miners. Therefore, can you wonder at the strong feelings of any man or any body of men when a man joins the union and gets all the benefits of the union and will not do anything to help in a case of that kind. Such a man, I contend, is unworthy of our serious consideration. By the Clause you are 1554 now discussing, you are going to provide more work for the lawyers.
Another question arises in regard to this Clause. The Attorney-General is proposing three Amendments, although we were told that when this Bill was originally introduced that it had been carefully prepared and had been before the Cabinet. The Attorney-General has reminded us this morning that only a few minutes ago we went into the Lobby and voted against the lock-out proposal.
That is true, but the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well why we did so. We voted against the lockout because we had listened attentively to this carefully prepared Bill which did not include the lockout originally, and when we asked the Attorney-General the reason they did not in the first instance include the lock-out, he said that the real reason was because it would be inept and useless. I am reminded that the right hon. and learned Gentleman says so now. Of course he does, and that is why we voted against that inept and useless Amendment. This very carefully prepared Bill in relation to the Clause we are now considering provided that this particular Clause was to be so retrospective that it included any illegal strike of any kind Consequently, it amounts to this, that the Bill was intended to deal only with the events of last year, and was to have no other connection, and is at this moment, except for the Amendment now being moved, limited to the general strike. I ask whether the real explanation is that the Conservative conference held at Scarborough really forced the Government to take on this job, with the result that have landed the country and this House in a pretty big mess. [Interruption.]
I want to deal with the other kind of penalised men, and again I am going to ask the, Committee to apply themselves to the practical side. After my executive passed that resolution, after they had made it broadcast and drawn public attention to it, they did something else; they empowered me to sign an agreement with the railway companies agreeing that there would not be another strike except after negotiation, in the whole of the railway transport industry. That agreement was signed by me, and I am standing by my signature. Then what followed? Every man who struck last year on the railways 1555 —there were hundreds of thousands of them—and all those who did not strike, had to work for 5½ months, following the general strike, side by side in the same grade and the same depot; but all those who did not strike—all those who can go to the Law Courts and get damages now—were allowed to work six days a week for six months, and their fellows who had struck had one, two or a maximum of three days' work a week. In addition, therefore, to the other provisions of the Government, they are to have some further advantage.
Where are the employers on the other side? The House of Commons is supposed to represent a number of employers. [Interruption.] I am not speaking now of lawyers, because we know perfectly well that, whatever else may happen to the unemployment figures, this Bill will ensure that there is no unemployment as far as lawyers are concerned. I am not dealing with the lawyers, but with the employers. Where is the big employer on the other side of the Committee? I know numbers of them outside the House who have expressed their views very strongly. Some of us know them, and dread the results of this Bill. But where are they on that side of the Committee—the practical employers—not the politicians, but the employers who every day have to meet the trade union officials, who every day have to make agreements, who every day come to our unions and say, "Here is a little difficulty; let us brush it away because we want good will"? All these men know perfectly well that the net result of this Bill will be to engender such bad feeling as will destroy the influence of some of us who have pleaded for conciliation. Something is said about attacking the Communists, and not moderate trade union leaders. Believe me, you have only to read their own journal and their own abuse of us, to see that the only people who are delighted with this Measure are the Communists.
§ The CHAIRMAN
What the right hon. Gentleman is now discussing is, surely, quite beyond this Amendment.
I bow to your ruling, Mr. Hope, but the difficulty I am trying to show is this: The Sub-section of this 1556 Clause with which we are now dealing enables any workman who is aggrieved to take action for damages against his union, and I am endeavouring to show that it will result, in its natural application, in crippling the industrial machine and breaking up conciliation methods. Therefore, I am trying to show that, when all this is finished, we on our side, who are engaged daily in our trade union work and in our negotiations, have got to go to people and say, "All that we have been telling you about good will in industry and doing your best is wrong," because they will not believe us. At a meeting last week, where some of my colleagues were present, this matter was discussed, and one very responsible man said, quoting me, "There are pamphlets issued in your name saying, 'Let us have more production,' and there are pamphlets in my name saying, 'Let the workers do their best.'" We said, "After having been knocked out in this matter, surely our job now is to say, 'Let us have a general strike,' but 'Let us tell our people to work to rule.'" One day's working to rule on one railway system ruined over £300,000 worth of goods—and you cannot sack the men for working to rule; they are not on strike.
Yes, obey orders. I am putting this to the Committee because, when this Bill is settled with, we shall have to deal with these problems, and, whether you agree or disagree with us, the fact remains that we shall have to deal with them. If this Clause is proceeded with, and all this friction is created, all this litigation is brought about, the result will merely be that, instead of the country being helped, it will be injured. I think it is a mistake to encourage litigation, to encourage all these legal battles. Who will pay the bill? Does any hon. Member who will vote for this Clause think that the innocent man, the man whom they have in their minds, goes to the Law Courts on his own? We know how it works. Did Osborne go to the Law Courts on his own? Osborne was one of my shunters: he was getting 24s. a week; but the best counsel in this country were briefed in his case, and it cost thousands of pounds. I could mention the names of the people who found the money. Therefore, I ask 1557 the Committee to keep in mind the fact that, if litigation is going to be encouraged, if all these difficulties are going to be encouraged, the end of this Trade Union Bill is not only going to be worse than any consequences of the general strike, but I am perfectly sure that the House of Commons itself will live to regret it.
The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), invited expressions of opinion from employers, and, if the Committee will allow me, I should like to refer to a case that was brought to my notice some time back. I am at loss to understand the right hon. Gentleman's point of view in the light of this case, which was brought to my notice by a firm in Glasgow. It concerns two branches of the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives, namely, the joiners and the machinists—the machinists in this case being those employed in the operation of wood cutting machinery. It appears that, towards the end of 1925, the Joiners Society instructed the joiners employed by the company in question not to do any work on any material required for Weir steel houses. Naturally, the joiners were very much annoyed at these instructions, as it meant that the company might have to order material from abroad. The Joiners Society next endeavoured to get the machinemen employed by the company to refuse to handle any timber required for these Weir houses—
No, Sir, but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, in referring to cases of pressure on individuals, said that no case had been made out by the employers, and I thought I might refer to this case of a sympathetic strike in connection with the employers.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This deals with the question of workmen who refuse to take part in an illegal strike. I do not gather that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was contending that this was an illegal strike.
§ Miss WILKINSON
I think it would be as well if hon. Members realised what the effect of this Clause would be on the law as it exists at present. The effect of the Clause is to repeal the Act of 1871. It does not repeal it in all cases but only in certain specified cases. I want to ask the Attorney-General if he can justify the legal position that would follow when this Clause is passed. Under the Act of 1871 a trade unionist cannot get any damages from his union. He cannot sue for benefits or for superannuation, however unjustly he may feel he has been treated. Let me take a case. A man may have paid into the union for 20 or 30 years. He may have paid for sick benefit, superannuation, funeral benefit, and all the benefits of the ordinary trade union activity. He is expelled from the union. I will not go into details. It may not have anything to do with a strike at all. He may feel that he has been very unjustly expelled. A large number of members of his union may feel that he is unjustly expelled but, however good his case may be, by the Act of 1871 he cannot go to any court and get any redress at all. Here comes the Attorney-General. He asks the House to pass a law which will give a trade unionist the power to sue in the courts. But what kind of a trade unionist? Only the trade unionist who has betrayed his friends, who has broken his own pledged word to obey the rules of his union, the man who is despised by his fellows, just this one section of people who are regarded by decent trade unionists as being outside the pale—this is the type of person who is to receive Conservative protection. It will be very interesting to the type of men who have come out in the country and talked about the benefits of the public school spirit, and esprit de corps, and standing together, and doing team work, and fighting for your side. As far as I can understand what has happened, the Premier invites men to act like Judas and expects the men they have betrayed to provide the 30 pieces of silver. If the Conservative party is so anxious to protect these men they at least might have provided the purchase money.
There were other pledges made by the Prime Minister and I should like to know when they are going to be honoured. Some of us remember the 1559 pledges that were broadcast after the General Strike was called off. The Prime Minister asked the employers to do the straight thing. I have not got the exact quotation but he said "Let there be no victimisation. Let the employers and the workers work together. let us have peace in industry," and so on. I can remember case after case being brought by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) and other prominent trade union officials where the employers had victimised their men in defiance of the Premier's pledge. The Premier said he had no control over these employers and he could not force them to carry out his pledge, but there is no word in this Clause about him taking power to go back to these employers who victimised their men and force them to carry out his pledge. I go further than that. The Government Departments themselves victimised men in defiance of the pledge. The Premier cannot claim that he has no control over the employing Departments of the Government. Case after case was ventilated on the Floor of the House where, in defiance of the pledge, men were victimised—men of long standing, men who had qualified for pension and so on—and the Premier refused to take any action at all. If we are going to have pledges kept it would be at least interesting if we had them kept on both sides Then when the members of the General Council called on the Premier after the General Strike they were told his one desire was to get people back to work. He broke that pledge time and time again. In cases where one word, the mere lifting of a finger, would have protected those men he refused to protect them. He let them be victimised by his own Departments. And then the Attorney-General says if there is only one man who has been victimised by a trade union the whole machinery of the law shall be brought into play. It will be interesting to see whether we are going to have this Conservative impartiality. What, of course, is happening by This Clause is that we are having it made perfectly clear that the Conservative party is anxious to break up not only the trade union organisation but the very spirit of discipline and loyalty which has kept the organisation together.
1560 Then it is very interesting to note that no limit has been laid down as to what the compensation is going to be. Some of us who live in Lancashire have seen the activities of the Conservative Associations in that county among the trade unionists. We have seen how demands for the return of the political levy have been secured. One can see what may happen after a General Strike such as the last one, which may happen any time in the next few years if the Conservative party is going on as it is doing at present. There may be a trade union with 250,000 membership and funds, say, of £100,000. The employers dealing with the disloyal workmen whom the Conservatives have such sympathy with and such knowledge of, may be able to get some hundred of these men to take action against the union. There is nothing whatever in the Clause which will prevent a judge inquiring what are the total reserve funds of the union and dividing them up among the disloyal workmen. That is precisely what has been done in America over and over again under similar legislation. A case was brought to my notice only recently in Dacota where members of a trade union had to sell their furniture, pledge their credit and go into debt in order to pay damages in an action of this kind. I should like to ask the Attorney-General is there anything to prevent a Judge giving compensation up to the limit of the trade union fund, and is there anything to prevent the same thing happening as is happening in America, where men actually have to sell their goods in order to pay the enormous damages that are given.
The Attorney-General may think that is an extreme case, but what are we going to rely on? We certainly cannot rely on the friendship of the Conservative party. If anyone had asked any of the more moderate Members on this side whether it was conceivable that the Conservative party would produce a Bill like this they would have said it was impossible, and therefore when you say such a case as I have outlined is inconceivable, it is no more inconceivable than that a great party should lend itself to the encouragement of every kind of disloyalty among the workers.
Let me go further. The Conservative Party in the past has traded and built a good deal on the loyalty of the workers 1561 of this country to the State and the constitution. If they undermine that spirit of loyalty it may go very much further than the Conservative party have any knowledge of. Those of us who are working amongst the trade unionists know full well that the real loyalty of the workers to their unions is such that it can, in the long run, make very little difference. The spirit of bitterness which will be engendered by seeing the protection of the Conservative party extended to those who are the blacklegs, traitors, and Judases in a strike will react on the Conservative party itself with very terrible effect.
I suppose, if we wanted a contrast in speeches, it would be very difficult to have had a better contrast than the speech we have just heard, and the very able speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas). On the one side you have Judases thrown out all along the line. On the other side you have, in the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, I believe, a real and a genuine mind, perfectly straight, perfectly honest and really determined to do his best, not merely for a temporary victory in his trade union, but really to carry some usefulness into industry and to encourage the general progress by means of trades unionism and by means of national advance. [An HON. MEMBER: "Are you going to support him?"] In answer to that interruption, may I say that there is no reason for me to support him. He has got enough supporters among his own followers who know him quite well without my supporting him. What I did wish was, to contrast the right hon. Gentleman's speech with other speeches which we have heard. I was going to use it as an illustration to show why you have got to have this Clause. If all the trade union leaders were of the type of the right hon. Gentleman there would be very little need for this Clause at all. If all the trade union leaders had done as the right hon. Gentleman and as the other real leaders did last May or June at the end of the strike, there would have been no need whatever for the last Sub-section in this Clause. But, unfortunately, they did not. There were other cases—[Interruption].
If the hon. Gentleman says there is no case, what were the cases which have been referred to in Questions time after time during the last few months? What were the cases which I took to the Ministry of Labour from my own Division? There were some eight or nine cases, all of which, except one, had been let off, and rightly let off. There is only one of my cases outstanding, and only a few others, as the learned Attorney-General pointed out. I deliberately and purposely say, that I do not believe there is a single case outstanding in the railway world at the present time. It is a pity that that spirit was not carried out throughout the whole of industry.
The hon. Member says, "By employers as well." I absolutely and entirely agree. If there has been any form of victimisation on the part of the employers, I would like to see it done away with at the present time.
I really cannot answer twenty hon. Gentlemen chattering at the same time. I do not in the least mind answering any one of them at a time.
§ Mr. J. HUDSON
Where is the point in the Bill which you have raised that deals with the employers as you propose to deal with trade unions?
I quite realise that that point is not in the Bill. There is no reason why you should not have the principle embodied in an Amendment. After all, it does not lie in the mouths of hon. Gentlemen opposite to say that we have deliberately tried to keep employers' organisations out of the Bill. I, therefore, invite them to bring forward such an Amendment when the time comes. Dealing with this one point, I welcome the fact that the Government have implemented the Prime Minister's pledge in this particular respect, not because I believe there are many cases of intimidation outstanding, or that I believe that the saner and wiser leaders of trade unions ever wish to intimidate anyone, but because there are a few outstanding cases which ought to be dealt with. The main argument 1563 against this Clause is that whatever you may lay down in law, if a general strike comes along, the bulk of the men in this or that particular industry will feel that they are bound loyally to support their union. It is stated, and, no doubt, quite rightly, that when they join their union they have, in fact, to obey certain rules. That is perfectly correct, and no one would deny it, but you cannot really maintain, if you accept the constitution of this country that in all circumstances men who sign an agreement to be loyal to the Union must obey those rules rather than the laws of the country as a whole. It does not matter whether it is an employers' union or whether it is a union of railwaymen, or whatever else it is, all have their rules; and all have their loyalties. I am the last person in the world to say anything against the loyalty of men to their union, but we have all got to realise that we must obey the laws of the country. That is the justification for this Clause. We have got to stand by the community rather than by those who try to inflict starvation on the community. Hon. Members opposite, some of whom know what the general strike cost the workers and are prepared to do their part to see that it never comes again, would—if I may say so very humbly—strengthen their power throughout the whole of the country at the present time if they would say quite definitely that they would never support a general strike again, instead of threatening, as we heard the last speaker say, that it might come sooner or later. This is a perfectly simple Clause which deals with a perfectly simple question. If we are faced with a general strike in the future, with which I hope, and I know nearly everyone in this Committee hopes, we shall not be faced with again, men who refuse to take part in that strike will be protected by the Government whose first duty must always be to protect the interests of the community.
§ Mr. J. HUDSON
The last speaker referred to the fact that there were employers against whom complaint could be lodged in connection with victimisation that followed on the general strike. When I ask why, upon that matter, there have been no attempts to include in the Bill anything dealing with it, the hon. 1564 Member shelters himself behind the fact that we, on our part, when dealing with the aims of this Bill, have voted against the Government. Let me suggest to the hon. Member, and to the party opposite, that, if there had been any real desire shown by them and by the Government to impose upon the employers the desire which the hon. Member opposite said he feels, that victimisation should cease, I have no doubt at all that victimisation would have ceased. But, while he is able to admit that, with regard to the railwaymen, there is practically no case at all in which victimisation can be proved throughout the country at this moment, on the railways as well as in other industries there are men who are working on short time, men who are deprived of their jobs, and both they and their fellows know that it is a conscious policy of victimisation carried on against them by their employers. Knowing that, it makes it very difficult indeed for us to discuss the question in that dispassionate way which the hon. Member desires.
I was interested to hear the interruption made by the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley). He asked the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) about the victimisation among the workers on the railways, and when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby replied that there were no such cases, and when he had given facts regarding the matter, the hon. Member for Grimsby said that that was no answer at all. The hon. Member for Grimsby is in the position that is taken up by most hon. Members in the Tory party. He continues to pretend that, in spite of the replies which are given from these benches, there is serious victimisation of blacklegs by the trade unions. He refuses to accept the answers which are given here. If he knows any facts at all, he could take these facts to the Minister of Labour, who could give us opposing evidence to that which was provided by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. But the hon. Member for Grimsby knows that the facts are not there, and he prefers to keep alive this pretence that wholesale victimisation is being practised by the trade unions against certain of their members.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
On a point of Order. Is it not, the custom of the House that when a statement which has been made by one hon. Member is brought forward and commented upon by another hon. Member, that the hon. Member who is referred to shall receive notice so that he will have a chance of being present?
§ Mr. HUDSON
Is it not the duty of an hon. Member of this House, who has interrupted the speech of a right hon. Gentleman, to remain here for some reasonable time during which there is the possibility of a reply being made to him?
§ The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: (Captain FitzRoy)
It would be difficult to lay down any hard-and-fast rule as to the proper course that should be followed by hon. Members in regard to interruptions. There have been far too many interruptions on all sides of the Committee during the last few days.
Dr. VERNON DAVIES
In the event of the hon. Member for Grimsby being informed of what has been said in regard to him, will he be entitled, when he returns, to be called upon by the Chair?
That had better be left to me. It will depend on whether the hon. Member catches my eye or not.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The hon. Member for Grimsby could learn from his hon. Friends that reference has been made to him, and if they do not desire to let him know immediately he can know soon afterwards. All I complain about is that hon. Members of the Tory party who follow the lines which were taken by the hon. Member for Grimsby desire to keep alive the enmity which the Prime Minister pretends it is the main purpose of the Government to prevent. I suggest that that is the whole purpose of this Bill. The resentment that is shown by hon. Members opposite when some of my Friends in their speeches have referred to the blackleg and all he stands for as a type represented by Judas Iscariot, proves that hon. Members opposite have failed to realise how the moral feeling of the working-class movement has been developed by years and years of treachery practised by a few within their movement, at the instigation 1566 of the class which hon. Gentlemen opposite represent. It is one of the saddest stories in the Nineteenth Century history of the working-class movement that, all through that period, there have always been a few people who, either because they were instigated by treachery or because of their poverty, or for some other reasons, have been prepared to take part in good and easy times with the trade unions for common purposes, but who, when harder times have come, have deserted their fellows and played the part of their masters.
I can well understand that, when a man's loyalties become divided between the loyalty he holds to his fellows in his union to whom he has sworn that he will be faithful, and another loyalty to a wider community, a serious difficulty arises. But I would remind hon. Members opposite that that was exactly the difficulty that Judas Iscariot was in. He was a traitor and he had heard it said that his colleagues' loyalty was divided as between Cæsar, on the one hand, and the principles to which his colleagues and his Master were attached, on the other. There can be a case made out, on the lines which hon. Members opposite now adopt, for the action of Judas Iscariot. He was able to say, "My union, my colleagues, are engaged in a process which will ultimately be aimed against the welfare of the State," and indeed the traducers of the colleagues of Judas Iscariot ultimately made that charge against them. But, history has shown that the greatest loyalty that Judas Iscariot owed was the loyalty that he should have practised towards his fellows and his leader. History holds him, and people still hold him, as the great type of the traitor. I want to suggest that what the trade unionist to-day expects of his fellows in regard to this great central issue of life, namely, the right of the workers to combine in order to obtain ordinary, decent living conditions for themselves and their fellows, is that in the case of the man who betrays his fellows on that issue and who joins his masters, or who joins in any process which his masters set up in order to break down the right of the workers to combine, we may still look upon those who betray as the real traitors, and that there should be some means still by which we can express our views in regard to them.
§ Mr. HUDSON
Perhaps the hon. Member will leave that for my preroration while I deal with the hon. Member for Grimsby. During the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, who at the time was dealing with the Railwaymen's Union, and who stated that in connection with his union there was not a single case that had been proved or had been brought by the spokesman of the Government, and particularly the Minister of Labour, to show that there had been victimisation by the union, the hon. Member for Grimsby made the interruption that that was no answer at all, suggesting by that interruption that he knew some railwaymen about whom, obviously, the Front Bench of the Government did not know, who were victimised and whose case was not covered by the answer that the right hon. Gentleman was giving.
§ Mr. HUDSON
It is not a question of what the hon. Member opposite has got, but what the hon. Member for Grimsby has got. He made a statement, and though he declared he knew of cases of victimisation of railwaymen, he had not gone to his friends on the Government Bench to give them that evidence which he pretended he possessed when he made that interruption. I charge the hon. Member for Grimsby with this, that he was keeping alive an enmity on the basis of statements for which he had no evidence at all, but which, if he had evidence for them, he had never given it to his friends of the Government in order to disprove the case we had brought. That is again the case that I make against the hon. Member for Grimsby, and I make it not so much against him personally, for, as I have said, he is the type of many other hon. Members on the opposite benches, who in and out of the House had gone on making these statements and have pressed the Government to introduce this Clause and who are yet unable by evidence to back up the statements they have made.
May I, with much respect, come to what I may term my peroration? I only want to say that through the long struggles that the workers have made we have built up a moral opinion in the working-class 1568 movement which will remain whether this Bill be passed or not. You may talk about making special facilities for the blackleg, and you may make provisions by which you hope to smash the trade union fund, but the opinions of the working class regarding those who betray them will remain, and I suggest that by the special favours you are trying to show him on this occasion, you will exacerbate their feelings with regard to the blackleg and make the blackleg's position hard. The enmity which exists now amongst the workers with regard to him will be stronger still, and I ask hon. Members, before it is too late, to reconsider their attitude on this matter and let the workers go on with their organisation in their own way just as your organisations have been allowed to go on. That is the only way, in the long run, by which people may come to that unity which we all desire.
§ Mr. EVERARD
I am sure that I, together with other hon. Members on this side, was extremely interested to hear the statement just made by the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. J. Hudson), reiterating the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, because it so happens in my own constituency I have a very large number of cases of people who have been definitely victimised by the National Union of Railwaymen's officials. I handed these cases over to the Government, and they were brought up on the Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons. In reply to that the right hon Member for Derby said, "Oh, but the executive of the National Union of Railwaymen takes no responsibility for this form of intimidation." I have made all endeavours possible in my own constituency to find out what efforts the executive of the National Union of Railwaymen has made in order to rectify this intimidation by the smaller officials of that union which has been allowed to go on. So far I have been unable to trace any repudiating leaflet which has been issued officially by the Nation Union of Railwaymen's executive repudiating this statement which I at present hold in my hand. Therefore, I take it that this leaflet was directly distributed locally and elsewhere by the local branches of that 1569 organisation with a definite view, and was only sent to those people who did not take an active part in the general strike. It is evidently sent out to intimidate them, and it was known perfectly well it would not be repudiated. May I remind the hon Member for Huddersfield of what this leaflet says, in case he has forgotten it? It is another red leaflet headedNational Union of Railwaymen, Midland District Council.I will not read the whole of it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Read it all."] I will read three paragraphs of it. [HON. MEMBERS "No."] To please my hon. Friends I will read the whole of it. It says:Take notice. For many years we have explained to you by meetings, canvassing and other methods, the advantages of industrial solidarity by membership of the N.U.R. A good many have joined up and taken a man's part in the struggle, but there are others who have refused to join or who have allowed their membership to lapse. The time has come when you must join and keep your contributions up to date or you should get off the job and make room for better men.I am glad to see that the right hon. Member for Derby has now returned to the House—The National Union of Railwaymen has revolutionised wages and conditions on the railways in the past few years, and the Union is always fighting to obtain and maintain a reasonable standard of living. If you are outside the Union, you are like babies, playing with fire and dangerous to yourselves, your families and your mates. We extend to you"—and I wish to draw the particular attention of the Committee to this,a welcome to join before it is too late, as on 2nd May, 1927, and the five following days we are having an inspection of trade union cards, and shall then have a complete record of our enemies and friends. Those members in arrears are requested to clear their cards, and all nons to join up before that date, as we cannot be held responsible for any definite decisive action that may be taken afterwards to clear out all nons from the railway industry. By Order of the Council. C. Rayner, Secretary.When this matter was brought up before, the right hon. Member for Derby repudiated the leaflet on behalf of the General Executive of his union. What steps has he taken to see that those people who have been grossly intimidated in my own division by this leaflet being put in their letter-boxes are re-assured? What steps has he taken to put the 1570 matter right by issuing from his headquarters in London to all the people who have received that leaflet, a further leaflet saying that the Executive of his union definitely repudiate it, and that they have taken steps of a disciplinary character against Mr. Rayner, who has not carried out the Executive's instructions?
That is a very fair question. I would only observe at the outset, and I think the Attorney-General will agree with me, that nothing in this Clause has anything to do with that. There are 1,700 branches of my union. In the first place, I do not think that the circular which the hon. Member has quoted is offensive, because the man to whom it is addressed has had his wages increased 100 per cent. and, surely, it is not offensive to ask him to contribute something towards it. Not only is it not offensive, but I would characterise the man who would not contribute as a mean humbug. A circular similar to the one now quoted, which had nothing to do with the head office, was issued in London, and the executive issued a general instruction to the union, that they alone were the body that would order any dispute or action. That was issued to the union in January. The obvious answer to the hon. Member is that it is now the 19th May, the second of May has passed and no action was taken.
§ Mr. EVERARD
The right hon. Gentleman has not made at all clear what I asked him. I asked him whether he was prepared on behalf of the Executive of the National Union of Railwaymen to send out a letter to the people in my division who have been intimidated by this leaflet, definitely repudiating it and also saying that the Executive have taken disciplinary action against Mr. Rayner, the Branch Secretary.
I will not issue a circular, but I shall probably visit Leicester, and at Leicester I shall say to all those people mentioned by the hon. Member that they are mean humbugs to take something when they make no contribution.
§ Mr. EVERARD
I am sure the Committee will draw their own deductions as to whether I have made out a case against the officials of the National 1571 Union of Railwaymen or whether I have not. My point can be simply proved. If hon. Members opposite will expend a small sum of money in buying to-day's "Daily Herald," they will see the figures of membership of the National Union of Railwaymen, and they will find that owing to this sort of treatment being meted out to the members of that Union the numbers of members decreased by 11,056 in 1926. I can imagine that if this sort of treatment is allowed to go on the numbers will diminish at a much quicker rate.
The hon. Member asked me a question and I answered it. He has now quoted something else. If he will look at the Board of Trade returns he will see that the number of employés on the railways has dropped by 38,000.
§ Mr. EVERARD
I can quite understand that. If this sort of treatment is meted out, I can understand the employés on the railway looking for employment in other industries. This Clause deals conclusively with the pledge given by the Prime Minister at the time of the General Strike. We on this side say, without any hesitation, that if there is one great characteristic about our Prime Minister it is that he carries out the pledges which he gives. I shall have the greatest pleasure in going into the Lobby in support of this Clause.
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
The Committee will agree that we lawyers so far have kept out of the Debate and quite rightly, the Debate has gone on the practical questions which have to be decided. Before we conclude the Debate, in so far as this Clause is making an important change in the law, whatever views we may have of that change, I do not think that we lawyers should be intimidated from applying ourselves to the legal problem. It is not the only problem, but it has to be dealt with among others. What I want to say about the legal aspect of the case is, that it has not been made clear to the House so far that under the existing law no trade unionists can claim any benefit in any event. That may be right or it may be wrong. Under Section 4 of the Trade Union Act, 1871, it is expressly provided that no Court can entertain an action for the payment of benefit to members, and it is equally true—there is 1572 much authority for this proposition—that no member can sue his union for damages, because such member would be suing himself in suing the union for damages, because he is a member of the union. Therefore, as the law stands, although a man may subscribe to his union for 50 or 60 years, he cannot sue for benefit. Some people may say that that is unfair; but the converse to that is that the union cannot sue him for his subscriptions or for a fine. That seems to amuse the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Sir M. Macnaghten), but I do not think he will dispute that that is the law. Mr. Justice Astbury, in the famous case which has been discussed here so often, at the time of the general strike, made this observation:Now, the law upon the matter is that no member of a trade union can lose his trade union benefit by refusing to obey unlawful orders.He did not say in that case, and perhaps it was not necessary, that in no case can he obtain his benefit, whether the orders he refuses to obey are lawful or unlawful. The importance of that fact is this, that it is being suggested by the Government that this Clause is put in to prevent a trade unionist from being penalised for what he does in an illegal strike. I suggest that if it means anything it means that because a man takes part in an illegal strike he shall not be in a worse position than those who do not take part in it. If ordinary members of a union could sue for their benefits to-day, something might be said for the argument, "We are not going to allow a man who has been expelled because he would not take part in an illegal strike to be in a worse position than other members of the union." That is not the case. To-day a member cannot sue for his benefit. What the Clause does is to put a person who refuses to take part in an illegal strike in a better position than any other member of a trade union. Take the case of a man, an ordinary member of his union, who has paid his subscriptions to the union for 30 years. In 99 cases out of 100 the union will pay benefit, but there may be a reason in the last case; if a law suit is brought the man would lose; he could not get his benefit. But if he has paid his subscriptions every week and refuses to take part in an illegal strike he is given the right here to obtain an 1573 unlimited amount of compensation or damages, which he would not possess otherwise.
I do not know whether the House is sufficiently impatient as to say that this is a legal quibble or not, but I am quite sure hon. Members will want to look at the matter fairly and squarely, not as a matter of political argument, but to inquire what the Clause really does. What I say it really does is to give to the person protected by it a right which no other trade unionist possesses under the law. In the event of any litigation under this Clause consideration will have to be given to the question as to whether the strike is legal or illegal, and all the other complications of this Bill will have to be gone into in every case where benefit is paid. The Committee rather assumed the other day that the only way and time in which the question of an illegal strike would come before the Courts would be in connection with some prosecution, either a criminal prosecution before a magistrate or a motion by the AttorneyGeneral for an injunction. In fact, that by no means exhausts the cases. Under Sub-section (3) of Clause 1, where an action can be brought by an employer under the suspension of the Trade Disputes Act, or in the case we are now discussing, where an action is brought by a member who has been expelled for compensation or damages; in both these cases the ordinary civil Court, quite apart from any action for an injunction or any criminal proceedings, has to consider before the action is really lodged at all, is this or is it not an illegal strike? The Attorney-General has said this morning, in my presence, that the question will have to be decided whether a strike is legal or illegal, and it is only when it is illegal that the man will have the right to recover benefits.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
That would have to be decided before the Action is brought and in the ordinary way in the course of the proceedings.
§ Sir H. SLESSER
The question whether a strike is illegal or not will have to be considered by the Court. Protracted litigation will arise in every case. Not only do you give to the person refusing to take part in this illegal strike a right which is given to nobody else, but you do not limit in any way the amount he can recover. You do not say that this 1574 man has lost certain expectations of benefit and that if we capitalise the amount or work it out actuarially he will get a certain amount. There is no attempt of any kind to estimate the amount of damages. It simply provides that the Court shall give to the man any compensation or damages it thinks just, and when we remember that the compensation and damages are to come out of the general funds of the union, will be paid for out of the sickness benefit fund, the unemployment fund, the accident benefit fund, we can see what a serious thing it is to give to any Court the right of raiding these funds without limitation as to the amount which may be given.
The legal position into which we have got is most unsatisfactory. We have given under this Clause a trade unionist a right which is not possessed in any other case, we have given unlimited power to the Court, we have given compensation to an unlimited amount, and we make it retrospective. On the legal point of view, apart altogether from the practical injustices, there is a real objection to the Clause, and when the Attorney-General says that he cannot understand how anybody can oppose it I, for one, say that we can properly oppose a proposal which gives a right to a person who refuses to take part in a particular form of action and deny that right to every other person who is a member of a trade union.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I have risen in order to reply to some remarks of the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. J. Hudson) and I am delighted that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), is in his place as we can deal with the whole matter at once. The hon. Member for Huddersfield launched a violent attack against me and practically said that I was making a statement which was not true. I want to remind him of what actually happened. During the course of his speech the right hon. Gentleman read out a Resolution passed by the Executive of the National Union of Railwaymen, in which they stated that they wanted the members of their union to sink all points of difference and live in harmony together. That is a very proper resolution to pass, and may I also say a very clever resolution from the standpoint of the National Union 1575 Committee. The interjection I made was to ask the right hon. Gentleman how that resolution is carried out by the members of his union? And I want here and now to say that it was not carried out by the rank and file of the union, and nobody knows that better than the right hon. Gentleman. I know it is a difficult matter to get individual members of a union to carry out resolutions passed by the executive committee, I will admit that, but for the right hon. Gentleman to come here and say that there were no cases of victimisation is absolutely beside the mark.
The further interjection I made was this. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Ministry of Labour had had no complaints and that only a few complaints had been sent to the Government. I said that that was no answer at all. The cases I know of, and which other hon. Members are acquainted with, were not brought before the Government or the Ministry of Labour. I claim to have done perhaps as much as the hon. Member for Huddersfield for the trade union movement and I asked people in my own constituency—and there are a large number of railwaymen in my constituency—to carry out the spirit of the resolution which the right hon. Gentleman read to the House. I want to know one other thing from the right hon. Gentleman; I want to know what was the arrangement between the executive of his union and the railway managers as regards the men who were not members of his union who went to work during the general strike. The evidence I have is that in every case in my own constituency these men were dismissed within two days of the completion of the agreement between the National Union executive and the railway managers.
Who was responsible for that? Can you wonder that these men who went in at the request of the Government of this country, to do service for the country, and risked a good deal in so doing—as they went away with the trains they had to leave their wives and children behind to run certain risks, as feelings were very strained at the time—complain that they are victimised inasmuch as they have been dismissed. In this matter there is as much blame to be attached to the railway managers as to the national 1576 union. What was the agreement that was entered into? The railway managers said that they could not continue to employ these men because of the arrangement that had been made. I know of one case of a man who was getting near the time when he was due for superannuation from the railway company. He was in this position when the general strike was declared and the railwaymen came out. He was informed that if he came out he would run a considerable risk of losing his superannuation. He did not want to come out, and in any case he intended to continue at work; but the other men refused to work with him after the general strike was over. These are the kind of cases which have not been brought forward because it was felt—
The hon. Member is continually stating cases within his knowledge. I ask him to send me the information and give me the names. The railway companies would not allow the men to refuse to work with other men. It only shows that the hon. Member must be drawing on his imagination.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I should not attempt for a moment to draw on my imagination in addressing the Committee. It is possible that the railway company is not aware of the fact that the men have refused to work with this man.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I am not speaking of a driver or fireman. But I could quote the instance of a man driving a train, a man not employed by the railway company immediately before the stoppage, a man who had worked for the railway company some years before and volunteered his services on the promise that he should have a regular job. Immediately the strike was over—the right hon. Gentleman cannot deny that these arrangements were made—these men who were not railway servants immediately before the strike and who went to work during the strike, were dismissed.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
Now we have the admission that that is so. I submit that when the right hon. Member for Derby and the hon. Member for Huddersfield 1577 get up in this House and say that there were not cases of victimisation, they are beside the mark entirely and are not telling us the exact facts. We have now got the facts before us.
§ Mr. MORRIS
According to the statement of the learned Attorney-General, this Clause is the least contentious Clause of the whole Bill. I confess that I do not take objection to the first two Subsections of the Clause. I cannot see that it can be right in any case to penalise a man who is engaged in doing a perfectly lawful act. I confess that I did not follow the argument of the hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) that the man who is expelled from his union would be in a better position than the trade unionist who remains a member of the union. As far as I understood his argument, it was that the trade unionist is not able to sue for benefits if he is still a member of the union, but that if expelled from the union he would be put in a position in which he can bring an action against the union for benefits. As I read this Clause, the expelled man would not be able to sue for benefits but to sue that he should not be deprived of them. He is not played in a better position than the trade unionist, but he is placed in a position in which he can sue that he shall not be deprived of benefits which otherwise he would have. In other words, he is placed in exactly the same position as the trade unionist.
Although as I say that about the first two Sub-sections, I think it is deplorable that the third Sub-section has been placed in the Clause at all. It is a retrospective sub-section, and I deplore retrospective legislation practically in any circumstances. Retrospective legislation has become a growing practice in recent years. The introduction of a retrospective law, particularly in highly contentious circumstances such as these, and in very novel circumstances—the circumstances of last year were very successfully negotiated by the community, for the community had to assert its own authority and did so successfully with the assistance of the vast majority of the trade unionists of the country—is to be regretted. I deplore the introduction of this retrospective sub-section. When I interpolated a question this morning in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General it is true that I 1578 had not noticed an Amendment which appears later on the Paper. The Subsection as drafted appeared to me to give no right even to do what the learned Attorney-General intended should be done—to give the right to the man to sue for that of which he is deprived. I apologise to the right hon. Gentleman for that oversight on my part. Still, while the first two sub-sections of the Clause appear to be perfectly reasonable, though the Bill is undesirable from every point of view, I should very much like to see the retrospective character of Subsection (3) eliminated.
I regret very much that the hon. Member for the Melton Division (Mr. Everard) and other hon. Members opposite have left the House. They have made comments regarding incidents that have arisen unfortunately since the general strike. I do not propose to deal with the legal aspect of the three Sub-sections of this Clause. As I sat here listening to hon. Members opposite I could not help wondering on what they were basing their statements and criticisms. The hon. Member for Melton waxed very furious over a circular which he read. It was a very inoffensive circular in comparison with what we well know that the medical profession and the legal profession have done to such of their members as have blacklegged. I have known instances in the Rhondda Valley and in South Wales generally where men who have been blacklegs to their profession have been unable to get a living and have been drummed out of the profession. Is it any more reprehensible on our part to say that we do not like to work with men who blacklegged during the dispute of last year? Is it very strange that men do not care to work with those who were disloyal to their fellows during the dispute? I ask members of the Committee to be reasonable and to take the rational view that the workmen are no worse than the doctors or the lawyers. I could cite cases in both the legal and medical professions far worse than any which affects our own men, and I speak particularly of the men in my own district. I have been connected actively with the miners movement for over 30 years.
I regret that an hon. Member opposite who has spoken had no reply to make to 1579 a question interpolated by the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. J. Hudson) as to why there is no provision in the Bill to penalise employers in the same way as the trade unions are penalised. I notice that the hon. Member for Streatham (Sir W. Mitchell) is not present. He and others seem to be unable to believe that the employers can do wrong, even in a lock-out. Would those hon. Members be surprised to learn that in the Rhondda Valley there are families which, because of some action taken by one or more of their members, are being followed and persecuted and are being refused employment at all the collieries? I will give the Committee an instance which is peculiar. One of these men had worked for 26 years at a colliery and had been for some months trying to get back to that colliery after the recent stoppage. I may say, incidentally, that there are lists going about among the collieries in the Rhondda Valley. This particular man applied for employment and the general manager told him that he could not be employed nor could any of his family be employed as far as that colliery was concerned. The man jocularly said to the manager, "Well, what about Will Thomas, my brother?" and the manager said, "Where is he employed?" and the man said, "He is employed in Pittsburg, America."
It is true that there are hundreds of men who are in a position of that kind because of some previous dispute. I have been for 30 years in the Rhondda Valley and I have never known victimisation to be so rampant as it is at present. It is embittering feeling and you cannot have good will and the restoration of trade while you have this kind of thing going on. This Bill will do nothing to help in the restoration of peace in industry, or getting our trade going again, as we had been hoping to do before very long. I am sorry to say, that some of the employers are not acting as they ought to act. We have done our best, and I want to say to Members opposite that there is nothing in this Bill which will help the situation. It will only make it more difficult. 1580 We have been trying to push our men since the stoppage. We have been trying to establish good will and the output has gone up. The production has been made all right, but in collieries where there is this sort of victimisation of men for the part they have taken in trade unions, you cannot ask them to help in restoring trade by increasing output. It would be hypocrisy to say that it can be done until better relations are established between employers and workmen.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
One hears with great regret the statement of my hon. and gallant Friend who has just spoken. It is a great pity that there are still in existence so many unenlightened employers who do not realise that keeping on good terms with their own men is the best way to facilitate the development of industry and to bring about peace in industry. I have always held that the present state of the great trade union movement arises very largely from the stupidity of many of the employing class, and I believe it would be better if we could have the same state of affairs generally as that which prevails in the cotton trade where the employers' associations and the workmen's associations work hand in hand. There, any employer who is wronging his workpeople has to reckon immediately not only with the workers' organisations but with the employers' associations. We should aim at having that state of affairs generally and at grading up the worst type of employer. Trade unions and employers' associations should aim at that, instead of quarrelling with each other as they are doing at present.
Having said that, I do not see that this Clause as it stands is going to affect that issue because it only deals with the particular class of strike referred to in the Measure, namely the illegal strike against the community. With regard to the statement which has been made and the circular which has been read out the only thing I would point out is that this circular was first read by the Solicitor-General at the conclusion of the Second Reading Debate when he said that this form of intimidation was not dealt with by the Bill at all. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) somewhat impulsively repudiated that circular. Apart from a few 1581 objectionable expressions like "enemies" it seems to me, looking at it, that it is just what one might call a strong canvassing circular. It is a nasty circular to receive if one is a member of a union and is in arrears.
I do not know what power the union has, but if I were a member of a union and were in arrears and if I received a circular of that kind, it would have an effect upon me precisely opposite to that which is contemplated. I would endorse the circular, "You go to Paisley. I was going to pay up my arrears, but I will not do so now." Probably circulars of that kind have that effect, and that accounts for the falling off of 11,000, which I do not think is accounted for by the fact that there are 38,000 less employed, because the assumption is that the men, though unemployed, are still members of the union, and are receiving unemployment benefit. That, however, is more or less a question of fact, but subject to that one cannot help regretting that circulars of that kind are sent out, and that occasionally you have employers or managers or firms sending out circulars of the same kind, though uttering opposite sentiments. These are more or less efforts at moral—or immoral—suasion, but they cannot be called anything in the nature of intimidation.
This Clause is intended purely to deal with the question of strikes which are aimed at the community, and a great deal of the argument uttered against it is beside the mark. The true principle that we should all aim at is to bring about, in the ordinary industries of this country, a better spirit, and the railway directors are really the people who ought to be attacked by hon. Gentlemen opposite. If it is the case that these men were dismissed two days after the settlement came, it was not the union who dismissed them; it was the railway directors. If the railway directors brought these men in and promised them continuous employment, and did not keep that promise, then they are the real blacklegs and not the union. It was a shocking state of affairs that men should have been brought in to help the country and the railway companies at a time of strain only to find when the stress was over that they had been sold. The railway companies ought to have made substantial compensation for the fact that 1582 owing to the exigencies of railway affairs, they could not fulfil the promise they made. If the union was sufficiently powerful and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby was sufficiently persuasive to get round the railway directors, I do not blame the union or the right hon. Gentleman; I blame the directors.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I desire to refer to the speech of the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris), who said that a statement made by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) was not strictly in accordance with the facts, namely, that a person who was dis-membered from a union for refusing to take part in an ordinary trade dispute was placed in a superior position to a member of the union who entered into a legal trade dispute. Sub-section (2) of Clause 2 states that in certain circumstances there shall be paid out of the funds of a trade union such sums by way of compensation or damages as the Court think fit. As my right hon. Friend intimated, there is no sort of limitation as to the amount of compensation that may be claimed or awarded by the Court, and as a majority of the magistrates would in all probability be drawn from the employing section of the community, to give the power to grant compensation to a disloyal member of a trade union is certainly to place that member in a superior position to that of an ordinary trade unionist.
§ Mr. MORRIS
I agree that damages may be claimed, but it is not putting a man in a better position. The first Sub-section says that, if he is expelled, he shall have the right to sue and shall not be deprived of the benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled. He is expelled, and Sub-section (2) says that he shall have damages because a wrong has been done to him. He has been placed in a worse position by being expelled, and he does not get damages to put him in a better position, but in respect of the wrong done by his expulsion.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I suppose the difference of opinion will still continue. I cannot help feeling, as a trade unionist, that you are placing a disloyal trade unionist in a superior position as compared with the man who is prepared to stand by his colleagues in an industrial 1583 dispute. The hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) made in the House a general accusation of victimisation that may or may not have taken place in regard to railwaymen involved in the last dispute. He was sent for, and he returned to the House and was called upon to substantiate the interjection that he had made, but although he told the Committee that in Grimsby they have a large number of railwaymen, he could refer to only a single, isolated case where it may have been that some pressure had been brought to bear upon an individual. That, I think, is a fair example of the many statements made by hon. Members opposite alleging victimisation of trade unionists that seldom if ever actually takes place.
The circular which has been referred to, calling upon men who were receiving the benefits derived as a result of trade union activity to join a union, is another charge levelled against trade unionists for intimidating men into joining unions. It seems to me that not only was that circular, although unauthorised by the National Union of Railwaymen, justified, but that the men who received it and were not contributing to their organisation ought to have felt thoroughly ashamed of themselves for having been recipients of the benefits obtained by the organisation over a large number of years. I once heard an ex-Member of this House describe a non-unionist as a man who stood at a street corner, watched a funeral procession go by to the cemetery, waited for the mourners to depart, then examined the wreaths at the graveside, took away the best flowers, walked up to a flower show, and with them won the first prize. I think that is a fair description of a non-unionist, and that is the kind of person whom the Attorney-General is attempting to honour in this Bill after disloyalty to his colleagues during an industrial dispute.
The right hon. Gentleman suggests that he did not think we could criticise this Clause, since lock-outs had been brought within the scope of the Bill, thus equalising the law between employers and employed. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee of a single case of a lock-out in this country which has been officially interpreted by the Minister of Labour as a lock-out? The only lockouts 1584 that we are aware of, like the lockout of the mine workers of last year, have been interpreted for official purposes not as lock-outs at all, but as refusals to work on the part of the employés under any conditions that the employers might lay down. I want to know how the Attorney-General is going to apply this supposed equalisation of Clause 1 to employers as well as to employés. Last year the mine workers had an intimation from their employers that unless, on a certain date, they were willing to accept certain terms, all the collieries would be closed. Those collieries were closed, because the men refused to accept the employers' terms, and the men were locked out, but when they appealed for unemployment benefit because the employers had locked them out, the Minister of Labour, or the umpire who acts on his behalf, said: "These men are not locked out; there is work available for them."
How, in Heaven's name, is the Attorney-General going to apply the same law to employers as to workpeople, since it has always been proved that lockouts, for official purposes, have been termed refusals on the part of the workmen to continue in their employment? It seems to me, therefore, that the suggestion that the Clause will apply to employers equally with workpeople is sheer hypocrisy, and I shall continue to think so unless we can have some further explanation on that point. The right hon. Gentleman said that wherever it could be proved that employers had indulged in a conspiracy against the State, they would be brought under Clause 1, but surely he knows that the policy of employers in this country has always been to aim at the workers in sections and never in a comprehensive sense through what we might term a general lockout, which alone would bring them within the terms of this Bill. They have always followed the policy of defeating the workers in sections, and to that extent they could never under any circumstances be brought within the terms of this Bill.
The right hon. Gentleman referred to men who want to work during a trade dispute as loyal citizens, who ought not to be penalised by trade unions, and he said that this Clause sets out to prevent a loyal citizen, who has no desire to 1585 enter into a conspiracy against the State, being penalised for his wonderfully patriotic motives. I think my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. J. Hudson) adequately answered that point when he stated that the promoters of the Bill are, in this Bill, deliberately setting out to create disloyalty in the ranks of the workers, which will ultimately develop more bitterness even than exists to-day. What sort of a man is it, for instance, who, being a member of a trade union, whose members were going to indulge in a trade dispute to resist perhaps some reduction in their wages or some worsening of their working conditions, preferred not to cease work? There might be one or two such individuals. They would prefer to continue to show their allegiance to their employers, not because they were loyal to the State or because of any patriotic motives, but because possibly they might feel that in the days to come they would have the best job in a colliery, a bigger chance of promotion in a factory, or some other benefit at the hands of their employers. That sort of man is neither good to the employer nor useful to the State, but under this Clause he is going to be made a saint. That type of man, who has consideration for the State and for the employer, as well as for himself and his family, is going to be penalised for the purpose of giving honour and glory to the man who would not only desert the ship but who would desert his wife and family if only he can get a smile from his employer.
Some reference has been made to victimisation by trade unions. If the right hon. Gentleman and his friends could have for three months only the experience which many hon. Members on this side have had for many years they would come to have a very different opinion of victimisation. I should think there is hardly one industrial Member of Parliament on these benches who has not been victimised, robbed of his work, robbed of his livelihood, very often robbed of his home, because he dared to stand up for what he conceived to be right as between employer and employé. I have had the misfortune, shared by many hon. Members who sit on these benches, of being deprived of work for months on end merely because I happened to be an 1586 active trade unionist at the colliery where I had been working.
There is another phase of the victimisation problem to which I would like to draw attention, and to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he intends to do, that is, the attempt to deal with victimisation as practised by employers. I recall one instance, out of thousands which could be quoted, of an individual who held an official appointment at a colliery. He was a member of an organisation. He sent a letter to the local press inviting other officials to become members of that organisation. The manager of the colliery told me a few weeks later that before 12 o'clock on the day on which that newspaper was published at 9 a.m. more than 50 telegrams or telephone messages had been received at the colliery asking "Who is this Fred Jackson? Can you give us a description of him?"—his height, weight, features and so forth. Obviously that was done for the purpose of preventing him from getting employment at any other colliery in Yorkshire should he happen to be dismissed from that particular colliery. That kind of victimisation is going on persistently, and there is nothing in this Clause to compel employers to be less vicious in future in victimising their employés. To come very near to Grimsby, where an hon. Member said this morning victimisation by trade unions had taken place. Following the general strike of last year no fewer than 300 Hull tramway employés, who had been in the service of the municipality from 30 to 40 years, were dismissed and were refused reinstatement. The only crime those men had committed was that of being loyal to their colleagues during that trade dispute. Those men, who were entitled not only to superannuation benefits but to various other benefits for which they had worked and paid during many years, were victimised without any consideration for their future.
The victimisation of workpeople which the industrial trade union at whose head is the hon. Member for one of the divisions of Nottinghamshire is causing in various parts of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire would, if the facts were brought to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman, cause him to take a different view of what victimisation means, how it is carried 1587 out and how it is impossible for him to maintain an equitable attitude as between employer and employé. At one particular colliery not a man who is not a member of the so-called Spencer Industrial Union can obtain a working place in the pit. It is an absolute condition that a man must withdraw from the ordinary trade union, forfeiting the friendship of all his colleagues, if he hopes to make any progress at that colliery. Therefore it seems that as regards jurisdiction and retrospection the Bill is aimed at the loyal trade unionist and is intended to do honour to the non-unionist, the man who is disloyal to his colleagues and his wife and family and is of use neither to the employer nor to the State.
The penalising of trade unions which, after all, have been the basis of the hopes of the workers for many generations, which are an integral part of our social, industrial and economic life, in order to succour the worst type of man there is in the industrial movement ought not to form a part of the policy of even a Conservative Government; and the jurisdiction which enables a disloyal person, whether he is disloyal to the State, disloyal to the trade union or disloyal to his colleagues or anybody else, to secure unlimited compensation for a misdeed, will not redound to the glory of the Conservative Government. Retrospective legislation is always bad in principle, and in this particular case it is seen at its worst. The stoppage last year was thought by all the men who engaged in it to be a legal stoppage, and subsequent proceedings have gone on on the basis of its being a legal dispute, and to make this Clause retrospective and penalise people for what was done when they thought they were doing right is not only to aim a deadly blow at trade unions but is placing in the hands of unscrupulous employers, unscrupulous men and biased magistrates a power which no body of people ought to have.
§ Major GLYN
The hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) has made a speech which seems to be a little beside the point, because, as I understand the Clause, it deals with the protection of persons refusing to take part in an illegal strike. In his speech, to which I listened with great interest, he 1588 never mentioned the words "illegal strike," speaking only of industrial disputes; but as I understand the point nothing in an industrial dispute is affected by this Clause, and it is special pleading on his part to bring into a speech in opposition to this Clause something which is not in the least affected by it. Nobody suggests for a moment that there is not victimisation on both sides. I hope everybody in the Committee objects to it. Certainly I do, and I think it is the greatest possible mistake to bring up all these matters.
§ Major GLYN
It does happen, and the question is which side will start to show an example to the other. I am not sure whether speeches such as that to which we have just listened will help us much, because that is purely a propaganda speech with the object of making out that this Bill will exercise a detrimental effect by enabling employers to victimise men who refuse to take part in an ordinary industrial dispute. The loyalty of a British citizen should be shown to the State first and to everything else second, and what some of us on this side are a little in doubt about is where the line is to be drawn between these two considerations. But surely everyone agrees that under this Clause, which deals with an illegal strike, there can he no possible shadow of doubt, even in the Don Valley, as to where lay the duty of any loyal citizen of this country; be he a member of a trade union or not he should not take part in any form of conspiracy against the State.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman whether he has observed this point? While compensation is permissible under the terms of Subsection (2) of Clause 2, unscrupulous employers can use that Clause to prey upon weak-willed persons to induce them to refuse in future to engage in a trade dispute, and that will automatically and inevitably reduce the negotiating power of the official trade unionists who are always trying to prevent disputes instead of allowing them to take place.
§ Major GLYN
I do not think that improves the position of responsible trade union leaders. I rose for two purposes. The hon. Member for Argyllshire (Mr. 1589 Macquisten) made certain accusations against those responsible for the management of the railways and said they had victimised those who had rendered them good service.
§ Major GLYN
I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr Thomas) will bear me out when I say that in the railway industry it is recognised on both sides that you must have an efficient organisation, and that there must be an absence of victimisation on both sides. I believe that the terms of the railway agreement were properly carried out on both sides, although there were some hard cases. References have been made to the circulars which were issued. I think they were sent out by branches urging men to join their branch, and I quite sympathise with a desire to get these men back into the union. But surely you are likely to get them to join more readily when the union is properly conducted, and when the men know that no responsible official exercises a power which can be construed as victimisation. But if you take a National Union's circular issued by the Metropolitan Area Show Card Day Committee, which is acting for the National Union of Railwaymen, you will find it contains the statement thatIf after this warning you still persist in being a parasite, don't squeal when we fix the day for you to be cleared off the job.I feel quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby dissociates himself from that statement. It should be recognised how important it is for the responsible leaders and the rank and file of trade unions to realise that industrial peace and progress can only be obtained where there is neither victimisation by employers or by the workers. It is necessary to achieve this object to have both those organisations working together, and there is not one word in this Bill, as I see it, which can be construed as giving powers to any employers to use this Act in any illegitimate manner, or for anything except an ordinary trade dispute. This Bill deals with illegal strikes and not trade union disputes, and I hope there will be no misapprehension as to the true meaning of Clause 2.
§ Mr. JAMES BROWN
There has been a good deal of talk about victimisation and we are all agreed that victimisation is bad from every point of view. I think, however, that hon. Members will be ready to agree with me when I say that when it comes to a question of victimisation the employers are in a better position than the workers to impose it and they do not require to publish it. I remember not long ago that there were tears in the eyes of many hon. Members opposite in regard to the case of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Spencer) who was expelled from the Federation. We are all aware that the Noble Lord the Member for South Nottingham (Lord H. Cavendish-Bentinck) was also threatened with expulsion because he had done certain things. Therefore it seems to me that a thing is right if it is done on one side and bad if it is done on the other side.
It has just been stated that there is not an hon. Member of this House who has not been victimised, but I am pleased to say that I am an exception to that rule. I have never been victimised, probably because my employer knew that I was a good man. I am very glad that I worked under an enlightened employer, and probably that was the reason why I was not victimised. I notice that my name is down to excise Sub-section (3) altogether. With regard to Clause 2, and the compensation that is to be given to workers who are expelled from a trade union for any cause whatever, I wish to put this question to the Solicitor-General. Why should not any trade union have full power over its own rules and its own members? A person who joins a trade union if he wishes to be fully alive to everything that is going on in his union will certainly read the rules, and he will see there that there are certain things which he may not do.
In these circumstances why should a trade union be said to be exercising undue rights if it says to a member of the union "You have broken our trade union law and we are going to expel you." I think that ought to be sufficient for any hon. Member who has given any thought to this subject. Instead of adopting that attitude the man who breaks the trade union rules becomes a pampered person under this Bill and gets compensation. But that is not the worst of it. I do not know what the Government has in view when they say that under the Clause 1591 which we want to excise altogether anything that was done illegally before the passing of this Bill may be taken to be illegal now. I suppose this refers to the general strike and the great lock-out under which we all suffered and this Clause is intended to give compensation for some supposed injustice that was done in reference to those two events. I am informed by one of my hon. Friends that cases have already occurred. The Government, after all, profess to want to make a good Bill out of this Bill, and they say the country is very anxious that we should have legislation that will enable us to get on with the work of reconstructing industry. Every one of us wants to reconstruct industry. I do not think that Members on the Government side are more anxious for a reconstruction of industry than we are. It is our wish that reconstruction in some industries should take place at once, but we are met with obstacles in the way. We want reconstruction, because it is we who suffer most when there is any dislocation or disorganisation in any industry.
But, I would ask, why put in this Clause? Indeed, one might ask, why should the Bill be introduced at all? It is a most inopportune time; it is the very worst time at which it could have come. Even the captains of industry agree as to that. But why in this Bill should the Government introduce a Clause of this kind, giving compensation, and making illegal what had previously been legal, if it is going to suit the book of some of our big employers? I trust that some consideration will be given to this retrospective legislation. None of us likes retrospective legislation of any kind, but when it is introduced with the purpose of indemnifying men who are supposed to have done some great work for the State during the great lock-out, we have a right to be suspicious about it, and we have a right to fight against it altogether. A great deal has been said about certain cases, and one has been cited in which an engine driver, I think, who, I suppose, had left the industry, had taken the handle at the time of the stoppage, on the understanding that he was to be kept on. I agree with the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) that, if anything of this kind were done, it is not conducive to bringing in any more persons of that kind; but, if we are not treating this as a political question, 1592 if we are not treating it as a question between industrial sections who are fighting each other, what would you think of such a man in ordinary society who cames in and takes someone else's job under a bargain that he is to be retained after the stoppage has ceased? There have been great bargains in history, and I remember one, if I may speak about it with reverence, though it did not gain very much reverence; and, speaking as an ordinary individual, and not as a member of a party or anything else, I would scorn any comings or goings with a man of this description. It was not because of patriotic motives that he did it, but because he wanted a job, and he thought that by pleasing the employers at the moment he was going to secure a good job for all time. I cannot say I am sorry for a man like that.
I trust that Sub-section (3) of Clause 2 will be deleted altogether. As I have said, retrospective legislation is always bad, and, indeed, retrospect of any kind is sometimes not very happy. We want this Sub-section taken out altogether, so that at least we may not be saddled with something that no one ever contemplated when any act was supposed to have been done. I hope, therefore, that in addition to the words which it is now sought to take out, the word "compensation" will be taken out also, that this Sub-section will be eliminated, and that some attempt at least will be made to make this a workable Bill, so that we may be able to get on with the work of reconstructing the country, which so many hon. Members opposite seem to desire, but of which they say we are not desirous at all.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It might be for the general convenience of the Committee if I point out that, if it be desired to take a special decision on the retrospective part of the Bill, it would be necessary to bring this present discussion to an end before the allotted time.
I am not sure whether my hon. Friend heard the arrangements that were made, but we acquiesce generally. Indeed, I suggest to you, Mr. Hope, that the Debate, both in its first and in its second application to various Amendments, should take such a wide range as to cover the question as a whole, and, so far, every speech has been in that direction.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not a question of being out of Order, but the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. J. Brown) made a suggestion that there should be a separate Division on Subsection (3) of Clause 2. In that case I suggest that within a reasonable time the general Debate should cease, so that we could, if desired, take a separate discussion and Division on purely retrospective points.
§ Mr. BROWN
I understood that the Debate was to take a wide range, or I should not have introduced that matter at all. I am very sorry if I have even seemed to transgress any arrangement that has been made, but I am not suggesting that we should take a Division on that point at all. I was only bringing it in as a point in what was, perhaps, a very meagre argument, though I had a strong argument if I could have put it correctly.
§ Mr. SHORT
I have been interested and somewhat amused at the assumed indignation in connection with the issue of circulars calling upon members of trade unions to pay their contributions and for non-members to get inside the organisation, or suitable and reasonable action would be taken against them. I know of no action which is more legitimate, and more in keeping with trade union organisation, than that to which reference has been made. I have been a member—in fact, I am a member—of more than one trade union. At a very early age I joined the Boilermakers' Society, and was at the trade until 1918, and I have never yet worked with a non-unionist. In fact, we took good care to refuse to work with non-unionists. My hon. Friends opposite who talk about this kind of action must be very innocent people indeed, totally unaware of the conduct of other associations in the country. You have the medical profession using its power of association, victimisation, and intimidation, refusing to keep within its ranks persons who are believed to be guilty of what is termed "infamous conduct"—and very doubtful conduct it is when it comes to be carefully examined, though it is considered to be sufficient justification for expelling them. In the legal profession, no one can practise in the lower branch as a solicitor who is not on the 1594 rolls, and we read about people being struck off the rolls. Here again, you have the power of association. So far as the higher branch is concerned, I will admit that we do not issue circulars, but all of us know, and the first thing a sensible man does is to get to know, what he ought not to do inside the legal profession. At any rate, I think it is very late in the day for hon. Members opposite to criticise trade unions or their members for seeking quite legitimately to maintain their craft and organisation inside the shops in which they work.
I rose for the purpose of saying a word or two in reference to Sub-section (3), and its retrospective character. I gather from the statement of the Attorney-General that this Bill does not, in effect, actually declare that the general strike of May last was illegal. All the Bill does is to declare certain strikes illegal. He made it clear that any person under Sub-section (1) who was disgruntled, who had been expelled from his organisation for failing to take part in the general strike, would have to go to the Courts and secure a declaration of illegality, and if he obtained it, the Court would be in a position to allocate the damages. During the whole period of that dispute the right hon. Gentleman, with all his legal attainments and with all the force of his office and the Crown behind him, did not have anyone arrested and did not go into Court to secure a declaration as to the legality or illegality of the general strike, but he is going to make it possible 12 months afterwards for some member of a trade union who is disgruntled and refused to participate in the dispute to go into Court and secure a declaration as to the legality or otherwise of this general strike. It would have been more honourable and in keeping with our traditions and with our conceptions of British justice if he had taken his courage in his hands, issued some warrant for the arrest of someone and taken him into Court and tested it there and then, rather than allow the legality or otherwise to be decided by the action of some individual.
It is assumed by all speakers that this will only take place in connection with that which is illegal, but we do not know what an illegal strike is. It will not be for you or for me, possibly, to decide, 1595 though I should like to have an opportunity at some time in the future to decide such an issue. It may well be that a dispute will take place with a legal or industrial object and, by some action unknown to the persons involved, it might take upon itself all the evidences of illegality and it might be so decided. That is a serious matter indeed for this very good reason, that a member of a trade union joins the union for the purpose of carrying out certain objects. He participates in all the discussions, and takes part finally in the ballot as to whether they should withdraw their labour or not, and then when the majority have decided he says he has changed his mind, he will not participate. He can be expelled and can get damages when he has proved illegality. All that can take place, and under such conditions we are to place the trade union movement and the trade unionists of the future.
My third point is in connection with the damages. Provided that the strike has been declared illegal under this Clause, the persons concerned can secure damages, but there is no figure mentioned. The words are, "such compensation as the Court thinks fit." The entire funds of the organisation, it appears to me, would be at stake. The man might have been a member of the organisation for only a few days. He might refuse to participate in that which has been declared to be illegal, and he could sue for damages. The same might reasonably apply to a member with 30 years' membership behind him, and therefore entitled to very substantial benefits financially. But look at the position. First of all the entire funds of the union are at stake. No limit is placed upon the amount of damages. Any member, no matter what his membership, appears to be able to secure damages and, generally speaking, the union is placed in a very doubtful and difficult financial situation. It is all right for the Lord Advocate to smile at this, and to think it is not as serious as we are making out, but we must judge this thing from the point of view not merely of law but of common sense and the growth of our institutions. We have seen mass action on the side off the employers and on the side of the workers, and there 1596 must, inevitably, be these disgruntled people, whether employers or trade unionists. Of course, anything in the nature of treachery is rightly condemned on the field of battle, and receives its due reward. We give the Victoria Cross for valour, and in the centre of the Cross is the Royal crescent, and below the scroll "For Valour," which must be evinced in the presence of the enemy. What we propose to do under this Bill is to give a blackleg's Cross. There will be, of course, a suitable scroll for treachery evinced in the presence of their comrades. The economic future of the working class, and their desire to free themselves from what they term wage-slavery and economic tyranny, depends upon mass action, and mass action upon loyalty. This Clause will put a premium upon the disloyalty of members. It will give rewards for treachery and not for loyalty. I hope we shall not rest satisfied until we have seen the Clause considerably amended or finally withdrawn.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I listened with a certain amount of quiet amusement to a speech delivered by an hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite with great eloquence and great sincerity but with absolute failure to hit the target. It was an appeal to employers and employed not to victimise, but to behave as decent citizens in a decent way, and to cure the industrial evils from which we suffer. He forgot, apparently, that this Bill is neither due to the employers' associations nor to trade unions, but is an attempt on the part of the Government to do a thing which certainly will not increase industrial concord but which has already tended to increase industrial lack of concord. If I may characterise the Clause that we are discussing, I should have to say that it seemed to me to be a very bad example indeed of fair play. It does not give your opponent a fair chance in his fight against you. If it were intended to make perfectly clear what the law is, if it were intended to give your opponent a fair chance under the law, I could consider it after all, perhaps, a sportsmanlike fight. But that is not what is done by this Clause at all. As a matter of fact, no one knows what is the offence for which the trade unions can be penalised by the Clause.
1597 No one on the opposite side has ever attempted to describe what is actually an illegal strike and what is a general strike. When we ask for precision, when we ask, as we are asking in this Amendment, that our unions shall know they are breaking the law before they are penalised, we are told, "You will get to know what the law is when the magistrate and the judge decide." So we have the principle running through the Bill that you must not make things clear. You must leave matters so that the judge or the magistrate will have to determine them, and you will never know whether you are secure or not secure. That is the whole basis of this Clause, and it is the basis of this Bill. I think there can be no reasonable answer to our demand when we say we are entitled to have clarity. We are entitled to know what the law is and what the offence will be, instead of being put off continually with varying statements as to what the law is and what is not. The Mover of the Amendment was too generous, I think, to the legal profession—and may I say in parenthesis I have the profoundest respect for the legal profession. I am not one of those who run away with the idea that the legal profession is not strong. The very fact of legal training gives a man the power to balance evidence that probably no other training in the world can give. But the practice of the law is oftentimes devoted to proving the contrary of the truth, and to leaving out of account all the facts that are against your own case. That has been the type of argument on this Bill. The Mover of the Amendment said that he had sat and listened to the legal gentlemen arguing, and he was left confused because they did not agree with each other. As a matter of fact, the learned Attorney-General does not agree with himself. As a great legal luminary standing at that box—and I have the profoundest respect for his capabilities—he does not agree even with himself. He does not know to-day, or if he does know he has never acknowledged, what this Bill is intended to do. He started out with a blast of trumpets that this Bill is promoted only to prevent a general strike directed against the nation. It will not prevent a sympathetic strike; it will not prevent an ordinary strike. Now he admits that it will prevent a sympathetic strike. To-day 1598 I did honestly believe that the drafting of the Bill was deliberately done to put us in the hands of the Court. But I do not know now whether, after all, the learned Attorney-General was not innocent in the matter, and whether, after all, he really was in the position that he did not know what his Bill meant. He thought it meant a general strike, and has now discovered that it means a sympathetic strike as well. If I may venture rather to change a few lines of a well-known poet, I should say:Myself, when young, did eagerly frequent,Lawyer and Saint, and heard great argument.But evermore, came out by that same door,Wherein I went.For the legal arguments on this Bill have been of such a character that I defy any layman or lawyer to draw from them a conclusion as to what the meaning of this Bill is. There is an admitted difficulty, if not impossibility, of explaining what the law is. We are asked—most of us are trade unionists—to vote for a Clause which will inflict penalties on a trade union without that union knowing that it has done wrong in the first instance. If, as I say, we could have from either the Solicitor-General or the Attorney-General, or from anybody, a plain, simple Clause that told us what would be an offence we could argue against it, but our difficulty is, we have got to argue against a state of things which the House cannot understand and which magistrates who know a lot less of the business than the House does will be asked to interpret. Just fancy, a bench of magistrates knowing little or nothing of the trade union world, knowing nothing of the discussions which have taken place here, placed before a set of words that nobody living has ever attempted to explain. What are they going to do? Are they going to give an interpretation which will be generous to the trade unionists or are they going to so diagnose the Act as to make the position of trade unions impossible. From my experience, I think the latter will be the case. I think the tendency will be to interpret this vague, undefined, unexplained, unqualified law in a sense which will not be to the advantage of the organised workers. It seems to me that the provision provides not only for damages, but for compensation to any 1599 extent that might be determined. I know of one or two benches of magistrates, and I do not hesitate to say that I fear for the trade unions and the trade unionists who come before either the magistrate or the Judges.
I do not doubt that our law is as well administered as the law in any other part of the world, but it is futile denying that the trade unionists of this country, of whom I am one, and I share the opinion I am stating, believe that they do not get fair and equal treatment with the other people in society. As far as magistrates are concerned we can see the differences in treatment meted out to the working man and to the man who is rich. We can see it every day. It is no use asking us to believe that we can get any better treatment from magistrates than we get from the Government. Both the Government and the magistrates are likely to do what they can to injure us. This Bill is the clearest possible proof of their intentions.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I wish to ask the Solicitor-General, is it possible that proceedings under this Clause could take place before magistrates or not, or would they have to go before another Court?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)
This Clause has nothing whatever to do with the Clause which will enable magistrates to impose certain penalties in respect of illegal strikes. I do not think that this Clause has anything to do with the duties of magistrates.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
On that point of Order. Is this Clause not consequential on Clause 1, and as magistrates would have jurisdiction under Clause 1, I submit that the effect is the same.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I think there is a good deal of misapprehension on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. This Clause is to enable a trade unionist to recover benefits which he has lost by reason of his expulsion from the trade union, presumably after the strike has finished. The Clause is not concerned at all with the powers of the magistrates to impose a penalty upon anybody for taking part in an illegal strike. This Clause deals with the powers that an expelled trade unionist has after he has 1600 been expelled to recover whatever damage he has suffered through expulsion.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The right hon. Gentleman has asked me a question, which does not really arise on this Clause, as to who will decide if the strike is illegal. I thought we had already discussed that on Clause 1. The High Court will decide if the strike is illegal in the case of the procedure contemplated by a later Clause of this Bill when the Attorney-General initiates the action. In the other case, which I think is provided for by another Clause, where the magistrate has duties to perform, the question will be decided by the magistrate. Then I have been asked before what Court the expelled trade unionists will recover whatever benefits he thinks he is entitled to under this Clause. It will be in the High Court or the County Court, according to the amount which he seeks to recover.
Further on that point of Order. Does not that statement bear out what we say, that no strike can be declared illegal until it is so declared by the magistrate? Therefore I submit that the point of my right hon. Friend holds good.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I think, perhaps, it is better that I should attempt to deal with this in a connected argument rather than upon the hon. Member's point of Order. I think, Mr. Hope, I have answered your question.
§ Mr. SHAW
It surely is in the Clause that if a penalty is to be inflicted we have the right to know for what it is to be inflicted. Is it to be inflicted for an illegal strike; by reason of a refusal to take part in an illegal strike? We ask, what is an illegal strike? For what are you going to inflict the penalty? Who will determine what is an illegal strike? Surely, in discussing what penalties are to be inflicted by the law, the people on whom the penalties are to be inflicted have the right to know what is the law 1601 and who will administer it. The statement of the Solicitor-General is another example of the lack of knowledge of the Government. It may be that, or it may be the other—no one knows. The only thing one does know is that there are penalties provided. That is the only certain thing in the Bill—that the trade unionist can be hit. He can be hit anyway; before the magistrate, before the Judge, before the High Court; and that is the only definite thing we know about the Bill. We do not know exactly when he will be hit, why he should be hit, but we do know that the Bill is intended to get in a blow at him.
I want to ask why the Government are interfering in this way in the internal affairs of the trade unions? If it were a fact that a man were to be expelled from his union not through breaking its rules, but if he were illegally expelled, I could have understood the solicitude of the Government, but this is to secure that the agent-provocateur, that the man paid by the Liberal party and the Tory party, shall be able to maintain his position as a spy inside the trade union in order to do the dirty work of the political parties from whom he is mean enough to take pay. We all know this kind of thing. The matter has been referred to already in the House. We have heard of the case of a man who had no connection with his union except merely a payment of 2d. per week for a debt. He had no connection, he had no trade benefits, he had nothing at all to do with the Union. He was known to be desperately poor, but he suddenly briefed the most expensive counsel to take an action against his society in the thing which could have had no concern with him at all. Where did the money come from? Do not we know that Tory money has always been at the disposal of these contemptible persons?
§ Mr. SHAW
This Clause will, whether intended or not, put trade unions in this position, that in a case in which they have a delicate and difficult position to face, when they are uncertain as to whether or not their action is legal or illegal—and who can say, under this Bill, what will be legal and what will be illegal?—they get one of these men inside their ranks, and that is the type 1602 of man who will bring an action against a trade union. When he brings that action he will find a very sympathetic Court, whether it be a magistrate or not, to listen to his grievances, to sympathise with his desire to retain his liberty and freedom of conscience, about which we know and have heard so much. We know the type of man so well that it really almost turns our stomachs when we hear of the maintenance of the liberty and the dignity of these people. I hope that I have not too low an opinion of my fellow man, but I have seen so much, in a long trade union life, of the gentlemen—I use the word; it may be appropriate—who play the part of traitors inside the trade unions, that I feel a little bit sick when I hear them referred to as the saviours of their nation. What would hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the other side think if they had a man of that kind in their own ranks? Why, they would sling him into the Thames.
§ Mr. SHAW
It might not be true, but if it be not true, it ought to be true. I think I have heard a good deal about esprit de corps, and about Coventry, and about quite a number of little things that are done by hon. and right hon. Members who regard with disapproval people who do not play the game according to their lights. In this case I wish the right hon. and hon. Members opposite would really try to understand the mentality of the trade unionists.
§ Mr. SHAW
I expect these intelligent interruptions from the hon. Member. But, as I was saying, I would like hon. and right hon. Members opposite to try to understand the depth of our feeling against these men, these spies and traitors. A spy and traitor is not a lovable sort of person. The trade unionist has enough to bear from the people who take all the benefits that trade union action has brought and refuse to pay for them, but if in addition he is to be saddled with the known traitor, the known Judas, the man who has accepted the thirty pieces of silver, then God help the trade unionist! If this thing was not so serious one could smile at it, but it is serious, and I shall 1603 vote in favour of this Amendment, because at least it says that you shall not pay before you have committed an offence, and before you know that the offence has been committed. As the law stands at present, you have got to pay for an offence you have committed quite innocently, and when, no man can tell you in advance whether it is an offence or not.
I object to your interfering in the internal affairs of our trade unions altogether. I believe that a trade union ought to be able to make rules, and if its members deliberately break them, it ought to have the right to expel them. I disbelieve entirely your statements that you are doing your best for the trade unions, that you want every liberty for the strike, even for the sympathetic strike. I believe you do not wish well to the trade union, I believe you despise and hate it, I believe you know that you deceived the country over the introduction of this Bill and this Clause by saying that it was only intended to deal with the general strike when you knew it was intended to deal with the ordinary sympathetic strike. I know you will vote down the Amendment. I am simply saying that the Bill up to now cannot be explained by anybody, that the original explanation given for it is untrue, that this Clause will act in an entirely wrong way, that it will penalise people for committing offences without letting them know by the law that they are offences, and that it is an unwarrantable interference with the internal affairs of trade unions. I shall vote for the Amendment, because it will make the Bill a little better than it now is.
§ 3.0 p.m.
§ Captain BRASS
I do not want to go into the points made by the right hon. Gentleman, though there is one point, about his abuse of the magistrates, on which I would like to say that I feel perfectly certain that the magistrates of this country, whether they belong to the Conservative party or the Labour party, are perfectly unbiased gentlemen.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That does not come into the Clause. The right hon. Gentleman did not pursue the argument.
§ Captain BRASS
I shall not pursue it. I will ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has any proof at all that money is supplied to trade unionists to bring cases before the Courts, and if he can also tell us whether it is not a fact that a large sum from Russia was sent over to this country? We have heard a great deal of abuse of the members of the trade unions who have not been willing to join in what is considered an illegal strike. The whole point in this argument is whether it is an illegal strike or not. We have heard a lot about sympathetic strikes. Personally, I think it is only the sympathetic strike, which is aimed at something beyond the employer, which is an illegal strike at all. I know the feeling of the leaders of trade unions to certain members of the unions who refuse to go out on strike in an ordinary legitimate attempt to force better conditions on the employers concerned. I can understand that, but I cannot understand the mentality of the right hon. Gentleman towards people who regard the general strike as an illegal strike and a weapon directed not against the employer but against the community at large. There is a very great deal of difference between striking to improve conditions of labour in a particular industry and striking to try to force Parliament to do something which Parliament does not want to do. During the general strike one of my constituents wished to see me on this point. He was a member of a trade union. I am not going to give away the union or his name, because I do not want him to be intimidated. He asked for an interview with me, and said, "I have been a member of a certain union for many years. I have contributed to the superannuation funds of that union. I have been told by certain members of my union"—I presume officials—" that, if I do not go on strike in the general strike, I shall be sacked from my union and the whole of my contributions, which I have contributed over many years because I come into benefit next year, will be confiscated and I shall not be able to get any superannuation allowance." I do not know if hon. Members opposite think that is the right sort of thing to do.
§ Captain BRASS
It is not a yarn. It is something that is perfectly true. If hon. Members opposite are willing to support that sort of thing, it is the reason why they are opposing this Bill. This Clause merely states that protection against the deprivation of benefits shall be given in the case of illegal strikes. I do not see any reason why a man, who is a loyal citizen, should not prefer to abide by the laws of the country without being forced to go out on strike in an illegal strike by being a member of a union. I would like to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite this question. Is it not a fact that, when the Trade Union Congress were considering the general strike, they asked a large number of unions, other unions than those which went out on strike, to come out with them; and is it not a fact that every single member of the other unions who did not go out in support of the Trade Union Congress is branded by hon. Members opposite as a blackleg?
§ Mr. T. SHAW
The hon. Gentleman has asked a definite question. May I say to him that the statement he has made is quite inaccurate and untrue?
§ Mr. DUNCAN
As a matter of fact, the seamen's representatives were there present at the meeting of executives when the whole matter was discussed, and what happened was that the Seamen's Union took a ballot and the other unions did not.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not a question of union and union, but a question of individuals within a union, and what their rights are.
§ Mr. SEXTON
The hon. Member has made a direct charge against trade unions as a whole. Can he give any evidence that members are treated as blacklegs because they did not come out? It is a fraud and a lie.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member for Clitheroe (Captain Brass) has made an assertion and other hon. Members have denied it. Both the assertion and the denial are outside the scope of this Clause.
§ Captain BRASS
There is another point to which I would draw attention, and that is the point that was raised by the hon. Member for Melton (Mr. Everard). He quoted a pamphlet which was issued by a local branch of the National Union of Railwaymen, and I would ask hon. Members opposite—I would have liked to have asked the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) had he been here—whether they agree with the principle set forth in that circular? At the end of the circular were these words:Those members in arrear are requested to clear their cards, and the nons to join up before that date"—That was the date which was stated in the leaflet—as we cannot be held responsible for any definite decisive action that may he taken afterwards to clear out all none from the railway industry.
§ Captain BRASS
I think it is obviously a case of attempted intimidation with which this part of the Clause deals.
§ Mr. CHARLETON
May I put the position as an ex-member of the executive of the National Union of Railwaymen. This notice quoted by the hon. Member is one of many that have been issued by small groups of members within the organisation. From time to time small groups of members within the organisation have asked the executive committee to fix a date on which the organised men would refuse to work with the unorganised men. The executive committee have always turned that suggestion down. The National Union of Railwaymen as an organisation knows nothing about that circular, which in no way represents the feeling of the union, but simply somes from one branch, and therefore it has no value.
§ Captain BRASS
I would ask the hon. Member whether the executive of the National Union of Railwaymen will send instructions to the local branch to try to suppress some of these things. The right hon. Member for Derby, when the Solicitor-General made this point a little while ago, repudiated it, but to-day he said that he agreed with the principle of the leaflet.
§ Mr. VIANT
I wish that Members of this House when they quote documents would be prepared to have some regard to the spirit and circumstances which have been responsible for the issuing of these circulars. It is generally agreed that the trade union movement, or the machinery that is set up by the trade union movement, is indispensable as far as the industrial forces of this country are concerned. The maintenance of these unions is now recognised as being essential. The feeling generally is this; that men who are not inside the organisation are enjoying benefits for which they have not contributed, and those who are inside, and who are responsible for providing the funds whereby the unions are carried on, feel that those who are outside and are enjoying the benefits are shirking their financial responsibilities. The average member of a trade union says that these men are enjoying benefits for which they are not contributing, and in so doing are shirking their moral obligations. Naturally they carry on an active propaganda in order to induce those who are outside the organisations to join. I see nothing unreasonable in that.
Parliament recognises that local authorities are essential to the administration of the country, and the citizens of an area are expected to contribute towards the maintenance of local services. As ratepayers and as citizens we should not countenance for one moment any ratepayer who refused to recognise his obligations so far as the locality is concerned. Therefore, from that point of view, the man who is not a member of a trade union is shirking his moral obligations in addition to his financial obligations. That is putting it in polite Parliamentary language, and I am surprised to find hon. Members on the other side prepared to stand up and defend any man or woman who is not prepared to recognise their moral and financial obligations. The hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short) gave the Committee, as an illustration, the composition of the Victoria Cross, and one of my colleagues said that this Bill was a medal or cross which the Government were going to give to the non-unionist and the blackleg as a compensation or reward for their action in the last dispute. He also said that if he had the designing of this cross or medal he would place in the centre of it a pig and a pipe. That would represent those 1608 who are responsible for originating this Bill. On the top he would place a crest, to the following effect: "The blackleg's reward; a reward to him who deserted his comrades in the day of despair."
This Bill is none other than an attempt to compensate those who have been lacking in their moral responsibility. The history of this House will prove that, generally speaking, our efforts have been directed towards improving and sustaining the moral integrity of the nation, but I feel that this Bill will neither improve nor maintain the moral integrity of the nation but rather—at least that is so in the case of this Clause—undermine the moral integrity of the nation. This Government is going to pat on the back the men or women who have shirked their moral obligations. That is a step in the wrong direction. Rather should Parliament have been prepared to do its utmost to assist those organisations that have played such an eminent part in improving the social and moral well-being of our people. I hope that the Clause will be defeated. It is a Clause which is putting at the disposal of those who are not entitled to them the funds of the trade unions of the country. There is no limit placed on the amount. Seeing that there is no definition in the Bill of what is a legal or an illegal strike, we shall have numbers of trade unionists seeking to maintain or to improve their conditions of life and going on strike, only to find after the strike has been embarked upon that it is declared illegal. Then the man who has not even been prepared to conform to democratic rule and the decision of the majority is to be given the opportunity of obtaining compensation, of getting a lump sum from the funds of the organisation. That is not fair. It is not in any sense of the word British justice, and we on this side are fully justified in offering all possible opposition to the Clause.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
Three matters have been raised to which it is advisable that I should try to make reply. I am sorry to cut off the hon. Member's speech, but I hope I have not unduly trespassed on the time to which he was entitled. The criticisms that have been addressed to this Clause are mainly three. The first is that there will be no certainty on the part of trade unions as to whether they are entitled to expel a 1609 man from their ranks for breaking the rules of the trade union, because they will now know whether the strike is legal or illegal. I cannot help thinking that in the great majority of cases that are likely to occur there will be no such uncertainty, for this reason. In the case that is likely to happen the expulsion of the trade unionist who is concerned will have taken place only after the conclusion of the general strike which is illegal. By that time it is almost certain that if it is such a general strike as took place last May, or anything of that nature, there will have been a declaration by a competent Court of the illegality of the general strike.
That declaration may have been made by the High Court upon the motion of the Attorney-General, or it may have been made in pursuance of the powers committed to magistrates to convict a person under Clause 1, Sub-section (2). Presumably the actions of trade unions, though possibly just, are not quite so swift as to expel a member without giving him the opportunity of defend himself. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, yes!"] I gave the trade unions the credit of thinking that they did give that opportunity but I suppose, in general, no man would be expelled from a trade union at any rate until the strike was over. Accordingly, the trade unions will, in general, have their eyes fully opened to the illegality of the strike, it it has been declared illegal before they expel the man from the benefits which he has contracted to enjoy. The only other possible case is where the general strike does not appear to the Attorney-General of the day to be of such a serious nature as to require his intervention or where it is not sufficiently serious to call for the prosecution of a, leader, shall I say, who takes part in it. In those cases, I do not think it is likely that any individual trade unionist would be bold enough on his own behalf to ask the Court subsequently, to declare something illegal which had never occurred to the authorities to be sufficiently illegal to justify their intervention. Therefore, no trade union will be acting in the dark when they expel any member from the benefits to which up to that time he has been entitled.
Another criticism made was that the Clause was not required because the trade unions after the last general strike 1610 had been most generous in remitting fines or punishments inflicted on seceding members. This Clause will be in the Bill if it becomes an Act, and if trade unions take a reasonable course in accordance with what, generally speaking, happened after the last general strike, no trade unionist will be driven to resort to the weapon or the defence which this Clause gives him. The Clause will be there, available for anybody who happens to be injured. If he is not injured no question will arise and the trade unions will have done credit to themselves and justice to their member without insisting on the use of the Clause. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) said it was too much to ask loyal trade unionists to continue to work with trade unionists who had been false to the obligations into which they had entered. [HON. MEMBERS: "He did not say it!"] I think the right hon. Gentleman said it. I took down his words. After exhausting himself in describing the trade unionist who remained at work as a spy, as a sneak, as a Judas, he went on to say that it was too much to ask good trade unionists to continue to work with people of that character. There is nothing to compel them to go on keeping in the trade union a person of that character, provided they return to him the benefits to which he is entitled.
Of course if this Clause were compulsory and compelled trade unions to retain in their ranks those who were not in harmony with them, there might be a great deal of criticism directed against it, but the Clause says that if you expel a man from your ranks because he will not take part in an illegal enterprise, at any rate you shall be required to return him the benefits to which he was entitled in the exercise of his lawful rights. No trade unionists, therefore, need be afraid of being compelled to retain in their ranks anybody with whom they do not agree, provided they make a fair return to him of the benefits to which he is entitled. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Law Society?"] The hon. Member, in accordance with what is becoming a habit opposite, refers to the Law Society. Let me inform him that no solicitor is obliged to belong to the Law Society. He may carry on his profession without being in 1611 that society at all. The next question was, Why should not a trade union have power over its own rules? I think that was a question put by my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. J. Brown). Of course, a trade union has power to make its own rules, subject to this, that if a trade union makes rules which come into conflict with the laws which Parliament makes, as to the legality or illegality of certain actions, not even a trade union, in our opinion, ought to have power to make such rules.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
Then the question is, Why should not an individual trade unionist be compelled to comply with rules which have been lawfully made, and to which he has been a party? There would be a good deal in that argument if every member of a trade union was a willing assenter to becoming a member of the trade union, but when we know that trade unions use their power—I am not saying they use it wrongly, at the moment—to compel people who do not want to become trade unionists to join the unions, the individual members in those cases can hardly be said to have given assent to the rules. They have been driven into the unions. I have a case, if any hon. Member doubts the facts, where a large employer, who employs tens of thousands of workmen, had one of 40 years' service in his employment, and this is the letter he received on 15th October, 1926:It has been reported to us by the National Union of Shop Assistants that you
§ are not a member of the trade union, as requested in our notice of 3rd March. Please let us know per return if this statement is correct, as although we have no wish to terminate your engagement with us, we shall be compelled to do so if you do not become a member of the trade union before Saturday, 30th October, 1926."
That may or may not be legitimate. That is not my point. My point is this, that it really answers the argument that a trade unionist should not be allowed to draw any benefits contrary to the rules to which he assented when he became a member.
He that complies against his will
Is of his own opinion still.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
We say that a man should have the privilege to retain his opinions, even though he is driven by economic necessity to join a union which wants to take part in an illegal enterprise. This Clause is intended to give a man who takes a different view of his obligations to the State from that of his comrades in a trade union the right not to be a loser by his loyalty to the State. Whatever may be said of his loyalty to his trade union, we think that his loyalty to the State overrides that loyalty.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 267; Noes, 122.1615
|Division No. 144.]||AYES.||[3.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Berry, Sir George||Buckingham, Sir H.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Betterton, Henry B.||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Albery, Irving James||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Blundell, F. N.||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Boothby, R. J. G.||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Campbell, E. T.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brass, Captain W.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Briant, Frank||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Cecll, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Briggs, J. Harold||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Briscoe, Richard George||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm.,W.)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Brittain, Sir Harry||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chilcott, Sir Warden|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Christie, J. A.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Buchan, John||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Remer, J. R.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Cope, Major William||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hurd, Percy A.||Rye, F. G.|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Jacob, A. E.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sandon, Lord|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Savery, S. S.|
|Davidson,J.(Hertf'd,Hemel Hempst'd)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Lamb, J. Q.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Drewe, C.||Locker-Lampson. G. (Wood Green)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Loder, J. de V.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Looker, Herbert William||Skelton, A. N.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lougher, Lewis||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Eiveden, Viscount||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Luce. Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Smithers, Waldron|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Lumley, L. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Stanley Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden,E.)|
|Faile, Sir Bertram G.||Maclntyre, Ian||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Fermoy, Lord||McLean, Major A.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Forrest, W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Strauss, E. A.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macquisten, F. A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Tompleton, W. P.|
|Gates, Percy||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Malone, Major P. B.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Glimour, Lt.-Col. Ht. Hon. Sir John||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Goff, Sir Park||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Meller, R. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wells, S. R.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. [Ayr]||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Morris, R. H.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Harland, A.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Withers, John James|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Perring, Sir William George||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Hilton, Cecil||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Preston, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Major Sir George Hennessy and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Broad, F. A.||Cove, W. G.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Bromley, J.||Dalton, Hugh|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Buchanan, G.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Day, Colonel Harry|
|Barr, J.||Cape, Thomas||Dennison, R.|
|Batey, Joseph||Charleton, H. C.||Duncan, C.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Cluse, W. S.||Dunnico, H.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lawson, John James||Smith, H. B. Less (Kelghley)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lee, F.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lindley, F. W.||Snell, Harry|
|Gillett, George M.||Lowth, T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Gosling, Harry||Lunn, William||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Stephen, Campbell|
|Greenall, T.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||March, S.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Groves, T.||Mosley, Oswald||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Naylor, T. E.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Oliver, George Harold||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Palln, John Henry||Treveiyan, Rt. Hon. C. P|
|Hardie, George D.||paling, W.||Varley, Frank B|
|Hayday, Arthur||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Riley, Ben||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Ritson, J.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W.Bromwich)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Rose, Frank H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Scurr, John||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sexton, James||Windsor, Walter|
|Kelly, W. T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Kennedy, T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lansbury, George||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
§ It being after half-past Three 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 Three of the Clock at this day's sitting.
§ Amendment made: In page 2, line 25, after the word "he," insert the words1616
§ "or his legal personal representatives."—[The Attorney-General.]
§ Amendment proposed: In page 2, line 34, leave out the words "reference of disputes to arbitration," and insert the words "settlement of disputes n any manner."—[The Attorney-General.]
§ Question put, "That the Amendment be made."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 270; Noes, 121.1619
|Division No. 145.]||AYES.||[3.41 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Briggs, J. Harold||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Briscoe, Richard George||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Albery, Irving James||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Couper, J. B.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Buchan, John||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Buckingham, Sir H.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Bullock, Captain M.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burlon, Colonel H. W.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Campbell, E. T.||Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Carver, Major W. H.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Drewe, C.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Cecil, Rt. Hon Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Ellis, R. G.|
|Berry, Sir George||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Elveden, Viscount|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A.(Birm., W.)||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Blundell, F. N.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Unlver.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Christie, J. A.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Faile, Sir Bertram G.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Clarry, Reginald George||Forestler Walker, Sir L.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Clayton, G. C.||Forrest, W.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Loder, J. de V.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Looker, Herbert William||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lougher, Lewis||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sandon, Lord|
|Gates, Percy||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Lumley, L. R.||Savery, S. S.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D.Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Goff, Sir Park||MacIntyre, Ian||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Gower, Sir Robert||McLean, Major A.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Skelton, A. N.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Macpherson, Ht. Hon. James I.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Macquisten, F. A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Malone, Major P. B.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Margesson, Captain D.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Harland, A.||Marrlott, Sir J. A. R.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Meller, R. J.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Meyer, Sir Frank||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Morris, R. H.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hilton, Cecil||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wallace, Captain D. E|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wells, S. R.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Pennefather, Sir John||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Penny, Frederick George||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Perring, Sir William George||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Peto, Sir Basll E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Jacob, A. E.||Preston, William||Withers, John James|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Remer, J. R.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Remnant, Sir James||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Rye, F. G.||Major Sir George Hennessy and Major Cope.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Grundy, T. W.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cove, W. G.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hardie, George D.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Day, Colonel Harry||Hayes, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Dennison, R.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Barr, J.||Duncan, C.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Batey, Joseph||Dunnico, H.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gardner, J. P.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Broad, F. A.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Bromley, J.||Gillett, George M.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Gosling, Harry||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Greenall, T.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Cape, Thomas||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Grovas T.||Kennedy, T.|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Lansbury, George||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Rose, Frank H.||Viant, S. P.|
|Lawson, John James||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Lee, F.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Lindley, F. W.||Scurr, John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lowth, T.||Sexton, James||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Lunn, William||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wellock, Wilfred|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Whiteley, W.|
|March, S.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, H. B. Lees-(Kelghley)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Mosley, Oswald||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Snell, Harry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Palin, John Henry||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Paling, W.||Stephen, Campbell||Windsor, Walter|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Sutton, J. E.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Taylor, R. A.|
|Potts, John S.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. B.|
|Rliey, Ben||Thurtle, Ernest||Smith.|
|Ritson, J.||Tinker, John Joseph|
Amendments made: In page 3, line 1, leave out from the word "strike," to the word "illegal," in line 3, and insert instead thereof the words
or lock-out before the passing of this Act but since the first day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-six, which, according to the law as declared by this Act, was.
§ In line 4, after the word "strike," insert the words "or lock-out." [The Attorney-General.]
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 120.1623
|Division No. 146.]||AYES.||[3.15 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Carver, Major W. H.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Forrest, W.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gates, Percy|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Astor, Viscountess||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Christie, J. A.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Clarry, Reginald George||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Clayton, G. C.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Berry, Sir George||Cope, Major William||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Couper, J. B.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Blundell, F. N.||Crawfurd, H. E.||Harland, A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Heneag, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Drewe, C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hills, Major John Walter|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Ellis, R. G.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Buchan, John||Elveden, Viscount||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Faile, Sir Bertram G.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Fermoy, Lord||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Smith, R. W. (Abertd'n & Kinc'dine.'C.)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Wlll'sden, E)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Jacob, A. E.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Pennefather, Sir John||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Penny, Frederick George||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Livingstone, A. M.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Perring, Sir William George||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Loder, J. de V.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Pilcher, G.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Lougher, Lewis||Power, Sir John Cecil||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Preston, William||Wells, S. R.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Reid. D. D. (County Down)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Lumley, L. R.||Remer, J. R.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Remnant, Sir James||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|McLean, Major A.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Ropner, Major L.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Rye, F. G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Salmon, Major I.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Withers, John James|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Sandon, Lord||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Savery, S. S.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie||Wragg, Herbert|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew W)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Meller, R. J.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Shepperson, E. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Milne, J. S. wardlaw-||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Skelton, A. N.||Bowyer.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||March, S.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Greenall, T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Mosley, Oswald|
|Ammon, Charles George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Groves, T.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Grundy, T. W.||Palin, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Paling, W.|
|Barr, J.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hardie, George D.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hayday, Arthur||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burntey)||Potts, John S.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hirst, G. H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bromley, J.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Riley, Ben|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Ritson, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Cape, Thomas||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scurr, John|
|Cove, W. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sexton, James|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, George||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lawrence, Susan||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Dennison, R.||Lawson, John James||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Duncan, C.||Lee, F.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Dunnico, H.||Lindley, F. W.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lowth, T.||Snell, Harry|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lunn, William||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Gillett, George M.||MacLaren, Andrew||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Gosling, Harry||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Sutton, J. E.||Wallhead, Richard C.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Taylor, R. A.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Windsor, Walter|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Wellock, Wilfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Whiteley, W.|
|Varley, Frank B.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Viant, S. P.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Hayes.|
§ It being after Four of the Clock, THE CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next (23rd May).1624
§ The remaining Orders were read and postponed.
§ Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.
§ Adjourned at Two minutes after Four o'Clock until Monday next (23rd May, 1927).