§ Mr. LANSBURY
I beg to move, in page 6, line 33, to leave out Sub-section (1).
I understand that we are to have a general discussion on this Amendment. The Committee has now reached a stage when we are leaving the trade unions to consider the Clauses in this Bill in which the Government make an attack on the elected authorities of the country. It has been argued that the Government have no mandate for this Bill. The answer to that has been that, although it is perfectly true, as the Prime Minister stated, there is no mandate for certain parts of this Bill, the general strike of last year brought about a situation which compelled the Government to take action. That may or may not be true in regard to strikes and general strikes, but it cannot be true of the political levy, and it certainly cannot be true of the Clause we are now discussing. Whatever arguments there may have been, good, bad or indifferent, for legislation to deal with strikes and general strikes, there has been no justification whatever for the Government taking advantage of this Bill to interfere with the legitimate work entrusted to local authorities by Parliament.
During a Debate some years ago in this House on the question of Home Rule, very strong opposition was taken to the action of the Government at that time for bringing in legislation for which it was contended they had no mandate. That legislation was to interfere with the legislative union that had been in existence for about 100 years. The establishment of local government in this country ranges over nearly the 228 same period, and has progressed to such an extent that local authorities throughout the country carry on work which, in my opinion, is quite as important in some ways, and I think in other ways more important, than the work carried on by this House. I think the work of administering the laws of this country is sometimes more important than the making of laws, and there has been, as far as I know—perhaps the Minister of Health will be able to tell us—no universal complaint as to the manner in which local authorities have done their work.
It is perfectly true that the Minister of Health and his friends do not like certain boards of guardians, and certain local authorities and municipal councils, because of the policy those councils represent, but that is no reason why this legislation should be brought forward. At present there are not many hon. Members here who took part in the discussions on the Home Rule Bill—I think there is only one—otherwise I would like to have asked right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen who were in the House, and took a prominent part against the Home Rule Bill how they can defend this piece of legislation which they are asking the Committee to support this afternoon? We all know that if we were as patriotic as the First Lord of the Admiralty and his friends were in 1911, 1912 and 1913, we should be trying to raise an army in the municipalities to try and prevent this Bill becoming law. That is what we should have been doing if our idea of patriotism was what theirs used to be in those days. The Committee knows that the whole argument against Home Rule was that there was no mandate. I should like to be told what mandate there is for the proposals in this Bill. It is no argument to say that municipalities do things of which the Minister of Health disapproves. I have a great respect for the father of the Minister of Health, because he was one of the men in this country who helped to found what is called "municipal Socialism," and will be remembered as the founder of what extremists like myself have dubbed "gas and water Socialism." It is strange that his son should now be the Minister to bring in and support a Measure to take from municipalities the powers which this House has given to them. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] In this Bill you are 229 taking away from the local authorities the right to determine whom they shall employ, and the terms and conditions under which they shall employ.
No amount of argument about people at Poplar, Merthyr, or Durham doing things of which the right hon. Gentleman disapproves ought to be allowed to enter into this question. I do not exist to do things in politics of which the Minister of Health approves, and he will be the last man in the world to want the approval of myself for anything which he does when we so thoroughly disagree with each other. But the right hon. Gentleman has no right, because he happens to disagree with a particular form of policy, to say that that policy is quite wrong. A kind of argument which is continually being put forward from the benches opposite is that those who are opposed to their party are opposed to the interests of the country. No such thing! We are opposed to the Government and not to the nation, and hon. Members opposite know that just as well as I do, although it suits them in this particular instance to pose as the champions of the ratepayers for those particular districts. I am certain that the evidence which the right hon. Gentleman puts forward in defence of these proposals to prove to his own satisfaction that there is some demand for the legislation, will come from the people who support the party which happens to be in power in this House at the moment.
I deny the right of the House of Commons to take away the legitimate privileges of local authorities, merely because they carry out a different policy from that which is approved of by the Minister of Health. It is absurd to think that Parliament gave the vote, and gave what is practically universal suffrage, to all intents and purposes, to local government, and expected that there would be no change in policy, and that the workers would not want to do things differently from the way in which they have done them in the past. The idea which seems to be abroad nowadays is that, having conferred the suffrage, you expect people elected on a broader suffrage to carry out the same policy as previously. There is bound to be a difference in legislation whenever the workers get a Government which really represent them on the benches opposite. 230 It is exactly the some with local authorities.
When I was first elected as a member of the Poplar Borough Council and the Poplar Board of Guardians, our board consisted of undertakers, doctors, jerry builders, rent collectors and that sort of people. We also had a very close corporation called the Freemasons. There were fire or six of them out of 24, and when any man was to be employed by the board, we knew perfectly well the person who would get the job. It was evident that the person who would get the job would be a member of the Freemasons. Invariably they were members or friends of the local Tory party. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I have said that in Bow many a time, and there everyone knows it is true. They know that 20 years ago local government in London was very largely in the hands of the gentry I have just described. So bad was the state of things at that time, that Lord Rosebery said no builder ought to be allowed to sit on a public health committee. You may say what you like about the present boards of guardians and councils, but it is true that the public health of London, and especially of the district I represent, and the health of the children in the district I represent, as attested by the education officers of the London County Council, is the best in the whole of the country. About that there is no dispute, and I maintain that even the right hon. Gentleman cannot gainsay that. I am not so stupid as to imagine that either he or his Department could not pick holes in our administration in the East End. I do not deny that. We are not supermen, but only ordinary men like those in front of me, but I challenge the right hon. Gentleman and his Department entirely on this one thing—the question of pure and simple administration, apart from the question of policy. He cannot bring a single charge against us from the point of view of administration. That is the test. If we are employing the wrong people we are carrying out our work in a wrong way. If we are carrying out our work efficiently, it shows that we are employing efficient men to carry out that work. That cannot tie gainsaid by anyone who has taken the trouble to inquire into the matter. The right hon. 231 Gentleman has got to prove something more than the mere question whether we have a right to do this or not. From his point of view, he has got to prove that we have injured in some way, by carrying out this policy, the interests of the district which we represent.
There is this other point of view. I know hon. and right hon. Gentlemen will probably violently dissent from what I am going to say, but I maintain very strongly indeed that where you have Labour in power or even in control of a local authority there is practically no corruption. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I am prepared to argue that at any time, anywhere, and I will tell you why. On the Poor Law Commission, of which I was a member, the question of corruption again and again came up, and when the right hon. Gentleman or anyone else on that bench talks about the ineptitude of these local authorities dominated by Labour, it should be remembered that when Sir James Davey, who was Permanent Secretary of the Local Government Board at the time, was put in the Chair to give evidence, I raised the question of auditing because of the futility and ignorance of the auditors with whom I had come into contact. We asked him to tell us what was the principle—and I believe the same principle operates today—on which an auditor was appointed, and he answered, "Patronage, tempered by ability." That meant distinguished soldiers' sons and nephews. At that time we had the nephew of a distinguished soldier who had been pitchforked into a job for which he was about as fit as a crossing-sweeper. He knew nothing about auditing or accounts, he had no experience and no training for the position, and to this day there has been no explanation except that he was his father's son.
I am perfectly certain the right hon. Gentleman cannot bring forward a single case that will come up to that as having been done by any Labour-controlled municipality in the country. This was testified to by the head of the Local Government Board. I should not have mentioned that if it were the only case. But from where does the right hon. Gentleman get his inspectors, these rich young men without any experience at all who are going round to the workhouses to be trained in their jobs, a son of one 232 man and a nephew of another? They have no examination, Out they are lucky enough to be sons of their parents. [HON.MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am delighted to get those cheers from hon. Members opposite, because it shows that they believe in the principle of the spoils of office. It goes to show what humbugs they are when they accuse the Labour party of corruption.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
They might be your sons for all I know. If hon. Members are anxious to know whose sons they are, I should advise them to ask the right hon. Gentlemen who have been the inspectors appointed to the Local Government Board for the last five or six years. They are men without any experience and go to the workhouses to learn their jobs, so let us have no more nonsense about that. Under this Clause in future every local authority will be restricted in its right as to whom it should appoint to do its work. The only argument to support the Clause is that we are not getting the work done properly now, because, if we are getting the work done properly, you have no right to interfere with us at all. Let us inquire into that. The local authorities to which I was elected some years ago were controlled by certain people, and we all knew where the contract would go and where the jobs would go. It is not known as well as it should be that the local authorities in London, under the Metropolis (Management) Act have these rights:The board of works for every district under this Act and the vestry of every parish mentioned In Schedule A to this Act, shall respectively appoint or employ or continue for the purposes of this Act and may remove at pleasure, such clerks, treasurers, and surveyors, and such other officers and servants as may be necessary and may allow to such clerks, treasurers, surveyors, officers and servants respectively such salaries and wages as the board or vestry may think fit.That is the law as we understood it, and the law, apparently, is now to be changed, and I would like the Committee to consider this business. The law has been changed by a decision of the House of Lords which has decided that local authorities are not entitled to pay such wages as they may choose to pay——
I do not see what the hon. Member's argument has to do with the question of this Sub-section, which deals with the employment by local authorities of trade unionists.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I think the Committee must be made aware what the present situation is with regard to local authorities. I am not sure they all understand it. I thought I was entitled to read to the Committee the terms under which local authorities are acting at present and if you will allow me, I will show you their connection with this Clause.
I do not think the hon. Member has answered the question as to how this affects trade unionists. That is the point.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
That is exactly to what I am coming. You must take into account the fact that there was a very long controversy in which the Minister has been concerned, and which is now beginning in another form in this Clause. It has all been round the question of wages paid and of trade unionists being employed. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The Committee must allow me to put forward my own argument. I can only give the Committee argument; I cannot give them anything else. The point we are discussing this afternoon is whether local authorities are to be allowed to say whether they will only employ trade unionists, and I propose to show that local authorities at present have that right, but that there has been a very considerable effort made by those who, I believe, are behind the right hon. Gentleman and forcing him to sponsor this Clause, to endeavour to get round the local authorities. A certain borough council in London is now being threatened with an injunction on this very trade union business in order to break an agreement of which the Minister himself approved.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain) indicated dissent.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
He and the Minister of Labour at least helped to negotiate with the unions. The Municipal Alliance have gone to the Courts to get an injunction against the Council for paying wages. This is essentially a matter of 234 trade unionism because an agreement was negotiated with the trade unions in the right hon. Gentleman's presence, and I do not think that agreement would have been reached were it not for his presence and the representative of the Ministry of Labour. Now why do we want trade unions in this matter at all? The reason we want them is because it is impossible for us to fix wages and conditions unless there is someone there with whom to fix them, and we have found that during the period that we fixed our wages with the trade unions, the members of the Council have been relieved of a very considerable amount of pressure from individuals. I suppose no one who has any experience of local government will deny that very often members of local authorities are pestered by complaints from one man or another, or perhaps from a woman, of their treatment by their superior officers. When you have an ageement with a trade union, and you have your members in the trade union, you can lay down the rule that the authority, and the individual members of it, will have nothing to do with any complaints unless they come through the organised body itself, and the result of that is that you get a much fairer judgment both by the Board and by the union.
I am certain that the fact of the Poplar authority—other people will speak for other authorities—laying down this principle that all its employés shall belong to their particular unions, whether it is a medical officer, a relieving officer or a clerk, and that the officers' remuneration and status shall be negotiated through the union, and any complaint shall only be heard through the union, has made for much better efficiency and much smoother working than anything else that has happened in that district. This has been done in some districts exactly as we are doing it. We have set up a joint body representative of the council and the unions, and the council will not settle any individual union's claim until it has gone before the joint body, and we have found, not once but several times, that the joint council has decided against the particular union's case in regard to an individual man. We could not do that, we could not carry that through, if in our employment we had some people who were not in the union—who refused to join the union—and, therefore, we claim that by making the business watertight 235 and by having the machinery by us by which complaints and wages and status can be settled, we have done a good service to our ratepayers, who have proved that they agreed with that by electing us over and over again by big majorities. In spite of anything the right hon. Gentleman may say, he had no complaints from our district except from our political opponents, and we expect those complaints. If I am alive and there is a majority on the other side belonging to the Tory party of Poplar, I shall always be against them, as they are against us, but I should hope no Minister would use his power to alter the whole law of the country in regard to municipalities.
I object to this Clause, first because it is interfering with and taking away the rights which have been given to local authorities, and it is rounding-off the Bill in this respect. You have already said, "You can have trade unions if you will have nice, kind, pleasant Sunday afternoon gatherings, and never do anything of which we disapprove." The civil servants may have an organisation as long as they are good boys, too. Now, apparently, Labour is to be allowed to control municipalities if they will only do what the right hon. Gentleman wants them to do. That is the end of the whole business. This is one more step along the road for definitely taking power out of the hands of the workers which this House, apparently, has given them. You are proving to the Communists that by some means or other you are determined that the working-classes shall not use the powers they are said to possess municipally. Whether you will ever be able to prevent them from using the power they have gained in a legislative manner we do not know. In my judgment, this is the very worst proposition in the Bill, because it is definitely striking a blow at the privileges which people imagined they had won, and were firmly rooted in local government life. You are saying to the men whom the people of the locality choose, "You are not fit to settle a matter of this kind," and you are saying it to them in an issue in which the professional classes do not allow you to interfere. The right hon. Gentleman and his assistant know that they would not dare to allow a medical officer of health to be appointed of whom the British Medical Association disapproved. They know perfectly 236 well that the local authorities have to pay wages laid down by the British Medical Association. They know it as well as I do, but they would never attempt to bring in a Bill to deal with that. They are bringing in a Bill solely to deal with the workers, and the lowest-paid workers, the workers who sweep the streets and keep the sewers clean. That may be a matter of mirth, but I am very grateful to the men who keep the sewers and roads clean. They are doing at least as useful work as most of us in this Committee to-day. This Clause is an attack on the poorest people and is worthy of the meanest Government that ever sat on those benches.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I rise to express my support of the Clause and to urge the Government to stick to it. The hon. Member has made an attack upon members of my party. Does he mean to infer, when he disagrees with the Clause, that he would support the action of a Tory town council who laid it down as a positive rule that they would employ no union labour?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I should not support them, but I should work very hard indeed, as I did at Poplar, till I got a majority to chuck them out.
§ Mr. DIXEY
Does the hon. Member understand that the Government in putting this Clause into the Bill, have made it equally applicable to the councils to which the hon. Member refers, which have in the past laid down these rules as to non-employment of trade union labour? It seems to me he, as a Socialist, ought to consider this a most equitable Clause. He, as a Socialist, ought to approve of it more than anything else, because it secures the liberty of the individual. My experience is that Socialists talk a lot about liberty, and are the last to give it to other people. There is a further point on the Clause that I am strongly in favour of. We have reason to know some of the methods of the Socialist party. We have reason to know that once they get control they will go as far as to make everyone they employ a member of a trade union, and if they are allowed they will go even further, and before long, we shall have the hon. Member passing a regulation that no one but a Socialist shall be employed by the Poplar Corporation. I am not sure now that he would not even go as far as to justify that. We, on this side, are 237 desirous of seeing fair-play all round. There is no impartial person in the country who would not say, this is not a perfectly equitable Clause, and as I believe the Government are perfectly right in going on with it, I shall support it, and I hope most hon. Members in the Committee will support it.
§ Mr. HARRIS
It will be unfortunate if the issue raised by this Clause is allowed to concentrate on the Borough of Poplar. It is a very much larger question than one part of London, or London itself, or any particular district. I have been for 20 years a member of a large local authority, and I have made it my business not only to study the methods of work of my own local authority but of local authorities up and down the country. I think the Minister will be the first to allow that local authorities on the whole are to be trusted to use their powers wisely and justly. On the whole, we can safely say we have reason to be proud of the high standard not only of local authorities but even more of the members who compose them. The more you are going to circumscribe their powers, the less attractive are you going to make it to become members of them. It is difficult even now to get citizens of the right kind to give up their time for public purposes. The only inducement is that they have very responsible duties to perform. I object to this Clause, though I admit that there is an argument for it in this or that district, because it is something very near a censure on the discretion of local authorities. You have to trust in their good sense. There may be cases where their authority has been abused, but that is no reason for bringing in legislation of this kind. As a matter of fact, the quarrel between Bethnal Green and Poplar and the Ministry of Health has not been because they have negotiated wages through the trade unions, but because they have not done that. It is because they have paid higher wages than the recognised wages negotiated between the trade unions concerned. I am open to correction, but I understood the district auditor took exception to the rates of wages paid in certain boroughs because they exceeded the rates recognised and arranged between the trade unions concerned.
238 A local authority is in a very difficult position in reference to engaging labour. It has to have some guiding principle, and in a great many cases the only principle to go on is the rates of wages, and conditions of labour fixed by the appropriate trade union. This Clause goes as far as to say that in no case—it does not say there may be exceptions—shall it be lawful for any local or other public authority to make it a condition of the employment or continuance of employment of a person that he shad] belong to a particular trade union. In some cases it is essential, if the local authority is to have peace and harmony in carrying out its work, that the men should belong to a recognised trade union. Take the case of the building trade. If the local authority were to import bricklayers who were not trade unionists, experience shows that it would immediately mean a strike in the building trade concerned. That question came up at the London County Council, owing to a shortage of bricklayers It was suggested that some ingenious method should be used to increase the supply of labour, but the chairman of the Housing Committee very wisely took the line that, if that were done, it would mean a stoppage on all the housing estates, which would he disastrous. If an authority is employing direct labour, common sense would dictate that they should require their bricklayers and the other people employed to belong to the recognised trade unions.
I say this proposal is not a practicable proposition. It is bound to lead to friction, and it is against the whole spirit of local government. If we are to work through the machinery of local government, it is important to avoid centralisation and to trust as much as possible to the good sense of local authorities. I do not think that the Minister is going to help the cause of good government by trying to restrict their discretion in the exercise of their authority. If their authority is abused, there is ample power in the hands of the district auditor, and experience has proved that the district auditors are not slow to use their authority. This is singling out one class of employer and seeking to restrict their authority. There are big firms, such as engineering firms, who require in the 239 interests of peace that their men should belong to their appropriate trade unions, and surely public authorities should be entrusted with the same power. If you will not do so, you are saying that the members of public authorities are not as trustworthy as ordinary business men. That is a gross libel on the splendid men and women who give their time to public service. The Minister knows better than anyone that there are no men and women who deserve more respect and confidence than those who give their time and service to manning the local authorities, who do work which is entirely unpaid, which is very little recognised, for which there is no reward and very little honour, except the honour of service well done in the interests of the country. Because it circumscribes the discretion of local authorities that, because it seems to me to be against the whole spirit of local government, I cannot support this Clause.
§ Mr. KIDD
I think it will appear to many Members of the Committee that the opposition to this Clause largely arises from a somewhat confused idea as to the province and functions of trade unions. Speaking as one who is an ardent supporter of trade unionism, I recognise that in the world of industry, in the world of private enterprise, private interest is bound to be a controlling interest, and that a trade union is an absolute necessity in order to prevent any possible abuse of that private interest. Within that domain, I think, and hon. Members on this side, I believe, will agree, that trade unions should have all the encouragement they can get. But, when you come to a public body, the position is entirely changed. There you have no question of private interest. The members are popularly elected to represent the ratepayers and simply and solely to look after the public interest Let me test the opposition to this Clause in this simple way. I have spoken as I have done about trade unions quite sincerely. I recognise how important they are in the industrial economy of the nation, but, important as I regard the trade union, I dare not recognise it as occupying a position in which it can dictate to the State, whether we refer to the State in the national sense or in the more local sense. The best proof of 240 the invalidity of the arguments in support of the Amendment is that, after all is said and done, trade unionists represent only a minority of the people. If you are to say that trade unionism is to have special consideration from local authorities, it means that you are destroying the rule which, I take it, is endorsed by hon. Members opposite as much as it is by hon. Members on this side of the House, that government by the people for the people is the only form of democratic government that can be recognised. When you oppose this Clause, you proceed upon the assumption that a minority can dictate to the majority. That is how it works out.
I put my case even to this height, that a local authority should be as unconscious of the existence of a trade union as it is of the existence of a body of Freemasons. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or of the Law Society."] Well, take the Law Society. I am not aware that this Clause proposes to do anything against a trade union which you could not do against the Law Society. The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) argued, in his fine, racy fashion, "You would not dare to appoint a man as a doctor at a salary which was not approved by the British Medical Association." But this Clause does not propose that any trade unionist is going to be compelled to let one of its members serve any local authority.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
We cannot employ anybody but a member of the British Medical Association, and they say that we shall pay a certain salary, and we have to pay it whether we like it or not.
§ Mr. KIDD
That shows the extraordinary confusion of thought on the other side of the House. The qualification of the doctor is something entirely beyond the local authority. It is a qualification demanded on national grounds, on broad grounds of public health. Just as a medical man need not take service under a local authority on the terms they offer, so, under this Clause, no trade unionist need take service under a local authority at the salary they offer. There is no distinction between the doctor and the plumber, so far as the local authorities are concerned. The more one examines the opposition to this Clause, the more one is impressed by the fact that the Labour party are looking 241 at this Bill not from a national point of view, and that, with regard to this Clause, they are not looking at it from the ratepayers' standpoint; they are regarding it through other spectacles altogether. I do not wish to impute motives, but I am bound to say that, on a perfectly fair analysis of all the speeches in opposition to this Clause, and particularly the speech of the hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment, one cannot escape the conclusion that no national test is being applied, that no ratepayers' test is being applied to it, and that the only test that is being satisfied by the objections to the Clause is a test other than that of the nation and of the ratepayers.
§ Mr. GROVES
I wish to support the Amendment and to deal with the argument of the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd). He dealt, of course, with this proposal from the point of view that the minority should not dictate to the majority. We all support him in that. The real reason why this Amendment should be supported is because, if you analyse the effect of it in workshops and industries; if you take from the local authorities their right to impose certain conditions upon industry, there will be a tendency, in years ahead, for the nonunion element in the workshop to reassert itself. I can speak on this because I have been a workman all my life. In my early days, I worked for a municipality when our trade unions were comparatively weak and we could not speak with the same voice that we do to-day. The employers did not receive us with the same degree of authority that they do to-day, and there was a tendency in the workshop for the employer to recognise the separate existence of the non-union element. I am referring to 10, 15 or 20 years ago. It was then almost impossible to get a trade union organiser received by the employer. I worked for the London County Council as a tramway builder, which was my trade before I came here. Whatever the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) may say, it was extremely difficult to get the London County Council to receive an organising secretary. They used to come to the works before the establishment of the Conciliation Board and meet us as workpeople. The point I wish to 242 submit to the hon. Member for Linlithgow with, regard to his suggestion that minorities should not dictate to majorities, is that there will be a possibility that the minority of non-unionists will affect the relationships between employer and employee which will ultimately have an effect upon the rate of wages paid in the industry. That could be carried on to the extent that there would be two separate influences in industry, the non-union element and the union element. The one justification for the tolerant, not the tyrannical imposition—if I can use these two words together—of trade unionism in industry, is the effect it has in negativing the influence of non-union thought in a particular trade. I think that is perfectly justifiable.
I speak, not with pride, but as a man who has earned his living by working all his life. I will give one or two illustrations to prove the point I have put forward. I started work on the Great Eastern Railway, as an apprentice in the coach-building shops. Apprenticeship means association with a craft, and, when one comes to the age of 20 or 21, it is the natural corollary that one becomes associated with his craft guild. At the age of 21, I became a member of my particular craft union. What does that imply My hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) humorously referred to the old days of getting on in the world, not by what one knew but by those whom one knew. To put it in another way, it is not what you know, but whom you know. Membership of a craft guild has reference to that position. It is a proof of having spent five or six or seven years, trying to understand a particular craft or industry, and it is not whom one knows, but what one knows. When my fellows and myself worked for seven years in the coach-building industry, the natural corollary was that we joined our craft guild. At the time to which I am referring, it was impossible for a person to work there and become a prominent trade unionist. I well remember when I made application to join the Stratford branch of the coachbuilders, it was with difficulty that I found out who was the secretary, because, in the workshop, it was quite dangerous for it to be known that a man was a prominent trade unionist. If you think I am exaggerating——
§ Mr. GROVES
So am I. These are not facetious arguments. I want to prove that the attitude of the Government, in restricting the power of the municipalities to employ trade unionists only, is not fair, in view of the fact that they have taken no action to deal with the aggressive and repressive attitude of employers generally to trade unionists. If the Government take the position that municipalities should not employ trade unionists, they should be equally unfriendly to the large private employers who will not employ trade unionists.
As I read the Sub-section, it does not restrict the powers of local authorities to employ trade unionists; it only says it is not to be a condition of employment.
§ Mr. GROVES
At the meeting of the West Ham Town Council, on Tuesday last, I was directed to come and read to Parliament a resolution which they passed. I will not bore the Committee with it all, but the Town Council expresses its objection to the Clause in this Bill whereby you are going to take from the West Ham County Borough its present powers. We in West Ham have proved that, by using the powers which we now possess, we have been able peacefully and efficiently to manage our workshops and to control our men—I mean to get good work from them. We have had no industrial friction, and, in the long run, it can be proved that the imposition of the regulation in the County Borough of West Ham has been justified by results. The reason I was going to the length of giving details of the contrary which existed 20 years ago, was to prove that, compared with that which existed in the industry then, that which has been introduced to-day by the Labour majority has been of great efficiency. Ten years ago, in the West Ham County Borough workshops, we had no such regulation, and, under the old regime, I suppose it is true to say that the system of task work and piecework and the system of employing men who were known to be against the trade union movement, led to a state of affairs where, instead of working for a good output and good workmanship, men were set against one 244 another. We had a system of piecework introduced, and it meant that, under the old régime, you had two separate con-cents in workshops. It was with difficulty that the council could treat on matters of wages. When the National Union of Vehicle Builders went to West Ham Town Council and asked for a revision of working conditions or wages, it was extremely difficult for the West Ham Council to know precisely with whom to treat, because, in those days, the West Ham Council was not favourably disposed to the recognition of the trade union movement.
I wish to submit, for the consideration of the Committee, the change that we have effected. In our borough, for the past year or two, we have imposed this regulation, and we had our justification for imposing it. There were sinister moves to undermine the state of general esprit de corps in the workshop, and there were deliberate attempts to cut in on the understanding that had been arrived at between the societies and the managers, because it would appear that the understandings between the organised trade union movement and employers did not fit in with the caprice of those who were resisting our movement. Since we have introduced this regulation, there has been no industrial friction whatever as far as West Ham itself is concerned. I do not speak of the national industrial upheaval of last year, but, as far as the West Ham workshops have been concerned, there has been no friction whatever. The rates of pay have been observed in the craft unions generally. No Minister of Health can lay a charge against our borough of paying in excess of the trade union wage, low as it may be in the skilled trades. We have honoured the agreement, and the men have honoured the general understanding; and the degree of efficiency in our workshop is without question. All who desire industrial harmony and peace can get it if they take the trouble to investigate the conditions in the workshops of the County Borough of West Ham. What we have done is justified according to all the national circumstances. An hon. Member said we are never actuated by national views, but he is wrong.
The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) said the Government are going to circumscribe 245 the trade unions. The reason we have imposed this regulation at all in any borough is because we were circumscribed in our attempts to get a common and corporate understanding and an improvement of the conditions in the trade union world. We were circumscribed by the insidious work of the non-union element. They wanted to declare what the world calls the open-shop. There have been efforts in the past 10 years to get again, in this country, the open-shop. I think even the Members of the Government recognise that that would be inimical to the general industrial interests of this country, but there is a tendency in that direction. What we have done with regard to tightening up the industrial process, is in no way foreign to the general national characteristic. The membership of a trade union is not a mere industrial or political qualification; it is a craft qualification. I believe a man's membership of his craft union is the corollary of his apprenticeship. It is the proof of his abilities, and, if you were going to employ an engineer or a plumber or a mason or a coachbuilder, you would not deliberately employ an amateur. The qualification of membership of a trade union is important from my point of view. You could not join my craft union unless you could prove that you had been working at the trade and occupation for five years, and you could not get in by surreptitious methods. You would have to be nominated and seconded and agreed to, having worked for the trade for five years.
I would submit this to the Committee, and to the members of the legal profession especially. Were a case being argued—however ready at repartee the man might be—if it could be proved that he had not the necessary qualifications of professional study and having passed the examination and been called to the Bar, no Court would allow him to plead. Is that not a restriction on the liberty of the individual? When we speak of liberty, are we not often too wide in our observations? Liberty is the expression of our own personal conduct, provided it does not transgress the conduct of our neighbours and fellow countrymen. You apply that to the attitude and power of the trade union movement generally, and I return the compliment by saying that, just as you increase the powers and the work of the 246 non-union element, so you are interfering with the general liberties of the greater number of industrialists in this country, because you are interfering with their right of collective bargaining. What do you mean by that? We have the right, through our trade union movement, to send representatives to meet employers, whether they be private employers or in the corporate and collective capacity of civic administrative authorities; and, if you are going to do anything to take away from the local authorities the right to lay down the conditions of employment of those they employ, then, I ask, does that not rather badly fit in with the position of the lawyers, doctors and sanitary inspectors? The Minister of Health would not allow us in West Ham to appoint an inspector of weights and measures, or an inspector under the Explosives Act, or a sanitary inspector, without he had the necessary certificate implying membership of his professional organisation.
I have no objection, but the fact remains that you lay down certain conditions which you assume to be qualifications. My objection to the position taken up by the Government is that the only qualification to which they object is the qualification connected with organised labour. I do not think that is justified. I think organised labour, as far as its general conduct in the workshops is concerned, has shown conduct worthy of it. I know Members of this House—one is sitting here who was Chairman of the Conciliation Board on the London County Council—who, if they speak in this Debate, will justify that. The Member referred to knows the value of dealing direct with the representatives of organised labour, and not with indiscriminate persons who are against the trade union movement, and who desire to get certain things on their own. To where will this lead in regard to workshop life? You will have people in the workshops going out for individual things. The hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) talks of individualists. Most of the members of organised movement are individualists, and you get them among workmen as well as politicians. In the workshop you get an individualist who may be a good workman or otherwise. He will go after different rates of wages, and some are 247 prepared to do a greater share of work. Some workmen are more capable—let us be frank—and do a greater amount of work in the same time than other men. I have had the experience, and know that usually employers will use and run these men against their fellow-workers to the extent that in the long run a spirit of discord exists in the workshop, instead of a spirit of concord. The introduction of these aggregate voices instead of individual voices has led to a common understanding, and I submit to the Minister of Health that there is no evidence to prove that the work of municipalities under the present aggregate voice has been inimical to the locality or to the country any more than in organisations of large private employers who have advertised for years in the papers, "Engineers, boilermakers, wanted. No trade unionist need apply."
Our power is conferred upon us by majority vote; otherwise we cannot sit. If we did not carry out the work desired by the local voters, they would turn us out. If we in our borough have reasonably carried out this work without any vindictiveness, we ought not to have this against us. We have not said to any man that he should not work, but that we have certain conditions in our workshop. We believe that membership of the appropriate trade union has proved, in the long run, a very useful thing. We say to a man, not that he shall not come here, but that if he does he must toe the line with the workmen generally. We do not preclude a man's employment in West Ham because he is a non-unionist. There is the difficulty which is the trouble of the Education Department—you cannot swim until you go into the water, and you will not go into the water until you can swim. The hon. Members for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) and Plaistow (Mr. W. Thorne) and myself have to deal with these problems in a manner which has proved in the long run beneficial to the neighbourhood and to the nation and industry. If these points can be proved by evidence, I submit to the Government that whatever reason there may be for the Bill, there is no reason for interfering with the rights of the authority for which I am speaking. Whatever right have the Government, 248 without any demand from the electorate or the country, to do it? My general view of legislation has always been that Governments which are always busy only legislate when there is a reasonable demand for something to be done. There has been no demand in this country for this thing. There has been no proof that what has been done by the local authorities in the respects referred to has been inimical to the general interests of the corporation or the persons engaged in the industry.
I have expressed my opinion on this question at much greater length than usual, for, generally, I listen and do not talk, but I feel that on this point we have proved our case, and we have proved by experience this general recognition of all employeés, just like the doctors, solicitors and even schoolmasters. There is no great profession in the country but has circumscribed limits upon which membership of the profession depend. You must take certain examinations to become a member of the scholastic profession and of legal and other professions. It does not follow that because you are a nice, well-spoken man you can do things with liberty. You must prove your bona fides. A man accepts the conditions and wages in West Ham which have been obtained by collective bargaining, and if the Government are going to take it away, they should also introduce legislation to take that away from other professions. What applies to one set applies to another. If you are, going to justify the interests and rights of non-unionists to get wages and receive better conditions which have only come as the result of the combined activities of the trade unionists through collective bargaining, you ought not to oppose large boroughs like West Ham. We want good service, and we believe trade unionists will give us good service. I think it is wrong that Parliament to-day should interfere with peaceful local authorities in a provocative way. Hon. Members are laughing, but we have a splendid record of municipal authority. The right hon. Gentleman's experience at the Ministry of Health must show him that West Ham, apart from the usual political pinpricks, has played its part in this country. We have played the game, and I say to the Government that what it has done is provocative and 249 uncalled for, and I hope that before the Division Bells ring at half-past seven, the case will be reconsidered.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
We have had three speeches from the Opposition benches upon this Sub-section. I have listened to those speeches with great curiosity, and to most of us it appears to be indefensible and anomalous that a local authority should impose upon its employeés a condition which has no relation whatever to the efficiency of the service. Of these three speeches the speech which was last delivered was, despite some humorous passages, the most serious. The hon. Member for Stratford (Mr. Groves) had at least some sort of argument in support of his case. If it was not based upon a false premise, it is one that would have weighed very much with me.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The argument was that it is necessary to impose this condition upon the employeés of a local authority to ensure that the standard and quality of craftsmanship among these employés shall be of a satisfactory nature. That was the argument which the hon. Member put up. His false premise arises from the fact that membership of a trade union is no guarantee of any such efficiency or craftsmanship as has been suggested in the member of the trade union. That is the fallacy in the comparison which has been made more than once between membership of a trade union and the position of solicitors or doctors or other technical officers. It is perfectly true that local authorities refuse to appoint a man to a responsible position, such as that of medical officer of health, unless he possesses those qualifications which assure them that he is able to carry out his work with proper efficiency, but they do not say that they will not appoint anybody who is not a member of the Medical Defence Union. That is the real analogy with membership of a trade union. The analogy is whether it is an organisation whose function is to maintain or improve conditions of labour or rates of wages, and which does not include among its functions any tests or examinations which would ensure to a person engaging 250 a trade unionist any particular quality of craftsmanship. That is the point which really destroys the argument of the hon. Member. If one had that assurance, if the fact that a man was a member of a trade union meant that he had passed an examination, that he had submitted to tests and had reached a certain standard of craftsmanship, I should certainly say that the local authority would be perfectly entitled to lay down conditions of this kind as to the men employed by them.
§ Mr. GROVES
I think I did point out that with regard to skilled men, they must work a certain number of years at their craft. That is experience. That is their examination. In some trades they must work for five years before they can become members of their trade union.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I cannot accept that. That a great number of members of trade unions have achieved a certain standard of craftsmanship I agree, and, as a matter of fact, the vast majority of the people employed by local authorities are members of those trade unions. I think the local authorities might be left to select these people according to their own tests, and in such a way as to fulfil their own desires, and I have not the slightest doubt it would be found that in such cases the vast majority of those engaged were members of trade unions. But, of course, the Resolutions at which this Sub-section aims go very much further than that. They do not deal only with craft unions, nor do they deal only with cases where there are many employeés. The position taken up by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) was not the same as that of the hon. Member for Stratford (Mr. Groves), and although his speech rambled over a good many topics that did not seem to have any very direct connection with the substance of the Subsection—such as Home Rule for Ireland, and the pedigrees of General Inspectors and District Auditors—yet, I think, on the whole, I felt fairly clear as to what the hon. Member's position was when he had finished. He regards the whole system of local government as a sort of battlefield and the rewards of victory in that battlefield are the spoils which, in his idea, are the legitimate possession of the victors.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Will the right hon. Gentleman say in what passage in my speech I said anything which would bear that interpretation?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am giving the general impression which I derived from, I will not say the hon. Member's arguments but from his dissertation. It seemed to me that he indicated that it was a perfectly natural and laudable practice that those who had achieved victory in the field of local elections should take the rewards, paid for by the general body of ratepayers, and distribute them among their own friends.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I will stand by anything I said, if the right hon. Gentleman, instead of making a general statement, will quote any sentence of my speech which will bear that construction.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The rewards of which I speak are the rewards which are given to those who obtain employment under local authorities. Everybody knows that employment under a local authority is a sought-after form of employment, because it has much greater security than employment in private service, and in various ways it is what one may call the plum employment in any particular occupation. The hon. Gentleman considers it perfectly legitimate for a local authority, on which his friends have obtained a majority, to say, "We will find employment for all the people who are supporting our political party."
§ Mr. LANSBURY
None of us has accused our opponents in that way, and I think the right hon. Gentleman——
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The point which the right hon. Gentleman has made is that I have said that only those who hold my particular views shall be employed by the borough council. I ask him again not to go round it, but to tell me specifically in what passage of my speech I said anything which he can show to bear that construction.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not quite accept the hon. Gentleman's account of what I have just said, and as hon. Members seem to be nettled at my observations, may I point out that I was not hinting at what the hon. Gentleman suggests. If hon. Members will only give me an opportunity, I think I can make good what I have said. I did not say that the hon. Member wished to confine employment to those who supported his views. What I said was those who contributed to the support of his views.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
There are Liberals and Tories working for local authorities—hundreds of them, and thousands of them.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am afraid the hon. Gentleman still does not understand what I said. I will come to it a little further on.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
If hon. Members will bear with me, I have not yet finished my point. I propose to bring forward an official document which I have here entitled "Unions smashed by law," being an account of the effects of this Bill—an official account published from 33, Eccleston Square. It deals with the various Clauses, and what does it say about this particular Clause? It gives the headline "Public Employés are attacked." The hon. Member says that it is the public authorities who are attacked. How are the public employee attacked under this Clause? This is what the pamphlet says:The Clause enforces an absolute neutrality upon public authorities.I entirely accept that. That is precisely our object, and that is precisely what the hon. Gentleman Objects to, and that is why I say that he thinks it is perfectly legitimate and in order that local authorities should not exercise strict neutrality. He wants them not to exercise strict neutrality, but to exercise, as another hon. Member has said, the rights of the majority. What is the difference between that and what I said?
§ Mr. R. YOUNG
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if what he said was not that in the case of local authorities 253 where we were in the majority, employment was confined to members of our political party?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I used the words "political party," but what I said was "to people who supported out of their contributions a political party."[HON. MEMERS: "No!"] I will come to that in a moment if hon. Members will be a little more patient. I have not yet finished my speech, and I will give them proof of my observations.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I want to quote another sentence from this pamphlet. It goes on to say, in regard to Clause 9, thatThe Government's policy is to try by legislation to arrest the growth of Labour's power in local government affairs.That is not true. What we do consider it necessary to do is to arrest the abuse of Labour's power or any other party's power in local government affairs. It is because we think this abuse has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished that we have inserted this Clause in the Bill.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am not alone in my views as to the impropriety of such resolutions as those to which this Sub-section relates. I shall be very much surprised if it is found that a different view has been taken by any of my predecessors, with the possible exception of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley). I think on one occasion he made a reply in the House of Commons which was, possibly, open to the construction that he approved of this sort of thing, although I am not at all sure that he intended to be understood in that way.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I will do so. It arose out of a question in connection with the Southwark Borough Council, who refused a tender for printing on the ground that the firm in question employed people who were not members of a trade union. I believe it was the case 254 that the firm only employed a few people who were not members of a trade union, and these people had been in their employment for a considerable time, but the fact that they had non-unionists in their employment was the ground of refusing the tender, with a consequent loss to the ratepayers, which, I think, was £293. The members of the council were surcharged, and the right hon. Gentleman remitted the surcharge, and certain questions were asked as to the reason for his remission. The hon. Member for Kensington (Sir W. Davison) put this question to himWill the right hon. Gentleman answer my question? Does he think it fair and equitable to deprive a firm of the contract merely because one or two of its men do not belong to a trade union?To that the right hon. Gentleman replied:Had I not considered it fair and equitable I should not have made that decision."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd March, 1924; col. 1389, Vol. 170.][HON. MEMBERS: "On that case!"] I only answered the right hon. Gentleman, who asked for the reference. I want to quote another predecessor of mine, namely, Dr. Addison, who, I think, is now a member of the party opposite, and who wrote on 21st January, 1920, to the Poplar Guardians on this subject, and used these words:A local authority should not differentiate between the members of its staff upon any grounds other than services rendered to the local authority by the several members of their staffs. The position of members of the staff should not depend in any way upon such conditions as membership or non-membership of a trade union.Those, of course, are precisely the sentiments which I myself hold. As I said, I think most of my predecessors have held them. In spite of Dr. Addison's letter, the Poplar Guardians passed a resolution that all awards of increases in salaries should be conditional on membership of trade unions. Now I come to the point to which I wish to draw the right hon. Gentleman's attention. In February of this year they passed a fresh resolution that all employés must be members of the appropriate trade union.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
7th February. The appropriate unions are the only unions allowed to have persons representing them on the General Council. These are seven in number, and they have this one feautre in common: every one of them pays a political levy for the benefit of the funds of the Socialist party.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not know, but I think investigation would show that a great many do. That is the fact to which I alluded when I said that it was regarded as only natural and laudable that there should be this practice. It is perfectly evident that if local authorities or anybody else declare that nobody shall be employed by them who is not a member of a trade union, it will not be very long before they go on to say that each person must be a member of a particular trade union, and that particular trade union always happens to be the trade union which is affiliated in some way with the party opposite.
§ Mr. SEXTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman kindly tell us what difference there is between a private employer entering into an arrangement with a trade union only to employ trade unionists and a municipality which is also an employer doing the same thing?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I will come to that point a little later on. It does not arise really at this stage of my argument.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Yes, you did. That was all your argument [HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] Do not become alarmed.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Whatever may be the views of Eccleston Square about the propriety of action of that kind it is not approved of by all the genuine trade union leaders who have done so much to build up trade unionism in the past. I find another case which is of interest in this connection, namely, that of the Greenwich and Deptford Guardians. Last year the guardians passed a resolution 256 that all their employeés who did not belong to trade unions should join trade unions immediately or be dismissed.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
On 3rd June this gentleman said:This resolution is the negation and the prostitution of the principles which I have always held. Is it right that this board, representing every shade of political and religious expression in Greenwich and Deptford, should act as a trade union organiser?He concluded:This resolution is unjust, unconstitutional, and inimical to the real interest of trade unionism.
§ Mr. THORNE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the man in question was at one time general secretary of the pattern makers, and that no one but a pattern maker can work in a shop in that particular trade union?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am quite willing to accept that, but I do not know what it has to do with this point.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
He is an old trade unionist and he says this is contrary to all sound principles of trade unionism and he believes it to be against their best interests.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
There is never such intolerance as is to be found among hon. Members opposite towards anybody who does not agree with them. The idea that it is impossible to carry on the duties of a local authority properly unless every employeé is a trade unionist is demonstrably false. The hon. Member for Stratford himself said that very few local authorities had passed such a resolution. [HON.MEMBERS: "Twenty!"] I think a good many of them have since cancelled the resolution. If, therefore, it is a fact that all the rest can carry on their duties perfectly well, so as to earn all those wonderful encomiums which were passed 257 upon them by the hon. Member for Stratford and the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), without any such resolution, how can anyone argue that the work of local government depends on employing trade unionists? It is obviously absurd. He takes the very high line that this is a restriction upon the independence and the autonomy of local authorities, and he went as far as to suggest that we could hardly expect to find the best class of man or woman ready to come forward to take their part in local government if they found a Subsection on the Statute Book which said they must not lay down conditions of employment for their people.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Only a few minutes before the hon. Member spoke we had the right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Mr. Buxton) introducing a Bill which was going to impose upon local authorities the condition that they should only use the humane killer in their slaughter-houses. What is that but a limitation of the discretion of local authorities? But did the hon. Member offer any protest against the introduction of that Bill? I think he is only concerned to see that he has some reason for voting against the Government on every possible occasion. He told us about the difficulties of the London County Council, and how the fact that a single individual had been employed who was not a member of a trade union had caused a strike, or a threat of a strike, and how it was impossible to carry on unless all employeés are members of trade unions. Have the London County Council passed this resolution? No. Why not, if there are all these difficulties?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It may be news to the hon. Member, and it may perhaps remove some of his fears as far as the London County Council are concerned, if I read to him a letter I have here from the Association of Municipal Corporations in which they say:I am instructed to inform you that the overwhelming majority"—258 That is, of the borough council representatives—are in favour of this Clause.That is the Clause we are discussing.
The letter finishes up by saying:Under those circumstances the association desires to assure the Government of its support of Clause 6, Sub-sections (1) and (2).At the end of the letter there is a list of the local authorities in London which are members of the association, and first among them is the London County Council. The hon. Member for St. Helens (Mr. Sexton) asked me why we should treat local authorities differently from private employers, and I think the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green put the same question. It is suggested that in this Clause we are singling out one particular class of employers. We are doing that, I think, for a very obvious and sufficient reason. Local authorities are not like private employers in this matter. They represent the whole community. They are not free, as private employers are, to suit themselves. They ought not to be unfair or partial as between different sections of the community. They ought to have as their sole object efficiency and economy in the work they undertake, and to see that they always get the best service and the best value for the smallest amount of money. The whole argument of this Clause is that local authorities are in a special position, as they may be composed of any party or of all parties. Conditions as to membership or non-membership of a trade union are not a matter which can be said, in the face of the arguments I have put forward, to have any effect upon the efficiency of the services, and therefore they should not be allowed to impose them.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
We have had from the Minister of Health arguments perhaps more adroit than entirely fair when dealing with the speech of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). I heard that speech. If there was one thing more than another that the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley laid down perfectly clearly, it was that he was against the spoils system. He was stating quite clearly what had happened in local government in the past as regards taking on employés, and he was suggesting that the method condemned under this Clause 259 had been a powerful preventive of the spoils system. When tackled about it, the Minister tried to get out of it by saying that if we said that only trade unionists might be employed, we were, in fact, using the spoils system for our friends. What a remarkable argument from a right hon. Gentleman who is backing a Bill on the ground that trade unionists are being oppressed by members of this political party because they are Liberals and Conservatives! Now he turns round and says: "If you do anything for a trade unionist you are doing it for the Labour party." I might retort that the party opposite seem to have a wonderful friendship for the blackleg.
I have been some little time in local government. I went into local government eight years ago, shortly after the War had concluded. At that time we were not quite so friendly towards people who shirked, people who would not stand in with their comrades. There was a very strong feeling that collective bargaining was the right thing, and so far from worshipping the man who stands out, the man who will take all the benefits and do nothing, leaving his comrades to fight for them, the feeling was quite the other way about. I found in local government that Whitley Councils had been set up, and that there was a tendency to work with the unions and through the unions. My own council passed this resolution that all its employeés should belong to trade unions. It has been in operation for eight years, and one can judge the amount of indignation caused by our action when I say that for three of those years the Conservatives and Liberals—it was a coalition of them—have been in power on the council but made no change.
There is, really, a very good reason why we should have this compulsory trade unionism. It is an out-of-date idea to think we can do without collective organisation at the present day. We have got to recognise that people ought to belong to their proper professional, craft, or trade organisation. One after another professional associations come rushing to this House to try to secure privileges for themselves. The lawyers and the doctors, who already have them, have been followed by architects and Chemists, and so on, asking to be given 260 legal powers which will enable them, in effect, to secure a monopoly of certain positions for their members. If we ever oppose the claim of the lawyer or the doctor, asking, "What right have you to be a syndicate, to have power to organise your profession, to have power to say that this man shall belong and that man shall not, or that, this man shall be thrown out of it?" They always reply, "We keep such a high standard; we have a professional standard, and although we may be accused of acting with tyranny, we do not really do so, because we are animated by high ideals of national and social service."
Let us accept that position frankly. That is the claim we make for all workers who are working for the community, and it is precisely what we have been endeavouring to accomplish in the sphere of local government. Everybody knows that in 1919 there was a grave difficulty over getting the best work out of people after the War. People who had been in the Army did not care much about that discipline; some people do not care about any discipline. We recognise that the best sort of discipline is self-discipline, and on my local authority we have endeavoured to work with our employeés; not having employeés eternally under the eye of the foreman but preferring to get the employeés to take a pride in their work and impose self-discipline upon themselves, and that has been attended with considerable success. Through the Whitley Councils we have had all sorts of useful suggestions brought forward, suggestions as to discipline among others, by the representatives of the workers. It is for that reason that it is desirable to have everybody in a trade union. We do not want to have separate groups, with certain men represented as being non-unionists and others as unionists. We want them all in the union.
We ought not to go back to the unregulated conditions of the past. We have got to recognise that in a great society like the present people carry on a large number of their functions collectively. We believe in collective bargaining and we believe that people should belong to their proper organisations; and I am bound to say I have never found any complaint about it. I quite agree that it has to be done wisely. We ought not to say, "Here is a particular 261 union, you must join that and leave your own." I have resisted that when it was tried on. That is not fair. Employés should belong to the proper union. Of course, if bogus unions—and there are bogus unions—put forward a claim we are not going to support that. But they should join genuine unions, and I may add here that I am sure no one on our Council knows which of the unions has a political levy or whether any individual member pays. Even if, as the right hon. Gentleman maintains, the strong reason why we should not impose such a condition was that the men were our supporters he has got out of that difficulty by the earlier Clauses of this Bill.
I think it is a perfectly sound thing to require men to belong to their unions. I reiterate what has been said by many Members on this side of the House that this Clause is only of a piece with the constant interference which local government has had from the right hon. Gentleman. I am not really surprised at it. The right hon. Gentleman has a long experience behind him, and it is the experience of Birmingham, which has always been about the most partisan town in the whole of the country. It always amuses me to hear the right hon. Gentleman talking about impartiality when I think of the reputation which Birmingham had for many years of being not entirely free from partisan bias. I have always understood that it was the most highly organised political town in the Kingdom and I agree that Birmingham has done very useful things in municipal Socialism, but if the right hon. Gentleman's father were living to-day he would find himself pulled up by the right hon. Gentleman. In matters of local government it is a case of watching your step very carefully.
This is only part of the attack which is being made on every organisation of the workers in this country. The right hon. Gentleman finds his particular sphere in local government. He has taken powers to supersede boards of guardians. He is the Poor Law Mussolini. He has at his beck and call the district auditor, another of these Mussolinis. The district auditor is an admirable little person, generally with a rather limited middle-class outlook, who is entitled to tell any municipality what they ought to pay in wages and what they ought to do about this, 262 that and the other. The right, hon. Gentleman is in favour of local government, but Labour must not be in power. This Bill is only part of a general campaign to take care that wherever labour gets its head up that head shall be hit. Working men can save nothing—the Chancellor of the Exchequer looks after that part of it. If they combine in the industrial field they are faced with the Trade Disputes Bill. If they have power on local authorities, then the Government take care to take away the powers of local authorities rather than let Labour go on.
This is one of the most partisan Clauses of a very partisan Bill, and it is ridiculous in view of the small number of authorities who have taken this action. The Committee will notice how very fair the Clause is. A local authority must not make regulations that an employeé shall be a member of a trade union. For years and years employeés were victimised by local authorities for being members of a trade union——
§ Mr. ATTLEE
——but nothing was done till the boot was on the other foot. It is exactly the same in the case of the district auditor. No notice is taken if a board of guardians fail to do their duty in the interests of the poor, but they are at once suppressed if they try to do their duty by the poorer members of the community. This is sheer class legislation. I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman. He is one of the most capable class-warriors produced by the other side. When I look at the names on the back of this Bill, I feel the Prime Minister made his selection very well. He got a man who can hit at Labour's powers in local government, he got a man who can bring them up to the Law Courts. I do not know why the name of the Minister of Labour is not there. I suppose the Minister of Labour preferred to keep out of it. This is a thoroughly vindictive Clause, and a thoroughly politically-partisan Clause, in a very partisan Bill.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
I have listened to all this Debate with considerable interest, and I am bound to say that, like the Minister, I found the most interesting speech from the other side that delivered by the hon. Member for Stratford (Mr. Groves). On first considering 263 this particular Clause it appeared to me to be one of rather doubtful merit. The rest of the Bill, the Clauses dealing with intimidation, the political levy, the general strike, will not come into operation save on exceptional occasions. They are to restrict, and quite properly restrict, illegal action. But this Clause might be represented, as it first occurred to one, as reactionary in its tendencies. It certainly is the case that the tendency of modern industry for many years has been to work more and more through trade unions, and I quite appreciate the view held by many hon. Members opposite who know of the early struggles of trade unionism—I know they must judge this Clause rather in the light of that history.
The argument of the hon. Member for Stratford as regards the character of trade unionism was perfectly sound, as the Minister reminded the House, so far as it. applied to craft unions; but the hon. Member did not tell us that the whole tendency of modern trade unionism has been—many people think regrettable—to move away from the old principle of the craft unions. The whole tendency has been to make unions the only basis of which is the mere fact of men joining them—not unions which men could only join after a period of apprenticeship or a test of skill and which were really descendants of the mediæval guilds. At the same time, it is undoubtedly true that industry, whatever form its development may take during the next generation, must be based upon the method of collective bargaining between employers and employed. It must be based upon the attempt to break down the rigid horizontal divisions that are now supposed to divide the interests of different classes and to produce a form of syndicalism, if you like, at any rate a form of recognition by vertical division of the real identity of interests between the employer, the management and the labour in each industry.
Therefore, from that point of view, I think at first sight one naturally looks with some regret upon the introduction of this Clause. At the same time, after listening very carefully to the Debate, I do not feel that the arguments put forward by the Opposition have been really quite genuine when they say that they 264 want compulsory trade unionism for the purpose of effective bargaining, and to suit the case, presented by hon. Members interested in local government, who have told us that it is not possible to carry on effective local government without it. I quite understand that the history of trade unionism explains a certain degree of suspicion about this particular Clause. Collective bargaining has had to win its way in face of a great deal of opposition in our industrial history, but is it wise, and is it in the interest of trade unionism, that resolutions should be passed by a council which have the effect not of strengthening trade unionism but of causing a considerable amount of bitterness and opposition to it? After all, this Clause is a double-edged Clause. There is a grave danger that councils, perhaps less in touch with the growth and advance of our modern industrial organisation, in localities where these problems do not press them so hard, may begin to pass resolutions to say they will not employ trade unionists. That, at any rate, is prevented by this Clause. I think the Committee ought definitely to weigh the argument, which, I am bound to say, after listening to the Debate has weighed with me, namely, that the public authority is in the very special position that it has not only to guarantee, and have regard for, the financial interests of those whom it represents, but to do something else. It has, as far as it is able, to try to conduct municipal and local affairs without the introduction of very bitter controversy. The kind of action which has been taken—and which has been referred to by the Minister—by those bodies which have gone to the length of passing resolutions saying they will only employ trade unionists will produce reaction. It will produce on the part of many men, a sense of grievance, and I do not think in the long run, however we may be moving in our future industrial organisation, we can allow a regulation of compulsory trade unionism to be enforced by the chance decrees of local authorities here and there in the country. We may come to a time when we shall develop an organisation in which membership of employers' associations on the one hand and of trade unions on the other will be compulsory.
265 I perceive in the mind of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) what a fascination the Labour policy of Signor Mussolini seems to have for him—because that is really what has taken place in Italy—and we may come to it in this country. We may have a condition where collective bargaining shall be enforced on all parties by law. If we are to work for that—I do not say now whether it is right or wrong—it must come because of the decision of Parliament, and not by the chance decision of local authorities in different areas. We do not know at this stage when that development will come, but we cannot allow it to be brought about artificially by this or that local authority. That is not to say we are in any way opposed to the development of trade unionism. After all, without these regulations, hundreds of local authorities, as the Minister has pointed out, have dealt, in the ordinary way, with trade unionist representatives in order to settle wages and conditions. Industry is more and more working through this means. At the same time, great as has been the success of trade unionism in the last decade, enormous as has been the advantages which have been won, and very recently won—the recognition which has been obtained far more recently than most of us remember—there is a danger of pushing it too far. There is a danger that there may be a reaction on the part of men themselves from the principle of banding themselves together if these bodies to which they belong work in opposition to them.
I thoroughly agree with the interesting remarks of the last speaker that our modern system demands collective action, but we must remember that the temperament of the average Englishman is all against collective bargaining. Really, temperamentally and historically he is much more in favour of individualism. Although I believe that collective action is necessary in the large problems which we have to face to-day, there is a real danger of throwing our people back into an ineffective and impossible individualism by pushing the opposite principle too far. For that reason, I say genuinely and sincerely, having listened to the Debate and having thought a great deal about this Clause, 266 I believe the Clause will be justified, and will do no harm to the development of trade unionism in its true and proper sphere, and that in the long run it will be found to have been in its interests.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The speech to which we have just listened is one to which no objection can be taken on this side of the House. It was as reasonable as might be safely attempted by a follower of the right hon. Gentleman who is leading the Committee to-day, and its tone was sympathetic and conciliatory. There was just one statement in it to which I would like to object, and that is that the power of stating what the conditions of employment under a local authority should be ought to be exercised by Parliament and not by the local authority. That, of course, is in line with the policy to which we have been familiarised during the past two years by the Minister of Health. It has been pointed out during the course of this discussion that every move that the right hon. Gentleman makes is a move against the whole system of local government in this country. The Minister of Health to-day appeared to be immensely satisfied with himself while addressing the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman is always happiest when he is most offensive. I thought that to-day he soared to the very height of his impertinence, and from that height hurled all sorts of insults at the Members who sit on these benches. Whether he stated it in so many words or not, he undoubtedly levelled a wholesale charge of corruption, not merely against the Members who sit on the Labour benches, but against all the Labour representatives on the local councils of the country. I think that is a most unfortunate attitude for a Minister of Health to adopt. A Minister of Health is expected to rule impartially over the local government of this country. Does he think that he is strengthening the bond of fellowship in administration that ought to exist between the central authorities and the local councils when he takes every opportunity of telling his political opponents and those local authorities that they are men and women who cannot be trusted?
I submit that charges of corruption come very badly from the right hon. Gentleman. There are many reasons 267 why he should not bring these charges. I think one of the strongest will be found in the history of local government in this country under his own party. I spent 10 busy years of my time on local authorities in days when Labour representation was weaker and less effective than it is to-day, and I have no hesitation in saying that the primary duty of the Labour representatives was to act as the watchdogs to safeguard the public against the members of the political party for whom the right hon. Gentleman speaks. I agree with the principle of having all workers in trade unions if for no other purpose than for facilitating negotiations between employers and employed. But I think there is another reason which can be quite well supported from the Labour point of view, and it is this. The Labour party in the country, acting to a very large extent on the teaching of the party opposite, have adopted constitutional methods, and constitutional methods only, to effect their emancipation. One of the weapons on which they have been taught to rely is trade unionism. What is more natural than that when they secure, through the majority of the electorates in any locality, control in the local council, they should exercise that control to strengthen the weapon for the abolition of poverty which they believe to be most effective? I do not think there is anything in that to which any reasonable person can object. But to throw out suggestions that Labour in local councils uses its control for the purpose of giving the spoils of office, either to those who voted for its return or to those who contribute financially to its support, is an outrageous insult coming from such a quarter.
The right hon. Gentleman, presumably, either not understanding his own line of argument, or being anxious to get outside it for the purpose of broadcasting further his offensive remarks, quoted a reply which I gave to a question with regard to a printing contract at Southwark. It is hardly necessary to remind the Committee that you are here dealing with quite a different subject altogether. In the Sub-section you are dealing with the direct employeés of the local council. In the case quoted by the right hon. Gentleman we were dealing with a contractor. 268 We were dealing with the product of non-union labour supplied to a local council. I wish to assure the right hon. Gentleman, however ambiguous my answer may have been, that I thoroughly approved of the action of the Southwark Council. I think I could justify that point of view not merely from the employers' standpoint, but from the workers' standpoint as well. When a local authority asks for contracts, it expects the contractors to pay a decent standard of wages to its workers. In most local authorities a Clause is inserted which makes a decent standard of wages compulsory. What chance can employers of labour employing trade unionists, paying the highest trade union rates, giving the best conditions to their workers, have against another employer who does not employ trade union labour, who employs cheaper labour, who grants poorer conditions, and is therefore in a position to undercut the good employer when quoting for a council contract?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Possibly the right hon. Gentleman may have forgotten that in this particular instance it was admitted that the rates of wages paid were fully equivalent to trade union rates.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I cannot be expected to remember the particulars of the case. I have forgotten about the case. But if an employer is paying the same standard, if he is granting the same conditions to his employeés, what possible reason can he have for refusing to man his workshop with trade union labour? [HON. MEMBERS "Liberty."] Someone says "liberty." It is "liberty" which has brought us to the depths of poverty. It is to curb liberty that the present Government are spending all their time in Parliament. There is not a Bill that has been introduced during the lifetime of the present Government that has not been aimed at the curbing of liberty. Why should there be liberty in reducing the standard of wages and the living conditions of the people? No local authority ought to accept a contract for goods produced by non-union labour. We look to the trade unions of this country to establish a standard of working and living conditions. It is the duty of all local councils, particularly councils directly interested in the question of health, to see that in exercising their proper functions 269 in keeping up the standard of life, trade unions are supported.
We are opposed to this Clause. I would not have taken part in the discussion merely for the purpose of opposing the Sub-section, but I did want to register my emphatic protest against the scandalously biased, offensive, insulting attitude adopted by the Minister of Health towards the local authorities of this country. I want him to remember that the time will probably come when the Government of this country and the Ministry over which he presides will be in the hands of the people he is now insulting, and he is setting a very bad example, even from his own point of view, in adopting the attitude that he has adopted this afternoon. It is he who believes in the policy of the spoils of office. One of the spoils of office to the Tory party is the liberty to insult their opponents, as is so frequently done by the right hon. Gentleman. [HON. MEMBRS: "What about yourself?"] What about myself? I can say for myself that when I was at the Ministry of Health I did not use my position for political propaganda. I do not think there is a local authority in this country, a board or a council that was under the Ministry of Health, that would say that during the Labour Government's short term of office it did not receive the same courtesy, the same consideration, the same liberty, and the same encouragement as it received from its political friends. It is not the duty of the Ministry of Health to offend the people who are giving their time gratuitously, and giving the very noblest service in the carrying on of the public life of this country. I rose for the purpose of protesting against the offensive attitude always assumed by the right hon. Gentleman, and I hope that very little regard will be paid to it in the country.
§ Captain CAZALET
The right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) has suggested that the Minister of Health has made insinuations of corruption against the whole Labour party, which I am certain are as foreign to his ideas as they are to the rest of hon. Members on these benches. The right hon. Gentleman who opened the discussion brought to bear many years of public service in the remarks that he made. It appeared to me that almost his entire speech dealt with the effect which this Clause would have upon the employers, the municipal 270 and other local authorities, but I would like to say what effect I think this Clause may have not so much upon the employer but the employeé. I realise that any remarks made from these benches in favour of trade unionism are usually regarded by hon. Members opposite with a slight degree of humour; but I believe that everyone on these benches is strongly in favour of the policy that in all these industries where collective bargaining or collective negotiation is desirable, the employeés in those industries should belong to trade unions.
My criticism of this Clause is that the principle which it enunciates is confined only to municipal and other local authorities. I should like to see it extended to all employers, or if not to all private employers, at any rate to those trading organisations which carry on their operations through the special privilege of Parliament. This Clause establishes in regard to certain municipal authorities a degree of individual liberty as regards the employeé. At present this liberty exists only to the employer. He can accept or refuse the services of his employeés, whether they are trade unionists or not. Theoretically, this principle extends also to the employeé, but as a matter of fact everybody knows that with unemployment what it is to-day, and with the shortage of housing, the individual workmen must necessarily accept the position which he can get in the locality in which he lives. If this principle is considered right in the case of municipal authorities then, logically, it is equally right for other employers.
I should like to ask the Minister of Health whether it is not already illegal for employers, municipal or otherwise, to insist that their employeés shall be members of trade unions. Clause 6 of the Truck Act of 1887 lays it down that it is illegal for any employer to allocate any portion of the wages of his employeés. Surely, the fact that an employer insists upon an employeé belonging to a trade union means that thereby he has allocated a portion of his wages. I presume, for some legal reason unknown to myself, that is not so, otherwise, there would be no need for this Clause. As the law stands, it seems to me that there can exist certain hardships as regards workpeople in this country. Take, for instance, the example of a man who has 271 been a member of a trade union for a number of years and has subscribed to various benefits, maternity, funeral, sick and other benefits, through the trade union, and he finds himself out of employment, and the only occupation that is open to him is one in which trade unionists are refused. He is therefore faced with the alternative of giving up all these benefits for which he may have subscribed for many years or of seeking employment elsewhere, which may not, only be difficult but probably impossible.
§ The CHAIRMAN: (Mr. James Hope)
The hon. and gallant Member is perfectly justified in saying that the principle of this Clause ought to be generally extended, but I do not think he is in order in quoting instances relating to employers other than local and other public authorities. That would be outside the scope of the Clause.
§ Captain CAZALET
Am I in order in referring to a situation which has arisen in my constituency, and which deals with the Wholesale Co-operative Society?
§ The CHAIRMAN
No. I understand the hon. and gallant Member to argue that the principle of this Clause ought to be extended. He is in order so far, but to go into details of questions between employers and employeés in cases where the employers are not a local or other public authority, is out of order.
§ Captain CAZALET
My argument is that the principle of this Clause should be extended to those trading organisations which work under the special privilege of Parliament, and in which the question of the compulsory membership of a trade union or not is a very vital matter. That, it seems to me, is the principle underlying this Clause, and I hope it will be in order to refer to it in regard to the Wholesale Co-operative Society, and their recent action in my constituency.
§ The CHAIRMAN
No. If I were to allow the hon. and gallant Member to go into that matter other hon. Members would want to extend the Debate in other directions. The hon. Member is justified in saying that the Clause ought to go further, but I do not think he is in order in entering into the relations of 272 employers and employeés where the employer is other than a local or other public authority.
§ Captain CAZALET
The Co-operative Wholesale Society is not quite in the same position as a private employer.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member can put down a new Clause dealing with the whole question of contracts of service. That would be in order, and he could argue the point then.
§ Captain CAZALET
In view of your ruling, I will not discuss the matter further, but I hope to attract your eye later.
§ Mr. MORRIS
The issue raised by this Sub-section is not whether it is desirable or otherwise to be a member of a trade union. That is beside the mark as far as this Sub-section is concerned. The issue is, in the first place, whether it is desirable or otherwise that a local authority in employing men or in offering employment should impose the test of whether or not they are members of a trade union. The one issue is whether a local authority is entitled as a condition of employment to impose tests of any kind, and, if so, what kind? The other issue, which has been raised by the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), is how far Parliament is entitled to limit the jurisdiction of local authorities in matters of this kind, leaving aside the whole question of the desirability of being a member of a trade union or otherwise, and confining the issue strictly to whether, and if so how far, you can impose what is virtually a political test as a condition of employment. It has been said that if this be a conversion on the part of hon. Members opposite, it is a very late conversion. Be that as it may, one welcomes that conversion as a very sound conversion, even though it may be an eleventh-hour conversion, and even though it may be a limited conversion. I hope to see the day when this conversion will go a good deal further. I welcome this Subsection because it is a step forward in 273 the right direction. I hope that hon. Members will go a good deal further, and abolish every test as a condition of employment.
I cannot imagine the proposition being justified that before a man can be employed by a public authority he must answer certain definite political tests, any more than it can be argued, although it is imposed in some cases, that a religious test should be imposed as a condition of employment. Political and religious tests in cases of employment belong to the same category, and neither can be justified. The Labour party seem to be in some doubt on this point, because by Amendments which they have put on the Order Paper they seek to extend the provisions of this Sub-section to employers other than public authorities. They wish to cover private employers also. Whether it is desirable to extend the principle to private employers is another matter, but I must point out that there is a distinction, and a vital distinction, between the public authority, as an employer, and a private employer. The public authority is in the position of trustees for people holding very different and divergent views, and the one test of employment, as far as a public authority is concerned, must surely be this: Is the person employed efficient for the service he is called upon to perform? [An HON. MEMBER: "For lawyers also?"] Yes, whether you employ a lawyer to advise a local authority or not, the only test should be whether he is efficient.
The one test for the public service is whether the person is efficient for the office he is called upon to discharge. If he is efficient, then his political and religious views are quite as irrelevant as the colour of his hair. If this is not to be the one test, you will be imperilling, no matter what party is in office, what has been the high tradition of the public service of this country, namely, the purity of its administration. You will be imperilling this tradition if you say that we are only going to employ people who hold our political views. In one case you are going to employ only Conservatives, in other cases only Liberals, and in other cases only Labour. I welcome this Sub-section, and the only thing that surprises me is that it should appear in a Bill dealing with trade unions. This is a Sub-section which 274 should appear in a Bill for the abolition of all tests under public authorities. I welcome it because it is a small step in the right direction, and I hope the Government will make provisions for extending the principle in other directions. I think that all tests should be abolished, no matter what they are. It is only upon that limited ground that I welcome this provision, and I shall be prepared to support it as far as it goes.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
I only rise to ask a question, and that is, how it is proposed to put this Sub-section into force? It is all very well to declare that certain things shall not be lawful, but supposing a local authority passes a resolution that it is going to take a certain action, notwithstanding this Sub-section, what is going to be done? No penalty is provided; and there is no sanction in the Clause. If, in fact, local authorities say they are going to employ people who are members of a trade union, it is relevant to see whether there is any means whatever of enforcing the Sub-section. I entirely approve of the principle of the Clause, but I am against passing laws which nobody can enforce. I understand that one council have already seen the weakness of this provision and realise that even if it becomes law they can ignore it.
§ Mr. ROBERT YOUNG
I agree with the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) that in relation to all employment there should be no religious or political test, but I do not think the insistence that a man should be a trade unionists is a political test. When I. resented an expression used by the Minister of Health I understood him to infer that we on this side desired to see compulsory trade unionism to be used for the purposes of political preferment, but he afterwards referred to a resolution passed to the effect that employeés should belong to their appropriate trade unions, and if that is what is meant then a large part of my resentment goes by the board. I do not see why there should be any objection to a local authority insisting that their employeés shall be members of their appropriate organisation, whether they are lawyers, doctors or trade unionists. Hon. Members have no doubt received a resolution protesting against Clause 6 and pointing out that it over-rides two well-established constitutional principles 275 —namely, that the duly elected representatives of the people in local government affairs shall have full powers to determine the conditions under which their employés shall work, and, secondly, that the elected representatives shall have power to specify themselves when their employeés have attained such a standard of technical proficiency in their respective professions or trade as membership of their appropriate trade or professional organisations ensures.
This Clause is intended to do away with the right of local authorities to say to its employeés, "You receive benefits which have accrued as the result of trade union activity." This Clause is not only an attack on trade unions, but it puts difficulties in the way of every local authority whether it is Labour or anything else. It is an attack on Labour local authorities, and on every individual elector who has returned that particular Labour majority to control local affairs for the time being. A Labour authority, if elected, is elected to carry out Labour principles, just as a Conservative authority is elected to carry out, as hon. Members opposite say, Conservative principles. The Home Secretary said once that the Conservative party would be judged by how far it had carried out Conservative principles during its administration, and consequently a Labour local authority will be judged by how far it carries out Labour principles in relation to local administration. What are those principles? They are, that those employed by a Labour local authority shall be paid at least trade union rates of wages, and perhaps something more; that they shall give their employeés trade union conditions of labour in relation to holidays, &c., and that they shall have trade union conditions in relation to working hours. Naturally we expect, if we return members of the Labour party to local authorities, that they shall carry out these principles, and if they are in a majority shall give effect to them. The only way of giving effect to them is to see that those they employ have the requisite standards of comfort and emoluments. I say, further, that those who return members of the Labour party to local authorities return them in order to see that those they employ shall help to 276 secure like benefits for other people, and, therefore, I have no objection to a local authority saying that its members shall belong to an appropriate organisation, whether a trade or profession, for by doing so it will help to raise the general standard of comfort and efficiency throughout the country.
During the early discussions of this Bill it was impressed upon us that it had been introduced because of the late general strike. I am at a loss to know what this Sub-section has to do with a general strike, and why it should be introduced into this Bill, if it is not for the express purpose of attacking trade unions and labour representatives on local authorities. The Attorney-General, in dealing with this Clause during the Second Reading Debate, said it was the intention of the Government that local authorities should represent the local community as a whole. That is a very laudable sentiment, but I do not think he expects us to apply it to the present Government, for it is well known that they do not represent the community as a whole. Consequently, they have no justification for seeking to interfere with local authorities. Let me put this question to the Minister of Health. As I understand the Bill, it is perfectly legal to have a strike in order to secure that those employed in a particular workshop or industry shall be trade unionists. The miners, I believe, can go on strike for the express purpose of ensuring that the mineowners shall employ trade unionists only. If that is legal, why should it not apply to local authorities? What is going to happen? If a local authority is up against a trade union such as the builders' union——
§ Mr. YOUNG
What is going to happen if a local authority has to deal with a strike in relation to the building of houses? The house builders may insist that all those engaged by a local authority shall be trade unionists. What is going to happen then? This Clause will place the local authority in such a position that it will not be able to negotiate with the trade unions in order to settle such a question. Immediately they meet, the point at issue is that every builder employed by the local authority on local housing schemes shall be a trade unionist. 277 That is the point to be decided; and if this Sub-section is passed, the local authority has no power to negotiate in relation to that matter. You insist that they shall not take into consideration whether they are or are not trade unionists, and consequently I can see every local authority, every Tory local authority, confronted with this problem in relation to its engineering works, or its gas and electric light, and housing undertakings, the organisation will say, "We are not going to work with so-and-so, unless he becomes a member of a trade union." In that case the local authority will be helpless. All it can say is that the Government have laid it down that we are to take no cognisance as to whether a man is a member of a trade union or not. Consequently, if they decided in their favour and insisted that these men should be trade unionists, they would be breaking the law and that is a very serious matter from the point of view of the local authorities. I feel quite sure that the Minister of Health would not have got the large number of houses which have been built this year if what, is now being proposed had been the law of the land. The work of house building has been got on speedily because of the fact that the men employed on this particular work were working under trade union conditions, and because they were members of their respective trade organisations. This Clause is simply an attack on trade unionists, because you are now trying to lay down a rule which they cannot possibly carry out, and which will cause serious differences between trade unionists and local authorities as employers.
The trade union movement in this country is a very necessary one. Many hon. Members of this House have encouraged trade unionism and the power of bargaining has become more and more appreciated all round. Employers have said to me: "Why do you not get these men into the trade union?" Other employers have said to me: "Why not get all the men into one trade union?" The local authorities are the employers of a large number of working men, and the conditions that exist between the ordinary employer and the ordinary trade union, will exist between the local authorities and their employeés. It is all very well to suggest by this Clause that you want to 278 prevent certain persons from being intimidated. As a matter of fact I know that Government Departments are getting rid of men because of their trade union activities. They are not only getting rid of these men, but they are putting other men in their places. I know a case where a man has been put on one side in this way and another man has been put in his place. I want to know will it be legal for the Builders' Union to intimate to any local authority that it is going to have a strike unless every builder employed is a trade unionist? What means of negotiation have the local authorities to settle that question when we lay down that they must take no cognisance of the fact that a man is a trade unionist or a non-unionist. I have no hesitation in saying that this Clause, had there only been the first four lines, would have provided all that the Government desire. The first four lines of the Clause read:it shall not be lawful for any local or other public authority to make it a condition of the employment or continuance in employment of any person that he shall or shall not be a member of the trade union.The rest of the Clause is mere verbiage. The object is to secure that trade unionists, as such, shall not be employed. I hope I shall have an answer to my question so that I may be able to tell my local authority the exact position. If the answer is that every man shall be or shall not be a trade unionist what is the machinery by which this question is to be settled? I prefer that the local authorities should settle these matters them, selves, and not have to make representations to the Minister of Health.
The arguments in favour of this Clause are overwhelming, more especially after the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Morris) has dotted the "i's" and crossed the "t's," and this makes it quite unnecessary to have the advocacy of any back bencher on the Government side to make out a case for it. I think I could make a case for this Clause out of the mouth of the hon. Member opposite. I will take the case put forward by the hon. Member for Stratford (Mr. Groves) who, in a most admirable speech, took two entirely different and contradictory points of view. His first case was that the local authority ought always to employ trade unionists because they were the most efficient people. If that were the case, there 279 would be no need for this Clause, and no inclination on the part of local authorities to employ anybody but trade unionists.
The hon. Member's second point was that local authorities ought to be entitled, and were in fact entitled, to say to their workmen, "You must toe the line." It is precisely that attitude which is inconsistent with the first point of view, and we say that that is not a proper weapon in the hands of local authorities at all, because it adopts a coercive spirit, and it is a negation of liberty to which the hon. Member for Cardigan referred. To carry the arguments of the hon. Member for Stratford a little bit further, I would like to ask what is he going to do if there is a local authority employing non-unionists and that authority suddenly conies under the control of the Socialist party. We have been told candidly and in definite terms by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) what will happen.
Then what becomes of the argument of efficiency. The argument has been that you employ trade unionists because they are the most efficient workmen.
§ Mr. GROVES
We take this course because we do not believe in forcing our own opinions on other people, and therefore in such cases we should raise no objection to the employment of non-unionists.
If that attitude is adopted, then you are not making efficiency the test of membership of a trade union, which is the only test that a local authority is entitled to employ because they are the trustees for the ratepayers. They have not to consider any particular types of political philosophy, and you cannot have local authorities in this country forcing a particular kind of trade unionism on particular people. The whole argument is against the trade unionism which it is sought at the present time to foist on industry. That is the real criticism of the attitude of those local authorities which seem to make that the test of employment. If trade unionism is what I have no doubt it was in the days of old trade unionism, and 280 still is in the case referred to, this Clause would not have been brought forward at all. It is because it means something entirely different that it is necessary to limit the powers of local authorities in order to secure efficiency, and a particular standard which the ratepayers have a right to insist upon.
The only other point I wish to make is that I think that argument applies equally to employers' organisations. I think, however desirable concerted action may be, and however much we may be moving towards that development about which the hon. and gallant Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) spoke, we should not allow it to be made a condition of the acceptance of a tender that the tendering firm should belong to a ring of employers. I notice there is down on the Paper an Amendment in the name of the Attorney-General which is supposed to meet that point. May I point out that those words do not really meet the point at all, and what we desire, is only met by the Amendments standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne)—No. 213 and 214 on the Order Paper. I submit that there could be no possible objection to those Amendments because they do preserve the balance of the Clause as between associations of employers on the one hand and associations of trade unionists on the other.
If it is not right for a local authority to impose a condition that persons employed should belong to a trade union, then it is equally unfair to lay down that persons tendering should belong to a ring of employers. If it is said that such a case has never been known, then I do not agree, because I know that is not so. The point is that it is a contingency that might be contemplated, and certainly within my own experience I have known a certain firm which did not belong to a combine for the supply of a certain type of article finding it difficult to get tenders from another large corporation. That point ought certainly to be met, and the Amendments I have suggested would strengthen the Clause in this respect. Such Amendments follow out the principle rightly enunciated in the earlier Clauses, and I hope the Government will see their way to balance those principles by inserting a provision of the kind I have suggested.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
It appears to me that this Clause stands out prominently as showing how drastic is the policy of the Government in dealing with the Bill as a whole. This Clause in reality had no warrant for its appearance in this Bill. The whole object of this Bill is safeguarded by the Clauses which have been dealt with. Trade unionism is acknowledged by the Government in these very restrictions and in the operations within those restrictions there is a safeguard, according to the view of the Government, that nothing shall materially result which would adversely affect the community. If that be so, why is it that where legitimate trade unionism has been specifically acknowledged by the local authorities—the officials of which have given ready testimony to the value of that trade unionism, particularly on the point of collective bargaining—such a blow should be struck by the Government at that legitimate trade unionism within the conditions applicable only to those public authorities?
An hon. and learned Member on the Liberal Benches took up the position of objecting to anything in the way of tests, either religious or political. We maintain that to become a member of a trade union is not a political test. One of the arguments which have been put up to their satisfaction by the other side, is that within those trade unions are large bodies of Conservatives. It is the strength of their case against the political levy. As a matter of fact, apart from the paying of the political levy, we all know that there are numbers of people who are in these trade unions and not voting with the. Labour party, but many of whom are voting with the Liberal party and many have voted and do vote with the Conservative party. That claim is frequently made by representatives on the other side, not only as regard trade union representation, but also regarding working-class people who are voting for them as Conservative Members of this House. A case like that is presented by their own side as the strength of their appeal, particularly in the case of the political levy. How then can you drive home the idea that the sustaining of Clause 6 is the essential and real purport of your Bill, when you not only have legitimate trade unionism, but ready 282 acknowledgment has been made of the value of that trade unionism in the matter of collective bargaining apart from anything else?
Reference has been made to a point concerning the medical body. That body does not make it a matter of collective bargaining; they lay it down by a definite command. They say, "You are not going to get a medical man to give the value of public service in regard to the physical needs of the people in the charge of that public authority, unless under our definite conditions." It is not a matter of bargaining at all. The local authority may say that they may be able to get a perfectly good man or perhaps a lady as medical officer at a considerably less salary, but they cannot, for they are not allowed to do so. This Bill is not straightforwardly facing that. Then you come to what has been said by the Minister of Health about the spoils of office. What does it really come to? Whether men who are representatives in the public authorities happen to be Conservative, Liberal or Labour, those men, or women, will be asked after they have been returned to that public authority by some of their supporters to see what they can do to get them a job. That is quite a reasonable thing, if they can find positions of the kind. As a general rule, they are very small appointments as far as wages are concerned. That is not considered to be anything to do with spoils of office, but the natural outcome of our local representation.
You are not dealing here with corruption. This is not honestly getting down to the question of undermining public authorities and the public interest. You know perfectly well that you could not introduce a Bill into the House which would fully meet the necessities of that case. You know where special influence is brought to bear, as in my own city of Dundee, where we had to deal with members of the legal fraternity. What were they able to do? To elect, first of all, colleagues in their own public authority to the magisterial bench and then, as legal men, appearing before that bench in application for certain kinds of licence certificates. Feeling arose in the community that that sort of thing was not meeting the requirements of real public service, but all the length you could go in that public authority was to declare by resolution a recommendation 283 that no such legal member of the council should appear before the bench and be an advocate in that way. You know very well that it is quite a common thing for men in business to get into public authorities and they do not need to canvass for orders, for orders come pouring in upon them. If the Conservative party is really out to deal with corruption in regard to public representation, it will be a sight worth seeing. If the Conservative party tackle the job we should see some outstanding results in the constituencies. This is not a square deal on the subject. What does it really involve? Trade unionism has made a substantial advance, and has secured its position to the extent which has been testified to in this House. Representative employers have said that trade unionism is of real advantage to them as employers as well as to the employed, and that we should so conduct our business as to bring about results which would be advantageous to the general interest of the community.
Over and above that, what has been in the main—and this has never been challenged on the other side of the House—the object of the trade union movement? It has been to say to the employers, unquestionably, "Any number of our honest, hardworking men and women have not been getting a square deal in the matter of provision for their every day life." That is the simple central point and the vital factor in the operation of the trade union movement. It is clear that the general workers of the country have achieved an advantage which, strangely enough, stands out in remarkable contrast to, for instance, the engineering industry, which used to hold the prime position as far as its employés were concerned. Now general labour has been brought up to something like that standard. It has been said by the Conservative party, "Yes, that is part of our case." I quite admit it is part of their case, but was it not the legitimate right of the trade union movement? Was it not the warrant for that movement that they should tackle these conditions and help to bring up the workers to that standard? Was it not most natural, as a logical consequence, that the public authority should become permeated with that great movement and that now, 284 having permeated the local authorities and sending their representatives by honest declarations to their constituencies, one of the things they thought advisable to place before the community was that our workers under our public authorities should be brought up to a standard of wages and conditions of labour that would be exemplary to those who were employers in the community generally? That is the strength of the case which has been put forward. You are not going to deal with the private employer who is at present pushing down the employeé. The private employer in our great journalistic enterprises——
§ The CHAIRMAN
I stopped the hon. and gallant Member for Chippenham (Captain Cazalet) on that point.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
Then I will stop, too. I will leave that. Perhaps I shall get a turn later on. You are not going to touch the private employer, and hon. Members can easily fill in the blanks I have left out in recognition of the Chairman's ruling. You are going surely to face this position. The body of toilers have secured in a fair and reasonable fashion, not only a grip on the employers in the various parts of the country, but upon the local authority. They have gained that position and held it honourably and now they are pressing forward for the application of their ideas of what is essential. Local authorities, as we know, are in need, not of restriction but of expansion. Their duties have increased. The duties that are being placed on local authorities are now making tremendous demands on the men and women who are giving their spare time and instead of any reward, they are told, "You are not going to do this although you have got the consent of the community to do so."
The right hon. Gentleman said the difference between these local authorities and the private employer was that the private employer represented himself. That is a very fine distinction and a particularly important distinction for the right hon. Gentleman to make as the representative of the Tory party, as representing the beau ideal of the Conservative party. We believe that the broader ideal in the interest of the people generally, is to represent the common weal in some companies it is not a 285 matter of one man acting but it is a question of the majority of the directors or the management deciding what is to be the policy. You might have a majority saying that they are going to have no trade unionism and on the other hand you might have them saying they were going to have trade unionism. Therefore the comparison does not fit in with the situation. The local authority is constituted by those who have gone to the electors and said that one of the strongest assets for representation on our public bodies is the question of advancing towards the ideal position for the toiler. To carry through that policy has been the vital work that those trade unions have done, and to bring to bear such influence as has been brought in the country politically as well. I think it is very clear that it does not show a magnanimous spirit and is not what is put from Conservative platforms when it is said that they are trying to do that which is fair and just to the body of the people as a whole. It is rather a mean sort of lowering of your standard to say "After this struggle, now that you have gone on so well and you have got a good hold of the employers and the public authorities and such a hold on Parliament, we must drag that down." The Minister of Health has taken his own course, backed by the Government as to where, in his view and in the view of the Government, there is real corruption, as he thinks it, and where actually wrong has been done, but he is taking his own particular stand. He has imposed on certain authorities the basis of the Mussolini system, who, however, meets a case like this by saying you are not going to prohibit this kind of thing but you are going to prohibit public trusts, you are going to prohibit any kind of public company or private management concern that is going to restrict production. He is going to settle the business according to what he thinks individually. That would not suit the Conservative party at all. Their bias is against the worker.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
They are putting it into this Clause, anyway. To me it seems a matter of getting at the worker at every possible point. I was particularly impressed by Clause 6, which seems to me 286 to stand out pre-eminent with this glaring condemnation of the Tory party. They are not going to allow democratic action on the part of the authorities. However fairly and squarely they may secure their majority, they are not going to get leave to impose any condition which would in itself be an advancement of the best interests of the working class. That, to my mind, is one of the strongest condemnations which could be possibly brought about, and that by your own particular party.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I should like to take the few minutes that are left to reply to one or two questions which have been raised during the Debate. The best reply I can make to the speech we have just heard, which I am sorry the rules of order curtailed, is contained in a pamphlet issued by the Trade Union Defence Committee which says this Clause is to enforce an absolute neutrality upon public authorities.
§ Sir K. WOOD
One important question put in the course of the discussion was with regard to enforcing the conditions of this Clause. I have heard that various people are already stating that they intend to carry out their present practice whether the Bill is passed or not. If, for instance, a local authority has passed a resolution that it will only employ trade unionists, they intend to go on doing that, whatever this Act of Parliament may enact. In such a case, of course, the remedy is obvious. Any single ratepayer could apply to the Courts for an injunction restraining members of local authorities carrying out such a resolution, and if they still went on and carried it out against the terms of the injunction they would be liable to contempt of court and imprisonment. Therefore the position is clear enough. Then if a council still persisted, notwithstanding the decision of Parliament that such terms in future should not be imposed, and proceeded to dismiss him because he was a trade unionist, the remedy of the dismissed workman is perfectly clear. It is open to him—and I have no doubt he would get considerable support in any action he took—to commence an action against 287 the local authority for wrongful dismissal, and I have no doubt in a suitable case he would obtain very substantial damages.
Mr. A. HOPKINSON
I do not think those are practical points. They are lawyers' points. The practical point is this. Is there any means under this Clause of preventing a local authority from dismissing or refusing to engage a man, really because he is a non-unionist but ostensibly for some different reason? There is nothing to compel them to say the reason they will not employ them is that he is not a trade unionist.
§ Sir K. WOOD
During the last few days proceedings have been taken against the Poplar Council by a body of ratepayers in order to enforce their remedy in the Courts. Therefore, that is not a lawyer's reason but a perfectly proper reason, and in other cases recently, so much have ratepayers resented the action of certain authorities that they have already taken action. With regard to the point the hon. Member for Mossley puts, there is always a difficulty but it is not so easy for a local authority to act as he thinks because discussions have to take place in the General Purposes Committee or the Tramways Committee with regard to the employment of the authority's employeés. A local authority is in a different position from a private employer. At any rate I hope my hon. Friend will agree that this is a step in the right direction. It is difficult to realise, having heard the Debate, that it is only some 20 local authorities that are acting in this way at all. When one hears file arguments which have been addressed from the benches opposite that you san only carry out proper trade union terms and conditions if you adopt the measures against which this Clause is directed, the obvious reply is that it is a foolish suggestion, because the great majority of local authorities, many of them Labour authorities, are carrying out their duties and responsibilities with proper trade union terms and conditions without employing any such sort of tyranny as we are aiming at in this Clause.
The hon. Member for Newton (Mr. R. Young) put a case to me with regard to a strike in the building trade and the building union going on strike because 288 of the imposition of this Clause. It is very dangerous to reply to a supposititious case of that kind, because it may be quoted afterwards in connection with a totally different set of facts; but so far as I have been able to understand the hon. Member, I know nothing in this Bill which would make such a strike illegal. On the other hand I should expect, as I have no doubt he would, the local authority to resist to the utmost in its power any attempt to coerce it in the way he has indicated. Subject to that reservation, I do not know of anything in the Bill which makes that kind of thing illegal. My hon. Friend raised the question of the position of employers under this Clause, and suggested that it might be improved if the prohibition was extended to include local authorities stipulating that tendering firms must belong to a ring. I congratulate him on his imagination. I have never heard of such a condition being imposed, and I doubt very much if it is ever likely to be imposed. I am by no means assenting to the view that in other cases and in respect to other tenders, that might or might not be a bad thing. In some cases they might be able to make a better bargain for their ratepayers and on the other hand they might not, but I do not think that would be an improvement upon this Clause. The hon. Member for Newton said he only paid attention to the first part of the Clause and the rest was mere verbiage. I base myself more on this part of the Clause which prohibits a local authority putting any employé at a disadvantage as compared with other employeés of the local authority if they do not belong to a trade union. The hon. Member immediately answers me by saying they do not. He ought to consult the hon. Member who sits next to him, because the very thing the Poplar Guardians did in 1920 was to pass a resolution, which I believe the hon. Member himself would be the first to resent, that all increases of salary or wages should be conditional upon membership of trade unions. In other words, the only people who are to receive any increase in salary or any award, so far as the Poplar Council is concerned, are those who are trade unionists. I can conceive nothing more unfair and unjust than that resolution. I am not surprised that the hon. Member said he never 289 heard of such a thing. I hope he will consult his hon. Friend and get him to explain how this came about. Therefore, there should be some importance attached to that part of the Clause. Again, I was very glad to hear the hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Attlee) say it was utterly unfair for a local authority to impose upon their employeés that they should join a particular trade union. He said he would never allow such a thing. But one well knows that the Poplar Council imposed such terms and conditions as practically compelled their employeés to belong to particular trade unions, and the curious thing about it was that those trade unions that were chosen were those which contributed to the political funds of the trade union party.
§ Mr. THURTLE
The hon. Gentleman has not attempted to deal with the point that membership of a trade union is a test of efficiency. He cannot deny that it is, and councils are perfectly entitled to impose that test in order to get the best possible workmen. If he would agree to insert a Clause which would exempt the craft unions from its operation, be would be doing something to meet that point.
§ It being half-past Seven of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 16th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That the words of the Clause down to the word "to" in line 34, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 294; Noes, 116.293
|Division No. 165.]||AYES.||[7. 30p. m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Finburgh, S.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Forrest, W.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S||Chapman, Sir S.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Apsley, Lord||Christie, J. A.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gates, Percy|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Clarry, Reginald George||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Atkinson, C.||Clayton, G. C.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Grace, John|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland N.)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cooper, A. Duff||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cope, Major William||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H, (W'th's'w, E)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Couper, J. B.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Berry, Sir George||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Bethel, A.||Crawfurd, H. E.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Crooks, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hall, Lieut. -Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsay, Gainsbro)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Briant, Frank||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hanbury, C.|
|Bridgeman, Rt, Hon. William Clive||Dalkeith, Earl of||Harland, A.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Dixey, A. C.||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Drewe, C.||Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Duckworth, John||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Eden, Captain Anthony||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Burman, J. B.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Heneage, Lieut. -Col. Arthur P.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Ellis, R. G.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Elveden, Viscount||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||England, Colonel A.||Herbert, S. (York. N. R. Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Campbell, E. T.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hilton, Cecil|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hoare, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S)||Fenby, T. D.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Morris, R. H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Neville, R. J.||Storry Deans, R.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Nuttall, Ellis||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Oakley, T.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||O'Connor. T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Sykes, Major-Gen, Sir Frederick H.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Jacob, A. E.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|James, Lieut. -Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||pennefather, Sir John||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Penny, Frederick George||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Perring, Sir William George||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Waddington, R.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Price, Major C. W. M.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Radford, E. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Lane Fox, Col Rt. Hon. George R.||Raine, W.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ramsden, E.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Remer, J. R.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Lougher, Lewis||Remnant, Sir James||Wells, S. R.|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Rentoul, G. S.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Mc Donnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Macintyre, Ian||Ropner, Major L.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|McLean, Major A.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Rye, F. G.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Salmon, Major I.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Withers, John James|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Sandon, Lord||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Savery, S. S.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Shepperson, E. W.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Moore, Lieut. -Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut. -Col. J. T. C.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Morden, Colonel Walter Grant||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lowth, T.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lunn, William|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Mackinder, W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Groves, T.||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Grundy, T. W.||March, S.|
|Barnes, A.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Maxton, James|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Bromley, J.||Hardle, George D.||Murnin, H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Harney, E. A.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Harris, Percy A.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Buchanan, G.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||palin, John Henry|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hayes, John Henry||Paling, W.|
|Clowes, S.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hirst, G. H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Riley, Ben|
|Connolly, M.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Ritson, J.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kelly, W. T.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kennedy, T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Dennison, R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sexton, James|
|Duncan, C.||Kirkwood, D.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Dunnico, H.||Lansbury, George||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lawrence, Susan||Smillie, Robert|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lawson, John James.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Gillett, George M.||Lee, F.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Gosling, Harry||Livingstone, A. M.||Snell, Harry|
|Stamford, T. W.||Tinker, John Joseph||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Townend, A. E.||Whiteley, W.|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Viant, S. P.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Sullivan, Joseph||Wallhead, Richard C.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Sutton, J. E.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Taylor, R. A.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wilson, R. J.(Jarrow)|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Watts-Morgan, Lt. -Col. D. (Rhondda)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Wellock, Wilfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Thorne, W. (West Ham, plaistow)||Welsh, J. C.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Westwood, J||Charles Edwards.|
§ THE CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Question on an Amendment moved by the Government of which notice had been given to that part of the Clause to be concluded at half-past Seven of the Clock at this day's sitting.
Amendment proposed: In page 6, line 41, to leave out the word "and," and insert instead thereof the words,
(2) It shall not be lawful for any local or other public authority to make it a condition of any contract made or proposed to
§ be made with the authority, or of the consideration or acceptance of any tender in connection with such a contract, that any person to be employed by any party to the contract shall or shall not be a member of a trade union.
§ (3)."—[The Attorney-Gebera1.]
§ Question put, "That the Amendment be made."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 118.297
|Division No. 166.]||AYES.||[7. 41p. m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut. -Colonel||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gilmour, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Albery, Irving James||Chapman, Sir S.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Golf Sir Park|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Christie, J. A.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Grace, John|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Apsley, Lord||Clarry, Reginald George||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Ashley, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Clayton, G. C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w,E)|
|Atkinson, C.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cooper, A. Duff||Hall. Lieut. -Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cope, Major William||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Couper, J. B.||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cowan Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||Hanbury, C.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Crawfurd, H. E.||Harland, A.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Berry, Sir George||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bethel, A.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dalkeith, Earl of||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Davies. Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Headlam, Lieut. -Colonel C. M.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Davies, Sir Thomas(Cirencester)||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Briant, Frank||Dawson, Sir Philip||Henderson, Lieut. -Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Heneage, Lieut. -Colonel Arthur P.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Dixey, A. C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Drewe, C.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Duckworth, John||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hoare, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G|
|Brown. Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Ellis, R. G.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Elveden, Viscount||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||England, Colonel A.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Burman, J. B.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Fenby, T. D.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Fermoy, Lord||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Finburgh, S.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Forrest, W.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Cassels. J. D.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gates, Percy||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon George Abraham||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)||Pennefather, Sir John||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Penny, Frederick George||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Thom, Lt. -Col. J. G.(Dumbarton)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Perring, Sir William George||Thomas, Sir Robert John(Anglesey)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Power, Sir John Cecil||Tinne, J. A.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Looker, Herbert William||Price, Major C. W. M.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Lougher, Lewis||Radford, E. A.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Raine, W.||Waddington, R.|
|Luce, Maj. -Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Ramsden, E.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (l. of W.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Ward, Lt. -Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Remer, J. R.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Macintyre, Ian||Remnant, Sir James||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|McLean, Major A.||Rentoul, G. S.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ropner, Major L.||Wells, S. R.|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Rye, F. G.||White, Lieut. -Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Salmon, Major.I.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Samuel Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh Wrexham)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sandon, Lord||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Savery, S. S.||Wilson M. J. (York, N. R. Richm'd)|
|Moore, Lieut. -Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut. -Col. J. T. C.||Sheffield Sir Berkeley||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Morden, Col. W. Grant||Shepperson, E. W.||Withers, John James|
|Morris, R. H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, B. C.(Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Neville, R. J.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrtf'ld.)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Steel, Major' Samuel Strang||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Oakley, T.||Storry-Deans. R.||Major Sir George Hennessy and Mr.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Strauss, E. A.||F. C. Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Groves, T.||Murnin, H.|
|Adamson, W. M.(Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Palin, John Henry|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hardie, George D.||Paling, W.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Harney, E. A.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Barnes, A.||Harris, Percy A.||Pethick Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Potts, John S.|
|Bromley, J.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Riley, Ben|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hirst, G. H.||Ritson, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Clowes, S.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Saklatvala, Shapurji.|
|Cluse, W. S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Connolly, M.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sexton, James|
|Cove, W. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Kennedy, T.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt. -Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smillie, Robert|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, D.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Smith, H. B. Lees (Kelghley)|
|Dennison, R.||Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry|
|Duncan, C.||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Livingstone, A. M.||Stewart. J. (St. Rollox)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lowth, T.||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lunn, William||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gillett, George M.||Mackinder, W.||Taylor, R. A|
|Gosling, Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mac Neill-Weir, L.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||March, S.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maxton, James||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Grenfell, D. R.(Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C.(Tottenham, N.)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Townend, A. E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Viant, S. P.||Wellock, Wilfred||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Wallhead, Richard C.||Welsh, J. C.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Westwood, J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt,-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
§ Mr. DUNNICO
I beg to move, in page 7, line 1, to leave out Subsection (2).
If I had any misgivings as to whether I ought to move this Amendment, the reception given by the Government to the previous Amendments has removed them. By the passing of the previous Subsection, it is now definitely laid down that a public authority may employ a man for a specific task, that that man may work at that task for months or for years, and then suddenly be called on to undertake work for which he was never engaged. If he refuses to do that work, he is liable to be dragged before a bench of magistrates, many of whom may have given the order, and to be fined or imprisoned. I submit that Sub-section really indicates that this Bill is a gross outrage on the liberty of the employé. As a broad, general principle I would agree that in normal conditions it is neither wise, expedient, nor discrect for any person under any conditions to break a contract without notice. I think, however, that even the right hon. Gentleman opposite would agree that there are occasions when a contract entered into may be broken without notice. We have had an amazing illustration of that in the recent action of the Government in regard to Russia. There a solemn trading agreement has been entered into and, if I understand its terms aright, it was quite clearly laid down that if either side had occasion to break the contract, six months notice should be given by that side. Yet the Government, without notice at all, broke that contract. I am not arguing to-night whether the Government were right or wrong in breaking the contract, I am simply pointing out that they recognise, and have admitted by their action, that there are occasions when a contract entered into may be suddenly terminated without notice. Yet, by the Sub-section passed a few minutes ago, it is quite possible for a local authority to employ a man who may be engaged on certain work and may continue on that work for years, and then, suddenly, owing to some outside pressure, ask him to do work which he really ought not to do. 298 He may be required to work alongside of people beside whom, when he entered the employ of that authority, he never dreamt that he would be asked to work. Yet, if that man terminates his employment without notice and in such a way as may be thought to hinder the authority in carrying out its work, he will be liable to be treated as a criminal, dragged before a Court of Justice and fined or imprisoned.
I have spent 21 years on local authorities, such as boards of guardians, town councils, and county councils. Some years ago, a local authority of which I was a member had a very serious dispute with a section of its workpeople en the interpretation of an agreement to which both parties had subscribed. Negotiations took place, and attempts were made to reach a settlement, but they failed. Then the men handed in a legal notice. It was discovered that if that legal notice operated it would terminate a few days before the Christmas holidays. A number of members of the local Chamber of Commerce interviewed the men and prevailed on them to withdraw their notice. In the following January the local authority met and the men again pressed their claims. By a majority of one, the council refused to grant the men what they asked. The result was that that very night, without notice, the men stopped work. The Ministry of Labour intervened and held conferences with both parties. Dr. Macnamara came down personally, with members of his staff, and interviewed the council in committee. Ultimately, the council settled with the men on exactly the terms which the men had been willing to accept before the dispute took place. Under this Clause those men would have rendered themselves liable to be dragged before the magistrates and fined or imprisoned at the discretion of the bench. Again, to use an illustration which may appear grotesque—I only use a, grotesque illustration to show the grotesqueness of this Clause—one of the functions of a local authority is education. Take a non-provided school. The caretaker of a non-provided school is an employeé of the 299 municipality. He may, on some occasion, come into conflict with the vicar, who is the chairman of the committee. Because of that, in a tiff overnight, he may throw down his keys and refuse to carry on his duties. By doing that he may interfere with the local authority in the fulfilment of its functions. Under this Clause that man can be brought before the magistrates, and fined or imprisoned. This particular Clause indicates more clearly than any other Clause indicates—if the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health will give me his attention, I will proceed with the subject. I seldom speak in this House, and if——
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It was only a momentary lapse. I am sure the hon. Gentleman will not think that for one second I had ceased to attend to what he was saying.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. DUNNICO
The moment seemed very long. I was trying to emphasise the fact that this Clause really indicates the real purpose of the Bill. If the Bill had been an honest and sincere attempt to safeguard national and public interests, I would not have been a party to opposing it. I really do see, however, that under this Bill there is a subtle, sinister and determined attempt on the part of this Government to use its huge majority, not to protect public interests but to penalise a section of the people of this country who are common workers and who are simply demanding their rights. If I may say so, I oppose this Clause, not because of its sinister purpose only; but because it is absolutely unnecessary. Public authorities to-day have all the protection that they require. Even under the existing law it is a criminal offence for any employeé of a public authority to cease work if he knows that by so doing he is going to injure persons or property, or interfere with the supply of either gas, water or electricity. That, I submit, covers the whole situation, yet, under this Clause, the ordinary workman—the school caretaker who downs tools, the charwoman who downs her brushes, soap and bucket—these people would be liable to be brought up and to have criminal proceedings taken against them. There is no Clause in this Bill which 300 shows the utter interference of the Bill more than this particular Clause. The local authority may break its contract, and the only result is a conviction in a civil Court. A contractor may have a contract with his local authority; he may hold that contract up, he may interfere with that authority fulfilling its functions, but the only action against him is a civil action. The common worker, on the other hand, the school caretaker, the ordinary employeé who, acting on some momentary outraged sense of injustice, ceases his work and against whom it can be construed that he is going to interfere with the authority fulfilling its functions, comes within the scope of this Bill. Moreover, we have been told by members of the Conservative party, who are conspicuous by their absence to-night, on platforms throughout the length and breadth of the country, that the primary purpose of this Bill was to prevent general strikes.
This particular Clause, however, says nothing about any general strike, or any strike at all or any dispute of any kind except a dispute of a single workman. A single workman who avails himself of the right to terminate without notice his agreement does so now subject always to the fact that he can be proceeded against in the Civil Courts. If by so doing he is going to hinder the local authority fulfilling its functions that workman can under this Bill be dragged before the Courts. The working men of this country, many of whom have supported Members of the either side, when they see that there is one law for the employers and the big authorities and another for the poor workmen, will know what Tory justice is, and I have sufficient confidence to think and believe that when the next election takes place it will be the Tory party who will be on the Opposition side of the House and we shall be on the other side.
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present: Committee counted: and 40 Members being present——
§ Mr. GARDNER
I beg to support this Amendment. In the first place, I oppose the Clause upon the ground that the local authorities of this country have never made any request for legislation of this kind. I have yet to learn that the Association of Municipal Corporations have even considered such a thing, and I 301 thought it was a sound tradition of the Tory party never to legislate or put Acts upon the Statute Book unless there were something in the nature of a demand for that particular legislation in respect of local authorities. The second ground upon which I am opposed to the Clause is of necessity because of its phraseology. When I read in a, Sub-section of an Act of Parliament that a man shall be placed in the position of determining whether he has reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequences of his actions shall or shall not inconvenience or hinder local authorities, I say that that is asking a great deal of the average working man. It is placing him in a position that is absolutely intolerable and beyond reason. If any difference of opinion arises between any employeé of a local authority, in many cases without this law the employeé has to go to the Courts for the Courts to determine whether or not there has been a breach of contract, but in this case the responsibility is to be placed upon the man and that is asking rather too much. The Government seem to have forgotten that these people are liable under the ordinary law for breach of contract. They also seem to have forgotten that if a man does anything of this kind he is liable to dismissal as well. That, in all conscience, is a big enough penalty to apply to the average worker who may never get another job. But, in addition to that dismissal, a man may lose his pension rights of 30 or 40 years, and on top of that the Government propose to give a man who, in a hasty moment, may do something which he ought not to do, three months' imprisonment, or to give the right to a magistrate to give him three months' imprisonment. A local authority has the right to give a man a week's notice to terminate his employment, without any reason, so that a public authority is to have that higher privilege while the man himself, even if he desires to get a better job and terminates his contract without giving notice, is to be liable to these serious consequences of his action.
The previous speaker dealt with one or two cases that might arise, and the way in which this Sub-section is framed shows that it is not related to or qualified by any other Sub-section. The position is that a man in an electricity works might suddenly take it into his head to go home. He would lose his job, and, in addition, 302 he would be liable to three months' imprisonment. A tram driver at the terminus or the end of his journey might take a notion into his head to go home. That would undoubtedly hinder a public service. In addition to dismissal and the loss of pension rights that man would be liable to three months' imprisonment, in addition to which the local authority would still have the right to sue for breach of contract. Are the Government really serious in bringing forward a Clause of this sort? There is one other very important point. This Clause is going to place employeés of public authorities in a less favourable position than the employeés of private people. I understand that a large number of people would like to have an army of Robots, and the first section of the Robots is to be recruited from the municipal workers. There is no reasonable argument, arising out of the events of last year, to be put forward in favour of this Sub-section, because in every instance where such action occurred, either alone or in concert, if it were in a case of an electricity station, naval ratings were brought in so that the public were not allowed to suffer. In the case of my own council 13 men were discharged and they have lost all their pension rights. I think the Government are ill-advised to press this Clause. The last Clause, in all conscience, was bad enough. If, after giving to private people the right to decide whether they will or will not have trade unionists in their employ, and after having taken that right away from local authorities, the Government add a Clause of this kind they are asking for trouble, which will come. If that trouble comes in a sufficiently large degree, so far from bringing unity of purpose, the outraged opinion of local people will become so high that the Government will get what they deserve soon.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
I really cannot understand the attitude of certain hon. Members on the other side in regard to breach of contracts. Contracts ought to be regarded as inviolate, whether they are made by the men or by the employers. During the last 30 years there has been a series of lightning strikes, and the danger of a lightning strike was shown during the War. Men of all parties are agreed that if sufficient notice be given there is nearly always time for a settlement of a dispute to be brought about. The employer who has received notice 303 from his men may realise that he is asking too much from his men, and his men may come back working on notices from day to day, and they may realise that they are asking too much of their employers. Whenever there is time to negotiate there is a much better chance of settlement than there is when an instantaneous strike takes place. But the employers under this Clause are not private employers at all; they are the elected representatives of the people, representative of all parties in the community, representative of trade unionists themselves. They represent even the community of West Ham, about which we have heard so much to-night. Surely, a man who is acting in that fiduciary capacity, and has the privilege of being the employeé of a public authority, belongs to a most favoured class of the community. The miners and the engineers are having a very thin time as compared with the municipal workers.
§ Mr. DUNNICO
The hon. Member is misrepresenting me. I said quite distinctly and plainly that I objected to the breaking of a contract. What I was protesting against, however, was not so much the idea of breaking a contract, but I deprecated making the breaking of a contract a criminal offence for the worker and only a civil offence for the employer.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
That may be, and perhaps there should be legislation to deal with the employer. That may come in time, if breaches of contract are common among employers, but they are not common among employers. It is a rare thing to see such breaches, the civil penalties involved are so great. Nobody ever hears of a workman being prosecuted for breach of contract, or, at least, it is exceedingly rare; but I doubt if this proposal would not involve the abandonment of any civil claim in a case of that kind. Any legislation is desirable that will bring home the realities of the position to that preferential section of the community, the municipal and public employeés, who, like civil servants, have gilt-edged jobs and are getting higher pay than the skilled technical workers in our shipyards and engineering firms. They have a much more substantial standard of life than those engaged in the technical trades, and that makes things much harder for those in the technical trades. 304 It is not too much to ask that a breach of contract contemplated by such employeés should be recognised as one directed not against an individual employer, but against the whole community. The last speaker mentioned the case of a man who suddenly took a notion and went home, leaving his tramcar at the end of a line—perhaps blocking up a whole service of cars. The man who does so commits a wrong against the community, and he ought to be dealt with more drastically than by the ordinary civil law.
§ Mr. GARDNER
What would be the result if an omnibus company locked out its employeés against the interests of the community?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
If it was a municipal omnibus concern there would be serious trouble, but I never heard of a municipal authority doing that. If it was a private firm, the men would have a right to sue for breach of contract, and could recover damages if they were turned out without notice. But one never heard of an instance of that kind—of men being turned out without due notice. If you are going to do a wrong to the general body of the community, and put the public to serious inconvenience, the community is going to penalise you for it. If this Clause is passed, even if it never comes into operation, it will have a beneficial effect in bringing to the minds of a vast number of workers that lightning strikes and breaches of contract are inexpedient and inadvisable.
§ Mr. FENBY
A good many lawyers' points have been raised concerning the Clauses of this Bill. I am not capable, either by training or ability, of dealing with the legal side of the question, but this particular Sub-section affects administration by local authorities. Having some experience of the workmen and officials employed by local authorities, I am disturbed by the wideness of the net spread by the Sub-section. What have the servants of public authorities done to warrant a sweeping Clause like this? The right hon. Gentleman will agree that there is no set of employeés next to the Civil Service, who render more service to his Department than the employeés of local authorities, who are worthy of better treatment than this at the hands of the Government. The returning officer 305 who assists at the election of the right hon. Gentleman to this House, the sanitary inspector who carries out the instructions of his Department, and all the employeés of local authorities are helping the right hon. Gentleman to carry out the duties of his Ministry, and it is difficult to know why these employeés should be singled out from all other classes of employeés in the country. I do not think it can be said that they have been unduly political in their actions. A large number of the officials have an organisation but it has no political alliance and no political object, and their sole business is to see the public services carried out efficiently, expeditiously and economically. The Sub-section seems to go a long way in relation to the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875. There is hardly a charwoman or a school-cleaner who will not be liable to come under the Subsection.
I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should accept an Amendment which appears elsewhere on the Paper proposing to insert the words "essential services." That would simplify the matter and give us a better line of demarcation. It is true that the Act of 1875 has been amended by the Electricity Act, 1919, which has made it more direct and understandable, but the present Clause is altogether too sweeping. Some people have argued that there is no need to interfere with the discretion of local authorities. I do not quite agree with that view. I have yet to learn that human nature is altered by membership either of the House of Commons or any local authority. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Worsened!"] That interjection, like this Clause, is too sweeping, and I would not be prepared to endorse it. I was a member of a local authority some years ago, and an official of that authority made a certain remark which was not political and was not offensive, but the chairman of a committee took exception to it, and the official was called upon to apologise. He refused to do so, and he was dismissed. He had no appeal, and for several months, until the next elections came round, he existed on his own resources. The only way of getting the man back to his position was by putting him up as a candidate. We did so, and he won, because public opinion was with him. He was returned as a member of 306 the local authority, and the local authority immediately reinstated him as an official, when, of course, he resigned his membership of the body.
That condition of things ought not to be allowed to continue, but. I think it will be intensified by this Sub-section. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider an Amendment on the Paper by which it is proposed that some machinery should be provided for a right of appeal. Apart from the issue of an industrial dispute, there should be some appeal for these individuals, and they ought to have some protection from any local authorities who may be inclined to act arbitrarily. The right hon. Gentleman has a good precedent in the fact that his colleague the Home Secretary has presented a Police Appeals Bill, which provides a right of appeal for police officers. The right hon. Gentleman should similarly recognise the position of the workers and officials employed by local authorities. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider the great services which they render and the great loyalty which they exhibit. I ask him to imagine the case of an official at the head of a department who, in case of a dispute, is given instructions to go out and conduct a tramcar. If he says it is no part of his contract, the authority may be entitled to dismiss or prosecute him under this Clause.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
No, the hon. Member is proceeding on the hypothesis that it would not be in the terms of the contract, but this Clause only applies where the terms of the contract have been broken.
§ Mr. FENBY
That may be so. However, there is the other side of the question which I ask the right hon. Gentleman to bear in mind. What is really needed is a court of appeal, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman to be sympathetic towards that point of view. If he will not consider the Amendment which I have suggested to him, perhaps he will consider the point generally, and, at any rate, if some private Member introduces legislation on the subject, I hope he will 307 not show it any opposition. The Subsection will create a new and serious state of affairs. Though the right hon. Gentleman seems to smile at my remarks, but though he himself is an old local administrator, I think he does not realise the effects of the Sub-section. A person should feel the confidence of the person who employs him, confident that so long as he gives fair service he is going to have fair treatment. But occasions do arise when after he has given fair service he does not receive fair treatment, and this Clause is a case in point where, after the loyal service which public officials have given to local authorities for many years they are receiving treatment which is not merited by anything they have done. I hope that, if the right hon. Gentleman will not accept any of the Amendments referred to, he will at any rate go so far as to say he will introduce some kind of court of appeal to which an official can appeal against the decision of the authority, as his right hon. colleague has done in the case of the police, so that at least there may be some security against arbitrary dismissal.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It is perfectly evident to me from the speeches made by hon. Members opposite that they have not taken the trouble even to look up their references. If they had done so they would not have used the language which they have used. To say the least of it, it has been extravagant. The hon. Member who moved this Amendment was, I think, the least extravagant, but he began by saying there were occasions when contracts might be broken without notice. I do not know what was the logical conclusion to be drawn from his remarks, but I think he drew the conclusion that a contract might be broken under certain circumstances.
§ Mr. DUNNICO
The conclusion which I wished to convey was this, that whilst, under normal conditions it is unwise and and not right to break a contract, circumstances may arise where a contract can be broken without subjecting the person who broke it to criminal proceedings. That was my point.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I presumed the hon. Member was going on to instance one of those cases where the contract 308 might be broken in spite of the fact that the result would be to hinder or prevent a local authority from discharging its functions.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Then the hon. Member does take up exactly the same position as the hon. Member who seconded the Amendment, and it is hard to understand why he should say that a person who had wilfully broken his contract of service with the local authority knowing that the result of his action might be to prevent that authority from discharging its functions was placed in a position which was absolutely intolerable by this Clause. One wonders whether words have any meaning at all for some hon. Members when they use such phrases to describe circumstances which, in cold blood, none of them would, I am certain, elect to defend. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment and the hon. Member who seconded it both seemed to think we were introducing a new condition into local government, and prophesied that this Bill would break us down at the next General Election, and the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Fenby) has apparently taken the same view.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
But the hon. Member took the view that we were creating a new condition of affairs. Those were his words. The hon. Member for North Hammersmith (Mr. Gardner) instanced the case of a man in an electricity station who broke his contract of service, threw down his tools, and did so knowing that he might prevent a local authority from discharging its function. Did he think it was absolutely beyond reason, and an altogether new condition of affairs, that the Government should seek to put such a man in the position provided by this Sub-section? He has been in that position for the last eight years. Have hon. Members not realised that what this Clause does is to make a small extension of the existing provision of an Act of Parliament, a provision which, as far as gas and water employeés are concerned, has existed for 52 years, and as far as employeés in electricity stations are concerned, for eight years. All we 309 are doing is to apply the same provision to workers in other local services which are quite as important to the community. Take the case of a lightning strike on the part of the employeés responsible for the removal of house refuse, for the cleansing of the streets or the treatment of sewage. A sudden stoppage of those services might have the most disastrous results on the health, or even on the lives, of the community. It might be much more serious than depriving them of gas or water. It may be said that water is a necessity, but I think one could do without gas. All we are doing is to apply to other services of a local authority the same conditions as have previously applied to one or two particular services.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
Is this to apply only where there is a definite contract of service? A number of people have been put into gaol who had no contract.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
If they have not got a contract they cannot break it, and this Clause does not apply. There is no new problem. If the hon. Member will look at Section 4 of the Act referred to in this Clause, the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, he will see that the same words are used there as are used here. We are not introducing a new provision, but only extending it to other services. In these circumstances I think hon. Members opposite will feel that they have been making much ado about nothing, that there is no revolutionary proposal here nor one which should give rise to the fantastic suggestions made by some hon. Members.
§ Mr. DUNNICO
I gave one or two illustrations in order to try to ascertain whether, for example, the Bill covered the case of a caretaker who suddenly ceased work or of a charwoman who suddenly ceased work. It might be construed that their action had hindered the local authority. Does the Clause apply to them?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That is what I call fantastic instances. [Interruption.] To my mind they appear to be fantastic. I am not suggesting that the hon. Member is not sincerely putting forward a point to which he attaches importance, but it is fantastic, to my mind, to suggest that the action of a single charwoman or a single caretaker in ceasing work without 310 notice could hinder the functions of a local authority. What function of a local authority could be hindered by such a proceeding?
§ Mr. DUNNICO
A school session could not be held the following morning because the charwoman had not swept out the It is not fair to misrepresent school what I have said. I gave an illustration of a non-provided school, which may be a Church school or a Nonconformist school. The caretaker of the school is in the employ of the local council. That school may be used overnight for some function for which the furniture has been disarranged and everything upset. If the caretaker ceased work at 11 or 12 o'clock that night it might be that no school session could be held the following morning.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It seems to me it is quite impossible to sustain the contention that no session could be held the next morning. It is obvious that some inconvenience might be caused. The hon. Member suggested that the fact that that charwoman, apparently at a moment when it was to be assumed that she was not thinking at all, had thrown down her tools and refused to carry out her contract of service—even if it entered her head that it might hinder the authority—would be liable. I must call his attention to the actual words of the Clause which says:If any person … knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequences.Those words exclude the unreasonable imaginary case which the hon. Member has in mind.
I come now to the point made by the hon. Member for Bradford, who suggested that there should be a right of appeal. Why should there be a right of appeal now, when there has been no right of appeal in the last 52 years for employeés of other undertakings? To put forward as analogous the Bill introduced by the Home Secretary to deal with the case of the police forces is to overlook what the terms of the Bill are. The appeal given there is an appeal against the action of a Committee of a Council which has dismissed an employeé. We are not talking here about the action of a local authority at all. We are dealing here with the case of a man who has broken his contract 311 of service and who is brought—or dragged, to use the phrase of the hon. Member—before the magistrate. If he is convicted he has the ordinary right of appeal to quarter sessions, and there is no case for setting up a further court of appeal. We are not dealing with some arbitrary act on, the part of a committee of a council but with the action of a magistrate.
§ Mr. MORRIS
May I put a question with regard to the suggestion that in line 10 we should insert the word "essential" before the word "functions"? The right hon. Gentleman said the illustrations given by the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. Dunnico) were fantastic. I agree that the language of this Clause has not gone much beyond the language of the Act of 1875, but it has gone beyond it in one particular point. The Act of 1875 deals with "essential functions." This Clause omits the word "essential," and I assume it was deliberately omitted. To bring a man under this Clause there must first be a breach of contract and, secondly, the person should know or have reasonable cause to believe that his act will hinder—not merely prevent, but hinder—the discharge of the functions of the authority. If in the illustration given the headmaster of the school were substituted for the caretaker, the illustration would be complete. Will the right hon. Gentleman insert the word "essential"?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am sorry I omitted to reply to that point. But I think the effect of adding the word "essential" would be to create a new problem. One would then have to consider what are "essential" functions. Some hon. Members opposite might easily differ from other hon. Members as to what are essential functions. There are one or two functions about which everyone would be agreed, but if we range over the whole activities of local authorities there are certain to be some which would be regarded as very essential by some people and as non-essential by others. If that word were to be inserted, it would be necessary to have a definition which could only take the form of a long list of services, which would require to be 312 added to from time to time, and it is very doubtful whether it would be worth while to incur that obligation.
§ Mr. WILLIAM GRAHAM
The Minister of Health, in defending this Clause, argued that it is no more than a mere extension of Section 4 of the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, and he made light of some of the cases which have been cited on this side of the Committee. I think the reply he has given, in the circumstances, if I may say so quite frankly, is inadequate, arid he charges us here with having failed to go back to our references for the purposes of this Debate. With regard to the passages in the Act of 1875, we find that they refer to the exposing of human life to danger, the exposing of persons to the risk of bodily injury, the destruction, or even the serious waste or abuse of property, and above all to the malicious and wilful breaking of a contract. All these terms are perfectly clear, and they have been well understood during the years which have elapsed since 1875. Most of us have recognised that some kind of provision of that description is necessary in the vital services of the community such as gas, water, electricity, and others.
The Minister now rests his case on the argument that it is a mere extension of the spirit and the purpose of the Act of 1875, but we have only got to look at the Clause before us in this Bill to see that it is drawn in very wide and very general terms. It is perfectly true that this Clause, and the Section in the Act of 1875 both begin by specifying a breaking of the contract, but whereas on the one side, in the Act of 1875, we have the serious consequences described, we have in this Bill nothing more than the reference to a hindrance or interference with the functions of the local authority. When the Minister of Health is challenged by one of my hon. Friends behind to say whether that will include the charwomen or any of the other minor employeés of local authorities he affects to regard the case as fantastic. The point before the Committee is not what the Minister of Health believes to be the interpretation of the meaning of this Clause. What we 313 have to consider is the construction that may be placed upon a Clause of this kind in the average court of law in this country, where men or women, as the case may be, are in conflict with a local authority. Of course, it is in no way unfair to suggest that the local authority starts with a position of very great advantage as regards resources and everything else. Under this Clause, if any individual can be held to be merely hindering the work of the local authority, that, for all we know, may come within the Clause. It is perfectly true that it always depends upon the wilful breaking of the contract.
I wish, personally, to be perfectly frank with the Committee on this point. You may have a clearer case when dealing with a man who is immediately and directly involved where a contract has been broken, but when you pass to some dispute which arises, and men adjacent to this employment who wish to protect themselves or some individual take what may amount to strike action, or withdraw their labour, or commit some interference with the discharge of the functions of the local authority, they will be held to have committed a breach of contract, and, as I understand this Clause, will be immediately exposed to the summary penalties described. We have only got to exercise not our imagination but a little common sense to see that if this be rigorously applied, it is going to be impossible for large numbers of people employed by the local authorities to take a perfectly legitimate step in what may be circumstances of great provocation to defend themselves at the hands of the local authority, which may, perhaps, be an exception to the general run of local authorities, but which, nevertheless, does exist.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Sympathetic action of men or employeés surrounding a particular case of an employée whose circumstances were in dispute, and who, themselves, if they took the step of threatening or 314 withdrawing their labour, would be held to be committing a breach of contract.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
There are many illustrations where men employed by a local authority might feel a grievance of a colleague so keenly that they might even consider it their duty to come out in support of that man.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I agree that the point of notice is important. The hon. Gentleman opposite emphasised the point of contract, but I am only describing circumstances which I believe to be possible.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The right hon. Gentleman realises that it is a vital consideration, whether it is with, or without notice.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Certainly, it is vital to the consideration of the Clause, but when you have circumstances and conditions in which large numbers employed by local authorities in terms which you cannot point to as a contract exposed to risk, I say these circumstances should be safeguarded in this Bill. It is quite impossible to give chapter and verse in defence of a Clause of this kind, which is a wide extension of the provisions of the Act of 1875. My hon. Friend the Member for East Bradford (Mr. Fenby) says that before you expose employeés in a local authority to that risk, you should set up some kind of machinery for the purpose of arbitration or conciliation. The reply of the Minister to that was that for all practical purposes that would not come within the scope of this Bill. He makes no particular pledge as to their attitude towards it in further legislation. It is undeniable that in this particular Sub-section you are placing employeés of the local authority in this country in a peculiar position, because they are unlike others in not possessing machinery for dealing with what would be, in most cases, an urgent problem of this kind. The Minister, therefore, extends the provision of the Act of 1875, and he gives no opportunity for arbitration or conciliation by recognising machinery to enable these employeés to 315 protect themselves. I think the Clause which appears later on the Order Paper in the name of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Ealing (Sir H. Nield) and the hon. Member for East Bradford is a Clause,which should certainly be favourably considered in connection with a provision of this description. For my part, when the Minister of Health and the Government refuse to make a concession of that kind, there is no option but to resist this, as we resist all other parts of the Bill.
§ Sir HERBERT NIELD
Hon. Members will be interested to hear a note from this side in sympathy with the last speaker. As a member of the ruling party in this House, I must claim to have some right of independent judgment, and it does seem to me that there is absolutely no justification for sweeping within the terms of a penal Statute a large body of men, from the town clerk of the most important borough in the Kingdom down to the scavengers who are employed in sanitary duties; sweeping them within an Act which is called the Law of Conspiracy Act, and which contains penal provisions for a breach of the conditions of that Act. There is a difference—the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Graham) referred to it, although I do not think he made it perfectly clear—between this proposal and the Act of 1875, and it is a difference against the men, because under the Act of 1875 it was not only necessary to prove the breaking of a contract but it had to be maliciously done. Now, no malice is necessary. Apparently, all that is necessary is to show that the employeé had a reasonable expectation that his acts would prevent the discharge of the functions of the authority.
I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, whose ability in his office no one in this House questions, whether he can state what acts have been committed by municipal servants during the 52 years that the Act of 1875 has been upon the Statute Book which would justify sweeping them in at the present moment. Why should municipal servants be help up outside all the other classes, except those that are already covered in the Statutes 316 which deal with gas, electricity and water, to be singled out? The very Clause is an opprobrium. It is a suggestion that they are a lawless body who break their contracts. I think I am right in saying that no example can be found. A strike because there is a difference on a question of pay cannot be cited as an illustration. What we want is justification for proving that these people have at one time or another over the long range of years that this Act has been upon the Statute Book, been guilty of such conduct that in these times, after the experience of last year, it is necessary to include them in legislation of this sort. Unless such evidence can be given, it is unfair to single out a, distinguished service like this.
I have been pretty closely associated, ever since I was fortunate enough to get passed the Superannuation Bill, for municipal servants, in 1922, with the National Association of Local Government Servants, which largely comprises local government services throughout the Kingdom, and an association of that sort has done, and is doing, incalculably valuable work to raise the status of municipal servants as a whole. Of course, when one refers to municipal servants, one's mind generally carries one to the administrative staff and those immediately in touch with them, and I do think that they have a right to complain that, without any cause, they have been singled out by this legislation as if they were a body of people who ought to be looked upon as potential criminals, to be dealt with in this Statute. It is a very unhandsome thing for the Government to have done.
I have supported the Government throughout, and under the conditions in which we are working it is very difficult to refuse to support them on this Sub-section, merely because this one particular point has been disregarded by the Minister of Health. I think the right hon. Gentleman brushed aside the argument far too lightly. The Government must consider that there are other persons to be consulted, whose views must have respect in matters of this sort. They may be perfectly sure that it is not a welcome thing to take part in the Debate on the line which I am taking now; but the test of all these things is, what is just? If you cannot justify this Clause by reference 317 to acts in the past, I think we ought to have some special saving Clause, such as the one on the Paper, to provide that these people are not to be looked upon as if they had a bad history. Suppose that the tramway employeés of a borough were to come out on strike, without notice: an illegal lightning strike; and suppose the borough council were to say to the chief officers or to the clerks and the engineering staff: "You must go to run the tramways. You shall take part in this work. Suppose they objected to do that. Would that be an illegal breaking of contract? I assume from general experience that an agreement for service would be probably in general terms, so that, technically, it might be said that any duty might be imposed upon them in their employment; but I think the Courts would say that the scope was the scope of the employment in which they were engaged. My main protest is that you should slur a body of servants as loyal as any servants in the Kingdom, who are doing a great work, and whose capabilities are as great as those of any servants in a Government Department The aristocracy of the municipal service is every bit as great as the aristocracy of the Civil Service, and they are rapidly improving their position. I contend that before we pass this Clause there ought to be evidence of such conduct in the past as to justify such a proposal.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I do not wish to follow the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Ealing (Sir H. Nield) in all his points, but he said that the Government were singling out the municipal employeés. I do not agree with him. They have not singled them Out any more than they have singled out the whole of the working class. The municipal employeé, as far as the Government are concerned, including the town clerks, are members of the working class, although the town clerk and the fraternity of which the right hon. Member for Ealing spoke, the "Algy" class, do not think that they are members of the working class. They think that they are something superior. I know a number of them, and I tell them here publicly that they are simply members of the working class; they have to work for wages. The working class is 318 that part of society which renders useful service to society, and it is that part of society that this Government, this Bill and this Clause have set out to cripple. The Government are seeking to cripple the power of the worker to say "no." This Clause, like the whole of the Bill, is a result of the workers stopping work in defence of the miners. That is why this Bill has been introduced. It is to keep individuals like myself from going to tramwaymen, as I have done, and appeal to them to stop work in sympathy with their fellows. This Clause would take away that right. It is the same thing in the case of the gas workers and the producers of electricity.
The ruling classes of this country got the fright of their life during the general strike. I was one of those who was in favour of the general strike, and I shall do all I can to further the interests of the workers in having the power to stop work when they like. Just think of the position. Supposing I wish to assist my fellows who are on strike in the Clyde dockyards—and I am speaking now as an engineer working for the Glasgow Corporation—I am to be denied the right of stopping work in order to assist them. Summed up in a few words the position is this. It has been the policy of the Attorney-General, of the ruling classes of this country, right from Rome's imperial days down to the present moment, to divide and conquer. It has been the policy of the ruling classes of this country to divide the working classes, There is nothing which the ruling classes fear more than unity in the working class movement, and this Bill and this Clause are designed for the express purpose of keeping the workers from uniting. That has been the policy in every strike we have had. Take the engineers. They were divided when the boilermakers came out on strike. I can remember it 40 years ago. The boilermakers came out, but the engineers were working, and the boilermakers were defeated. Take a more concrete case; take the mining industry. The miners in South Wales were on strike, but the miners in Lanarkshire, Yorkshire, and Lancashire were working. It is even worse than that. When the Lanarkshire miners were on strike——
This particular Sub-section deals with the employeés of a local authority, not with miners, who break their contracts. That is the whole substance of this Subsection.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I agree, but the effect of this Clause is to keep the individuals who come under this ban from assisting their fellows, and I think I am entitled to make that point if you will allow me to do so. When the Lanarkshire miners were on strike the Fifeshire miners were working. Those were the days when the employers were able to smash the miners, but the day came when the workers of this country had sense and banded themselves together as an industry. Now they are going further, and last year they not only fought as an industry but the working classes spontaneously stopped work in defence of the miners, and because the miners were supported in this way we have this Bill and this Clause. It is introduced in order to keep the workers from calling a sympathetic strike in defence of the rest of their fellows. The right hon. and learned Member for Ealing (Sir H. Nield) put it very aptly in the course of his speech. He was speaking for a section of the working classes which is fairly comfortable, but I am speaking for the working classes which at the moment are anything but comfortable, that is the large mass of the workers who to-day, in this the greatest Empire upon which the sun has ever shone, are starving.
This Subsection only refers to the particular class of employeés who are in the service of local authorities.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
We were informed in your absence, Captain FitzRoy, that we could deal with the whole Clause, and that my Amendments on the Order Paper would not be called.
The question we are dealing with now is the deletion of Sub-section (2) of Clause 6, which only deals with the employeés of a local or other public authority.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
I gather that the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) is giving the miners' case as an illustration. Is it not the fact that a number of municipalities who are large consumers of coal are seriously considering becoming the owners of their own collieries, and therefore the miners may come under the future administration of this Sub-section?
If miners are employed by a local authority they will come under the provisions of this Sub-section.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I believe that the Glasgow Corporation does own a coal mine of its own, and it might be conceivable, if the miners come out on strike, that the employeés of the Glasgow Corporation might be called upon to help to do their work.
I do not see why they should not, so long as they do not break their contracts, under this Clause.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I understood the point was that the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) should not refer to the miners in opposing this Subsection. We are opposing the whole principle of the Clause.
If miners are employed by a local authority then the hon. Member would be in order.
I have already said that if they employ miners they will come under this Sub-section.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The right hon. and learned Member for Ealing in the course of his remarks said that one would think that the individuals who run municipalities were criminals. That is what he said.
§ Sir H. NIELD
There is a limit to human endurance. This afternoon I have 321 made no such sweeping statement. I said we were bringing them within the terms of a penal Statute.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman that when he gets the OFFICIAL REPORT of his speech he will see that he said that they were being treated as if they were criminals.
§ Mr KIRKWOOD
I am one of those who believe that there is to be a battle-royal, and that it should be fought as a battle-royal. This Bill should be fought line by line. The Bill in general treats the working class as if they were an army of criminals, and not working people at all. Surely it is better to treat them with justice and respect, and not as an army of criminals. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health tried to follow up the argument about individuals coming out on strike who were working on contracts. I will state distinctly what is the Socialist position, and what I have done time and time again, and what I will do again independently of all the Acts on the Statute Book. I shall urge the workers to stop work whether there is a contract or not when they feel that these things are being put up against them. There will not be any dubiety in that connection. You may rush some people, but you will not rush us. We will stand up to the business, and we have as good a reputation as you have.
This is a damnable Bill. It is said that this Clause and this Bill have been loosely framed. I have listened for days to the lawyers—"Oh, ye lawyers!" I have heard lawyer after lawyer on all sides of the Committee, even down to the Liberal party, telling us how this Clause and this Bill have been loosely framed. They have told us that there has not been enough thought given to it, that it has been brought on suddenly, and that the Government had to rush into the breach. This Clause proves to me, as an ordinary layman, that it was not only loosely drafted but cunningly drafted. What is the use of trying to camouflage a Clause like this, which is going to affect men and women in regard to the only thing they have got? It is all right to talk about this and that person being patriotic, what they 322 have sacrified, and what they are prepared to do. Think what this involves! Here is a man who has probably made many sacrifices, and so have his parents before him, in order that he may get into a decent job, and because he has got into that job and happens to be under a municipality, or local authority or another authority, and that other authority may be the Government—it may be an engineer working in Portsmouth or in Devonport—you are going to tie him up in this way. Is this the recompense that the Attorney-General is going to give to my fellow-countrymen after the sacrifices they made during the War? Is this what is going to happen after the engineers have surrendered all their trade rights and given up everything at the request of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George)? They gave up the rights of their craft when their country was in danger, and they were then promised all manner of things. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs said it was an engineers' war. What do we find to-day? We find those same engineers or their labourers working for 36s. a week, and even a fully-skilled man is only getting £2 15s.
We really must get back to the Sub-section. The hon. Members is now talking about something that has nothing to do with the Sub-section.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The Sub-section deals with municipal authorities, local authorities, and other authorities, and I am dealing with the other authorities. The engineers work under many of those authorities. I do not wish to take any advantage or say anything that does not come within the rules of order as far as it is humanly possible, but I am going to express my feelings and the views of the man in the shop. The engineer is up against all these things. Not long ago the engineers put in an application for an increase of £1 a week in their wages, and the employers offered them 2s. a week. Have we no rights?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
These are engineers. I have got to excuse hon. Gentlemen opposite because they know nothing 323 about this business of having to work as an engineer.
I do not think the hon. Member quite understands. I find no fault in his referring to engineers; I do not want him to refer to engineers in general, but only to those who are employed by local or public authorities.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I was explaining what was happening to the engineers who work under the municipalities with whom I am acquainted, namely, the Glasgow Corporation. The engineers were working for them and the Government, in the electricity department, the gas department, the water department and practically in every department.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
My hon. Friend says, "Not at that rate." I cannot speak for your corporation. If you had listened you would have heard what I said. I had no idea I had descended so low down as Grimsby. But this is a serious business, as far as the municipal employeés are concerned, very serious indeed and it is one of the Clauses of this Bill that will be defied if it gets on the Statute Book. Just fancy a Clause in a Bill of a character like this which calls for statements made by statesmen of the very highest character in the world! [An HON. MEMBER: "Kingsley Wood!"] He is in the No. 3 class, and I was referring to the top-notchers. I am referring to our Leader, the Leader of the Labour Parliamentary party. [HON. MEMBERS "Which one?"] The right hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. R. MacDonald), who is not an extremist in any sense of the term. The Attorney-General has not yet realised the depth and degradation to which he has sunk in introducing a Clause like this that calls for a reprimand such as our Leader has passed on this Bill when he said that as soon as we come into power— because we are coming into power—this will be removed off the Statute Book. If the present statesmen were in earnest about the welfare of my native land, and if the present Government had been anxious for the welfare of our country and anxious to look after the welfare of the municipalities 324 on which this Clause has a bearing, they never would have tied up men in this fashion. It is again a case ofOh Liberty! what deeds are done in thy name!Madame Roland said that, and we have to say it many times as long as this Government hold sway in this country. If the present rulers—Oh! the ruler that we have in Israel to-day; look at the rulers!—if your rulers had been anxious for the interest of Birmingham or Glasgow you would never have put in a Clause like this to deny men their liberty and their rights, when you say because men and women come to work under a municipality that they will be set as a thing apart, and will not be allowed to have any contact with their fellows. You should go further and build barracks and house them the same as the soldiers! Do the Attorney-General and the rogues that drafted this Clause think by this method of procedure they will divide the municipal employeés from the general body of the working class? There is no other intention in this Clause than dividing the workers and taking the municipal employeés and placing them apart from the rest of the working class. What harm have the municipal employeés done? What is the trouble? Why this attack on the municipal employeés? Is there any town or municipality where the employeés let the town down even during the general strike? You cannot show a single instance. It is perfectly true there were certain individuals in Woolwich who would come under this Clause. We had a rate-fixer in Woolwich who stopped work on that occasion, and because he stopped work, and because he was rate-fixer, he never was allowed to go back again. This Government stopped him. They not only stopped him from working, but the action they took at that time killed that man. They broke his heart. Do you think that is the action which any respectable body of men could he brought to take?
The Leader of our party condemned this Clause when he was far removed from the scene of conflict, when he was away in another land, unbiased, without any heat, his calm, considered judgment, not an extremist like me but the responsible head of the next Government of this country. He said that as soon as they came into power they would remove 325 this Clause from the Statute Book. If this Government had the welfare of the municipal employeé at heart, they would never have put forward this Clause. Had it not been that they feared the black-coated gentlemen in municipal employment they would never have brought forward this Bill. It is evident that we were perfectly right at the first meeting of our party when we decided that we were not going to amend the Bill one iota.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is going a little beyond the particular subject about municipal employeés breaking their contract.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Captain FitzRoy ruled out all my Amendments and said we should be at liberty to bring in the whole range of the Clause. That is the reason we are on it now. You will find it says not only a municipal authority but other authorities. That is the reason I am covering the whole field. We decided as a party that we would not bring forward anything that was going to improve this Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is now talking about the whole Bill. The particular question before the Committee is the omission of Sub-section (2). Since I have occupied the Chair for the last eight or nine minutes, the hon. Member has gone on in the most exemplary way. Now I think he is getting over the line.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Sub-section (2) comes under the same category as the Bill in what I was going to say. That was that we decided unanimously that we were not going to improve this Clause in any way, nor any Sub-section of it, but we were going to oppose it and draw the attention of our class in the country to the despicable action of this Government. Even municipal employeés have to be set apart and treated in this way when they cannot produce a single municipality that was hampered in a general sense by the general strike, so-called. They can pass all the Bills and Clauses they like. It was not the trade unoin leaders that called the strike. It has been stated from the Front Bench by more than one trade union leader that they had advised the opposite line of action, but that the workers stopped work themselves. This Government can pass all the Bills and put in all the Clauses they like, but there is one thing 326 they cannot do. You may lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
You will find, without going out of London, any number of water-tanks for horses to get a drink. I was only using that as an illustration to lighten the somewhat darkened minds of England, that you can pass all these Rules and Regulations, but you cannot make men work when they make up their mind that they are not going to do it. You talk about municipal employeés. I can remember during the War, when a certain section of municipal employeés had a just grievance, but it was a terrible crime to strike. In fact we on the Clyde were worse than the Germans. I said to myself, "They would shoot me before they would shoot the Germans." But this detachment of municipal employeés took a new line. They did not go on strike. They did not go out and walk the streets and imperil their lives like the ordinary, common working man. They went to the works and did no work. That was what you call the "stay-in" strike and it is the whole combination of all these things that has caused this Government to have a Clause of this character.
It has at last dawned on the minds of the ruling class, the power behind the present throne, that the workers of this country are realising their power and all that they require to do to exercise their power is simply to stay at home. Stay at home, do no work, instead of going against soldiers and policemen. Have a week in bed. I am simply here to fight to the best of my ability preaching, in the opinion of the Government, sedition. I want my class to be ready whenever the time comes to stop work and never mind whether they have a contract or not. A contract! Why should we make any contract with the enemies of our class who live on our flesh and blood, who dine and wine and wax fat every day, whotoil not, neither do they spin, yet … Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.I oppose it with all the power I have, and I shall oppose it. I will do all I can to rouse my class against men who 327 at the moment are not only plotting against the workers of this country, but against the workers of the world in order to have a war to try and destroy the great working-class movement the world over.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
I was interested in the remarks of the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) and his attitude on this Clause, which is not to try to amend a line of it, as he has stated; but, on looking down the Amendment Paper, I find a lot of Amendments in the name of the hon. Member.
§ Mr. WOMERSLEY
The Opposition have changed their mind on every point, and they have come to the conclusion that it would be wise to amend the Bill. I was also interested in the remarks he made in respect of the engineers, and he included the engineers who were employed by the municipal authorities. I will say, quite candidly, that I agree with him that the wages paid to engineers are a scandal to the nation, but I am going to point out that there are municipalities which have not stuck to the scale of wages fixed by the national associations connected with the engineering trade, and pay a reasonable rate of wages. I want to speak on this Sub-section as one with 16 years' experience of municipal work, as chairman of a works committee for many years and representative on the general industrial council. I welcome this Clause. I consider it wise and necessary that the local authorities should have to maintain the essential services of this country, and I am going to submit to my hon. Friend below the Gangway that it is going to be in the best interests of the trade unions themselves. Some few years ago we had a strike of engineers in my district and the people were in sympathy with the men who came out in the strike. But the leaders persuaded the men who worked at an electricity undertaking to come out in sympathy with them, not because the men had any complaint about wages or hours and conditions, but simply as a sympathetic strike with their so-called brother engineers to get for them what they wanted. The result was 328 that immediately public sympathy went wholly against the engineers of that district, and instead of getting the terms they might have got if they had fought the battle on their own, the action created an atmosphere which was not in their favour at all.
I am going to suggest to trade unionists that it is as well that these workmen in the employment of local authorities who have to maintain the essential services of this country should be apart in this question of trade disputes. In most local authorities to-day we have the general industrial council in operation, and in many cases wages are higher than in similar occupations that are not under local authorities, and it is not in the interests of local authorities that they should come out in sympathy with those outside. You must also bear in mind that when it is a question of a contract among employés of local authorities, it is the poorer people of the town who suffer most. They are the people who are going to have the hardships brought upon them by the action of the men. Undoubtedly it is a protection to the local authorities and the employeés and the community that such a Clause should be placed on the Statute Book. I welcome it, and I hope the Government will not accede to any Amendment unless it be framed in the proper light.
§ Mr. CRAWFURD
I have been brought to my feet by the speeches which have just been delivered. I am not going to follow the example of the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood). He explained to us, in the course of his few remarks, his desire to do nothing to the Bill. I am going to ask the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of this particular Clause if he will not consider carefully that there might be an Amendment made to the Sub-section which will improve the Bill and do something in a little less time than it has taken the hon. Member to do nothing. The hon. Member who has just sat down used, in the course of his remarks, three times the words "essential services." Now if this Sub-section dealt with essential services only, that is to say, those services upon which the health and safety of the community depend, I would not have had a word to say against it, but this Sub-section 329 uses language of the widest possible scope. I cannot imagine that any Subsection dealing with this point could use language capable of a wider interpretation. It says:If any person employed by a local or other public authority wilfully breaks a contract of service with that authority, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of his so doing, either alone or in combination with others, will be to hinder or prevent the discharge of the functions of the authority …Surely, to "hinder or prevent the discharge of the functions of the authority" can only be interpreted to include all the possible functions of an authority, the simplest, least essential function. Do the Government really desire to make criminals of men who break a contract, when breaking that contract may not have the slightest effect on the health, life or convenience of the community? That seems to be going a very long way. If the Government could see their way to introduce some words, either the word "essential," as has been suggested from these benches, or something of a similar effect, it would do two things. It would enlist in support of this Sub-section a very large number of people who now would not support it, and—what is worth doing—it would not possibly create any large number of criminals out of men who really might be doing an action which, by no stretch of the imagination, could be called criminal.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. POTTS
I support the proposal to delete this Sub-section. Anyone who reads the Sub-section must come to the conclusion that it is one-sided and does not act equally between the authority and the employeé. The hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) said that workmen working for a corporation would not come out in sympathy with other people who were on strike or were locked out, as the case might be. The hon. Member could not have read this Sub-section. It does not deal alone with people who come out in sympathy; it deals with a single individual. I hope that the Government, and the Minister of Health in particular, will take note of their own draft of this Sub-section. The last speaker read the Sub-section up to a given point, but he stopped short 330 just where its actual importance comes in. Let me carry it a little further:—If any person employed by a local or other public authority wilfully breaks a contract of service with that authority, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of his so doing, either alone"—those are the words—or in combination with others"—He can do it individually. An individual stopping under any conditions is creating an offence, and is stopping in contravention of his contract. I happen to be one of those people who have all my life believed that where a contract exists, whether under private enterprise or under corporations it should be carried out as far as one possibly can and that if it were terminated, it should be done in accordance with law. While, on the one side, this Sub-section imposes penalties on workmen for breach of contract, it lays no penalties on the corporation which breaks a contract with the employé. More than that, if the Bill becomes law, a person working for a public authority who breaks his contract can not only be dealt with under this Sub-section, but he can be had up before the Civil Court and sued for damages. He can be doubly prosecuted. I have been in Court hundreds of times, in various capacities, and I have listened to magistrates trying cases for breaches of contract, and imposing penalties where such breaches have taken place. In addition, if an individual is convicted under this Sub-section, he can be fined anything up to £10 or given three months' imprisonment. Is not that a severe penalty? Are there no reasons why a man should break his contract? Let me come to that point. I am not speaking without knowing exactly what I am talking about. I have been on the county council of the West Riding of Yorkshire. I have been on other public authorities, I have occupied the chair; and I have been in all kinds of public life in this country. I have known men, under the authority of which I was Chair-man, to break their contract; I have also known the surveyor of a corporation break his side of the contract. If this Sub-section had been law at that time, in this particular case those people could have been had up; but there would have been nothing to bring the surveyor of the 331 corporation to book because he happened, by reducing wages and altering conditions without notice, to break the contract.
Therefore, I say that this is a one-sided condition which never ought to exist. Supposing a surveyor altered a contract of service, either by reducing wages or altering conditions, would the employeé, if he stopped work and resisted a reduction of wages, be had up in accordance with the law? Possibly he would, and he would be liable to a fine of anything up to £10 or three months' imprisonment. Let us make a comparison and assume, for argument's sake, as an hon. Gentleman opposite has said, that the corporation clerk or the surveyor, who are important officials of the corporation, have 25 per cent. of their wages cut off without notification by the corporation, would either of those officials stop? Would they work? I question whether they would go on working. You would find that even those officials would go on strike if there had been a large reduction of their wages, as was the case with the workmen. I want to come nearer than that and bring it home to Ministers, and particularly to the Attorney-General, who has very largely drawn this Bill. Supposing Parliament itself, by a majority of this House, decided to reduce the wages of the Cabinet from £6,000 to £1,000 a year, would the Cabinet work? There you have it at once. Would they carry on the work of the Government? I say that they would not. Let this House, by a Resolution, reduce their salaries as from next week by £4,000 a year, and you would find that the Cabinet would go on strike equally as the workmen did. There is no law to punish the Cabinet for refusing to carry on the Government; they can resign at any time they like; but the workpeople cannot do that.
I say that the two things are very much identical. I hope the Attorney-General even now will undertake to withdraw this Clause. The Clause is too one-sided. It is drawn in favour of the corporations and it is unworkable. The Government cannot work it. We have in our various corporations and in our public authorities a large amount of work which is carried on on what are called day-to-day contracts, but really they are no contracts at all, but they are understandings between the two parties. They last for 332 the time that the particular job may last. Such a job may last until next Tuesday if it is taking place now, and when it is finished the working-people stop. They have no written contracts in any shape or form. It is a mere understanding between them, but under this Clause they may be taken to a Court of Law and prosecuted even although no written contract exists. I have never known, or very rarely known, any written contracts in regard to corporations. It is merely a common understanding.
Therefore, I suggest that the Clause is one-sided. There are no penalties imposed on the corporations and on the authorities where they reduce people's wages, and cause people to take some action because they cannot live. I hope that the Attorney-General and the Minister of Health in this matter will consider what they are doing. They will find that the corporations and the county councils and the local authorities will in due course tell the Government that they cannot possibly work this Bill. They cannot work this Clause, and I hope that common sense will prevail and that the restrictive conditions proposed in this Clause will not be imposed upon employés. This Clause is ridiculous; it is impossible, and it is driving the working people who are employed by public authorities to resist. They will come out on strike, I do not say illegally, but they will combine and give notice to terminate their contracts. I hope the Attorney-General will take another view altogether and that he will think about himself. If he had any reduction imposed upon him he would resist equally as anyone in this country working for a living. To fine a man £10 for a single offence, which is only illegal for one or two days, means that he will have to find four or five weeks' wages to pay for that fine. The Attorney-General receives about £96 a week apart from expenses.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not think the Attorney-General can have a contract of service with any local authority, or a contract of service at all.
§ Mr. POTTS
No, he has no contract with any public authority, but he has drafted a Bill which seeks to impose upon people who work for corporations conditions that cannot be carried out. He is responsible for it and he is in the service of the Government. He and his 333 party are returned by the people to pass laws in this House. [Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite have the consolation of knowing that though they number two to one against this side they have not a majority vote in the country. If they went to the country on this Bill they would find that when they came back there would be not more than half of them in this House. I hope that hon. Members on the other side will think this matter out. A contract should be on different lines from this, and there should be equality. There is no equality in this Clause; it is one-sided. It is entirely devised, construed, and constructed for the purpose of preventing combination among working men and preventing employés going out. That is the real meaning of it, and that is the real intention of this Clause as it is drafted and inserted in this Bill. I hope that the Attorney-General will tell us that he is going to withdraw this Clause and that he is going to let the working men who are working for corporations and other public bodies, who are getting on very well and who are on very friendly terms, continue as they are doing at present, and that he is not going to disturb the relationship which now exists. I hope he will withdraw the Clause and will allow the friendly conditions that have prevailed in the past to continue between public authorities and the working people employed by them.
One would almost imagine, from the last speech and from some of the other speeches that we have heard this evening, that the Government, under this Clause, were performing some monstrous and wicked act that enabled hon. Members opposite to pour forth on the unhappy heads of the right hon. Gentlemen sitting in front of me the not very violent but very wordy speeches to which we have listened this evening. If we look at this very harmless Sub-section of a very excellent Clause, in probably one of the best Bills ever introduced, we find that not for one minute does it prevent any sort or kind of dispute between the local authority and those whom they employ. It does not take away any of the rights of the employeés of a local authority. It enables them to enter into the usual negotiations as far as their wages are 334 concerned in the future as they have been doing in the past. It enables them to carry on those negotiations through the usual channels in the future as in the past, and if, at the end of those negotiations, they cannot come to agreement, they are perfectly welcome and able, under this Sub-section of the Bill, to leave their work and to go on strike. There is nothing in the world in this Sub-section to prevent them from doing that.
What, then, is the good of getting up and saying that the Government are taking away the rights of the working men; that they are depriving them of the means of getting better wages or better conditions? Surely, hon. Gentlemen opposite who take that point, of view, who bring it forward on every occasion in the House, either on this Sub-section or other Sub-sections, do not they think that sooner or later the average individual in this country who, can read and who can understand, when hereads this Clause, and sees how simple it is and how plain it is, do not they really imagine that, when that individual sees what it is, he will want to know what all this back-chat is about? I really believe that that is the whole trouble of hon. Gentlemen opposite. They cannot quite see how they can get out of the very unfortunate statements which were made by odds and ends of their leaders in the early discussions on the Bill. They take the view that they must be up and busy doing something. But what actually happens under this Clause? The only thing that happens is that the municipal employés have to keep their contracts. The hon. Member who has just sat down has told us that he, like other Britishers, believes in the value of contracts. I believe that members of every party, or most members of every party, would like to keep their contracts as far as possible. This enables them to keep their contracts. It enables, them to live up to that high standard of moral honesty which we—English people, Welsh people and Scottish people alike—understand and feel. I rather wish hon. Gentlemen opposite would cheer that sentiment. In their hearts they are a long way better than they make them-selves out to be. They believe in a very high standard indeed and, in saying so, I am not even excepting the 335 Communist party, if they should happen to be anywhere about.
This Sub-section simply says that municipal employeés cannot suddenly "down tools" and go off in breach of their agreements. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that they want to encourage municipal work; they say that gas, electricity and all these services should be run by municipal enterprise, in the interests of the community, and they bring in Bills to that effect. Yet in this case, they seem to forget the interests of the community and of the corporations, in their desire that a certain select body of individuals should be allowed suddenly to go on strike and break their contracts. I believe that in the interests of the whole community it is worth while to lay down simply and clearly, once and for all, the position in this respect of municipal workers. We know that these workers give the best possible service they can to the community. Most of us will agree with that, although we may not agree very much with the extension of municipal enterprise. But if the municipalities and the nation are dependent on this section of workers, the municipalities and the nation have a right to the protection of the law against sudden strikes which may endanger the health of particular towns or of the country at large. For that reason we believe that the contract which the municipal workers make with their employers, who are the electors of the municipality, is one which ought to be kept on both sides.
§ Mr. PALING
I wish the matter were as simple as the last speaker has made it out to be, but I cannot take it in that spirit and I rise to ask the Attorney-General to make the position a little plainer. I was interested in the point made by the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Potts). It is quite plain that a man who breaks his contract either alone or in combination with others, is at present liable to proceedings. Is it possible that this Clause makes him liable to a double punishment? I have been connected with mines the managers of which have summoned men for leaving without notice and things of that kind, and they have got damages. I presume the same law applies to municipal employeés and that if one man breaks his 336 contract or a dozen men or 20 men break their contracts, provision is already made for dealing with such a case. Are these people to be penalised in a double sense? Can the municipality proceed against these men for damages under the ordinary civil law and also proceed against them under this Clause and secure fines or imprisonment against them? An answer on that point is due to hon. Members on this side from the Attorney-General. Further, it is desirable that we should know if a man who left a job connected with the public authority in breach of contract would be regarded as injuring the carrying on of the functions of that authority or if this provision is intended to mean that he must leave in connection with a strike or anticipated strike or dispute I am anxious to know what this means because I think the Clause is capable of double meanings.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I will endeavour to answer the questions which have been put. The question which the last speaker has just put as regards a double legal remedy does not arise under this Bill. Many hon. Members seem to have forgotten that as regards the general law on the subject, especially in connection with gas and water undertakings, there is nothing new in the provisions of the Bill. In fact they have been in operation in this country for over 50 years and in regard to electricity undertakings they have been on the Statute Book for seven or eight years. Therefore with regard to these three great classes of municipal employés there is nothing new, nothing fresh, nothing alarming about this Clause at all. In regard to the legal remedies it is perfectly open to a municipal authority whose contract has been deliberately broken by one of its employés to pursue both remedies if they so desire. It would be for the Civil Court to determine the amount, if any, of the damages to be awarded to the local authority in the civil proceedings, and it would be for the Criminal Court to decide whether any offence had been committed under this Clause, and, if so, what was the right and proper penalty to be imposed. I should have thought that was a perfectly reasonable and proper proposition.
§ Sir K. WOOD
There is not the slightest persecution. If an employeé deliberately breaks his contract he must take the consequences. He must be prepared, like every other citizen, to abide by the decision of the Courts of the land, and if they find that he has caused any considerable damage to a local authority he must not complain, and no hon. Member has the right to say it is persecution, if damages are awarded against him.
The other point put to me was whether one man acting alone would be liable under the Clause. The language of the Clause is perfectly plain. It says:either alone or in combination … hinder or prevent the discharge of the functions.It might very well lie in the hands of one man, by deliberately breaking his contract, to hinder or prevent the discharge of the functions of a local authority, and if by his action the local community were plunged into some peril or danger, as can quite reasonably be conceived, I cannot understand why any hon. Member should complain that that man should not be subject to penalties under the law. Every person who comes under the provisions of this Clause will have the right to put his case before the appropriate authority, and if there are any extenuating circumstances they will have to be considered; but how any hon. Member can defend people who deliberately break their contract in this way, and regard them as being victimised or penalised, I cannot understand. As I said just now, so far as three bodies of employeés are concerned, the proposals in this Clause have been the law for the last 50 years, and I am not aware of any injustice, and I suggest that the extension we are proposing is a perfectly proper one.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I was just going to deal with that. The hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Crawfurd), asked why we had not put the word "essential" in front of the word "functions," so as to make the Clause apply to anyone who broke his contract with regard to the discharge of the "essential functions" of the authority. I very much doubt whether that would be any improvement. 338 If we put in the word "essential" we should be in trouble as to what was an essential function and what was not. To my mind any employeé who breaks his contract with regard to any of the functions of an authority has no cause of complaint if proceedings are taken. The Committee will observe that the Clause says that the employé must be guilty of "wilfully" breaking his contract. Suppose he broke his contract in connection with the provision of maternity home accommodation. I say it is just as essential that that man should be liable to a penalty for breaking his contract in connection with the provision of services of that kind as for these other services; although I doubt very much whether we should get complete agreement on that point. It might be said that it was not an absolutely essential service, because not so many years ago it was not a service provided by a local authority at all. I have followed the opposition to this Bill in Committee day by day, but to-night I was unable to follow even the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Graham), who is usually most plain in the statements he makes, in his opposition to the Bill. The fact of the matter is that there can be no proper and reasonable opposition to a Clause which says that if an employé of a local authority wilfully breaks his contract in connection with the functions of that authority he should become liable to a penalty under the law. If any Clause in this Bill is justified it is this Clause and I ask the Committee to pass it tonight.
§ Mr. KELLY
The hon. Member has not told the House to what authorities it is proposed to extend the provisions of this Clause. He has not told us that it is the intention of the Government to extend the Clause to all public authorities, which will bring in docks and harbour boards and other authorities of that kind. It is the intention of the Government to interfere with every effort that is made to improve the conditions of the workers, and it is only want of courage on the part of the occupants of the Treasury Bench which prevents them explaining all that is in their mind.
§ It being half-past Ten of the Clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 16th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.339
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'employed' in line 4, stand part of the Clause."340
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 300; Noes, 120341
|Division No. 167.]||AYES.||[10. 30 p. m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hunter-Weston, Lt. -Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovill)||Jacob, A. E.|
|Apsley, Lord||Dawson, Sir Philip||James, Lieut. -Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Astbury, Lieut. -Commander F. W.||Dixey, A. C.||Jones, Henry Raydn (Merioneth)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Drewe, C.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Duckworth, John||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Atkinson, C.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Edmondson, Major A. J.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Balniel, Lord||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Ellis, R. G.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Elveden, Viscount||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||England, Colonel A.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Bonn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Bethel, A.||Fermoy, Lord||Lougher, Lewis|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fielden, E. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Finburgh, S.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Ford, Sir P. J.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Forrest, W.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Macintyre, Ian|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gadie Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||McLean, Major A.|
|Briant, Frank||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Gates, Percy||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Gilmour, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Goff, Sir Park||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gower, Sir Robert||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd, Hexham)||Grace, John||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Buchan, John||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th'w, E)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Burman, J. B.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut-Col. J. T. C.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Morrison, H. (Witts, Salisbury)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hammersley, S. S.||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hanbury, C.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Cassels, J. D.||Harland, A.||Neville, R. J.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S)||Harrison, G. J. C.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nicholson. Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Haslam, Henry C.||Oakley, T.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hawke, John Anthony||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Headlam, Lieut. -Colonel C. M.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Henderson, Lieut. -Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Christie, J. A.||Heneage, Lieut. -Colonel Arthur P.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R-, Scar.& Wh'by)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hills, Major John Waller||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hilton, Cecil||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Cockerill, Brig. -General Sir George||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Radford, E. A.|
|Cope, Major William||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Raine, W.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ramsden, E.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Remer, J. R.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Howard-Bury, Lieut. -Colonel C. K.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, Capt & U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Robert, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Storry-Deans, R.||Wells, S. R.|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Strauss, E. A.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Ropner, Major L.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||White, Lieut. -Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Rye, F. G.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Salmon, Major I.||Styles, Captain H. Walter||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Tasker, R. Inigo||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Thom, Lt. -Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)|
|Sandon, Lord||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)||Wilson, H. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Savery, S. S.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Withers, John James|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Tinne, J. A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Womersley, W. J.|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. p.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Waddington, R.||Wood Sir S. Hill. (High Peak)|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Ward. Lt. -Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Smithers, Waldron||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Warrender, Sir Victor||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Sprot, Sir Alexander||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Captain Lord Stanley.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hayes, John Henry||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sexton, James|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barnes, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Batey, Joseph||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, H. B. Lees-(Keighley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Snell, Harry|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Sullivan, J.|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Taylor, R A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Connolly, M.||Lee, F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cove, W. G.||Lindley, F. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lowth, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Viant, S. P.|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Duncan, C.||Maxton, James||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt. -Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Mosley, Oswald||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Murnin, H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gillett, George M.||Naylor, T. E.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Paling, W.||Whitetey, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Ritson, J.||Wilson, H. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hardle, George D.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Harney, E. A.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
§ The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Ten of the Clock at this day's sitting.342
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 300; Noes, 125.345
|Division No. 168.]||AYES.||[10. 42p. m.|
|Acland- Troyte, Lieut. -Colonel||Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.|
|Ainsworth, Major Charles||Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Applin, Colonel R. V. K.|
|Albery, Irving James||Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Apsley, Lord|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfred W.||England, Colonel A.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Astbury, Lieut. -Commander F. W.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (l. of W.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Fermoy, Lord||Macintyre, Ian|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fielden, E. B.||McLean, Major A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Finburgh, S.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Ford, Sir P. J.||McNeil, Rt. Hon. Ronald John|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Forrest, W.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Fraser, Captain Ian||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Gates, Percy||Mason, Lieut. -Col. Glyn K.|
|Bethel, A.||Gault, Lieut. -Col. Andrew Hamilton||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Goff, Sir Park||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T.C. R. (Ayr)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Grace, John||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut. -Col. J. T. C.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)||Neville, R. J.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Brown, Brig. -Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hall, Lieut. -Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Buchan, John||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hall, Capt. W. D' A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Oakley, T|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hammersley, S. S.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hanbury, C.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Harland, A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Harrison, G. J. C.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Haslam, Henry C.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hawke, John Anthony||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H.(Ox. Univ.)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Radford, E. A.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Herbert S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Raine, W|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hills, Major John Waller||Ramsden, E.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hilton, Cecil||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Remer, J. R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Remnant, Sir James|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. J.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rye, F. G.|
|Cope, Major William||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Salmon, Major I.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hunter-Weston, Lt. -Gen. Sir Aylmer||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sandon, Lord|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jacob, A. E.||Savery, S. S.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Smithers, Waldron|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Knox, Sir Alfred||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Lamb, J. Q.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Drewe, C.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Duckworth, John||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Looker, Herbert William||Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Lougher, Lewis||Stuart, Hon. J (Moray and Nairn)|
|Styles, Captain H. Walter||Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Watson, Sir. F (Pudsey and Otley)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Tasker, R. Inigo.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W.(Carlisle)||Withers, John James|
|Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Watts, Dr. T.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wells, S. R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgewater)|
|Tinne, J. A.||White, Lieut. -Col. Sir G. Dalrymple||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wiggins, William Martin||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Waddington, R.||Williams, C.P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col-A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Warrender, Sir Victor||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Captain Lord Stanley.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harris, Percy A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, south)||Smille, Robert|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snell, Harry|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clowes, S.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, F.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lindley, F. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowth, T.||Wallhead Richard C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dennison, R.||MacLaren, Andrew||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Maxton, James||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mosley, Oswald||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Naylor, T. E.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Whiteley, W.|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen. C|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J.(Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Rlley, Ben||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York. W. R., Normanton)||Ritson, J.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Robinson. W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardle, George D.||Rose. Frank H.||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Harney, E. A.||Saklatvala, Shapurjl|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ Question put, and negatived.