§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)
When the business was interrupted this morning, the Committee had just negatived the first of two Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen), the second one—in page 4, to leave out from the word "contributor" in line 8 to the end of line 10—of course being consequential on the first. The next Amendment, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) —in page 4, line 10, at the end, to insert the wordsProvided that when the failure of the applicant to fulfil such condition is due to prolonged periods of sickness he shall not thereby be debarred from the receipt of unemployment insurance benefit—would be more appropriately moved to Sub-section (4) of the Clause.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
On a point of Order. Do I understand that if that Amendment is considered in connection with Sub-section (4) I can raise the question of the permanent effect of the Bill upon persons who have had long and continued sickness? I am not quite clear whether I should be in order in raising that question. I do not wish to raise the question of the effect of the transitional period upon the sick, but of the effect of the Bill upon the sick after 1930, which is a very different point.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Subsection (4) of the Clause raises the particular point as to the position of people who have been incapacitated by illness, and it is on that Sub-section that I think the hon. Member's Amendment ought to be considered.
§ Mr. HARRIS
On a point of Order. Might not the sickness from which the 298 man was suffering prevent him from paying the 30 contributions and so prevent him from qualifying for benefit?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It might possibly do so, but I think that point has nothing to do with this Sub-section.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. BROWN
I did not put my Amendment to Sub-section (4), because that specifically says "falling within the period of two years mentioned." The question I wish to raise is a very different one. It is the question of people falling sick after the two years, and I cannot see, with all respect, that it would be appropriate on Sub-section (4), as it is a very different question.
§ Mr. BROWN
May I, with all respect, ask your guidance on this point? It is a very important point, namely, what will happen when these two years are over? It concerns the whole future relationship of the Bill to the sick, and I cannot see how I can draft an Amendment in any other way. I cannot see any other part of Clause 5, or any part of the Bill where this particular point can appropriately be raised. There are a number of Employment Exchange committees who have sent me resolutions about this subject, and there is a great deal of anxiety felt. I therefore ask for your guidance, as I do not wish to lose my opportunity of raising the point.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
At any rate, it cannot be raised at this particular point. It is not for me to say where it can be raised. If the hon. Member cares to come and consult me later on, he can do so.
§ Mr. BROWN
It is a very important point. You rule it out of order here, but I do not understand why, and I wish to understand why. There are thousands of men who will be affected in years to come. Surely I am entitled to your guidance now on the point. The Amendment is on the Paper, and is a material one. I cannot see how it can be raised on Sub-section (4), because it is not material to that Sub-section, and, unless I have your guidance, I cannot see in what part of the Clause the Amendment 299 can be put down. I assure you, Captain FitzRoy, this is a very important point indeed.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
On a point of Order. Are we not entitled to know from you, Captain FitzRoy, with very great respect, the reason this Amendment is out of order at this particular place, because when you ruled it out of order you implied that it would be in order on another Sub-section. Are we not entitled to ask you to state your reasons, and are we not entitled to know?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
There is no obligation whatsoever on me to state my reasons. The Amendment might be suitable in another place, but it is not suitable here.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I beg to give notice that I shall hand in the Amendment to be moved in another place in the Bill.
§ Mr. ROBERT HUDSON
I beg to move, in page 4, line 10, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that where an insured contributor proves in the prescribed manner that he is normally engaged in an occupation which in the preceding twelve months next preceding his application for benefit has had an unemployment percentage exceeding fifteen per cent. of the insured persons engaged in such occupation, the said period of two years shall have effect as if there were substituted for it a period of two years increased by the length of time during which the said percentage rate of unemployment exceeded fifteen per cent.In moving the Amendment standing in my name and that of my hon. Friends, I desire to say that our object is to try to elicit if we can from the Minister some explanation and amplification of 300 the statement he made yesterday in Debate on the question dealing with the 30 contributions. He said:If, as I pointed out the other day, our expectations are not realised, it will be perfectly possible to deal with the situation before that time arrives in 1929."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th November, 1927; col. 177, Vol. 211.]The Minister on several occasions has said that he dislikes the discretion left to him under the existing law, and one of the objects of this Bill is to remove this descretion. I would like to ask him whether his proposal yesterday does not, in effect, involve a renewal of that very discretion. It is with a view to providing an automatic test, an automatic revision of the 30 contribution Rule in certain contingencies that may arise between now and April, 1929, that we have put down this Amendment. It is quite conceivable that the Minister may not like our particular plan, but, if so, may I respectfully suggest that he should either develop one now, or promise that before the Report stage he will make some suggestion? Will he tell us, for example, what it is he proposes to apply in order to determine whether or not his expectations have been realised? Will he. for example, have quarterly samples taken on a much more extensive scale, in order to learn whether or not the assumptions in the White Paper are, in fact, proving correct In other words, we should very much like him, if he can, to amplify the statement which he made yesterday, and I, personally, believe that if he can see his way to doing so, more especially if he can obtain from his colleague the Minister of Health a promise that he will deal with the results of applying the 30 contribution Rule, then I am sure I can speak for my hon. Friends and, I believe, for the party opposite, that this Bill will go through very much more quickly than otherwise would be likely.
§ Mr. LUKE THOMPSON
I want to add two or three words to what has been said by my hon. Friend in support of this Amendment, and I do it for this reason. There was left in the minds, not only of Members on this side, but in every part of the Committee a feeling that an unsatisfactory state of affairs remained early this morning over this Clause which we have been debating. In my attempts to move a certain Amendment, to which 301 I am not going to speak again, I ad-canoed certain definite figures which I challenged the Minister either to refute or to confirm, and if there be any truth in what I have advanced, then in my area, and others affected like it, a very serious position arises. We want some assurance that the Minister will deal with this position. I want to say, quite frankly and definitely, that it is not sufficient to say that we trust to future developments, without some statement being made for our guidance. In my particular area, shipbuilding has not quite reached the peak, but I have had again an analysis taken of the figures of unemployment in my area, and I have them with me, but I am not going to burden the Committee with these figures again. I have also taken expert opinion, not only from the shipbuilders of my district, but I have gone also to those organisations and institutions that are especially interested in the construction of shipping, and my expert opinion is that if we are able to employ from 5 to 7 per cent. more shipbuilders than we are at present, that would practically be our peak period. It is true that we have in the last six months reduced unemployment by some 6,000, but we have a heavy percentage of unemployment yet, and I have a great deal of concern as to what is going to happen in two years' time. I am satisfied from the position, and the opinions that I have obtained with very great care, that it is not sufficient to say that in two years you will be able to have the position reduced to an 8 per cent. basis.
There is another point which arises out of these figures. Apart from the shipbuilders, there are also in the building trade nearly 1,000 unemployed in my district just now. I do not know what the position in other constituencies is, but I find that they are quickly overtaking building operations in my area, and I take the view that in two years they will not be so well employed. At any rate, it may mean adding to our unemployment. But I do say that, taking into consideration all that was advanced yesterday—I am not complaining of the Minister—I think that the speeches from this side justify a more extended reply than we have got. I would indicate that there is quite a section of the supporters of the Government very much concerned with the operation of this Clause as it stands. 302 With all the ability I have, and with all my force—because I cannot go down to my constituency, knowing as I do that the question will be put to me, "In the face of the facts produced, are you satisfied? Are we to understand that 1,400 men may be put on to Poor Law relief if this Bill is put into operation straight away?" I must either say yes or no—I say it is a very grave hardship on those supporting the Government to be placed in the difficult and anomalous position. I hope, therefore, the Government at least will give us some assurance that by the time this Bill reaches, possibly, its Report stage, there will be some determination or desire to give us a lead in the direction that is proposed by this Amendment, which I have pleasure in supporting.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
My hon. Friend who moved this Amendment, and my hon. Friend who supported him, have really said nothing about this Amendment. As this Amendment represents what in the view of the Mover and Seconder should be the method adopted by the State, it is absolutely incumbent upon them to show that it will achieve the end they have in view. I want to explain in a few sentences that this Amendment, as proposed really, is unacceptable for two reasons. First, because it is administratively impossible to carry it out; and, in the second place because it is unsound in principle. If hon. Members will bear with me for a minute or two I will explain what I mean. The Amendment says:Provided that where an insured contributor proves in the prescribed manner that he is normally engaged in an occupation which in the 12 months next preceding his application for benefits has had an unemployment percentage exceeding 15 per cent.Those words make it not only ambiguous, but impossible to cary out. If you take an industry like shipbuilding you may have 20, 30 or 40 occupations within that one industry, and you cannot for a purpose such as that suggested, classify satisfactorily the various occupations within a certain industry. Probably my hon. Friend who has moved this Amendment will contend that if you substitute the word "industry" for "occupation" the difficulty will disappear, but really that does not carry us very much farther, 303 and the difficulties we should encounter after accepting this Amendment would be just as formidable if the word "industry" were substituted for "occupation." Our classification is as accurate as we can possibly make it. When a man comes to us and says that he is engaged in such-and-such an industry we have no reason to suppose that he is not engaged in that industry, and, consequently, he is classified as belonging to the industry to which he says he belongs; but the moment you adopt this Amendment we should have to adjudicate in every individual case as to whether a man did or did not belong to a particular industry. If this Amendment be accepted you will be attaching certain advantages to one industry which are not enjoyed by another. It would then become of paramount importance to adjudicate upon the claim of a man who claims to belong to one industry rather than to another.
I will give the sort of case I have in mind. A man might say that he was a woodworker on a ship or a joiner engaged in house building. This man might be in both those industries at different times, and as hon. Members know, we should be in very grave danger at once of getting involved in all those questions of craft versus industry, which are extremely diffcult matters to decide, and have to be treated with the greatest possible care. The Amendment provides:That where an insured contributor proves in the prescribed manner that he is normally engaged in an occupation which in the preceding 12 months next preceding his application for benefit has had an unemployment percentage exceeding 15 per cent.That would mean if you put into administrative operation the suggestion contained in this Amendment that you would have to collect all periods of over 15 per cent. of unemployment during the last 12 months and add them to the two years' period. That would involve a census, week by week, in order to ascertain who came within that provision and who did not. Of course, anything of that kind is quite impracticable.
I want to deal with this matter with some care, because it raises a very important and rather difficult question. There is another consideration which I would ask the Committee to consider. It often happens that an industry is 304 slack in one place and busy, or comparatively busy, in another district. All these people pay the same contributions. The effect of accepting this Amendment would be that a man would be permitted to add to his qualifications because the conditions in the same industry are bad elsewhere. Conversely, a man might not be able to improve his qualifications because his industry might be more flourishing somewhere else, and that would draw a distinction between a man in an industry which, as a whole, was bad in a place where the industry might be flourishing—he would get the extra qualification—and another in a good industry in a district where it might be very slack, who, in spite of the slackness, would get no extra qualification. It seems to me that in some cases it is undoubtedly in the interest of a man to leave the industry in which he is engaged when it is in a bad condition and try his lot in another industry where things are better. The principle of this Amendment would have exactly the opposite effect to that which is intended, because it would tend to induce a man to remain in one industry when really it is in his own interest to move to another.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
This Amendment raises quite a different question. It proposes that in the case I have indicated a man should have a special or additional qualification if it so happens that in the industry in which he is engaged unemployment is in excess of a certain percentage. In that case the man would be able to add that period to the two years prescribed in the Bill, and he would have an advantage to that extent over the man in the same district but in an industry where the percentage was less than 15 per cent.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Surely the quota would govern the case which the Parliamentary Secretary has mentioned.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I do not think it would as the Amendment is drafted. I 305 do not want to go again into the question which was debated yesterday relating to the 30 contributions which we regard as a fair test as to whether a man should come within the insurance fund or not. Under a Clause, which I cannot discuss now, dealing with the transitional period, we have endeavoured to mitigate hardships of this kind as far as we can, and we really cannot fetter this scheme, and hamper our action in the future, by accepting an Amendment embodying such a proposal as that which is contained in the Amendment. With regard to the last part of the hon. Gentleman's speech, I might remind him of what the Minister of Labour said on Monday last in the House in reference to the transitional period. If at the end of the transitional period should any cataclysm or disaster occur in the meantime, and our calculations be very far from being realised, which I do not for a moment anticipate, there will he time for Parliament to take action with regard to the situation. I hope that I have said enough to satisfy the Committee that it would be inadvisable to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The Amendment is inappropriate to the scheme we have presented, and it is unacceptable because it cannot be administratively carried out, and because it is not sound in principle.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I think there is a good deal to be said for the Amendment, and while I appreciate that there might be administrative difficulties, they are less important than the difficulties of insured persons who would be brought within the range of benefit under this Amendment. I do not say that you should take the whole industry, because industry does not always leave the deadweight of its depression equally throughout the country, and it is often more keenly felt in particular areas. I cannot imagine that my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment desires that in a given Employment Exchange area, where an applicant can prove that he is normally engaged in an occupation which at that time had shown 15 per cent. of unemployment, he should then have the benefit of that 12 months during the period if 306 he could show that the 15 per cent. of unemployment prevailed.
There is no such difficulty as discrimination between the house carpenter and the ship's carpenter, and, indeed, one of my hon. Friends on this side has pointed out that that labour is always available for transfer from the one occupation to the other. If, however, a man is thrown out of employment in the shipyard, and if, in that particular occupation of the shipbuilding industry, he can show that 15 per cent. have been unemployed, surely, after what has been said by the Minister and by the Parliamentary Secretary, and after the reading of the extract from the Minister's own speech, it would be possible to deal with any special set of circumstances. A wise man will say that, before you inflict injury, you should try to avoid its infliction, and, as there is the doubt, and the possibility of this damage being inflicted, I feel that the Minister might well accept the principle embodied in this Amendment.
Taking the mining industry, the Parliamentary Secretary knows that, while in a given area there may be a large number either on short time or fully employed, another area may be entirely closed down. I can visualise Northumberland and Durham "feeling the draught" with a heavy percentage of people unemployed, but, on the other hand, I can understand Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire not having anything like the same percentage. Therefore, it would be unwise, to my mind, to distribute a 15 per cent. average over the whole field, when the problem is more acutely felt in one area than in another. If that 15 per cent. were shown in Northumberland and Durham or in any of the South Wales coalfields, I think that in that case an unemployed person might have the full benefit and advantage of the provision suggested in this Amendment. I quite see the difficulty of the Ministry in keeping a more complete check upon occupations under this proposal, but, if I have any fault to find with the Amendment, it is that the 15 per cent. suggested is too high. The requirement of 30 stamps is based on a period with a percentage of somewhere about 7 or 8; at the moment I believe the percentage is about 9. Surely, for every 1 per cent. that you go above 9 per cent., you get added difficulties. 307 I would remind the Committee of one point which I think has not yet been put. I have repeatedly asked about it, but we have not yet had an explanation. I am very much concerned about the method of calculating the effect of the 30 contributions on the great number who at present are registered as unemployed. I make the basis of calculation taken by the Minister himself work out at 138,000. I mention that solely for this reason. During the whole of these discussions, no one, I think, has appreciated to the full the position of those men who are on what is termed the two-months file. Among those who are on that two-months file—numbering at the moment about 100,000—there may be quite a large percentage who have never entered into the calculations of the Minister in arriving at his figure of 56,000. No percentage is applied to them, because they are not on the live register, and I am fearful that there is quite a large percentage there who have been disqualified because they no longer have any qualification at all on which to establish a right. If in that 100,000 you have 15 or 20 per cent. who cannot in any circumstances put in a qualification such as is laid down to bring them within the Minister's discretion—which will now disappear when this Bill becomes an Act—their chances will certainly be less when the Bill becomes an Act and the condition as to 30 stamps is there. That in itself means imposing a tremendous hardship upon that number of persons, whom, surely, we want to assist. They are as genuine as any of the others. They are less fortunate than those who have been employed, but that is the worst we can say of them. Their suffering has been prolonged to a larger extent, their disabilities have increased as time has gone on, and they will be intensified under the new Act. If they are given an opportunity of proving that they come from an occupation showing, within the area of their local exchange, 15 per cent. of unemployment, it will certainly make the road easier for them.
The Minister says that this will lead to difficulties of administration, and I am certain that no one will deny that, but perhaps I may put it in this way: No one will know better than the manager or officers of the local Exchange all the difficulties associated with the interlocking of the various occupations 308 within an industry, and I think it would be quite easy to classify them. Classification is not the difficulty, as I see it, because, as soon as a person says that he comes from an occupation which shows within the area 15 per cent. of unemployment during the 12 months preceding the date of his application, it does not matter what department or what sub-occupation of an industry he may be following, the Exchange officials are at once able to place it. The question of testing also is very easy and simple, because, knowing the industry and its operations within their locality, they can easily keep in touch with the chambers of commerce, or they can get in touch with the trades council, which is the centre for gathering in information so far as the employes' side is concerned. There is also an additional check by reason of the fact that you have an employer, a workman and an independent person on the Court of Referees. You have the whole of the connecting links and checks closely allied with the local activities; and if there should be any reason for doubt—although I can see no reason for doubt—whether an individual applicant is just over the borderline for exclusion, or within it for inclusion, surely, in the circumstances through which we are passing any little benefit could well be left to the discretion of those in the locality, who know the circumstances sufficiently well to safeguard the interests of other insured persons and also to safeguard the interests of the Fund.
I would repeat my question, because 'it will arise persistently as we go along. Will the Minister, before this Bill gets through its Committee stage, please tell us what is the position of those 100,000 who are on the two-months file—how many are disqualified by reason of inability to come within the Minister's discretion as it is now; how many will be disqualified under the requirement of 30 contributions; how many are disqualified by reason of not genuinely seeking work or of having no reasonable hope of again being absorbed in an insurable occupation; and what number have left their books and got into uninsured occupations, because I can imagine a percentage there? This, really, is the mystery number of our whole insurance system. No one can quite say to what category these people belong, 309 except that they are just returned as having their books deposited, and as being part of the general body of unemployed. I should say that there must be a considerable number of them who are put out because they cannot qualify under the Minister's present discretion, but who might be able to qualify somewhat under the terms of this Amendment if it were included. It would, I believe, prevent a large number of the anticipated 56,000— the number according to my calculation is, as I have said, 138,000—from being totally excluded, if the Minister would apply the same percentage to the two-months file which he has applied to the previous cases he took in hand.
In all the circumstances, I feel that this Amendment does not present the difficulties which, rightly, I suppose, the Parliamentary Secretary is anxious to avoid. He desires that nothing shall enter into the general administrative machinery that will hamper or handicap it in giving the full value of its services to the general body of applicants. I quite understand that, and I can understand other people, who do not know the circumstances, feeling that there would be difficulties in industries such as mining, iron and steel, shipbuilding and general engineering as an industry. In those industries, however, there are certain areas where 15 per cent., or perhaps even 20 per cent., does not represent the full extent of the affliction of unemployment, although, spread over the whole area of the industry, the average may not reach 15 per cent. If it does so much the better but that is all the more reason why, in view of the previous pleas for these very necessitous and depressed areas, the Minister should see what can b© done to relieve those dark spots, and I can conceive of no better means than accepting the principle embodied in this Amendment.
§ Mr. LUMLEY
The Committee will remember that last night some of us expressed fears as to the results of the condition to which the Committee was asked to agree. The Minister, in his reply, did not dispel those fears, except to say that he did not share them. Although we hope that he is right and we are wrong, it does seem to us that the whole thing is a bit of a gamble, and that the Minister himself does not regard it as a certainty. If I may read one sentence 310 from his speech to the Committee yesterday, he said:If, as I pointed out the other day, our expectations are not realised, it will be perfectly possible to deal with the situation before that time arrives in 1929."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th November, 1927; col. 177, Vol. 211.]The Amendment which we are now discussing was put down with a view to drawing from the Minister, if possible, some idea of what he bad in mind as to how the situation would be dealt with if his expectations were not realised. The Amendment was hastily, perhaps clumsily, drafted, but it attempted to represent one method of dealing with that situation. The Parliamentary Secretary has shown that it is administratively impossible, and it seems to me that he has adduced arguments to that effect which cannot be refuted, and which I, for one, accept; but we still want to know what the Minister has in mind in regard to dealing with the situation if his expectations are not realised. We have been told that one method which we have hastily suggested is administratively impossible, but it may be that, if we press in 1929 that something should be done, we shall be told that it will be financially unsound. I think we ought to know what the Minister meant by saying, "if his expectations are not realised." Did he mean only if a real cataclysm arises, or only if the figures in his White Paper are falsified? Also, what method has he in mind for dealing with that situation when it arises?
§ Mr. HARRIS
We have had one or two speeches from loyal supporters of the Government, and I and the Committee are convinced that they have only taken this line because of their experience and knowledge and their desire to make the Measure workable and not allow the whole system of insurance to break down. I quite agree that if we had arrived at an ideal state of affairs, the much discussed cycle was in working operation, and employment was normal, Amendments of this kind would not be necessary, but it is no use blinking the fact that owing to causes outside the control of the Government, world causes, trade conditions are not normal. Owing to the disorganising of our export trade, certain trades that exist almost entirely on export are faced with unemployment on such a scale that the machinery of 311 this new unemployment insurance scheme is bound to break down.
Take cotton textiles. In the ordinary way, unemployment runs round a certain cycle, and the percentage of unemployment is comparatively small, but owing to the disorganisation of the world, and the contracted demand for cotton goods, you have this abnormal condition. In the same way with shipbuilding. We have reason to hope that the recovery of world trade and the increased handling of goods will mean that the demand for ships will become normal, and the percentage of unemployment will be on a scale something like that anticipated by the Report. But in the meantime the whole machinery of this insurance with its 30 conditional contributions must break down and you will discredit insurance as a system of dealing with unemployment. That would be most unfortunate. I know the difficulty that amateurs feel in drafting Amendments. I have drafted as many as most private Members, and I know under what a disadvantage the private Member is as compared with the Minister, with his skilled professional draughtsmen, who have not only the advantage of giving the whole of their time but the moral authority of their profession. But where there is a will there is a way, and if the Minister accepted the principle I would recommend hon. Members to withdraw their Amendment on condition that the Minister would bring his battalions of experts to bear to draft words which could be put in operation and would be practicable.
The condition of 30 contributions will not only break down in the great centres which are the homes of the staple industries of the country. In the East End of London conditions are abnormal. One of our principal trades is the carrying trade. We have a large number of carmen who ordinarily earn their living by carrying goods to the docks. The percentage of unemployment is quite abnormal. I have tried to help many of these men to get jobs, but jobs are not obtainable. The percentage of unemployment is so large that in many cases they have only been in and out for a few weeks, such as Christmas time, and where there is a great rush of goods at certain times of the year. Under 312 these conditions no doubt all these men will be disqualified. They just manage to carry on under the system of extended benefit and keep off the Poor Law. In certain areas in London the whole Poor Law system is breaking down, not because it is entirely bad—I do not like it, but it has good qualities—but because too heavy a burden has been put on it. On the top of that you are going to push skilled workmen, decent workmen, who have largely been in regular work in the last 20 or 30 years, off the insurance scheme on to the Poor Law, and by that means you are going to discredit it. I can understand hon. Members above the Gangway who do not believe in a contributory scheme welcoming this new proposal of 30 contributions. Some of them want to discredit voluntary insurance.
I believe in insurance as the best and most practicable way of building over the bridge between the cycles of good and bad employment in normal times, and I do not want to see it discredited. I am not quite sure whether the Minister believes in insurance. I cannot help remembering some of the history of the Tory party before the War, and the old opposition to licking stamps. I am rather inclined to think there is much more sympathy between the two sides than people outside are conscious of. I am not sure that the Minister does not want insurance to break down and to go back to the old system of anarchy, with no proper machinery for dealing with unemployment. It looks rather like it. But if he really wants insurance to work he has an obligation to meet the speeches of his own supporters, and to try to make the Amendment workable. If not, the wise course would be to drop the Bill, and go back to the old system of extended benefit. The whole scheme will break down and the country will be faced with a problem too gigantic to contemplate. It would be most unfortunate that that should take place. I hope we shall get a little more sympathy from the Minister. He has more power than the Parliamentary Secretary. If we do not, I hope the Amendment will be pressed to a Division.
§ Mr. KIDD
I wonder if hon. Members who are responsible for this Amendment have considered how it could be applied to a decaying industry. A great many of 313 our industries will never be what they have been. I have in mind one industry which has had its ground invaded and has sought to resist the invasion with some measure of success, but it would be folly to believe that it can ever again be what it has been. I refer to the shale industry of Scotland. How would this Amendment affect it? What is to be the basis of the 15 per cent.? I should not encourage the workers to stay in that industry if they had the slightest opportunity of getting occupation elsewhere. No one realises better than I do, no one has occasion to realise better, the extraordinary burden thrown upon the neighbourhood and the extraordinary strain thrown upon the individual in the area of this shale field.
I cannot see how it will be possible to satisfy the wants of these people under an insurance scheme. If we were to apply this Amendment we should shatter any insurance scheme. To cast upon any insurance scheme, with the slightest pretence of actuarial security, a floating liability wholly indeterminate in its duration and in its possible amount would destroy the scheme from the start. The situation must be met. I only hope every encouragement will be given to stimulate the industry of the country, and that certain influences which have operated against the return of prosperity will be withdrawn, and it is in the return of prosperity and the opening up of fresh occupations that the hope of the workers in my decaying industry lies. That can only come about—[An HON. MEMBER: "Through a Labour Government!"] No, it will not come that way. That is the last way. It may come about with an opposition of a different character.
§ Mr. KIDD
I was encouraged by the interruption. I think the Amendment is wholly inapplicable to an insurance scheme. I have given reasons why the situation will require some attention from the Government, but not necessarily from the Minister of Labour. The situation I have figured may—I hope it will not— require attention from the Government. When, if necessary, that attention is given, it may not come from the Ministry that is responsible for the present Bill.
On these benches we welcome the increasing intervention of Members of the party opposite. It is a good thing for them to share the burden of debate on this very important Bill The hon. Member who spoke last asked how the situation in the shale industry could be fitted to the terms of this Amendment. The Amendment arises because the terms of the Bill do not fit into the situation. That is the real motive that lies behind the Amendment. I think the Parliamentary Secretary treated it with less seriousness than it deserves. He exploited the innocence of the hon. Member who put it on the Paper. It is the easiest thing in the world to prove that any Amendment is administratively impossible. This Bill is administratively impossible. It will be amended long before the time comes when it is ever likely to be regarded as a permanent Measure. To explain away the Amendment by a series of excuses with regard to the difficulty of administration is really to ignore the real point. The real situation which, I imagine, has given rise to the Amendment is one of very great importance. I am not saying I agree with the precise wording of the Amendment. I am not saying that 15 per cent. is the right figure—I should like to see that mystic figure of 8 per cent. to which the right hon. Gentleman attaches so much importance—but I agree with the principle behind it.
The fact that this Amendment becomes administratively impossible arises because of the Bill itself, for it ignores the real fundamental problem of unemployment to-day. As I have pointed out, the problem is not that of the national average. The problem is the problem of those stagnant pools of labour which may become worse and worse, while the national figure for unemployment is diminishing. That situation has not been dealt with in this Bill. Personally, in times of normal trade and normal employment, I would accept the 30 contributions in two years, because I think it would be a perfectly reasonable condition, but the whole point of the criticism which has been directed against Clause 5 is that you have a very large body of working men in respect of whom 30 stamps in two years is an absolute impossibility. The question arises: What is to be done with them? The Parliamentary Secretary's answer is, nothing. That is a very unfortunate state of affairs, 315 and even if this Amendment, as it stands now, were administratively unworkable I should still support it. As a matter of fact, I do not believe that it is administratively unworkable. I think the right hon. Gentleman and his colleague deserve all the administrative difficulties that can be cast upon them. If the Bill is couched in such a form and in such a way that it is bound to make trouble, theirs are the heads on whom the trouble should fall. What the Amendment now seeks to do is to put the trouble where it ought to rest, and to relieve from ineligibility for unemployment benefit that large mass of -workers in some of the staple industries of this country, who, if trade remains as it is, can never come within the four corners of the Bill.
What I think we are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman is, not whether he accepts the terms of this Amendment —we do not merely want criticisms of the details of this Amendment—but what is his alternative for dealing with the problem to the discussion of which this Amendment has given rise? The right hon. Gentleman—I would not like to say he is an artful dodger—has succeeded in postponing from Clause to Clause any serious explanation of his Bill, and while we are on this Clause, we must learn, because we cannot learn elsewhere, what he really intends to do with this proved surplus of labour in the industries which are badly affected to-day. We have had no answer. I think it is a very serious question. I think we ought to press the right hon. Gentleman for an answer to this specific question. If he will not accept this Amendment, what proposals has he to make to deal with this question? Is it his intention to leave the people in mining, in shipbuilding, in the iron and steel trades and in ether depressed trades without any hope of reaping any benefit under the present Bill? If that be his declared intention, we 6hall know where we are, but at least we ought to have a perfectly clear statement as to the attitude of the Minister on this problem. Although, as I say, I do not believe that this Amendment is word perfect—I think it might be improved—the point at issue is not concerned with the details of the Amendment. I am glad the Amendment has been moved, and I welcome it at this early stage of our discussion on Clause 5. 316 I do not want to take words out of my hon. Friend's mouth, but I think he is less concerned about the words of his Amendment than the problem the Amendment is designed to meet. We have not had a single word on the problem from the Parliamentary Secretary, and I think we are entitled to ask the Minister for a clear statement as to whether he is prepared to see these people in depressed areas fall out of the scheme. If this be so, has he any proposal to make for dealing with them?
Captain ARTHUR EVANS
The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), in his concluding remarks, gave away what, I think, was the whole secret of this Amendment. He invited the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw the Bill, and said that in his judgment the Bill was designed by the Government to bring about the break-up of contributory insurance. He said that no doubt that was the real object of my right hon. Friend. I should think it would be as true to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) is as anxious to give away his funds to the Liberal party and so destroy himself. If the objects, the splendid objects, if I may say so, which were given to the House by the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) were met by the Amendment, I think there would be a lot to say for it, but there is not the slightest doubt in anybody's mind what this Amendment really does. It brings us back to yesterday's Debate on the Bill as to whether you are now to have 30 or 20 contributions. There is mot the slightest doubt in the mind of the Committee as to the objects of the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment. He invited the Minister to withdraw the Bill and swallow his pride. That is quite a legitimate object, because I believe the chief concern of the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. B. Hudson) and his hon. Friends is the question of distressed areas. It is a very legitimate concern for a representative of a distressed area to have a voice in this Committee, but those of us of the Conservative party who are supporting the Government feel that that is a matter which could much better be met by any Measures which might be introduced into this House by the Ministry of Health rather than by the Ministry of Labour.
317 If the hon. Member and his Friends achieve the object they have in view, it will result in the whole contributory insurance scheme being defeated. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Because if an Amendment of this kind were carried, or if you reduced your contributions from 30 to 20, the effect would be the same. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman knows that if you reduce your contributions in that way you deal a definite blow at an insurance scheme which is based on a contributory system. If, of course, the hon. Gentlemen who sit on the Labour benches are desirous of taking their argument to its logical conclusion, they will say frankly, "We are not in favour of this scheme. We are in favour of an insurance scheme without any contributions at all; and we are in favour of work or maintenance."
May I ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman whether he really understands the Amendment of his own friends? I would ask Kim whether he is aware that this Amendment deals with those people who are engaged in a particular industry who can never fulfil the conditions already made. This Amendment seeks to relieve them.
I am afraid the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) was not in the Committee when the Parliamentary Secretary said it was absolutely impossible to administer the scheme under the terms of this Amendment. The questions to which we have to address ourselves to-day are practical questions, and we have to see whether it is possible to meet the views put before the Committee by the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Nottingham under the terms of this Amendment. I think it has been proved conclusively to the satisfaction of the Committee that this Amendment is purely a wrecking Amendment, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will make no attempt to interfere with the principle of this Bill. But if at the end of next year the state of industry points to the impossibility of dealing with the men the hon. Member for Whitehaven had in mind, I feel sure the Government will take any steps which are necessary to deal with this matter in connection with any Measures which they may introduce in relation to boards of guardians.
§ Mr. KELLY
If one were to judge the speech which we have just heard, it is 318 evident that the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not understand the Amendment. The burden of his story was that this was an attempt to reduce the number of contributions for qualifying purposes. It is nothing of the kind. It is extending the period over which, and in which those contributions have to be paid in order that qualification may be obtained for benefit.
§ Mr. KELLY
It is not the same thing. The hon. and gallant Member spoke of reducing the number of contributions to 20 or 15 as against 30, which is already in the Bill. As it is nothing of the kind, I hope the hon. and gallant Member will withdraw all the observations he has made with regard to it being a wrecking Amendment of this particular Measure. I want particularly to deal with the Parliamentary Secretary who, I am sorry to say, appears to have been called out. [HON. MEMBERS: "He is in his place."] He has shifted his place so often, as he has shifted his ground on this Bill, that one can be pardoned for not seing him. He stated that this would be administratively impossible, and he drew for his illustration the carpenter who is engaged in the shipbuilding industry. He said, "How could you know whether there was 15 per cent. of unemployment among the ship carpenters at any time?" You might have carpenters in the house building trade entering themselves upon the register, and so giving you a position that the authorities at the Ministry of Labour would not be able to tell whether 15 per cent. or some other percentage were unemployed. If that is the only illustration that the Parliamentary Secretary can find, I think it is rather an insult to the Committee to put the point to us. The percentage of unemployed in particular occupations and particular industries is known in his Department at the present time, and he can find the information by taking a few steps from the seat he is occupying at this moment. He told us that it will be difficult to have it even in the matter of industries, and he quoted to us the old quarrel as to what is a craft and what is an industry. Some of us on this side of the House would have been willing to follow him upon the point as to what is an industry and what is a craft. We had that during the discussion 319 on the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill. To say that it is impossible for the Ministry to know whether 15 per cent. are unemployed in a particular occupation or a particular industry and that it cannot be found out by his Department is certainly begging the position.
We have been reminded, by the Parliamentary Secretary that it is possible to have a condition of things in which some portion of an industry may be prosperous and another portion of the industry may be in a state of depression. He left it at that. I would like to know to what occupation he was referring. I put a few questions to the Minister of Labour, who is going to reply. I hope he will not move the Closure, as he did in the earlier stages. Does he say that it is administratively possible to ascertain what is the percentage of unemployed in any section of the engineering trade? Does he say that his Department cannot tell us the number unemployed in any part of the shipbuilding trade? Does he say that it is impossible to tell us the percentage of unemployed in the chemical industry? Does he say that it is impossible to tell us the percentage of unemployed in the textile industry, either cotton which was referred to by the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) or the woollen section of the industry? To say that they do not know at this time of day what is the percentage of unemployed in an industry, is hardly treating the House with that fairness that we ought to receive.
I am inclined to think that the reason of the Government in opposing the Amendment is because they know that the Bill as drafted, and this particular Clause of it, will drive off the unemployment pay roll or keep off the unemployment pay roll tens of thousands of people. They know quite well that there are very few industries, if any industry, in this country, where there is a certainty of securing the 7½ months work that would enable the necessary contributions to be on the card as a qualification for the unemployment pay. This Amendment is not entirely satisfactory to me, but certainly I do not consider it a wrecking Amendment. I can see the difficulties that would present themselves with regard to the 15 per cent. My hon. Friend who spoke from the Front Opposi- 320 tion Bench said that it ought to be something like 8 per cent., or approaching near it, to be fair in regard to the unemployed people. It is because the Bill as drafted will prevent many people from having a qualification for benefit that I am prepared to support the Amendment, even though the 15 per cent. is a long way different from the figure that I think right.
I can remember well the earlier days of unemployment insurance when the Board of Trade operated it, and how gladly they accepted our contributions when they knew full well that we were paying more than was required for the benefit we were to receive. I can remember how they imposed the contributions upon us at that time, and I can see now the spirit which animates the present Government who, whilst demanding our contributions and demanding 30 payments of contributions, know full well that it is not going to help the people in the direction of receiving unemployment pay, but will prevent a great many people from receiving that pay, because of the conditions under which they find themselves; conditions which are not due to any fault of their own. I hope the Amendment will be forced to a division, and I shall certainly support it. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green need not remind us of our difficulties in regard to a contributory scheme. If we wish to wreck a contributory scheme it will not be by such little items as this Amendment. We shall go for it by a straight attack and not by such a small Amendment as this. As the Amendment may help a few people I shall support it. Even if it helps a few people it ought to have the support of the Tory party which is opposed to real unemployment insurance.
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)
I shall not detain the Committee long in my comments in reply to some of the points which have been raised. I do not propose to traverse again the question of the unworkability of this Amendment as it stands. I think the speech of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary made that clear, and I think that fact was accepted. I will, however, in two or three sentences deal with the speech of the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) in regard to this point. In the 321 first place, it is not a fact that we have got, nor as far as I can see is it within practical politics that we can get, a census for each separate occupation, much less a census week by week. The point to be settled would be the status of the individual in respect of his occupation and the difficulty of determining whether or not the individual belonged to a particular occupation at any moment. The difficulty arises not from the point of view of statistical accuracy, but from the effect of returning the man in a particular occupation, which ex hypothesi, is likely to have easier conditions of benefit attached to it.
The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) spoke as one belonging to the one party in the House which really loves insurance. He loves it so much that, having admitted the Amendment to be unworkable, he proposes that it should be incorporated in the scheme unless I give an assurance of some kind or other. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) was right when he told us that the Amendment was impossible; but he said that to reject it on that account was to go away from the main point. Really, I put it to the Committee that when it is proposed to incorporate an Amendment in the Bill it is absurd to say that the first and primary point is not to consider whether it is a workable Amendment. There are industries which, as everybody knows, are comparatively flourishing in one place and not in another, and it would be a bad principle if we tried to persuade individuals who are in a particular place where an industry is depressed to stay there, and to give them inducement to stay there rather than go away to some place where the industry is more flourishing or, if that cannot be found, to go into some other, occupation.
The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd) dealt with a case in point in regard to the shale industry. What has happened in that industry proves the inadvisability of any suggestion of the kind to which I have referred. The shale industry was and is a most depressed industry, and if they had had this condition about the 15 per cent. unemployment in operation it really would not have helped them so much as with the assistance of the Employment Exchanges they have been able to help themselves. 322 In that industry, depressed as it is, there were 2,600 men out of work. It is a small industry. Within 11 months, nearly 60 per cent. of these men had found or had been helped to find employment in. other industries near at hand. I put it to the good sense of the Committee that that is an infinitely better way of dealing with the situation than of doing anything that would induce men to remain-where they are in much less favourable conditions.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I say, and I say it advisedly, that, of course, while I should do what I can to help in any case, the moment you relax one of the two main conditions you weaken any incentive to the men to find occupation in other places.
The next point was why should not I state at once what steps I propose to take should it be found —although, as I have said often, I consider it most unlikely—that the state of affairs is so bad when the 30 contributions condition comes into operation that some measures are necessary to meet the situation. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) pursued what I would call the well-known tactics of anyone in Opposition. He asked for details now of any step to meet any emergency. That is what he has been doing during the whole discussion on the Bill.
I asked a simple question. The right hon. Gentleman admits that he is going to throw out of benefit 56,000 more persons, and we are entitled to ask now what he is going to do with those persons? That is not a hypothetical question.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am dealing with the Amendment, with regard to the 15 per cent. of unemployment, and I say quite simply at once what I would do. If and when it became clearly necessary for something to be done, then I would suggest that Parliament, which has the power to pass a short Act to deal with the situation, should exercise that power once again; but it is absurd to ask that here and now I should indicate exactly what steps, I should take, because no one can say what will be the nature of the problem to be met. The state of the shale in- 323 dustry at this moment, where there is a great deal of unemployment, is an entirely different matter from the state, say, of the tinplate industry at any given moment. It makes every difference in the world whether you have an industry where it looks as though a great amount of unemployment is going to continue or whether you have an industry which has acute and acrobatic Tips and downs, which is the case so often with an industry like the tinplate industry. Therefore, I say quite advisedly that it is wrong altogether to try to deal with the situation and to hamper the administration by trying i beforehand to state the exact measures that may be taken to meet a situation in the future. On the contrary there is -no need for it, there is no need for this precipitancy. The hon. Member for Sunderland asked how I proposed to meet the figures he quoted to the Committee yesterday. The hon. Member used many figures, and I have not yet read the whole of his speech, but I must tell him that I am not impressed by his figures. He has used them in perfectly good faith, but his first estimate in regard to Sunderland is more than 100 per cent. out.
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how he arrives at the conclusion that my figures are 100 per cent. out?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
It is more than 100 per cent., it is 150 per cent. In connection with the first estimate he gave —56 per cent.—he took an entirely untrue sample. He took a sample of the people who' were coming in on a particular day for extended benefit. He chose the worst lives and then took a percentage based on the worst possible sample of those lives. When he got down to a fairer sample he reduced that estimate from 50 per cent to 22 per cent. I must point out that 56 per cent. is not 100 per cent., hut 150 per cent. higher.
§ Mr. THOMPSON
I am glad the right hon. Gentleman has raised this issue and I think we should have it made perfectly clear. I did not intend disclosing figures Taut I will disclose the figures to the 'Committee now, I explained to the House that as a member of a local committee I was able to take a sample on a specific day in November, and on that day 265 men applied for benefit. Out of 324 that 285 there were 160 who would have been turned down, or 56 per cent., on the 30 contributions basis. I asked for a return on the 20 contributions basis and no less than 20 per cent. of the applicants would have been turned down. I submitted these figures to the Ministry straight away and said that if they were correct it was an alarming state of things. I ask the Ministry to correct me. This was in November. The Ministry could not disprove these figures, but said that they were taken over an unfair test. I said, "Very well, give me the right test," and the test which the Ministry took was not over a number of applicants but over the total number of men who were receiving benefit in a particular Employment Exchange, numbering 3,100; men who were receiving standard and extended benefit, and on the test of the 30 contributions 22.5 failed. It means that 700 men in that exchange would have been turned down. That exchange represents half of the unemployed people in Sunderland, and it is reasonable to suppose that 1,400 men in Sunderland will be turned down on the 30 contributions rule. It is not fair for the Minister to say that my figures are wrong by 150 per cent. They are strictly right in the way they were taken.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I have said that the 56 per cent. was based on what was not a true sample. If anybody gets a sample which is not correct they can produce almost any percentage they like.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Now I take the hon. Member's further figure. He says that it is difficult for any private Member to get a sample which shall be a true sample. I quite agree that it is difficult for a private Member to do this. The figure he produced was 22.5 per cent. for those who would be affected by the 30 contributions rule in the last two years.
§ Mr. THOMPSON
As I say, they averaged 3,100; those who were then receiving standard and extended benefit, and, under the 30 contributions test 22.5 would fail.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That is on the 30 contributions in the last two years. I ask the Committee and the hon. Member to consider whether there 325 is any need for apprehension. I take the figures of unemployment in Sunderland for the past two years; those on the live register. In November, 1926, towards the end of the coal dispute there were 22,445. In December they had sunk to 19,524, and they sank steadily during the first part of this year up to April, when they were down to 14,508. During the last six months the fall has steadily continued and on 24th October this year they were 9,540. The figures in Sunderland have been falling steadily the whole time from the high peak last November, when they were gravely influenced by the coal stoppage. But obviously, it means that the hon. Member in coming to his conclusion of 22.5 per cent. was influenced by the figures based on a period which was itself abnormal. That is the reason why I have said, and say again, that while no prudent person would refrain from devising machinery which would be best calculated to meet the situation, yet, on the other hand the situation need not cause apprehension; there is no need to take precipitate action, and for that reason I cannot ask the Committee to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. THOMPSON
May I say just one word more in order to clear up one point. My figures were deliberately based on the date 14th November in order to give a clear year between the settlement of the coal dispute and the time they were taken, and the latter arguments of the right hon. Gentleman are entirely in favour of that date. The fact that trade is booming in Sunderland should have made it easier for men to qualify for benefit during the last year.
§ Mr. R. HUDSON
Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down may I ask him to reply to the question I put to him in my original speech? I asked him to define what he meant by the phrase, "If my expectations are not realised." The Parliamentary Secretary said that if a cataclysm occurs remedial legislation will be necessary. The whole of our point in moving this Amendment is based on the fact that we think the right hon. Gentleman's calculations in the White Paper are wrong and based on too high a sample. I ask him to say, in order to prove that his expectations are right, that he will take some practical steps, such as taking a quarterly sample on a 326 larger scale, more especially in the distress areas, to see whether these numbers of men would be turned out and whether remedial legislation will be necessary. If the right hon. Gentleman can answer these questions he will dispel great fears and apprehensions in our minds. Can he explain what he means by "if his expectations are not realised."
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I certainly shall not bind myself to take samples of 1 per cent., 2 per cent., 3 per cent., or 4 per cent., but I am prepared to take samples from time to time, on the best statistical advice, which are calculated to give really fair and adequate results. I have, as many hon. Members know, taken the advice of those who are my advisers as to what is a sufficient sample to be adequate, and as to the conditions under which it would be a perfectly good sample. If the hon. Member wishes me to lay down a particular test with regard to any particular industry, that I certainly will not do. I cannot do it. I have always said during all the years I have been at the Ministry of Labour, and I still maintain it, that you have to look at all the circumstances of an industry before you can pronounce judgment upon it, and amongst the circumstances is the duration of the stoppages and the amount of general unemployment in the trade, but to make a particular test in any particular industry is a thing which no prudent man would do.
Will the right hon. Gentleman develop his point and apply it to the existing circumstances in the mining industry?
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I should like to know whether the right hon. Gentleman in taking his test and making his inquiries will include the figures for the two months and give us an analysis? There are 100,000 people who do not come into the calculations and it is time we had an analysis.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I will inquire whether it is possible and right to do so and let the hon. Member know.
§ Mr. EVAN DAVIES
I should not have intervened in the Debate but for the fact that the whole thing appears to me to be very unsatisfactory. The Minister of Labour has made a display of his sympathy with the working classes of the country throughout the whole course of the discussion. I come from an area which is constantly affected by unemployment. I am satisfied that the purpose of the Amendment is to meet a condition of things that I experience from time to time in the area that I represent. It looks as if we on this side of the House are the people who are trying to put the case of the working classes of the country, and those who are sitting on the Government Front Bench and those who support them represent some other community or country as against the working classes of this country. We are trying to put forward the fundamental fact that the present condition of unemployment arises largely because of the conduct of the particular people who have been in control of the affairs of the country.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
If an hon. Member opposite was allowed to say a word for those who are in the shipbuilding industry, surely my hon. Friend, can say a word for the colliers of the country?
§ Mr. DAVIES
It is not my intention to do more than bring to the mind of the House the fundamental fact that there are large numbers of men unemployed and that hon. Members opposite do not appreciate or understand the fact. I represent an area where at this moment, in one particular valley, there is a population of 16,000, and only 100 men are employed in the collieries, because the other collieries have been closed down as a result of what are called economic conditions. Those people are not responsible for the economic conditions. The Amendment tries to get the Minister to agree to a different condition of things. The right hon. Gentleman does away with the right to benefit by his stipulation in the Bill as to 30 stamps on the card in the last two years._ I am here to ask the Minister what he intends to do with these particular people, who will have not a crumb of bread to eat. I am not 328 so much concrened as to technical points or the wording of any Amendment. I am here to state that it is a sad reflection on the House of Commons that in the present condition of industry, with an enormous amount of unemployment in the industrial valleys of Wales and all over the country, we have a Minister with sufficient effrontery and a Cabinet with sufficient impudence to bring into the House legislation which will mean the starvation of large numbers of people who cannot help themselves.
I know only this: that if the Minister will not agree to try to bring these people into the ambit of an Act of Parliament that will give them an opportunity to live in some way, he may depend upon it that he is creating in the country such a psychology that love of country will be a thing of the past—a psychology that will treat the Minister and all concerned in this House as being the enemy of the working classes of the country. I ask right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, do they realise that there is unemployment on a very large scale in this country? Are they prepared to do something in order to bring into benefit those people who are genuinely unemployed? We had a discussion last night as to the meaning of "genuinely seeking work." The Minister then defended the words of the Bill. I have in my pocket a letter from a man who was in receipt of benefit. In order to get work somewhere, and being tired of the condition of things as he found them, he walked all the way from Ebbw Vale to Wakefield, seeking employment on the journey, but the Employment Exchange officials at Wakefield eventually told him he was not genuinely seeking work. That case is typical of what can be done with people who may be struck off the register because they have not the requisite 30 stamps on their cards. By such methods the Government will create, and I would help to create, a condition of things that will lead to deep resentment against the Government and will make men look upon the Government as those who want to force people's noses to the ground and make them work for nothing. The Government will have to put up with the consequences if they force the Bill through in its present form.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I wish to subscribe to the sentiments expressed by the last speaker. One could sometimes admire the debating ability of the Minister of Labour were it not for the fact that every success he achieves means the starvation of a certain number of people. It cannot be too often brought to the mind of the House that we are dealing here, not with the question how we shall run certain mechanical contrivances, but how we shall administer the domestic affairs of a large percentage of the community. One of the significant things about this Amendment is that it comes from three Conservative Members representing industrial constituencies. It indicates that already, before the Fifth Clause of the Bill is passed in Committee, even the Conservative industrial districts are in revolt. The hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. L. Thompson) told the Committee that his constituents had placed before him certain facts which made it impossible for him to return to his constituency and attempt to justify the conduct of the Government in forcing this Bill through in its present form. I wish it were possible for all Members on the other side to consult their constituents regarding this Bill. I am sure that if they did, and that if it were possible to report Progress until they had had such an opportunity, when the House met again there would be a different attitude of mind towards the main proposals of the Bill.
It is a mere debating point to say that there are administrative difficulties in the way of acceptance of the Amendment. Such administrative difficulties are nothing to the administrative difficulties that will be experienced by tens of thousands of women in this country in trying to live under the provisions of this Measure. The right hon. Gentleman has at his disposal the ablest Parliamentary draftsmen in the world. If he desires to accept the spirit of this Amendment there is no difficulty at all in getting a form of words that will give expression to that desire. The right hon. Gentleman does not want to accept the spirit of the Amendment, and therefore he quibbles about the defects of draftsmanship in the Amendment. The question that is raised here is one with which the House has been familiar for several years. It is the condition of the necessitous areas. We know that while the right hon. Gentleman may talk about 9.3 per cent. of 330 unemployment and a probable 8 per cent. of unemployment, there are large areas in which there are at the moment 20, 25, 50 and 60 per cent. of the industrial population unemployed. We have just had a speech from an hon. Member representing a constituency where, he says, probably 90 per cent. of the workers are unwillingly unemployed. How can the Minister attempt to evade that terrible condition of things? It is impossible.
We have heard a lot about statistics, both to-day and yesterday. We were told that certain figures presented to the House were 150 per cent. wrong. If such a term is justifiable at all, we might say that this Bill is 150 per cent. wrong. How can you ever hope to bring these people into unemployment benefit? If you had only 26 per cent. of an industrial population unemployed and you distributed the available employment over the available number of workers, it would be possible under the Bill to prevent anyone in that area from ever being eligible for benefit. That has been pointed out over and over again. Unless a man has 30 stamps for 30 weeks' works in two years he is not eligible for benefit. So you can quite easily distribute the work that is available in a district like this and in a district four or five times more prosperous than this—distribute the work available over the men who are willing to do it and not one of those men will ever, if the Bill is in operation for 20 years, be eligible for the benefits contemplated in the Bill. I am sure that hon. Members opposite must know that. At any rate, it is hopeful that the people of Sunderland will know it, and that they, who have sent a Conservative Member to represent them in this House, have now intimated to that Member that it was not to support this Bill that he was sent to the House.
I wonder what Conservative Member was sent from an industrial district to support the Bill. I submit that not a single Member on the Government side of the House could! get up and say that he has a mandate to support the Government in the proposals that are now being forced through the House. The Parliamentary Secretary, in another excellent debating speech, told us that if you gave effect to this Amendment and you said that people, say, in the mining industry, 331 were only to have a period in which the rate of unemployment exceeded 15 per cent. struck out of the calculations, people in that industry in certain areas would get advantages over other people in the same industry in other areas. But I submit that that applies to the Bill as it stands to-day. Unemployment in any industry is not uniform to-day. It may be 30 per cent. in one district and 10 per cent. in another. In a district where it is only 10 per cent., has not the unemployed man three times the chance of getting a job that he would have if residing in a district with 30 per cent. of unemployment? You cannot exclude these conditions from any Measure because you have not uniformity. To reject an Amendment because such an objection applies to it is pitiable debating, for the same objection applies to every Clause in the Bill into which it is proposed to insert the Amendment. I am surprised at the Minister's adamant attitude towards this human appeal that has been made to him on behalf of tens and probably hundreds of thousands of men and their dependants, whose bread and butter are at stake. He tells us that, if there is an industrial cataclysm, this Bill, which on its Second Reading we were told was a final Measure and was to settle for ever the question of unemployment insurance, will not be final. Before the Bill is through Committee, the right hon. Gentleman rises in his place and tells us that he contemplates another Measure to remedy the state of affairs that is possible but will not be met under this Measure.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) is now making a Second Reading speech. He must confine himself to the Amendment.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
With all due respect, I submit I am replying, argument by argument, to the discussion which has taken place this afternoon. I submit that the Minister more than once this afternoon indicated to the House that, if the reductions in unemployment on which the provisions of the Bill are based, were not 332 realised, then it would be open to him to introduce another Measure to deal with the situation which would then arise. He said so last night and he has said it more than once to-day. I say it shows that the Government have not given serious consideration to this problem when they submit a Bill which they tell us on the Second Reading is, in their judgment, the final settlement of a difficult problem and then, before the fifth Clause of that Bill goes through Committee, tell us, in defence of their Bill, that they can always fall back within the next 12 months on a new Measure to take its place.
§ Mr. AUSTIN HOPKINSON
To return to the Amendment, I agree with the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) who said that this is really not a wrecking Amendment, but surely it is an Amendment which goes directly against the spirit of the Clause. As the Minister said before he entered into a controversy on figures with hon. Members, the object of this Clause is to cause a certain amount of pressure to he brought to bear upon those who happen to be engaged in industries which are now dying out, or are not likely to afford any considerable amount of employment in the future. That such pressure is necessary, I think our experience of the Insurance Acts during the past few years has proved conclusively. The hardship to the manual worker who has to change his occupation in these days is immense, and, therefore, in the absence of some little pressure in that direction, it is very difficult to imagine that he will voluntarily change his occupation and go into some other industry where his chances of continued employment are better. For example, the bulk of the working population in this country live in houses which come under the Rent Restrictions Acts. It is well-known to those of us who live in working-class districts that it is immensely difficult for a man to change his place of residence, since, under the Acts which control working-class houses, anyone who is fortunate enough to be in a house and paying rent below the market value is naturally unwilling to move from that house.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I ask you, Mr. Chairman, do we get leave to wander about in this fashion in our speeches?
§ Mr. HOPKINSON
The result of this situation is, as I say, that hardship is produced when a man is forced to change his occupation at the present time. There is another point which I would like to bring to the notice of hon. Members opposite. In all the arguments which I have heard them use in reference to this Amendment, they seem to go upon the supposition that if 60,000 men are affected by the Clause, then those 60,000 men must of necessity go on the Poor Law. Surely, they are greatly in error there. The mere fact that 60,000 weekly payments of benefit have been saved to industry, and that that amount of money is, therefore, producing more employment for the men is a factor in easing the situation for them. That has always been the trouble with unemployment insurance. It is one of the unhappy things about it, that the mere existence of the Unemployment Insurance Acts and of the system of weekly payments—which payments have to be made by industry—to the unemployed men, means an increased amount of unemployment. The thing is obvious, and has always been taken into account to a certain extent in the actuarial calculations upon which benefits and contributions are based.
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. James Hope)
I do not see how the hon. Member is going to get to the point of this Amendment.
§ Mr. HOPKINSON
The argument on the other side, before you came in, Sir, was that this Amendment ought to be passed because, in its absence, a very large number of people would be thrown out of benefit who would otherwise not be thrown out of benefit. Hon. Members base their argument on the supposition, as I have suggested, that all these men would be unable to find employment if they were thrown off benefit. As a matter of fact, a very large percentage of them would find the unemployment situation distinctly eased by the fact that unemployment benefit was not being paid in their cases. Therefore, let us bear in mind that, whatever the calculated number of men who will be affected by this Clause in the way indicated, at any rate a considerable proportion of them are bound to find the unemployment situation distinctly eased. In conclusion, I hope hon. Members opposite will 334 consider the main point of the Clause, which is admittedly to bring pressure to bear upon a certain section of the population to change their occupations. An hon. Member who spoke a short time ago referred to the Welsh coal-mining areas. I know those areas, and it is true, as the hon. Member said, that in some of them there are thousands of men who can never hope to get employment in their own industry again. Are we simply to sit down and allow those men to goon drawing benefit at the expense of the other workers and the rest of the industry of the country for an indefinite period? Is it not really kinder, is it not less cruel in the long run to bring a reasonable amount of pressure upon them in order to help them to overcome the hardship involved in a change of employment and get them to work again?
§ Miss WILKINSON
It seems to me that the last speaker has invented a brand of economics which is all his own. He has not a following even in this House but it is interesting to know that when he, at last, comes down to deal with the question of these "pools" of labour for which no other employment can be found, the unemployed who are to be left out of the Bill, his only remedy is pressure, and still more pressure. If he would go into those mining valleys of which he speaks he would realise that there is now a pressure, weighing like lead on these men. It is not further pressure but some means of alleviating their distress that the Opposition is trying to secure in its support of this Amendment. Going back to the speech of the Minister, I would like the Committee to realise where the right hon. Gentleman has left us by his remarks in reply to the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. R. Hudson). The Minister admits that there will be need, or that there may be need, for a short Act in order to deal with the trouble which has been indicated by the Mover of the Amendment; but he asks us not to be precipitate about it, and to wait until this Measure is in operation. Then, the right hon. Gentleman says, he will "take samples," and consider what the position will be and frame his new Measure accordingly. That would sound a perfectly logical method of procedure if the figures on which he will take his samples were not in fact known to his Department beforehand. If he were dealing with an un- 335 known quantity, so that he would have to see this Measure in operation first and then devise his new Bill accordingly. I could understand his position. But every Employment Exchange in the country can, in fact, supply him now with the number of men and women who are likely to be turned off insurance benefit by the operation of this 30 contributions qualification. That is the whole point.
We have had to point out to the Minister constantly that he is refusing to produce the statistics which are available. He has preferred in every case to base the provisions of this Bill on guesses because he dare not face the statistics which his own Department could produce. Any Exchange in the country could give the right hon. Gentleman the figures which the Sunderland Exchange has provided for the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. L. Thompson). It is a simple arithmetical calculation 'o find out how many men and women signing for benefit, will be disqualified under this 30 stamps condition. But rather than take that course, the Minister begs us not to be precipitate. What does he think is to happen to all these men who are being turned off benefit while he is waiting to take samples and is telling us not to be precipitate? I wish one could make the right hon. Gentleman realise that he is dealing with human beings, and with homes. I wish he would realise that these people are going to be put into a terrible plight by the operation of this Measure which is based on such extraordinary shaky foundations both as regards its finance and its statistics.
It seems to me that both those who look at the matter primarily from the point of view of industrial employment, and those who look at it primarily from the point of view of the worker, must regard the future with grave misgivings if we are going to have this guess-work kind of legislation, for which there is no excuse because the figures, as I say, are available if the Minister would trouble to get them. We know that the figures are available from the way in which the Minister can throw out quite a definite figure when he chooses to do so, to help any particular argument. But when we ask, as I asked at Question Time some days ago for the figures in regard to Middlesbrough, for example, and the numbers who would be turned off benefit 336 by the operation of this qualification, then all we can get from the Minister is that it would be too costly and too difficult to procure the figures. I suggest that the cost to industry and the cost to the country is going to be made infinitely greater by the refusal of the Minister to get his statistics before he draws up his Bill.
May I give one sample from my own constituency. In Middlesbrough £3,000 a week was being paid in out-relief. When the last Insurance Act threw a number of men off benefit, the figures went up by £800 a week. That is a cost put on to industry; it means that this particular distressed area has so much of a further burden to bear, and I think the employers of the country have a right to demand from the Minister some indication, before he introduces a Bill like this, of what it is going to cost them and of how these distressed areas and terribly depressed industries, like coal, iron, steel, shipbuilding constructional engineering, are going to be affected by its operation. Somebody has to keep these men. We cannot leave them, as yet, to starve on the streets. It is merely a mechanical operation; if they go off this Fund which is borne on the shoulders of the whole country then they will be thrown on the localities, and we shall see our depressed industries still further depressed. The Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary, have both failed to meet this fundamental point which has been raised by Members on their own side of the House. Neither the Minister of Labour nor the Minister of Health will face the position. The Minister of Health refuses grants to distressed areas. The Minister of Labour says it is not his business how people are to live on these benefits or whether they are to be turned off or not; that they will have to go to the Minister of Health. The people who are suffering are the workers on the one side, and the big industrial employers on the other.
We are told by the Parliamentary Secretary that he cannot accept this Amendment because he cannot define an industry. Some of us remember the Debates on the Trade Unions Bill and how we were told, on the question as to whether it was possible to define an industry, "Of course, you can define an industry; it is perfectly reasonable to define an industry." The Attorney-General made a speech ridiculing one in 337 which I said you could not define an industry by saying he was prepared then and there to do it. It is possible to find that quotation in the OFFICIAL REPORT, and I suggest that the Under-Secretary should apply to the Attorney-General for his definition of an industry. But while there are certain difficulties in defining an industry from such an angle as that which was used in the Trade Disputes Bill, where passions and loyalties were aroused, I suggest that it is a much simpler thing to define an industry under this Bill, where you are dealing with statistics. Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman's Department has in fact produced a dictionary of occupations? I cannot give the exact title, but I understand the Department has produced a dictionary defining the various trades and occupations, and there again I must ask the Minister why he does not use the information at his disposal. He will not use his statistics, and now he is proposing not to use the classification of trades and industries which his own Department has drawn up for him.
If we are faced continually with this stone wall attitude of the Minister, we shall have to ask him whether he cannot or will not give us some alternative proposal. It is surely not treating the Committee fairly for the Department to ask that they should be given carte blanche for this particular Bill and that then they shall decide about it afterwards. It is not treating a responsible institution like the British House of Commons fairly not to put it in possession of the relevant facts before it is asked to deal with a piece of legislation of this kind. Since we are all quoting Blanesburgh, I am going to ask the Minister if, before he contemptuously refuses the Amendment, he will look at page 57 of the Report, and there he will see that, as regards occasional work, the very difficulty raised by this Amendment was raised before the Blanesburgh Committee, and they report:The fact that, according to our proposal, an insured contributor is qualified for benefit only after the payment of 30 contributions within the previous two years carries with it an obvious corollary. Where the conditions of an industry, or section of an industry, are such that persons following it are normally not engaged in insurable work long enough to enable them to fulfil that condition, it would be unfair to them to insist on any contributions. We recommend, therefore, that where such workers can show that in two successive, 338 years they have been unable for such reasons as are above stated to secure as much as a yearly average of 15 contributions, they should be entitled to claim exemption.That was one way of dealing with one set of circumstances that the Blanesburgh Committee suggested, and in this Amendment we have another way of dealing with exactly the same set of difficulties. When we ask the Minister if he has any alternative, all that he says is that we shall have to wait and see, that they will have to come along in the future, when they have seen how this Bill has operated, and that then, if everybody will be quiet and patient, probably they will be able to go into the matter.
I suggest that the Minister has very little idea of the real alarm that is being created in the industrial areas by his refusal to deal with these difficulties. The moving of the Closure may do for this House, where he has a majority behind him that can enforce that kind of unfairness, but it will not go down in the country. It is not going down in the country, because a board of guardians in the Birmingham district has circularised this House and pointed out these difficulties, and every one of us who represents an industrial area is receiving S.O.S. communications from the boards of guardians in our respective constituencies. Apparently we are to go back and tell them the answer of the Minister, that if we will be good, if we will wait, if we will not be precipitate, when we have got into a muddle he will be so good, if he thinks of it, in the middle of his ether occupations, to take some samples—he will not define what samples, but samples here and samples there—and perhaps then he will consider whether he will bring forward a Bill to deal with the problem. It will not do. Before that has happened, this Government will have gone down to the oblivion which it deserves.
§ Mr. STEPHEN rose—
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 266; Noes, 136.279
|Division No. 398.]||AYES.||[3.49 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Forrest, W.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Albery, Irving James||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Apsley, Lord||Fremantie, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Gates, Percy||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Balniel, Lord||Goff, Sir Park||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grace, John||Murchison, Sir Kenneth|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge).|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Grotrian, H. Brent||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Berry, Sir George||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hammersley, S. S.||pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Hanbury, C.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Preston, William|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Harrison, G. J. C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hartington, Marquess of||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Remnant, Sir James|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Haslam, Henry C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Buchan, John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon, Edward||Hilton, Cecil||Salmon, Major I.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sandon, Lord|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||skelton, A. N.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine'C.)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hume, Sir G. H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D||Huntingfield, Lord||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hurst, Gerald B.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cope, Major William||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Couper, J. B.||Iveagh, Countess of||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Templeton, W. P.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Drewe, C.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Long, Major Eric||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Looker. Herbert William||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Waddington, R.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston s. M.)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lumley, L. R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||MacAndrew Major Charles Glen||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Macintyre, Ian||Wells, S. R.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||McLean, Major A||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fermoy, Lord||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Makins, Brigadier-General E||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Wood, E. (Chestr, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)||Colonel Gibbs and Major Sir Harry|
|Womersley, W. J.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||Barnston.|
|Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Hardie, George D.||Sexton, James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Harris, Percy A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Snell, Harry|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sullivan, J.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C||Kennedy, T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Clowes, S||Kirkwood, D.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton), E.)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Connolly, M,||Lee, F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cove, W. G.||Lindley, F. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lowth, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lunn, William||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dannison, R,||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Duncan, C.||MacLaren, Andrew||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Edge, Sir William||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Montague, Frederick||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Fenby, T. D.||Morris, R. H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Owen, Major G.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin.,Cent.)||Parkinson, John Allan (Wigan)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Greenall, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Groves, T.||Ritson, J.||Wright, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R.,Elland)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Scrymgeour, E.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|
|Division No. 399.]||AYES.||[6.22 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Albery, Irving James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Macintyre, lan|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||McLean, Major A.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Apsley, Lord||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fermoy, Lord||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Fielden, E. B.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Finburgh, S.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Atkinson, C.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Forrest, W.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Balniel, Lord||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fraser, Captain lan||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Mitchell. Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Ganzoni, Sir John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gates, Percy||Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bellairs, Commander Cariyon W.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cilve|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Bennett, A. J.||Gower, Sir Robert||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Grace, John||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Berry, Sir George||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Bethel, A.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grotrian, H. Brent||Penny, Frederick George|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hanbury, C.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Preston, William|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Harland, A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Radford, E. A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hartington, Marquess of||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Reid. D. D. (County Down)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Haslam, Henry C.||Remer, J. R.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Campbell, E. T.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxford,Henley)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hilton, Cecil||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. sir D. (St. Marylebont)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Rye, F. G.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hope. Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N).||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whitch'n)||Sandon, Lord|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavo D.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Hurst, Gerald B.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Iveagh, Countess of||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cope, Major William||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)|
|Couper, J. B.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C C. (Antrim)||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Kinloch-Cooke. Sir Clement||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lamb, J. Q.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd.Hemel Hempst'd)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Long, Major Eric||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Looker, Herbert William||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Drews, c.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lumley, L. R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Ellis, R. G.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|England, Colonel A.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Waddington, R.|
|Wallace, Captain D. E.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Warrender, Sir Victor||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Watts, Dr. T.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Wayland, Sir William A.||Withers, John James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wells, S. R.||Wolmer, Viscount||Captain Bowyer and Captain Mar-|
|Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Womersley, W. J.||gesson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File. West)||Hardie, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Harris, Percy A.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewie|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayes, John Henry||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Snell, Harry|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kennedy, T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Clowes, S.||Lansbury, George||Thome, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lee, F.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Compton, Joseph||Lindley, F. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Lunn, William||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||MacLaren, Andrew||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennison, R.||Montague, Frederick||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Duncan, C.||Morris, R. H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edge, Sir William||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Palin, John Henry||Whiteley, W.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Riley, Ben||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ritson, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Windsor, Walter|
|Groves, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Wright, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Sexton, James||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A. Barnes.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."342
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 141; Noes, 266.345
|Division No 400.]||AYES.||[6.32 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Cluse, W. S.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Gillett, George M.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Gosling, Harry|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Compton, Joseph||Graham, D. M. (Lanark. Hamilton)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Connolly, M.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Baker, Walter||Cove, W. G.||Greenall, T.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Day, Colonel Harry||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Dennison, R.||Groves, T.|
|Broad, F. A.||Duncan, C.||Grundy, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Edge, Sir William||Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)|
|Bromley, J.||England, Colonel A.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvill|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Fenby, T. D.||Hardie, George D|
|Cape, Thomas||Forrest, W.||Harris, Percy A.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Gardner, J. P.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Clowes, S.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Hayes, John Henry||Paling, W.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Thome, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hirst, G. H.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Tinker. John Joseph|
|Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Potts, John S.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Riley, Ben||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Ritson, J.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Viant, S. P.|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lane, Strettord)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks.W.R., Elland)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Watts-Morgan Lt. Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Kennedy, T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Kirkwood, D.||Scurr, John||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Lansbury, George||Sexton, James||Welsh, J. C.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, J.|
|Lee, F.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Whiteley, W.|
|Lowth, T.||Sitch, Charles H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Lunn, William||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Mackinder, W.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Snell, Harry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|March, S.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Williams, T. (York, Don Vailey)|
|Montague, Frederick||Stamford, T. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Morris, R. H.||Stephen, Campbell||Windsor, Walter|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wright, W.|
|Murnin, H.||Strauss, E. A.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Naylor, T. E||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Oliver, George Harold||Sutton, J. E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Palin, John Henry||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A Barnes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chapman, Sir S.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Christie, J. A.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||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||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Clayton, G. C.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Astor, Viscountess||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Atkinson, C.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Colman, N. C. D.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cooper, A. Duff||Hall, Lieut.-Col. sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cope. Major William||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Couper, J. B.||Hanbury, C.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Banston, Major Sir Harry||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Harland, A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bellairs, Commander Cariyon W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Curzon, Capt. Viscount||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Dalkeith, Earl of||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Berry, Sir George.||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Bethel, A.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Drewe, C.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Holt, Capt. H. P.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Ellis, R. G.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brown, Maj, D. C. (N'th'I'd.,Hexham)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney.N.)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Fermoy, Lord||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Burman, J. B.||Fielden, E. B.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Finburgh, S.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Foster, Sir Harry s!||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Campbell, E. T.||Fraser, Captain lan||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Gayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gates, Percy||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Penny, Frederick George||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Locker-Lampion, G. (Wood Green)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Perring, Sir William George||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Long, Major Eric||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vera||Power, Sir John Cecil||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Preston, William||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Templeton, W. P.|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Radford, E. A.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Raine, Sir Walter||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Tinne, J. A.|
|Macdonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Maclntyre, lan||Remer, J. R.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|McLean, Major A.||Remnant, Sir James||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Waddington, R.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Rice, Sir Frederick||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Ward Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Rye, F. G.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Salmon, Major I.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wells, S. R.|
|Merriman, F. B.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wilson, Sir Charles H.(Leeds, Centrl.)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandon, Lord||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Withers, John James|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Shepperson, E. W.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Skelton, A. N.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Bowyer.|
I beg to move, in page 4, line 10, at the end, to insert the words:(b) the following shall be substituted for the fifth statutory condition for the receipt of benefit by insured contributors—(v) that, if he has not reached the age of eighteen, he has, in pursuance of regulations which shall be made under this Act by the Minister, after consultation with the Board of Education, attended a course of instruction approved for the purposes of this provision under the regulations so made, and that, if he is eighteen years of age or over and has been required by an insurance officer, in pursuance of regulations made under this Act by the Minister after consultation with the Board of Education, to attend at any course of instruction approved for the purposes of this provision under the regulations so made, he proves that he duly attended in accordance with the requirement.The purpose of my Amendment is to make training a condition of the receipt of benefit so far as persons under 18 are concerned and to require the Minister to make Regulations for those over 18. The question of juvenile unemployment is no new one. We were led to believe by the Parliamentary Secretary in the Debate on the Second Reading that this matter was still in an experimental stage. 346 Fifteen years ago, I was myself engaged in an experiment of precisely this kind, and since then the Government, immediately after the War and more recently, have taken up the provision of centres for unemployed juveniles. The position to-day is that the State has no knowledge whatever of unemployment among young persons under 16. It is a grave scandal that these juveniles are, to all intents and purposes, lost to the State. They may be wandering the streets and no one has any authority or supervision over them, but as regards young insured persons between 16 and 18, there is, under the insurance scheme, machinery provided which brings the State into contact with them. But to-day, except for one or two small juvenile centres up and down the country, nothing whatever is done to deal with this problem. The psychological effect of unemployment on an adult is serious. The psychological effect of unemployment upon a juvenile is disastrous. Consider what it means, say, in the coalfields to-day for boys to leave school and to find themselves month after month losing the discipline that they got in school, gradually throwing off the influence of school, and not 347 getting into employment which will give them new discipline. If you consider what that means, it will be quite clear that these juveniles are in peril of very serious demoralisation. Idleness in all classes is a curse. Idleness among young people who always leave school with high hopes, who are looking forward to wage-earning employment, really means the breakdown of every moral and intellectual support that they have got.
It is remarkable that we have not had more serious results flowing from this neglect of the unemployed adolescent. Everyone who has considered this problem knows that something ought to be done, that the unemployed juvenile ought not to be allowed to loaf about the streets and to stand at street corners, but that there ought to be some supervision over him socially. The Parliamentary Secretary, in dealing briefly with this question on Second Reading, told us that the Malcolm Committee had recently recommended the establishment of a permanent scheme of juvenile employment centres, and we are aware that the Blanesburgh Committee made the establishment of such centres a fundamental part of their Report. I do not propose to read again, though it would be well worth while to do so, the paragraphs in the Blanesburgh Report dealing with this subject. I read them on Second Reading, and so did the hon. Lady the Member for the Sutton Division (Viscountess Astor), and the words bear only one interpretation. That Report as we know it to-day would never have been made public if training for unemployed juveniles was not to be an integral part of any unemployment insurance scheme. I think that is clear from the Report itself, though when we read the Bill there is not a word about the training of unemployed juveniles. On Second Reading, the Parliamentary Secretary used words which must have misled a number of hon. Members. He said that a National Advisory Council for Juvenile Unemployment was going to be set up some time or another. In fact, he said, they had even got so far as deciding on the terms of reference, and in God's good time the Council would be in existence. Then he went on to say that for another year, that is, in the interval, the Government were arranging to carry on the system of unemployment centres, and added: 348and so I think I may fairly claim that, so far as that recommendation of the Blanesburgh Report is concerned, we have accepted it."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th November, 1927, Col. 513, Vol. 210.]That is entirely erroneous. The recommendation could not be accepted without legislation. The proposal in the Blanesburgh Report was that the receipt of benefit by juveniles unable to find work should be made conditional upon their attending an employment centre. There is no real power vested in the Minister of Labour, which he will use to ensure that all these children will attend such centres, and the straightforward thing to do is, as this Amendment proposes, to establish a new) statutory condition saying that the receipt of benefit by unemployed young persons under 18 is conditional upon their attendance at a juvenile employment centre.
Why have the Government burked this proposal? We were told, first, that the Bill was a Measure to carry out the Blanesburgh Report. We find, in fact, that it is a Bill to carry out those bits of the Report which commend themselves to the economy instincts of the Government, while ignoring what I would regard as the most important features of the Report, of which training is one. The Parliamentary Secretary suggested setting up this Council to deal with juvenile unemployment. When it is set up it will consider how employment centres should be started, it will give its collective mind to the details of courses of instruction; but surely that is not the business of such a Council. Is the whole experience of post-War years, covering many thousands of juveniles, to be ignored? Are we to be told that we cannot bring every juvenile into an employment centre within the next six months? If the right hon. Gentleman cared to do it, he could ensure that they were all there before Christmas. It is merely unwillingness on his part. But suppose that the time is not ripe, and that these wonderful schemes which are to be evolved by this Advisory Committee take time. We must remember that this is to be a permanent Bill. It is the Bill which is to put insurance on a sound footing for all time.
If'the right hon. Gentleman can put off for two years the full operation of his Bill, he can delay 349 for a year the full operation of this new statutory requirement. If he really meant business about the training of unemployed juveniles, ho could put such a provision into the Bill and defer it until the date when he was prepared to bring the scheme into operation; but the fact that he has not done so leads me to believe that he has no intention of carrying out this recommendation of the Blanesburgh Committee. I think his sole desire is to get out of this awkward corner with the minimum of trouble to himself. He has not succeeded so far, though that seems to be his main motive. The longer he proceeds with his Bill, the deeper he gets into trouble.
This is a proposal which, I am certain, commends itself to everybody on all sides of the House. Every body of men and women who have considered the question of unemployed juveniles is convinced of the tremendous need for some provision being made for them. What objection can there be against accepting this new statutory condition? If the right hon. Gentleman can convince me that it is beyond all human power to give effect to such a provision for three months or for six months, I will gladly accept an Amendment to say that it shall not come into operation until a reasonable time has elapsed. If the right hon. Gentleman refuses to accept that offer, it means he is refusing to accept this moral responsibility for the terrific demoralisation which is going on in our big centres of population. The position of the adult worker who is unemployed is serious enough, but, bad though that be, the injury to the individual and the community through allowing these young people to go to pieces without any help being extended to them is a national crime of the worst possible kind. I do not pretend that you can bring these children into these centres and treat them like small children in school. My own experience shows me that that is impossible, but I say they ought to be brought under some form of decent supervision, in a decent atmosphere, which will keep their hearts up, which will keep their bodily strength up and which will keep them active, instead of allowing them slowly to deteriorate.
The problem goes further than that Such training might be of enormous assistance in dealing with the stagnant pools of labour which the right hon. 350 Gentleman persists in ignoring. What are we going to do with these unemployed boys in the coalfields? Are we going to allow them to rot in idleness year after year? I have seen in the coal fields boys who left school four years ago and have never yet been in a pit. That is a serious state of affairs. It is throwing away our future citizens. If those boys are not rescued now, it will not be possible to rescue them at all. There is no opportunity for them in the coal mines. Nobody believes that all unemployed young persons in the coal areas to-day can be absorbed into the pits. What is to be done with them? It is a difficult thing to take men of mature years and twist them out of the channels in which they have lived their lives and put them into other industries; it is perfectly possible to train young people who have never been in any industry at all—to train them and give them some skill in the use of their hands and their minds for the purpose of obtaining a living.
I hope the Committee will unite with us on this subject, and that the right hon. Gentleman will be pressed to give a definite decision in favour of compulsory training and not allowed to evade his responsibilities. He has succeeded in evading his responsibility for 56,000 people, and I hope we shall not allow him to evade his responsibilities for this large number of unemployed juveniles, a considerable proportion of whom may go to make the unemployables of the future. We are not asking for anything expensive. I am convinced that the whole cost could be borne by the Insurance Fund. If that be so, and if in this way we could render more employable young people who, in the course of time, must otherwise become unemployable, then this is an economic proposal which will be of value to the country. No argument about the scheme not being ready or about the cost ought to allow the Committee to stand in the way of coming to a definite conclusion that in this period of unemployment no young person shall be allowed to go to seed so long as the community can prevent it. That is the purpose of the Amendment.
Sir A. STEELMAITLAND
I have read this Amendment very carefully, It is based on a Clause of the original Act of 1920, but it differentiates between juveniles under 18 and those above 18. The fault of the Amendment, as I think 351 the hon. Member will realise, is that it is at once too wide and too narrow.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Both ways. It is too wide from the point of view that it makes it obligatory, as a condition of getting benefit, that any unemployed juvenile in an insured trade should attend a centre. Of course, with the best will in the world to set up centres, there are some circumstances in which it is impossible to set up centres which are within the reach of some of the unemployed juveniles. That is quite clear, and it is recognised in the Blanesburgh Report. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment would realise at once that, in so far as there must, in any circumstances, be cases in which there are unemployed juveniles who cannot get to centres, that, at any rate, should not act as a disqualification for benefit. That is why the Amendment is too wide. Where it is too narrow is that, as it stands, the Amendment only deals with juveniles who are entitled to benefit. There may be, under this Bill of under the existing Act, numbers of boys and girls who are going into insured trades and who will not yet be entitled to benefit, but my own opinion is that juvenile unemployment centres should be open to them just as much as to those who happen to be entitled to benefit. I hope the hon. Member will agree that the Amendment as it stands is not adequate for both these reasons.
I come now to the main question. As regards this matter of unemployment centres for juveniles, it is, in my case, preaching entirely to the converted, if indeed conversion was ever necessary. I have been to some of these centres. I have not had much time this autumn, but I have been to one or two. Throughout my life, and more often in early life than recently, I have worked at centres which could be said to be analogous to juvenile unemployment centres—in the days when such centres were not widely known. I say quite definitely that I did accept at the time the full policy of the Blanesburgh Committee and the Malcolm and Salvesen Committees. The only doubt in my mind was as to the source of the money. Many people might well 352 doubt as to whether it should come from the Unemployment Fund and, in that case, whether it could come from that fund. That matter may well be open to question. I myself hold quite definitely— and indeed I am convinced upon it—that when it comes to other kinds of expenditure, such as unemployment schemes of work for adults, subsidising wages and uses of that kind, the Unemployment Fund never ought in any circumstances to be used for such purposes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am glad I carry the Committee with me as to that. I do hold very strongly that it ought to be used for juvenile unemployment centres, for I think that is a preventive measure as regards the future.
I do not want to set it too high, but I am convinced that it is a preventive measure for the future in keeping boys and girls good members of the industrial community. At the same time, I do realise that unemployment is less in degree among them than amongst adults, and for reasons which, to my mind, con stitute an entire distinction from the other uses, I think the Unemployment Fund can properly be used for juvenile unemployment centres. Up to now these have been financed by means of Exchequer grants each year. I freely admit it was my own mistake, but I thought we had power to take the money out of the Unemployment Fund. I frankly say that I made a mistake. My own impression was that we could use it, though it had not been done. I made a mistake, and I find that legislation is necessary in order to allow the Fund to be utilised for these juvenile unemployment centres. For that reason I intend, if the House will pass it, to propose a new Clause. The exact terms of the Clause will have to be considered carefully, and I cannot therefore promise to put it down before the Report stage. It will provide that the Minister may, with the consent of the Treasury, make grants from the Fund towards the expenses of juvenile unemployment centres. The only doubt there had been, in my mind, was whether it could be so used. I thought it could and I made a mistake. I say, therefore, quite definitely, that I propose to move that Clause, probably on the Report stage of the Bill.
Now I come to what I call the provisional basis—approval after full con- 353 sideration by the National Advisory Council. The hon. Member who moved this Amendment has not really done justice to what the Parliamentary Secretary said. Up to now all these centres have really been on an experimental basis. If the hon. Member himself or the hon. Member for Wallsend (Miss Bondfield) would go to one or other, he or she would find that though they have got a generic likeness, they do differ quite a good deal. I have been this Autumn to look at the one at Cardiff, that at Leeds and a number of others—and there are some in Birmingham. All have been on an experimental basis, and I think it must be recognised that if they are to be placed on a permanent basis, what is wanted is to try to find out the best lines on which they can be run. That is why I say we are putting the question up for the full consideration of the National Council. It is no good thinking that you are going to give a training of the ordinary kind such as juveniles get in an evening school, much less a secondary school or a technical school. What you do is to catch these boys and girls just at the time when they are out of a job. Inasmuch as unemployment is at its lowest among the juveniles for the most part —there are differences in some cases— but on the whole the period out of employment, as compared with others, is smaller—you get them very often only for a few days or a week or two, and, consequently, what you really want is to keep them fit, interested and disciplined in mind and body. That is not training in the educational sense so much as keeping up their nimbleness both of hand and mind and keeping them in disciplined health. That is really the object, and just for that reason, as the Centres are on an experimental basis, we think that the whole question ought to be gone into so as to see how the object can best be obtained. That is what is meant by putting the question to the National Council.
What I should like say further is this. I have already said that the hon. Member who moved the amendment is preaching to the converted in this matter, and I hope nobody will think that just because it is going to the National Council no start is being made meanwhile. I do not want to put it too high, or else 354 some mining Member for South Wales may come back upon me afterwards, but I should say that certainly before Christmas there will not be many of the mining centres in South Wales where unemployment amongst boys and girls is acute which will not have a centre within easy reach to which these boys and girls can go. So that on the provisional basis we are taking action already. That is the present situation.
A very different situation arises, of course, in regard to girls. If we can get boys to these centres, it means that we keep them fit and interested, keep their nimbleness of hand and brain and get them placed, as one hopes may be done, where the unemployment situation is easier—in other centres where work is brisker. Providing we can be sure of the kind of home to which they will go, and that they will not be taken advantage of when they are far away from their own homes, it will not be so difficult to take the boys and put them into business in districts where business is more brisk than in such districts as South Wales or, it may be, Durham.
With regard to girls, it is infinitely more difficult for a Government Department to take action, and I will give the Committee the reason. I am sure they will understand me. If we take a boy and we do our best to see that he is in a position where he can get a decent start, that is a thing which a Government Department may legitimately try to do, but if you were to take a girl from an unemployment centre like that and get her into some place, either in London, Birmingham, Manchester or other towns, the risks are very much greater, as the Committee will realise. What is more, supposing anything went wrong, though there were only one case out of a large number, every Member of the Committee will realise the sort of difficulty which would arise, and how what I may call discredit would be cast on the Governmental machinery because in this one case out of a large number anything wrong happened, or even that she had so disliked her new life as to say it was not tolerable. I am not saying that from the point of view of not wanting to take responsibility, but I am saying it from a point of view of starting a system which will really work well. I do think 355 that with regard to girls voluntary efforts can do better than Governmental efforts. For boys, I think it is adequate, but for girls you have to get something more. If the hon. Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) or any other Member would like to help in an extremely useful piece of work, it would be to see whether some organisation could not be created along those lines to try to deal with the problem of the girls. I have just given a sketch of the policy which I have in mind.
As regards training for those who are older, I frankly say I do not put that in the same category as training for juveniles, and I do not think anyone in this Committee does. As far as that is concerned, we have, as a matter of fact, started, during my time, training institutions at Brandon and Claydon, for overseas, Birmingham and Wallsend. We are this year increasing the one at Brandon and the one at Claydon, and we have been authorised by the Treasury to have another institution of the kind for men. We are also continuing our grants on the same scale for women. I pass over that fairly rapidly, because I do not want to exaggerate its importance. With regard to juvenile training centres, I have had a great deal to do with them in the past. What we do at the training centres, however, is only a very small part of the problem, and there is a lot of other work in this connection which must be done. Part of this work may become Governmental. As far as this side of the work is concerned, I do not know that I can agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood), but I have stated quite frankly the policy I am taking up. I do not think it is advisable to lay down cast-iron rules for attendance at juvenile unemployment centres, but where I think that rules can be properly set up and observed, I shall certainly adopt them.
I do not say that the cost of these juvenile centres should be paid for out of the Unemployment Fund, but if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is so impervious to argument, and the Minister of Labour cannot get the money for this purpose, then I should 356 use the Unemployment Fund. Of course, I should prefer to see the cost borne by Treasury funds.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The proposals I have in mind are that it should be borne in part by the Treasury, and in part by the Unemployment Fund.
§ Mr. HARRIS
We have had a sympathetic reply from the Minister of Labour, and that is some advance. We do not want the Minister to ride away by pushing the cost of training centres on to the Unemployment Fund and being satisfied with that.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The steps that I have taken in South Wales show that I have not been satisfied with that alone.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I do not think the Minister of Labour can justify this system of juvenile training at the expense of the Insurance Fund. Those people in receipt of training would have the distinct advantage over other young people who were drawing benefit, but were not getting the training. The Blanesburgh Committee reported to the effect that rather than that this work should not be done, and rather than it should be neglected, they preferred that the cost should come on the Unemployment Fund. We are all agreed as to the great desirability of this work being done. I have always taken up the line that it should be done independently of the insurance scheme. The Insurance Fund exists to provide people with a living when they are out of work in return for their contributions. I have always considered that this training of the young people should be carried out under the Board of Education, and should be the mutual responsibility of the whole community. All we are suggesting by this Amendment is that the Minister of Labour, with his immense knowledge of the subject, should use his influence and his power in order to see that these young people should take advantage of their idleness by becoming producers and efficient workers.
The serious part of the position is that while we are producing thousands of unskilled persons by the fact that young people of 14 are drawn into industry, they are placed on the scrapheap at 16. In Germany they are tackling this system under a large and comprehensive system. I tried to get the Govern- 357 ment to make inquiries as to what was being done abroad in this connection and I failed. I received very unsympathetic replies. On one occasion it was suggested that I should go abroad myself. I may say that I spent my summer holidays abroad, going through Germany in order to see what they were actually doing in regard to their industries. In Germany they have large armies of young people out of work, and they are faced with the same problem of changing industries and different demands. Many mills in Germany have closed down through hostile competition, just as has been the case in this country. In Germany those responsible do not sit down and simply talk platitudes, but they have been tackling this question on scientific lines, and throughout the German Empire they have started evening continuation schools for young people between 14 and 18 years of age.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I had no intention of pursuing the subject in detail. All I was pointing out was that they had this machinery at work, and upon that machinery they had built up efficient methods of dealing with these young people who were out of work in Germany. Under the machinery which has been brought into existence in Germany, they are able to run evening continuation schools, not merely for young people between 14 and 18 years of age, but between 18 and 21 years of age. In Leipzig, which is the centre of a large textile trade, they have the same problems to face. Many of their markets have been closed and they find difficulty in keeping their machinery occupied. Instead of doing nothing, in Leipsic, they encourage these young people who are employed in the weaving and spinning mills to learn another trade such as bookbinding when they are out of work. I saw these young people being trained in another occupation so that when they are out of work, instead of going into the unskilled trade labour market, they are able to go into a fine business. These young girls were trained, out of the education funds, in the business of bookbinding, and they have become skilled bookbinders. The proper way of tackling this question is 358 to work with the Board of Education. The two Departments ought to work together. I think it would be a most unfortunate thing were we to continue the patchwork system which we are pursuing at the present time.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Does the hon. Member not realise that the local authorities have already been working on this subject?
§ Mr. HARRIS
I know that the facilities are quite inadequate to meet the immense size of the problem in London, and I am told that it is the same in the provinces. It is no use setting up a centre here and there. The system must be built upon a much larger scale. For my part, I would like to see these young people taken out of the unskilled labour market altogether, and it would be better if we had power to prevent people going into blind alley occupations. We are experiencing less and less demand for unskilled labour, and if the Minister of Labour really desires to make his new machinery work efficiently, he must not be content with the tiny experiments made by him last year, but he must make up his mind that all our young people out of work between 16 and 21 should be provided with facilities for learning a trade, in order to make them educationally fit. We should not be content simply with a knowledge of physical exercises and a little drill. Let these national juvenile centres be made real educational centres, properly fitted up with the necessary plant and machinery, and we should not be content with any make-shift system.
Some of our industries require highly-skilled and technically-trained craftsmen. My view is that the girls have just as much right to be trained in craft industries as the boys. I do not know what the Minister of Labour means by sending girls away to different parts of the country to get this kind of training. There is absolutely no reason for that. In each centre there should be proper training facilities provided for the girls. They are already doing this in Germany where they have created centres for girls, and where it is recognised that girl labour requires just as much training as boy labour. Now that we have equality of the sexes the girls have a right to demand that there should be no differentiation, 359 and I think it would be a pity if we accepted the principle that the cost of the training should be placed on the Insurance Fund. Therefore, it is essential, if you are going to recognise the responsibilities of the State to these young people, that you should accept the principle that every young person up to the age of 21 should have the right to demand training at these centres.
§ Mr. HANNON
Will the hon. Member tell us from where the funds are to come to pay the cost of the extensive scheme which he has just elaborated?
§ Mr. HARRIS
I should say from the same source from which the Germans find it, namely, the national fund. If Germany, a depleted and nearly bankrupt country, can do it, surely we should be able to do it.
§ Mr. HANNON
I do not know whether the hon. Member is aware of it, but we in this country per capita are spending immensely more on education than Germany is spending.
I want to congratulate the Minister on having been so open and frank with the Committee. It certainly was a great disappointment to some of us when we read the Bill and saw that no provision at all was made in it for these training centres. We know that the Minister believes in these juvenile training centres, and has always believed in them, and we know that some people in all quarters of the House have always fought for them. I get, however, a little uneasy when I find that it depends on the Treasury. The Minister knows quite well that, before he was in the Government, he and I fought for the extension of juvenile unemployment centres, and we got them, but there came a time when the Treasury, with a great lack of vision, cut them down. I hope that this time the Minister will have many more of his own side behind him than he and I had in those days. I forget which Treasury it was that we were fighting, but the Minister will remember quite well, and we had a very tiresome task. We did, however, get these juvenile unemployment centres, and also women's training centres. It seems to me extraordinary that anyone interested in their country can show such a lack of imagination as to ask where the money is coming 360 from. I am no Socialist, but I would ask, who is going to make the money? I remember Lord Milner saying, when we were talking about these centres, that, if he had the direction of the Government, he would borrow the money rather than let young people go to rack and ruin as they did after the War, and as many of them are doing now. We cannot afford to do that, as I know the Minister will realise.
I recollect a Socialist Member coming up to me in 1922 and saying that, if he were in the Government, he would not go in for juvenile unemployment centres, but would let these young people roam the streets and themselves become Socialists; but how a Conservative Government can let so many young people go to rack and ruin passes my understanding. I do not say that they all become Socialists; some of them—really difficult cases—do not stop at Socialism, they go beyond it. At one of the juvenile centres in Plymouth a boy came in waving the red flag, but he went out reading Shakespeare. We are, however, very advanced in Plymouth, but that is because we have fought for these things. What are Members representing divisions in other parts of the country doing? I am not speaking from a local point of view, but from the point of view of the country as a whole, and when I hear an hon. Member ask where the money is coming from, I would point out that, if you have a large body of unemployable people, it will not be a question of money—it will be far more expensive to keep those unemployable people than to train the juveniles. I feel discouraged when I hear Members asking where the money for this is coming from, and I hope the Minister will realise, when he is fighting the Treasury this time, that he has a large and ardent band of his own followers behind him. Some people learn some things sometimes, but some never learn anything. I do not want to be personal—they are in all quarters of the House. With regard to the women, we need not be so worried. These girls are not the helpless commodity that they were, and mothers are not so frightened of taking risks in regard to them, if they have got a job. From the moral point of view it is far more difficult to keep a girl without anything to do than it is to send her to employment at a distance, and I would say to the 361 Minister, if that be the only thing that is worrying him, do not let him worry. There are plenty of institutions and societies, and, if he desires it, we will guarantee to get these girls started. If he cannot have these training centres in all of the small towns, we will guarantee that, when the girls go to them, we will get the different societies to look after them. Therefore, I hope he will not let that stand in the way of giving the girls a chance.
I would like to remind the Minister that to-day a question was asked as to the number of young people in casual wards, and on one night this month, in the Metropolitan casual wards, there were no fewer than 44 young people between the ages of 16 and 21. That is a terrible thing, a ghastly thing, and, when the Minister says—I am not now alluding to the right hon. Gentleman, but to other Ministers who are not present—that we have not so much juvenile unemployment as we had, that is perfectly true, but we who are parents know perfectly well that, if the period between the ages of 14 and 21 is passed with nothing to do, it is gone for good. I literally pray that the Government will not go on in this piecemeal way, but will have a big constructive programme. They have plenty of time and plenty of Committees. If the Minister has any doubt about it, let him put me at the head of a Committee, and I will guarantee to give him a workable, feasible plan. It might cost something, but it would not cost what unemployment among juveniles is costing to what I may call the moral and social uplift of the country at this moment. I think the Minister is doing his best, and I want to congratulate him. I would only ask him to be a little more courageous, and fight for the things he knows are right. No one in the House of Commons knows more about the subject of unemployment than the Minister of Labour, but I am afraid, when it comes to a sit-down fight, he needs some of us back-benchers to hold his hand and help him. I hope he will remember those bad old days when he and I fought the Treasury almost alone on behalf of the juveniles. I wish that all on our side would remember that anti-waste campaign in 1920, when they scrapped the Fisher Act, which is in operation in Germany—
I only wanted to refer to it. They scrapped the Fisher Act, compulsory continuation schools, juvenile unemployment centres and women's training centres—everything that we had fought for in the House of Commons the Government of the day scrapped, because they said they had not the money for every one of these things to which they have had to come back at last. I beg hon. Members to look upward and forward. They have only to read history since the War to see that true economy consists in going for the things that you know are right, and not listening to the cry of those miserable people who say, "How much is it going to cost?"
§ Mr. LANSBURY
We have listened during this short Debate to speeches about which, happily, from the point of view of the question under discussion, everyone appears to agree; but the one thing that is lacking is the will to do it. The Minister, in making his statement and telling us what he proposes, has made it perfectly clear that what we have to expect is just exactly what the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Treasury cares to give us. I do not see that it is much use making the kind of confessions or speeches that all of us make in this Chamber, unless we who make those speeches are prepared, not only to stand by them in the manner in which they have been stood by to-night, but to bring not merely pressure but compulsion to bear upon the Treasury to find the money. It is useless, I think, to continue to talk as we do on this subject and always leave it exactly where it is. I think it was during the late Mr. Bonar Law's Government that I made a speech from the back Benches which brought me hundreds of letters on this subject from people all over the country who agreed with what I had said; but nothing of any worth has been done since, simply because people imagine that, if they merely support by words, as the Minister has done to-night, a proposal of this kind, that is the end of it.
I rose because, unlike my hon. Friend the Member for South West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), I spent my holiday investigating this subject in my own constituency, and, although I thought I 363 knew as much about the district I represent as any man or woman can know about their district, I was horrified at the conditions which I found prevailing, with a large part of the juvenile population of East London passing into the ranks of the unemployables. I met boys and girls who had done no work at all since they left school, and none of us there, try how we could, had any chance of finding them employment. The Employment Exchanges had no vacancies. We often talk as though there were jobs waiting for them somewhere or other to which they could he sent, but I spent days and days trying to get quite intelligent boys and youths and young men situations of all kinds, and utterly failed; and there they are with nothing to do but loaf around the streets and learn whatever mischief there is to learn, and, in some cases, one can see demoralisation growing on their faces and in their whole demeanour towards life.
The hon. Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) suggested that one of our Members wanted these young people to get into that condition, but the absolute contrary is the case, for the simple reason that we know perfectly well that people who have lost what is called character and moral, people who have lost the idea of work, are of no use in a Socialist community any more than they are of use in any other community. I would like to tell this Committee what the biggest Communist of all said to me in Russia. Lenin, speaking on this very subject, said:The one thing to guard against in the working class is the doctrine of ca'canny, because that is of the very Devil for any revolutionary movement.I want these boys and girls saved because I do not think that any change of any worth can be made by an unintelligent population. I think it is only by intelligence and character that you can change anything into something better than it is at the moment. Therefore, I was very glad to hear the Minister's confession tonight. All of us who know him, or have known his history, know that what he has said to-night is true. He has had an apprenticeship in this business which few men on his side or on our side can beat. But what worries me with him, and with all people who get into that kind of posi- 364 tion, is that they think it is sufficient to say the sort of things he has said to-night, and then put the responsibility on the Treasury. I am quite confident that, if he and his colleagues were to say to the Treasury, "We want so much money to give us sufficient of these training centres really to meet the situation," and if, were it refused, they took their courage in two hands and said, "Carry on this beastly business yourselves," they would win. It needs someone with courage to talk in this way to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whoever he may be—I do not mean the present Chancellor of the Exchequer any more than any other; it might be ours. Any Chancellor who thinks more of money than of the welfare of the boys and girls of the community is not worth his salt, and the Minister of Labour ought to think more of these boys and girls than of defending the position, which he will have to defend, of leaving them in the plight they are in just now.
Then as to girls, I am not the cheery optimist the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth is with regard to voluntary associations. We cannot get them at our end, because none of us have the money wherewith to start, but we have several fine women who are struggling with an impossible proposition and doing heroic work on behalf of the girls in our district. I cannot say enough in honour of their work, but the amount they do is small, and there is no one there with money who can subsidise it. We are bound either to get it from the guardians or from the Unemployment Fund or out of the national Exchequer, from which it ought to come. I had before me girl after girl about whom no one was bothering one bit, but who, first for a year, then for two years, had been living on the paltry, miserable pittance they were getting, first from the Employment Exchange and then from the board of guardians. Those girls are now being pushed off the boards of guardians. The Minister will say it is not by his order. He will say he has not interfered, but he has told us that unless we do certain things we cannot get loans, and we shall be dealt with, probably, as West Ham has been dealt with. But what is to become of those girls?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
It is the easiest thing in the world to say "domestic service." There are not sufficient vacancies for domestic service to absorb all these girls.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The question is not what can be done to find employment under this Amendment, but what should be done with regard to training.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Certainly, occupational or any sort of training we can give them to preserve body and soul, so that they may carry on in future some work of advantage to themselves and the community. But I have to put this cold, brutal fact before the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman's Department pushes them off the Employment Exchange for a variety of reasons. Then they come to the boards of guardians, and between these two authorities neither of them does anything in the way of training or care for them. I deny altogether that it is impossible, or even very difficult, to deal with them. Hon. Members talk of this kind of problem as if it were something entirely new. Twenty-two years ago, when the Poor Law Commission was sitting, the whole of these problems was investigated and dealt with, reported on and discussed in the House again and again, and I believe there was more training for women previous to the War than there is to-day, though no one will deny that the need is now ever so much greater.
May I say a word about people of 18 years of age and upwards? I am probably one of the few men on my side who would say this. I am definitely and fixedly rooted in the belief that where for months on end there is no work available for people, the right thing to do with them is not merely to feed them and their dependants, but to do something in the way of training, in order to keep the body and muscles and everything in working order. A most terrible thing in the East End is the number of relatively young men, some of whom have not done a day's work since they left the Army. No one offers them any work. I cannot offer them any work. I do not know where to send them. Neither does the Employment Exchange, and there they are. You can see them standing outside the Employment Exchange or the relief office day after day. It is a worse 366 picture than that drawn by Carlyle 60 years ago in the first pages of "Past and Present." It is a more hopeless, a more demoralising, a more degrading picture than even he drew outside Bury St. Edmunds.
As I have said many times, this problem of the unemployed, the juveniles and the young men, is one which, if we do not settle it, will settle this society. I do not believe it is possible to go on as we are going with the men and women being driven down, and down, and down as they are now. To tell me that it is impossible, with all the brains in the nation, to find a means of dealing with these people in a satisfactory manner is to tell me what I shall not believe. Neither will I believe that we cannot afford it. If we can afford to build ships and aeroplanes, and invent gases and bombs to destroy, I am confident we can find a means to preserve the moral and character and physical energy of our people, and it is because I believe that that I hope the Committee will not be satisfied with the mere statement that we are going to have a new Clause, and it is going to depend upon the Treasury. I hope the Committee, if it is in dead earnest, and the Noble Lady the Member for Sutton, if she is in dead earnest, and the right hon. Gentleman, if he is in dead earnest, will say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this thing is urgent, it is human life against money, and we are going to stand for human life and let the money be found from wherever money is.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
The character of the Debate in many ways has been very satisfactory to many of us on this side. Having ventured to criticise the Minister and the policy of the Government, I should like to say with what great satisfaction many of us have heard the statement he has made. I should like to add a word of further hope that he will press very hard for the establishment, on a wide and not a mere trumpery basis, of the training centres which have already proved so successful in the few that have already been set up. The last speaker drew, perhaps not too lurid, but still a very sad and distressing picture, of what we all know to be the condition of some parts of the country. He suggests what, I think, is not altogether true, that it is merely a 367 problem of finding enough jobs for people to do. If that were so, there would not really be much object in training people. The reason we attach so much importance to training is that employment is not in our opinion altogether static in its character. There is more employment available, probably, if we can provide the training. The actual facts and statistics of these training centres which have been in operation on an experimental basis are vastly encouraging, because the statistics prove that those who have been through training centres have found employment in an exceedingly high proportion of the number. It is because we feel so strongly that the fact of going through training not only provides these people with a ray of hope, but an opportunity of obtaining suitable employment fitting them to come back into the machine of industrial or social life, that we attach such tremendous imortance to the spread of the training system.
While congratulating the Minister on the announcement he has made, I hope all Members who have spoken, from whatever quarter, will press forward not a merely experimental system to be tried here and there, but will lay the foundations of a system which is really going to be comprehensive in its character, and will be carefully arranged to work with our educational system, and become in future, not a mere tinkering with the problem, but an attempt to deal with it upon a wide basis. If the right hon. Gentleman does that, he will receive the support not only of his own party but of all parties in the House, and he will do something far more. He will be able to feel that his tenure of his office has achieved at least this, that he has introduced upon a national basis a system which will be of greater advantage, probably, than many of the Measures we debate in this House.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I want to congratulate the Minister on his statement, and I have no doubt the Committee is in agreement with his proposals, but I have this difficulty in my own mind. In my constituency we have young men and women who have done no work since they left school, and we are very anxious that something should be done in regard to them.
368 8.0 p.m.
It is a great waste of national wealth if you allow young people to grow up without having learned how to work. I see a difficulty in connection with the training, and I would like to warn the Committee very carefully to consider some of the suggestions which have been made. I had considerable experience of training centres arising out of the War, and I noticed the same trouble in connection with all of them. When young people learned to become carpenters, for example, it was considered that when they had made a box they had done everything that was necessary. In other words, I do not believe in a system of automatic training, and I do not believe that we can take up some of the suggestions which have been made to the Committee to-night. We are faced with this difficulty. Some people think we only require to train youths for apprentice work. It is not a question of preparing young apprentices to enter existing occupations. The occupations are not there, and, unless we strike out on new lines, the probability is that we are going to do more harm than good as a result of this training. We ought to try and turn the minds of young men to the science of agriculture. I do not know how many hon. Members share the view which I hold, but I have an idea that in the course of time even a Conservative Government will require to do more to develop our land than has been done up to now. There is always a chance that some of these lads may leave this country and go elsewhere, and I would prefer that they should be trained and given some knowledge of the occupations they may go out to take up. At the present time, many of them go without having a single thought concerning the particular occupation.
The difficulty in connection with money should not, I think, be considered to any great extent. Some hon. Members might say that the Treasury could find the money, and others that the Insurance Fund should find the money. I do not trouble much about the source from which the money should come, but I do value the training. One hon. Member below the Gangway who had travelled in Germany made a statement as to his experiences. I was in Germany, too, and I know exactly what efforts have been put forth in that 369 country in order to train the boys and girls. But in Germany, I think, the whole thing is too automatic, and the probability is that they have a different end in view. The Committee should remember that Germany last year spent £35,000,000 directly from the State in dealing with unemployment. We spent £13,000,000, and hon. Members on the other side are sometimes aghast at the suggestion that we should spend more. Germany, who lost the War, has been able to spend £35,000,000, and we spent £13,000,000, and we won the War. I do not know how much we should have spent if we had lost the War.
In connection with the question of young girls I think there is a great need for training. The hon. Member who spoke last shared a common fallacy, that if you train a girl to be a servant she can always obtain work. A little practical experience in regard to that matter would be very useful. If I had my way, I would like to see the establishment of a labour recruiting agency for people who are down-and-out. I replied to three advertisements last week in the "Times" on behalf of a woman who was seeking work. I have not received any replies yet. There is always plenty of work when you do not want it, but somehow or other, when you are desperate, there is always a difficulty in obtaining work. I do not know how to explain it, but I have tried this thing repeatedly, and, while I have met with some little success, I have not had the success that hon. Members opposite would like people to believe was possible. I would appeal to the Minister to take up this thing. I know it looks like fighting a shadow to talk to him after the speech which he has made. I do not want lip service. I do not think that lip service is any good. We have had plenty of lip service here to-night. But this sort of thing has been going on for five or six years, and, probably, at this time next year we shall have a speech of the same kind.
I desire to point to a, very curious omission on the part of the Minister. He said what he was going to do in South Wales—and I am glad to hear it—and what he was going to do in Durham, but there is a part of the country further North that was not mentioned. It is just as well to know that in the industrial area of Mid-Lanark we have 370 a higher percentage of unemployment than obtains in any other part of Great Britain, and, as far as I can see, there is very little hope even in the years to come. I would, therefore, appeal to the Minister to take up this matter. Hope will be revived if we can find work. If we keep on talking without doing anything, the position will get worse and worse, and we shall be throwing away, probably, the greatest source of wealth any country can possess, and that is, the labour and training of the young.
§ Miss BONDFIELD
While, of course, one welcomes the small crumbs that have fallen from the table of the Government on this question, there are one or two points that I want to emphasise once more. I should like, first of all, to take up this question of the young girls. For the moment, I leave the juveniles, and I will deal with those of 18 and over. These young girls have to face, I suppose, one of the most tragic difficulties that any civilisation has presented to any girls. We have had an elementary educational system that has developed the type. These girls of 18, 19, 20 and 21 are girls who lived in a forcing house during the War. They have developed a nice taste in dress, they have been accustomed from the time of leaving school—because it was the War period when they left school—to go to places of amusement and dances. Many of these girls were encouraged, when they were quite young, to give the soldiers a good time when they came home. They have been developed in an atmosphere which was unreal, which was exceptional, which was utterly abnormal compared with life before the War.
Think of the position of the young girl who was unemployed before the War. Normally, she was with her mother. Normally, her mother taught her the domestic arts. She learned to cook and sew and do all kinds of things about the house. She was, in other words, employed in relation to the family group. But the War broke into that home life. The housing condition is such to-day that a mother has no place in which to teach her girl anything. Many of these homes have no resources to offer to girls; have no opportunity to train them for anything. An hon. Member who sits on those benches, while one of my hon. friends was speaking, interjected, "Why do 371 they not go into domestic service?" I remember very vividly a lady who took a very prominent part in the lament about sending girls to domestic service. I asked this lady if she would be good enough to go to the Marlborough Street Employment Exchange. I wrote to the manageress of that Exchange and asked her if she would make an appointment with this lady. I think it was, if my memory serves me, about three or four years ago. I asked her to make an appointment with this lady on the day that the girls came in to sign on.
On that particular morning, I remember, there were 200 girls signing on, and the Employment Exchange had said to those girls, "Are you prepared to take any job that is offered to you? The girls—every one of those 200 girls—said "Yes." "Are you prepared, if necessary, to take a job of domestic service?" They said "Yes." This lady who had been complaining about the lack of girls for domestic service saw these girls in the Employment Exchange on the day that they were signing on. She said that there was not one of those 200 girls whom she would take into her house. She said that they were the wrong type. They had not had any experience. They had not the aptitude for the work, and I quite saw the lady's point of view. We know that these girls are accustomed to factory work and factory discipline, and to the dressmaking workroom, or any of those occupations, admirable occupations in their own way, of such a different nature. They even train a different set of muscles, so that such girls would probably be at sea if they were suddenly asked to go into domestic service. Therefore, it is a most unreasonable thing to say, "Why do not our girls go into domestic service? when they have had no opportunity, or if you are not giving them an opportunity to train for that job.
I differ, perhaps, from a great many people on this question. I take domestic service to be a highly-skilled profession. I think it has been degraded by the conditions that have been applied to domestic service. There is not a Member in this House who does not depend upon domestic service to serve him, feed him, and keep him clean. If it were not for domestic service, we should all die of 372 plague or starvation. I resent most bitterly the stigma and serfdom put upon what ought to be one of the most honoured professions in the country. Until the removal of that stigma, and until you place that work—probably the most skilled and varied job a woman can be asked to do and calling for the greatest individuality and initiative—in the position it ought to occupy as a well-trained, well-regulated profession there will always be this difficulty about getting the necessary supply.
This brings me to my second point. The Central Committee on Women's Training and Employment since 1914 has been giving magnificent examples, and could have given far more examples if the Government would have let it, of the way in which the conditions of domestic service can be improved and girls can be drafted from unemployment into honourable employment under reasonable conditions. In regard to taking care of girls coming from a distance, I am happy to be able to report to this Committee that one of the most valuable results of training centres, such as Newcastle, Sheffield, Portsmouth and many others that could be named, has been that we have developed a technique in connection with the superintendents and staffs of these centres by which they know how to handle the peculiar problem of the unemployed woman and how, not only to train her in the centres, but how to get her confidence and keep in touch with her when she leaves the centres and follow her up with after-care work. After-care work I regard as most important. How has this branch of the service—this preventive work—been treated? It has been treated in the most shameful manner. Every season it gets a sort of reprieve. Every season we have had to risk the dismissal of those highly-trained technical teachers who have learned how to handle a most difficult and peculiar situation. We have had centres closed down.
I would ask the Minister of Labour or the Parliamentary Secretary to say exactly what the Minister meant when he said that they were going to repeat the grant to the Central Committee on Women's Employment. Does it mean that they are going to save us from the abominable position of having to cut down, as we have had to do this winter, our training centres, with the result that, although there has been a demand for 373 these centres, we have about 2,000 or 2,500 fewer girl trainees than were trained in 1926–27. That kind of thing has nearly broken the hearts of the Committee, who have given voluntary service. They pay their own expenses, and have gladly and willingly served on the Committee to try and help the Government to carry on this scheme of training centres. But every season we are met with the same difficulty; we are told that we have to cut down. Everyone who looks at the figures will see the progressive diminution of the grant since about 1924. That means no expanding of our work but a contracting of our work every season. It is one of those heartbreaking experiences which I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us definitely is to come to an end.
We want these training centres for girls of over 18 years to be placed upon a permanent basis. We want these training centres while we are in a state of grave emergency so far as these young people are concerned. During the next two or three years we ought to be prepared to spend large sums of money in this salvage work, this preventive work, in order to overcome as far as we can the effects of the past six years. This salvage work is one of the most urgent things that is required. I look forward, however, beyond the experience of the temporary and grave emergency which I regard our present position to be. I look forward to a permanent scheme, when this preventive work shall be regarded as an integral part of our State schemes of unemployment insurance, and that wherever an Employment Exchange exists there shall be within the reach of every unemployed person registering at that exchange some chance for the employment for their minds and hands during the time of their unemployment.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The hon. Member has put a specific question in regard to the grant, and I can give her a specific answer, which she may like to have at once. The grant that will be made to the Central Committee on Women's Training for next year will be the same amount as the grant for the current year. Therefore, that puts an end to that part of the hon. Member's fear where she expressed apprehension that the grant would be 374 still further reduced. It will not be reduced; it will be the same.
§ Miss BONDFIELD
I am sorry that the grant will not be increased. Our trouble is that we have already protested to the Minister that the grant last year was not enough. We have sent documentary evidence to show that we had to cut down our classes last year. It means that we are kept at the stagnation point at which we are now, with a shortage of 2,500 trainees as compared with 1926–27. That is the point about which we feel so bitterly. The Minister's decision keeps us in a stationary position instead of allowing us to expand. It actually keeps us at a lower point than in 1925–26 and still lower than in 1924–25. That is the difficulty and the danger that we deeply deplore.
There is nothing novel about this preventive service which I want to build up side by side with our State insurance system. It is a service for keeping our young people fit and adaptable for any opportunity that may occur in connection with new industries and expanding trades. We want this matter treatd as a business proceeding. The American insurance companies are not Socialist organisations; I believe they are highly industrialised in a sense that would please the heart of the greatest capitalist in this Committee, and they set aside considerable sums of money to provide gratis service for insured persons under their schemes in what they call preventive work. I believe that in the case of certain sickness insurance companies they provide free of charge of any kind any specialist who may be required to assist their insured persons in restoration to health. It is regarded as a business proposition to prevent people from having long illnesses and to keep them well. Surely, in connection with our labour power, it is a business proposition for this country to keep people fit, efficient, intelligent, and keen about work, because when they are out of work month after month and year after year the results are tragic.
There are no members of this Committee who would dare stand up and say that their characters would be sufficiently strong to enable them to maintain a high purpose and a high attitude towards life, which is the right inheritance of twentieth century civilisation, if they had the same experience as so many people 375 of being out of work for these long periods. When I was out of work for three months, I know that at the end of those three months I was not as confident, as efficient, as hopeful, and as competent from the standpoint of service to my trade and my country as I was at the beginning of the three months. If that could happen to me in three months with the many resources which I had to occupy my mind, what must it be for people with less resources, and particularly for people living in miserable surroundings under conditions which drive them on to the streets because there is no relief and no interest in their houses? It is these horrible circumstances which make the situation so terrible.
I should like to deal with another aspect which presses upon me so much that sometimes I feel I can hardly bear it, and that is the development of industry which creates most difficult problems when people get out of Work. I have said that before in this House, and I wish to repeat it, because it is not sufficiently understood. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) has told us that the demand to-day was for more skill. I venture to challenge that statement. The demand to-day is for more machine minders. The great millions of our people are being reduced to machine minders. By the automatic development of machinery which is taking place and by the sub-division of processes, they are being deprived of skill and the chance of learning any craft, and the result is that when they are unemployed they have not that flexibility which the skilled craftsman has and which has been his heritage ever since his apprenticeship. Skill is denied them.
The conditions of post-War industry are vastly different from those of the pre-War period in this respect. Outside a small group of highly-skilled people—and those small groups are required to be more highly-skilled than ever before— the great mass of our peope are being robbed of the chance of skill, and that means that they are terrified of turning from a job which they know to the infinite unknown of the industrial world. Therefore, these training centres are a necessary part of the preventive work of 376 this country in regard to industry. Just as you have in your medical services your preventive work, as your sickness insurance, by its preventive work, was intended to prevent people getting sick, and if they get sick to make them well as soon as possible, so these training centres should be regarded as a preventive service to keep people in good health and fitness on the labour side of life. It is from that point of view that I urge that the Amendment which the right hon. Gentleman has promised to bring in should be of the widest possible extent, that it should be courageous, and that it should cover the whole ground. I urge that he should take powers in this Bill and that he should not waste still more years; that he should seek now the legislative sanction of this House to set up as quickly as opportunity offers this network of permanent preventive training machinery.
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
The hon. Member who has just spoken, and also another hon. Member who spoke on the Opposition Benches, gave the impression, quite apart from the pros and cons of the particular principle under discussion, that the Government should get on with the work; no matter how much is spent, they are quite willing that any amount of money should be provided. They are perfectly willing, and if I were sitting on the Opposition Benches I should probably do the same, for the Government to spend as much money as was possible on any project they bring forward. At the same time that they are criticising the Government for not spending money on these particular questions, hon. Members opposite, when any question of national economy is under consideration, when the whole of Government expenditure is held up for review, are the first people to say that the Government are spending more money than they did when they were in office. You cannot have the criticism both ways. I do not rise, however, to talk upon that matter, I only want to ask one or two questions of the Minister. We are very much in the dark in regard to this problem. I do not wish to argue against training centres, but, if the Minister of Labour is going to bring forward an Amendment to the Bill in regard to these training centres, I should 377 like to know exactly what form it will take and how much money is going to be put aside for the purpose?
There is an Amendment on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) asking that £750,000 shall be set aside for training centres. I should like to know if that is the sum which the Government intend to put aside for this purpose. When the Labour Government was in power and the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) was Minister of Labour, I do not remember any Amendment of this kind being brought forward to the Unemployment Insurance Bill. No doubt there was a different right hon. Gentleman occupying the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer, because the one point on which the Government seem to have given way on this Bill, as far as I understand it, is that the money is not going to be taken from the Unemployment Insurance Fund but from the Exchequer. It seems to me that they have shelved their own responsibility as far as the Fund is concerned, and are going to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make a grant for these training centres, and in that case the responsibility for raising the money would be on the Treasury. If that is the case, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury should be present whilst the matter is being debated, so that we might know exactly what are the financial consequences.
With regard to the principle concerned, I was rather disturbed by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour. Speaking strongly in favour of the training centres he said that there were fewer unemployed at the ages of 16 to 18 than at older ages, that they would not be taught—as I understand from the right hon. Gentleman's speech—any particular job, but that these training centres would be of much use in looking after the moral welfare of young men and young women; their minds would be kept occupied. That is what I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say. I think the Committee should have more information on this subject. Hon. Members should not be misled into imagining that if we spend £750,000 on training centres for the unemployed, they are really going to train them for a job. 378 According to the Minister of Labour, they are not going to be trained for jobs; they are going to be looked after. If that is the case, if they are to be only a sort of glorified welfare centres, then I say that the right hon. Gentleman should be very careful to realise upon what road he is being led in this Amendment. An amount of £750,000 will not be the sum which he will spend if he carries this proposal through to a proper conclusion. I hope the Government have realised what this principle and policy mean and that we shall have a proper explanation before the matter is finally passed.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I am sorry the hon. and gallant Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) is not in his place. He considered that people who had had training in these training centres got jobs easier than those who had not been trained, and the Noble Lady, the hon. Member for the Sutton Division (Viscountess Astor) agreed with the hon. Member. That seems to me to show a lack of knowledge and that hon. Members who make these statements have not made any careful investigation. The idea that it is easier for boys and girls to get a job if they have some kind of training is untrue, and I challenge any hon. Member to say that a young person who gets a job does not get it at the expense of older men.
§ Mr. HARDIE
You are dealing with something quite different. I am dealing with the matter now before the Committee. What is meant by training? What does the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees mean? Does he mean that you are going to train a boy to take his place in industry? What is meant by taking one's place in industry? The development since the War in regard to the skilled trades of this country has led to this position, that instead of the all-round trained man finding a place in industry, we are now getting sections in which they have to specialise in one direction. Take the manufacture of am electric motor or dynamo. There you have seven different sections of people, each doing their little bit in the production of that motor or dynamo, but not one of those persons in any of the 379 sections could tell you much about a dynamo or a motor; if they could tell you anything at all. They are simply trained in one section of the production, and you get to this stage, that people engaged in the production of parts of an instrument are not able to recognise the part they have made when it is assembled in the complete article.
What is to be the basis of the training? Is it to be a superficial knowledge in order to carry out a certain part in the production of a complete article, or is it for the purpose of giving general knowledge, so as to make it easier for the man to apply himself to whatever work might come along. Or is it going to be what is now taking place, the stultifying of the naturally intelligent development by trying to sectionise them for some little job? The Minister has to face the fact that unless he is going to train in a logical way he might as well stop wasting money, because it is a waste of money unless lads are trained for something definite. My next question is, where are jobs to be found for the men who are trained? To hear some of the arguments used, one would think that what we were short of in this country was trained and skilled people. The argument appears to be that if only men were trained and skilled there would be plenty of work for them. That is utter nonsense. I have among my friends five Bachelors of Science. One is wheeling a barrow in brickwords; another is doing casual work at the docks; a third, who is in a better position, is doing something that he does not like to do, working in a margarine factory. If the provision of training meant a guarantee of employment, it would be an easy way of solving unemployment, because all we would have to do would be to train everybody. But that kind of argument is absolutely beside the point.
I have been dealing with the Minister of Labour and the Employment Exchange in the Springburn Division in regard to what is called the training of youth for agriculture. I have had some very serious cases in relation to the treatment of boys taken from their homes for what is called three months' farm training. Anyone who knows anything about agriculture knows that you might be able in three months to give a boy an idea of the names of certain things connected with 380 farming, but you can do very little more. Yet here we are spending money and saying to these boys at the end of three months, "Now you are ready, if you care to go to Canada or some other country." We know what happens to them there; at least I do. Since the War 300,000 acres of British land which bore wheat have gone out of cultivation. Why does not the Minister of Labour concern himself with the restoration of the cultivation of those 300,000 acres of land? It is a waste of money to train youths in agriculture unless you have power to compel those who have accepted training to go abroad, and that is a thing which parents would never tolerate in this country. I know the details of the cases of two youths who, after training for three months, went to Canada. They were put on two different farms 30 miles apart. On these farms they were the only young people. The one boy started to have meetings with the other, and as the farms were 30 miles apart a row began with their employers because the youths had to leave their work in order to see each other. It is useless to talk about being able to train anyone for anything in three months. I hope the Minister will see to it that, if we are to have a system of training, it will be based upon realities and not upon fiction, and that it will be detached from Bills of this kind.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I would ask the Committee now to come to a decision. I am loath to move the Closure.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I resent the proposal of the Parliamentary Secretary. Many congratulations have been bestowed on the Minister in respect of a concession which he is alleged to have made, and yet up to this moment we have not heard exactly what the concession is. The Government introduced an Unemployment Insurance Bill that was supposed to be actuarily sound, according to their opinion. In that Bill they reduce considerably the benefits payable to young persons. They take away something which young persons have been enjoying, and they put nothing in its place. This afternoon, as an afterthought, they come down to the House 381 and say, "We will do something for these young persons." They do not say what it is they are to do, and they do not say who is to pay for it. Before the Closure is moved it is incumbent on the Parliamentary Secretary to be courteous enough to tell us exactly what the Government's plans are. Is this the way the Government of the day regard the future of the youth of this country? They do not even know what their own plans are. Right in the middle of a discussion which has endured for several days, the Minister of Labour gets up and says, "We are going to do something in the way of centres for juveniles." The House has a right to know what those proposals are. I invite the Parliamentary Secretary to be courteous enough to explain them to us, because some very important principles arise.
In the first place, who is to pay for the instruction and what is the instruction to be? It would be an immoral proposal to take from the Unemployment Insurance Funds, which have been subscribed for a particular purpose, money to educate the young people of this country. They are entitled to that education from another source. They will never get that education if the Ministry is only going to provide some ineffective substitute for it, and, therefore, I invite the Parliamentary Secretary to say with more particularity who is going to pay for this education and what is the education going to be. The Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) illustrated the futility of the education at present provided. She said, quite correctly, that Plymouth was the most enlightened education authority in the Kingdom. I do not think any Member of the Committee would dispute that assertion, but she gave an illustration of the futility of the kind of instruction provided for these young persons when she said that a young man within her acquaintance had entered one of these centres waving the red flag and had come out waving a volume of Shakespeare. I do not know which of the two acts was the more insane. Waving a volume of Shakespeare will not get a man a job of work anywhere; it will not even get him back to Parliament. Is it seriously suggested that money which has been subscribed for the contingency of unemploy- 382 ment is to be wasted on teaching children to wave volumes of Shakespeare?
The Government ought to know what it is that they want taught to these young people. The hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Hardie) has spoken of the superfluity of bachelors of science in the country and, I take it, the Government do not propose to teach these temporarily unemployed persons to be bachelors of science or skilled engineers. What should be done is not to give them any kind of intellectual instruction at all—the school or the university is the proper place for that—nor on the other hand to teach them to be skilled members of a craft, because there is no time for that, but to teach them some kind of handiwork which will be useful to them whether they get employment or not. They should be taught how to mend windows, repair leaking taps, affix handles and knockers on doors and other things which they can do in their own homes if they cannot do them anywhere else. Then the instruction will not be entirely wasted. The Minister need not talk cant about the difficulties of transferring young women to Birmingham and so forth. What is the good of sending them to Birmingham anyhow? It is only talking a lot of rubbish about the moral supervision of young women who are better able to look after themselves than the Minister is to look after this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman ought to devote his mind to thinking out what is of practical advantage to these temporarily unemployed persons. There may be some justification for spending the money which they have themselves subscribed, in order to teach them something that will be useful to them whether they got work or not; but there is no justification for making them into inefficient students of Shakespeare or teaching them higher mathematics and the differential calculus—which apparently is thought advisable by some hon. Members who have spoken in this Debate.
I, like many other hon. Members, have had the curiosity to visit these centres in Plymouth and, it being conceded that Plymouth is the most up-to-date and efficient education authority, I must say that something is done for these young people. There, I know, some persons who are most competent for the job which they are performing, are giving a great deal of time and thought to teaching these young boys and girls how to write 383 English composition and how to enjoy Dickens and other literature and so forth. They are also teaching these young people, so far as lies in their power, a little of carpentry and of other manual arts in an unsatisfactory manner. But they have no programme laid down by the Ministry of Lahour. The Ministry does, not care "a two-penny hang." All the Minister cares about is how to reduce their benefit and make it impossible for them to sustain themselves either mentally, morally or physically. That is all the Government do in this Bill. What they ought to have done first was to have asked, "Before we reduce their benefit, how can we make them into more efficient, capable and self-reliant citizens and how can we provide them with the instruction which they ought to have?" That should have been the first thing in the Government programme, but it has come last.
I seriously repeat the invitation made by the hon. Member for Thanet (Mr. Harmsworth). He invited the Minister to explain his scheme. The reason why the right hon. Gentleman does not do so is because he does not know what the scheme is. The Parliamentary Secretary replies by trying to move the Closure. I have been fortunate enough to escape the Closure, but the hon. Member for Thanet is one to whom the Parliamentary Secretary ought to respond. The hon. Member for Thanet has been the only consistent supporter of the Minister since the proceedings on this Bill began. The hon. Member for Thanet has made many speeches on this Bill which have aroused violent feelings of indignation in my breast and he is the only genuine friend of the Minister of Labour in the Committee, but to-night he made a speech with which I was in entire agreement and upon which I congratulate him. He put his finger on the real point under discussion, and the real point is that we do not know what we are discussing. The hon. Member made that aspect of the case transparently clear—so clear that it is only the Parliamentary Secretary who cannot see it because he has created such a fog in the course of these discussions that he cannot see anything. I am not at all surprised that the hon. Member for 384 Thanet described him as being in the dark. We are all in the dark, and if the Parliamentary Secretary feels himself capable of doing so, I should be delighted if he would throw a little light upon this question. The hon. Gentleman however is anxious to move the Closure. He does not want the question discussed because he does not know anything about it. He does not know what his own proposals are.
The hon. Member for Thanet, in the course of his eloquent speech, called attention to another vital matter. It has been suggested that the Treasury ought to pay for some part of this training which has not been adequately defined. It is rank discourtesy to the Committee that no representative of the Treasury is present. It is rank discourtesy that the Minister of Education, when the position of these young people is being discussed, has not even the curiosity to attend in order to know what is being said about them by the Minister of Labour or by myself.
§ Major PRICE
Does the hon. Member suggest that the cost is to come out of the Treasury? The Minister said it was coming out of the Fund.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
That is an illustration of the position in which the Committee has been put. The Minister of Labour made a statement regarding which the hon. Member for Thanet said he could not make head or tail of it He did not know who was to pay for the scheme and I find myself in exactly the same position but the hon. and gallant Member for Pembroke (Major Price), inspired from what source I know not, professes—
§ Major PRICE
My source is the speech of the Minister himself. He said the whole cost would be borne by the Insurance Fund.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 233: Noes, 138.387
|Division No. 401.]||AYES.||[8.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fielden, E. B.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Albery, Irving James||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Forrest, W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Apsley, Lord||Galbraith, J. F. W.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Gates, Percy||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Astor, Viscountess||Gibbs. Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Perring, Sir William George|
|Atkinson, C.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Goff, Sir Park||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Pilcher, G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Greaves-Lord, Sir Waiter||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Radford, E. A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hanbury, C.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bethel, A.||Harland, A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hartington, Marquess of||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Harvey. Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Rye, F. G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Haslam, Henry C.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brittain, sir Harry||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Walter||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hilton. Cecil||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney. N.)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cautley, Sir Henry s.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hume-Williams. Sir W. Ellis||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Churchman, sir Arthur C.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Clayton, G. C.||Iveagh, Countess of||Sugden, Sir Wilfred|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Tasker, R. Inigo|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lamb, J. Q.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cope, Major William||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Couper, J. B.||Long, Major Eric||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Waddington, R.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lumley, L. R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||MacAndrew Major Charles Glen||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Macintyre, Ian||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset. Yeovil)||McLean, Major A.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Drewe, C.||Malone, Major P. B.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Duckworth, John||Margesson, Captain D.||Withers, John James|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Mason. Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Merriman, F. B.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Mever, sir Frank||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Mitchell. S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|England. Colonel A.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Moore. Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Major Sir Harry Barnston and Mr.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Hayday, Arthur||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Baker, Walter||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Barker. G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snell, Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Sowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Broad, F. A.||Kelly, W. T.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Bromfield, William||Kennedy, T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Bromley, J.||Kirkwood, D.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lansbury, George||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lawrence, Susan||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lindley, F. W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.I|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clowes, S.||Lunn, William||Thurtle. Ernest|
|Cluse, W. S.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. p.|
|Connolly, M.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Cove, W. G.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dalton, Hugh||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. Z. (Rhondda)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hen. Sidney|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Dennison, R.||Oliver, George Harold||Welsh, J. C.|
|Edge, Sir William||Owen, Major G.||Westwood, J.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Gillett, George M.||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gosling, Harry||Riley, Ben||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ritson, J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon Win. (Edin., Cent.)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bronwich)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenall, T.||Robinson,W. C. (York, W. R., Elland)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Rose, Frank H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wright, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES. —|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Sexton, James||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes|
|Hardie, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."388
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 145; Noes, 235.391
|Division No. 402.]||AVES.||[9.4 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dalton, Hugh||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hayday, Arthur|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Day, Colonel Harry||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Dennison, R.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Baker, Walter||Duckworth, John||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Edge, Sir William||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Barnes, A.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||England, Colonel A.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Fenby, T. D.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Forrest, W.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Broad, F. A.||Gardner, J. P.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bromfield, William||Gibbins, Joseph||Kennedy, T.|
|Bromley, J.||Gillett, George M.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gosling, Harry||Lansbury, George|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Cape, Thomas||Graham, Rt. Hon. Win. (Edin., Cent.)||Lawson, John James|
|Charleton, H. C.||Greenall, T.||Lindley, F. W.|
|Clowes, S.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lowth, T.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lunn, William|
|Clynes, Rt." Hon. John R.||Grundy, T. W.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Mackinder, W.|
|Connolly, M.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Cove, W. G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hardie, George D.||March, S.|
|Montague, Frederick||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Varley, Frank B.|
|Morris, R. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Vlant, S. P.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sitch, Charles H.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Murnln, H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Owen, Major G.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Palin, John Henry||Snell, Harry||Welsh, J. C.|
|Paling, W.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Westwood, J.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stamford, T. W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Stephen, Campbell||Whlteley, W.|
|Potts, John S.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Riley, Ben||Strauss, E. A.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Ritson, J.||Sullivan, Joseph||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W.Bromwich)||Sutton, J. E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Rose, Frank H.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Saklatvala, Shapurji||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)||Windsor, Walter|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Thurtle, Ernest||Wright, W.|
|Scurr, John||Tinker, John Joseph||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Sexton, James||Townend, A. E.|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES. —|
|Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Albery, Irving James||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Centr'l)||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Davles, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Apsley, Lord||Davles, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Astor, Viscountess||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Atkinson, C.||Dlxey, A. C.||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Drewe, C.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William|
|Bainlel, Lord||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Ellis, R. G.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Erskine, Lord(Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Falle. Sir Bertram G.||Long, Major Eric|
|Bennett, A. J.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Bethel, A.||Fielden, E. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Blundell, F. N.||Galbralth, J. F. W.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Macintyre, Ian|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Gates, Percy||McLean, Major A.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Brittaln, Sir Harry||Goff, Sir Park||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brooke. Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Malone, Major P. B.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Merriman, F. B.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Burman, J. B.||Hanbury, C.||Mitchell. S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Harland, A.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Harrison. G. J. C.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hartington, Marquess of||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Harvey. G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Christie, J. A.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Haslam, Henry C.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Heneaqe, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hills, Major John Walter||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Hilton, Cecil||Perring, Sir William George|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Holt, Captain H. P.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Pilcher, G.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Pildlten, Sir Philip|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Shepperson, E. W.||Waddington, R.|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Radford, E. A.||Skeiton, A. N.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A. L. (Kingtton-on-Hull)|
|Raine, Sir Walter||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n A Klnc'dlnt, C.)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Raid, D. D. (County Down)||Smithert, Waldron||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Remer, J. R.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Strettord)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Windsor-Cllve, Lieut.-Colonel Georg|
|Rye, F. G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Winterton Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Tasker, R. Inigo||Withers, John James|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Templeton, W. P.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, ridgwater)|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Sandon, Lord||Tinne, J. A.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mel.(Renfrew,W.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||TELLERS FOR THE NOES. —|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Major Cope and Mr. Penny.|
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I beg to move, in page 4, line 10, at the end, to insert the words:(b) after the words 'suitable employment,' in paragraph (iii) of Sub-section (i), insert the words 'in his usual occupation.'These words "suitable employment" are found in the principal Act, Section 7 (1, iii), and the reason I have put the Amendment down is that wherever in this Section of the principal Act the words "employment" or "casual employment" or "suitable employment" occur, the succeeding Sub-sections alter them, and the words "in his usual occupation" are put in; and for the words "usual employment" the words "usual occupation" are substituted. I do not understand why, if it is necessary to do that throughout the rest of the Section, it is not done in paragraph (iii), where it is stated that he is capable of and available for work, hut unable to obtain suitable employment. I understand that there are many explanations, but I want to know which is the right one. When you put in the words "in his usual occupation," does it mean a new set of Regulations affecting men who come under the Clause. If so, I would like to know if there are any such Regulations as to "usual occupation," if it is proposed to provide any, and, if so, will they be laid before the House before the Report stage?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I might point out at this stage that this Amendment, and the next one in the name of the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw)—in page 4, line 11, to leave out paragraph (b)—and, indeed, the seven Amendments lower on the Paper begin- 392 ning at the first one in the name of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood)—in page 4, line 28, to leave out paragraph (ii)—really deal with the same subject. It will be a pure waste of time of the Committee to discuss each of these particular Amendments in detail, and I suggest that we have a general discussion on this particular Amendment.
§ Mr. BROWN
May I suggest, with all respect, that the better course would be to have the general discussion on the next Amendment because that raises a rather larger point and gives a different issue for a Division? My point is rather narrow. I am moving the Amendment in order to get an explanation and I do not wish to deprive the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) of a chance of a Division on a wider issue.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member will be content with an explanation and then ask leave to withdraw his Amendment, it might be equally convenient to have the discussion on the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Shaw).
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
You say that we shall have an opportunity for a general discussion, but then when we start a general discussion you accept the Closure from those jokers over there and shut us out.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Do I understand that your decision refers to the Amendment to omit paragraph (i) of Sub-section (2)? Would not such a discussion cut out that Amendment?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
No, it will not interfere with that at all. I propose to have the full discussion on the Amendment to omit paragraph (b) of Sub-section (1), and that would not interfere with the discussion of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown), in page 4, line 11, after the word "provisos" to insert "(a)"—or of the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala)—in page 4, line 17, to leave out paragraph (c)—or the next Amendment—in page 4, line 20, at the end to insert the wordsand the words from the words 'and the remuneration received' to the end of the paragraph, shall cease to have effect.or the Amendment of the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen)—in page 4, line 23, to leave out paragraph (i).
§ Mr. T. SHAW
Do I understand that I have to move the Amendment standing in my name, to leave out paragraph?(b)
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Oh, no. The Amendment hefore the Committee at the moment is the one which has been moved by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown). I understand that if the Minister gives him a satisfactory answer he will withdraw the Amendment.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am not quite sure that I quite apprehend the point on which the hon. Member wants an answer. Perhaps he will put it again.
§ Mr. BROWN
There are three points on which I want an explanation. First, why are the words "usual employment" changed to "usual occupation"? Second, why do the words "usual occupation" not appear in Sub-section 3, where the words used are "suitable employment." Third, if those changes are made, are there to be any new Regulations bearing on that change in phraseology, and, if so, have they been made.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
With regard to the first and third points, dealing with the insertion of the word "occupation" instead of "employment." That is purely a verbal alteration, because the word "occupation" has been 394 used before. As regards Regulations, so far as I know there are no regulations about "employment." It is a question of judging whether the employment or occupation is similar to the occupation in which the man has been previously employed. The effect of the hon. Member's Amendment would be this. He has put down an Amendment to the old Sub-section (iv), I think it is, of Section 7 of the Act of 1920.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The old Sub-section (iii). The effect of the Amendment would simply be this, that the claimant could refuse with impunity any work which was not his own occupation. That would be entirely contrary to the whole system in force under every Act since 1920. One after another the Acts lay down conditions as to work in a person's own occupation or in an alternative occupation. They lay down the rule that the rate of wages in a job in his own occupation which he can be offered must be equal to what ought to be obtained in that occupation, and they lay down conditions as to the rate of wages which should be offered in alternative occupations, but none of them has ever said that a claimant can refuse with impunity any work not in his own occupation. That would be the effect of the Amendment, and I really do not think that is what the hon. Member wishes.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I beg to move, in page 4, line 11, to leave out paragraph (b).
I cannot understand the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown) withdrawing his Amendment after hearing that explanation.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The Amendment of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown) has been withdrawn with the leave of the Committee, and we have gone on to the next Amendment, and I must ask the right hon. Gentleman to confine himself to his own Amendment.
§ Mr. SHAW
I express my regret that, unwittingly, I referred to something to which I ought not to have referred, but the Minister's explanation leaves me more confounded than ever. He appears to think that these alterations of words are quite simple little things which make no difference. If I have read the principal Act correctly, they make a very great difference, and it is to the disadvantage of the insured person. The present conditions are that a man shall not be refused benefits—I want the Committee to bear in mind the phrase "shall not be refused benefits" on certain grounds, that is, if he refuses,an offer of employment in the district where he was last ordinarily employed at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable than, those which he habitually obtained in his usual employment in that district, or would have obtained had he continued to be0 so employed; or(c) an offer of employment in any other district at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those generally observed in that district by agreement between associations of employers and employees or, failing any such agreement, than those generally recognised in that district by good employers.As the law now stands, an unemployed person cannot be refused benefit because of the fact that he has refused to accept employment in his own district at a lower wage or under worse conditions than he habitually enjoys or to accept employment in another district at worse wages and conditions than the trade union conditions in that district. If we read the principal Act as it will be if the Amendment proposed by this Bill is accepted and bear in mind the guarantees the man now has that he cannot be penalised for refusing employment either in his own trade in his own district or outside his own district at terms worse than those dealt with by ' a joint arrangement between employers and employes or, if those joint arrangements do not exist, on terms worse than those generally recognised by good employers, it will be seen that the position, if we accept this simple looking' Amendment, will be that, if he refuses an offer of employment in his usual occupation, he cannot be penalised, but, if he refuses another offer, he can be penalised. If we accept this Amendment, the Section will read:Provided that a person shall not be deemed to have failed to fulfil the statutory conditions by reason only that he has de clined an offer of employ- 396 ment in his usual occupation in the district where he was last ordinarily employed at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those which he habitually obtained in his usual occupation in that district, or would have obtained had he continued to be so employed;There is no guarantee to the man at all that, if he be offered a job outside his usual occupation, he has any right to refuse at all, whatever the conditions may be, if this be accepted. The principal Act will also read:a person shall not be deemed to have failed to fulfil the statutory conditions by reason only that he has declined an offer of employment in his usual occupation in any other district at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those generally observed in that respect.There is not a shadow of guarantee in regard to any other employment at all. The Minister by this Amendment has simply done this, that, whereas the man now has a guaiantee that he cannot be penalised either in his own district or outside his own district for declining to accept a position under less favourable conditions than trade union conditions, if this Amendment be accepted, he has no guarantee at all outside his own occupation. I suggest that that is what this innocent looking Amendment does. The Minister ought really to give us a very good explanation of what it really means. My submission is that it is as clear as daylight, if you read the original Act as it will be if amended, that you are taking away from the man every right he now possesses to fair treatment with the exception of his usual occupation.
The original Act gives him a guarantee outside his usual occupation that he shall not be ruled out or deemed not to have fulfilled the statutory condition if he refuses to accept a job at what we generally term on this side blackleg rates or under blacklegging conditions. By this Amendment to the original Act it will be laid down that he will not have failed to fulfil the statutory conditions if he refuses an offer of employment in his usual occupation either in his own district or outside his own district, but there is no guarantee to him whatever, in the case of any other job except his own, whether outside his own district or in it, that he will not be refused benefit, whatever the terms offered to him or whatever the job. If my reading of the Bill be correct and if this is what the 397 Amendment will do, it was owing to the Committee that the Minister should have explained what he was going to do. I hope he will be able to prove that I am wrong, but, if I am right, it seems to me a gross abuse of legislation by reference to introduce what is apparently an innocent Amendment but which will have very detrimental effects indeed to the insured persons. I hope that the Minister will be able to prove that I am wrong. It will be no satisfaction to me if I find that I am right. I have taken the trouble of having these Clauses in the original Act with the Amendments typed out for me so that I could see exactly what it meant, but I can come to no other conclusion except that the adding of these words to the Section takes away every protection from the man outside his usual occupation.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am very glad to make the position clear, because it is a complicated business, and the right hon. Gentleman has made a slip in it. First of all, let me repeat, as a merely verbal matter, what I put to the hon. Member in whose name the first Amendment stood. The words I used to him were that it was a verbal Amendment, because it applied to the substitution of "usual occupation" for "usual employment." The right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood it. I am sure he will acquit me of any wish to mislead him. We may differ, but I have never attempted to mislead him. This paragraph (b) is divided into two parts and the second part of it substitutes the words "usual occupation" for "usual employment." If the hon. Member whose Amendment was in question before will turn to the paragraph, he will see that that is merely a verbal Amendment and nothing more. The whole question of substance comes in the first three lines. I think we have now cleared away the first cause of misunderstanding.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Yes, and I am very grateful to the hon. Member for taking that course. The last three lines indicate a mere verbal Amendment. If hon. Members will compare the last three lines—they are very difficult to follow, and I am the first to acknowledge it—of the Clause and turn to the Section of the principal Act, para- 398 graph (b), they will find in the fourth line the words "in his usual employment" so that this is merely a verbal matter and there is not the change which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston apprehends. In another occupation the insured person receives a safeguard by Sub-section (2) of Clause 2 of this Bill. The safeguard is that it should be on conditions not less favourable than those usually observed between associations of employers and employed. The insured person receives this safeguard in the new occupation.
May I try to make clear what is undoubtedly a complicated business? Let me first put the present law. As regards standard benefit, a man in his own district can refuse without losing benefit any offer of employment in any trade at wages lower than those he could have obtained in his own trade. That right is given under paragraph (b) of Clause 7 of the Act of 1920 and is dealt with in paragraph (b) of the proviso to Section (1). In other districts than his own, he has to take the standard rates of the job whether lower than those in his own trade or not. So far as standard benefit is concerned, in his own district he can refuse rates lower than in his own trade; but in another district he has to take the standard district rate for the job. In extended benefit, under the present law the man must accept any offer suited to his capacity, and there is no safeguard about the rates in that case. When it comes to the Bill you get, so to speak, a telescoping of standard and extended benefit; and, take it all in all, I think that by telescoping the two the result is to the advantage of the man.
I now come to the change made by this Bill. This Measure confines the refusal of an offer of employment in his own district at lower wages to his usual occupation. A man can refuse a job in his own district at lower rates than in his usual occupation, but when it comes to another occupation other than his usual occupation he has to take the rates of the job. On the other hand, when it comes to a new occupation he is safeguarded as to the proper rate of the job, but the safeguarding is given by the words at the end of paragraph (ii) of Sub-section (2). Therefore, we get to this general position under the Bill, which, on the whole, I think is more advantageous to the man than the present 399 law. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] Well, that is my view. The position under the Bill will be that whether in his own district or in another district a man can refuse an offer at lower rates in his own trade, but after a reasonable time he must take an offer at the proper rate in another trade at the rate for the job. Therefore, protection is given for a reasonable time which the man did not have under extended benefit. Of course, he cannot stand up for the rates in another trade being the same as the rates which he previously obtained in his own trade.
I have tried to explain a complicated position as briefly as I can. In making this proposal, I have not copied a model of the past from the Benches opposite, but the model of the present time. This Clause, so far as I know, follows precisely the opinion that was given in the evidence by the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) on behalf of the trade unions before the Blanesburgh Committee, and the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) was present and I assume that he tacitly acquiesced. On page 185, Question 1845, of the Blanesburgh Committee's Report, the hon. Member for West Nottingham said:Would you require a man to accept, or penalise him if he refused it, any kind of work before he was entitled to maintenance? First of all, it should be employment for which the man was suitable.It must be work he can do?—That is right.Is it more than work he can do? Must he be offered work he would like to do, or work which it is not inconvenient for him to do?—Anything suitable to the man is an offer of employment. It need not necessarily be the same employment as he has been following, and if it is offered at the proper rate of wages for that class of employment, he is not entitled to refuse. You may get some circumstances which would have to be oonsidered if you wanted to transfer a man from one employment to another.In other words, it must be reasonable. The effect of the provisions of this Bill are, so far as I am aware, and I have considered the matter with great care, precisely in accordance with that evidence. With regard to the perfectly natural difficulty in understanding a Measure like this Bill, may I state that the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston is safeguarded when it comes to a different employment by the words at the end of Subsection (2).
§ Mr. SHAW
I am sorry that I cannot accept the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman. What he has said leaves me quite unsatisfied, and, if I may make an interjection here, I would express the hope that, whoever is the Minister of Labour—the present Minister if the cataclysm occurs of which he spoke, and he wants a new Bill—will never again consent to have an Unemployment Insurance Bill by reference. Let me call the Minister's attention to the principal Act. A man now has the right to refuse employment in his own district at wages less than, or on conditions less favourable than, he habitually obtains in his usual employment in that district, or would have obtained had he continued to be so employed.
§ Mr. L. THOMPSON
May I, for the purpose of accuracy, point out that the paragraph from which the right hon. Gentleman is quoting, actually reads as follows:an offer of employment in the district where he was last ordinarily employed.That has rather a different construction.
§ Mr. SHAW
I am reading the Act itself. It says that a man shall not be deemed to have failed to fulfil the statutory conditions by reason only that he has declined:(b) an offer of employment in the district where he was last ordinarily employed.It is quite evident that under this Section no man in his own district can be asked to accept a job at lower wages or on worse conditions than the wages and conditions obtaining in his own trade. Is there any question about that?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I will take that, subject to one quite small qualification, namely, that the right hon. Gentleman has omitted to read the words of the Act which he himself passed. The Section, as amended by the right hon. Gentleman's Act of 1924, reads as follows:Provided that a person shall not be deemed to have failed to fulfil the statutory conditions by reason only that he has declined—(b) an offer of employment in the district where he was last ordinarily employed ait a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those which he might reasonably have expected to obtain, having regard to those which he habitually obtained in his usual employment in that district.401 It makes very little difference, but there is just a shade of difference, which might be noted as we are being very accurate.
§ Mr. SHAW
I am sorry again that I cannot accept that. This Bill says, not that the Act of 1924 shall be amended, but that "Section seven of the principal Act shall be amended as follows," so that it is quite beyond the mark to quote the Act of 1924, 1922 or 1921. This Bill says that Section 7 of the principal Act shall be amended, and it goes on:The following shall be substituted…and then the provisos are given. If you are going to amend Section so-and-so of the Act of 1924, why do you not say so? It is the Bill that we are dealing with, and not an opinion of the Minister or an opinion of my own; and the Bill says plainly that you are modifying Section 7 of the principal Act, which says quite distinctly and clearly that you cannot offer a man a position in his own district worse than he has previously had, and expect him to accept the offer, or if he does not accept it, be put off benefit.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
There is only a shade of difference between the two provisions, but if the right hon. Gentleman will look at paragraph (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of his own Act, he will see these words which I have already quoted:which he might reasonably have expected to obtain.Those words are, by the right hon Gentleman's Act, inserted in the Subsection which he has been quoting, and, therefore, the Sub-section which he has been quoting includes the words which I have quoted, because they have been inserted in it by a subsequent Act.
§ Mr. SHAW
I cannot accept that at all. It makes this difference, that under Section 7 of the principal Act you cannot ask a skilled engineer in his own district to go and do the work of a general labourer, and insist that he shall do it if the general labourer's trade union rate of wages is paid. Under this arrangement you can. Under the principal Act you could not say to a skilled engineer, "You must accept a position as a road sweeper at the trade union rate of wages for that job, and, if you do mot accept it, you will be deemed not to have 402 fulfilled a statutory condition." You cannot do that under the principal Act, which you are going to amend, but you can do it if you have this Amendment, because, provided that the offer of employment is mot in his usual occupation, a man has mo right to refuse the work of a road sweeper if it is offered at trade union wages. I will read to the Minister Section 7 of the principal Act as it will be amended according to his proposal. It says that a man may refuse:an offer of employment in his usual occupation in the district where he was last ordinarily employed, at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those which he habitually obtained in his usual occupation in that district or would have obtained had he continued to be so employed.He could refuse a less wage in his own employment, but he can refuse nothing now if it be at the trade union rate of wages. My submission to the Committee is that, under the Section as it will be amended, you can take the finest skilled engineer and can say to him, "Unless you accept the position of street sweeper at trade union wages, you have not fulfilled a statutory condition." I venture to submit that if I am right—
§ Mr. SHAW
If the hon. Member will permit me, I think I had better deal with the Minister, who, I think knows rather more about it. I want to suggest to the Minister that this is a point of some substance. If I am right, it is a very serious thing that he is doing to the unemployed skilled workman, because the skilled workman is like the professional man. He has his own professional pride just as the professional man has, and a skilled engineer would no more like to go as a general labourer than a sculptor would like to work as a stonemason. It is not that I think a general labourer is doing less useful work, but I think that this fine craft pride ought to be maintained, not at the expense of the general labourer, but because craft in itself is a fine thing to have. The Minister really has a case to answer here and if he will read the Section of the principal Act with his Amendment he will find that a man now in his own district has no guarantee whatever. Provided you offer him trade union wages you can offer him any job you like, whatever his normal occupation.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The position is not quite as the right hon. Gentleman has put it. In regard to the skilled engineer he has not put the present position of the law quite plainly. Under the present law if you get a skilled engineer on standard benefit, say at Woolwich, and he is at any time asked to take, while on standard benefit, a position as a road sweeper at oWoolwich, he has got to get the same rate of wage as a skilled engineer. That is under paragraph (b). On the other hand, if he is asked to take a job as a road sweeper in another district he has to take the rate for the job at the present moment. So, qua skilled engineer, the protection at present is not what the right hon. Gentleman thinks. Under the Bill he will have to take the rate for the job.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
If it is another district he has to take the rate for the job now. He is only protected in his own district by the engineers' rate, and only for standard benefit. The moment he gets on to extended benefit at present he has to take what may be reasonable, and that whether in his own district or any other. Under the new proposal, if he is asked to go to a new job he may have to take the rate for the job, but at the same time he cannot be asked to go until after a reasonable time. If he goes to a new job he gets the rate for the new job, and he cannot be asked to take what he can be asked to take at present under extended benefit; also, he is protected because he cannot be asked to go until after a reasonable time. The Court of Referees are a law to themselves, and they will be independent of any interference by the Minister.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
No. They have the instructions that are given in the Bill, but there is no administrative instruction. They are independent authorities. If I were ever put in the position of chairman of the Court of Referees, or Umpire, it would seem to me reasonable to have regard to the position of the man and his history. If it were a case of a change of occupation which was not a great change, I should be prepared to say, "Go to your other 404 job sooner. "If it were the case of a skilled man, it would be a long time before I should say," It is reasonable to ask you to take an unskilled job." That is the protection he gets, and that is my reason for very genuinely saying that under a dual system of standard and extended benefit the case of a skilled workman is better under our proposal than it has been under the existing law.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. SHAW
The Minister still, I think, has either failed to grasp my point or I have failed to understand him. This Bill makes benefit now a statutory right under certain conditions, and unless you comply with those conditions you have no statutory right. This Clause, if it is passed, will put the workman in the position that at any time he claims benefit, if he does not take a job outside his ordinary occupation, whatever the job may be, at trade union rates, it is within the province of the insurance officer to refuse to pay any benefit. Is that a fair rendering of the law?s I will pass the right hon. Gentleman the Clause as it is now amended and I suggest it shows that if a skilled engineer claims benefit and there is a job of road sweeping at trade union rates it is within the power of the insurance officer to tell him to take the job or to refuale him benefit.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The answer is "No." The body we are dealing with is the Court of Referees, which must be guided by the actual words, and the words are that, after the lapse of such an interval from the date on which the insured contributor becomes unemployed as in the circumstances of the case is reasonable, the employment shall not be deemed to be unsuitable by reason only that it is employment of a kind other than the usual occupation of the insured contributor. Then he gets the protection of the wage of the job by the wordsif it is employment at a rate of wages not lower, and on conditions not less favourable, than those generally observed by associations of employers and employes.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
It is not a question of appeal. The first court he goes to is the Court of Referees. Let me 'be quite accurate. I am carrying most of these details in my head. I am not quite sure whether action can be taken by an insurance officer.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
No, it is not to-day. To-day there is, so to speak, a three-decker system, (1) the insurance officer who gives a decision, (2) the court of referees, to whom an appeal is taken, and (3) the umpire, to whom a second appeal can be taken. In the new system the first court is a court of referees; but it is not always to be a court of appeal.
§ Mr. SHAW
We must get to the bottom of this. My submission is, that if a man makes a claim for benefit—an unemployed engineer—it is within the power of the officers of the Ministry to refuse to pay him, and if his case be submitted to the court of referees, it is not submitted on a case of equity, but on a case of a statutory condition. He has no statutory guarantee that if the trade union wages are paid he can insist on the conditions applying to his own job.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I feel that the complications that have been introduced will make for greater confusion in the discussion of these points. First of all, let me say, the evidence that was submitted, and the quotations that have been given by the Minister of Labour, are absolutely correct. But he must appreciate the whole of that cross-questioning, for, indeed, it started around the position of a young engineer. He was asked whether a young engineer should go on for all time refusing employment. We then developed into a form of general occupation, say, for instance, the general labourer who is used to the same kind of tools—the pick and the shovel. The question was whether he, acting as a builder's labourer, could continue to say that his job was that of a builder's labourer and refuse any reasonable request to go on to a road-making job or any other general work of that sort. Even applied to the young engineer, my answer was then, as it would be now, that if the request was reasonable, if the circumstances were reasonable and the employment was suited to the capacity of the individual, it could not be refused for all time. The 406 question of reasonableness is covered, I suppose, by the stipulation that you cannot send a man out of his district. It would be unreasonable to do so if he had other persons dependent upon him-So we must approach this as though it were a general sweeping condition of affairs, that whatever may in the main, be looked upon as reasonable by one person is of necessity reasonable in the full sense of justice or equity.
This particular alteration, innocent though the words appear to be, must be read in conjunction with paragraph (c) of the original Act. In the present circumstances there may not be an overwhelming importance to be attached to the alteration in the words, except that they leave it open for a person at any time to be sent to some other form of occupation than that which he usually follows, without his being able to protect his rights to benefit as an insured person. As we shall be permitted to discuss the effect of those words in relation to the Bill as it would subsequently appear if the full alteration were carried, I should like to point out to the right hon. Gentleman, that the alteration in his Bill to be made after paragraph (b) of Section 7 of the original Act creates quite a revolution in the present circumstances as they apply to an insured person. Will Members please follow how that small Section reads now and how it will read if these words are inserted? It says:An offer of employment in any other district at a rate of wages lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those generally observed in that district by agreement between associations of employers and employés shall, failing any such agreement, than those generally recognised in that district by good employers.That is how it appears without, the suggested introduction of words. You propose to introduce the words "in his usual occupation." Whatever the intention of the Minister and his Department may be, the English reading of the Clause as it will appear with those words in is a far different thing, for it reads that a person shall not be deemed to have failed to have fulfilled the statutory conditions by reason only that he has declined an offer of employment in his usual occupation in any other district at a rate of wages lower, and so on. The alteration is the insertion of the words "his usual occupation" after the word 407 "employment." That means that the insured person will not fail to fulfil a statutory condition of he refuses employment in any other district in his usual occupation at rates less, but—and that is the point—he cannot refuse work in any occupation other than his own at rates of wages less than the trade union rate. That is the kernel of the whole thing in that respect, and the Minister agrees that that is so. That is the very serious difference if these simple words are introduced into this Sub-section, and eventually find themselves embodied in another Act of Parliament. For the first time it will say, "We no longer give you protection outside your own immediate occupations." I trust I shall be permitted to mention one matter in the Blanesburgh Report, which I feel must have prompted the Department to cull those words in order to amend that Section of the principal Act.
It is said sometimes that we protest against things being taken from the Report and that we protest when some things are not taken from the Report. If the complete thing had been taken we perhaps would still have been called upon to oppose the Bill, but our opposition would have lost a considerable amount of its sting had the Government selected the best and not the worst from the Report. We are suspicious, and one is justified in being suspicious when we are presented with a Bill which so confuses the lay mind by its cross references to other Acts. It does not state what the Acts are, but we have to read the Amendments of the principal Act in conjunction with something that was done in connection with the Act of 1924, which inserted something else in the original Act, and about which nothing whatever is said in the present Bill. [Laughter.] Hon. Members are amused. They will appreciate now how clearly the whole position is and how nicely in a garment of silk or soft material you can enshroud very reactionary proposals, whilst making them appear to be pleasant by the introduction of softer tenms like" occupation "instead of" employment."
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
May I correct the hon. Member? I hate to take up the time of the Committee by interruptions, but this is the last time— [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]—at any rate, on this question I hope. I do not want 408 the hon. Member to remain under a misconception. As to the offer of employment, in paragraph (b) we insert the words, "In his usual occupation." In other words, he is safeguarded under that paragraph by our Bill for all time as to the reasonableness of the offer "in his usual occupation." Now comes the question of another occupation. He is safeguarded for all time as to the reasonableness of an offer in another occupation by the words of Sub-section (2) (ii). Therefore, he is protected whether in his own occupation or in another. In this respect he is much better off than he was before, because before, as soon as he went from standard to extended benefit, his protection lapsed.
May I make another point clear with regard to what I said previously, in which I may have misled the hon. Member? The two-decker system as regards the Court of Referees and the Umpire is true with regard ta the regular three-monthly review. Otherwise a case goes in the first instance to the insurance officer, and I submit to the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Shaw) that no insurance officer, knowing that he may be appealed against, is going quite glibly to disregard the guiding words of the Act in Subsection (2).
§ The CHAIRMAN
I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) is in possession.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
The right hon. Gentleman has not made the point clear. I suggest that the words have a restricting and not an expanding influence in the man's favour. It is not our fault if we are told that something at present running requires no alteration, but that something in the principal Act of 1920 does require alteration. If the words are to be inserted in the principal Act, which is the guiding Act upon which all the following Acts have been built, where is the need to introduce the words "in his usual occupation," if it is not intended to restrict the protection he gets to his occupation, because without these words he is protected in whatever occupation he may go to out of his own district.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
Are we not dealing with the 30-stamp qualification and not with extended benefit? The Bill presented now does not alter the conditions of extended benefit; it is to establish the right to benefit without any discretion of the Minister, and without extended benefit. We have to read these words not in association to what may apply under extended benefit but how they will apply when there is no extended benefit. If it gives the man protection at the moment under standard benefit rights why not continue the protection to other benefits under this Bill? The Minister is really confusing the issue by saying that he is improving the conditions under which extended benefit might be given, and in telescoping the two he is working on the spirit of compromise. He does not like to let go too much of the restrictions he has under extended benefit. We want the full protection given under standard benefit to be given to extended benefit. If these words remain in the Bill they will restrict the protection given so far as the trade union rate of wages is concerned. I ought to submit a point of Order to you as to whether a Bill promoting legislation dealing with a statutory right and the abolition of extended benefit is in order in dealing with a condition under the extended benefit system?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is an objection which should have been taken before Mr. Speaker on the Second Reading.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I feel that these words have been prompted by a phrase found in the Blanesburgh Committee's Report, which I want to read because it is an answer to the whole of this matter.Some of us have been impressed by the difficulty which certain growing industries experience in meeting their labour requirements, even though there are unemployed men in other industries where their services are not likely again to be required, at any rate for a considerable time. Employers in the expanding industries, or portions of an industry, are anxious for larger numbers of skilled men and would readily employ workers from other trades, even though their experience is confined to their previous work. Where, however, they are not possessed of the requisite experience to make their work at once of adequate value, employers have difficulty in paying immediately to these men wages at the full standard rates. What is desired is that such men should be willing and should be permitted to work for a few months at a wage somewhat less than the standard rate 410 in the assurance that by the end of that time they will become sufficiently experienced to be worth the full wage.That is an expression of opinion, not a unanimous opinion; it is not a recommendation of the Blanesburgh Committee. But the insertion of these words will have just that effect. They will protect the man if he goes to his own occupation anywhere, he will get the trade union rate of wages; but if he is sent to some outside employment he does not get that protection. Consequently, he will become capable of supplying labour for expanding industries at less than the trade union rates. That is our fear. If that be so, what is the use of our talking about peace in industry when an Unemployment Insurance Act allows the use of an unemployed person for the supply of labour at less than the established trade union rates? You withdraw the protection from him because that does not happen to be his own occupation. I have read and re-read the first Sub-section, and I have tried to believe that the words were there innocently. I have read them as applying in a more restricted sense, but I have found that, although you started off on the journey easily, it was misleading, and that you got such an awful bump as you got lower down. So the soft words, seeming to lack a sting in their meaning at the first, end with a great sting, and to my mind they certainly do restrict the protection that an unemployed person has a right to expect under the Bill.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I am in a somewhat difficult position, because I find that a certain portion of what the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) said seems to be borne out by my own construction of the amended Sub-section. It seems to me that under Section 7 of the old Act, if we insert the words in proviso (b) after "an offer of employment," and add the words "in his usual occupation," that rather carries out the contention of the right hon. Member for Preston and would open a big field as against the unemployed men in relation to some other occupation in his own district. Although I personally am not in favour of omitting paragraph (b) entirely from the Bill, yet an Amendment might be made that in proviso (c) of the Clause the words should be inserted, but that in paragraph (b) of Section V of the old Act the words should be omitted. As far as I can see the whole trouble is as to 411 the interpretation put on the words "in Ms usual occupation," and reading it as I do, in Section 7 of tie old Act, as amended by paragraph (b)of Clause 5, it would rather limit the original intention of the man's particular district, limit it to the wages in his usual occupation. That being so, and if that be the intention of the Government, I would be glad to have some information on the subject. Is it the intention of the Government that the old paragraph (b) of Section 7 should be entirely altered in its interpretation? If so we might have that intention made clear.
I do not say that the unemployed man is going to suffer any hardship. Comparisons have been made between skilled engineers and crossing sweepers, and in many cases at the present time the skilled engineer who gets a crossing sweeper's job probably gets a jolly sight better job. It seems to me the case could be met if Sub-section (1, b) of this Clause simply read:In proviso (c) of Sub-section (1) after the words, 'An offer of employment' there shall be inserted the words ' in his usual occupation,' and for the words ' usual employment ' in the said proviso (b) there shall be substituted the words ' usual occupation.'
§ Mr. POTTS
I hope the Minister will:now withdraw the Clause, but if he will not do so, I wish to be assured as to its effect on certain industries. It is all right to take employment where people are paid a standard wage, but it is another proposition where you have men employed on piece-work, especially in coal mining. I want the right hon. Gentleman to realise that we have in the mining industry, in round figures, one million workpeople, a figure which is less than it ought to be, and out of these 25 per cent. work on the surface and, of the remainder, between 50 and 60 percent, are engaged at the coal face on piece-work. I want the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. L. Thompson) to understand that there is no comparison in this matter as between Durham and Yorkshire or Lancashire. In Durham the person who does the piece-work part of the business is engaged for that particular work and no other. The man who is engaged for coal-getting pure and simple is working at the face and is doing nothing else. Let me say in the first place that we have "to consider the Mines Act in conjunction 412 with this legislation and the Mines Act says that whatever an individual is instructed to do in a coal mine it is an offence against the law to disobey the order. In the case of mining, then what is meant by "usual occupation "? In mining it will mean anything that the man is intended to do. If he is working at the face, or if he is "tramming" that will be deemed to be his occupation. The man has to do anything he is wanted to do. The Mines Act says he must.
If this Clause is passed the net result will be that thousands of people in the mining industry can be unemployed and yet never receive a penny of insurance benefit—while they are also liable to be prosecuted for disobeying orders. In the case of Yorkshire we find there are two people working together at the coal face. One is deemed to be the collier and the other may be styled an assistant collier. They are working on piecework. I have gone into colliery offices as a miners' agent and I have had to deal with hundreds of cases of victimisation and that is the power you are putting into the owners hands. There is no use winking at it. They can stop thousands of people from getting any payment. Take the case of two men working together in the way I have described. The manager may decide to stop their working place. He may have a prejudice against the man at the coal face and he may want to get rid of that man and this provision will play into his hands. He stops his working place. The man is sent the following day or some days later on to tramming instead of coal getting. He may be between 40 and 50 years of age, yet he is told to go and tram tubs, and in some places even in Yorkshire, especially in West Yorkshire, people are tramming tubs hundreds of yards, and the tunnel is not more than a yard high in some places. Imagine a man between 40 and 50 years of age tramming in a tunnel not exceeding a yard high, which is common in West Yorkshire. The man cannot do it. If he is told by the colliery manager to do that tramming, the manager is acting within his rights, and if the man refuses, he can prosecute him for not doing it. If he says, "I cannot do it," and he goes out of the pit, he has stopped work on his own account, and he cannot get insurance benefit.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not quite follow how the argument of the hon. Member affects the difference between the provision as it is now in the 1920 Act and as it is proposed in this Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There is another thing I cannot understand, and that is the connection of the hon. Member's argument with the words of the Amendment.
§ Mr. POTTS
The man is a coal getter at the coal face, and if the management send him away from there to tram tubs, which is something it is impossible for him to do, that is not his usual occupation. There is the answer at once. You take an individual, and he is stopped in the way that I have shown—and we shall get thousands of these cases if this passes—the man will not be entitled to insurance benefit. If he goes to the guardians, this is what happens; and I know, because I have been a chairman of guardians. When he makes application to the relieving officer, that official makes all the inquiries he can. He writes to the colliery and gets a letter from the manager to lay before the committee when they meet. What happens? It is shown that the man has left his work and not been discharged, that he has had work offered him but has left it because he refused to accept the work which he could not do. Consequently, in law he is not entitled to any poor relief. That is the defect of this Clause. That is how it will work out, and the Minister can take it from me as a matter of fact—I challenge him to go into it with me, if he likes—that the colliery managers do discharge men to get rid of them indirectly in that way.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This appears to be a case under the present law as it is set out in Section 7 of the principal Act. I cannot see from the hon. Member's argument that the suggested change in this Bill will make any difference.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
On a point of Order. May I submit, with all due respect, that that is exactly our claim, that under Section 7 of the principal Act a man is 414 not penalised for refusing an offer of employment at less wages or under worse conditions than his own occupation, but that under this proposed Clause, provided the trade union rate of wages be paid, he can be refused benefit if he refuses to accept the situation, whatever the situation is?
That is exactly our point.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not want to prolong the discussion, but the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Potts) appears to be denouncing a state of things which arises under the present law, and he wants an entirely different Amendment from this one.
§ Mr. SHAW
It is not my desire in any way to question your ruling, but I do seriously suggest that, as the law now stands with regard to unemployment insurance, a man is not penalised for refusing to accept employment that is not in his trade and under conditions worse than his trade, and the hon. Member is pointing out that if this Clause be accepted he can be penalised for refusing to do the things for which, if he refuses to do them now, he is not penalised.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If that be the hon. Member's argument, it is in order, but I thought he was denouncing a state of things under the present law.
§ Mr. POTTS
I am only trying to show what the effect will be of the man being offered work different from the work ac which he is commonly employed, and I am trying to show the effect this Clause will have. It is no use talking about employers not doing it. I can give you a case now, and I am going to ask the Minister to inquire into it, where one of our own colliery men was victimised by a colliery company because he was too intelligent to work there and they discharged him. It has happened in hundreds of cases, and, if this Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, we shall have any amount of trouble in the mining industry. It will apply in Yorkshire on general lines where employers will take advantage of a man and try to get him out of a colliery. It will apply also in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and that is sufficient to cause the Minister to take note of how these words will apply. Therefore, I suggest that he should reconsider this matter, and, if he 415 wants to put anything in this Clause, let him put into it, instead of the words "in his usual occupation," the words "in his usual working place." That will meet our requirements and stop people being victimised, and a man will go to the place he is engaged to work in instead of being set at some other kind of work.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
I do not blame anybody for not appreciating the effect of these Clauses, and I certainly should not blame myself if I failed to understand them. On the other hand, it is not wise to exaggerate the change that is made. As I understand it, the position is this— taking as an illustration the case given by the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw), that is, the case of an engineer who has been making £3 a week and has been offered work as a labourer at £2 a week. At present he can refuse that offer, if it is within his own district, for a period co-extensive with his standard benefit, a period which is limited by the one in six rule or the 26 weeks' rule. Under this Bill he can equally refuse it for such a period of time as the Court of Referees thinks reasonable. It is no use the hon. Member shaking his head. I feel sure I am right. If one looks at paragraph (ii) of Subsection (2) we see that he has a right to refuse work in any other employment for such an interval of timeas, in the circumstances of the case, is reasonable.In other words we are substituting "a reasonable period" for a period equivalent to that during which a man is entitled to his standard benefit. The reasonable period may be less or it may be more. Then take the case of a man offered this work in another district. At present, under the main Act, he cannot refuse it for a day—assuming that the £2 is the standard rate of pay for labourers. Under the Bill we are discussing he is again entitled to refuse that work for a reasonable period. Therefore, as regards work outside the district, his position is clearly much better than it is under the present law. At present he is bound to take the work the moment it is offered to him, he cannot refuse it for a day, but under this Bill he has the benefit of a reasonable period during which he can refuse that work. I have tried my best to understand this Section, and though I 416 may be wrong I feel pretty sure that what I have said is the effect of the new Bill. [Interruption.] With an appeal to the umpire. As to his own district, he at present has a statutory right which lasts throughout the period during which he is entitled to standard benefit. Once that period is at an end he has no right. Under this Bill is substituted a period which, I agree, is of uncertain duration, but a period decided by the court of referees to be reasonable in all the circumstances. That seems to me the contrast between the two positions, and I suggest that it is very easy to exaggerate it. It certainly is not a change that calls for extravagant language or abuse, because it may be to the benefit of the man even with regard to work offered to him in his own district, and, as regards work from another district, his position is much improved, because, as the Act stands to-day, he has no protection, but under the Bill he has very considerable protection.
The Committee is not at all clear on this point. The hon. and learned Gentleman has helped us a bit, but he has helped to raise what is the real difficulty. At the present time, the kind of job offered to an applicant really depends on whether he is receiving standard or extended benefit. Under this Bill, there is only to be one kind of benefit. As the law stands at present, a man receiving statutory benefit has certain definite rights to refuse to take a job under conditions laid down in the Act of 1920.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
After a reasonable time even the statutory benefit can be brought to an end. That is the effect of the provisions of the Act of 1924. He cannot have it altogether, even throughout the statutory benefit.
What the right hon. Gentleman is trying to do in his Bill is to make a compromise between the conditions applicable to standard and to extended benefit. In doing so, he has not made the conditions easier but more onerous. As it stands at present, a man who is a skilled workman would be quite entitled to refuse in his own district any job offered him on terms inferior to those he enjoyed in his own job. You can say that that is for a limited period, but that is not my point. The point is that under this Bill he can no longer do even that. 417 There is no guarantee that that opportunity is to he given to him even for a limited period. The safeguard that in his own district be can refuse to accept a job in a different occupation on inferior terms to those he now enjoys is to be taken away from him. If that be so, then clearly the Bill is not in any way to the advantage of the insured person; on the contrary, it is to his disadvantage. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to answer a question. Is it not the case that at present the insured worker is justified in refusing an alternative job on conditions inferior to those he enjoyed in his own occupation and that under this Bill he may be compelled on pain of losing his benefit to accept a job which offers inferior wages and inferior conditions? That is the real point at issue, and it does not seem to he any good to cloud it with terms like "reasonable time" or "limited period." As the Act stands to-day, the workman can refuse a job under certain circumstances, but under this Bill he would be disqualified for rejecting a similar job. That is the point which the Minister of Labour put earlier in the Debate. If the right hon. Gentleman will tell the Committee whether I am right or not in my interpretation of what he says, then we shall know where we are in regard to this proposal to delete the paragraph which we are now considering.
§ Mr. R. HUDSON
We started the discussion upon this Amendment with a complicated reading of the result of the new wording of the old Clause as modified by a previous Act. It seems to me that we should have done much better if, first of all, the Committee had made up its mind before dealing with the wording what it really wanted to obtain. I suggest that the real problem of the Committee, before it tackles the wording, is to find out whether a man who is unemployed is to be compelled either to accept work at other work or at the same rates that he has been getting; or whether he is to be compelled to accept other work at a less rate of pay. I confess, after listening carefully to the Debate, that I cannot understand which of these alternatives the Minister of Labour has proposed. After all, this is a very reasonable request. The first thing is that the Minister should tell us what he wishes to do under the new scheme. The present practice has nothing to do with the point. 418 We are dealing with the future and not with the past. Let us get to know clearly whether the Minister wishes in future a man who is unemployed to accept work at the same rate after a reasonable period, or can he accept less wages? When the Committee has made up its mind on that point, then we can discuss whether the wording is the right wording to achieve that end.
Reference has been made in this Debate to the skilled engineer. A skilled engineer who is unemployed in his own district is not bound to take a job at engineering under the engineering rate, and, if in the same district, the engineer is not bound to take a job in any other occupation under the engineering rate. The proposal before the Committee means that an engineer in his own district, while not called upon to take a job in his own trade at lower rates, may be called upon to take a job in another trade at less rates than he has been previously receiving. I hope the Minister of Labour will give some further explanation as to what can be done under this Bill. I know of many examples of what can be done under the present law. A skilled engineer in my own trade union who was out of employment was kept off the unemployment roll by the offer of a job at rates below those of his own trade union. That man, a skilled engineer, would be ordinarily employed in working to a thousandth part of an inch, and this job, if he undertook it, would destroy his skill for all time, and consequently, he would be of little use in the occupation in which he has been before.
My second case is one of a kind which may occur under the conditions now to be imposed. Another skilled engineer, out of work, and the committee, desiring to get him off the Employment Exchange, offered him a job as a scavenger. I am one of those who do not, at any rate, think that a scavenger's job is one of which any man need be ashamed, but there is something in offering to a skilled engineer a job as a scavenger, when there are many more men who come nearer to that kind of occupation. Consequently, I want to know from the Minister, in connection with this matter, if there is going to be an insistence on 419 men accepting a wage lower than their own wage at some other occupation than their own, if any definite decision is going to be laid down whereby the insurance officer will not in the first instance deprive the man of benefit until some reference has been made to the Court of Referees at least. If that is not done, I can see the insurance officer taking the opportunity of getting as many men off his books as he possibly can, and, under the conditions I have explained, it seems to me decidedly unfair to call upon a skilled engineer to take up a job, say, at labouring, at a low rate of wages, simply because the insurance officer says there is a job for him. I trust that in these circumstances the Minister will tell us something as to what is reasonable, and who is to decide the interval which is referred to in this Bill.
§ Mr. KELLY
I think that, if we could only have another speech or two from some of the lawyers in the Committee, we should find things even more complicated. The hon. and learned Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson) told us how these new words suggested by the Minister would improve the Bill, and would give a standing to, say, the skilled engineer who has just been spoken of, and make him much safer than he is at the present time. I am amazed, because the Act as it reads at this moment states that a man may refuse:an offer of employment in the district where he was last ordinarily employed, at a rate of wage lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those which he might reasonably have expected to obtain, having regard to those which he habitually obtained in his usual employment in that district, or would have obtained had he continued to be so employed.I would like the Minister to say how that paragraph will be improved for the insured person by-adding the words "in his usual occupation." Surely, an offer of employment in the district covers this more than the words "his usual occupation," and it is very evident that the suggestion to introduce those words into the Bill would not only restrict, but is one of those measures that are making this Bill into the vicious thing that we have stated it to be throughout the whole of the discussion.
Taking, again, paragraph (c), to which the hon. and learned Member for Altrinc- 420 ham referred, at the present time, if a man is offered employment in another district at a rate of wage lower than that usually observed in the district, he is entitled to refuse that employment. I cannot understand the reasons of the hon. and learned Member for stating that, by adding the words "in his usual occupation" after the word "employment," and then, instead of using the word "employment," using the word "occupation" in another part of the paragraph, is going to improve the conditions for the man. It means a worsening of the conditions. As the Act stands at present, you could not take an engineer to another district and offer him less wages than the wages operating in that particular district, and you could not take an engineer to another district and offer him work at any occupation or calling at wages or on conditions less favourable than those operating in the district as agreed upon by good employers or by federations of employers.
The only intent of the use of these words is to be able to send men away from their own district into occupations where they will be compelled to work at wages much less than those to which they have been accustomed to. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where other men are unemployed!"] Imagine the case which the last speaker quoted of engineers who are offered employment as navvies at a time when you have plenty of men who follow that occupation and are ready to undertake the work. We have found many times officers of the Ministry offering work in the same district and other districts with a view to clearing people off the pay roll, and if they now have the opportunity given by these new words we are going to have a position even worse. I hope that this proviso will be deleted, as it is most unfair to those who are unemployed, and we have no right to put them in the position of being forced into occupations under conditions that are not fair and just.
§ Mr. VIANT
I want to emphasise the point made by my hon. Friend. The Parliamentary Secretary to-day used the illustration of a woodworker engaged part of the time in the shipbuilding industry and part in the building industry. Under existing conditions, a joiner engaged in house-building receives wages much in advance of those enjoyed in the shipbuilding industry. In many cases, there is as much difference as 15s 421 or 20s. a week. Under the present Act, a man has the right to refuse to take employment in the shipbuilding industry even here in London. He may be perfectly qualified to take joinery work upon a ship, but he is entitled to refuse to take it by virtue of the fact that there is so much difference between the wages. Furthermore, he has the right to refuse to be transferred from one industry to the other by virtue of the fact that there is so much difference in the wages which he would receive. Rightly or wrongly, we are reading into the Amendment suggested by the new Bill that he would be compelled to be drafted from one industry to another, even although the wages are going to be so much reduced. His refusal to be transferred would mean the forfeiture of his unemployment pay. That is, I think, a concrete illustration of the reasons why we are so dubious about accepting the new proposals in the present Bill. I would suggest that even the Parliamentary Secretary might be prepared, if our interpretation is not correct, to put forward reasons as to why our interpretation is incorrect in order to remove, what I consider to be, the legitimate opposition from these benches to the proposals advanced in the new Bill. They are concrete, legitimate objections, and up till now a case has not been made out by giving a practical illustration of the new proposals in the Bill which is before the Committee.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I would like the Committee to realise what we are discussing here. We are discussing our own flesh and blood, who, unfortunately, happen to be unemployed. It is not an army of criminals with whom we are dealing. We are dealing with men and women. As my trade—the engineers— has been largely flung across the floor to-night, I would like to tell the Committee that the officials of our organisation who have the working of these Acts are very perplexed about the alterations that are to take place in the new Bill. We fear that the engineer who is offered a job at what is commonly called labouring work and does not accept it will be cut off. In my constituency the position is even "finer" than that, because we have a large number—thousands of them —of what are called semi-skilled men. 422 The highly-skilled engineer fears that when he is unemployed he may be sent to Singers' factory to take a semiskilled job and receive the semi-skilled pay. How does that operate? I would like the Committee to watch what is going to happen there.
It means that the semi-skilled man is going to be displaced by the skilled man. It means that this Government are, in this Bill, once again following out their usual course of procedure which they have put into operation ever since they took the reins of government, and that is to lower the standard of life of the working classes. That is what is behind this legislation. It is all very well for the Minister of Labour to make fine points of debate which do not mean one damn—how do you like that word, Mr. Hope?—to the men who are going to be affected. Those men are watching what is happening here. One would not think from the way we are discussing to-night that the fate of tens of thousands of men is depending upon what we do. Their fate, their happiness, depends upon this business. We in this House will not be affected by a shilling or two. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shall we not?"] Well, not on the average. The poorest of us can afford a shilling or two, but these men have nothing. You have divorced them from the soil—
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD rose—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) sat down, and I have called upon the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley).
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I gave way, because I thought you had a point of order to raise. [Laughter.] I do not know why there is so much hilarity about this business.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs assures me that he only gave way because he thought I was going to say something further, and the hon. Member for Dewsbury is willing to give way in turn, I will allow the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs to proceed.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The engineer has been trailed across the floor of the House to-night and well he might be, because he is going to be affected very much. In the Amendment we have moved, we are trying to safeguard what is commonly called the skilled man—the miner —because the miner is a highly skilled man-—the joiner, the ship joiner and the house joiner, and the skilled men in different trades. We are trying to safeguard them here. The Minister of Labour by this method of procedure is trying to lower the standard of life of the skilled workmen of this country. This is the thanks that the engineer is getting from the ruling classes. During the War, when you were up against it, you appealed to the engineers to slacken their trade rights. I advised them not to do so, because those rights were ours to defend.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This cannot arise on the present Amendment, and I must ask the hon. Member to confine himself to it.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I consider it does, but I bow to your ruling. I have no desire to fall foul of you to-night, but I have sat out these Debates for the last two days listening patiently to innumerable speeches, and whenever I rise to my feet, and bring the Debate right down to earth, you, Mr. Hope, rise in your place, and tell me it has nothing to do with the Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have also listened, like the hon. Member, to innumerable speeches, and I have the greatest sympathy with the hon. Member. When I tell him it has nothing to do with the subject under discussion, it is only because it is the fact.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I think we have a right to ask for a plain answer from the right hon. Gentleman to a plain question. Is it the fact, if these words are added to the original Act, that it will be possible for an insurance officer to tell a skilled workman who applies for benefit, that if he does not take a job in another occupation at less wages, although they are the trade union wages in that trade, he is not entitled to benefit, and that the man goes to the court of referees without any statutory right at all to refuse a job outside his own occupation? That is a plain question, and the right hon. 424 Gentleman should face it plainly. There is no doubt that if these words are accepted the only, protection he has is that he may refuse a job in his own occupation at less than trade union rates, but he cannot refuse any other job with a statutory protection, notwithstanding what is said in Sub-section 2. He may go before the court of referees and claim that he has not had a reasonable interval, but that "reasonable interval" in that Sub-section is not for the protection of the man but for the protection of the Minister. Let me read it:after the lapse of such an interval from the date on which an insured contributor becomes unemployed as, in the circumstances of the case, is reasonable, employment shall not be deemed to be unsuitable by reason only that it is employment of a kind other than employment in the usual occupation of the insured contributor.The original Act gave protection to the man. It gave him the right to say that in his own district that it should not be considered a breach of the statutory Regulations if he refused a job on worse conditions than his own. That is taken away and now the insurance officer will be able to say, as soon as an application is made by an inquirer or any skilled worker, that he must take the job or lose his benefit. If the insurance officer can say, "There is a job, and you must take that job or we refuse you benefit," the man has to go to the Court of Referees without any statutory protection at all against accepting the job. That will be so if this Bill becomes the law of the land. At present, under the principal Act, that cannot be done. The Minister ought to say plainly whether what I have stated is the case?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I will answer at once. The man has a statutory right. We cannot ask him to take a job in another trade until a reasonable period has passed.
§ Mr. RILEY
I have not been responsible for making any of the innumerable speeches referred to, but I want now to put a pointed question to the Minister. In one of his earlier speeches, the Minister put up the defence that none of the Unemployment Insurance Acts hitherto passed gave an opportunity to refuse offers of employment with impunity. Whatever other protection the existing Act has been supposed to give to the insured person, one of its protections has 425 been the right of the insured person to have the standard rate of wages as a condition of employment, without forfeiting his right to insurance benefit. That condition has been accepted as a definite policy, I think, in every Unemployment Insurance Act that has been passed. It has not been questioned to-night that that is provided for in Section 7 of the existing Act. Section 7 consists of two parts, and the pith of it is as follows: First, that where an insured person is out of employment, he is entitled, in his district, if he accepts employment, to have the wages to which he has been habitually accustomed, whether it be in his own occupation or in some other occupation in his own district.
The second provision is that if he goes out of the district to seek employment, or if employment is offered out of his district, Section 7 secures that he shall be entitled, not necessarily to the wages he has been accustomed to habitually, but to the standard rates and conditions obtaining in that district for the work he does. This proposal is going to alter that con-
§ dition. The interpolation of the words "usual occupation" is clearly intended to rule out the protection hitherto given to the man who has to accept work which is not his usual occupation. To that extent his position is worsened. I do not want to use a harsh term but if those words are accepted, the effect will be to put pressure upon people going outside their districts, to act as blacklegs against trade union rates of wages. It is a direct incentive. In order to retain the right to benefit men may have to become blacklegs against their own fellow-workers—even men who have been lifelong members of trade unions. It is not a fair proposition and is a distinct departure from the policy hitherto pursued in the Insurance Acts.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 242; Noes, 115.427
|Division No. 403.]||AYES.||[11.32 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Chapman, Sir S.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.|
|Albery, Irving James||Christie, J. A.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Clayton, G. C.||Gates, Percy|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Glbbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Atkinson, C.||Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||Goft, Sir Part|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Bainlel, Lord||Colman, N. C. D.||Grace, John|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland N.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cooper, A. Duff||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cope. Major William||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Couper, J. B.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hanbury, C.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Harland, A.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Crolt||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Dixey, A. C.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Drewe, C.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Duckworth, John||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd, Hexham)||Ellis, R. G.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||England, Colonel A.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. H. J.|
|Burman, J. B.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hills, Major John Walter|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hilton, Cecil|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Fermoy, Lord||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Fielden, E. B.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Finburgh, S.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R (Prtsmth. S.)||Forrest, W.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Foster, Sir Henry S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H||Nelson, Sir Frank||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Smlthers, Waldron|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pennefather, Sir John||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Knox. Sir Alfred||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Perring, Sir William George||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Long, Major Eric||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Pile her, G.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Price, Major C. W. M.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Radford, E. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Raine, Sir Walter||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Waddington, R.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Remer, J. R.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macintyre, lan||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|McLean, Major A.||Rice, Sir Frederick||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Maltiand, Sir Arthur D Steel-||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wells, S. R.|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Rye, F. G.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall. Northern)|
|Margesson. Captain D.||Salmon, Major I.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Merriman, F. B.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Strtatham)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Womersley, W. J.|
|Monsell, Eyres. Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandon, Lord||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel.(Renfrew, W)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Morden, Colonel Walter Grant||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Skelton, A. N.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES. —|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Mr. Penny and Captain Viscount|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dlne, C.)||Curzon.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. w. (File, West)||Harris, Percy A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Barnes, A.||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnlsy)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)|
|Bromfield, William||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snowden. Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Clowes, S.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||Kennedy, T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cove, W. a.||Klrkwood, D.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lansbury, George||Tinker, john Joseph|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lawrence, Susan||Townenu, A. E.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lawson, John James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dennison, R.||Lindley, F. W.||Viant, S. P|
|Duncan, C.||Lunn, William||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||Mackinder, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Edge, Sir William||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest. (Welsh Univer.)||Murnln, H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gillett, George M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth Pontypool)||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Groves, T.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)||Rose, Frank H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Whlteley and Mr. Charles|
|Hardie, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Edwards.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."430
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 118.431
|Division No. 404.]||AYES.||[11.41p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Fraser, Captain Ian||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morden, Col. W. Grant|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Gates, Percy||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Atkinson, C.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Balniel, Lord||Goff, Sir Park||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Gower, Sir Robert||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grace, John||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Blundell, F N.||Hammersley, S. S.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hanbury, C.||Pilcher, G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Harland, A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Radford, E. A.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Harrison, G. J. C.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hartington, Marquess of||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Remer, J. R.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxl'd, Henley)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Burman, J. B.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hills, Major John Waller||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemeuth)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hilton, Cecil||Rye, F. G.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Campbell, E. T,||Holt, Captain H. P.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Sandon, Lord|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Christie, J. A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Slaney. Major P. Kenyon|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Smithers, Waldron|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Knox, Sir Alfred||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lamb, J. O.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cope, Major William||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Couper, J. B.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Long, Major Eric||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Looker, Herbert William||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lucas-Tooth. Sir Hugh Vere||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Davidson, J.(Hertl'd, Hemel Hempsfd)||Lumley, L. R.||Templeton, W. p.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macintyre, Ian||Tinne, J. A.|
|Dixey, A. C.||McLean, Major A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Drewe, C.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Waddington. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wallace, Captain D. E|
|Ellis, R. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Malone, Major P. B.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Margesson, Captain D.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Merriman, F. B.||Wells, S. R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Finburgh, S.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wood, E. (Chestr, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)||Captain Viscount Curzon and Mr.|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||Penny.|
|Womersley, W. J.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Scurr, John|
|Barnes, A.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sexton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hayes, John Henry||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson. T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bromfield, William||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Snell, Harry|
|Cape, Thomas||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Clowes. S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sullivan, J.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kirkwood, D.||Townend, A. E.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Variey, Frank B.|
|Dennison, R.||Lawrence, Susan||Viant, S. P.|
|Duckworth John||Lawson, John James||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duncan, C.||Lindley, F. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edge, Sir William||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|England, Colonel A.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Naylor, T. E.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Forrest, W.||Oliver, George Harold||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Palin, John Henry||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Gillett, George M.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Young. Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Riley, Ben|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Rose, Frank H.||Whiteley|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
§ Mr. OLIVER
I beg to move, in page 4, line 20, at the end, to insert the wordsand the words from the words 'and the remuneration received' to the end of the paragraph shall cease to have effect.This Amendment seeks to lay down the principle that if a person has paid his contributions to the insurance fund he shall be entitled to benefit as a right, subject, of course, to the statutory safeguards embodied in the Bill. There are many hundreds of persons who have paid money into the insurance fund for several years, and then, when they find themselves unemployed so far as their insurable occupations are concerned, they are disentitled to benefit. What is the offence that these people have committed? The offence is that they have worked too hard, that they have had another occupation of a small character in addition to their insurable occupation. They have worked at a picture house during the evening or on 432 Saturday afternoons, or they have taken part in local concert parties, or been secretaries of local clubs. Because they have earned the princely sum of £1 per week, they are denied the right of benefit when they are out of work in their insurable occupations. That is a terrible position to be permitted to exist. If a man has paid his contributions, then, subject to those safeguards which are placed in the Bill, he is entitled to benefit. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. If a man is a criminal confined to prison or has lost his employment through misconduct, he is not entitled to benefit, but it is a new principle that a man, because he has given up his spare time to earning a pound, is for ever denied the right of benefit which every other ordinary person is entitled to draw when unemployed. He is penalised to a very high degree.
If we take the case of a man with a wife and three children, we find that 433 under this Bill he would receive 30s. a week, but the man with a similar family whose case I have placed before the Committee, instead of drawing that sum for not working, would, because of his extra diligence, find that the fact that he earned £l a week disqualified him. Consequently, he would be 10s. a week worse off than a man who was not working. I hope the Minister will see the justice of this claim. Can he justify the State taking weekly contributions from people and returning no benefit whatsover? There are certain reliefs that might be given in this type of case. The State might give him benefit, or, on the other hand, they might say that, as they did not propose he should have benefit, they were prepared to exempt him from paying contributions. Whichever way the Minister desires to tackle the matter, will be quite satisfactory.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
This Clause in the Bill seeks to relieve what has been universally regarded, I think, as a defect in the present law, which is embodied in Section 7 (2) (a) of the Act of 1920. That paragraph states:A person shall not be deemed to be unemployed on any day on which he is following any occupation from which he derives any remuneration or profit, unless that occupation has ordinarily been followed by him in addition to his usual employment and outside the ordinary working hours of that employment, and the remuneration or profit received therefrom in respect of that day does not exceed three shillings and fourpence.The effect of that provision is that if a man who is unemployed desires to do something to supplement his unemployment benefit, up to the amount of 3s. 4d. a day, unless he takes some job which, in the words of this Act,has ordinarily been followed by himin addition to his ordinary employment and outside his ordinary working hours, the mere fact that he has taken on this employment deprives him of the benefit which he has been receiving. I have had cases in my own Division which seem to show that this is a real defect and a real hardship. The effect of this Clause in this Bill is to alter the conditions which I have just explained. It enables a man to get benefit if the work he does is in an occupation that he could ordinarily have followed. The words:could ordinarily have been followed434 take the place of the wordshas ordinarily been followed.The Committee will see that if the supplementary job which he takes is one which could, ordinarily have been combined with his occupation when he is still in employment, it will not disentitle him to benefit—subject to the limitation of 3s. 4d. a day contained in the Act of 1920. This change is made with the one object of removing what we believe to be a grievance. From my own personal experience in my own constituency, I think the present state of the law does constitute a grievance, and as this Clause proposes to remedy it I hope the Committee will have no hesitation in adopting the words of the Clause.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I do not rise to intervene in the discussion, but only to ask the Minister how long he intends to go on, in order that members of the Committee may have some idea of what arrangements to make.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That I cannot tell the right hon. Member, but I certainly intend to go on until we get a good deal more than this.
§ 12 m.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Perhaps it was not my fault that I did not understand the position taken up by the Parliamentary Secretary. While explaining what the Bill does he said nothing as to the attitude of the Government to the Amendment. The point is a little intricate, and in explaining it perhaps he forgot the Amendment had been moved. What is the exact form of the retention of this payment of 3s. 4d. We have been told again and again that this is an insurance scheme, and that all contributions have to have a certain relationship to benefits. If there is a subsidiary occupation which brings in 30s. in one week and only 5s. in another, that represents 35s. in a fortnight. Under the Bill the person would not be able to obtain benefit. But suppose the subsidiary occupation was more regular and he got 20s. each week and so was better off to the extent of 5s. in a fortnight, the Government agree that this should not be taken into 435 account. It seems to me your whole principle of insurance goes by allowing the thing to get on to those lines. If an engineer with a good record of work attains the 30 contribution qualification and then loses his job and claims benefit, he cannot get the full amount apart from what he gets from any subsidiary occupation that he carries on. If he did not have a subsidiary occupation but had investments bringing in an income of £3 a week there would be no disposition to say he was not entitled to benefit. He might have £10 a week from investments, but if he gets something more than £l a week from a subsidiary occupation it seems there is something suspicious about him. Sometimes artisans are fairly skilled musicians and they may have the idea in some cases that if they get sufficiently well known they may make music their profession, tout until they get sufficiently well known they cannot command a sufficient income from music and cannot drop their ordinary occupation. There ought to be some encouragement for a man in a position like that. It is quite easy for the Ministry to distinguish between a subsidiary and a regular occupation and there is no very great case for making a distinction between income from a subsidiary occupation and from investments. That is the case made by my hon. Friend, to which the Parliamentary Secretary did not deign to say a word in reply. Possibly he felt that in making the concession that has been made he was doing such a tremendous lot that it was preposterous to think of bringing this matter to its logical conclusion. I do not think he intended to be discourteous. He has always been very courteous except when he has moved the Closure on me. I think he must have overlooked it. We shall look forward with interest to the horn. Gentleman taking another turn at the Treasury Box and explaining whether there is any objection to accepting the Amendment.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Perhaps I did not reply as fully as I might have done to the actual Amendment. The amount specified in the Act of 1920 is 3s. 4d., and my right hon. Friend and I, after consideration of the matter, have come to the conclusion that on the whole that is a fair sum to allow. Obviously you must have some limit. If you have no 436 limit a man might be in the fortunate position of earning a considerable sum in addition to his benefit and the two together might be very considerably more than the wages in his ordinary occupation. In that case the inducement to go back to his ordinary employment vanishes altogether, and it is obvious that you must have a sum which, combined with the benefit, is in the great majority of cases lower than the amount of his wages.
§ Mr. OLIVER
The Parliamentary Secretary says "combined with the benefit." The Parliamentary Secretary must know that there is no benefit at all. He does not keep within benefit, and it is, in addition, 3s. 4d.
§ Mr. OLIVER
But if he had not taken this supplementary work and he were out of work, with a wife and three children, he would be drawing not 21s., but 30s. It may be necessary for administrative purposes—I do not know—that he must have some particular figure fixed for supplementary earnings, but I claim that if you are not prepared to give this man benefit you have no right to take his contribution. You must either give him benefit or say to him: "As we do not propose to give you benefit, we cannot honestly take contributions from you." You cannot have it both ways.
I think the hon. Gentleman has really misunderstood our case, though not wilfully. The case that I understood my hon. Friend the Member for Ilkeston (Mr. Oliver) to put was that of an ordinary insured person. He cannot choose whether he shall be an insured person or not. That is settled for him by the Unemployment Insurance Acts, and he has, whether he likes it or not, to make his weekly contribution from his earnings to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. If he happens to be in receipt of earned income—not unearned income—above 3s. 4d. per day, he receives no unemployment insurance benefit. If he spends everything that comes to him and he has no earned income at all, when he is unemployed 437 he gets the full benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. I will put it to the Minister that that is not a satisfactory state of affairs. There may be two men, both of whom are compulsorily insured. One of them who happens, by means of subsidiary employment, to have earned more than 3s. 4d. per day by one penny receives no benefit, and the other man who happens to have no subsidiary employment receives the benefit allowed by Statute. But the injustice goes further than that. If this man is not following some form of subsidiary employment, but is living partially on unearned income, he can still get his benefit. There is no interference with that, nor can there well be any interference with it.
The case that we had put to us is this: "Put more than £1 a week in a man's pocket and you dare not give him unemployment insurance benefit because he will become a waster, and he will not thereafter seek a job." If that be true, the course of the right hon. Gentleman ought to be to take the man out of the insurance scheme and not to compel him thenceforward to pay into a scheme from which he can never draw any benefit. That is not a fair way of treating the insured person. If a person is insured in an insurance company no question is asked, when the payment is being made, as to whether he has any subsidiary source of income, nor is he denied benefit because it might demoralise him if he enjoyed both together. Why is it—and it is a very serious question that goes down to the root of the problem—that the working man is never to be trusted with money? Why is it that you cannot give him £2 a week, but you can give him 30s.? You can pay a man and his wife and three children 30s. per week, but you cannot permit him to have more than that, because if he gets over that point through his own subsidiary earnings he is going to be demoralised. That is an offensive view to take of these insured persons. You may have, as indeed you have, a very large number of people who, when in their own occupation, follow some form of subsidiary employment, and under paragraph (c), persons may after losing their usual employment follow some form of subsidiary work. They may open a little shop, as many people do in the north of England, in the kitchen. They may get some form of work at a theatre 438 in the evening. They may get some form of day work for a trade union. If it happens to come up to 3s. 4d. per day, and no more, the man can receive his benefit, but if it amounts to more than that he cannot receive his benefit. Is that an incentive to a man to be thrifty? The greatest personal virtue for a working man, according to hon. Members on the Government side, is to be thrifty; yet under this Clause the thrifty man is to be penalised in regard to his unemployment benefit.
The figure of 3s. 4d. having been accepted, we are in this position that it is permitted and recognised as being right that a man can have a subsidiary occupation which will bring him in additional earnings. He may take up the new form of subsidiary employment when he has become unemployed for the first time. If that be so, what is the virtue of sticking to the 3s. 4d.? Why not make a clean sweep and say that if a man has contributed under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, if he fulfills the Statutory conditions laid down in regard to availability for employment, there should be no restrictions placed upon his earning power in uninsurable occupations outside. My hon. Friend is asking for a reasonable thing in asking for the omission of the limit of 3s. 4d. per day as earnings in subsidiary employment. If hon. Members opposite have followed my argument they will see the injustice of the present situation, and one does expect some of them to support us when the matter goes to a Division.
I am bound to confess that on first listening to it, the argument of the hon. Member sounds exceedingly attractive, but I do not think it will bear examination very closely, and the reason is that, according to the Amendment, the only test that would remain would be that the subsidiary occupation should be in hours in which ordinary occupation could not be followed, and except within those hours the subsidiary occupation could be pursued to any extent and at any rate of remuneration. What is the possibility that might result if that occurred? It was pointed out rather amusingly by the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) that the unemployment benefit might in those circumstances be used for the purpose of enabling a man to serve an 439 apprenticeship as a musician. It is not out of the bounds of possibility that if this Amendment were allowed to stand the benefit might be used in that kind of way, there being no limit whatever to what might become earnings in the subsidiary occupation. In those circumstances it would be perfectly easy within a very limited period for the subsidiary occupation to become the main occupation. From the point of view even of hon. Members opposite I can look to a class of people growing up in a subsidiary occupation who would be subsidised by the benefit they were receiving and thereby able to undercut the labour market in the subsidiary occupation itself. From that point of view, attractive as the proposition appears to be, the Amendment in its present form is not practicable at all. The Government's proposal follows out in identical terms the recommendation of the Blanesburgh Committee. When that Committee investigated this problem they do not appear to have had their attention drawn to the curious inference which the hon. Member has pointed out, which, however, is not dealt with by the Amendment.
§ Mr. R. YOUNG
This is a point which I have raised on former unemployment Bills in Committee. While I agree that the logic of the Amendment means that those who have subsidiary occupations should not be penalised, the point I raised on past occasions was this. As a result of this 3s. 4d. a day, or £1 a week, a large number of men were penalised and lost a certain sum of money which they would not have lost if they had no subsidiary occupation. I know of cases in which men who were getting slightly over 20s. a week, sometimes as branch secretaries, resigned their subsidiary occupations in order that they might be in a position to get their 30s. from the Unemployment Fund. I think they were perfectly justified in doing so. The result, however, was that there was a greater charge on the Unemployment Fund, and it was bad from the trade union point of view. The suggestion I put forward to the Minister is this: why not acknowledge this man's right to unemployment pay, and if he is entitled to benefit at 30s. a week then pay him 10s. a week, benefit which would make his pay 30s. a week inclusive of his earnings of 20s. a week as a branch secretary 440 or from other employment. It would mean a saving to the Fund, the man would not need to go on the Fund by signing his subsidiary employment, and it would be all to the good of the man concerned. That is a point which the right hon. Gentleman might consider between now and Report stage, because there are a large number of men who take up these duties perhaps because they are a little better educated than the rest of their fellow members, and do the work not for the 20s. they receive, but because of their interest in the work of the trade union. The 20s. a week is given as a small remuneration. This work is done largely in the interests of the State, for the branch secretary is responsible for the disbursement of sick and unemployed benefits, and it is a great hardship that a man who is receiving 20s. for this work should be deprived of 30s. a week unemployment pay. I suggest that the difference between the amount he receives and the amount he would have received from the Unemployment Fund should be made up to the man, so that he is not penalised because of his subsidiary employment. Otherwise the man is forced to give up his pay of 20s. a week in order to get 30s., and if he has a wife and family he has to do this.
§ Mr. MITCHELL BANKS
The proposal of the hon. Member for Newton (Mr. R. Young), which struck me as being very interesting, comes to this; that it is the same thing as limiting the remuneration from a subsidiary employment to 30s. If the pay from a subsidiary employment is 20s. a week the man would get 10s. in order to make up the difference between 20s. and 30s. If it was over 30s. presumably he would get nothing. If I appreciate the point it is the same as if we substituted 30s. for 20s.
§ Mr. YOUNG
The hon. and learned Member is partly correct. I do not suggest that the man should be paid more than the total amount of benefit to which he is entitled. He is doing, perhaps, three or four hours work on several days each week, probably at night, and the average wage he gets is 20s. a week. That is all he gets. He is not paid like the secretaries of large friendly societies. If the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to accept the Amendment I hope he will consider this point and not force 441 these men to give up this work at 20s. a week in order to get the 30s. a week unemployment pay.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I will gladly consider this point. Difficulties suggest themselves to me, but I will gladly take it into consideration, and perhaps the hon. Member will permit me to put myself in communication with him.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I hope the Minister of Labour will go a little further in regard to this suggestion. I do not think it quite meets the case. This is the anomalous position I see. A man has a subsidiary occupation and earns 19s. a week. When he falls out of his main employment he is entitled to receive 30s. a week. In that event he gets 19s. a week from his subsidiary employment and 30s. a week from his benefit fund. He gets 49s. a week. If this man, owing to his industry and success in his subsidiary employment, earns 21s. instead of 19s. his income falls from 49s. to 21s. There is a tremendous drop. In all other cases, such as old age pensions and other matters, what the State has decided is this, that where a man's income from all sources rises above the maximum figure it will pay him such an amount as together with the income he gets from other sources, will make up the full amount, assuming he was just below the limit.
Therefore, instead of the figure suggested by my right hon. Friend, I suggest that the State should make up the amount, not to the 30s. but to 49s. That seems to me to be reasonable. It is something quite different from what the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. Banks) suggests, because, if the figure were 30s. instead of 20s., the result would be that the man could obtain 60s. At the present time, because he could earn 30s. from the subsidiary employment, he could still be entitled to the whole 30s. benefit, which is a very different proposition. What I am putting to the Minister is that he ought to be willing to make up a man's receipts to the 20s. he can earn, plus the 30s. benefit. I hope the Minister will take the matter into careful consideration. If he cannot accept the Amendment, he may be able to produce a scheme of his own which is in keeping with what reasonable men will think just in this matter of insurance.
§ Mr. R. HUDSON
I think practically every member of the Committee will agree that this provision often creates a grievance and very often an injustice in actual working, and, on principle, I feel a great sympathy with the hon. Member who moved the Amendment. But I am not altogether sure, like the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) that it will really have the desired effect, and I think, if we are to alter it, that the suggestion of the horn. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) would be a better one, of excluding the people from insurance. But what I would like to suggest to the Minister is that between now and the Report stage he might consider whether it would mot be possible to solve this question by simply altering the sum of 3s. 4d. and by raising it slightly so as to bring it, at all events, above 20s. but below the level of the 30s. The present system, besides being an injustice and creating a grievance, has the effect in many cases of involving a distinct breach of the law, because a wise man who has some small public-house or some small business, and whose receipts are liable to be more than 20s. a week, puts the business in the name of his wife and gets round the law. Surely it is not a desirable thing that we should have a provision on the Statute Book which is encouraging people to get round it in so obvious a way, and I am quite sure that the majority of men who have these small businesses would much prefer to be open about it and have them in their own names. If the Minister could see his way slightly to raise the figure of 3s. 4d. to something between 4s. 6d. and 5s., I believe that would be the most satisfactory solution.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The last speaker and the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) would perhaps be quite on the mark with their reasoning were it not for the fact that certain statutory conditions are laid down with which all applicants for unemployment benefit must comply, and it is hardly reasonable to suggest that any person who during a normal period carries on a subsidiary occupation, may become permanently disengaged. The hon. Member for Luton suggested that a man with a subsidiary income of over £1 per week, plus the unemployment benefit, might never return to work in his normal employment, and to that extent he suggested that we might 443 have people in subsidiary occupations enjoying the advantages of unemployment benefit. I do not think that with the conditions with which each applicant has to comply that could possibly happen over any length of period. It seems to me that the charge is not well founded, and that those fears ought not to weigh with the Committee in reaching a decision. The hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. R. Hudson) also suggested that publicans might hand over their houses to the names of their wives. I do not know whether the hon. Member referred to public-houses in Whitehaven, but, personally, I know very few public-houses where the proprietor follows an insured occupation at the same time as he conducts the sale of beer, and it seems to me that that illustration is a very poor one.
§ Mr. HUDSON
Perhaps the next time the hon. Member honours my constituency with his presence, he will let me know, and I will take and show him some.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The point at issue seems to me to be this. The hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) has already explained that the position at the moment presents an anomaly, and that anomaly ought to be removed if we can find a suitable phrase to meet the suggestion put forward by the mover of the Amendment. Everyone must bear in mind that the persons referred to are compulsorily brought inside the insurance scheme. They are obliged to pay their premiums whether they want to or not, and they are entitled to benefits when a period comes along during which benefits are required. If the policy usually defended by Mem-
§ bers on the other side be right, that thrift ought to be the brightest virtue of the working people, here is a curious Clause. People attempt to augment their incomes because wages have always been insufficient to maintain families decently, and for having done so they are penalised when temporarily disengaged from their normal employment because they have attempted to augment their income by some subsidiary occupation. The fact that you demand the insurance premium against unemployment ought to justify men in demanding benefits from the insurance fund as and when they are due. At least, one is justified in demanding that the same feeling ought to exist towards men who work for their living as exists towards men who do not work at all and maintain a much better existence than those who do work and are compulsorily insured. The anomalies that exist under the Widows' and Orphans' and Old Age Pensions Act, and so forth, are well known to every member, and we ought not with our eyes opera deliberately to create another anomaly that no one can justify. At all events, I think that this limit of 3s. 4d. ought to be removed, and that the men ought not to be penalised financially for having a subsidiary occupation. If the words submitted cannot be accepted, at least the suggestion of the hon. Member for West Leicester ought to be adopted, so that no person shall be penalised for having done his best to augment his income.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 83.445
|Division No. 405.]||AYES.||[12.40 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Blundell, F. N.||Cope, Major William|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Couper, J. B.|
|Albery, Irving James||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Burman, J. B.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Atkinson, C.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Campbell, E. T.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Christie, J. A.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Clayton, G. C.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Fielden, E. B.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cooper, A. Duff||Finburgh, S.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vers||Salmon, Major I.|
|Fraser, Captain lan||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lumley, L. R.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macintyre, lan||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McLean, Major A.||Shaw, R. G (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macmillan, Captain H.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel.(Renfrew, W)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Skelton, A. N.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Margesson, Captain D.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Merriman, F. B.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gunston, Captain D. w.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hanbury, C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Harland, A.||Morden, Colonel Walter Grant||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nelson, Sir Frank||Tinne, J. A.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Ox('d, Henley)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pennefather, Sir John||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Pilcher, G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Radford, E. A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Raine, Sir Walter||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Remer, J. R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Richardson, Sir P. w. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Long, Major Eric||Russell. Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Mr. Penny and Capt. Bowyer.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Bye, F. G.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bromfield, William||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cape, Thomas||Jonn, William (Rhondda, West)||Sullivan, J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clowes, S.||Kelly, W. T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||Kennedy, T.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Cove, W. G.||Kirkwood, D||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lansbury, George||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lawrence, Susan||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lawson, John James||Welsh, J. C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lindley, F. W.||Westwood, J.|
|Edge, Sir William||Lunn, William||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mackinder, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Murnin, H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Palin, John Henry||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Paling, W.||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall. G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Potts, John S.|
|Hardie, George D.||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harris, Percy A.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Edwards.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."446
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 83; Noes, 171.449
|Division No. 406.]||AYES.||[12.49 a.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro)||Bondfield, Margaret||Cape, Thomas|
|Batey, Joseph||Bromfield, William||Charleton, H. C.|
|Clowes, S||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Compton, Joseph||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Cove, W. G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dunnico, H.||Kirkwood, D.||Sullivan, J.|
|Edge, Sir William||Lansbury, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lawrence, Susan||Townend, A. E.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Lawson, John James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lindley, F. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coin*)||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon J.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hardie, George D.||Paling, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hayday, Arthur||Potts, John S.||Wright, W.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Riley, Ben||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hirst G H||Scurr, Jonn||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Whiteley|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Goff, Sir Park||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gower, Sir Robert||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Albery, Irving James||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perkins. Colonel E. K.|
|Atkinson, C.||Hall, Capt. w. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Balniel, Lord||Hanbury, C.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Pilcher, G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Harland, A.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hartington, Marquess of||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Remer, J. R.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. J.||Hennessy. Major Sir G. R. J.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hills, Major John Waller||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hilton, Cecil||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Rye, F. G.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hudson, R. S.(Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R. Sowerbyl|
|>Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||Knox, Sir Alfred||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lamb, J. O.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cope, Major William||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Couper, J. B.||Long, Major Eric||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Looker, Herbert William||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smithers, Waldron|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lumley, L. R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||MacAndrew. Major Charles Glen||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Macintyre, Ian||Them, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dixey, A. C.||McLean, Major A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Fairfax. Captain J. G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Fermoy, Lord||Margesson, Captain D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Fieiden, E. B.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Finburgh, S.||Merriman, F. B.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Watson, Rt. Hon. w. (Carlisle)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wells, S. R.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hnn. George Abraham||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cllve||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wayland, Sir William A.||Mr. penny and Captain Bowyer.|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Yerburqh, Major Robert D. T.|
On a point of Order. May I very respectfully ask for your guidance, Captain FitzRoy, as to the best course for some of us to pursue in the difficulty in which we find ourselves? I do not suppose it attracted your notice at the time, but the Closure of the last Amendment the discussion of which lasted under 45 minutes and during which there were five Conservative speakers, prevented a considerable number of us from bringing forward cases that we had been particularly anxious to bring forward. I would like to ask your guidance as to what is the best Parliamentary method for some of us on these benches to endeavour to appeal to the justice of the Committee that a Minister should not move the Closure at such a very early stage of the Debate.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member's point of Order is entirely contrary to the Rules of the House.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It is not only the Chair. The House has decided certain things, and it is not the business of the hon. Member to question them.
I would suggest that when we protest in another way, we are told it is improper; and when we do our best to—
The point I wanted to ask was, whether I would be in order in moving to report Progress on the ground that the Minister was not giving us the guidance that he should do.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I beg to move: in page 4, line 23, leave out paragraph (i).
You will notice that the Bill states:The following provisions shall have effect in relation to the said statutory conditions.In calculating the said thirty contributions no account shall be taken of any contributions paid in respect of any person in 450 respect of any period during which he was not bona fide employed.1.0 a.m.
My reason for moving this Amendment is that I want to discover from the Minister what is in the mind of the Government in the insertion of this new condition. There has been nothing, so far as I am aware, in the 1920 Act or any other Act similar to this, and I think it is only right that the Committee should understand what is the import of each paragraph in the Bill. We have laid down a statutory condition of 30 contributions. In the Blanesburgh Report one of the things the Committee stated most definitely was the desire that the conditions for benefit should be as definite as possible, so that the person concerned should know exactly where he or she stood so far as the benefit was concerned. What I and some of my friends are afraid of is that this is one of those simple little Clauses which may cause a great deal of uncertainty with regard, to the contributions that the contributors have to pay under this Measure. When a person is unemployed and goes to the Insurance Officer at the Exchange, puts in his card and points to the fact that he has 30 or more contributions, this Clause seems to open up the possibility of wide inquisition into the card of each contributor. It may be that the Minister has nothing like this in his mind at all. There may be something else. What is the meaning of this sort of suspicious element that has entered,any period during which he was not in bona fide employment"?If a person is not really employed and stamps his card for a period in which he is not a bonâ fide employed person, the Ministry have a remedy against that individual at the present time. The Ministry have an opportunity of proceeding in any case in which they are satisfied that the stamps do not represent real employment. I would like the Minister to tell us if this has been put in to remedy a weakness, because the Insurance Officers have felt that there has been leakage in this respect and that people have been returning cards with stamps that do not represent real employment. I hope the Minister when he replies will be able to give us some indication of the 451 number of cases that have occurred during the working of the Acts last year. I am afraid that while there may be a few cases in which a person has got through the Act—just as a person gets through any Act of Parliament and as a person will get through this Bill when it becomes an Act if he has thoroughly made up his mind to get through it—it may cause a great deal of inconvenience to other people. There has been already mentioned the case of the casual workers. Evidently, they have had their stamps questioned in the past as to whether they represent a week of work, a day of work, or three days of work. There have been others besides the casual workers in a similar position. Is this an endeavour to introduce a more difficult statutory condition for the receipt of benefit? I myself think that the Minister of Labour would do better to depend on the common law with regard to this matter than to ask for statutory provisions to guard against any such cases of fraud.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am very glad to give the hon. Member the explanation for which he asks. The object of this Clause is really to prevent faked qualifications for benefit, and I do not suppose any Member of this Committee would wish faked qualifications to be possible. The rule is intended to ensure that the work in respect of which the stamps are in the book is genuine work in the employment field. The reason the new Clause introduced in this Bill is not in the previous Act is really quite clear, when the change that has taken place is considered. Under the previous Acts, there was an automatic check which there is not under the new system. Under the previous Acts, there was the one-in-six rule; that is to say, only one week of benefit was given for every six weeks of contributions. Consequently, supposing charitable employment of half-a-day a week was given and stamps put on for the purpose of qualifying for benefit, the number of stamps so obtained would enable the claimant to procure only a limited amount of benefit. This would be a check. No one likes extended benefit in itself any more than one likes the one-in-six rule. It had at least that small advantage that when a person got out of standard benefit on to extended benefit, unless he could satisfy the extended 452 benefit provisions, he could be ruled out, stamps or no stamps.
That will not now be the case. If the thirty contributions are there during the last two years they stand; they show the person as being in the insurance field. There is no remedy at Common Law. If a stamp were put on the card without any employment being given, no doubt proceedings could be taken, but, apart from cases of that kind, proceedings could not be taken if there were some employment given, even if that employment were of a charitable kind. May I give one or two cases which have occurred in the past and against which, I think, we ought to guard in the future, in order to illustrate the practice, for which alone this paragraph is introduced. We have had a case where there was an agreement between a local authority and a local board of guardians under which eight men were given employment of one half-day a week for nine weeks on purpose to give them a qualification. It was not a question of relief work or anything of the kind, it was really an attempt to give what is a fake qualification. It is not a test of work, it is just the case of a man trying to get the qualification. Similarly, an individual in another case gives a quite unsuitable man—a man who is not supposed to be a workman whom the employer would otherwise have taken on— five days of work in five weeks for the same reason. He had been disallowed benefit, and the question came up whether he could have had employment. Out of the eight stamps he could show, five had been thus given by an employer, quite admittedly to help the man, in order to give him a qualification—not because he had been genuinely working but, using a charitable word, out of kindness. These are the kind of cases in which employment is not primarily given for the sake of work. It is employment sought for and given primarily for the object of creating a right to benefit. Under the existing system, these cases could be, and were disallowed. Under the new system, a title to benefit would be created, but, as this title is obviously not really genuine, it was intended by this provision to safeguard against improper use being made of the statutory right which would otherwise be given.
§ Mr. PALIN
I have listened with interest to the cases against which the 453 Minister desires to protect himself by this Clause. I feel, having heard the explanation, that it is extremely unsatisfactory. I believe it would place a very great obstacle in the way of arrangements for proper work between boards of guardians and other local authorities. This provision, that it is not bona fide employment, will be used very artfully in the same way as we find other conditions being used, such as "not genuinely seeking work." We know that that is misused in some employment exchanges, as well as various other phrases of that kind. This one we are afraid will be used to such an extent that it will be practically impossible for genuine schemes of work to be set on foot. Some boards of guardians and other local authorities have an understanding by which very useful work has been performed by men who have had to go to the guardians after their unemployment pay has run out. If the Minister wishes us to return to wood chopping and digging holes and filling them up again, this is the best way by which he can bring about that undesirable state of things. I am going to support the deletion of the paragraph. The Minister has sufficient power to protect the fund against the kind of cases which he has mentioned this evening.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The proposal in the Bill is one that deserves clearer explanation and stronger justification than has been given by the Minister. He has admitted that it is a new departure in Measures of this kind that he is having inserted in this Bill, and one expects, when a new departure is being made in a Measure which, I suppose, is the twelfth of its family, that there must be some very strong reason for the departure. I submit that we have not had that strong reason from the Minister of Labour. He was asked for the names of the criminals, and he produced two. One of them was a local authority. Some of my friends here seem to know its name, but I am not so privileged. There was a person whom the Minister charitably described as a charitable person doing a charitable act of co-operating in raiding the Insurance Fund, of which he is such a worthy defendant. I wonder what bona fide employment means. We should have an explanation of it. I know the arguments 454 and the explanations, and the interpretations which we have had, and the quibbling over various words in this Bill. We have heard a good deal aboutgenuinely seeking employment," and now we have "bona fide employment.Take the two cases quoted. A man goes out to do road work. Is not working on the roads bona fide employment? I should think it was very much so. I am sure that if any member of this Committee had to take a pick and shovel at six o'clock and go out and engage in road-making he would be convinced before 9.30 that he had been engaged in bona fide employment. But the Minister of Labour says that that is not so. If that is to be singled out as not bona fide employment what is "bona fide employment"; and where are we to get a proper description of "bona fide employment" if not from the father of the law? If road-making is not to be considered "bona fide employment," how are the poor lawyers and judges, to say nothing of the uneducated working class, to interpret this paragraph in a manner that will not prevent people from being deprived of their rights? There is one vein running through this Bill, and it makes it as difficult as possible to get within the benefits of the Bill. You will find that vein running all through. Your 30 stamps or other new conditions have all one object in view, which is to exclude legitimately the largest number of people possible from the benefits of unemployment insurance. Of course, that is all necessary if the numbers are to be reduced. If we are to get to that 8 per cent., 7 per cent., and 6 per cent., you are not going to get it by a bona fide reduction in unemployment; you are going to get it by the system that is being adopted here of making it as difficult as possible to get within the benefits of the Act. This is one of them. You are dealing here with a class of people who are desperately anxious to be restored to the benefits of Unemployment Insurance because it is their only means of getting an income, and the Minister comes along and says, "No, we want to bar every door. Here is a case where even a local authority was wicked enough to assist a man to come into the benefits of unemployment insurance, we must prevent that happening." Then, again, he says, "here is a charitably disposed person, presumably a religious person, anxious to assist a man and even he has to succumb 455 to the wicked temptation of bringing this poor person within the benefits of the Act. We must bar that door too." You see this running through the Bill; it is almost in every Clause of the Bill, and I hope that this Amendment will be vigorously pressed from this side because the Committee does not know what it is letting itself in for. This provision of "bona fide employment" may be used in a variety of ways not contemplated by the drowsy members of this Committee at twenty minutes past one o'clock on this blessed Wednesday morning. I hope the fatigue that is being imposed on us by the Minister in his efforts to get this Bill through the House without adequate discussion by the use of the Closure and by every means of a Parliamentary majority—I hope the efforts of the Minister and the Government to first of all weaken the Members of the House physically and then chloroform them with the—
§ The CHAIRMAN
This hardly arises from the question of bona fide employment. Everyone here is bona fide employed.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
They do not know what bona fide employment is, and the Minister wants to have it passed by a Committee that does not understand it. It is his business to explain it, and I protest that we have not a legal representative of the Government on the Front Bench. This is quite clearly a case—if there has been a case in the whole course of the discussion—where we ought to have that legal assistance to which the Committee is entitled, and I think we would be quite justified in adjourning. I am not going to press for the adjournment, but I hope that in the course of the Debate that will ensue on this Amendment, the Minister will see that a legal representative of the Government will take his place on the Treasury Bench and explain to the Committee the Amendment and the words "bona fide "as used in this Bill. As I said, Mr. Hope, when you felt it to be your duty to point out that I was departing from the Amendment, unless we have that explanation we may in our present physical and semi-chloroformed condition allow words to get into an Act of Parliament which may have most disastrous results on hundreds 456 and, perhaps, thousands of the people in this country when this confused and confusing Act of Parliament, which we are passing at this wearisome hour of the morning, gets into the hands of the lawyers outside. I want the lawyers to deal with it here rather than that they should deal with it outside during the next 12 months.
§ Mr. CAPE
I am very much disappointed with the answer which the Minister gave to this Amendment. He gave us very little data on which to say what would be held not to be "bona fide employment." I assume from his statement that the question of whether a stamp has been obtained by bona fide employment or not will be left to the local committees or probably with the insurance officer or the Employment Exchange, and we may find a variety of decisions being given throughout the length and breadth of the country. In one district, a man may be judged as having obtained his stamp by "bona fide employment," and another man under similar conditions may be declared to have not obtained the stamps through not having "bona fide employment." I want to suggest to the Minister, like the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley), who has just previously spoken, that every endeavour should be made to prevent a genuine bona fide working man from being deprived of his unemployment benefit because, as the Minister says, of the risk of one or two who may fake cards getting it. I venture to say that the Minister exhausted the whole of his stock of illustrations. Out of the million men who have to be put through an inquisition and prove the bona fides of their stamps, in only two cases had something been done that ought not to have been done. I have in mind a case in which I appeared before the Court of Referees—not so long ago— concerning a man who had been out of the Army about four months. I think I am right in saying that he has obtained two weeks employment out of the four months of his civilian life. He was anticipating that eventually he would come on the permanent staff. At the Court of Referees he was told, in my presence, that if he would go to another town, some 14 or 15 miles away, there were plenty of people who would be prepared to give him work. Would that be calculated to 457 be bona fide employment? Supposing the man refuses, then he is told by the Court or by the insurance officer that he has refused to take employment when it is offered him. Let me give another case. I had occasion some time ago to put down a question in regard to a lifeboat being called out for a practice. The members of the crew responded to the call. They got, I think, 3s. 4d. or 3s. 6d. Under this scheme now propounded by the Minister, if these men go out in response to a call like that, will that be supposed to be genuine employment? All these things are going to be most difficult to decide, and I want to suggest to the Minister that there are a lot of things in this Bill of his that are making unemployment benefits very complicated. This particular paragraph in Clause 5 is, I think, the most complicated issue of all. We are leaving these men, largely the men who are in casual employment— and we must remember that all men receiving unemployment benefit are more or lees in casual employment—between two fires. I may say to a man "Come down, I want you to do a day's work at my house," and he says, "No." Supposing the Exchange gets to know that the man has refused, he will have to state a reason as to why he refused employment, and will probably be disallowed benefit not only for that day but probably for some weeks because he refused to accept employment when offered. But, supposing the man does accept my offer, being his first employer for that week, I must put a stamp on his card. Then the man, when he presents his card stamped, finds that the Minister, or some one else, has to decide whether it is a genuine stamp or not. I suggest to the Minister that he might find better words than are in the Bill already, or it would be wiser to accept the Amendment to delete the paragraph altogether.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I do not think that there will be any difference of opinion about the necessity for care against claims, but there will be a good deal of difference in the Committee as to these words. I must confess that I am rather worried about them. I remember an essay by a late Member of this House, Mr. Birrell, who, in discussing travellers, said that there were two kinds—travellers and bona-fide travellers. The bona-fide traveller is legislated for in the Temper- 458 ance Acts, and the definition is that a person must travel so many miles. There it is the distance that matters; here it is the pace at which we travel that matters. The question is whether in putting these words, which in other connections have a definite statutory meaning, in the Bill, the Minister is not choosing a phrase which may cause a great deal more trouble than the original trouble which he seeks to remove. I am somewhat in doubt about it, and, as I turn to Clause 14 which defines the terms, and I find no definition of it, I would like to have a little more information.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want to ask the Minister one question. I think I understand the definition of "bona fide employment." The Minister said that if the work were given in order to benefit a man, if there were an admixture of kindness or charity in the matter, then it became a fraud on the insurance fund and something which ought to be put a stop to.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
May I correct the hon. Member who has misunderstood me. I said that not being bona fide employed, or employment that was sought or offered primarily with the object of creating a right to benefit.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
Then, supposing I employ a man, and do not stamp his card and I am prosecuted and say that this was not really work for the sake of giving work, will that defence hold good, or will it be a crime for me not having stamped the card? At the present time, if you give a man work you have to stamp the card. If the work is given from motives of charity or kindness, if you make a little job about the house for a poor fellow, that is not bona fide within the meaning of the Minister. If I do it merely as a kindness to the man and not because you want the work done, am I excused from stamping the card? If so, there will be many persons who will not stamp the card, and who will say they were really giving the man no work at all; it was only to keep him happy and occupied. We all know the story of the man who asked the foreman to take him 459 on because the little bit of work he did would not make any difference. I want to know if that sort of reason would be an excuse for not stamping a card?
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
The interjection on the part of the Minister when the hon. Member was speaking, instead of clarifying the situation, certainly, so far as I am concerned, leads me into greater difficulty. It is stated that employment sought for or offered primarily for the purpose of creating a legal claim will not be considered as bona fide employment. That is going to place us in a more difficult position than ever. On a previous occasion, in intervening in the Debate, the Minister of Labour pointed out that people had only under the present Act to get eight stamps before they had justified a claim which, of course, might be rejected, but under the provisions of this Bill there will have to be a mighty lot more faking before they can possibly qualify. Before, they had to get only six or eight stamps, but now they will have to get thirty before there is any possibility of a legal claim. Surely, if it be a crime for one giving employment not to stamp a card, you are going to have great difficulty in proving whether a man in offering work for one day is only trying to create a claim for benefit or is genuinely offering a man employment. I think the Minister ought to accept this Amendment. He has not met us in many respects during this discussion, and, while no one is anxious to support claims which cannot be justified, unless we have some definition in this Bill as to what "bona fide employment "is, it is far too dangerous to leave it in the hands of officials to say whether a man is bona fide employed or is only getting employment from some charitably-minded person for the purpose of benefit. I trust the Minister will meet us, because no one, merely for the purpose of creating benefit, will for 30 weeks give work for one day or half a day a week. It is far too long a period, and faking cannot go on for 30 weeks. For these reasons, I trust that the Minister will withdraw this part of Clause 5 that we are now discussing, so that we can get on with the remainder of the Clause.
§ Miss WILKINSON
It seems to me that the people who are going to administer this Bill will be under a battery 460 of difficulties. We have already heard it explained in the Blanesburgh Report that, in order to decide whether a man is genuinely seeking work, the Insurance Officer has to inquire into the man's state of mind. It seems to me that the Minister is laying it down now that he will not only have to inquire into the state of the mind of the man who is seeking work, but also into the state of mind of those who are giving a man a casual job to help him out of a difficulty. He is going to have to decide whether a man or a woman who may give someone a job cleaning windows, or who may take on a woman to do some sewing casually, is really taking that person on because he or she wants that work done or because he or she is sorry for the person taken on. Apparently, if you take a man on because you have a definite job to be done you will be all right, but if you take a man on for some casual job as an act of kindness you may find yourself brought before a court of law.
Let me point out that if there are cases once brought before a police court where there is a question of doubt, where a man or a woman—say a housekeeper—wants a suburban garden tidied up and pays a man for half-a-day's work—if such a person is brought into court and some doubt thrown on the genuineness of that employment, it will mean that no casual employer will dare take the risk of giving employment of that kind. Take the case of a woman who is given a casual day's work about the house, such as a charwoman or a seamstress.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Sewing is an insurable occupation. If a woman is a seamstress, she has to have her card stamped. If she is a charwoman, she has to have her card stamped. I know that I have to stamp my charwoman's card. No—that is National Health Insurance. I think the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) is right there. But if someone is employed in the sewing trade you have to stamp her cards. Painting is another example, 461 and so is wood-chopping and casual work of that kind. An employer may quite unknowingly commit a misdemeanour under this Bill. If you have a person employed who really is desirous of faking a claim and of trying to get stamps, can the employer be proceeded against for taking part in a conspiracy to defraud under this Bill? Is it only the man who can be proceeded against? It seems to me that you have a very doubtful legal point here. If these two persons enter into a conspiracy, which of them is to be proceeded against?
§ Miss WILKINSON
It seems to me a very difficult position altogether, and I think that we ought to have some legal representative on the Treasury bench to tell us the actual meaning of this Clause. You are also going to have a very difficult position created with regard to local authorities, and here is where I would like again to have the Minister's word. Boards of Guardians, for instance, have made an arrangement by which they pay the money that otherwise would be given in relief to the Borough Surveyor who supplies work where he can—he often has to manufacture it—such as making and repairing roads, in order that these men may qualify under the unemployment Insurance Act. What are local authorities to do now? They are having these men continually turned off the fund and thrown on to the Boards of Guardians, and surely the guardians are only taking a legitimate precaution if they try to get these men back on to the Unemployment Fund. There will be a glorious riot of differences among the Minister and the local authorities as to whether any particular work—such as cleaning streets or making a road—is really given because it is necessary that it should be done or only for the purpose of getting men back on to the Unemployment Fund. Who will have to decide? I would like to have the opinion of the Minister with regard to that point.
I would also like to ask him a question as to what would be the position of institutions, like the Salvation Army or the Church Army. If the Salvation Army or the Church Army or other charitable institution employ men, and therefore put 462 stamps on their cards, will the work they have given be decided as charitable work and consequently not bona fide from the point of view of claiming insurance benefit? It seems to me that you will have a very large number of organisations who will find themselves in a very difficult position under this Bill. Men ought not to be deprived of benefit because when they are going round looking for work somebody does a definitely charitable act in giving them something to do. The position is that you have this 30 stamps qualification, the "not genuinely seeking work" disqualification, and now, in addition, you have this position, that the Insurance Officer has to decide not only whether a man has his 30 stamps and whether he is genuinely seeking work, but also whether that work is really genuine. You have to do it one way or another. Either you have a purely insurance scheme with a mathematical qualification, or else you are back again in all the intricacies with some form of rota committee to decide whether this, that, or the other is genuine. You cannot possibly get a scheme which combines the two. The Minister has met all our objections by saying, over and over again, that this is an insurance scheme and that you are getting back to solvency. Here we have the Minister not sticking to his mathematical qualification, but, where discretion can be used against a man instead of in his favour, he brings back all that part of the Bill and leaves out all that which will help a man. If we are to have a Clause of this kind, it ought to be much more carefully drawn than it is at the present time. It is very loose in wording. It could lead to litigation, but, unfortunately, the men who will be deprived of their benefit have no money for litigation. You are always fairly safe in cheating the unemployed, the down and out, and the under dog, because he has no money with which to fight you. People on the other side would not dare to do it if it were an insurance company. If they pay premiums they expect returns, and, if anything goes wrong, they employ a lawyer to get their rights. But when it is a working-man you can take his contributions, and then, by all sorts of subterfuges and dodges, refuse the benefit for which he has paid. If you are going to make the fund solvent, why not at least give the man the benefit 463 of it. If he produces his 30 stamps, that is his affair; but if you are going into all this business to decide whether all this going round the town to get jobs here and there is genuine, it will be farcical to the last degree.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 155; Noes, 78.465
|Division No. 407.]||AYES.||[1.53 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Albery, Irving James||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Penny, Frederick George|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Had.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Hanbury, C.||Pilcher, G.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Barnett Major Sir Richard||Harland, A.||Radford, E. A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd,Henley)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E W.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Rye, F. G.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Waller||Salmon, Major I.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hilton, Cecil||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brown, Briq.-Gtn.H.C. (Berks. NewVyi||Hogg, Rt. Hon.Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Sandeman, N.Stewart|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. B. Sowerby)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Hudson, R. s. (Cumberland, Whiteirn)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine.'C.)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Smith-Carington, Neville w.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Smithers. Waldron|
|Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lamb, J. Q.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Couper, J. B.||Long, Major Eric||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Looker, Herbert William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Verc||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lumley, L. R.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Davidson,J.(Hertfd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Macintyre, I.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davies, Ma). Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||McLean, Major A.||Vaughan-Morgan Col. K. P.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Dixey, A. C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Merriman. F. B.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wells. S. R.|
|Finburgh, s.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T,||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fremantie, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morden. Col. W. Grant||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cllve||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Goff, Sir Park||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Major Cope and Capt. Margesson.|
|Gower, Sir Robert|
|Adamson. Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dalton, Hugh||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barnes, A.||Day, Colonel Harry||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Dunnico, H.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Edge, Sir William||Hirst, G. H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hirst, W. (Bradford. South)|
|Bromfield. William||Gibbins, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Cape, Thomas||Greenwood. A. (Nelson and Coine)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Charleton. H. C.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Clowes, S.||Grundy. T. W.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Kennedy, T.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hardie, George D.||Lansbury, George|
|Lawrence, Susan||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Lawson, John James||Scurr, John||Welsh, J. C.|
|Lindley F W||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, J.|
|Lunn William||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Mackinder W.||Sltch, Charles H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Murnin H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Stephen, Campbell||Windsor, Walter|
|Palin, John Henry||Sullivan, J.||Wright, W|
|Paling, W.||Tinker, John Joseph||Young. Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Townend, A. E.|
|Potts, John S.||Varley, Frank B.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Riley, Ben||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."466
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 155; Noes, 79.467
|Division No. 408.]||AYES.||[2.1 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Albery, Irving James||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent. Dover)||Gunston, Captain D. w.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Balniel, Lord||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Pilcher, G.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Hanbury, C.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Radford, E. A.|
|8arnett, Major Sir Richard||Mar land, A.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y. Ch'ts'y)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Henderson, Capt. R.R.(0xf-d, Henley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Rye, F. G.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Waller||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hilton, Cecil||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Sanders. Sir Robert A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt. Captain H. P.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson. Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lamb, J. Q.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Couper, J. B.||Long, Major Eric||Templeton, W. P.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Looker, Herbert William||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainshro)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lumley, L. R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Macintyre, Ian||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovll)||McLean, Major A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macmillan, Captain H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dixey, A. C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Fielden. E. B.||Merriman, F. B.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Finburgh, S.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Fraser, Captain lan||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Morrison-Bell. Sir Arthur Clive||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Gilmour. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nelson, Sir Frank||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Goff, Sir Park||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Major Cope and Mr. Penny.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bondfield, Margaret||Clowes, S.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Bromfield, William||Compton, Joseph|
|Barnes, A.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cove, W. G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Cape, Thomas||Crawfurd, H. E.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Charleton, H. C.||Dalton, Hugh|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vafe)||Kelly, W. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Dunnico, H.||Kirkwood, D.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Edge, Sir William||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lawrence, Susan||Sullivan, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lindley, F. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Giamorgan)||Mackinder, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Murnin, H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Naylor, T. E.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oliver, George Harold||Westwood, J.|
|Hardie, George D.||Palin, John Henry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Hirst, G. H.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Hirst. W. (Bradford, South)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scurr, John|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Short. Alfred (Wednesbury)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[Sir A. Steel-Maitland.]
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I scarcely think that we ought to report Progress. I quite appreciate the Minister's kindness in trying to help us on this side, hut we prefer not to take advantage of his kindness. I think we ought really to get on with the work, because I understand the Government have to stand at the Bar before long
§ and defend their conduct. It is better to get these things out of the way in order to give them an opportunity to defend themselves against the accusations made against them. I therefore hope that we shall not report Progress, but get on with the work.
§ Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 150; Noes, 78.469
|Division No. 409.]||AYES.||[2.11 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Everard, W. Lindsay||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Albery, Irving James||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Fermoy, Lord||Long, Major Eric|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Fleiden, E. B.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Finburgh, S.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Balniel, Lord||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Fraser, Captain lan||Lumley, L. R.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macintyre, lan|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Ganzoni, Sir John||McLean, Major A.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||MacMillan, Captain H.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Golf, Sir Park||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Blundell, F. N.||Gower, Sir Robert||Margesson, Capt. D.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Merriman. F. B.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. H. (Ayr)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore Sir Newton J.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hanbury, C.||Morden, Colonel Walter Grant|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Harland, A.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Christie, J. A.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hartington. Marquess of||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Cochrane. Commander Hon. A. D.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pennefather. Sir John|
|Cockerill, Brig -General Sir George||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Penny. Frederick George|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hills, Major John Waller||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hilton, Cecil||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Holt. Capt. H. P.||Pilcher, G.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Radford, E. A.|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Inskip. Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Rhys. Hon. C. A. u.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Dixey, A. C.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Smithers, Waldron||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Rye, F. G.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Salmon, Major I.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wells, S. R.|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray, Fraser||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Templeton, W. P.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Skeiton, A. N.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Warrender, Sir Victor||Major Cope and Mr. F. C. Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Riley, Ben|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayes, John Henry||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Scurr, John|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Bromfield, William||Hirst, G. H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Sennie (Penistone)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Clowes, S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Compton, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kennedy, T.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kirkwood. D.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lansbury, George||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lawrence, Susan||Westwood, J.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lawson, John James||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Edge, Sir William||Lindley F. w.||Whiteley, W.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lunn, William||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Mackinder, W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Murnin, H.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Naylor, T. E.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Oliver, George Harold||Wright, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Palin, John Henry||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Paling, W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —|
|Hardie, George D.||Potts, John S.||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. B Smith.|
§ Committee reported Progress; to sit again to-morrow.
§ The remaining Government Orders were read and postponed.470
§ It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock upon Tuesday evening, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Order of the House of 8th November.
§ Adjourned at Twenty minutes after Two o' Clock.