Motion made, and Question proposed:
That a sum, not exceeding £283,588, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department and Subordinate Offices, including Liquidation Expenses of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Contributions towards the Expenses of Probation."—[Note.—£150,000 has been voted on account.]
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
I understand that in order to speak on this Vote it is necessary that I should move this Amendment. It is a rather strange journey from Scotland Yard to the factories and workshops of our country where millions of our people, engaged in daily toil, are suffering from the disadvantages which I propose to point out to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Under-Secretary of State this evening. This Vote covens the work of the Factories Department of the Home Office, and I do not think there is a better test of the efficiency of that Department than the number of accidents to workpeople in our factories and workshops. I propose to quote to the hon. and gallant Gentleman figures which I have been given, to show that all is not well with the Factories Department of the Home Office. I do not think I could draw a better picture of the situation than by quoting the figures relating to accidents for the last and previous years, In 1926 there were 139,963 accidents in the factories and workshops of this country, of which 806 proved fatal. In 1927, the number had grown to the colossal figure of 156,974, of which 973 proved fatal. That is to say, there was an increase in one year of 17,011 in the total number of accidents and of 166 in the number of fatalities.
In passing, may I remark that the human mind, somehow or other, is always much more disturbed and more easily aroused with regard to such a matter as the appointment of a Commissioner of Police for London than a problem like that presented by these figures. After all the appointment of a Commissioner of Police is a very small matter indeed, by comparison with what we are now discussing—a problem which affects 2332 several millions of our workpeople. When we discuss the appointment of a single individual to the position of Commissioner of Police, the whole of Great Britain seems to be roused to fury. It is strange beyond comprehension how the human mind can be excited in that fashion over an issue of that kind, and yet be so dead to this issue which, in my view, is much more important. I understand, however, that the Home Office are quite alive to the fact that there is an increase in the number of accidents, and I have here a copy of a circular which the Home Office issued to employers, dated 16th May, 1927. I want to know what results, if any, have accrued from the issue of the circular which states:I am directed by the Secretary of State to say for the information of your association"—that is the employers' association—that he has been much concerned to learn from the Chief Inspector of Factories that progress in the development of 'safety first' arrangements in factories continues to be disappointingly small. As he has pointed out, in Parliament and elsewhere, the needs of such an arrangement in industry as elsewhere is great. The total number of accidents reported to the Factory Department shows no sign whatever of any substantial reduction.The Home Office is therefore fully aware of what is transpiring in connection with what I regard as the alarming growth in the number of accidents in factories and workshops; and I do not know if I will annoy the hon. and gallant Gentleman and his Department if I connect the increase in the number of accidents with the totally inadequate number of inspectors employed by the Department. I am not going to say a word against the personnel of the inspectorial department of the Home Office. What I am going to argue—and I feel I am on sure ground in doing so—is that there is a distinct relationship between the number of accidents on the one hand, and the number of inspectors employed and the number of visits paid to factories and workshops on the other. We have been told again and again in this House that in spite of the number of unemployed persons there is a substantial increase from year to year in the total number of persons employed in this country.
What has happened in regard to the number of inspectors employed to look after the interests of those persons 2333 engaged in our factories and workshops? In 1914 there were 222 inspectors, and that number has dwindled since, until, at the end of March, 1923, the number stood at only 206, or a decrease of 16[...] I have no doubt at all that the best employers in this country do their duty according to the Rules and Regulations issued by the Department; but there are some employers who take no heed at all of the law of the land in this respect, and who do all they can to escape their responsibilities. In such cases we must rely entirely for the safeguarding of their workpeople and their protection in life and limb upon the visits of the Home Office inspectors and the enforcement of the law. There is therefore a great responsibility on the Home Office in this connection. Let us see what has actually happened. There has been an outcry for an increase in the number of female inspectors, and I notice that the number of such inspectors has remained almost stationary for seven or eight years. I urge that there ought to be an increase in that respect, too, because there has been a substantial growth in the number of women in industry; and as their interests are particular, more women inspectors ought to be employed.
Before I pass from this point, may I say how delighted I was that the Home Office instucted Sir Malcolm Delevingne to deliver a speech at Geneva in favour of a "Safety First" Convention. We are glad that the British Government, whatever its political colour may be, should send its representative to Geneva to try to secure the adoption of an international convention by all the industrial countries of the world in favour of "safety first." But I would urge this point on the hon. and gallant Gentleman. It is very little use asking for an international convention in favour of the prevention of accidents when we in this country are not doing all we could, and all we ought to do, to prevent accidents to our own workpeople. I do not care for the missionary who goes to a foreign land when he ought to be trying to convert his own people at home first. I am glad to notice that the hon. and gallant Gentleman seems to assent; and I would urge that while he should use all the talent and administrative ability of Sir Malcolm Delevingne and his colleagues 2334 to preach the gospel of "safety first" throughout the world, he should, first of all, see that a sufficient number of inspectors is employed in this country to prevent unnecessary accidents.
I pass to the next issue which I want to raise with the hon. and gallant Gentleman. It will be remembered that we passed an Act of Parliament in 1926 prohibiting she use of white lead in painting for interior purposes. We had a great struggle with the Government because they declined to adopt the convention which meant prohibition on all counts. I think the time has arrived when we ought to know the result of the operation of that Act. I do not think we are asking for the information too early. I know that the Rules and Regulations under that Act took some time to issue. I know that the Government consulted the employers; I do not know if they consulted the operatives. It probably would be a new departure for this Government if they did so. I am a little alarmed at the figures relating to lead poisoning generally. There is an hon. Member here representing the pottery workers of Staffordshire who will be able to speak with more authority than I can on various aspects of this question; but the figures relating to lead poisoning of all kinds, with which I have been supplied, show that in 1922 the number of lead poison cases reported to the Home Office was 247, with 26 deaths. The number grew until in 1924 it reached a peak figure which was very alarming indeed. I am pleased to see that the number of deaths in 1927 was reduced to 14, but the reported cases number 249 for 1927, or an increase of two over 1922.
When we come to the case of the house painter there is a very sad story indeed. It is in that connction that I would like information as to the effect, if any, already ensuing from the passing of the Act of 1926. With regard to lead poisoning among house painters, the figure in 1922 was 40 cases with 12 deaths; but in 1927 there were 98 cases reported and 21 deaths. I say that that is indeed an alarming condition of affairs. Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell us whether he has a sufficient number of inspectors to see that the Act of 1926 prohibiting the use of white lead in paint for interior purposes is carried out? I am sure 2335 he cannot reply, at any rate, that the inspectorate is adequate for this purpose; and in order to test him further I would put these additional questions: How-many offences have been notified under this Act, and how many convictions, if any, have been obtained? I notice that the Noble Lord the Member for South Nottingham (Lord H. Cavendish-Bentinck) put a question the other day in relation to lead poisoning; and the reply of the Home Office was to the effect that for the first five months of 1927 there were 33 cases reported, and 40 cases for the corresponding period this year. I take it that those cases cover people employed in the pottery trade as well, where lead poisoning is more prevalent than in any other industry. It is well, therefore, to put once again the question to the Home Office as to what is being done to administer and carry out the provisions of these Acts of Parliament, which were designed definitely to prevent cases of the kind that I have mentioned.
I will pass to another subject. In 1924, when Great Britain was sane and we had the most intelligent Government of modern times, there was appointed a Committee to inquire into artificial humidity in textile and non-textile factories; and I would like to know what has become of the recommendations that were made by that Committee. I do not know whether some of those recommendations cannot be put into operation without an Act of Parliament; but perhaps the hon. and gallant Gentleman can tell us. In passing, let me say that a great many of the difficulties to which I am referring would have been cleared away once and for all if the Government had carried out their promise to give us a Factory Bill; but that promise, like many more, has been broken. When the General Election comes along we shall not forget their shortcomings in that connection. It seems to me that the Home Office really ought to deal at once with the question of humidity in textile factories, because I noticed the other day that the mortality and sickness figures of some of the approved societies covering textile operatives were really alarming: and some of the diseases that were shown in the statistics that I saw were attributable in part, I understand, to excessive 2336 humidity in textile factories. As I have said, it would be well if we could get to know what part of those recommendations have been put into operation, if they can be put into operation without an Act of Parliament.
I come next to the case of nystagmus, which is a disease that affects the eyes of coal miners. I am very pleased that the number of new cases of nystagmus is apparently declining. I have looked up the figures, and I find that the old cases in 1914 were 3,215, and at the end of 1926 they had grown to 8,270; but those are old cases. It is the new cases that interest me most, and they are in fact the best indication of how far the disease is getting hold of the coal miners of this country. [Interruption.] These figures are not on a percentage basis, but merely figures dealing with a number of cases. It is a terrible thing to say, but because such a few miners are now employed, the number of these cases is declining; and it almost leads one to say that one wishes they could all be taken out of the pits; then there would be no nystagmus at all. In 1908 the new cases were 386; in 1914, 3,218; and in 1926, 1,771. That, at any rate, shows a decline, whatever the cause may be, and I am reminded, quite rightly, by my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) that the pits were stopped for seven months in 1926. I would like to know, therefore, what are the figures for 1927, as I think they would give a much better indication of the real position. In 1924, when we were at the Home Office, I, personally, met the Mining Association of Great Britain and the Miners' Federation on this very important point, and I am wondering whether anything has been done since to prevent this disease spreading and to deal with it better under the Workmen's Compensation Act. Some cases, to my knowledge, are not properly dealt with.
I will only just touch upon the question of silicosis. I understand that the Home Office is already conducting an inquiry into this question, and I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that it is just about time that something was done. I could give him a single case to illustrate my meaning. There are coal miners suffering from silicosis who are told that they are not entitled to sick- 2337 ness benefit from their approved society, because, in the opinion of the society, they are entitled to workmen's compensation. On the other hand, silicosis among miners is not yet scheduled, I understand, for workmen's compensation purposes, and these people, in some cases, may therefore not get any benefit from anywhere. The Home Office ought really to deal with this problem, which is urgent because of the increased suffering among coal miners from this disease.
I promised that I would not keep the Committee for very long this evening; but I must touch upon one further disease which comes under the purview of the Factories Department of the Home Office, and that is anthrax. In 1922 there were 45 cases of anthrax reported to the Home Office, and five deaths, and I am pleased to say that the figures declined in 1927 to 31 and two respectively. I gather that the Home Office recently appointed a Committee to inquire into the cost of disinfecting East India wool, the wool that is responsible very largely for a number of anthrax cases in this country. I am told that there have been cases down Bermondsey way where men have contracted this disease from hides and skins, and I believe I am right in saying that the Government disinfecting station at Liverpool has no control at all over the hides and skins which caused the outbreak down in Bermondsey. What I would like to know from the Home Office is whether it is not possible to secure the disinfecting of all these materials before they leave the port of export. I was familiar some time ago with the draft Convention that was drawn up to try and get international action in connection with this problem; and it would be well if we were told what really is the international position in regard to anthrax. In particular, I would like to know what has been done in connection with the Committee appointed some time ago to inquire into the disinfecting of East India wool, which is responsible very largely for this very terrible disease.
We are always in the unfortunate position—and I do not want to attribute blame to anybody, as it is in the nature of things, I suppose—of never being able to get the Report of the Factories Department for the preceding year in time for our discussion in the House of Commons. 2338 I wish some means were forthcoming whereby the details that we would like to analyse and criticise could be before us in a debate of this kind, and I will repeat, therefore, that my comments tonight are more in the nature of queries. I say finally that I am really alarmed at the growth in the number of accidents in he factories and workshops of this country. It is not good enough that in this day of enlightenment, of better medical service, and of better safeguards in cur factories and workshops, that the Home Office should have to register a growth of 17,000 odd accidents in 1927 over 1926. That figure alone, in my view, warrants me to-night in moving that the sum which has been put before the Committee be reduced by £100.
§ Mr. HOLLINS
I wish to call the attention of the Home Office to several very important matters relating to the industry which I represent and to other industries as well. The first question is with regard to the very cumbersome method which surrounds the operations of the Workmen's Compensation (Silicosis) Act of 1918 and the subsequent Acts; the second point has to do with the period of time beyond which no person suffering from lead poisoning may claim compensation; and the third point that I wish to raise is the question of the appointment of certifying surgeons. With regard to the first point, the method of getting an order for any industry under the Silicosis Acts is very cumbersome and takes time, energy, and expense that it ought not to take. My own society in 1906 gave evidence before the Home Office Committee, which was inquiring into industrial diseases, and the medical opinion of that inquiry was to the effect that silicosis ought to be scheduled as an industrial disease. In 1923 we approached the then Home Secretary, and he gave us to understand that a prima facie case had been made out for an Order to be made under the Silicosis Act to apply to the pottery industry. We have, however, had to wait over 20 years since our first application in 1906, and for five years after the Home Secretary had admitted our claim for an inquiry before we can get within sight of the Order being made The Silicosis Act can only be applied to those industries that make application, and for which the Home Secretary makes an Order, Committees 2339 have to be appointed and investigations made, and the greatest difficulty is the obstructionist methods which can be adopted either by the employers' representatives or by the workers' representatives. In the three industries which up to the moment have been before the Home Office inquiry, there was only one happy result.
The employers in the metal-grinding industry obstructed the Committee, and the Under-Secretary, who is the Chairman of the Committee making an inquiry into the Pottery Industry, knows the great difficulty which we are now having; the employers have withdrawn, and are not willing to take any further part in the proceedings. In both the metal-grinding industries and the pottery industry the employers are opposed to partial compensation. Owing to the cumbersome method and the waste of time involved in obtaining an Order for an industry, there is a very meagre fraction of the total number of workers affected who have been brought under the scheme since the first Act was introduced. We feel that the only proper method is to have the disease scheduled as an ordinary occupational disease. It can still be made possible to have an arrangement for joint committees and an expenses fund under Section 47 of the Compensation Act, and it will not alter in any shape or form the position with regard to administration. Applications must be made by organised bodies; but there are thousands of unorganised persons outside the scope of any possible inquiry. There has been a case recently where two girls died from silicosis, and they had no possible claim for compensation, because there has been no Order made for the application of the Act to their particular industry. The process is so slow and tedious, that one cannot conceive that all the industries will ever be covered by the application of this Act. The only solution that one can see is that silicosis ought to be scheduled as an industrial disease. If the Committee of 1906 had given a proper decision, they would have recommended that the disease be scheduled, but economic causes were brought to bear, and they thought that it was not expedient, and they withheld giving a decision for scheduling the disease.
2340 I want to touch upon another important matter which affects the workers in lead processes. It is not possible for a worker who may have left a lead process or whose factory has given up the lead process, to claim compensation after he has left that process, or after the lead has not been used in the factory, for a period of 12 months. Lead poisoning is a cumulative disease, and one never knows when the effect will show itself. We have had cases where persons have shown symptoms of this disease several years after they have left the lead process, and they have not had an opportunity of making an application for compensation. We have a typical example in my own industry. A man worked on the lead process for 40 years, and his firm decided to have a leadless process. After working at this process for two years, the man died, and the post-mortem showed that he had lead poisoning, but there was not the slightest possible chance of the widow receiving compensation, with the result that the insurance company was so sympathetic that they made an ex gratia payment. An extension of the Order should be made so that, if the period is not wiped out entirely, it ought to be extended to a period of three years or five years.
On the third point, in regard to certifying surgeons, we have had a deplorable experience in my industry. In 1906 it was decided that the woman scourers should be periodically examined. Although we have had thousands of examinations, there has only been one case of a suspension under that Act. The present method of appointing certifying surgeons is not a proper method to adopt. The best medical practitioners may be appointed, but they are not appointed because they are experts in the knowledge of lead poisoning, silicosis, anthrax or other industrial diseases. In our particular industry they are paid 1s. per examination, with the consequence that we have known of cases where 20 workers have passed before the certifying surgeon in as many minutes. It is impossible for anybody to make an examination of workers in so short a period of time. We feel, and it has been held in my own society for many years that certifying surgeons should be whole-time men without private practice. This has had a trial in the Refractories Industries 2341 scheme, when the tuberculosis officers made the examinations in the first instance. Afterwards permanent full-time men were brought in, and it was found that the examinations were more efficient and the data more valuable. I hope that the Home Secretary will give his attention to the points I have raised, namely, the expensive and tedious method of getting an Order under the Silicosis Act, and the necessity of silicosis being scheduled as an industrial disease. We feel, further, that the period of making claims for lead poisoning should be extended or taken out of the Order. Lastly, the certifying surgeons should be full-time men with expert knowledge of the people and the disease with which they have to deal.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I think I shall be expressing the feelings of all Members of the Committee when I congratulate the hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Hollins) upon his maiden effort. The speech which we have been privileged to hear is one of those which we should do well to multiply, because every word showed that he was closely and practically identified with the human problem; we should benefit by many similar speeches. I hope the hon. Member will be long spared to help us to deal with these very thorny human problems. I wish to refer to the question of nystagmus. My hon. Friend on the Front Bench suggested that progress was being made, instancing the reduction in the number of new cases in 1926 as compared with 1914. But I think that, on closer examination, the figures for 1926 will not be found to indicate a real decrease in the number of men suffering from this horrible disease, but that the reduction was due wholly and solely to the fact that the majority of collieries were closed for seven months in that year. If the Under-Secretary can tell us when he replies what the figures were for 1927 it will give us a clearer idea of whether the numbers are on the decrease or increase; and perhaps he will also say something about the steps the Home Office are taking with a view to reducing the very large number of old cases and preventing the occurrence of new ones.
Next, I want to draw attention to two cases which have been brought to the notice of the Under-Secretary during the 2342 past few weeks. In the first case I think the Home Office might have stepped in to prevent an unfortunate workman from suffering undue hardship and injustice through the action of the clerk to the magistrate; in a particular town. I brought the facts to the notice of the Home Secretary but he informed me that as it was a matter of law he could not interfere. I will briefly state the circumstances, and I hope the Under-Secretary will give us some idea of whether the Home Office can prevent the recurrence of such cases by disseminating, by circular or otherwise, such information as may be necessary to secure uniformity of action throughout the country. In this case an individual was sentenced on the 9th July, 1927, to six months' imprisonment for having deserted his child. At the end of the period of imprisonment a maintenance order was made against him for £1 per week. The man was released from prison on 10th December, after which he had to find work. Out of his first week's wages he made a payment of 7s. 6d. to the collecting officer for that district, and out of the next week's wages he made a payment of 18s. On the very day on which he made the payment of 18s. he was apprehended on a warrant issued by the clerk to the magistrate of the Longton Court, Staffordshire, for arrears of maintenance. That warrant was issued without any certificate having been given by the collecting officer of the Doncaster, West Riding Court, which I believe is the ordinary method employed throughout the country. This unfortunate person who was complying with the order which had been made against him was apprehended on a warrant issued at a Court 80 or 90 miles away. He lost some five or six days' work.
§ The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Captain Bourne)
I do not think the hon. Member can raise this question on the Home Office Vote. It concerns the administration of justice, and, if an error has been made in the issue of a warrant, the remedy is to apply to the Courts. It is not a matter for the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I do not wish to transgress your ruling, but I think the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Vote will agree that, unless the case is set forth, I shall not be able to suggest what action should be taken to prevent this happening in the future. It is not my in- 2343 tention to make an attack upon anyone who is administering the law, but merely to show that under the existing practice an unfortunate person who is complying with a maintenance order of a Court can be apprehended upon a warrant issued at a Court 100 miles away, although no arrears exist under that maintenance order. I know the hon. Gentleman has no power to interfere with the administration of the law, but what I submit is that if a maintenance order against a person has been made by one Court no other bench of magistrates ought to be permitted to issue a warrant for his apprehension without a certificate from the collecting officer, who, in each case, is the clerk to the magistrates in the Court where the maintenance order was made. Could not the Home Office circularise all benches of magistrates and intimate to them that in a case of this kind no warrant should be issued by any second Court unless a certificate has been received from the first Court showing that arrears exist? I think the Home Office have the power to circularise magistrates without interfering with the normal methods of administering justice. In this particular case this man was apprehended. He lost six days' wages. He was let out on bail for a month, was called upon to appear again at the Longton Court, and had to pay the arrears.
The point is this: When an order is made no poor person would know to whom he has to pay the sum per week which had been fixed, whether he has to pay the money at the Court which fixed the maintenance order or whether he would have to pay that sum at any other Court. Unless the Home Office take the step I am suggesting, any woman could get a warrant issued and a man could be apprehended, although not in arrears to the extent of one single penny piece on that order. I think the case referred to is within the knowledge of the hon. Gentleman, and I hope he will look into it and insist upon the various benches of magistrates being circularised so that there may be uniformity of action throughout the country.
Another case which I wish to bring to the notice of the hon. Gentleman concerns a bench of magistrates. Here, again, I have no desire to transgress the ruling 2344 of the Chair which has been given on so many occasions, but when poor persons are unfortunate at law and the financial barrier prevents them from seeking justice by an appeal to the higher Courts, the only person to whom they can appeal is the Home Secretary. In the case I have in mind there are three brothers who set up a petrol filling station. Only one name was attached to the agreement purchasing the petrol pump. These three brothers were prosecuted for selling a different kind of petrol from that named on the pump. The Merchandise Marks Act distinctly states that:A person means a manufacturer, dealer, trader, proprietor or any body of persons, corporate or incorporate.In this case, the three brothers were fined £20 each. It seems to me that that was a misinterpretation of the law, and in a case like that, I think, the Home Secretary has power to intervene, and he should see that even-handed justice is meted out. I know the usual course is to appeal against any harsh decision, but, if the financial position of the individual concerned is such that he cannot afford the costs of an appeal, then obviously he must suffer an injustice. I hope the Under-Secretary will look into this case, and, through the mechanism of the Home Office, see that the Act of Parliament is carried out fairly and impartially. If the Parliamentary Secretary will do that, I shall feel that it has been worth my while to bring this case forward. After all, there are many individuals who cannot afford to follow the law through all its normal courses to a logical conclusion. The Home Secretary is in charge of these things, and I think he ought to be a post on which the unfortunate can lean in order to secure justice at the hands of the law.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I think the Committee is indebted to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) for introducing the question of factory legislation. Many hon. Members on this side of the Committee have been connected with factories for a number of years, and we have our own special notions as to what is needed in connection with factory life. I want to thank my hon. Friend the Member for Hanley (Mr. Hollins) for the information he has given to the Committee about the pottery trade, because there are pieces of in- 2345 formation in his speech which are worth a great deal. As one connected with the textile trade, I want to say that we are not sufficiently staffed with factory inspectors. I am speaking about a part of the country which I know best, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and I want the Under-Secretary to take cognisance of some of the things which, if carried out, will be of great advantage.
In the West Riding of Yorkshire, we have 2,595 factories, 1,870 workshops, and 70 warehouses, making a total of 4,535 buildings to be inspected. These factories cover an area of 153 square miles. In 1923, for these 4,500 factories and workshops we had only two full-time inspectors and one half-time inspector; they had to see to all the registration and that the regulations in regard to cleanliness and health were carried out in that huge area, with its large number of factories and workshops. I say that it is impossible for two whole-time inspectors and one half-time inspector even to attempt the inspection of such a large area, and such a large number of factories. I went into the factory when I was 10 years of age, and I never saw an inspector come round to any factory in which I was working. In view of the great risks, the danger of running machinery, and the various difficulties which crop up, such a small staff of inspectors is totally inadequate for the work. I am sure that if we had a more adequate inspection of factories there would be fewer accidents.
It is a well-known fact that a large number of accidents in factories are caused by the breaking of the regulations. I know that some of the regulations are irksome from the point of view of production, but it is the duty of the Government to see that we get more inspectors. When you go into a factory, you sometimes hear the scream of a girl who has got her hand in a machine, or you may come across the case of a man who has been caught in the shafting, and you hear the remark that "another good man has gone west." I want to see the machinery thoroughly fenced.
There are many things which ought to be done for the comfort of the workers. I have in mind something which occurred during the War, when it was found neces- 2346 sary to increase the production of certain articles. At that time, we were pressed to allow the women to work on night work, and, when this was allowed, it was only on condition that proper safeguards should be adopted, and that proper accommodation should be provided for the cooking of the meals. In that instance, proper facilities were afforded for the women to obtain their food during the night, although it did not matter much how the people who worked in the daytime fared. After the War, the buildings which were used as special accommodation for the women were pulled down, and the space was used for putting in new machinery. These things are all wrong, and it is very often the small things which make life worth living. It is bad enough to go to work at 7 o'clock in the morning and work on until late at night. I know that in our textile factories no adequate provision is made for the eating of the meals. It may interest the hon. and gallant Gentleman to know that I have had thousands of meals sitting on the cleanest part of the floor that I could find in the building. There was no place in which to get a meal; the only thing provided was a steam kettle where we could brew our tea, and you might go anywhere and get your meals.
I would urge the Under-Secretary, who, we believe, has these things at heart, to use his influence to see if he cannot get some method adopted whereby adequate provision may be made for people to get their meals in a decent way. The only places in the West Riding of Yorkshire in which it is compulsory upon firms to provide adequate eating and cooking accommodation are places where anthrax wools are bandied. In those places suitable accommodation must be provided for washing people's hands, with towels, nail brushes and places where people can eat their meals and have them cooked. In all of the other factories there is no accommodation, and no compulsion to provide it.
I was rather interested in the figures submitted by my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton with regard to cases of anthrax, and I would like to ask the Under-Secretary to give me the figures. I ought to say that from 1914 until last year I was a member of the Departmental Committee on Anthrax, 2347 but I do not get the figures now as I used to do. I see that, in 1927, 19 cases from wool were reported, three from horse-hair, nine from hides and skins, and one from other industries. I should like to ask the Under-Secretary if he could give us the figures showing how many of these cases were fatal and how many were non-fatal. In 1927, as I have said, there were nine cases of anthrax from hides and skins, and I think that something ought to be done in this respect. I do not know whether it is possible—I hardly think it is—to disinfect the hides in the country of origin, but I am quite sure that it is possible to disinfect the wool in the country of origin. I know that the number of cases of anthrax has largely decreased as the result of the operation of the very fine Government disinfecting station which has been set up at Liverpool, but that only deals with Persian and Egyptian wool, and there are any number of dangerous wools. There is goat hair, and camel hair, and there are all kinds of wools which are dangerous.
When I was a member of the Committee, I was very much interested in the efforts that were being made at Geneva to try to get compulsory disinfection in the country of origin agreed to. I know that at that time India and some other countries stood in the way. Perhaps the Under-Secretary would be able to tell us what has happened in regard to the proposals that have been made. I would like the Home Office to interest itself, if possible, in the question of the inspection of the material that is used in the production of shaving brushes. We used to have any number of cases sent to us of people who had got anthrax as a result of shaving with an anthrax-infected brush, and I should like to tell the Undersecretary, incidentally, that, as a member of that Committee, I was trying for three years to get a resolution sent to the Home Office in favour of the compulsory disinfection of foreign shaving brushes and the material used in their manufacture. I was not, however, able to get a seconder for that resolution until a friend of a member of the Committee happened to get anthrax as a result of using one of these foreign brushes, and then I had him falling over me to second my resolution.
2348 I do not know whether the Home Office are aware of the tremendous danger that the public are running from the use of shaving brushes made from what is called Chinese tail or mane hair, which is a material liable to be infected with anthrax. It gets to this country in a round-about way, and is made into the cheapest imitation badger hair shaving brushes, and from them it is very easy to get this dangerous and loathsome disease. I know that at the Government disinfecting station at Liverpool these shaving brushes and the material from which they are manufactured can be disinfected. The Committee proved that it was possible to get these brushes and materials disinfected and made safe.
My most important point of all, however, is that I want to impress upon the Home Office—and I am sure that any hon. Member with experience of factory life will agree—that the factory inspectorate in the whole country is quite inadequate. My hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton gave the figures, showing that there are somewhere about 200 inspectors for the whole of the factories and workshops in Great Britain. That is not enough, especially in view of the risks to which so many millions of our people are being subjected in the factories. It needs but a girl's hair to be drawn into an unfenced machine, and there is danger of death; or a girl's finger may get fast and her whole arm go into the machine. Those who have lived in factory life have seen so much of these dangers that we want to minimise them. I urge upon the Government to increase the number of inspectors, so that at least, while our people are earning their living, they shall not have to run the risks that they have been running.
§ Lieut-Colonel FREMANTLE
I should like to deal with one or two points that have been raised in this discussion, and to reinforce to a certain extent the requests that have been made to my hon. and gallant Friend for some information with regard to the work of the Home Office in connection with the matters that have been mentioned. I should like to add my own request to that which has already been made by the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) that the Department might arrange to have the Annual Report of the Chief 2349 Inspector of Factories issued in time for this Debate each year. I have just got from the Library the latest Report that is available, and it is the Report for the year 1926. The Report for 1927 was, I believe, presented to Parliament yesterday, and, of course, has not been printed. That, obviously, does not give the Home Office a fair chance, because this is the one opportunity in the year when we can recognise the excellence and value of the work of the Department, and when some kind of notice of it may be obtained in the Press the next day as the result of the Debate. If the issue of the Report is delayed until the last minute, no one is able to read it until the holidays are upon us, and that is not the time that we generally devote to such purposes. The Report, therefore, does not receive adequate notice.
I am not going to ask for any more figures, but I should like to have some of those that have been asked for, and particularly those with regard to lead poisoning. The latest figures given in the Report for 1926 are certainly disconcerting. It is true that there were fewer cases, but there were something like double the number of deaths from lead poisoning in the last year reported upon as compared with the previous year, and that is a matter that needs clearing up. Probably we shall hear a better account in regard to last year, but certainly in 1926 the number of deaths was something like twice that in the year before. It is a very pertinent question to ask how far the Act of 1926 has had time to take effect. It is, no doubt, too early to get definite information on that point, although, if the Home Office can give us any information in that direction, we shall be glad to have it.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman is quoting me, I should like to make it perfectly clear that the figures I quoted were not the figures for 1926 and 1927. I gave the figures for 1922 and 1927 in order to get a comparison, and in that case the number of deaths had very nearly doubled, but the number of cases in 1926 was 90, of which 18 were fatal, while in 1927 there were 98 cases, of which 21 were fatal. That was among house painters.
§ Lieut-Colonel FREMANTLE
As I have said, it is impossible really to judge of the effect of the new Act and regula- 2350 tions within a year of their introduction, but it is quite right that any suggested reports should be passed on to the House, so that year by year we can sec whether the provision is right. The general line was to prohibit painting by women and young persons, and then to give power to the Home Secretary to issue regulations. That, I maintain, is the right method. I object to prohibition wherever it is possible to avoid it. Prohibition is the last resort, and it is a confession of feebleness and weakness. Prohibition means that you have not faith in the individual, and, therefore, you have to come down upon him with a Prussian method of prohibition. The result is that you lose the private initiative which is the most essential factor in getting real protection. Initiative and responsibility thown upon employer and employed, each to do his part, are infinitely more effective than any rules of prohibition.
Therefore, we want to work up as much as possible the question of education and inspection, because the methods of the Home Office Inspector are not those they might be imagined to be. They are not those of the schoolmaster, but those of the adviser and the friend. The inspector is one of the most valuable administrators we have, and one of the most valuable forms of education we have. It is in that sense that we want to see whether we have a sufficient number of inspectors for this kind of work. It is not that we particularly want to ferret out the misdeeds of bid employers. In this world, men are bad from ignorance or from their surroundings, and, in the case of a bad employer, it is largely because he is ignorant or because of his circumstances. Very often, he can only make both ends meet with difficulty, if at all, and cannot think of improving a system which he knows to be bad, but the inspector can come along and help him to put things right. I have here the actual official numbers of the inspectorate. In 1914, there were 222 authorised staff inspectors and assistants; in 1921, 211; and only 205 in 1926. That was excluding Ireland, so I am not sure whether the staff has been very much reduced. You cannot expect to get efficient and thorough inspection when you have people who only inspect from a distance. You must delegate the people who are on the spot and can drop in here and there when they know things 2351 require to be looked into. You have already under the law a certain amount of sanitary inspection, and the sanitary inspectors and medical officers of health have to furnish copies of their annual reports. That shows that they do a certain amount of work which is given to them locally, and, through them, a certain amount of improvement takes place in minor things. I want to extend that. I believe you can extend it very considerably in the larger cities and boroughs, where you can use the local medical officer of health more and more. I cannot enlarge on that topic, because it requires legislation, but it has to be remembered when you are considering the inadequacy of the inspectorate and the actual official reply that you cannot afford to have more inspectors. I think you are on the wrong line if you are seeking to increase the centralised bureaucratic inspectorate. You want to open up the factory system, which is at present a closed book, to local people, who would gladly take an interest in it. The hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Hollins), whom I should like to congratulate on his very well-informed maiden speech, suggests that the certifying factory surgeon should be a whole-time man. I am afraid, if he really goes into the matter on a wider basis, that he will find that is quite impracticable. Certifying factory surgeons have to be dotted about all over the place. They ought to be given the opportunity of being more useful than they are at present. The certifying factory surgeon only has certain inspections detailed to him when called for by the factory inspector. He cannot be expected, therefore, to sift through the whole of the cases that could be improved, because he only has cases of definite illness or cases that require attention as understood by the lay inspector.
I should like to have some account of the extremely beneficent welfare work in the factories which has been extended so very much since the War. It is a very hopeful work, which was instituted during the War in the Department of Munitions, largely by one of the factory medical inspectors attached to the Ministry for the purpose, and the Home Office have followed it up since. My 2352 latest information is that statutory welfare orders have been made for 14 industries so far. I should be glad to know if they have been extended or are going to be extended further. It can only be done gradually as industry is prepared for it, but there is a very great deal of hope from it. I have always taken intense interest in the Factory Department of the Home Office. It is nothing less than a second Ministry of Health, on which the health and efficiency of the nation depend. I am very glad to add my tribute to the work of the Home Office and I shall certainly oppose the Amendment to reduce the right hon. Gentleman's salary.
§ Mr. JENKINS
I should like to refer again to the question of silicosis and to point out the necessity for the Home Office to take some steps in connection with the mining industry. We have been appealing to the Department for a large number of years asking them to schedule silicosis as an industrial disease. They say they are only entitled when they have found 80 per cent. of silicosis. I have in the last fortnight got an analysis from a number of collieries. I will not give their names though I have submitted them to the Home Secretary and the Secretary for Mines. I find in these four collieries the percentage of silica are 32.4, 60.9, 75.9 and 76.2. In each of these cases the men are unable to follow their employment. Nothing has been done by the Home Office since the introduction of machinery for boring, although when boring is going on in narrow working places, with little or no ventilation, the dust comes back to the men, with the result that we have a large number of men in the coalfields, particularly in South Wales, who are unemployed through working under these conditions. Unless something can be done to improve matters I am certain that there will be a great outcry in the mining industry. Up to the present time the Home Office have taken no steps, except to say that they are making inquiries.
I maintain that the inquiries which they are making are not satisfactory to the mining industry. I know of men of my own are who, when we were young men together were strong, healthy and robust and who after 15 or 16 years' work subject to these conditions of dust, have become unable to follow their em- 2353 ployment. I know of a large number of men who have died before they were 50 years of age through working under conditions where rock dust, containing silica, prevails, and yet no compensation has been paid to their unfortunate widows or dependants. No compensation is paid to the men who are unable to follow their employment through the same cause. We have made an appeal recently and we find that the Home Office have appointed a medical man. One medical man for the whole country is totally inadequate to meet the needs of the mining industry and other industries and to investigate and make reports on cases. The Home Office ought to appoint larger staffs of medical men to make investigations in regard to the dust caused by boring.
I should like to call attention to the fact that a number of men, with whom I have come into contact, who have worked on screens, where the dust comes from the screens of coal, are unable to follow their employment in consequence of developing chest trouble, due to the dust which they have inhaled. None of these men is entitled to compensation. I appeal to the Under-Secretary to the Home Office that he should give instructions that that kind of work should be forthwith investigated. Reference has been made to the question of nystagmus. We are, however, entitled to compensation in cases of nystagmus. In regard to the diseases produced, by dust, we submit that if the men are unable to follow their employment as a result of working under these conditions, and it can be proved that their incapacity is due to the dust, they ought to be entitled to compensation. The same conditions should apply to coal-dust as apply to any other dust in connection with the mines. The Home Office should take steps to ascertain how men are affected by following their employment. There may be other diseases due to this kind of thing, and the medical men ought to make special inquiries.
There is one further thing that the Home Office ought to do, and that is to inquire into cases where colliery companies have become bankrupt and have not insured their men. The Home Office ought to take steps to make sure that every colliery company and every other company insure their men in some form 2354 or other. If the men are not insured, the Government ought to take steps to see that they are insured. We have in South Wales at the present time a large number of men who are unable to draw unemployment payment or sickness benefit, because it is said that they are entitled to compensation, but the companies concerned have become bankrupt and no compensation has been paid. We have had fatal cases. I know of one case where a husband and a son in Pontrhydyfen lost their lives and no compensation was paid because the colliery company had become bankrupt. There was no way of securing compensation, because no dividend was paid after the bankruptcy proceedings had taken place and the Receiver had been put in. Here is a case where a family has been broken up through the breadwinner and the eldest son being killed in the mine and no compensation has been paid, simply because the colliery company had become bankrupt and had not insured. It is the business of the Home Office to attend to these matters. They ought to take an interest in these questions and see that the workers are protected. I appeal to the Under-Secretary to convey to the Home Secretary and to the Mines Department the three suggestion which I have made, namely, that in regard to silicosis the percentage should be taken off altogether, that even men working on the surface should be scheduled to receive compensation and that steps should be taken to make sure that every colliery company and every other company should be insured in some form or other, or, if that does not happen, then the Government ought to take steps to see that the men are protected.
§ Dr. VERNON DAVIES
It is very interesting to have a chance to discuss the Home Office Vote, particularly in connection with factory legislation. I speak as an old certifying factory surgeon of over 20 years' experience, and I have, therefore, some knowledge of what obtains in the textile mills. There has been a complaint to-night, and a justifiable complaint, as to the small number of factory inspectors. We recognise that, considering the number of textile factories in this country, it is a physical impossibility for the inspectors adequately and thoroughly to inspect all the factories and workshops under their 2355 control. During the War, the Home Office took what I regard as a very retrograde step. Hon. Members above the Gangway will know that up to that period practically all accidents were notified to the certifying factory surgeon, who had to visit the factory, to see the identical place where the accident occurred, to get a report, then proceed to see the injured person and get his or her report and then, finally, to issue a report to the factory inspector and so to the Home Office.
By that process two or three very important things were done. In the first place, we were sure that the mill authorities reported the majority of their accidents, because they never knew what doctor a particular patient might go to and news of an accident might leak out and get to the factory surgeon. Therefore, they were compelled to follow out the Regulations and to report more closely their accidents. The second good point was that it enabled them to forward true accident reports. On more than one occasion I found in my investigations that the report sent to me by the mill authorities was not accurate. They said that an accident occurred at such-and-such a place, but when I visited the mill and saw the machinery and visited the patient I said that the accident could not have happened in that particular place. There was one interesting case which I remember very well. When I had inquired into the matter thoroughly I found that the accident had happened in a particular part of the mill where the guard had been removed, and removed by the patient. The manager said: "I am very sorry. I did not know that." I said: "Have a look round." We had a look round, and we found that the guard had been removed from every mule in the mill by the workers. It was a new guard, which they did not like. They said that it was more dangerous with the guard than without it and, consequently, every man had removed the guard on his own responsibility. I would, therefore, ask hon. Members to bear in mind when cases come forward of unfenced machinery and an accident has occurred, that unfenced machinery is not always due to the fault of the employer. It is sometimes the fault of the workers. They do not like the guard and they remove it.
2356 The Home Office decided to do away with this reporting of accidents to the certifying surgeon because it cost the country the enormous sum of £7,000 per annum. They said: "We will save this £7,000 and in future accidents shall only be reported to the factory inspector," who may live five, 10 or 15 miles away, "and when he gets this report he shall decide whether it is a case on which to inquire or not." It is quite possible to so report an accident as to create a false impression in the report, and it is possible that there are many accidents which ought to be inspected by the factory inspector which are not inspected. Therefore, I say that the Home Office took a retrograde step by cancelling the reporting of accidents to certifying surgeons. This procedure was to the advantage of the Home Office, to the advantage of the workers and to the advantage of the mill, and I hope at some time or other they will reconsider the provision and see if they cannot go back to the old style of reporting accidents. It had another important effect. The mill authorities knew that the factory doctor might be in the mill any day, and it kept them up to the mark. The factory doctor was in reality a sort of unofficial inspector and if he saw things which were not right he would say, "You must not do this, or I shall have to report the matter to the factory inspector." Under this system they were able to do much better work with their present staff than is being done at the present time.
I ask hon. Members above the Gangway to bear in mind the fact that factory legislation is principally for the benefit of the workers and that unless the workers co-operate with employers it is impossible to get the full benefit of the provisions. The question of nystagmus has been referred to. The figures are going up. I have been particularly interested in a phase of the question which was brought to my notice 12 or 18 months ago. For some reason or other I was looking at the figures for Belgium and I found that there was not the same rate of increase in nystagmus as in this country, but with another peculiar condition. In Belgium they only get compensation for nystagmus for a certain definite time and at the end of that time, when compensation ceases, for some remarkable reason the cases improve. That reminds 2357 me of the old days of the "railway-spine," when people following railway accidents got concussion of the spine, and they never got better until the case was settled by the companies. Sir William Thorburn, an eminent surgeon, who was probably the greatest expert on railway spine in Europe, came to the conclusion and advised all his clients that the patient would never get better until the claim was settled. They were not malingering, but there was some psychological condition which prevented these people getting better until their claim had been paid, and as soon as the railway companies paid this compensation they got better. I wonder whether in this country in the case of nystagmus the same thing might not occur and that instead of saying that the man shall be paid so much per week that it would be better to give a lump sum by way of compensation which might have some effect on the recovery of the patient.
§ Dr. DAVIES
I am arguing this from a medical standpoint, and I am simply saying whether it might not be tried as an experiment judging from the analogy of the railway spine. We really do not know the influence of the mind upon the illnesses of the body, and if we have the fact that in Belgium after the payment of compensation ceases there is a more rapid recovery it shows to my mind that there is possibly some psychological effect there. It is a matter for investigation as to whether the same thing might not happen here in the case of nystagmus. I do not say it would, but it might be considered. The question of silicosis has been mentioned, a subject which is very important and is becoming more important every day. I think this question has been grossly neglected in this country.
It really is rather astonishing, considering our huge mining industry, employing an enormous number of men, that a medical man should only have been appointed a few months ago by the Government for the first time, to advise them on the medical conditions affecting this industry. They have been running the mining industry for years and years 2358 without the slightest medical supervision. Another remarkable point is that if a child wishes to work in a factory or workshop it has to be examined by a certified surgeon, who certifies if the child is fit to work or not. That is not the case so far as the mines are concerned, and, over and over again I have refused to pass children for work in the cotton mills because they were not strong enough, and all they have done is to laugh at me and go and get work in the pits, where they were allowed to go without any examination at all. That is in this up-to-date country; and how the hoi. Members representing mining constituencies have allowed this to continue for all these years is beyond my comprehension. They could have brought the subject up year after year.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand that the inspection of mines has been transferred to the Mines Department which was set up. Is not that so?
The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson)
The inspection of mines has nothing to do with the Home Office.
§ Dr. DAVIES
I am rather puzzled, because medical questions have been brought forward in the Debate, and the question of silicosis has to do with the Home Office.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
Perhaps I might explain the difficulty. The power to make schemes under Section 47 of the Workmen's Compensation Act in relation to silicosis in any industry is vested in the Secretary of State, but the inspection of mines has nothing to do with the Home Office. That is a matter for the Mines Department. Therefore, apart from the question of making schemes for the mining industry with regard to silicosis, anything else is out of order.
§ Dr. DAVIES
I was not suggesting anything with regard to the inspection of mines. I was suggesting that children should not be allowed to work in the mines until they had been examined by a certifying surgeon.
§ Dr. DAVIES
I apologise. I will leave that part of the subject. I understand that the question of silicosis is a matter for the Home Office. The hon. Member for Neath (Mr. Jenkins) gave me the impression that silicosis was much more prevalent than it used to be. The hon. Member is aware that silicosis by itself is not a very dangerous disease. The worst it does is to cause shortness of breath and perhaps a little difficulty in breathing. Where the danger is is not in silicosis itself but when it gets contaminated or infected with tubercle, and when you get this combination it is extremely dangerous and fatal. Considering the risks miners run in working in this rock dust, it is full time that stringent regulations were made by the Home Office to deal with the problem. We have to bear in mind that certain people are perhaps more liable to infection by tubercle than others and, therefore, in any scheme brought up to deal with the matter, the health of the miner prior to and during his employment is a very important subject. In any scheme brought forward to make it a scheduled disease, I presume the Home Office will have some control.
I am personally convinced that the examination of the patient for silicosis should not be given to ordinary medical men, but it should be done by Home Office specialists, because it is extremely difficult to diagnose accurately, especially in the early stage. It is very essential to have an expert radiographer, and the Home Office should consider the advisability of appointing a few specialists in this particular disease who could go round the country examining patients at different mines at definite regular periods. It is no use waiting until the man cannot work; he should be examined regularly. It is not necessary to visit all the mines, because there is a variation in the amount of silica, and you need simply examine the mines where there is a large amount of silica. Coal dust itself does not produce silicosis; in fact, it does good, because it lessens the liability to consumption. Colliers are amongst the healthiest people in the country. Statistics prove undoubtedly that colliers are less subject to pulmonary tuberculosis than any other grade of workers except agricultural workers. To show that a miner's life is a fairly healthy life, apart from accidents, I have statistics show- 2360 ing that, among those occupations which are more fatal than a miner's, are the following: bread and biscuit bakers, fishmongers and poultry mongers, tobacconists, cotton workers, textile dyers and bleachers, hairdressers, waiters, seamen, etc.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is wandering away from the one point of silicosis with which alone the Home Office can deal.
§ Dr. DAVIES
I was dealing with the health of the miner and showing that the coal dust is not the dangerous factor, and I was saying that one need not examine every workman in every pit, but one should simply decide according to the proportion of silicia in every pit. By doing that, you would improve the health of the miner and prevent a certain number of deaths by getting a man away from these pits when he is in a recoverable state. By so doing, the Home Office would to a certain extent, justify itself.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I want to take the somewhat unusual course of calling attention to a part of the Home Office administration on which the Home Office is warmly to be congratulated. There is a museum in London which shows an extraordinarily interesting collection of safety appliances for machines, and also possesses a number of diagrams of very great interest and value to those engaged in industrial occupations who are prepared to study them. I want to pay my tribute to that part of the Home Office work, and I hope it will be developed. It would be a very good thing if it were possible to see that every director of a large works and every manager of a department should have the opportunity of seeing this Home Office collection, in order that what is new in the way of safety appliances and in the prevention of disease should be thoroughly known to all those who, either by control of works or of the workers, occupy a responsible position in works' organisation.
With regard to the inspectorial department, I do not want to traverse the ground already covered as to the number of factories and the inadequate number of inspectors. Everything has been said on that that can be said. I want to make a plea to the Home Office to adopt a method which will give us in the 2361 majority of cases a rather different type of inspector. Many years ago there began a principle of giving factory inspectorships to men with actual practical experience in the factories themselves. Unfortunately, of late the tendency has been rather to take academic qualifications than practical qualifications and to lay rather more stress on a man's knowledge, say, of Shakespeare or the Norman Invasion than his knowledge of machinery and factory life. I suggest to the Home Office that they might revert to the old method with considerable benefit, and that it would be better perhaps if some of these academic qualifications were made slightly less onerous and more regard was paid to the actual, practical, living knowledge of the factory economy itself.
The principal thing to which I want to refer—and I believe that the matter could be dealt with by administrative order by the Home Office—is the practice of what is known in Lancashire as shuttle-kissing. We never can get a body of medical opinion to say that the practice is dangerous. Yet nearly every weaver over 20 years of age in Lancashire has either very badly decayed teeth or is wearing artificial teeth. Surely there is a connection between this constant kissing of the shuttle, with the drawing of the weft and the dust into the mouth, and this extremely high average of decayed teeth amongst weavers. Whether it be the case or not—and from my knowledge of Lancashire I say it is the ease, whatever doctors say—that this custom is injurious to the teeth, it is a disgusting, dirty and dangerous habit. It often happens that in the case of an influenza epidemic a weaver will go off work with influenza. What is known as the sick weaver takes his place, uses the shuttles and very quickly goes off work with influenza. It often happens that two, three or even four weavers use the same loom, use the same shuttles and go off work one after another. I have said it is a dirty habit, because it is impossible for that shuttle to remain absolutely clean and, when the moist lips are pressed against the side of the shuttles hundreds of times a day, one can easily imagine what the result is.
Further, there are cases where colours are used which are of a very free type. I remember what were known as bleeding 2362 colours. The yarn was dyed in such a way that immediately moisture touched the yarn the colour would run. The result in a piece of cloth, when it had been woven, was that the weft gave a rainbow effect caused by the bleeding of that dye. Any weaver who used weft of that kind had his lips and mouth dyed by the colour that was used. I have seen weavers with their lips, teeth and inside of mouth green and blue and red, and the whole of the arm covered with a kind of fine dust that "runs" when perspiration takes place. One can understand what it means to a person drawing that kind of thing into the mouth day in and day out.
I suppose that my hon. Friend the Member for Royton (Dr. V. Davies) will find that the dye is not really dangerous, unless it be connected with tubercle or something of that kind. Whether it be dangerous or not, it is so dirty and disgusting a practice that it ought to be stopped at the earliest possible moment. I took the opportunity a few weeks ago of sending to the Home Office in a matchbox a collection of material that had come from an automatic shuttle sucker—a suction machine that operates without the application of the human mouth. I think that that material alone would have convinced any reasonable person that the practice of shuttle kissing ought to be stopped. I do not want to labour the point, but I very distinctly remember a case that happened in my youth, when I was working in a mill, of a man who was afflicted with a very loathsome disease. He went away from his work and the man followed him on his looms contracted the same disease.
Nothing ought to stand in the way of a replacement of the shuttles by hand-threaded shuttles, if that indeed can be done. I say that the Home Office knows that it can be done, because years ago then; was an agreement on the Committee, on which Home Office representatives with representatives of the workers and the employers sat, that shuttles of the hand-threaded type did exist, that they were practical, and that there was no reason why they should not be used to replace the old shuttles in the course of a few years. Unfortunately since then the employers have retracted a little from their position. I ask the Home Office seriously to consider the making 2363 of an Order which would do away with this dangerous and disgusting practice in Lancashire and replace the present type of shuttle with a shuttle infinitely more healthy for the workers. If the Home Office will make inquiries in the town of Colne they will find a firm which uses an artificial silk weft. This weft is, of course, a very highly polished weft, and it was found that in the ordinary mouth-suction shuttle there was a great danger of weavers cutting lips and palate with this extremely hard weft. When the weft is now put into the loom, hand-threaded shuttles are issued with the weft. So that you have the extraordinary fact that a difficulty is being raised that these shuttles do not exist, and at the same time, when the danger is so great that an employer wants to get out of a difficulty, he at once finds a way out by supplying a hand-threaded shuttle.
This is not a party political question. Any man or woman who goes through a Lancashire weaving shed and carefully examines the teeth of the weavers will unhesitatingly come to the conclusion that there must be something in the trade which accounts for the extraordinarily bad condition of the teeth of the workers. My desire is to get the Home Office to take such steps as will begin the process of introducing hand-threaded shuttles. The weavers of Lancashire are not an unreasonable body of people. In fact, if anything, they are too quiet and do not make fuss enough in order to get rid of their grievances. They would be the last body of people in the world who would object to anything in reason if the old type of shuttle could be fairly worked out. But they are entitled on the merits of the case and on the basis of the agreement come to by the Committee to which I have referred, to expect that the Home Office will take decided action which will begin the introduction of the hand-threaded shuttle and will mean the death of the old shuttle in the course of a few years.
Any practical man in the trade, particularly those who were on the Committee of which I have spoken—I was a member of it myself—knows perfectly well that there are many shuttles that can be used and that can be threaded with the hand as quickly, after a little 2364 practice, as they can be threaded with the mouth; and knows perfectly well that in every respect these shuttles are as good as the old type. I hope that the Home Office will make up its mind once for all and get rid of a practice which is dirty and dangerous and ought not to exist in the present state of technical development, when a substitute is certainly available if the trade desires to use it.
§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
I want to revert to the subject of silicosis, which has already been discussed by three hon. Members. I am sure that the Undersecretary will realise how serious is the interest taken in this subject. One of my hon. Friends has referred to the effect of this disease in the mining industry and to the inquiry upon silicosis that is now pending in the industry. I hope that the Under-Secretary will be able to give us an assurance that not only will a very broad view be taken by this inquiry of what constitutes the mining industry, but that the inquiry itself is to be speeded up. The hon. Gentleman knows better than most Members what a dreadful disease this is, and in what a lamentable position these men are when once they are suffering in an acute form from the disease. I confess to a very real pleasure in looking back over the past four years and to the fact that the administrative regulations for this disease have been steadily improved. In particular I welcome the further regulations which have been developed in relation to the metal-grinding industries, so far as disease is concerned.
I want to draw attention to a class of sufferers arising out of the application of the 1927 silicosis scheme as it applies to the metal-grinding industries. I understand from the regulation that only those sufferers from silicosis will be eligible for benefit under this scheme if they were actually working on grindstone machinery on and after 1st July, 1927. I take it—and I shall be very glad if the Under-Secretary will give me information on this point—that no matter how long before 1st July, 1927, men may have been using the sandstone grindstone, if after that date any new process was substituted they would not, however acute was the silicosis from which they suffered, be eligible for any kind of compensation. I should like to direct at- 2365 tention to a specific case in order that we may have a reply from, the Home Office as to what is intended with regard to a particular class of cases. I received a letter this morning from a constituent of mine who has for 30 years been engaged in this particular industry and has been using the sandstone machinery. I understand that on the very day on which this particular scheme came into operation, the employers substituted for the sandstone a more modern type of machinery for dealing with this class of work. I hope it is true that this new type of machinery has the great merit of preventing the development of silicosis.
Be that as it may, I have received complaints that in the Sheffield district there was round about 1st July, 1927, a very considerable removing of the sandstone machinery from this particular industry. Thus in giving this illustration I am really referring to what may conceivably be a large number of potential cases of silicosis. I understand that this particular man, who the local doctor says is suffering from silicosis, and who for 30 years has habitually used the sandstone, has since the 1st July, 1927, been using some new kind of machinery which does not come within the Schedule of the Act. I understand that this man cannot have a medical referee, and is altogether outside the scope of the provisions of the Act. I can hardly think that when this regulation was devised, it was contemplated that one of the effects of the scheme would be to cause old methods of grinding to disappear and new methods to be introduced. I am quite sure that if the Home Office had had that point of view in mind, they would have made this regulation retrospective so far as silicosis cases are concerned.
Without trespassing any further upon the time of the Committee, I would press the Under-Secretary to give us some assurance that where new mechanical processes have been brought into the metal-grinding industry since 1st July of last year, and cases of silicosis arise, the sufferers may have some claim, at any rate, upon the consideration of the Government. In pressing for an answer in regard to this particular case, which is a type of a whole class of possible cases in the Sheffield district and in other 2366 parts of the country, I would venture to put forward the suggestion that when the present inquiry into the question of silicosis in its relation to the mining industry has been completed, care will be taken to give the widest possible interpretation to the retrospective character of the legislation, so that we may not have a whole series of very distressing cases actually put outside the law owing to the narrow operation of the legislation. I hope that the Under-Secretary will be impressed by the fact that of the wide range of possible subjects that we might have discussed this evening, four hon. Members have already chosen to address themselves to this relatively small subject. I, therefore, hope that he will speed up this inquiry, and that we may have special care taken with regard to the respective character of this legislation.
I hope that the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department will not think that I am ungrateful if I commence to urge the appointment of a larger number of medical men to carry out research work and inspection. I am not going to deal with the general inspection of collieries, but I desire to call attention to the dangers that are arising from the changes in the working system which have taken place during the last 10 or 15 years. I wish to point out that it is within the province of the Home Office to schedule diseases in order to give the workmen the right of compensation. It is for this; reason that we are urging that there should be a greater number of medical men to conduct research, go down to the collieries and consider the conditions as they exist from day to day. We have a very large complaint to make with regard to some of our collieries. The collieries in the South Wales district are subjected to very high temperatures, and they are now using stone-dust in order to prevent explosions taking place, because of the dangerous nature of the coal-dust. Men are complaining that diseases are being caused owing to these new changes in the operations in our coalfields. We hope that the policy of appointing technical experts to consider existing conditions on the spot will be developed in the future. I endorse all that has been said with regard to the necessity for the Home Office to see that some provision is made. The hon. and 2367 gallant Gentleman's Department is in charge of workmen's compensation, and for that reason I am appealing to him to see to it that the colliery companies should have forced upon them compulsory insurance.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I thought that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was referring to his first point; that, really, is outside our province.
I am trying to keep in order. I see that the Chairman has his eye upon me. I am going to point out, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Mr. Jenkins), the piteous and terrible condition of our men who have been mutilated while following their occupation. The colliery companies are allowed now to carry on some form of insurance within their own orbit. A large number of men have lost limbs or eyes in the course of their employment and have been taken back to perform light duties, receiving half compensation and half wages. When the colliery company goes into liquidation and the colliery is turned over into other hands, the new company does not undertake the liability with regard to the compensation of these men and the result is that we have two or three very sad instances of men being deprived both of light employment and of compensation. These men are left with nothing to depend upon and I trust that this matter will receive the attention of the Home Office. I do not want to enumerate cases, and I need only say that when a company goes into liquidation, these men only receive perhaps about one-fortieth or one-fiftieth of what they ought to get, having regard to the injuries sustained by them in following; their employment. I hope the hon. and gallant Gentleman will realise the necessity of applying compulsory insurance to all colliery companies.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
I wish to refer to the new draft regulations which are about to be issued by the Home Office, one of which has already been the subject of an interview between the Deputy Chief Inspector and myself in reference to the use of the oxy-acetylene welding machine in ships and elsewhere. This question arises out of a fatal accident which occurred on the Mersey in the 2368 time of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's predecessor in office. In one of the large docks in Liverpool, two men lost their lives through an explosion in a confined space. The men had been sent into this confined space to do a welding operation and finding the air very foul, they allowed the oxygen tube to run and left it running too long with the result that when they went to perform the welding, a terrific explosion took place and both lost their lives. The proposed new regulations, which, I believe, are based upon that accident, provide that prior to a welding operation by the oxy-acetylene machine, there must be, first of all, a purifying of the air in the space where the machine is to work and during the operation there must be a continual supply of fresh air. That Regulation is all very well as far as it goes, but, as a practical man, I know what will happen. I have already told the deputy chief inspector, who is responsible for the carrying out though not for the making of the Regulations, exactly what will happen in most cases. I urge now in the House, as I did in the Home Office, that instead of making a Regulation for the supply of air in confined spaces, the use of the machine in confined spaces ought to be totally prohibited. Our members in the Mersey district are determined that they are not going to work the machine in confined spaces. Of course, in the rest of the country attention has not been drawn to the excessive danger. I suggest the advisability of making provision that nothing but an electric welder should be used in cases of this kind. Acetylene welding is carried out on a piece-work schedule and a man is sent into a confined space to do a job which would perhaps work out at 10d., 1s., 1s. 4d. or perhaps 2s. Under the new Regulations he would have to see the foreman labourer first and get the air plant put on to the job before he could begin. This, of course, would take a considerable time, and the job itself might only occupy a quarter of an hour. In nine cases out of ten the man will take the risk before he will lose the time necessary to get the air machine put on to the job. As a practical man who has supervised work of the kind in a large department, I know that is what will take place. The question has been put to me: What is 2369 going to take place if a welding operation is found necessary in a confined space—say, in the struttbox of a ship of war—if you are not going to allow a welder to go in and if the job cannot be done without a welder? On an occasion of that kind, if there is not an electric welder available, it must be done with the acetylene welder, but those cases would be rare and we could rely upon the Regulations being carried out in those cases. The man would take the precaution of getting the air machine erected and having a proper purifying process carried out before he went into the confined space. But, taking the ship-repairing yards and docks of the whole country, I say that the hon. and gallant Gentleman should prohibit the use of the acetylene welding machine in these confined spaces, and should insist on the electric machine taking its place.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
I apologise to the Committee for asking them for a moment to turn their attention from matters connected with home affairs to another matter which, however small it may appear at first sight, concerns the liberty of the British subject. I have addressed certain questions to the Home Secretary concerning the deportation, as I have described it, or the repatriation as the Home Secretary has described it, of a coloured British seaman named John Zarlia. This coloured seaman has been domiciled in Liverpool for 10 years and is employed on the Elder Dempster Line sailing to and from West Africa. He has married an English wife and has an English child. I know that by many it is regarded as undesirable that a coloured man should marry a white woman. That may be true, but I hope the Home Secretary is not going to quote that view in defence of the action which he has taken. This man was called up during the War for service in the Army and was given exemption on the ground that his work was of national importance. He has contributed to the national health insurance scheme for a number of years and, when he was repatriated to West Africa, he had not received one penny of benefit on account of the insurance premiums paid by him. That, of course, is a small matter compared with the main issue, but when the House of Commons entrusted the Home Secretary with powers to deport undesirable aliens, it not only 2370 entrusted him with the right to deport those who could not trace their British nationality, but it entrusted him with the duty of exercising that right in a reasonable, fair, and just way.
Under the strict letter of the law, the Home Secretary, no doubt, was fully empowered to deport this man. He could say to him: "Prove that you are a British subject," and, seeing that this coloured seaman was unable to do so, although he came from West Africa, a British Colony, the Home Secretary repatriated him. I have just returned from a visit to West Africa, and I can assure the Under-Secretary that there are hundreds of thousands—millions—of British subjects who never could prove their British nationality. I had a native West African servant, and I asked him how old he was. He said that he did not know, and when I asked how that was, he said that there was no registrar of births when he was born. A large number of these men cannot read or write, and certainly they are unable to understand the procedure if they may be called upon to prove their British nationality. Will the Under-Secretary take this case into fresh consideration. I do not want him to tell me that it is impossible to do anything. I believe the Home Office have made a great mistake in this ease. If a man is an alien, if there is any ground whatever to show that he is an alien, I should be relieved, because I should feel that the Home Secretary had not committed the injustice which I believe him to have committeed. But this man was domiciled in Liverpool; he has a wife and child there who are now receiving 15s. a week from the Liverpool guardians and already they are beginning to suffer extreme poverty and are pawning their household goods, all because the Home Secretary believes, without any evidence, as I submit, that this man is an alien.
A great deal has been heard in thin House from time to time about the principles which have gone to build up the British Empire. Some of them are open to question, but there is one principle at which, I venture to say, no one would cavil, and that is that every British subject, whether coloured or white, whether literate or illiterate, shall enjoy the same 2371 protection of the British laws as a more influential citizen would enjoy. If this man had been in a position to invoke the aid of the law, I submit that a writ of habeas corpus would have been issued against the Home Secretary to prevent his deportation to West Africa, and certainly against the Elder Dempster line for returning him to that country against his will. He is now living in a British Colony on the charity of a friend; his wife and child are suffering poverty in Liverpool, where they are maintained by the rates; he has lived for 10 years in this country; he was called up during the War, and exempted on the ground of his employment being of national importance; he was a contributor to the National Health Insurance scheme; and on all these grounds I submit that there is strong prima facie evidence that this man is a British subject. If the Home Secretary rests upon his right to ask him to produce the technical proofs of British birth and citizenship, he is not excercising the powers that this House gave him as the House expected him to exercise them.
§ Mr. SAKLATVALA
I wish to follow the fashion of touching upon one or two matters relating to the Factory Acts, but I trust that that will not vitiate my right to speak on the general question of the policy of the Home Secretary. I would like to draw attention to a recent event in one of the Battersea factories, where two girls have recently died, supposedly from natural causes, but where previously five other deaths had occurred, of three girls, one man, and one boy, from the same causes. I should also like to draw the attention of the Home Secretary to the fact that nothing has been done under the Compensation Acts for any one out of these seven families, because of the ignorance of the authorities and the recent finding of the coroner's jury. It has now become a fashion that in all these local accidents, where deaths occur in factories, the juries are composed of local trades people and manufacturers' friends, and they go out of their way and vitiate the position of the Compensation Acts.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If a jury bring in a verdict, I do not see that the Home Secretary can do anything to alter it. It is beyond his power.
§ Mr. SAKLATVALA
I am only drawing attention to the neglect of the factory inspectors to find out the evils from which the workers suffer, and, on the other hand, the prejudice created by the juries which interfere with the operation of the Compensation Acts.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member cannot connect the action of these juries with the Home Office. If these unfortunate persons' families have a claim, they can make a claim at law, whatever the coroner's jury finds.
§ Mr. SAKLATVALA
I agree, and I thank you for this ruling, because at the present moment this false superstition is hindering the poor people from lodging their claims, and your verdict to-night will be of very great assistance to them. I would draw attention to another point. Recently, under Home Office Orders, the borough councils have been entitled to levy a charge on the street traders. In the Act it is specifically provided that this charge is to he made to the street traders for services rendered by the council in the way of clearing refuse. Now there are cases where the street trading does not entail any refuse, cases, for instance, of a woman selling sweets at a stall out of glass bottles or out of tins, and putting them in bags. There are cases in which as much as £5 a year is charged by a borough council on these street traders, and the Home Office take no precautions to see that the Act——
§ The CHAIRMAN
Does the Home Office issue licences for these traders? Where does the Home Secretary come in?
§ Mr. SAKLATVALA
The Home Office empowers the borough councils to make this charge under certain conditions, and the Home Office does not see that the charges made by the councils are in conformity with the Act. To come to the larger question, I may point out that it is rather unfortunate that the discussion to-day has not centred upon the entire class war policy, as I may put it, of the present Secretary of State. Has the Home Secretary entirely forgotten that during the excitement of troublous times four miners were sentenced to long and rigorous imprisonment for four years, and that they are still held in 2373 captivity when there have been frequent demands from working-class organisations for their release? Apart from that, I wish to draw attention to the fact that the Home Secretary somehow or other has installed himself as the leader of a deliberately carried out class war in this country, and he is utilising his office and all the resources at his disposal for purposes other than the legitimate functions of a Home Secretary. One of the things that he is very fond of doing is to take action, not in order to prevent any real disorder, or to expose any real criminality, but in order to create prejudice against working-class political organisations, and in order to support Conservative party propaganda and to supply copy to the newspapers.
Recently, we had an example, when a lot of fuss was made about two £10 notes being placed in a Russian bank and found upon Irish gunmen. A great effort is made, the machinery given to the Home Secretary for legitimate purposes is wrongly used, the Home Secretary lends the support of his authority, and he makes an emphatic pronouncement in this House, as if some great foreign conspiracy were existing in this country, and as if Irish gunmen were directly paid by a foreign Government to commit crime. He creates a political stunt, and avoids the issue for the time being, and, after a lapse of time, quietly comes down to the House and says that there was nothing much in it; but for a given time he allows the Conservative Press and organisations to make as much out of it as they could.
Then there is the other usual policy of the Home Secretary, which he never gives up, possibly because he cannot. It is a typical example of the existence of a class war in a capitalist system, and, as a Minister of the State, he places himself practically at the head of the capitalist group or section of society to conduct a class war upon the working-classes. We had the revelation of £28,900 passing through one bank to various persons and organisations, and so on. There, again, the Home Secretary was conducting a propaganda on behalf of his party, as well as on behalf of certain sections of the Labour movement in order to create a wider misunderstanding between one or two sections within the Labour movement itself. He employed a large number 2374 of police officials, he employed men paid by the State, he employed the machinery of his office, and he did everything, not in order to trace any act of criminality or to institute any legal action because of any illegal or improper act but simply for the purpose of creating this newspaper copy and these political stunts, and a sort of vendetta against the Communists.
The Home Secretary uses his machinery similarly to follow up almost every kind of meeting organised by the Communist party or by members of the Minority Movement. There is hardly a meeting held in any part where the Home Secretary does not post his men, who go there and speak to the landlady or the restauranteur to ask who had taken the room, and so on. This is not the ordinary function of the Home Secretary. It may be a very good job for a party organiser, or an electioneering agent of the Conservative party for Fascist supporters, and so on, but he should not engage the machinery given to him by the State for the protection of the State. There are what we call private detective companies who can do all this kind of detecting.
I submit that this activity of the Home Secretary has not only not been discontinued but is almost on the increase. On certain occasions the Home Secretary, from the purely class war point of view, feels dissatisfied with the foreign policy of this country, and immediately he takes it upon himself wrongly to use his Department in order to create a situation in foreign policy which would not be likely to occur if the Foreign Office were left to carry out its legitimate functions; and somehow or other all these activities of the Home Secretary are concentrated against one particular foreign power, namely, the Soviet Republic of Russia. Directly and indirectly, in season and out of season, the Home Secretary keeps himself ever active with this particular political problem which is purely sectional and of no national importance.
He does not stop there. The Home Secretary keeps himself very busy about the contents of letters and of telephone conversations. The Home Secretary continually uses his organisation for the purpose of keeping himself aware of the contents of correspondence and telephone conversations. That makes even the 2375 home life of a large number of citizens of this country almost impossible. In those homes wives give up writing to their husbands on their private affairs, and husbands give up writing to their wives in endearing and familiar terms, because they know for a positive fact that the contents of all those letters will be known to outsiders. Just as the Home Secretary may be fond of his class, there is yet a large amount of solidarity and fellow-feeling amongst the working class, and though the Home Secretary gives his orders those orders, when all is said and done, have to be carried out by members of the working class, and he must be under no misapprehension that they are not as faithful to their class as he tries to be faithful to his, and though they carry out their orders we know a great deal about them when they are unwillingly carrying them out.
The Home Secretary goes beyond even the legitimate lines of decency. He knows that in the correspondence or in the telephone conversations there is nothing illegal or criminal. He may start on an investigation, I dare say, and if he keeps it up he finds there is nothing, but whenever he can find that some mischief can be created against an individual either in his political organisation or in his business then, somehow or other, the information gained by the, Home Office under the false excuse of collecting information to preserve law and order always filters out into certain quarters where political damage or even economic damage may be done to certain persons. I submit that the Home Secretary, if he is very keen on founding a new order of Fascists in Great Britain, should resign his official position and carry out the other job. After beginning an investigation and after finding that there is nothing in the nature of criminal action to be taken in regard to it, the right hon. Gentleman should stop making big newspaper stunts out of it, and stop by all means persecuting individuals privately in order to prevent them from joining certain political movements which are inconvenient to the right hon. Gentleman and his own particular class. It is quite in keeping with all this that in the earlier part of this afternoon we had an atmosphere of suspicion about the right hon. Gentleman's appointment of Police 2376 Commissioner. It is the Home Secretary's policy, which is imbued with a military spirit and is of a Fascist nature and of a political kind, that is chiefly responsible for suspecting the new appointment made by the Home Secretary.
Again, I put it to the Committee that it must not be considered that I am trying to expose all these matters on account of fear or anger. I feel certain that the partisans, political followers, and society friends of the Home Secretary will yet live to see the day when they will be exceedingly sorry for the precedents which the Home Secretary is setting up. As a member of the Communist party, I am not afraid of anything the Home Secretary may do, but the right hon. Gentleman ought to remember that what he does may be done even with greater enthusiasm by some future Home Secretary in other directions. From that point of view, I ask this Committee to review the whole policy of the Home Secretary and consider whether he is remaining impartial, whether he has become the agent of the "Daily Mail" and the "Daily Express," whether he has become the leader of a secret Fascist movement, and the breaker up of working-class trade organisations, and whether he has become the chief intriguer in trying to widen the breach between the two sections of the Labour party. When those points are put forward, I think the Committee will conclude that a great deal more attention is wanted in this respect, and the right hon. Gentleman should give up his official position as Home Secretary and stick to these other jobs.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
A very large number of questions touching on industrial matters have been raised, and I will do my best to try and reply to all of them. The hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies), in opening the Debate, made some reference to the number of accidents, and he endeavoured to draw the conclusion that, because the number of accidents for 1927 was higher than for 1926, therefore we were to some extent going backwards. I agree as to the figures, but I would like to remind the hon. Member, and my argument is reinforced by what was said by the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams), that 1926 was not a fair year to take for comparison. If you are going 2377 to make any comparison of figures—and, personally, I always think that comparisons of figures are open to objection, because they can be made to mean many things—the two years that you ought to compare are 1927 and 1925. In 1925 there were 159,693 accidents, of which 944 were fatal, as compared with 156,974 in 1927, of which 973 were fatal. Therefore, I do not think that, on figures alone, any great case can be made out against the Factory Department of the Home Office.
On the other hand, as regards the strength of the inspectorate, I am quite ready to agree that there is a very slight reduction as compared with the pre-War staff. One hon. Member drew attention, I think quite rightly, to the fact that the pre-War staff included the Irish staff, and that is now gone; but, even allowing for that, there is a slight reduction. I agree also, and I think my right hon. Friend will agree, that the existing position is not satisfactory, and I hope it may be possible for us to obtain an increase of the existing inspectorate. I would, however, remind the Committee of two things. One is that there has been no slackening off in regard to the inspection of factories. Our inspection of factories has been more complete and thorough than in previous years, and, if there has been any slackening off, it has been in regard to the inspection of small workshops, where there is not generally the same risk.
I would also point out that this question is and must be to a large extent mixed up with the question of the Factories Bill. That Bill, for reasons which it would be out of order for me to mention now, has been held up for the moment—I hope only for the moment; but, of course, when it reaches the Statute Book, it will carry with it obligations on the Factory Department which will necessitate an increase. In order to show that we really have this matter at heart, and, as the Committee know, I have the matter at heart, my right hon. Friend has promised in the Autumn to set up a small Committee to go into the question of the staffing and organisation of the factory inspectorate in the Home Office, and I hope that I may be the Chairman of that Committee. Therefore, I can assure the Committee that the matter will not be lost sight of.
2378 The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) made some reference to the type of inspector appointed. The inquiry in the Autumn will not specifically deal with that question, because, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, the head of the Department is primarily responsible, as it is quite right that he should be, for selecting the type of inspector appointed. I do not, however, quite agree with the statement that the right hon. Gentleman made. I do not think it is really the case that we are paying more attention to a knowledge of Shakespeare and matters of that kind. I agree that we are possibly giving more attention to technical knowledge, and; I think the right hon. Gentleman would be the first to agree that technical knowledge is becoming more and more necessary, and that where, in days gone by, you could take a man from an individual factory, with some considerable experience, and he would make quite a good factory inspector, it is now necessary in many cases for a man to go through some special educational training in order to obtain the necessary technical knowledge, and it is vital in the interests of the workers themselves that he should have that knowledge.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
Yes, but, as the hon. Member knows, the acquisition of a great deal of technical knowledge requires study as well as practical experience.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I have had some considerable experience of dealing with these questions, and there was a specific recommendation that there should be a liberal sprinkling of men and women who know the practical side, because, after all, the technical man does not know what parts of the machine most need fencing, and it is necessary that practical men, who, perhaps, on account of their education, may be barred from the higher posts, should have the opportunity of giving practical assistance to the inspectorate.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I fully appreciate what the hon. Member says, and I am quite certain that that point will be borne in mind. I only want to emphasise the fact that industry is becoming more and more highly technical, and 2379 that therefore it is necessary to get a type of man who, naturally, would have a better standard of education than prevailed 25 or 30 years ago. Then the hon. Member for Westhoughton asked about the result of the circular that we sent out in May of last year, dealing with "Safety first." As the hon. Member knows, that circular contained a draft Order. That draft Order has not up to the present been put into force, because the most effective type of safety organisation is the one which rests on a voluntary basis. But, as the result of that circular and that draft Order being sent round, various industries had their attention called to the matter, and at present we have received very satisfactory assurances from National Light Castings, the Railway Companies', Association, the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, the Shipbuilding Employers' Federation, and the Engineering Employers' Federation that they will take the question up, and we have been assured that the matter is bearing fruit by reports that we have received from our inspectors. So far as that side is concerned, satisfactory progress is being made. The hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder) made some reference to shaving brushes. As regards the general question of their being a danger, I suppose he realises that the power to prohibit the importation of the particular kind of brush is already a matter within the power of the Ministry of Health.
Various points have been raised with regard to industrial diseases. Several hon. Members have dealt with the question of lead paint. That particular disease is one which it is very difficult for us to follow up individually by means of inspection, because a great deal of the work is house work, and many of the jobs may last for only half a day, a day, or two days, and we must to some extent rely on the industry itself. Bearing that in mind, a proposal was made to both sides of the industry to co-operate with us in carrying out the regulations. That co-operation has been given and the figures that have been read out were in themselves proof that the position is improving. So far as nystagmus is concerned, I have not the figures for 1927. The Home Office are only concerned with 2380 nystagmus from the point of view of compensation and not from the point of view of prevention. That is a matter for the Mines Department, and I cannot deal with it. We only get the results of these cases from the insurance companies, and we naturally get them a long time after the occurrence, and we do not for a considerable number of months get a connected series of figures of this disease. For that reason, I have not the 1927 figures, though I tried to get them the other day. No one has raised any point so far as the Home Office administration of nystagmus is concerned, and I do not think it is necessary for me to deal with it. I want to make it quite clear to the Committee that this is one of those unfortunate questions where you get and must get dual control, and it is only on the compensation side that the Home Office are concerned. The hon. Member for Shipley asked me what was going to be done in regard to the report on anthrax. Perhaps he knows that the disinfecting station in Liverpool is beside my own constituency, and, therefore, I am very well acquainted with it.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I fully endorse everything that the hon. Member has said in regard to the excellent work that is being done there, but he will realise that it is not possible for that station to deal with the disinfection of hides. No satisfactory system of disinfection of hides has yet been discovered, although inquiry is being made into the matter. My hon. Friend may rest assured that, as far as we are concerned, we will prosecute those inquiries. The Report as to the further scheduling of wool for disinfection is now in the hands of my right hon. Friend. It is in the Press but has not yet been published. Therefore, I am not certain that it would be in order for me to disclose the contents of the Report, but I can tell him that from the point of view of additional expense it is extremely reassuring, much more reassuring than some people thought it would be. What action my right hon. Friend proposes to take on it I cannot say at the moment, because he has only just received it. It was only two days ago that I saw it. My hon. Friend may rest assured that the matter will have very sympathetic consideration. So far as the international aspect of the question is con- 2381 cerned, Australia and India have always refused on this question to co-operate, and so long as they continue to refuse to co-operate it is really impossible for us, internationally, to deal with the question. Whether it will be possible in the light of the new Report which we have received to make any further progress, I cannot say, but the hon. Member for Westhoughton knows as well as anybody that we cannot make any progress so long as these two big Dominions decline to take any part in the matter.
On the question of silicosis, I have had a great many points put to me. The question is one of very considerable perplexity and difficulty. I should like, in passing to congratulate the hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Hollins) on his maiden speech. I am glad that he has had the opportunity of making that speech in my presence, because he has for many months past worked on a Committee with me, and he has been of very great assistance to me on that Committee. He knows as well as I do the enormous difficulties surrounding this question. When Section 47 of the Workmen's Compensation Act was envisaged—in fact, Section 47 was taken from the earlier Act of 1918—I do not think it was realised the length of time that would elapse in connection with these inquiries before a scheme could be made for a particular industry. I quite appreciate the exasperation which may arise in certain cases owing to the length of time that has been taken, but it is very difficult to avoid that under the existing system. Whilst my right hon. Friend is prepared to consider whether he can amend or improve or expedite matters, it is quite likely that it will entail legislation and, therefore, I cannot discuss it in detail to-night. One hon. Member asked me, I think it was the hon. Member for Neath (Mr Jenkins) why there was a limit of 80 per cent. He is under a misapprehension. There is no limit of 80 per cent. so far as compensation for silicosis is concerned. There was a specific limit of 80 per cent. put into the scheme, not for the purpose of keeping out people who ought to be in, but for technical reasons, and the necessity for distinguishing between the case of the refractories industries and that of the firebrick industry. It is purely a 2382 technical point, and if there is any misunderstanding I hope this will clear it up.
The hon. Member for Neath asked whether it was not possible to do something to deal with the question of the bankruptcy of employers in workmen's compensation cases. I fully appreciate the position of the particular industry he mentioned, but he knows quite well that certain provisions do exist in the Workmen's Compensation Act for dealing with bankruptcy which, in themselves, may be described as adequate, but if we are going to adopt what he proposes—a scheme of compulsory insurance for compensation—it would entail legislation, and I should not be in order in discussing the merits of legislation on this Vote. With regard to the observations of the right hon. Member for Preston on the question of shuttle kissing, he probably remembers that my right hon. Friend told him that he would be quite prepared to consider this question in a Clause in the Factories Bill if he could have some general assurance that it was desired by the vast majority of the workers concerned, and if the right hon. Gentleman will give him any such assurance, or more information on this point, I am certain that my right hon. Friend will consider it very sympathetically.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
The hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) raised two questions which are really outside the Vote. To one of his questions he has already received a reply, and at the moment I can add nothing to it because he did not give me notice that he was going to raise the question this evening.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I am sorry that the Home Secretary has been called away and he did not mention the particular point to me. With regard to the other question raised by the hon. Member, the position is one outside the scope of the Home office at the moment. It is a question of law which the Home Secretary has no authority to determine. If the Longton Justices have gone wrong in 2383 law they can be corrected only by a higher court. The Home Secretary does not exercise any control over Justices of the Peace in this matter, and as long as the maintenance order exists it is a dispute between two private parties, in which the Crown is in no way concerned, which may come up again at any moment before the Justices and possibly before a higher court. In these circumstances the Home Secretary has no jurisdiction. On the general question which he raised in connection with this point, I will look into it and see if the Home Secretary has any standing in the matter. If he has I have no doubt my right hon. Friend will consider it. I am not satisfied at the moment that my right hon. Friend has any standing. It is probably a matter for the Law Officers of the Crown or the Lord Chancellor.
The hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Hollins) raised the question of the position of certifying surgeons and I, to some extent, am inclined to agree with some of the strictures he passed. He will remember that at the inquiry on which we are both engaged, evidence has been given which bears out to some extent what he has said. He will also probably realise that, if we are to alter the whole system of certifying surgeons, there, again, legislation is required, and it is not a matter which I can discuss in detail to-night. There is also a very important matter, which not only arises generally as to certifying surgeons, but particularly in regard to silicosis, and that is that there is a good deal of truth, as we know from our evidence, in the statement that the certifying surgeon in normal circumstances is not competent to examine silicosis cases. One of the difficulties of silicosis has been that it is a disease which is very difficult to diagnose. It is very often necessary to have a radiograph, and, while the certifying surgeon is in the existing position, he has no power to get such a thing, though the medical referee can. If we are to alter the whole position of the certifying surgeon, and have a full-time medical expert on a definite salary, you have got to make some alteration, and either have some kind of Home Office medical staff or something of that kind. Quite apart from legislation, that would also require 2384 some compensation fund or medical fund into which employers would all pay, so that you could pay the staff of there men for the services they render, which are at present paid for by fee. The matter is extremely complicated.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
That would be altering the whole present system, and would introduce certain complications. The matter is extremely complicated, and not only does it require legislation, but it needs an alteration of the existing practice. While it will have to be looked into, and is being looked into at the moment in connection with the inquiry into silicosis, it is not a matter on which I can come at present to any definite decision. The hon. Member for East Newcastle (Mr. Connolly) raised the question of oxy-acetylene welding. I happen to be well acquainted with the accident in question, because one of the men was a constituent of mine, and it occurred just on the edge of my constituency. I quite agree with what the hon. Member said. I would remind him that the particular Regulation to which he refers was the result of a recommendation of the Departmental Committee on shipbuilding accidents. It has now reached an advanced stage, where it will have either to be put into force or have a further inquiry made into it. While I am glad to look into the point, I am not prepared to give any definite undertaking on the matter at the moment.
The hon. and gallant Member for South Hackney (Captain Garro-Jones) pursued the question with which he has been bombarding my right hon. Friend for several weeks past at Question time—the question of his friend Mr. John Zarlia. I do not know the real reason behind the hon. Member's questions, though I have had several conversations with him on the subject. It is really a most astonishing thing that he, with previous experience in the Home Office, should stand up in this House and say that any man should be allowed to come to this country and, if he says he is a British subject, it is our business to find out if he is not.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
I am saying that a British subject should be called 2385 upon only to give such proof of his citizenship as is available, and that an illiterate African, where there is no registration of births, who can hardly write his own name and can only say where his father and brothers live, cannot give the definite proof of citizenship that others can give.
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
This particular gentleman is not so ignorant as the hon. Member seems to suggest. It is not possible to accept that explanation.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
This is very important. There is no evidence of birth or other documentary evidence of origin obtainable by British subjects in West Africa. How then can this man or any other British coloured subject prove his nationality? Are all British West Africans to be treated as aliens if they cannot produce documents which are not available?
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
There is a system in the West African Colonies by which, if an African seaman desires to obtain a British passport, he may do so. I do not know the provision under which he obtains one, because that is a matter outside my particular Department, but I presume that if that system exists the question of being able to prove where he was born is not insuperable. Under the Registration of Coloured Seamen Order of about three years ago, which has the approval not only of the Board of Trade but of the British seamen themselves, it was arranged that all coloured seamen, if they desired to land in this country for discharge—not simply to take a walk and remain on the ship's articles—must obtain a certificate of identity. There are excellent reasons why that should be so and why our seaports should not be crowded with a number of coloured seamen who might or might not be aliens. That order has applied to the West Indies and to India, and both in the West Indies and in India, if a man desires to obtain a certificate of identity for use in this country, he may do so.
It has never applied in the West African colonies because the only large line bringing coloured seamen is Elder Dempster's, and we have had a standing agreement with them for many years, 2386 which has worked extraordinarily well, that where coloured seamen are carried by them they almost invariably repatriate them if the men are not required in their own yards or on the Mersey-side for she re purposes. They have now arranged that the men shall be signed on for the round voyage at their African port and not in Liverpool. Therefore, there is less; reason than ever to arrange that these men should have certificates of identity, because there is no normal reason why these men should desire to land for discharge in this country.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
What about the case where a man has a wife and child in Liverpool, has been domiciled in Liverpool for 10 years and his wife and child are being maintained at the expense of the Liverpool Guardians, and he has contributed for many years to the National Health Insurance scheme?
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
The question of National Health Insurance contribution has nothing to do with it. Any alien is liable to contribute to National Health Insurance, as the hon. and gallant Member ought to know perfectly well. The fact that this man married a woman really has nothing to do with the case. My right hon. Friend has considered the case very carefully, and he is perfectly satisfied that the man is not a British subject. As I have said, the proof lies on the man and not on this country. If it is once to be established in this House that anyone can come here and say that we have to prove that he is not a British subject——
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £383,488, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 110; Noes, 212.2329
|Division No. 276.]||AYES.||[7.36 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Ammon, Charles George||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silverton)||Shinwell, E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Kelly, W. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Kennedy, T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Batey, Joseph||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Kirkwood, D.||Snell, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||Lansbury, George||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromfield, William||Lawrence, Susan||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromley, J.||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lindley, F. W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lowth, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Mackinder, W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||March, S.||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Maxton, James||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dennison, R.||Montague, Frederick||Viant, S. P.|
|Duncan, C.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Murnin, H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Whitley, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, F. (York., W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Wright, W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hirst, G. H.||Sexton, James||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.|
|Hollins, A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Apsley, Lord|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Gower, Sir Robert||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Grant, Sir J. A.||Owen, Major G.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Balniel, Lord||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Pilcher, G.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Radford, E. A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Berry, Sir George||Hacking, Douglas H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bethel, A.||Hamilton, Sir George||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Harland, A.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hartington, Marquess of||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lane., Stretford)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Rye, F. G.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Buchan, John||Hills, Major John Walter||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sandon, Lord|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Savery, S. S.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hutchison, Sir G. A. Clark||Skelton, A. N.|
|Christle, J. A.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Iveagh, Countess of||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jephcott, A. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington., N.)||Lamb, J. Q.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Livingstone, A. M.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Looker, Herbert William||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Curzon, Captain viscount||Lumley, L. R.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||MacIntyre, Ian||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||McLean, Major A.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macmillan, Captain H.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Drewe, C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otlay)|
|Duckworth, John||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Ellis, R. G.||Meller, R. J.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|England, Colonel A.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Litchfield)|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Mitcheil, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Withers, John James|
|Fielden, E. B.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Finburgh, S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Forrest, W.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wragg, Herbert|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Nuttall, Ellis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Oakley, T.||Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
|Gates, Percy||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Division No. 277.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hayes, John Henry||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Hirst, G. H.||Shinwell, E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hollins, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barnes, A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barr, J.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, J. J. (Wist Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Buchanan, G.||Lansbury, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lawrence, Susan||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, F. W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edge, Sir William||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Naylor, T. E.||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gillett, George M.||Owen, Major G.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Groves, T.||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Sexton, James||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T. Henderson.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Christie, J. A.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hall, Capt. W. D. A. (Brecon &. Rad.)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Apsley, Lord||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Harland, A.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Balniel, Lord||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Bethel, A.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Drewe, C.||Hilton, Cecil|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Capt. A. D. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Ellis, R. G.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Fermoy, Lord||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fleiden, E. B.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Finburgh, S.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Buchan, John||Forrest, W.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Burman, J. B.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Ganzonl, Sir John||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Cautley, Sir Henry s.||Gates, Percy||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gower, Sir Robert||Looker, Herbert William|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Lougher, Lewis|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Lumley, L. R.||Preston, William||Templeton, W. P.|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Radford, E. A.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Raine, Sir Walter||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Ramsden, E.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Tinne, I. A.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Salmon, Major I.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Avr)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Sandon, Lord||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Savery, S. S.||Wells, S. R.|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sinclair, Col. T. (Oueen's Univ., Bettast)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyan||Windsor Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Oakley, T.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Smithers, Waldron||Womersley, W. J.|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Penny, Frederick George||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon G. F.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Pilcher, G.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Major Sir William Cope and Captain Margesson.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ Mr. KELLY rose——
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, and objection being taken to further Proceeding, THE CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.