HC Deb 09 December 1929 vol 233 cc94-133
Captain BOURNE

I beg to move, in page 5, line 30, to leave out the word "examination" and to insert instead thereof the word "determination."

This Amendment, and a subsequent Amendment to Clause 7, deals with disallowances under Sub-sections (2) and (3) of departed Clause 4, but as we do not know whether these Sub-sections are coming back or not in some other form it is extremely difficult for any member of the Committee to make up his mind whether the elaborate machinery proposed in this Clause 6 is or is not necessary in order to deal with these claims for disallowed benefits. The point of my Amendment is to make the insurance officer in the first place responsible for deciding whether a claim is or is not admissible, and to leave an appeal to the Court of Referees in the event of a disagreement with his decision. If we are to have what is called the Hayday formula it seems to me that the only point for him to determine will be the extremely simple one as to whether the man has refused the offer of a job, and this point, and the point as to whether he has sufficient stamps, is extremely easy to decide. They are simply questions of fact, and it seems to me that the number of cases which will necessitate an appeal to the court of referees are almost negligible. It is easy for anyone to ascertain whether a man has in fact been offered a job, and whether, having been offered a job, he has refused it, and if we are going to have principle of the so-called Hayday Amendment embodied in the new Clause, which the Government intends to put on the Paper to take the place of Clause 4, it is perfectly unnecessary to have the case referred from the insurance officer to the referee; I am going on the assumption that it is the Hayday formula which we are going to see in the new Clause 4.

If it is not so, I still think there is strong argument in favour of what has been the procedure hitherto, namely, that the offer of a job should determine benefit. After all, any form of words upon which we may decide will give rise to a great many claims which will have to be decided in the first instance. One of the benefits of the administration of the scheme has been that certain principles have been laid down for universal application, because insurance officers in cases of doubt have the right to refer the matter to the Chief Insurance Officer at Kew. That, at any rate, ensures that a uniform system of determination will be followed. If you are going to refer questions of principle as well as matters of fact, you will probably have a court of referees in South Wales dealing on totally different principles to a court of referees in Durham, and therefore the whole administration of the Bill will fall into a state of confusion, which I for one think undesirable. I am well aware that the Minister of Labour is following the recommendations of the Morris Committee, but I do not think they appreciated the immense importance of having uniformity of decision on points of principle, with the right of the individual to appeal on matters of fact.


This is the first of a aeries of Amendments which, if carried out, will have the same effect, and it is an exceedingly important and interesting point with which the Committee should be fully seized. Under the Bill we are changing certain administrative methods in connection with the machinery for determining claim's. As the hon. and gallant Member has said, hitherto the insurance officer has had to determine the claims in the first instance, and the claimant has had the right to appeal against the decision. Under this Bill the insurance officer will be entitled to admit claims without further delay that are in accordance with the conditions and which in the opinion of the insurance officer comply with the conditions of benefit. If they regard the claims as admitted there will be no further delay. But it is when a doubt arises in the mind of the insurance officer that a change takes place. Hitherto be has sent the papers to Kew, buff-coloured papers, in a very condensed form, and at Kew there has been uniformity of decision. In fact, there has been 'a sort of cast-iron method which does not take the 'slightest account of the amazing variations in connection with what may on paper seem to be the same class of case.

That is one of the root difficulties in connection with the old procedure which we are trying to cure by deciding that where a doubt arises in the mind of the insurance officer instead of sending the papers to Kew he shall send them to the court of referees. It does not necessarily follow that the papers will not go to Kew. They may, and if Kew admits them they can he paid. I puts in that proviso, but it is purely an administrative point and does not affect the words in the Bill at all. But if Kew has a doubt about the validity of the claim, Kew cannot disallow it; the papers must go to the court of referees. The words in the Bill are "insurance officer." It is clear that we cannot accept the Amendment, because it would reverse what we are trying to do in this Clause. We want to recognise that in judging and deciding on a claim where the man has undertaken those efforts which are required by the statutory conditions we 'have to consider the nature of his trade and the ordinary methods in connection with that trade in filling vacancies. You cannot judge on the same facts as applied to a docker and a textile worker. The two are totally different, and it is to have someone who knows local circumstances and understands the normal method by which situations are filled, who will be able to judge by a knowledge of the facts, and possibly by a personal interview with the applicant. This is one of the important changes we are trying to bring about, that the insured person may be judged by one who really understands all the facts of his particular case, rather than on a pure paper uniformity which creates more injustices than otherwise.


I am very glad the hon. and gallant Member has moved his Amendment, because, although I do not agree with it, it has drawn a very important statement from the Minister of Labour which will clear up doubts which have existed in the minds of many people. I agree with the right hon. Lady that the Bill will be an improvement if it is carried out. It is not only the fact that the brief statement sent to Kew rarely does justice to the variation in conditions between trade and trade, but it rarely does justice to the variation in conditions as between place and place. There may be variations between the dockers and weavers, but there are variations between the conditions of dockers in Leith and dockers in London. When you get increased centralisation of the determination of complaints, you also get a rigidity of statement in the brief, and there is always a tendency amongst the 57 insurance officers at Kew to get a uniformity of decision. I hope the Amendment will not be pressed. I can assure the hon. and gallant Member from my experience of an industrial constituency that the present procedure is against the interests of justice to men making claims, and is almost impossible so far as practical working is concerned. If justice is to be done, those who have local knowledge must have the maximum chance of making local decisions.


The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) spoke about justice. I have yet to hear that word used in this Committee with respect to the contributors who are not receiving benefit. There should be a claim of justice for them. After all, the State stands in the position of trustee in this fund. The State, the employers and the employed pay into the fund certain sums of money, and the State is in the position of trustee and has to administer the fund faithfully and impartially. I think we are rather apt to lose sight of that side of the case. I do not think anyone will disagree with the statement that there are certain individuals in the community who endeavour to get something for nothing, and are quite prepared to go on living in State-supported idleness. There should be some deterrent placed in the way of such individuals in justice to all the contributors. The change proposed in this Clause is far-reaching. In 1028 there were no fewer than 895,000 cases referred to the Chief Insurance Officer at Kew; that is close on a million. Of these cases he allowed 274,000 only, and he disallowed 621,000 claims. We all know that these disallowed claims have the right of appeal to the court of referees. Out of these 621,000 that were disallowed only 227,000 took the matter any further, and no fewer than 394,000 gave the matter up.

I do not think it can be said that they went on to the Poor Law, for the figures show that that is not the case. The latest figure I have is for the week ended 15th June last. Curiously enough the able-bodied unemployed on the Poor Law diminished. There were only 65,000 of them. The previous year, before the 1927 Act had come properly into force, there were 84,000, and before the Clause of which we hear of so much abuse was brought into being in the previous year, there were no fewer than 118,000 able-bodied unemployed on the Poor Law. Therefore, we ought to hesitate before we pass a Clause bringing about this great change. We ought to have some regard for the interests of the other parties to the scheme—those who are in constant work; those who pay, pay, pay, from one year to another, and never receive any benefit from the Unemployment Fund; those who are undoubtedly among the best of our citizens. I have not heard from hon. Members opposite a single speech containing a plea for the consideration of those people. It is high time that their claims received some consideration.


I want the Committee to realise fully what the Amendment means. It means restoring the practice that has prevailed hitherto, that the insurance officers forward their reports to the chief insurance officer, and that the chief insurance officer may suspend benefit. That means that benefit at once ceases. It has often happened, moreover, that when such suspension has taken place the first intimation given to the applicant was when he went to draw benefit on the Friday. It is true that the applicant may appeal. Suppose that an appeal is made. Against whom does he appeal I Against someone who has had the first determination of his claim. He is, in effect, appealing against the chief insurance officer. Then if the court of referees recommends that it is not a case that ought to be disallowed the chief insurance officer can again appeal against the recommendation of the court of referees. That gives the applicant one very small chance against the two chances of the chief insurance officer who first declared that no benefit could be allowed.

Periods go by, and then if the chief insurance officer appeals successfully against the recommendation of the court of referees, there remains the appeal to the umpire. But very often five or six weeks have passed, and benefit has been suspended for the whole of that time. The 'principle underlying the Clause, against which the Amendment is moved, says "Certainly examine the claims. You may allow claims that are straightforward. Those that you feel ought not to be allowed you must refer to the court of referees, not for the purpose of making a recommendation, but for the purpose of the court of referees coming to a decision." The advantage of that arrangement is that it is carried out by those who have local knowledge of the circumstances of an industry, and not by a chief insurance officer who knows only what is in a paper report from the interviewing insurance officer locally. It is unfair to withhold benefit for six weeks from a person who may ultimately secure a decision in his favour, but who during those six weeks has had to go to the Poor Law authorities and has found his first experience a very damaging and depressing one. Justice and experience alone prompted the proposal of the Bill, that the chief insurance officer should be put in no more favourable position in contesting the right of a claimant than is the claimant himself. I hope the Committee will not reimpose the handicap on the applicant, Who is not skilled in putting his case and who has against him the whole of the official machinery of the chief insurance officer at Kew.


Let me point out very briefly how the speech of the Minister and of the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hay-day) are themselves the most direct proof of the extraordinarily unsatisfactory conditions under which at the moment we are discusing this Bill. Both speeches dealt with the advantages of a decision being reached locally instead of a case being sent up to the chief insurance officer at Kew. I ask the Committee to mark the reasons which were given by the Minister. She emphasised the fact that it would be a local tribunal and that it would be better able to assess the efforts by a worker to obtain work. She pointed out how different were the conditions of a clothworker and a docker, and how therefore local committees could make assessments better than the chief insurance officer. She stated that the situation of a docker in one port would be different from the situation of a docker in another. Although those arguments would no doubt be applicable to an argument on the present "genuinely seeking work" provision, or one based on the principles which were put forward by the learned Attorney-General, on the whole the arguments go completely by the board and are completely inapplicable here. So are the arguments of the hon. Member for West Nottingham, even if his own formula is adopted as the basis of the new and revised Clause 4 which is to be introduced.

It is absolutely unreal for us to try to debate this Clause until we know what the new Clause 4 is to be. On this side of the Committee we have not yet the ghost of a notion whether, as the outcome of last Thursday's events, the principles laid down by the Attorney-General are to form the basis of the new Clause, or whether the principle laid down in what is known as the Hayday formula is to dominate the Clause. Until we have that information no discussion of this Clause can be carried on satisfactorily.


I hope that the Committee will not be persuaded by the superficial argument of the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. After all, this particular Clause is to be part of the Bill. We are to have 'a new Clause 4. We have to decide now what its procedure should be when it comes into being. I consider this Clause to be one of the greatest improvements on the old procedure.


My whole point is that the arguments on this matter, and possibly the nature of the tribunal, would differ entirely according to the ultimate form of Clause 4, and until we know the ultimate form of Clause 4 what on earth use is there in trying to decide the form of Clause 6?

5.0 p.m.


But the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) has moved an Amendment, and we have to decide whether to vote for it or against it; we have to decide what will materially affect the future administration of unemployment insurance. One of the big objections to the old procedure was that it was regarded by insured persons as thoroughly inhuman, bureaucratic and centralised. What we are now going to do is to make the people concerned certain that their cases will not be tried by officials with hundreds of thousands of others, backed by tremendous Regulations, but by officials on the spot who have a full knowledge of the local environment and of the applicant. They will give a decision which will be likely to have not an abstract and theoretical value, but a personal and human bearing on the case that will be dealt with. I always understood that the court of referees was approved of by the right hon. Gentleman, and, as far as I know, the whole of the machinery for referring these cases to a court of three persons, two of whom represent employers and employés, respectively, has worked very well. I am very glad that, instead of putting the responsibility on the shoulders of the local officer of deciding a case against a man, that we are going to give the man the opportunity of going before a proper court, where his case will be fairly considered, where all the peculiar circumstances of his case will be borne in mind and where he will have a fair chance of justice. I think this is a tremendous step forward, and I hope that ingenious Amendments which are not in the interest of the insured person, but are designed to make it more difficult for a man to get the benefit to which he is entitled, will be resisted by the right hon. Lady. This is a good Clause, and I hope it will go through practically unamended.


The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) made a complaint against bureaucratic interference and expressed himself in favour of local autonomy. I think we all more or less agree with him, speaking generally, but there are certain dangers, even in local autonomy. My experience of civil servants in general is that they will not take responsibility, except on certain definite facts, and they will not run the risk of making a decision which may get them into trouble with a superior officer. What I am afraid of is that in these cases the local insurance officer may only give an opinion favourable to the claimant on certain hard-and-fast lines which cannot be challenged. In that case the proposal is going to throw extra work on the court of referees. On the other hand, there may be two insurance officers in two neighbouring towns, one of whom has, perhaps, a little more experience or a little more common sense than the other. He may give one decision and his colleague in a town a few miles away may give a totally different decision. Thus, there will be trouble with the insurance officers, as well as dissatisfaction on the part of the people who make the claims. A variety of decisions within a comparatively small area may upset the people more than ever and make them, in the end, wish that they could refer these cases even to a central bureaucratic system. I think that insurance officers, however, could be informed that they have a very definite amount of latitude to come to common-sense decisions in these cases, and if insurance officers did occasionally make mistakes, they ought not to be hauled over the coals or penalised unduly for such mistakes.

Question put, "That the word a 'examination' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 248; Noes, 139.

Division No. 79.] AYES. [5.4 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Broad, Francis Alfred
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Barnes, Alfred John Brockway, A. Fenner
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Batey, Joseph Bromfield, William
Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M. Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Brothers, M.
Alpass, J. H. Bellamy, Albert Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Amnion, Charles George Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)
Angell, Norman Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Buchanan, G.
Arnott, John Benson, G. Burgess, F. G.
Aske, Sir Robert Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. A. Elland)
Attlee, Clement Richard Bondfield, Rt. Hon, Margaret Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)
Ayles, Walter Bowen, J. W. Caine, Derwent Hall.
Cameron, A. G. Kennedy, Thomas Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Kinley, J. Ritson, J.
Charleton, H. C. Kirkwood, D. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)
Chater, Daniel Knight, Holford Romeril, H. G.
Church, Major A. 6. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rowson, Guy
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Law, Albert (Bolton) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Law, A. (Rosendale) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Compton, Joseph Lawrence, Susan Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Sanders, W. S.
Daggar, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sandham, E.
Dallas, George Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Sawyer, G. F.
Dalton, Hugh Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Scott, James
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lees, J. Scrymgeour, E.
Day, Harry Lewis, T. (Southampton) Scurr, John
Denman, Hon. R. D. Longbottom, A. W. Sexton, James
Dickson, T. Longden, F. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lowth, Thomas Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Dukes, C. Lunn, William Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Duncan, Charles Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sherwood, G. H.
Ede, James Chuter Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Shield, George William
Edmunds, J. E. Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Shillaker, J. F.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) McEiwee, A. Shinwell, E.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) McEntee, V. L. Simmons, C. J.
Eimley, Viscount Mackinder, W. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) MacLaren, Andrew Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Foot, Isaac MacNeill-Weir, L. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) March, S. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gibbins, Joseph Markham, S. F. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Gill, T. H. Marley, J. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Gillett, George M. Mathers, George Sorensen, R.
Glassey, A. E. Matters, L. W. Spero, Dr. G. E.
Gosling, Harry Maxton, James Stamford, Thomas W.
Gossling, A. G. Melville, Sir James Stephen, Campbell
Gould, F. Messer, Fred Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Gray, Milner Middleton, G. Strauss, G. R.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Mills, J. E. Sutton, J. E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Montague, Frederick Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Groves, Thomas E. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Thome, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Grundy, Thomas W. Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Thurtie, Ernest
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Mort, D. L. Tillett, Ben
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Tinker, John Joseph
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Muff, G. Tout, W. J.
Harris, Percy A. Muggeridge, H. T. Townend, A. E.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Naylor, T. E. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Haycock, A. W. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Turner, B.
Hayday, Arthur Noel Baker, P. J. Viant, S. P.
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Wallace, H. w.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Wallhead, Richard C.
Herrlotts, J. Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Palin, John Henry Watkins, F. C.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Palmer, E. T. Wellock, Wilfred
Hoffman, P. C. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) West, F. R.
Hollins, A. Perry, S. F. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Horrabin, J. F. Phillips, Dr. Marion Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Pole, Major D. G. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Ponsonby, Arthur Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Johnston, Thomas Potts, John S. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Price, M. P. Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Quibell, D. F. K. Wise, E. F.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Rathbone, Eleanor
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Raynes, W. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.
Kelly, W. T. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Albery, Irving James Bird, Ernest Roy Castle Stewart, Earl of
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Cautley, Sir Henry S.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)
Astor, Viscountess Boyce, H. L. Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)
Atkinson, C. Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y) Cohen, Major J. Brunei
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Burton, Colonel H. W. Colman, N. C. D.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Butler, R. A. Conway, Sir W. Martin
Beaumont, M. W. Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Cranbourne, Viscount
Berry, Sir George Carver, Major W. H. Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Lamb, Sir J. Q. Salmon, Major I.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Dawson, Sir Philip Leighton, Major B. E. P. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Lleweilin, Major J. J. Savery, S. S.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Long, Major Eric Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Eden, Captain Anthony Lymington, Viscount Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Wetton-s. M.) Macquisten, F. A. Smithers, Waldron
Everard, W. Lindsay Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Fermoy, Lord Makins, Brigadier-General E. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Fielden, E. B. Margesson, Captain H. D. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Marjoribanks, E. C. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Ford, Sir P. J. Meller, R. J. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Galbraith, J. F. W. Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Steel-Maitland, Fit. Hon. Sir Arthur
Ganzonl, Sir John Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Thomson, Sir F.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Morrison Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Todd, Capt. A. J.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Turton, Robert Hugh
Grace, John Muirhead, A. J. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Hammersley, S. S. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry O'Neill, Sir H. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Hartington, Marquess of Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Wayland, Sir William A.
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Wells, Sydney R.
Haslam, Henry C. Pilditch, Sir Philip Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Power, Sir John Cecil Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hennessy, Major Sir G. Ft. J. Pownall, Sir Assheton Withers, Sir John James
Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by) Purbrick, R. Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Reid, David D. (County Down) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Reynolds, Col. Sir James TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hurd, Percy A. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Ross, Major Ronald D. Captain Wallace.
Kindersley, Major G. M. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Captain. BOURNE

I beg to move, in page 6, line 11, to leave out the word "Minister," and to insert instead thereof the words "court of referees."

This Amendment does not raise a very important point, but it is concerned with a matter of some interest. Where the time for an appeal is extended for special reasons, the decision to that effect under this Sub-section is made by the Minister, whereas in Sub-section (6) of the same Clause the decision allowing an appeal to the umpire in certain circumstances is to be made by the court of referees. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that where it is laid down that an extension of time may be given for the hearing of claims by an appeal court, the persons to decide whether or not the circumstances justify that extension ought to be the court who are on the spot. That is what the right hon. Lady argued in the discussion on the list Amendment—that those on the spot have a much better knowledge of the circumstances than the Minister who sits in London and must be dependent upon a written report. That was the objection raised by the Minister on my last Amendment.

I cannot help thinking that if the Government accept this Amendment, it will bring this provision more into line with the rest of the Clause which will then provide that in both cases the court of referees will have to decide whether or not the circumstances are such that an extension of time should be allowed for an appeal. It is difficult to see why if an appeal should lie to the umpire from a decision, in that case it should be the court of referees who should decide whether the time limit is to be extended, but on an appeal from the insurance officer it should be decided by the Minister, who has no knowledge of the case and is in a worse position to make up his or her mind than the court of referees, which sits locally, or than the insurance officer himself, who is again familiar with local conditions and can hear what the claimant has to say. It seems to me that the Minister is the most unsuitable person to exercise this discretion.


The chief objection to this Amendment is that it may be necessary for a claimant who wants an extension of time to wait until the court actually meets in order that his claim may come before the court and he can give reasons for claiming the extension, whereas the practice has been in the past—and, as far as we are aware, there have been no complaints arising from it—that where in order to question a decision affecting a claimant's right to benefit the claimant has applied to the Minister for an extension of time and the Minister has been in a position to act quickly and to grant it or otherwise. It appears that the Amendment would have the effect of making the claimant wait until the court assembled, a period which might vary in different parts of the country, and then, when the court assembled, he would have to appear before it to give his reasons for desiring an extension of time. In practice it has been the case that the only thing that has been necessary was to make an application to the Minister, and that there have been quick decisions in that way. Therefore, the Government cannot accept the Amendment.


Who would advise the Minister on that?


The local insurance officer.


The Minister can only have before him a written document, and nobody will have an opportunity of seeing if the reasons set forth in the document are good, bad, or indifferent, whereas, on the other hand, if all that the applicant has to do is to go to the court of referees and give these same reasons, a question may blow them to smithereens. It will be quite simple to ascertain what the real facts are. If all these hundreds and thousands of cases are to go to the courts of referees as a matter of course, I take it that those courts will be continuously sitting, and, therefore, I do not think there is much in the argument of the Parliamentary Secretary about the claimant having to wait till the court sits. He can get up and say, "I am out of time, but I ask for leave to appeal." It is constantly done in Courts of Justice, and you can give notice of an application for leave to appeal. They consider it, and if you have a good excuse for being late, they hear your appeal, but if they think you have no excuse, they do not hear it.

I suggest that machinery of this kind, of going to a Minister who cannot possibly be in a position to give a decision having any relevance to the situation, is not the best way of deciding the question. A man may think he has got a good reason on paper which would appeal to the Minister, and it does not do so, whereas in truth he may have half a dozen very good reasons, which it does not occur to him to, mention on the paper. If he goes to the court of referees, he can tell the whole story, and I am certain that it would be much more satisfactory to the man than to be bound by an arbitrary decision of the Minister given on a statement of the case which may be totally inadequate. I think the Amendment ought to be accepted.


As the Clause stands at present, surely it is putting a tremendous onus on the Minister. All these appeals are to go to him, and probably it is quite unnecessary. There is nothing in the Clause to prevent an appeal being made, even if it is past 21 days. The appeal can be made for extended time at any time, and if the court of referees is satisfied that the case is a good one, it can grant the right of appeal, even if the 21 days have gone by. If the man has a good enough case, it is surely much better that he should be able to put it forward, in the way suggested by the Amendment, to the court of referees, rather than that all these cases should go to a Minister, who really has enough work to do under this Bill without putting all this extra burden upon him. I suggest that the Government should reconsider this Amendment.


This is the only time in this Clause that the Minister is mentioned at all, and there does not seem, to be any particular reason why you should not make these decisions in the localities where they arise. You have got, 21 days anyhow, and I understood the argument of the Parliamentary Secretary was that it might be very awkward because the court of referees might not meet within that period, but surely it is almost inconceivable to suppose that, in view of the probable numbers which are going to, be affected, there will be any period of three weeks when a court of referees will not be meeting, except possibly during what is called the ordinary holiday season, and in that event, surely, some temporary, ad hoc arrangement could be made by which reference could informally be made to the court of referees, so that they could give the permission required with regard to these appeals.

The hon. Gentleman said it would be much more convenient to the Minister to give this decision, but I think it would be much more inconvenient, because the Minister would not have the vast amount of information at his disposal that he had before, because, as I understood the discussion on the earlier Amendment, the whole of the Kew procedure is being more or less washed out, and therefore the information on which the Minister would hitherto have been receiving advice would not be available. I would repeat the question put by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Harrow (Major Salmon), namely, Upon whose advice will the Minister give her decision with regard to time? I hope that at any rate the Parliamentary Secretary will do my hon. and gallant Friend the courtesy of answering that question. Who will give the advice; why are not 21 days quite long enough to cover the period of any gap between the meetings of the court of referees; and would it not be far more in tenor with the Bill to keep all these particular subjects for decision locally rather than to bring them up to the Minister?


This is a very small Amendment, and I am rather inclined to think it is the sort of Amendment that the Government might very well accept. It is not a very revolutionary proposal, and on the whole I should prefer this power to be kept in the locality rather than given to the Minister. Everybody knows how a, Minister can be got at in various ways. If constituents have a very diligent Member, who can write persuasive letters to the Minister, an insured person may have a chance of receiving consideration, but net all constituents are so well favoured—if they were, the Minister would be snowed under with letters—and it seems to me that for the smooth working of this Bill it would be wiser on the whole to give this power to the court of referees. 1: know that not all the courts of referees reach the same standard of quality, but I suggest that if the Parliamentary Secretary cannot accept this Amendment, he might give the alternative that the appeal should be made either to the Minister or to the court of referees. It is a very small Amendment, not affecting the substance of the Bill, and therefore I hope it will be accepted.


I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will accept the Amendment. As I understand it, he does not put up the argument that the Minister is the better person to decide this matter, but that to make this change would mean that the unemployed man might have to wait longer for the determination of his claim, and therefore longer before he could draw benefit; but, there is nothing operative in the decision of the Minister on leave to appeal. That is to say, the claim has been disallowed, the man is out of time in making his claim, but appeals for leave to appeal, and the fact that that leave is granted does not make him entitled to draw benefit pending the hearing of the claim. He has to wait for the decision of his claim and the right to draw benefit until the claim has been heard by the Court of Referees, and therefore the argument about how long it might take the Court of Referees to meet is not very relevant, because anyhow he has to wait till that time before he has a chance of drawing any benefit at all.

I think my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson) made a substantial point. It is a common practice in a Court of Law that application for leave to appeal and the appeal should be made concurrently. You first make application for leave to appeal, and, if that is granted, you go on with the appeal. May I suggest that the hon. Member should make some alteration sc as to make it obvious that the claimant will have the right to appear before the Court of Referees, make application for leave to appeal, and, if that is granted, proceed immediately to ask the Court to determine his appeal? Under those circumstances the unemployed man cannot be prejudiced in any way. It cannot delay his application in any way, and at the same time he gets what is an advantage, namely, that his application for leave to appeal should he made to a Court of Referees, who can ask him questions and elicit the whole story, rather than to a Minister in what would probably be a written document, in which a man who is not very well educated and not used to legal questions has to state once and for all, in black and white, what is his reason for appealing. I hope the hon. Member will realise that it would be possible to frame this Subsection in a way which will leave no opportunity for the unemployed man's claim to be delayed, and at the same time will give the exercise of this power to what I think the Committee rather agrees is the appropriate tribunal, and that is the Court of Referees rather than the Minister.


I cannot quite understand why the Amendment is being pressed. The procedure laid down now has acted more quickly and in the best interests of the claimant, and for this reason we have decided that we cannot accept the Amendment.


Is it not a fact that under this Bill the court of referees will be sitting far more often because the number of cases will be largely increased, and that probably the court will sit at least once a fortnight throughout the year? If an appeal goes to the Minister, it might be delayed for a week or 10 days in the ordinary course of the business of the office. Can the Parliamentary Secretary say how often he thinks the court of referees will be sitting?


I have listened with great care to the observations which have fallen from hon. Members opposite, which I think have proceeded on a misunderstanding of the Clause. Those observations have proceeded on the view that some further solicitude must be shown to the

claimant, but that further solicitude is provided by this Clause. All that it lays down is this, that the claimant is given 21 days in which to appeal against the disallowance of his claim. If he omits to put in his claim within the 21 days and, therefore, loses his rights, this Clause provides him with a further opportunity in circumstances in which the Minister can review them. It is a perfectly reasonable proposal, and I hope that the Committee will accept it.


I understand that the claims referred to in this Subsection are those which arise under Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the principal Act, which affects stoppages of work due to trade disputes. If that be the case, a court of referees would be more likely to be seized of the circumstances, because the trade dispute would take place in their vicinity. They would be able to decide whether the claimant should have the right of extension better than the Minister, who would not be so well seized of the circumstances. In any event, the occasions on which the question would arise would not be very numerous.

Question put, "That the word 'Minister' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 255; Noes, 148.

Division No. 80.] AYES. [5.33 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Brown, Ernest (Leith) Foot, Isaac
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Buchanan, G. Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Burgess, F. G. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland) George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)
Alpass, J. H. Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk. N.) Gibbins, Joseph
Ammon, Charles George Caine, Derwent Hall- Gill, T. H.
Angell, Norman Cameron, A. G. Gillett, George M.
Arnott, John Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Glassey, A. E.
Aske, Sir Robert Charleton, H. C. Gosling, Harry
Attlee, Clement Richard Chater, Daniel Gossling, A. G.
Ayles, Walter Church, Major A. G. Gould, F.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Cluse, W. S. Gray, Milner
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)
Barnes, Alfred John Cocks, Frederick Seymour Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Batey, Joseph Compton, Joseph Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Cove, William G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Bellamy, Albert Daggar, George Groves, Thomas E.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Dallas, George Grundy, Thomas W.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Dalton, Hugh Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)
Benson, G. Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Day, Harry Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Denman, Hon. R. D. Harris, Percy A.
Birkett, W. Norman Dickson, T. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Dudgeon, Major C. R. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Bowen, J. W. Dukes, C. Haycock, A. W.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Duncan, Charles Hayday, Arthur
Broad, Francis Alfred Ede, James Chuter Hayes, John Henry
Brockway, A. Fenner Edmunds, J. E. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Bromfield, William Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Bromley, J. Eimley, Viscount Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Brothers, M. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Herriotts, J.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Maxton, James Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Melville, Sir James Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Hoffman, P. C. Messer, Fred Sherwood, G. H.
Hollins, A. Mills, J. E. Shield, George William
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Montague, Frederick Shillaker, J. F.
Horrabin, J. F. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Shinwell, E.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Simmons, C. J.
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
John, William (Rhondda, West) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Johnston, Thomas Mort, D. L. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Muff, G. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Muggeridge, H. T. Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Naylor, T. E. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Noel Baker, P. J. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Oldfield, J. R. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Kelly, W. T. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Sorensen, R.
Kennedy, Thomas Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Spero, Dr. G. E.
Kinley, J. Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Stamford, Thomas W.
Kirkwood, D. Palin, John Henry Stephen, Campbell
Knight, Holford Paling, Wilfrid Strauss, G. R.
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molten) Palmer, E. T. Sutton, J. E.
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Perry, S. F. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Lathan, G. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W, Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Law, Albert (Bolton) Phillips, Dr. Marlon Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Law, A. (Rosendale) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Lawrence, Susan Pole, Major D. G. Thurtle, Ernest
Lawson, John James Ponsonby, Arthur Tillett, Ben
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Potts, John s. Tinker, John Joseph
Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Price, M. P. Tout, W. J.
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Pybus, Percy John Townend, A. E.
Lees, J. Quibell, D. F. K. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Turner, B.
Longbottom, A. W. Rathbone, Eleanor Viant, S. P.
Longden, F. Raynes, W. R. Wallace, H. w.
Lowth, Thomas Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wallhead, Richard C.
Lunn, William Riley, Bon (Dewsbury) Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Watkins, F. C.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Ritson, J. Wellock, Wilfred
Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich) West, F. R.
McElwee, A. Romeril, H. G. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
McEntee, V. L. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Mackinder, W. Rowson, Guy Wilkinson, Ellen C.
MacLaren, Andrew Salter, Dr. Alfred Williams, David (Swansea, East)
MacNeill-Weir, L. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
McShane, John James Sanders, W. S. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Sandham, E. Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Mansfield, W. Sawyer, G. F. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
March, S. Scott, James Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Markham, S. F. Scrymgeour, E. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Marley, J. Scurr, John
Mathers, George Sexton, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Matters, L. W. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Charles Edwards.
Albery, Irving James Cohen, Major J. Brunei Gault, Lieut.-Col- Andrew Hamilton
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Colman, N. C. D. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Conway, Sir W. Martin Glyn, Major R. G. C.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M.S. Cranbourne, Viscount Grace, John
Astor, Viscountess Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)
Atkinson, C. Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro) Hammersley, S. S.
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Hartington, Marquess of
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Davies, Dr. Vernon Haslam, Henry C.
Beaumont, M. W. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.
Berry, Sir George Dawson, Sir Philip Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Duckworth, G. A. V. Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)
Bird, Ernest Roy Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Eden, Captain Anthony Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Elliot, Major Walter E. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Boyce, H. L. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Everard, W. Lindsay Hudson, Capt. A. V. M. (Hackney, N.)
Butter, R. A. Fermoy, Lord Hurd, Percy A.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Fielden, E. B. Hunt, Sir Gerald B.
Carver, Major W. H. Fison, F. G. Clavering Kindersley, Major G. M.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Ford, Sir P. J. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A.(Birm., W.) Galbraith, J. F. W. Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Ganzonl, Sir John Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Pilditch, Sir Philip Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hen. Sir Arthur
Llewellin, Major J. J. Power, Sir John Cecil Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Long, Major Eric Pownall, Sir Assheton Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Lymington, Viscount Purbrick, R. Thomson, Sir F.
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Ramsbotham, H. Tinne, J. A.
Macquisten, F. A. Reid, David D. (County Down) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Rentoul, Sir Gervals S. Turton, Robert Hugh
Makins, Brigadier-General E. Reynolds, Got. Sir James Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Marjoribanks, t. C. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Meller, R. J. Ross, Major Ronald D. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Salmon, Major I. Wayland, Sir William A.
Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Wells, Sydney R.
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Morrison Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Savery, S. S. Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Womersley, W. J.
Muirhead, A. J. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Smith, R. w.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Smithers, Waldron
O'Neill, Sir H. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Captain Margesson and Captain
Peake, Capt. Osbert Southby, Commander A. R. J. Sir George Bowyer.
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)

I beg to move, in page 6, to leave out lines 14 to 20.

This provision carries on the practice under the 1927 Act. Under that Act, there is what is called a 13 weeks' review, that is to say, if a person in the course of any six months is 13 weeks out of employment, his case is automatically sent to the court of referees for review. That procedure might have been defended when the test was not genuinely seeking work, as under the 1927 Act, but we are assured by the Minister—and we accept her assurance—that the statutory condition is now to be swept aside, and the onus of proof is to be transferred from the applicant to the insurance officer or to the Exchange officials. In other words, the applicant for benefit now has not to prove his case before benefit can be granted, and the Exchange officials have to prove that there is a case against the applicant. If that be so, the case for the 13 weeks' review automatically collapses. Under the Act of 1927, the applicant had to prove that his search for work was genuine and diligent. Now the order is reversed, and yet you are sending the man, after the 13 weeks period is up, before the court of referees without any change against him.

If the Minister's statement, that the onus of proof is to be on the Exchange is correct, why send a person to the court of referees seeing that there is no case that can be stated against him? If the Minister's contention is right that the onus of proof is now transferred to the Employment Exchange, I think before a person is sent to a court of referees, the Exchange ought to have a prima facie case against his receiving benefit. Instead of that, it is proposed to send the man merely because he has been 13 weeks out of work. I think the Minister could' accept this Amendment, and I am quite certain that it would make for smooth working and save a considerable amount of expenditure. As I understand it, the Exchange officials, if they think they can prove their case, have power to send an applicant to a court of referees at any time, even although the period of 13 weeks has not expired. If that power remains, then this automatic review period need not remain.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I rise to a point of Order. The passage which the hon. Member proposes to omit starts with a proviso, and I suggest that if the words are left out it will make absolute nonsense of the Clause.


I think there is a certain amount of justification for the speech of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), but the 13 weeks review procedure before a court of referees has only been in operation for about 12 months. From our observations, it is quite clear that a certain number of cases in which there is no doubt at all as to the continuance of benefit are brought under review at the end of the 13 weeks. At the same time, I beg my hon. Friend not to press this Amendment. I want to watch the operation of the review procedure. It is not only a question of the case of the man whose claim is perfectly straightforward. I want to have time to go into the matter much more thoroughly, and I will give it my very careful consideration in the course of the 12 months.


Under Clause 4 as it stands, without any Amendment, and assuming that the Bill passes in its original form, the onus of proof—at least part of the onus of proof—is on the Exchange; it is for them to prove that the man was offered a job and refused to take it. My point is this. When at the end of the 13 weeks' review period the man goes to a court of referees, are the Exchange officials to be represented there in order to prove that the man refused the job? In other words, are you going to treat the 13 weeks' review period in the same way for every man who goes to a court of referees, or is this man to be at a disadvantage 7 He will be at a disadvantage, a serious disadvantage. You may have a man who has been only 13 weeks out of work, and another man who may have been out of work for 18 months. This other man is called up before his 13 weeks are up, and the Exchange must prove a case against him. This other man who has been only 13 weeks out of work is to be called up and the Exchange is to prove nothing against him. It seems to me that we are leaving a man at a fearful disadvantage. He is to be cut off possibly without anybody having stated a prima facie ease.


I think that is rather an exaggeration of the position as I see it. The idea is that the three parties, the employers, the workers and the independent chairman, should have a sort of bird's-eye view of what is going on in the Exchange independently of the officials, that is they should make a sort of independent review of the claims that are being paid. It does not mean that every man whose case is under review has to attend. If there is no doubt about a claim, in. nine cases out of ten he does not attend. The case papers go there. It is quite arguable that it is a waste of time, that a good deal of that turning over of papers is a waste of time; but all I am asking is that the Amendment should not be pressed now, and that I should have an opportunity to continue to watch the review procedure, with a view to further consideration at a later stage.


I take it that when this automatic review takes place after 13 weeks the court of referees must allow the claim if the applicant satisfies the statutory conditions?


Yes, there is no question about it.


In the absence of any statutory disqualification, I agree fully with the contention of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). I cannot see what there is to review. If the right hon. Lady is accepting the position of the Attorney-General, then there is a case for review; but if she is accepting the Hayday formula, it is difficult to see what case there is for a review. If we knew which was which, we could discuss the matter quite clearly; but if no test, except the one that the man has refused a job, is to be brought up in the Employment Exchanges, then what is the point of a review after 13 weeks? All that can be said is that no job has been offered to the man within the 13 weeks. If it were a question of whether the man had been genuinely seeking work, or fulfilling other statutory conditions, there might be reason for reviewing the case; but if no man can ever be struck off benefit, save under the test that he has been offered a specific job and has refused it, then, if the review did take place and the man were disqualified, obviously the next morning all he would have to do would be to walk round to the Exchange and say, "Have you got a job?" and if they had not got a job, he would begin to draw benefit again.


I must point out that Clause 4 deals only with the fourth statutory condition, and that the other three statutory conditions remain.


I understand this particular review procedure has been in operation for only a year, and that to a large extent it is a routine matter. But I suppose there are a certain number of cases in which courts of referees have taken some action on review. I would like to know from the hon. Lady on what such action on their part has been based. If the disqualifications have occurred because of the lapse of the 13 weeks, why have they occurred? Have they taken action on cases of not genuinely seeking employment which have not been brought before them by the officer? I want to know why a court of referees functions in these cases?


It functions in regard to the statutory conditions including 30 contributions test.


But you are taking power to repeal the 30 contributions test.


I hope the Minister will reconsider her decision. Obviously, there was a case for this Sub-section so long as Clause 4 remained in its original form, but now that that Clause is to be amended, according to the decision of the majority in this Committee, the case for this Sub-section absolutely disappears. The right hon. Lady has stated that there are three other statutory conditions besides the statutory condition in Clause 4, but those other statutory conditions are absolutely routine matters which do not require discussion before a court of referees. We hear a great deal about the cost involved in certain Amendments which have been pressed from these benches. I would point out that the expenditure under this Measure does not arise wholly from demands made upon the fund 3 there is also the cost of administration, and everything which assists to make the administration easier and makes it less necessary to refer cases to a court of referees will lessen the administrative expenses. From that point of view I would urge upon the right hon. Lady that this Sub-section is no longer necessary, and should be withdrawn.


Could the right hon. Lady tell us whether in her experience these reviews act also as a review upon the work of her officials, and have the double effect of being a review of the eases of claimants and at the same time a review, either automatic or subconscious, of the efficiency of the work done by the Employment Exchanges?


I want to ask a question with regard to the boards of assessors. Large numbers of cases have been referred to them. Are the assessors to be kept on?


The boards of assessors were set up as a temporary expedient pending the amendment of the Act itself. They have worked with singular success, and as it is within administrative competence to continue them, I shall consider very carefully whether there is any other work with which they can usefully continue. But, broadly speaking, the courts of referees may regard the boards of assessors as a sub-committee for purposes which may be delegated to them. I can see a very useful future for the assessors.


It is intended that the boards of assessors should continue with a somewhat different function from that which they now have. Is that the position?




There is a good deal in what the Minister has said. I would point out that statutory condition number three will still remain, and that there may be cases where there is a difference of opinion regarding whether the applicant is capable of and available for work, quite apart from the fourth statutory condition.


lf, as it is assumed, what is now called the "Hayday formula" is accepted, I would like the right hon. Lady to tell us what reason she has for wanting to retain this particular Sub-section'? It has been pointed out that it is totally unnecessary, if Clause 4 is modified in the way we assume.


I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The 13 week review has to do with all the conditions for benefit. I doubt whether there is any large proportion of such cases as the hon. Member has in mind under the 13 week review. It is a much more routine thing than that.


If the work is 90 per cent. or more routine, why not have it done by the ordinary officials of the Department in the ordinary course of their duty, rather than by this extra Ministerial agency which is working independently?


I think it is important that I should make myself quite clear about this. I am most anxious to bring the workers and the employers and the chairmen of the courts of referees more intimately into touch with every- thing connected with the administration, and I do not want to cut out any procedure by which they are being kept in touch with the work. I want to strengthen that side of the machinery, because I am convinced that unless we get the real co-operation of employers and workers we shall never be able to make a success of this business.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 6, line 21, to leave out from the word "that," to the end of line 25, and to insert instead thereof the words: benefits shall continue to be payable to the claimant pending the decision of the court of referees, for such further period not exceeding six weeks in all as may be necessary. 6.0 p.m.

My Amendment would take away the option which the insurance officer is given, and it would allow the benefit to continue for a period not exceeding six weeks pending the decision of the court of referees. At the present time there is some doubt as to the meaning of the words: Provided that the insurance officer may, pending the decision of the court of referees, give an interim determination allowing the claim. Those words provide that the insurance officer may allow the claim. I should have thought, in view of what the Minister of Labour has said, that the greater part of the reviews of these claims is occupied with routine matters, that there would be no objection to laying down a general rule that until the court of referees -has decided adversely to the beneficiary the claim would continue to be paid. The reviews we are considering are not the result of a mistake, but the men have to come tip automatically to have their cases reviewed. There is no presumption that, when a man comes to have his case reviewed, he is a man whose benefit ought to be taken away. I think the presumption ought to operate the other way, and the benefits should continue to be paid.


There seems to be some misunderstanding as to the meaning of this provision. Clause 6 has been drafted with a view to avoiding legislation by reference. The Bill would have been unintelligible without this Clause. The present words have been found satisfactory.


I think some one ought to take an opportunity of expressing our appreciation of the fact that this Bill does not contain so much legislation by reference. There is always a temptation in Bills of this kind to legislate by reference, and one of the very worst examples of that kind of legislation was the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Bill, which was the most terrible piece of drafting from that point of view. On this occasion the Minister of Labour has reprinted whole sections from previous Acts, and I think the Committee ought to express its appreciation of that fact. I hope the wise example set by the Minister of Labour will he followed by other Ministers.


I should like to draw attention to one point of obscurity—I refer to the words in the Amendment, "pending the decision of the court of referees." My recollection of the administration of unemployment insurance has become a little faint, but my recollection is that it is possible at the present time for the insurance officer to give an extension for six weeks after the 13 weeks. That is my recollection, although my memory is not quite clear on the point. If that is so, then all I would remark is that the effect of this Amendment would be simply to stiffen up the present procedure. That is how I think the Amendment would operate, but it is not a point of substance.


I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tam-worth (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) is right.


I am satisfied with the explanation which has been given, and I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, 'by leave, withdrawn,


I beg to move, in page 6, line 25, at the end, to insert the words: (6) With regard to any claim which is the subject of an appeal under Sub-section (4) or which is the subject of review under Sub-section (5) the court of referees shall not make a final decision until the court has taken into consideration the records relating to such claimant submitted to the court in such manner as may be prescribed. The central office has very full records of insurance history and of all payments, and where an appeal is lodged there should be an opportunity of laying before the court of referees a full history of the cage of a claimant. What is required is full information as regards the details of the number of contributions, how long a person has been out of employment, and the number of benefits paid to him. The Amendment leaves it to the Minister to prescribe how the record should be kept. I think it is highly desirable that details of this kind should be placed before the court of referees in case there is an appeal.


I hope this Amendment will not be pressed. All those who are acquainted with the working of unemployment insurance are fully aware of the large amount of clerical work which is involved under the present system. If there is any special information required the court of referees may ask for it before coming to a decision.


The court of referees would have the records of previous Exchanges before them as well as the records of the particular Exchange concerned.


A record for the last two years would be available.


But not beyond that.


Would not the same information he available to the referees as was available before the new procedure? We want to secure uniformity of awards to a certain extent. I would like to know if the same information would be available?


Certainly. Not only that, but there is a very great deal of information in addition available at Kew.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 1, after the word "that," to insert the words: where the decision of the Court of Referees is not unanimous the claimant must within three days be informed in writing of the fact by the insurance officer and that. There appears to be no provision in the Bill giving the claimant a statutory right to be informed whether the decision of the court of referees was or was not unanimous. It may be that the claimant would not have any knowledge as to whether any doubt bad arisen in his case. The only point that is raised in this Amendment is that the insurance officer shall, if the decision of the referees is not unanimous, give to the claimant notice of that fact, so that the claimant then knows that he has under the provisions of the Bill a right of appeal to the Umpire. I think it is only right that the claimant should be informed that he has that right of appeal, and I trust that the Minister will be able to see her way to accept the Amendment.


The intention of Sub-section (6) of Clause 6 is precisely to give the claimant the right of appeal to the Umpire in all cases where the court of referees is not unanimous, and I am not sure that I want to tie down even to three days the period within which the claimant must, be notified of his rights. The normal procedure, I hope, will be that he will receive this information on the same day on which the case is heard—that he will be informed in court of his right of appeal. If the hon. Member is not satisfied with the way in which the Clause is drafted, I will see if I can make it perfectly clear on Report, but I would rather not be pinned down to this particular set of words.


I should like to say a word on this Amendment, because we have been rather unfortunate in Glasgow with respect td decisions of courts of referees, and when my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) and myself appeared before the Morris Committee we drew attention to that fact. The practice of the court of referees in Glasgow has been that, when they have come to a decision, they have not informed the applicant of that decision at the meeting of the court, but the decision was communicated to him some time afterwards. The result has been that in hundreds of cases people who have had no trade union connection, or who have lost their trade union connection owing to their being unemployed, have never had the opportunity of asking to be allowed to go to the Umpire under the provisions of the Act of 1927. The Minister has said, in reply to the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, that she hopes that the practice is going to be that the applicant will get his decision at the court of referees, and that she would consider if on the Report stage she can get something even more satisfactory than is suggested in the Amendment. I want to press upon the Minister the importance of this point, that the applicant, if the decision is against him, must have an opportunity of stating the reasons why he should be allowed to prosecute his claim before the Umpire, as would be the case in any other court. I am quite satisfied to leave it with the assurance of the Minister, but I wanted to make the point here, because it is a point of tremendous importance, that the applicant, if his claim is refused by the court of referees, should have the right at least to give to that court reasons, which the court will decide upon, as to whether he should not be allowed to go to the Umpire. So far it has worked automatically in Glasgow. They have simply said, "The court has decided that you are not allowed to go to the Umpire," and the applicant has never asked, has never had the opportunity of asking, to go to the Umpire. I hope the Minister will go into this matter again.


I would point out that this really is not just a drafting Amendment. It is necessary to have something like this in the Bill in order to give effect to one of the most important of the recommendations of the Morris Committee, who, on page 36 of their Report, say: Where it is necessary to obtain leave to appeal, intimation to this effect should he given to the claimant. The form should state the decision, whether it is unanimous or not, the right of appeal, and that the claimant should continue to sign the Register at the Exchange. We cannot leave these matters, which are absolutely vital in order that the right of appeal may be claimed, either to some form which will he made out, or to the mere intention of the Court. It has got to be quite clearly stated, because, if this be not done, we want to be able to point to the Section in the Act of Parliament which has been contravened. If it were contravened it would be most serious, and would destroy the right of appeal to the Umpire, because the applicant would not know that he had a right of appeal. Therefore, while thanking the Minister for the intimation of her readiness to deal with the matter on Report, I want to emphasise the absolute necessity of having in the Bill some definite words dealing with this matter.


I think, myself, that I should like to say, not that the insurance officer should inform the claimant, but that the Court of Referees should do so, using some such words as: shall be notified of the fact by the Court of Referees. I am not very clear yet as to the period of three days, but I hope to make arrangements whereby the notification will be given to the claimant in writing before he leaves the Court.


In view of the assurance which the Minister has given, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 2, to leave out the word "six," and to insert instead thereof the word "two."

The reason why I and some of my hon. Friends have put down this Amendment is that in our view six months is a ridiculously long time to give to anyone in which to make up his mind as to whether or not he wants to appeal. Surely, if he thinks he has ground for appeal, he would appeal before six months have elapsed. If he has six months to think of the matter, fresh grievances are liable to arise in his mind; it delays the whole machinery of the Department, and drags on the proceedings, so that there can be no finality at all. Surely, anyone who thinks that he has just ground for appealing can decide to do that within two months, and I fail to see what advantage there is in the longer period. I know that Members of Parliament get letters from constituents who think that, because they have six months, they can leave their appeals to the last minute. When that is done, facts are overlooked, whereas, if an appeal is made within a reasonable period, such as two months, the matters in question are fresh in everybody's mind. If this Amendment were accepted, the effect would be really to speed up appeals. I do not wish in any way to obstruct the passage of the Clause, but I think that this Amendment would be to the advantage, not only of the Department, but of applicants who considered that they had a just claim.


As far as we are concerned, we should rather welcome this suggestion from a purely Departmental point of view, but the present position is that there is no limit at all, and the Umpire may be appealed to after even as long as two years. I believe that there is a case now under review which is two years old, and which the Umpire has to take up because the right of appeal still exists. We felt that we were as drastic as we dared be in making the change from an unlimited time to six months, but we might perhaps consider a period of three months—[Interruption.] I am merely expressing a point of view. In this matter of appeals, the case in very often that of a member of a trade union who has to consult his organisation, and the organisation may decide to appeal on a particular line; but the machinery of the organisation is very slow to move. The case has to go to the branch, from the branch to the district, and from the district to the central executive, which may decide to make it a test case for appeal to the Umpire. That is the sort of case that arises with regard to demarcation of work in a trade dispute, for example, and it is in cases of that class that there have been very long delays in presenting appeals. From that standpoint, I think we should probably he well advised to stick to the limit which I have put in the Bill.


Can I accept the offer of three months made by the right hon. Lady?


I was speaking of what might be regarded as administratively reasonable.


If that be administratively reasonable, it will meet my case entirely. I suggested two months instead of six months, but I am quite willing to accept the suggestion that it should be three months. I want to help the Department, and I know what an appalling mess they are going to be in over this Bill, with all the complications and all the difficulties due to putting in and leaving out Clauses—




I have really nothing further to add, except to say that the suggestion of three months made by the Minister would be satisfactory to me, and I wish to move that the period be three months instead of the two months that I put down.


ft is too late for that.

Question put, "That the word 'six' stand part of -the Clause."

The Committee proceeded to a Division.


(seated and covered): Before the Division is recorded, I want to raise an objection to the numbers recorded in the Aye Lobby. After you, Sir, called out "Lock the doors," at least 20 Members forced their way beyond the door-keeper and went through. I protest against the votes of those Members being recorded.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Robert Young)

I called out "Lock the doors," and I presume the officer did his best to lock them and did it in his own way. I have repeatedly seen crowds at these doors under similar circumstances.


Do we understand, then, that if hon. Members force their way through beyond the doorkeeper they are entitled to do so?


I am not cognisant of the fact at all.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 272; Noes, 147.

Division No. 81.] AYES. [6.28 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Arnott, John Barnes, Alfred John
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Aske, Sir Robert Batey, Joseph
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Attlee, Clement Richard Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Ayles, Walter Bellamy, Albert
Alpass, J. H. Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood
Amnion, Charles George Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Bennett, Captain E.N.(Cardiff, Central)
Angell, Norman Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Bennett, William (Battersea, South)
Benson, G. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Quibeil, D. F. K.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) John, William (Rhondda, West) Rathbone, Eleanor
Birkett, W. Norman Johnston, Thomas Raynes, W. R.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Bowen, J. W. Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Rlley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Broad, Francis Alfred Jowett, Ht. Hon. F. W. Ritson, J.
Brockway, A. Fanner Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)
Bromfield, William Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Romeril, H. G.
Bromley, J. Kelly, W. T. Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Brothers, M. Kennedy, Thomas Rothschild, J. de
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Kinley, J. Rowson, Guy
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Kirkwood, D. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, G. Knight, Holford Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Burgess, F. G. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Sanders, W. S.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk. N.) Lathan, G. Sandham, E.
Caine, Derwent Hall. Law, Albert (Bolton) Sawyer, G. F.
Cameron, A. G. Law, A. (Rosendale) Scott, James
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lawrence, Susan Scrymgeour, E.
Charleton, H. C. Lawson, John James Scurr, John
Chater, Daniel Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sexton, James
Church, Major A. G. Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Cluse, W. S. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Clynes, Rt. Hon, John R. Lees, J. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lewis, T. (Southampton) Sherwood, G. H.
Compton, Joseph Lindley, Fred W. Shield, George William
Cove, William G. Lloyd, C. Ellis Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Daggar, George Longbottom, A. W. Shillaker, J. F.
Dallas, George Longden, F. Shinwell, E.
Dalton, Hugh Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Lowth, Thomas Simmons, C. J.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Day, Harry Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Dickson, T. McEntee, V. L. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Mackinder, W. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Dukes, C. MacLaren, Andrew Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Duncan, Charles MacNeill-Weir, L. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Ede, James Chuter McShane, John James Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Edmunds, J. E. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Mander, Geoffrey le M. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Egan, W. H. Mansfield, W. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Eimley, Viscount March, S. Sorensen, R.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Markham, S. F. Spero, Dr. G. E.
Foot, Isaac Marley, J. Stamford, Thomas W.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton) Mathers, George Stephen, Campbell
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Matters, L. W. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Maxton, James Strauss, G. R.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Melville, Sir James Sutton, J. E.
Gibbins, Joseph Messor, Fred Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Gill, T. H. Middleton, G. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Glassey, A. E. Mills, J. E. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Gosling, Harry Montague, Frederick Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Gossling, A. G. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Thurtle, Ernest
Gould, F. Morley, Ralph Tillett, Ben
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin,, Cent.) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Tinker, John Joseph
Gray, Miliner Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Tout, W. J.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Townend, A. E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mort, D. L. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Griffith, F, Kingsley (Middlestro' W.) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Turner, B.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Muff, G. Viant, S. P.
Groves, Thomas E. Muggeridge, H. T. Wallace, H. W.
Grundy, Thomas W. Naylor, T. E. Wallhead, Richard C.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Noel Baker, P. J. Watkins, F. C.
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Oldfield, J. R. Wellock, Wilfred
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) West, F. R.
Harris, Percy A. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Owen. H. F. (Hereford) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Haycock, A. W. Palin, John Henry Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hayday, Arthur Paling, Wilfrid Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hayes, John Henry Palmer, E. T. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Perry, S. F. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Harboro')
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Wise, E. F.
Herriotts, J. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth) Phillips, Dr. Marion Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Hoffman, P. C. Pole, Major D. G.
Hollins, A. Potts, John S. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Price, M. P. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.
Horrabin, J. F. Pybus, Percy John
Albery, Irving James Fermoy, Lord Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Alexander, Sir Win. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Fielden, E. B. Muirhead, A. J.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Fison, F. G. Clavering Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld)
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Ford, Sir P. J O'Neill, Sir H.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Peake, Capt. Osbert
Atkinson, C. Galbraith, J. F. W. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Ganzonl, Sir John Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Pilditch, Sir Philip
Balfour. George (Hampstead) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Pownall, Sir Assheton
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Glyn, Major R. G. C. Purbrick, R.
Berry, Sir George Grace, John Ramsbotham, H.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Bird, Ernest Roy Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Boyce, H. L. Hammersley, S. S. Salmon, Major I
Bracken, B. Hartington, Marquess of Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Haslam, Henry C. Savery, S. S.
Buchan, John Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Butler, R. A. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Butt, Sir Alfred Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Smithers, Waldron
Carver, Major W. H. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hurd, Percy A. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm.,W.) Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Cohen, Major J. Brunei Kindersley, Major G. M. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Colman, N. C. D. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Thomson, Sir F.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Tinne, J. A.
Cranbourne, Viscount Leighton, Major B. E. P. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Turton, Robert Hugh
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Llewellin, Major J. J. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Long, Major Eric Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Macquisten, F. A. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Wayland, Sir William A.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Makins, Brigadier-General E. Wells, Sydney R.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Marjoribanks, E. C. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Dawson, Sir Philip Meller, R. J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Duckworth, G. A. V. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Womersley, W. J.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Eden, Captain Anthony Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Elliot, Major Walter E Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Morrison Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Everard, W. Lindsay Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Captain Margesson and Captain Wallace.

Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Captain BOURNE

I beg to move, in page 7, line 23, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that an insurance officer or a Court of Referees shall not revise a decision made by that officer or that Court, as the case may be, if an appeal against such decision is pending. Under Sub-section (9) of the Clause as drafted, an insurance officer, or the court of referees, can alter a decision on any new facts being submitted. That has met with the general acceptance of the Committee, but I cannot think that either the insurance officer or the court of referees should have the power to alter a decision against which an appeal has been lodged until the appeal has been disposed of. What is the good of an appeal court if the person against whom the appeal is lodged can proceed to alter it? It should be quite clear that no alteration can be made until the specific question on which the appeal has been lodged has been disposed of by the appeal court. I can hardly believe it was the intention of the Government to allow the decision to be reversed against which an appeal was pending until the appeal has been heard. That seems to me contrary to all our ideas of law and justice. Once an appeal has been lodged, all the proceedings on that appeal must be completed before the decision is altered by the superior court. Certainly that is the practice in Courts of Law and no injustice will follow if that procedure is carried out.


It has been emphasised all the way through that, provided it is unbiased and judicial in its decisions, it was highly desirable to avoid legal conduct and procedure and the legal spirit, in the machinery for dealing with thee claims. It is true in the ordinary way that, if a case is going to a higher court, nothing more is said till it goes there, but in this case it is suggested that the insurance officer or court of referees shall not be allowed to revise a decision if new facts come to light which were not within their knowledge when they gave their decision. If the court of referees has new facts placed before it which justify a revision of its decision, that is the proper course to take rather than insist that the man shall go forward with his appeal. If fresh facts are placed before the court of referees, there is no need to go further with the case. It is very necessary, if we are to have the human side rather than the strictly legal side operating in connection with these courts, that there shall be an opportunity for revision if fresh evidence is adduced.

Amendment negatived.