HC Deb 10 December 1929 vol 233 cc406-11

No contribution shall be paid in respect of any person under the age of eighteen who is under an obligation to attend a continuation school in accordance with the provisions of Sections seventy-six and seventy-seven of the Education Act, 1921.—[Lord E. Percy.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."


On a point of Order. Do I understand, Mr. Dunnico, that you are not calling the Clause—(Waiting period)—which stands in the names of the hon. Members for Norwich (Mr. Shakespeare), Birkenhead, East (Mr. White) and Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha)?


No, I have not called that Clause.


Then the Clause—(Waiting period)—which stands later on the Paper, in the names of myself and several of my hon. Friends, will be called in its proper place?


I have not arrived at that point yet; I have called upon the Noble Lord the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy).


The intention of the Clause which I am moving is that no contributions shall be demanded from a young person who is attending a compulsory day continuation school under the provisions of the Education Act, 1921. I think it has been the general feeling in this Committee that the exaction of contributions from young persons below the age of 16, and bringing them into the insurance field, is only justified because it is necessary to have some means of what is commonly called "bridging the gap" between school and insurance. We have spent a great deal of time in discussing how that gap may best be bridged by more or less makeshift educational arrangements under the juvenile employment centres and the like; but, however important juvenile employment centres may be, we agree that they are makeshifts, and that they can never be fully educational. The system of compulsory day continuation schools contemplated in the Act of 1918 was a complete method of bridging the gap. At the present moment the Act of 1918 is in force in one area in this country, namely, Rugby, and in that area the gap is already completely bridged, and every child, employed or unemployed, up to the age of 16, is receiving regular day education—part-time day education—in continuation classes. I hope that, if the finances of the country will allow it, that system will be greatly extended in the future, and I want to make it clear in this Clause that we do regard that education scheme as the true way of bridging the gap, and that, consequently, as the gap is bridged by solid educational provisions of that kind, we will take young persons again out of unemployment insurance.

The beginning that, we can make in doing that is to see that those who are already at school are not bound to pay contributions, and of course I assume it to follow that they should not be entitled to benefit. That is the purpose of the Clause, and I hope that, even if the right hon. Lady cannot accept it, either she or a representative of the Board of Education will give us some indication of the reason why it cannot be accepted, in view of the fact that this is a bridging of the gap which it is the firm intention of this Bill to bridge.


I am afraid I cannot accept this proposed new Clause, and that for a very simple reason. A child attending a public day continuation school is an employed person. The Bill is based on the assumption that as soon as an employer employs a boy or girl, he shall pay contributions into the fund in respect of that boy or girl. That is one of the principles underlying the Insurance Acts and we cannot exempt employers from contribution to the fund, nor should I wish to exempt the Treasury from contributions to the fund in respect of any employed person of whatever age, if such person is in fact a wage-earner. Apart from that consideration one can easily see that it would be very difficult to make an exception of the kind proposed in the new Clause. If the idea in the mind of the Noble Lord the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) is that children in that position should receive some encouragement, that is another matter but it should, I think, be dealt with in some other way and not by way of excusing them from contributions. One of the objections to the "gap" was that the employer could take children up to the age of 16 for whom he had not to pay contributions and dismiss them when they reached the age of 16. I do not want to perpetuate that evil in the 16 to 18 group.


Surely it is not a question of offering an inducement to the children. The children are under compulsion and have to attend the continuation school. I see the force of the right hon. Lady's intention and her desire to get rid of the old system under which an employer got an advantage by employing child labour. But she is not getting rid of it. There is still a differentiation between the contributions payable in respect of juveniles and those payable in respect of adults. If the Minister were proposing in the Bill to get rid of any incentive to employers to dismiss young persons when they attained the age of 18, I could then have understood her argument but she is not doing so in this Bill. I hope she has not considered her remarks too closely when she says she is setting up the great principle, that the moment a boy or girl is employed contribution shall be paid in respect of that boy or girl. Hitherto we have had these proposals justified on the basis of "bridging the gap" but if we bridge the gap educationally then certainly—and whatever differences there may be between us on other points, we ought to agree about this—there is every reason for keeping those boys and girls outside

the insurance scheme with all its implications.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 112; Noes, 260.

Division No. 87.] AYES. [11.40 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Everard, W. Lindsay Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Albery, Irving James Ferguson, Sir John Ramsbotham, H.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Fison, F. G. Clavering Remer, John R.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover) Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Astor, Viscountess Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Ross, Major Ronald D.
Atholl, Duchess of Glyn, Major R. G. C. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Balniel, Lord Greene, W. P. Crawford Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Gunston, Captain D. W. Savery, S. S.
Bird, Ernest Roy Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H, Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Boothby, R. J. G. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hartington, Marquess of Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Boyce, H. L. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smithers, Waldron
Bracken, B. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd'., Hexham) Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Burton, Colonel H. W. King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Butler, R. A. Knox, Sir Alfred Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Butt, Sir Alfred Lamb, Sir J. Q. Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. sir Arthur
Carver, Major w. H. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Castle Stewart, Earl of Long, Major Eric Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Turton, Robert Hugh
Conway, Sir W. Martin Margesson, Captain H. D. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Courtauld, Major J. S. Marjoribanks, E. C. Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Cranbourne, Viscount Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Meller, R. J. Warrender, Sir Victor
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Wells, Sydney R.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Mond, Hon. Henry Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Davies, Dr. Vernon Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Womersley, W. J.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Muirhead, A. J.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Oman, Sir Charles William C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Edmondson, Major A. J. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Sir George Hennessy and Sir George
Elliot, Major Walter E. Peake, Capt. Osbert Penny.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Freeman, Peter
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Buchanan, G. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Burgess, F. G. Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M. Burgin, Dr. E. L. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Calne, Derwent Hall- Gibbins, Joseph
Alpass, J. H. Cameron, A. G. Gill, T. H.
Ammon, Charles George Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Glassey, A. E.
Arnott, John Charleton, H. C. Gossling, A. G.
Aske, Sir Robert Chater, Daniel Gould, F.
Ayles, Walter Church, Major A. G. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Clarke, J. S. Granville, E.
Barnes, Alfred John Cluse, W. S. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Cocks, Frederick Seymour Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Bellamy, Albert Compton, Joseph Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Daggar, George Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Dallas, George Groves, Thomas E.
Benson, G. Dalton, Hugh Grundy, Thomas W.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Birkett, W. Norman Denman, Hon. R. D. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Blindell, James Dickson, T. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Dukes, C. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)
Bowen, J. W. Duncan, Charles Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)
Bowerman Rt. Hon. Charles W. Ede, James Chuter Hardie, George D.
Broad, Francis Alfred Edge, Sir William Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Brockway, A. Fenner Edmunds, J. E. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Bromfield, William Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Haycock, A. W.
Bromley, J. Egan, W. H. Hayday, Arthur
Brothers, M. Elmley, Viscount Hayes, John Henry
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Foot, Isaac Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Marley, J. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mathers, George Sherwood, G. H.
Herriotts, J. Matters, L. W. Shield, George William
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Maxton, James Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Melville, Sir James Shillaker, J. F.
Hoffman, P. C. Messer, Fred Shinwell, E.
Hollins, A. Middleton, G. Simmons, C. J.
Hopkin, Daniel Millar, J. D. Sinkinson, George
Hore-Belisha, Leslie. Mills, J. E. Sitch, Charles H.
Horrabin, J. F. Milner, J. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Montague, Frederick Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Isaacs, George Money, Ralph Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Mort, D. L. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Johnston, Thomas Moses, J. J. H. Sorensen, R.
Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Spero, Dr. G. E.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Stamford, Thomas W.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Muff, G. Stephen, Campbell
Jones, T. I, Mardy (Pontypridd) Muggeridge, H. T. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Murnin, Hugh Strauss, G. R.
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Naylor, T. E. Sullivan, J.
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Sutton, J. E.
Kelly, W. T. Noel Baker, P. J. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Kennedy, Thomas Oldfield, J. R. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Kinley, J. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Thurtle, Ernest
Kirkwood, D. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Tinker, John Joseph
Lang, Gordon Paling, Wilfrid Toole, Joseph
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Palmer, E. T. Tout, W. J.
Lathan, G. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Turner, B.
Law, A. (Rosendale) Perry, S. F. Viant, S. P.
Lawrence, Susan Peters, Dr. Sidney John Walker, J.
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wallace, H. W.
Lawson, John James Phillips, Dr. Marlon Watkins, F. C.
Lawther, w. (Barnard Castle) Picton-Turbervill, Edith Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).
Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Ponsonby, Arthur Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Potts, John S. Wellock, Wilfred
Lees, J. Pybus, Percy John Welsh, James (Paisley)
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Lindley, Fred W. Raynes, W. R. West, F. R.
Lloyd, C. Ellis Richards, R. Westwood, Joseph
Longbottom, A. W. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Longden, F. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) White, H. G.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Ritson, J. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Lunn, William Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W,Bromwich) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Romeril, H. G. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Rosbotham, D. S. T. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
McElwee, A. Rowson, Guy Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
McEntee, V. L. Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Mackinder, W. Salter, Dr. Alfred Wilson, J. (Oldham)
McKinlay, A. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
MacLaren, Andrew Sanders, W. S. Winterton, G. E.(Leicester,Loughb'gh)
Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Sandham, E. Wise, E. F.
Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Sawyer, G. F. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
MacNeill-Weir, L. Scott, James Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
McShane, John James Scrymgeour, E.
Mander, Geoffrey le M. Scurr, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mansfield, W. Sexton, James Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Marcus, M. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Thomas Henderson.