HC Deb 16 December 1929 vol 233 cc1029-59

I beg to move to leave out the Clause.

This is one of the most important Clauses in the whole Bill. It was very fully debated in Committee, but there are one or two salient points which must be dealt with on Report. Undoubtedly the Clause is causing considerable alarm in the country. I do not think there has been a single person who has spoken to me about politics since the Bill was first printed who has not said, "Surely you are not going to allow that Clause giving the dole to children to go through." I have to reply that, owing to the alliance between the Socialist and Liberal parties, I am afraid it probably will go through. The last time it was before the House the Liberal party abstained altogether from voting, and it will be interesting to see what they do on this occasion.

The Government themselves do not seem to know what reason there was for having a Clause of this kind at all. They have used two arguments which are incompatible. The first is that the Clause is necessary in order to round off the insurance scheme and to bridge the gap, and the other is that there is so little unemployment among juveniles that very few will be affected. You cannot have it both ways. Perhaps on this occasion we shall get some idea as to which of those arguments is correct. We have dealt fairly fully to-day with the contribution side of the Clause. I was disappointed that the Government did not see their way to accept the last new Clause with the Schedule attached to it, because it seems ridiculous filet you should bring these children in, paying contributions which will bring something like £600,000 into the scheme, while, at the most, £150,000 worth of benefit could be paid. To that argument we have had very little, if any reply. The Clause is a little better than when it first appeared on the Paper in that it now goes a certain amount of the way towards supplying training centres. I do not know why the Minister could not accept our suggestion that training should be compulsory for people in receipt of benefit. However, the Minister has gone a certain way in that direction.

There might be some reason for bringing in a Clause of this kind if this was a genuine uninsurance scheme. On Clause after Clause we come up against this, and practically every Amendment that has been made has taken us further away from the insurance principle. Were we now at the insurance principle for which the Bill at one time stood, what is called the one-in-six principle, there might be no objection to juveniles coming in. The amount of contribution they pay would be reflected in the amount of benefit that they could draw. But, as it is at present, it is very little else than a gigantic relief scheme. A little while ago we were discussing whether or not mothers should draw the benefit for their children, showing to what a pass unemployment insurance has come. A most important thing is that, since we first discussed Clause 1, we have completely scrapped Clause 4 and put a new Clause in its place, and the new Clause makes it even more necessary that juveniles should not be mixed up in the Employment Exchanges with the relief that is given under the new Clause, because it has now gone so far away from the old insurance principle.

The Minister has agreed that there is practically no juvenile unemployment, and full publicity should be given to the very interesting tables of figures in the minority report of the Shaftesbury Committee. They show that not only should there be no unemployment among the juveniles with whom we deal in this Clause, but that there will be a very serious shortage of juveniles to be made up, and that therefore, there can be no possible object in inserting the Clause. Even if the school age remains as it is—and we know it is to be raised to 15—there will be a shortage in 1933 of no less than 336,000, but with the raising of the school age the shortage in industry will be no less than 428,000 in 1931, rising to the great total of 762,000 in 1934. Thence it falls again to 466,000 in 1936, which shows that there will be employment for these juveniles and that there can be no object whatever in bringing them under this scheme. I was very interested in a letter from a constituent, who agreed with a Resolution passed by the local Chamber of Commerce protesting against the Bill, particularly against Clause 1 and the raising of the new rates under Clause 2. He says: I would further quote my own experience. We employ about 25 lads in our dairy, some just shifting empty bottle. During the whole of 1929 we have found it almost impossible to get boys of 14 or 15 years of age, although they start with slightly over Trade Board wage, i.e., £1 per week. In fact we have found we can hardly get boys of 16 years of age. This is our experience in North London and in our opinion there is very little unemployment amongst lads. That experience of a man in industry shows exactly what is happening all over the country, that there is no unemployment, and that, when the school age is raised, there will be more difficulty still in getting juveniles than there is now. I do not think the argument brought forth in Committee, that this is a way for employers to get cheap labour, counts, because these unskilled jobs can be done only by young people for a certain time. Ultimately, they go on to other jobs. For instance, in my business boys come in from school knowing nothing of office routine. After a time, they learn a bit and go up to junior clerks and so on, and we have quite a number of people in very responsible positions drawing salaries of four figures who started as office boys. So that the idea that these people are all starting as cheap labour and that the Clause will do anything to prevent employers using young people when they can use older ones is really not sound at all.

Another argument brought forward by the right hon. Lady is that, by this Clause, after-care committees will be better able to look after the children. I cannot help thinking that that is a very poor argument for passing it, because the after-care committees can now, using the school organisation, if they are efficient follow the children for a certain time after they leave school. In well-run places like London and Birmingham something like 100 per cent. of the children are actually followed and looked after to see what happens to them when they first enter work. It is utterly absurd with the state of industry as it is, and with the unemployment figures going up, to keep on spending money on things of this kind, which are only indirectly increasing unemployment and not doing the slightest good in putting people into permanent work, which is what we want to do. The whole Bill is extremely unpopular in the country. The supporters of the party opposite think that the Government are mean because they will not give way to the extremists, and those who are opposed to the Government think it is iniquitous that at this time, with unemployment rising as it is, and with a necessity for economy such as there never was before, doles should be made easier for people to get and should be given to children.


I beg to second the Amendment.

The Clause was very fully debated, but that does not alter the fact that, of all the startling proposals in the Bill, it raises the greatest apprehension through out the country, because it is not only confined to the question of unemployment insurance, but it brings in a much more important issue, the question of the attitude of the State towards juveniles, the children who are dependent to a great extent on our legislation. Hon. Members opposite are in the forefront in education Debates on this question of the provision of proper training for children and seeing that their interests are properly looked after. But who can support that view in this Bill? They are making the same mistake as they did when they were so loud in their condemnation of the Trade Disputes Bill, against which they said they were going to rouse the whole country. If they think they have the country behind them in this piece of legislation there is a great disillusion waiting for them outside these four walls, because nothing more unpopular has been brought forward by any Government for a long time. It is not only political unpopularity. People who vote for all three parties are greatly disturbed at this kind of legislation being brought in. Hon. Members opposite know the slang expression that a thing is as easy as stealing candy from a kid. That is exactly what the right hon. Lady is engaged in doing. As a rule, you give them in exchange a cigarette card, but they are getting nothing out of this.

I call it a monstrous imposition on the young people to bring in legislation of this kind. It is not sufficient to say, when we have brought forward Amendments, that if you are going to bring juveniles into the unemployment insurance scheme, you cannot make a separate scheme for them because you must only have one scheme and must make the good risks carry the bad. The party opposite are now contemplating extending unem- ployment insurance to agriculture, and they are proposing, or we are much mistaken, to make a different scheme, therefore the argument falls to the ground that you cannot make different terms for this risk. However much the argument is put forward that it is merely part of the whole scheme, the party opposite cannot get away from the impression which they are giving in the country that it is a mean piece of business. It is not even as though the Bill is being supported from the point of view of being any insurance scheme, and that therefore it must be an actuarially sound insurance scheme. We have got far away from that point of view. These arguments are denounced when they are brought forward on this side of the House, but they are brought forward by right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite when they want to resist an Amendment of a different type.

One of the most extraordinary things during the Debate on this Clause has been, that while the most important consideration is an educational one, the one person who ought to have spoken from the Front Bench has been qualifying for the role of hero in a serial of romance as the strong, silent man—the President of the Board of Education. There are many considerations in this Clause. In the first, place, there is the financial question, and we have not heard a word from the Treasury. In the second place, there are the legal aspects of the Measure, and in regard to his only intervention in Debate in that connection, I am sure the learned Attorney-General will, with heartfelt feelings, say, "I am sorry I spoke." Because if anyone has cut a sorry figure in having to take up a position and then withdrawing from it, it has been the learned Attorney-General. We have not had a word from the Minister primarily concerned with the question on which this Clause has a bearing. In fact, the only Ministerial occupant of the Front Bench who has obtained any satisfaction out of the Measure so far has been the Minister of Agriculture. He has seen gradually, with his born outlook for live stock, the sheep separating themselves from the goats on his own benches; and when they are in difficulties they are helped out by patient oxen on the opposite benches below the Gangway.

I do not want to allow this Clause to go—we shall divide on it, I trust—with- out emphasising these two points. We are in the House of Commons with a trusteeship on behalf of the young people of this country. [Interruption.] Yes, and we are betraying that trusteeship in this Measure. In the second place, it affects vitally the whole question of the education of the children of this country, and yet we have not heard a word from those primarily responsible for guiding that education. For those reasons, I want to offer my severest protest against this Clause.


Whether it is true or not that this Clause is unpopular in the country, there is one thing about it which is certain. It does something which those who are most concerned about adolescent life in this country have felt to be necessary for many years, and which has been expressed by the various committees that have sat upon these matters—the Malcolm Committee, the Salvesen Committee and various other committees. Apart from what these committees have said, there can be no one concerned with the welfare of the youth of this country who has not at some time felt great misgivings as to the serious results likely to follow the gap between the age at which boys and girls leave school and the age when they obtain work. The hon. and gallant Member for North Hackney (Captain A. Hudson), who moved the Amendment, took the line that there was not going to be very much unemployment as far as these boys and girls are concerned. As a matter of fact, that is not a true state of affairs as regards certain areas in the country. Those of us who know what are called the black areas realise that not the least lamentable of the conditions which have prevailed in those areas has been the sight of boys and girls leaving school and becoming subject to no control beyond the parental control. While the youths of from 16 to 18 years of age could be taken into a training centre, nothing could be done for those under 16.

I was charged with saying at an earlier stage in these Debates that one of the things that employers had done in the past was to take advantage of the position to get cheap labour. I make no charge against employers in that respect. I certainly did say what was true, that in the black areas, which some of us know quite well, this new industrial revolution, which is gradually working its way to other parts of the country, has had the same effect as the old industrial revolution, and that children have actually been supplanting their fathers at some of the works. What is contemplated in this Bill in connection with the raising of the school age, the establishment of training centres, and the insurance of these boys and girls, will have the effect, to some extent, at any rate, of saving these young people from that condition of things. There has been a very wide and detailed discussion of these matters and the Minister has given full effect, as she indicated in her Second Reading speech, to her desire to give the warmest consideration to Amendments which might be moved. That point of view has been expressed in the new Clause which has been moved in order to make sure, as far as possible, that boys and girls shall be brought into the training centres.

I do not wish to continue this Debate at any length because it is necessary that we should obtain the Third Reading of this Bill to-night, but in referring to the question of contributions and the amount that is to be paid in benefit as a result of these boys' and girls' contributions, and for which we make no apology, we are prepared to accept any unpopularity that there may be in respect of this matter. The hon. Gentleman opposite has said that this Bill is unpopular. I have not heard that it is unpopular in the country generally. Personally, it has not been my experience to encounter any protest. What are the facts? My right hon. Friend stated a fact which was not noted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, namely, that, at any rate, from 16 to 18 the contributions were the same as they had been in the previous Act. Even with regard to boys and girls coming in at 15, is it a crime that we should insure good lives? The same principle is being carried out as is carried out in regard to any other insurance scheme. Is it a crime to ask that boys and girls, the strong men and women of the future, should pay contributions in readiness for the time when they will be subject to unemployment and the ills connected with that particular aspect of industrial life? The main point put by the hon. and gallant Member for North Hackney—and this was not even mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil (Major Davies)—that unemployment is not prevalent to any extent among adolescents, cannot generally be substantiated. In certain given areas you get large numbers, and sometimes the bulk, of the boys and girls, unemployed. The House must remember that what is happening in three or four of the areas in given industries, may easily be possible all over the country in years to come, in view of the great changes which are coming to pass. I say that there is no more necessary thing in the life of this country than to make quite sure, as this Government are doing—if I expressed myself personally, I would say that it ought to have been done much sooner—that steps will be taken for the training and supervision of boys leaving school.


I cannot forbear saying two things. The hon. and gallant Member for North Hackney (Captain A. Hudson) and the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crook-shank) referred to the fact that Members of this party did not vote on the Committee stage in respect of Clause 1. I hope that when they speak again they will go a little further than that. This Clause has to be read in conjunction with another Clause, a Clause which, in my judgment, will be very valuable in the interests of all who have the educational welfare of the children at heart. This Clause was put down by the Minister as a result, not as the hon. and gallant Member for North Hackney said of "Us," but as a result of the Amendment of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) moved from these benches. Hon. Members know perfectly well that the reason why our party did not vote for the Clause on the Committee stage was because we were not satisfied with the statement made by the Minister, as there was no arrangement made for an extension of the training of young people. I cannot help commenting also on the two speeches which we have just heard. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Gainsborough was much more careful than the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Hackney, who said that the thing is unpopular in the country. I do not agree. What is unpopular is what certain views papers have made of the phrase contained in the last sentence of the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for North Hackney—"doles to children." They cannot have it both ways. The hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil cannot say that it is like taking candy away from the children and his hon. and gallant Friend protest vehemently against doles for children. They may choose which headline they like, but they cannot run both headlines on the same day in the same Debate and on the same Clause. When the hon. and gallant Gentleman adopts the use of metaphor and refers to the right hon. and hon. Members opposite as sheep and goats, and to us as patient oxen, I cannot help reminding him that in the last Division half his party was absent. May we, therefore, come to the conclusion that the wild asses are quenching their thirst in the South of France?


The hon. Member asks me, and I will give him a reply. The answer is: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."


I am glad the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not object to the metaphor. We know that he recognises his friends even when they are absent. This Clause has been asked for owing to an alteration in the school age. There would have been a gap of a year and a very awkward gap between 15 and 16 years of age. When people talk about the thing being unpopular, they mean what people are taught by headlines to believe is unpopular. I met a man the other day who was protesting against doles for children. I said, "Where are they?" He said: "The Government are going to pay doles to boys of 15." I pointed out that if a boy left school on his 15th birthday and went to work the very next day, the earliest time he could draw the dole would be at the end of 30 contribution weeks, plus six days' waiting period. He said; "I did not know that; that makes a great deal of difference." The fact that the right hon. Lady met the desires of those who want an extension of training, such as the training that is now going on in Edinburgh, by arrangement between the Department of Education and the Ministry of Labour, means that our objections to the inclusion of children of 15 in the insurance scheme falls to the ground. While it is true that because the Minister did not meet our views on the Committee stage we did not vote for Clause 1, I have no doubt whatever of the course that I shall adopt to-day. I shall vote for the Clause with great pleasure.


It is a well-known fact that no one is so prone to fanaticism as the convert, and those of us who have seen the gradual change of view of the deputy Leader of the Liberal party, after his own support of his Leader in opposition to this Clause, and have seen the change come about in which he has seen salvation, both material and moral, in the party opposite, are not surprised that he should have given the most vigorous defence of this Clause which hat, fallen from any hon. Member.


Will the noble Lord be surprised to hear that this is the first time I have expressed any opinion on this Clause?


I should have said, "on this Bill." I used the word "Clause" in error. I may say a word about the deputy Leader and the real Leader of the Liberal party at a later stage. I should like to confine myself for the moment to what has been said by the Parliamentary Secretary in connection with this very important part of the Bill. No one on this side of the House imputes anything but the most sincere motives to hon. and right hon. Members opposite in bringing forward this Clause. It is inconceivable that they can be anything but sincere, because they must realise that, from the electoral point of view, it would be hard to have brought forward a Clause likely to have been of less benefit to them. The small number of parents who, through their children, will benefit from this Clause are situated in the most depressed areas of the country, which already return Socialist Members to Parliament. In the great majority of districts where no benefits will accrue to boys and girls of 15 from the contributions which they will have to pay, for the simple reason that there is no unemployment amongst them, the Government will have at the next General Election one of the most damaging cries that has faced any party for a long time. It will be said: "You are taking contributions from our boys and girls of 15, and you know there is no unemployment." Therefore, no one on this side of the House will deny that hon. and right hon. Mem- bers opposite are sincere in bringing forward this Clause. Every defence of the Clause which has been made to-day, whether by the Minister, the Parliamentary Secretary or others, has shown its great unwisdom from the point of view not only of insurance and of industry but, most of all, from the point of view of the boys and girls who will be affected by it.

What are our main objections to the Clause? In the comparatively few areas where there is juvenile unemployment the boy and girl will, on leaving school, be discouraged to some extent from going away from what, in most cases, are hopelessly depressed areas, where the labour market is hopelessly overcrowded, and where the chance of a boy and girl getting a decent livelihood are at least 50 per cent. less than in other parts of the country or in the Dominions. I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary denies that there are such areas. He has said that there are areas where bays and girls have no chance of permanent employment. Is it a good thing that at the very earliest age when they enter industry and when they become unemployed they should be paid benefit and he thereby to some extent discouraged from going elsewhere? The Parliamentary Secretary made a very strange reference to this matter. He said that there were cases where boys in these areas had undesirable—I think he said undesirable—occupations. He said that they are doing jobs which had formerly been done by their fathers. If these jobs are beyond their physical and mental capacity or if they are being sweated in these jobs, then most certainly they ought not to be doing them, but I cannot see in what way this Clause will prevent that.

If, on the other hand, it means that by the use of machinery a job which was formerly done by a man can now be managed by a boy, so much the better for the industrial efficiency of the country. What we want is better machinery in this country, like they have in America, where the proportion of the average amount of man-power to machinery is one to three compared with this country. One cannot, however, discuss that matter on this Clause, and I only referred to it because the Parliamentary Secretary brought in the subject. I do not know what the undesirable jobs are, but if they exist, the Clause will do nothing to prevent any- thing that is undesirable. The Parliamentary Secretary stated that the education proposals of the Government would affect this point. That may or may not be so. We are a very long way from those proposals. They have not yet appeared in the from of a Bill, and we do not know whether they will get through the House. In any case, they will not come into operation for more than a year.

The second reason why we object to this Clause is that it will involve an injustice, in that boys and girls who are employed in insurable trades in many districts where unemployment amongst juveniles is so negligible as to be almost non-existent, will pay contributions towards a scheme that cannot benefit them as boys and girls. The Parliamentary Secretary admits that, and he will know even more strongly in the future how unpopular that proposal will be. He tried to get out of the difficulty by making a appeal to people to look at insurance as one scheme; to look at insurance as a whole. He said that just as in life insurance and accident insurance you must expect at the younger and healthier ages to pay in order to obtain advantages lox those of an older age, so they must look upon this scheme. His analogy is not correct. Before I took office in the Coalition Government I was a director of a very large insurance company doing business of all kinds all over the world, and I have been astonished at some of the comparisons which have been sought to be made in this Debate between this type of insurance and ordinary insurance. When a man or a woman insures his or her life or insures against accident they insure on a basis which can be shown by actuarial examination to be, on the whole, a reasonable one from the point of view of risk both to the insurance company and to the individual. I submit that in the case of juvenile insurance, taking the insurance at the age of 15 to 16, which is all we are concerned with in this Clause, the premium which you are asking the boys and girls to pay is absurdly out of proportion to the risk which they are going to undergo in all but very few districts of this country. That can be proved by actuarial experience.


Is it not a fact that in all insurance the good life pays for the bad life?


No one will admit that that is so, least of all anyone who has been a director of an insurance company. [Interruption.] Nothing that I say need be a cause of derision. Assuming that the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Townend) has made a correct statement, then all life insurance and accident insurance is wrong. I should he very sorry to hear it stated on the other side of the House, among responsible Members, that they admit the principle that in life insurance or in any other form of recognised insurance the risks of the bad lives are taken by the good lives. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes!"] Of course not. The only answer is that they do not accept them—the bad lives. The premium which is being asked from the boys and girls is out of all proportion to the risks which are going to be undertaken in all but very few districts, and it is contrary to every recognised insurance principle. A good many figures, have been mentioned in this Debate. Let me mention some. We have instances in the south of England which will confirm what I have just said. In my own constituency, where I have an electorate of 70,000 people, there is a town with an insured population of 12,000 or 13,000 persons. All through the bad years, from the year 1921 onwards, the total unemployment amongst that population has never been higher than 3 per cent. and has often been as low as 2 per cent. while unemployment amongst boys and girls is absolutely non-existent. In fact, boys and girls are brought in from other districts to undertake employment. Is it right that in an area like that, which is only one of a huge district, where there is very little unemployment and where there is no unemployment amongst juveniles, the boys and girls should have to pay contributions in order to support children of those ages in the depressed areas?


It is a common risk.


Why should there be this compulsion on my constituents, without their receiving one penny in return?


It is a common risk.

6.0 p.m.


Because the hon. Member has said that two or three times, it does not make it more truthful. As a result of industrial conditions which have long past away, there is in some parts of England and Scotland a hopeless surplus of labour which every impartial authority, including the Transference Board, has again and again stated is never likely to get permanent employment in those districts, and the sons and daughters of these people can have no permanent employment in those districts, because there is a surplus of labour, a condition which is likely to continue. If I thought for one moment that this Clause was going to solve the problem of the depressed areas, then by all means I would say to my constituents or to anyone else in the South of England: "You must bear your share as members of a great country by submitting to this charge, in order to cure this state of affairs"; but does anyone suggest for a moment that this Clause will cure that state of affairs? It will have exactly the opposite effect. It will remove to some extent one of the incentives for these people to go and seek employment in districts where there is some chance of getting it. It is not the amount of money that is involved, but the principle. I must say that I am astonished at the attitude of the Liberal party. If ever there was a Clause where the question of the old-fashioned ideal of self-reliance and self-help comes into review, it is on this Clause. The right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), who has been conspicuously absent from the Committee and Report stages, in his speech on the Second Reading of the Bill led us to believe that he was deeply opposed to this and the next Clause. He thoroughly earned the plaudits which the Press delights to shower upon him, that in a rather dull House of Commons he alone stands out as one who by his eloquence and his experience can put a case in the most forcible, vigorous and illuminating manner. We were all deeply impressed by the speech. Hon. Members opposite did not agree with him. We on this side agreed with his criticisms of the Bill, and were surprised that he did not follow them up. How feeble has been the aftermath of that speech as far as the right hon. Gentleman and his party are concerned! How different from what the right hon. Gentleman can do if he really follows up a policy! Some of us remember the days when he made vigorous attacks upon the dukes. He got a certain amount of fun out the dukes, but he would get far more fun out of the present Government if he really started upon them. It is true that a proportion of the dukes were at home in the saddle rather than in the senate, but I have never seen a Government or supporters of any Government who rise so easily to the simplest fly thrown over to them as do the present Government and its supporters. It is a real misfortune that the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs should again and again make speeches on Second Reading threatening opposition, bring forward arguments which he alone is able to do so admirably, and then when it comes to real discussion in Committee and on Report leave the Opposition to the deputy-leader of the Liberal party, the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). The comparison between the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs and the hon. Member for Leith is really almost too pathetic to mention, and we have a right to ask the right hon. Gentleman that in future, when he comes down on a Second Reading and makes such a speech he should at any rate follow it up by voting in the Committee and Report stages against a Clause to which he objects.

The gravamen of our charge against this Clause is that as far as the majority of the districts are concerned it is an impost, a most unfair tax, upon the employers and employed, which by no system of insurance can be justified. To those districts to which the Bill applies it is thoroughly bad in principle, and will instil into the minds of recruits to the industrial army, at their most plastic and impressionable age, the notion that unlike the young Canadians, unlike the young Frenchmen, unlike the young Americans, they will find in this country an institution, a benevolent old gentleman called the State, who will always come to their aid whenever they are in trouble from the start of their careers to the end. That is not the attitude of mind in young men in other countries starting out to earn their livelihood. They have not got the State behind them. It is bad for the morale of the boys and girls of this country. The less ambitious will argue that there is not the least need for any effort on their part. In other countries they are taught to rely upon themselves throughout life. Hon. Members opposite, I know, hold that the spirit of competitive emulation and ambition is bad, that the worst thing you can have is competition. But it was by those methods that the greatness of this country was built up, and we must, from the start of their careers when they are of an impressionable age, teach our young people to believe that they must get on by their own vigorous and unaided efforts.


This is the first contribution I have made to the Debates on this Bill, and I would not have prolonged the argument had it not been for the continued absence of the President of the Board of Education. The right hon. Gentleman has just come into the House, and I will withdraw the words "continuous absence" and substitute the words "continuous silence." I also intervene in the Debate because of the speech of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). To my mind he very nearly put his finger on the crux of the whole thing. He talked about hon. Members wanting to have it both ways. It is not hon. Members on this side who want to have it both ways. It is the Government. Either there is going to be juvenile unemployment after the raising of the school age or there is not. If there is, we contend that this Clause is not the way to deal with it. In the Debate on education the President of the Board of Education made use of a phrase which found agreement on all sides of the House. He said that a poor school is better than the most sanitary coal pit. Apparently, it is not better than the best Employment Exchange. We on this side contend that if you are going to spend money on remedying juvenile unemployment, it will be much better to spend it in giving increased educational facilities. If, on the other hand, there is not going to be juvenile unemployment there can be only one justification for the Clause, and that is that it will swell the Fund. In that case you are taking from children money from which they are to get no benefit. One of these things must be true. We say that this Clause is grossly unfair to the children of this country, and we propose to oppose it in the Division Lobby.


I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the question which arose out of the interruption made by the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Townend) when the right hon. Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) was speaking. In his view, in all systems of insurance the good life pays for the bad. Although I do not pretend to speak with the authority of a director of an insurance company, I would point out that that interruption shows that the hon. Member who made it has completely missed the whole point we are making about the contributions of young persons. There is all the difference between a voluntary and a compulsory system of insurance. In a voluntary system a person who enters as a good life does so of his own free will and stands exactly the same risk as a bad life. He does so because he considers he runs the same risk as a bad life. But in a compulsory system of insurance, such as you have under this Bill, you are dragging in people who do not run the same risks in order to reinforce the Fund by their contributions. As long as a compulsory scheme is mixed up with a voluntary scheme, there is no possible opportunity of realising the objections we make against the inclusion of young persons for the sole purpose of strengthening the Fund by contributions from their wages.

The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), in the course of his speech, described his conversion to this Bill. He said that in his view his objections to this Clause were largely removed by the extent to which the Minister has accepted Amendments moved by his party and the Amendment which I had the honour to move, making it a condition for the payment of benefit to young persons that they should receive some sort of training, The only remark I have to make upon that is that the hon. Member for Leith is more easily pleased than I am, because the words now in the Bill providing that training are by no means as satisfactory, as definite, or as positive as he and I would like to see. It only says that the training shall be provided where practicable. The whole point of hon. Members below the Gangway in their Amendment was to put in the Bill a provision that it shall be made practicable in all cases where benefit is paid. I doubt whether the hon. Member's conversion is justified by the words in the Bill. The hon. Member also described a conversation he had with an erstwhile opponent of the Measure, and he said that when he pointed out that a man had to work 30 weeks before he got unemployment benefit, his opponent was completely vanquished, withdrew his opposition, and no doubt said that he would vote for the hon. Member for Leith at the next election. I am sure the fact that his opponent lives in London is the only reason which prevents him from voting for the hon. Member. I doubt whether his interlocutor was as well seized of the Bill as he should have been, because if he had looked at Clause 11 he would find that it is possible for a lad if he remains at school for an extra year to be credited with 20 contributions. All he has to do is to come out of school, take up a blind alley occupation for 10 weeks, and, with the aid of his credited contributions, draw unemployment benefit for 18 months. That is the class of case which should largely influence this House and the hon. Member for Leith. I am doubtful whether his conversion is as well justified as it should be.

The whole object of our opposition as far as I can understand it—[Interruption]—and speaking for myself is this: I know that hon. Members of all parties sometimes speak without authority. I was much moved by the very eloquent appeal made by the Minister of Labour on the Second Reading of the Bill, in which she uttered a well-timed warning and an appeal to the mothers of these young people asking them to encourage their children to go abroad in search of work, to go to other districts in search of work, and not to give full effect to that natural homesickness which is so often found in children and which is often very much encouraged by mothers from quite natural reasons. That appeal loses a great deal of its power when in those districts and areas in which you find juvenile unemployment you are actually making it worth while, in money, to the mothers to keep their children at home when they should be going into more prosperous districts and working out a career for themselves. It is no use appealing to the emotions when at the same time you place a monetary consideration in exactly the opposite direction. It discountenances the eloquent appeal of the Minister. I take the view that this Clause will encourage blind-alley occupations, which is the very last thing into which we want to see the young people of this country going. You are making it worth while for a boy to take up, for instance, the job of selling chocolates at a railway station, or some such job, so that he can qualify himself for unemployment benefit. If we were sure that he would get training when drawing benefit it would be different, but what about the large parts of the country where the Minister will say that that is not practicable? You will have a rush for blind-alley occupations, and considerable damage will be done to the prospects of these young people working out a decent career for themselves.


I want to take up the point of the last speaker, that this Clause would encourage children to take up blind-alley occupations. As a matter of fact the whole scheme, to my mind, will prevent that, and in the distressed areas the very fact that the scheme provides for the crediting of contributions to the Insurance Fund will be the greatest incentive to the young people to remain at school. Therefore they will get the necessary educational training which will remove the need for going into blind-alley occupations. I am supporting this scheme as an educational Measure. We have the great weight of educational opinion behind the insurance of these children.

Duchess of ATHOLL

The hon. Member forgets the very weighty signatures of the Minority Report of the English Advisory Council representing the opinion of the great majority of the education authorities.


With all due respect I do not accept the words of the Noble Lady as correct. If she will look she will find that the representatives undoubtedly of the National Union of Teachers agreed with it, and that the representatives of by far the majority of the local administrators accepted and recommended this.

Duchess of ATHOLL

The Minority Report of the Advisory Council for England was signed on behalf of the Executive of the Association of Education Committees and the Association of Municipal Corporations.


While I believe that Mr. Graham and Mr. Spurley Hey signed, as a matter of fact if the Noble Lady will make further investigation she will find that the Director of Education for London, Mr. Gater, who is also a member of this body, and Mr. Kenrick, who comes from Birmingham, also signed.

Duchess of ATHOLL

Those signatories expressly said that they signed only as individuals.


If the Noble Lady will still pursue her investigations she will find that there is no opposition from the organised bodies of education authorities up and down the country, except in so far as it was expressed without the recent authority of the executive of that body. I say frankly that I support this scheme as an educational Measure. I join with the rest of those representing the teachers and the education authorities in asking for the insurance age to be lowered on conditions. One of the main conditions was that attendance at school should give credit for insurance benefit. Take my own constituency, which is a distressed area. If hon. Members opposite had their policy carried into effect what would happen? They want to have the whip of starvation to drive these children into blind-alley occupations. They want to see a young lad without any income, without anything from anywhere. They call it initiative. And that in places where unemployment is rampant! If you have an illimitable fund of initiative the boy would not be able to get a job.

The scheme will take these lads and will encourage them to remain in their schools, because they will be given credit under this scheme, and they will get training, though not the training that they would receive in Juvenile Training Centres, because those Centres cannot give what educationists call training. That is admitted by the Malcolm Committee and by every Committee that has examined the problem. They say of the juvenile centres that, the most they can do is to save the juveniles from the worst. What does this scheme do? It says, "We will encourage these children to remain in the ordinary educational system." [HON. MEMBERS: "Secondary."] Yes, secondary. It will encourage the boys to remain in the secondary school, because they will get credit for remaining in the school. In this scheme you have an encouragement of training within the ordinary educational system. Hence I can go boldly before educationists and say, "This is a good scheme." Hon. Members opposite are using two arguments. First of all they say, "You are demoralising the children." Then they say, "You are making money out of it." Neither of those statements is true.

The Malcolm Committee examined this problem and they took up the argument which I have heard from hon. Members opposite—that you are making money out of the children. If hon. Members will look at page 68 of the Report they will find that the Malcolm Committee made an extensive examination of that question and they say that the statement is not correct. As a matter of fact they state, in effect, "You must regard the insurance as a whole and remember that these children are laying up for themselves future benefits when inevitably they become unemployed." The demoralisation is not in receiving benefits, but in the unemployment created by the capitalist system. If we are going to save these children from demoralisation one of the best things to do is to give them a few shillings in their pocket for their mothers to feed them and clothe them and care for them.

On this question of demoralisation hon. Members opposite are merely talking to the headline Press that was mentioned by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). If they will look at the Report again they will see that that question was examined. The Committee state that they find no evidence at all of demoralisation. There was an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Labour and recorded here. They say that the investigation shows that there is no demoralisation as far as the children of 16 and 17 are concerned. I do not want to detain the House, but I did want to get up and say quite definitely and specifically that the overwhelming bulk of educational opinion is in favour of this Clause. Teachers, administrators, those people who have been interested in the social welfare of youth, all say that this is a necessary step, that it is the best step in the interests of the children. It certainly is not only an insurance Measure, but is also a valuable step as far as education is concerned. I said during the Committee stage that if the Liberal party wanted to help forward this movement I would be with them in the next step, which is to get a Fisher Education Act, with its continuation schools. Then we should have a sound, established and permanent system for these children, not in the juvenile unemployment centres, but a permanent system of—


The hon. Member is now going beyond the Clause that is before the House.


I am sorry to have been led astray. I am supporting this Clause because I see its present and its future educational value to the Children.

Duchess of ATHOLL

I had no intention of intervening, and I do not propose to detain the House more than a few minutes, but the statement made by the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is so amazing that I am bound to endeavour to reply. I do not propose to follow him in what he said on what is now Clause 10, because we are discussing Clause 1; but I think that the House cannot be too clear as to the complete inaccuracy of what the hon. Gentleman has said as to this Clause being supported by an overwhelming majority of educational opinion, including teachers and administrators. I can only say that if the hon. Member sticks to that statement he simply has not read the Report, because it is made absolutely clear there that those who signed the Majority Report approving of the lowering of the insurance age were signing only in their individual capacities—an extremely significant reservation. If we examine the composition of the Council we see that everyone there is put on in some representative capacity or other, either as representing local education authorities or the employers or the trade unions or the teaching profession. While it is true that we find the signatures of well known teachers appended to the Majority Report, we have to remember that those are individual signatures with the others, and when we come to representatives of the local education authorities, though there are some well known signatures there, again they are merely individual signatures. That is a very significant matter in the case, for instance, of the gentleman who has been mentioned, the Education Secretary of the London Education Committee. He signed only in his individual capacity, in spite of the fact that he was representing that great education authority.


He did not go on that Council in a representative capacity, but purely as a private individual. That should be made clear.

Duchess of ATHOLL

But that does not get us away from the fact that his signature is an individual signature. Against that we have to set the signatures of one of the Minority Reports. There is a report signed by the employers, and another Minority Report, giving very strong reasons against the lowering of the age of insurance, is signed by well known Directors of Education in their representative capacity. It is well known, and it has already been stated in the Debates on this Bill, that this Minority Report has been endorsed by the Executive of the Association of Education Committees in England and Wales, and since the Bill was introduced also by the Association of Municipal Corporations. Therefore no statement could be more utterly untrue and misleading than that made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove).


indicated dissent.

Duchess of ATHOLL

I am merely quoting the facts set forth in the Report, and the findings that have been made public, of the bodies to which I have referred. Even the teachers' representatives are not unanimously in favour of the Majority Report. The Association of Principals in Technical Institutes and other associations also signed the Minority Report. I appeal to the President of the Board of Education whether he can accept the statement made by the hon. Member that the overwhelming majority of educational opinion is in favour of this Clause. How can he as Minister possibly ignore the Report that has been endorsed by those two very important bodies representing administrators in education? They are the two principal educational bodies with which he has to deal; and therefore he has against him, in supporting this Clause, the weight of the representative opinion of the administrators of education. In regard to the signatures of the teachers attached to the Majority Report, I think the hon. Member for Aberavon probably knows that one well-known member of the profession, or retired member of the profession, who signed the Report was prevented by ill-health from taking any share in the deliberations of the council. Therefore, that signature has not the value which we should have attached to it in happier circumstances. I appeal to the President of the Board of Eudcation to make it clear that he cannot allow the statement of his own supporter to pass, that the weight of educational opinion is in favour of the Clause, when he must know too well that the whole strength of the associations of education administrators is against it and that they have expressed their strong opinion in favour of the Minority Report.


I confess I am surprised to hear the Noble Lady the Member for Perth and Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) trying to depreciate the value of a Majority Report. I know that in these days the value of a majority is often discounted, and, as the representative of a minority in this House, I rather like to feel that the minority is more important than the majority. But in this case we find that 19 members were in favour of this recommendation, which is a majority of something like three to one, and I do not know what larger majority could be desired in a matter of this kind. When I saw this Clause in its original form, I was nervous, because one very important condition was laid down in connection with the lowering of the age of insurance, making the provision dependent upon attendance at a juvenile instruction centre, and the right hon. Lady the Minister saw difficulties in the way of finding words to satisfy that condition. Those difficulties have been overcome, and the very skilful Clause which was moved by the Minister as the first of the new Clauses entirely satisfies that condition. I agree with the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) that this Clause is not the end of all things. We move slowly, but this is a, step in the right direction, and the insertion of this condition will bring nearer a system of compulsory continuation schools. That is our ideal and our aim, but in the meantime this Clause, with the provision requiring attendance at training centres as a condition of the right to receive benefit, inevitably brings closer to us that better system which they have in Germany and other countries. At the present time in London there is an actual shortage of juvenile labour. There are 4,000 positions which have been notified by the Employment Exchanges, and which cannot be filled, and, at any rate in the South of England, we are not going to have a great number of young people—

Viscountess ASTOR

May I ask the hon. Member if he thinks that this Bill from an educational point of view is going to make it easier to raise the school age to 16 or—


Get your party to raise it.

Viscountess ASTOR

It is your pledge.


I would not like to say that, but the more you educate and bring forward public opinion, the nearer you will be to that ideal. It is not for me to say so, perhaps, but if the Noble Lady would show the same energy outside the House as she shows inside the House, she could do much to help on that happy day, and her first business is to convert her own friends.

Viscountess ASTOR

I am sure the hon. Member will not mind me saying that I have always fought for raising the school age in my constituency, and the Labour party went round the back streets telling the people that I was going to keep their children at school. That is the humbug of that whole party.


Charity commences at home, and so does education. The Noble Lady ought to put her own house in order, and convert her own friends, and then a united House of Commons could agree to raise the age still further. In the meantime, our business is to pass this Clause. I believe that by bringing these young persons under control and supervision, we shall be better able to guide them and we shall, as I say, make a step forward.


So much has been said about the weight to be attached to the majority report that I cannot help reminding hon. Members opposite of one of the conditions attached to those signatures, a condition which has not been fulfilled: Attendance at a Junior Instruction Centre or an alternative approved course of instruction should be normally a condition for the receipt of unempoyment benefit by all juveniles under 18. So that the argument of the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) falls. There is another remarkable passage in the report of the Advisory Council. The hon. Member claimed that the whole weight of educational authority was in favour of the Clause. Mr. Spurley Hey, Director of Education in Manchester, and one of our leading authorities on educational matters, signed the Minority Report, and here is what he says: During the last six months I have circularised the 267 education committees which are members of the Association (the Association of Education Committees) requesting their views on the proposal in order that I might the more correctly represent their present views on the proposal. Of those who gave a definite decision a large majority was in favour of the Working Certificate, and against lowering the age of unemployment insurance.


Can the hon. Member tell us the number of replies? If two out of three gave replies in favour there would be a large majority. As a matter of fact my information, direct from the source, is that they did not know what the Director of Education for Manchester was really asking.


I think we may trust Mr. Spurley Hey to put his ques-

tion quite clearly. In face of these facts it is difficult for hon. Members opposite to maintain that the weight of education authority is in favour of the Clause. From an educational point of view I consider it unsound, and I feel surprised that one who has done so much in the cause of education as the hon. Member for Aberavon should defend it. He has rightly said that continuation at school is an advantage. It is an advantage and a privilege, but then he goes on to say that the children and their parents should be bribed to accept the privilege. That I hold to be fundamentally unsound from an educational point of view. By this Clause you introduce into the minds of the children a pauperising effect, and for that reason, and also because it is a mean Clause, which takes out of the pockets of the children a large amount of money in order to benefit the fund, I utterly oppose it.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'later,' in line 15, stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 263; Noes, 156.

Division No. 101.] AYES. [6.41 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Charleton, H. C. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Chafer, Daniel Groves, Thomas E.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Church, Major A. G. Grundy, Thomas W.
Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M. Clarke, J. S. Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)
Alpass, J. H. Cocks, Frederick Seymour Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Ammon, Charles George Cove, William G. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)
Angell, Norman Daggar, George Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)
Arnott, John Dallas, George Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)
Aske, Sir Robert Dalton, Hugh Hardie, George D.
Attlee, Clement Richard Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Harris, Percy A.
Ayles, Walter Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Day, Harry Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Devlin, Joseph Haycock, A. W.
Barnes, Alfred John Dickson, T. Hayes, John Henry
Bellamy, Albert Dudgeon, Major C. R. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Dukes, C. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Bennett, Capt. E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Duncan, Charles Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Ede, James Chuter Herriotts, J.
Benson, G. Edmunds, J. E. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Hoffman. P. C.
Sevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Hollins, A.
Birkett, W. Norman Egan, W. H. Hopkin, Daniel
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Elmley, Viscount Horrabin, J. F.
Bowen, J. W. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Foot, Isaac Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Broad, Francis Alfred Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Isaacs, George
Brockway, A. Fenner Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Bromfield, William George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) John, William (Rhondda, West)
Bromley, J. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Johnston, Thomas
Brothers, M. Gill, T. H. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Glassey, A. E. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Gosling, Harry Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Gossling, A. G. Kelly, W. T.
Burgess, F. G. Gould, F. Kennedy, Thomas
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Kinley, J.
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland) Granville, E. Knight, Holtord
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.) Gray, Milner Lathan, G.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Law, Albert (Bolton)
Cameron, A. G. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Law, A. (Rossendale)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' w.) Lawrence, Susan
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Lawson, John James Palin, John Henry Smith, H. B. Lees (Kelghiey)
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Paling, Wilfrid Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Leach, W. Palmer, E. T. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Lees, J. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Phillips, Dr. Marlon Sorensen, R.
Lloyd, C. Ellis Picton-Turbervill, Edith Spero, Dr. G. E.
Longden, F. Pole, Major D. G. Stamford, Thomas W.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Ponsonby, Arthur Stephen, Campbell
Lowth, Thomas Potts, John S. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Lunn, William Price, M. P. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Pybus, Percy John Strauss, G. R.
Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Sutton, J. E.
McEntee, V. L. Rathbone, Eleanor Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Mackinder, W. Raynes, W. R. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
MacLaren, Andrew Richards, R. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
McShane, John James Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Thurtle, Ernest
Mansfield, W. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Tillett, Ben
March, S. Ritson, J. Tinker, John Joseph
Marcus, M. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich) Tout, W. J.
Markham, S. F. Romeril, H. G. Townend, A. E
Marley, J. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Matters, L. W. Rowson, Guy Turner, B.
Maxton, James Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Vaughan, D. J.
Melville, Sir James Salter, Dr. Alfred Vlant, S. P.
Messer, Fred Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Walker, J.
Middleton, G. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Wallace, H. w.
Millar, J. D. Sanders, W. S. Wallhead, Richard C.
Mills, J. E. Sandham, E. Watkins, F. C.
Montague, Frederick Sawyer, G. F. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Scrymgeour, E. West, F. R.
Morley, Ralph Scurr, John Westwood, Joseph
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Sexton, James Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Mort, D. L. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Moses, J. J. H. Sherwood, G. H. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Shield, George William Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Muggeridge, H. T. Shillaker, J. F. Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Murnin, Hugh Shinwell, E. Wise, E. F.
Naylor, T. E. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Simmons, C. J. Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Noel Baker, P. J. Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Oldfield, J. R. Sinkinson, George
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Sitch, Charles H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley.
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Smith, Ben (Sermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Albery, Irving James Christie, J. A. Graham. Fergus (Cumberland, N.)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter
Astor, Viscountess Colfox, Major William Philip Greene, W. p. Crawford
Atholl, Duchess of Colville, Major D. J, Grenfell, Edward C, (City of London)
Atkinson, C. Conway, Sir W. Martin Gunston, Captain D. W.
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W. Cranbourne, Viscount Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon, Stanley (Bewdley) Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Crookshank, Capt. H. C. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet) Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hartington, Marquess of
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Cunlifle-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Beaumont, M. W. Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Berry, Sir George Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Bird, Ernest Roy Davies, Dr. Vernon Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Boothby, R. J. G. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hurd, Percy A.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hurst, Sir Gerald B.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Duckworth, G. A. V. Iveagh, Countess of
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Kindersley, Major G. M.
Boyce, H. L. Eden, Captain Anthony King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.
Bracken, B. Edmondson, Major A. J. Knox, Sir Alfred
Briscoe, Richard George Elliot, Major Walter E. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Falle, Sir Bertram G. Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.
Buckingham, Sir H. Fielden, E. B. Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Fison, F. G. Clavering Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Butler, R. A. Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Llewellin, Major J. J.
Carver, Major W. H. Galbraith, J. F. W. Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Ganzoni, Sir John Long, Major Eric
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Lymington, Viscount
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.) Glyn, Major R. G. C. Macquisten, F. A.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A Gower, Sir Robert Maitland, A. (Kent, Favereham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.) Grace, John Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Marjoribanks, E. C. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Mond, Hon. Henry Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Tinne, J. A.
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Salmon, Major I. Turton, Robert Hugh
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Muirhead, A. J. Samuel, Samuel (W'dtworth, Putney) Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Sassoon. Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Savery, s. S. Werrender, Sir Victor
O'Neill, Sir H. Skelton, A. N. Wayland, Sir William A.
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Wells, Sydney R.
Peake, Capt. Osbert Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Smith-Carington, Neville W. Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George
Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Somerset, Thomas Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Power, Sir John Cecil Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Pownall, Sir Assheton Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Purbrick, R. Southby, Commander A. R. J. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Ramsbotham, H. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Reid, David D. (County Down) Steel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Remer, John R. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Rentoul, Sir Gervals S. Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F. Captain Margesson and Sir George Penny.

I beg to move, in page 1, line 15, to leave out from the word "date," to the word "an," in line 16, and to insert instead thereof the words "earlier than the date on which."

On the Committee stage a question was put as to the drafting of the Clause from the point of view of the age of entry into insurance, and the Noble Lord the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) raised the point that under the Clause, as drafted, the Minister had power to reduce the age of entry at any time. That was not the Government's intention, and the Amendment is designed to remove any doubt on the point.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 1, line 20, after the word "Act," insert the words: or later than the beginning of the insurance year next following the insurance year in which such an enactment comes into force as aforesaid."—[Mr. Lawson.]