HC Deb 12 November 1929 vol 231 cc1769-2006

Amendment proposed [11th November]; In page 2, line 1, to leave out the words "the Minister," and to insert instead thereof the words, "one or more referees."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]

Question again proposed, "That the words 'the Minister' stand part of the Clause."

Mr. MELLER

When the Debate was interrupted last night, a suggestion had been made to the Minister that he might at least consider the proposal made in this Amendment and, if he could not there and then give a reply, that probably he would be prepared to make some offer to consider the position which we had put forward. The Prime Minister to-day intimated that it was his wish that we should proceed with the Amendments on this Bill as far as Clause 15, but I think it could not have been present to his mind that very strong views are held on this side and by Members of the Liberal party on this Clause, which gives unfettered power to the Minister to consider claims for pensions. Last night I was endeavouring to combat the argument put forward by the Minister of Health that, inasmuch as under the Act of 1925 power had been given to the Minister to determine conclusively the right of an individual to have a pension, he was entitled to come forward and claim that as a right and proper precedent for such a power in this Bill; and I was endeavouring to show that there was a marked distinction between the cases set up under the Act of 1925 and those proposed under this Bill. It will be remembered that under the Act of 1925 we were dealing with a limited class of persons and that the right of a widow to a pension was based upon the fact that she had a child, and, therefore, the period over which the Minister had to make a review was a period at the most limited to 14 years, whereas, if hon. Members will take their minds back to Section 18 of the Act of 1925, paragraph (a), they will find it stated that: the decision of the Minister on any question whether a person would have been so insured or deemed to have been so insured shall be final and conclusive. I submit that there the task of the Minister was a comparatively easy one. It was merely a reference over a comparatively short period, and a period during which most of the applicants would be able to give some evidence of which trace could have been made as to their insurance. I agree that under Section 18 of that Act there might arise some cases where the Minister had to deter mine whether he should say that such and such a person must be deemed to be a widow of a man who was insured, but such cases were very few. The Bill of 1929, however, goes a great deal further, and I would call particular attention to the second paragraph under Sub-section (1, a), which declares that the Minister has to determine that the normal occupation of the individual was at some time within the said period employment in respect of which contributions would have been payable if the Insurance Act had been in force.

It is very necessary that we should direct our minds to this particular paragraph. Is it a question of 14 years? Is it a question of a short period over which the Minister can make these inquiries, with comparative certainty that no wrong cases will be let through? That is not the case. The case here is that the Minister has to determine—and his decision is to be final and conclusive—some thing which has happened at some time over a period of 30 or 40 years. I should not raise the same strong objections if I were dealing with facts in regard to which I could get evidence from the records of the Ministry itself or of the society which had received contributions and noted them against the insured per son, but that is not the case here. We are going to a period the other side of the 14 years, a period of something like 30 or 40 years, and I submit that the Minister is not right in putting upon him self the very serious burden of deter mining finally whether these persons shall be included or excluded from the benefits of the Clause.

Let us think what it really means when we say that the Minister's decision shall be final and conclusive. Of course, it is a physical impossibility for the Minister to be examining 2,000 claims per day, which I believe is the number estimated. The task will fall upon his Department, and he will not be able to have the experience and service of men who have been dealing with these cases for many years, but he will be bound to bring in a number of persons who will have to be taught the lines on which the examination must be made, and, what is worse, they will have to examine the cases between very watertight compartments.

There is no flexibility in the Civil Service. I own among my friends a great number of civil servants, against whose intelligence and skill I have not a word to say, but they are restricted by the very conditions under which they work. If we knew that the decision of the Minister was to be a discretionary power in cases on the border line, there might be something to be said for it, but under this Bill you are going to submit these cases to a number of persons who will have their instructions and who cannot depart from "Aye" or "No." They cannot run to the head of the Department and say, "What do you think of this case? Do you think we ought to let it through or not?" May I give as an example something which occurred to one of my constituents in the past three weeks? Hon. Members will remember that in the Act of 1925, Section 28, provides that where it is shown … that failure to make a claim within the time above limited was due to circumstances over which the claimant had no control, the pension shall commence to accrue on the date on which the claimant became entitled thereto, but if the Department comes to the conclusion that the. circumstance is one over which the applicant had control, then his pension accrues from the date on which the claim was made. The instance I wish to give is that of a man who believed himself to have been born in June and to have attained the age of 65 in June of this year. He had that belief from a baptismal certificate. He had some difficulty in remembering or ascertaining exactly where he was born, but he had this baptismal certificate, and he always believed that it was obtained within about a month of his birth. He made the claim in respect to June of this year quite honestly. The Department, however, said that the evidence they required was not a baptismal certificate, but a birth certificate, and when he made inquiry—and it took some time to get that birth certificate—he found that he was in fact born in January of the year, not June. He said he put in his claim for June because he believed he was born in June, but the Department said that this error was a circumstance over which he had control. Is not that a narrow and, if I may say so, a mean adjudication upon a case? I submit that if any institution outside which had been doing this business had dared to set up such a claim for disputing a payment, some considerable stir would have been made about it, yet that is the sort of risk you will run under this Clause.

We are proposing to relieve the Minister of a very unpleasant situation. He perhaps contemplates that the whole of the cases applying will be put through, and, therefore, that there will be very few discontented people, but I want to think of the discontented people who, because they have not had the experience or advice of some other people, have not been able to put forward their claims in the right way. What will be their position?

The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)

They will have the right of appeal.

Mr. MELLER

I know that later on the right hon. Gentleman is taking power so that, if a few facts are brought to his notice, he may reconsider the case, but I do not like this provision in an Act of Parliament which says that a Minister may do something, but does not compel him to do it. I would rather have it clear that when an individual makes a claim he knows it will be dealt with by in dependent people, who will not be bound down by the red tape of the Department, but who will give some human feeling and consideration to the matter. I read through this Bill first of all to get the general sense of it, and then I went through it paragraph by paragraph, to see what lay behind it, whether it had any hidden meaning or some wickedness lurking in it, and the first thing that struck me was this statement that the Minister's decision shall be final and conclusive. When we are dealing with a Measure of this kind, which is an inducement to those persons who want to sup port a particular party to look and see how easy they can make things for them, I say that this sort of thing is dangerous.

As to the argument that there have been many precedents for these powers, I must say that I have never been enamoured of them, though some of them have come from my own side. I dislike legislation by Regulation, and Members of this Committee who have had experience of Regulations under social insurance schemes know that there is a great deal to object to in them. Indeed, in some cases the volume of Regulations far exceeds the size of the Act itself. You are dealing, not with regulations which can be laid on the Table of the House where they can be seen by Members and questions replied to upon them, but with something done in the secrecy of a Department. It is wrong to leave this to the Minister, and I hope when the Amendment goes to a Division there will be an overwhelming decision in favour of reasonable and proper treatment of matters of this kind.

Mr. WHEATLEY

I hope the Minister will consider very carefully before he accedes to the eloquent request from the other side of the House, and that he is going stoutly to resist the Amendment. It is put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) on the grounds of democracy. Somebody remarked the other evening that he wished to be saved from the sins of the late Government. We all know the right hon. Gentleman to be in the opposite camp from the democrats. If ever we had the example of Satan rebuking sin, it is in the spectacle of the right hon. Gentleman posing as a democrat. I have looked at the 1925 Act while the right hon. Gentle man was speaking, and, as a result of a casual glance, I discovered no less than a dozen instances where the right hon. Gentleman took power for the thing to be done by the Minister. There was no objection to the Minister in those days, but since then the right hon. Gentleman has found salvation, and he says that we must be very careful how we put our trust in Governments.

The hon. Member who has just addressed the Committee devoted most of his speech to trying to convince us that the referee would perform the functions that are placed upon the Minister. I fail to see any argument that would convince anyone on either side of the House. Surely, the Minister with all the power of the Ministry of Health behind him can perform the work equally as well, to put it no higher, as it would be done by a referee or referees. But I want to ask the Committee, Where is the democracy? Under this Bill, the House will have some control, but who will control the referee? You are asked to put the State in the position of a claimant or defendant in an action, and to go before a judge or referee appointed by this House. In other words, you ask a person to regard the State as his potential enemy, and you ask a referee to decide between the two claims, the State on the one side and the claimant for a pension on the other. Is that a constitutional position you want to create? Should you not train these people to regard the State as their friend and not as their enemy?

An HON. MEMBER

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee what appeal any person who is refused a pension has except to one of the parties—the Minister for the time being in control?

Mr. WHEATLEY

I do not want to create the spirit of two parties to an action at all—the State with all its power on one side, and the claimant on the other with his limited resources. I say that is entirely wrong. To set a power above the decision of Parliament and above the Government, to which the Government has to appeal, in legislation of this kind is entirely wrong, and I hope that Members in all parts of the House will see that it is a wrong principle and will not support it. We have some experience of these referees. I cannot discuss them here, but the House of Commons devotes a considerable amount of time at Question Time and in Debates to considering the decision of Courts of Referees under another Measure, the administration of which arouses a great deal of discussion. I submit that nothing has done more to create irritation and ill-feeling than this appointment of referees. We should leave the matter in the power of the Minister who is responsible to the House of Commons, for the House of Commons represents the people and is the proper authority to control the administration of Acts of Parliament.

Mr. ATKINSON

I have always disliked and protested against giving these autocratic powers in Acts which pretend to give rights. A right, at any rate if it is to be a legal right, must be some thing in the defence of which we can go to the Courts or some independent tribunal, and I do not see how you can set up to be conferring a right when all you say is that a widow shall have a pension if the Minister chooses to let her have it. It is suggested that the Minister is the best person to decide. I doubt that. It is a claim made against a Department administering a fund, and there are a thousand objections to letting that Department be the sole judge. We are dealing with £80,000,000 and 500,000 claimants. Doubt less, the bulk will go through without appeal, but you are putting the Department in the position that no decision, however unjust or mistaken, can be remedied. I am not sure that is wholly understood. It is quite true that under Section 18 of the principal Act there were two questions on which the decision of the Minister was founded. They were questions concerned with normal employment under (e) at the time of the deceased's death, but the provisions in that Act went far beyond it. If you turn to Section 29, you will see that, although the Minister was not to submit to the Court of Referees a question upon which his decision was expressed to be final, there was nothing to prevent his doing it if he thought fit. The words are: Nothing in the Sub-section shall be construed as requiring such a reference. The proviso to Sub-section (2) has nothing to prevent the Minister permitting a reference in a matter in which his opinion was expressed to be final. Therefore, if there were a doubtful question and the Minister was not satisfied that he was right, doubtless he would take the course, if desired, of bringing the appeal to a referee. It states: The Minister may, on new facts being brought to his notice, revise any award or decision given by him under this Act. That was a provision which really made him a court of appeal from his own Department. The Minister told us that he was given judicial powers, but he said quite frankly: I shall not exercise them; that will be done by clerks in my Department. It will be done in his name, and I have never heard of anybody being able to delegate judicial powers, but he said, quite frankly, that he was going to dele gate them. This did make him a sort of appeal from his own Department, because he still had power under that Section to review his decisions on new facts being brought to his notice This Bill enlarges that power in a very happy way, because Section 16 says: The Minister may at any time and from time to time revise, any award or decision given by him under the principal Act, if it appears to him that, having regard to any new facts or other considerations which have been brought to his notice…. wise to do so. The Committee, therefore, will see that it wisely extends his powers of reviewing decisions. It is not limited to new facts. There is no doubt that the Minister would have the power of putting right some decision come to in his name by his Department. The Committee, however, will notice that in this Bill there is no word giving a right of appeal in any respect from a decision given under the terms of this Bill. I do not know why this distinction is drawn. Under Section 16, it is made quite clear that the power to revise a decision is confined to one given under the principal Act, which is defined in Clause 1 as the Act of 1925. If you stop there, there can be no doubt whatever that there is no right of appeal on any decision under this Bill. It may be contended—perhaps the Minister will throw some light on it—that if you look at the last Clause in the Bill, Clause 24, there is a provision which enables him to read these rights of appeal and powers of revising decisions into the Bill now before the Committee, because it says: Unless in any case the context other wise requires, any reference in this Act to the principal Act or to any enactment contained in that Act shall be construed as a reference to that Act or to that enactment as amended by this Act. The Committee will observe that that does not touch my Amendment at all, because Clause 1, giving the pension to a new class of people, is in no sense an amendment of the principal Act; it is an extension of it. There are Clauses amending the principal Act, but I venture to suggest that under the final Clause you could not possibly say that questions arising under Clause 1 could be brought into the ambit of the rights of appeal and revision of decisions.

The CHAIRMAN

The Amendment under discussion deals with the question of the referees. The question of appeals is raised on another Amendment.

Mr. ATKINSON

I quite follow that, but surely it is germane to the discussion to consider whether the Minister is to be the final arbiter.

Mr. GREENWOOD

May I put this point? The question under discussion now is whether, in every claim for pensions, the referees are to be the court of first instance. The question of the appeal does not arise.

The CHAIRMAN

That is so. I said so last night.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. ATKINSON

Because there is no right of appeal and because the Minister has no right to revise his decision, I object to the Clause as it stands. My objections would disappear in the main if there was some indication or promise from the Minister to put these other matters right. I submit to you, Sir, that my point is absolutely germane. The question is whether the Minister shall be the final tribunal, or whether the claims shall go to the court of referees.

Mr. GREENWOOD

With all respect the question as to who shall be the final court of appeal does not arise on this Amendment. The question before the Committee, as you, Mr. Young, have pointed out, is whether every claim made for pension has to be submitted to the referee. Whether there is to be any further appeal is a matter for a subsequent Amendment.

Sir KINGSLEY WOOD

On a point of Order. I understand, Sir, that you ruled yesterday that we should take these two matters simultaneously; that we should first discuss whether there should be a court of referees, a court of first instance, and that, later, we should discuss the other matter.

The CHAIRMAN

That is exactly the position.

Mr. ATKINSON

I will just state the reasons why I say that the Minister should not remain the authority under this section. They are: because his decision is final, because he has no power to revise it, and because there is no right of appeal. That puts the Minister in the position of a dictator, a position which he does not hold under the principal Act.

Sir PATRICK FORD

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, after the word "referees," to add the words "in Scotland, the sheriff."

I think I shall be in order in moving this manuscript Amendment, which I handed in before the proceedings began to-day, and which bears very closely upon the Amendment of the ex-Minister of Health now under discussion. I sincerely hope that the Committee will agree to accept the substance of one or other of those Amendments. I speak on behalf of Scotland in this matter in moving my Amendment. I think the great bulk of Scottish opinion is behind me when I ask that this question of the decisions of the rights of parties—after all, there are two parties, the person making the claim and the Minister dealing with it; you cannot get away from the fact that there are those two parties—the decision on points of dispute arising out of the claim, if the claim is resisted or not fully met for certain reasons—that that claim should go at once to the sheriff court.

The sheriff in Scotland occupies the position to which there is nothing exactly analogous in England. The sheriff combines partly the functions of the county court judge and partly the functions of a stipendary magistrate. He has, in addition, very considerable executive and administrative powers. He is always a man of character, and has very considerable experience of facts as well as of law. There is a very general opinion in Scotland that if you remit the case to the sheriff you get that knowledge of facts and law applied without the least bias and in the most satisfactory and in the quickest manner possible. I have talked on this matter with various people, and with at least one prominent member of the party opposite. His main objection seemed to be to be a difficulty about the delay that might arise. The procedure in the sheriff court in summary cases is very quick, however, and there is not really very much delay. It is one of the courts of which people can complain least of delay.

On the general principle of having a reference to an outside court, the Committee might bear in mind the words of the present Lord Chief Justice, in a book recently published, where he points out that very serious encroachments, for which every Government in the last 20 years or so has been responsible, have been made on the liberties of the subject without defence in the King's impartial Courts of Law. It is not good enough to say that the Minister is a kindly and just man, and that his permanent officials are men of integrity and knowledge. They do represent the Department. I remember, from the earliest days when any law was taught to me, or any idea of constitutional rights, that we were held up as a standing example, as opposed to France, Germany and other civilised countries, because we had not a special law for the State the Government Departments, under which they could act for themselves and be their own judge, counsel and advocate. It was always held up to me that every subject, how ever humble, and whatever might be the complexion of the Government in power, had his right of redress in the Courts. I should like to see that redress quicker and easier. But that does not constitute an argument against my Amendment, becase the Sheriff Court is the right court where you would get a quick decision, and you have public opinion in Scotland behind my proposal.

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Johnston)

May I very briefly appeal to the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Edinburgh (Sir P. Ford) not to press his Amendment in this particular form. With the spirit which is behind the Amendment, I have no quarrel at all, but I hope to show him conclusive reasons why his object would not be attained by the Amendment. In the first place, his Amendment does not cover appeals against decisions where the Minister has turned down a claim; it is designed to cover all claims of all pre-Act widow applicants. If the hon Member with his knowledge of the law and the Law Courts and administration in Scot- land, will consider what that will mean, with our present overburdened legal machinery, I am perfectly certain he will reconsider his Amendment. We are, at this moment, as I am sure he is aware, compelled to face the question of very serious congestion in our Sheriff Courts in our large cities. It would be utterly impossible for the sheriffs in Scotland, particularly in the large cities, to take on the additional burden of making an investigation into every application by a pre-Act widow.

May I further draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the fact that the Minister, in the Bill, is only asking that his decision shall be final and conclusive on one point, that is the insurance status. He is not asking that his decision shall be final on questions of marriage, questions of age, of death, of husband, of residence, of service, of pensions, and so on. All those questions will still come before an arbiter in Scotland, chosen from the panel of arbiters, under a system which has worked, as I think the hon. Member will agree, very satisfactorily during the past year or year and a half. If the hon. Member's proposal were carried, we should be compelled to appoint extra sheriffs. Those sheriffs would be compelled to examine every claim of every pre-Act widow on questions of insurance status, to get hold of records which are at present in the possession of the Department as to insurance status, and to undertake work which they cannot at present, and cannot from any past experience, be qualified to deal with. That would be taking away those duties from men whose experience on the present panel of arbiters has suited them for the work.

Mr. ATKINSON

Under what Section is the system of appeals which the Under-Secretary has described going to be applied to the words in this Bill?

Mr. JOHNSTON

The Act under which we are operating now does give a right of appeal on such questions as I have referred to. What we are discussing now is the question on the top line of page 2 of the Bill.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

On a point of Order. May I ask your Ruling on this matter? So far as I am aware, the Amendment moved by the right hon. Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) has not been withdrawn. Therefore, I suggest that we are rather closing the opportunity of discussing the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment because that Amendment has not been put or withdrawn. I should like to know what position we are in at the moment.

The CHAIRMAN

Perhaps I am at fault; I am not quite sure. I put the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) and then the manuscript Amendment was handed in. Therefore, the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Edinburgh (Sir P. Ford) is not in order. We should come to a decision on the previous Amendment.

Sir F. HALL

Then we shall have an opportunity of discussing the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment.

Sir WALTER GREAVES-LORD

Do I understand that there would be, under the Clause we are discussing, a right of appeal? If so, the Under-Secretary has not indicated that the Government are going to accept an Amendment leaving out the following words. Unless those words are left out, there can be no right of appeal.

Mr. JOHNSTON

No, that comes on a later Amendment. I do not want to discuss what the attitude of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health would be when we come to the Amendment which stands in the name of an hon. Member below the gangway opposite.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

Do I understand the hon. Gentleman to say there is a right of appeal? I do not understand where such an appeal is to be found, and I should like to have this misunderstanding cleared up.

Mr. JOHNSTON

I did not say that.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

The Minister did.

Mr. GREENWOOD

Really, hon. Members are trying to pre-judge the Amendment which hon. Members below the Gangway are to move. The Committee are raising now the general question of appeal, and I will deal with that question when the Amendment comes before the Committee.

Sir K. WOOD

It is very difficult to discuss the question of the Minister's decision with relation to this large number of appeals without briefly referring to the question, which is very vital, whether the Minister's decision is really final and conclusive. If it is, it makes the arguments for a reference to some outside body very much more powerful. I do not know whether the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland has concluded his speech; otherwise, I wish to make some observations on it.

The CHAIRMAN

The Question be fore the Committee is "That the words the Minister' stand part of the Clause." An Amendment was moved. I had better dispose of the Amendment to the proposed Amendment first.

Sir P. FORD

I will withdraw my Amendment to the proposed Amendment, providing I get some assurance from the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland that he will endeavour with his Scottish colleagues to induce the Government to embody the principle of an appeal to the sheriff when cases are in dispute, whether there has been a previous appeal or not.

The CHAIRMAN

Order, order! This is a very difficult point, and I have been looking it up in Erskine May. We must get back to the Question before the Committee.

Mr. JOHNSTON

I had almost concluded what I had to say. I was not seeking to pre-judge later Amendments. I was trying to confine myself to the very narrow point raised by the hon. Member for North Edinburgh. His point is that in Scotland, instead of referring all claims of pre-Act widows to referees, as has been proposed by his right hon. Friend, there should be substituted a sheriff. I am submitting—and I am rather gather from his remarks that I have convinced him—that his Amendment was not workable, and I suggest therefore that, in the interests of the administration of the Bill in Scotland, he might see his way to withdraw it.

Mr. SKELTON

May I ask one question—

The CHAIRMAN

The Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for North Edinburgh (Sir P. Ford) for the time being falls, and the discussion will take place on the Question, "That the words 'the Minister' stand part of the Clause."

Sir K. WOOD

May I recall the sub stance of the observations which were made by my right hon. Friend when he proposed this Amendment. He did not seek to deal with the question whether there was a right of appeal from the Minister of Health on these matters. That is a question which, as I under stand it, is raised by a number of other Amendments which follow. We are seeking in this Amendment to say that in respect of what I may call these abnormal cases, the right of the Minister to come to a decision should be taken away, and that the decision should be given by a Court of Referees. It is true that, in association with a suggestion of that kind, it is important to refer to the question whether there is an appeal from the Minister or not, because, if there is not that appeal, it makes the necessity of having some other tribunal than the Minister more and more necessary. The position is very well indicated by the speech which was given a short time ago by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettlestone (Mr. Wheatley). He desires in connection with both national health insurance and unemployment insurance that this kind of claim should be decided by the Minister. He, and a good many hon. Gentlemen who sit with him, do not like the system of referring the matter to some outside body. They want the Minister to be responsible for these decisions, for that gives them an opportunity—and I give this to those who are opposing this Amendment—of bringing what pressure they can to bear upon the Minister of the day with reference to these claims—

Mr. GREENWOOD

Withdraw! The right hon. Gentleman is bringing a charge against hon. Members of this House. [Interruption.] The right hon. Gentle man has made a charge against my hon. Friends. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, he has not!"] I am not in the least thin skinned, but here is a deliberate suggestion that I am wishing to keep some powers, which I will explain later, I do not as a matter of fact possess, in order that my hon. Friends may exercise political pressure. I must ask the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw.

Sir K. WOOD

I will repeat the statement which I have made. I said that under the proposed system in this Bill, if it is left to the Minister to come to a decision in connection with matters of this kind, it lays him open to pressure with reference to claims. That, I should have thought would have offended no body—[Interruption]—and would have been apparent to anybody. It has again and again been urged in this House, in connection with unemployment insurance, that the reason why we should have an umpire is to remove his decision—

Mr. ALPASS

On a point of Order. Is it in order for the right hon. Gentleman to discuss unemployment insurance in connection with this Amendment?

The CHAIRMAN

The right hon. Gentleman is not discussing unemployment insurance, but only using it as an illustration.

Sir K. WOOD

I was simply giving that as an illustration in answer to the somewhat plaintive interruption of the right hon. Gentleman. I was in no way imputing—it is the last thing that I should do—to the right hon. Gentleman any motive in a matter of this kind. It has again and again been advanced in this House that the reason why we have an Umpire in connection with unemployment insurance is to remove claims of this kind from the decision of the Minister of the day, and to leave it to an independent person who is not in any way connected with political affairs. That is very largely the suggestion behind the Amendment which we are pro posing. I suppose that you could not have a more difficult class of case upon which to ask for the decision of the Minister than that which will come under this particular provision if it is passed into law. The Minister would have to go back 30 or 40 years, and have to make a decision upon the difficult question of the normal occupation of a man who died many years ago. No rules or regulations are laid down as to what particular evidence is to be taken.

As was said by an hon. Gentleman who sits opposite, whom I knew very well as an inspector in the Insurance Department, even in relation to present claims, it is very often difficult to come to a decision; and I ask the Committee to imagine what the position of the Minis- ter will be when be gets a very large number of people naturally anxious to obtain these pensions, and he has to come to decisions as to the normal occupations of men who died 30 or 40 years ago. What is more, he will have to decide whether these men would have come under the Insurance Act of 1911 long before it was passed into law. I can conceive of no more difficult matter for any one to have to decide than that, and I should have thought that in his own interest the Minister of Health would have desired that this matter should be separated from his office altogether. I do not think that it will be as easy as some hon. Gentlemen think to come to these decisions. Sitting opposite to me is the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Shillaker), who has had a great deal of experience in pension work. He thinks that it will be a very easy matter. He wrote an article on this very subject. It is called "'The Charter of the Old Folk,' by J. S. Shillaker, Pensions Expert to the Labour Party." In this, he said: In these cases"— that is, the cases which we are discussing this afternoon— proof of occupation will be difficult, but the applications will be dealt with with sympathy, and the rejections will, practically speaking, be nil. I cannot take that view, and I shall be glad if the hon. Member will explain if there is any reason in the adjudication of this complicated and difficult question to consider that rejections will be practically nil. I can conceive of a large number of people who will be unable to furnish any evidence. I suppose that these decisions, if they are to be fair, will be based on some evidence, and the Minister ought to have regard to the rules of evidence. I would urge other reasons for presenting this Amendment to the Committee. It would be far more satisfactory to the claimants if the decision were given by some outside tribunal. I know nothing more difficult than to have to explain to an applicant whose claim has been rejected that the decision has been given by some Government Department. When you say, "This is the Minister's decision," the applicant says, "Has the Minister seen my case?" and if you are honest you are bound to say that the word "Minister" in an Act of Parliament does not always mean the Minister individually but his Department acting on his behalf. Speaking from some little experience of the ad ministration of the principal Act, which was more easy to administer than this one will be, I know that it was a most difficult thing to satisfy applicants when decisions had been made by some officer of a Department, however competent the latter might be, whom they had no opportunity of seeing and to whom they could not put their cases personally.

There will be a great deal of heart burning over differences in the administration of this Clause, and it will be a great deal more satisfactory if the applicants can go to a court of referees. We have already established a court of referees for this purpose, and they have done their work well. I do not remember any question being put in this House which has raised the question of the competence or impartiality of the referees existing under the present Widows' Pensions Act. People attach a good deal more importance to a decision from them than to what I may call a Departmental decision, and from that point of view there is a great deal to be urged in favour of sending these cases to an independent body of this kind. On the question of whether the referees would be able to deal with all these claims, it will be just as easy to expand the number of referees as to make additional arrangements in side the Department. The present referees under the Widows' Pensions Act are drawn from eminent, competent and practical men at the Bar, and I know of no great amount of over-employment at the Bar which will prevent the necessary referees being obtained; perhaps, also, the work would be done there more rapidly than in the Department. From the point of view of public policy it is undesirable that these decisions should be based solely on the Minister or that the Minister should be concerned in them, but they should be decided by somebody independent of the Minister of the day, whoever he may be; and, further, I think the applicants themselves would feel more satisfaction if their claims were dealt with by competent people who have done the work well in the past. On both grounds I urge the Minister to reconsider his position.

Mr. W. J. BROWN

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) is to be congratulated on bringing us back to the point of the Amendment, but a great deal of what he has just said is only true on the assumption that there is to be no appeal machinery. It may be that there will be no appeal machinery, but at the moment he is not entitled to assume that there will be none.

Sir K. WOOD

I am entitled to assume that there will be none, as none is provided in the Bill.

Mr. BROWN

There is an Amendment from the Liberal Benches providing for appeal machinery, and since those on the Liberal and Conservative Benches completely outnumber those on our benches it would be just as reasonable to assume, for the purpose of this discussion, that there will be appeal machinery. I asked the Committee to consider what would happen in practice if this Amendment were rejected, and what would happen if it were carried. If it be rejected, the Minister will have power to determine the validity of these claims. It is obvious, however, that the Minister himself will not deal with them, but that they will be dealt with by the inspectorate of the Ministry, the Minister being guided by the recommendation of the inspector in the particular district in which a case occurs. If the Amendment be carried, we are going to set up a new sub-department of the Ministry, with separate representatives in every Ministry of Health district and with a different set of staff to do the job—or we are not. If we do that, it will be a physical impossibility to adjudicate on these claims by the date on which the Bill is supposed to come into operation. If we do not do that, and utilise the present inspectors of the Ministry, the position becomes that the referees will have to judge on precisely the same advice as the Minister will decide upon if the Amendment were not carried.

That is the point to which we are brought. What is the advantage of adopting the Amendment? The right hon. Gentleman said the applicant will have the satisfaction of having his case judged by an impartial outsider. The late Mr. Keir Hardie once said he would believe in independent arbitration if somebody could find him an independent arbitrator. If we cannot find that in dependent arbitrator, at least we might make sure that we get a responsible arbitrator, and in relation to this House the Minister is a much more responsible arbitrator than the referees suggested. As to appeals from the Minister's decision, I say nothing at present, because it would be out of order at this stage. I will conclude my remarks by saying, first, that the proposal in the Amendment is impracticable from considerations of time; secondly, that it would give us a less responsible machine than the machine suggested in the Bill; and, thirdly, that if experience of unemployment insurance legislation is not to be any criterion, then so far from this being a more satisfactory course than the course proposed by the Minister, all the evidence shows that it will be less satisfactory.

Sir F. HALL

Listening to this discussion one would imagine that the cases of some 400,000 or 500,000 widows will have to be dealt with, but in fact this matter concerns only what I may call the pre-Act widows. The Minister of Health indicated yesterday that he might have 2,000 cases a day coming before him, and, with all due deference, I say no Minister of Health could be expected to deal with that number. The work would fall on the members of his staff, and I know the Civil Service and have the greatest possible confidence in it, but in view of the difficulties that are likely to arise in regard to the question of "Normal occupation" I think it would assist the Minister and the Department if the procedure proposed in the Amendment were adopted. I have been in this House for more years than I care to remember, and I have sat on a good many committees upstairs, and whenever it has been pro posed to leave these important matters in the hands of a Minister I have always objected—it would be out of order for me to recall the circumstances of all those cases—and therefore I am sure the Minister will not think there is anything personal to him in the attitude I have taken up. No one on this side of the House has any doubt as to his integrity—let no one for a moment imagine that that question arises—but, as Members of Parliament, we all know how cases are brought to us and we are asked to use our influence with the powers that be to get this matter or that matter set right.

I would remind hon. Members that in some of these cases it will be a question of going back 30 or 40 years before a decision can be given. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, West (Mr. W. J. Brown) that there is no such thing as an independent arbitrator. I should be very sorry if I thought it was not possible to secure an independent and unbiased opinion about matters. There are heaps of people who would be only too glad to give their assistance and their advice in unravelling the difficulties which are bound to arise. The poor widows with whom they deal will be in a very difficult position, and I am sure anyone who undertook the duty would give every care to see that even more than justice is done—wherever they could, they would stretch a point in favour of the widow. I can see difficulties if the Minister of Health is to be placed in that position. Their cases will require a lot of care and attention, and if he has to say "I am not sure in this case" and "I am not sure in that case" when trying to give a decision, he may be put in the position of saying, "The easiest way over this difficulty is to give a decision in favour of the applicant."

Last night I listened to a speech from the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Perry), who undoubtedly has great experience in these matters. As far as he was concerned, he said that members of the staff under the right hon. Gentleman, instead of having an antipathy to the importation, if I may use that word, of other referees, would welcome the assistance which they would be able to give in the discharge of these important duties. I see nothing that can possibly operate against it. As regards the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Shillaker), he has apparently pre-judged this case already. He, with the great knowledge that he has, has come to the conclusion that there will be very few, if any, cases that will have to be gone into. I am sure the Minister of Health would only wish that that was likely to be so, but it will not be so. There will be many difficulties, and, where we are expending public money, it is our duty and our right to see that every care and every attention is given so that there shall be fair adjudication with regard to the matters coming under this Bill, and that only by the Clauses in the Bill will decisions be arrived at.

Captain EDEN

rose

HON. MEMBERS

Divide!

Captain EDEN

I am astonished that there should be any suggestion that the Committee should come to a decision at this stage, when we have yet to receive any cogent answer from the Government to the arguments that have been put for ward. Last night the Minister of Health based his defence almost exclusively on the contents of the Act of 1925, but I submit that that is a defence which does not by any means meet the case at issue. I am not myself prepared to maintain that in every respect the Act of 1925 was so correct that the right hon. Gentleman would be justified in basing his defence upon it. I have every respect for the late Minister of Health, but I should not be able to uphold the contention that he himself, or even my right hon. Friend the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood), was entirely untinged with the taint of bureaucracy. [Interruption.] I thought that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway would be surprised; they have not yet learned what burueaucracy is. We above the Gangway still feel some anxiety at the spread of bureaucracy, and we see with very little pleasure the Minister of Health basing his power in respect of this matter exclusively upon the action of my right hon. Friend in 1925. I think we must ask for some more convincing explanation than that.

Nor were the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) very convincing, though they were certainly extremely illuminating. I think it is the first time in this Parliament that we have had the privilege of seeing the right hon. Gentle man throwing a life-line to the Government; it was a most interesting new role that he was playing, and it is interesting to know that he was playing it on an occasion which, of course, fits in extremely well with his Socialist views. The right hon. Gentleman told us that it was quite wrong to retain, for instance, a condition of affairs in which the State and the applicant were in opposite camps, and that such cases should not arise, but that they should be in the same camp. I would ask the Committee to consider whether, when cases do occur, though it may be rarely, when the State and the applicant are in different camps, it is not infinitely preferable that the arbiter who has to decide shall not be one of those who are concerned in the result of the arbitration. I think that that is one of the strongest reasons why we should ask that some outside authority should be the final power by whom a decision is taken, and not the Minister himself.

Nobody, of course, suggests that the Minister is biased in these matters, nor does anyone suggest that it is the Minister who decides these matters; and it is for that reason that we maintain that a mere bureaucratic decision is not one which this Committee should take, or which the House should take, or which the country outside, which instinctively dislikes such decisions, would wish to see incorporated in this Bill. I have every respect for the right hon. Gentleman and his Department, but I do not think that he is always right. Still less do I think that he can expect us to believe that he will be always right. This is not a power that he should have; it is not a power that he should wish to have. I confess that it is surprising to me that any Minister should wish to have this responsibility placed upon him. I should have thought that he would have been only too glad to find some means of placing the responsibility, in a measure, upon some impartial arbitrator. The hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. W. J. Brown) may think it difficult to find an impartial arbitrator, but that is no reason why the House should not turn its attention to that task. What we have to devise is the best method possible in an imperfect world, and, with all apologies to the Minister of Health, he is not the best method possible even in this imperfect world.

I do hope that the Committee, including hon. Members of the Liberal party below the Gangway, will take an especial interest in this matter, because it is just one of those rare occasions which arise when the Committee should express itself as a Committee, irrespective of the Front Benches—much as we admire them—who have actually to use these powers which they are seeking and which they are asking us to give. Some of us in the last Parliament protested against the extension of these bureaucratic powers, and we were not always successful. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member had listened to the Debates, he would know that. We did protest against the extension of these bureaucratic powers, and here is an occasion where, so far, no justification whatever has been given us by the Minister except that it is in the Act of 1925. That will not do, because next year there will be another Act, and the Minister will then say that it is in the Act of 1929. That is no answer. We want a reasoned justification for these definite bureaucratic powers which the Minister is asking us to give. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will give us such a reply, and will go a little further afield than merely falling back on a minor precedent under a previous Act. If she does not, I hope that this Committee will exert itself as a Committee and express the determination that bureaucratic powers shall not be yet further extended.

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose in his place, and claimed to move," That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 310; Noes, 145.

Division No. 16.] AYES. [5.55 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Batey, Joseph Bromfield, William
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Bromley, J.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Bellamy, Albert Brothers, M.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)
Alpass, J. H. Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Brown, Ernest (Leith)
Ammon. Charles George Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)
Angell, Norman Benson, G. Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)
Arnott, John Bentham, Dr. Ethel Buchanan, G.
Aske, Sir Robert Bevan, Aneurln (Ebbw Vale) Burgess, F. G.
Attlee, Clement Richard Birkett, W. Norman Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)
Ayles, Walter Blindell, James Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Bowen, J. w. Caine, Derwent Hall-
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Cameron, A. G.
Barnes, Alfred John Broad, Francis Alfred Cape, Thomas
Barr, James Brockway, A. Fenner Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Charleton, H. C. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A. Potts, John S.
Chater, Daniel Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Price, M. P.
Church, Major A. G. Kelly, W. T. Quibell, D. J. K.
Cluse, W. S. Kennedy, Thomas Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Rathbone, Eleanor
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kinley, J. Richards, R.
Compton, Joseph Kirkwood, D. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Cowan, D. M. Knight, Holford Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Daggar, George Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Dallas, George Lang, Gordon Ritson, J.
Dalton, Hugh Lathan, G. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Law, Albert (Bolton) Romeril, H. G.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Law, A. (Rosendale) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Day, Harry Lawrence, Susan Rothschild, J. de
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Rowson, Guy
Dickson, T. Lawson, John James Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Dukes, C. Leach, W. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Edge, Sir William Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sanders, W. S.
Edmunds, J. E. Lees, J. Sandham, E.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Sawyer, G. F.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lindley, Fred W. Scott, James
Egan, W. H. Lloyd, C. Ellis Sexton, James
Elmley, Viscount Longbottom, A, W. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
England, Colonel A. Longden, F. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Lowth, Thomas Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Foot, Isaac Lunn, William Sherwood, G. H.
Forgan, Dr. Robert Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shield, George William
Freeman, Peter MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Shillaker, J. F.
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) McElwee, A. Shinwell, E.
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn) McEntee, V. L. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Mackinder, W. Simmons, C. J.
Gibbins, Joseph McKinlay, A. Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
Gill, T. H. MacLaren, Andrew Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Gillett, George M. Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Glassey, A. E. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Sinkinson, George
Gosling, Harry Mac Neill-Weir, L. Sitch, Charles H.
Gossling, A. G. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gould, F. McShane, John James Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith. Frank (Nuneaton)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Mander, Geoffrey le M. Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Mansfield, W. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) March, S. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Markham, S. F. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Marley, J. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Groves, Thomas E. Mathers, George Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Grundy, Thomas W. Matters, L. W. Sorensen, R.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Maxton, James Spero, Dr. G. E.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Melville, J. B. Stamford, Thomas W.
Hall. Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth. C.) Messer, Fred Stephen, Campbell
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Millar, J. D. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Mills, J. E. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hardie, George D. Milner, J. Strauss, G. R.
Harris, Percy A. Montague, Frederick Sullivan, J.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morgan, Dr. H. B. Sutton, J. E.
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morley, Ralph Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Haycock, A. W. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hayday, Arthur Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hayes, John Henry Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Mort, D. L. Thurtle, Ernest
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Moses, J. J. H. Tillett, Ben
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Tinker, John Joseph
Herriotts, J. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Toole, Joseph
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Muff, G. Tout, W. J.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Muggeridge, H. T. Townend, A. E.
Hoffman, P. C. Murnin, Hugh Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Hollins, A. Nathan, Major H. L. Turner, B.
Hopkin, Daniel Naylor, T. E. Vaughan, D. J
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Noel Baker, P. J. Viant, S. P.
Horrabin, J. F. Oldfield, J. R. Walker, J.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Wallace, H. W.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Wallhead, Richard C.
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Palin, John Henry Watkins, F. C.
Isaacs, George Paling, Wilfrid Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Palmer, E. T. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wellock, Wilfred
Johnston, Thomas Perry, S. F. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. West, F. R.
Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne) Phillips, Dr. Marion Westwood, Joseph
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Picton-Tubervill, Edith Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Pole, Major D. G. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Ponsonby, Arthur Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Williams, David (Swansea, East) Wilson, J. (Oldham) Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Williams, T. (York, Don Valley) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe) Wise, E. F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Whiteley and Mr. T. Henderson.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Peake, Capt. Osbert
Albery, Irving James Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Greene, W. P. Crawford Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Pilditch, Sir Philip
Atholl, Duchess of Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Pownall, Sir Assheton
Atkinson, C. Gunston, Captain D. W. Purbrick, R.
Balniel, Lord Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ramsbotham, H.
Beaumont, M. W. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Bennett, Sir Albert (Nottingham, C.) Hanbury, C. Remer, John R.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Brass, Captain Sir William Haslam, Henry C. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Buchan, John Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Buckingham, Sir H. Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Salmon, Major I.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Butler, R. A. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Skelton, A. N.
Castlestewart, Earl of Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hurd, Percy A. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Smithers, Waldron
Christie, J. A. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Somerset, Thomas
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Kindersley, Major G. M. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Colfox, Major William Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cranbourne, Viscount Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Long, Major Eric Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lymington, Viscount Todd, Capt. A. J.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Train, J.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Macquisten, F. A. Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Duckworth, G. A. V. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Eden, Captain Anthony Makins, Brigadier-General E. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Everard, W. Lindsay Margesson, Captain H. D. Wells, Sydney R.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Meller, R. J. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Fermoy, Lord Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fielden, E. B. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Ford, Sir P. J. Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Womersley, W. J.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ganzoni, Sir John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Muirhead, A. J.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld) Sir Frederick Thomson and Sir
Glyn, Major R. G. C. O'Neill, Sir H. George Penny.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William

Question put accordingly, "That the words 'The Minister' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 311; Noes, 147.

Division No. 17.] AYES. [6.7 p.m.
Adamson. Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Burgess, F. G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Benson, G. Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Bentham, Dr. Ethel Calne, Derwent Hall-
Alpass, J. H. Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Cameron, A. G.
Ammon, Charles George Birkett, W. Norman Cape, Thomas
Angell, Norman Blindell, James Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)
Arnott, John Bowen, J. W. Charleton, H. C.
Aske, Sir Robert Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Chater, Daniel
Attlee, Clement Richard Broad, Francis Alfred Church, Major A. G.
Ayles, Walter Brockway, A. Fenner Cluse, W. S.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Bromfield, William Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Bromley, J. Cocks, Frederick Seymour
Barnes, Alfred John Brothers, M. Compton, Joseph
Barr, James Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Cowan, D. M.
Batey, Joseph Brown, Ernest (Leith) Daggar, George
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Dallas, George
Bellamy, Albert Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Dalton, Hugh
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Buchanan, G. Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lawrence, Susan Rowson, Guy
Day, Harry Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lawson, John James Salter, Dr. Alfred
Dickson, T. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Leach, W. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Dukes, C. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Sanders, W. S.
Ede, James Chuter Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sandham, E.
Edge, Sir William Lees, J. Sawyer, G. F.
Edmunds, J. E. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Scott, James
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lindley, Fred W. Sexton, James
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lloyd, C. Ellis Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Egan, W. H. Longbottom, A. W. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Elmley, Viscount Longden, F. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
England, Colonel A. Lowth, Thomas Sherwood, G. H.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Lunn, William Shield, George William
Foot, Isaac Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Forgan, Dr. Robert MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Shillaker, J. F.
Freeman, Peter Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Shinwell, E.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) McElwee, A. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) McEntee, V. L. Simmons, C. J.
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn) Mackinder, W. Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McKinlay, A. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Gibbins, Joseph MacLaren, Andrew Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Gill, T. H. MacNeill-Weir, L. Sinkinson, George
Gillett, George M. Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Sitch, Charles H.
Glassey, A. E. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gosling, Harry Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Gossling, A. G. McShane, John James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Gould, F. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mander, Geoffrey le M. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Mansfield, W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). March, S. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Markham, S. F. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Marley, J. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Mathers, George Sorensen, R.
Groves, Thomas E. Matters, L. W. Spero, Dr. G. E.
Grundy, Thomas W. Maxton, James Stamford, Thomas W.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Melville, J. B. Stephen, Campbell
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Messer, Fred Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Millar, J. D. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mills, J. E. Strauss, G. R.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Milner, J. Sullivan, J.
Hardle, George D. Montague, Frederick Sutton, J. E.
Harris, Percy A. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Morley, Ralph Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hastings, Dr. Somerville Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Haycock, A. W. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hayday, Arthur Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Thurtle, Ernest
Hayes, John Henry Mort, D. L. Tillett, Ben
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Moses, J. J. H. Tinker, John Joseph
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Toole, Joseph
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Tout, W. J.
Herriotts, J. Muff, G. Townend, A. E.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Muggeridge, H. T. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Murnin, Hugh Turner, B.
Hoffman, P. C. Nathan, Major H. L. Vaughan, D. J.
Hollins, A. Naylor, T. E. Viant, S. P.
Hopkin, Daniel Noel Baker, P. J. Walker, J.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Oldfield, J. R. Wallace, H. W.
Horrabin, J. F. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Wallhead, Richard C.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Watkins, F. C.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Palin, John Henry Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Paling, Wilfrid Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Isaacs, George Palmer, E. T. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wellock, Wilfred
John, William (Rhondda, West) Perry, S. F. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Johnston, Thomas Peters, Dr. Sidney John Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. West, F. R.
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Phillips, Dr. Marion Westwood, Joseph
Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne) Picton-Tubervill, Edith Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Pole, Major D. G. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Ponsonby, Arthur Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Potts, John S. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A. Price, M. P. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Quibell, D. J. K. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Kelly, W. T. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Kennedy, Thomas Rathbone, Eleanor Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Richards, R. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Kinley, J. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Kirkwood, D. Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Wise, E. F.
Knight, Holford Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Ritson, J. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Lang, Gordon Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Lathan, G. Romeril, H. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Law, Albert (Bolton) Rosbotham, D. S. T. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. T. Henderson.
Law, A. (Rosendale) Rothschild, J. de
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Peake, Capt. Osbert
Albery, Irving James Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.) Greene, W. P. Crawford Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Pilditch, Sir Philip
Astor, Viscountess Gritten, W. G. Howard Pownall, Sir Assheton
Atholl, Duchess of Gunston, Captain D. W. Purbrick, R.
Atkinson, C. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ramsbotham, H.
Balniel, Lord Hall, Lleut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Beaumont, M. W. Hanbury, C. Remer, John R.
Bird, Ernest Roy Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Haslam, Henry C. Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Brass, Captain Sir William Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Buchan, John Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Buckingham, Sir H. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Salmon, Major I.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Butler, R. A. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Castlestewart, Earl of Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Skelton, A. N.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hurd, Percy A. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Christie, J. A. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Smithers, Waldron
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Kindersley, Major G. M. Somerset, Thomas
Colfox, Major William Philip King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Colville, Major D. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Cranbourne, Viscount Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Spender-Clay, Colonel H
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Long, Major Eric Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lymington, Viscount Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Thomson, Sir F.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Macquisten, F. A. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Mac Robert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Train, J.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Eden, Captain Anthony Makins, Brigadier-General E. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Everard, W. Lindsay Margesson, Captain H. D. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Meller, R. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Fermoy, Lord Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Wells, Sydney R.
Fielden, E. B. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Ford, Sir P. J. Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Ganzoni, Sir John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Womersley, W. J.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Muirhead, A. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)
Glyn, Major R. G. C. O'Neill, Sir H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Sir George Fenny and Major the
Marquess of Titchfield.
The CHAIRMAN

The next Amendment which I select is one in the name of the hon. Member for Blackley (Mr. Philip Oliver).

Mr. MUGGERIDGE

On a point of Order. I want to ask whether it might not be possible to ration the time for the discussion of these Amendments, in order that a great deal of repetition and waste of time might be prevented?

The CHAIRMAN

That is not a point of Order.

Mr. PHILIP OLIVER

I beg to move, in page 2, line 1, to leave out the words "(whose decision shall be final and conclusive)," and to insert instead thereof the words: from whose decision the applicant shall have a right of appeal in accordance with Sub-section (2) of Section twenty-nine of the principal Act. This is the principle which is recognised under the principal Act with regard to referees under national insurance, and I hope that the Minister will be able to accept this very reasonable Amendment, especially when one realises that he hopes this evening to reach the distant pages of Clause 15. If he desires to do this, sooner or later he must begin to accept some of the suggestions which are placed before him with all respect from the Members on this side of the House. A great number of the cases which will come before the Minister will, of course, merely be subject to automatic decisions. All the claims, under paragraph (i), of those widows whose husbands at some time within three years before death registered as members of an Approved Society or as deposit contributors will obviously be claims which can be settled one way or the other in a moment of time through departmental channels.

When we come to paragraph (ii), we are faced, as has already been pointed out, with an entirely different kind of case—the case of the widow whose husband had a normal occupation which at some time within three years before his death was employment in respect of which contributions under the principal Act would have been payable if that Act had been in force at that time. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) has already shown, the people in this class include men who died as long as 40 years ago, and the decision as to whether the widows of such men are really within the Act or not may be one which is extra ordinarily difficult to decide. Forty years back, at school, we used to sing a song, "Forty years on," referring to the times of to-day. We have to go back 40 years. Many people who were alive then are now dead and evidence is extremely difficult to obtain. Everybody who has any knowledge of the processes of courts of law knows how extraordinarily difficult it is to establish a right of prescription 40 years ago. It is one of the most difficult things in a court of law to obtain real evidence of what happened, and what was the state of property 40 years ago. Under this paragraph, the Minister has to try and go back 40 years and discover what would have been insurable occupation in those days.

That being so, it is only right and proper that, as we are placing upon the Minister this very difficult decision, there should be a right of appeal. We propose that the right of appeal should be general and should cover all the cases whether they are in paragraph (i) or in paragraph (ii). There will be very few cases of appeal under paragraph (i), but there may be many cases of appeal under paragraph (ii). The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland earlier to-day said that the Minister had only reserved to himself the right of appeal on one point, and that is the one point on which the Minister ought not to have reserved that right.

This is a far more difficult point than nearly all the other points on which there is a right of appeal to the Minister. It is not only a difficult point but a very important one. A county court or a trained Judge will occupy an hour or two hours over some dispute involving £5 or £10, but when you come to a question like this it is not a matter of £5 or £10, but a matter of a pension which might involve hundreds of pounds. If we use all the instruments of the law in order to come to a decision on a question of £5 or £10, surely there ought to be some appeal from the Minister's decision on a matter of such real importance. We hope that the Government, in the interests of time and in the interests of widows, will accept our proposal and agree to the insertion of a method of appeal. I was very sorry to hear earlier in the Debate an hon. Member state that in his view it was impossible to obtain an impartial arbitrator. I trust that that is not the view of the majority of hon. Members on the benches opposite.

Supposing we had fallen into such a low state of honour that an impartial arbitrator could not be found, no harm would be done to widows I suppose that you would turn down their appeals and not go any further, but no harm would be done to them. They would not be worse off. But, if two or three just men can be found to form an impartial tribunal or become referees, there is a chance, at any rate, that some of the wrongs and injustices done to widows may be remedied. As we know, the Minister is sometimes wrong. Many Members in this House have had reason to correspond with the Minister upon decisions with regard to pensions, and the Mnister has sometimes had to admit that he was wrong. He can make mistakes, and therefore the right of appeal ought to be given, especially when we are considering such persons as widows. The widows come to us and ask questions about these matters, and we all know how tremendously hard it is to have to say to one of these widows that the Ministry has turned their case down. The first thing that they ask is: "Is there not somebody else to whom we can appeal?" Whether such a person is going to be just or unjust, partial or impartial, I think that this House and the Government ought to give the widow an opportunity of making the appeal she wishes to make.

Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH

I want to support the very powerful appeal which my hon. Friend has put forward. This, after all, is eminently a judicial matter. It is not a matter for purely administrative decision. If there be any matter in which an ordinarily constituted court may be the final people to give a decision it ought to be one of this nature. I should have imagined that the Minister himself would not want the tremendous responsibility of being the person to give the final decision. I should have thought that he would welcome someone who in the majority of cases, would probably confirm what he had decided. I would appeal to hon. Members opposite generally. I am sure that if the boot were on the other leg and it was the last Ministry which was in power and they were, in a similar way, excluding the right of appeal in matters of this kind, they would feel very aggrieved on behalf of those whom they represent. They may now have a Minister in whom they have confidence, but it may not always be so. I can most strongy echo what was said by the proposer of the Amendment, that it is a tremendous means of allaying discontent if people feel that their case, whatever its merits may be, has been properly investigated. It is not only a question of arriving at a right decision. It is also a question of giving people the idea that every single consideration that can be advanced in their favour has been properly heard. I hope that the Minister will agree to accept this very helpful and simple Amendment.

Mr. SANDERS

I am not quite sure whether there is unanimity on the other side with regard to the reasons for these Liberal Amendments having been moved. I was much struck by the argument put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) who seemed to be very anxious to provide work for barristers who are unemployed, a matter which might be referred to the Lord Privy Seal. On the other hand, I find that many hon. Gentle men who are urging this Amendment from the other section of the Opposition seem to fear that the Ministry of Health will not be impartial in dealing with these cases, or that the widows will not feel that the Minister of Health has been impartial. I am not sure that the widows will feel that there is any more impar- tiality to be found in Referees than there is to be found in the Minister of Health, seeing the experience that we have had in regard to Referees and their actions concerning unemployed insured people. I am always very suspicious, as a layman, of the very powerful organisation which backs a demand for the employment of more lawyers. I have the greatest respect and admiration for lawyers, but I share the fear expressed by a celebrated Member of this House, many years ago, a Member who, I believe, has the esteem and admiration of hon. Members on the other side, Edmund Burke, who warned the House about the influence of lawyers.

Mr. FOOT

When did he do that?

Mr. SANDERS

The hon. Member will find it in the works of Edmund Burke.

Mr. FOOT

Will the hon. Member produce the work?

Mr. SANDERS

My point is, that what is wanted on behalf of these widows is someone to help them to prepare their case, not so much a Referee, and I would advise hon. Members in every constituency to see what they can do to establish a poor man's lawyer who, without fee, will assist the widows to make their case in proper form—widows particularly for whom evidence will have to be collected going back 10, 15 or even 40 years. That is the real necessity from which the widows suffer. Their need is not for a Referee, but for someone to prepare their case properly before it goes to the Minis try of Health. In that direction the activities of hon. Members of this House might be directed.

Mr. L. SMITH

I am sorry that the Amendment standing in my name is not to be called, and I would ask the Committee to allow me to refer to some of the financial points that would be covered by my Amendment.

The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Mr. Dunnico)

The hon. Member must con fine himself to the Amendment before the Committee.

Mr. SMITH

May I respectfully submit that my Amendment is a most important one? I presume that it is only time which does not allow it to be called. Seeing that we are discussing the question of limiting the powers of the Minister, perhaps I might make a point on that ground. Some of the Amendments on the Order Paper would not be necessary were it not for the fact that the scheme goes far beyond a contributory basis. That would be a sounder basis, and if that principle had been adopted these Amendments would not be necessary. The Act must be administered not only from the heart but also from the head. I have no doubt that when cases are brought before the Minister, backed by a great deal of pressure from those who bring the cases to his notice, he will give undiluted sympathetic support to the cases, and I have no doubt that he will get a good deal of support from the Parliamentary Secretary. In these difficult days the administration of the Act must be considered also from the head, and my reason for suggesting the words, "with the approval of the Treasury"—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must confine his remarks to the question contained in the Amendment be fore the Committee. I cannot allow a discussion on the financial side now.

Mr. SMITH

We are going through desperately difficult times. The growing costs of the social services are a very heavy load.

Mr. FOOT

I support the Amendment, and I should like to reply to the hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Sanders) who has misinterpreted the desire of those who sit on these benches. Never have we made any indictment of the Minister of Health on the ground of his partiality. What we have said is that, being human, he is liable to make mistakes and that there ought to be some machinery set up to enable a mistake to be rectified. There is something in the contention that when a widow has had her case dealt with—a case that means the difference between penury and some modest comfort in her later days—that decision should be made the subject of an appeal, if necessary. The stand we take is, that in the principal Act of 1925 there were words introduced to ensure that the decision of the Minister should be final and conclusive; but so far as the Act of 1925 was concerned that provision applied only to a minor part of the Measure. The difference now is that that provision is made to apply to the major part of the present Measure. Under the Act of 1925 that provision applied to comparatively few cases, but practically the whole of the cases, I sup pose 19 out of 20 cases under the new Measure, are now made subject to this provision that the decision of the Minister shall be final.

I do not know that it was right to include that provision in the Act of 1925, but there must be a very much stronger argument than has been brought here to day to induce us to believe that it is right to take that phrase, applied to a small part of the Act of 1925, and apply it practically to the whole of the amending Act of 1929. In this matter we think that our Amendment is so right that it ought to go to a Division, and I hope that there will be no suggestion of obstruction. I remember very well that on the Second Reading the Parliamentary Secretary said that she could not understand hon. Members speaking in support of a certain line of action, and failing to support that line of action by their votes in the Lobby. Therefore, it is not out of any desire to obstruct or to occupy time, but simply an attempt to reach to the high ideal of political sincerity which the Parliamentary Secretary put before us on the Second Reading, that we press our Amendment.

I wish the hon. Member for North Battersea had been a little more particular in his reference to a Member of this House who, unfortunately, is no longer here to answer for himself. Edmund Burke represented the City of Bristol, and was, I suppose, the greatest philosopher who has ever brought his mind to bear upon British politics; but he took such a line through his life that practically all sides can quote some passage in support of their views. It is possible for the hon. Member for North Battersea to find a disconnected sentence of Burke that might support what he said to-night, but no one who has read the writings of Edmund Burke and has studied his writings could accept the very general and superficial interpretation put; upon them by the hon. Member for North Battersea. I had occasion on Friday-morning last, in this House, to draw attention to the fact that when Edmund Burke was speaking in this House—not upon this site but upon the site of St. Stephen's Chapel—he stated that love of liberty was an essential feature of the lawyer in every sense, that it was the love of liberty that brought about the American revolution, and that the lawyer by his training was enabled to stop the approach of tyranny in every tainted field. When the hon. Member for North Battersea speaks disparaging words about those who have in past days worked for his liberty, it is really a case of the child forgetting the kindnesses and care of his parents in earlier years.

The submission that we make is that we were asked at the beginning of this Session to constitute ourselves into a Council of State. It is not intended that when a Bill leaves the hands of the drafts man that it is something written upon tablets of stone; that it is something beyond human improvement. If I may quote Edmund Burke again, he said on one occasion that it was marvellous how the proposals that were made by distinguished men could be improved by ordinary folk.

Mr. STEPHEN

When did he say that?

Mr. FOOT

I should be very happy to give to my hon. Friend the precise chapter and verse. There are a good many volumes of Burke. There is an opportunity after a Bill has left the hands of the supermen and the draftsmen for the ordinary folk in the House to improve it. There ought to be a league of ordinary people to keep the extra ordinary people in their proper place. Our Amendment will commend itself to those people outside who are watching the progress of our Debates. I have not the slightest doubt that if we could take the opinions of the people outside, those who will come within the limits of this Measure, that they would approve the granting of the power of appeal where very substantial interests are at stake. Seeing that we have later on to fight for very much more important matters than this and that we desire to reach Clause 15 some time before the morning sun breaks upon us, I hope that, even now, the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to tell us that we have made out our case in good faith, and, in our desire to improve the Bill, as we were invited to do.

Mr. BUCHANAN

It gives one a certain pleasure to support the Government on this Bill. I am not going to follow the hare that has been raised by the mention of Mr. Burke. I hope the Government will refuse to accept the Amendment. I have listened to the case for it and it seems to be this, that the Minister of Health may make mistakes, that he is human, therefore there ought to be an appeal. That assumes that a court of referees, or some other judicial body, cannot make mistakes. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] There is to be no appeal from them. They are to be final. The Minister makes mistakes, and we must have an appeal. The tribunal makes mistakes, but we are not to have an appeal. I agree with his submission that the 1925 Act only applied to a small part of the claimants. I have had some experience of the tribunals, possibly more experience than any other Member of this Committee. I have appeared before the tribunal for more widows in Scot land than any other hon. Member, and I say that I would sooner go to the Minister, whether he be Tory, Liberal or Labour.

Mr. FOOT

Would the oases to which the hon. Member refers be cases which the Minister has turned down?

Mr. BUCHANAN

No, what happens is this. A widow whose pension is disallowed is entitled to appeal to the tribunal. In Scotland the chairman of the tribunal is a lawyer. I am dealing with what I know. In Glasgow, Sheriff McClure appears, and takes the chair. The widow comes in to make her appeal. She sits on one side of the table, and the representative of the Ministry of Health sits on the other. A trained lawyer appears on behalf of the Minister of Health, and he is a man who is very trained in this class of business. There you have the poor woman by her self, and the Ministry of Health represented by a trained lawyer. I go to the tribunal and I meet this lawyer. I may have a certain standing and power which others have not, but even an ordinary lawyer going for the first time before this tribunal would not be on anything like terms of equality with the trained lawyer.

Sir ROBERT ASKE

You prefer the widow to stop at home?

Mr. BUCHANAN

No, and when the hon. Member has been in the House of Commons as long as I have he will agree that the House of Commons is a much better place to raise grievances like this than these tribunals. Take the Ministry of Pensions. The right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson) just before the General Election was very critical of the Government because certain constituents of his, ex-soldiers, had been badly treated, and he was making an earnest plea on behalf of these men who, he said, were entitled to a pension.

Mr. MACPHERSON

I was dealing with the question of "genuinely seeking work."

Mr. BUCHANAN

Yes, I was wrong. The right hon. Member was making an earnest and honest plea on behalf of decent men in his constituency who had been refused benefit by the Court of Referees for not genuinely seeking work, and he could not raise the case because the tribunal had considered and decided them. I prefer to come to the Minister of Health or the Minister of Pensions in this House when a benefit is refused. Take the Minister of Pensions. Every hon. Member must have hundreds of cases in which wrong has been done to the applicant. You go to the Minister of Pensions, and in every case his answer is the same. He says that they have appeared before the appeal tribunal, and the decision of that tribunal is final. In this case if hon. Members of the Liberal party have a number of cases which have not been properly decided they can come to the House, put down the salary of the Minister of Health and move a Vote of Censure on him if he has done wrong. They can constantly question him in this House, and charge him with doing wrong. With some considerable experience of the working of the Pensions Act in Scotland, I say that I would much sooner have the right of appeal on the Floor of this House.

During the last week of office of the last Government I appeared before this neutral tribunal, and I argued a case which was turned down. I went to the Under-Secretary for Scotland at the time, the hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Major Elliot), who admitted that I had a very good case, and that if he had the power to intervene he would do so, but he said they had been to the tri- bunal—which cannot make a mistake—and they had given a decision, and by the Act of Parliament he could not alter it. That was his reply. It was a question as to whether a person had paid 104 contributions. I argued the matter, and although the hon. and gallant Member admitted that I had a reasonable case, he said that as I had exnausted my legal rights he had no power to alter the decision. I say that I prefer an appeal to Parliament. I think the head of a Department should take the decision, and not hide behind his subordinates. In connection with pensions wrong decisions are given, and in connection with the Ministry of Labour wrong decisions are constantly being given, and they are not subject to review. We are muzzled, whereas if the Minister was responsible there is a check in this House against wrong decisions. If a wrong decision is given against a widow under this Bill, we can attack the Minister in this House. I hope the Amendment will not be carried.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I think it would be well if I intervened at this point. We have debated an earlier Amendment which was clearly fantastic. The Amendment now put forward is merely that certain appeals from a decision of the Minister should go to the referees. I understand and appreciate the point of view of hon. Members opposite in wishing to protect the interests of the insured persons. I am in hearty agreement with the desire to protect the interests of the claimants, but I should like the Committee to understand what has led me to take the view I have on this Amendment. In the first place, I must ask hon. Members opposite to get into their minds the question we are discussing. The implication running through a number of ill-informed speeches is that this Bill utterly destroys the right of appeal. Nothing could be further from the truth. No right of appeal which exists under the Act of 1925 is destroyed by this Bill. Under the Clause we are now discussing the only question at issue is the determination of the insurable status of the husband of the widow. That is the one question which is reserved to the Minister. On all other questions the right of appeal remains intact.

Sir R. ASKE

There is no right of appeal given in respect of any right conferred under this Bill. The only right of appeal is given in Clause 16, which relates to matters not arising under this Bill at all, but to matters arising under the principal Act.

Mr. GREENWOOD

The hon. Member must pardon me. We are not taking away from insured persons any single right of appeal which they have to-day. We are not worsening their position at all. There is only one question at issue. The question of the age of the applicant, the marriage of the applicant, death and residence, and service, are all questions on which appeals can be made by all applicants under this Bill.

Sir R. ASKE

I am sorry to interrupt but this is a very important matter. What I am putting to the right hon. Gentleman is this, that all the pensions given under this new Bill are not new pensions and new rights, and the pro visions of the Act of 1925 do not apply at all to the pensions given under this Bill. Unless there is an express right of appeal given by this Bill in respect of these pensions there is no right of appeal whatever.

Mr. GREENWOOD

There are, of course, new pensions on new grounds. That is true. But all these claims for pensions have precisely the same rights of appeal as the present pensioners.

Mr. ATKINSON

Where are they given these rights in this Bill?

Mr. GREENWOOD

If hon. Members will look at the beginning of this Clause, they will see these words: be entitled to a widow's pension payable in accordance with the provisions of the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925 and in so far as these provisions are not modified by this Bill they still apply. I want hon. Members to realise that on all these other questions which may be in doubt there is still remaining, as there was under the 1925 Act, the right of appeal to the referees.

Major NATHAN

May I refer the right hon. Member to the definition in Section 44 of the 1925 Act? Under that Section a pension is specifically defined as: a pension under this Act and a pension under the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 to 1924, which is payable by virtue of this Act. There is nothing I have found in the amending Bill which brings a pension under the amending Bill within the definition of Section 44 of the Act.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. GREENWOOD

The original Act of 1925 and this Bill must be construed together. Under Clause 24 (1) of this Bill, it is made perfectly clear that this Bill shall foe read as one with the Act of 1925. We are depriving nobody of any rights of appeal enjoyed under the Act of 1925. The one question which is in issue now is that of normal employment. I want to refer again to Section 18 of the Act of 1925, not for the purpose of making any mere debating point but for reasons of substance. We are following in this Bill the procedure of the Act of 1925 under which the question of the normal occupation of the husband of the pre-Act widow with children was reserved to the Minister. Presumably that decision was taken because the Act of 1925 was built upon the National Health Insurance Acts, and questions of insurability were necessarily bound up with the National Health Insurance Act itself. The question as to whether a person is or is not insurable has always been dealt with under the Insurance Act itself by the Minister, for the reason that it raises highly technical questions. It is not a question merely of weighing evidence; it is a question of whether a particular man's job, when it has been tracked down, does fall within the category of insurable occupations or not. It is not a simple matter. However learned in the law people may be, it does not follow that they are able to understand that question any better.

There has been built up from 1912 to this day in the Ministry of Health year by year a large body of knowledge on this complex question, and I know of no people who could adjudicate on the question of insurability better than those who have been devoting all their time to deciding this particular kind of question, not only as to the Pensions Act but also as to the National Health Insurance Act. Remember that when you are taking decisions about insurability, you are not merely taking them on the particular case or on questions of old age and widows' pensions, but you are taking them on a much wider issue as affecting the whole working of the National Insurance Acts. I am not responsible for the way this legislation is built up, but our system of insurance to-day is tied hand and foot to the National Health Insurance scheme, and decisions respecting insurability so far as pensions are concerned, are bound to have repercussions on the National Health Insurance scheme.

It is vital, in the interests of good ad ministration, that we should have uniformity in administration. Hon Members will see the importance of having some common standard, a common application of the law. Whatever may be the case about marriage and death certificates and so on, I am not satisfied that on this particular point of insurability you can get uniformity of decision by a body of referees. It is for that reason, I imagine, that my predecessor kept to himself the power of determining this question of insurable status. He did it twice over in his Bill, because from his experience of administration he felt it was one of the questions which were not suitable to put to a referee but which ought to be decided by people who had special and detailed knowledge of what did and what did not constitute an insurable employment.

The House should remember that we are only discussing this single question of insurable status and not some of the questions raised earlier. Insurable status can be substantiated in two ways. There are two alternative tests under the Bill. One was whether the husband was registered as a member of an approved society or was a deposit contributor. There his insurability is proved by that and the question is quite simple. The other test is whether the husband had a normal insurable occupation for three years before his death. It is on that that questions may rise. In many cases the point will be proved by fairly definite evidence in the possession of the applicant, but, when we are dealing with widows who lost thir husbands 30 or 40 years ago, it is clear that we are getting away from the possibility of producing written evidence. There it will be a case not of some hard-hearted person, an inspector of the department, going round and seeing a widow and holding a full inquisition into the insurable status of the husband, but it will be a case—as has occurred with the pre-Act widow with children—of the inspector going round as a friendly, helpful person, desiring to help the widow to produce the necessary evidence of her husband's qualifications as an insured person. I should have thought that the experience of these inspectors going round in this friendly way, backed by the experience of the department as to what is and what is not an insurable occupation, would provide very adequate machinery for doing justice.

It may be said by hon. Members, "We must have something lying beyond that, a Court of Appeal, a Law Court." Such a body would be in no better position to judge the insurable status of the husband than the skilled person who has already done it and made the decision. On the contrary, I should imagine that, once cases of this kind come before the referee, there would be a much severer standard of legal evidence required than there would normally be. What you really want to find out is what the husband was and the referee, when it comes to him, has to give a legal decision. Now what is the result? There have been cases and there are cases now under the Act of 1925 which have been pending a very considerable time because of the inevitable delay through the system of appeal to the referee. Even with a perfectly straight forward case we have a delay of a few months at a very considerable cost. If you add to the responsibilities of these part-time people, who are not primarily engaged on this work, the responsibility of dealing with the insurable status, we shall either have very substantially to in crease the numbers of these people, who are now part of the new despotism, or we shall have to allow these cases to fall more and more into arrears.

One further point on this question of the history of this problem of the insurable status and insurability. In the original National Health Insurance Act of 1911 provision was made by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) in his earlier days for an appeal to the County Court. That did not work and, when the right hon. Gentleman was Prime Minister, assisted by his little handmaiden, the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood), who did the work for him, he came for ward in the Bill of 1920 in order to cut out appeals to the County Court. Why was the appeal to the County Court cut out? It was cut out, partly because of the delay which had been caused, and also because the County Court decisions did not agree on the question of insurability and that meant chaos in the working of a scheme of this kind.

It is because I see the difficulties which arise from varying and conflicting decisions on questions of insurability that it seems to me that this is not really a practicable question to remit to the referees. All experience of Insurance Acts up to date has shown—and every Minister has approved of it—that this highly technical question is one that ought to be settled by the people who understand it, and that other questions are suitable subjects for appeal to some other body. With that explanation, I hope the Committee will see that I am not trying to keep powers which I think I ought not to have, or to take new powers to myself. I am merely maintaining the existing powers of the Minister and the right of appeal as it exists to-day, but reserving as it has been reserved apart from the very unfortunate experiment of the County Courts under the Act of 1911, the right of the Department to determine this question of insurability. That question is even more important to-day than it was in 1911. It is a question the decision of which ought to rest with the Department responsible for administering the whole system of health insurance. That decision ought not to lie with people who are in no way concerned with the implications which may arise on any decision regarding insurability.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

The Debate on this Amendment has become very interesting, and it raises a series of questions on which quite evidently there can be legitimate differences of opinion. The Minister is right in saying that the Bill does not take away any rights of appeal enjoyed under the Act of 1925, but he was incorrect in attributing a statement to that effect to hon. Members behind me. That statement emanated from hon. Members below the Gangway, and I think it arose from the fact that those hon. Members had not studied sufficiently some of the Clauses, and particularly Clause 24, of the Bill. It still remains true that the cases which come under this particular Clause are not subject to appeal, and they are, of course, the bulk of the cases which are touched by the Bill. The position is that the words whose decision shall be final and conclusive, are inconsistent with there being, at the same time, an appeal, because, if the decision is final and conclusive, there can be no appeal. Following on this Amendment, there is an Amedment in the name of the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Albery) to leave out the words whose decision shall be final and conclusive. It might be thought that there was some difference between that Amendment and the Amendment now before us, but there is no difference whatever, because the effect of my hon. Friend's Amendment would be to bring the provisions of this Clause under Sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the principal Act, which is the sub stance of the present Amendment. The two Amendments are really identical, and the effect of both would be that the decisions of the Minister, instead of being final and conclusive, would be subject to the appeal provided for in Sub-section (2), Section 29, of the principal Act.

The Minister has told us over and over again that he is only following the precedent set by me, and it is true that in the provision dealing with pre-Act widows under the Act of 1925 similar words occur, and, in fact, the decision was reserved to the Minister. I do not quarrel with the right hon. Gentleman's account of the difficulties of appeal, the desirability of uniformity, and the powerful considerations which influenced me and my advisers at the time. It is necessary that I should explain why I am now supporting an appeal in these cases when there was no such appeal in the Act of 1925. My explanation, in a sentence, is that the circumstances which are to be subject to the Minister's decision in this case, are so much more remote; they are so much more suceptible of different interpretations, there is so much less unimpeachable evidence to be obtained in support of them and they affect so many more people, that, it seems to me, the case now differs, not merely in degree but actually in kind from the case of that limited number of pre-Act widows who came under the Act of 1925 and whose cases were limited in time, owing to the fact that they were only those who had children under 14 years of age.

Therefore, although I agree with the right hon. Gentleman, that some difficulties may be caused by giving an appeal, yet the circumstances are so different that I consider that a new procedure should properly be applied to the cases which will come under this Measure. The right hon. Gentleman said among other things that lawyers would not be better judges of insurability than the Minister. It is not merely a question of insurability which is at stake. That is one of the questions and a very important question, but another question is whether a man's normal occupation was, in fact, what it is claimed to have been at a particular time. That is a question on which the opinion of one or more referees is likely to be quite as valuable as that even of the experts in the Ministry of Health, and that is certainly a consideration which ought not to be kept out of account. Then the right hon. Gentleman says there is going to be delay and I think he suggested that cases which would have been settled quickly—possibly in favour of the widow—are going to be unduly delayed by the fact that there is an appeal. But surely the appeal would be made in the cases where the widow had been "turned down," and the widow would not complain of delay if the result was that she got a pension, which in the first instance had been refused.

I cannot see much in that argument, but there is another consideration which has weighed with me and which has been confirmed by the speech of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). That was an illuminating speech. It threw a lurid light on the hon. Member's ideas of the way in which judicial functions should be exercised. The Minister under this Bill is to exercise a final and conclusive judgment. Apparently if he gives that judgment in favour of the widow, the hon. Member will say nothing. But if, in the exercise of his judicial functions and on the advice of those experts to whom he has paid a well-merited tribute, the right hon. Gentleman gives his judgment against the widow, what is going to be the hon. Member's procedure? He is going to come down to the House of Commons, with his friends to fortify him, and violently attack the Minister here and in the Press and continue to put pressure on the Minister until the Minister says, "After all, on second thoughts I think I will alter my decision." We find in a later Clause of the Bill that this unhappy Minister is never to have any peace on this subject. We know what the position of the Minister is now, when the hon. Member for Gorbals sees him in his room.

Mr. BUCHANAN

I never see him in his room.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

When the hon. Member puts questions on the Paper and violently attacks the Minister, the right hon. Gentleman now says, "I am very sorry; I should like to intervene if possible in this particular case, but the law now lays it down that the case must go to a tribunal, and the tribunal's decision is final. They have given their decision, and there is nothing more that I can do, and, with every sympathy, I am very sorry that I am obliged to leave the matter where it is." But the right hon. Gentleman will not even have that protection in this Bill, because without any new facts being brought up, the Minister under Clause 16 lays himself open to continuous pressure from the hon. Member for Gorbals, as long as he remains Minister. I can quite see that the position is going to be an extremely embarrassing and difficult one and therefore in his own interest—and not merely in the interest of the present Minister—

Mr. KIRKWOOD

Watch the Greeks when they bring you gifts.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

As I say, not merely the present Minister, but other Ministers will find such a position embarrassing and a Minister ought not to be put in that position. There ought to be an appeal from his decision to some impartial body which cannot be worked upon in the way I have described. For all these reasons, in spite of the fact that I did not consider an appeal necessary in the Act of 1925, I say that an appeal is necessary in the changed conditions and I support the Amendment.

Sir HERBERT SAMUEL

The Minister last night, when a similar point was under discussion, sheltered himself behind the Act of 1925 and said that he was merely following the procedure laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain). Now the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston has disavowed that precedent and has said that in his view the case now before the Committee is entirely different in certain respects from the case with which he was dealing. To-day, the Minister has further sheltered himself be hind our Act of 1911, and it devolves upon me to point out that the case here is not similar to the case dealt with in 1911. The Minister said that under the Act of 1911 there was a technical point to be decided and that it could better be decided by the technical officers of the Department rather than by placing it, with evidence, before an outside tribunal. The Minister said: "When a man's job has been tracked down, the only question that arises is whether or not his work is an insurable occupation." But in con temporary cases, the question of whether a man's work is insurable or not is the only question which does arise. The man's job is easily "tracked down," and he is or is not in an insurable occupation, and there is a very narrow point to be decided by technical officers within the Department.

In this Bill you are dealing with two questions: (a) Was this particular occupation insurable or not? (b) Was this man 20 years ago in that occupation or not? That is the point which will give rise to difficulty, that is the point which needs examination, that is where a Department may easily go wrong, and that is where, on the first inquiry, a widow who may not know all the facts may not present her case effectively. That is the reason why we say that this case cannot be disposed of simply by saying it is on all fours with the cases dealt with under the Act of 1911 and that therefore there is no other point to be considered.

I appeal to hon. Members opposite, in the interests of these women, not lightly to say that they must be content simply with the decision of the Department and be denied access to a tribunal. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health says he is not a man who desires to concentrate all power within his own Department, that he preserves all the rights of appeal wherever they have hitherto been granted, and that this is a wholly exceptional matter. That must have been very distasteful to the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), who endeavoured to convince the Committee that appeals were very bad things and that we ought not to have them at all.

Mr. BUCHANAN

Hear, hear!

Sir H. SAMUEL

The hon. Member agrees with my observation. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman, in order to meet the position of the hon. Member for Gorbals, ought to abolish appeals altogether. Is that the view of hon. Members opposite in general? I am sure it is not. The hon. Member for Gorbals takes a purely individual view, which carries no conviction to hon. Members opposite, with regard to the great majority of cases. Why then should it carry conviction with regard to this point? He says that these detailed, difficult cases, as to whether or not individual persons were in insurable occupation 20 or 30 years ago, can be settled by personal conversations between individual Members and particular Ministers. But for one case that could be dealt with in such a manner, which happens to come to the notice of an hon. Member and which he happens to press in this House, there must be 50 unknown, undealt with, where possibly injustice may have been done. Surely Parliament cannot legislate on the assumption that these detailed, difficult, and sometimes remote cases can be settled on the Floor of the House, as the hon. Member says, or by interviews between particular Members and particular Ministers. There must be some regular procedure set up, and for these reasons I commend most heartily the Amendment of my hon. Friend to the attention of the Committee.

Mr. HOLFORD KNIGHT

I would remind the Committee that one of the oldest principles of English justice is that where there is a grievance there should be a remedy. Like other Members of the Committee, I have been moved from time to time by the accounts which my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) has given in this House of his endeavours to get justice before appellant tribunals. I put a perfectly simple case to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill, that supposing after the adjudication of the Department the claimant has a grievance, where is that grievance to be considered?

Mr. BUCHANAN

I would like—

Mr. KNIGHT

I beg my hon. Friend to assist the business of the Committee by not interrupting unduly. I am simply commending the view to my right hon. Friend—and I am certain it is a view which will at once commend itself to my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General—that where a grievance may arise under the operation of this Bill, provision should be available for satisfying the aggrieved person that the grievance will be reviewed by some qualified authority. I am casting no aspersions on the Department, but let me remind the right hon. Gentleman that as the ambit of social legislation widens and widens, you get more and more people brought within its operation who are very sensitive about, and indeed extremely suspicious of, lawyers. Frankly, I think that suspicion is often well founded. That suspicion arises, and therefore some means of meeting and perhaps of ending it should be found. For reasons advanced from Various quarters, it is clear that a right of appeal does not remain in regard to numerous cases which will arise under the Bill, and therefore it is in the interests of justice to provide a remedy where a remedy is required. I beg my right hon. Friend that he should take steps, in conjunction, if I may suggest it with all respect, with the learned Attorney-General, to make quite certain that in all cases of grievance arising under this Bill there will be avail able a remedy. I would suggest to my right hon. Friend that he should give an assurance that this matter will be reconsidered, and perhaps on the Report Stage he might find himself in a position to make proposals which will satisfy the point. If he agrees to that course, I hope the hon. Member opposite who is responsible for the Amendment will with draw it.

Major COLFOX

It is difficult for me to understand why it is that the Minister of Health so strongly opposes this very moderate Amendment. To judge by many of the speeches to which one has listened, one would think that an alternative is being proposed and that a decision by the Minister on the one hand or by a court of referees on the other is proposed, but that, of course, is not the case. The procedure must clearly be, if this Amendment is incorporated in the Bill, that first the claim will be considered by the representative of the Ministry, and if it is allowed, that finishes the matter. It is only in cases where the applicant has failed to substantiate a claim that it will go to an appeal tribunal. In resisting the Amendment, the Ministry are in fact curtailing the possibility of indigent widows getting pensions, which the party opposite profess to wish them to have. They are doing exactly the contrary from what they professed to be doing, because they are reducing the opportunities for widows to obtain pensions. It is true, of course, as the Minister said, that he is not depriving any existing applicant of any existing right by this Bill, but this Bill does not deal with cases under the existing law. It brings in a totally new class of people, and for this totally new class, unless this Amendment is accepted, there will be absolutely no right of appeal.

When the Bill says that the decision of the Minister shall be final and conclusive, does that mean that it is final and binding with regard to the Minister himself, or is he in a position later on, either on the production of further evidence or without any further evidence, to reverse his own decision, which the Bill says is final and conclusive? If in fact the Minister is bound by this phrase and his decision is binding, then the point made by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) is of no avail, because the hon. Member would like this question of the granting of pensions to become the sport of party politics. He would like the decision as to who is or who is not to get a pension to be left to the play of party politics and political influence. He would like, he has told us, as a final resort, to have each case where an applicant has been refused a pension debated on the Floor of the House and decided by a party majority in this House. I can imagine nothing more disastrous for the good of the people of this country, for the good administration of an Act of Parliament, or for the good of the widows themselves than to allow this question of the granting of a pension to become the sport of party politics, as is desired by the hon. Member opposite. It is rather an eye-opener to me that he should have been so very frank in his statement of aims and in saying that that was his desire, and if there were no other reasons for incorporating this Amend- ment in the Bill, that speech by itself would, to my mind, provide ample justification and in fact would have pointed to the absolute necessity for the inclusion of the Amendment. To leave a matter of this sort to the unfettered discretion of an individual Minister, who can be indefinitely pestered by party politicians, to whatever party they may belong, to reverse and modify his decisions ad infinitum, seems to me to be perfectly preposterous, and I shall support the Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

May I put this point to the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, because I am very anxious to find a way out? There are really two points before us. There is the question of insurability, and there is the question as to whether an insurable employment was the normal employment of a man. As I gather, the main brunt of the charge against me is on this question of normal employment, not on the question of insurability. I think the question may arise as to whether employment shown to be insurable was or was not the normal employment of the individual. I can see a case there for allowing an appeal, but at the same time I hope hon. Members will see that I have some case for saving the Clause with regard to insurability, which is a very technical point. If the hon. Member who moved the Amendment agrees, I am prepared, in consultation with him if he likes, to furnish an Amendment for the Report stage which will bring the question of normal employment within the ambit of appeal, while retaining this narrower question of insurability for decision by the Minister.

Mr. LLOYD GEORGE

I am very glad that the Minister of Health has met what I consider to be the very powerful case which has been made out. I am not going into the question of the Act of 1911, it is so many years ago, but I think that having regard to the promise the right hon. Gentleman has made to reconsider the matter and to put down an Amendment to deal with the more substantial cases, I should advise my hon. Friend to withdraw his Amendment.

Captain CROOKSHANK

Will the Minister also bear in mind the other point, that it is not only the normality of the employment, but the insurability which has been raised by the right hon. Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain).

Mr. GREENWOOD

I should like to be firm on that point. I have indicated that I will consider the point of normal occupation. I should not like to mislead the Committee.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

This is in some respects a joint Amendment, and I would like to say, on behalf of my hon. Friends behind me, that we must see the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman before we can say if we are satisfied, and we must reserve the right to continue our Amendment if the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment does not satisfy us. If that be agreed, I should advise my hon. Friend not to proceed with his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. ATKINSON

I beg to move, in page 2, to leave out from the word "that" in line 3 to the word "or" in line 6, and to insert instead thereof the words: his normal occupation was, at the time of his death, such as would have been employment in respect of which contributions would have been payable under the principal Act if that Act had been then in force. If the Minister means what he has already said, he will have difficulty in resisting this Amendment, because there is a very serious departure from the principle of the original Act in Sub-sections 1 (a, i and ii). You, Sir, may think it would be fitting to consider at the same time a later Amendment which deals with the same point in connection with Sub-section (1, a, ii). The point is this: Under the principal Act the test of whether a widow with children was entitled to come in was whether she was the widow of a man whose normal occupation at the time of his death had been or would have been insurable. The words of my Amendment are taken from the words used in the principal Act where the two points that stand out in the qualification are, first, that the employment is insurable, and, second, that it was the man's normal employment at the time of his death. In Sub-section (1, a, i), both points have been departed from. There is not a word about normal employment nor about the time of death. A new period is introduced—three years before death—and the test is whether the deceased was registered as a member of an approved society or as a deposit contributor.

Let the Committee realise what this means. A woman with children has to prove that her husband was normally employed at the time of his death in an insurable occupation, whereas what the widow under this Bill has to prove is that, for one week, perhaps, three years before his death her husband was registered as a member of an approved society. A man may have been registered for a week, proved thoroughly unfit for his work, or have taken to drink, or been convicted of theft and spent the three years in prison. His widow can claim. The contrast is striking, and there can be no reason for it. We were told most emphatically last night that the machinery and the principles were to be the same in the two Measures. Just test the unfairness. You may have a widow asking for a pension on the ground that she has three children, and she has something far more onerous to prove than a woman living in the same street with no children. The inconsistency is quite intolerable, and it is grossly unfair. The same point arises under Sub-section (1, a, ii). There you have the reference to the term "normal," and I should like to know why it is there and not in Sub section (1, a, i). On the ground of consistency, and in order to make the association with insurable employment more complete, I move the Amendment which stands in my name.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Miss Lawrence)

The effect of these two Amendments taken together is, first of all, to get rid of Sub-section (1, a, i). The hon. Member says that a man may have been insured for only a day or two before his death, but the Sub-section actually proposes a definite test that is capable of easy confirmation. We have the records of the approved societies, and, as a matter of fact, people do not join these societies unless they are seriously insured members. If a man has gone through all the trouble and formality of joining an approved society, we may take it that he has not only one or two stamps. Deposit contributors do not sent in their cards until they have sufficient to entitle them to money. We find from the records of the societies that membership of an approved society is a test of solid insurance and a very much better one than that proposed by the hon. Member.

The hon. Member is slightly in error in thinking that the only test in the Act of 1925 is that of normal employment. That test is contained in Sub-section (18, e), but in Sub-section (18, a) of the same Act an insurance test is used. Sub section (18, a) roughly corresponds with Sub-section (1, a, i) of the Bill, and Sub section (18, e) with Sub-section (1, a, ii) of the Bill. The point at issue between is whether "the time of his death" or "some time within three years" is to be the test.

8.0 p.m.

As to Sub-section (1, a, ii) the phrase "at the time of his death" is a phrase which, in practice, has been found extremely difficult to administer, even if you only go back for a few years. It is very difficult to prove what a widow's late husband was doing in certain cases at the time of his death, within only a week of his death. It is very much easier to give a certificate to the effect that the man was working at his normal insurable occupation. If, however, you are to go back for a very long term of years, it is absolutely impossible for a woman to prove what her husband was doing, and it is much easier to give evidence to show that a man was habitually employed at his normal occupation. For instance you may go into a village and make inquiries and be told that the man in question was employed by "Mr. So-and-so," who is a well-known employer. If the Amendment were carried it would not be in harmony with the Act of 1925, and it would undoubtedly cut out a great number of women who have a strong and good claim to a widow's pension. I, therefore, hope that this Amendment will not be pressed. It can only do a great deal of harm, and it may result in the loss of pensions to a number of deserving persons.

Mr. ATKINSON

I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary is right in her reference to Section 18 (e). I think that Section also refers to the time of death.

Miss LAWRENCE

The hon. Gentle man is quite right, but Section 18 (a) deals with an insured occupation and Section 18 (e) deals with a person's normal occupation. What is at issue is "time of death" as against "some time within three years."

Mr. ATKINSON

My objection is to the inconsistency of the whole thing, and that you are applying a much severer test for the widows with children than you are going to apply to the widows without children. And if experience has shown that the new test is the better and fairer one, then I think the Parliamentary Secretary might go a little further and apply the new test to the original Act. If she will say whether that is possible, it would certainly meet all the objections that I have put forward. If it is fair to the new widows it is surely fair to the new widows with children.

Miss LAWRENCE

In my humble position I cannot, I am afraid, give such a definite assurance as is asked for by the hon. Gentleman. I can only promise to convey his views to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who will, I have no doubt, give them careful consideration.

Mr. ATKINSON

In view of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, that consideration will be given to the possibility of bringing in widows with children, I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I beg to move, in page 2, line 3, to leave out the words "at some time," and to insert instead thereof the words "for a period of at least twelve months."

My Amendment deals with a rather different point from that raised by my hon. and learned Friend. I am inclined to agree that, if you are going to fix a moment of time as necessary to establish the right of a widow or the claim of a widow to a pension, it may make things more difficult, and it is right that the widow shall not miss her claim because she cannot bring evidence that her husband had been employed at a particular moment of time in his normal occupation. Therefore, I do not quite agree with my hon. and learned Friend in the Amendment which has just been under discussion. But I am now more concerned with a more difficult point. It will be noted that a little further down I have a similar Amendment to line 7, and in fact I have put down Amendments both to paragraph (i) and to paragraph (ii) in the same words, because the same words are applicable to each of the two paragraphs. But, as a matter of fact, I attach much more importance to my Amendment as regards the second paragraph than I do to my Amendment as it concerns the first. I cannot, how ever, very well confine my remarks to the second paragraph, because it might well prejudice me if I had not moved the Amendment to insert similar words in paragraph (i). Therefore, if I am in order, I would like to put forward my argument in the case of both these paragraphs on this first Amendment. In that case, of course, I cannot ask to take a separate Division on the two Amendments, but I will accept the decision of the Committee as to both of them on the first one.

Granting, as I have already said, the difficulty of laying it down that the occupation of a man who died more than a generation ago was of a particular character at a particular moment of time, yet, I think, one must agree that it is really almost absurd when you say that his normal occupation is to be determined by what he was "at some time" within a period of three years. What does the phrase "at some time" mean? As far as paragraph (i) is concerned, I am inclined to agree with the Parliamentary Secretary that people do not go and become members of approved societies or deposit contributors for a week at a time, and then go out. If they go into one or the other, they do it with a serious purpose, and they remain within one or the other. Therefore, I cannot attach very much importance to these words as they apply to the first paragraph. Of course, I have already expressed my disagreement with the provisions of this Bill, and with the provisions of this Clause in particular, but we have passed that stage now. We have passed the Second Reading of the Bill, and I now have to treat this Clause in the light of the fact that the House of Commons as a whole has approved the Second Reading of the Bill. Therefore, I have accepted the opinion that it is desirable that widows of men who belong to what we, roughly and rather loosely, call "the insurable class" should be the widows who are brought in under this paragraph.

What I am concerned with now is that the paragraph should not be so drawn as possibly to bring in to this class the widows of men who did not belong to what we agreed is an insurable class. I admit that the original Act was in some Cases unequal and unfair. It created many hard cases, but we should make many still harder cases if there were brought in under this paragraph the widows of people who did not belong to an insurable class. I contend that the phrase "at some time" is too vague a phrase to use in this connection. You must, at least, specify time which is long enough to give a reasonable presumption of normality. Under the paragraph as it now stands, to state that a man's occupation is his normal occupation, one has merely to show that he has been employed in that occupation for a week or even a day. A day is "some time" I believe. I do not know in what way the phrase "at some time" may actually be denned. To say that you are to let in anybody who, some body dimly remembers that on some occasion they had reason to believe, was employed in such and such a position for one day at some date is far too vague.

The long discussion we had a little time ago when the Minister was forced by the power of the arguments used to agree to bring in an Amendment on Report, turned on the argument of whether a man was or was not in fact engaged in an occupation that he believed to be insurable under the terms of the Bill. I put it to the Committee that the task of determining whether a man was normally employed in an insurable occupation—a task which the experts will have to perform—would be much simplified if there were a more concrete definition than these words. There may be a difference of opinion as to period. Some hon. Members may say that 12 months is too long, but I would point out that I have not said a continuous 12 months, and I do not think that that period can be considered as unreasonable in order to settle whether a man's normal occupation was of a particular kind over a period of three years. At the same time I am not wedded to 12 months. I think that it is a reasonable time, but other hon. Members may be satisfied with a shorter period, and I would not quarrel about that, but I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us what she understands by these words and what is the shortest time which she would consider would be covered by the words "at some time"? I ask her to consider whether it would not be much better for the sake of the clarity of the Bill and simplification of working, that some specified time should be put in so that those who are to decide on the cases, which we are all agreed are going to be most difficult, can say with greater certainty what can properly be described as being normally employed in an insurable occupation.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

In two of these paragraphs we have the ambiguous term "at some time," and it is advisable that some thing more definite should be substituted. Wording like that leads to so much of the litigation which always follows when a new Act is put upon the Statute Book. I am certain that if this ambiguous term is left in the Bill, the actual meaning will not be decided until it has gone through the Law Courts up to the House of Lords. Such litigation not only throws a considerable volume of expense upon the country indirectly, but casts a slur upon those who are responsible for drafting the Bills of this House. That could be avoided if some specific time were inserted. I do not say that 12 months or even six months is the right period, but some minimum time should be laid down. I could understand it if the object of the Bill were to bring everybody within its scope, but many classes of people are left out; a large number of people who require the benefit of the Bill and deserve it as much as those who are brought in are left out. If the object were to bring everybody in, this might be the best way of doing it, but as many classes are left out, those classes who are being brought in should be named in a much more definite and certain way.

Mr. L. SMITH

When I first read the wording of the Bill, it occurred to me that the words "at some time" must create a great deal of difficulty in the future. I am wondering what the Minister of Health would do in the case of a man who might have been, during this period years ago, a small contractor. He may have been doing work in a village as a master man in a small way, but, owing to slackness of trade or difficulty in finding enough employment as a master man, he may have accepted employment with another contractor for one week during those three years. It would, therefore be difficult for the Minister, in the first place, to find out with whom he was employed, and, in the second place, to decide whether he would come under this Bill. Then again, I am thinking of a man who may be a master man in a small way, and for reasons of his own may, for one week during the three years, have been employed in some factory. How difficult it would be for the Minister in that case to find out with what firm he had been engaged. I do not know whether 12 months, which is one-third of the period under consideration, is too long, but the words "at some time" will cause a great deal of difficulty in administration. Whatever period be taken, I consider that, having in mind the instances to which I have referred, some alteration must be made.

Mr. PALMER

The Committee should bear in mind the main purpose of this provision. The intention, as I under stand it, is to provide for an insured class with a view to bringing in the pre-Act widow. "at some time" might be rendered "any time," and it is clear that it means any time within the three years, in order to establish whether the husband of a widow was insured under the Act through an approved society or as a deposit contributor. Under this provision, the Minister has to determine the title to benefit, and the intention of this Clause, as far as I undersand it, is that it should be as wide as it is possible to make it with safety, and as simple as possible administratively. If you begin to restrict the operations of this Clause by introducing this period of one year, or any other such period you restrict the powers of the Minister to bring within the Bill the deserving and necessitous widows—

Sir K. WOOD

No, not necessitous!

Mr. PALMER

I say, "Yes." I say hon. Members opposite have been pleading all the time for these necessitous widows to come into the scheme, and yet every Amendment they have tabled has had the effect or the objective of cramping our effort to bring in the maximum number of widows. The Committee ought to see through the purpose of the Opposition, as distinct from the purpose of the Government. It is the purpose of the Government to bring in a certain number of pre-Act widows, and it is necesary that these two Sub-sections should be drafted in this manner to en sure that no really deserving case, no case of hardship, whether that of the widow of an actually insured person or of a person in the insurable class, is left out. This drafting of the Clause ought to stand if the Minister is to give effect to the object of providing for this particular group of pre-Act widows.

Captain CROOKSHANK

The hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Palmer) has fallen into an error. At no time has it been the policy of the party which I support to restrict the scope of the Bill or the number of widows who are to benefit by this legislation. What we have maintained is that, granted a certain sum of money is available to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is the duty of this Committee to see that that money is distributed in the best possible manner. It is not for us to say whether the money is available or not, and I may remark that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has never yet graced these proceedings, and we have had no information from the Treasury. But assuming that a certain sum is available over a period of years for distribution amongst a certain section of widows, our object is to see that it goes to those who most require it. There fore the hon. Member for Greenwich is in error in saying we have been trying to restrict the scope of the Measure and that his party wants to give these pensions to the maximum number of widows. The maximum number is fixed by the financial provisions of the Bill and we are only trying to divert the stream of gold provided by the Chancellor into the field of widows who are most in need of it. I am sorry I should have been diverted from what is relevant to the views expressed by the hon Member.

Mr. PALMER

Which, if I may say so, you have not disposed of.

Captain CROOKSHANK

The hon. Member is a little premature. I was submitting a few preliminary observations on the remarks he had made. He must not be in too great a hurry. This Amendment seeks to lay down a particular period of time for the very good reason that the phrase "at some time" is too vague a definition in an Act of Parliament and will require too much interpretation. What we have done so far is to decide that pensions should after a certain date be granted to widows of the age of 55. That is the only thing settled so far. The next thing is that the Minister must be satisfied that the husband of the widow was at some time within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society. Earlier in the Debate we had it from the Minister that his Department will have no difficulty in tracking these particular cases. Records are available in pretty complete detail, and as he claims that in matters of insurance law his Department is practically infallable there will be no difficulty in deciding whether a man was or was not a member of an approved society; but while there may be no physical difficulty in ascertaining that fact, we say it is quite reasonable to lay it down that he must have been a member of that approved society for some period.

The Minister more or less gives away the case by inserting the words "at some time." He evidently has some period of time in his mind, and the suggestion of my right hon. Friend in his Amendment that it should be a period of at least 12 months is an invitation to the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary to ex plain how far she would be prepared to go on these lines. The difficulty we are up against is that, whether the Minister likes it or not, there are in the Bill certain limitations on the number of widows of 55 who are going to get pensions. That is due on the one hand to the policy of the Minister in breaking away from the pledges of his Leader the Prime Minister, and, on the other hand, it is due to the promises held out by the Home Secretary at the election. What the Minister has done is to choose this arbitrary line of 55 and add conditions to it. We want to make sure that those conditions, such as they are, will bring no further in justices and create no further anomalies among the widows who will not, unfortunately, come within the scope of this Measure.

I invite the hon. Lady to say why some period should not be inserted in the Bill in place of this very vague phrase "at some time." As the Bill stands to-day, the Minister is the final arbiter and his Department will have the last word with regard to these different categories of people. It is not my right hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain), or myself, or any others who sup port this Amendment, who are suggesting that this should be one of the qualifications of a widow for a pension. That is what the Minister has put into the Bill; it is not our proposal. As the Department will be the final judge, it is up to this Committee to see that we have some indication of what is meant by the words "at some time." It does not seem to me to be absolutely fair to put that responsibility upon the Department, at any rate until we see what fresh Amendments the right hon. Gentleman is going to produce later. So far, there is no way of appealing from the Department. I hope the hon. Lady will give us a clear explanation of any reasons she may have, if she has any, for not accepting this Amendment. Otherwise, I suggest that she should, in the very charming manner in which she could, accept the Amendment, and take it from me that the remarks which fell from the hon. Member behind her just now with regard to our trying to restrict the maximum number of widows to come within this Measure are entirely without foundation.

Mr. JOHN BAKER

It is some satisfaction to Members on this side of the Committee to get an admission from Members on the other side that at least this Amendment is restrictive. Person ally I have felt that the whole of the Amendments "moved from the other side have been restrictive, and that the desire is to reduce the numbers coming under the Act; or that, if that be not so, granting to hon. Members opposite the intelligence which we believe they have, all these Amendments are merely blocking Amendments moved in the hope of wrecking the Bill. I hope that some Member speaking from the other side, either in the discussion on this Amendment or on some of the other Amendments, will tell us that they are going to drop the bunkum of trying to persuade this Committee that they are only moving these Amendments with a view to saving money so that other categories of persons can be included who in their opinion ought to come within the scope of the Bill.

Last week, in the discussion on an Amendment, I asked a speaker to tell me, before he resumed his seat, if he could give a single instance of a person who will not get a pension under this Bill and who would get a pension under any of the Amendments moved by the Opposition up to the present. Unless we are given some categories of people who can be thus covered, I shall continue to hold the view that hon. Members opposite are mere obstructionists. There has been some talk to-night on the question of proving length of time in connection with this Amendment. Surely it is more difficult to prove a long time than a short time. Under the Act that we are trying to amend there are people who have lost widows' pensions because their husbands died an hour-and-a-half before the Act came into operation, and if this Amendment were in force there might be people dying who had worked 11 months and two weeks and whose widows would lose a pension because the period of 12 months was insisted upon.

Captain WATERHOUSE

Has the hon. Member considered the case of the widow whose age is 54 years, 11 months and one day?

Mr. BAKER

You want to ask the Minister of Health that question—

The CHAIRMAN

It is becoming the custom for hon. Members to address one another across the Floor. I must remind them that, if they wish to address questions to hon. or right hon. Gentlemen on the other side, they should do so through me.

Mr. BAKER

I do not see what bearing the hon. and gallant Member's question has on the point under discussion. I suggest to you, Sir, that, if there is anyone in this Committee of whom he should ask that question, it is his own colleague the late Minister of Health. What I am arguing is that this Amendment is intentionally restrictive, that it is intended to be exclusive, that it will have the effect of depriving some widow of a pension, and that that is its object. I shall continue to believe that that is its object until hon. Members opposite give us some categories of persons who ought to be included in this Bill and are being left out. One of the supporters of the Amendment said that a man might be a master-man and, for some reasons of his own, might work for one week as a workman. But, if he were a master-man and were under the necessity of working even for one week as a workman so that he might live, he is surely sufficiently poverty-stricken to be classed in with the workers of the country, and his widow ought to be entitled to a pension under this Bill. Another case is that of a master-man who admittedly might not have any work, might not have any contract, and his financial position might be such as to compel him, by reason of his poverty, to seek work as an ordinary workman. The widow and dependants of a man of that type would be excluded by the people opposite from the operation of this Bill.

The CHAIRMAN

I would point out to the hon. Member that, in my intervention just now, I was not rebuking him for referring to other hon. Members, but only drawing his attention to the fact that he should address the Committee through me.

Mr. BAKER

I thought that I was telling you, Sir, of the wickedness of my colleagues on the opposite side of the Committee, and I thought that for once I was in order. I am not in agreement with them. I think I have said that quite emphatically, and I hope that they are going, as I said last week, to save their face and withdraw their Amendment.

Major GEORGE DAVIES

We sympathise with the hon. Member for Bilston (Mr. J. Baker) in the difficulty he finds in conforming to the recognised usages of this Assembly, but I think it hardly lies in his mouth to accuse us of wanting to put restrictive provisions into the Bill. Indeed, towards the end of his speech, he wandered away from the line of country that he had been following, and took up a question which has already been debated at some length in connection with this Measure, namely, whether the provisions of this extraordinary Bill should apply to those who could prove need or not, because some of his examples were simply examples on the question of need.

As to whether we are attempting in this Amendment to include further restric- tions, I would like to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that from the very commencement there are restrictive Clauses in the Bill itself. For example, the very fact that a fixed age has been put in is in itself a restriction, and the hon. Member himself has alluded to the difficulties attendant upon any fixed provision as to amount or period or age. In doing so he has merely drawn attention to what is inevitable in any Measure or regulation which sets a limit. There was a provision during the War with regard to those who went overseas, whereby those who landed before mid night on the 31st December received a certain decoration, while those who landed just after midnight were not en titled to it. Admittedly, those who are on the dividing line suffer from a restriction. If you lay down an age of 75, 65, 55, or whatever you like, those who fall just below it suffer from the restriction. Therefore, so far as the general argument on the question of restriction is concerned, it is completely immaterial.

In this Bill, as in many Acts of Parliament, some restrictive provision as to date or period is inevitable. Those who do not just fall within the purview of the Measure are, so to speak, out of luck. We have to admit that, and this Bill in its restrictions, which already exist and which have already been passed by the Committee, does not depart from that fact of introducing certain restrictions which of themselves must create hard ships which did not exist before the restrictions were put forward. Hon. Members opposite cannot get away from that, which is our fundamental objection to the Bill. It is all very well to charge us with being hard hearted, whereas they are all soft hearted. I say nothing about heads, because I might be called to order. But it is really pointless, when we are arguing a Bill like this, to fling across the Floor of the House the sort of charges which the Minister of Health himself has flung in an airy way at us, and if we suggest anything in retaliation there is immediately a great uproar that we have insulted hon. Members opposite. I trust that no hon. Member, particularly the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly), who knows me well, would think I would be so rash as to endeavour to insult hon. Members opposite. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and it does not assist in the passage of the Bill to indulge in that sort of back chat and repartee.

The hon. Member who has just spoken spent a great deal of his time in pointing out how wicked we were in trying to introduce a further restriction. It is admitted that it is a further restriction, but not in order to cut out certain deserving people. It is aimed, in common with all the Amendments we have put down, to say that if you once depart from what was admittedly a restrictive provision, the one that was applicable in the original Act, the question of insurable and contributory cases, you land yourself into a morass of difficulties, and we are trying to prevent hon. Members opposite from getting deep into a morass by following the will of the wisps which are put forward from their Front Bench, and to put in front of them a true light which will bring their feet back to firmer land.

With regard to the actual merits of the Amendment, when we were children and had fruit tarts we used to say, "This year, next year, some time, never!" The first two and the last are perfectly desirable measures to put into an Act of Parliament because you know where you are, but Acts of Parliament have to be interpreted by the Courts, and when you use such an expression as "sometimes" you are simply asking for trouble. It seems to me entirely unsatisfactory that the right hon. Gentleman should seriously suggest that there should be this vague phrase in an Act of Parliament. I am not wedded to the actual period of 12 months.

The hon. Member who spoke last was talking about need, just because it is restrictive, but I am sure he would be the first to admit that there should be a certain restriction that people who are well off and do not need assistance should not have it. When you have once departed from a restrictive covenant that can be enforced with a minimum of unfairness you get into a morass, and it is the duty of the Committee to try to restrict those restrictions as much as we can. That is the objective in this Amendment because, when you have a vague expression like this, in the first place it conveys different opinions to different minds. We are seeking, from a practical point of view, to remedy cer- tain unfairnesses, injustices and grievances which undoubtedly arise under the original Measure. That is common property. The question is what is the wisest way to do it. We consider that amongst the many unwise ways one of the unwisest has been selected. Nevertheless, having that before us, we have to admit that the doors have been opened wide to allow people whom neither side of the Committee wishes to see included, included. We are prevented by words which have been already passed from going back to that, but that does not alter the fact that we have still the problem before us of endeavouring to confine this unexpected largesse on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer into those channels where it will do the greatest amount of really deserved good. That is our objective all through, and it is the same objective in this Amendment, because while admittedly it may result in restricting certain people who under these vague words would get benefits, it would have a two-fold result. One is that by the particular restriction it will give us scope, under the maximum amount that has been voted into the financial provision, to include some people whom hon. Members opposite would desire to see included and who are excluded by the terms of the Bill. In the second place, it gives us a more concise, a more legal and a more satisfactory interpretation of what is meant.

The hon. Lady may point out that 12 months is an unsatisfactory period and that nine, six or three would be better. Surely those perfectly definite periods would be incomparably better than this vague "some time." What does it mean? Does it mean a minute or an hour? One of the functions of the Committee is so to discuss and think out these problems ahead that, as far as we can, we can do what the Judges in our Courts always do. They say, "We have to interpret what is in the Act of Parliament and not what those who framed it meant or thought would be in it." That applies with increased force to this Amendment, so I hope hon. Members opposite, and particularly the hon. Lady, will realise that in bringing it forward we are really seeking to give a definite description of what the qualifications shall he and not leaving it in this vague way. If, as the result of this, a certain restrictive Measure is incorporated into the Bill, it will only be one of a number of infinitely more unsatisfactory and burdensome restrictions which we have already found. There fore, I trust the Amendment, or some modification of it, will commend itself to those in charge of the Bill and will be met in the spirit in which it has been put forward.

Miss LAWRENCE

Far be it from me to charge anyone with so vile a crime as obstruction. I only say that, sitting with my pencil in my hand trying to take notes of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's speech, I could not find any point at all to take down. I did my very best, but I really could not gather any relation between his eloquent speech and this very narrow and technical Amendment.

Major DAVIES

That is because the point of my speech was so blunt com pared with the point of the hon. Lady's pencil.

Miss LAWRENCE

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain), with the consent of your predecessor, Sir, and for the convenience of the Committee, asked that the two Amendments in his name should be debated together.

Sir K. WOOD

No, my right hon. Friend in my presence expressly pointed out that the second Amendment raised a point altogether different from the first.

Miss LAWRENCE

The right hon. Gentleman's memory must have failed him.

Sir K. WOOD

Oh, no!

Miss LAWRENCE

I think it is very bad for the right hon. Gentleman to go on saying "No, no." The right hon. Gentleman's memory has failed him, as he will see when he looks at the OFFICIAL REPORT. His right hon. Friend spoke of the two Amendments. He said that the first Amendment, which he was actually moving, was the weaker case of the two, that he was disposed to admit that membership of an approved society was a solid test. He said that in regard to the second, "at some time," the case was very strong. He did, therefore, discuss the two Amendments together.

Sir K. WOOD

No, no!

Miss LAWRENCE

He proceeded to discuss the second Amendment, and it is within the recollection of every Member of the Committee that he said that "the one which I actually move is not the stronger of the two." He thought the two things were so similar that with the permission of the Chairman he desired to discuss the two together. I think I must ask that the right hon. Gentleman, as my voice is weaker than his, should remain silent until I have finished. The right hon. Gentleman did not address anything in an effective way regarding the Amendment to which he was actually speaking. He admitted that membership of an approved society was bona fide evidence of real insurance, because a man could not join an approved society for a week or two. He then addressed his remarks to the second Amendment standing in his name, and argued very acutely that one would not say that normal employment "at some time" was a reasonable condition. "Normal" employment does not come into the first. Hon. Members will remember that the whole force of his eloquence was addressed to the fact that normal employment at some time should be normal employment within a period of three years.

Sir K. WOOD

On a point of Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Lady, but I really must put a point of Order now in case we have a misunderstanding as to the discussion. My right hon. Friend expressly observed in your absence that he reserved his right—because there might be some misapprehension about it—to put his case on the later Amendment in page 2, line 7, to leave out the words "at some time" and to insert instead thereof the words "for a period of at least twelve months." This Amendment, as he says, raises a different issue altogether, and all I want to be clear about is that we should not be discussing on this Amendment another matter which is altogether of a different nature. I want to avoid any misunderstanding or discussion upon the wrong Amendment. There are two different reasons for the two Amendments, and, as I understand the position, we are now discussing the first Amendment and not the second.

9.0 p.m.

Miss LAWRENCE

On that point of Order, Mr. Chairman, you will observe that the discussion circled round "normal" employment. "Normal" employment does not occur in the first Amendment, and the right hon. Gentleman spent the greater part of his speech in arguing that it was preferable to have 12 months of normal employment and not normal employment "at some time."

Sir K. WOOD

I do not mind as long as it is expressly preserved to my right hon. Friend or to myself or to some of my hon. Friends whose names are put down to that Amendment to have the right to put our case as regards that particular matter.

The CHAIRMAN

I must point out to the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Lady that I was not present when such an arrangement was discussed, and the Deputy-Chairman has forgotten to tell me if there was any such arrangement. I will inquire into the matter.

Sir K. WOOD

There was no arrangement.

Miss LAWRENCE

I will proceed to answer the speech of the right hon. Gentleman on the second Amendment, on the point which was discussed by the Committee, as to whether our proposal that normal employment "at some time" within three years shall qualify for pensions. The right hon. Gentleman has said that that is absurd; that we must substitute for normal employment—

The CHAIRMAN

It is very difficult for me. If it was not agreed that the Amendment in line 7 should come under discussion, any reference to it at the moment is out of order.

Miss LAWRENCE

My trouble is—

The CHAIRMAN

There is a difference of opinion in the Committee and until I find out who is right I cannot allow the discussion on the second Amendment.

Miss LAWRENCE

You will have observed, since you have been in the Chair, that we have been discussing normal employment.

Sir K. WOOD

No.

Miss LAWRENCE

Oh, yes! We have been discussing not whether the fact that a member shall be in an approved society "at some time" will be sufficient justification, but whether "normal" employment was sufficient justification, and hon. Members have been talking about "normal" employment.

The CHAIRMAN

All I know at the moment is that the question before the Committee is, in Clause 1, page 2, line 3, to leave out the words, "at some time" and to insert instead thereof the words, "for a period of at least twelve months." I understand that the arguments on that Amendment may have impinged on the argument of the next Amendment, and until I know the exact position the second Amendment is not before the Committee and at the moment I cannot accept a discussion upon it.

Miss LAWRENCE

Of course, I bow at once to your ruling, but it is very hard upon me. I know that these things are necessary. I am entirely unable to answer any of the speeches to which I have listened and of which I have taken notes. Not one of the speakers has dealt with the point of the first Amendment. Not one has dealt with the point that membership of an approved society must be for 12 months. The proposer of the Amendment only touched upon that and said he was inclined to agree that membership of an approved society was in itself satisfactory evidence of effective insurance. As that is the case, I cannot reply to a single one of the speeches I have heard. I can only sit down, saying that the Mover himself agreed with my statement on the previous Amendment that membership of an approved society was satisfactory evidence, and that all the speeches were on the question of employment. I have to apologise to hon. Members that I have no argument which is in order.

Sir K. WOOD

I will endeavour to address myself to the Amendment and, if I can, to give some reason why it should receive the consideration of the Committee and induce the right hon. Gentle man to give some reply on behalf of the Government. In regard to the little controversy which I regret I should have had with anyone opposite—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—a personal controversy, I would point out that my right hon. Friend distinctly stated the difference between the two Amendments. It will be found that no agreement whatever was made in connection with the matter.

HON. MEMBERS

That is not so.

The CHAIRMAN

There is no need to make contradictions across the Floor of the House. I am making inquiries.

Mr. McKINLAY

Why should the right hon. Gentleman pursue a thing that you have ruled out?

Sir K. WOOD

The hon. Member, who is a new Member, will perhaps learn in time—

Mr. McKINLAY

I am not going to be lectured as a new Member by anyone in this House.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member must not interrupt.

Sir K. WOOD

It is recognised that, when some observation is made from the benches opposite, there is always the right of reply on the other side to any statement that may have been made. The hon. Member will no doubt learn that in the course of time. The Amendment with which we have to deal is one of sub stance not only from the drafting point of view but from the point of view of the people who may be entitled to receive a pension under the Bill. Take the question of drafting. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has any precedent—he may have—but it is not within my recollection that at any time in any Act of Parliament, especially in connection with what we may call the rights of particular individuals to pensions—

The CHAIRMAN

The Deputy-Chair man sends me word that he understood discussion on the second Amendment would also be included. In those circumstances, one Debate will satisfy the Committee.

Sir K. WOOD

Whatever the Deputy-Chairman says, we shall be agreeable to take it. I am content to accept such a Ruling, but there was no undertaking and no suggestion of an undertaking to that effect. I am now prepared to discuss both Amendments, and that will widen the scope of the Debate. At no time so far as I know has the vague expression "at some time," appeared in an Act of Parliament. It has been a matter of considerable criticism by the Judges who have to interpret Acts of Parliament that both Houses are loose and careless in the expressions that they incorporate in Acts of Parliament, and that it places a very undue burden upon the Judges as to their interpretation. There have been constant criticisms during many years to that effect. I wonder what will be said if we permit such a phrase as "at some time," to pass a Committee of the House of Commons to-night.

Mr. GEORGE OLIVER

That surely is not difficult.

Sir K. WOOD

The hon. Member says that that is not difficult. I am only a Member of what is called the lower branch of the legal profession. The hon. Member belongs to what is called the higher branch, so called because it gets the higher fees. No doubt, in the course of the Debate, he will explain why he does not think that the expression "at some time" is a difficult one. Not having the experience which the hon. Member has of legal matters, I confess that the words "at some time" rather astonish me. I can never hope to aspire but perhaps the hon. Member may aspire to occupy a position on the judicial bench. I wonder what he would say if he had to endeavour to define and interpret an Act of Parliament which said that at some time within three years before his death a man was registered as a member of an approved society, or as a deposit contributor. Speaking from that high judicial eminence, I think he would speak in terms of the severest condemnation of a vague and unsatisfactory term of that kind.

My first criticism is that that particular phrase from the point of view of drafting and judicial interpretation is most unsatisfactory, because it is uncertain. I hope to hear the hon. Member for Ilkeston (Mr. G. Oliver) tell us what in his opinion that particular phrase means. Possibly that argument may be dismissed as technical, and it may be said that it is a minor point, and that if anything does go wrong with this particular phrase, Parliament may amend it in future. My objection, and the objection of my right hon. Friend, is not a technical objection but one which goes to the very substance of the proposal incorporated in the Bill. The House of Commons, in its wisdom, having approved the expenditure of this large sum of money, and having rejected the proposal that this sum of money should be divided on more equal and fairer terms, we have to see whether we can in any way make the Measure more fair and more just. In some respects there has been no more unfair and no more unjust Measure ever proposed to the House. If we examine the Measure from that point of view, we get an illustration of the innumerable inequalities and injustices which arise in connection with this proposal.

If you say that at some time within three years he was registered as a member of an approved society, or was a deposit contributor, certain conseqences may follow. There is no more difficult case, as hon. Members who are acquainted with the work of national insurance will agree, than what is called the man who goes out of insurance on account of the income limit. He may, under this particular provision, be in national insurance for a short time only, but by the progress he makes with his particular employer his salary is raised above what is called the national insurance income limit, and immediately and automatically he goes out of national insurance. The Minister of Health has said that this Bill is definitely incorporated with our national insurance system; and, for good or ill, that is the effect of the principal Act and of the Bill now before the Committee. What is the result? If you use these words "at some time" without giving any definition at all you will find yourself face to face with another grave inequality. For instance, you will find a widow whose husband was a small shopkeeper, or a man just over the income limit as far as national insurance is concerned. She is getting nothing at all out of the £80,000,000 which is being given as a free gift in connection with the Socialist Government's proposals. Another person may be in a much happier and more favourable position because for a short period of time, a week or a fortnight within three years before his death, her husband, owing to the peculiar circumstances of his case, registered as a member of an approved society.

No one can defend a position of that kind from the point of view of equality or justice. It would be most unfair if this Amendment is not made; it would be unfair that the mere whim of registering as a member of an approved society should entitle a man's widow to a pension of 10s. a week for life without any contribution at all, while, on the other hand, the widow of a man who happened by a few shillings to be over the particular limit of income should get no pension. It is very necessary to avoid, as far as we can, the inequalities and in justices of these proposals. I do not think it is possible altogether, but, as far as we can, we should endeavour to do so, and it may be some reply to the widow of a man who has been so excluded to say that in the Act of Parliament it is laid down that for a certain period the deceased man was a member of an approved society or was a deposit contributor. That, at any rate, would be some reply, but to say to the person excluded from the provisions of this Bill that at some time within three years before his death the husband was registered as a member of an approved society cannot but bring more injustices and grievances and disappointments. That is one of the points of view we put forward in connection with a member of an approved society.

Take the next case, which I have no doubt the Minister of Health has considered and upon which no doubt he will reply, the case of the deposit contributor. According to this proposal the deceased man must have been at some time before his death a deposit contributor. There is nothing upon which general knowledge is so insufficient and incomplete as that of deposit contributors. People believe that the average deposit contributor is a man in bad health who has been forced into the deposit contributor class. That is certainly not the case as regards a great number of people who belong to this class to-day. A large number who belong to this class are those who have neglected to join an approved society; they have not taken the necessary steps largely owing to their own carelessness and a lack of consideration for the benefits which would come to them; and they fall into the deposit contributor class. Is it the proposal of the Government that because a man such as that, at some time within three years before his death, fell into the deposit contributor class his widow is to receive a pension, in contradistinction to the case of a widow under 55 years of age? That is obviously another grave injustice, and certainly we shall hear a great deal more of that and of the other matter before this Bill has been long upon the Statute Book. I understand it is your desire, Mr. Chairman, that we should discuss the other Amendment of my right hon. Friend as well?

The CHAIRMAN

I did not say it was my desire, but I understand that was the arrangement made.

Sir K. WOOD

If that be so, I will now proceed to deal with what I may call the second part of these proposals. The other Amendment is in identical terms, but has a different implication. We are proposing in Sub-section (1, a, ii) to leave out the words "at some time," and to insert instead thereof the words "for a period of at least twelve months." If hon. Members will look at this proposal they will see that the difficulty which arises in connection with Sub section (1, a, i) is doubled when we come to Sub-section (1, a, ii), because you have no test as to whether a person was within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society or was a deposit contributor. Here you have a much more difficult situation. Whoever undertakes this work will have to find whether his normal occupation was at some time within the said period employment in respect of which contributions under the principal Act would have been payable if that Act had been in force at that time. What the Lord Chief Justice would say about that provision I do not know. He would probably write another book. Certainly, the arguments which have been advanced for giving some definition in respect of Sub-section (1, a, i) are doubly reinforced when you come to the very vague and difficult question of interpreting Sub-section (1, a, ii). You have to go back to events of 40 years ago, and you have no test as to whether a man was a member of an approved society or whether he was a deposit contributor. All you have to do is to ascertain, according to the Bill, what his normal occupation was at some time within the said period. I do suggest to anyone who wants to do the right and fair thing in connection with these proposals that obviously the phrase "at some time" ought to have some definition. Hon. Gentlemen who said it was easy to define the matter must have been thinking of Sub-section (1, a, i). I do not think even they could define in very precise terms what "sometime" means in dealing with the question of normal occupation. We have at any rate demonstrated the danger of this particular phrase in this particular connection. My right hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain) has made a proposal that there should be inserted the words "for a period of at least 12 months." That, at any rate, does give some preciseness and is a definition that is worthy of consideration. We are not tied to it, and if the right hon. Gentleman thinks it is too long a time he can make his own suggestion. We were accused at the beginning of the Debate of endeavouring to restrict the proposals under this Bill. That is a grave misconception of the arguments advanced from this bench. We have endeavoured to make the Bill fairer and more just, and if this particular Amendment were carried it would at any rate permit a number of people who will be excluded from these proposals, and who will bitterly resent it, to have some opportunity of getting their case considered. If the matter is hot considered in this Committee these people will demand consideration at the hands of Members in all parts of the House, if not now, at any rate when they come to face their constituents.

Captain BOURNE

I had not intended to intervene in the Debate, but as the second Amendment will not be called I wish to make a few observations.

Sir BASIL PETO

Did I understand the Chair to say we were to have only one Debate on the two Amendments or one on each Amendment, because I feel that the arguments for the second Amendment are much stronger and are different from those for the first Amendment?

The CHAIRMAN

I said I understood the arrangement of the House was that there should be one discussion upon the two Amendments and that there would be two Divisions if necessary.

Captain BOURNE

With regard to the first part of the Amendment, dealing with Sub-section (1, a, i), my main objection is purely drafting. There is some uncertainty as to what is meant by the words "at some time." The hon. Member for Ilkeston (Mr. G. Oliver) interrupted my right hon. Friend, who retorted that the hon. Member would at some time be a Judge of the High Court. In that case the words "at some time" referred to future events, but in this case we are dealing with the past. If a man has been registered for one week within the period before his death he will have been registered "at some time." In my opinion, as a humble student of the drafting of Acts of Parliament, that is absurd. This is a matter of some importance, because as far as I can understand the object of Sub-section (1, a, i) the whole point is to prove that the man was in fact a bona fide member of an approved society or a bona fide deposit contributor. The words which we are debating, "at some time," do import a certain amount of uncertainty of a somewhat undesirable character which might have to be interpreted in the Law Courts. I cannot help thinking that there should be some period inserted. I am not wedded to 12 months, but when you come to Sub-section (1, a, ii) I cannot make out, as it is drafted, what on earth it means. A man either has a normal occupation or he has not, but I cannot see how he can have a normal occupation "at some time." If his normal occupation is that of bricklayer but he temporarily goes on digging trenches, does he become normally a navvy?

Mr. ARNOTT

Is the hon. Member trying to bring in the late Chancellor of the Exchequer under this Bill, because he was a bricklayer?

Captain BOURNE

The hon. Member has raised a very interesting point as regards normal occupation. I think the right hon. Gentleman might reasonably claim that his normal occupation was that of a Cabinet Minister, but also it might be held that he was at some time employed as a bricklayer. [HON. MEMBERS: "But he has not left a widow!"] There is always a chance in the uncertainty of this life that he might leave a widow who might claim a pension under the Clause. It is very important when claims are put up that the conditions under which such claims are made should be perfectly definite. It is impossible to say that a man's normal occupation was at some time something. We can say his normal occupation was, in a period of three years, a certain job, but to say that "at some time," which I conclude in this case means "at any given moment," his normal occupation was something, seems to me a gross misuse of the English language. If the occupation was normal it must have been his normal occupation during the period in which contributions would have been payable if the principal Act had been in force. I quite agree that he might have changed after a period of time from one occupation to another, but it seems to me, as this Clause is drafted, that there will be a very great difficulty for the appeal tribunal, which I understand the right

hon. Gentleman is prepared to set up, in interpreting this part of the Clause, and in deciding what was the normal occupation of any deceased man at some time. The difficulty would not be eased when we remember that some of these claims may go back for a very considerable period. In the interest of better drafting I urge the right hon. Gentleman to consider this point and to see if he cannot find some words a little more explicit than those in the Clause.

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question he now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 303; Noes, 106.

Division No. 18.] AYES. [9.37 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Cowan, D. M. Hayes, John Henry
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Daggar, George Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Dallas, George Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Alpass, J. H. Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Ammon, Charles George Day, Harry Herriotts, J.
Angell, Norman Denman, Hon. R. D. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Arnott, John Dickson, T. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Aske, Sir Robert Dudgeon, Major C. R. Hoffman, P. C.
Attlee, Clement Richard Dukes, C. Hollins, A.
Ayles, Walter Ede, James Chuter Hopkin, Daniel
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Edge, Sir William Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Edmunds, J. E. Horrabin, J. F.
Barnes, Alfred John Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Barr, James Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Batey, Joseph Egan, W. H. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Elmley, Viscount Isaacs, George
Bellamy, Albert England, Colonel A. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) John, William (Rhondda, West)
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Forgan, Dr. Robert Johnston, Thomas
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Freeman, Peter Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Benson, G. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)
Birkett, W. Norman George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Blindell, James Gibbins, Joseph Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Bowen, J. W. Gill, T. H. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Gillett, George M. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Broad, Francis Alfred Glassey, A. E. Kelly, W. T.
Brockway, A. Fenner Gosling, Harry Kennedy, Thomas
Bromfield, William Gossling, A. G. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Bromley, J. Gould, F. Kinley, J.
Brothers, M. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Kirkwood, D.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Gray, Milner Knight, Holford
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lang, Gordon
Buchanan, G. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Lathan, G.
Burgess, F. G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Law, Albert (Bolton)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Groves, Thomas E. Law, A. (Rosendale)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland) Grundy, Thomas W. Lawrence, Susan
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Caine, Derwent Hall. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Lawson, John James
Cameron, A. G. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Cape, Thomas Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Leach, W.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Charleton, H. C. Harbord, A. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Chater, Daniel Hardie, George D. Lees, J.
Church, Major A. G. Harris, Percy A. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Cluse, W. S. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Lindley, Fred W.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Lloyd, C. Ellis
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Haycock, A. W. Longbottom, A. W.
Compton, Joseph Hayday, Arthur Longden, F.
Lowth, Thomas Phillips, Dr. Marion Sorensen, R.
Lunn, William Picton-Tubervill, Edith Spero, Dr. G. E.
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Pole, Major D. G. Stamford, Thomas W.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Ponsonby, Arthur Stephen, Campbell
McElwee, A. Potts, John S. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
McEntee, V. L. Price, M. P. Strauss, G. R.
Mackinder, W. Pybus, Percy John Sullivan, J.
McKinlay, A. Quibell, D. J. K. Sutton, J. E.
MacLaren, Andrew Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Raynes, W. R. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) 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
Markham, S. F. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Toole, Joseph
Marley, J. Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs. Stretford) Tout, W. J.
Mathers, George Romeril, H. G. Townend, A. E.
Matters, L. W. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Maxton, James Rowson, Guy Turner, B.
Melville, J. B. Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Vaughan, D. J.
Messer, Fred Salter, Dr. Alfred Viant, S. P.
Middleton, G. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Walker, J.
Mills, J. E. Sanders, W. S. Wallace, H. W.
Milner, J. Sandham, E. Wallhead, Richard C.
Montague, Frederick Sawyer, G. F. Watkins, F. C.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Scott, James Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Morley, Ralph Scurr, John Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Sexton, James Wellock, Wilfred
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Mort, D. L. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis West, F. R.
Moses, J. J. H. Sherwood, G. H. Westwood, Joseph
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Shield, George William Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Muff, G. Shillaker, J. F. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Muggeridge, H. T. Shinwell, E. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Murnin, Hugh Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Noel Baker, P. J. Simmons, C. J. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Oldfield, J. R. Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Sinkinson, George Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wise, E. F.
Palin, John Henry Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Paling, Wilfrid Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Perry, S. F. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Atholl, Duchess of Ganzoni, Sir John Margesson, Captain H. D.
Atkinson, C. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Mason, Colonel Glyn K.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Beaumont, M. W. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Glyn, Major R. G. C. Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Morrison Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)
Bracken, B. Greene, W. P. Crawford Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Gritten, W. G. Howard Muirhead, A. J.
Buckingham, Sir H. Gunston, Captain D. W. Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Butler, R. A. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Peake, Captain Osbert
Castlestewart, Earl of Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Penny, Sir George
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Chapman, Sir S. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Purbrick, R.
Christie, J. A. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Rawson, Sir Cooper
Colfox, Major William Philip Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Remer, John R.
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Ross, Major Ronald D.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hurd, Percy A. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Davies, Dr. Vernon James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Kindersley, Major G. M. Savery, S. S.
Eden, Captain Anthony King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Everard, W. Lindsay Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Smithers, Waldron
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Somerset, Thomas
Fielden, E. B. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Fison, F. G. Clavering Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Ford, Sir P. J. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Mac Robert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Thomson, Sir F. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Tinne, J. A. Waterhouse, Captain Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Titchfield, Major the Marquess of Wells, Sydney R. Captain Sir George Bowyer and Sir Victor Warrender.
Train, J. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George

Question put accordingly, "That the words 'at some time' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 307; Noes, 118.

Division No. 19.] AYES. [9.48 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Foot, Isaac Lang, Gordon
Addison, Rt. Hon. Or. Christopher Forgan, Dr. Robert Lathan, G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Freeman, Peter Law, Albert (Bolton)
Alpass, J. H. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Ammon, Charles George Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Lawrence, Susan
Angell, Norman George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Arnott, John George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Lawson, John James
Aske, Sir Robert Gibbins, Joseph Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Attlee, Clement Richard Gill, T. H. Leach, W.
Ayles, Walter Gillett, George M. Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Glassey, A. E. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gosling, Harry Lees, J.
Barnes, Alfred John Gossling, A. G. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Barr, James Gould, F. Lindley, Fred W.
Batey, Joseph Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lloyd, C. Ellis
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Longbottom, A. W.
Bellamy, Albert Gray, Milner Longden, F.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Lowth, Thomas
Bennett, Captain E.N. (Cardiff, Central) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lunn, William
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Benson, G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Groves, Thomas E. Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Grundy, Thomas W. McElwee, A.
Birkett, W. Norman Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) McEntee, V. L.
Blindell, James Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mackinder, W.
Bowen, J. W. Hall, Capt. W. p. (Portsmouth, C.) McKinlay, A.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)
Broad, Francis Alfred Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Brockway, A. Fenner Harbord, A. McShane, John James
Bromfield, William Hardie, George D. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Bromley, J. Harris, Percy A. Mansfield, W.
Brothers, M. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon March, S.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hastings, Dr. Somerville Markham, S. F.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Haycock, A. W. Marley, J.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hayday, Arthur Mathers, George
Buchanan, G. Hayes, John Henry Matters, L. W.
Burgess, F. G. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Maxton, James
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Melville, J. B.
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Messer, Fred
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Middleton, G.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Herriotts, J. Millar, J. D.
Cameron, A. G. Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R.,Wentworth) Mills, J. E.
Cape, Thomas Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Milner, J.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hoffman, P. C. Montague, Frederick
Charleton, H. C. Hollins, A. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Chater, Daniel Hopkin, Daniel Morley, Ralph
Church, Major A. G. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Cluse, W. S. Horrabin, J. F. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Hunter, Dr. Joseph Mort, D. L.
Compton, Joseph Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Moses, J. J. H.
Daggar, George Isaacs, George Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Dallas, George Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Dalton, Hugh John, William (Rhondda, West) Muff, G.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Johnston, Thomas Muggeridge, H. T.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Murnin, Hugh
Day, Harry Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Oldfield, J. R.
Dickson, T. Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Dukes, C. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Ede, James Chuter Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Edge, Sir William Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Palin, John Henry
Edmunds, J. E. Kelly, W. T. Paling, Wilfrid
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Kennedy, Thomas Palmer, E. T.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Kenworthy Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Perry, S. F.
Egan, W. H. Kinley, J. Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Elmley, Viscount Kirkwood, D. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
England, Colonel A. Knight, Holford Phillips, Dr. Marion
Picton-Tubervill, Edith Shiels, Dr. Drummond Townend, A. E.
Pole, Major D. G. Shillaker, J. F. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Ponsonby, Arthur Shinwell, E. Turner, B.
Potts, John S. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Vaughan, D. J.
Price, M. P. Simmons, C. J. Viant, S. P.
Pybus, Percy John Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington) Walker, J.
Quibell, D. J. K. Sinkinson, George Wallace, H. W.
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wallhead, Richard C.
Raynes, W. R. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Watkins, F. C.
Richards, R. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wellock, Wilfred
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Ritson, J. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip West, F. R.
Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford) Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Westwood, Joseph
Romeril, H. G. Sorensen, R. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Spero, Dr. G. E. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Rowson, Guy Stamford, Thomas W. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Stephen, Campbell Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Stewart, J. (St. Rollox) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Strauss, G. R. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Sanders, W. S. Sullivan, J. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Sandham, E. Sutton, J. E. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Sawyer, G. F. Taylor R. A. (Lincoln) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Scott, James Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Scurr, John Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby) Wise, E. F.
Sexton, James Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Thurtle, Ernest Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Tillett, Ben
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Tinker, John Joseph TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Sherwood, G. H. Toole, Joseph Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley.
Shield, George William Tout, W. J.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Albery, Irving James Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Atholl, Duchess of Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Purbrick, R.
Atkinson, C. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Ramsbotham, H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Remer, John R.
Beaumont M. w. Greene, W. P. Crawford Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Gritten, W. G. Howard Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Gunston, Captain D. W. Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bracken, B. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Savery, S. S.
Buckingham, Sir H. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Butler, R. A. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Skelton, A. N.
Castlestewart, Earl of Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Smithers, Waldron
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Somerset, Thomas
Chapman, Sir S. Hurd, Percy A. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Christie, J. A. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Colfox, Major William Philip Kindersley, Major G. M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cranbourne, Viscount King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lane Fox, Rt. Hon. George R. Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Thomson, Sir F.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Tinne, J. A.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Train, J.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Margesson, Captain H. D. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Eden, Captain Anthony Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Everard, W. Lindsay Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wells, Sydney R.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Fielden, E. B. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fison, F. G. Clavering Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ford, Sir P. J. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Muirhead, A. J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sir George Penny and Sir Victor Warrender.
Ganzoni, Sir John Peake, Captain Osbert
Sir K. WOOD

I understand that, in the circumstances, Mr. Chairman, you may wish to make a statement. Perhaps I have myself contributed to a misunderstanding which exists as to whether an

agreement was come to on the Amendment standing in my name. As you know, I would not desire to press anything that you do not think fair.

The CHAIRMAN

There has been an unfortunate misunderstanding in Committee as to the two Amendments that were to be disposed of. I think the Parliamentary Secretary rose to reply, and I prevented her from making her reply. I think she should do so, and there might perhaps be one speech and only one on the other side. The next Amendment I take is that in the name of Mr. Greenwood.

Mr. ALBERY

May I ask if I am to understand that my Amendment—in page 2, line 3, to leave out the words, "within three years before his death"—is left out?

The CHAIRMAN

It is in the power of the Chairman to select Amendments, and I have not selected it.

Mr. ALBERY

I recognise that it is in the power of the Chairman, but the Amendment raises an entirely different point.

The CHAIRMAN

I am not prepared to argue whether it raises a different point or not; I have not selected it.

Mr. ALBERY

I am not referring to the Amendment of my hon. Friend, but the one in the name of myself and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) which raises a very material point.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I beg to move, in page 2, line 4, after the word "death," to insert the words or, if he lived to attain the age of seventy, within three years before the date on which he attained that ago. Prior to 1926, when the principal Act came into force, the insurance life of an employed person was regarded as ending at the age of 70, when the contributions ceased to be paid. It seems only right, therefore, that, in the case of a man dying after he reached 70, the three years prior to his reaching that age should be taken into account. As the Bill stands now, if a man were to die at, say, 77, 78 or 79, the last three years of his life would be taken into account. As during that time he would have ceased to be a contributor under the Act, his approved society, probably knowing very little about him, it would be difficult to deal with the case, whereas for the three years up to 70 there are, of course, full records.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I do not think, if I understood this Amendment aright, that I ought to offer any opposition to it. I am not quite certain from the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman whether I am correct in my interpretation of it, because he several times used the phrase: "If he were to die now," but I under stood that this was entirely a matter of people who died before 1926. I only just rise to make quite certain that we are not under any misapprehension on this matter, and that it does only refer to people who died before 1926.

Mr. GREENWOOD

That is quite right; I am sorry if I used the wrong phrase.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I would like to ask for an explanation on one point. We are very interested to see the figure of 70 used here. We should like to know why it is not 65 and why the figure of 70 has been decided on. It is not in accordance with provisions of previous Acts.

Mr. GREENWOOD

As I have stated, it is because, prior to the Act coming into force, up to the age of 70, people were regarded as insurable persons and contributions were paid in respect of them and their records are available for the last two years of their life before they reached the age of 70.

Amendment agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN

The next Amendment, standing in the name of one of the hon. Members for Devonport, may be, I think, covered by the Minister's Amendment on page 75.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

With very great respect, I submit that the Minister's Amendment on page 75 deals with an entirely different point. I would ask your permission to be allowed to argue the matter, because my Amendment affects a very large and deserving class of person. I need hardly say that if I am satisfied by the statement of the Minister that these persons to whom I refer are covered by the Bill I shall, of course, withdraw my Amendment, but I hope to convince you, Mr. Young, that the Amendment is one of substance.

The CHAIRMAN

Mr. Hore-Belisha.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, after the word society," to insert the words "or of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Insurance Fund. I am very much obliged to you, Sir, for your Ruling, but I would point out, in the first place, that I am not one of the hon. Members for Devonport, I am the only hon. Member for Devonport. [Interruption.] I am not surprised that some hon. Members opposite should be seeing two of us. The Committee will have observed that, in the case of every widow who is to be given a pension under this sub-section of the Act, her husband must have been at some time within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society or as a deposit contributor. No mention is made in this sub-section of the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund, and it is in order to ensure that these persons who at one time or another in their lives come under this fund shall receive their right that I move this Amendment. If this Amendment is carried the sub-section will read as follows: that he was at some time within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society, or of the Navy, Army, and Air Force Insurance Fund, or as a deposit contributor; It will be within the knowledge of the Committee that the Health Insurance Act of 1911 established a special fund known as the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund for sailors, soldiers and airmen. What is the position in regard to those who come within that fund? Their position is this: that a man, while he remains in the Navy, Army or Air Force, remains insured under the Health Insurance Act through this particular fund. What happens to him when he is discharged? Paragraph (e) of Section 59 of the National Health Insurance Act of 1924 states: A man of the Forces discharged from service as such, who proves that the state of his health is such that he cannot obtain admission to an approved society may, if he so elects, on making application to the Minister in the prescribed manner within three months of his discharge or such longer time as may be prescribed, become, subject to regulations made after consultation with the Admiralty, Army Council, and Air Council, entitled to benefits (other than additional benefits) at the ordinary rates. Therefore, a man who is discharged may, within three months, apply to the Minister to remain under this particular fund on the grounds of ill-health. My first point is this. Suppose that he does not apply; suppose that he is a proud man, or a man who despairs of the condition of his health, and fails to make this application. He ceases to be insured for the purposes of the Health Insurance Act and, therefore, in my submission, he loses all entitlement to benefit, either under this particular sub-section, or if he is not a person normally in insurable employment. He has ceased to be a sailor, soldier or airman; he has not joined any approved society; he is living, it may be, on a chicken farm, or somewhere else, and he dies, and his widow will fail to get a pension under this Bill. I know perfectly well that that is not the intention of the Minister or of anybody sitting behind him; it is not their intention to exclude any man on the ground that he cannot become a member of an approved society.

There is another category of persons who will not come under Sub-section (1, a, ii), and who are also covered by my Amendment. Suppose that a man, at the conclusion of the South African war, left the Army, with tuberculosis or any other sort of ill-health and he died, say, in 1905. His widow would get a pension under this Act because, within three years of his discharge, the man was an insured person for the purposes of this Act, but, if he died two years later, his widow would not come under this Act, although exactly the same person to-day would have the optional right of applying to the Minister to remain a beneficiary under the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund. Therefore, there are two categories of persons for whom I ask consideration; one, the man who has failed to make application to remain a member of the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund; his widow will not get a pension. Secondly, there is a person who can never have made application because the Insurance Act was not in force, and there is nobody to say at this date whether or not he could properly have exercised that option. A man may continue in disablement benefit for a large number of years, and, providing he is drawing that disablement benefit and dies, it does not matter how long ago he left the Service—it may be 10 years—he has been getting disablement benefit, and, therefore, he remains within the ambit of this Act. If he lived at a time when there was no such disablement benefit, he would only get entitlement to pension from a date three years subsequent to the date on which he left the Army. I am sure I have said enough to show that there are two classes of persons who may benefit if this Amendment is accepted, and I commend it to the goodwill of the Minister.

Mr. GREENWOOD

As I understand it, the hon. Gentleman wishes to raise this as a query rather than as a definite Amendment.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

I said that I am quite prepared to withdraw my Amendment if the right hon. Gentleman can show that these persons are covered.

Mr. GREENWOOD

If a man is incapacitated, his widow would not lose her rights under this Bill because his period of incapacity followed on his Army service. In the case of a man who, on leaving the Army, does not become a member of the special fund, he does not thereupon cease to be an insured person for the purposes of this Bill. He becomes a deposit contributor and he would still be insured so long as he remained a deposit contributor and his wife would be eligible to receive a pension.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I do not quite see that point, because the Minister's own Amendment reads as follows: that during the late War he served in the naval, military, or air forces of the Crown. If it is necessary to deal with those who served in the War, surely it is necessary to mention all those who have actually served in the Navy, Army and Air Force. I understand that that is the purpose of the Mover of this Amendment. The Minister must explain why it is necessary to mention those who served in the late War, for apparently what he says is that every man who served in the Army, Navy or Air Force is at the present time

covered. I am not satisfied that they are so covered.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I should prefer to deal with the question when we reach my Amendment.

Captain GUNSTON

I want to raise a point which was not made by the Minister of Health with regard to this Amendment. With regard to the soldier or sailor who served in the South African War, which ended some considerable time before this fund was set up, can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that the rights of those men will be safeguarded under this Bill?

Sir B. PETO

The widow of a man who served in the South African War and retired from service within three years after the end of the War, and did not enter into insurable employment, but engaged say, in a chicken farm or something of that kind, would under this Amendment be entitled to the benefits of this Clause. Under the Minister's Amendment, however, it seems quite clear that the widow of such a man would not be entitled to those benefits.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

If the Minister will be good enough to assure me that he will look into the points which I have raised between now and the Report stage, and, if they are not covered, undertake to accept this Amendment or to move one him self, I will be quite prepared to withdraw.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I think my hon. Friend's point has been substantially met, but, if he does not feel that it has been covered, I will consider the matter further before the Report Stage.

Mr HORE-BELISHA

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 128; Noes, 294.

Division No. 20.] AYES. [10.22 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Christie, J. A.
Albery, Irving James Bracken, B. Cranbourne, Viscount
Atkinson, C. Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks, Newb'y) Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley) Buckingham, Sir H. Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)
Balniel, Lord Bullock, Captain Malcolm Croom-Johnson, R. P.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Burgin, Dr. E. L. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)
Beaumont M. W. Butler, R. A. Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Castlestewart, Earl of Davies, Dr. Vernon
Bevan, s. J. (Holborn) Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Duckworth, G. A. V.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Chapman, Sir S. Dugdale, Capt. T. L.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak) Savery, S. S.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Everard, W. Lindsay Lewis, Oswald (Colchester) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Lymington, Viscount Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Fielden, E. B. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Smithers, Waldron
Fison, F. G. Clavering MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Somerset, Thomas
Ford, Sir P. J. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Margesson, Captain H. D. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Ganzoni, Sir John Meller, R. J. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Morrison Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Gower, Sir Robert Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Thomson, Sir F.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Muirhead, A. J. Tinne, J. A.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Greene, W. P. Crawford O'Neill, Sir H. Train, J.
Gritten, W. G. Howard Peake, Capt. Osbert Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Gunston, Captain D. W. Penny, Sir George Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Warrender, Sir Victor
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Purbrick, R. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Ramsbotham, H. Wells, Sydney R.
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Rawson, Sir Cooper Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Remer, John R. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Womersley, W. J.
Hurd, Percy A. Ross, Major Ronald D. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lamb, Sir J. Q. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Colonel Heneage and Major Colfox.
Lane Fox, Rt. Hon. George R. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Compton, Joseph Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Daggar, George Haycock, A. W.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Dallas, George Hayday, Arthur
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Dalton, Hugh Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)
Alpass, J. H. Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)
Ammon, Charles George Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Angell, Norman Day, Harry Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Arnott, John Denman, Hon. R. D. Herriotts, J.
Aske, Sir Robert Dickson, T. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Attlee, Clement Richard Dudgeon, Major C. R. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Ayles, Walter Dukes, C. Hoffman, P. C.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Ede, James Chuter Hollins, A.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Edge, Sir William Hopkin, Daniel
Barnes, Alfred John Edmunds, J. E. Horrabin, J. F.
Barr, James Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Batey, Joseph Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Isaacs, George
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Egan, W. H. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Bellamy, Albert Elmley, Viscount John, William (Rhondda, West)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Johnston, Thomas
Bennett, Captain E.N. (Cardiff, Central) Forgan, Dr. Robert Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Freeman, Peter Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Benson, G. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Birkett, W. Norman George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Blindell, James Gibbins, Joseph Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A.
Bowen, J. W. Gill, T. H. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Gillett, George M. Kelly, W. T.
Broad, Francis Alfred Glassey, A. E. Kennedy, Thomas
Brockway, A. Fenner Gosling, Harry Kinley, J.
Bromfield, William Gossling, A. G. Kirkwood, D.
Bromley, J. Gould, F. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Brothers, M. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lang, Gordon
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Lathan, G.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Law, Albert (Bolton)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Buchanan, G. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Lawrence, Susan
Burgess, F. G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland) Groves, Thomas E. Lawson, John James
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.) Grundy, Thomas W. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Caine, Derwent Hall Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Leach, W.
Cameron, A. G. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Cape, Thomas Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lees, J.
Charleton, H. C. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Chater, Daniel Harbord, A. Lindley, Fred W.
Cluse, W. S. Hardie, George D. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Harris, Percy A. Longbottom, A. W.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Longden, F.
Lowth, Thomas Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Stamford, Thomas W.
Lunn, William Phillips, Dr. Marion Stephen, Campbell
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Pole, Major D. G. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Ponsonby, Arthur Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
McElwee, A. Potts, John S. Strauss, G. R.
McEntee, V. L. Price, M. P. Sullivan, J.
Mackinder, W. Pybus, Percy John Sutton, J. E.
McKinlay, A. Quibell, D. J. K. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
MacLaren, Andrew Raynes, W. R. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.) Richards, R. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
McShane, John James Riley, Ben (Dewsbury) Thurtle, Ernest
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Tillett, Ben
Mansfield, W. Ritson, J. Tinker, John Joseph
March, S. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Toole, Joseph
Markham, S. F. Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford) Tout, W. J.
Marley, J. Romeril, H. G. Townend, A. E.
Mathers, George Rosbotham, D. S. T. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Matters, L. W. Rothschild, J. de Turner, B.
Maxton, James Rowson, Guy Vaughan, D. J.
Melville, J. B. Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Viant, S. P.
Messer, Fred Salter, Dr. Alfred Walker, J.
Middleton, G. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Wallace, H. W.
Millar, J. D. Sanders, W. S. Wallhead, Richard C.
Milner, J. Sandham, E. Watkins, F. C.
Montague, Frederick Sawyer, G. F. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Scott, James Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Morley, Ralph Scurr, John Wellock, Wilfred
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Sexton, James Welsh, James (Paisley)
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis West, F. R.
Mort, D. L. Sherwood, G. H. Westwood, Joseph
Moses, J. J. H. Shield, George William Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shillaker, J. F. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Muff, G. Shinwell, E. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Muggeridge, H. T. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Murnln, Hugh Simmons, C. J. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Naylor, T. E. Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Sinkinson, George Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Noel Baker, P. J. Sitch, Charles H. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Oldfield, J. R. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wise, E. F.
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Palin, John Henry Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Perry, S. F. Sorensen, R. Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Spero, Dr. G. E.
Mr. HORE-BELISHA

I beg to move, in page 2, line 6, after the word "contributor," to insert the words: or was a policeman not entitled to the benefits of the Police Pensions Act, 1921. I can understand many of the characteristics of the Conservative party, but I really cannot understand them placing party advantage before the claims of the Army, Navy, or Air Force. I feel that those people have a far greater security in the right hon. Gentleman's promise to look into the matter before the Report—

Major COLFOX

What has this to do with the police?

The CHAIRMAN

It is utterly impossible for me to hear what the hon. Member is saying.

Mr. MILLS

I rise to a point of information.

The CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member cannot rise to a point of information.

Mr. MILLS

I wish to ask your Ruling, whether an hon. Member can be deprived of his right to vote because of the defective electrical wiring of the bath rooms?

The CHAIRIMAN

I am sure, if there is anything wrong with the wiring of the bath room, the attention of the right Department will be drawn to it.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

The Sub-section, with these words inserted, would read: That he was at some time within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society or as a deposit contributor, or was a policeman not entitled to the benefits of the Police Pensions Act, 1921. That, in my submission, would include within this Clause the widows of all policeman who do not receive pensions at the present day. As the Committee is aware, the Police Pension Act, 1921, gave pensions to the widows of certain policemen. The relative Section of the Act, which is Section 3 (a), reads as follows: Where a member of a police force who, having joined the force after the 1st day of September, 1918, has completed five years' approved service, dies whilst serving in the force, or whilst in receipt of a pension from a police authority, or in consequence of any disease or injury on account of which he retired from a police force, his widow shall be entitled to a widow's ordinary pension. It has transpired that certain widows of policemen have pensions. They have pensions if their husbands joined the police force after the first day of September, 1918, and completed five years of approved service. The first point that arises is, that if the policeman died before five years' approved service had been completed, the widow gets no pension either under this Section or under any other Act. I seek to have that widow brought in. There is another category of widows, namely, widows who became such before the Police Pensions Act, 1918. Everybody knows that the pre-War policeman served under more arduous conditions than the present-day policeman. He served for a very small emolument, and at the end of it his wife received no pension. His emolument was 35s.; to-day the emolument is over £3 a week, and the policeman has a very good pension. Everybody would wish to bring in the police widow who became a widow before 1918. She did not come in under the principal Act because the employment of her husband was an excepted employment under the principal Health Insurance Act of 1911.

In Part II of the First Schedule of that Act there are excepted those persons who are in employment under the Crown or any local or other public authority, where the Insurance Commissioners certify that the terms of the employment are such as to secure provision in respect of sickness and disablement on the whole not less favourable than the corresponding benefits conferred by this Act. In those days there were no pensions for widows under a health insurance scheme. Therefore, those widows were excepted, and are at this moment without pension. My object is to make certain that those widows will get a pension. In the first place, I desire that the widows of men who have completed five years' service under this Act will get a pension, and, secondly, I plead for the whole of the pre-1918 widows. My object is to get them a pension, and not to score any advantage in a party Division which might leave some of them out. I want an assurance from the Minister either that they are in or that by the Report stage he will bring them in. If he will make that declaration, I shall be perfectly satisfied. My object is to bring these widows in. Surely, that is a perfectly legitimate object, and everyone who has the cause of these widows at heart will want to be satisfied.

I want to acknowledge the courtesy of the Parliamentary Secretary—an hon. Lady who has not only won a just reputation for her skill in Debate, but has taken a great deal of pains outside this House to convince me that these widows are in. She has written me upon the subject and asked me to interview the permanent officials. It is clear, however, that a Ministerial declaration is not an Act of Parliament, and one wants to be satisfied that the Act of Parliament is going to cover these people. Earlier in the Debate we discussed whether or not the Minister should be a Mussolini or not, and we decided that the Minister's decision is to be final and conclusive. If his decision is to be final and conclusive, subject to an appeal to the court of referees, nobody is going to appeal against his generosity. They are only going to appeal when he is not generous. If he will solemnly assure me that all these persons to whom I have referred are within the Bill, I should be perfectly satisfied, but, if they are not, I want him to assure me that between now and the Report stage he will make sure that they will be covered before the Bill goes any further.

Mr. GREENWOOD

There are two categories of police widows to which the hon. Member has referred. As the Bill stands, without this proposed Amendment, the position is that a policeman who served with the police force before the Police Pensions Act of 1918 was a person whose normal occupation would be such as to entitle his widow to a pension, and, indeed, if he died within three years after leaving the police force. That is so far as the widow of the pre-Police Pensions Act era is concerned. They are, I am advised, well within the Bill. In the case of the later widows, the position is different. From 1918 onwards there was a Police Pensions Act, and there was another Act of 1921, under which certain conditions were laid down. What the hon. Member is asking me to do in this second category is something which really is not my business. He is asking for an amendment of the Police Pensions Act, 1921.

It would be very difficult, where there is a definite scheme laid down, the conditions of which are known to all policemen when they enter the police force, to come in with entirely different conditions covering them as well. Moreover, it would be a serious thing, and I am sure the Committee would never entertain it, to give a pension to people who had been dismissed the police force for some reason or other. There have been notorious cases recently. Clearly, that was not contemplated by the principal Act and is not contemplated now. I feel that I cannot touch the question of the post-Police Pensions Act widows because they have their own scheme which is run quite independent of this Bill. The hardest case is that of the pre-Police Pensions Act widow. These widows are within, the Bill, but I cannot give an undertaking to bring within the Measure all the people who have fallen through the meshes of the 1921 Act because they should be dealt with by an Amendment of that Act and not by any change in this Bill.

Sir F. HALL

I am delighted to hear that the pre-Police Pensions Act, 1918, widows are included in the Bill. I have not been able to find the particular Clause by which they are covered and, although I naturally accept the statement of the Minister of Health, I should be very grateful if he would point out the particular provision in the Bill which covers them. I raised this matter in 1919, and have done so ever since, because I have always thought that the widow of the pre-September 1918 policeman, who had served 19 or 20 years in the force and had carried out his duties in a perfectly satisfactory manner, ought not to be deprived of her pension because he left the force before the 31st August, 1918. The change which came on the 1st September, 1918, provided that if the policeman had served for five years only then his widow got a pension. I am not desirous of detaining the Committee and, although I have no doubt these widows have been included, I want to make perfectly certain that such is the case. I am sure that hon. Members in all parts of the House will be desirous of seeing that the pre-Police Pensions Act, 1918, widows come under the Bill.

Mr. O. STANLEY

I want to emphasise the point put by the hon. and gallant Member for Camberwell (Sir F. Hall).

Lieut-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

It has been answered.

Mr. STANLEY

If the hon. and gallant Member for East Rhondda (Lieut.-Colonel Watts-Morgan) wishes to address the Committee I am perfectly prepared to give way. I have taken no part hitherto in the discussion and I am certainly entitled to put a question now, and I have every intention of doing so however much the hon. and gallant Member may interrupt. The hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) brushed the matter aside by saying that the Minister's decision was final and, therefore, that you should abide by his decision. That decision surely must be limited to exactly what is in the Bill. I am asking on what the Minister bases his contention. If it is Sub-section (i, a, ii), seeing that the police were definitely excluded from the principal Act, I cannot see how they could be brought in under that definition. In point of fact, the police before 1911 would not have been in insurable occupation and could not have been brought in under Sub-section (1, a, ii). I am perfectly satisfied that the Minister must be right, but I should like to know exactly under what provision the police are brought in under this Bill.

Miss LAWRENCE

May I explain this point? Policemen are out because the Minister has given a certificate. Post-Act policemen are out under Section 9 (1) (iv) of the principal Act. They are out because the Minister had given a certificate that they had equivalent benefits. That is the only reason that keeps the post-War widow in these cases out of the 1926 Act. If it had not been for the equivalent benefits, they would be in under the 1925 Act. The policeman would be in under that Act if the Minister had not given a certificate that they were covered. The police are out of the Act by virtue of his certificate. The widows of police who died before 1918 were widows of people who were not covered by the certificate, and who were in exactly the same condition as any other insurable persons. Therefore, those men who died before 1918, being insurable persons and not covered by statutory exemption, come in under Sub-section 1 (a, ii) of this Bill. I think that has made the point clear.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I should like to ask one question for information. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say, with respect to the widows of those policemen who died before the 1918 Act, that they would come in under paragraph 2 but only if they had died within three years after leaving their occupation. The question I ask is, if that be correct, where is the provision made which imposes that condition? There is nothing about it in the Bill, and it must be by virtue of some other provision. I should like to know where the reference is.

Miss LAWRENCE

My point is that the widows of policemen who died before 1918 are in exactly the same position as any other widows, service in the police force being insurable for this purpose. If a policeman should leave the force and take up a non-insurable occupation after a certain time, he would be out, but his service in the force counts as an insurable occupation for the purposes of this Act, and every condition with regard to the other pre-war widows applies to the widows of policemen who come under paragraph 1 (a, ii).

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

That is not an answer to my question. The Minister said that the pensions could only be claimable by those widows whose husbands had died within three years after ceasing to be policemen. I am asking what was the provision of the Act which imposed that particular condition.

Miss LAWRENCE

No. In the case of pre-Act widows, their husbands have to be in insurable occupations within three years of death. The police service counts as an insurable occupation exactly as if such men had been carpenters or bricklayers.

The men who served in the police are in exactly the same position as those in any other insurable occupation. If they leave their insured trade and take up another trade, which is not insurable, they get away from the terms of the Measure altogether, being uninsurable persons. If one bears in mind that the policeman is in an insurable trade everything becomes clear. If he leaves the police force, however, and takes up the position of, shall we say, a bank manager, he is out; but the police force is, for all these purposes an insurable trade and every provision with regard to widows applies to them.

Lord EUSTACE PERCY

There is one eventuality to which the hon. Lady did not refer. What about the policeman who retires on pension and dies after five years? Has his widow no claim?

Miss LAWRENCE

A pre-1918 policeman?

Lord E. PERCY

Yes.

Miss LAWRENCE

What pension did a pre-1918 policeman get?

Lord E. PERCY

Of course, a policeman retiring before 1918 after a certain period of service got a pension, and, no doubt, an adequate one. If a policeman retired on pension before 1918 and spent five years in retirement—doing nothing but living in retirement—would his widow have no claim at all?

Miss LAWRENCE

If the man left his insurable occupation and did not take up another insurable occupation within three years, then, of course, he would be just like everybody else under the same conditions.

Mr. J. JONES

I appreciate the great sympathy for policemen expressed by hon. Members opposite. Having been in their hands once or twice I have an equal sympathy with them. But this Bill deals with a contributory pensions scheme. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Perhaps hon. Members will allow me to finish. It takes a long time for Conservative Members to understand what we are saying. In this instance we are dealing with pensions for those who have contributed hut the principle has 'been extended to those who were not contributors. The point has been raised about those men who, having served in the police before 1918, may have left the police and gone into other employments, and the question is whether they have joined contributory employment or not—whether they belong to the class of people whose widows are entitled to benefit under this Bill. [Interruption.] I know exactly what hon. Members opposite mean and it is not what I mean. They want to give policemen special privileges as against dock labourers.

11.0 p.m.

If a dock labourer who has been a contributor and paid in for years, since the original Act became law, leaves the docks and goes into other employment which is not insurable, he does not stand a ghost of a chance of coming in afterwards. Why this love for the policeman and neglect of the docker? It is because hon. Members opposite always look to the policeman to help them to break a strike. Give them all the same treatment. A docker leaves the docks and gets some other kind of employment which is not insurable, and no one proposes that his widow should get a pension. There is no Amendment down for the docker. I am looking forward to the time when we shall have an all-inclusive pension scheme, a non-contributory pension scheme, under which it will not be a question of who you are, or what you are, or how you are, but of getting pensions just as the Lord Tom Noddies get their pensions. We have some of these people to-day who have been drawing pensions for over 100 years and who will keep on drawing them, and no contributions expected, yet when we ask for the same treatment for the common workman, we are told we are asking for something for nothing, by the experts, who have never done anything for nothing in their lives, and have been taking something for nothing ever since they were born. Give the policemen's widows pensions if you like, but there are other workmen entitled to equal if not better treatment than the police. Plenty of my friends are policemen, and if we had not been so friendly, I might not have been here so often. We want fair treatment all round for every man and woman who works. When pensions are being discussed, I suggest that to raise the question of what trade you are in is ridiculous. Every useful worker in the country is entitled to a pension, and the only people who ought not to get a pension are those who never work and never intend to work.

Mr. BUCHANAN

On a point of Order. The hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) submitted to you, Sir, in submitting this Amendment, that policemen in two classes should be brought in; first, the pre-1918 policemen, and then the policemen covered by the Act of 1921. My point of Order is with regard to the second class, that either it is out of order or it would be in order for us also to move an Amendment bringing in the shopkeeper. I understood that you ruled it out of order to extend it to spinsters and others because it would widen the scope of the Bill and was outside the original Act.

The CHAIRMAN

As far as I understand the Amendment, I do not see that I can rule it out of order. The Amendment is not broken up in the way the hon. Member has explained to the Committee, and it is for the Minister to say which part he will take.

Mr. BUCHANAN

You say that the Amendment is not broken up, but, as it reads at the moment, it includes policemen, an important class which, in my view, are by Act of Parliament deliberately excluded. I ask: Is it in order to bring in a class which is deliberately excluded, and, if so, would it be in order to bring in shopkeepers as well?

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

My hon. Friend is labouring under a misapprehension. The Order Paper is evidence in another place that it would be in order to bring in the widows of shopkeepers or any other class. There is an Amendment shortly to be moved by the Minister of Health himself in regard to the Navy and Army which will bring in people who were normally shopkeepers and have joined the Services. We are dealing, not with pensions for policemen as my hon. Friend seems to think, but with police widows, and they belong to the same insurable class as any other section of the community, for it was feared, unless he moved the Amendment, that they would be ruled out, and they would be the only persons in this class of the community who would be, through no intention of the Government or anybody else.

Mr. SHAKESPEARE

One point worries me. The Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) would, in effect, have brought in all the widows of policemen who became widows before the Pensions Act of 1918. I understood from the Minister that his Amendment was not necessary because they were covered by Sub-section (1, a, i). Suppose that a policeman left the force in 1908 by retiring, and he died any time between 1912 and 1918. His widow is not allowed a pension under this Sub-section. Am I right or wrong? If I am right, as I think I am, it surely is not a sufficient answer to my hon. Friend that the case of the pre-Act widow is covered by Subsection (1, a, i). There must be a large class of those who died and left a gap of four years between their retirement and their death. If this be true in the case of the policemen, how much more true must it be in other cases. Many of us objected to those words, "who died within three years," and we were not allowed to move an Amendment. Not having been allowed to move an Amendment, we found that in the very next Amendment a large class of persons were excluded whom we wanted to get in.

The CHAIRMAN

The Amendment on the Paper, so far as I understood it, included a number of people about whom we were doubtful. I therefore did not rule the Amendment out of order.

Mr. REMER

I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary a question with regard to the widows of policemen. I will give a specific case. There is a widow of a policeman in my constituency who had been a contributor to the Police Pensions Fund for three years. The policeman died while he was still in the force. His wife was a young woman about 45, and there were children of school age. As I understand it, under the Act of 1925, that widow, if her husband had been following any occupation than the police force, would have received a pension. Under the 1925 Act, owing to the fact that the police were allowed to contract out, she did not do so, because the contributions were less than the Government's scheme and because the benefits were more than the Government's scheme. There was, however, this qualification, that before she could qualify, the policeman had to be a contributor for, I think, not five years but seven years. The point I want to put is: Where, in this Bill, is it provided that the 1925 widow, if I may use that expression, who was brought under the Act, the widow with school children, will now receive a pension? I cannot find it anywhere, and I shall be glad if the hon. Lady will answer that specific point, because it is quite clear from the answer which she gave that a widow of that class is not dealt with in any way. I am only bringing this forward, because I think that there are other cases of a similar character where widows of policemen, even with her explanation, who will not come under the Bill and will be deprived of their pensions. I think that the matter requires more elucidation.

Miss LAWRENCE

The policeman's widow who has children comes under 1925 Act provided that her husband died before 1918. If he died after 1918—

Mr. REMER

This policeman only died 18 months ago.

Miss LAWRENCE

A policeman who died 18 months ago was an exempted man and had got his own service pension.

Mr. REMER

No, under the Act of 1925 it is provided that he gets a pension if there are 104 stamps on his card. Before his widow can get a police widow's pension under the Police Act of 1921, he must have been a subscriber to the Police Pension Fund for, I think it was, 10 years—[HON. MEMBERS: "Five years."] Certainly, for five years. This is the point which I am trying to put to the hon. Lady. In that interval of from two to five years, this woman's husband having only been insured under the Police Pension Fund for 3½ years, she was out of the Police Pension Fund and deprived of her pension under the Act of 1925. I cannot find anything in the Bill which covers that specific point.

Miss LAWRENCE

Policemen are in an insured trade; if a policeman has been in for too short a time, his widow does not get a pension. Every restriction which applies to a man in an insurable occupation applies to the policeman.

Mr. REMER

Is that in the present Bill?

Miss LAWRENCE

It is in two Acts. Policemen are only covered by virtue of the certificate of the Minister, which only applies to policemen post 1918. Therefore, quite aside from the certificate of the Minister and the 1918 Act, the people who were not exempt by a certificate fall into the general class of insured persons. All the restrictions apply equally to policemen as policemen as to bricklayers as bricklayers.

Sir B. PETO

I want to put it to the Committee that the only satisfactory thing we can do is to see that the words which are moved by the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) are inserted. From the answer of the Minister and of the Parliamentary Secretary, it is abundantly clear that there are large gaps in the pre-1918 class of policemen's widows who will not receive any pension at all. Apart from the case of the policeman who retires upon his small pension, and does not follow an insurable occupation, there is a much larger class of people who are not able to find suitable insurable occupation, and who eke out their meagre pay with some other occupation. 'Why should the widows of these people be without pensions? The hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) asked why the widows of policemen should be treated any better than other widows. The reason is that these women, who belong to the now rapidly diminishing class of widows of the pre-1918 policeman, acted during a long life as unpaid assistants to their husbands, carrying on work for which they received nothing.

In Clause 1 of this Bill we are providing pensions for a very large number—some 500,000—of women, simply because they are widows, not in return for any contribution whatever; and we are at the same time excluding a considerable number of widows of policemen, who not only deserve a pension as much as any other class, but deserve it far more, if public money that is to be handed out, than any other class of which I can conceive. They have been searching female prisoners, cleaning out the police stations, and doing things of that kind, for years, and have received no pay. Under these provisions a man has to die within three years of his retirement from the force to enable his wife to qualify for a pension. To leave out the widows for whom we are pleading would be a blot on the work of this Committee. Therefore, I shall press the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) to proceed with this Amendment in order to make assurance doubly sure; though, in fact, I do not think it is sure at all that all these police widows who are in receipt of no pension at present will receive pensions of 10s. a week under this Bill. It has taken nearly an hour of explanation from the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to convince some Members of the Committee that even some of these widows are in, but there has been no attempt to convince us that they are all in, and, if that is so, the only satisfactory thing to do is to put in these words.

Major COLFOX

The last speech of the Parliamentary Secretary has pointed out one at least of the difficulties into which the Government have fallen, as was inevitable when they abandoned the contributory principle of the 1925 Act. A policeman's widow is not entitled to receive pension unless and until her husband has contributed for five years, whereas the widow of any man in an ordinary occupation is (entitled to a pension after her husband has contributed for two years. We have included in this Bill the widows of a great many men who have not contributed at all, and so why should we exclude the widow of a policeman who has not contributed for five years but who may have contributed for two, three or four years? Obviously this is a gross injustice, and points to one of the dangers into which the Government have rushed owing to the fact that they have introduced this extremely ill-considered and ill-thought out measure, based on no underlying principle. Once you abandon, as has been done on this occasion, the contributory principle on which the great Act of 1925 was founded, you are bound to flounder deeper and deeper into the mire of difficulty. This is only one of the early difficulties into which the Government have fallen, and, if I were a prophet—which, thank goodness, I am not—I should foretell that they will find themselves, before the end of the Committee stage of this Bill, floundering deeper and ever deeper into the slough of their own despond.

Major DAVIES

I think the hon. Lady has satisfied, to a certain extent, some of the anxieties which have been legitimately expressed from this side of the Committee; but in her reply she did admit that there was definitely excluded a certain class of police widows, a class which has constantly been the subject of pressure on varying Governments for a considerable number of years. This is a matter which a great many of us have very deeply at heart, and it is not sufficient to say, "Your Government did not do it." We will admit that they did not, and previous Governments did not do it. But that does not alter the fact that there has been—not through anyone's deliberate act, but that makes no difference in the result—there has been a certain number of cases of very undeserved hardship; and if there is here an opportunity of righting some of that hardship, it seems to me that we are justified in pressing it.

This class is not numerically a very large one. It is a class which, with the passage of time, naturally gets less year by year. But that does not alter the exceedingly deserving nature of the case. I do not suppose that there is one Member in any quarter of the Committee who has not in his constituency a certain number—very few, but a certain number—of these cases of policemen who, having faithfully served the Crown during their period of service, came into pensions before these Acts. They retired on their pensions, which were miserable enough having regard to the present cost of living, but which were considered adequate at the time they were laid down. They have eked out an existence, aided very often by the charity of friends or neighbours and relatives in the villages, but not carrying on any particular sort of occupation, and certainly not any insurable occupation; and the position of these retired policemen is this, that if and when their turn comes to die they leave their wives absolutely penniless, with nothing facing them except the charity of their friends and neighbours or the union. I feel that, while we were dealing with a matter which was on a contributory basis, they could not be included; but this Bill has admittedly got far away from any such restrictive provision as a contributory one, and therefore we are entitled now to press this matter. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman himself is bringing forward certain Amendments, not with the object of widening a contributory restriction, but simply as a general act of humanity, in the case of another section that he thinks it desirable to include, and the arguments for those Amendments of the right hon. Gentleman are precisely those which I put forward for these particular cases.

The hon. Lady herself admitted a little earlier in the evening that these cases were excepted because, as she quite logically said, there were not insurable persons, not being in an insurable occupation because they were so shortsighted as to live on their meagre pensions, instead of adding to the overstocked labour market of to-day. It seems to me that, if ever there was a case with a sound basis of logic, of need, and of sheer humanity, this is such a case, and, as the number is limited, it cannot overload the financial provisions of the Bill. I do say that these cases are deserving of the sympathetic consideration of this Committee. With regard to this particular Amendment, I confess I am somewhat confused as to the Clauses and provisions which it is said to cover, but I am quite prepared to take the word of the Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary. They have admitted that these particular ones for whom I am speaking are excluded from the terms of the Bill and therefore I ask that in order to include them the Amendment should be accepted because three-quarters of them are admittedly covered by the Amendment, but that fraction that I speak of are not covered and therefore if the whole Amendment is accepted, it merely makes assurance doubly sure for those already included and it includes these others. I ask them to consider the Amendment from that point of view.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I am sure the Committee is very much indebted to the Parliamentary Secretary for her very lucid explanation of the somewhat difficult points which have been raised by the Amendment, and she has brought out in a way that makes the situation absolutely transparent that under the provisions of the Bill there will be excluded widows of certain policemen of the pre-1918 period who died more than three years after they left the police force. The hon. Lady has explained with equal lucidity that not only does that apply to the widows of certain policemen but it will apply to all uninsurable persons and we see that once again there is a large class of people who are left out of the Bill. The justification is rather interesting because it appears to lie in the fact that the Government is endeavouring as far as possible to parallel the positions of this Act and the contributory Act. Are the two cases parallel? Of course if you have a contributory system, to preserve the financial basis of your scheme you must have certain statutory conditions. You must have first of all a minimum number of contributions paid. Unless you ensure that you will have people coming in for benefits who have not paid their share of the contributions, and the whole financial basis of the scheme will be wrecked. Therefore there is every sound reason why we should impose these conditions in the case of a contributory scheme. The scheme under this Clause is not contributory at all. It is a free, gratis and for nothing scheme.

I cannot see how the Government can defend the exclusion of any class of persons who are really in need of pensions from the operation of the Clause. I find myself in rather a difficult position in considering what my course of action should be. It is arguable that either of two opposite courses might be taken by my hon. Friends. Some of them, have advocated for years the claims of this class of widows. They see in the Clause an opportunity of righting what they believe has been a great hardship and injustice for which they had pleaded in vain for a good number of years. I cannot see any logical reason why they should not be satisfied. They would be perfectly right in my opinion in taking the opportunity that is presented to them of endeavouring to get that wrong righted. On the other hand, I look at it from another point of view. I say if you are going to bring in another class of widows who are not to be subject to the same conditions as those who are brought in under the contributory system, again you are going to add to the grievances of those who have paid contributions and who find themselves barred from the benefits that are given to those who have not paid contributions. It seems to me that the injustice falls so strongly that I cannot vote for the Amendment. But it certainly is an interesting position to find the Government now in their explanation of the actual meaning of the Clause having to admit that a fresh class that no one had thought of before had been excluded from the provisions of the Clause on the ground that they must be brought under the same conditions as though they had contributed when in fact they have not contributed anything at all.

Mr. ERNEST BROWN

I cannot agree with the last observation of the right hon. Gentleman. People who were studying the Act did see that a certain class was to be left out, and that fact led some hon. Members and myself to seek an Amendment to leave out three years. We realised that you cut out a very large class of persons, and I should like to see that class put in. The Committee were in a difficulty because in the discretion of the Chair the Amendment was not called. We are now in the difficulty, that if we vote for the Amendment we are going to give a certain section of that big class a privilege.

There are a number of hon. Members on all sides of the Committee in a real dilemma as to what they shall do with their vote. None of us wants to make party advantage out of this particular class of persons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] At least I am not concerned with doing so. I can see no objection to one going down to address a mass of people, who might say: "Here is a docker, a shipwright or an engineer who has left a widow, who is cut out because there happened to be in the Act this provision about the three years." If we can be assured that the Minister will consider the whole of the class concerned by this Amendment—

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

Who are "we?" You are speaking for yourself.

Mr. BROWN

I am not asking the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) to speak for me.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA: Do

not use the word "we."

Mr. BROWN

I am entitled to use the word "we," and I am using the word deliberately, because several hon. Members have spoken to me during the pro- gress of the Debate about the dilemma in which I find myself. In that sense I am using the word "we." It is extremely difficult under the drafting of the Bill to make an Amendment which would bring in widows and other persons equally as deserving as the widows in the Bill, if we are to make an exception of this kind. I cannot vote for the Amendment unless I can be assured that an alteration will be made at a later stage of the Bill to

bring in the whole of the class cut out by the three years limit within the ambit of the Bill.

Mr. JOHNSTON

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 267; Noes, 104.

Division No. 21.] AYES. [11.40 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Gibbins, Joseph Lees, J.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Gill, T. H. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Glassey, A. E. Lindley, Fred W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Gossling, A. G. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Alpass, J. H. Gould, F. Longbottom, A. W.
Ammon, Charles George Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Longden, F.
Angell, Norman Gray, Milner Lunn, William
Arnott, John Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Aske, Sir Robert Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Ayles, Walter Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) McElwee, A.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) McEntee, V. L.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Grundy, Thomas W. Mackinder, W.
Barr, James Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) McKinlay, A.
Batey, Joseph Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) MacLaren, Andrew
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) McShane, John James
Bellamy, Albert Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Harbord, A. Mansfield, W.
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Hardle, George D. Marley, J.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Mathers, George
Benson, G. Haycock, A. W. Matters, L. W.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hayday, Arthur Melville, J. B.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hayes, John Henry Messer, Fred
Birkett, W. Norman Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Middleton, G.
Blinded, James Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Millar, J. D.
Bowen, J. W. Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Mills, J. E.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Herriotts, J. Milner, J.
Broad, Francis Alfred Hirst, G. H. (York, W.R.,Wentworth) Montague, Frederick
Brockway, A. Fenner Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Bromfield, William Hoffman, P. C. Morley, Ralph
Brothers, M. Hollins, A. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hopkin, Daniel Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Hore-Belisha, Leslie Mort, D. L.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Horrabin, J. F. Moses, J. J. H.
Buchanan, G. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Burgess, F. G. Hunter, Dr. Joseph Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Muff, G.
Caine, Derwent Hall- Isaacs, George Murnin, Hugh
Cameron, A. G. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Nathan, Major H. L.
Cape, Thomas John, William (Rhondda, West) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Johnston, Thomas Noel Baker, P. J.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Oldfield, J. R.
Chater, Daniel Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Church, Major A. G. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Cluse, W. S. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Compton, Joseph Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Paling, Wilfrid
Daggar, George Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Palmer, E. T.
Dallas, George Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Dalton, Hugh Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Perry, S. F.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Kelly, W. T. Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Denman, Hon. R. D. Kennedy, Thomas Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Dickson, T. Kinley, J. Phillips, Dr. Marion
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Ponsonby, Arthur
Dukes, C. Lang, Gordon Potts, John S.
Ede, James Chuter Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Price, M. P.
Edge, Sir William Lathan, G. Pybus, Percy John
Edmunds, J. E. Law, Albert (Bolton) Quibell, D. J. K.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Law, A. (Rosendale) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Egan, W. H. Lawrence, Susan Rathbone, Eleanor
Elmley, Viscount Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Raynes, W. R.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Lawson, John James Richards, R.
Foot, Isaac Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Freeman, Peter Leach, W. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Romeril, H. G.
Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Rowson, Guy Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wallhead, Richard C.
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Watkins, F. C.
Salter, Dr. Alfred Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Sanders, w. S. Sorensen, R. Wellock, Wilfred
Sandham, E. Spero, Dr. G. E. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Sawyer, G. F. Stamford, Thomas W. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Scott, James Stephen, Campbell West, F. R.
Scurr, John Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Westwood, Joseph
Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Strauss, G. R. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Sullivan, J. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Sutton, J. E. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Sherwood, G. H. Taylor R. A. (Lincoln) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Shield, George William Taylor,' W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Shillaker, J. F. Thurtle, Ernest Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Shinwell, E. Tinker, John Joseph Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Toole, Joseph Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Simmons, C. J. Tout, W. J. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Sinkinson, George Townend, A. E. Wise, E. F.
Sitch, Charles H. Turner, B. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Vaughan, D. J.
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Viant, S. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Walker, J. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A. Barnes.
Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Wallace, H. W.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Albery, Irving James Gower, Sir Robert Salmon, Major I.
Atkinson, C. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Greene, W. P. Crawford Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Balniel, Lord Gunston, Captain D. W. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Savery, S. S.
Beaumont, M. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Skelton, A. N.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes' Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smithers, Waldron
Bracken, B. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Somerset, Thomas
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Butler, R. A. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Castlestewart, Earl of Lymington, Viscount Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Mac Robert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Christie, J. A. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip Margesson, Captain H. D. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Colville, Major D. J. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cranbourne, Viscount Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Thomson, Sir F.
Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey,Gainsbro) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Tinne, J. A.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Titchfield, Major the Marguess of
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Todd, Capt. A. J.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Dr. Vernon Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Muirhead, A. J. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Warrender, Sir Victor
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. O'Neill, Sir H. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J. Peake, Captain Osbert Wells, Sydney R.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Everard, W. Lindsay Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Ramsbotham, H. Womersley, W. J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Remer, John R. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ford, Sir P. J. Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Ganzoni, Sir John Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Major Sir George Hennessy and Sir George Penny.
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Ross, Major Ronald D.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided; Ayes, 135; Noes, 229.

Division No. 22.] AYES. [11.51 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Croom-Johnson, R. P.
Albery, Irving James Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)
Aske, Sir Robert Bracken, B. Davies, Dr. Vernon
Astor, Viscountess Bullock, Captain Malcolm Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)
Atkinson, C. Burgin, Dr. E. L. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Butler, R. A. Duckworth, G. A. V.
Balniel, Lord Castlestewart, Earl of Dugdale, Capt. T. L.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Christie, J. A. Dudgeon, Major C. R.
Beaumont, M. W. Colfox, Major William Philip Edge, Sir William
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn) Colville, Major D. J. Edmondson, Major A. J.
Birkett, W. Norman Cranbourne, Viscount Elliot, Major Walter E.
Blindell, James Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey,Gainsbro) Elmley, Viscount
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Everard, W. Lindsay Makins, Brigadier-General E. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Margesson, Captain H. D. Savery, S. S.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Scott, James
Foot, Isaac Millar, J. D. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Ford, Sir P. J. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Skelton, A. N.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Ganzoni, Sir John Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Smithers, Waldron
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Somerset, Thomas
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Glassey, A. E. Muirhead, A. J. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Gower, Sir Robert Nathan, Major H. L. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Gray, Milner Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Greene, W. p. Crawford Oman, Sir Charles William C. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Gunston, Captain D. W. O'Neill, Sir H. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Thomson, Sir F.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Peake, Captain Osbert Tinne, J. A.
Harbord, A. Penny, Sir George Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Todd, Capt. A. J.
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Pybus, Percy John Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Ramsbotham, H. Warrender, Sir Victor
Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Remer, John R. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Rentoul, Sir Gervals S. Wells, Sydney R.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Jones, F. Llewellyn. (Flint) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Ross, Major Ronald D. Womersley, W. J.
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Lamb. Sir J. Q. Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Salmon, Major I. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lymington, Viscount Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Major-General Sir Robert Hutchison and Major Owen.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Ede, James Chuter Lathan, G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Edmunds, J. E. Law, Albert (Bolton)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Egan, W. H. Lawrence, Susan
Alpass, J. H. Freeman, Peter Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Ammon, Charles George Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lawson, John James
Angell, Norman Gibbins, Joseph Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Arnott, John Gill, T. H. Leach, W.
Ayles, Walter Gossling, A. G. Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Gould, F. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lees, J.
Barr, James Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Batey, Joseph Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lindley, Fred W.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Grundy, Thomas W. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Bellamy, Albert Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Longbottom, A. W.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Longden, F.
Bennett, Captain E.N. (Cardiff, Central) Hall. Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lunn, William
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Benson, G. Hardie, George D. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon McElwee, A.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Haycock, A. W. McEntee, V. L.
Bowen, J. W. Hayday, Arthur Mackinder, W.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) McKinlay, A.
Broad, Francis Alfred Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) MacLaren, Andrew
Brockway, A. Fenner Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) McShane, John James
Bromfield, William Herriotts, J. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Brothers, M. Hirst, G. H. (York, W.R.,Wentworth) Mansfield, W.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Marley, J.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hoffman, P. C. Mathers, George
Buchanan, G. Hollins, A. Matters, L. W.
Burgess, F. G. Hopkin, Daniel Melville, J. B.
Caine, Derwent Hall Horrabin, J. F. Messer, Fred
Cameron, A. G. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Middleton, G.
Cape, Thomas Isaacs, George Mills, J. E.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Milner, J.
Charleton, H. C. John, William (Rhondda, West) Montague, Frederick
Chater, Daniel Johnston, Thomas Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Church, Major A. G. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Morley, Ralph
Cluse, W. S. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, T. I. Mardy (Psntyprldd) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Compton, Joseph Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Mort, D. L.
Daggar, George Jowitt, Rt. Hon. W. A. Moses, J. J. H.
Dallas, George Kelly. W. T. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Dalton, Hugh Kennedy, Thomas Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Kinley, J. Murnin, Hugh
Dickson, T. Lang, Gordon Muff, G.
Dukes, C. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Noel Baker, P. J.
Oldfield, J. R. Shiels, Dr. Drummond Turner, B.
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Shillaker, J. F. Vaughan, D. J.
Paling, Wilfrid Shinwell, E. Viant, S. P.
Palmer, E. T. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Walker, J.
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Simmons, C. J. Wallace, H. W.
Perry, S. F. Sinkinson, George Wallhead, Richard C.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Sitch, Charles H. Watkins, F. C.
Phillips, Dr. Marion Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Ponsonby, Arthur Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Potts, John S. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wellock, Wilfred
Price, M. P. Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Quibell, D. J. K. Smith, Rennie (Penlstone) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Rathbone, Eleanor Smith, Tom (Pontefract) West, F. R.
Raynes, W. R. Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Westwood, Joseph
Richards, R. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Sorensen, R. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Spero, Dr. G. E. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich) Stamford, Thomas W. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Romeril, H. G Stephen, Campbell Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Rowson, Guy Strauss, G. R. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Sullivan, J. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Sutton, J. E. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Sanders, W. S. Taylor R. A. (Lincoln) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Sandham, E. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.) Wise, E. F.
Sawyer, G. F. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Scurr, John Thurtle, Ernest
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Tinker, John Joseph TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Toole, Joseph Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A. Larnes.
Sherwood, G. H. Tout, W. J.
Shield, George William Townend, A. E.
Sir K. WOOD

I beg to move, in page 2, line 7, to leave out the words "at some time," and to insert instead thereof the words: for a period of at least twelve months. I move this Amendment formally, in order to get a reply.

Miss LAWRENCE

The Bill says that the person shall have been normally in insurable employment at some time during the three years before his death, and the Amendment says that instead of being normally employed at some time during the three years he shall have been normally employed for 12 months during the three years. In dealing with these people we may be going back for 40 years, and it may be very difficult to determine the exact time during which that normal employment was carried on. Would a man who had been in uninsurable employment during three years and who took one week's insurable employment come under the word "normal"? No. That man would be a man who was normally in uninsurable employment and exceptionally in insurable employment. Then people say, "What a vague word is 'normal,' and how difficult to interpret!" My mind goes back to the time during last Session when we were asking for a definition of "wholly or mainly," when we put forward the plea, on the same lines as the right hon. Gentleman and his friends are doing now, that "mainly" was too vague a word. I remember that the right hon. Gentleman then said that "wholly or mainly" was a term that anyone with common sense could interpret, and I say precisely the same thing now with regard to "normal." It connotes a fairly long period of settled conditions, not in exceptional employment for a week or two, but normally. In the discussion on the Eating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, the right hon. Gentleman said, as I say now, that for a word of this sort to be interpreted by the common sense of the community was better than to have a narrow definition, such as putting in 12 months would be, a thing which would cut out a great number of the people whose husbands died a long time ago. You might prove that someone was a wheelwright's labourer, we will say, and was in the employment of a firm for a long time.

But you might find it very difficult indeed to prove exactly from the books and records you can obtain from an employer or a manager that the man was in regular employment. We say, therefore, that the term "normal", which anybody can interpret, is a much better definition n and less likely to cut people out than exactly twelve months. We say that "normal" is a very much better word on exactly the same ground as we say that "during the period" is a better term than "upon the date", and we prefer it to the right hon. Gentleman's twelve months.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I must say I find the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary exceedingly disappointing; it altogether fails to meet the difficulties which I put forward when I was moving this Amendment. It is really no use to say that the whole thing turns on the word "normally"; it does not. "Normal" is one of the factors, but it is normal occupation, not during an indefinite period, but at some time. My contention was that you could not have a normal occupation "at some time"; it must be "for some time", or else it would not be normal. I should be quite ready to put in a shorter time than twelve months, but we have accepted the view that the people to be brought in under this Bill are to be widows of men who were normally in what is called insurable employment; that is to say, employment which would have been insurable at the time they were employed if the Insurance Act had been in force at that time. The Parliamentary Secretary says it means that a person was employed, say, as a wheelwright or in some works for a long time. It is quite clear that the evidence in these cases is not going to be exact evidence of written records. That has been laid down by the Parliamentary Secretary, and it is accepted in all parts of the House. What has to be accepted is evidence that may be available from persons who have knowledge of the man who served them, whose insurance is in question, or whose widow is in question, evidence of the sort of occupation which was his normal occupation.

We want to be sure that we are not going to bring in people whom the Government do not want to bring in, whose normal occupation was not insurable. It is no argument to say that if a person is proved to have been employed in an insurable occupation for one week, but was in uninsurable occupation most of the time, that person's occupation was uninsurable. That is not the evidence that is going to be given.

The evidence is that at some time a person was employed in a certain occupation, an insurable occupation. If he was employed at that time in that insurable occupation, it might well be argued that that was his normal occupation, but there would be no evidence given as to what was his occupation at a certain time. As the Bill is drawn, with these very loose words "at some time," as applied to normal occupation, the door is left wide open for widows whose husbands were normally not in insurable occupation to be able to establish their claims. We are not going to have further discussion on this point; I can only put the case as I have put it to the Committee. The reply which has been made seems to me to be entirely unsatisfactory and insufficient, and we shall now have to put it to the test of a Division.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 254; Noes, 97.

Division No. 23.] AYES. [12.12 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Brockway, A. Fenner Dudgeon, Major C. R.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bromfield, William Dukes, C.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Brothers, M. Ede, James Chuter
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Edge, Sir William
Alpass, J. H. Brown, Ernest (Leith) Edmunds, J. E.
Ammon, Charles George Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Edwards, E. (Morpeth)
Arnott, John Buchanan, G. Elmley, Viscount
Aske, Sir Robert Burgess, F. G. Foot, Isaac
Ayles, Walter Burgin, Dr. E. L. Freeman, Peter
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Caine, Derwent Hall- Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Cameron, A. G. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Barnes, Alfred John Cape, Thomas Gibbins, Joseph
Barr, James Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Gill, T. H.
Batey, Joseph Charleton, H. C. Glassey, A. E.
Bellamy, Albert Chater, Daniel Gossling, A. G.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Church, Major A. G. Gould, F.
Bennett, Captain E.N. (Cardiff,Central) Cluse, W. S. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Cocks, Frederick Seymour Gray, Milner
Benson, G. Compton, Joseph Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne).
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Daggar, George Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Dallas, George Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)
Birkett, W. Norman Dalton, Hugh Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Blindell, James Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Grundy, Thomas W.
Bowen, J. W. Denman, Hon. R. D. Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)
Broad, Francis Alfred Dickson, T. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Hall. Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Mackinder, W. Shield, George William
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) McKinlay, A. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Harbord, A. MacLaren, Andrew Shillaker, J. F.
Hardie, George D. McShane, John James Shinwell, E.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Haycock, A. W. Mansfield, W. Simmons, C. J.
Hayday, Arthur Marley, J. Sinkinson, George
Hayes, John Henry Mathers, George Sitch, Charles H.
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Matters, L. W. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland-)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Melville, Sir James Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Messer, Fred Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Herrlotts, J. Middleton, G. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Millar, J. D. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Mills, J. E. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Hoffman, P. C. Milner, J. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Hollins, A. Montague, Frederick Sorensen, R.
Hopkin, Daniel Morgan, Dr. H. B. Spero, Dr. G. E.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Morley, Ralph Stamford, Thomas W.
Horrabin, J. P. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Stephen, Campbell
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Mort, D. L. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Moses, J. J. H. Strauss, G. R.
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Sullivan, J.
Isaacs, George Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Sutton, J. E.
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Muff, G. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
John, William (Rhondda, West) Murnin, Hugh Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Johnston, Thomas Nathan, Major H. L. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Thurtle, Ernest
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Oldfield, J. R. Tinker, John Joseph
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Toole, Joseph
Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Tout, W. J.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Townend, A. E.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Turner, B.
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Paling, Wilfrid Vaughan, D. J.
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Palmer, E. T. Viant, S. P.
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Walker, J.
Kelly, W. T. Perry, S. F. Wallace, H. W.
Kennedy, Thomas Peters, Dr. Sidney John Wallhead, Richard C.
Kinley, J. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Watkins, F. C.
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Phillips, Dr. Marion Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Lang, Gordon Price, M. P. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Pybus, Percy John Wellock, Wilfred
Lathan, G. Quibell, D. J. K. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Law, Albert (Bolton) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Law, A. (Rosendale) Raynes, W. R. West, F. R.
Lawrence, Susan Richards, R. Westwood, Joseph
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Lawson, John James Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Romeril, H. G. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Leach, W. Rosbotham, D. S. T. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.) Rowson, Guy Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Salter, Dr. Alfred Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Lees, J. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Sanders, W. S. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Lindley, Fred W. Sandham, E. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Lloyd, C. Ellis Sawyer, G. F. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Longbottom, A. W. Scott, James Wise, E. F.
Longden, F. Scurr, John Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Lunn, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
McElwee, A. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Mr. Benjamin Smith and Mr. Charles Edwards.
McEntee, V. L. Sherwood, G. H.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Davies, Dr. Vernon Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Albery, Irving James Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Duckworth, G. A. V. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Astor, Viscountess Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Edmondson, Major A. J. Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.
Balniel, Lord Elliot, Major Walter E. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Everard, W. Lindsay Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Beaumont, M. W. Falle, Sir Bertram G. Lymington, Viscount
Boothby, R. J. G. Fison, F. G. Clavering MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Ford, Sir P. J. Margesson, Captain H. D.
Bracken, B. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Mason, Colonel Glyn K.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Ganzoni, Sir John Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Butler, R. A. Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley) Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Gower, Sir Robert Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Colfox, Major William Philip Grace, John Muirhead, A. J.
Colville, Major D. J. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) O'Neill, Sir H.
Cranbourne, Viscount Greene, W. P. Crawford Peake, Captain Osbert
Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Llndsey, Gainsbro) Gunston, Captain D. W. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ramsbotham, H.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Remer, John R.
Rentoul, Sir Gervals S. Somerset, Thomas Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Warrender, Sir Victor
Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Southby, Commander A. R. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Ross, Major Ronald D. Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Wells, Sydney R.
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Salmon, Major I. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn) Womersley, W. J.
Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Savery, S. S. Thomson, Sir F.
Skelton, A. N. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Todd, Capt. A. J. Sir George Penny and Captain Sir George Bowyer.
Smith-Carington, Neville W. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Smithers, Waldron Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Mr. REMER

I beg to move, in page 2, line 11, after the word "time" to insert the words: Provided in each case that his income within five years of his death had not exceeded five hundred pounds per annum. This Amendment calls attention to another of the anomalies and injustices of this Bill as drafted. It is to me a matter of considerable anxiety that under this Bill a number of people will receive pensions who do not need them and a great many people will be left without pensions who really do need them. During consideration of this Clause we have on repeated occasions tried to amend it so as to remove these anomalies and this Amendment provides one of the few opportunities left to us on which we can try to bring common sense into the minds of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary. On every Amendment we have put forward so far the Minister has stubbornly refused to give us a logical answer to our arguments; and I now ask whether it is right that the widow of a man who has had £500 a year for four years eleven months and three weeks before his death and in one week was in insurable occupation should receive a pension? That is what the Bill says as now put forward. Nothing could be more grotesque or absurd, and I think the Amendment ought to commend itself to the serious attention of the Minister. A great many cases have been quoted, and I should not be allowed to quote them again, but there must be in the mind of every hon. Member opposite a guilty conscience; he must know perfectly well that this is a vote-catching scheme. It is going to create anomalies and grievances throughout the land, and I deplore the fact that hon. Members opposite are allowing the miseries of the people to be used for vote-catching purposes. I do not think that the widow of anyone with an income of £500 a year is entitled to a pension, and I feel sure that after consideration the right hon. Gentleman will be prepared to accept this most reasonable Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

This Amendment, again, raises the question of the means limit, which has already been fully discussed in the Committee; but, of all the Amendments that have been put down, this is perhaps the strangest. Consider what it means. It would impose, besides the test of membership of the insurable class, a further means test. We are told that the hon. Member wishes to rid the Bill of anomalies and injustices, but this is a kind of Amendment that really creates them. In the preceding paragraphs it is laid down that the test is to be applied for the last three years—a reasonable period. This Amendment would necessitate a scrutiny of the incomes of the husbands of applicants for pensions for the previous five years. The hon. Member tells the Committee of the case of a man who for four years, 11 months and three weeks has an income at the rate of £500 a year, who for the last week suddenly falls into the insurable class, and then, after a week dies—

Mr. REMER

I cannot allow the right hon. Gentleman to misquote me. I said that the man might for one week in the five years be in an insurable occupation; I did not say the last week.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I beg the hon. Member's pardon. If the man for one week in the five years was engaged in an insurable occupation, and for the rest of the five years was earning an income of £10 per week, clearly that one week would not indicate what his normal occupation was.

Mr. REMER

If I may interrupt the right hon. Gentleman for a moment, I know people in the motor industry at the present moment who are earning as much as £13 a week.

Mr. GREENWOOD

A man who fell into the insurable class for one week. A man may be a manual worker earning £10 a week and still be in the insurable class.

An HON. MEMBER

What about the brain workers?

Mr. GREENWOOD

The hon. Member must restrain himself. The Amendment amounts to this, that if for one year of the previous five years, whatever the other four years may be, a man earns more than £500, his widow is to be denied the pension, although he was of the insurable class. It is not that he should be earning £500 for five years; it is, if for one year he earns £500 but in the remaining four years earns, perhaps, only 40 shillings a week, his widow is to be deprived of the pension. [HON. MEMBERS: NO.] I will read the words of the Amendment: Provided in each case that his income within five years of his death had not exceeded five hundred pounds per annum. That certainly does cover the case of a man who at one year during that period of time—

HON. MEMBERS

No.

Mr. GREENWOOD

But I so read the Amendment, and, if the hon. Member wished to say anything else, he ought to have altered his Amendment.

Mr. REMER

That is not my reading of it.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I cannot be responsible for the way that the hon. Member reads the Amendment.

Mr. REMER

I cannot be responsible for the way that you read it, either.

Mr. GREENWOOD

It may well be that within this period of five years a man was in the insurable class for three years or more, and yet, because for one or two years this income was exceeded, notwithstanding the three years prior to his death being spent in insurable occupation, his widow is to be deprived of the pension. That cannot be defended either in this House or in the country. It will create anomalies that hon. Members opposite will find it utterly impossible to defend. We have to try to reduce the number of anomalies in the Bill, and we have succeeded, but this would create a new injustice, and I imagine that the Committee will agree with me that it ought to be rejected.

Mr. REMER

The right hon. Gentleman said that he had reduced anomalies. Can he name one anomaly that he has reduced in the course of the Committee stage of this Bill?

Amendment negatived.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I beg to move, in page 2, line 11, at the end, to insert the words: (iii) that during the late war he served in the naval, military, or air forces of the Crown, or as a master or seaman for a period of not less than two years and was entitled to be insured whilst so serving, and died within three years of the termination of that period; or I propose at a later stage to move a further Amendment, which I might now read to complete the run as it will appear in the Bill: (iv) that having joined the naval or military forces of the Crown for temporary service only in connection with any war previous to the late war, he served during that war as a man of those forces for a period of not less than two years and died within three years of the termination of that period, or,

HON. MEMBERS

Is that Amendment printed?

Mr. GREENWOOD

No, it is not printed.

Mr. REMER

At what stage of the Bill does this come?

Mr. GREENWOOD

Clause 1, page 2, line 11; it reads on immediately after the Amendment printed on the paper. I cannot move it now, because there are some Amendments to my first Amendment that must come before it. The Committee will see that this Amendment that I shall move does cover several of the Amendments to my Amendment that are on the Order Paper. The Amendment that I have moved is intended to apply to the case of a man who served during the late War, but who, in civil life, before he joined the Army, had not a normal occupation of insurable employment, with the result that the condition of Clause one, 1 (a) (ii) would not have satisfied the question of normal occupation in his case. As regards the first condition of membership of an approved society or insurance as a voluntary contributor, some of the men not of the insurable class who went to the army during the late war may have become registered as members of an approved society or as deposit contributors, but as a matter of fact, a very large number did not do so. There is no record of them in the Navy, Army or Air Force Insurance Fund, although technically they were really members of that fund during their period of service. In the principal Act of 1925, Section 44 (5), special provision was made whereby men who served in the late War were deemed to be insured and contributions were deemed to have been paid in respect of them during their period of service, and by reason of the provision in the principal Act the widow of such a man was able to establish a right to a pension under Section 18 if the period of the man's service was not less than two years and if he died within the normal period of insurance following the end of his service.

This is an attempt to continue that principle and to apply it to the people who now come within the scope of the Bill. Words have been inserted to make the position clear with regard to members of the Mercantile Marine. It is understood that there are certain members of the Mercantile Marine to whom the concession given to the men of the Forces should apply and whose widows are not members of a society. The later Amendments have been drafted with a view to meeting a case put in Committee. They will bring in not only those who served in the late war but also those who served in earlier wars. My Amendment is confined to the Naval and Military Forces, because there was no Air Force in the earlier wars, and the provisions are so framed that the same conditions, in effect, will apply as are applied in the present Amendment under the principal Act. I imagine that the Committee will give its support to the Amendment which is designed to cover as far as possible the point raised with regard to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Mercantile Marine.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

I think the Committee will agree that they are in a position of great difficulty in regard to this Amendment of the Minister, by reason of the fact that it appears to have been materially altered by a manuscript Amendment not put down on the Paper, and of which the Minister has been good enough to hand us a rather mutilated copy. He has only one copy which I have had no time to study, and as far as I know other hon. Members in the House have not seen a copy. I am in the greatest doubt as to the proposal. The alteration is part of the new Amendment. I have an Amendment down to leave out the words "during the late war." I do not know whether the Minister is going to accept that Amendment or whether it is covered by the Amendment which he has read out and which it was not possible to follow because it was too long and too complicated; and I imagine there are other hon. Members who have Amendments down on the Paper who will be in the same position as myself. It seems to me that in the circumstances it is almost impossible to discuss our Amendments to this Amendment until we have had a little time to consider the Amendment which the Minister has put down. It appears to me, therefore, that the only course before the Committee is to report Progress so as to obtain a little more time to consider the new Amendment, see what it means, and, if necessary, change some of the Amendments on the Paper.

Sir K. WOOD

Hon. Members in all parts of the House will agree that we have reached a very important part of this Bill. We are coming to the portion which is making provision for members of the Naval, Military, and Air Forces. The proposals of the Government are contained in the Bill, and they have been before the Committee for some considerable time, but about a quarter of an hour ago or ten minutes ago we had handed to us an Amendment of the greatest importance, inasmuch as it is presented by the Minister in charge of the Bill. It is to the following effect: Having joined the naval or military Forces of the Crown for temporary service only in connection with any war previous to the late war, he served— I think it is intended to read— during that war as a member of those Forces for a period of not less than two years and died within three years of the termination of that period. It is obviously impossible for us to give consideration to an important Amendment of that character at the present time and in the present circumstances. It is not fair play to the Committee, and it is certainly not doing justice to the people who sure to benefit under the provisions of this Bill. I think a stage of the evening has now been reached when we might report Progress and ask leave to sit again. It will give the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity of again considering this matter and putting his Amendment on the Order Paper. When he looks at it again, he might put it into another and more intelligible form. In any event, we ought to have time to consider a proposal of this character. I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman has not put this Amendment on the Paper. We should certainly have an opportunity for careful perusal of it. My right hon. Friend and myself have Amendments down to remedy some of the defects of the Government's proposals. They have been on the Paper for some days and there is no suggestion that there is anything wrong with them. These proposals are in general keeping with the way in which the Government have proceeded with the Bill. They present to us an important Amendment in an unintelligible manuscript form at this hour of the evening, and in the interests of every member of the Committee time should be given to consider it. For all these reasons, I think the Motion ought to be carried.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I should like to add several reasons why we should report Progress. First of all, I understand that the Amendment only deals with people who temporarily joined the Services. What does that mean? Does it mean that the people who really belonged to the Services—

Mr. GREENWOOD

On a point of Order. The hon. Member is discussing the substance of an Amendment which is not before the Committee.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I have several other arguments. Let me ask this, what is meant by "the late war"? I should like to know how many wars there have been in India. There was a certain amount of warfare in the defence of Shanghai which hon. Members opposite—[Interruption].

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

Order. The Question before the Committee is that I report Progress and ask leave to Bit again. The hon. and gallant Member is not entitled to discuss anything except what is before the Committee.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I venture to suggest for the consideration of yourself and the Committee that there are a great many reasons why we should report Progress and consider the fresh point of view. We have not had any explanation from the Government on a very important point [Interruption]. I venture to suggest that that is an additional reason why we should report Progress. First of all, we have a new Amendment which we have not had an opportunity of seeing and considering along with the Amendments to the Government Amendment. I submit that it is extremely hard for hon. Members opposite who have not had an opportunity of seeing this new Amendment.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

Order. The hon. and gallant Member is not entitled to discuss what is past. He is only entitled to discuss the Motion now before the Committee. I would ask him to keep to that Question rigidly.

Sir B. PETO

A very large number of Members on this side of the House both above and below the gangway have followed every stage of this Bill with the greatest attention and have moved Amendments from time to time which they have always taken the precaution to put on the Order Paper well before the day when the matter would be discussed, thus giving the Government every opportunity of considering them. We have now suddenly come to a point when an Amendment is sprung upon us, which Members in all parts of the House have had no opportunity of seeing, and which has an obvious bearing on, and possibly extending in some directions and limiting in other directions, what is before this Committee at the present time. The Government's first Amendment has been on the Order Paper for a considerable number of days. It has been there long enough to be altered to its present form from that in which it first appeared on the Order Paper and there have also been on the Order Paper a number of Amendments which hon. Members in different parts of the House proposed to move, to extend in some directions the proposals of the Government. Never in my experience in the House has there been a situation precisely parallel to the present one, when the whole work of the Committee is rendered literally impossible by the action of the Government. Therefore, it is quite clear to me, at any irate, although I have often heard Motions made to report Progress at this hour of the night that there never has been a case so completely justified for that course than the occasion in which we now find ourselves.

To-day at Question Time the Prime Minister indicated that he hoped to get through to Clause 15 of the Bill. Therefore, the Minister had full notice some ten hours ago from his leader, the Leader of the House, that he proposed to proceed far beyond the present point at which we have reached. The Minister knew quite well that this difficulty would occur, and he could have taken measures, if it was impossible to have put the Amendment on the Order Paper, to have circulated it to all Members of the House who have been taking an active interest in the Debate. That course would have allowed us to have seen what he was going to propose. He has not allowed any of us on this side of the House to see what he intended to propose. He did not hand to the Leader of the Opposition, as far as these debates are concerned, on the Front Bench, a copy of the Amendment until a few moment ago, and then it was in quite unintelligible form so far as I have heard it read. For these reasons, I think it is hardly necessary to add anything in support of the Motion. I am confident that the Committee ought not to proceed further until we have the Government proposals on the Paper and have had at least the whole of Wednesday to consider them. That would give us a reasonable opportunity of judging what these proposals amount to, and how they may affect a very large number of people. We should not discuss what we do not understand. [Interruption.] As the Opposition, it is our duty to sift these matters and know what the Government do propose. For those reasons, I support the Motion.

Mr. BALFOUR

I have heard many Debates in this House on Motions to report Progress. I have heard them on Motions of great moment. I have listened to them on several occasions when obviously there was nothing before the House but obstruction tactics; but, in a fairly long and certainly varied experience of this House, I have never known an occasion—

Mr. W. THORNE

Rubbish!

1.0 a.m.

Captain GUNSTON

Is it in order for an hon. Gentleman to use such a term in connection with the arguments of another hon. Gentleman?

Sir B. BETO

Mr. Chairman, I wish to call your attention to the fact that the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) shouted the word "rubbish."

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The expression is not one that ought ordinarily to be used.

HON. MEMBERS

Withdraw!

Sir B. PETO

I ask the hon. Member to withdraw.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I did not hear any remark that I could ask the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) to withdraw.

Mr. BALFOUR

When I was interrupted, I was making what I thought was quite a serious contribution to the debate. I intended to endeavour to bring back the Committee to a due sense of proportion of the gravity of the matter. [Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite jeer and laugh at that. With longer experience, they will understand that in this House we are passing legislation which will be inscribed on the Statute Book and which affects the liberties of the people of this country. I submit, from a long experience of this House—and any hon. Member who has sat through the last eleven years here will bear me out—that never has there been submitted a Motion to report Progress which should more commend itself to the attention of the Committee than the Motion submitted to-night.

Let me look at this Motion, analyse it, and endeavour to see whether what I have said is justified or not. I will say nothing about the Amendments or the details of what we are likely or not likely to do, but will confine myself entirely to the question of reporting Progress. We are asked to-night to consider seriously and pass legislation on a Motion made by the Minister. Can any hon. Gentleman on the other side tell me now in reasonably clear and logical language what the Amendment is? Can any hon. Gentleman opposite give us the words so that we can rise, as we are entitled to do, and move appropriate Amendments to the proposed Amendment? Of course, he cannot. Leaving aside all question of party and treating this as a House of Commons matter, am I not right? Does it not appeal to reason that we cannot consider the Amendment thoughtfully and word by word. I am on sure ground when I say that never has there been a Motion submitted to this House to report Progress which should better command the attention of hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I do not wish the Committee to think that I have treated it with any discourtesy. It is by pure mischance that the Amendment was not on the Order Paper to-day. I expected that it would be there. I take full responsibility for it not being on the Paper, and I expect to be forgiven, so that we may make further progress.

As I listened to the right hon. Gentleman (Sir K. Wood) reading the words of the Amendment out in measured tones, I felt proud of the handiwork of my advisers, for I never heard a clearer Amendment in my life than this one. It is an attempt to meet the wishes of many Members of the Committee, and I suggest that hon. Members opposite have chosen a very bad battle ground for a Motion of this kind. I can imagine what would have happened had we been sitting on the opposite side and had proposed a Motion to report Progress in connection with the Fighting Services. It would have been said that we were acting in a most unpatriotic manner. This new Amendment is not a restrictive Amendment. Anybody who has heard it read twice ought at least to understand the substance of it and I am not saying that he would necessarily understand all its implications—[Interruption]. Many hon. Members—[Interruption].

Sir P. FORD

Is the right hon. Gentleman entitled to use insulting language to Members on this side?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I think the expression of the right hon. Gentleman is largely a matter of taste.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I make no comment except to say that it is a personal question, and on that there may be differences of opinion. The Amendment is one designed to bring within the ambit of the Bill people who served in the Forces of the Crown in the wars prior to the late War. I cannot discuss it now, but I am justified in going forward with the Amendment. It represents an addition to the benefits of the Bill, and it will bring more people within the Bill. This Motion is postponing not merely the completion of the Bill, but also the coming into the Bill of this new class of people whom hon. Members opposite desire to be brought into it. There is no case whatever for the Committee reporting Progress. I hope it will continue to sit.

Sir WILLIAM MITCHELL-THOMSON

I am a very old Member of this House, and I have heard many Motions for reporting Progress, but I do not think I have ever heard a motion for reporting Progress so strongly justified as this has been by the speech of the Minister of Health. I am not going to say anything recriminatory at all. I am appealing to the right hon. Gentleman and to the good sense of the Committee. We have reached a point at which the right hon. Gentleman tells us that, through no fault of his own, but owing to a pure accident, an Amendment, which is undoubtedly extremely important, has not appeared upon the Paper. The right hon. Gentleman was good enough to supply us with a copy. On looking at that copy I find that, recently as the drafting of that Amendment has evidently been completed, actually the manuscript copy has no less than three amendments made in ink. We have not had time to apply our minds very much to the language of the Amendment. It is an exceedingly difficult thing to do in the absence of time and opportunity for reference, but we have already discovered two or three points in which it is deficient and on which we propose to bring two or three Amendments.

Meantime, it is extraordinarily difficult that we should be moving Amendments to an Amendment which is not on the Paper. Let the Committee proceed to discuss the Amendment the right hon. Gentleman is moving first with regard to Sub-section (1, a iii). Then let us report Progress and start afresh thereafter, with the other Amendment on the Paper. I do appeal to hon. Members opposite to agree that at this early hour of the morning that is a much more reasonable course than indulging in the course of moving an Amendment which is unknown to a large part of this Committee.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I cannot possibly accept the Motion to report Progress at this stage. We have made no progress. I am prepared to move the Amendment which is on the Order Paper and not to move the further Amendment but to put it down for the Report stage so that Members may have time to put down Amendments to it. If that offer is not accepted, then clearly I shall have to do my best to get this matter decided.

Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON

I would suggest that if the right hon. Gentleman takes that course, he will have to re-commit the Bill, because I do not think the Amendment could be moved on the Report stage.

Mr. MILLS

The hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Balfour) and the right hon. Gentleman who has just finished, have wept crocodile tears. They say that the Amendment is without precedent. I remember, and the right hon. Gentleman remembers also, the occasion in 1921 when a handful of us kept the House here from a quarter to three one day until ten minutes past one next day, during which time the then Minister of War was moving manuscript Amendments which he could not explain without the help of the gentleman who is now Lord Carson. The hon. Member for Silverstown (Mr. J. Jones) caused diversion that evening. That night there was one continual series of manuscript Amendments. They characterised the whole sitting. I have no doubt five minutes in the library would provide numberless precedents.

Major DAVIES

I think a great many Members on the other side of the House do not appreciate the true proportion of this matter. Whatever may be the occasional departures from the proper Rules of Procedure, this is supposed to be a debating assembly, and, in order to carry on discussion properly, it is right for Members of this House to have before them, except in cases of special emergency or when the matter is trivial, that which is being discussed. This Motion is not trivial or obstructive. Hon. Members opposite are obviously party men supporting a Government whose object is to get along with this legislation. At the same time they are Members of the House of Commons whose first duty it is to consider a Debate and to know what is being proposed, and every matter which comes before it. This is a matter which has not come before us. Now some Members see it, and now others do not. Now some Members understand it and now others do not. Members opposite are overcome with hilarity and amusement at the situation so that they cannot realise that here is a vital matter at stake which reflects upon the dignity of this assembly in the eyes of the nation. There are a great many of us, not only on this side, who are vitally interested in those portions of the Bill affecting the widows of men who have served their country. [Interruption.] This is no joke; this is a serious affair. Here is an Amendment with very far-reaching effects with regard to the pensions of the widows of those who have served their country well. Yet we do not know, in the first place, the terms of that Amendment. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to get up and read it once or twice at that Box and to pass over one typewritten copy, but that is merely a stultification of Debate. No Debate can be conducted on those lines.

I challenge anyone to say that he knows what the wording of the Amendment is, what its implications are, and what are the exceptions which it makes to the Bill now before us. The right hon. Gentleman says that this Amendment is one which he has brought forward to meet certain views which have been put from this side of the House. We give him full credit for that, but, even though that be so, we do not know what steps he has taken to meet our views or what the wording of his Amendment is, and we have had not an opportunity of bringing forward Amendments of substance, which he might quite possibly accept if brought forward in due form, to his proposed Amendment. Under those conditions, if we go ahead on the basis which the right hon. Gentleman wishes, we are taking a quite unprecedented step. It is all very well for the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Mills) to say that he remembers something similar in 1921. I was not there at the time, but I was able to study what happened and study it in writing in a form available to every Member of the House and not merely passed across the Floor of the House. The matters then discussed were easily understood, but this is a complicated matter.

This is an effort by the Minister to try and meet certain points of view which have impressed him when fairly put forward. We admit his good faith, but we have a right to say that this Amendment should be available to us for full consideration. There are two or three points on which I would like to move Amendments to his proposal, but I am not prepared to scribble my Amendments down on the back of an envelope and hand them over to be read by the clerks at the Table. That is how we are handicapped. It is under these conditions that we are to debate an Amendment of which we do not only not know the terms, but which we are informed has rendered nugatory a large number of our Amendments. That is not the right way to do

business. I suggest, therefore, that the righ hon. Gentleman should meet us and give us an opportunity of seeing his Amendment in print. It is, of course, not his fault that it is not on the Order Paper, but that does not alter the situation with which the Committee is faced. It is no use trying to railroad Amendments through Committee in this fashion. The Amendment should be on the Paper so that every Member may consider it, its implications, and its meaning, and decide what, if any, Amendments to it are needed. For those reasons, I support the Motion.

Mr. Greenwood rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 247; Noes, 90.

Division No. 24.] AYES. [1.25 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Denman, Hon. R. D. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Dickson, T. John, William (Rhondda, West)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Dudgeon, Major C. R. Johnston, Thomas
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Dukes, C. Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Alpass, J. H. Ede, James Chuter Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Ammon, Charles George Edge, Sir William Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Arnott, John Edmunds, J. E. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Aske, Sir Robert Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Ayles, Walter Elmley, Viscount Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Foot, Isaac Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Freeman, Peter Kelly, W. T.
Barnes, Alfred John Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Kennedy, Thomas
Barr, James George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Kinley, J.
Batey, Joseph Gibbins, Joseph Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Bellamy, Albert Gill, T. H. Lang, Gordon
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Glassey, A. E. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Gossling, A. G. Lathan, G.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Gould, F. Law, Albert (Bolton)
Benson, G. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Gray, Milner Lawrence, Susan
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Birkett, W. Norman Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lawson, John James
Blindell, James Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Bowen, J. w. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Leach, W.
Broad, Francis Alfred Grundy, Thomas W. Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Brockway, A. Fenner Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Bromfield, William Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Brothers, M. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lindley, Fred W.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lloyd, C. Ellis
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Hardie, George D. Longbottom, A. W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Longden, F.
Buchanan, G. Haycock, A. W. Lunn, William
Burgess, F. G. Hayday, Arthur Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hayes, John Henry McElwee, A.
Calne, Derwent Hall Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) McEntee, V. L.
Cameron, A. G. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mackinder, W.
Cape, Thomas Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) McKinlay, A.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W) Herriotts, J. MacLaren, Andrew
Charleton, H. C. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) McShane, John James
Chater, Daniel Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Church, Major A. G. Hoffman, P. C. Mansfield, W.
Cluse, W. S. Hollins, A. Marley, J.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Hopkin, Daniel Mathers, George
Compton, Joseph Hore-Belisha, Leslie Matters, L. W.
Daggar, George Horrabin, J. F. Melville, Sir James
Dallas, George Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Messer, Fred
Dalton, Hugh Hunter, Dr. Joseph Middleton, G.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Isaacs, George Millar, J. D.
Mills, J. E. Salter, Dr. Alfred Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Milner, J. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Thurtle, Ernest
Montague, Frederick Sanders, W. S. Tinker, John Joseph
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Sandham, E. Toole, Joseph
Morley, Ralph Sawyer, G. F. Tout, W. J.
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Scott, James Townend, A. E.
Mort, D. L. Scurr, John Turner, B.
Moses, J. J. H. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Vaughan, D. J.
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Walker, J.
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Wallace, H. W.
Muff, G. Sherwood, G. H. Wallhead, Richard C.
Murnin, Hugh Shield, George William Watkins, F. C.
Nathan, Major H. L. Shiels, Dr. Drummond. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Shillaker, J. F. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Oldfield, J. R. Shinwell, E. Wellock, Wilfred
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Simmons, C. J. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Sinkinson, George West, F. R.
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Sitch, Charles H. Westwood, Joseph
Paling, Wilfrid Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Perry, S. F. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Phillips, Dr. Marion Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Potts, John S. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Price, M. P. Sorensen, R. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Pybus, Percy John Spero, Dr. G. E. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Quibell, D. J. K. Stamford, Thomas W. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Stephen, Campbell Wise, E. F.
Richards, R. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Strauss, G. R.
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Sullivan, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Romeril, H. G. Sutton, J. E. Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Rowson, Guy Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ganzoni, Sir John Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Albery, Irving James Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Salmon, Major I.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Grace, John Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Astor, Viscountess Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Greene, W. P. Crawford Savery, S. S.
Balniel, Lord Gunston, Captain D. W. Skelton, A. N.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Beaumont, M. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Smithers, Waldron
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Somerset, Thomas
Bracken, B. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Butler, R. A. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Colfox, Major William Philip Lamb, Sir J. Q. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colville, Major D. J. Long, Major Eric Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Cranbourne, Viscount Lymington, Viscount Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Cuiverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Warrender, Sir Victor
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Muirhead, A. J. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J. Penny, Sir George Wells, Sydney R.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Everard, W. Lindsay Ramsbotham, H. Womersley, W. J.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Remer, John R. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Fermoy, Lord Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Fison, F. G. Clavering Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Ford, Sir P. J. Ross, Major Ronald D. Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Margesson.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided, Ayes, 92; Noes 245.

Division No. 25.] AYES. [1.35 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Balniel, Lord Bracken, B.
Albery, Irving James Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Butler, R. A.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Beaumont, M. W. Castle Stewart, Earl of
Astor, Viscountess Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Colfox, Major William Philip
Colville, Major D. J. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cranbourne, Viscount Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Smithers, Waldron
Cuiverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Somerset, Thomas
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Lamb, Sir J. Q. Somerviile, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Long, Major Eric Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil) Lymington, Viscount Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Duckworth, G. A. V. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Everard, W. Lindsay Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Thomson, Sir F.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Fermoy, Lord Muirhead, A. J. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Ford, Sir P. J. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Ramsbotham, H. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Ganzoni, Sir John Remer, John R. Warrender, Sir Victor
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Grace, John Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Wells, Sydney R.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ross, Major Ronald D. Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Greene, W. P. Crawford Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Womersley, W. J.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Salmon, Major I. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Savery, S. S. Sir George Penny and Captain Margesson.
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxt'd, Henley) Skelton, A. N.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lang, Gordon
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Elmley, Viscount Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Foot, Isaac Lathan, G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Freeman, peter Law, Albert (Bolton)
Alpass, J. H. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Ammon, Charles George George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lawrence, Susan
Arnott, John Gibbins, Joseph Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Aske, Sir Robert Gill, T. H. Lawson, John James
Ayles, Walter Glassey, A. E. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Gossling, A. G. Leach, W.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gould, F. Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Barnes, Alfred John Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Barr, James Gray, Milner Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Batey, Joseph Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Lindley, Fred W.
Bellamy, Albert Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lloyd, C. Ellis
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Longbottom, A. W.
Bennett, Captain E.N. (Cardiff, Central) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Longden, F.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Grundy, Thomas W. Lunn, William
Benson, G. Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) McElwee, A.
Bevan, Aneurln (Ebbw Vale) Hall. Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) McEntee, V. L.
Birkett, W. Norman Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mackinder, W.
Blindell, James Hardie, George D. McKinlay, A.
Bowen, J. W. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon MacLaren, Andrew
Broad, Francis Alfred Haycock, A. W. McShane, John James
Brockway, A. Fenner Hayday, Arthur Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Bromfield, William Hayes, John Henry Mansfield, W.
Brothers, M. Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Marley, J.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mathers, George
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Matters, L. W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Herriotts, J. Melville, Sir James
Buchanan, G. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Messer, Fred
Burgess, F. G. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Middleton, G.
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hoffman, P. C. Millar, J. D.
Caine, Demerit Hall Hollins, A. Mills, J. E.
Cameron, A. G. Hopkin, Daniel Milner, J.
Cape, Thomas Hore-Belisha, Leslie Montague, Frederick
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Horrabin, J. F. Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Charleton, H. C. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morley, Ralph
Chater, Daniel Hunter, Dr. Joseph Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Church, Major A. G. Isaacs, George Mort, D. L.
Cluse, W. S. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Moses, J. J. H.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour John, William (Rhondda, West) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Compton, Joseph Johnston, Thomas Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Daggar, George Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Muff, G.
Dallas, George Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Murnin, Hugh
Dalton, Hugh Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Nathan, Major H. L.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Oldfield, J. R.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Dickson, T. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Dukes, C. Kelly, W. T. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Ede, James Chuter Kennedy, Thomas Paling, Wilfrid
Edge, Sir William Kinley, J. Palmer, E. T.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton) Perry, S. F.
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Shinwell, E. Vaughan, D. J.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Walker, J.
Phillips, Dr. Marion Simmons, C. J. Wallace, H. W.
Potts, John S. Sinkinson, George Wallhead, Richard C.
Price, M. P. Sitch, Charles H. Watkins, F. C.
Pybus, Percy John Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Quibell, D. J. K. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wellock, Wilfred
Richards, R. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Smith, W. R. (Norwich) West, F. R.
Romeril, H. G. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Westwood, Joseph
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Sorensen, R. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Rowson, Guy Spero, Dr. G. E. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Stamford, Thomas W. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Stephen, Campbell Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Sanders, W. S. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Sandham, E. Strauss, G. R. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Sawyer, G. F. Sullivan, J. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Scott, James Sutton, J. E. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Scurr, John Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Wise, E. F.
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Thurtle, Ernest Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Sherwood, G. H. Tinker, John Joseph
Shield, George William Toole, Joseph TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Tout, W. J. Mr. Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Shillaker, J. F. Townend, A. E.

Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Mr. REMER

On a point of Order. May I point out that, although the Amendment in question has been supplied to the Front Benches, many of us on the back benches have not got it? We have several Amendments which we desire to place before you.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Amendment to which the hon. Member is making reference is not before the Committee.

Mr. REMER

On a point of Order. I was asking for your protection in the Chair. Is it possible that we could have, through the courtesy of the Minister, the Amendment provided to us so that we could consider it on the back benches as well as on the Front Benches? May I ask for your protection, Sir?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I quite admit that it is always to the convenience of the Committee that the Amendments should be in the hands of hon. Members. That is not a matter for the Chair. [Interruption.] I have already stated in reply to the point raised. It does not lie within my province to remedy the hon. Member's difficulty. I simply express an opinion that it desirable to do so.

Mr. REMER

On a point of Order. May I suggest to you, Sir, that an ordinary Roneo machine would provide all the Members of the Committee with copies of the Amendment?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Amendment before the Committee is that moved by the Minister of Health.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

I feel great difficulty, and I am sure the Committee will also feel it, with regard to this Amendment. The position, at the present moment, is that the widow of a man who falls within one of the categories mentioned in the first Clause can get a pension at the age of 55. The categories are, firstly, a man who was at some time within three years before his death registered as a member of an approved society or as a deposit contributor; and, secondly, a man whose normal occupation was, at some time within the said period, employment in respect of which contributions under the principal Act would have been payable if that Act had been in force at that time. To those two categories the Minister now desires to add a third—the man who during the late War served in the naval, military or air forces of the Crown, or as a master or seaman, for a period of not less than two years and was entitled to be insured whilst so serving, and died within three years of the termination of that period. This person, whose position is now at stake in the Amendment of the Minister, must have been not less than two years in the forces during the late War. Supposing that the Minister did not move his Amendment, my submission to the Committee is that a man would have been in, if he had not done less than two years' service, because the moment he joined the forces, under the National Health Insurance Act, he became a member of the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund and entitled on exactly the same basis as every other contributor to a pension under this Act. The Minister now restricts that and says, "You shall not have this pension unless you were the widow of a man who was two years in one of the armed forces of the Crown during the War." Far from extending the provision of this Act, as the right hon. Gentleman doubtless intended to do, in my judgment and subject to correction, the Amendment very severely restricts the benefits of this Act. There is another restriction imposed—that the man must have died within three months of the termination of the period. That cannot be represented as an extension, because that three years' period would have applied in one of those other sections under which, I suggest, he would have come in.

Therefore, I think we are entitled to have a fuller explanation from the Minister as to the meaning of this Clause. I quite admit that, as far as a master or seaman is concerned, this would appear to be an extension of the Act, and quite a different principle is at stake. If, as I hope, an Amendment is moved to bring in the Mercantile Marine on exactly the same basis as other sections of the community, that will be an entirely different question. I want to draw the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary, who has so ably conducted her part in this Debate, to one point. As she will remember, I moved an Amendment in Committee to insert in Sub-section (1) the words "Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund." If that Amendment had been inserted, there would have been no question whatever but that every person who had served in the forces of the Crown, for however restricted a period, would have drawn benefit under this Act. The reply I received was that they would draw this benefit in any case, and if it was found that they did not, the position would be considered on the Report stage and adjusted. It was on that understanding that I withdrew the Amendment. Had I pressed it to a Division and had the Amendment been obtained the position would have been different. Under this Clause they would receive benefit if they had put in no less than two years in the service of the Crown, whereas under the Amendment they would have had pensions if they had served for any period, long or short.

Sir BERTRAM FALLE

There is another point which touches the right hon. Gentleman's proposal. It is in connection with the phrase "during the late War." If a man served for not less than two years, are the Government going to take as the end of the War the Armistice or the official end of the War. It is a very serious matter in determining the length of the two years' service. If the Government intend to take the official end of the War it might affect a man's period of service.

Major NATHAN

I should like further information as to the implications of this Amendment. As I understand it, the position is that there is a class of persons brought in by the Amendment who were in permanent service of the Crown and also those who were in the temporary service of the Crown for the period of the War. The Clause now moved by the Minister is comprehensive and includes all members who were permanently or temporarily employed. In the Act of 1925 it is provided that those widows who are in receipt of a service pension should be disqualified from receiving two pensions. I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether, as I hope, the object of this Amendment is to give to the widows of those who served permanently in the War an additional pension under the Act or whether it is merely the choice of a pension under the Act or a service pension. As regards those who died after the end of the War and were on temporary service only, is it to be understood that they will be receiving a pension under this Act only?

Major COLFOX

Might I ask what Amendment we are discussing? Is it the Amendment on page 75 or is it the manuscript Amendment which seems to have passed across the Table and of which we in the back benches know nothing?

The CHAIRMAN

The Amendment before the Committee is that on page 75.

Sir B. PETO

I did not hear the Amendment of the Minister put by the Chair.

The CHAIRMAN

I am told by the Deputy-Chairman that the Amendment was put.

Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

Before the hon. Lady replies I should like to put one point to her. Will she explain the words "was entitled to be insured ". I asked on the Second Reading. Were these words put in to exclude commissioned ranks or will they exclude people who joined up in the ranks and who prior to joining up were outside the ranks of insured persons. Or does it mean that everybody who joined up before the War became ipso facto insured. I do not know whether I have succeeded in making my point clear. Perhaps the hon. Lady will understand what I mean.

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

I should also like to ask a question. I am quite sure it would be easier for the right hon. Lady to have all the questions put at once. There are two things I wish to ask about. If a person who died in the late War served in the "Navy, Army or Air Force," are we to take it that that does not cover anybody who served in the Mercantile Marine? The second point is: What is meant by "master or seaman"? Is that outside the Navy? What about other classes who do not come into the categories of master or seaman?

Mr. SMITHERS

I will only detain the Committee for a moment, because my hon. Friend who has just spoken has raised a point which I generally raise when I have the opportunity. The words "master or seaman" are those to which I refer. I had an intimate connection with the Merchant Service during the War and saw the wonderful services they performed. I wish to know whether the words "master or seaman" include mates, engineers, officers and all other categories or whether they are only to apply to the Merchant Service as opposed to the other categories of the Naval, Military and Air Services. I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary if the points which I have tried to make are dealt with, and, if not, will she see that words are put in during the Report Stage to make these points clear?

Mr. WOMERSLEY

I should like to know whether, in the definition of seaman, fishermen are included? If so it re- moves a great difficulty from my mind. The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries knows this point. We have had great difficulty about the question of fishermen. I do not want to have any difficulty about it. I want the hon. Lady to tell me if she includes fishermen in this term?

2.0 a.m.

Miss LAWRENCE

Let me begin by saying that soldiers of the Regular Army are what we call peace time and war time soldiers. They are not included in this Amendment at all because such men are insured as members of the Army. Their war services would count as an insured period. These are regular soldiers who enlisted for a fixed period and took part maybe in the late War, and returned to their regiments as part of the establishment. These men are not touched at all. They are in an insurable occupation. What we refer to here is the large number of men who, as volunteers or conscripts, served for the duration of the War. These men were not registered as members of the Army and Navy Fund. A great number of them were not insured technically in the Army and Navy Fund. We are not concerned with the regular service, or as it is called the peace time service. These men were considered in the Act of 1925. All these men were deemed to be insured and contributions were deemed to have been paid for them while on service. If they died within three years of leaving the service their widows got pensions. What is the official end of the War? It is August, 1921. These men were demobilised as quickly as possible. I do not think that you will find that any of the duration class were in the Army at August, 1921. The end of the War is August, 1921.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

May I interrupt the hon. Lady? Will she tell me whether it is laid down in the Insurance Act that there is any distinction between the regulars and Kitchener's Army?

Miss LAWRENCE

The point is this. The men who volunteered did not get the benefit. A great number did not get properly registered in the way the regular Army were registered.

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

They came into the Fund?

Miss LAWRENCE

Practically, they did not. They were never registered as being in employment at all. The final end of the war was August, 1921. It has hardly any bearing on the matter at all because these men were demobilised before. A question was raised about the Mercantile Marine. That is a phrase to bring in men of that class who fought during the War. Fishermen who fought in the great War come in under the definition of "masters and seamen."

Major ROSS

Before the hon. Lady leaves that point, may I ask will that provision cover masters or seamen who served in Allied or neutral ships? I would like the hon. Lady to make that clear to the Committee.

Miss LAWRENCE

The question has nothing to do with ships. It is masters or seamen who served during the late war.

Major COLFOX

Does that mean served in any part of the globe?

Miss LAWRENCE

When one says "the late war" one covers the civilised world. Anyone who fought at sea during the late war knows there were no geographical bounds. I must refer to the last Amendment to point out that there was a similar, though very much smaller, class of comparable persons during other wars who were not in the regular forces. A manuscript Amendment was put in—

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Several Members on this side have been ruled out of order for mentioning that Amendment.

THE CHAIRMAN

I do not know what manuscript Amendment is referred to.

Miss LAWRENCE

I will leave that point. In this matter we are doing a good turn to the men who served in the late War, and we are doing it very much on the lines of Section 44, sub-section (5) of the Act of 1925.

Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the exceedingly clear explanation which she has given, and I only rise for the purpose of drawing her attention to one single phrase. I should like her to direct her attention to the phrase "master or seaman". She told the Committee that she was advised by her experts that it was the proper technical phrase to use to bring within the ambit of this Clause the whole of the mercantile marine. I have the gravest doubt as to whether the phrase "master or seaman" is apt for the purpose, and I will tell her why. If she will look at the Merchant Shipping Act of 189,4, which defines and consolidates the law in regard to merchant shipping, she will find that a definition is given—and, as far as I know, the governing definition—of the words "master and seaman". I will read it: 'Master' includes every person except the pilot having command or charge of any ship. 'Seaman' includes every person, except masters, pilots and apprentices duly indentured and registered, employed or engaged in any capacity on board any ship. If the Committee puts these definitions together it would appear prima facie from the Merchant Shipping Consolidating Act that the words "master" and "seaman" include every person with the specified exceptions of (a) pilots, and (b) apprentices duly indentured and registered; and that I believe to he the state of the law at the moment. I do not think that the words which have been put into the Amendment cover the purpose which it is desired to achieve, and I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to give further consideration to the point.

Miss LAWRENCE

I have not the Merchant Shipping Act here, but the words "master and seaman" are used in the National Health Insurance Act, 1924, Section 62. These are the words which are always used in Insurance Acts to cover these men, and I am advised that it is the correct description. If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the National Health Insurance Act, 1924, he will find that the section is headed "Mercantile Marine", and the words used in describing the persons are "master or seaman." If there should be any manner of error it will be set right on Report Stage. But I went into the matter in detail with the officials as to whether pilots were covered, and they assured me, and the Parliamentary draftsman assured me, that these were the right words. If it is the wrong phrase we can put it right later.

Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON

I am much obliged to the hon. Lady; nobody could say fairer. I knew quite well that the words appeared in the Insurance Acts, but I am still of opinion that the words of the Merchant Shipping Act are the governing words, because it is the only Act in which there is a definition of "master" and "seaman." I, therefore, suggest that the matter should receive further consideration before the Report Stage.

Major NATHAN

I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary a question which I put earlier. Shortly, it is this: What is the pension which this Amendment is designed to give, having regard to the provisions of Section 24 (1) of the Act of 1925?

Sir B. PETO

I want to raise this point which arises out of what the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for South Croydon (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson), has just pointed out to the Parliamentary Secretary. It may be quite true that the term "master and seaman" may have the comprehensive meaning given, but I would point out that in the particular Sub-section which this Amendment will constitute we are not dealing with the mercantile marine at all. We are dealing mainly with persons concerned in the late War, in the naval, military and air forces of the Crown. As worded, the Amendment is certainly not good English. The governing words are "served in the naval, military or air forces," and it goes on "or as." It ought to repeat the word "served." In my opinion, and I must adhere to it in spite of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said, after those words there ought to be added the words "master or seaman of the Mercantile Marine." That at once raises the further question of whether the provision covers the sea-fishing fleet and pilots. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that it would very much shorten the proceedings if she adopted the words of the Amendment which I put on the Paper some days ago, and after the word "Crown," insert the words "or in the Mercantile Marine or in any sea-fishing vessel." I would wish also to add, as a manuscript Amendment, the words "or as a qualified pilot." I make no apology for handing in an Amendment at this time, because written Amendments are the fashion at the moment. If we put in these words there would be no question about who are included, and there is obviously a doubt as to whether these words, without any reference to the mercantile marine, cover other persons such as cooks on small vessels or coasting vessels, who might not be described as seamen, stewards and people of that sort. If the Government adopt the words "served in the Mercantile Marine and sea fishing vessels" they make it clear that the whole of those who served during the whole of the War in the sea fishing fleets and incurred equal dangers from mines and things of that kind would be included. I want particularly to add "or as qualified pilots." There is nothing in those words contrary to the purpose of the Minister in the Amendment which he has put upon the Paper. The words are certainly good English, which I claim the Amendment is not, and we would make an improvement in the drafting. We would include only those whom the hon. Lady has told the Committee she wishes to include and believes she has included. There is no harm in taking my words. I am not pressing an Amendment upon the Government which they do not want to insert, or asking them to put in some class of people whom the Government have excluded. In order to safeguard my suggested Amendment, I would ask you, Mr. Chairman, to put the present Amendment down to the word "Crown."

The CHAIRMAN

I cannot have the hon. Gentleman telling me what I have to do.

Sir B. PETO

I was not telling you, Sir. I was merely asking if you could see your way to take a certain course.

Miss LAWRENCE

I desire to say that the words "master or seaman" are used in the National Health Insurance Act. They were also used in the Act of 1921. I said that if there was the slightest doubt the matter would he dealt with on the Report stage. In the face of the hon. Member's waste of the time of the Committee by suggesting a frivolous Amendment I would say that to-morrow morning the world will see—for the news will be reported in the papers,—the way in which the Opposition have blocked that Widows Pensions Bill. We spent yesterday and the previous day on Clause I. The world will see perfectly clearly how that Opposition are dealing with the Bill although they did not vote against the Second Reading.

Mr. BALFOUR

On a point of Order, An Amendment is before the Committee and the Parliamentary Secretary is introducing into the discussion a long disquisition and instructing us. I wish to know, for the guidance of hon. Members opposite, whether that is in order?

The CHAIRMAN

I am afraid that the objection of the hon. Gentleman could be applied to both sides, but I think it would be much better if the hon. Lady confined herself to the Amendment.

Miss LAWRENCE

I was dealing with a highly frivolous speech, but I will, in deference to your ruling, Sir, not pursue the subject.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

On a point of Order. It is mentioned in the Standing Orders that frivolous speeches are to be dealt with by the Chairman. Is it right that the hon. Lady should make a suggestion that an hon. Member has made a frivolous speech when you have not called that hon. Member to order? May I have an answer?

Miss LAWRENCE

I think every hon. Member who has taken part in obstruction to-night—

Sir K. WOOD

Surely, Mr. Young, you heard that phrase. I put it to you, Sir, that it is not an expression which can be permitted, even at this time in the morning.

The CHAIRMAN

I am afraid that if I ruled the expression out of order I should do so very often. I have only to say that it would be far better if those addressing the Committee would keep more strictly to the Amendment.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 1, to leave out the words "during the late "War."

I do not think observations of the character of those of the hon. Lady are calculated to shorten our proceedings. Anybody who was a member of the last House of Commons, and who recollects the proceedings which took place in our Debates during the passage of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contri- butory Pensions Act, will certainly be of opinion that the hon. Lady is in too large a glass house to be throwing stones. I have not risen, however, for the purpose of delaying the proceedings but for the purpose of furthering the proceedings. It will be obvious to the Committee that in putting down this Amendment we are desirous of extracting information on this point because it is clear that we could not leave out the words "during the late War" and leave the Amendment as it would then stand. The idea in our minds is that, whatever the object of the proposed Amendment, it ought not to be confined to persons who served during the late War and that we ought to bring in persons who served in wars preceding the late War. So far as I have been able to understand the purpose of the Amendment our idea is one which has appealed to the Minister and he desires to meet the point contained in the Amendment which we put down. The point still remains doubtful in my mind whether the right hon. Gentleman's manuscript Amendment will carry out the purpose which we had in view. For instance, the words "as a master or seaman" appear in the Amendment on the Paper but I do not think that they occur in the manuscript Amendment. The question then arises whether a person who served as a master or seaman in a war other than the late War would be covered by the Government's Amendment. I said I only rose to further the proceedings and I have not said any more than is necessary to make clear to the Committee the meaning of my Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I rise at once to explain this point. It is quite clear that to leave out these words would open the door much wider than the right hon. Gentleman intends. It would bring in anybody who had served since 1912, and that presumably is not what he intends. The purpose of the manuscript Amendment is to meet the case of people who served, but not as professional soldiers, and who served in wars earlier than the Great War. I think that point is covered. As to his point about "master or seaman," that is a matter of historical research. I was informed—I will look into the matter again—that there were no parallel cases to the late War where large numbers of masters and seamen were in one way or another pressed into service. If, on examination, it is shown that there were such cases, I will be glad to consider it and put down an amendment on the Report stage.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

Would it not be better to put in the words? If there were no such persons no one will be injured, but if there were such persons who performed service comparable to that in the Great War, then such cases will not be overlooked, and these men will not be excluded.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I do not think it can be dealt with so simply as that. If it is found that there are some who should be brought in, any Amendment would have to be safeguarded so as not to bring in all persons who were masters or seamen and were engaged in their normal duty of—shall we say—carrying food to South Africa during the South African War. We must not bring in sections other than those which the Committee wishes to bring in.

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

The position is really a very peculiar one. The hon. Lady in that part of her reply which was most excellent and clear made one point clear. She said quite clearly that the object of this Amendment was not to include any man who would have received benefits by the fact that he was a regular soldier or sailor in the forces of the Crown. If these words are adopted, the result will be that there may be a difference between the benefits which a man's widow would receive under the ordinary pension rights of a member of the forces, and those she would receive under this Bill when it becomes an Act. That is a point which will have to be weighed very carefully. Although it is perfectly clear to us that the intention of the Government is to confine this Amendment to those who served during the War and were not regular soldiers and sailors, it does not exclude the fact that there is nothing in the wording of the Amendment to prevent the widow of a. regular soldier from claiming benefit under this Act. The position would be still more complicated if the proposal of my right hon. Friend were adopted. The Minister might reconsider this matter of "master or seamen" and see if he can get a form of words which will make perfectly clear what the Government mean, and what the Opposition want, and see that these men are not excluded. It might then be necessary to add "in the Mercantile Marine" or some words like that.

Mr. REMER

On the observations by the right hon. Member and the hon. Lady about making some Amendments on the Report stage I should like to point out to the Committee that on the Report stage the Speaker has the power of selecting Amendments and it is very difficult to get small matters dealt with. Further it is practically certain that this Bill will be certified by Mr. Speaker as a Money Bill and therefore not one line or one comma will be altered in another place. To-night, therefore, is really our only opportunity of bringing forward cases in order to see that the right words are inserted. For these reasons I should like to support the proposal of my right hon. Friend the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain). If the Minister finds there is any objection to the words on the Report Stage he himself can move to have them eliminated. A Government Amendment would be accepted by Mr. Speaker. It is of vital importance that we should deal with these email points while we have the opportunity, and this is the only opportunity we shall get.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

If the Committee keeps the words as they are at present the people affected will be of a varying class because the words "late War" have a very indefinite meaning. I raised the point earlier in the Debate and I think it is one of considerable substance. If you took these words to a court of law I think it would be very difficult to get a definition of what the war was. [Interruption.] I shall be glad to give way to any of the hon. Members opposite who have been so extraordinarily silent in the cause of widows' pensions. If they spoke up a bit more in favour of the widows of sailors and soldiers we might get something done. But we have had nothing but interruptions. I do not know who is going to respond to this proposal but if the Minister does so I would suggest that we should have from him some definite information as to the real meaning of the words the "late War." I am aware in the 1925 Act the words "late War" is inserted, but I suggest that it is time we had a proper definition which will safeguard the widows of the men who are affected. [Interruption.] Having regard to the ribald laughter from the other side I am not in the least surprised that their election pledges have been broken.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I suggest that we ought to leave out these words because I do not think "the late War" is an adequate definition. I think we ought to insert the date when the War started. [Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

I must ask hon. Members on the back benches not to interrupt.

Captain CROOKSHANK

It would make the Sub-section much clearer if we had the date of the late War. The hon. Lady when she was replying said first of all that the official termination of the War was August, 1921. I should have thought it would have been much better if we had put in the date of the actual hostilities from 1914 to 1918. I do not think the Military Service Acts were in force for two years—

Mr. BARR

Is it not true that the Military Service Acts were in operation early in 1916?

Captain CROOKSHANK

I am not quite certain but when the hon. Lady said the conscripts were going to come in, I think she was under a misapprehension and that a great number of people for reasons of age or other reasons would be automatically excluded. We are here causing another great category of anomalies because the Sub-section says that not only must they have served two years—I do not know why it should be two years in regard to the late War—but they must also have died within three years of the termination of hostilities, assuming that the termination of that period means the termination of hostilities. Three years after the termination of hostilities would bring in 1919, 1920, and 1921—that is, the man whose widow is to get a pension must have died before November 1921. Why should there be that gap? The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health said that if a man had got this qualification owing to service and afterwards became a small shopkeeper his widow would get a pension. But that apparently would not be so if he died between 1921 and January 4th, 1926. That will create a very large anomaly. It would be much better to give a proper definition of what the date of the War was instead of having this ambiguity as to whether the late War is to cover the official termination of hostilities. The fact that very few people were kept in the Army more than two or three months after the Armistice makes it quite unnecessary to drag in the years 1920 and 1921 as part of the late War period. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will accept the Amendment to the Amendment.

Amendment to proposed Amendment negatived.

Sir B. PETO

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 2, after the word "Crown," to insert the words or in the Mercantile Marine or in any sea-fishing vessel or as a qualified pilot. 3.0 a.m.

In spite of what the Parliamentary Secretary said just now, speaking on the general Amendment, I am still convinced that it can do no possible harm and will certainly clarify the Minister's Amendment, if we adopt the words which I propose. If these words are put in, we include no one except the persons whom the Minister has told us he wishes to include. There is no mention whatever in this section of the Mercantile Marine, and suddenly to bring in masters and seamen without saying anything about the class of vessel that they have served on leaves a grave matter of doubt. The words which I propose are perfectly clear and are good English, which the Government's Amendment is not. I would like to know if the Minister can adduce any reason to show that the words which I propose to put in are not better and more apt for his own purpose. I am quite sure it will satisfy hon. Members on this side of the House who are specially interested in the fishing fleet, particularly the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley), to have those people specified in this Bill. The ordinary man has to read this Bill or have it read to him before he understands what benefits his widow is entitled to. It is no consolation for him to know that under certain Acts certain words are held to mean something or the other. Why cannot the Minister put words in this Bill which everyone can understand? If he wants to get on with his Bill, what can he do better than just rise in his seat and accept these words which can do him no harm?

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose

Mr. WOMERSLEY

Before the right hon. Gentleman replies might I ask a question—

HON. MEMBERS

Order, order!

The CHAIRMAN

Perhaps it would be convenient if I said to hon. Members below the Gangway that if the Minister sits down the hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Womersley) is in Order.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

The point I wish to raise affects the bulk of my constituents. I should like to know if the definition of "seaman" includes fishermen. I want to be quite certain about it and I should like something on the lines of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) included. I want to be sure that the men who served in the mine boats and patrol boats are in the Act. There is another type of fishermen, namely, share fishermen, who are not introduced into this Clause. Will they be regarded as insured persons for that particular purpose? We want a clear definition from the Minister so that there will be no misunderstanding.

Mr. GREENWOOD

This question has been raised before. The words in the hon. Baronet's Amendment are really not necessary now because the words of my Amendment really do cover people who served in sea-going vessels. If I may take the point of the hon. Member in regard to share fishermen, these fishermen are now persons within the Insurance Acts and will come into the Bill. The pilot does not come into this Bill because he is not an insurable person, and it is quite clear that we cannot have one small class of people now outside the insurance categories, brought in, without landing ourselves into serious difficulties with everybody who is now outside. The basis of this Bill is to provide pensions for the insured classes. The pilot, not being employed on a contract of service, is not insurable. I am afraid I cannot therefore accept the Amendment.

Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE

I want to make an appeal to the Minister. I cannot see why a man engaged in a most hazardous occupation such as that of a pilot should not have the benefit that when he dies his widow becomes entitled to a pension. I cannot imagine a more dangerous or difficult task than that which has to be carried out by the pilot and I do not see why he should be excluded. The pilot is engaged by the month and paid by the month to bring ships in and out of port. There is tremendous danger in carrying out this work. There are collisions in the fog, anchors are carried away and the pilot goes in danger of his life all the time. As he is a paid employé of the harbour board I should like a further explanation as to why he is not in insurable employment. Surely if he is a member of an approved society as I understand pilots are, he is qualified under the Act.

Captain GUNSTON

I should like to put forward a perfectly legitimate claim for a body of men who have to earn their livelihood under most hazardous conditions. Some hon. Members will know the port of Sharpness at the mouth of the Severn. It is a very dangerous port and these men have to show considerable skill in getting the ships in and out of that port. It is no good the right hon. Gentleman saying to us that men of this class are not in an insured occupation. We on these benches have not been obstructive and have not taken up unnecessary time. Most of the time has been taken up by hon. Members opposite or by hon. Members of the Liberal party. We have not taken an undue share of this Debate, and I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to be a little reasonable and to accept this Amendment which will include a class of men who are second to none in the maritime history of this country.

Major COLFOX

I tried a little while ago to put my point to the right hon. Gentleman as briefly as possible but he did not wish then to give way to me. [Interruption].

The CHAIRMAN

It is impossible for me to follow the Debate if this continues. I do again ask hon. Members on both sides of the House to give a little more attention.

Mr. GRACE

Is it in order for anybody not inside the House to make any observations?

Major COLFOX

As I was saying I did my best to put my point to the right hon. Gentleman before he made his reply in order that he might save himself from rising in his place again to answer further questions. My point is that there is another small class of people who are it seems to me likely to be left outside the scope of this Amendment unless a slight addition is made to it. I refer to indentured apprentices on ships. I quite realise of course that most probably most of these indentured apprentices are not married men.

The CHAIRMAN

If they are not married men they cannot have widows.

Major COLFOX

That point did not escape even me. I said that probably most of them were not married men. That means of course that only a comparatively small liability would be thrown upon the Exchequer for the very occasional claims that must arise. All the same, I think, in spite of the fact that the Exchequer's liability would be small, that it would be a gross injustice on a deserving class of men if they were left outside the scope of these provisions. It is interesting to note that in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), who is so careful about his English grammar, he makes exactly the same error in the construction of the sentences as is made in the Amendment of which he is criticiser.

The CHAIRMAN

I must ask the hon. Member to address himself to the Amendment before the Committee.

Major COLFOX

The construction of an Act of Parliament is a matter of considerable moment, and you, Sir, have already allowed considerable latitude in the discussion of that point.

The CHAIRMAN

I cannot help an hon. Member explaining that his Amendment is grammatical or otherwise, but that does not mean that hon. Members can discuss a point of grammar when there is an Amendment before the Committee.

Major COLFOX

The hon. Member stressed the fact that his Amendment was grammatical. I merely in passing wished to point out to him that while he was criticising another Amendment, there was an error in his own. However I will settle that point with him later. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will not very seriously consider including within the scope of this Amendment the widows of the indentured apprentices as well.

Commander SOUTHBY

I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will give me some information on one particular point which I do not think has been touched. There is one class of pilot which has not been mentioned at all. I wish to ask the Minister of Health whether, as he has drawn his Amendment, it includes dockyard pilots, who are not necessarily naval men. I presume dockyard servants are included in the Amendment. Do they benefit or not?

Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

I have a considerable number of share fishermen in my constituency, and it seems to me that their position is not quite clear. The right hon. Gentleman has stated that share fishermen are included, but it seems to me that it is in direct contradiction of the terms of his Amendment, which definitely states: during the late War served in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of the Crown, or as a master or seaman, for a period of not less than two years and was entitled to be insured whilst so serving. A share fisherman was not entitled to be insured whilst he was serving as far as I can make out, because he did not come under the Insurance Acts until 1926. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me if I have misunderstood the wording of the Amendment?

Lord BALNIEL

Is it in order for the Secretary of State for India to fill a pipe on the Front Bench?

Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

May I ask for the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the point I have raised?

Mr. GREENWOOD

Yes, they are included, but the point does not arise on this particular Amendment.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

We should have a proper answer from the Minister. I suggest that he has evaded the point. We have cases here of men who served during the War in work of great danger, and at that time most of them were not in insurable occupations. Under the 1928 Act the late Government brought them within the Acts. I want to know if the wording of this Amendment means that these men's widows are barred from re- ceiving a pension under this Bill. If they are I am going to ask that something should be done on their behalf. If they do come in—and I understand the Minister to give that assurance—we know where we are.

Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

I think we are really in danger of leaving out a certain number of people if we do not accept the Amendment put forward by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto). There is the question of "master and seaman." I cannot help feeling that we may exclude a number of mien if we leave it in that way instead of putting in "Mercantile Marine." After all there are the engine room staff, greasers and a number of others like stewards and so on, and in connection with such an important Bill as this we ought to leave no stone unturned in order to make sure that the men who "go down to the sea in ships" are not left out. There is one other case of very great importance about which I would like an answer. Are the lighthouse keepers and the men who man the ships going round the coast look-

ing after the buoys and the lighting of the coast included? There are also many thousands of watermen who do a great deal of work of considerable danger at times and who ought to be considered. I do not ask these questions in any humorous spirit but because I want information.

Viscountess ASTOR

I would like the Minister to be very careful before giving a definite answer, because I can assure him that the widows who have been referred to are some of the most necessitous in the country. We who represent seaport towns and naval constituencies know that unless this Amendment is accepted, or unless the Minister gives us a more definite assurance, there will be tremendous hardship.

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 86.

Division No. 26.] AYES. [3.26 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West) Cluse, W. S. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Cocks, Frederick Seymour Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Compton, Joseph Hoffman, P. C.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Daggar, George Hollins, A.
Alpass, J. H. Dallas, George Hopkin, Daniel
Ammon, Charles George Dalton, Hugh Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Arnott, John Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Horrabin, J. F.
Aske, Sir Robert Denman, Hon. R. D. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Ayles, Walter Dickson, T. Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Dudgeon, Major C. R. Isaacs, George
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Dukes, C. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Barnes, Alfred John Ede, James Chuter John, William (Rhondda, West)
Barr, James Edge, Sir William Johnston, Thomas
Batey, Joseph Edmunds, J. E. Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Bellamy, Albert Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Elmley, Viscount Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Foot, Isaac Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Freeman, Peter Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Benson, G. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Kelly, W. T.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Gibbins, Joseph Kennedy, Thomas
Birkett, W. Norman Gill, T. H. Kinley, J.
Blindell, James Glassey, A. E. Lang, Gordon
Bowen, J. W. Gosslinq, A. G. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Broad, Francis Alfred Gould, F. Lathan, G.
Brockway, A. Fenner Gray, Milner Law, Albert (Bolton)
Bromfield, William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Law, A. (Rosendale)
Brothers, M. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lawrence, Susan
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lawson, John James
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Buchanan, G. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Leach, W.
Burgess, F. G. Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Caine, Derwent Hall Hardie, George D. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Cameron, A. G. Haycock, A. W. Lindley, Fred W.
Cape, Thomas Hayday, Arthur Lloyd, C. Ellis
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Longbottom, A. W.
Charleton, H. C. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Longden, F.
Chater, Daniel Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Lunn, William
Church, Major A. G. Herriotts, J. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
McElwee, A. Potts, John S. Stephen, Campbell
McEntee, V. L. Price, M. P. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Mackinder, W. Pybus, Percy John Strauss, G. R.
McKinlay, A. Quibell, D. J. K. Sullivan, J.
MacLaren, Andrew Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Sutton, J. E.
McShane, John James Richards, R. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Mansfield, W. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Marley, J. Romeril, H. G. Thurtle, Ernest
Mathers, George Rosbotham, D. S. T. Tinker, John Joseph
Matters, L. W. Rowson, Guy Toole, Joseph
Messer, Fred Salter, Dr. Alfred Tout, W. J.
Middleton, G. Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Townend, A. E.
Mills, J. E. Sanders, W. S. Vaughan, D. J.
Milner, J. Sandham, E. Walker, J.
Montague, Frederick Sawyer, G. F. Wallace, H. W.
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Scott, James Wallhead, Richard C.
Morley, Ralph Scurr, John Watkins, F. C.
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Mort, D. L. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Moses, J. J. H. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Wellock, Wilfred
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Sherwood, G. H. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Shield, George William Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Muff, G. Shiels, Dr. Drummond West, F. R.
Murnin, Hugh Shillaker, J. F. Westwood, Joseph
Nathan, Major H. L. Shinwell, E. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D, L. (Exeter) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Oldfield, J. R. Simmons, C. J. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Sinkinson, George Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Sitch, Charles H. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Paling, Wilfrid Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Palmer, E. T. Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Perry, S. F. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Wise, E. F.
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Sorensen, R. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Spero, Dr. G. E.
Phillips, Dr. Marion Stamford, Thomas W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Mr. Hayes and Mr. Benjamin Smith.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Albery, Irving James Ganzoni, Sir John Salmon, Major I.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Astor, Viscountess Grace, John Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Savery, S. S.
Balniel, Lord Greene, W. P. Crawford Skelton, A. N.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Gunston, Captain D. W. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Smithers, Waldron
Bracken, B. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Somerset, Thomas
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd,Henley) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Butler, R. A. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Colfox, Major William Philip Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Colville, Major D. J. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cranbourne, Viscount Long, Major Eric Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey,Gainsbro) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Cuiverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Warrender, Sir Victor
Duckworth, G. A. V. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Muirhead, A. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Penny, Sir George Womersley, W. J.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Everard, W. Lindsay Ramsbotham, H.
Fermoy, Lord Remer, John R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fison, F. G. Clavering Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Margesson.
Ford, Sir P. J. Ross, Major Ronald D.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 107; Noes, 215.

Division No, 27.] AYES. [3.35 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Astor, Viscountess Birkett, W. Norman
Albery, Irving James Balfour, George (Hampstead) Blindell, James
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Balniel, Lord Bourne, Captain Robert Croft
Aske, Sir Robert Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.
Bracken, B. Greene, W. P. Crawford Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Gunston, Captain D. W. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Butler, R. A. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Salmon, Major I.
Castle Stewart, Earl of Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Colfox, Major William Philip Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Savery, S. S.
Colville, Major D. J. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Scott, James
Cranbourne, Viscount Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Hore-Belisha, Leslie Skelton, A. N.
Cuiverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Hunter, Dr. Joseph Smithers, Waldron
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Somerset, Thomas
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Dudgeon, Major C. R. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Margesson, Captain H D. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Elmley, Viscount Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Everard, W. Lindsay Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Todd, Capt. A. J.
Fermoy, Lord Muirhead, A. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Fison, F. G. Clavering Nathan, Major H. L. Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Foot, Isaac Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Ford, Sir P. J. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Wells, Sydney R.
Ganzoni, Sir John Penny, Sir George Womersley, W. J.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Pybus, Percy John
Glassey, A. E. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ramsbotham, H. Sir Frederick Thomson and Sir Victor Warrender.
Gray, Milner Remer, John R.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Edge, Sir William Lawrence, Susan
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Edmunds, J. E. Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Lawson, John James
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Alpass, J. H. Freeman, Peter Leach, W.
Ammon, Charles George Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)
Arnott, John Gibbins, Joseph Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Ayles, Walter Gill, T. H. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Gossling, A. G. Lindley, Fred W.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Gould, F. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Barnes, Alfred John Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Longbottom, A. W.
Barr, James Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Longden, F.
Batey, Joseph Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lunn, William
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Bellamy, Albert Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) McElwee, A.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) McEntee, V. L.
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff,Central) Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mackinder, W.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hardle, George D. McKinlay, A.
Benson, G. Haycock, A. W. MacLaren, Andrew
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Hayday, Arthur McShane, John James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Bowen, J. W. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Mansfield, W.
Broad, Francis Alfred Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Marley, J.
Brockway, A. Fenner Herriotts, J. Mathers, George
Bromfield, William Hirst, G. H. (York, W.R.,Wentworth) Matters, L. W.
Brothers, M. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Messer, Fred
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Hoffman, P. C. Middleton, G.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hollins, A. Mills, J. E.
Buchanan, G. Hopkin, Daniel Milner, J.
Burgess, F. G. Horrabin, J. F. Montague, Frederick
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Caine, Derwent Hall Isaacs, George Morley, Ralph
Cameron, A. G. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South),
Cape, Thomas John, William (Rhondda, West) Mort, D. L.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Johnston, Thomas Moses, J. J. H.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)
Chater, Daniel Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Church, Major A. G. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Muff, G.
Cluse, W. S. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F.W. Murnin, Hugh
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Oldfield, J. R.
Compton, Joseph Kelly, W. T. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Daggar, George Kennedy, Thomas Paling, Wilfrid
Dallas, George Kinley, J. Palmer, E. T.
Dalton, Hugh Lang, Gordon Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Perry, S. F.
Dickson, T. Lathan, G. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Dukes, C. Law, Albert (Bolton) Phillips, Dr. Marion
Ede, James Chuter Law, A. (Rosendale) Potts, John S.
Price, M. P. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland) Wallhead, Richard C.
Quibell, D. J. K. Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Watkins, F. C.
Richards, R. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Wellock, Wilfred
Romeril, H. G. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Welsh, James (Paisley)
Rosbotham, D. S. T. Sorensen, R. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Rowson, Guy Spero, Dr. G. E. West, F. R.
Salter, Dr. Alfred Stamford, Thomas W. Westwood, Joseph
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Stephen, Campbell Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Sanders, W. S. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Sandham, E. Strauss, G. R. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Sawyer, G. F. Sullivan, J. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Scurr, John Sutton, J. E. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Sherwood, G. H. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Shield, George William Thurtle, Ernest Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Tinker, John Joseph Winterton, G. E. (Leicester,Loughb'gh)
Shillaker, J. F. Toole, Joseph Wise, E. F.
Shinwell, E. Tout, W. J. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Townend, A. E.
Simmons, C. J Vaughan, D. J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Sinkinson, George Walker, J. Mr. Hayes and Mr. Benjamin Smith.
Sitch, Charles H. Wallace, H. W.

Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Captain BOURNE

Before this Amendment is put there is one point which I want to bring to the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary. I think that this Amendment would preclude the widow of a man, who was insured when he enlisted and who subsequent to enlistment obtained a temporary commission, from obtaining a pension. It seems to me that the words "whilst so serving" would automatically exclude a person who obtained a temporary commission during the War. We know there were very many men who served in the regular Army before the War, retired before the outbreak of War, came back as non-commissioned officers and then got commissions and served during part of the War as officers. It seems very unfair to me that their widows should be deprived of pensions when after all they are people who would normally belong to the insured class. I feel perfectly certain that it is not the intention of the Government to exclude these people, but the wording of the Amendment, as drafted, would exclude them and I would be glad of an assurance from the Minister on this point.

Sir A. LAMBERT WARD

It seems to me that the position of the share fishermen is still rather obscure. The Minister of Health said definitely at one time that they were included in this Subsection. I understand, however, that he qualifies the remark in some way which I do not understand. I want to put a definite case to the hon. Lady who is now in charge of the Bill. Take the case of a man who, prior to the War, was a share fisherman; who then served for two years on a mine sweeper and died within three years of the termination of the War. Is that man's widow entitled to a pension or is she not? I hope the hon. Lady will give a definite reply—"Yes" or "No"—to that question.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I think that the Committee must press for some definite ruling as to the position of fishermen. I am sure we are sorry to see the Attorney General leave the House at this stage because after all this is a question of definition on which his assistance may be invaluable. I believe that the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister are both still "in the air" as to how this Bill will really work. I hope that the hon. Lady will give me a reply on this point in her own thoroughly graceful and Parliamentary manner, and assure us that these men are definitely covered. I want to raise some fresh points. I should like to know about the men who man the lifeboats round the coast. These points all show how extremely casual the Government are on this question. They have been slipshod all the way through and it is their extremely obstructive tactics which have kept the Committee so late to-night. I understand that the object of this Bill is to remove certain scandals and anomalies and I would remind the House of the speech of the Lord Privy Seal in which he said that within three months the Labour Government will bring forward a Bill to remove the anomalies and scandals of the Widows Pensions Act. Who can say, after listening to the absurd statements of the Government they have carried out that pledge. I would also remind them of some of their other pledges. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said:— I give a definite pledge that as soon as the Labour Government gets in—

The CHAIRMAN

I have already ruled that questions concerning the General Election are not relevant.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I gather, Sir, that you are bound by Standing Orders. We also recognise that election pledges are a very sore subject to the opposite side. [Interruption.] We intend to press and to keep on pressing until we get a satisfactory answer to these points. We intend to see justice done to these widows. I quite understand that the wording of this Amendment as it stands means nothing and it is important to have the definition set out in the Bill.

Major ROSS

There was one point which was put to the hon. Lady by the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) and in reply to which she did not give one word of explanation and that was why the period of two years has been introduced into this Clause. I listened with interest to the hon. Lady when she defended on the previous Clauses, having no time limit put in. She said it would be a matter of inconvenience but on what possible ground does she justify a time limit of two years' service in this Clause. I say with all sincerity that it is a very unfair thing that a two years' limit should be introduced in the case of the ex-service man when it is not to be found in the other Clause which relates to this matter. I have not intervened in this Debate up to now, but this is a point of great seriousness, and that is why I am putting it before the Committee at this stage. I should like to tell the hon. Members some of the difficulties as I see them. Supposing two men enlist at the same time. One of them goes out to the front quickly, becomes incapacitated and is out of the service within a year. He does not come within this provision.

On the other hand, the second man may have been less fit or he may have been attracted by the more contemplative aspects of military life, have gone in for a less hazardous occupation than the first man. His prospects of surviving for two years would be quite good from a material point of view. He, of course, comes in under the Clause, but the man who goes to France and with whom I suggest our sympathy should be to-night, does not. I am trying to put these points within a small compass, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Lady who are in charge of the Bill will so alter it as to bring in the widows of ex-service men on terms at least as good as those which are offered to industrial workers.

Commander SOUTHBY

I would like to ask if the right hon. Gentleman will give us an assurance upon one point, and that is about the lifeboat men. They have a hazardous occupation and I feel sure it not his intention to exclude them from the benefits of this Act. And I would like to have the assurance that these men are included and will come under the provisions of the Act.

Miss LAWRENCE

If a man serves in the ranks for two years he comes under the provisions of this Clause. As to share fishermen they will come in. If I may quote—"Cook's sons, duke's sons, and sons of the millionaire" come in. All these people who served two years in the army come in under the Clause whether they were share fishermen, shopkeepers, mechanics—whatever they were. It deals not with their previous occupation but their War service. As to the sad case of the man who went out to France and was one of the early casualties, he does not come in because he comes under the War Pensions scheme.

Major ROSS

May I interpose for a moment. I can assure the hon. Lady that I know of a case in my own constituency of a man who went to France and lost a leg in the first Battle of Ypres. He came out and worked as a cobbler. He would otherwise have been an insurable man but he worked as a cobbler. He got a pension to start with, but when he died his widow did net get one.

4.0 a.m.

Miss LAWRENCE

If they go into insurable occupation, then they and their widows are insurable. Someone said, "Why must you have a minimum of service?" Some people served for only a day technically. If there were no limit, some men who were even a day in the Army would be included. There were also men who enlisted under the Derby scheme and were never called up, and, if you simply included men who were in service, they would also come in. There were eases of men who gave purely nominal service and were never called up at all. You would allow people who were never in any sense participants in the war to come in. Two years was chosen as the period because, if you will look in the Ast, you will see that that time is the period of insurance. I think I have answered the question, and I do hope that I shall not have any more questions as to whether the occupation of men prior to their service has anything to do with it. It does not matter whether they were "shopkeepers, cooks' sons, or dukes' sons, or sons of millionaires."

Major COLFOX

That is a misquotation.

Miss LAWRENCE

If the hon. Member will look at the poem from which I have quoted, he will see that the line I have used is repeated at the end of every verse. There are sometimes the words "earl's son", but the line is as I have quoted it; certainly, every section of the population is included in the verse. I hope that I shall have no more questions as to men's previous occupations. It does not matter two pins what was their occupation. They are in on the strength of two years service with the Army, and their previous occupation has nothing whatever to do with it.

Commander SOUTHBY

Will the hon. Lady say whether this includes men who served in the War in lifeboats?

Miss LAWRENCE

Yes. Men who served in the lifeboats or the Army or the Navy or the Air Service for two years are in.

Commander SOUTHBY

I think the hon. Lady misunderstood me. I want to know whether service during the War in the lifeboat service will come under this Bill. I do not mean lifeboatmen who were lifeboatmen and then served in H.M. ships.

Miss LAWRENCE

I have already said that the ship has nothing to do with it. It is serving in the capacity of master or seaman during the War.

Commander SOUTHBY

They do not come under that.

Mr. E. BROWN

May I point out that the lifeboatman is in a voluntary service which is not an insurable occupation? My own father was coxswain of the lifeboat at Torquay. I think the hon. Lady is wrong here.

Miss LAWRENCE

It is service in the War and not in any vessel on the water that counts. If a man gave service for two years in the War, that is enough.

Mr. WOMERSLEY

I should be satisfied with the hon. Lady's explanation if it were not for the words, "was entitled to be insured whilst so serving." I want to draw attention to the classes of fishermen who went on fishing service, but could not be described as insured. I do not want to find that we have left them out. The matter wants dealing with while we are threshing out this Amendment. The question is whether it is retrospective. They were made an insurable class in 1920, but at the time they served they were not an insured class.

Miss LAWRENCE

Whether the men were in an insurable class or not does not matter. All these people were entitled to be insured under special Naval, Military, and Air Force Regulations, but they were not so insured. All the population that were swept into the war, although they had to be insured, were as a matter of fact, not insured, and we are now putting that right. What they were doing before the War does not matter a bit.

Mr. KELLY

I do not mind hon. Members on the other side looking after the people with whom some of us are very closely concerned. The hon. Member for Epsom (Commander Southby) asked whether the people on the light vessels came under this Bill. Those on the light vessels are already under the insurance scheme and entitled to widows' pensions at the present time.

Viscountess ASTOR

Not all of them.

Dr. BURGIN

I hope the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health will allow me to put a question which leaves me in some doubt in regard to her remarks as to the Naval, Military and Air Force Service. If I understood aright, it was to this effect, that under the National Health Insurance Act of 1924 service in the Forces was counted as insured and that immediately service was entered upon time began to count for insurance purposes. I understand her, further, to say, with regard to men who enlisted temporarily for the great War, that, although they were entitled to have their service counted for insurance purposes, in fact large numbers were not registered. That was the position as I understood it. It seems to me that very important consequences flow from that result. Under Section 44, Subsection (5) of the Act of 1925, to which the hon. Lady has referred, any period during which a person serves in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of the Crown shall, while so serving, be taken to be the requisite period. I want to know whether this inclusion of a minimum period of two years does not restrict and take away from the rights of a large number of people who under Section 57 of the National Insurance Act were already counted as insured persons by reason of service for any period.

I do not desire to obstruct in any way. I am, however, most concerned in a Government Amendment intended to widen the Bill, to see that such an Amendment does not take away from those who already have very important rights, and, unless I have misread the Act, or the hon. Lady is in possession of departmental information which does not appear in the copy of the Statute, it does not seem to me as if service with the Crown entitles one to be treated as an insured person, and as if this Amendment would say that the period must be two years before it counts for pension. The example of the men under the Derby Scheme who were enrolled persons and were never called upon do not impress me. This Amendment leaves a man who serves in the trenches for twenty-three months and a few days completely out of the Bill. This is a much larger class than the Derby men who were transferred to Reserve and were never called up.

It seems to me that when my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) moved an earlier Amendment to insert "All persons who were at any time of the Navy, Army or Air Force Insurance Fund" he was really doing a service to the Government, because he was calling attention to words which, if accepted, would automatically include any man who had war service. My hon. Friend withdrew the Amendment, because he received a promise that the matter would be considered by the Government before the Report Stage. He was quite right in withdrawing it at the time, but now that we come to the Bill with the Amendment moved by the Minister, which the right hon. Gentleman suggested as wide enough to include the classes mentioned by the hon. Member for Devonport, we find that, so far from doing that, it appears to be a restrictive Amendment, taking away rights which large numbers of men in the Navy, Army and Air Force appear to possess. I hope the hon. Lady will make it quite clear that all people of the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund come within the provisions of this Act and that by imposing a time limit of two years she has not reduced the class instead of increasing it.

Miss LAWRENCE

You must rule out the Navy, Army and Air Force Insurance Fund, because, if you take it as your standard, you cut out a great number of people. The Act of 1925 says that you have to have 104 stamps for 104 weeks' contributions, but it does not give the three years' grace. We say that if a man serves two years and has 104 stamps he can do as he likes for three years, and he will not lose his pension rights. It is an enormously wide concession. Whatever odd jobs a man may get, or if he never got a job at all, it does not matter to his pension.

Dr. BURGIN

I hope that the hon. Lady will forgive me for pointing out that the three years' extension though a tremendous concession, does not deal with the earlier period of two years. I still do not see the reason why the two years' period is not a restriction on previous rights.

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 215; Noes, 102.

Division No. 28.] AYES. [4.21 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hoffman, P. C. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Hollins, A. Romeril, H. G.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro'l Hopkin, Daniel Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Alpass, J. H. Horrabin, J. F. Rowson, Guy
Ammon, Charles George Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Arnott, John Isaacs, George Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Ayles, Walter Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Sanders, W. S.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) John, William (Rhondda, West) Sandham, E.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Johnston, Thomas Sawyer, G. F.
Barr, James Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Scurr, John
Batey, Joseph Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bellamy, Albert Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Sherwood, G. H.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Shield, George William
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Kelly, W. T. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Benson, G. Kennedy, Thomas Shillaker, J. F.
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Kinley, J. Shinwell, E.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Lang, Gordon Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bowen, J. W. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Simmons, C. J.
Broad, Francis Alfred Lathan, G. Sinkinson, George
Brockway, A. Fenner Law, Albert (Bolton) Sitch, Charles H.
Bromfield, William Law, A. (Rosendale) Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Brothers, M. Lawrence, Susan Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Lawson, John James Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Buchanan, G. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Burgess, F. G. Leach, W. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Caine, Derwent Hall Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Cameron, A. G. Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Sorensen, R.
Cape, Thomas Lewis, T. (Southampton) Spero, Dr. G. E.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lindley, Fred W. Stamford, Thomas W.
Charleton, H. C. Lloyd, C. Ellis Stephen, Campbell
Chater, Daniel Longbottom, A. W. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Church, Major A. G. Longden, F. Strauss, G. R.
Cluse, W. S. Lunn, William Sullivan, J.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Sutton, J. E.
Compton, Joseph McElwee, A. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Daggar, George McEntee, V. L. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Dallas, George Mackinder, W. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Dalton, Hugh McKinlay, A. Thurtle, Ernest
Denman, Hon. R. D. MacLaren, Andrew Tinker, John Joseph
Dickson, T. McShane, John James Toole, Joseph
Dukes, C. Mansfield, W. Tout, W. J.
Ede, James Chuter Marley, J. Townend, A. E.
Edge, Sir William Mathers, George Vaughan, D. J.
Edmunds, J. E. Matters, L. W. Walker, J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Messer, Fred Wallace, H. W.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) Middleton, G. Wallhead, Richard C.
Foot, Isaac Mills, J. E. Watkins, F. C.
Freeman, Peter Milner, J. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Montague, Frederick Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gibbins, Joseph Morgan, Dr. H. B. Wellock, Wilfred
Gill, T. H. Morley, Ralph Welsh, James (Paisley)
Gossling, A. G. Mort, D. L. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Gould, F. Moses, J. J. H. West, F. R.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne). Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Westwood, Joseph
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Muff, G. Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Grundy, Thomas W. Murnin, Hugh Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Oldfield, J. R. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hall. Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Owen. H. F. (Hereford) Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hardie, George D. Palmer, E. T. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Haycock, A. W. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hayday, Arthur Perry, S. F. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Hayes, John Henry Phillips, Dr. Marion Wise, E. F.
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.) Potts, John S. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Price, M. P.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Pybus, Percy John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Herriotts, J. Quibell, D. J. K. Mr. Barnes and Mr. Wilfrid Paling.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Richards, R.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Birkett, W. Norman Burgin, Dr. E. L.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Blinded, James Butler, R. A.
Aske, Sir Robert Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Castle Stewart, Earl of
Astor, Viscountess Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Bracken, B. Colfox, Major William Philip
Balniel, Lord Brown, Ernest (Leith) Colville, Major D. J.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Bullock, Captain Malcolm Cranbourne, Viscount
Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Savery, S. S.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Hore-Belisha, Leslie Scott, James
Davies, Dr. Vernon Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Skelton, A. N.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hunter, Dr. Joseph Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Haliam)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Jones, F. Llewellyn-(Flint) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Smithers, Waldron
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Somerset, Thomas
Edmondson, Major A. J. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Margesson, Captain H. D. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Elmley, Viscount Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Everard, W. Lindsay Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Fison, F. G. Clavering Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Ford, Sir P. J. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Muirhead, A. J. Thomson, Sir F.
Ganzoni, Sir John Nathan, Major H. L Todd, Capt. A. J.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Glassey, A. E. Penny, Sir George Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Gray, Milner Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Wells, Sydney R.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Womersley, W. J.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Gunston, Captain D. W. Remer, John R.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Ross, Major Ronald D. Major the Marquess of itchfield and Sir Victor Warrender.
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)

Question, "That these words be there inserted," put accordingly, and agreed to.

Major ELLIOT

I beg to move, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. We have now reached a point when the Committee is going to be asked to embark on the uncharted seas of a manuscript Amendment, not submitted from this side, but from the Government side of the House. With the whole of the Civil Service behind it, with all their advisers, Ministers have only been able to come to the conclusion as to what they wish to submit to this Committee with the last few hours, or indeed within a few minutes of actually coming down to the House. Four hours ago we suggested that we should be glad to have a discussion as briefly as possible on the important Amendment raising issues of very great importance to the ex-service men of the country, the Amendment which has just been added to the Bill. The Minister refused that arrangement and eventually closured the discussion when many Members were still anxious to speak, and when points of considerable importance to the ex-service men of the country still remained to be discussed. Even the lucid mind of the Parliamentary Secretary seemed to me to be a little blurred.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that we cannot discuss the decision of the Committee.

Major ELLIOT

I was trying to point out that the time had arrived when the Committee should report progress and ask leave to sit again, when the acute mind of the Parliamentary Secretary had become blurred. Now it is perfectly clear that the Committee would be in a hopeless position if it were asked to consider not merely the manuscript Amendment, but manuscrift Amendments to the Amendment. The Opposition has submitted, as it has a right to do, certain manuscript Amendments to the manuscript Amendment submitted by the Minister of Health, and certainly if the Minister of Health has a right to submit not merely a manuscript Amendment but a manuscript Sub-section, the Opposition has a perfect right to submit Amendments.

Hon. Members who sit above and below the gangway opposite find themselves, I am sure, in full agreement with me when I say that all-night sittings do not lead to legislation which is a credit to this House. [Interruption.] I have sat patiently all the evening, and if the hon. Member, for whom I have the greatest respect, desires to debate, let him come into the body of the Committee. We are always glad to have his genial presence. We are always glad to hear his voice, but even the hon. Member who has interrupted is so far exhausted that, instead of joining in debate, he can only indulge in inarticulate ejaculations. On that side of the Committee as well as on this a certain exhaustion has supervened, and it is time we reported progress and asked leave to sit again. We have been more than willing to fall in with the wishes of the Minister. If the Minister could suggest any means by which reasonable discussion can take place on this Measure, of course we would be willing to consider it, but it is useless for any Minister to expect to ride roughshod over the House of Commons. The closure has been moved with remorseless frequency by the Minister this evening. No such scene of persistent and shameful obstruction has taken place on this side as took place when we brought forward the Widows' Pensions Bill, which became the parent Act of which this is merely an amending Bill. It was described by right hon. Members opposite in very extreme terms. The hon. Lady, the Parliamentary Secretary, took part in the debate.

Miss LAWRENCE

I was not in the House then.

Major ELLIOT

I was led away by the personality of the hon. Lady the Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson), who sits behind the Parliamentary Secretary. For the moment she overshadowed in my mind her more famous colleague. The Committee is obviously in no fit state to discuss issues of the importance of those which are now being raised. Questions affecting the ex-service men have been raised and summarily dismissed. The Minister has a right to move the Closure and the Committee to accept it, but we are faced with a repetition of this process. We are faced with a continuation of this discussion, and if we have been, as we have, finding ourselves in difficulty with Amendments which are printed and Amendments to these Amendments which are also printed, in what state shall we be when we are asking your guidance, Mr. Chairman, on manuscript Amendments to manuscript Amendments to this Amendment? I submit that the Minister of Health is not doing even his own Bill justice; it is not doing the Committee justice; and it is certainly not doing justice to either of the Opposition parties.

When Members have been for a long time fastening their attention upon the Clauses of an exceedingly intricate Bill, it is not fair now to embark on a new series of discussions on the basis of an Amendment on which the Minister himself did not decide until this afternoon, and which the Minister himself has four times corrected in his own hand. Outside the one we possess there is not a single copy in "roneo" or in print, and it is impossible for hon. Members to submit any Amendments to it. I say without hesitation that it is not possible to conduct the discussion as it ought to be conducted. It is not possible to examine these grave issues in the way in which they should be examined in justice to those people who are vitally affected by every shade of meaning of the Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

A similar Motion was moved about four hours ago. I take the hon. Gentleman's word about the time. What has transpired since has not led to such progress as would lead me willingly to accept this Motion. On the Second Heading of this Bill I explained the urgency of it; I said we were working to a time-table. Every member of the House knew that such criticisms and comments as there ought to be should have been put as briefly and concisely as possible. I am not complaining of people speaking on the Bill—far be it from me—but I have had few illustrations of any desire on the part of hon. Members opposite to help me to keep my timetable. Nobody is less anxious than I am to sit at this hour of the night. I have other duties to perform, and I should prefer to be in my bed. It is absurd for the hon. Gentleman to say I am riding roughshod over the Committee. I am not standing here with a majority of 200 behind me. I am told I am here on suffrance. If that be so, I have carried the Committee so far with me with its consent.

What is the point at issue? The point is that the Amendment to be taken is a manuscript Amendment which is to be taken if this Amendment is not carried. A manuscript Amendment is no new thing. As hon. Members know, very substantial Amendments have been brought before the House in manuscript. The manuscript Amendment with which we have to do our best is quite simple. If hon. Members will co-operate with me, I shall be only too glad to have their co-operation in considering such manuscript Amendments to the Amendment as have already been handed in. Now we have gone so far we ought to make further progress. Not that I am anxious to keep Members away from their homes: but I submit that, having sat so long and achieved so little, we are entitled to ask the Committee to continue sitting to deal with the next Amendment.

Captain GUNSTON

I rise with an easy conscience, because I have not taken up five minutes of the time of the Committee since four o'clock this afternoon. When the right hon. Gentleman suggests blame, I would have him remember that he would have had much greater progress if he had shown a more accommodating spirit. If he had accepted the Liberal Amendment which he was compelled to accept some hours before he did, he would have made much more progress than he has done. The manuscript Amendments are often introduced to meet points made by the Opposition, but I think we have a right to complain of manuscript Amendments being put in at this time of night. We have another reason for the Motion. During the last hour very disquieting new facts have come to light about ex-service men, and many of us on this side of the Committee are very worried about them. It may be necessary to move another manuscript Amendment to the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment to safeguard the rights of ex-service men's widows. It is very difficult to do that unless the back benchers can have the Amendment before them. The right hon. Gentleman is putting back benchers in a very difficult position indeed.

Mr. BALFOUR

I ventured to enter a protest when the Minister first indicated he was to submit at this stage a manuscript Amendment. We then moved to report progress. We have got beyond that stage and carried the Amendment which was before the Committee and was on the Order Paper. We have now arrived at the stage of considering whether we should not report progress because we are brought face to face with new business before the Committee—an Amendment which we have not yet heard read from the Chair and to which we know there is a series of manuscript Amendments. I have on

many occasions listened to debates where manuscript Amendments have been submitted to the House, but they have been manuscript Amendments resulting from the debate. This is a new experience, to have a most important Amendment which should be on the Order Paper for the business of the day, but which is handed across the Table by the Minister to the Leader of the Opposition. To expect us to consider that business is an abuse, an absolute abuse, of the privileges of back benchers on this side.

If there is any suspicion of obstructive tactics in this Committee, where have the obstructive tactics come from? The only speeches supporting these proposals which have been heard have come from the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary, with the exception of one speech of a few sentences. It is quite clear that the Government are receiving no assistance in this Debate from their own side. The obstruction, too, is entirely on that side of the House. As a back bench Member, I wish to enter a most emphatic protest against our being asked to push through Measures in this way and to conduct our business in this manner. The Minister gave us his reasons why we should not report Progress. His reasons were urgency and working to a time-table. The tragedy of recent legislation has been urgency and working to a time-table. For heaven's sake, let us take an extra week to get this Bill through, so that when it is finished it will be a workable Measure understanded of the people and covering all the people whom it was meant to include. I do not wish to take up the time of the Committee any further, but simply to make it clear, as a back bench Member of this Committee, that I protest most emphatically against the way the business has been conducted.

Mr. GREENWOOD

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 238; Noes, 79.

Division No. 29.] AYES. [4.54 a.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. w. (Fife, West) Ammon, Charles George Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Arnott, John Barr, James
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Aske, Sir Robert Batey, Joseph
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Ayles, Walter Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)
Alpass, J. H. Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Bellamy, Albert
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Richards, R.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hunter, Dr. Joseph Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Benson, G. Isaacs, George Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Romeril, H. G.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) John, William (Rhondda, West) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Birkett, W. Norman Johnston, Thomas Rowson, Guy
Blindell, James Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Bowen, J. W. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Broad, Francis Alfred Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sanders, W. S.
Brockway, A. Fenner Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Sandham, E.
Bromfield, William Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Sawyer, G. F.
Brothers, M. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Scott, James
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Scurr, John
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Kelly, W. T. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Kennedy, Thomas Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Buchanan, G. Kinley, J. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Burgess, F. G. Lang, Gordon Sherwood, G. H.
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Shield, George William
Caine, Derwent Hall Lathan, G. Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Cameron, A. G. Law, Albert (Bolton) Shillaker, J. F.
Cape, Thomas Law, A. (Rosendale) Shinwell, E.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lawrence, Susan Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Charleton, H. C. Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Simmons, C. J.
Chater, Daniel Lawson, John James Sinkinson, George
Church, Major A. G. Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sitch, Charles H.
Cluse, W. S. Leach, W. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Compton, Joseph Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Daggar, George Lewis, T. (Southampton) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Dallas, George Lindley, Fred W. Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Dalton, Hugh Lloyd, C. Ellis Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery) Longbottom, A. W. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Longden, F. Sorensen, R.
Dickson, T. Lunn, William Spero, Dr. G. E.
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Stamford, Thomas W.
Dukes, C. McElwee, A. Stephen, Campbell
Ede, James Chuter McEntee, V. L. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Edge, Sir William Mackinder, W. Strauss, G. R.
Edmunds, J. E. McKinlay, A. Sullivan, J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) MacLaren, Andrew Sutton, J. E.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth) McShane, John James Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Elmley, Viscount Mansfield, W. Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Foot, Isaac Marley, J. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Freeman, Peter Mathers, George Thurtle, Ernest
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Matters, L. W. Tinker, John Joseph
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Messer, Fred Toole, Joseph
Gibbins, Joseph Middleton, G. Tout, W. J.
Gill, T. H. Mills, J. E. Townend, A. E.
Glassey, A. E. Milner, J. Vaughan, D. J.
Gossling, A. G. Montague, Frederick Walker, J.
Gould, F. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Wallace, H. W.
Gray, Milner Morley, Ralph Wallhead, Richard C.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Mort, D. L. Watkins, F. C.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Moses, J. J. H. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Wellock, Wilfred
Grundy, Thomas W. Muff, G. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Murnin, Hugh Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Nathan, Major H. L. West, F. R.
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Westwood, Joseph
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Oldfield, J. R. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Hardle, George D. Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Haycock, A. W. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hayday, Arthur Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hayes, John Henry Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Paling, Wilfrid Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Palmer, E. T. Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Herriotts, J. Perry, S. F. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Hirst, G. H. (York,W.R.,Wentworth) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Wise, E. F.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Phillips, Dr. Marion Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Hoffman, P. C. Potts, John S.
Hollins, A. Price, M. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hopkin, Daniel Pybus, Percy John Mr. Barnes and Mr. William Whitely.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Quibell, D. J. K.
Horrabin, J. F. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Butler, R. A.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Castle Stewart, Earl of
Astor, Viscountess Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)
Balfour, George (Hampstcad) Bracken, B. Colfox, Major William Philip
Balniel, Lord Bullock, Captain Malcolm Colville, Major D. J.
Cranbourne, Viscount Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Smithers, Waldron
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Somerset, Thomas
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lamb, Sir J. Q. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Duckworth, G. A. V. Margesson, Captain H. D. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Edmondson, Major A, J. Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Thomson, Sir F.
Everard, W. Lindsay Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Todd, Capt. A. J.
Fison, F. G. Clavering Muirhead, A. J. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
ford, Sir P. J. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Ramsbotham, H. Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Ganzoni, Sir John Remer, John R. Warrender, Sir Victor
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesail) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Ross, Major Ronald D. Wells, Sydney R.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Womersley, W. J.
Gunston, Captain D. W. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Savery, S. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Skelton, A. N. Sir George Penny and Major the Marquess of Titchfield.
Henderson, Capt. R. n. (Oxf'd, Henley) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Smith-Carington, Neville W.

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 79; Noes, 238.

Division No. 30.] AYES. [5.4 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ganzoni, Sir John Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Savery, S. S.
Astor, Viscountess Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Skelton, A. N.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Greene, W. P. Crawford Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hailam)
Balniel, Lord Gunston, Captain D. W. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Smithers, Waldron
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Somerset, Thomas
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Bracken, B. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Butler, R. A. Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Castle Stewart, Earl of Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Stuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Colfox, Major William Philip Lamb, Sir J. Q. Thomson, Sir F.
Colville, Major D. J. MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Cranbourne, Viscount Margesson, Captain H. D. Todd, Capt. A. J.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Cuiverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West) Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester) Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Duckworth. G. A. V. Muirhead, A. J. Wells, Sydney R.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Womersley, W. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Ramsbotham, H. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. Remer, John R.
Everard, W. Lindsay Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesail) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Fison, F. G. Clavering Ross, Major Ronald D. Sir George Penny and Sir Victor Warrender.
Ford, Sir P. J. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Blindell, James Compton, Joseph
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Bowen, J. W. Daggar, George
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Broad, Francis Alfred Dallas, George
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Brockway, A. Fenner Dalton, Hugh
Alpass, J. H. Bromfield, William Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)
Ammon, Charles George Brothers, M. Denman, Hon. R. D.
Arnott, John Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield) Dickson, T.
Aske, Sir Robert Brown, Ernest (Leith) Dudgeon, Major C. R.
Ayles, Walter Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Dukes, C.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Buchanan, G. Ede, James Chuter
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Burgess, F. G. Edge, Sir William
Barr, James Burgin, Dr. E, L. Edmunds, J. E.
Batey, Joseph Caine, Derwent Hall Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham) Cameron, A. G. Edwards, E. (Morpeth)
Bellamy, Albert Cape, Thomas Elmley, Viscount
Benn. Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Foot, Isaac
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Charleton, H. C. Freeman, Peter
Benson, G. Chater, Daniel Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Bentham, Dr. Ethel Church, Major A. G. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Cluse, W. S. Gibbins, Joseph
Birkett, W. Norman Cocks, Frederick Seymour Gill, T. H.
Glassey, A. E. Longden, F. Sherwood, G. H.
Gossling, A. G. Lunn, William Shield, George William
Gould, F. Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Gray, Milner McElwee, A. Shillaker, J. F.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) McEntee, V. L. Shinwell, E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Mackinder, W. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) McKinlay, A. Simmons, C. J.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) MacLaren, Andrew Sinkinson, George
Grundy, Thomas W. McShane, John James Sitch, Charles H.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Mansfield, W. Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Marley, J. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Hall, Capt. W. p. (Portsmouth, C.) Mathers, George Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Matters, L. W. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Hardie, George D. Messer, Fred Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Haycock, A. W. Middleton, G. Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Hayday, Arthur Mills, J. E. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Hayes, John Henry Milner, J. Sorensen, R.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.) Montague, Frederick Spero, Dr. G. E.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Stamford, Thomas W.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Morley, Ralph Stephen, Campbell
Herriotts, J. Mort, D. L. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hirst, G. H. (York, W.R.,Wentworth) Moses, J. J. H. Strauss, G. R.
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent) Sullivan, J.
Hoffman, P. C. Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick) Sutton, J. E.
Hollins, A. Muff, G. Taylor R. A. (Lincoln)
Hopkin, Daniel Murnin, Hugh Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S.W.)
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Nathan, Major H L. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Horrabin, J. F. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Thurtle, Ernest
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Oldfield, J. R. Tinker, John Joseph
Hunter, Dr. Joseph Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston) Toole, Joseph
Isaacs, George Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley) Tout, W. J.
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon) Townend, A. E.
John, William (Rhondda, West) Owen, H. F. (Hereford) Vaughan, D. J.
Johnston, Thomas Paling, Wilfrid Walker, J.
Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint) Palmer, E. T. Wallace, H. W.
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvartown) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wallhead, Richard C.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Perry, S. F. Watkins, F. C.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Peters, Dr. Sidney John Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Phillips, Dr. Marlon Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. Potts, John S. Wellock, Wilfred
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford) Price, M. P. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Kelly, W. T. Pybus, Percy John Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Kennedy, Thomas Quibell, D. J. K. West, F. R.
Kinley, J. Ramsay, T. B. Wilson Westwood, Joseph
Lang, Gordon Richards, R. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Lathan, G. Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Law, Albert (Bolton) Romeril, H. G. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Law, A. (Rosendale) Rosbotham, D. S. T. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Lawrence, Susan Rowson, Guy Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Salter, Dr. Alfred Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Lawson, John James Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Sanders, W. S. Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Leach, W. Sandham, E. Wise, E. F.
Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Sawyer, G. F. Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Scott, James
Lewis, T. (Southampton) Scurr, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lindley, Fred W. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Mr. Barnes and Mr. William Whiteley.
Lloyd, C. Ellis Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Longbottom, A. W. Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Mr. GREENWOOD

I beg to move, in page 2, line 11, after the words last inserted, to insert the words: (iv) that having joined the Naval or Military Forces of the Crown for temporary service only in connection with any war previous to the late War, he served during that War as a man of those Forces for a period of not less than two years and died within three years of the termination of that period; or. I cannot imagine a more clearly expressed Amendment.

HON. MEMBERS

Read it again.

Mr. GREENWOOD

Certainly. I want hon. Members to understand it.

"(iv) that having; joined the Naval and Military Forces—"

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

Excuse me, but the copy handed to me says: having joined the Naval or Military Forces of the Crown. The one which the right hon. Gentleman has just read out said: having joined the Naval and Military Forces of the Crown. I would like to be clear that it is the same Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

That was my mistake. This is an attempt to bring into the scope of the Bill those who served in wars prior to the late War—people of similar classes and categories. The words "for temporary service only" are included because the professional soldier is already dealt with, and this is to deal with the same kind of people as those with whom we have already dealt in the case of the late War—of the man, for instance, who was not a professional soldier, but who volunteered during, say, the Boer War. The end of the Amendment follows pretty much the arrangements of the principal Act, that is, it applies to those persons who served with the forces for a period of not less than two years and died within three years of the termination of that period. We have already dealt with, and agreed to, an Amendment dealing with much the same kind of people who served in the late War, and, in spite of this threatened flood of manuscript Amendments, I cannot think that the Committee will seriously disagree with this Amendment. It is an attempt to express the ideas proclaimed in Amendments such as those submitted by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), and I hope, therefore, that the Committee will, with its present sweet reasonableness, be prepared to accept this Amendment without threatening us with the manifold manuscript Amendments to manuscript Amendments with which we were threatened by the hon. Member for Kelvingrove (Major Elliot).

Mr. HORE-BELISHA

I want to put, very briefly and quite formally, the point that has been raised with great force on several occasions and to which the Minister absolutely refuses to refer in his reply. If this Amendment were not moved, is it not a fact that these sailors and soldiers who served in some previous war would come in under Sub-section (2) of this section because they would have been in an occupation which was at some time within the said period an employment in respect of which contributions under the principal Act would have been paid. Is it not a fact that from the moment they joined the forces they were deemed to be insured persons? If that is so, there is no qualification placed on them, outside of this Amendment, of having to be in the forces for two years. Why move this Amendment except for the purpose of placing an additional qualication on these men? Do they come under the Sub-section or do they not? If they do not, we shall have to accept the Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

Under the 1925 Act provision was made for people who served in the late War, but there is nothing in our legislation now to protect the people who served in earlier wars, though as a matter of fact, if they were professional soldiers and part of the regular Army, they would be of the insurable class and would come into the second category mentioned on the top of page 2. But the case which it is intended to cover is not the case of those people who would be covered under Subsection (2), but people such as the man in the City office who joined the C.I.V. during the Boer war and whose widow would not, as the Bill stands now, be eligible for a pension. We are not restricting but actually making a pension available for more people by making this scheme apply to earlier wars, as it does to the late War.

Major G. DAVIES

I have handed in a manuscript Amendment. I confess that in common with most Members of the Committee I am labouring under a considerable disadvantage in not having received from the Minister a copy of the Amendment which he is putting forward and I should like to know when my Amendment will be taken.

The CHAIRMAN

I will call upon the hon. and gallant Member later.

Major NATHAN

On the occasion of the last Amendment I put a question in two different forms which the Minister omitted to answer—I imagine through inadvertence. I now wish to ask a question to which I hope I may receive an answer. I understand that the professional soldiers come within the purview of the Act irrespective of this Amendment altogether. The object of this Amendment is to bring within the Act those who joined for temporary service only, but there is a third class deserving of the sympathy of this Committee—a class composed neither of professional soldiers, nor of those who joined for temporary service only. I refer to the volunteer who was under a permanent enlistment. He joined the forces for an indefinite period and, if called upon for foreign service, would be called up not for temporary service but for permanent service as a volunteer. I should like to know whether I am correct in my interpretation that he comes under the Act or, if he does not, that the Minister will modify the terms of the Amendment so as to include the volunteer.

Captain GUNSTON

I should like to put in a word for the old militia. I want to know whether the old militiaman will be included in this Bill or in this Amendment. After all, he is a man who gave voluntary service before the Territorials were built up and we owe a debt of gratitude to him. He was not a volunteer but more or less a Regular soldier. I want to raise another point in regard to the two years' period. This Amendment does not relieve my anxiety. Do I understand that if a man served for 23 months in the South African war and then went into some uninsurable occupation and died within three years, his widow will not be entitled to a pension? We were told a little earlier in the evening that it was right to give a pension in respect of a man who had gone into an insurable occupation, it might be only for a week or a month. I think it raises a very big issue. I am surprised that we have not the help of the Liberal party in this matter. It is our duty to safeguard the ex-service man. I hope the hon. Lady will be reasonable and accept some Amendment to safeguard the position of ex-service men whether militiamen, or C.I.V. men or men of any other sort.

Mr. SHAKESPEARE

I am afraid that even at this advanced hour we must occupy some time in trying to safeguard the interests of the ex-service man. Take the case of the widow of a man who was killed in an Indian skirmish in 1845. I should like to know if she would come under the Act?

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I think the Committee will agree that the more the Government try to alter this Bill the more hard cases appear to arise. There is the question of the Royal Defence Corps. It is extremely hard to know, without the Amendment before us, when the qualifying period begins. There is also the question of the women who served—[Interruption].

Mr. SKELTON

On a point of Order. May I suggest that even at this hour of the morning some attempt should be made to keep order.

Mr. WALLHEAD

On a point of Order. Is the hon. and gallant Member attempting to include the widows of "Waacs"?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

With regard to the first point of Order, I wish to say that it would be far more convenient for the Chair if one could hear the speakers, and hon. Members should assist in this matter.

Mr. BUCHANAN

On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to reflect on the conduct of the Chair by stating that some attempt ought to be made to keep order? That is a reflection on the conduct of the Chair. Is it in order?

Sir P. FORD

On that point of Order. Was not the suggestion rather that the Committee must co-operate with the Chair in keeping order?

Mr. SKELTON

That was the impression I intended to convey. If I gave any other impression I most certainly withdraw and apologise.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I was referring to women who served in the, forces, and I want to stress the point.

Mr. WALLHEAD

On a point of Order. I want to know whether it is competent for the hon. and gallant Member to bring into question all these additional widows of the women who—[Interruption]. I want to know whether these widows are included in the Bill financially.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I do not gather what the hon. Member has in mind.

Miss LAWRENCE

We are now dealing solely with the question of widows and we cannot include the question of women who served in the War.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

May I point out that a great many of the women who served in the War were widows.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is out of order in discussing any but widows.

Captain GUNSTON

May I point out that we have not been provided with copies of the Amendment.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I have read the Amendment from the chair, and assume that each Member has listened to it and therefore knows what we are discussing. I ask hon. Members, even though I do give a certain amount of latitude at this hour of the morning, not to forget the dignity of this House.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

I was discussing those widows who actually served in the forces in the War. While a good many widows did not serve in the war—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. Member is repeating himself. Unless he keeps himself more strictly to the Amendment before the Committee I must ask him to resume his seat.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

The point I want to make is that those women who served in the forces and who were married and who afterwards became widows are entitled to pensions, if they have qualified according to the terms of the Amendment, which has been moved by the Minister of Health. I want to know whether these women, who were nurses and who served in other capacities are included in this Amendment or not. Are women who served and whose husbands were not soldiers included or are they not?

Miss LAWRENCE

I shall observe your exhortation, Sir, and should respect the dignity of the House in every way. This is not an assembly of schoolchildren. [An hon. Member: "Nor of schoolmistresses."] The task we are engaged on is a very important one and a task which is becoming doubly important. We do not want the time of the Committee to be wasted.

Captain WATERHOUSE

On a point of order. Is it in order for the right hon. Lady to give us a small lecture?

Miss LAWRENCE

The volunteers are the people who will be covered by this Amendment. The militia are in exactly the same position as the volunteers.

There are not very many people covered by this Amendment. The Boer war is now a long way behind us, and the earlier wars may have left one or two widows and we may possibly even be benefiting one or two widows of the Crimean War. With regard to contributions, it is perfectly true that people who fall just outside will be exactly like people who fall just outside the limits of the 1925 Act, and of the Insurance Acts. All those Acts prescribe a minimum of contributions and of insurance period, and we must draw a line. The line which has been drawn in the whole series of insurance Acts, or in this Bill, will, of course, leave a few people outside. This Bill deals with certain grievances, and this Amendment is put down in order to cover all the material points of the other Amendments which have been put down. We are taking the volunteers in all previous wars. We have omitted the air service because, obviously, we had not to deal with air combatants in any previous war, but this Amendment will help a considerable number of persons who would otherwise be left out. Some Members are still unhappy in regard to Section 44 (5) of the 1925 Act. That Section only applies to people who served in the late War. This Amendment is in no sense a restrictive Amendment.

Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON

I willingly observe what the hon. Lady said at the outset. I remember well sitting on the Front Bench opposite when the previous Pensions Act was going through, and I remember hearing long speeches about the injustice of the Act. Whatever be the intentions of the Government it becomes evident from these discussions that, do as they will, they cannot avoid injustices. I really think that in this Amendment there is lurking quite a considerable injustice to the militia and to the yeomanry. I will explain why I think so. I agree that the regular professional soldier is covered in Subsection (2). It is also quite plain that the volunteer who joined, say, the C.I.V. in the South African war is provided for in the Government Amendment, because he, too, joined "the naval or military forces of the Crown for temporary service only." But the militia and the yeomanry fall within neither of these categories. They were neither professional soldiers whose normal occupation could be said to bring them within Subsection (2) nor were they people who joined for temporary service only. If the hon. Lady had said that the militia came in under Sub-section (2) I should have agreed that the point does not arise. But she distinctly said that the militia and the yeomanry do not come under Sub-section (2) but come in under this Amendment of the Government. But I would point out that all that this Amendment of the Government does is to bring in men who joined for temporary purposes only. I agree that volunteers are covered, but I do not think the militia and yeomanry are covered.

Mr. SULLIVAN

Were they liable for foreign service?

Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON

Yes.

Mr. SULLIVAN

They would not.

Mr. WALLHEAD

I wish to make clear this point as to the volunteer. I suppose that, ordinarily, my widow would be left outside the purview of this Bill, but if the volunteer were brought in my wife would come in because I was a volunteer for six years before and during the period of the Boer War, and following it for six years?

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

In this Clause there appear the words "for temporary service only." I would like to ask the hon. Lady whether there is any legal definition of what that term is, otherwise it appears to me serious difficulties may arise if this Amendment is carried, because it is not clear that there is a definition in law of "temporary service." It is not only a definition of "temporary service" to-day that is required, but of what temporary service was 30 years ago. I earnestly ask whether the definition is sufficiently clear, or whether it is not necessary to put in words to make certain what "temporary service" is. In the main Clause moved by the Minister there are no such words as "temporary service" at all.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

There are quite a number of Amendments, and the question of temporary service is among them. I, therefore, think that we should take them at this stage in the debate.

Miss LAWRENCE

I should prefer to come to the Amendments on which all these points arise.

Mr. STANLEY

We have no knowledge of these Amendments, and I do not know whether the points are covered by them.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

What I suggest is that we should take the Amendments to the proposed Amendment and if any point is not dealt with in them, the question could be argued when the principal Amendment is put to the Committee.

Sir B. PETO

Do I understand that we shall have an opportunity of discussing the Government Amendment after the manuscript Amendments to the Government Amendments are disposed of, because I want to raise a point which will not be dealt with in any Amendment?

Captain CROOKSHANK

May I ask the hon. Lady a question? I am quite certain her answer will make an enormous difference.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I think the general wish of the House is that the-Question should be now taken.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I will ask you the question, Sir, and you can judge between me and the hon. Lady.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The hon. and gallant Member is in possession of the Committee, but I suggest, for the convenience of the Committee, that the point which he is raising is also raised in an Amendment. It may be advisable to go on with the Amendments and clear them out of the way. If any question remains unsettled it might be raised when the new Amendment proposed by the Minister of Health is again before the Committee.

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

I am perfectly willing to accept your statement that this point comes under an Amendment and that I may raise the point when that Amendment comes up.

Mr. REMER

Would it be possible, as a matter of convenience, for you, Sir, to state what Amendments you propose to call.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I will call upon the first Amendment.

Major DAVIES

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 1, to leave out the word "joined," and to insert instead thereof the words "enlisted in."

It is quite obvious that we are suffering from some of the disadvantages which we foresaw in dealing with an Amendment which was first read to us by the Minister and afterwards by you, Sir. I have succeeded in obtaining a copy for the sake of greater accuracy and for the benefit of Members who have not even got manuscript copies. I will state that the Amendment begins with the words: Having joined the naval and military forces of the Crown for temporary service, Some of the Amendments brought forward make me hesitate to bring forward something so trivial as a verbal alteration. I would like to suggest to the hon. Lady that she should omit the word "joined" and substitute the words "enlisted in." Anyone who reads the Amendment will find that it gets into verbal difficulties by the use of the quite unofficial term "man," because it seeks to combine the members of the Navy and Army who are not commissioned. We have some rather curious expressions in this Amendment. Obviously it is not intended to include commissioned officers. The phrase "joined" is an unmilitary one so far as I am aware, although it has become common. The usual phrase is "enlisted in." This proposal deals with enlisted men and warrant officers—although it is not clear—and non-commissioned officers, and not the commissioned ranks. This raises the whole issue, and I suggest that the hon. Lady should accept my Amendment.

Mr. STANLEY

The term used is "a man having joined the forces for temporary service only"—for service in connection with any war.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

There are other Amendments to the proposed Amendment to be called.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I wish to find out whether there is anybody at all concerned with this provision. If there is, then such persons would have to be enlisted in accordance with the terms of my hon. and gallant Friend's Amendment. But are there any figures to show that anybody at all will come within the Sub-section?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

The Amendment now before the Committee is to omit the word "joined," and to substitute the words "enlisted in." That is the only question before the Committee at the moment.

Sir P. FORD

It might facilitate this discussion if you, Sir, would read out to us the manuscript Amendments which have been put in. If they were read out we would be in a better position to know where there is overlapping in the questions raised.

Mr. BALFOUR

On a point of Order. I have been here a considerable time, and I have no Paper before me giving me any information.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

That is not a point of Order. However inconvenient it may be to have manuscript Amendments put in they are quite in Order when the House is in Committee.

Captain CROOKSHANK

On a point of Order. I think I was in possession of the Committee when I gave way.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN

I informed the hon. and gallant Member that he cannot raise his point on this particular Amendment.

Captain CROOKSHANK

Exactly, and I was proceeding to deal with the Amendment.

6.0 a.m.

Miss LAWRENCE

The word "enlisted" is singularly inappropriate, because it applies to the professional soldier. He is the only person who enlists. The militia men are called up or join; the volunteers are called up or join. The word "enlisted" would be entirely inappropriate to volunteers. It is confined, as indeed hon. Members who belong to the Army ought to know, to the professional soldiers who come under Section 182. I cannot therefore accept the word "enlistment."

Mr. STANLEY

I should like to ask the hon. Lady a question and I do so without any intention of obstruction. We may find that a mistake has been made. This Amendment definitely says that a man must join a naval or a military force for the purpose of the war and that means that he must join it either in contemplation of a war or actually join during the war. Take the case nut by an hon. Member below the Gangway of a man who was a volunteer two years before the Boer war and continued to be a volunteer during the war. As he had been in the volunteers two years before the war, it could not be said that he joined the force for the purposes of any war and he would be excluded. I submit that that is an important point and that, if I am right, a large number of men are omitted from this Bill whom it is intended to include. I hope the hon. Lady will tell me if I am wrong or, if I am right and if some mistake has been made, that she will give me some assurance that the matter will be looked into before the Report stage and some correction made.

Miss LAWRENCE

rose in her place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but the CHAIRMAN withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN

On a point of Order. I understood that the business before the Committee before my hon. Friend rose just now was the Amendment to substitute the words "enlisted in" for the word "joined." As I understand it, it was a point concerning the Amendment as a whole and not the particular Amendment before the Committee. Your predecessor had laid it down that we were first to discuss the manuscript Amendments to the manuscript Amendment and afterwards we would have an opportunity of discussing any point in the manuscript Amendment itself which had not been touched in the manuscript Amendments to it. Is the right time to discuss these matters after the manuscript Amendments to the manuscript Amendment have been disposed of?

Major DAVIES

In view of the explanation of the Parliamentary Secretary I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment to the proposed Amendment.

Amendment to proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 2, to leave out the word "temporary."

When this Amendment was first brought forward in manuscript by the right hon. Gentleman it was very hard to understand what it meant. Two points struck me. One was the time limit and the other was that only temporary service counted. It looked to me as if the regular soldier were to be barred altogether.

Mr. REMER

I have handed in an Amendment which comes I think on the line before this one.

The CHAIRMAN

This is the Amendment which I have called.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I put down the Amendment and both the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary have already explained to me that the regular Army are already covered in another Clause. My Amendment was to take out the word "temporary" and though I am satisfied with what has been said on this occasion, I formally move the Amendment as other members wish to discuss it.

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

Has not the question of temporary service and its meaning been left for discussion on the general Amendment? If so my hon. and gallant Friend need not move this Amendment on my account.

Captain CROOKSHANK

Perhaps I can ask at this stage the question which I endeavoured to ask previously. The question is whether temporary or ordinary service could cover the case of these widows. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether as a matter of fact there is anybody concerned at all. The hon. Member has moved to leave out "temporary" to allow the widows of those men who served for two years to get pensions. I take the opportunity, in supporting the amendment, of asking the Minister whether, if he leaves "temporary" in, there will be anybody covered by this Sub-section at all. I ask the question for this reason. Is this a question of pre-war wars, if one may use such an expression—wars before the great war—because it does make a difference as to whether we are discussing someone who exists or not? If you leave in "temporary," the other qualification must be that they must have had two years' service. I should like to ask what wars he has in mind. The hon. Lady did say something about three or four people whose husbands had served in the Crimea. I rather doubt whether she is right. At the time of the Crimean war there were in fact no temporary soldiers. All those who went out there were on the regular establishment. [Interruption.]

The CHAIRMAN

I must make an appeal to hon. Members below the gangway to allow the hon. and gallant Member to proceed with his argument.

Captain CROOKSHANK

There cannot be more than a handful of people concerned. I cannot call to mind any war having volunteers who were employed for two years on temporary service. My recollection about the South African War, or rather what I have read about it, was that the volunteers—and that is not using the volunteers in the technical sense—went out in a temporary capacity. They were only taken on for periods of 12 months at a time; they did not stay till the end. I should like to know whether anybody at all is concerned with temporary service for two years. I support the Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

A good deal of what the hon. and gallant Member has said might well have been put to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edgbaston (Mr. Chamberlain), who himself had an Amendment down to delete the words "during the late war," presumably on the supposition that there were such people employed.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

On a point of Order. I wish to draw attention to what the Minister has just said, which fully bears out our contention.

The CHAIRMAN

That is not a point of Order.

Captain CROOKSHANK

I intended to ask my right hon. Friend that question when he moved his Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I am asked who are the people who will benefit by this Clause. I must clearly wait and see the applications that are received. I am not going to say that there was anybody in the Crimea who was not outside the category of regular troops whose widows might be still alive. I imagine hon. Members opposite know full well that there must be quite a substantial number of people who served during the Boer War for the whole period of two years.

Captain CROOKSHANK

Not temporarily.

Mr. GREENWOOD

I submit that there are for our purposes two categories of serving soldiers—those who are professional soldiers and covered by the Bill, and those who were not professional soldiers, but who entered the Army temporarily—however long the period may be is not really of much consideration—but who entered the Army and were outside the ranks of the professional soldier. We are trying to deal with them. If I am asked how many there are, I say quite frankly, as other Ministers have had to say in similar circumstances, that I do not know. I do know that the Financial Resolution covers the amount, whatever it may be. The Amendment which has been moved by the hon. and gallant Member is to take out the word "temporary." The Clause would then read: that having joined the Naval or Military Forces of the Crown for service only in connection with any war previous to the late War, and so on. I am afraid that with that deletion the Amendment would not read. What the Committee has to keep in its mind is to draw a distinction between the serving soldier and the people who come into service during some war temporarily who are outside Insurance Acts.

Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE

The right hon. Gentleman was not here when I raised this point before, and in view of the fact that my hon. Friend has moved this Amendment, I must ask him to bear with me if I suggest that this point of temporary service is not yet clear. I asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health whether there was any legal definition of the words "temporary service" because, otherwise, it appears to me that we shall get into a great difficulty over this matter. In the main Amendment the use of the words "temporary service" does not appear. Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether it would not be better to leave out these words unless there is a definite legal definition of what temporary service means? It is not only a question of to-day or of the late war, but it may be a question of 30 years ago. I suggest, therefore, that it would be far better to leave out these words, even if it means a slight adjustment of the wording elsewhere.

Major NATHAN

I think that the Minister misapprehends the facts and that that is shown by the form of the Amendment he has presented in manu- script. I wish to refer to the remarks made by the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank). He assumed, as this Amendment also assumes, that the Army consists, for the purpose of this Amendment, of professional soldiers and those who join the Army for a temporary service, a specific war. But, to use the phrase which a very distinguished Member of this House, Mr. Asquith, once used, the dichotomy is not exact. There is a large class of soldiers who come within neither category, neither professional soldiers nor those who joined the Army for temporary service—the Volunteers, including Yeomanry and Militia who were permanent members of H.M. Forces and must have been embodied for the purposes of serving, for example, in the South African war. This Amendment is addressed to bodies like the C.I.V. and the Imperial Yeomanry, which were ad hoc units formed for the express purpose of the South African war. They had their origin in that war and came to an end with the war. There were a very large number of volunteers—a battalion to which I belonged was one of them, and I served with them—who went out either as companies or battalions and are wholly excluded from the operation of this Amendment. I do not believe that that is the intention of the Government. It would be an absurd situation if those who joined in the emergency, and for the purpose of the emergency only, should he at an advantage in relation to those who had undertaken responsibilities in time of peace and implemented their undertaking when the emergency arose. I cannot believe that that is the intention of the Government. This question did not arise on the previous Amendment, because that covered Territorials, Army Reserve and Yeomanry. That is not the situation here, and I would urge the Minister to carry out in the terms of his Amendment what he has shown by his remarks that he intended to do.

Mr. STANLEY