§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment I select is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton).
§ Mr. MAXTON
I beg to move, in page 14, line 45, at the end, to insert the words(5) The National Board may fix a minimum wage for all grades of mine workers provided that this wage is not less than the highest rate for that grade in any district.This is an Amendment which I hope the President of the Board of Trade will see his way to accept. It is an attempt to level up the wages of miners to the best standards obtaining in any part of the country. It is purely a permissive Subsection and does not impose a compulsory duty upon the new National Board, but it does give them some status to press up the wages of miners throughout the country. It has to be linked up with an Amendment which we had hoped to move in an earlier part of the Bill, the consideration of which has been postponed. It is an Amendment to Clause 2, on page 4, at line 41, and is to give to the Central Board the power to collect from the executive boards for the several dstrictslevies, imposed upon them at such times and for such periods as the central council thinks fit in proportion to the output or disposal of their respective districts, or to the profits arising from the ownership of coal mines in their respective districts for the purpose of giving an adequate minimum living wage to all mine workers.That is an attempt to create a national pool, which has been very strongly advocated by the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, into which the more profitable concerns and the more profitable areas should put of their surplus and out of which might be taken amounts that would aid in providing better living conditions in the mining industry. I do not know 266 what to say to persuade the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment. I know that he has worked very hard on this matter since he came into office, as have also the Secretary for Mines and the responsible leaders of the Miners' Federation. They believe this Bill represents the best they can do in the matter of wages, having regard to the political and the economic exigencies of the moment. I have read everything on the question which I have been able to obtain publicly, and I have listened to or read the speeches of my right hon. and hon. Friends, and I have had close conclave with responsible leaders of the Miners' Federation, and I am afraid that I am not yet persuaded that the proposals embodied in this Bill for dealing with miners' wages are the best that we could have expected from the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues.
I can remember my right hon. Friend on one occasion in this House making a statement when we were discussing various schemes put forward by a Conservative Government for putting the power of the State behind one privately-owned industry. On that occasion, my right hon. Friend strongly asserted that the State could not agree to go on creating assets for private capital without insisting upon having some say in the ownership and control of the assets that the State's power of credit created. It seems to me that this Bill aims at turning what is a bad debt, that is the mining industry, into a real asset, and this House has a right to say, on behalf of the State, that, if the power of the State is going to be lent to the mining industry in order to make it a profitable, sound business concern, at least the State has the right to a certain amount of control; and it has a right to declare that every man in the industry, in whatever part of the country he works, whether the natural conditions or the organisation of the industry may be bad or good, who goes down into the mines shall have a decent living wage.
I do not know of any instance where public opinion does not support that point of view. I know the tremendous response that is made to any sympathetic appeal for the miners. I remember when the last Government was in office the then President of the Board of Education, the Noble Lord the Member for 267 Hastings (Lord E. Percy) standing at the Despatch Box and dealing with the question of distress in the mining areas in a way that touched every heart. There is no one anywhere who attempts to deny—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must remind the hon. Member that this Amendment merely has to do with the functions of the board, and the question whether the board shall or shall not have power to fix a minimum wage.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I was merely attempting to persuade the President of the Board of Trade to go a step further in this Bill in the matter of the fixation of a minimum wage. The extent to which I desire him to go is indicated in the Amendment which I have proposed, and I am trying to meet some of the arguments which may be put up against the right hon. Gentleman taking that course. I am trying to deal with the political situation. I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman has been over-impressed by what the coalowners have said to him. I know that that section of public opinion is strongly against the right hon. Gentleman going any further in the direction that I have suggested; in fact, the coal-owners are against him going as far as he has gone in the Bill. It is very easy for the right hon. Gentleman to be over-impressed when negotiating for weeks with a large body of men who imagine they represent public opinion, whereas they are only a very small group representing somewhat narrow and selfish interests.
I am all in favour of the miners being secured a decent living wage. I have evidence which indicates that during the last four or five years, under Conservative rule and Conservative statesmanship, the miners' wages and the conditions existing in the mining industry show that, while in 1924 there were 1,136,600 men earning weekly wages amounting to £3,050,000, by 1928 the number employed had dropped to 896,000 and the wages had dropped to £1,880,000. From 1924 to 1928, the average weekly wage had dropped from £2 13s. 6d. to £2 2s. Since those figures were compiled, the conditions in the coal industry have not improved. Am I to be told now that the House of Commons is impotent to 268 make any contribution towards getting us out of that situation? Those who are pushing this Amendment believe that the very basis of our industrial organisation and the very foundation of any attempt at finding a cure for unemployment must be to improve the purchasing power of the mass of the people.
I have no right to speak of miners as miners because there are no mines in my constituency. A number of miners live in my constituency and work in the pits outside my constituency. Therefore, I am entitled to speak on their behalf as consumers, but, owing to their very low wages, they are extremely bad consumers, and they are not making their proper contribution to the general trade and business of this country. I ask my right hon. Friend to consider this proposal favourably, and to say, with the power of this House behind him, whether he is not able to go the step further that I and those associated with me are asking him to take in this particular Amendment.
Before I came into politics I was employed as a teacher. At that time, the teaching conditions throughout the length and breadth of Great Britain were almost as bad as the mining conditions are to-day. There were parts of the country where a teacher could gather together only a mere handful of pupils over a very wide area, and there were other places where the people were very poor and where there were large aggregations of population, but whether a teacher is teaching in the far north in the Shetlands or in the heart of our wealthiest and most prosperous cities the power of the State has been put behind him, and now the State guarantees to him a living wage. In 1922, a Royal Commission dealt with the question of wages for Scottish teachers, and I remember an hon. Baronet who sat in this very place, the late Sir Henry Craik, who presided over that Commission, and they produced a minimum salary scheme for every corner of the country which was put into operation and which has operated ever since. It was not a stereotyped scale which had to be applied to every individual in every way, but there was elasticity in it, and it allowed variations between one place and another and between one type and another. Ever 269 since that time no teacher has had to face starvation or the fear of starvation. If that can be done for those who play such a responsible part in the national life, surely it can be done for the mining population who are playing a much more fundamental and important part in the life of this country.
I ask the President of the Board of Trade not to reject this Amendment on the ground that it is not technically the best way to secure the result at which I am aiming. I urge the right hon. Gentleman not to do anything of the kind. It is an Amendment which we have had to put down in the best form we could. The intention of my hon. Friends and myself, in moving it, is clear to the right hon. Gentleman, and I am sure that, if he gets a mandate from this House to proceed further along these lines in the way of securing a decent living for the miners, the right hon. Gentleman could devise machinery that would make the Bill an effective thing in the miners' industrial life.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. KELLY
I desire to support the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). Surely, the time has arrived when, after all our talk about our regard for the people, we should lay down a minimum standard below which the miners should not fall. They are engaged in providing for the community, in providing for industry, in providing for all these other purposes, what is a necessity at the present time, and, surely, we have a right to see that those who are engaged upon that work should have a standard of life which not only enables them to do the work, but enables them and their families to have a life of which we can feel a little proud. We hear to-day a great deal about what is required for a reasonable standard of life. There are people who write books about it, and tell us that a particular number of shillings are required before you can purchase those things that go to make up this reasonable standard. I ask the Committee to consider the figures which my hon. Friend gave in moving this Amendment, and I ask them if it is possible for any man to live at a reasonable standard of life upon the wages that were current, and which are likely to be current, in this industry. My hon. Friend 270 mentioned a wage of 42s. a week, and even at the higher rate that he mentioned, namely, 53s. it is, I hold, impossible for any man, I care not what his position may be or where he lives, to live at a reasonable standard of life even upon that higher rate. Indeed, if we were to quote some of those who have written books on this subject—if I quoted, for instance, the figure that the miners would require according to Mr. Rowntree—their wages would have to be much nearer to £4 a week than to the £2 mentioned by my hon. Friend.
I need not speak to you, Mr. Young, of the effects of low wages in the mining industry upon every other industry in the country. You and I, if I may touch on a personal note, were mates together in the engineering trade many years ago, and we realised that even at that time 42s. a week was an inadequate wage, and did not enable men to give their families that to which their families were entitled. I am not going to mention how many years ago that was, but I venture to say that the difference in the cost of living to-day as compared with that time shows that the mineowners of this country, in imposing such a wage upon the mine workers, have not had regard to what is required at the present day. Seeing that the mineowners have not been prepared to agree with those in their employ as to what is a reasonable standard of wages for a reasonable standard of life, it is time that the House of Commons should have regard for the life of the people and the general welfare of the people, and should enact that this council which is being set up should have the opportunity of laying down what is the minimum wage that should operate in this industry. That would enable those who are organised in the industry at least to engage in conference with their employers in order to obtain something better than the figure that might be laid down by the council.
The mining industry is one of the sweated industries of this country. If hon. Members were to examine all the trade boards that exist, they would not find one that asks any of its people, even the lowest-paid labourers, to work for such a wag" as that for which the miners are asked to go down into the bowels of the earth. The House of Commons is responsible for those trade boards, and 271 every Member of the House is responsible. Let it be said to the credit of the House that, with regard to its own employés, although it does not pay them adequately, there is not one of them whom it would ask to work for such a miserable wage as is being paid to miners at the present time. If the sweated workers employed in trade board industries are paid wages which in some cases are £l a week more than the figures mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton, surely the time has come when this council should lay it down that a miner should not be asked to engage upon his hazardous work for such a wage as has been in operation, and is likely to be in operation, if the mineowners have their way.
I am not going to weary the Committee with the mass of figures that could be given; I content myself with saying that those who raise coal for us for the purposes of electricity supply in this country, for the purposes of the engineering and every other trade in which we are occupied, for the purposes of all our great industries—that these men and their families are entitled to 52 weeks' wages in every year on an adequate standard which will enable their families not only to obtain the food and covering and residence that they ought to have, but will enable them to have even a margin that they can enjoy during times of leisure. I wish that our Amendment could be stronger than it is; I wish that it could lay down that these people should have this wage; but I ask the House, out of regard for the country, out of regard for industry, to see that these miners are adequately paid, and I am proud to support the Amendment.
§ Mr. BEAUMONT
I am going to ask the President of the Board of Trade to reject this Amendment, because, with the very greatest respect to the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton)—and I say this with the greatest deference, as a very young Member, to a very respected Member of the House—I think that the hon. Member has got himself rather muddled up in connection with this Amendment. We have heard a great deal of the stock phrases of "A living wage" and "A reasonable standard of life"—[Interruption.] An hon. Member asks: "Why stock phrases?" I am 272 going to tell him. I use that expression because there have never yet been two people in this House or in this country who have agreed as to what is a living wage and what is a reasonable standard of life, and, until you can get people to agree about it, it is silly to ask the Wages Board to set one up.
The hon. Member, in moving this Amendment, suggested that it was a peculiar thing that, whereas, when distress in the mining industry was so rife, a great deal of practical sympathy was shown in the form of subscriptions and moving appeals and so on, yet we do not support an Amendment of this sort, which, as he claimed, would give an adequate standard of life to these people and would render such misery unknown. The hon. Member compared the question of a minimum wage for the miners with the case of the teachers. I venture to suggest to him, however, that there is a difference between the two cases. If the Board is given power to set up this national minimum wage, it will mean taking money from the industry which it cannot afford. [An HON. MEMBER: "How do you know?"] It would be out of order to discuss that subject on this Amendment; otherwise I should be delighted to tell the hon. Member how I know. I prefer, however, to adhere strictly to the terms of the Amendment. If the hon. Member was suggesting that a minimum wage should be set up because it was disgraceful that people should have to live on these wages, and the State should find the balance, although I could not support that proposal, I could see the logic of it. A national minimum for teachers is one thing, because the teaching profession, however valuable it is, is not in economic profession. There is no question of making education pay, except in very general terms, and there is no question of making it pay in pounds, shillings, and pence.
The mining industry, on the other hand, is only valuable to this country so long as it does pay in pounds, shillings and pence, and that is true as much in the case of the men as in the case of the employers, because, on the day when the mining industry ceases to pay, on that day no more miners will be employed. For that reason I venture to suggest that it would be folly to give the Board this 273 power to set up a minimum wage on the highest standard of the district, which in some parts might be able to afford it, while in other parts it probably could not afford it. Unlese some way is going to be found of getting the money outside the industry itself, or until the industry can be made to pay the wages which the hon. Member—and I join with him here—would wish to see paid, it is folly to ask the industry to pay uneconomic wages, and it is because I believe that this Amendment would have that effect that I ask the right hon. Gentleman not to accept it.
I do not intend to follow the logic of the last speaker, because, if I did, and we came to define what wages Members of Parliament were entitled to according to this analysis, we might find ourselves in very great difficulties.
I want to bring the Committee back to this extremely modest Amendment. Hon. Members will observe that the Amendment does not even ask for a living wage for the miners, but that it simply asks for a minimum wage, and, so far as we get to a definite figure at all, that figure is governed by the highest wages at present existing in the industry. If Scotland is at all representative, and I am sure that it is, there is no large class of workers in any of the mines in Scotland who have anything approaching a living wage at the present moment. It is, therefore, an extremely modest thing that we are seeking to do. It is simply to put up an effective barricade against further reductions in the wages of the miners.
During the week-end I was in a mining district, and was talking, not only to the men, but also to the women in that district. One anxious woman wanted to be assured that there would be no break in wages following the reduction in hours. I tried to assure her, but, when I came back to London, I re-examined the whole of this Bill, and I was made extremely uneasy by the discovery that there is no safeguard in the Bill, unless this Amendment is carried, which does effectively protect the mine worker against even a reduction of wages in certain circumstances. For instance, large numbers of miners work on piece rates, and, if they have their hours reduced by half an hour or an hour, and 274 continue to receive the same piece rate, then it will be equal to the intelligence of everybody in the House to follow that automatically there will be a break in wages. As there is no other provision against this in the Bill, I would ask the support of every Member for this Amendment, and I do not see why we should not get support from Liberal as well as from Labour Members, in view of the fact that, when the seven-hours day for miners was introduced, 14.2 per cent. was added to the piece rates of the miners, following the Sankey Report, and thereby that situation was avoided.
This is an extremely modest demand to make, but, in case there may be some who think that it is an unnecessary demand, I would remind them that the present cartel system which we are encouraging the mineowners to adopt is not the first form of artificial aid that has been given to them—that they were given a subvention of £23,000,000 in 1925; that they were given a reduction of wages; that they were given increased hours; and, in spite of all this, they made no effort to use these advantages in bringing their industry into line with their competitors.
We want to put up a very definite sign of "No road this way" against any further encroachment on miners' wages, and this is necessary when we discover that since 1917 the minowners of this country, in spite of all the aids that they have been given from one source and another, have increased the output per man per shift by only 4 per cent., while the increase by their competitors in Germany has been 26 per cent. There are many other ways in which prices can be reduced. There are many other avenues to bring us into line with our competitors. Germany has an output per man per shift of 26 cwt. on a shorter working day. Poland has an output per man per shift of 27½ cwt. for the same working day. Great Britain, with its highly skilled miners and its fine quality of coal, has an output of less than 21½ cwt. per man per shift.
I am not as provincial as all that. I believe Scotland would help to bring up the average, but we are dealing 275 with a national situation. Overwhelming evidence is accumulating that, in order to bring back prosperity to the industry, many roads are open, such as re-organisation, and more efficient methods of production, and there are no compulsory powers in the Bill which would make the owners do those things. Therefore, we shall be strengthening a hand which has shown itself very weak sometimes in the past if we do not leave open for them a door that they can pass through, and if we make it absolutely certain that there can be no reduction in wages. This wage that we are trying to protect is the low level to which miners have been reduced by cut following cut in post-War days. This is a very modest measure that we are proposing. There is no other provision in the Bill which will prevent even a reduction in peace-workers' rates. We are all agreed that we do not want wage reductions. Let us ensure it by carrying this Amendment.
§ Mr. BEAUMONT
I have absolutely nothing to do with the coalowning interest and I resent the hon. Member's remark.
§ Mr. BATEY
I accept the correction. I will say the hon. Member's sympathy with the coalowning interest gives me a reason for supporting the Amendment. He says there is no agreement as to what is a living wage, but everyone is agreed as to what is a starvation wage. I am certain that he and I would agree at once that less than £2 a week is a starvation wage. Thousands of miners have to maintain wives and families on less than that. The Mover of the Amendment told us that, while the wording might not be all that he wished, the object was to prevent starvation. It is heart-rending to see how far they have sunk in the mining villages compared with nine or 10 years ago. If the Amendment will arrest the starvation in the mining districts, I am prepared to support it. The miners have had since 1912 a minimum wage, which is on the Statute Book, but still we have the starvation that so many of us lament. 276 The minimum wage was fixed for three years, when it was to be brought up for review, but owing to the outbreak of the War it has been carried on year after year in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. In 1924 we got a day for a private Members' Bill fixing a new minimum wage but, owing to pressure of time, the Prime Minister asked us to give up the day, with the promise that the Government would deal with the question.
One sees in the present stagnation of Parliamentary business that the Government cannot get the time to bring in a new Minimum Wage Bill—one cannot expect it this Session—but here is an opportunity. This Amendment would save the Government the need of taking up Parliamentary time to bring in a Bill. In bringing forward this Amendment we are not asking too much, because the Clause is a mere skeleton. It means so little as it is at present. It does not give the Industrial Board power to deal with real grievances or with the bad conditions affecting the miners. The grievances from which a district suffers cannot go to the Board unless they use the local machinery in the district and fail to reach agreement with the owners. The Amendment will not only make the Clause more useful but one hopes it will be the means of preventing some of the starvation that exists in our mining; districts.
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ben Turner)
I am certain the Committee is in full sympathy with the sentiment" expressed by every speaker on the Government side. I should say the whole mining population has been suffering from low wages for a considerable time, and the sympathy of the whole nation is with them in the desire to secure a living wage for those who work in the mines. Some of us have old-fashioned notions about these things. I have an old-fashioned notion that the hardest and most dangerous work should be the highest paid in any industry. But then it is not what we want but what we can get that has to be considered, either in legislation, in administration, or in trade union negotiations. We are unable to accept this Amendment. It cuts across the purpose of the part dealing with the Industrial Board, which is to provide machinery whereby, in prospective or pending disputes, some agency 277 can be brought into operation which will avoid the calamity of a stoppage. No one disagrees with the notion of a living wage, but I believe the best way to get it is to have a strong trade union organisation able to negotiate with the employers on more equal terms than has been the case in the last year or two. It may be said the miners have had the finest organisation in days gone by. That is true, and they were able to influence the House with regard to the Minimum Wage Act and in other directions in those strong days. But their strength is not as great as it was. I wish it were the 100 per cent. strong that is so often talked about. This is something that it does not seem possible to put into operation. I may be wrong in my interpretation, but, suppose that Scotland's district rate for one grade was 12s., is it intended that Northumberland, Durham, South Wales, and all the other parts shall have that as the rate for the country?
§ Mr. TURNER
I understand what the hon. Member means. The variety of conditions in wage-fixing which applies in various parts of the country can be got over, but not by an Amendment of this sort in. a Clause that has for its purpose the prevention of great national trade disputes when districts cannot agree. What was the method of dealing with these matters? It was that in the districts the employers and the employed, through their organisation, fixed their own minimum rates of wages, and even under the strongest organisation they varied. The rates in Durham were calculated on a different basis from the rates in Yorkshire, and the rates in West Yorkshire were on a different basis from the rates in South Yorkshire because of the variety of the coalfields. I know that my hon. Friends behind will say, as I have said scores of times, that if miners work eight, seven, or six hours a day they ought, all of them, to have a first-class living wage. I still say it. But the Amendment does not carry us in that direction under this Clause. There is no sanction in this Clause for any finding at which this National Board may arrive. It is a conciliation machine, and not an arbitration machine. It cannot give a decision. It can give a recommendation, it can give 278 a suggestion, it can get the parties to gether, and it can have a consultation with them to try and find what is the best result which can be obtained by conversations and conciliation. In these different districts, with their varying traditions and methods, I am certain that it would be impossible to impose things upon them which had been foreign to them in their negotiations and their methods. I want, therefore, to say to the Committee that the Government have every desire—
§ Mr. TURNER
My dear friend from Dumbarton—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) is, like me, very young and very strong in enthusiasm for the best wages for the workpeople of this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "So are we."] Well, we sometimes show it in different ways, and my hon. Friend will say that I am showing it in a different way from him. I will go the whole distance with him and with my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) in having an absolutely established, acknowledged living wage for all persons in this Kingdom, 52 weeks per year, but is this Committee prepared to go to that length?
§ Mr. TURNER
It is no use being blind, as the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs sometimes is. Unless conditions change, this House will not sanction the condition of things for which my hon. Friend has provided in this Amendment.
§ Mr. TURNER
If you tried it you could not make any use of the proposition in Clause 10 of this Bill. It is foreign to the Bill.
§ Mr. MAXTON
May I make a suggestion to my hon. Friend and to my right hon. Friend to which I hope they will accede? We do not differ greatly in this matter. Is it not a feasible proposition to test the Committee on the merits of this Clause by leaving a decision to a free vote of the Committee on the merits of the question? Then, if it is shown that the majority are in favour of more being put into the Bill in the way of protecting miners' wages than is already 279 there, the right hon. Gentleman can draft a suitable working Clause at a later stage.
§ Mr. TURNER
I am too innocent to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) into the intricacies of the movements of this House. I have not been here long enough to be able to understand the various jugglery of Procedure—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order! "]—well, the various intricacies of Procedure other than those which are borne in upon me day by day. I am only able to say that we cannot accept the Amendment, and that our desire is that this Board shall function to prevent great calamities and great disputes, and that the districts shall themselves, through the wider and bigger organisation of the employers and the employed, with an embodiment of good will, provide for a living wage in those districts, and give an impetus and fillip to those low-paid districts to become as well paid as the higher paid districts.
§ Sir PHILIP CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Whether the hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Mines has been in the House long enough to master all the intricacies of Procedure, he, at any rate, is sufficiently master of the procedure of the House and master of himself in any Measure which he conducts to state his mind plainly in this Committee as, indeed, he ought to do when he comes upon an Amendment which is utterly inconsistent with the Bill which his right hon. Friend has presented. I waited to intervene for a few moments until I had heard his speech because plainly it is an Amendment upon which the Ministers responsibe for the Bill must take a very definite stand and give to the House a definite lead. If they do not give such a lead on this Amendment, I cannot conceive that they can give any lead on any provision in their Bill. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is common ground in this House that we should wish the wages in this industry to be the best the industry can afford to pay. I also entirely agree with him that the Amendment, if it were carried, would not only cut across this Clause itself, but would alter the whole framework of the Bill.
Observe, first of all, what the Clause seeks to do. The Clause, as the hon. 280 Gentleman has properly said, seeks to set up conciliation machinery where there is a dispute, whether it be a wage dispute or a dispute on the conditions of work in any district, and that where there is failure to settle in any district you may come to this National Board, which is a court of appeal. It has been made very plain by the President of the Board of Trade in presenting this Clause to the Committee and on earlier Amendments that the object is only a court of appeal, or, perhaps, not even a court of appeal, but a tribunal of conciliation in the last resort. What does this Amendment seek to do? In the first place, it says:The National Board may fix a minimum wage for all grades of mine workers,If that means anything, it means that the Board shall set up a statutory minimum wage. That is what it means, hut that is not in the Clause as drafted. No such proposition finds its place anywhere else in this Bill. Indeed, it is quite inconsistent with the whole purpose of the Bill. The purpose of the Bill, as I understand it, is to reorganise this industry so that all conditions may be settled amicably to the best advantage. If it is to set up a Wages Board with compulsory powers to fix a national wage, not only does it introduce a new element of compulsorily fixing a wage, but it introduces the further element that it shall be a national wage. If anything has been proved beyond all shadow of doubt in this industry, it is that you cannot have national standards fixed for every district. The hon. Gentleman, who has had a very close acquaintance with the mining industry not only since he went to the Mines Department but for many years before—I suppose that there is no one in this House who has a greater knowledge of the varying working conditions in the different industries than the Secretary for Mines—said with great force and conviction, that there is no industry in the whole world where conditions from district to district differ as much as they do in the mining industry. That is profoundly true.
I believe that you cannot do a greater dis-service than to insert in this or any other Bill a provision to compel the industry to be bound by minimum wage rates applying without any elasticity throughout all districts. Those rates 281 would be too low for prosperous districts, and they would be too high for a district where the working conditions were very different. I do not think that there is anyone in this Committee who is acquainted with the mining conditions in the different districts who would deny that. The only result would be, that if you did set up an arbitrary broad, which had to fix a minimum wage which was going to apply to every pit in the country and in every grade from Cumberland to say a very prosperous pit in Warwickshire, you would get a minimum fixed which might appear to be more or less fair to all districts. You would take the district which could afford to pay a relatively higher wage and the district which could afford to pay only a low minimum. You might average them out and put the minimum higher than the less prosperous district could afford thereby probably reducing the amount of employment in the district, and fix a wage in the most prosperous districts, in the coal pits easiest to work, at a lower figure than those districts ought to have, and probably lower than those districts would get in the ordinary course of wage negotiations in the district. You would be doing exactly what we do not want to do by this Clause. You would be encouraging this Conciliation Board, which ought to be used only in the last resort, to deal with district negotiations which had previously been going. And everyone would have an eye on the court of appeal and feeling that eventually they would be going to the court of appeal.
The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) admitted all this in his argument. The hon. Member is always logical and he foresaw the difficulty of fixing a wage which would apply all over the country. He sought to meet that difficulty by saying that he had always expressed the view that the corollary of a national minimum wage was a national wages pool. That is a logical attitude and I have not infrequently heard the hon. Member arguing in favour of a national wages pool. I am not at all sure that the hon. Member is not right both in logic and in fact, and that it is difficult, if not impossible, to have a national wage fixed for all grades in all mines unless you have something in the nature of a national wages pool. But that which he is proposing as a necessary corollary of his Amendment, 282 has been debated in this House and has been frequently canvassed in the mining industry. It was discussed very fully before the Samuel Commission and the more it has been considered, the more have people, whatever their shades of political opinion, tended to reject it, because a national wages pool gives you all the defects of nationalisation with none of its benefits—if benefits there be. You leave the individual pits to go on working but you take away both from the directors and the workers in the individual colliery, any direct incentive to improve the process of output, and the rate of production and the successful conduct of the undertaking, because, where they succeed, the success is, for the greater part, thrown into this pool.
Thus, as I say, it has all the disadvantages of nationalisation without any of its advantages. I am not at all sure that the hon. Member for Bridgeton was wrong in his contention that he could not make his Amendment effective for this purpose without enforcing, also by this Bill, a national wages pool, and, if that be so, I think that circumstance alone would be enough to condemn the proposal in the eyes of many members of this Committee. The hon. Member in his interesting speech travelled even wider than that and spoke of the manner in which wages had been reduced by the Conservative Government.
§ Mr. MAXTON
No. I said they had been reduced during the period of the Conservative Government's tenure of office. You increased the hours; you merely allowed the wages to be reduced.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The hon. Member is a very fair controversialist and I am obliged to him for his explanation, but I gathered that at any rate in his view some small portion of blame attached to us, and that something happened which we might have prevented. As I say the hon. Member is a very fair controversialist and I will debate that point with him at any time. For the present, as he has challenged me, I merely make this assertion and I do so beyond the fear of contradiction—that is of rational contradiction founded on facts. I assert that but for the increase in hours, wages would have fallen a great deal more than they did fall, and this industry would indeed have been 283 bankrupt. It was only the increase in hours which enabled costs other than wages to be reduced 2s. 9d. per ton over the whole country and 3s. 9d. per ton in South Wales. When the hon. Member says that wages fell, let him remember this—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I must intervene at this stage in order to protect myself. As between the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister) and the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and the arguments which they have advanced, it is rather difficult to draw the line, but I would point out that the discussion which is developing on this Amendment touches upon another Amendment which in the ordinary course of discussion would have come before this Amendment. While I have no desire to limit the right hon. Gentleman in replying to the points raised by the hon. Member for Bridgeton, it must be understood that if we allow this discussion to be extended in such a way as to affect points which are raised in other Amendments, the discussion on those Amendments must be curtailed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
As I say, I only wish to protect myself by pointing out that we cannot widen this discussion "till further as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to be on the point of doing, because we have to consider the effect on Amendments dealing with other parts of the Bill which have yet to be considered.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I have refrained from any discussion of the merits of the Clause and I am prepared to leave the matter where it is. I should not have entered at all into the wider discussion but for the speech of the hon. Member for Bridgeton and I think I was entitled to reply to him.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
On a point of Order. As the Amendment seeks to widen the duties and functions of this Board, is it not in order to open out the discussion on the Amendment to "over those matters? It appears to me that the Amendment widens the proposal in the Bill very considerably and 284 that we should have an opportunity to discuss the wider provision indicated by the Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Clause deals with the functions of the Board and the Amendment seeks to extend those functions by giving the Board power to fix a minimum wage. It does not necessarily follow that on this Amendment we should enter upon the consideration of matters dealt with in other Clauses. As I say there is an Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Bridgeton to Clause 2—in page 4, line 41, at the end, to insert(i) for the collection from the executive boards for the several districts of levies, imposed upon them at such times and for such periods as the central council thinks fit in proportion to the output or disposal of their respective districts, or to the profits arising from the ownership of coal mines in their respective districts for the purpose of giving an adequate minimum living wage to all mine workers."—which in the ordinary course would have been discussed before this, and I wanted to draw attention to the fact that the widening of this discussion will affect other Amendments and limit the discussion thereon, if they are called.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I think I am strictly in order in going into the question of the pool. I have no doubt that the Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for Bridgeton necessarily hang together, but the hon. Member, with a frankness for which the Committee is grateful, has deployed the whole of the wide basis on which he would build up the structure of what he calls an Amendment, but what I would almost call a new Bill. He has certainly not concealed from the Committee the consequences which would flow from his proposal or what we would have to commit ourselves to in other parts of the Bill if we were to adopt his proposal. He has said that this proposal would be unworkable and inadequate for his purpose unless we were going to establish a national wages pool, and I am sure the Committee does not wish to commit itself to so wide and novel a departure as that.
The other justification advanced by the hon. Member for his proposal was that we must pass this Amenment in order to increase the purchasing power of the miner. I have indicated my belief that the Amendment, as it stands, would not have that effect. I believe, and I say so 285 with absolute sincerity, that if we set up a tribunal like this and told it to fix a minimum wage for all grades in this industry, we would not get a higher aggregate wage than we get at the present time by district negotiation, because any board fixing a minimum wage which could operate economically, would be bound to fix it lower than the higher wages now in operation, although it might be higher than the lowest wages now in operation. Therefore, what we would get, not by district negotiation but by this central overriding body, would be an aggregate wage very little different from the wages which are paid at the present time. Indeed the hon. Member himself met that point. He admitted that that would be the result which would flow from the Amendment, but that he was going to safeguard the position by saying that never must the board fix a rate lower than the highest rate paid in any district.
The hon. Member really admits by that proviso the impracticability of his proposal and the truth of the contention which I have been advancing. He admits that the board, if left to itself, would fix an average, but while in the terms of his Amendment he pretends to give the board power to fix an average wage, which it thinks fair, he is going to take very good care that what they fix is not, in fact, an average wage, but a wage not lower than the highest wage which any district board has fixed. That is taking from the board all discretion in the matter, and he might just as well say, "Leave the district boards alone." Indeed, the central board would have nothing to do with it, because the wages paid in every district would be whatever happened to be the minimum wage fixed for the time being by the highest paid district in the country. That is what the Amendment comes to, and if that is what the hon. Member proposes, it is a singulary uneconomical proposal and one which does not require the intervention of the machinery of the central board. In fact the Amendment would add nothing to the purchasing power of the miner, but would gravely imperil the district negotiations upon which the success of relations in this industry and of production in this industry must depend. The only effective way to increase the purchasing power of the miner is to encourage those industries which are the miners' best customers.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I have listened with the deepest interest to this Debate, and I am almost converted to the views of the Opposition. But I am a little suspicious. Whether this Amendment is loosely worded or not, it appears to me that behind it there is one particular object, and one particular object only. To me it is the cry of the despairing woman and child of the miner not only for the right to live but for the right to get the necessities of life in the only employment in which they can be engaged. We are told that a provision of this particular nature is not necessary. I am not a lawyer, but I have tried to understand the provisions of this Bill. It seems to me that Clause 4 with its pious resolutions will set up a National Board under certain conditions. The one condition which is of primary importance is the question of the wages. All other things can go by the board in this pious provision so long as the men are able to get a living wage. I belong to a peculiar school of thought, and I take my stand on the great cry of the men outside who are demanding from their representatives in this House that they shall have a right in the battle of life. Hon. Members opposite must understand that a man engaged in the labour world is worthy of his hire and must be paid. If you agree with that as a first principle of life then your authority and your laws must be framed to meet the demands of the workers.
Does any hon. Member in this Committee tell me that we should have had such a large number of Labour Members if that was not the opinion of the electorate of this nation? They have sent hon. Members here to make and administer laws for the welfare of the people. I know how difficult is the task of the right hon. Gentleman and how hard it is to get this Bill passed when there is a coalition of two parties against the Government. I saw that in the first week I was in Parliament when the Second Beading of this Bill was carried by only eight votes, and it was a question whether I should continue my work here or go back to the Scotland Division of Liverpool. I am not afraid to face the issue of "Dearer Coal Bill" in that Division if it means that this Committee will do justice to the miners in regard to a living wage. Any 287 right cause can be advanced, and you need not he afraid of the consequences. To my mind, a discontented mining population is a factor which does not make for the welfare of this nation, and hon. Members opposite must take the responsibility, because they are simply wasting the time of the House and are not attempting to legislate. They have not dealt with the matter from a business point of view. From a business point of view, they have done nothing but obstruct, and have never made any attempt to deal with the question.
Any hon. Member in this Committee must realise that the question of a living wage must be the first consideration in regard to the people of this nation. I know that the Secretary for Mines is between the devil and the deep sea in dealing with the Opposition. He is naturally anxious to get this Bill through the circuitous channels of this House. He has to be very careful in piloting this Measure in order to get the best that he can. I want my opinion to be expressed in this Committee; and my opinion counts in the quarter that I represent. In my opinion, sooner or later you must meet this difficulty, and it is better that hon. Members should meet it and face it now, and declare once and for all that we are here for the good of the people and not for any selfish purpose. It is because I feel honestly and sincerely that hon. Members opposite are only fooling with the subject that I am going to vote for the Amendment.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
I have listened with a great deal of interest to the speech of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. Logan), and, while sympathising with him to some extent, I have an idea that the economic difficulties with which this country is confronted at the present time will not be solved by such speeches. Like all the rest of the Bill, this is an extremely complicated matter. It is one of the most difficult to understand that I have been confronted with during the whole of my experience in this House, which now extends to some 11 years. Legislation by reference runs through the whole of this Measure, and it makes it extremely difficult for anybody who is not conversant with the drafting of Measures to understand it. 288 The effect of the Amendment would be to establish one minimum wage for the whole of the country. That would be a most difficult thing to enforce. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] I will come to that in a moment. Personally, I should like to see the wages in every undertaking, and particularly in every colliery and pit, the highest which that particular colliery and undertaking can afford to pay. I should like every man who is working in an undertaking to benefit from the profits of the undertaking in exactly the same way as shareholders benefit from being in a good thing.
An hon. Member has asked why it would be difficult to enforce a minimum wage throughout the country. The conditions which apply in individual collieries and pits vary so much that, while some are making profits, and large profits, others are making no profit at all. Indeed, they are suffering most serious losses. On the one hand, we have the new pits which have just been sunk in East Yorkshire, where capital has been expended on a lavish scale, where everything is absolutely up-to-date and, what is more important, where the working face is quite close to the bottom of the shaft. On the other hand, we have old pits in Northumberland and Durham, and to a certain extent in South Wales, where not only is much of the plant out of date and suffering from depreciation but where the undertakings are in such a condition that they cannot obtain fresh capital in order to renovate their plant and machinery. There is also the additional disadvantage that the working face is in some cases three miles, often more, from the bottom of the shaft. That not only places a serious hardship upon the men who have to walk three miles underground, very often in a gallery not more than four feet or four feet six high, which must impair their working capacity, but there is in addition the cost of keeping up the galleries which lead from the bottom of the shaft to the working face. There is also a corresponding increase in the risk of falls and stoppages, and the additional cost of haulage. While one pit can make a very large profit with coal at a certain price, another colliery which is not so favourably situated on account of its greater age is unable to make anything except losses.
289 If you are going to estimate the minimum wage on what the old undertakings in Northumberland and Durham can afford to pay, you are not giving the men who work in the newer pits in Yorkshire and Warwickshire anything like what they are entitled to out of the profits of the industry. Either you are going completely to cripple the lees up-to-date undertakings in Northumberland and Durham or you are going to pay an unfairly low rate of wage to the men who work in Yorkshire and Warwickshire. In my opinion, the great argument against this Amendment is this, that, either you are going to pay the men in Yorkshire and Warwickshire a minimum wage infinitely less than the undertakings in that part of the country can afford to pay, or you are going compulsorily to close down, with all the suffering and unemployment it will cause, many of the older pits in Northumberland and Durham.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I hope we have not heard the last word from the Government in the speech delivered by the Secretary for Mines. The President of the Board of Trade, very properly adopting a conciliatory attitude, has met the members of the Liberal party and discussed with them the difficulties which stood in his way. I do not think it is asking too much that he should make a very serious effort to meet the members of his own party, although those members who are pleading with him at the moment may be a minority of that party. I was not astonished at the strong opposition of the late President of the Board of Trade. Indeed, if the right hon. Member had supported the Amendment, I should have examined my conscience to see what I had indeed supported. I remember that in 1924 when the Labour party introduced a Measure to establish the Agricultural Wages Board, and proposed to give to that Board power to fix a minimum wage, they were compelled to withdraw that Bill under the pressure of the right hon. Gentleman and his party.
I do not think it can be satisfying to anyone on these benches to find that our Government to-day have gone back to the Tory position of 1924 An appeal was made to the Government to take off the Whips and to test the House. If the Government do not do 290 that, they have no right to go to the country and blame either Liberals or Tories for the refusal to insert these provisions in the Bill. I think they should test the House. We are discussing a Bill which gives statutory effect to prices fixed by coalowners who are interested in the selling of coal, and we are asking that the Board which gives statutory effect to the prices fixed by the coalowners should have power to recommend or suggest or assist in the establishment of a national minimum wage.
The right hon. Gentleman is quite correct in describing it as a national minimum wage. I have not time to go into the merits of a national wage as distinct from a district wage, but I would remind the Committee that it has always been the claim of the miners that the wage should be a national wage and not a district wage, and there are good sound substantial and unanswerable reasons why the men engaged in this industry should have a national uniform minimum wage as distinct from a competing irregular wage all over the districts of the country. I hope that the Government will go some way to meet us in the matter. The proposal in another Amendment which is inseparably associated with this is that there should be given power to impose a levy on coal in support of this minimum wage. There can be objection to that. You are imposing levies for all sorts of purposes. I hope that no one on the Government benches will run away on the plea that as the Amendment stands it Is somehow or other defective. There is nothing discreditable in an Amendment put down by a back bencher not entirely satisfying the requirements of the lawyers. Within the past week or two we have had Government provisions withdrawn from the House because the manner in which they were drawn by the experts, paid experts' salaries by the State, did not give satisfaction to the House or the critics of the Measure.
I hope that this Amendment is to be discussed and treated in the spirit in which it is put forward, rather than in the letter. What is wanted here is perfectly clear. We want the miners to be given security for a minimum standard of life. We are not saying that that is to be the maximum standard. We are not claiming anything for it but a minimum standard. The old Tory argument which 291 is put forward frequently in this House is being put forward now. The question is asked, What is a minimum wage? As an hon. Friend put it just now, there may be some difficulty in defining what is a living wage, but there can be no difficulty in describing what is not a living wage. The wage that the miner is getting to-day is not a living wage. My hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) quoted the average figure of the earnings of the miners as two guineas a week. But remember that that is only an average, and that there are thousands and thousands of miners far down below the two guineas a week. We do not want it to be said, when we are putting this industry on its feet, when the nation is undoubtedly making great sacrifices to stabilise the industry so as to make it possible for coalowners to carry on the industry with the State assurance that there will never be a loss on the running of mines again—when the nation is engaged on that task and is prepared to give away millions that cannot be calculated through the increased price of coal that must accrue from this Bill, surely that is the occasion on which a Labour Government should not lightly pass by the modest demands that are made on behalf of the miners by the people who are behind this Amendment.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I have been sitting through this Debate and I am beginning to wonder whether the same thing will occur on this Amendment as occurred during the discussion of the Unemployment Insurance Bill. We have heard speech after speech from the back benches of the party opposite, and when a suggestion was put to the Secretary for Mines that he would be well advised to take off the Whips, he pleaded innocence of Parliamentary procedure. I do not think the Secretary for Mines is quite as innocent as he would have us believe. The fact of the matter is that the Amendment raises the whole question of what is to happen as the result of the passing of Clause 9. Hon. Members opposite are just beginning to wake up to the fact not only that coal will cost more—the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan) said that he did not mind that, and that in Liverpool it did not matter, provided that the wages of the 292 miners did not come down—but the hon. Lady the Member for North Lanark (Miss Lee) described how she went up to a mining constituency, and when the people were beginning to ask whether this Bill really meant a reduction of wages, she assured them that it did no; mean any reduction, but when she got back to the House and went into the Bill a little more carefully, as we on this side have done, she found that there was no provision to prevent a reduction of wages taking place, and that in all probability, as a result of the extension of the reduction of hours, it might well be that in order to cover the losses a reduction of wages may be necessary in some cases, particularly in the case of piece rate workers.
It seems to me that a reduction of wages is inevitable unless an alteration is made in the agreements. It is a bit late in the day, after having passed that Clause reducing hours, to start talking about the possible results. I congratulate the Government Front Bench on their courage, their strength of mind in resisting the specious suggestions coming from Members who won the Election on such policies; I congratulate them on being able to resist these Amendments in the cause of economic sanity. A lot is said about the wages of the miners. Members of all parties have no desire to see wages depressed. We would like to increase wages all round, but as the Secretary for Mines said, it is not what we want, but what we can get. That is exactly the position. It is no good following out, as the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) does, the old theory of increasing purchasing power by raising wages. That is not good enough in itself. The people of this country are not dependent alone on high wages, but on their ability to sell their goods in the markets of the world, and particularly is that so in the mining industry. Whilst it is possible, within reason, to raise wages, there comes a time when it becomes impossible to compete successfully in the markets of the world. Then the last state of the industry becomes worse than the first. I am not sure that the limit has not now come, unless there is very much more efficient conduct of the industry than we can see at the present time. But there is no provision in the Bill for greater efficiency in production or distribution; there is nothing that we 293 would have liked to have seen carried out—some marketing scheme, some scheme by which cost of production and of distribution could be lowered.
I have here figures showing the comparative wage levels of the miners of this country and of other countries which are our competitors. The figures have not been treated in any biased manner; they were supplied by the International Labour Office to the Technical Conference on the Conditions of Labour in the Coalmining Industry, which assembled at Geneva in January last. They went to very great trouble to prepare tables. I find that the real earnings of the wage-earners, taking this country as 100, are, for instance, in Germany, the Ruhr, 75; in Poland 50, and so on. This country has the highest figure in real earnings. Then take the figures of the cost of production of a metric ton of coal. You find that the wages cost in this country, taken at 100, compares with only 31 in Upper Silesia, 60 in Czechoslovakia, 93 in the Saar, and 73 in the Ruhr. Great Britain is equalled by only one other country in Europe. Those figures appear to me to show that while, as the right hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Hartshorn) said the other night, the miners have wasted during the last three or four years some £90,000,000—they had subsidised other industries out of their earnings to the extent of £90,000,000, without any success—yet his argument was fallacious, because if the miners had not made that sacrifice they would have had even less chance of competing successfully in the markets of the world, and the industry would be more depressed than it is now. But look again at the figures I have given.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
On a point of Order. What relation have the figures of the conference at Geneva to the National Board?
§ The DEPUTY - CHAIRMAN (Mr. Dunnico)
I understood that the hon. Member was arguing against the minimum wage.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Is it not a fact that the Amendment states most specifically that the National Board may 294 fix a minimum wage rate for all grades of mine workers, and that it contains the proviso that that rate shall not be lower than the highest ruling in the district? If that does not mean a minimum wage for the whole country I do not know what it means.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
No specific figures are referred to in the Amendment, and the hon. Member who was addressing the House when I raised the point of Order, was arguing for specific figures. I asked what relation they had to the Amendment.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
If the hon. Member had been listening to the Debate, he would not have objected on that point of Order. He has completely misunderstood the purport of the figures. I was not asking for any particular standard wage. The hon. Member for Bridgeton did not dare to put down what the level should be. That would be beyond the wit of him or of the Front Bench. He has suggested it as a principle, and as a principle it obviously would increase wages in certain districts. I understood that to be the principle of the Amendment. I am arguing that if the wage conditions in this country were adverse and did not compare favourably with the wage conditions in the countries of our competitors, there might be something to be said for raising the wage level in this country, but when I have given impartial figures which demonstrate that the wage level in this country and the real earnings of the miners in this country are considerably higher than in the countries of our competitors, I suggest that this is not the time when we should adopt an Amendment which is likely seriously to increase the cost of the production of coal. Already as a result of the reduction of hours, we have been told by the right hon. Gentleman that an extra shilling or 1s. 6d. per ton will be put upon coal. It would be a very unfortunate thing if at this time we made the conditions even worse than they are likely to be by adopting this Amendment.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
I do not propose to follow the hon. Member who has just spoken in his line of argument, and I am not going to perpetrate a Second Reading speech, but I would point out that the group who have put 295 forward this Amendment might take it for granted that the Miners' Federation know their own business and do not require to be told by experts outside the miners what they ought to do.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
We have already discussed these things and we have come to an honourable understanding with the Government, and the miners are supporting the Government. [Interruption.] Yes, and you would find some reason for getting out of the arrangement. We are standing by our arrangement with the Government. Unlike the hon. Member for North Lanark (Miss Lee) who, apparently, only goes occasionally to her constituency, I go every week.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I am oftener here than the hon. Member, and I am more use when I am here. I have to deal with miners. My hon. Friends who have moved this Amendment must remember that as miners' representatives we are bound to know a little more about the conditions of the mining industry than they do.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I am asked by one hon. Member whether I am against a living wage. If any section of workers have fought for a living wage it is the miners. I took part in the struggle for a living wage for the miners over 40 years ago, and I have been in the struggle ever since. This Amendment does not propose to give a minimum wage. My difficulty in connection with it is that it might have the effect of preventing us from getting anything at all. I do not want to suggest impure motives to my hon. Friends.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I could in some cases, but I am not following that line of argument. I want to draw the attention of the hon. Member who asked whether I am in favour of a living wage to the fact that the wages vary from 3s. 6d. 296 to 10s. 6d. or 12s. Take the miner at the coal face, what is to be his minimum wage? Is his minimum wage to be exactly the same as the minimum wage of the man working on the surface? I hold, as a Socialist, that the man working on the surface is in as much need of a high wage as the man working below. I think that is the point of view of everyone who is willing to profess himself a believer in Socialism, but that is not contained in this Bill. It was not the subject of discussion between the President of the Board of Trade and the Miners' Federation. The Miners' Federation have discussed matters with the President of the Board of Trade, as representing the Government, and they made an agreement which we are in honour bound to carry out. I do not believe that the miners are as well paid as they ought to be. Members of my own family are working in the mines, and I want to see their wages raised. The main point that the Committee must bear in mind is that what the miners are asking for in this Bill is a reduction of working hours. When the time comes for discussing the question of wages, the miners as an organisation will deal with that. It will be for hon. Members in various parts of the House to make up their minds whether they want turmoil in the mining industry on the question of wages. I am convinced that we cannot allow our wages to come down below their present level. I am hopeful that we shall pass this Bill, regulate the question of hours and organise the industry and that these two things may bring about a situation which will make it unnecessary for any reduction in wages as a consequence of the passing of the Bill.
May I point out that for the direct purpose of trying to make arrangements that will make it unnecessary to reduce wages we have agreed to an extension of the period that is to elapse after the passing of this Bill before the seven and a-half hour day comes into operation. That is intended to make it possible for us to get the seven and a-half hour day without any reduction in wages. I should be sorry, and I am sure that my hon. Friends would be sorry, if as a consequence of an Amendment of this kind we found that the Bill and the reduction of working hours were destroyed. Our progress has been 297 gradual, sometimes too slow, but I am convinced that if the Government, hon. Members of this House, the employers, and the industry generally will take advantage of the provisions of the Bill and make it possible to get very considerable changes, it will be to the advantage not merely of the miners but to the community as a whole. If the Government were prepared or could see their way to put the proposal in the Amendment into operation I should have no objection, but I am not prepared to follow a line that might lead to our failing to get that which we have as much at heart as the question of wages. Wages will come right.
The miners are willing to fight for wages. If there is any intention on the part of the public or on the part of Members of this House to get the miners to work for less than reasonable wages, they are doomed to disappointment. In 1921 we went through a three months struggle, and if we did not save ourselves we saved the other trades. In 1926 we went through the struggle again, and although we have not yet recovered, we are recovering. Unless we are going to get fair treatment, then hon. Members may look forward to the miners doing exactly as they have done before. If statesmen or politicians imagine that that is the way in which prosperity is going to be brought back to this country, they are making a very serious mistake You cannot bring back prosperity by putting more difficulties on to the backs of the miners than those they are already bearing. I would appeal to my hon. Friends to withdraw the Amendment and to allow the Bill to pass so far as our agreement with the Government is concerned. If there is any attempt on the part of the Government to break away from the agreement that they have entered into, the miners will certainly have something to say about it. We have agreed not to press this particular matter, and I hope that hon. Members of our party will support the Government in the attitude that they have adopted.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. William Graham)
In appealing to the Committee to come to a decision, I would like to summarise the course of the controversy since the Government decided to embark on this Bill, 298 or a Bill substantially in these terms, very soon after the General Election. I do not differ from a single hon. Member in the desire to secure an adequate minimum wage for members of the mining community. In all the discussions that have taken place, however great the differences that have existed between the owners on one side and the representatives of the Government or the Miners' Federation on the other, I have never heard anyone suggest that the wages in the mine fields to-day are other than very low, and they were commonly anxious to have them improved. In regard to this legislation, whatever view we take of it, there is a desire to strengthen the organisation and to put coal on the market on such terms as to bring order into the industry, so that at the earliest possible moment we may improve the conditions. That is the underlying idea. With regard to the speech made by the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley), he asked why when we were consulting other sections of opinion in this House we would not consult a section of our own party regarding these proposals.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I do not think that I used the word "consult." What I had in mind was that as you had gone so far to meet the Liberals you might have gone some way to meet your own supporters.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
That I regard as very much the same thing, and I have not the least objection to the statement. From the very beginning of these negotiations we were necessarily in close touch with the Mining Association on the one hand and with the Miners' Federation on the other hand. In due course we arrived at an agreement with the Miners' Federation regarding this portion of the Bill. It is quite true that during that time, both publicly and privately, in all the discussions, the miners have urged that it would be a very great thing if they could have a minimum wage set, and I do not suppose a single Member of this Committee would not like to see that achieved. But these discussions took place, and in the long run there was agreement, which was carried through after further consultation with the miners' Members of Parliament and, of course, with our own Parliamentary party, a policy which is pursued by every Government 299 of the day; and no objection was taken, at any stage during those discussions, to the proposals contained in this Bill.
Accordingly, my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) has put the case with perfect accuracy tonight when he says that this represents an understanding between the Government, the miners' Members, and the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, subject always, of course, to the submission of these proposals to a vote of this House, but in terms of this condition on our side, that our party unanimously, and apparently speaking for all the Members of the party, took the view contained in this part of the Bill.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Surely the position was not this, that the Bill came to the House after these discussions, and that the duty of the House of Commons was either to accept it as a whole or to reject it as a whole. Surely it came to us that we might have an opportunity of amending it.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Any Bill as a whole is always before the House of Commons, but I am speaking quite candidly and fairly about the understanding on our own side of the House. I now approach very briefly the merits of this Amendment. At the present time there is in all districts machinery for wages ascertainments, and for the discussion of subsistence wages, minimum wages, and all the very complicated factors contained in this problem. I have never disputed personally that it would be a very fine thing if the wages system in the coal industry could be simplified, because at present it is very difficult to understand, and I do not dispute, any more apparently than my right hon. Friend disputed in the speech which he made from the other side, that conditions may arise in which the attitude towards the pool, or the contribution of the stronger districts to the weaker, may become practical politics in this country.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not suggest that I was supporting such a pool. I think it really impossible; I think it worse than nationalisation.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
My right hen. Friend indicated that that might become one day the subject of discussion, and I did not suggest for a moment that he was personally a supporter of it, any more than any one of us to-day is called upon to give a judgment on that question. There is at least one consideration which we cannot escape, and without in any way embarking now on the discussion of Part I and only assuming that it goes through substantially in its present form, it does provide not only for district machinery and district organisation, but also for a national co-ordinating body among the owners. It is possible in the last resort that if the strength of the industry is built up on that basis, there may be an opportunity at that time or at some other date for re-consideration of the whole wage system, but that is not before us now.
That district machinery exists, and so far agreement is reached, but my hon. Friends propose to take certain steps under this Part of the Bill, which deals with the National Industrial Board, to try and make a minimum wage obligatory on all the districts of this country, or, in other words, on a national basis. I am not quarrelling with the text of the Amendment for the moment, only, on the question as to whether in fact this could be done at all under such a proposal, it would be very difficult to import this element into a board which exists for the purpose of considering differences of opinion relegated to that beard on wages or hours of work, and there is no validity whatever in sending questions of this kind to such a board. Hon. Members have recognised, and the members of the Miners' Federation and miners' Members recognise, that if we cannot cross the border line into compulsory arbitration, this board must rest on the basis on which the Government have placed it in this Bill. So far as I can judge opinion in this House and in the industry, there is no body of opinion prepared for compulsory arbitration, and the consequence is that you place on the board the duty of pronouncing an opinion on all the circumstances submitted in the hope that that opinion will be of value in settling a dispute which has arisen in any district or in any group of districts in 301 the coalfields of this country. What would be the value of importing a Clause relating to a minimum wage?
I want the Committee to believe that hon. Members, in supporting the Government to-night, are not going to be put in the position of having the charge brought against them that they are opposed to a minimum wage, because that is not the proposition before us. I am bound to tell the Committee that even if these words were imported—and they are only on a permissive basis—there is not one iota of guarantee that you could put them into practice. You could not impose it on a single district. There would be great difficulty in arriving at an amount, but even if you did, it is no good putting anything in which raises false hopes or a condition that cannot be fulfilled.
But look at the other part of the proposal. My hon. Friends have made it perfectly clear that the highest wage for any grade in a particular district is to be made automatically applicable to all the districts in this country. I might have been prepared to state that that might be made practical politics when you had got the industry reorganised, but you have not got that to-night. The only effect of this proposal would be to make it utterly impossible for a large number of collieries to continue, and you would at a stroke greatly enlarge the field of unemployment in many of the coal areas of this country, if you did not in fact destroy the export trade which is now struggling to recover. I am bound to put these facts to the Committee, because there is no Conservative, Liberal or Socialist who will ever establish his system of ownership in industry or anything else if it is founded upon an economic fallacy.
I do not want to close on an unsympathetic note. My hon. Friends will recall that there is not a single Minimum Wage Act in this country which specifies the amount of the minimum, and it would be very difficult to get any Minimum Wage Act that would do so. All that the Minimum Wage Acts in the coalfields of this country do is to set up machinery for determining the minimum wage. That machinery exists to an appreciable extent in the districts to-day, and I want to express the hope that in the near future 302 it will be possible for this House to approach other legislation dealing with the coal mines, which is certainly the intention of the Government, and at that time to consider whether we can lay down a sound and practicable scheme for determining a minimum wage.
That is the way to go about this proposal. We should then achieve it on businesslike lines, with the co-operation of the Miners' Federation, the miners' Members and, I hope, of Parliament as a whole, but we should never do it by putting this Clause into this Act of Parliament, attached to this National Industrial Board. The Clause would never be operative. It would be a paper declaration that would never operate, and having regard to the sympathy that I have expressed, the hope that I have expressed for the more comprehensive legislation on these lines that this Government is prepared to undertake, I trust my hon. Friends on these benches will not make it necessary for the Government to take a Division and for many of my hon. Friends who feel bound to support the Government to be put in the utterly false position of appearing to vote against a minimum wage, which is neither their intention nor in fact would it be their attitude if they supported the Government on this Amendment.
Would my right hon. Friend be good enough to say about the piece rates of the men, if there is any provision in the Bill which would re-adjust piece rates?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
There is no reference to wages in the Bill. These will continue to be determined in the various districts, but when we come to Part I of the Bill, I shall have a great deal to say about the bearing of that portion of the Bill on wage settlements.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) wishes to put a single question that will not prevent 303 me putting my point of view, I will certainly give way to him.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I wanted to hear quite clearly from my right hon. Friend the nature of the statement he was making about future legislation on the minimum wage question. I did not get it clearly whether he was giving us a promise to introduce minimum wage legislation in a reasonable period of time or whether he was merely promising further legislation and the consideration of a minimum wage.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
The Committee will clearly understand that I have no authority whatever to give any undertaking regarding future legislation. What I do say is, as I have indicated in the earlier parts of these Debates, the Government have many other problems in the coalfields to consider in due course. If this Government is spared, then legislation must be promoted. I would only express a personal hope that, at that time and as a result of prior discussions, we might be able to incorporate Clauses dealing with the method of regulation of wages. That is my hope, and it is not higher than a hope in this Debate.
§ Commodore DOUGLAS KING
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that he is going to introduce Clauses into this Bill? He was holding out hope that, when he came to certain Clauses in Part I, he might be able to do something.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
My hon. and gallant Friend perhaps misheard my statement. I only alluded generally to what I have already said in public discussion about future legislation, but, as regards this Bill, the only reference to Part I was to this effect, that, when we come to discuss it, I hope to show the close bearing of its proposals on the wage rates in the mine-fields.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
When I made my stipulation just now I was not thinking of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment. I was only endeavouring to protect myself in case the Closure might come on at once. It has been so autocratic in the course of this Debate that I thought I might be allowed that one safeguard.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think the Chair must decline to allow any suggestion that the Closure has been applied autocratically.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I must sincerely apologise. I did not mean for a moment it had been applied autocratically in that way. I was saying that I hoped I might be allowed to put my views, and the last thing I wish to do is to make any remark about the Chair. There is one point I wish to put about this Amendment which is a new and important point. You are fixing a minimum wage for all grades of mine workers, provided that it is not less than the highest wage of each grade in any district. Is it the intention of the Mover that the words "in any district" should mean that the wage you are fixing should be not less than the highest wage in the whole country—meaning every district in the country—or does it refer to the particular district in which the dispute has arisen? If it is dealing with the whole country, you are obviously fixing under this Bill a very high minimum wage, which will have an enormous effect on the whole position of the wages in the coal industry. Personally, and I believe I can speak for the majority on this side of the House, we have every sympathy with the position in the coal industry to-day. The Minister of Mines has pointed out that the position of the Miners' Union is not as strong as it was, and he could have gone on to point out that the position of every individual in the industry is weaker than it was 10 years ago. The result is that not only is the trade weaker, not only are wages less, employment less and profits less, but it is very largely because of the competition from other countries.
If this Amendment were carried it would have a considerable result. I believe hon. Members who moved it have a very full knowledge of what they meant when they moved it. They really believed that, if this Amendment were carried, it would be possible under the Bill as it stands to get a comparatively fixed or minimum wage in certain districts in the industry. That would not be compulsory, but would have to be worked out by arbitration under the Board. The Amendment would have a definite effect on the minimum wage of this country even though you only begin by increasing it 305 district by district. On an Amendment of this kind the Committee should not take the view that they would like—as we would all like—to see how the industry should be helped, but they should endeavour, as far as they can, realising that this Bill is a thoroughly bad Bill, to see if this particular Amendment is going to make it worse than it is at the present time. As far as I am concerned, after hearing all the interesting speeches in support of this Amendment, I consider it quite impossible for the Committee to vote for it. It will not only make the Bill worse and more difficult to work than before, but it will make the setting up of these arbitration boards even more difficult than they would be now. For those reasons, with all the desire I have to do everything I
§ can against this Government, I could not go in the division lobby against them on such an Amendment as this, although I believe those who are moving it believe in their hearts that it is in the best interests of the industry and of the workers in the industry.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. T. Kennedy) 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, 273; Noes, 156.309
|Division No. 154.]||AYES.||[7.10 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Adamson. W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Dickson, T.||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Duncan, Charles||Isaacs. George|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Ede, James Chuter||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Edmunds, J. E.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Amnion, Charles George||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Johnston, Thomas|
|Angell, Norman||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Arnott, John||Egan, W. H.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Elmley, Viscount||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||England, Colonel A.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)|
|Ayles, Walter||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Foot, Isaac||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Freeman, Peter||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Benson. G.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Knight, Holford|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Gibbins, Joseph||Lang, Gordon|
|Blindell, James||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Gill, T. H.||Lathan, G.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Glassey, A. E.||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gossling, A. G.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Bromfield, William||Gould, F.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Bromley, J.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lawson, John James|
|Brooke, W.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Brothers, M.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Leach, W.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lees, J.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Groves, Thomas E.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Logan, David Gilbert.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Lowth, Thomas|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Lunn, William|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Chater, Daniel||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Church, Major A. G.||Haycock, A. W.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Clarke, J. S.||Hayday, Arthur||McElwee, A.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hayes, John Honry||McEntee, V. L.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||McKinlay, A.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Compton, Joseph||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)|
|Cove, William G.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Cowan, D. M.||Herrlotts, J.||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Dagger, George||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Dallas, George||Hoffman, P. C.||McShane, John James|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hollins, A||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Hopkin, Daniel||Mansfield, W.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie.||March, S.|
|Marcus, M.||Pybus, Percy John||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Markham, S. F.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Sullivan, J.|
|Marley, J.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Sutton, J. E.|
|Marshall, F.||Raynes, W. R.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Mathers, George||Richards, R.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Matters, L. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Melville, Sir James||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Messer, Fred||Ritson, J.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Middleton, G.||Romeril, H. G.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Millar, J. D.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Tout, W. J.|
|Mills, J. E.||Rothschild, J. de||Townend, A. E.|
|Montague, Frederick||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Turner, B.|
|Morley, Ralph||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Sanders, W. S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sawyer, G. F.||Walker, J.|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Scott. James||Wallace, H. W.|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Scurr, John||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Mort, D. L.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Muff, G.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Shield, George William||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Murnin, Hugh||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Shillaker, J. F.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Shinwell, E.||West, F. R.|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Simmons, C. J.||White, H. G.|
|Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Oliver, p. M. (Man., Blackley)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Sinkinson, George||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Owen, H. F. (Hereford)||Sitch, Charles H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Palin, John Henry||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Williams, T. (York Don Valley)|
|Paling, Wilfrid||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atterclifle)|
|Palmer, E. T.||Smith. Frank (Nuneaton)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Perry, S. F.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Wilson. R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Pethick- Lawrence, F. W||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Phillips. Dr. Marion||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Pole, Major D. G.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Potts, John S.||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Price, M. P.||Sorensen, R.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Albery, Irving James||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'f., W.)||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Atkinson, C.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Balniel, Lord||Dawson, Sir Philip||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.|
|Berry, Sir George||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Everard, W. Lindsay||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mac Robert. Rt. Hon. Alexander M.|
|Boyce, H. L.||Fielden, E. B.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Bracken, B.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Galbraith. J. F. W.||Marjoribanks, E. C.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Mond, Hon. Henry|
|Butler, R. A.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||O'Neill. Sir H.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hammersley, S. S.||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Chadwick. Sir Robert Burton||Hartington, Marquess of||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Haslam, Henry C.||Ramsbotham, H|
|Christie, J. A.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Remer, John R.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Thomson, Sir F.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Savery, S. S.||Tinne, J. A.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)||Todd, Capt. A. J.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Skelton, A. N.||Train, J.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Womersley, W. J.|
|Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Turton, Robert Hugh||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Smithers, Waldron||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.||Captain Sir George Bowyer and Sir George Penny.|
§ Question put accordingly, That those words be there inserted."310
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 21; Noes, 313.311
|Division No. 155.]||AYES.||[7.22 p.m.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Kinley, J.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kirkwood, D.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cove, William G.||Logan, David Gilbert||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Forgan, Dr. Robert||Longden, F.||Wise, E. F.|
|Haycock, A. W.||McShane, John James|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Maxton, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Kelly, W. T.||Sandham, E.||Mr. Beckett and Mr. Stephen.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Carver, Major W. H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne).|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Chapman, Sir S.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Charleton, H. C.||Groves, Thomas E.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Chater, Daniel||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Albery, Irving James||Church, Major A. G.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Clarke, J. S.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Cluse, W. S.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)|
|Angell, Norman.||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Arnott, John||Compton, Joseph||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Atkinson, C.||Daggar, George||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dallas, George||Hayday, Arthur|
|Ayles, Walter||Dalton, Hugh||Hayes, John Henry|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Balniel, Lord||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Beaumont M. W.||Dickson, T.||Herriotts, J.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central).||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Duncan, Charles||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Benson, G.||Ede, James Chuter||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Eden, Captain Anthony||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Berry, Sir George||Edmunds, J. E.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Egan, W. H.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.|
|Bowen, J. W.||England, Colonel A.||Isaacs, George|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Boyce, H. L.||Foot, Isaac||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bracken, B.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Johnston, Thomas|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Freeman, Peter||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Bromfield, William||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Bromley, J.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brooke, W.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Brothers, M.||Gibbins, Joseph||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I d'., Hexham)||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes. Mossley)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Gill, T. H.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.|
|Butler, R. A.||Glassey, A. E.||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Gossling, A. G.||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall.||Gould, F.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)|
|Cameron, A. G.||Gower, Sir Robert||Lang, Gordon|
|Cape, Thomas||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lathan, G.|
|Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Law, A. (Rosendale)||Oldfield, J. R.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Smith, Rennie (Penstone)|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Lawson, John James||O'Neill, Sir H.||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Leach, W.||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Sorensen, R.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Palin, John Henry.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Paling, Wilfrid||Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Palmer, E. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Peake, Capt. Osbert||Sullivan, J.|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Penny, Sir George||Sutton, J. E.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lunn, William||Perry, S. F.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Phillips, Dr. Marlon||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Mac Donald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Thurtle, Ernest|
|McElwee, A.||Pole, Major D. G.||Tillett, Ben|
|McEntee, V. L.||Potts, John S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|McKinlay, A.||Price, M. P.||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Pybus, Percy John||Tout, W. J.|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Quibell, D. J. K.||Townend, A. E.|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Ramsbotham, H.||Turner, B.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Raynes, W. R.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Mansfield, W.||Richards, R.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|March. S.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Marcus, M.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Viant, S. P.|
|Markham, S. F.||Ritson, J.||Walker, J.|
|Marley, J.||Romeril, H. G.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Marshall, F.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Mathers, George||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).|
|Matters, L. W.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Melville, Sir James||Sanders, W. S.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Messer, Fred||Sawyer, G. F.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Middleton, G.||Scurr, John||West. F. R.|
|Mills, J. E.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sherwood, G. H.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Montague, Frederick||Shield, George William||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Morley, Ralph||Shillaker, J. F.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shinwell, E.||Williams, T. (York. Don Valley)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Simmons, C. J.||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mort, D. L.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Muff, G.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Sinkinson, George||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Sitch, Charles H.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley.|
§ Sir SAMUEL ROBERTS
I beg to move, in page 15, line 4, to leave out paragraph (a).
The object of this Amendment is to delete a provision which would enable the National Board to sit in two or more divisions and to sit with assessors. I have also on the Paper a further Amendment which, while allowing the Board to sit in two or more divisions, would take away their power to sit with assessors. I would like to hear from the President of the Board of Trade or the Secretary for Mines what is in their minds as to the frequency of the meeings of this Board.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
May I suggest that it would perhaps be for the convenience of the Committee if we were to have one discussion covering the two Amendments?
§ Sir S. ROBERTS
The first Amendment really covers the second, but there would have been an opportunity for a second Division on the separate point as to the assessors. I would like to know whether the Secretary for Mines really thinks the Board will meet so often as to need to sit in two divisions? If that be so, the Government must be taking a very serious view of the number of disputes which will be brought before the Board. Sub-section (4) of the Clause states clearly what disputes are to come before the Board. It does not say any 313 and every dispute in a district, but only disputes between the owners and workers as to the terms of a proposed agreement. No dispute as to an existing agreement can come to the Board, only differences about an agreement which is about to be made. Agreements are usually made for a period of years, and although the list of districts, 21, may seem formidable, I do not think the work of the Board will be so heavy as I had feared before I realised that nothing concerning an existing agreement can be brought before it.
Disputes as to proposed agreements are of the most vital character and are those most likely to lead to strife, and that being so, is it not all the more necessary that the decisions of the Board should be as uniform as possible? If the Board is divided into two sections, it is not at all certain that the decisions of one section will not conflict with those of the other section, an event which might bring about very serious inconvenience. Another practical objection to the Board sitting in two divisions is that there is only one independent chairman. All the other members of the Board are in one way or another connected with one side of the dispute or the other, and how are we going to divide up this independent chairman if the Board sits in two sections? I am sure the Secretary for Mines would not do anything so drastic as to divide the permanent chairman. It is very necessary that this one independent member should be present to give decisions upon these important questions, and if the Board is divided into two sections we shall lose his services in one section and have someone else in his place. I cannot see that there is any provision for a deputy-chairman—
§ Mr. TURNER
Perhaps it -will save time if I tell the hon. Member that the Government will accept this Amendment, and also the other one which stands in his name.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In page 15, line 6, leave out the words "or any division thereof."—[Sir S. Roberts.]314
§ The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. BECKETT:
§ In page 15, line 13, after the word "Board," to insert the words "except to the House of Commons."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
With regard to the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Peckham (Mr. Beckett), I have doubts as to whether it is in order or not. It appears to me to be a direct negative; but I am prepared to hear what the hon. Member may have to say.
§ Mr. BECKETT
The object of this Amendment is to try to vindicate a very honourable principle, one of the few principles in Parliamentary Government that I should be prepared to fight hard to defend, and that is that the House of Commons cannot have negotiations conducted more or less in its name and on its behalf without itself being able to obtain any information about them. I want to prevent a repetition on a large scale of what is happening on a small scale in the case of the British Broadcasting Corporation and one or two other similar institutions. Hon. Members are pressed by their constituents to bring forward perfectly reasonable requests with reference to a great national service, and then it is found that there is no Minister to whom a question can be addressed. The Government themselves seem to have no power of obtaining information, or, if they have, they are sworn to secrecy. As the Government have accepted two Amendments proposed from the benches opposite, I am hoping that we on this side may also get a concession. We want this Amendment carried in order that when we get up in future Parliaments to ask questions about the conditions in the mining industry we shall not be told that this legislation prevents the Minister from giving us information. While I quite agree that information should not be spread broadcast to the public, I feel that Members of the House of Commons must have access to information which is necessary to them to form a judgment. Hon. Members who were with me on the other side of the House in the last Parliament, and who include some hon. Members who are now on the Treasury Bench, will remember the extraordinary annoyance manifested by members of the 315 Parliamentary Labour party when the right hon. Gentleman who was then the President of the Board of Trade used to get up in Safeguarding Debates and say, "This must take place because my Advisory Committee say so." I remember the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, with all that softness and mildness—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think I understand the object which the hon. Member has in view, but I must rule the Amendment out of order. The whole purpose of Sub-section (6) is secrecy, and any information given to the House of Commons would be a violation of the principle of secrecy. If the hon. Member wishes to record his opposition he must vote against the Clause.
§ Mr. BECKETT
I do not want to strain the very great consideration you have given to me, but I would like to ask if there is not any way by which we can prevent what I think a good many Members of the House will regard as an infringement of the rights of the House without voting against the whole of a Clause three parts of which, even though we do not care very much about it, we do not particularly want to oppose.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I am afraid it is not the duty of the Chair to give that advice. Hon. Members must themselves find ways and means of securing what they want. I can only rule that this particular Amendment is out of order on this Clause.
§ Mr. BECKETT
It is a point of Order. I want to ask if you would guide me as to whether I am able to put in a manuscript Amendment to leave out the whole of Sub-section (6)?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It is not for the Chair to give advice on a point like that. I can only give my Ruling when the Amendment is before me.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I beg to move, in page 15, line 22, at the end to add the words:and any person who shall be guilty of disclosing any such information without such consent shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.The Committee will realise that this Amendment really incorporates, at the end of Sub-section (6), a penalty which the Government have seen fit to put in Clause 8 of this Bill, and perhaps that point will be debated when we come to that part of the Measure. The penalty of £100 has already been outlined by those responsible for this Bill. We have in Sub-section (6) a prohibition without a penalty being provided. It may be urged against this Amendment that practically identical words were used in Section (5) of the Industrial Courts Act. The provision which we are now discussing follows very closely the words of the former Act, and in that Act there was no penalty provided for any breach of the prohibition laid down in it. To my mind, and I hope to the mind of this Committee, that is no reason why we should follow exactly similar lines now that we are discussing a similar Clause.
I am not quite certain whether in suggesting this penalty of £100 I am moving a lesser penalty than the law allows, or whether I am moving a penalty where none exists at the present time. I am well aware that there is such a thing as Common Law indictable misdemeanour when a prohibition is broken, and for that a man may be liable to imprisonment with hard labour for a period of two years. Whether that applies to a Clause of this sort I am not quite sure, and I should like the guidance of the Attorney-General on that point. Where a prohibition is placed in a Statute people should know what the penalty is if they commit any breach of that prohibition, and it ought not to be left to them to find out whether they can be indicted for it, or how they can be indicted, after the breach has been committed. It should be a fundamental principle of our criminal law that anybody who breaks the law should know what a breach of that law involves or may involve in his case. The leading 317 authority on the Common Law misdemeanour for a breach of a prohibition in a Statute is the case of the King against Hall reported in 2 Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown. In that case, it was laid down thatIt seems to be a good general ground that, wherever a Statute prohibits a matter of public grievance to the liberties and security of a subject, or commands a matter of public convenience … an offender against such Statute is punishable not only at the suit of the party aggrieved, but also by way of indictment for this contempt of the Statute unless such method of proceeding do manifestly appear to be excluded by it.That procedure obviously is not excluded by the provisions of this Measure, and so it becomes quite a legal question. That is why we are entitled to have the guidance of one of the Law Officers of the Crown as to whether this would be a matter of public grievance to the liberty and security of the subject, and whether it would be a breach of confidence under the Clause which we are now considering. Of course, what, the Sub-section lays down is thatThere shall not be included in any report or publication made or authorised by the National Board any information, obtained by the National Board in the course of a reference to them, as to any trade union or as to any particular undertaking, which is not available otherwise than through evidence given during the reference, except with the consent of the secretary of the trade union or of the owner of the undertaking in question, nor shall any individual member of the National Board or any person concerned in the reference, without such consent, disclose any such information.I am taking a hypothetical case, and I am not saying anything against those who will represent any particular bodies upon the National Board. It is quite possible that it may be the inclination of one of the representatives of the mine-owners to give some information about-some trade union which he hears in the course of a reference. On the other hand, there may be a temptation in the same way for some miners' representative to give information about some colliery concern which he hears in the course of a reference. What is the penalty to be for any breach of this prohibition? Are we to leave this matter to the old Common Law misdemeanour? I think that would be a wrong principle to adopt, and one of the chief reasons why" we should not adopt 318 it is that for a long time the Judges of the Courts in this country have leaned and in my humble submission have strongly leaned, against enlarging the scope of the old Common Law misdemeanour. I think the Committee should lay down definite criminal penal ties for criminal offences, and I feel sure there is hardly a Member of this Committee who would not agree with me in that submission. The Amendment which I am moving would have the effect—
§ Mr. TURNER
The Amendment says, "A fine not exceeding one hundred pounds." The other penalty under the Common Law is two years' imprisonment, and what is now proposed is an easier penalty.
§ Mr. KELLY
I understand that for a certain misdemeanour a penalty of two years' imprisonment may be inflicted, but to suggest that some miners' representative who happens to disclose any information obtained in the course of a reference should be liable to a penalty of £100 is ridiculous. The way in which offences are made in this Committee, and the way in which the Committee is prepared to put penalties upon people in a Bill of this sort, is simply amazing. It was the same during the last Parliament. I am amazed that there should be acceptance by the Government of my own party of a penalty up to £100 for imparting such information. I did not think that in the year 1930 such a thing was going to happen.
§ Major GEORGE DAVIES
I am surprised at what has been said by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) after the Secretary for Mines has so courteously accepted this useful Amendment. I think the hon. Member for Rochdale has entirely misunderstood the situation, and I would like to draw his attention to the fact that this particular Sub-section is one of extraordinary importance in carrying out the whole intention of Clause 10. Sub-section (6) is intended 319 to preserve secrecy, and that is one of the reasons why you, Mr. Dunnico, quite properly ruled out an Amendment which went counter to the intention of the Subsection. I am surprised that the hon. Member for Rochdale, and a good many of his colleagues, feel that secret diplomacy should be a thing of the past now that we have a Labour Government in office. Quite recently, the Prime Minister himself, when urged from all quarters of this House to keep hon. Members more fully informed in regard to the proceedings of a certain conference, which it would be out of order to allude to at this moment, said that at such a conference there were reports both formal and informal which could not be made at such a conference unless there was a certain amount of secrecy about them for the time being, and that applies to this Sub-section.
The whole purpose of this Clause is to set up a body which will foster and further the spirit of conciliation in conference, and particularly in those cases where there has been a dispute or where there is apprehension of a dispute arising on the question of wages, hours, or any other vital matter connected with the industry. The intention is that this body may be able to take a fatherly interest in the two sides who have been scrapping over it in the district, and it will be their paternal interest to deal with the matter in a very open manner. This Clause is intended to provide for that secrecy. Without this Amendment no provision is made against the breaking of the prohibition and giving away information given under the veil of secrecy or confidentially. The Secretary for Mines has quite rightly and obviously and immediately realised that a prohibition has been put into this Measure, but that there is no provision for dealing with those who defy the prohibition, and whose action may not only stultify and nullify the efforts of this board, but may actually have its repercussions back into the districts and make the friction and trouble there even worse than it was before. It is in some ways a clumsy and more roundabout method merely to rely upon the common law in order to deal with those who infringe the provisions of this Statute, and, there- 320 fore, the method suggested by this Amendment seems to me to be, and it obviously commends itself to the Government as, a proper one, although the hon. Member for Rochdale is unable to realise that it is desirable to provide in the Bill a maximum—not a minimum—penalty. The hon. Member has got mixed up through talking about the minimum wage, and he evidently thinks that this is a minimum fine. I should like to relieve his mind by telling him that it is a maximum, and that, therefore, it will be for those concerned to say how severe a penalty, subject to the maximum provided in the Amendment, shall be inflicted. I trust that I have been able to convince the hon. Member of the complete futility of the attitude that he has adopted in putting himself against the very sensible decision of the Government through the Secretary for Mines.
§ Mr. TURNER
May I appeal to hon. Members on the other side to allow us to come to a decision? We have still to discuss the Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Captain HAROLD BALFOUR
May I ask one question? In connection with this penal liability in case of disclosure of information, could there not be some provision for appeal from the summary jurisdiction? I am not, like my hon. and gallant Friend who moved this Amendment, a member of the legal profession, but members of the legal profession, perhaps, do not always realise the wide discretion and the depth of honour that exist in business life. At any rate, if such a Amendment be considered necessary, we might have some provision that the subject who is to stand his trial, and possibly be convicted, has at any rate some right of appeal beyond that at present allowed by Statute.
§ Mr. TURNER
Having been summoned a few times myself, I think that there is a right of appeal to a superior Court in cases of this kind.
§ Mr. SKELTON
On strictly legal grounds only, I would suggest to the Secretary for Mines that the ordinary appeal which is possible in the case of summary convictions would not be wide enough for cases of this kind. I quite appreciate the hon. Gentleman's appeal, and do not propose to take up the time 321 of the Committee, but it seems to me that, where the maximum fine is such a very large one, and the offence is of such a kind that the facts rather than the law might justify an appeal, it would be right that the hon. Gentleman should look into the question of appeal. I think he will find, if he looks at a neighbouring Clause in the Bill—I think it is Clause 8—that a similar question of appeal arises there, and I should like to hear him say that, before the Report stage, he will look into the whole question of appeal here, and that he will give us now some satisfactory assurance that, where such a heavy penalty as £100 is to be imposed, appeal on the facts as well as on the law will be competent to the person charged.
§ Mr. TURNER
I will promise that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will look into the matter very fully, and, if anything is required, it can be dealt with on the Report stage.
§ Mr. POTTS
I should like to ask the Secretary for Mines to reconsider the statement that he has made. To my mind, a penalty of £100 will make it almost impossible for miners' representatives to accept any such position. I could understand my hon. Friend accepting another suggestion, which I think it would be right that he should accept if he accepts anything at all, and that is that, for the misdemeanour of divulging information which ought not to be divulged, the penalty should be removal from the Board. I would ask my hon. Friend to reconsider that point, and would suggest that, if a penalty is necessary, the sensible penalty would be the removal of the offending member and the appointment of someone else in his stead. My hon. Friend has already said that he will reconsider the matter on Report, and I would ask him to consider this suggestion also, as I think it would he more forcible, sensible and just.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Commodore KING
I said yesterday, when we were dealing with the earlier Amendments to this Clause, that, although we were seeking to improve it, 322 or to make it a little less bad, yet, when the time came, we should certainly vote and speak against the Clause itself. I look upon this Clause in the same way in which I look upon the rest of the Bill. The Bill itself is undesirable, in that it is an interference with the industry. It is going to upset the industry, and, in regard to this particular Clause, the setting up of a National Board brings in an outside body which is going to upset and disturb the present harmony which has existed for some considerable time in the mining industry. We have not been used to the quiet conditions in the industry that we have enjoyed since the end of 1926. It is long since we have had such a peaceful period, and it is an inopportune time to interfere with the industry at all. At such a time of quietude in the industry, it is a pity to bring in some body which is liable to disturb the present harmonious arrangements.
With regard to the arrangements existing at present, I would submit that the whole tendency is to go from the national agreement to agreements between smaller units. Previously we have had national agreements in the coal industry, but, since the conclusion of the stoppage of 1926, the agreements have come down to the district basis. Under these district agreements there has been a very considerable measure of agreement, and I think it can be claimed that they have worked with a considerable amount of success. We find that, under these district agreements, without any interference from national bodies, there has been very little difficulty in recent times on the question of wages based on the ascertainment figures obtained by the joint auditors. Those figures have been considered by the employers and by the men, and, in case of disagreement, there is in most of the district agreements provision for reference of the actual terms to an independent chairman or an arbitrator. With regard to the wages question, that has been working very satisfactorily. We know, and we regret, that in some cases—perhaps in most cases—it has meant reductions in wages, but that has not been due to any fault of the system; it has been the fault of the industry, the fault of the trade. We have not been able to sell 323 coal, and have not been able to earn the money, and, therefore, wages, in common with profits, have had to fall.
That is the condition at the present time, and yet, presumably, under this Clause, even where district agreements arrange for an independent chairman or arbitrator, it will be possible to bring what would have been an accepted decision before this court of appeal, the National Wages Board. I presume that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Eccleshall (Sir S. Roberts) was pointing out just now, this only applies to agreements which have still to be made, because there is no power, as far as one can see, of bringing existing agreements before the National Wages Board except for the purpose of recording any agreement that has been so made. That Is only making the Board a recording agency; it is not giving them any powers or duties with regard to such agreements. The Secretary for Mines will correct me if I am wrong, but Sub-section (3) distinctly says that:Any agreement between the owners of, and the workers employed in or about, the coal mines in any district providing for the regulation of wages or other conditions of labour throughout the coal mines in the district may be sent to the National Board, and it shall be the duty of the National Board to record any agreement so sent.From that point of view, it is only using this National Board, the composition and the payment of the members of which we have discussed so much, merely as a recording agency. With regard to the other duties of the Board as laid down in Sub-section (4), there, again, it is only:Where there exists, or is apprehended, any dispute between the owners of and the workers employed in or about the coal mines in any district as to the terms of a proposed agreement between such owners and workers.That cuts out any disputes which might arise under any existing agreements. I should like to ask the Secretary for Mines what provision he has in mind—certainly I can see none in the Bill—for dealing with disputes which arise under existing agreements. The Bill only deals with proposed agreements. What is going to happen if some dispute arises, and a stoppage is imminent, under some agreement which is in existence at the present time? It really makes the position of the National Board absurd, because it is 324 only for the purposes of recording and dealing with anything which may arise out of some future agreement that has not been arrived at. That is in regard to the question of interference with district agreements. District agreements have developed down from national agreements, and I think that, as I have said, the tendency is to work to smaller units. There is a decided feeling in many parts of the country that it would be even better for the men to get down to pit agreements.
§ Mr. TINKER
I was trying to tell the Committee that the workmen are inclined to take the view that it is too small a unit.
§ Commodore KING
The hon. Member will have plenty of opportunity of following me and disputing any statement that I may make. In my view, there is a desire in some parts of the country, on the part of the workers, that they shall come down to pit agreements. There are many districts in which the majority of the pits are doing pretty badly, and, consequently, the ascertainments of wages are very low. But in every one of those districts there are some sections within the districts that are doing extremely well. They can afford to pay more wages, and they would be only too pleased to pay them if they were allowed under the agreement. It is obvious that, when men know that their employers are able and willing to pay a higher rate of wages, they would prefer pit agreements rather than have their wages reduced, as they are, by the spread over the district where all the uneconomic pits come in and depress the wage rate. There is that tendency which has been shown for the last few years to come down from the national to the district and to pit agreements, and, in that case, the National Board is wholly unsuited to deal with such agreements. In that way, it is very shortly going to be a redundant body altogether.
With regard to the formation of the National Board, we have felt throughout that, if you are going to have a useful 325 body to deal with disputes that arise within the industry, it should be of a more judicial character than is allowed under the Bill. The purpose which the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues have of trying to do something to bring the industry to a more peaceful state, and to have some method of dealing with any disagreement that takes place, could be better achieved by having independent, unbiased people from outside to deal with those questions. It is the desire of Members on all sides that we may be able to do something to bring about a peaceful state in the industry. Unless we have peace in the industry we are certainly never going to have prosperity. A proper understanding as between the owners and the men is almost more important than any scheme of amalgamation or internal organisation, because the basis of prosperity is bound to be mutual understanding and goodwill, so that whatever other arrangement may be come to may be put on a solid foundation.
I do not think this proposal of setting up a national board is going to do anything towards bringing about peace. It looks to me as if instead of the agreements that are come to at three months' notice on either side they are going to have their district agreements revised. As the procedure stands at present, it is carried out expeditiously and satisfactorily, though the results may not always be favourable to some who are taking part. That, to my mind, is a far better arrangement, and the setting up of this National Wages Board is going to do far more harm than good in that direction, and will be liable to upset the good will and peace that reigns in the industry at present.
§ Mr. TURNER
I regret very much the lack of support that has been given to this part by my predecessor and his colleagues, because I think it is in itself one of the best dovetailed sections of the Bill. I take a very fatherly interest in the procedure that establishes this machinery, and, if it is properly and wisely used, it may prevent the calamities that have occurred in this and other industries. It is the natural trend of events to have such machinery established in the industry. One of the big weaknesses of recent years has been that 326 the employers' and employés' organisations have not been able to get together to discuss what is good and proper in the arrangements as to the wages and hours of labour in general. Every other big industry has its machinery. This, the second basic industry in the Kingdom, has machinery to a certain doorstep, but it has not got into the house, where peace and orderliness can be arrived at.
The point has been put by my predecessor that this is only a recording agency. I think even agreements, if they are good, and have been come to in an orderly fashion, are well worth putting down by a national body of this sort, so that they may have some information as to what is happening in the industry in general. The suggestion has been made that pit agreements are probably better than district or national agreements.
§ Commodore KING
I was not putting it forward as my own suggestion. I said the men would like it. It would be preferred in many cases.
§ Mr. TURNER
I have never known anyone who preferred pit arrangements to county and national arrangements. It may be my lack of looking for them, but I have not known them. The point was made earlier that it might interfere with the present arrangements. I visualise that, in some parts of the country, when the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and the three months after the passing of the Act expire, agreements will expire automatically by the rearrangement of the hours of labour, and either side will give a month's notice to conclude the present agreements as to wages. There have always been periods when agreements expire. I want to see some machinery in existence before they expire, so that where there is a breakdown and it is impossible to arrive at a settlement as to a new arrangement, it will not lead to the calamity of a lockout or a strike.
It is a very well dovetailed provision that the President of the Board of Trade has brought forward. Numerous lockouts have been forced upon the men. If you look at the records of disputes, you will find that a very small number have been strikes. I know there have been strikes, and there have been lock-outs, 327 but we will call them all disputes, to be on safe lines. Out of 1,000 disputes, 750 have been lock-outs and not strikes. The chief industrial disasters in this Kingdom have not been caused by the workmen but by someone else. We do not want any more of them if we can find the machinery to avoid them. Other industries have their joint industrial councils, their district machinery, and their national machinery, and they get together to discuss what is the cause of the conflict, and they often find a way out of the conflict. It is time that this industry had some similar conciliatory machinery away from the inflamed passions of the district and governed by the coolness and the ability of the persons appointed to these national boards. I feel, therefore, that this is a very proper proposition to put before the Committee. There is one weakness in it. I admit. It has yet to receive the assent or co-operation of the owners in the mining industry. I hope that before this Bill is in process of passing into law both the Mining Association and the coalowners in general, and the Miners' Federation and the other 15 organisations connected with the mining industry will try and forget as much of the past as they can and will bend their energies and minds towards rescuing this industry from its disturbed condition and laying the foundation for new machinery which will preserve peace and order and provide good wages and good conditions and decent profits to those engaged in the industry.
§ Commodore KING
Will the hon. Gentleman kindly answer the definite question which I put to him as to how the existing agreements are going to be dealt with? He speaks of new agreements being come to, but, when such agreements have been come to, they will not come under this definition of proposed agreements. I see how this Board is going to deal with proposed agreements, but what use is it going to be when an agreement has been reached?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
I only heard the point put by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman since I came into the House. I have only had time for very brief inquiries, but, apparently, the position is that to this Board will be sent any agreement 328 which is negotiated for the first time and on which the parties have not reached a definite conclusion in the district. As regards the existing agreements, I understand that agreements in the districts carry with them their own machinery for interpretation and the rest, and there is, of course, a desire to preserve them, that is not to bring a point of that kind to the National Industrial Board under this Bill. I have made inquiries and find that that is the position, but I should not like to say a final word on that to-night. If I find that there is any difficulty or that representatives of either the owners or of the Miners' Federation might like reconsideration of that matter, I will look into it before the Report stage, and, if it is found desirable, take any steps which are appropriate then.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I wish I could share the admiration of the Secretary for Mines for this Clause, because I feel great admiration for the Secretary for Mines and for the way in which he has honestly done and is doing his utmost to bring about peace in industry in this country. Everyone is likely to give full credit to him in respect of his efforts in this direction. There is a danger that this Clause so far from allaying disputes may aggravate them. This National Board have no definite powers. They can report, and they can record, but they can decide nothing. An hon. Member, speaking last night from the benches opposite, said, in commending this Clause, that these matters can be referred to practical men to decide. That is just what cannot he done. All that this board can do is to collect information, record it, inquire into a dispute, and then report to the people concerned. I do not want to say strong things about the proposal, but it seems to me that a situation is possible which may lead to a waste of money. We all know that when negotiations have reached a final stage and it is a question of "I shall," or, "I shall not," one is apt to modify one's demands. All good negotiations invariably end in a compromise.
What is the position with regard to the making and the consideration of these reports? If hon. Members will turn for a moment to the composition of the board, they will see that there are to be 17 members; eight of them 329 apparently appealing to one line of thought and eight of them to another, with an independent chairman. I imagine that the board is to be composed in that way, so that both lines of thought can be represented upon it. I see the greatest danger that, in making these reports, which can have no finality and cannot come to anything, they will be inevitably coloured by the political and economic theories of the committee, and that there will be eight in favour of reporting in one direction and eight in favour of reporting in another. So far from getting peace and compromise, you will get dissension. It would be a good thing if this board could have final powers so that people would know that it could decide one way or another. As at present constituted, it may very likely result, not in bringing about peace, but in stirring up strife in the industry. There will be no finality and no desire to make the necessary compromise. Reports will tend to be drawn up with bias and in a partisan fashion. They will serve as a means of representing the political and economic views of the persons reporting, and, so far from the position getting better, it will get worse. That is why, in my opinion, the whole of this Clause in favour of a National Board may very likely do more damage to the industry than it may do good.
I have no doubt that it is too late to attempt to change the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite with regard to this Board, and I know that the Secretary for Mines expressed intense admiration for it and hopes that it will prove to be ointment on the sores from which the industry has suffered for so long. I am wondering seriously when the National Board comes into operation whether it will not prove a danger rather than a help. I should like the President of the Board of Trade to reassure roe and to reassure the Committee that there is not the danger which I anticipate, namely, that these reports may lead to nothing tangible but to a very great deal of dissention among the people who are reporting and those who receive the reports. There is another small point. It is the proposal to enable this Board to sit in divisions. There, again, I think we may experience great difficulty, because if you have a National Board it is desirable that there should be some kind 330 of co-ordination of its decisions. If they are split up into two, three or four sections in various parts of the country, and there should be disputes—
§ The CHAIRMAN
What has been deleted is paragraph (a)—for enabling the National Board to sit in two or more divisions and to sit with assessors.Paragraph (b)—for enabling the National Board to act notwithstanding any vacancy in their numberhas not been deleted, and I understand that that is the point which the hon. Member is raising.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
It is a small point, but it is necessary that the decisions of the National Board should be unanimous.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I find that in paragraph (b) the words, "or any division thereof," have been deleted.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
That being so, I will not pursue the point further. I hope that the President of the Board of Trade will relieve the doubt that is in my mind as to the desirability of this Clause.
§ Mr. TINKER
I interrupted the ex-Secretary for Mines when he was making his speech. If there is one hon. Member opposite who puts his case clearly it is the ex-Secretary for Mines, but he said that the men were desirous of having small units. I want to assure the Committee that, so far as I know, there is no such desire. The whole tendency is toward the greater unit. It may be argued that in certain pits there are a few mean-spirited men who may desire to take full advantage in that pit, but generally we find that the greater body of men are recognising that the coalfields should be joined together for mutual benefit. The whole history of the Miners' Federation has been that way. In 1926, one of the things for which we fought was the continuance of the National Board. Near the end of the 331 struggle, the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer almost gave us that, and I think we should have secured it had not the ex-Prime Minister hurriedly broken off the negotiations. That is why we are pleased that the Labour Government are attempting in this Bill to bring back something of what we fought for in 1926. As a representative of the miners, I do not want the Debate to finish on this Clause without pointing out the keen desire that we have to retain Clause 10 in the Bill.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
What little we have heard on this Clause gives us no confidence in the benefits that are likely to accrue from this National Board. What is the real purpose of the board? As I understand it, the aim of hon. Members opposite is that this board shall be a conciliatory machine, and that when disagreements have arisen in a district they shall be referred to the Central Board which shall try to compose them on terms satisfactory to both sides. I wonder very seriously whether the machinery set up in this Clause is the most efficient and the most likely to achieve that purpose. We on this side of the Committee moved an Amendment to try and give the Central Board a more judicial character and less of a partisan character. Hon. Members have endeavoured to make clear what, I think, should be obvious to anyone who is not so optimistic as the Secretary for Mines, that the board is likely to be prejudiced and to be partisan in character. We tried to strike out the interested parties—the miners and the mineowners. We tried to start afresh and to forget the old gang, the A. G. Cooks and the Lees, and to forget the old spirit of 1926, which is not likely to be given its deathblow by the formation of this board.
All hon. Members would like to see this machine effective and able to compose difficulties and to promote more friendly relationships between the miners and the mineowners, but I see no prospect of that aim being achieved, when you have six miners sitting on one side of the table and six owners sitting on the other side, backed up on one side by the Trade Union Congress. I do not want to traverse the discussion that we had yesterday as to the mistake of putting members of the Trade Union Congress upon this Board, but 332 nothing will convince me that the old animosities and the old desire of the Trade Union Congress to act as a powerful machine for the propagation of Socialist doctrine are going to cease when they get a seat upon this Board. Everything points to the contrary. I have the greatest respect for the Secretary for Mines, who has done so much since 1926 to bring about peace in industry. Since he and those in association with him have realised that their policy ended in failure and is not likely to improve the condition of the workers or to assist n the better government of this country, they are endeavouring to bring about more friendly relationships in industry. I wish I had the same optimism as to the functions and influences of this Board as is felt by the Secretary for Mines. In these Debates one has been struck by the band optimism of the Secretary for Mines. He has frankly told us that he is more concerned with the human side thin with the economic side of this question. He closes his eyes to the facts of the situation. He likes to believe that everything he hopes for will come true. I am afraid that the wish is father to the thought.
What is the first thing that this Board will probably be called upon to adjust and settle? I have not the least doubt that hon. Members opposite have awakened to the fact that not only will this Bill raise the price of coal, but that it will necessitate—
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I do not wish to transgress your Ruling, but I was going to relate my argument to the setting up of the Board. I was endeavouring to point out that one of the first matters which this Board will have to settle will be probably a renewal of the wages agreements in the different districts as the result of the passage of Clause 9 and the consequential shortening of the hours of labour. I wish I could share the optimism of some hon. Members opposite, but certainly the optimism is not wholeheartedly shared, otherwise we should not have had a Division on the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). He is quite aware of the implications of this Bill. He is quite aware that probably there will be a demand on the part 333 of the mineowners for an adjustment of wages in order to meet the shortening of hours. That is probably one of the first things that this Board will have to decide. What will happen? There will be a demand in the districts for a revision of the wages agreements. Miners and the owners will get round the table, and will probably disagree as they have in the past. I do not know why we should assume that because the President of the Board of Trade in a Socialist Government brings in a Coal Mines Bill that it is going to settle all our past differences. I wish I could think so; but I have not the least reason to suppose that the miners will be less exacting in their demands or that the mineowners will be more likely to meet those demands. The first thing will be a disagreement over the wages agreements.
Hon. Members opposite, including the President of the Board of Trade, do not imagine that these questions are going to be settled in the districts, otherwise this National Board would not be set up. The right hon. Gentleman anticipates that the old disagrements will still continue and that it will be just as difficult in the future as it has been in the past for agreement to be arrived at in the districts, but, having set up a National Board, there will be an opportunity for an appeal and settlement by arbitration. The very setting up of this National Board makes it more unlikely that agreements will be arrived at in the districts. When miners and mineowners both know that if they do not agree amongst themselves in the districts they have an appeal to another body there is little likelihood of satisfactory results in the districts. I anticipate that, as a result of the setting up of this National Board, there will be an adequate opportunity, a more adequate opportunity than we desire, for this National Board to exercise its functions. I only wish I thought it would exercise those functions with the confidence of the people of this country. It has no powers at all. It has to consult and report, and record, the agreements which have been arrived at in the districts. It has no powers to enforce agreements or settlements. Its only power consists in the command of the public confidence which it possesses as a result of its composition and the justice and fairness of its findings. The Board is not likely, with its warring elements, to command the confidence 334 either of the mining industry or the community as a whole, and, after all, in this question the community has just as much interest in a satisfactory settlement of the mining industry as the miners or the owners themselves. I may be wrong, but I believe that this National Board is really not what we have to face. This is only the first step to what the hon. Member for Bridgeton said was a National Wages Board which would settle wages throughout the country.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
That is obviously what is at the back of the right hon. Member's mind. He would never have gone to the trouble of setting up a Board constituted as at present unless he had some ulterior motive of using it as a step towards setting up national machinery for the settlement of wages. That is the root of this Clause. Its ultimate aim is a Board, a central authority, which will be able by statutory powers, which the right hon. Gentleman has not dared to introduce into this Bill, but which will be introduced at some future time to settle wages agreements throughout the country and fix, regardless of economic conditions and regardless of our power to compete in the markets of the world, a national wage which will satisfy those who vote for hon. Members opposite in mining constituencies. That is my view, and if I am right this National Board is a very dangerous institution. It is the thin end of the wedge of a National Wages Board with statutory powers to fix a minimum wage and insist upon it being effective. I do not welcome this National Board at all. Its constitution is not likely to command public confidence, and it will be called upon at the outset to perform a variety of functions in settling wage agreements which will not satisfy the community as a whole. I hope the President of the Board of Trade will think very seriously before he sets up an institution which, while disguised in a somewhat harmless form, may be an instrument of great evil to this country.
§ Mr. MANDER
I desire to support this Clause because I think it forms a very useful piece of conciliation machinery which is extremely necessary in the coal industry at the present time. The real reason for setting up the National Board 335 is to enable the coalowners and the miners to meet and negotiate on a national scale about wages. Nothing shows how reactionary and antiquated are the views of the coalowners of this country more than their unwillingness to negotiate on a national basis. As regards the quota dealt with in the Bill, organisations are being set up on a, national scale—
§ Mr. MANDER
I was endeavouring to point out the reason, as I understood it, why this Board has been set up, that is, because of the unwillingness of the owners to meet the miners on a national basis, which seems to me a most reactionary attitude. Let me quote a few words from the Report of the Royal Commission which dealt with this subject:The general principles for determining wages, whether economic or minimum, should be laid down by a single authority of national scope. There should be no abandoning of the principle of national wage agreements. There may be an advantage, if the two parties agree, in having a National Wages Board which shall bring in also impartial elements outside the coal industry itself.The Government, therefore, in this proposal is carrying out exactly the recommendation of the Royal Commission. I do not suggest that amongst the owners there are not some of the ablest and most far-sighted employers in the country, but they often allow themselves to be represented by those who take the narrowest and most short-sighted views. On the other hand, I do not suggest that the miners have always been led with supreme wisdom, far from it. But, after all, the leadership remains with the owners. It is far more in their power to give a lead in these matters, and the responsibility for the existing state of affairs rests with them. It has been suggested that this Board will fail, that it cannot do any-good, in easing the acrimonies which exist. Surely it is a short-sighted view to say that because quarrels are possible, and have always existed, that therefore it is not worth while setting up any sort of machinery to avoid them. I suggest that the Board is intended to do, and may well do, for the mining industry what the Council of the League of Nations is 336 endeavouring to do in international affairs, that is to hear both sides, to get all the facts together, and then to propound a solution based on equity, and to make an appeal in one case to the public opinion of the world, and in the other case to the public opinion of the industry and of the country.
More and more public opinion is becoming able to enforce its views and power upon warring elements, and I see no reason why, when this Board makes a recommendation, it should not be obeyed as successfully as the similar Board in the case of the railways has been followed on every occasion up to the present time. The reason why I attach so much importance to a Board of this kind is that it is essential by some means or other to get a spirit of good will and co-operation into the mining industry. We must somehow get the owners and the workers to combine together. However perfect our plans may be, our rationalisation, our reorganisation, amalgamation, and all the rest of it, we shall be able to get only a very small part of the possible benefits if there remains the spirit of ill-will, antagonism, and suspicion which has wrecked the mining industry for so long. Anything, however small, that moves away from that terrible outlook into a newer and better atmosphere is a thing that deserves to be supported. It is for that reason and with that hope that I strongly support the Clause.
§ Mr. POTTS
I was very pleased to hear the last hon. Member speak as he has spoken. I support the President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary for Mines in the course that they are pursuing. I believe that the sitting up of an independent authority will be found a great advantage and improvement in course of time. One speaker has referred to the numbers of those serving on the authority. He said that there would be eight on either side, which would mean ultimately a division of opinion and that nothing useful would be done. I sat on a similar authority for a considerable number of years. I refer to the Minimum Wage Board on which I sat from its first coming into existence. I was, of course, on the workmen's side. I found that that board, with an independent chairman, was a very useful board, and the only reason why it does not operate to-day 337 is that the War put an end to its operation. I have sat, almost from its coming into operation in the nineties, on a board for the county of Yorkshire. My experience is that the board has been useful, and it is useful even to-day in settling difficulties that arise between employers and workmen. I also sat for many years on a board that has been discussed in this House, namely, the National Federation or organisation of miners and employers in this country. It has been a useful board. When that board meets half of it does so at the expense of the coal owners, and the other half at the expense of the workmen. When the board meets the two sides have to fight in the interests of the parties that they represent.
The board that is proposed under this Clause will be independent and its members will not be paid either by the owners or the miners. It will be a much more useful body than any pit committees that could be set up. It will a national board. It will adjudicate independently of owners and workmen. I have no hesitation in saying that once this Board is set up I do not think we shall hear of another stoppage in the coal trade on national lines. Its independence will prevent any of the trouble, strife, and interestedness of the past. I hope that the Government will hold out on this matter. The Board will lead to an improvement of the industry and will be welcomed in the country. I believe it will lead to the setting up in the future of a Board with even more powers than this one will possess.
§ Mr. POTTS
I ask hon. Members opposite to abandon the stand that they are taking on the matter. Once this Board is established it will tend to do away with stoppages and will serve the interests of the public as well as that of the miners and mine owners, and in the end there will be an improvement of the trade itself.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I can assure the hon. Member who has just spoken that although in many matters relating to the mining industry there may be controversy between us, yet on this one 338 point I believe there is a unanimous desire in all quarters of the House to devise the best method of conciliation. The difference between us is not as to whether a method of conciliation should be adopted, but whether this is the best method and whether it will work satisfactorily. The hon. Member said that the advantage of the Board proposed in the Clause, would be that you would no longer have members appointed by the Miners' Federation on the one side, and members appointed by the Mining Association on the other as in the case of the district boards; that the members of the proposed body would be appointed by the State and would therefore be neutral. I suggest to him that the six members about whom the Miners' Federation are to be consulted and the six about whom the Mining Association are to be consulted, must obviously represent the views of those bodies, and there will be no difference in that respect between the district boards and the Board now proposed. Everybody feels strongly the need for conciliation, but, in view of the history of this industry there may be a good deal of loose thinking on the matter, and if hon. Members opposite will forgive me for saying so, a good deal of rather sloppy sentiment. We have to devise the most practical method of dealing with the difficult conditions which have arisen in connection with this, the most thorny and difficult of all our great industrial problems.
This proposal was obviously not made, in the first instance, on its merits. This suggestion of a National Board was made as a compromise for the National Wages Agreement promised at the last Election. Hon. Members who have contested mining constituencies know—as I know because I have had to face a good many mining audiences in my own constituency—that one of the things promised by every Socialist candidate at the last Election was that there should be a National Wages Agreement. The Election being over, the Government found that they could not carry out that pledge, and they have offered this compromise. I admit that something of the sort was suggested by the Royal Commission over which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) presided, but the original reason 339 for the present proposal was the inability of the Government to fulfil the complete pledge given at the Election. That, in itself, is sufficient reason for doubting whether its working will be of the value which hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to expect. Allusion has been made to the analogy of the National Railway Board, but it has also been pointed out that that analogy is false and misleading. The conditions in the coalfields are quite different from the conditions in the railways. Conditions of working in the coalfields present an utterly different picture from that presented by conditions on the railways, and it cannot be safely predicted that a board of the kind which has been successful in connection with the railways will be succesful in dealing with the coal industry.
The great objection which I see to the suggested plan, however, is this. Already very valuable conciliation work has been done by the district boards. Everybody familiar with our coalfields knows the number of disputes which have been prevented or stopped by decisions of the district boards and the invaluable work of the independent chairmen. In this matter we are discussing methods and not principles. We all want to find the best method of conciliation; but I ask hon. Members is it going to be a good alteration if matters which have in the past gone before district boards with independent chairmen, and on which those boards have given decisions are now, almost inevitably to be prejudged and prejudiced by the fact that beyond those boards there lies a sort of court of appeal. Is that going to help negotiations before these conciliation boards? Is it not going to make their work almost a farce, because, on whatever side the decision may be given, those who think they have lost will inevitably wish to carry their case further? It always seemed to me that the most satisfactory machinery existing in the industry was the organisation of the district boards. Anybody who knows their work must realise the danger in this proposal of emasculating it and of spoiling the effect of such negotiations as have been successful in the past, by relegating to the new Board an enormous number of cases which might otherwise have been settled in the districts.
§ Colonel LANE FOX
I shall be very glad if the hon. Member will give me his account of what happened. I am dealing with the situation as it was—
§ Colonel LANE FOX
— and I do not think he will dispute the facts which I have given. The hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) alluded to the change which was made after the dispute of 1926 when district agreements came into force. He suggested that that change was a drawback and he used that as an argument in favour of a National Board. One of the results of the 1926 dispute was district agreements, and I venture to say that there is a great advantage in district agreements in this sense. One of the great difficulties in the past history of the coal-mining industry has been the existence of these great armaments, if one may call them so—these great organisations, the Mining Association on the one side, and the Miners' Federation on the other. When you have great battalions or armies of this sort organised against each other, it does not tend towards peace. These great organisations are out to fight for those objects for which they have been created, and if either gives way it is a defeat on a larger scale than is possible in any sort of district conflict. In the districts those concerned know the conditions well. The personal factor is a very important one, and it is possible for the parties to negotiate in a district with personal knowledge of each other. Consequently there is less difficulty in getting agreement, and in getting peace than there is when these great organisations are formed up against each other.
That is one of the dangers which I see in the formation of this Board. There will be six men on either side, as I say, bound to represent their respective organisations. I would far rather see the district spirit—the conciliation spirit which has existed in the past in the districts—than a system of the kind suggested in the Clause. The Secretary for Mines made one of his usual good humoured and friendly speeches, and addressed the Committee as if he was addressing a brotherhood meeting. That 341 is a very good spirit, too, but it is not always conducive to great closeness or accuracy of thought; and I suggest to the hon. Gentleman, that loose thinking on matters of this sort may lead to considerable danger. We may all wish for the best of all possible results in the best of all possible worlds but this is practical business. We have to consider how these things are going to work and not merely utter pious sentiments as to how we would like to see the world reconstituted. The hon. Gentleman talked about inflamed passions in the districts, but I do not think that danger can be compared with the danger of getting these great rational bodies, the Association on the one side and the Federation on the other, lined up against each other in the way which the Clause suggests. As to the point which he made about the number of lock-outs or strikes, I do not think we shall gain very much by trying to discuss that. We all know there has been a most deplorable number of disputes, to use a neutral word, in this industry, but we are all most anxious to produce the best method of conciliation that can be adopted, and we shall all be most glad if anything which the Government suggest is successful, but many of us on this side have grave doubts as to whether this is the best method of arriving at the conclusion which we all desire, and for that reason we certainly mistrust this Clause.
§ Mr. GORDON MACDONALD
We are told by the right hon. and gallant Member for Barkston Ash (Colonel Lane Fox) that we ought not to have a National Board because the district boards have worked so well and that the differences between the districts in this country are so great that a National Board could not act as well. It is well to remind the Committee that the differences in the districts are equally as large as the differences between a district and a district. In Lancashire you will find just the same type of difference between one colliery and another as you will find between the Lancashire district and the South Wales district—as large a difference in the type of seam, thickness of coal, and type of temperature—and all these differences operate just as largely and effectively in one district as they do between one district and another. We 342 were also told by the right hon. and gallant Member that the district boards, in spite of all these great differences, have been very effective, which seems to me to give his whole case away.
We are told also that the danger would be that you would not get district settlements, that the owners and workmen would say, "We need not settle because there is a National Board." What in the world would the owners and men differ for, if there was no need to differ? Surely, if they could make a settlement, they would. Surely no one suggests that a body of owners and workmen in some district would refuse to make a settlement because this Bill sets up a National Board. I suggest that the owners and workmen in the districts are very anxious to make settlements and would gladly make them if they could, and that the only case that would go to this National Board would be when they had failed, in spite of every effort, to make a settlement in the district. Owners and workmen have nothing at all to gain by refusing to make settlements, if they can make them.
We were told by the hon. Member for West Bristol (Mr. Culverwell) that we ought not to support this Clause because it will lead somewhere else. The Chairman has already ruled out one hon. Member who was referring to a permanent National Wages Board, but that is no reason for opposing this Clause. Surely, if the time comes when it is a wise step to establish a National Wages Board to deal with the coal mining industry, that cannot be a reason for opposing this Clause now. The case for this Clause was well made out by the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander). The owners have definitely refused to meet the miners now, and they say that they will be no parties to national negotiations. This Clause, I agree, is merely a step to try and get over a difficulty. The miners say they are a national body and that their men work in similar circumstances in different districts, and the mere fact that a man in one district is confronted with natural difficulties that are not to be found in another district is no reason why the man in the one district must have his wages determined by a district board.
The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade has tried 343 to meet the difficulty halt way. He says, "I will establish a National Board and give it limited powers; I will not give it statutory powers." Rather strangely, objection was taken on the benches opposite because he did not give it statutory powers. The setting up of this board may be a means of bringing about an end to a dispute or of preventing a dispute. It is true that the decision is not binding, but supposing, as a result of the cancelling out process which has been so much talked about by hon. Members opposite, the chairman himself has to give a casting vote, does anyone suggest that the body in the district, whether employers or workmen, which suffers from the decision will reject it willy nilly and never consider it? If they did, their case would not stand the opposition that would surely come from public opinion.
Objection has been taken once again to-night to the composition of the board, but a National Board which did not contain representatives of workmen and employers would not be as effective as this board will In the county of Lancashire we have a district board. We sit year in and year out, with equal numbers on either side, employers and workmen, and we never fail to come to a decision, on just the same questions as those which are to be dealt with by this National Board. Our county wages board in Lancashire has the same functions that this Bill gives to the National Board, and deals with the same kind of difficulty, such as the refusal to honour agreements by certain collieries. That board has, as I say, equal numbers on either side. We do not cancel out, and never have cancelled out, but we have always given a decision in one direction or another, and the decision has never been questioned by the bodies concerned, but always accepted.
§ Mr. MACDONALD
Not always unanimous. What happens is this, that the Board decides, and as a rule the party which has brought the case to the Board accepts the decision. It is true that we have an independent chairman, but I may inform the Committee that in 10 years we have been once to an independent chairman. What we feel is 344 this, that there may come a time in Lancashire, as in other districts, when we shall be up against a tremendous difficulty, in which both sides take a definite stand and say, "We are not prepared to settle this case amicably," and rather than allow them to come to a stoppage in the county, it would be better if you could go a step further and place the whole of the facts before another body, a body more detached, who could view the question perhaps from a wider viewpoint, and when they brought, their decision, not binding, but simply in the form of a recommendation, and asked us in the county to reconsider our position in view of that recommendation, I feel sure that in nine cases out of 10, if not in an even larger percentage, that recommendation would bring the dispute to an end.
Personally, I think that this part of the Bill is going to make for peace in the industry. I ask hon. Members, if we can get peace, is not the preservation of peace in this industry worth something? Are they not prepared even to go further than they have ever gone before in order to preserve peace? I agree that if you reduce the units smaller and smaller, you may get peace out of sheer inertia or weakness. That is not the peace you want. The peace you want is an equitable peace, where both sides feel that they are getting a fair deal. We, as mining Members, feel that in setting up this National Board we are getting not all we want—for we wanted national negotiations and a national wage settlement—but we do feel that this step taken by the President of the Board of Trade and his colleagues is a step in the direction of peace in industry, where we have not known peace of a real kind for many, many years.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
I believe that the speech to which we have just listened is not a maiden speech, but I hope that the hon. Member will not consider it an impertinence if I venture to congratulate him on one of the most interesting speeches that I have heard in the course of this long Debate. He has approached the question exactly in the way that I hope we shall all approach it, namely, is this proposal really going to make for peace in the industry? I certainly have approached this with a very open mind, and originally with rather an inclination in favour of this Clause, 345 but I have come to the conclusion that, on the whole, the case for it has not been made out. Though I have no doubt it is put forward with the best of intentions, I feel that, on the whole, the risks of it are greater than the benefits are likely to be.
The Minister of Mines, in a very pleasant speech, commended this Clause to the Committee with what he called paternal affection and as his latest child it was a very late comer. He begat the whole Bill, and a large number of editions of the Bill, and this Clause did not find its place in any of them. It was an after-thought. Some afterthoughts are very sound, but, at any rate, this Clause formed no part, as I understand it, of the original Bill. In all the long negotiations which went on between the right hon. Gentleman and the Mining Association and the Miners' Federation we were given a daily bulletin of the progress made, so that we knew what was happening and I gathered that the Bill got a very long way, almost to presentation, before this Clause found its way into the 13th, 14th or 15th edition. Therefore, it was not considered, originally, an essential part of the proposal. The hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Mines said that we must all be in favour of an effective machinery for settling disputes. Certainly. He said that he was all for getting peace and orderliness in a house. We all agree with that. I might say, in passing, that you are more likely to get peace and orderliness in your house if you come to an agreement within your own house rather than always rely upon the Divorce Court outside. It is never too late to mend in family life.
Looking back on the very chequered history of this industry, I do not think hon. Members could truthfully contend that the Central Wages Tribunal was, when it was in operation, more successful in producing peace than the district wage tribunals and the district committees which are operating to-day. I, certainly, do not think that the Miners' Federation and the Mining Association can show a record of agreement approaching within a hundred yards the measure of agreement which the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald) told us characterised the activities of the District 346 Board in Lancashire, where they always came to agreement, though not always unanimous agreement. It was all the better if they were not always unanimous, because it showed that very difficult things have come up in the district and they have always managed somehow to get an agreement there, and in all those years have only had once to go to the independent chairman. That speech, a very sincere plea for this Clause, struck me as being a tremendous argument for the maintenance of the district agreements.
I am going to vote against the Clause, not because I am opposed to conciliation machinery, but because I absolutely refuse to give a vote which may be against these district agreements. [An HON. MEMBER: "Oh!"] I hope that the hon. Member will give Members on this side of the Committee credit for as much sincerity as we are perfectly prepared to give to him. On very careful consideration, I refuse to give a vote for a Clause which, I hold, may work against these district agreements. There have been some who have said that they wanted this Clause, not because it gives everything, but because it will lead them back to the national wages agreement and to the National Wages Tribunal. I am going to vote against the Clause because I realise that that is at the back of the minds of many Members, and that there are many who propose to undermine the sound working of district conciliation boards and to use this Clause for that purpose. I am perfectly certain that you could do no greater disservice to this industry than to diminish the authority and confidence in, and the frankness of the discussions which take place in, the district conciliation boards.
There is no sort of analogy here with the case of the railway companies. The railway companies all have exactly the same conditions to meet. Each of them has town and country districts, and it is perfectly easy to lay down rules which will work fairly and equitably in operation in any of the four great lines for each of them has to face the same conditions. Nobody believes you can lay down conditions which will apply equally in every one of the 21 mining areas in this country. Therefore, I feel that this central body must inevitably be in the minds of everybody 347 as a possible court of appeal, and be directly in the minds and intentions of some of those who are proposing it tonight as not only a court of appeal, but a court of first instance which they desire to substitute for these district tribunals. Because I believe that would be thoroughly against the interest of this industry, I shall vote against the Clause. A point was raised by the hon. Member for Ince which was worth answering. He paid tribute, unlike a good many of his colleagues, to the district conciliation boards, but he said that there might arise some very big issue, where both sides felt so strongly that they could not possibly agree. He said that we wanted in that rare case where they could not agree to be able to go to some board which could conciliate. That is very sound reasoning, but there exists already just the kind of tribunal that is valuable in that case.
Wherever you get a grave dispute of that kind, it is open to the Minister of Labour to have a special inquiry. Such an inquiry has just been set up, and is being conducted in Yorkshire; and it is exactly that kind of inquiry that was set up in Lancashire. I agree that you want a special inquiry in these exceptional cases, and I have often thought that it might be well worth consideration in this House whether, in what I may call key trades—those industries which are not only important in themselves, but upon which many other industries depend—you should not make it illegal to have a strike or a lock-out where there is an industrial dispute until you have had such an inquiry and public opinion is informed. I am, therefore, entirely in sympathy with a full inquiry where there is a dispute in which neither of the parties can agree. That procedure is open, however, and you can get a competent inquiry established by the Minister of Labour where such a dispute arises. In order to deal with exceptional cases, I am certain that it is unnecessary to set up this perpetual court with its inevitable invitation to people to come to it instead of settling their own differences. For these reasons, I shall cast my vote against this proposal.
I must now ask the question of the President of the Board of Trade. Speaking 348 on an Amendment moved on his own side, the President made a very important, though rather indefinite pronouncement. He invited his supporters to refrain from voting for an Amendment—which I agree was an extremely bad one—by indicating that he proposed in the future—I do not know whether in the near future—to introduce minimum wage legislation. I know what the procedure of this House is, and when a responsible Minister of the Crown comes down to the Committee and makes an announcement that he proposes to introduce new legislation, and advances it as a reason for rejecting an Amendment, it is of enormous importance, and we have the right to ask him, before we part from this Clause, on which he himself has raised this issue, what this legislation is, when he intends to introduce it, and generally what it is proposed that it should cover.
If this industry needs one thing above all others, it is rest from legislation. [Interruption.] I hope that hon. Members are not going to prevent me discussing an important announcement made by the President of the Board of Trade. [An HON. MEMBER: "Keep in order!"] I know precisely what is in order, and what is not. I am dealing now, and I have a right to deal, and I am going to deal with a matter which the President of the Board of Trade introduced into the Debate on this Clause, and I say that the last thing this unfortunate industry wants is more legislation. I should have thought that this Bill was enough. The last thing that the industry wants is more uncertainty added to it. We have given them uncertainty about hours, and, not content with that, the industry is now threatened, for the first time, with a further dose of legislation dealing with a minimum wage in some entirely novel manner. I am sure that the President of the "Board of Trade, who is a man who chooses his words carefully, and does not embark on any new adventure unnecessarily, had some very good reason for telling us that he is proposing to introduce that legislation. Before we part from this Clause, we are entitled to know from him, and to ask him to tell us with his usual frankness, when he proposes to introduce this legislation, and what he intends that it should cover.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
The question which the late President, of the Board of 349 Trade addressed to the present President covers a particular phase of the question which was passing in my mind. No dissatisfaction has been expressed on this side of the House with what is in the Clause, but dissatisfaction has been expressed with what is not in the Clause. The former Secretary for Mines said that these great battalions, the Mining Association and the Miners' Federation, are liable to produce trouble because of their very existence confronting each other. Discussion on this Clause has brought out, contrary to what the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has said, that these great battalions were carefully consulted to such an extent by the Government, that peace was declared, and that consequently no exception can properly be taken to the arrangement that had been arrived at. My individual disappointment with the situation is that after the Government had been able to secure a majority, even if only a small majority, for the Second Reading, in spite of all the arguments from the Liberal benches, they collapsed, and arranged to recast practically the whole Bill in its main issues. Hon. Members must review the situation from the standpoint that they do not represent the Mining Association and do not represent the Miners' Federation. Hon. Members here may represent the Labour party, but they must understand, after what has happened, that the Miners' Federation having settled the job, the other members of the Labour party who are not representative of those great battalions have to join the procession—join the end of the procession—whether they like it or not.
The Clause itself is on the right lines. The whole tendency of the Clause is to say "Come together from the national standpoint." This industry has been largely paralysed by the inefficient working of many of the pits. Expert evidence has been given that many pits are far behind the times in the matter of machinery for producing coal in the form that is most acceptable and most likely to obtain the best price. The same type of expert opinion has also demonstrated that much better wages could have been secured by a re-organisation of the pits which constitute the larger proportion of those in the industry in such a way as to operate the whole concern on a national basis. We 350 quite understand that the former President of the Board of Trade wants to see scattered forces, because it is easier to smash them when they are scattered; but he and his friends must realise that that is a position which is not likely to be taken up by those who are exercising their natural gumption, as we call it in Scotland, their natural conception of how things work out in the world as it is. The national basis of the Board meets the situation in a perfectly reasonable fashion.
The only disappointment is that it ought to act in the direction of dealing definitely with wages, and the President of the Board of Trade has given an indication that later, not in this Bill, but on some other occasion as to which he could make no definite statement, that point would be dealt with. He recognised the strength of the reasoning in support of the Amendment dealing with wages, and although there were only 21 Members in the Lobby supporting that Amendment, one must remember that with the Government placed as it is in this House there is a likelihood of those large battalions both coming to an understanding which appears quite reasonable to the Government and the leaders of the large battalions but which leaves the rank and file complaining of the secret diplomacy adopted. It is very nice to talk about unity and the preservation of peace, but a peace which may give satisfaction to the leaders on both sides may be a peace that will produce disruption in the coming days. I submit to those who are endeavouring to act as independent representatives of the Labour party that they must realise that it will be imperative for them to take a stand irrespective of their party, and in doing so they will have to prove the meaning of the word "independence" in action and not as a mere verbal declaration.
Sir N. STEWART SANDEMAN
If I thought that by passing this Clause we should get peace, I would be almost inclined to vote for it. But shall we get a disarmament conference, shall we get the owners and the miners coming together to try to do something whereby we really may get peace in the industry? I do not think the passing of this Clause or of this Bill will help towards that end, because everything points towards compulsion, 351 which is liked by neither the owners nor the men. The hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald) made an extraordinarily good speech and I listened to it with great care, because I think there was more in that about how the miners feel than in any speech I have yet heard on the subject. The fact that the hon. Member comes from Lancashire explains that, because the people of Lancashire have a great deal of common sense. He told us how the people there secure agreements through conciliation boards. I am certain that if you have people meeting with a desire to come to an agreement, it can be secured. Conciliation boards would have been the best method in this case. From what we have heard of conciliation boards in Lancashire, with one exception they have always managed to secure some agreement.
What will be the effect of setting up this new Industrial Board? The parties interested will not be so keen about coming to an arrangement. They will say, "We are not going to bear the onus of making this agreement, we are not going to take any blame when there is some other body to which we can refer it." They will put the onus of coming to an agreement on a heterogenous body made up of mineowners and miners, and all the etceteras set out in this Clause—the General Council of the Trade Union Congress, the National Federation of Employers and the like. I do not like that Board at all. If those of whom the hon. Member for Ince spoke cannot come to an agreement, it would be far better to submit the question to an entirely fresh set of people, who would bring a fresh point of view to bear upon the subject of disagreement. But if the Government insist on having this heterogeneous board, why do they not use common sense as to those of whom it is to be composed?
There is no representative of the export trade on it. Surely the export trade is a most important one from the point of view of the miners and ought to have representation on the Board, and I hope the President of the Board of Trade will consider cutting out one or other of the little lots he has got on the Board at the present time and putting on a representative of the export trade. There is no jest about this; we must 352 have a representative of the export trade on the board. I think, when we consider that there are tens and hundreds of thousands of tons involved, the export interest should be well looked after, because it is upon the export trade in coal that the prosperity of the trade depends. I hope that during the Report stage the President of the Board of Trade will think seriously about the composition of the National Board. I think he might cut out some of the bodies which are now included, and put in their place some representatives of the export trade.
§ Mr. PERRY
It has been rather disappointing to me to hear the views which have been expressed by Members of the official Opposition on this Amendment, more especially when it is considered from the point of view of promoting industrial peace and the encouragement of efforts to settle differences between employers and workmen by amicable methods instead of resorting to the old methods of strikes and lock-outs. Considered from this point of view, the attitude that is taken up by the Opposition is very disappointing. As one who has been locked out as many times as any Member in this House. I welcome the establishment of the National Board in an industry which has proved such a thorny subject to handle by all the Governments in recent years. The coal industry has been a source of anxiety to every Government and every party for some years past, and I should have thought that any suggestions to bring those engaged in it into closer touch with each other would have been most welcome.
Objection has been taken on account of the number of etceteras included in the composition of the National Board, but I challenge any hon. Member to take the industry itself and secure within the limits of four additional members a more representative organisation than that which is provided for in this Clause to constitute the National Industrial Board. The right hon. Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister) objected to this Clause and the functions of the National Board, because he said it would largely take away the incentive for district associations to settle their own differences. The hon. Member for Prestwich (Sir N. Stewart Sandeman) paid a most glowing tribute 353 to Lancashire, but there is another county next to Lancashire which does not play second fiddle to Lancashire in these matters. I would remind the hon. Member for Prestwich that we have to go back to Lancashire and Cheshire for the form of agreement upon which this National Board has been formed, and which proved so successful for many years in settling differences of opinion inside the cotton trade—I refer to the Brooklands Agreement, which has avoided much industrial trouble in the cotton trade of Lancashire. The Brook-lands Agreement provides' somewhat similar machinery to that provided by the National Industrial Board. Under that agreement, when those engaged in the cotton trade were dealing with conditions of labour, they were first considered by a district committee, and a very strong determination grew up to settle their own differences without resorting to the Central Committee stationed in Manchester.
I submit that the operation of the National Industrial Board, even if the 21 different associations are maintained, will strengthen the determination on the part of the mineowners and the Miners' Federation to settle their own disagreements in their own district among themselves before resorting finally to the National Board. I would remind hon. Members that in their objections to the National Industrial Board they cannot have it both ways. A fear has been expressed that the Board will have some power of compulsion upon the industry itself. On the other hand, a fear has been expressed that part of the function of the National Board will be only to report and record agreements, and, later, if a settlement is not effected, to inquire and submit reports. If it is decided to establish the National Board to represent the coal industry in this country, and if that Board makes the public announcement in regard to any dispute, neither the mineowners nor the Miners' Federation dare disregard that pronouncement because of its effect upon public opinion. In spite of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister) has repeatedly told us that he is going to vote against this Clause, I beg hon. Members, as a gesture of encouragement to those seeking to promote industrial 354 peace in the coal industry, and especially in an industry which has caused so much trouble not only in the industry itself but to the general public at large, not to vote against this Clause and thus encourage those who are seeking to promote a better spirit in the coal industry.
§ Captain GUNSTON
I have listened with interest to the observations which have been made by the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Perry), the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour), and the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald) and I wish all the speeches in this Debate had been made in similar terms. We are all anxious to secure peace in the coal industry. The hon. Member for Kettering referred to some method of settling disputes in Cheshire, but I am not familiar with the name of the agreement which he mentioned.
§ Captain GUNSTON
I am sure we are all much obliged to the hon. Member for calling attention to that agreement. We had a very excellent agreement in the boot trade, but it was somewhat different. In the boot trade and in the cotton trade, it must be remembered, you have amicable relations between the two parties, and that is not the case in the coal trade. The hon. Member for Dundee, who is a good Scottish Home Ruler and sits for a town which exports home-made marmalade, rather astonished me when he said that the Scottish people were all satisfied with the National Board. The hon. Member for Ince gave us a remarkable example of how well the Joint District Board was working in Lancashire, and then he quoted a case in which he said there might be a dispute, and, therefore, this National Board would be necessary. He said that it is necessary to go to some detached body, and with that I agree, but our objection is that this body to whom disputes are to be referred is not a detached body, because, although it has a few outside details, like the General Council of the Trade Union Congress, the Co-operative Union, and the National Confederation of Employers' Associations, it will be mainly composed of the old antagonists, 355 the old representatives of the mine-owners and the old representatives of the mine workers. I should have thought that the one thing to avoid was a tribunal which would bring together again the old foes in the industry, and that is why I wish the right hon. Gentleman could have assented to a different Board, which would not have brought these old foes back. I believe that, if the leaders of the miners and the owners could be left out, it might be possible to get peace, but it seems to us to be madness to bring them together again and to send a dispute to this Board for settlement.
We cannot help feeling, also, that the consumers in this country might be better represented. I cannot see that they are represented at all, unless it be by the Co-operative Union, and I understand that only this morning the promoter of a Bill that is before a Committee upstairs admitted the political side of the co-operative movement. [Interruption.] That is why we are going to vote against this Clause—because the consumers are not represented, and because we believe it to be a backward step to send a dispute to be decided by a body which will have on each side a majority of old foes.
Mr. ERNEST WINTERTON
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon (Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister) commenced his speech in such a spirit of sweet reasonableness that I hoped that it indicated the desire of the Opposition to let this Clause go through without a Division. But, as unfortunately often happens, the right hon. Gentleman soon lost his reasonableness, and finished his speech in a most provocative and belligerent fashion. I have only risen to say that I regret that this Clause is going to be opposed, and to give my reasons as explicitly as did the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon for voting for the Clause instead of against it. I have, at any rate, this right to speak here, that, as regards a very large portion of the constituency which I have the honour to represent. I am speaking the mind of the miners and their wives. I hoped at one time that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hendon was going to lead him to the conclusion which his opening remarks indicated, but as he proceeded, and grew more emphatic in his 356 declaration that he could not possibly vote for the Clause, he reminded me of the couplet:I know the right, and I approve it, too: Condemn the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue.I feel that the right hon. Gentleman came to that unhappy decision through an entire misconception of what the Clause really does. He argued, for example, that the National Board was in some sense a substitute for the method of arriving at decisions by district agreement. Might I call his attention to Sub-section (3) of the Clause, from which he will see that district agreements are in no sense ruled out, but that the district board can still operate on the question of the regulation of wages and the conditions of labour; and that, having, as we hope and believe it will, operated happily, its decision is then reported to the National Board.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
May I say that I had no misconception at all? I am quite well aware of the provisions of the Clause. What I objected to was that, whereas district boards were left in, some hon. Members who spoke said that they desired a National Board in place of the district boards, and would use this Clause for that purpose; and I thought that in any case, on the whole, the existence of this board would lead to less frank and full discussion before the district boards. That was my argument.
I must leave it there. The right hon. Gentleman has re-expressed his opinion. As I interpreted it, he thought that the district boards could not operate, but I venture to suggest that there is just as much likelihood that they will operate advantageously for the settlement of disputes as that they will operate in the contrary direction, and I would say to the right hon. Gentleman, in the words of the hymn:Give to the winds thy fears.Another idea which I gathered from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was that he thought that the Bill would in some way override the present powers of the Ministry of Labour, I suggest, however, that, even if the National Board does fail to bring about agreement, an appeal to the Ministry of Labour will still be possible, and that can be used in the last resort for the purposes of negotiation and settlement. Therefore, I have 357 pleasure in supporting this Clause, because, in my view, it is more likely to bring about agreement than any other step which has been taken in the coal industry within the last 10 years. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Barkston Ash (Colonel Lane Fox), I think it was, rather criticised the Secretary for Mines for what he called the "brotherhood spirit" which he had imported into his speech. May I suggest that this Clause brings into the relationships of this industry, in a way that is much needed, that brotherhood spirit which we are asked to commend in so many other directions.
One question which was frequently put to us at the last General Election was whether, if we are in favour of the spirit of peace in settling disputes between nations, we are not equally in favour of the spirit of peace and agreement and arbitration in settling disputes in industry. Here we have a concrete attempt on the part of the Government to introduce that same spirit into this Bill, with a view to producing, in a sense, a League of Nations within the coal industry. Exactly in the same way that any secret treaty or agreement made between two nations who are members of the League must be registered with the League of Nations, so also any district agreement made in connection with this industry must be reported to the National Board and, because of its balanced character, because it meets in my view every interest concerned, and because it is likely to bring peace, I feel that assent should be given on all sides to this attempt to improve the relations of the industry.
The last speaker apparently thinks the animosities of the past are going to be reproduced in the new Board now to be set up. I suggest that the contrary is likely to happen. You have at least four and, with the Chairman, five, independent members who will act as some kind of a jury and as arbitrators between the two conflicting sides, representing more specifically the employers and the employed, and instead of the presence of direct representatives of the employed and employers being likely to bring about disagreements and difficulties, in my view it is a safeguard and some kind of a warrant that the agreement, when arrived at, will be accepted by both sides. 358 Our difficulty hitherto has been that when purely outside negotiating bodies have dealt with problems of this character, you still have to obtain the assent of the two principal parties to the dispute, but if you have these parties directly represented, the final verdict is more likely to receive the endorsement of all those who are interested in the dispute and, for these reasons, I shall have the very greatest pleasure in supporting the Clause, because I believe it is going to bring a long needed spirit of peace into this most harassed industry.
§ Captain PEAKE
I really think I might have a few words on the Clause. I have not interrupted in the course of the Debate and I have not yet said a word on Clause 10. One of the arguments that has been put forward from the Government Benches which I can perfectly well understand, and which is probably a good argument, is that meeting on a National Board like this will have a civilising and qualifying effect upon the contestants on both sides. But I do not think Mr. Cook wants civilising. I think he is civilised. What one fears in the mining industry is not Mr. Cook but Mr. Cook's successors, because every change of officials in the Miners' Federation is inclined to mean a new stoppage in the industry. I sincerely hope Mr. Cook will long retain his office as secretary to the Miners' Federation, and that it will be many years before he goes to join his eminent predecessor, Mr. Frank Hodges, as a pillar of the capitalist system, and a possible director of the Bank of England. A single national wage for all the miners in the country is an impossibility under present conditions, because the miners' wage primarily depends upon the price of coal. The export price and the home price over the last 30 or 40 years show considerable variation. For periods of about seven or eight years consecutively the home price is higher, consistently, than the export price, but approximately of late years the export price rises above the price realised in the home trade-Under these conditions it is impossible to fix one standard wage for the whole of the industry.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
There is nothing in the Clause proposing a standard or uniform rate of wages throughout the country.
§ Captain PEAKE
My point was that hon. Members opposite suggested that the reason they wanted a National Board was in order to obtain a national wage.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
On a point of Order. Is it not a fact that recently we disposed of an Amendment asking for a national minimum which was admitted by the Chair to be in order under the terms of this Clause?
§ Captain PEAKE
If hon. Members desire the National Wages Board only in order to have the opportunity of meeting Mr. Evan Williams, it is a very high compliment to Mr. Evan Williams, but, with all respect, it is not a good argument for having a National Wages Board. We who know the coal industry well, realise that the trouble really began only when we got a national agreement, when we got the representatives of Scotland and Wales joining the representatives of England. The hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) knows perfectly well that for 25 years in the Eastern Federated Area the Conciliation Board decided what the wages should be, and every single decision of that Wages Board was accepted by both sides from 1893 to 1918. Undoubtedly, since 1918, or rather, I should say, since 1926, there has existed a gap in the machinery for the settlement of disputes in the coal mining industry. Up to 1918 it was the function of the Conciliation Board to settle the percentage addition to basis rates. When we went on to a national agreement in 1918, the settlement of the percentage became an automatic thing which was settled according to the ascertainment. Therefore, the function of the old Conciliation Board disappeared. Since the stoppage of 1926, when we turned to a district agreement, we have not re-set up—and it is a great pity—the old Conciliation Board. We still have our joint district boards for settling disputes which arise at the pits, but we have not machinery for settling what the minimum percentage addition to basis rates ought to be.
§ Mr. T. SMITH
Is it not a fact that in Yorkshire the Wages Board for the 360 whole county consisting of both sides, does fix the percentage to be put on basis rates? As a matter of fact, the agreement in Yorkshire now under the district machinery is 32 per cent. on basis rates, as the minimum, and this has been in operation ever since wages Ml to the minimum.
§ Captain PEAKE
The agreement made after the dispute of 1926 was that the minimum percentage of addition should be 36 for one year, and thereafter should fall to 32.
§ Captain PEAKE
We are substantially in agreement over this. There is no dispute about it. I am pointing out that the old function of our Conciliation Board, which was to settle from time to time the percentage addition to basis rates, has disappeared and there is nothing at present in its place. These Conciliation Boards worked on a peculiar and, I think, a very valuable principle in arbitration. The decision rested entirely with the independent chairman, and the independent chairman was not free to split the difference between what the employers asked for and what the men asked for. He had to decide in favour either of one or the other. The result of that principle was that you got each side putting forward the most reasonable proposals that they thought it possible to put forward.
I would suggest to the President of the Board of Trade that, as at present constituted, the National Industrial Board is not going to work very well. If we look at Sub-section (5) we see that the Board of Trade may make rules regulating the procedure of the National Board. My suggestion is that the right hon. Gentleman should make rules providing that a decision on matters coming to the Board should be in the hands of the chairman, and that the chairman should not be allowed to split the difference between the demands of the employers and the demands of the men, but that he should be compelled to accept the view either of one side or the other. I think that grave dissatisfaction has been caused in many industries by the habit of arbitrators 361 simply seeing what one side asks and what the other side asks, and then proceeding to split the difference, thereby giving a decision extremely unsatisfactory to both sides. If the President of the Board of Trade were to make rules providing that the National Industrial Board should function on the lines on which the old Conciliation Board functioned, and by which peace was secured in the mining industry for 25 years in the Eastern federated area, it is possible that the Board might be a success.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
I should like to say a few words to express the agreement of those who sit on these benches with the purpose and terms of this Clause. On the Second Reading of the Bill we expressed our adhesion to the principle of the Clause, and I desire to reaffirm it now. The Royal Commission on the Coal Industry examined this matter very closely and came to the conclusion that, undoubtedly, there ought to be a National Board representing the two parties and, possibly, a third element, which should take into account the national considerations that arise in determining wages and other conditions of employment. We took evidence from the Ministry of Labour, and we found that every important industry in the country had a national system for wage settlement and the determination of labour conditions. All the important bodies of employers and workpeople were parties to agreements of that character, and no fewer than 30 of the great industries had national boards for the settlement of these matters. We found that if the mining industry were to exclude itself it would stand alone in our industrial system.
We recognised that there were district divergencies and that separate district elements would have to be taken into account, but that the National Board could in the future as in the past quite successfully effect that. There was in the mining industry for very many years a National Board dealing with these matters, which took into account in a businesslike fashion the local differences that might require recognition. Perhaps the Committee would permit me to read a short paragraph from the Report, which sums up the result of our inquiries under this head: 362The machinery of wage regulation, in the future as in the past, should provide for all the elements that have to be considered in fixing wages. There are, first, the factors relating to the particular colliery and the particular grade of workmen and place of work; these must be allowed for by local settlement of basis rates, subject to appeal to the district authorities. There are, second, the factors that relate to the district, defined as a coalfield of roughly comparable physical and economic conditions; … but the third element—the factors affecting the country and the industry as a whole—cannot be excluded. The general principles for determining wages, whether economic or minimum, should be laid down by a single authority of national scope. There should be no abandoning of the principle of national wage agreements. There may be advantage, if the two parties agree, in having a National Wages Board which shall bring in also impartial elements outside the coal industry itself.The coalowners on the Sankey Commission affirmed the principle of a national authority and under the signature of Sir Arthur Balfour, Mr. R. W. Cooper, Sir Adam Nimmo, Sir Allan Smith, and Mr. Evan Williams, said:A national council should be established consisting of the representatives of the mineowners and mine workers appointed by districts for the purpose of dealing with any question of national interest which should be referred to it.I do not see why a principle which was laid down as being sound in the year 1919 should be wrong in the year 1930. I feel sure that this Clause is right and wise in not proposing any method of statutory enforcement of its decisions. It must be left to the voluntary enforcement by the parties concerned. Anything in the nature of compulsory arbitration would, I think, be unacceptable to employers and employed, and would not find general favour in this Committee. The other question which arises on the Clause is not only whether there should be a national authority but whether this authority should include an impartial element. It is always advisable, when there are keen conflicts of opinion in any body of men, to introduce if possible a third and neutral element which shall bring them together and induce in them a spirit of sweet reasonableness. In the Cabinet, or in a shadow Cabinet, if there is one section which is strongly in favour of food taxes and another section which is strongly against them, what an advantage it is to have a third element 363 which is in favour of both, and which undertakes both to support and to oppose food taxes! Such an element can bring the two sides together. The third element here is very desirable in view of the past history of conflicts in the coal industry; and here again the Royal Commission recommended the very course that has been adopted, although we express the hope that it would be adopted following an agreement between the two parties. That has not come about, and it has been necessary for the Legislature to intervene. I feel sure that this impartial element representing the nation as a whole may be a valuable factor in determining these difficult questions, for they will have no interest in the matter except to secure the peace and prosperity of the coal industry, which is of such profound importance to the country as a whole.
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
There are still some Clauses which we should like to get tonight, and I think there is an understanding that we should take a Division now on the question of the National Industrial Board.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Is not the right hon. Gentleman going to reply on the question of legislation?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I have made so many speeches that I was not anxious to trouble the Committee with another. What I said on that subject was nothing more than a reference to outstanding points of the coal industry which may be the subject of legislation at some future date. I expressly said that there was no promise of that, no question of date or anything of that kind. Accordingly, I am sure that on that basis my right hon. Friend will not expect a further reply.
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM 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, 260; Noes, 117.367
|Division No. 156.]||AYES.||[10.36 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, Watt)||Compton, Joseph||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Adamson, Vu. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cowan, D. M.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Daggar, George||Haycock, A. W.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craig le M.||Dallas, George||Hayday, Arthur|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dalton, Hugh||Hayes, John Henry|
|Ammon, Charles George||Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Angell, Norman||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Arnott, John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dickson, T.||Herriotts, J.|
|Ayles, Walter||Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Duncan, Charles||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Ede, James Chuter||Hollins, A.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Edmunds, J. E.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Bennett, Captain E. N.(Cardiff, Central)||Egan, W. H.||Isaacs, George|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Elmley, Viscount||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Benson, G.||England, Colonel A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Foot, Isaac||Johnston, Thomas|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Freeman, Peter||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Blindell, James||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Bowen, J. W.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gibbins, Joseph||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.|
|Bromley, J.||Gill, T. H.||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Brooke, W.||Gillett, George M.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Brothers, M.||Gossling, A. G.||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Gould, F.||Kinley, J.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lang, Gordon|
|Burgess, F. G.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Lathan, G.|
|Caine, Derwent Hall.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Cameron, A. G.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Cape, Thomas||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lawson, John James|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Chater, Daniel||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Leach, W.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Lee, Frank (Derby N. E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hardie, George D.||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Karris, Percy A.||Lees, J.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Palin, John Henry||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Longden, F.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Sorensen, R.|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Perry, S. F.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lowth, Thomas||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lunn, William||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Pole, Major D. G.||Strauss, G. R.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Potts, John S.||Sullivan, J.|
|McElwee, A.||Quibell, D. J. K.||Sutton, J. E.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|McKinlay, A.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Raynes, W. R.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Richards, R.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Tillett, Ben|
|McShane, John James||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|March, S.||Ritson, J.||Toole, Joseph|
|Marcus, M.||Romeril, H. G.||Townend, A. E.|
|Markham, S. F.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Marley, J.||Rothschild, J. de||Turner, B.|
|Marshall, F.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Mathers, George||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Viant, S. P.|
|Matters, L. W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Walker, J.|
|Maxton, James||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H, (Darwen)||Wallace, H. W.|
|Melville, Sir James||Sanders, W. S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Messer, Fred||Sandham, E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Middleton, G.||Sawyer, G. F.||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Millar, J. D.||Scott, James||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Mills, J. E.||Scrymgeour, E.||West, F. R.|
|Montague, Frederick||Scurr, John||Westwood, Joseph|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Morley, Ralph||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)||Sherwood, G. H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, H.)||Shield, George William||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Mort, D. L.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)||Shillaker, J. F.||Wilson R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Muff, G.||Shinwell, E.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Muggeridge, H. T.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbary)||Wise, E. F.|
|Murnin, Hugh||Simmons, C. J.||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Nathan, Major H. L.||Sinkinson, George||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Noel Baker, P. J.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
|Oldfield, J. R.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Duckworth, G. A. V.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Llewellin, Major J. J.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Long, Major Eric|
|Baillie-Hamllton, Hon. Charles W.||Everard, W. Lindsay||MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Felle, Sir Bertram G.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Margesson, Captain H. D.|
|Balniel, Lord||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Marjoribanks, E. C.|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Meller, R. J.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gibson. C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Mond, Hon. Henry|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Butler, R. A.||Hammersley, S. S.||Penny, Sir George|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hanbury, C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Hartington, Marquess of||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Purbrick, R.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Remer, John R.|
|Christie, J. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Colman, N. C. D||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Salmon, Major I.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst).|
|Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Knox, Sir Alfred||Skelton, A. N.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon||Womersley, W. J.|
|Tinne, J. A.||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Todd, Capt. A. J.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Turton, Robert Hugh||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Wallace.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."368
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 117.369
|Division No. 157.]||AYES.||[10.46 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||McShane, John James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||March, S.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Marcus, M.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Markham, S. F.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Marley, J.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Groves, Thomas E.||Marshall, F.|
|Angell, Norman.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mathers, George|
|Arnott, John||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Matters, L. W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Ayles, Walter||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)||Melville, Sir James|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Messer, Fred|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Hardie, George D.||Middleton, G.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Harris, Percy A.||Millar, J. D.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Mills, J. E.|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Montague, Frederick|
|Bennett, Captain E. N.(Cardiff, Central)||Haycock, A. W.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hayday, Arthur||Morley, Ralph|
|Benson, G.||Hayes, John Henry||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Mort, D. L.|
|Blindell, James||Herriotts, J.||Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Muff, G.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hoffman, P. C.||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Bromfield, William||Hollins, A.||Murnin, Hugh|
|Bromley, J.||Hopkin, Daniel||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Brooke, W.||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Brothers, M.||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Isaacs, George||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Buchanan, G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Johnston, Thomas||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Jones, F. Llewellyn. (Flint)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Palin, John Henry|
|Cameron, A. G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Perry, S. F.|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Chater, Daniel||Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Potts, John S.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, Thomas||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Kinley, J.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Compton, Joseph||Kirkwood, D.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cowan, D. M.||Lang, Gordon||Raynes, W. R.|
|Daggar, George||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Richards, R.|
|Dallas, George||Lathan, G.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Law, A. (Rosendale)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lawrence, Susan||Ritson, J.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawrie Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lawson, John James||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Dickson, T.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Rothschild, J. de|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Leach, W.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Duncan, Charles||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lees, J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sanders, W. S.|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Lindley, Fred W.||Sandham, E.|
|Egan, W. H.||Logan, David Gilbert||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Longbottom, A. W.||Scott, James|
|England, Colonel A.||Longden, F.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Foot, Isaac||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Scurr, John|
|Forqan, Dr. Robert||Lowth, Thomas||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Freeman, Peter||Lunn, William||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Georne, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Mac Donald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||McElwee, A.||Shield, George William|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||McEntee, V. L.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gill, T. H.||McKinlay, A.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Gillett, George M.||MacLaren, Andrew||Shinwell, E.|
|Gossling, A. G.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Gould, F.||MacNeill-Weir. L.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Sinkinson, George||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)||West, F. R.|
|Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Thurtle, Ernest||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Tillett, Ben||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Toole, Joseph||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Townend, A. E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Turner, B.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sorensen, R.||Vaughan, D. J.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Stamford, Thomas W.||Viant, S. P.||Wise, E. F.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Walker, J.||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wallace, H. W.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Strauss, G. R.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).|
|Sullivan, J.||Wellock, Wilfred||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sutton, J. E.||Welsh, James (Paisley)||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Penny, Sir George|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Balniel, Lord||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Beaumont M. W.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Sevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Purbrick, R.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Remer, John R.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hanbury, C.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennet)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hartington, Marquess of||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l' d', Hexham)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Butler, R. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Skelton, A. N.|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Christie, J. A.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak'||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Long, Major Eric||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Favertham)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Duckworth, G. A. V.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Meller, R. J.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mond, Hon. Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Sir Frederick Thomson.|
Question put, and agreed to.