§ 85. Mr. SNELL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has given consideration to the representations submitted to him with respect to the anticipated cut in the Civil Service bonus; and if he can give the number of civil servants whose inclusive wages or salaries are under £3 a week, the number of such whose ages are under 21 and 25 years, the number of males and females in these categories, the present cost per head of the whole Civil Service, and the cost in 1913–14?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I have given full and sympathetic consideration to the representations which have been made to me in respect of the matter referred to in the first part of my hon. Friend's question and greatly regret that, in existing financial circumstances, it is impossible to relax the provisions of the cost-of-living bonus agreement under which a reduction of remuneration falls due on the 1st March. With regard to the latter part of the question, the number of non-industrial civil servants is approximately 322,000, of whom about 200,000 are in the Post Office. At the present date the cost per head of this staff, excluding provision for superannuation, is at the rate of approximately £214 per annum; the corresponding figure for 1913–14 was approximately £99 per annum. The number of whole time non-industrial civil servants now in receipt of rates of pay, including bonus, of less than £3 a week is 94,200 as follows:
- Males, 48,200.
- Males under 21 years of age, 13,600.
- Males under 25 years of age, 19,500.
- Females, 46,000.
- Females under 21 years of age, 13,400.
- Females under 25 years of age, 24,600.
§ Mr. W. J. BROWN
In view of the fact that some 300,000 civil servants are affected by this decision, is the Minister able to agree that the House should have a day to debate the matter before the cut becomes operative?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
No, I do not agree at all. This is an agreement which has been in operation for about 10 years, and it is already under the consideration of the Royal Commission. I am simply carrying out the terms of the agreement which both sides have endorsed.
§ Mr. BOWEN
Does the analysis of the figures which the right hon. Gentleman has given to the House show to what extent he has analysed the figures of the Post Office, and can he confirm the fact that there are 120,000 Post Office employés, representing 67 per cent. of full-time staff, with less than £3 a week?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I do not make a distinction between the Post Office and other non-industrial workers. The figures that I have given show that the statement of the hon. Member is quite 2283 inaccurate, because there are only 94,200 people altogether in the non-industrial part of the Civil Service with less than £3 a week.
§ Mr. BROWN
In view of the fact that, on the Minister's own showing, there are scores of thousands of civil servants whose wages represent a standard of life below the Rowntree poverty limit, does the right hon. Gentleman think that it is a proper thing to do to drive these men and women lower than they are at present?
§ Mr. BROWN
There are 300,000 people affected by this decision, and, if we cannot have a day to debate it, at least we should be allowed to ask questions. I want to ask the Minister whether he will suspend any drop in Civil Service rates of pay below £4 a week until such time as the report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service which is now sitting is available?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I understand that the Royal Commission are now nearing the end of their investigations, and that their report as a whole is likely to be ready, I understand, within the next few months. I do not think that it would be advisable to ask them to give an interim report upon this subject, which is bound up with general conditions and wages.
§ Mr. BROWN
In these circumstances, if an interim report cannot be asked for, will the Minister stop the cut in the meantime? [Interruption.] Surely, it is not too much to ask—[Interruption.] I want an answer to this question. In view of the fact that the agreement upon which the Chancellor of the Exchequer bases his decision—[An HON. MEMBER: 2284 "We have had enough of it!"] And I have had enough of having my people's wages cut.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must remember that there are other Members who have questions on the Paper.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an equal 10 per cent. cut falls far more heavily on those who have less than £3 per week than on those with higher salaries? Would not exactly the same results be achieved if the economies were more fairly distributed; and does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that he made a speech last Saturday in which he said he had always been an apostle of high wages?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
? I am still an apostle of high wages; but this is not a question of wages at all. This is a question of a bonus which is given to meet the increased cost of living, and the bonus is regulated by the fluctuations in the cost of living. There is no question hereof wages at all.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I should not be fair to the House if I allowed the hon. Member to monopolise the time.
§ Mr. BROWN
I am very sorry, but this is the only chance we shall get before this decision becomes operative. [HON. MEMBERS: "Raise it on the Adjournment!"] The Adjournment is no good, and hon. Members know that. Hon. 2285 Members know it is no good. I could raise it on the Adjournment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must not remain standing while I am on my feet. I am quite sure that I Should be wrong in allowing the hon. Member to monopolise so much time at Question Time, however important the subject may be. There are certain rules which govern questions, and the hon. Member must abide by them.
§ Chancellor of the Exchequer has tried to tell us—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must not allow the hon. Member to go on. I really do not want to name the hon. Member.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member will not do his case any good. I ask the hon. Member once more to resume his seat when I am on my feet.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 17.2287
|Division No. 170.]||AYES.||[3.45 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brooke, W.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Brothers, M.||Dagger, George|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dallas, George|
|Albery, Irving James||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Dalton, Hugh|
|Arnott, John||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Butler, R. A.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Day, Harry|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cadogan, Major Hun. Edward||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Ayles, Walter||Campbell, E. T.||Dugdale, Capt. T. L.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Cameron, A. G.||Duncan, Charles|
|Barr, James||Cape, Thomas||Ede, James Chuter|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Carter. W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Carver, Major W. H.||Edge, Sir William|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Castle Stewart, Earl of||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Benson, G.||Cautley, sir Henry S.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Berry, Sir George||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Elmley, Viscount|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A.(Birm., W.)||England, Colonel A.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Chapman, Sir S.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Blindell, James||Charleton, H. C.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Chater, Daniel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cluse, W. S.||Ferguson, Sir John|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Fielden, E. B.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Colville, Major D. J.||Foot, Isaac|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Compton, Joseph||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)|
|Boyce, Leslie||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)|
|Bracken, B.||Cranborne, Viscount||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Crichton-Stuart. Lord C.||Gibson, H. M. (Lanes, Mossley)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Gill, T. H.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Gillett, George M.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macquisten, F. A.||Shield, George William|
|Gossling, A. G.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Shinwell, E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Manning, E. L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Gray, Milner||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Mathers, George||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Matters, L. W.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Millar, J. D.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Montague, Frederick||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Somerset, Thomas|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Mort, D. L.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Harvey, Major S. E, (Devon, Totnes)||Murnin, Hugh||Sorensen, R.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||O'Connor, T. J.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Oldfield, J. R.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||O'Neill, Sir H.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Palin, John Henry||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Paling, Wilfrid||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Palmer, E. T.||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Hopkin, Daniel||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Tillett, Ben|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Toole, Joseph|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Tout, W. J.|
|Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas||Pole, Major D. G.||Vaughan, David|
|Isaacs, George||Potts, John S.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Walkden, A. G.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Walker, J.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Ramsbotham, H.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Reynolds, Col. Sir James||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Lathan, G.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Law, A. (Rossendale)||Romeril, H. G.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lawson, John James||Ross, Ronald D.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Rothschild, J. de||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Leach, W.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wilson C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Salmon, Major I.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Llewellin, Major J. J.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Lowth, Thomas||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Lunn, William||Sanders, W. S.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sawyer, G. F.||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Sexton, Sir James|
|McElwee, A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Thurtle|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Simmons, C. J.|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Longden, F.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||McShane, John James||Wallace, H. W.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Marcus, M.|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Maxton, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Horrabin, J. F||Muggeridge, H. T.||Mr. McGovern and Mr. Campbell Stephen.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Price, M. P.|
§ Mr. W. J. BROWN
I am much obliged to you, Mr. Speaker, for your indulgence. Having made my protest—
§ The hon. Member withdrew accordingly.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, may I ask if it would not be possible for Members of this House who desire to be suspended to intimate their intention to you beforehand?