Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £14,100, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1931, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Mines Department of the Board of Trade.
§ The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Shinwell)
The provision included in this Supplementary Estimate arises entirely from the administration of the Coal Mines Act, 1930. Under that Act a number of committees were established for the purpose of reorganisation on the lines of the amalgamation of the mines of the country, for the purpose of investigating complaints by persons other than coalowners in the working of Part I of the Act, and for the purpose of dealing with disputes in the industry. The expenditure involved in connection with this administration is set forth clearly in the Supplementary Estimate now before the Committee. Therefore, I need only address the Committee briefly, but I hope adequately, in explaining the various heads now before us. It was found necessary to appoint a number of officials associated with the Mines Department to positions under the Reorganisation Commissioners. These Mines Department officials were seconded to the Reorganisation Commission because the Treasury thought fit to continue their services in the Mines Department for superannuation purposes. The amount incurred in connection with the seconding of these officials is stated under Sub-head A to be £2,400. No additional expenditure has been incurred by the Mines Department other than the expenditure provided for under the financial provisions of the Coal Mines Act.
As regards the various committees that were established, there is the Central Committee of Investigation, with its 17 subordinate committees. These committees, as I have already stated, were set up to deal with complaints in connection with Part I of the Act, and the expenditure involved in that connection amounts in all to £4,500. The items are detailed in the Estimate. The amount required in connection with the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission is 2393 £6,000. That covers the expenses of the Commission, including the remuneration of the commission's secretary and staff and various fees required for the payment of professional and technical agents in connection with the inquiries by the Commission into amalgamation schemes. The expenditure in regard to the Coal Mines National Industrial Board, which has already held 11 meetings, amounts to £1,200, and here I may say the chairman and the secretary of the National Industrial Board do not receive any remuneration at all from this Vote. The expenditure incurred is entirely attributable to the travelling and incidental and subsistence expenses incurred by the members of the Board. I can hardly think of any other point which requires explanation in regard to the Supplementary Estimate. As I have said, it is entirely due to the normal administration which the Coal Mines Act made essential and to the provision made by Parliament for this purpose. I do not propose to detain the Committee any further, having made this quite necessary explanation.
§ Mr. TINKER
I should like a fuller explanation concerning the expenditure of £6,000 on the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission. Can the Secretary for Mines give a more detailed account as to how this money is being paid out? What is the amount which is to be paid to the individual members of the commission?
§ Sir S. ROBERTS
I want to ask the Secretary for Mines a few questions upon the Estimate. In asking these questions, I ask for the Ruling of the Chair. These Estimates, except the first one, are all new, and I assume that the discussion upon them is not limited to any question of the increased cost of the Estimate, and that the Committee, if it desires, can discuss the whole workings of the various committees. This is the first opportunity that the Committee has had of discussing them. I do not wish to say anything on Item A, Salaries, Wages and Allowances, because I realise that the Department has had to transfer officials to work in the new offices, but I wish to ask a few questions, in a friendly spirit, in regard to items G1, G2 and G3. In regard to G3, I know that the Coal Mines National Industrial Board has 2394 been doing a considerable amount of work during the current financial year, and I consider the estimate of £1,200 extremely reasonable. With regard to G2, the expenses of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission, the expenses include the remuneration of the commission.
I may be ignorant, and it may be that the names of the Commissioners have been announced and their salaries stated to the public, but I am sure that the Secretary for Mines will be willing to disillusion my ignorance and tell me who these Commissioners are and what their salaries are. That would be a matter of extreme interest to all those connected with the coal mining industry. If the information has been announced and I have missed it, I apologise for asking an unnecessary question. It seems to me that the £6,000 required is a great deal of money for the very short time that has elapsed since this Act was passed and for the amount of work that one imagines has been done. It may be that a great deal of work has been done of which the general public and those interested in the coal trade are ignorant. I am sure the Minister would be willing to tell us the amount of work that has been done, the districts of the country where this Commission are setting to work, how far they have got, whether they have called together any groups of coalowners in order to discuss the ques-question of amalgamation, and how far this matter has proceeded since the House gave a Third Reading to the Bill and it became law several months ago. This is on opportunity for the Minister to give a full explanation of exactly what the Commission has done. I come to Item G.1, the Coal Mines Committees of Investigation. These committees were set up to investigate complaints made by the general public as to the minimum prices fixed for coal by the various committees of coalowners set up in the various districts. So far as I know, and I think I am right in saying this, very few minimum prices have been set up, and where those minimum prices have been set up—I am not saying this, as hon. Members opposite will realise, in the interests of the Coal Owners' Committee—they have been set so ridiculously low as to be of no use at all. They have been set up at ever so much less 2395 than the present price of coal. How that is going to help the mining industry, the miners or anybody to get any more out of it, I cannot possibly understand. I should like to hear what the Secretary for Mines thinks about some of the minimum prices that have been set up. I do not think that under the Act he has to approve of them. I think the mining Members of this House, considering that the miners' wages are fixed upon minimum prices, will consider these prices ridiculously low and entirely contrary to their ideas in putting the Act on the Statute Book. I may be entirely at variance with every other coalowner in the country on this point, but I do contend that the prices that have been fixed are absolutely ridiculous and they are making Part I of the Act an absolute farce. Anything that the Secretary for Mines may say on this subject will be of extreme interest to me and possibly to other hon. Members.
These Coal Mines Committees of Investigation are set up to consider the grievances of the general public. During the year that will soon end they are going to spend £4,500 in investigating grievances which as yet cannot possibly have arisen. I want some explanation of that. It may possibly be that a certain grievance has arisen in South Yorkshire in regard to the question of standard tonnage which really ought not to have gone in to that Committee of Investigation. As far as I know, that is the only thing which the Committee of Investigation has yet in any place been asked to consider. A great deal of publicity has been given to this one case in South Yorkshire, where it is said a large number of miners are to work less time because of the working of Part I of the Act. I should like to take this opportunity of saying that if the miners in that particular group of pits were to achieve their object and to work longer time the only result would be that some of their fellows a little distance away would work shorter time. There has been a great deal of bluster about this, much more than the facts of the case deserve. It is not in any way the fault of Part I of the Act, which certain people are now asking to be repealed. I might ask for its repeal for other reasons, namely, that it does not seem to be able to do any good at all.
2396 With regard to the circular that has been sent out asking for its repeal, it is simply a question of one man or another being in work, and the people who have been working in these particular pits in the past few years have been reaping great advantage as against their fellows, and now they are wanting to continue these great advantages at the expense of their fellow-miners in neighbouring pits. There has been no answer whatever to the publicity that has been given by a very pushing gentleman who has been advocating the cause of his own concern, and I have availed myself of this opportunity of making a reply. I hope the Secretary for Mines will consider that my remarks have been made in all sincerity and without any idea of opposition to these Votes, but simply because this is an opportunity to get information which I desire just as much as hon. Members behind him.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I should like to ask a question with regard to Item G 2. Could the Secretary for Mines divide items A and B into their component parts? In Item G 1 we are told what is the cost of telegrams and telephones, but we are not given a similar detail in G 2, where travelling and incidental expenses are put together. The sum involved in G 2 is higher than the amount in G 1 and there is no reason why the items should not be given in the same commendable detail as in G 1. I realise that the Government has not real responsibility for Item G 2, which is one of the unwanted children left by the Liberal party on the doorsteps of other people. They do not even come here to see if it is fed and probably they would deny its paternity.
Could we know exactly what the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission has done to justify the expenditure of £6,000? Could we also be informed since when this expenditure was incurred? I am not quite certain when the Commission became operative. It would be interesting to have this information because it would enable us to form some idea of the cost of the Commission in a full year. Can the Secretary for Mines give us any idea what this will amount to in a full year?
Will he also give us similar information in regard to G 1 and say exactly what the committee have done and in 2397 what way they have justified an expenditure of £4,500. Will he also tell us when they commenced their work so that we may form some estimate as to what is likely to be the charge upon the State in a full year. I do not know what exactly are the duties of the committees of investigation and I should like to know whether complaints under the quota system come before them. If so, it will be interesting to know what view they take and how they deal with the complaints. I must apologise for troubling the hon. Member with these matters because I quite realise that he has only recently become responsible for this Vote.
§ Captain AUSTIN HUDSON
This is an opportunity for finding out how the Coal Mines Act is working and the first question I desire to put is with regard to the names of the members of the Commission and exactly what work they have done. We who took part in the lengthy Debates during the passage of the Coal Mines Act were rather sceptical as to what would be done by the various commissions and committees which were set up and it will be interesting to find out whether all the suggestions as to the good work they would do have, as a matter of fact, proved correct. As regards Subhead G 1, why six secretaries? It seems rather a large number. Then there is the Coal Mines committees of investigation, many hon. Members would like to know exactly what they are investigating. There has not been sufficient length of time since the Act was passed to enable much investigation to have taken place. With regard to the Coal Mines National Industrial Board, there was a good deal of discussion as to whether the chairman and the members should or should not be paid. I see that Subhead G 3 includes:expenses of the Board, including, remuneration (if any) of the Chairman and Secretary.I should like to know whether the chairman is being paid, and, if so, his remuneration. [HON. MEMBERS: "Look at paragraph c."] Yes, I see. I do not want to waste the time of the Committee, but this is an occasion upon which the Secretary for Mines can give us information on some of the points which we debated when considering the Coal Mines Act and by doing so he may clear up the point as to whether we on this 2398 side were right when we prophesied disaster or whether hon. Members opposite were right. At any rate, it is our duty to see that the money is being wisely spent.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I am extremely obliged to the hon. Member for Ecclesall (Sir S. Roberts) for having stated the Government's case so admirably, although he was a little irrelevant at times.
§ The TEMPORARY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. R. J. Russell)
I felt at the time that the hon. Member for Ecclesall (Sir S. Roberts) went a little from the Vote, but, as this is a new Vote, I thought a little latitude should be allowed.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I can at least reply to some of the points which have been raised by hon. Members opposite. I must point out that the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission was only definitely established towards the end of December. There was considerable difficulty in regard to personnel and, therefore, we were unable to get going until close upon the end of last year. They have had no time to operate, but have conducted the preliminaries to a survey, and there must be considerable time for preliminary activities before they can approach the fundamentals of the problem. As regards the personnel of the Commission I think the names were submitted to the House in reply to a question, but I will give the Committee their names again: Sir Ernest Gowers (Chairman), Sir William Whyte, Sir Felix Pole, Mr. Laurence Holt, and Mr. Joseph Jones. As to their remuneration, in presenting this Supplementary Estimate I assumed that the details would be submitted on the main Estimate, but I can give the Committee such information as is at my disposal. The remuneration of the chairman is £7,000 per annum, and three commissioners are remunerated at the rate of seven guineas a day with a minimum of 100 days per annum.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
One of the commissioners has refused to accept any remuneration whatever. That is the position as regards this body.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
The appointment is, I think, for five years, but I should not like to commit myself definitely to that statement.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I think that, probably, expenses are in addition to that remuneration. I was asked by the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Ramsbotham) to state the financial position in reference to Subhead G.2. The position is that £2,900 is included in this provision for the purpose of salaries and the remainder covers the fees and expenses of professional and technical agents and telegrams and telephones, while £780 is for the travelling and incidental expenses of the commissioners and staff. I am not able to give a precise figure in connection with the emoluments of professional and technical agents because that figure is contingent upon the amount of work required and at this stage I am unable to give it. I am sure that the hon. Member will understand my difficulty in that connection. As regards the actual work done by these various committees, may I say, first of all, in relation to the committees of investigation, that the hon. Member opposite who raised the point was mistaken in assuming that nothing had been investigated. In point of fact, complaints have been received by committees of investigation from the Midland area—that is the amalgamated area which comprises, I think, five districts—and from Northumberland and Durham, and others are presently pending. Perhaps I may for the purpose of illustration invite the attention of the Committee to the recent Barnsley difficulty which has been referred to the Midlands committee of investigation, and is, I think, to be dealt with in the course of a day or two. There are 17 committees in addition to the central committee of investigation and that explains why there are six secretaries. These six secretaries deal with the whole of these committees. As regards the National Industrial Board, I think that sufficient explanation has already been given. That Board held 11 meetings and the expenditure incurred is, I think, very moderate indeed. 2400 I have endeavoured to give whatever explanations I could in reply to the interrogations of hon. Members and I hope that this statement will prove satisfactory to the Committee.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I think the Committee must have listened with amazement to the speech of the Secretary for Mines when he told us that the Chairman of the Reorganisation Commission receives a salary of £7,000 a year. That was the sum mentioned, if my ears did not deceive me, and it is a matter of which the Committee ought to take notice. It is a remarkable proposal to be made by a Socialist Government which prides itself on its ambition to reduce everyone to a common level. Yet this is the Government which received severe rebukes and rebuffs from its own supporters because it decided to pay Traffic Commissioners somewhere about £1,000 a year. It is unfortunate that so few of the hon. Gentleman's followers were behind him on this occasion to hear this statement, and certainly I am surprised that it remains for a Conservative Member to make some protest against the enormous fees paid to this gentleman, whose name I did not catch.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
Even that statement does not convey very much to me. I have not the least doubt that this gentleman is fully qualified and competent for the job with which the Minister has entrusted him, but, for £7,000 a year, one is entitled to expect some competence and efficiency and knowledge of the work to be undertaken. My breath has almost been taken away by the statement of the Minister, and all I can say is that, if this is the way in which a Socialist Government conducts its proceedings, I tremble to think of how a Conservative Government would perform the same functions, since we have always been accused by hon. Members opposite of maintaining in comparative idleness pensioners and high officials. We have been accused of exploiting the poor in order to pay high salaries to the rich, but, after this, I do not think that the Minister will ever be able to make statements of that kind from a public platform in his constituency. I have not 2401 the least doubt that when the hon. Gentleman successfully put up for Parliament at the last election he promised to try to equalise the distribution of wealth, and to abolish vast emoluments earned in comparative idleness. Therefore, I think we have a right to press him on the point as to whether it is reasonable and appropriate that we should pay to the chairman of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission a salary not far short of that received by the Lord Chancellor. The Law Officers of the Crown who receive £15,000 or £20,000 a year each out of the mistakes of people in connection with the law, have always been held up to ridicule by hon. Gentlemen opposite, but here we have an official appointed by a Socialist Government under a Measure which we Conservatives opposed tooth and nail—
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
A proposition like this is enough to make one stray. I only wish to make my protest against this proposal and to say that if this is the sort of thing that we are to expect from a Socialist Government, I am not surprised that there are departures from that party, and voices crying in the wilderness, and protests even from people who are in bed with influenza, as there have been in the last few days. I notice that the other commissioners are to be paid seven guineas a day for a minimum of 100 days. I do not know how many days they will work, but if I got seven guineas for every day I worked, I should take jolly good care that. I worked more than 100 days in the year. It seems to me that the Minister, instead of inducing these gentlemen to work, should try to restrict their activities, because every day they work over 100 days means another seven guineas to each. They are, at any rate, assured of an income of 700 guineas a year, which is considerably more than Members opposite are making out of all the agitation over this Measure. It it now apparent that all that we said of this Act when it was going through the House is more than justified. I listened carefully to the speech of my hon. Friend below me; I do not know 2402 whether he was praising the results of this Act, but we at any rate protested during its passage—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The question before the Committee is not the Coal Mines Act. The question is whether this money should be voted.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I strayed from the direct question before the Committee in order to draw attention to the fact that we had predicted this vast expenditure, and that to-day our predictions are being more than fulfilled. I do not know what the travelling and incidental expenses of these gentlemen will be. I do not know whether, after the Debate we had yesterday, they will travel first or third-class. I do not know whether the Chairman of this Commission, in addition to this salary of £7,000 a year, is entitled to travelling expenses. If so, it would be outrageous. I do not know whether he will mark up each ham sandwich that he has or charge the Minister up with his taxi fares; if so, what will he get in addition to his £7,000 a year? Nobody would suggest that the Commission should not be composed of the most efficient and capable members that the Minister can obtain, but he might have obtained efficient and capable members at a lesser cost to the country.
§ Mr. TINKER
I am amazed to hear from the Minister the amount of money that is being paid to these commissioners. To pay the chairman £7,000 a year is beyond what might have been expected, and I hope that during the present economy campaign this matter will receive attention. Nobody on this side expected that such an amount would be paid to this gentleman. He may be a good man, but he is not entitled to that amount. A sum of seven guineas a day with expenses in addition for the other commissioners appears also to be beyond what is fair, and I hope that that too will receive attention. The expenses of the Commission will be £9,000 in a full year, and that is exclusive of one gentleman who is not being paid any fee, but if he takes his money, which he may do at any time, the amount will be £10,000. This item is altogether beyond fairness and reason, and, although I belong to the Government side, I cannot let the Vote pass without raising my protest. 2403 Cabinet Ministers are getting £5,000 a year, and no man outside Cabinet rank is entitled to receive more. If they are to have their salaries cut down—as I understand that they are—people like the chairman of this Commission ought also to have their salaries cut down. I hope that the Secretary for Mines will take my remarks in the right spirit. I am not blaming him for this item; I do not know whether he has had anything to do with it. I am not criticising him, but whoever has been responsible for fixing this amount. I trust that this matter will be gone into, and that an attempt will be made to being down this amount to something which is more reasonable.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
The information which we have received from the Secretary for Mines has taken the whole Committee by surprise. Not only are hon. Members on this side surprised, but hon. Members opposite are completely astonished at what has transpired. I remember the gentleman who holds the appointment with grateful recollection, because he was at the Treasury with me; no one is more able to fill the position than he is. But when the Secretary for Mines mentioned the salary, I could hardly hear what he said. I do not know whether he did not want the amount to reach Linlithgow, but it will. A salary of £7,000 is more than the Prime Minister is receiving, and, when we heard it, we were taken by surprise. We cannot upset any agreement that has been made, but more justification should be given than we have been given up to the present. I suppose that the agreement has been made, and that it runs for five years. For a £35,000 appointment to be casually mentioned to the Committee on a quiet evening, and whispered across the Table is something which we cannot let go without a further statement from the Minister. Not only do we on this side demand that explanation, but the hon. Gentleman's own followers require that he should say a little more.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I respond to the hon. Gentleman's request at once. I can assure him that I did not intentionally whisper the information across the Table.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
It was possibly due to a little modesty on my part. What are the facts? We have to pay the market price to the best man for a job of this description. I should like to remind the hon. Member that, when his own Government wanted important men for important posts, they were not the least diffident in paying the highest possible salaries. I cannot say offhand which Government was responsible for the appointment of the Chairman of the Central Electricity Board, but that is a case where a man who was regarded as capable of performing the functions of Chairman of such an important Commission was paid the very high salary of between £7,000 and £8,000. An hon. Member said that he expected competence for salary of this kind. I agree, and I think that competence is being provided.
The hon. Member on the Opposition Front Bench said, quite properly, that Sir Ernest Gowers, the chairman of the Reorganisation Commission, is a man of the highest competence. He was a prominent civil servant, occupying one of the highest posts in the Civil Service, and when he was asked to accept this position he had to consider the emoluments associated with his position in the Civil Service, pension rights and the like; and in the circumstances it could hardly be expected that he would accept this important post without a high salary. Sir Ernest Gowers will have to bear the brunt of the work associated with the commission, and will have to carry through schemes which will involve many millions of pounds. It is, perhaps, too early to speculate about this, but if amalgamations are proceeded with they will involve transactions running into enormous sums, and I cannot imagine that anyone would cavil at a market price being paid for his services. I As to whether the payment of such a salary is at all consistent with the views held by hon. Members on this side, and myself particularly, that seems to be beside the point at the moment. We are not living in a Socialistic age, but in a capitalistic age, fortunately or otherwise, and we have got to pay for services rendered. As to whether we can ask members of this commission to forego some part of their emoluments in the event of any reduction of salaries else- 2405 where, all I am in a position to say on that point is that they may agree to do it voluntarily but we have no power to impose our views upon them. After these explanations I hope the Committee will allow this Estimate to pass.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I beg to move, to reduce the Vote by £1,000.
Like the hon. Member beside me, I listened with amazement to the statement of the Secretary for Mines. It may well be that he has gone into the market and obtained the best possible advice and the best value for money, but although this is a time when economy is essential we find this enormous sum, considerably more than is paid to a Cabinet Minister or a Prime Minister, being paid to the chairman of this commission. I wish to know whether his job is a whole-time job. Are the only duties he discharges the duties in connection with this commission?
§ Commander SOUTHBY
I am grateful. I would like to know, also, whether, before taking this appointment, he surrendered any pension rights he may have had?
§ Commander SOUTHBY
That, also, I am glad to hear; and I would further like to know whether, at the conclusion of his duties on this commission, he will be entitled to any pension.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
Even so, I cannot believe it is right that there should be this disparity between the amount paid to the chairman and to the other members of the Commission. It is £7,000 for the chairman and a minimum of £700 for the other members. Further, I would like to know how much is to be paid to these gentlemen by way of travelling and incidental expenses. It is quite clear that it is the opinion of the Committee that £7,000 is vastly more than should be paid to the chairman, and I am moving the reduction as a, protest against such a sum being paid at a time when national economy is of the very greatest importance, when we have heard from the Prime Minister that it is intended to reduce the salaries of Cabinet 2406 Ministers, and when, I understand, hon. Members of this House are to be asked, very properly, to have reductions in their emoluments.
§ Mr. BATEY
I was interested to hear the Secretary for Mines remind the Opposition of what they did when they were in office, but I could not help reflecting on the position which he himself would have taken up, with us, if we had been sitting in Opposition at the moment and the other side had been presenting this Estimate. I venture to say that we should have been making this House ring in denunciation of a payment of £7,000 to the chairman. There is no doubt that when the Secretary for Mines made his announcement he surprised us on this side far more than he surprised hon. Members opposite. We never imagined for a moment that when this Reorganisation Commission was set up the chairman would be paid such a huge sum as £7,000. I was one of those Members who not many nights ago was complaining of the Minister of Transport having appointed commissioners at £1,000 a year in addition to their pensions. It is ridiculous that we who were complaining on that occasion should now be asked to agree to a payment of £7,000 to the chairman of this Commission. I confess that I would never have believe that the present Secretary for Mines could be guilty of such an act. [Interruption.] Yes, but I think he ought not to allow his Department to override him. Then we come to this payment of £7 a day to the other members.
§ Mr. BATEY
Yes, seven guineas. We are told that one of the members will not take it. The Minister ought to be candid and tell us which commissioner it is, because where there are several commissioners and an allowance is agreed upon and one refuses to take the allowance it is not fair to the others.
§ Mr. BATEY
He may be complaining that he was not made chairman. He may be refusing to accept the seven guineas because he is not paid on the same scale as the chairman. The Commission were appointed in December, and we are now 2407 at the end of February, and yet the Minister tells us that the Commission are simply surveying the field. Evidently they have done practically nothing. With a chairman paid £7,000 a year they ought to have got something done in two months. The Commission have power to take action in any part of the coalfield, to go into any district for the purpose of considering the amalgamation of collieries. Some of us believe this to be one of the good things left in the Coal Mines Act; some of the others have not proved to be so good as we had expected they would. As we have something that is good, we do not want any delay in realising the benefits of it. Could the Minister tell us where these commissioners are seeking to bring about the first amalgamations? Have they gone into any districts so far or are they considering the position in any district? In two months they ought to have made some progress; we ought to hear that they are dealing with amalgamation projects in some parts of the coalfield.
I want now to refer to Subhead G1 dealing with the committees of investigation. An hon. Member opposite said that the work of those committees was to deal with complaints from the districts, and that so far they had had nothing to do because several of the districts had not yet fixed the minimum price. I want to ask the Secretary for Mines whether he intends to deal with those districts which have not up to the present fixed the minimum price. Anyone who reads the local newspapers must see the complaints which are being made that Yorkshire has not yet fixed its minimum price and is underselling the neighbouring counties. I think the Secretary for Mines ought to bring pressure to force all the districts to fix their minimum price so that one district will not be able to steal the trade of the other district.
§ Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
The Secretary for Mines made a statement to the effect that Sir Ernest Gowers had surrendered his pension rights. The chairman of this Commission has been a civil servant for some considerable time, and he must have acquired the right to a pension. I want to know if the chairman has surrendered all rights to that pension, or whether, at the conclusion of his chairmanship, he will receive his pension right again?
§ Mr. HALL-CAINE
I would like to ask what the secretary for Mines means by saying that in the case of this appointment he had to pay the market price. Does it mean that the services of this gentleman were offered elsewhere, and that he had to bid for him? Was this salary fixed on the basis of the salary which this gentleman previously had, or was this £7,000 the figure fixed by the Minister? I want the Minister to tell us what he means by the market price.
Sir HILTON YOUNG
It is quite obvious from the Debate that the Secretary for Mines has failed to carry with him his own followers in regard to this appointment, and in these circumstances, perhaps he will consider the withdrawal of this Supplementary Estimate for reconsideration. I should like to suggest that this is an occasion upon which the Government might act upon the intimation recently described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the direction of economy. The reply of the Minister showed that he had not apprehended the real weight of the criticism levelled against this remarkable salary. The Minister compared it with the case of the chairman of the Electricity Board, and said that in this case it was necessary to pay the market price. Surely, the circumstances of those two cases are not analogous. Let it be understood that what has been said from these benches is not a personal criticism of this appointment as distinguished from the policy of the Government. We recognise that this gentleman is one of the ablest and most distinguished of Government servants, and, if he placed his services in the market, he might demand a great deal more than he is now receiving. This is the case of an appointment to do Government work which can be done by a Government servant, and a wholly new scale of salary is being introduced for Government work. This is the case of an appointment to Government work at actually double the salary usually paid to the head of the Civil Service at the Treasury. You cannot have two prices for the same article in one market. This appointment laying down a new maximum for Civil Service salaries threatens the stability of existing Civil Service 2409 scales. This is not a case of going into the open market to get a big business man; it is a, case of introducing new salaries for civil servants' work.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I notice that the additional cost of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission in this Estimate is 6,000. The Secretary for Mines has told us that this Commission did not start its work until the end of December, that is two months ago. I presume from that statement that we may expect that the total cost will be increased next year, and I would like to ask whether I am right in assuming that in the end the cost of this Commission will amount to £30,000 a year?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is not in order. We are simply dealing with the amount of the Estimate before us at the present moment.
§ Mr. CULVERWELL
I only wish to know whether we are committing ourselves to further expenditure in the future.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member might just as well ask how much the cost would be the year after next.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
The Secretary for Mines has told us quite plainly that this ex-civil servant is to be paid £7,000 a year. We have also extracted from the hon. Gentleman the fact that he is surrendering his pension rights, and I should like to know whether in the event, which I sincerely hope will not happen, of his health breaking down in 12 months time, he then has no claim on any Government Department, but has totally abandoned the whole of his pension rights? That is a point about which we ought to be told. The hon. Gentleman does not seem inclined to accept that one way or the other, so we are not quite certain. I should like to know for how many years Sir Ernest Cowers would have had to continue before he qualified for his pension, and approximately what his salary was? Unless we know the full facts, we do not know how good a bargain or otherwise the Government have made. I am not in the least saying that if the hon. Gentleman had gone into the open market and got a really thoroughly efficient man, £7,000 would have been too much. I am not a narrow-minded person like the hon. Member for Tradeston (Mr. T. Henderson) or other Clyde Members. 2410 I quite realise that some are worth more than others. I have no doubt that the hon. Member who leads the Clyde group would be worth very much more than I am as a public platform speaker.
I am not for one minute quarrelling with the fact that a civil servant has been appointed, because I think, probably, you have got a very excellent brain to deal with the job and a fair-minded man as well. Nevertheless, I think the point raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young) is a most important one. When you train your men up in the Civil Service for a long time to occupy eventually a position of very great trust at the top of the Civil Service, you should be very reluctant to take them out of it and put them in an outside job. It is not a good precedent.
Then I should like to ask some questions about those who are getting seven guineas a day with a guarantee of a 100-day year. Was any sort of provision made as to how long those days should be? I do not mean on the basis of an eight-hour day, and so on, but I do think that we should have some more information as regards those people. It does not seem a satisfactory position that, having set up this new Royal Commission, you should come and ask us for a particular Estimate for these men, and we should suddenly have flung at the head of the House of Commons these new salaries without having a proper occasion to go into them and consider them fully. I now begin to realise why such tremendous efforts were made earlier in the day to keep a large number of Members out of the House. The Government Whips knew very well that this very bad Estimate was coming on. This rather difficult task had to be overcome, and they made every effort to keep us away.
I wish to protest against salaries of this kind at this particular time being paid without any justification whatever from the Minister. It is an illustration of the absolute folly of many of the things which are happening at present, when you are merely setting up Government Department after Government Department for the sake of paying large salaries to a large number of people, and the result is you get absolutely nothing in return for the money. Therefore, I hope that my hon. Friend behind me will press this 2411 Amendment to a Division, and I shall certainly be delighted to go into the Lobby as a general protest, not against any particular salary, but against the system of perpetually placing more and more citizens of this country on a salaried basis where they are not doing anything towards the upkeep of the country as a whole.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
As far as I have been able to gather from this discussion, this is just an example—
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I may have begun my introductory words with a certain sort of apology for the time I was not here, but I have been here quite sufficient time to justify what I intend to say. This is one of the examples of the unfortunate methods of our procedure in regard to Supplementary Estimates, where we suddenly get flung upon us, in the course of a discussion in Committee, information of which we have no knowledge beforehand. I should be very interested if the hon. Member who interrupted me just now on a point of Order can sincerely say that he knew anything more about this Estimate than I do at present. It must be quite clear that the Government have appointed to a position, at a salary of £7,000 a year, a gentleman who was at the head of the Civil Service at a salary which was half that amount. If the Government had in the Civil Service a man who was fit to do that business, why should they pay him a higher salary than he can ever hope to attain in that business which he had gone into as his Life work? As far as I can gather, the only answer which has been given is that in return he is giving up certain pension rights. I want to know specifically from the hon. Gentleman, when he has got a civil servant whom he considers capable of doing this work, what justification he has for putting him on to work on an entirely different basis at an increased salary, and getting him to give up his pension rights, instead of asking him to do that work on the same basis as every other 2412 civil servant does his job, namely, that of a salary and certain pension rights? It is obvious that the Government on this occasion have adopted a course which, I say, without any hesitation, is absolutely without precedent.
In the circumstances, as the matter has been sprung upon this Committee without any previous knowledge of this unprecedented course of action, I desire to reinforce very strongly the suggestion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young), that the Minister should withdraw this Supplementary Estimate for further consideration at a future date. I can only suggest that, if he does not do so, the matter is scarcely likely to end here. It is obviously a very serious matter. It is an entirely new matter, it is a complete departure from all the ordinary practice in regard to the employment of persons in the Civil Service, and it requires far more explanation than we have received up to the present. I think that perhaps the best thing the Minister could do would be to give the best explanation he can at the moment, and then ask leave to withdraw this Vote for further consideration at some future date, when the House has had a real opportunity of considering the circumstances which have been brought to our knowledge unexpectedly and for the first time to-night.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
As there has been a challenge front hon. Members opposite with respect to the possible withdrawal of this Supplementary Estimate, I think I ought to make the position perfectly clear at once. We have no intention of withdrawing this Supplementary Estimate. It is quite clear to me that hon. Members opposite are much more concerned about the activities of the Reorganisation Commission than they are about the emoluments that are to be paid; and that is quite consistent with their action during the period when the Coal Mines Bill was passing through the House. It was the opinion of the House at that time, and it is the opinion of Members on this side and below the Gangway opposite, that the Reorganisation Commissioners are capable of performing very useful functions in relation to a very distressed industry, and, in these circumstances, it is important to get the very best men for the purpose intended.
2413 What was the position? We had to secure the services of the most competent person we could find as Chairman of this Commission, and I confess at once that we found the task somewhat difficult. We endeavoured to secure the services of influential men in the business world capable of handling an intricate problem, as this is; but we had considerable difficulty. Eventually it was decided to secure the services of this eminent civil servant, and in doing so we had to consider certain facts. In the first place, there was the fact that he was occupying an important position in the Civil Service. That is not denied by hon. Members opposite. Secondly, he had to forego substantial pension rights; while, in addition, the work was of a most onerous character, and the brunt of it is falling upon his shoulders, for the work of the other commissioners is very largely of an advisory character. Moreover, this amount was, having regard to capitalist economics, the market price.
I do not defend a salary of this description for a single moment in normal circumstances, but we are not living in normal circumstances; we are living in capitalist circumstances. When we speak of a market price, we are not speaking in terms of economic equality with regard to any individual, whoever he is, whether he be an eminent civil servant or a lowly paid civil servant; we are speaking in terms of the salary that it is necessary to offer in order to secure the services of the person who, in our opinion, is most competent to perform this work. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir H. Young), while agreeing that Sir Ernest Gowers was quite competent for this task, observed that his salary, having regard to the fact that Sir Ernest Gowers had left the Civil Service to take over this post, ought not to have been increased to any extent, and he disputed my proposition that the case of Sir Andrew Duncan was analogous. I venture to join issue with him on that point. It is analogous, because Sir Andrew Duncan was associated with the Civil Service before he became Chairman of the Electricity Board. He was Coal Controller for a considerable period, and, at all events, he was a semi-civil servant, closely associated for a period 2414 with the Civil Service. Then he entered business life, securing the market price for the particular position which he then occupied, and he afterwards became Chairman of the Electricity Board. I am not certain which Government was responsible for the appointment, but in any event, if the Chairman of the Electricity Board—I am speaking again of the existing capitalist situation—deserves a salary of between £7,000 and £8,000 annually, I venture to say that in the existing circumstances, having regard to the important nature of the task devolving upon Sir Ernest Growers in effecting amalgamations in the mining industry, the salary is not higher than ought to be paid.
I should be prepared to agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) if the circumstances were different, but, unfortunately, they are not. No one is more anxious than my hon. Friend to promote amalgamations in the mining fields, and I think he would be the last to desire any interference with the functions of the Reorganisation Commission. Indeed, he said that he expected much more work to be done in the course of the two months that had elapsed since the appointments were made. My reply to that is that the ground must be surveyed, the secretariat associated with the Commission must get to work, and professional and technical inquiries of all sorts have to be conducted before any definite amalgamation proposals can ensue. In these circumstances, it is not too much to ask that my hon. Friend and others should await the conclusion of the present preliminary investigations. While I am, generally speaking, in agreement in principle in relation to the salaries that are now being offered in certain directions, yet the importance of promoting the work of amalgamation in the mining fields cannot be subordinated at this moment to the question of what a proper salary should be. The appointment has been made.
It is all very well for hon. Members opposite. They dislike amalgamation, and it is their anti-amalgamation bias that has made them speak as they have done. [Interruption.] I am not to be deceived by the attitude of hon. Members opposite. My hon. Friend the Member for Spennymoor's statement was a per- 2415 fectly proper one, because he believes in amalgamations. He believes that in proper circumstances salaries should be lower than they are. Hon. Members opposite believe wages should be lower than they are. That is rather a different proposition. The one thing they believe in, and the one thing they are endeavouring to secure, is the disruption of the Reorganisation Commission, and that we are determined to prevent. Whatever success may attend the difficulties of the Reorganisation Commission, we on these benches, and hon. Members below the Gangway, expect fruitful results and we want to support it in every possible direction. In these circumstances I ask the Committee to agree to the Vote, the circumstances being abnormal owing to the fact that we had to secure the best services for the purpose and, in addition, that we encountered serious difficulties before we obtained the right material for the post.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I am rather surprised that the Minister should construe the very legitimate criticism of this very generous salary, a criticism made on both sides of the Committee, as an attack upon the Reorganisation Commission. In fact I should have thought such an attack would be out of order, as the bulk of the criticism has been levelled, quite rightly, at the salary which the Minister is defending. It will be perfectly feasible for him to withdraw the Estimate and to produce a revised salary for this official without in any way endangering the work of the Reorganisation Commission. It is obvious that the Committee on both sides are surprised and shocked at the magnitude of the amount. When we debated the matter in Committee on the Coal Mines Bill a year ago, the President of the Board of Trade, in reply to a question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), said that the remuneration of the commissioners would probably be a comparatively small element and by far the greater part of the expenditure would relate to the legal, technical and other interests involved.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Financial provision was made, when the Bill was passing through the House, to the extent of £250,000, and the emoluments of these 2416 appointments are a small proportion of that.
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I quite understand the Minister's point but, as far as we have gone at present, it would appear that the greater part of the £6,000 that has been spent in two months was for salaries and incidental expenses to salaries. As regards living under capitalism, in some ways the Minister's argument is very encouraging, because in an era like this, in a hybrid state of capitalism, you can get what you want, and the future for certain capitalists is very favourable so long as the Minister has a majority behind him. In any event, even under capitalism, I should be surprised to find that it was not possible to obtain capitalists of considerable repute for half the salary that is now proposed. Yet throughout the whole of these proceedings I have felt increasing sympathy for the Minister. This Reorganisation Commission is not his child. It is a foundling. He has to look after it, and he has now been compelled to pay a most extravagant sum to the nurse. Before my hon. Friend moved the Amendment, the Liberal benches were untenanted. It is now encouraging to note that some of the parents of this child are present and, in their zeal for economy, we shall be interested to hear some contribution from them as to whether or not this is the kind of salary which they contemplated when they set up this Commission. I very much hope the sense of the Committee will be that the Minister should withdraw his Estimate and produce another with a salary more commensurate with what the ideas of the House should be, and, I think, are.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
We are told this is a real crisis in our financial affairs because we are going to spend £7,000 on a civil servant. I wonder if our friends opposite have any sense of proportion at all? I have been sitting here while they have been wasting time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"] I withdraw. I have discovered that the country is now rapidly going to the dogs and there is a serious economic crisis because of this £7,000, which actually amounts to 28 minutes interest on the War Debt. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who told you that?"] A 14-year-old school girl can work that out and I pay you the very great compliment that you are nearly 2417 as clever as a 14-year-old school girl. We are all interested in economy and we know what it costs to build a battleship.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
I am merely trying to show you how generous you can be without raising any objection and how stingy you can be with things that really matter.
§ Mr. HAYCOCK
I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman ought to be named. The interest on one battleship is 28 times this amount. Do we want to put the mining industry in order or not? I know that £7,000 is a very large salary. Under any decent system we should not think of giving one man £7,000 and another, who goes down the mine, £2 a week, but we are not responsible for that system. It is something like 17 times the price of a Member of Parliament, but that is not our fault. It is our misfortune. I think it is very shocking when one knows that nearly as many Members as are on the benches opposite will give their full time working to get a salary that this gentleman is going to get. [Interruption.] Yes, all of you are earning, working together, this £7,000, but we are not responsible for a system where there are anomalies of that character. We have to see that the mines are reorganised, and we have to get the best persons and then pay them. Unfortunately, we have to pay them £7,000, but it is a small sum out of an £800,000,000 Budget. I am getting just a little bit sick of people who will not economise about things that matter and will throw money away on things that do not matter.
§ Mr. ALBERY
I do not think there is anybody in this Committee who is not surprised at the item of expense which has been suddenly burst upon us. I do not suggest for one moment that the gentleman who is going to get this £7,000 a year is not worth every penny. I daresay he is. That is probably the view of many hon. Members, but, from what we have heard in this Committee and in the country, that is not the view of hon. Members who sit on the Government benches. If this question is carried to a Division, I shall certainly go in the Lobby against it, not because I do not think the gentleman is entitled to £7,000. I do not know much about that. I have not met him or heard about him before, and I am quite willing to believe that he is worth the money. I shall go into the Division Lobby against this Supplementary Estimate because I am determined to have the satisfaction of seeing hon. Members on the other side of the House who go up and down the country declaring that no one is worth more than £400 a year, going into the Lobby to vote for a salary which they themselves have created, an entirely new salary, of £7,000 a year. If they can do that without feeling, every one of them, to be the hypocrites which they are, I shall be surprised.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
I shall have very much pleasure in going into the Lobby in support of the Vote, because I shall be voting for the amalgamation of the mines. The last hon. Member who spoke made it perfectly clear to my mind that he is not opposed to Sir Ernest Gowers getting £7,000. No hon. Member opposite would vote against Sir Ernest Gowers getting £7,000, because Sir Ernest Gowers is a defender of their class. They will go into the Lobby because they are opposed to anything in the nature of reorganisation of the mining industry, and they think that this is a fine opportunity to carry out their objection. If hon. Members who are asking that the Minister should withdraw this Vote had paid attention to what the Minister said, they would be aware of the fact that we have already entered into the agreement whereby this sum of £7,000 to Sir Ernest Gowers, not the market rate, has to be paid annually.
I do not hesitate in saying that Sir Ernest Gowers is not worth £7,000 a 2419 year, but I will say that if we had to choose a chairman from the Civil Service, there is no one better qualified than Sir Ernest Gowers; not for the reason that he was in the Treasury, but that he was for some years directly and intimately associated with the mining industry as the principal secretary to the Department. From that standpoint, I have no objection. If hon. Members have no feeling against Sir Ernest Gowers, then there is no reason why they should not accept the statement that has been made by the Secretary for Mines. If we had known at the time that this salary was to be paid to the chairman, I do not hesitate to say that we should have taken action and we could have dealt with the matter, and I should have voted against it.
§ Mr. ALBERY
May I ask the hon. Member if he means that as long as his Government put up things of this kind without consulting Members of his party, they will continue to support them?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
It does not mean anything of the sort. It merely means that, on this side of the Committee, we take the view that once a contract has been entered into we stand by the contract. When we have made an agreement, we keep it. When the employers enter into arrangements, they do not keep them. I have as much sympathy as anybody with the anxiety for economy, and I am not personally very sympathetic to the appointment that has been made, but, in view of all the circumstances, and in view of the fact that a contract has been entered into, we are morally bound to stand by that contract. I hope that everybody on this side of the Committee will give his Vote in favour of this Supplementary Estimate.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
There are one or two questions which have not been answered. The hon. Member who has just spoken takes us to task, because in criticising this Vote he says we are proposing to vote against amalgamation of the mines. He is entirely misguided and wrong. It is not surprising. He should remember that we are dealing with what is on the Statute Book about amalgamation. No vote of this Committee would even be a sort of vote against amalgama- 2420 tion. It is absolute rubbish to say things like that, and the hon. Member knows it. What we are talking about is the salary of this gentleman. I think it is a very great pity, and it seems unfortunate, that the names of distinguished people should come up. It is the fault entirely of the Minister. If the Minister had had any kind of frankness he would have put in the notes to this Estimate exactly what it was we were going to be asked. But nothing is there. There is no mention of £7,000 or any pounds at all. It is entirely due to the Minister's lack of frankness.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
The hon. and gallant Gentleman was perfectly well aware that the information would all be given in the full Estimate.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
I am surprised that the Minister should tell me a thing like that. I know perfectly well that the details would appear in the Estimates in the normal course, but this is a new service, and in the case of new services it is always the custom to put the fullest possible, details into the Supplementary Estimate, and not necessarily to repeat them in the main Estimates of the ensuing year. The first time the House is asked to vote money on a new service is the time when the Committee is entitled to the fullest possible information. If the Secretary for Mines had been frank—I do not blame him; it was not nice for him to have to say to his colleagues that he was to pay a salary of £7,000 a year—it would not have been necessary for him to drag out before the Committee the names of gentlemen who are distinguished in their own professions. No doubt the gentleman whose salary we are discussing will do sterling work in the appointment which he has received.
The Secretary for Mines says that this appointment is the same as that of one of the Electricity Commissioners. I do not think there is any connection between the two. As I understand it, the gentleman whose salary we are discussing was a civil servant at the time of his appointment while the other gentleman was not a civil servant at all. He was what has been called as "a sort of a civil servant." He had been a coal controller, and he left that to go into business, and was taken from business to be an electricity commissioner. I do not know if that gentle- 2421 man had been in the Civil Service or was temporarily attached to it, but if so, he had broken with the Civil Service. This gentleman whose salary we are now discussing never went into business at all. Those of us who have served on various Committees, like the Estimates Committee, know what a valuable civil servant he was, and we should like to pay him a tribute, although it is not necessary for us to do so because his ability has been recognised by the Minister for Mines in making this appointment. I should like to ask whether he has left the Civil Service definitely, or has he been seconded?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I have stated three or four times, and, if the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been present he would have heard me, that the chairman of the Commissioners has left the Civil Service.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
That is what I wanted to have emphasised. Why did the Minister not second him temporarily for this job? He could have used him temporarily as chairman of the Commission and save one half of the salary that is now being paid. I am reminded that in regard to Subhead C, in the note at the bottom of this Paper, it is stated that the offices of the chairman and secretary are at present held without additional remuneration by the president and secretary of the Industrial Court. What has happened with regard to the pension rights of this gentleman whose salary we are discussing? Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not realise that the whole of this Commission is due to the attitude of the Liberal party when the Bill was going through the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) was unable to be here when the Minister spoke before, and it is for his benefit that I am discussing this matter.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I am afraid that I cannot allow those things to be repeated for the sake of anybody who was not present before. I cannot allow them to be repeated over and over again.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
We really cannot get away from the fact that it is illogical for right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite to go up and down the country preaching that £400 or £500 is an overwhelming salary for anybody in business, and then for the Sec- 2422 retary for Mines to give a salary of this magnitude without any kind of reason for it. We shall be interested, when the Division comes, to see how many of the Government's supporters are prepared to go into the Lobby to put it on record—just as they said that first-class travelling is necessary for Members of this House—that £7,000 is the lowest possible sum that the Government can give to an official to carry out this work.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I should like to say to the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) that if he or his official spokesman would state clearly the reasons for the opposition to this Vote the Committee would understand better where they are. If he or his hon. Friends think that they are going to exploit any differences that may exist on this side in regard to the position of the Government, he is making a great mistake, because Members on this side are just as "'cute" as he or any hon. Members opposite. We protest emphatically against salaries of this kind being paid to chairmen who are undertaking to sit 100 days in the year out of 365. I should think that a person who leaves a salary of £3,500 and steps into a "cushy" job at £7,000 a year need not worry about pension rights. I am in favour of reorganisation of the mining industry, and I recognise that hon. Members opposite are opposed to amalgamation and reorganisation and that they intend to challenge the Vote because they want to stick a dagger into the scheme of reorganisation. We have been told that there is hypocrisy on this side of the House, but that can be thrown back at hon. Members opposite regarding the payment of a salary of £7,000 a year, because during their term of office they did nothing but continually set up committees and commissions, members of which had drawn fabulous salaries to which they were not entitled in any shape or form. I refuse to believe that this man is worth £7,000 a year. If I were given the opportunity of voting for or against such a salary I should not have the slightest hesitation in voting against it. [HON. MEMBERS: "You have the opportunity!"] If this matter was freed from the question of amalgamation, I certainly should vote against the payment of that salary, but as a protest against the payment of such a salary, I 2423 do not intend to take any part in the voting.
Although the Secretary for Mines tells us we are living in a capitalist world, I believe that the Government were placed in office to try to rectify some of the wrongs which exist in the capitalist world. I understand that the Minister is not wholly responsible for this appointment, but that he is expected to defend the appointment in some way. I do not think there can be any defence made from the Socialist point of view. While amalgamation is desirable and reorganisation absolutely essential in the interests of the mining industry, we certainly cannot, in these dark days, when we are told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that economy must be the order of the day, afford to pay a salary of that description to an ex-civil servant. I protest against the payment of such a salary during a time when those engaged in the mining industry are compelled to exist on the meagre amount of 32s. or 33s. which goes into the home to keep a wife and family. It is said that he has relinquished his pension rights. Many miners in this country give up their lives in the interests of the mining industry, and you are certainly less concerned about their lives than you are about the pension rights of an individual of this description. Regarding the undertaking to sit a minimum of 100 days per year, I cannot understand how it is that a commission of this description only undertake to sit 100 days per year. Surely in giving a salary of that description we ought to expect greater service than they are prepared to give in order to reorganise the industry which is at such a very low ebb at the present moment. I do not think that this country should be saddled with the payment of such fabulous sums as we are asked to give these individuals.
I say again, that had this Vote been freed from the question of amalgamation, I certainly should have voted against the proposal. [HON MEMBERS: "It is freed."] I am convinced that had we been called upon to vote against the £7,000 salary alone there would have been very few heads to count from the other side, because they are certainly the defenders of this type of thing. Now they state that they are prepared to go into the Division Lobby. I want to re- 2424 mind them that while they may be very brave in stating that they will go into the Division Lobby against this Vote, they will only do so if they are told by their Front Bench to go into the Lobby. If they are told to stay out, they will do so, and their protest, and their demand for economy in regard to a Vote of this description, will melt into thin air. In connection with the amalgamations we are wholly in favour of the proposals, but we are against a salary of this description.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
I wish to intervene in the Debate for two reasons. The first reason is, that I wish to congratulate the Government on having secured the services of Sir Ernest Gowers. When I had the privilege of being the Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, Sir Ernest was the Permanent Secretary of the Mines Department, and my colleagues and I formed the very highest opinion of his capacities. I feel convinced that a better chairman of the Commission could not be found. I should like to give this testimony to the Committee at this moment. My second reason is, that it seems to me most unfair to suggest that Sir Ernest Gowers is to receive a salary of £7,000. That is, not the salary that he is receiving. He is receiving a certain salary, and he is also receiving a commuted compensation for his pension rights, which is included in his salary. Here is a man who has been serving all his life in the Civil Service and has reached one of the highest posts in the Civil Service. He is within sight of his retiring age, and he has through his long service earned very considerable accrued pension rights. I do not know what the capital value may be of what he will sacrifice if he remains with this Commission for the remainder of his working days. When it is said that he is receiving a salary of £7,000 a year, it must be remembered that a large part of that sum has to be assigned to the fair compensation which he is fully entitled to receive for services that he has already rendered, and for pension rights already accrued.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
We have had a very interesting contribution from the right hon. Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel), and we are entitled 2425 to know now whether this distinguished chairman was nominated by the Liberal party.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have asked the hon. and gallant Member to bear in mind that we are in Committee dealing with Supplementary Estimates. We have had a good deal of repetition already.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
With great respect, we have just had a very interesting contribution on this subject by the right hon. Member for Darwen, which certainly raised an issue. If you will not allow me to go into the matter, of course, I must obey your Ruling.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
On a point of Order. Am I not right in saying that in this Supplementary Estimate we have a new Service, which covers the salary of the official concerned? If this is a new Service, are we not entitled to discuss anything connected with the appointment of that particular official?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Yes, but you are not entitled to discuss whether he was appointed by the Liberal party.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I am asking for a definite Ruling on that particular point, whether, this being a new Service, we are entitled to discuss the question of the appointment of the gentleman whose salary is included as a new Service in this Estimate.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
I am much obliged, and I will address the Minister through you. Did the Minister consult the right hon. Member for Darwen on this appointment?
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
It may shorten our proceedings if I say that there was no consultation, and that the first I knew of the appointment was when I saw it announced in the Press.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. I take it that there was no consultation with him as to the salary?
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
This has been a great personal triumph for the Secretary for Mines, upon which I heartily congratulate him. He was faced with a serious revolt on the benches behind him, but a cheery inspiration suggested the word "amalgamation," and immediately he had drawn this red herring across the trail hon. Members behind him went after it, now he has a united party behind him. I congratulate the Secretary for Mines. They have forgotten all about this salary. We have had a very interesting contribution to the Debate from the hon. Member who belongs to the party led by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). He was anxious to vote against this salary of £7,000 until the word "amalgamation" was mentioned. I am afraid that the hon. Member for Bridgeton and his followers have not the courage of their opinions on this matter, and that is why the hon. Member for Smethwick (Sir O. Mosley) is stealing their thunder. This is the party which talks about wages and salaries! This afternoon an hon. Member was suspended who alleged—
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Hon. Members opposite who talk about wages and salaries are supporting this £7,000 salary. There is another side to this question. We have had a circular from certain Barnsley miners pointing out how the question of reorganisation is going to affect them, that they cannot get work when they want it, that if they want work they are sent away, and if they do work they have to work at the wrong time. It is perfectly obvious that a reorganisation commission is badly required. All this has happened since the passing of the Coal Mines Act. It was Mr. John Burns who said that no man was worth more than £500 a year, yet this Socialist Government is paying these enormous salaries and at the same time is talking about cutting down the wages of 2427 many civil servants who are earning about £3 per week.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I cannot remember when this Committee has had to discuss such a melancholy business as this. I should not be in order if I emphasised the point made by the hon. and gallant Member for Louth (Lieut.-Colonel Heneage) that on the very day when we are reducing the wage of the poor postman by 5s. we are appointing a man at a very considerable salary to reorganise the mining industry. We are appointing a man to discharge that duty at a salary which is 50 per cent. higher than the salary of the right hon. Gentleman who is chosen to amalgamate the various groups of the Labour party, and no one will deny that the right hon Gentleman in the task of amalgamating those discordant groups—
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
If the hon. Member has followed the happenings of to-day he will realise that "all one body we," and just as we are standing up in another place for a great principle and are not concerned with a form of words—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We are not concerned here with anything other than the Estimate before the Committee.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I am sorry if I have strayed from the subject in reply to the interruptions of hon. Gentlemen opposite.
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I content myself with saying that in this case we are concerned with a principle, and not with a man, because, on the merits of the appointment, no one who has any contact with Sir Ernest Cowers would deny that he was the best possible man in the country for this work. There is one point, however, which I would like to have made clear. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) suggested that this salary of £7,000 included commutation of pension rights. Is the right hon. Gentleman 2428 right in that suggestion? If any civil servant who occupied the post which Sir Ernest Gowers occupied has taken on a job which, by its nature, must be temporary, without getting a capital sum for his pension rights, he has been very unwise indeed, and should not we have a plain answer from the Minister as to whether in addition to this high salary—which is 35 times what a working miner earns—there is any capital sum not hitherto revealed, and somewhere hidden in this Vote?
§ Mr. DIXEY
The hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) said that he could not vote for the reduction of this Estimate because, if he did so, he might jeopardise the amalgamation proposals. If that were the case, I might have to give serious consideration as to how I should register my vote, but I understand that a reduction in this case, if we were successful in carrying it, would only mean the reconsideration of this particular salary. Perhaps the Minister will confirm me if I am right in saying that such a vote would in no way jeopardise the position as regards amalgamation. I listened with great respect, as the Committee always listens with great respect to the right hon. Gentleman who is more or less the father of this Coal Mines Act. He said that included in this salary was a certain amount in respect of pension, which would be due to this distingushed gentleman in the future. What amount would that gentleman have been entitled to in pension There should be no difficulty in the hon. Gentleman informing the Committee. Then we can judge how much of this £7,000 is salary and how much is relied upon as computation. Distinguished as the gentleman is—and I understand that he is a very distinguished civil servant—I should take the same line that I am now taking if, in these times, this proposition had been made by a Conservative Government.
§ Mr. DIXEY
I am as much entitled to my convictions as the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), and, however much he may have taunted me across the Floor, I have stuck up for my convic- 2429 tions as much as he has stuck up for his. I suggest to the Secretary for Mines that in these times of bad trade, when he and his Government are supposed to encourage everybody engaged in trade to cut down; when we have examples of railway companies curtailing directors' fees, and examples of cuts all over the country, it is singularly inadvisable for a Government Department to pay a salary such as this to any gentleman, however distinguished he may be. I suggest that even now at this late stage the hon. Gentleman should accept what is the real feeling of the Committee. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side are making an excuse of amalgamation. They know as well as we do that this is a proposition which the country will not have, and I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the Vote.
§ Commander SOUTHBY
As the Mover of the reduction of the Vote by £1,000, I should like to make a point clear in reply to the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern). The point has been raised that this is an attack upon amalgamation and reorganisation in the coal industry. There was nothing of that kind in my mind when I moved the reduction, much as I should be glad to make a bad Act better. When a Division is taken on this Amendment, only one issue will be before the Committee, and that is the issue of economy, which people on both sides talk so much about and practise so little. An opportunity is given to the Committee of practising it to-night, and those who go into the Lobby for the reduction will be voting against what is not a proper salary to pay at a time when economy is so necessary.
§ Major SALMON
I should like to put to the Minister a question that exercises my mind. Is it a fact that the officer who has been appointed as Chairman of this Commission and who is receiving a salary of £7,000 a year, will be entitled at the end of the five years for which he is appointed to receive a pension in respect of the period up to his appointment as Chairman?
§ Mr. BRACKEN:
This is a matter of very considerable importance. I do not 2430 doubt that Sir Ernest Gowers' services are of the highest value. It happens that his salary has been very greatly increased by his translation to this new office. This is a matter of great importance, because I understand that Sir Ernest Gowers previously received a salary of £3,000 a year. Why it should suddenly be raised to £7,000 passes my understanding. [Laughter.] I do not think this is a matter for hilarity. Hon. Members opposite object to the payment of very large salaries to anybody. I wish the Minister would tell us directly why this great increase should have been granted.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is all repetition. I have heard that question asked at least six times and it has been answered.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member is rising for the purpose of asking the same question again I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
With great respect, I myself have not been involved in any repetition, because I am afraid I was not present earlier.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
Yes; and I feel that it is a duty to this House that I should ask why £4,000 should be added to the salary of a civil servant and no explanation be given to the House? I do not wish to press this point unduly, but it would facilitate business if we could have an answer.
§ Mr. BRACKEN
The reorganisation of the coal mining industry is a very large undertaking and it seems to be a very bad beginning to add greatly to the salary of the chief civil servant entrusted 2431 with the task. I feel it is a duty to the House to ask for an answer on this point.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
The Minister interrupted one of my hon. Friends some time ago to say, if I understood him rightly, that the whole question of this gentleman's salary was in the original Estimate. I would like to know where it is to be found.
§ Mr. SHINWELL indicated dissent.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
As the Minister apparently does not propose to give any further answer than shaking his head, I desire to call the special attention of the Committee to the remarkable fact that a Minister of the Crown attempts to stifle the criticism of the Opposition by a statement on the Floor of this House that certain things are included in the original Estimate when such is not in accordance with the facts, and that he has not got the grace to apologise for an incorrect statement misleading the House.
§ Captain CROOKSHANK
As the Minister does not appear to wish to reply, perhaps I can put the hon. Gentleman right.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The same question has been pat and answered many times. I do not say that the reply was satisfactory, or that it was unsatisfactory, but hon. Members must at least accept the explanation.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The same question has been put, perhaps not in the hon. Member's words, but in other words.
§ Mr. ALBERY
I think we are entitled to know the exact position of this gentleman with regard to his pension, and I hope the Minister will give us a reply on that point.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
I think the Committee is entitled to an answer to 2432 this question. We know that the salary is £7,000 a year and that Sir Ernest Gowers has sacrificed some pension rights. We have also been told that there is no capital sum, but we have not been told what is the amount of the pension rights. Surely the Committee is entitled to that information, and I see no reason why we should not have it. If there has been no capital sum, if pension rights have been relinquished, we should be told what is the amount of those pension rights.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I have replied to these questions on more than one occasion, and I reserve my right to reply on the variations of those questions which have been raised. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"] I did not raise the question of pension rights in my original speech, and that was put to me afterwards. The Government defence for paying this salary is that we were desirous of securing the best possible man for this post. We tried in many directions. Eventually we secured the services of Sir Ernest Gowers at the salary which has been announced. If hon. Members object to Sir Ernest Gowers occupying this position, they must say so, but hon. Members have ventured the opinion that he is the right man for the post. The hon. Member for North Paddington (Mr. Bracken), who made a very belated appearance in this Debate, is hardly a competent judge, but responsible Members on the other side who have given the Debate very serious attention are entitled to some consideration in reply. The position is that we had to secure the best man we could, and, in our judgment, Sir Ernest Gowers is the best man. We think, in all the circumstances, he is receiving a salary commensurate with the task involved. I have said more than once that if I had to frame a salary in different circumstances in terms of economic equality I should be very reluctant to do so, but when we endeavoured to secure the services of Sir Ernest Gowers and found that only on the condition that such a salary was to be paid could those services be secured, we felt no reluctance whatever, having regard to the need for his services, in paying the salary.
The question of pension rights was superimposed by hon. Members opposite. It is perfectly clear that Sir Ernest 2433 Gowers, in stipulating for this salary, had in mind the loss of pension rights—[HON. MEMBERS: "How much?"]—involved in severing his connection with the Civil Service. Hon. Members are hardly entitled to ask me what exactly the amount of the pension rights is. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] For the reasons I have stated. First of all, this is not the appropriate occasion for considering all the details involved in the original Estimate. That occasion will arise at the appropriate moment when the Estimate is presented to the House, and, no doubt, I or a responsible Minister, on behalf of the Treasury, will be able to furnish the necessary answer. For the moment, the question does not arise. Lastly, I have no hesitation whatever in saying that the opposition on the other side is inspired by one consideration, and one consideration alone, and that is their definite opposition to amalgamations. We on this side are not to be deceived by such a subterfuge.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
The hon. Gentleman has fenced with the question which has been put to him quite courteously and in a straightforward way. He knows as well as I know that civil servants are entitled to a pension calculated on a proper formula which is known to the whole House. There is nothing secret about it. He can tell us the number of years standing to the record of this very excellent civil servant and multiply them by the appropriate formula, and we can then hear without any fencing what was the amount which was surrendered. He has answered all in-
§ quiries by saying there is nothing wrong and nothing to conceal. There may be, and probably is, nothing wrong, but why should he want to conceal anything?
§ We can hear in a moment how much the surrender has been. When Sir Ernest Gowers made his terms, we understand from the hon. Gentleman that he surrendered a certain amount of rights—[Interruption]—all his rights, and the right hon. Gentleman below the Gangway elaborated that theme. He said, with what justification I do not know, that in the £7,000 a year there was included something to cover the amount which was due to Sir Ernest Gowers and which he had surrendered—the amount which he could have taken in cash if he had retired and not taken on this job. The hon. Gentleman said, if I remember rightly—I hope I am not misrepresenting him—that in calculating this salary some consideration was included for whatever would be the cash value of the amount of pension due, and we want to know what that consideration was. We are perfectly ready to believe that there is nothing sinister behind this, but, when an attempt at concealment is made, we attach to it a very serious interpretation.
§ Mr. SHINWELL 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, 183; Noes, 90.2435
|Division No. 172.]||AYES.||[10.57 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Cameron, A. G.||Glassey, A. E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cape, Thomas||Gossling, A. G.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Charleton, H. C.||Gray, Milner|
|Arnott, John||Clarke, J. S.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coins)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cluse, W. S.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Ayles, Walter||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)|
|Barr, James||Daggar, George||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)|
|Batey, Joseph||Dallas, George||Harris, Percy A.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Dalton, Hugh||Hastings, Dr. Somerville|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Haycock, A. W.|
|Benson, G.||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Dukes, C.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Blindell, James||Duncan, Charles||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Ede, James Chuter||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Edwards. E. (Morpeth)||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Bromfield, William||Elmley, Viscount||Herriotts, J.|
|Bromley, J.||England, Colonel A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Brooke, W.||Foot, Isaac||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Brothers, M.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Eiland)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall||Gill, T. H.||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Leil (Camborne)||Milner, Major J.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Montague, Frederick||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shinwell, E.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Morley, Ralph||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Mort, D. L.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Muggeridge, H. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Lathan, G.||Murnin, Hugh||Smith, Ben (Sermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Law, Albert (Bolton)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D, L. (Exeter)||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Law, A. (Rossendale)||Noel Baker, P. J.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Lawson, John James||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Palin, John Henry||Sorensen, R.|
|Leach, W.||Palmer, E. T.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Strauss, G. R.|
|Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Lindley, Fred W.||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Lloyd, C. Ellis||Pole, Major D. G.||Tillett, Ben|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Potts, John S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Longden, F.||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Toole, Joseph|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Walkden, A. G.|
|Lunn, William||Raynes, W. R.||Walker, J.|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Richards, R.||Wallace, H. W.|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline).|
|McElwee, A.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|McEntee, V. L.||Ritson, J.||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Romeril, H. G.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|McShane, John James||Rowson, Guy||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)||Wilson, J. (Oldham)|
|Manning, E. L.||Sanders, W. S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Marley, J.||Sawyer, G. F.||Wise, E. F.|
|Marshall, Fred||Sexton, Sir James||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Mathers, George||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Matters, L. W.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Maxton, James||Sherwood, G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Middleton, G.||Shield, George William||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Ferguson, Sir John||O'Connor, T. J.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Remer, John R.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gauit, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Bracken, B.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London]||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Butler, R. A.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsay, Gainsbro)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Little, Sir Ernest Graham||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Llewellin, Major J. J||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Dixey, A. C.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain|
|Sir George Bowyer.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That a sum, not exceeding £13,100, be granted for the said Service."2436
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 96; Noes, 156.2439
|Division No. 173.]||AYES.||[11.7 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)||Birkett, W. Norman|
|Albery, Irving James||Aske, Sir Robert||Boothby, R. J. G.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Bird, Ernest Roy||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Bracken, B.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Remer, John R.|
|Bromley, J.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Harris, Percy A.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Butler, R. A.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Simms, Major-General J.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Little, Sir Ernest Graham||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Locker-Lempson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Thomson, Sir F,|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Mitchell-Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|England, Colonel A.||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||O'Connor, T. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)||Commander Southby and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Herriotts, J.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hoffman, P. C.||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Hopkin, Daniel||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Arnott, John||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Potts, John S.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Ayles, Walter||Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Barr, James||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)||Raynes, W. R.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richards, R.|
|Benson, G.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon George||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Lathan, G.||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Bromfield, William||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Ritson J.|
|Brooke, W.||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Romeril, H. G.|
|Brothers, M.||Lawrence, Susan||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks, W. R. Elland)||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)||Rowson, Guy|
|Cameron, A. G.||Lawson, John James||Samuel Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Leach, W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.)||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Sexton, Sir James|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, Fred W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon, Thomas (Preston)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Longbottom, A W.||Sherwood, G. H.|
|Daggar, George||Longden, F.||Shield, George William|
|Dallas, George||Lunn, William||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Dalton, Hugh||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Shinwell, E.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||McElwee, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Dukes, C.||McEntee, V. L.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Duncan, Charles||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Ede, James Chuter||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Manning, E. L.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Elmley, Viscount||Marley, J.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Marshall, Fred||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Gill, T. H.||Mathers, George||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Glassey, A. E.||Matters, L. W.||Sorensen, H.|
|Gossling, A. G.||Middleton, G.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Milner, Major J.||Strauss, G. R.|
|Gray, Milner||Montague, Frederick||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne).||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Morley, Ralph||Tillett, Ben|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Mort, D. L.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Muggeridge, H. T.||Toole, Joseph|
|Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Murnin, Hugh||Walkden, A. G.|
|Haycock, A. W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Walker, J.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Noel Baker, P. J.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Noel-Buxton, Baroness (Norfolk, N.)||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)||Palin, John Henry.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Palmer, E. T.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)||Wise, E. F.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Wilson, J. (Oldham)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)||Paling.|
Question put, and agreed to.