HC Deb 21 July 1931 vol 255 cc1365-85

I beg to move, in page 4, line 19, at the end, to insert the words: The expression 'earnings or similar payments' shall not include workmen's compensation or pensions under the Widows,' Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Acts, 1925 to 1931, or service pensions in respect of Great War disabilities. I am hopeful that the Minister of Labour may see her way to accept this Amendment. I believe that it is the purpose of the Minister that these pensions or similar payments shall not include workmen's compensation or pensions. Hon. Members have had experience of legislation where old age pensions, dependants and widows' pensions, and pensions in connection with the War have been taken into account, and people who appear to be getting their circumstances improved always seem to have afterwards a deduction made in some form or another. From the experience of hon. Members of the Labour party, I think we on this side will insist that there shall be no dubiety in this connection.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I would add to the appeal which the hon. Member has just made. It is a tragedy to find that men who were maimed and disabled in the Great War, men who were asked by hon. Members on every side of the House to risk their all, and who now after all those years are suffering as a result of their sacrifice, are to be further penalised because they have a pension. Then there are men in industry who have met with accidents and are drawing compensation, and who are in the same category. Surely it would be a nice, gracious action on the part of the Minister to accept this Amendment, because it is all we propose to ask of her to-night. We do not propose to harass her any more on this occasion—[Interruption.] Some hon. Members seem to enjoy the idea; but I can assure the hon. Lady it is no pleasure on our part to harass her. We did it only because we were impelled to do so. We make this final human appeal on behalf of those who are not able to defend themselves. We find that people who have been thrifty, who have made life-long sacrifices so that they may have what we call in Scotland a nest-egg and have some small savings, are to be penalised.


I can assure the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) that the Government are not turning a deaf ear to his appeal. The House will remember that on the Committee stage, I gave an assurance that it was not the intention to include workmen's compensation and pensions as "earnings or similar payments." I am glad to say that I am now in a position to inform the House that these words are not necessary legally, that the legal position is that neither workmen's compensation nor widows' and orphans' pensions nor service pensions in respect to Great War disabilities can be counted as "earnings or similar payments." I think I ought to point out that, if these words were put in, it would lay open to grave doubt whether certain other classes of payments should be counted as "earnings or similar payments."


On the question of legal interpretation, what we want to know is whether that legal advice is sound.


Was that not the position before this Amendment was moved?


Yes, that is so.


I know it is the case that applicants coming before the courts of referees are asked if they are in receipt of disability pensions and I know that that disability pension has been a material factor, and also that the umpire has ruled that the fact that the person had a pension is one of the points to be taken into account in determining whether the person is normally in insurable employment or not.


That is a different point altogether. I repeat, that if these words were included, it would make the position dangerous for the very people who are most concerned. I ask the House to accept the legal position, and to reject the Amendment.


I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: In page 4, line 33, leave out the words "this Act," and insert instead thereof the words "those Acts."—[Miss Bondfield.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."


I did not rote on the Second Reading of this Bill, but I have not the slightest hesitation in voting against the Third Reading. The argument that this is really intended as a Bill against abuses and anomalies has vanished. It has not that genesis at all. If it had, the Government would have shown willingness to accept Amendments designed to help the unemployed who were excluded by anomalies. Not a bit of it. An excellent case was made out for various classes of unemployed men who were excluded. Everyone agreed that the cases were good. There was no uncertainty on the merits of the matter by the Government, but the Government would not look at it. They simply put up a wretched argument that the procedure to deal with the cases would be too complicated. The reason for the whole procedure that they have introduced by this Measure is because they say that the cases with which it has to deal are so complicated. The question of justice was quite outside.

It is purely an economy Bill and nothing else. The anomalies are only anomalies if their abolition will save money. At this time of the evening I only want to say the one simple thing that this is an economy Bill. I am one of those who are definitely hostile to all efforts that will reduce the social services as a remedy for our economic ills. It is the wrong road. The last thing that you ought to do instead of the first, if economy is to be your watchword, is to touch the pittance which any class of workers get from pensions, wages, benefit or anything else. [An HON. MEMBER: "If they are entitled to it."] The Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, a few weeks ago, made his announcement that there had to be a period of economy now. That was one of the reasons why I left the Government. This is part of the economy campaign—[Interruption]. I quite agree; it is a very little thing. When the economy campaign was started, there was a growl of hostility, and the consequence is that the Government have only brought forward this little mean bit in order to save their relations with the Liberal party.

I am glad of the opposition that has been put up to this Bill. I am not glad of it because I like differing from my friends on this side. I have been a long time in Parliament, and there is nothing that is more intensely disagreeable to me than voting against those with whom I agree on 95 things out of 100; but I am glad of this opposition simply for the reason that I think it may possibly prevent the Government from going on to larger disaster. I am afraid there are signs that they may be going further. The only new thing in the speech the other day of the President of the Board of Education was that we have to reckon with an era of stringency and economy. I care so much for the Labour party not going into the pit of an impossible policy of economy that I am very glad we have made ourselves Parliamentarily disagreeable, and, because of my hope that this will be the last thing that we shall have to do in this direction, I intend to vote against the Third Reading to-night.


I am sure that a great many Members on these benches will have heard with much surprise the speech to which we have just listened, coming from the source from whence it has come. When we think of the way in which some of us walked behind the right hon. Gentleman in the early days of this Session, supporting him when he made concessions to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite which sterilised the Measure for which we were fighting, it ill becomes him to-night to jeer at the right hon. Lady whose magnificent courage in fighting this Bill during the Committee stage and the Report stage to-day is the admiration of the great majority of the Members on these benches.

There was a doctrine in the old days, which this House has constructed a good many figments to preserve, that the King could do no wrong. There are some people who believe that the working classes can do no wrong. Kings believe that they can do no wrong, but the working classes never have believed that they could do no wrong. There are, in every working-class constituency in this country, thousands of men who realise that the newspaper stunts which have been worked against the unemployment insurance scheme have been the greatest danger to the continuance of that system for those people for whom it is the duty of this House, in our modern social outlook, to make provision. In my own constituency, which is not so many miles from that of the right hon. Gentleman, I have, every time I go down there, to meet one or two, and only one or two, out of thousands, whom the working men who are in the room with me say ought not to be helped to batten upon this fund, and I believe that, by the way in which the Minister has conducted this Bill through the House, she has made the position of the unemployment insurance scheme, for those who are genuinely entitled to its benefits according to the normal standards of the working classes of this country, infinitely stronger than it was before.

I do not intend to say anything more with regard to what has just fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, except this, that, when he says that the last thing the Government ought to do is to touch the pittance that certain people get, those are exactly the words in which we find the justification for this Bill, because we believe that, unless some such Measure as this is passed, we shall find that, not the mere small things that are contemplated by this Bill, but far larger and more sweeping reductions, will be made in the very near future. While we may regret that the last few days of the Session should have been spent in a sort of civil war on this side of the House, I am certain that the party will be able to face the electors with a clear conscience, and I cannot help thinking that the irresponsible Labour party below the Gangway might have found a better spokesman to voice its opinion against the Third Reading than the right hon. Baronet who has apparently deserted us. We had two Baronets in the party at the beginning of the Session. Apparently we do not move fast enough for the Baronets, but I am sure we are moving fast enough, and steadily enough, to satisfy our loyal supporters in the country.


I do not want to give a silent vote on the Bill, but I want to express my great disappointment at the developments in connection with it. The great question of unemployment has held, and is holding, the country up to a tremendous degree. The intensified feeling of the utter inability of the Government to grapple with it has become so serious that to me it is amazing that they should have presented such a position as to say, "We are not able to grapple with this question." Some people are getting unemployment benefit who ought not to get it. We do not know who they are, but there are suspicions, and all the three parties are reckoned to have become consolidated on this, that, to use the right hon. Lady's phrase, they are going on an exploration expedition to discover those who may have been getting benefit who ought not to have got it. The travesty of the whole situation, particularly for a Labour Government, is to me appalling. I can quite understand the difficulty as to the Baronets, but that does not get over the central point of the whole thing, which concerns the men and women who are unemployed and who are likely not to get benefit.

We are in duty bound to acknowledge that the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) has done magnificent service in the handling of this question. There are growls from the personal point of view but, setting these aside and looking at his handling of the question, where he appealed to the Attorney-General on what will be the outcome of the phraseology of one of those Amendments, and scored all along the line, that in itself was a remarkably creditable piece of work. In addition to that, the party and the Government, by their own acknowledgments, have paid eloquent tribute to the influence of the minority, which has been going into the Lobby—17, 14, 18. It is not a question of automatic voting. It is a question of the influence of that minority. The influence is splendid. The hon. Lady the Member for North Lanark (Miss Lee) was followed by other lady Members of the House, and it only needed a Liberal Member to settle the job. It was very noticeable when that stage was reached that the right hon. Baronet said something which, whether you agree with him or not, was correct. He said the Government are getting into a deeper pit.

Take the situation on this Bill. There is practically the consolidation of the three political forces on this issue, that we are going out on an exploration expedition to try and discover—that is what the right hon. Lady on the Front Bench herself said—a very small number of people who have been getting that to which they were not entitled. It is a chase after a mouse. The Government seemingly are pledged to grapple with the great anomalies, but the one amazing anomaly, in the midst of the scientific advancement in this and other civilised countries, which we have not settled is the question of enabling people to live. It is an amazing spectacle. And yet we have reports specifically bearing upon the underlying question of how people are doing under our financial system. We have the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying that we are not going to have any discussion, not even any talk, about a matter which it is said is of the utmost importance and yet must be postponed. We are not to have any elucidation after all the investigation by experts of the underlying factor, the financial issue. There is not to be one discussion but a hasty conference to clear up the German anomaly. That has to be done at all costs, and there is to be a squaring of it. But upon this question of unemployment insurance it is another story. You are here and now to determine the position by means of an outside body. The Government do not care to take the responsibility. They said: "We will relegate this question to an outside body and will pack it in such a fashion that the dice will be loaded against the personalia involved."


What the Hell is the hon. Member talking about?


The hon. Gentleman wants to know what the Hell we are talking about. [Interruption.] It is the one department that I am not bound to acknowledge.


You ought to have been here to hear the discussion.


I have been here throughout this discussion, hour after hour.


In the Committee stage?


I have been following the discussion elsewhere. One cannot always manage to be here, but for nine years I have been giving attention to my duties here. I should have been here all the time you were talking about this matter if I had been able to be present. You must make some allowance for that. [Interruption.] I certainly would have been here. I would be the last man to neglect in any way the discharging of my duties. I have been attending to them elsewhere the best I could. I do not want to give a silent vote. I am not making any attempt to indulge in what may be called fireworks or anything of that sort from a Parliamentary point of view. I can see that steady queue of suffering men and women gradually dropping away from the Exchanges unable to get benefit, living in appalling conditions, and we are utterly unable to tell them where they can get work or to do anything for them at all. They are looking to the Government to deal resolutely with the issues.

The constituency which I represent is going deeper and deeper into misery. Big concerns are losing their business, masses of people are unable to get the chance of a look-in, and the Government's explanation is that, even at the best, they do not expect that very much can come out of it all. To me it is an ignominous failure on the part of the Labour forces. They are going deeper and deeper into the way of saying: "We have to follow the lines of orthodox political propaganda. The House is faced with powerful forces with which it cannot cope. We have to try to work on the old fashioned lines." The once Liberal or Radical party becomes now the Labour party, and it becomes consolidated while the squeeze still proceeds on the lines of this Bill. [Interruption.] When you come here you have to forget those you represent. I know that kind of Parliamentary movement. I find men getting appointments here, and then snapping their fingers at the struggles outside. I know what is going on, perfectly well. I know about the buttressing of the whole political situation. The Labour party as a great moral propaganda, as a great moral movement, is failing because so many members of it find it so convenient to follow along the tracks that other men have followed. The motto is: "Take things easy. Do not fight, do not struggle for those outside." So far as I am concerned, when I see this sort of thing I say, God help me, I am for none of it!


The speech which we have just heard from the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) reinforces the truth that some of the most interesting occasions in this House are those which disclose a deep difference between different sections of the same party. On this occasion there is a fundamental cleavage with regard to this Bill between the Socialist benches above and below the Gangway. There may be broad differences between us and the Government and their supporters, but they are not so deep and so fundamental as are the differences on either side of the narrow Gangway on the opposite side of the House. The importance of this Bill is two fold. In the first place, it shows that the Minister clearly realises the imperfections of the present unemployment insurance system. She knows, and has admitted by the Bill that reforms are necessary. This Bill is only the first step; it is tentative, it is confused, it is hesitating. It is not an organic reform or part, of an organic reform, but it quite clearly establishes the principle vouched for by the Government and hon. Members on the benches opposite, that a reform in our unemployment insurance system is necessary. Hon. Members below the Gangway have no wish for any reform either as regards short time or intermittent workers, or others. In fact, the more spent the better. They are not evolutionary Socialists like the Minister of Labour or the Secretary of State for the Dominions. They would like to make an end of the present structure—


Before it ends itself.


That last remark illustrates the tone and temper of hon. Members opposite. The Minister has also taken another step. We have to realise that the pressure upon parties to use unemployment insurance for election- eering purposes is very great, and most hon. Members will agree that it is a danger against which safeguards must be provided as far as possible. The Minister has set up a kind of buffer state in the Advisory Committee, and, if it proves good, it is a wise thing to do, particularly as the country is facing a very difficult situation at the present time. It has to face economic questions of extraordinary complication, and a. mistake will be very difficult to repair. We can the less afford to make any mistakes because we are so dependent on our overseas trade. Therefore, in this difficult transitional period a buffer state, if it is a good one, may be an exceedingly interesting development. But you have to combine two different features, first, the power of Parliament to control policy, and, in the second place, to give freedom to individual members from a too great electioneering pressure. Anyone who has gone into the matter closely will realise how difficult it is to set up an institution of that kind. Here we have an experiment in the form of the Advisory Committee. Whether it will work and take root only the future can show, but, at any rate, it is better than to continue making unemployment insurance a pawn in election contests.

Those are two reasons why we think that the Bill, however imperfect it may be in its details, is one against which we should not, in the circumstances, divide. On the other hand, it still remains a strange phenomenon that if I have to vote at all I shall support the Bill in the Lobby, whilst the Government's enemies are those of its own household. The reason is really quite plain; it is because the Government have changed considerably in their outlook since they came into office two years ago. If anyone doubts that, they have only to compare the speeches made by Ministers before the General Election with the speeches made since. They will then understand why it is that "Labour and the Nation" is such an inexhaustible mine of broken promises. The real fact is that the Government have come up against the logic of facts, and have changed their opinions on certain subjects. It is quite natural and right that they should change. But it is not the Minister of Labour only. It is also her colleagues—the Dominions Secretary with regard to unemployment and the cures for it. So has the Chancellor of the Exchequer with his newly expressed conviction that too much taxation is bad for industry.

The reason for the patchwork character of their Bills and of their administration is that they are trying to combine the old and the new, and the old garment and the new patches do not go well together. An hon. Member opposite shakes his head. I ask him to consider the anomalies that there are or that may arise under the present Bill. I agree with the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) that it is quite possible that this Bill, even with the emendations made to-day, while it will end some anomalies, will probably create others just as striking. Take the case of the people who work at the weekend for two days. You have these in a different category from the people working three days a week. When we realise how under other conditions before now work has been adjusted so as to enable benefits to be claimed, we can hardly imagine that we shall not get the people who work for two days at the end of the week somehow making arrangements in order to bring themselves into the more favourable category for consideration.

That being so, I am not in the least surprised that the Minister should want to proceed by way of regulations, for she will want to change pretty quickly as anomalies are being created, and will want to do so without undergoing more Parliamentary discussion and criticism than she can help. If I had proposed to make regulations of this kind I wonder what would have been the outcry from hon. Members opposite. I would have been attacked for reintroducing Star Chamber government of the worst kind, such as that in the reign of the James's. Has not the wheel come full circle when I find the method now introduced by those who would have been my critics three or four years ago? I remember that I was attacked as Minister of Labour for reintroducing Ministerial discretion. But, in heaven's name, I introduced it only in regard to extended or transitional benefit. I did not give myself power to deal by way of regulation with standard benefit. I always considered, and I consider still, that there is a vast difference between standard benefit, for which a person has paid, and transitional benefit, for which payment has not been made by way of contributions. While therefore we shall not divide against the Bill, we shall take no responsibility for approval of the Measure.

I want to take one more point about which a great deal was made in the course of the long Debate, to which, unfortunately, the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) was unable to listen the other day. That was the question of genuine care for the unemployed. I have very great sympathy indeed with the view and the outlook of the hon. Member for Gorbals. I have been perfectly frank throughout the evening in every statement I have made, and I will be perfectly frank in this. I have sympathy with his view for the reason that I realise quite well that he has men side by side with him in the North who are unemployed and suffering distress, and, it may be, great hardship, and he personally feels their position acutely. I can realise that there are women there, for example, to whom it may make a vast difference, especially when newly married, to have some money coming to them as their own, as distinct from what they may get from their husbands. I can well understand the point; of view which makes the hon. Member feel that he would like all classes of people to have rather more money coming in, from whatever source it comes. I know he believes that sincerely.

Some of us take rather a different view of the problem. We do not think it is so simple; we think it is a highly complicated problem. How complicated it is can he seen by anyone who has tried to read the Macmillan Report, and finds how difficult it is to comprehend. I am going through it page by page with the greatest care, because some of us feel that unless we do try to understand its complexities we shall never be able to give help to the unemployment system and to the people unemployed as we ought to. Unless we understand the complexities, action taken out of mere kind-heartedness, if it is mistaken, may do more harm than good to the people we wish to benefit. That is quite a different point of view, but I say to the hon. Member for Gorbals that just as I believe he is absolutely sincere from his point of view, so I hope he will believe that I am absolutely sincere in putting this point of view forward.

On the other hand, when it comes to the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and others, it is a different state of affairs. The hon. Member for Bridge ton does not look on any of us as friends of the unemployed. It is only he and his friends who are friends of the unemployed, and the rest of us on both sides are to be condemned. Pharisees of all generations are of much the same breed. They trust in themselves that they are righteous and they despise others. Both the Minister and I have had the hon. Member's criticisms. They have probably been more unpleasant to her than to me. Rain is unpleasant when beating in the face, but probably it is still more unpleasant when it is coming from the back down the nape of your neck. But if it is more unpleasant for her, at any rate let us realise that that is the kind of opposition we always have to face in our time. It does not do either of us much harm. As a matter of fact, I always think that the bark of the hon. Member for Bridgeton is much worse than his bite. His bark is often sonorous and impressive, but I think his bite matters little. I should think the Minister is just as little apprehensive of it as I am.


Whatever may be said of the varying stages of this Bill the last hour has revealed a self-righteousness in different parts of the House, which is totally unexpected. The one thing I would complain of more than anything else in connection with these Debates, not only to-day but from the introduction of the Bill, is the claim set out so often by the same people, that they are the only friends of the unemployed. I am always prepared to listen to argument. I am always prepared to pay tribute to the sincerity of any man or woman in this House, but I do object to any man or woman, or any section, claiming that they are the only honest people and the only people interested in the unemployed. Curiously enough the wind-up of this Debate was the most interesting of all. I heard from my right hon. Friend the Member for Central Newcastle (Sir C. Trevelyan), a late colleague, that he left the Government because he heard that the Government were concerned and interested in economy.


No, I did not say that. What I said was that one of the reasons why I left the Government—one of the reasons—was the economy campaign announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Since my right hon. Friend has waited until to-night to state publicly one of the reasons, all I can say is that this explanation which he has given to-night, publicly, is new to most of his colleagues.


The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that I gave that as one of the reasons before the party meeting.


My right hon. Friend says that he gave that as one of the reasons to a party meeting. I said, speaking as a colleague, that it was the first time that I heard of that as being a reason, but, at all events, it ill becomes him as a late colleague, by the very nature of things, because he himself was in the Cabinet, to say what he said tonight. All Cabinets, no matter what the Governments may be, from time to time find themselves with legitimate differences between the Members, but it does not follow that when a decision is arrived at everybody who is aggrieved with that decision, necessarily sells the pass. I say deliberately, because my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour so nobly, so magnificently, with such courage faced an unpopular programme, an unpopular situation and a real difficulty, that it ill becomes one of her late colleagues to have said what he said to-night. The only answer I give is, in the words of my right hon. Friend, that he has not been a long time a member of the Labour movement, and that is the difference which I hope he will understand and appreciate. There is one thing which the Labour movement at least appreciates. It is fair fighting and fair dealing.

11.0 p.m.

I want to submit on this occasion it equally ill-becomes the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) to level any criticism about party differences. It is true that we have seen an exhibition, but it is equally true that only yesterday the right hon. Gentleman's party did not show a very happy combination, and he will admit that, when he talks of party differences, he has only to remember what took place yesterday to realise that it is not up to him to rub in the differences on this side. When the Bill was introduced, it was made perfectly clear that the only object and intention was, if possible, to remove the existing anomalies. In the Committee stage and in the Report stage to-day every effort was made to meet any reasonable case which was put up. We believe that we have met the case. We believe that we have done something to remove all the gossip, all the slander, and all the abuse of certain cases that do not reflect the real position of the genuinely unemployed worker. That was our only object. That was our intention, and I believe that this Bill, when it becomes law, will be administered in such a way as not to create an injustice, but to remove any genuine abuse. That, after all, is all that the Government sought.


It is plain that the right hon. Gentleman was not very happy in his remarks. I am not surprised, because it is equally obvious that the right hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir A. Steel-Maitland) had got hold of a carbon copy of parts of his speech and delivered it immediately in front of him. Whatever else has happened to-night, we have witnessed as fine an exhibition of tactics as we shall ever see here. The cards have been laid on the table with a vengeance. What are the tactics of the party above the Gangway, a party which scorns tactics? They drove this Government into this Bill. Theirs is the primary responsibility for the Bill, but when it comes to voting on it, they run away. Is the Bill too drastic, or is it not drastic enough?


It is silly.


No doubt the hon. Member's party will do better when they come in. They will deal more drastically with the unemployed. I hope that that will be remembered in the country. What are the tactics of the party opposite? The tactics of the Clydeside group have been plainly explained to-night. It is to throw upon this party the odium of this Bill. The right hon. Member for Central Newcastle (Sir C. Trevelyan) has explained that point. [Interruption.] At least they are honest. The rest of the Socialist party are saying in the industrial Divisions what they dare not say in the House, and that is that the Liberal party are responsible for this Bill. It is not true. [Interruption.] It is not true that the Liberal party are responsible for the Bill. [Interruption.] We did indeed want to reform the insurance scheme, and so did the whole House, but we said the whole time that while we were doing that, parallel with that, we must find work for the people taken off the unemployment insurance scheme. That has not been done. We in this party are always accused of tactics. This is the one party that on this occasion has no tactics. We are plainly going to carry the baby from the party over there. I for one, and I speak only as a private Member, intend to go into the Lobby with the Clydeside Group. [Interruption.] Why not? I have no great mass of unemployed in my own Division. [Interruption.] Vote catching? Do you ever go vote catching? I am going into their Lobby because I hold this to be a mean and contemptible Bill.

You call it an anomalies Bill. Are there not the anomalies of the men out of benefit who cannot get benefit? What about the anomalies in that direction? This Bill deals merely with people who are seeking benefit to which they may not be entitled. What about the great mass of people who are entitled to benefit which they will not secure under this Bill? There is an anomaly there which ought to have been put right. Under this Bill you are selling the unemployed because you are afraid of tackling unemployment, just as a week ago you betrayed the miners. I am entitled to speak my mind and I am going to speak my mind. [Interruption.] Never mind about intelligence. Intelligence is not the supreme virtue. I am going into the Lobby with the Clydeside Members opposite—[Interruption.] I am— [Interruption.] It is not a new party. I am going in, and a great number of other Members would go in if they had the courage to do so. If this Bill had been brought in by the right hon. Gen- tleman on these benches the whole of the benches opposite would have been in the Lobby with the Clydeside Members, and there would have been Members of other parties in the House who would have been in the Lobby with them, too. I protest against this Bill as a contemptible and a mean device.

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

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

The House divided: Ayes, 230; Noes, 30.

Division No. 447.] AYES. [11.8 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Morley, Ralph
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N)
Alpass, J. H. Hardle, David (Rutherglen) Mort, D. L.
Ammon, Charles George Hastings, Dr. Somerville Muff, G.
Angell, Sir Norman Haycock, A. W. Muggeridge, H. T.
Arnott, John Hayday, Arthur Murnin, Hugh
Atkinson, C. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Naylor, T. E.
Attlee, Clement Richard Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Ayles, Walter Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Noel Baker, P. J.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Barnes, Alfred John Herriotts, J. Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Barr, James Hicks, Ernest George Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Batey, Joseph Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Palmer, E. T.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Hoffman, P. C. Perry, S. F.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hollins, A. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Benson, G. Hopkin, Daniel Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Birkett, W. Norman Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Potts, John S.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Isaacs, George Price, M. P.
Bowen, J. W. John, William (Rhondda, West) Quibell, D. J. K.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Broad, Francis Alfred Jones, Llewellyn-, F. Rathbone, Eleanor
Bromley, J. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Raynes, W. R.
Brothers, M. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Richards, R.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Burgess, F. G. Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas Ritson, J.
Cameron, A. G. Lang, Gorden Romeril, H. G.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park) Rowson, Guy
Charleton, H. C. Law, Albert (Bolton) Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Chater, Daniel Law, A. (Rossendale) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cluse, W. S. Lawrence, Susan Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Sanders, W. S.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lawson, John James Sawyer, G. F.
Daggar, George Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Scott, James
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Leach, W. Scurr, John
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lees, J. Sherwood, G. H.
Dixey, A. C. Leonard, W. Shield, George William
Dukes, C. Lewis, T. (Southampton) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Duncan, Charles Lloyd, C. Ellis Shillaker, J. F.
Ede, James Chuter Logan, David Gilbert Shinwell, E.
Edmunds, J. E. Longbottom, A. W. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Egan, W. H. Longden, F. Simmons, C. J.
Elmley, Viscount Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Sitch, Charles H.
Evans, Major Herbert (Gateshead) Lunn, William Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Foot, Isaac Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Freeman, Peter MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Macdonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McElwee, A. Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Gibbins, Joseph McKinlay, A. Sorensen, R.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Stamford, Thomas W.
Gill, T. H. McShane, John James Strauss, G. R.
Gillett, George M. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Sullivan, J.
Gossling, A. G. Mander, Geoffrey le M. Sutton, J. E.
Gould, F. Manning, E. L. Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mansfield, W. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Marley, J. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Gray, Milner Marshall, Fred Thurtle, Ernest
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) Mathers, George Tinker, John Joseph
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Matters, L. W. Toole, Joseph
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.) Middleton, G. Tout, W. J.
Groves, Thomas E. Mills, J. E. Townend, A. E.
Grundy, Thomas W. Milner, Major J. Vaughan, David
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Montague, Frederick Viant, S. P.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Walker, J.
Wallace, H. W. Westwood, Joseph Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Watkins, F. C. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood) Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Whiteley, William (Blaydon) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Wellock, Wilfred Wilkinson, Ellen C. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Welsh, James (Paisley) Williams, David (Swansea, East) Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
West, F. R. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Mr. Paling and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Hore-Belisha, Leslie Sandham, E.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Horrabin, J. F. Scrymgeour, E.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Broadbent, Colonel J. Kirkwood, D. Stephen, Campbell
Brockway, A. Fenner Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Maxton, James Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Millar, J. D. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Buchanan, G. Nall-Cain, A. R. N. Wise, E. F.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Remer, John R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Mr. Beckett and Mr. Kinley.

Question put accordingly, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

The House divided: Ayes, 221; Noes, 20.

Division No. 448.] AYES. [11.18 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Gibbins, Joseph Leonard, W.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Gill, T. H. Lloyd, C. Ellis
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro') Gillett, George M. Logan, David Gilbert
Alpass, J. H. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Longbottom, A. W.
Ammon, Charles George Gossling, A. G. Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Angell, Sir Norman Gould, F. Lunn, William
Arnott, John Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Attlee, Clement Richard Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Ayles, Walter Gray, Milner MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne) McElwee, A.
Barnes, Alfred John Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) McKinlay, A.
Barr, James Grundy, Thomas W. Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Batey, Joseph Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Manning, E. L.
Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mansfield, W.
Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Marley, J.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.) Marshall, Fred
Benson, G. Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn) Mathers, George
Birkett, W. Norman Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland) Matters, L. W.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret Hastings, Dr. Somerville Middleton, G.
Bowen, J. W. Haycock, A. W. Mills, J. E.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hayday, Arthur Milner, Major J.
Broad, Francis Alfred Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Montague, Frederick
Bromley, J. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Morgan, Dr. H. B.
Brothers, M. Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow) Morley, Ralph
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield) Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield) Morris, Rhys Hopkins
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire) Herriotts, J. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Burgess, F. G. Hicks, Ernest George Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Burgin, Dr. E. L. Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth) Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Cameron, A. G. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Mort, D. L.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.) Hoffman, P. C. Muff, G.
Charleton, H. C. Hellins, A. Muggeridge, H. T.
Chater, Daniel Hopkin, Daniel Murnin, Hugh
Cluse, W. S. Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield) Naylor, T. E.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Isaacs, George Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Compton, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West) Noel Baker, P. J.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)
Daggar, George Jones, Llewellyn-, F. Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Dalton, Hugh Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Palmer, E. T.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Perry, S. F.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lang, Gordon Potts, John S.
Dukes, C. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Price, M. P.
Duncan, Charles Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby) Quibell, D. J. K.
Ede, James Chuter Law, Albert (Bolton) Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Edmunds, J. E. Law, A. (Rossendale) Raynes, W. R.
Egan, W. H. Lawrence, Susan Richards, R.
Elmley, Viscount Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Foot, Isaac Lawson, John James Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Freeman, Peter Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle) Ritson, J.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Leach, W. Romeril, H. G.
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.) Lee, Frank (Derby, N.E.) Rosbotham, D. S. T.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lees, J. Rowson, Guy
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Salter, Dr. Alfred Snowden, Thomas (Accrington) Wellock, Wilfred
Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West) Sorensen, R. Welsh, James (Paisley)
Sanders, W. S. Stamford, Thomas W. Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Sawyer, G. F. Strauss, G. R. West, F. R.
Scott, James Sullivan, J. Westwood, Joseph
Scurr, John Sutton, J. E. Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln) Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Sherwood, G. H. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby) Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Shield, George William Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond Thurtle, Ernest Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Shillaker, J. F. Tinker, John Joseph Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Shinwell, E. Toole, Joseph Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Tout, W. J. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Simmons, C. J. Townend, A. E. Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Slich, Charles H. Vaughan, David Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Viant, S. P.
Smith, Frank (Nuneaton) Walker, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wallace, H. W. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Paling.
Smith, Tom (Pontefract) Watkins, F. C.
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. Stephen, Campbell
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley) Kirkwood, D. Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Brockway, A. Fenner Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West) Maxton, James Wise, E. F.
Buchanan, G. Owen, H. F. (Hereford)
Groves, Thomas E. Sandham, E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Scrymgeour, E. Mr. Beckett and Mr. Kinley.
Horrabin, J. F. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.