§ Motion made, and Question proposed [13th June], "That the Clause stand part of the, Bill."
§ Question again proposed.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
When the House adjourned last night I was pointing out how difficult it is to understand this Clause. Even people well versed in National Health Insurance must have found great difficulty in being able to follow its provisions. I should be glad if the Minister of Health would inform us what steps the Ministry are taking to inform not only the approved societies but the general public, in a simple way, about the provisions of Clause 1. One of my criticisms of the Clause is that in order to understand it one has to get the Act of 1924 and the Act of 1928 before one can dovetail in the various parts. We are dealing with from 15,000,,000 to 17,000,000 people. It is said that this is an insurance scheme. Any hon Member who was entering into an insurance scheme would want to know, particularly if it was expensive, in plain language exactly what his policy was. This in an expensive policy. I am not arguing that money is not given in return, but when people have to pay on an average 8d. per week, which amounts to at least 30s. a year, it is a fairly expensive policy, and the Minister ought to make the position plain in the Act of Parliament itself so that a layman can understand it.
My serious criticism of the Clause is that it is legislation by reference and is complicated even to members of the committee. It it reactionary in character. The point was made many times yesterday that this Bill is an improvement on the position of National Health Insurance and widows' and old age pensions. It is an improvement if one leaves out of account the question of prolongation and 206 we assume that no Government would prolong health insurance and widows' and old age pensions. But every Government since 1928 has prolonged, it and we have reached a stage when prolongation, is part and parcel of the Statutes of the country. Therefore, when we argue about the improvement of the position we do not argue about an improvement on the Act before prolongation but we compare it with the conditions under prolongation. This Clause makes a vital inroad on the rights of the insured person under the prolongation procedure. It makes it more difficult for people who have gone out of insurance to got back. It takes away medical benefit, and in certain cases the rights to old age pensions and widow' pensions. It attacks maternity benefit as well as medical benefit. It would be wrong for anyone who has the interest of the insured contributor at heart to allow this Clause to go unchallenged. The exigencies of the financial situation of the country is the only reason that has been given by the Minister for these steps. Even assuming that the country is not so well oft as it formerly was, and assuming that there is a position which we on these benches do not accept, we say there are a hundred and one other sources of supply that could easily be tapped without inflicting the great suffering on the people which this Bill will inflict. We say that this Clause is the most reactionary Clause in a reactionary Bill, and for that reason we intend to divide against it.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
I would like to put, very briefly, the objections of my hon. Friends and myself to this Clause. I will not make the point about legislation by reference, though this is a Clause which is not easy for the layman to understand. Whatever the Memorandum may say, this Clause, as a matter of fact, is not conferring new legal rights on the people, but is restricting advantages which insured persons at present enjoy. It is a misuse of language to attempt to convey the impression that this Bill is conferring some new rights and new benefits on a certain number of insured persons. I admit the difficulties of prolongation of insurance in the way we have been carrying it on. The trouble arises because of the grave economic problem quite outside this 207 scheme—the problem of unemployment, with which the scheme was never intended to deal when it was first introduced, and it is clearly, I admit, beyond the power of approved societies, and indeed, I would say, it would be beyond their duty, to have to carry the burden of a social problem outside the four corners of the Health Insurance scheme. As a matter of fact, they have made a very generous contribution towards dealing with this problem in the past, and have kept within benefits people who, normally, would have lost all the rights they possessed.
More recently the Exchequer has had to foot the bill. That seems to me to be a logical position. The State said, "This problem is none of your making. We realise that you cannot carry on. but we appreciate all the social advantages to be derived from keeping people within the scheme if we can, and therefore we will foot the bill." After all, the expenditure is not one which is going to break this country, and it does stand in a special category. What we are doing now is virtually to throw the unemployed overboard. That is really what it means. The people who have suffered unemployment with greater severity than the rest of their fellows, are gradually to be dropped. I know there are the dates 1933, 1934, 1935, but it is only softening the blow. The intention of the Government is to deprive unemployed people of rights, and to make it very difficult for them subsequently to recover those rights.
On the side of National Health Insurance benefit I would say that the problem there is not as serious as it is as regards pension rights. After all, these people who have been out of work a long time are getting a reduced benefit, now half-scale benefit, and I do not believe that is saving any of them from going to the Poor Law. The important side, it seems to me, is that of pensions. When the National Health Insurance scheme was first established, there were people clamouring to keep out of it. When, in the wisdom of the last Conservative Government, pensions were attached to the Health Insurance scheme, people who clamoured to be kept outside now clamoured to come in, because of the possibility of a small security for old age, and for the widow and orphan, which made attractive a scheme that 208 hitherto had not been attractive. So far as I am concerned, I think that the possibility of jeopardising the pension rights of insured workers, who have been going through a very bad time, and for whom the world looks very black to-day, is one to which the Committee ought not to agree. I am very sorry that the Government have felt that they have had to take this step, and my hon. Friends and I must go into the Lobby to make our protest.
§ Mr. KIRKW00D
I rise to make my protest also. I could not go into the Lobby and give a silent vote against this Clause, which is a direct attack upon the unemployed. There is no doubt about that. If there was anything for which the present Government got the great majority they did, it was in order to relieve the awful position of the unemployed in this country. It is perfectly true that the unemployed, like most people when the Government were seeking the suffrages of the people, knew that they were to be subjected to reductions. But that was only to be temporary; it was in order that we might get round the tight corners. We have been running round these corners I do not know how often since the Government came into office, and every corner has got tighter and tighter. They have not eased the situation one bit for friend or foe. They have not a friend in this House. They have been attacked on all sides. The Tory party say that this is the most awful attempt ever made, and the Liberals also say that the Government are making a terrible mess of affairs. The Labour party say the same, and here we stand to-day, the Labour party, a united party, fighting against the most unscrupulous Government of modern times. The Title of the Bill is "National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions Bill," and we have not got away from the first Clause yet.
The Government have a mob behind them of the most docile sheep or goats that ever were in this House, so much so that the Prime Minister, with all his sage experience of Parliamentary affairs, and knowing what is contained in this Bill, and that those representing the working classes would rise here and do all they could to keep it from going through, said, "We will give them two days while I am away in the sunny south. They can hold forth for a day or two. 209 I can trust the great body that I have supporting me in the House." Just a few men against all the might of Britain which is backing this Clause! They are arrayed at the moment in the Smoke Room. When we are discussing something which is essential to the well-being of the poorest of the poor, when we are stating a case for them—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I must remind the hon. Member that some of the "might of Britain" heard this yesterday.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
But you, Sir Dennis, will agree with me that it has been instilled into us from boyhood, "Come, let us reason together," andHope springs eternal in the human breast.and we are hoping, because when we were boys at school, that is, we Scottish boys, it was impressed into us how King Robert the Bruce leathered the English from Dan to Beersheba, and then when he had to flee to Rathlin Island, he saw a spider trying to reach its goal, which was the roof, seven times. And so we Scots on these benches who are descended from that Robert Bruce and his supporters, still have that stick-at-itness which is animating me to-day, to persevere against, and to try to circumvent, all the difficulties which the machinery of this House may try to put in our way in stating the case for the workers against the ruling class of this country. Now that the whole of Clause 1 is under discussion I am within the Rules of Order in referring to the difficult items which arise. Yesterday we made several speeches on the various proposals in the Clause, now we are asking that it should be wiped out altogether and, therefore, I hold that I am perfectly in order in going over everything contained in the Clause.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will not be in order if he repeats the arguments and discussions which took place yesterday. The Clause has been thoroughly discussed in regard to a number of points on various Amendments and the hon. Member must confine himself to-day to matters which were not discussed yesterday and to the Clause as a whole.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There is no point of Order for the hon. Member to argue. He has submitted to me what he considers he is entitled to do, and I have given him the best advice I can to prevent him going beyond the scope of the Debate.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I will not challenge your Ruling. I want the Committee to reject the Clause. It worsens the position of the old age pensioners and those who have been a long time unemployed. It also worsens the position, in regard to widows' pensions. I have been doing what I can to rouse the people against this Government, but it is difficult for those who live in some parts of the country to realise the hellish conditions which prevail not only in Glasgow but in all colliery districts. The wealth of Britain has not been made in London but in the great industrial centres. All that London does is to distribute the wealth and spend it; and this Clause is going to hit the poor folk in these poor industrial centres worse than they have ever been hit before. Last night the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) told us that there were 60,000 men in his district who would never work again. They are to be denied the right to earn their livelihood, and this Government has never done anything whatever to relieve that situation. All that they do aggravates it. Where is that Christian teaching of "love one another as I have loved you"? What about the Prayer which is delivered every afternoon that this House meets? Think of the hypocrisy of it. And some hon. Members of this House go into the pulpit and preach the Christian Faith. Here it is in operation. And the patient oxen behind the Government will go into the Lobby in support of a Clause which instead of helping the situation in any way will only make it worse in everyway.
The Minister of Health yesterday seemed to suggest that we who represent Labour were doing the damage and that the National Government were the generous philanthropic and kind-hearted champions of the oppressed and the poor. Now is the time to demonstrate it. Here is your chance. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Government were going to safeguard some 80,000 people, and that he had only a certain amount of money. When we wanted to extend the time from 1935 to 1940 the right hon. 211 Gentleman said that if we had our way these poor folk would be treated worse than he had intended. His reason was that the Government only had a certain amount of money. We agree; but he has never told us that he has fought the Cabinet on this matter as we have seen him fight the Labour Cabinet when in opposition. We know his capabilities and his ability to state a case. Now like the rest of the Government he is using his abilities to state a case most effectively against the working classes. I remember an old colleague of mine, Bob Smillie, telling me that when he was negotiating with lawyers and actuaries surrounding him they were able to prove that the colliers were awfully well off and getting a bigger return for their toil than ever before. He said that they were able to show him figures, but he could never get away from the fact that all the figures they could show him were not able to provide a better supply of food in the collier's home. All the figures which the Minister of Health produced yesterday and may produce to-day will not take away the fact that this Clause is going to make the conditions of the poorest of the poor worse.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must remind the hon. Member that I have had to interrupt him twice, and there is no little difficulty in listening to his speech to find anything which is new. Most of his speech has been irrelevant to the Clause or else it was said yesterday, and I must warn him that he must confine himself to what has not already been said and to something which is relevant to the Clause.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
All that I wish to say is this. The Clause takes away from the poor the right to free medicine and free medical attendance. I hope you will allow me to go on a little on this matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must remind the hon. Member that we had a long Debate on that very subject yesterday afternoon. He must not repeat that.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I will try to keep within your Ruling, but this is a very serious matter indeed. The Minister has told us that the reason for stopping free medicine and free doctor is because the country cannot afford it. I never said that last night, Sir Dennis. The 212 country is surely not so hard up that it must go to the poorest in the community and deprive them of these benefits. These poor folk who have been unemployed for so long, who have been ill for so long, cannot afford to pay for a doctor or for medicine, but the ruling classes of this country in this generous mood, in this Christian mood if you like, say that they are to be deprived of these benefits. Neither the Government nor the employers have work to offer them, and because they cannot get work they have to starve.
The present Minister of Health, because of the exigencies of the position, is going to take away this nice little kindness that has been done by a former Government—not a revolutionary proposal, but just a little kindness that the great and powerful British Empire was going to grant to its poorest. Now, because we are evidently a wee bit up against it, the position is to be changed. None of the Members here is up against it like these poor folk. Neither those who will vote with us nor those who will vote against us are up against it like these poor mortals, our brothers and sisters, children of the same father. We pray to our Father in Heaven. We are all the same, all the sons of Adam, and this is what is being dealt out to these people. They are not Germans, not Russians, but our kith and kin. Welsh women and Welsh weans, many Scottish and English women and children who have never had a dog's chance in life. Those are the people to whom the Government is to deny medical benefit in order to save the British Empire from tottering to a crash. How mean, how despicable! If these are your ideas, then God help you, and I wish then the downfall of an Empire that can be supported by such an infamous action as taking away from the poorest of the poor, as is being done in this Clause.
§ Miss RATHBONE
This is the first Clause in a Bill of 10 Clauses and two Schedules. We have discussed it for seven hours yesterday and for one hour to-day. I want to appeal to those who dislike this Clause to remember that there are others of us who dislike later Clauses quite as much. I know that their object in prolonging the Debate on this Clause is to protest against the 213 allocation of only two days to the discussion of this important Measure, but the practical effect of this extremely prolonged Debate on the first Clause will merely be that those of us who want to criticise later Clauses equally severely will be compelled to do so at an hour when every one is too tired to listen.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
On a point of Order. I want to know what connection the hon. Member's statement has with the Clause under discussion. A new attack is being made on us, and I want to know whether we have a right to reply to it. The hon. Member's statement is not only unfair but incorrect.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is not by any manner of means unknown or contrary to the usual procedure for Members to make an appeal to colleagues an the House, but it is not a. matter for discussion.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I was not making an attack but merely stating the facts, and I do not think that the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) or anyone else can deny that these are the facts. I am simply pointing to the time-table.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There must not be a discussion on the matter. The hon. Lady is perfectly within her right in appealing to the Committee to end this Debate, but for her to go on discussing it" in the way she is doing is not in. order. We are discussing Clause 1.
§ Mr. LOGAN
Having taken part yesterday in the Debate on what is one of the most important provisions of the Bill I shall not go over the same ground again, but confine myself to the question of the rejection of this Clause. It was definitely stated yesterday that the Government felt compelled to bring this Clause forward and to protect the approved societies, and it was stated that the Clause was also essential because of financial exigencies. I want to deal with the financial aspect. From the arguments brought forward yesterday I contend that the Ministry are not able to give adequate reasons for the wonderful change that they are about to make. It cannot be denied that this Clause means the penalising of the unemployed purely on grounds of financial stringency. Yesterday I was asked why not? I was 214 asked whether I could bring forward any other proposition to take the place of this Clause. I made a suggestion that I thought was constructive.
The Minister's explanation yesterday was that it was necessary to make a reduction, and reference was made to the£2,500,000 affecting the solvency of approved societies. I am not here concerned with the individual or collective opinion of approved societies when it is a question of the rank: and file of the unemployed outside this House. I want that to be definitely understood. First and foremost I come here to represent my constituency, and no vested interest. I claim that when there is an attack being made on the rights of people who are unable to voice their opinion in this House, vested interests must go by the board. There is a way in which the money can be raised, and I am going to tell the Minister how it can be raised. This economy that the Government are introducing is an economy which, will deny certain rights to the people. The Minister says that he is not anxious to put these people out of benefit, and that he would not put them out if it were not for financial necessity.
§ The CHAIRMAN
What the hon. Member is apparently proposing to put forward was put forward and discussed at great length yesterday. We cannot have it repeated.
§ Mr. LOGAN
With all due respect I contend that within the Rules of Debate I have a perfect and legitimate right to bring forward the argument that when the Government say that if a matter is equitable they would be prepared to accept it under certain conditions, I am prepared to produce a plan and scheme as an alternative.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member knows perfectly well that his business is to obey the directions of the Chair. What he is apparently proposing to say is not a matter which would be out of order, but it was said yesterday and it cannot now be repeated.
§ Mr. LOGAN
Not for one moment do I claim any right to disobey your Ruling, but I am in the British House of Commons to defend the interests of the people who sent me here, and I say that I have a right to bring forward my reasons for the view I take, that the Government 215 should not prostitute this House by such methods as they propose when there are other and legitimate methods within their reach. If the matters dealt with by myself and others yesterday are out of order I will bear that fact in mind. The method that the Government are adopting in this Clause is a subtle method which is penalising a body of depressed people for the sake of vested interests, and there are other methods at hand which the Government are afraid to adopt. I am not anxious to be considered extreme in regard to questions which ordinarily come before the House of Commons, but I am anxious to be considered extreme as regards protecting the interests of those who sent me here. I deplore the action of this Committee in accepting what has already been passed of this Measure, and I ask them to refuse the proposal which is now before them. I say that it is an insult to the intelligence of all right-thinking men. I go further and say that if the Government Whips were not put on, there is no Member of this Committee who would dare to vote against the rights of the people who are affected by this proposal.
The Bill is most ambiguous and only those who are well acquainted with administration are able to understand even part of it. The people outside who are mainly affected by it will be penalised by it without being able to understand it. The Minister claimed that he alone had framed the Bill and that he alone was responsible for the Financial Memorandum. If that be so, then he must be held guilty before this Committee of bringing on these people a penalty for which he had no mandate. The Government were never empowered to deal so drastically with the rights of these people. I believe that by this Bill benefits are being filched from the people. I believe that this Committee has not the fullest knowledge of the administrative effect of the matters which are being discussed, and I contend that the Minister has no right to attempt to pass such a Measure as this on grounds of economy. It is an abuse of the word "economy." The sacrifice of efficiency and the malnutrition of men, women and children will prove not an economy, but a national sacrifice. To ask Parliament to accept this Clause is a prostitution of all that goes to make up constitutional history. The Measure 216 is brought forward under false pretences and I ask the Committee to reject the Clause.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)
In reply to the various matters which has been raised in the Debate on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," let me first deal with the argument which has been made use of in relation to economy. One can only get a fair and just view of all these accusations that the Bill is being used by the Government to effect economies by depriving people of their rights, if one bears in mind a single simple fact which was advanced on the Second Reading of the Bill. It is the fact that, as a result of this Bill, not a single penny will be taken away from National Health Insurance and the National Health Insurance Fund. Not a single penny less will go to the cause of National Health Insurance. What the Bill does is to redistribute the incidence of benefits and contributions so as to ensure the solvency of the fund without taking any money away from National Health Insurance at all.
In the second place let me reply to one or two specific questions which were put to me, particularly by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). They were, if I may say so, interesting questions and I hope that the answers may be helpful to the Committee. The hon. Member was rightly concerned for those people who have long periods of illness, and he asked what would become of them under the scheme of the Bill and what was being preserved to them. I am happy to be able to give him an answer which I think he will find completely reassuring. Everybody entitled to sickness benefit, who becomes sick, is continued in insurance until he or she is well again and that will be the case under this Bill as under the provisions of the original scheme of National Health Insurance. There is a little provision which possibly the hon. Member has not noticed although, goodness knows, I am not blaming anybody for not taking account of all the provisions of the National Health Insurance Acts. I know how dreadfully difficult it is to dovetail all those provisions together, but there is the provision to which I refer, under which anyone entitled to sickness benefit, who falls ill, even though otherwise he 217 would have gone out of insurance, is continued in insurance until the end of the six months period during which he recovers and goes back to work.
The next question put by the hon. Member for Gorbals also raises the point as to the difficulty of the Act. He asked what steps were to be taken to make the provisions of the Bill known to the insured persons who, as we fully agree, are not in a position to understand all these very difficult provisions. Unfortunately insurance legislation has become so complicated in the course of its building-up, that one cannot now legislate on these matters without great complexity such as is seen in this Measure. The first step that we have taken in order to make things clear has been to publish the White Paper to which the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Ehys Davies) referred. I think I may say that that White Paper is very clear and helpful and I am in a position to say so, because, although I have claimed responsibility for the Memorandum, that is quite a different thing from claiming the literal authorship, and I was only anxious that the hon Member should not be in the position of aiming past the Minister's shield at the civil servant.
As regards the further measures which it is proposed to take,, in order to make these matters known to the insured persons, we have the great benefit of the widespread organisation of the approved societies. This is one of the occasions on which one realises the great benefit of having that organisation, with the officers of the societies so closely in touch with the insured persons. I propose to issue a Circular to the approved societies supplementing the White Paper and telling them exactly what the provisions of the Bill are, in much greater detail than it would interest the Committee to hear. Further I propose to provide them with a circular fitted for the reading of the insured persons and that circular will be sent out with the contribution cards. I think in that way we shall do all that can be done to make known the provisions of the Bill.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Will the Minister make that a duty on the approved societies? He knows that one of the difficulties in a matter like this is to have such a duty carried out. Will he make it ob- 218 ligatory on the societies to see that this is done?
§ Sir H. YOUNG
I will certainly consider the suggestion, but my own impression of the relations between the approved societies and their members leads me to believe that they will welcome the opportunity and the means of sending out this information. I turn now to the wider aspect of this Measure which has been brought out during the Debate, particularly by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood). The principal contention in this phase of the Debate has been on the question of whether or not the present Bill leaves the unemployed contributor better off or worse off than it found him. That aspect was particularly dwelt upon in the speech of the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood). I think that the conclusion to which one comes on that issue depends entirely upon the point of view from which one regards National Health Insurance. The argument that by this Bill we shall leave the unemployed contributor worse off than we found him can only be maintained by accepting the view of the hon. Member for Gorbals and others that the prolongation of National Health Insurance, in the form in which it was passed a year ago, had become a regular part of our national scheme of health insurance. But that is a point of view, I submit, which it, is impossible to accept. Prolongation of insurance in that form had not and could not become a part of the National Health Insurance scheme.
If there was one thing perfectly certain it was that we could not go on indefinitely with prolongation from year to year while taking no steps to place National Health Insurance on a sounder footing. Had we done so, as was clear from the calculations which I gave to the House on the Second Reading, before very long the whole structure of National Health Insurance would have fallen in ruins. If we accept that proposition which has been proved over and over again, that it would be impossible to go on indefinitely with prolongation, then I think the Committee must come to the conclusion that I am justified in claiming that the provisions in the Bill for dealing with the situation are provisions which leave the unemployed contributor far 219 better off than he would have been, had matters been allowed to take their course. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield dwelt with great emphasis—in my estimation correctly—upon the question of pension rights. Is it not clear that under this scheme the Government have put pension rights in the very forefront as the most important of the rights which they particularly desire to preserve? After we have, one might almost say, exhausted every other possibility for saving the rights of the unemployed contributor, we have even stretched the possibilities a little further by the inclusion of two additional pension years.
Let me quote one little fact to the Committee in this connection to rebut the charge of harshness or abruptness in cases where pension rights are terminable. If and when any of these persons go out of insurance for pension in the year 1935, it will have been possible for them to have had 10 years of insurance for only 2½ years contribution. I think those facts ought to be given their due weight in the consideration of this matter and that the Committee ought to have regard to the extreme care which has been taken to avoid undue hardship in the discontinuance of pension rights. This Bill is, in effect, the stitch in time which will save infinite trouble and loss to those in health insurance at a later date. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield disclosed the fundamental difference between his point of view and ours on this matter when he said "Let the Exchequer foot the bill." He said—I am embroidering on that motto of his—"Why maintain these considerations as to the solvency of National Health Insurance? Why bother about the contributory principle? Let the Exchequer foot the bill."
That was the point of view which was taken about unemployment insurance in the early days, and it is the point of view which led to that disastrous condition of affairs as regards unemployment insurance of which we all know. What would we not give to be able to put the clock back and take measures in time to prevent unemployment insurance going the way it has gone, from whatever point of view we look at it, whether from that of these benches or from that of 220 the benches opposite? In due time, and while there is still time to save the National Health Insurance scheme by such a provision as that which is contained in this Clause, we are asking the Committee to take the stitch in time of restoring it to solvency, in vindication of the contributory principle, and we do that wholly on account of the interest of the contributors concerned. There are 17,000,000 contributors in National Health Insurance, and it is in their interest that their benefits should be protected by a solvent fund. It is they who stand to lose if you allow the fund to become insolvent.
The only vested interest, if I may say so to the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan), is the vested interest of the contributors to the fund, which we are considering in order to safeguard their future and secure to them the benefits to which they are entitled. That is the appropriate and proper task for a National Government. A very appropriate and proper task for a National Government is to face up to a difficult and unpleasant situation, and not to conceal from the country the fact that difficult measures have to be taken in order to redeem an unfortunate situation. When those measures, as I think I have demonstrated to the Committee, protect to the utmost the interests of all concerned, we need have no hesitation in recommending this Measure to the Committee. This particular Clause has received a very full discussion. I have tried to reply to all the points which have been raised on the Clause, and the Committee knows that there are other and very important issues awaiting consideration. Perhaps a reasonable distribution of our time would suggest that we might now come to a decision on this Clause.
§ Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
The stitch in time which the Minister of Health, with his Government, is endeavouring to put into the covering of the State is, in my opinion, not so much with a needle and thread as with a lance, with which he is probing the most unfortunate section of the community. In pointing out that he wishes to place this fund back on an actuarial basis and in a sound financial position, he forgets entirely that, had the Government of 1926 carried out its contractual obligations, there would not 221 have been the danger that there is to the financial soundness of this scheme, because the scheme would have had, during the six years that have intervened since then, close upon£15,000,000 which the then Government actually refused to pay, in the£2,750,000 which it was due to pay each year. The fund has lost that£15,000,000 by the criminal neglect of the Government of that period.
The right hon. Gentleman has painted a by no means rosy picture of the future that he expects for this insurance scheme, and he has criticised by this very Bill, for which he stands sponsor, the Government of which he is a Cabinet Minister more harshly than it has been criticised by any Member on this side. He has laid it down that the prolongation has to cease and that this Bill is to bring in a new method with regard to health insurance in. dealing with the unemployed. That means that the Minister himself looks upon the future with such apprehension that he most prepare for years to come for a continuance of close upon 3,000,000 unemployed. After all the talk of the National Government about reducing unemployment and restoring the trade of this country, this Bill is an admission on their part that they look for unemployment in this country and the condition of trade to become, not better, but worse, in spite of their activities, or so-called activities, to bring about a betterment of affairs. I submit that if for no other reason than that, those who are opposed to this Bill are justified in their opposition.
The Government's whole attitude in cutting out pension rights and in cutting off sick benefit for years to come for individuals who, they say, will be unable to find employment in the course of the next few years, shows what the Government themselves think about the future. What hope will that bring to the people outside? Are you going to bring hope by this Bill to those who are unemployed to-day? You tell them you have no hope for them in the future, no hope of finding work for them, and this Bill itself is an admission of the gross betrayal of the country that took place last October. The unfortunate thing is that the admission has come too late, so far as the people in the country are concerned, but I hope it will not be too late so far as 222 any by-elections that may be held in any industrial constituencies are concerned.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I appreciate very much the Minister's desire to make somewhat speedier progress than has been made so far, but I think he will agree with me that probably this Clause is the most important Clause in the Bill and to some extent governs every other part of the Bill. Therefore, I think the Committee may be well excused if it devotes a considerable time to Clause 1, even supposing other portions of the Bill might have to make speedier progress. I have some sympathy with the hon. Lady, who is not now in her place, who protested that time was being consumed on Clause 1 which she wanted to devote to a later Clause. Her complaint, however, is not against those of us who are interested in Clause 1, but against the Government which only provides two days for the Committee stage of this Bill—[Interruption.] If the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division (Viscountess Astor) would cease her running commentary for a minute or two, I would say that if there was a strong opposition in this House, a numerically strong Opposition, whether it was a Labour or a Conservative Opposition, it would not have been fobbed off with two days for the Committee stage of such a Bill as this. I have seen Measures of less importance than this receiving four, five and six days' Committee Debate on the Floor of the House, and if this Bill had gone upstairs to a Committee, the Government would not have expected to get it back inside a month of hard Committee work.
I do not feel that this Clause has been examined in that close committee way, and I have a very strong feeling—and I take my own share of responsibility for it—that if this Clause goes through now, the Committee will not have appreciated fully what it is doing. The Minister may say that it has been very carefully prepared, but all of us who have been here for more than a, year or two know that it was only when the letters began to arrive from the constituencies, from the people who had been caught under particular Sections, that we began to realise the number of flaws there were in an Act; and when we got the letters back from the Minister telling us that he regretted very much that he was unable 223 to do anything in that particular case, because he was bound entirely by the Statute, which said so and so, which meant so and so, which nobody thought it meant when we passed it, we regretted that we had not devoted ourselves with a little closer attention to the Committee stage of the Bill when we were passing it, rather than have to pass on the letters of regret from the Minister to our constituents who were actually suffering hardships.
I have the feeling that if there have been Measures of that description in the past which impose hardships, this Clause of this Bill is going to spread additional misery among the people whom we represent, that that is not appreciated by Members of the Committee just now, and that it is a fact to which the country is not yet awake. I am certain that there is no Member sitting in this Committee who at the General Election told his constituents or put in his election address that among the other economies that were contemplated was to be an attack on the health services, the maternity benefit, the widows' pensions, and the old age pensions. I do not believe there is one Member sitting in this Committee who hinted in his statements to his electors that that was within the range of possibility, and I do not believe there is a Member in the Committee who believed that it was within the range of possibility.
I should like to say that a great many of us told our constituents that if we did not take the steps which we did, there would be no health benefit at all. A great many of us said that, and that is why they sent us back here.
§ Mr. MAXTON
There is no doubt that many candidates used the device of threatening the electorate at the election, but I want to ask the Noble Lady if the people in the Button Division of Plymouth believed that when she came to this House she would be casting her vote to-day to put their old age pensions in jeopardy—
§ Mr. MAXTON
Did the married women in the Sutton Division believe that she 224 was going to come here to vote for a reduction in their sickness benefit?
§ Mr. MAXTON
I was merely replying to comments of my Noble colleague who sits behind me, and who whispers in my ear all the time, whereas you, Sir Dennis, intervened only once.
I protest. I am not whispering in his ear. I am only admiring the most brilliant obstruction I have seen in the House of Commons.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I object in the profoundest way that I can to the suggestion that I am obstructing at this stage, but even if I were, it would be folly on the part of the Noble Lady to assist me in the task. I was saying that this matter was not submitted to the electors as practical politics by any Member. I know that there were the scaremongers and that the Prime Minister was going about waving a million-mark note, but no Member told his electors that among other practical steps to stabilise the nation's financial position he was proposing to make reductions in sickness benefit and to reduce the right to old age and widows' pensions. Is anyone willing to take away the 30s. maternity benefit? Does any Member in the Committee realise that that is what we are being asked to do in Clause 1? The country does not realise it, but that is what we are definitely being asked to do now. Then we are being told that we are obstructing and taking more than enough time to debate the question when an unemployed man is to cease to have a doctor to attend him when he is dying; to discuss when a woman in childbirth is to cease to have the proper attention that is required in that crucial period of her life; to discuss whether when an unemployed man dies his widow and orphans are to be entitled to the meagre pension and children's allowances; and to decide when the old age pension is to cease to be a right.
That is what Clause 1 contains, and it is suggested that an hour of the time of 225 the Committee to discuss whether that Clause shall stand part of the Bill is too long, and that if I consume 10 minutes of it I am engaged in obstruction. I sat here for the best part of a month while the Finance Bill in all its stages was going through the House. I knew that it was a sham fight from start to finish, and I never intervened in the Debates. Months were devoted to tariffs and Free Trade and to the minutiae of the Finance Bill. Everybody knew that no concessions were to be made and that in its main structure the Finance Bill would not be altered. Now I am told that I am obstructing if I spend 10 minutes fighting to get old men the right to a miserable 10s. a week, if I spend a few minutes trying to show the Committee the enormity of the thing that the Government are proposing, and if I try to get over to the women of the Sutton division that their Member thinks that this is a joke, thinks that the taking away of maternity benefit is a joke, and thinks that the taking away of widows' pensions is a subject for laughter, and, when challenged on it, tries to be rude. I shall get some of that over to the people of the Sutton division. I will go to the Sutton division and a few other places and tell them directly what their Members did and what their vote was. It can be called obstruction if you please, but this Bill is the first Measure in this Parliament about which I have felt sufficiently strong to use every step that is available to me to prevent it from becoming law.
We are here doing a thing that is mean. It is the class war in its crudest, ugliest and meanest form. It is the rich trying to save themselves at the expense of the very poor. In addition to being mean, it is absolutely and insanely foolish and stupid to think that a contemptible Measure of this description will have any effect whatever on the industrial and commercial position of the nation. Nobody believes that for a minute. I know the Minister of Health and I know his Parliamentary Secretary. The Minister has roamed the world and studied problems of finance in every corner of the globe. When he sat on the Liberal benches he could hold the House for long periods while he made clear and simple expositions of intricate financial problems. Is he going to tell me that this 226 Measure is imposed by the actuarial exigencies of the moment and that his knowledge and the knowledge of his officials was not sufficiently great to meet all the balance sheet difficulties which he suggests are so terrible to-day? He says that we do not want this fund to get into the terrible state in which the Unemployment Insurance Fund has got. We have heard a tremendous lot about the debt on the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It amounts to something like£120,000,000 accumulated over a period of 12 years. The£7,000,000,000 War Debt was accumulated in four and a-half years, and the interest payments on it are just about three and a-half times the total capital debt of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Now we are told we cannot discuss that£7,000,000,000. It is too big for us; it involves big vested interests, so we must not discuss it.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I was trying to reply to the arguments of the Minister. Is it not usual when a Minister uses certain arguments in support of a Clause for a Member of the House to be allowed to use counter arguments in suggesting that the Committee should reject the Clause?
§ Mr. MAXTON
I recognise that the question of how the War Debt should be handled is not a subject for discussion on Clause 1 of this Bill, but when the Minister uses the argument of the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the debt that has accumulated on it, I must point out, in reply, that he is putting things in an entirely wrong perspective. If the debt is the over-riding consideration in compelling the Government to take steps against the poor and the sick people, against the widows and mothers, and against the aged. I say that the holders of War Loan, the big investors, are fitter foes for the right hon. Gentleman's sword and for his intellect. Face up to the people with the£7,000,000,000. Apply your brains to see how that foe is to be beaten rather than put all the power that you have as individuals and as a Government to take shillings away from sick women and old men.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 314; Noes, 45.229
|Division No. 233.]||AYES.||[5.27 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Knight, Holford|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Curry, A. C.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quintan|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Albery, Irving James||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Lees-Jones, John|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Davison, Sir William Henry||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Denville, Alfred||Levy, Thomas|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Lewis, Oswald|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolle||Dickie, John P.||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Donner, P. W.||Llewellin, Major John J|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Doran, Edward||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Drewe, Cedric||Lloyd, Geoffrey|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Duggan, Hubert John||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Loder, Captain J. de Vere|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dunglass, Lord||Lumley, Captain Lawrence B.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Eden, Robert Anthony||Mabane, William|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)|
|Balniel, Lord||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Elmley, Viscount||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Erskine-Boist, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||McKeag, William|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Essenhlgh, Reginald Clare||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorke., Skipton)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Major Alan|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Blindell, James||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold|
|Boulton, W. W.||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Magnay, Thomas|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Maitland, Adam|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Ganzoni, Sir John||Makins Brigadier-General Ernest|
|Bracken, Brendan||Gledhill, Gilbert||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Goff, Sir Park||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gower, Sir Robert||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Meller, Richard James|
|Buchan, John||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Miller, Sir James Duncan|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Graves, Marjorie||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Burghley, Lord||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Milne, Charles|
|Burnett, John George||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Milne, Sir John S. Wardlaw-|
|Butler, Richard Austen||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale|
|Hales, Harold K.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.- J. T C.|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Morris, John patrick (Salford, N.)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Morris, Ryes Hopkin (Cardigan)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Hanbury, Cecil||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hanley, Dennis A.||Munro, Patrick|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hartington, Marquess of||Nall-Cain, Arthur Ronald N.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hartland, George A.||Nation, Brigadier-Generral J. J. H.|
|Cazalet, Capt, V. A. (Chippenham)||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.|
|Chalmers, John Rutherford||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hellgers, Captain F. F.A.||Nicholson Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)|
|Champman,, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Headerson Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Normand, Wilfrid Guild|
|Champman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||North Captain Edward T.|
|Chrolton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Holdsworth, Herbert||Nunn, William|
|Christie James Archibald||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||O' Neill, Rt. Hon Sir Hugh|
|Clarke Frank||Hornby, Frank||Ormiston, Thomas|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Horsburgh, Florence||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Howard, Tom Forrest||Palmer, Francls Noel|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Patrick, Colin M.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Peake, Captain Osbert|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Pearson William G|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Peat, Charles U.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Perkins, Walter|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Petherick, M.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Hurd, Sir Percy||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Peto, Geoffrey k. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)|
|Cooke, Douglas||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Copeland, Ida||Jamieson, Douglas||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Janner, Barnett||Pike, Cecil F.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Potter, John|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Jones, Henry Haydn (Mertoneth)||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Ker, J. Campbell||Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Kirkpatrick, William M.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Crossley, A. C.||Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Ramsden, E.|
|Ratcliffe, Arthur||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||Thorp, Linton Theodora|
|Rea, Walter Russell||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Slater, John||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Remer, John R.||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Rosbotham, S. T.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Ross, Ronald D.||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||White, Henry Graham|
|Runge, Norah Cecil||Stevenson, James||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Storey, Samuel||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stourton, Hon. John J.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Strauss, Edward A.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Rutherford, Sir John Hugo||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Salmon, Major Isidore||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Salt, Edward W.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Summersby, Charles H.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Savery, Samuel Servington||Tate, Mavis Constance||Wragg, Herbert|
|Scone, Lord||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.(P'dd'gt'n, S.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Thompson, Luke||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sir George Penny and Lord Erskine.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, George Henry||Milner, Major James|
|Briant, Frank||Jenkins, Sir William||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Buchanan, George||John, William||Price, Gabriel|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Thorne, William James|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Kirk wood, David||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Daggar, George||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Leonard, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Lunn, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McGovern, John||Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr. Groves.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
|Division No. 234.]||AYES.||[5.38 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Boyce, H. Leslie||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. p. G.||Bracken, Brendan||Christie, James Archibald|
|Albery, Irving James||Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Clarke, Frank|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Briant, Frank||Clayton, Dr. George C.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Broadbent. Colonel John||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Astor. Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Colfox, Major William Philip|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Browne, Captain A. C.||Collins, Sir Godfrey|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Buchan, John||Colman, N. C. D.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Conant, R. J. E,|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Burghley, Lord||Cook, Thomas A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Burnett, John George||Cooke, Douglas|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Butler, Richard Austen||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Cowan, D. M.|
|Balniel, Lord||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Barrle, Sir Charles Coupar||Carver, Major William H.||Craven-Ellis, William|
|Barton, Capt, Basil Kelsey||Castlereagh, Viscount||Crooke, J. Smedley|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Crossley, A. C.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. H. (Prtsmth., S.)||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Blindell, James||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenhara)||Davies, Maj Gen. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Chalmers, John Rutherford||Davison, Sir William Henry|
|Boulton, W. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J.A.(Birm., W)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Denville, Alfred|
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 306; Noe3, 45.233
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Donner, P. W.||Llewellin, Major John J.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Doran, Edward||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Rosbotham, S. T.|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd, Gr'n)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Ruggies-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Mabane, William||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Elmley, Viscount||McCorquodale, M. S.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Salmon, Major Isldore|
|Erskine-Boltt, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Salt, Edward W.|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||McLean, Major Alan||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Scone, Lord|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Maitland, Adam||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Makins, Brigadter-General Ernest||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Martin, Thomas B.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||Meller, Richard James||Slater, John|
|Goff, Sir Park||Millar. Sir James Duncan||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Milne, Charles||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Grattan-Doyle Sir Nicholas||Milne, Sir John S. Wardlaw-||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Graves Marjorie||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Guy. J. C. Morrison||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hales, Harold K.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Morris, Rhys Hopkin (Cardigan)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Moss, Captain H. J.||Stevenson, James|
|Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Munro, Patrick||Storey, Samuel|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Nail-Cain, Arthur Ronald N.||Stourton, Hon John J.|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hartland, George A.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||North, Captain Edward T.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Nunn, William||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd gt, n, S.)|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Ormiston, Thomas||Thompson, Luke|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Hornby, Frank||Palmer, Francis, Noel||Thorp, Linton Theodore.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Patrick, Colin M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Howard, Tom Forrest||Peake, Captain Osbert||Touche Gordon Cosmo|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Pearson, William G.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hudson. Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peat, Charles U.||Turton Robert Hugh|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Wallace, John (Dunfermilne)|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Petherick, M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Peto, Geoffrey K.(Wverh'pt'n, Bilston)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Hurd, Sir Percy||Pickering, Ernest H.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Pike, Cecil F.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Potter, John||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Procter, Major Hentry Adam||White, Henry Graham|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth)||Pybus, Percy John||Whiteeslde, Borras Noel H.|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Williams, Charles (Devon Torquay.)|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Ramsay, T. B.W. (Western Isles)||Wills, Willfrid D.|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Ramsded, E.||Winder-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Knatchbull Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Ratcliffe Arthur||Womersley, Walter James|
|Knight, Holford||Rea, Walter Russell||Woods, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Young Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Lees-Jones, John||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Yong, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Reid William Allan (Derby)|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Remer, John R.|
|Lewis, Oswald||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sir George Penny and Lord Erskine.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Daggar, George||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Buchanan, George||Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Edwards, Charles||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Hirst, George Henry||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jenkins, Sir William||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||McGovern, John||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Kirkwood, David||Maxton, James||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Milner, Major James||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Lawson, John James||Parkinson, John Allen||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Leonard, William||Price, Gabriel|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Salter, Dr. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lunn, William||Thorne, William James||Mr. John and Mr. Groves.|