The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper: In page 70, line 18, at the end, to insert:
who shall arrive at their decisions in a judicial manner."—[Mr. Dingle Foot.]
§ 7.57 p.m.
I was not proposing to select this Amendment, because I think the points that can be raised on it can be raised on a later Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner)—in page 71, line 5, at the end, insert "(b) as to the power to take evidence on oath." If the hon. Member has any other point he wishes to raise on his Amendment which he cannot raise on the other Amendment, perhaps he will tell me in order to enable me to judge whether I shall select it or not.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
I think my Amendment covers rather wider ground than the taking of evidence on oath. It covers such things as whether both sides shall be heard and whether one side shall have the right to cross-examine to other. It also covers the hearing of evidence through third parties other than the party immediately concerned. I venture to submit, therefore, that my Amendment covers much wider ground that the other Amendment.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I submit that this Amendment is wider than the other for certain other reasons. Some people are very doubtful about evidence on oath. We may take the analogy of an appeal to the court of referees under Part I, in which case a person is served with a notice of the complaints against him. As I understand this Amendment, it means that any person making an appeal would be served with a proper notice stating the complaint lodged against him, in order that he might meet it, and the use of the phrase "in a judicial manner" would also indicate the need for that person to be present at the hearing. Therefore, I submit that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Dingle Foot) is a more comprehensive one than the other.
There is no question of order here. I am merely asking for information to assist me in the exercise of my power of selection. I agree that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Dingle Foot) is considerably wider than the later one, but I was under the impression that he had put it down to cover only a particular point, but as he wants to raise other points I think I shall call his Amendment. But in that case I should need some persuasion before I could select the Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner), which deals with the power to take evidence on oath. I should like to know the wishes of the official Opposition in this matter and whether they would be satisfied by my selecting the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dundee.
§ Mr. LAWSON
We should prefer that you should select the wider Amendment of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Dingle Foot) because it covers all that we want to raise.
§ 8.4 p.m.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
I beg to move, in page 70, line 18, at the end, to insert:who shall arrive at their decisions in a judicial manner.This Amendment does not impute any reflection on the persons who are likely to serve on these appeal tribunals. It is concerned with the procedure to be followed. At present we are entirely ignorant of the manner in which these tribunals will conduct their proceedings. Under Sub-sections (4) and (5) of Clause 38 it is laid down that it will be possible for any person aggrieved to appeal against the determination of the unemployment assistance officers, but until we see the rules to be framed for the conduct of these appeals it is impossible to form any notion of how valuable that right of appeal will be. In the first place, has the aggrieved person any right to be heard in person or to be heard by a representative? Secondly, will he be able to cross-examine the officer or whoever appears on the other side? Thirdly, will he be entitled to hear the case against, him, or, to take the point presented just now by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), will he be entitled to have a copy of the case against him, something in the nature of depositions 1797 showing the sort of evidence he will have to meet? The effect of this Amendment, if accepted, would be to provide that each of these tribunals shall act in a manner as nearly as possible similar to that in which a court of justice acts. In other words, it would provide that these tribunals must observe the fundamental miles which always govern judicial proceedings.
I think those rules can be summarised under three headings. First, both sides must be heard, and each in the presence of the other. Second, the tribunal must not receive information from one side which is not disclosed to the other, whether that information be oral or documentary. Third, it must not receive evidence from outside sources or from third parties unless, of course, such evidence is shown to both parties concerned. The importance of such elementary rules being observed is obvious. We recall the dictum of the Lord Chief Justice, I think it was, a year ago, when he said that it was not only necessary that justice should be done but that it should appear to have been done. I believe that is particularly true in the kind of case which will be dealt with by these appeal tribunals. We are concerned here with the most depressed class in the community, in many instances with persons who have been defined as cases of special difficulty, people who have begun to feel that they are the Ishmaels of society, with every man's hand against them, people with a special sense of grievance. In such cases there ought to be every possible safeguard to make sure not only that there shall be a fair determination of the matter in issue but also that every one shall realise that there has been a fair determination.
There is only one other point I wish to make. I do not know whether the Government have considered the rather extraordinary position which is going to arise in Scotland with reference to men who are transferred from the Poor Law authorities to the jurisdiction of the Unemployment Assistance Board. Certain provisions of the Scottish Poor Law lay it down that in certain cases people aggrieved by the determination of Poor Law authorities shall have a right of appeal, in some cases to the sheriff and in other cases even to the Court of Session. The incapacitated or sick unem- 1798 ployed, who are under the jurisdiction of the Poor Law authorities, have a right of appeal to the sheriff, and the able-bodied unemployed have a right of appeal from the public assistance committees to the Department of Health for Scotland, and the Department of Health can give them a certificate which enables their case to be heard actually in the Court of Session. What is to be the position when people are transferred in Scotland from the jurisdiction of the public assistance committees to the jurisdiction of the Unemployment Assistance Board? Though not very many may be affected, it will mean that those who are will lose the safeguard, which up to now they have had, of having their claim determined and reheard, in the last resort, by a court of law. It may be that it is not possible, under Part II of this Bill, to give the same right to everyone who is in receipt of an unemployment assistance allowance, but by passing this Amendment we can lay it down that at any rate they shall have the right to have their cases reheard and the determinations reconsidered by a tribunal which is bound to act in a judicial manner and to observe the ordinary canons of judicial procedure.
§ 8.10 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I rise to support this Amendment. I believe the Solicitor-General will agree that our present judicial procedure is the best for the proper investigation of a case. I understand that something like 50,000 to 100,000 cases may arise here, and that we are to have some 300 appeal tribunals. There will be considerable difficulty in getting the decisions of these appeal tribunals honoured by the lower bodies which have to deal with matters arising under this part of the Bill. That being so, it is highly important that appellants should have every protection possible and that their cases shall be properly dealt with. I do not know what knowledge of procedure will be possessed by those persons who will be appointed to these tribunals. It may be that some of them will understand the rules by which the courts have been controlled for many years and will put them into practice. On the other hand, they may not be conversant with those rules at all, and may wish to deal with cases according to their own methods and their own judgment. In certain arbitration cases the arbitra- 1799 tors are not bound to observe the rules and regulations which have been laid down for a judicial inquiry.
In my submission, we cannot regard these tribunals, which will be the supreme court of appeal as far as these matters are concerned, in the same light as one might regard an ordinary set of arbitrators. The appellant should be entitled to the protection of the rules of evidence, and not, for example, be submitted to the possibility of the tribunal utilising information which is not strictly proven. He should not be subjected to the possibility of evidence being accepted which would not be accepted by a court on the ground that it did not comply with the well-tried rules in force. Opportunities should be given for the appellant to be present during the whole of the proceedings and to hear the arguments put forward in respect of the respondent's case. Generally speaking, the proceedings should be conducted in the manner which has been thoroughly tried out in the past.
There is the question of taking into consideration judicial opinions. It may very well be that in the course of the proceedings of this body, it will be necessary to refer to opinions which have been expressed in similar proceedings or in proceedings which do not come directly within the purview of the appeal board. I cannot understand why there seems to be reluctance on the part of the Government so far as this is concerned. There should be some kind of continuity about the opinions which will be arrived at, but we cannot expect continuity if each appeal tribunal has the power of conducting its business in a manner which is not judicial. There will be chaos, not merely in respect of minor matters, but in respect of vital matters.
The matters referred to the appeal tribunals may be of extreme importance. For example, there may be questions of the position of the public assistance committees, or as to whether a person is or is not entitled to relief from one body or another. Such things should not depend upon decisions which are arrived at without a regular procedure. It will not be seriously contended that an appellant should be denied the right of being properly represented, a right which exists at the present time in other directions. I do not think that the Solicitor-General 1800 will contend for one moment that a member of the Bar or of the lower profession should not be entitled to appear in these cases. I am sure he realises that the people who will be on the tribunals should have the position of the appellant placed before them in a proper manner, not only from the point of view of the appellant but from the point of view of the tribunal.
I know that debating points may be raised. When one talks about conducting the proceedings in a judicial manner all sorts of interpretations may be given which do not comply with the intentions of the Mover of this Amendment or of those hon. Members who will follow in the Debate. If debating points are raised, I hope that the Solicitor-General will assure us that he will accept what is intended by the Amendment and that he will give us an Amendment at a later stage incorporating in full what he knows to be the intention, which is that these tribunals should be conducted in a manner which will give satisfaction. That does not mean that everybody will be satisfied with the results or with the method of arriving at those results, but that the tribunals shall be bodies consistent with each other in procedure which will give satisfaction to the people who will come within their purview.
§ 8.19 p.m.
§ Mr. BANFIELD
I support the Amendment, because it is of the utmost importance that the tribunals shall be so set up as to give everyone confidence in them. I want to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that the people who are likely to come before the tribunals will be not very well versed in the law and will be very poor, and that they will want all the protection that it is possible to give them. It is necessary that some definite rules of procedure should be laid down. The position of the unfortunate people under this Bill will be by no means so good as it had been previously. Members of Parliament will be unable to assist them, because the whole matter will be taken out of the hands of Parliament; the outside Body will be in full control, and, unless extreme care is taken in regard to the appeal tribunals, there will be a great deal of discontent and unrest, and a growing sense of injustice.
1801 I have had experience of courts of referees in connection with unemployment insurance, and I know that above everything else it is necessary, as far as is humanly possible, to ensure that the people who will appear before the tribunals know absolutely that they are to get a square deal. I can imagine nothing worse when a number of these tribunals are in existence, in different areas, up and down the country, than for one chairman to give a decision in one way and for another to give a decision in a similar case from an entirely different point of view; or for one chairman to supply those who appear before the tribunal with all the particulars and for another to declare that that is absolutely unnecessary; or for one chairman to say, "You can cross-examine the other side in this ease," and for another to say, "I will not allow that to happen at all." The provision for which we are asking will give a sense of security to the appellants.
The difficulty of which I have always been aware is not only in regard to matters that are contained in the Bill; I have always been afraid of the way in which the Bill might be administered, particularly Part II. If the Bill is to remain a humane Bill, everything will depend upon how it is administered. Consequently, we ought to do all that we possibly can to make sure that the appeal tribunal will be impartial, that the parties concerned shall have all the information disclosed to them and that there shall be, as far as possible, the same rulings on the same matters, so that we shall not have, as we have had in the past, one ruling in one place and another ruling in another. That gives rise to comparisons and discontent, and whatever we can do to avoid that kind of thing is well worth doing. I hope that the Government will see their way either to accept this Amendment or to give us satisfaction on the point that we are raising. I am sure that every Member of the Committee desires that care shall be taken to see that appeal tribunals shall be conducted in a proper and impartial manner. Nothing could, give rise to more discontent than to instil into the minds of unfortunate people who are down and out to commence with and whose lot has been very hard that if they have to go to the appeal court the 1802 odds will, in some way, be weighted against them. For that reason, I hope that we shall get satisfaction in regard to this Amendment.
§ 8.25 p.m.
§ Mr. MANDER
I desire to support the Amendment, because it will afford the Solicitor-General an excellent opportunity for giving us some idea of the method by which these appeal tribunals are to carry out their work. We have no idea by what rules or regulations or in what manner they are going to function. Under Part I of the Bill there is the clearly defined and more or less well understood procedure of the courts of referees. Is it contemplated that anything of the same kind will operate in the case of these appeals under Part II? I do not say that that would be satisfactory, but at any rate it would be something that is well understood. I should like to stress the importance, from the point of view of the large numbers of people who will be making appeals, of bearing in mind the personal, human element. Appellants attach enormous importance to the opportunity of coming themselves, with any friend whom they may care to bring—not necessarily a distinguished "silk" or luminary of that kind, but someone who can explain exactly their whole circumstances. If the Solicitor-General is able to give some assurance that opportunities of that kind will be allowed to these unfortunate people—
I must point out to the hon. Member that there is an Amendment later on the Order Paper dealing with the question of representation before the tribunals. If that matter is raised now, I may find myself precluded from selecting the later Amendment.
§ Mr. TINKER
It would perhaps have been as well to have allowed the representative of the Government to explain what they intend to do.
§ 8.28 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I did not want to appear anxious to shorten the discussion. I cannot accept the Amendment, but I think I can say a good deal to reassure the Committee and those responsible for the Amendment. In the first place, it is a fundamental principle of our law, which is in force 1803 without express words, that those who have to decide anything must observe certain fundamental rules of justice. It was stated by Lord Loreburn in a case in 1911 that:Such people must act in good faith, and fairly listen to both sides for that is a duty lying upon anyone who decides anything.So far as what I may call the fundamentals are concerned, it would, I suggest, be most unfortunate if general words were inserted which suggested that it was necessary that a body or board or tribunal should observe these fundamental rules. That will be implied, and is implied, in our law, without any express words, as regards any board or body or persons who have a statutory duty laid upon them of deciding a matter of this or an analogous kind. Taking the actual words of the Amendment—though I do not wish to tie hon. Members down to the precise words they have put on the Paper, because they are entitled to raise the general question—I think they could only be construed in the most general way, that is to say, as meaning that the decision shall be come to after seeing the applicant, hearing the full case on both sides, and so on. It is unnecessary to put in such words to attain that result; it is implicit under our law by the fact of a tribunal being set up at all. This Amendment deals simply with the tribunal, and I am quite clear in my mind that, without any express words, a body having the attributes of a tribunal must observe the fundamental principles of justice to which reference has been made.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
The Solicitor-General will agree, will he not, that this tribunal is not necessarily a judicial body? Would it not be on a par with the court of referees, which, as the Solicitor-General knows, has been held to be an administrative rather than a judicial body?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I was not saying that it was a judicial body; I was saying that there are certain fundamental principles, sometimes called principles of natural justice, which have to be observed by anyone who has to decide anything on judicial or administrative grounds. That is so in the case of the courts of referees. Both sides must be heard in each other's presence, reasonable notice must be given, 1804 and so on. All these fundamental rules are binding upon a tribunal of this kind without any express words, and it would be unfortunate if words were inserted which suggested that it was necessary to tell the tribunal to act generally in a judicial manner, and that, if such words were not inserted, it might be able to depart from those fundamental rules. So far as the object of the Amendment is directed to what I call the fundamental principles on which any hearing must be based, it is unnecessary and undesirable.
The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner) would apparently like it to go very much further. He said, and he hoped I would agree, that the methods pursued in a court of law are the best for investigating any question, and, therefore, obviously, he would desire that those methods, rules of evidence and so on, should be incorporated in this class of hearing. I do not agree with him, and I very much doubt if the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) would agree with him. In the first place, such methods are not altogether appropriate here. These tribunals will not have to deal, like courts of law, with questions as to which there is a definite rule of law to be applied on one basis or another to proved facts. These bodies necessarily, under the Bill, will have to apply, within a certain area and in accordance with regulations, a discretion. One hon. Member said how very desirable it was that the tribunals should give the fullest possible weight to the personal human element, and I agree, but in courts of law, as we know, it is frequently necessary to disregard the personal human element, because the rule has to be enforced in its rigidity. Hard cases make bad law, but a proper consideration of hard cases may very well make good administration.
I agree that it is not desirable to carry over into these tribunals the procedure of the law courts. Cross-examination has been referred to. With the existing rules that you get in a law court, each side is supposed to cross-examine the other on its own case and the judge is entitled to say, "This evidence was not cross-examined to; therefore, I accept it." In this tribunal where the applicant may not have a friend with him versed in this kind of matter, surely the board should be allowed to say, "It is true that the evidence was not cross-examined 1805 to, but the applicant is not a lawyer and we will disregard that fact." I merely quote that as an example of the fact that you do not want to introduce ordinary legal procedure and rules of evidence. So far as the Amendment means that, I shall resist it. We are very much more inclined to believe that the sort of procedure that is adopted in courts of referees is sounder for this purpose than the purely legal procedure that you get in a court of law. That view was endorsed by the Morris Committee set up by the party opposite. That Committee said, in reference to the procedure in courts of referees, that the intention of the Legislature appeared to have been to avoid the forms of procedure in courts of law, and such a tendency in their view was to be deprecated. They believed it was in the interest of claimants to maintain an informal procedure. They later referred to the informal atmosphere which is more in keeping with the administration of the unemployment insurance scheme. If I may, without being accused of being dictated to by the Trades Union Congress, quote what their representative said—I do not agree altogether with his evidence, but it is somewhat relevant to the point:There are many complaints that the chairman, by reason of his legal training, is completely out of place in the atmosphere of the court of referees, that he examines and cross-examines in the fashion of the law courts and is obsessed by the legal rather than the human aspect of the matter.I do not altogether associate myself with that, but it illustrates very well that one does not want, in this class of case, dealing with this class of people, to take over lock, stock and barrel the sort of procedure that you have in the law courts. The general principle that both sides should be heard, that each should hear what the other case is, that the applicant should have the fullest possible information as to the evidence and the nature of the case that he will have to meet—all that is implied and would have to be carried out by the tribunal even if there were no safeguards. But there is a safeguard in that the rules of procedure have to be laid down and approved by the Minister, and, if they are thought to be too legal or judicial, or not sufficiently legal or judicial, the Minister can be attacked at once for having given his 1806 approval. That, surely, is the right procedure. We are setting up a board with new and very complicated and difficult duties. It may be a difficult question exactly how far you want to introduce legal procedure and how far you want to preserve informality. Surely the right thing is not to tie their hands by saying, "Here you shall be legal, and here you shall be informal." I can assure the hon. Member that it is the intention of my right hon. Friend that everything that can possibly make for fairness and seeing that the applicant has a proper and fair hearing will be considered.
§ 8.41 p.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
The hon. and learned Gentleman has certainly cleared up the situation, and I am satisfied with his explanation, but I should like to ask, if at any time the way appeals are carried on does not meet with our approval, what means we have of drawing the attention of the Minister or the House to what is hoppening. Shall we be debarred from making any protest? Then, will this Tribunal, whose decisions will be final, be guided in any way by previous decisions? The Umpire, over a long period of years, has laid down definite lines governing the work of the Unemployment Board as it has gone on stage by stage. Will those decisions have any effect upon the Tribunal or will it disregard them? In matters like this we have to wait and see what happens, but I certainly want some assurance whether we shall be in a position to raise any point that we are not satisfied about if the Tribunal does not carry out the work as we should wish.
§ 8.44 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
If Members, wherever they sit, are dissatisfied with what is happening, they first of all have the ordinary channel of approach to the Minister. Further, the fees paid to the Chairman of the Tribunal will appear on the Estimates.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I am told that the expenses of the Appeal Tribunal will appear as a separate item. Also the matter could be raised on a Vote of Censure. The second point was whether they would be guided by previous decisions. I think the position is this. First of all, regulations will be approved 1807 by this House. Subject to that no doubt, certain questions of principle may well arise as to which uniformity is desirable and should be established. It is difficult to give an absolutely hard-and-fast answer, but, having regard to the general nature of the duties laid upon them and the tasks that they have to perform, there would obviously be a framework of rules, and it would surprise me very much if there was not in this case considerable elasticity for discretion within that framework of rules. I appreciate that I cannot give a completely satisfactory answer to the hon. Member, but that I think must be the position.
§ 8.46 p.m.
§ Mr. HOLDSWORTH
We are in somewhat of a difficulty regarding all these things By reason of the reply which is so often given that we have an adequate opportunity of raising these questions in the House. We on these benches cannot accept that view. On Clause 17, we moved that in regard to any regulations which might be brought before the House we should have the power of Amendment. The Solicitor-General says that rules of procedure will be drawn up, and that the House will have power to say "yes" or "no" to those rules of procedure. But it may be that among those rules will be certain things which we approve and other things of which we disapprove. We shall have to say "yes" or "no" in regard to the whole lot; at least I understood that to be the case from the Parliamentary Secretary.
There is another point which I shall be glad if the Solicitor-General will answer at the same time. There will be many branches of this board up and down the country and many different decisions will be given, and I would ask the Solicitor-General how such decisions are to be co-ordinated. I have heard the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), when speaking in this House, refer to the Umpire and say that a decision when given becomes case law. We want to know, if different decisions are to be given, how they are to be co-ordinated. I may be wrong with regard to the first point, but I should like some further explanation of it, and I should like the Solicitor-General to answer the question as to how the different decisions are to be co-ordinated.
§ 8.48 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
The Solicitor-General commented upon the fact that I had pointed to the present procedure as being effective, but it may not be the best that can be conceived for the purpose of the rules of this particular board. What I want to know, and what the hon. and learned Gentleman has not answered, is whether he can give us an assurance that, before we part with the Bill—never mind about waiting until the rules of the Minister are brought forward in the manner he has indicated—some definite general principles for the procedure of these tribunals will be adopted? That is why I asked that he should not hold us too rigidly to the actual terms of the Amendment. We are anxious to know how the interests of the individuals who come before the board are to be properly guarded.
That brings me to the second point which is in furtherance of the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth). The question will naturally arise in each case as to what judicial principles are to govern the appeal tribunal in arriving at its decisions. It is all very well talking about the human element. It can very easily come in even if there are rules of procedure. The discretion of the appeal tribunal may be of such a nature that it can encompass within its framework all the human elements, and at the same time act upon the judicial principles of its procedure. If we are to have some 300 appeal tribunals each acting according to its own likes on questions of human understanding without any guiding principles at all, we shall not know whether they are acting in accordance with the wishes of the county itself, and we shall not know how one tribunal is acting vis-à-vis another tribunal. That is why we are so concerned about the matter. We want those principles to be laid down and to have the opportunity of discussing them here. We want to know what the procedure is to be, and how we shall be able to govern the decisions of the appeal tribunals so as not to have some 300 different decisions in different parts of the country.
§ 8.51 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
This matter is more important than the court of referees. Generally, when a person comes before 1809 the court of referees he is charged with some form of misconduct by his employer. An employer is usually fairly careful about what he says. He can be sued at court, and he has tangible assets which prevent him from saying things. On the other hand, we are faced with the position that a great number of men who will come before this board will have to meet statements made against them by people who have no assets at all and consequently are free to say whatever they like practically without any limitation being placed upon them. Statements may be made from malice, and I would ask the Solicitor-General to bear in mind the fact that because statements may be made more readily, there is need for the person involved having greater access than ever to the evidence laid against him. As far as I gathered from the answer which he gave earlier, the rules are not to be approved by the House, but only by the Minister. They will be laid before the House, and we shall not have the power to reject them but only the opportunity of raising them after Eleven o'Clock at night.
This point is very important. The great mass of the difficulties will be personal and domestic in character. I do not think that the appeal tribunals will be faced so much with a question as to whether the amount shall be 28s. or 29s. The safeguard there is that the chairman will not give the right to appeal to the tribunal. The Parliamentary Secretary must know that before a case can go before the appeal tribunal the chairman must give permission and that he will not be likely to give permission on trivial points. Therefore, there must be matters of substance; otherwise, the chairman will not give permission to go before the tribunal. There will be a good many personal difficulties of one kind or another. The tribunal, for the first time, is going to be mixed up with all manner of domestic, educational and religious quarrels in settling these matters.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. R. S. Hudson)
Not the Exchange.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The hon. Member says, "Not the Exchange." The man is paid his benefit from the Exchange, and he signs on at the Exchange. He couples the two together. He does not draw fine 1810 distinctions. To him it will be the Exchange, the Ministry of Labour people. They will be concerned in domestic matters. A man may be charged with getting the worse for drink. With all due respect to the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Dr. Salter), I do not think that is a very serious crime. I am a rather narrow teetotaler myself, but I do not look upon it as very bad to have drink. I think a poor fellow, a Member of this House, was punished out of all sense of decency for it the other day. Charges will be made out of vindictive spite, and in most cases the letters will be written anonymously. About three-fourths of the complaints made are anonymous complaints. A man may be hauled before the court on such a complaint.
I am pleased to hear that those who come before this tribunal will get the same hearing as in the court of referees, but I want a firm guarantee from the Solicitor-General that the man will get a copy of the complaint made against him. Will he be supplied with a copy of the complaint in the same way that he is supplied with a copy of the complaint when an employer makes a statement against him? If some person alleges that he is a drunken character, will he receive a copy of the complaint? If it was a case that came before a court of law, he would be supplied with a copy of the charge made against him, and he would be in a position to meet it. That is the point of the Amendment, that the decision shall be arrived at in a judicial manner. The Solicitor-General has not met the point fairly. In the court of referees the man is supplied with a copy of the statement of the charge made against him. Will he get that before the new appeal tribunal?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
This tribunal will clearly have to supply any party brought before it with any charge, evidence or document on which it intends to rely. I think that is clear. Anonymous communications should be thrown in the fire; but if they are brought before the tribunal the man should be shown them.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am satisfied on that point and will not press the matter further. It is the most satisfactory thing that I have heard from the Solicitor-General. What I dread most is the anonymous business. I have had terrible 1811 experiences of it. I welcome the Solicitor-General's statement more than any other statement I have heard in connection with the Bill, and I hope that those who run the show will take his advice and act on it.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Sir S. CRIPPS
I beg to move, in page 70, line 22, after "chairman," to insert "and members."
All the six Amendments are designed to the same end. The present form of the Schedule can only have been an oversight in the part of the Minister, because, as at present drafted, in the Sixth Schedule, the appeal tribunal which is to hear appeals from the Unemployment Assistance Board and its officers is to be appointed as to two of its members by the board itself. That seems to be about the worst conceivable type of appointment there could be, because the board is the body against whom the appeals are to be made. There could not be a more unsuitable body for appointing the members of the appeal tribunal. Quite apart from whether, in fact, there is any likelihood of these appointments being made so as to influence the direction of the decisions of the appeal tribunal, there would clearly be that absence of impartiality which is more important as an appearance of justice than anything else.
One thing that everybody desires is that this body which is to be set up should be accepted as a body which will do impartial justice, and it is impossible for the ordinary man in the street to understand that it will be a body doing impartial justice if he knows that it is appointed by the people against whose decision he is appealing, which is the position at the present time. I do not think the Minister can have the slightest objection to the whole of the appointments, instead of merely the appointment of the chairman, being in the hands of the Minister rather than in the hands of the board. That is substantially the object of all these Amendments. Whether the Amendments are absolutely right in form or not does not much matter, because the hon. Member can give us an undertaking 1812 to have the alterations that we are asking for made.
Apart from any question of principle underlying the Bill, I am sure that if this tribunal is to be set up, it is highly desirable that it should have the fullest air of impartiality, which alone can be derived from its appointment by some outside person or some outside body altogether, and not by the very body whose acts will come before it for the purpose of being tried on appeal. When it comes to the question of the replacement of the members of the tribunal, when perhaps one has fallen out, and another has to be put in his stead, it would be even most unfortunate if the Unemployment Assistance Board were to put on some new person and if, by any chance, there was a change of policy in the decisions as a result of that, it would immediately be said: "Yes, this man has been appointed in order that so and so might be done." That supposition might be wrong altogether, but there would be that appearance and it would be extremely unsatisfactory. Therefore, I am sure the Minister will accept the Amendment.
§ 9.4 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I do not want to try to cut the discussion short, but I understand that it will be convenient if I reply now, because the hon. and learned Member is busy and has another appointment. There might be something to be said for his Amendment if the description he gave of its effect was the real effect of the Amendment. Unfortunately that is not the case. I do not know whether the hon. and learned Member has taken the trouble to look at the Clause as it would appear if his Amendments were accepted. I will read it as it would appear and I think it will be sufficient to show how impossible it is to accept them. Clause 3 would read as follows:The Chairman and members of every appeal tribunal shall be appointed by the Minister, and the two members shall be appointed by the Minister from a panel of persons nominated by the Minister to represent workpeople.The hon. and learned Member did not disclose to the Committee the latter half of the change proposed.
§ Mr. HUDSON
We are dealing with a series of Amendments the effect of which is so far from being innocuous as to change the whole form of the tribunal from an impartial tribunal on which both sides are represented, with the chairman occupying a position of decision, to a tribunal which is entirely biased and weighted in favour of one side—namely, the appellants. The chairman would be unable in any case to make his views heard as in every case he would be in a minority of one as against the two members representing one side only. That is a tribunal which the hon. and learned Member would not suggest is impartial or one suitable for carrying out the purposes of this Bill. Therefore it is impossible to accept the proposal.
I quite agree that it is of supreme importance that the tribunal should not only be impartial but should be seen to be impartial. I think he did less than justice to the proposals in the Schedule. This is not a tribunal to be nominated by the board from persons chosen by the board. The chairman is to be appointed by the Minister and the rest of the tribunal is to consist of two persons, one nominated by the board and the second the representative of the work-people.
§ Mr. HUDSON
Appointed by the board, but from a panel chosen by the Minister. The persons who are to form the panel are to be appointed by the Minister just as in the case of the court of referees. The board cannot appoint anyone to serve on the tribunal unless the person has been selected by the Minister.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The Minister nominates a panel of persons from whom the board will select an individual for a particular day, just as is done in the ease of the court of referees, for administrative reasons. The Exchange manager selects the representative of workpeople for a particular court on a certain day; it is a matter of administrative convenience. I can assure hon. Members that I am just as keen as they are to see that these tribunals have a high standard of impartiality, and the only reason why the board are to select the person from the 1814 panel appointed by the Minister is the purely administrative convenience of the board. The officer of the board will call the tribunal together and it would be a cumbrous procedure for the board to say to the Exchange manager that they desire the tribunal to meet on such and such a day, "will you invite the workpeople's representative?" It is obviously more convenient for the board's officers to say to the workpeople's representative, "You are on the rota for a particular day" than to do it through the Exchange. If hon. Members feel that my explanation does not make it clear that the board does not appoint the representative but that it is the Minister who does so, though the board may select him as a matter of day-to-day administration, then I will certainly see if we can devise some alternative words for Report stage.
§ 9.10 p.m.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I have looked at this matter very closely, and I feel the same doubts about it as the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps). I have listened to the explanation of the Parliamentary Secretary and appreciate what perhaps I did not appreciate before, how it is to be done, but at the same time I feel that the form of words chosen is apt to create an unfortunate impression in other minds. If it creates an impression in my mind and in the mind of the hon. and learned Member, then at least it is possible that the same impression will be created in the minds of people who have not had the opportunity of legal study. In these circumstances may I suggest that the form of words should be recast in order to express what is really intended so that there shall be no doubt or difficulty in the future. It is most important, with regard to any judicial body, not merely that justice should be done, but that people should have complete confidence in the tribunal which is administering that justice. The mere fact that any question is being raised about this at all is a reason why the matter should be reconsidered and the drafting of the Schedule altered at a later stage of the proceedings.
§ 9.13 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
May I suggest that the panel of persons should be nominated not by the Minister, but by designated organisations of workpeople?
§ Mr. BEVAN
It has been done before in several cases, and I see no reason why it cannot operate in respect of this panel. There must be a power to send for a particular person on a particular day because other persons may not be available. I can quite understand that; I can see the wisdom of allowing the board the right to select from persons on the panel, but under the present form of words the panel itself is appointed by the Minister. That is always unsatisfactory, and the desire of the Committee is that the workpeople themselves should feel that they have a share in nominating the panel. The individual can be selected by the board to sit on a particular case on a particular day. I have had some experience in this matter. I have sat on these committees for years, and we were always nominated by the Miners' Federation or the Steel Workers' Federation to serve on the panel. We had a notice from the court of referees to attend the rota committee on a particular day. That was accepted by the Ministry of Labour and was found to be quite satisfactory. I am simply putting the point for the consideration of the Parliamentary Secretary that when he comes to the redrafting of this provision he should redraft it in such a way as to say, "Nominated by the workpeople's organisations in the district." That would meet our position and would put the tribunal as much above suspicion as such a tribunal could be.
§ 9.16 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I think that we on the Liberal benches ought to say that the manner in which the Parliamentary Secretary has approached this suggestion commends itself to us, so that it may be known that the matter is approved by all sections of the Committee. I do not think there is anyone who will suggest that there was not a difficulty here. It has been pointed out that even some of us who happen to be concerned from time to time with legal matters find that a difficulty does present itself. It must be clear to an ordinary individual that although justice may be done it may not appear to be done. Whilst we are in that difficulty I think the Parliamentary Secretary ought to feel that he has the backing of the whole Committee on the point. I think, too, that the matter 1816 might be left now in the way that he suggested.
§ 9.18 p.m.
§ Mr. J. REID
I think that the Parliamentary Secretary has done right in offering to reconsider the matter. I do not think there is any real objection to the wording of the Bill, though it is liable to misconception. Has the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) considered that a number of these applicants may not be members of trade unions at all? Accordingly, when we select people for the rota to represent the workpeople it is quite obvious that we must not only select trade union leaders but must select people who will represent non-trade unionists as well. That would be quite an impossible position.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
The hon. Member must acquit me of any desire to claim for the local trade union branch a privileged position, but there is no other way by which the people may in an organised way express their desire. If you have merely a large number of people and select arbitrarily you are in fact making an appointment because a man happens to be a workman, but you cannot say that he is a workmen's representative. The only way to get over that difficulty is to arrange for some organised expression of opinion.
§ Mr. REID
There may be some difficulty with regard to the appointment of a representative of non-trade unionists, but I do not think the Minister should give up hope of obtaining suitable people who would represent those outside the trade unions. There is another question. It does not follow that all trade unions live in complete harmony together. One knows of certain occasions when one trade union takes a different view from another. What is one to do in that case? Is it the view of the hon. Member that a representative of a particular man's union should always sit on the appeal tribunal? One can see that in such a case there might be considerable objection. If, on the other hand, the representative of another union from outside comes in there may be objections to that course also. I do not see how one can lay down in black and white in a Schedule any provision limiting the sphere from which representatives are to be taken.
§ 9.21 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I can assure my hon. Friend the Member for Falkirk (Mr. J. Reid) that this is really common form, that my Department has been accustomed to setting up these panels for a very long time, and, as far as I know, without claiming undue credit for the Department, we have never come across any difficulty in finding a panel of persons in every area really representative of the workmen. What I want to do is to try to meet the point of difficulty of hon. Members opposite, and it struck me that the drafting might be improved if in line 24, instead of the words "one shall be appointed," we inserted "one shall be selected" in order to make it clear that it is the Minister who does the appointing and that the board merely selects for administrative convenience one man for one day and one man for another. If that meets the convenience of hon. Members opposite I shall be pleased to move an Amendment in that form.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
That change would considerably improve the language and would remove these people from suspicion. Would the Parliamentary Secretary give us the same assurance in this case as he has always given in respect of unemployment insurance, namely, that the panel of persons will be nominated by the Minister after consultation with the usual trade organisations?
§ Mr. HUDSON
I cannot give a definite pledge that in all circumstances and in every single case that will happen, but obviously my Department desires a quiet life, and therefore its normal procedure will be to consult the organisations concerned. I say that although I cannot give a definite pledge that we shall never go outside what they recommend.
§ 9.23 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I am very pleased that the Parliamentary Secretary has been a little more amenable in this matter. What we are asking is that the present practice should continue. Some of us are very chary of legal matters. If the Parliamentary Secretary will agree in practice to have trade unionists he will find that non-unionists will be very pleased to have the representative of a workmen's organisation on these tribunals. The term generally used is 1818 that he is "the contributors' representative."
§ Mr. J. REID
I did not in the least mean to imply anything against the impartiality of a trade union representative. I merely stated that I did not want to see a limitation inserted. I can see, of course, that the trade union representative would represent the majority, but I did not want to see any provision that trade union representatives alone will be selected.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendment made: In page 70, line 24, leave out "appointed," and insert "selected."—(Mr. Hudson.)
§ 9.25 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I beg to move, in page 70, line 38, after "such," to insert "salary and".
I do not know if the Minister has anything to say about this Amendment. I am not too strong on it.
§ 9.26 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
One of the outstanding characteristics on which this country can pride itself in its government is its capacity to get a great deal of often onerous and unpleasant work done for nothing or for bare out-of-pocket expenses. The court of referees, on which the whole unemployment insurance system of this country largely turns in its present working, has been in existence for years, and members other than the Chairman have been willing to give their services free with only out-of-pocket expenses and payment for loss of remunerative time. We do not want to do anything that will put the members of this tribunal on a lower plane than the court of referees, and I hope the hon. Member will not press it.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ 9.27 p.m.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I beg to move, in page 71, line 2, at the end, to insert:Provided that in the case of any such officers and servants who on the twenty-third day of November, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, were in the employment of local authorities or of commissioners appointed by the Minister and who have ceased to be so employed by virtue of the provisions of this Act the salary and allowances to be paid shall not be less than those which such officers or servants were receiv- 1819 ing on the said twenty-third day of November, nineteen hundred and thirty-three.This is one of a series of Amendments which intended, in this Schedule and the proceeding one, to lay down some kind of Safeguards as to the terms of service of the people taken over by the new authorities from the former ones, but it so happens that the exigencies of business have left this Amendment the only one which we have been in a position to have discussed. I say frankly that on consideration I am not very well satisfied that it is the happiest illustration of the principle on behalf of which we have been striving for a number of public servants. I can see that if passed in its present form it might raise difficulties, and as the Financial Secretary is to make a statement which will cover the case of these public servants, I will do no more than formally move the Amendment.
§ 9.27 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I appreciate the opportunity you have very kindly given me to make a short statement on this matter covering the Amendments which have been put down. The first thing I want to point out is that the permanent servants of the board will be civil servants and will be in possession of Civil Service certificates. That being so, it is quite clear that they will have to conform roughly to the conditions of civil servants. On the other hand, entrance to the board's service will be purely voluntary and obviously no present servant of a local authority will join the board unless he thinks the conditions of service, pay, pension and so on are at least as good as or better than those he at present enjoys. Lest it may be thought that any existing servants of local authorities may suffer, our opinion is that there is no danger of redundancy. In spite of the very heavy additional work thrown on local authorities by the system of transitional payments there has been no appreciable increase of permanent staff and practically the whole of the extra work has been done by increases of temporary staff. I should like to reassure the Committee, therefore, that so far as we can see, these proposals so far from creating a redundancy of local authority staffs will create a shortage. As far as I know there is ample scope in the Poor Law work under 1820 the Act of 1929 to absorb the full energies of the staffs who remain with local authorities.
It is clear that the Board cannot possibly take over and carry out the very extensive work with which it is being entrusted without a nucleus of trained staff, trained in public assistance work generally, and, therefore, there will necessarily be an incentive to the board to make the conditions sufficiently attractive to attract a certain nucleus, at any rate, of local authority staffs. The only subject left, therefore, is the question of temporary staffs and as to that I should like, if the Committee will permit me, to read the statement which my right hon. Friend had intended to make on the Fifth Schedule:Under the Bill the board appoints its officers and servants in consultation with the Minister and subject to the consent of the Treasury. It is contemplated that the Board will make known the terms and conditions of the appointments which it will be offering. A considerable number of the appointments will be in the permanent service of the State, but from the character of the work it is clear that its total volume will fluctuate as unemployment alters. There will, therefore, have to be a margin of temporary posts.Whilst it is not possible at this stage to make any statement committing the board, it is contemplated, as regards the permanent staffs, that officers at present in the permanent employment of Local Authorities and engaged upon the work to be transferred will be given an opportunity to make application, and that full consideration will be given to the qualifications and experience they possess. Applications from permanent officials of Government Departments with analogous experience will likewise be considered. As regards temporary staff, it is contemplated that the board will give a first preference to the temporary officers at present engaged upon the work under Local Authorities.Arrangements are contemplated for informing the board of the effect of the Act on local authorities' staffing requirements, and whenever practicable due weight will be given to this consideration.
§ 9.32 p.m.
§ Mr. EDWARD WILLIAMS
The Committee are indebted to the Parliamentary Secretary for the explanation we have had on this matter and I am sure they will agree that if there is a body of men who have had placed on their shoulders an onerous task in the past 2½ years it is the investigation officers temporarily appointed to do this work. I am certain that all Members are pleased to hear that in the establishment of the new staff 1821 preference will be given to persons who have been doing this work for some time already. It has been very unpleasant work, particularly in mining areas where there have been such large aggregations of unemployed. Persons doing this work have been placed in such an invidious position by the nature of the work, that it would be difficult for them to obtain employment in any industrial occupation in those districts. I trust therefore, that they will be engaged under the new system in accordance with the statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary.
§ 9.36 p.m.
§ Sir HENRY JACKSON
May I express my thanks to the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary for the statement which has been made and especially for the very valuable undertaking which it contains to the effect that first preference will be given to the present temporary officers.
§ 9.37 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
This is an illustration of how reasonable the Government and hon. Members supporting the Government can be when dealing with matters of this kind, apart from industrial matters. It is a good illustration of the fact that under a system of nationalised mines more consideration would be given to the miners than they get at present.
§ 9.38 p.m.
§ Mr. MANDER
I wish to associate myself with what has been said regarding the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary on behalf of the Minister. I am sure that it will be much appreciated by the 4,000 temporary employés in different parts of the country who have recently been passing through a period of anxiety. They have been working on weekly and in some cases day-to-day engagements and by general admission they have carried out a difficult work in an admirable way. By giving them a first preference in these appointments the board will be doing the obviously commonsense and businesslike thing. It will save the board from having to advertise or go to any trouble in getting new staff. I wish to emphasise the point mentioned by the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. E. Williams) that the unpopular nature of the work which these men have been called upon to do, has not ingratiated them in the districts where they have been placed. Their position has be- 1822 come most invidious and they would find it more difficult to obtain work than those who have not been engaged in employment of that kind. That is another reason why preference should be given to them.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
In view of the statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary on behalf of the Minister I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment, at the same time thanking the Minister in the name of those numerous bodies of public servants who have been consulting with me on this matter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 9.40 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I beg to move, in page 71, line 8, after "and," to insert:in connection with references to an appeal tribunal and in connection with.This Amendment and the following Amendment are consequential upon Amendments made in Clauses 47 and 63 designed to secure that where there is any question of an excess allowance having been granted, the man will have an automatic right of appeal to an appeal tribunal.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In page 71, line 10, after "appeals" insert "references."—[Mr. Hudson.]
§ Mr. LAWSON
On a point of Order. Is it not intended to call the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. Logan) and the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. E. Williams)—in page 71, line 10, at the end, to insert:and as to the payment of costs of witnesses.There is a point involved here which we would like, if possible, to discuss.
I was calling an Amendment in the name of the Minister which raises the same point as the Amendment to which the hon. Member refers.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I beg to move, in page 71, line 15, at the end, to insert:(d) as to the payment by the board to persons attending appeals and references of travelling and other allowances (including compensation for loss of remunerative time).1823 This Amendment would enable the board to pay travelling and other allowances to persons attending appeals and references. It is wider than the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan) and I think is, on the whole, preferable to that Amendment.
§ Mr. E. WILLIAMS
It appears to me that the Amendment proposed by the Parliamentary Secretary would meet the point and is satisfactory.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 9.42 p.m.
§ Mr. SMEDLEY CROOKE
I beg to move, in page 71, line 15, at the end, to insert:(e) for entitling an appellant to be represented at the hearing of his case by the appeal tribunal by any person duly authorised by him to act on his behalf;When Clause 35 was under consideration on 19th February the Parliamentary Secretary made a statement in this form:The rule which would be made by the board and which must be approved by the Minister…will provide that in such cases the applicant will be entitled to have a friend to make sure that his case is properly presented."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th February, 1934; col. 141, Vol. 286.]This Amendment gives the Parliamentary Secretary an opportunity to implement the promise then made. It is well known by those who have had experience of the court of referees that a man's case is often prejudiced by the way in which it is put. If a man could take with him a friend who would put his case in the best possible way, it would be very helpful to the claimants. I need not, I think, press this matter or enlarge upon it. The Amendment speaks for itself. We want these words added to the Schedule so that a man will know that, under the law, he has a right to take with him to the appeal tribunal a friend who can help him in putting his claim.
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I do not know whether my hon. Friend the Member for Deritend (Mr. Smedley Crooke) was in the House when my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General was explaining why he thought it was undesirable that the forms of law should be imported into proceedings before appeal tribunals, and when he was arguing that in our view such pro- 1824 ceedings should be as informal as possible. I think the Committee agreed with him in that matter, and it is for that reason that I hope my hon. Friend will not press this Amendment, which goes a good deal beyond the promise that I gave. I said—and I stand by what I said—that rules would be introduced providing that a person could be accompanied by a friend. My hon. Friend will realise that that is a different matter from saying in the Statute that an appellant shall be represented by someone whom he has appointed. I believe firmly that the rules that we shall make will fully satisfy and dispose of any apprehensions that the persons in whom the hon. Member is interested will not get ample justice. The rules will try to secure that justice shall be done to them, but this Amendment goes very much further, and gives a statutory power to be represented. In view of that explanation, I feel sure my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment.
§ 9.48 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
I think the Committee will have heard the statement of the Parliamentary Secretary with surprise, and I cannot understand why he finds it difficult to accept the Amendment. I gather from what he has said that in a rule proposed to be drawn up an appellant before a tribunal will be given an opportunity of being accompanied by a friend, and that, of course, is of value, but that friend will have no status to speak on behalf of the appellant.
§ Mr. BEVAN
If that be so, why not accept the Amendment? The language is clear. It says:for entitling an appellant to be represented at the hearing of his case by the appeal tribunal by any person duly authorised by him to act on his behalf.How much further does that go than the hon. Gentleman said he was prepared to go? If the hon. Gentleman has something in his mind which I have not in mine, I would like to hear it, but I cannot see why a legal title should not be given to an appellant to be so represented. If it is the hon. Gentleman's intention to include in the rule that not only shall an appellant have the right to have a friend there, but that that friend also shall have the title to speak on behalf of the appellant, there is very little further in this Amendment than that, ex- 1825 cept perhaps that the appellant might employ a lawyer, who might not perhaps be described as his friend, though I do not see why a lawyer should not be described by a man as his friend, if a man wishes to be represented by a person of legal training. His case might be one of great intricacy and difficulty, and I think the Committee will understand that there are grave questions involved here.
We are not now dealing merely with allowances; we are dealing with our old friends, cases of special difficulty. If a man is not adequately represented before the tribunal, a sentence may be passed which will leave upon him a stigma for life. The allowance officer might have the right to say to a man, "I think you are an improper person to have charge of the allowance, and so I will give it to your wife." That is a very serious thing. It is very serious indeed to state that a man is so unfitted to have charge of an allowance that his wife must receive it on behalf of the family, and this tribunal will have the right to say that a man is of that order. Then again the appeal tribunal will have the right to say, "This man shall be refused an allowance in cash and shall only receive it in kind." That is the next category. The third punishment is that this man shall not receive any allowance at all, but that the allowance shall be paid to a public assistance authority on his behalf and the man incarcerated in a local institution. That is particularly serious; he will be put in a workhouse indefinitely. But it can go beyond that. The appeal tribunal will have the right to take a husband from his family and put him in a camp for an indefinite period, or to take a woman from her husband and put her in a penal camp for an indefinite period.
Those are very serious punishments, as serious almost as any that our penal system has the power to inflict, and if a man wishes to avoid heavy penalties of that kind and to be adequately represented before the tribunal, he should be allowed to have a lawyer if he wishes. The appeal tribunals will start building up, as the courts of referees have already built up, a number of leading cases, an elaborate system of case law. One appeal tribunal will permit itself to be governed in its decisions by previous appeal tribunals, or by some superior appeal tribunal, and it will be exceedingly difficult for an applicant to protect himself against 1826 that accumulation of knowledge. It almost invariably happens that the appellant will not have the means to employ a lawyer, but the trade union of which he is a member may be able to supply a lawyer for him. If the trade union comes forward and says "This is an important case which involves questions of great difficulty and we think this man ought to be legally represented," ought he not to be legally represented? Probably the chairman of the tribunal will be a legal person and the spokesman of the board. The tribunal will consist of a chairman appointed by the board—
§ Mr. HUDSON
The hon. Member really must not misrepresent things like that. The chairman will be an independent and impartial person appointed by the Minister in order to see that justice is done between the board and the appellant.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon. I was not intentionally misrepresenting the position. It is true the chairman will be appointed by the Minister, but I can see no difference in that. The chairman will be a legal person appointed by the Minister of Labour, who will himself have to answer for the conduct of the board before the House. There will also be a representative of the workpeople and a representative of the board. We do not know who the representative of the board will be, but he might be a lawyer. We might, therefore, have two lawyers on the tribunal. The workmen's representative will very rarely be a person of legal training and the appellant will not have a legal person to represent him. It seems reasonable that he should be allowed to select whom he likes to act on his behalf. I do not see why the tribunal should have an elaborate procedure. The hon. Member cannot have had much experience of local government or he would realise the important part carried out by commissioners appointed by the Government to hold informal inquiries with local authorities without the legal trappings of a court. Nevertheless, you are entitled to have trained men to represent your views there. This is not a party question, and I would urge the Committee to press the Minister to accept the Amendment because it ought to be passed in the interests of liberty and the well-being of the subject.
§ 9.58 p.m.
§ Mr. STUART BEVAN
I am sorry to hear the Minister say he is unable to accept the Amendment. I and a great many Members of the Committee await with interest to know what fundamental objection there is, or what objection at all there is to the inclusion of the words of this Amendment. I imagine that there are two essential matters to be considered. The first is that every appellant should have the opportunity of presenting his case clearly and fully. Some appellants are constitutionally able to do that. Others are constitutionally incapable of doing it. It is appalling to think that in certain cases—this covers cases under Clause 39, which are cases of special difficulty—a man may be handicapped or prejudiced by his natural inability to present his case.
A second important thing is that whether the decision is against him or for him a man should go away satisfied not only that justice has been done, but that justice has been done by a true, full and fair presentation of his case. I would ask the Minister to tell the Committee what the objection to this Amendment is. Whether a man is represented by his next friend, a lay friend, a fellow workman, or a lawyer can make no difference. A case presented by a muddled mind is an embarrassing and tiresome case for the Tribunal to deal with. It is to the advantage of the Tribunal that the case should be put before it with the utmost clarity, and I do not suppose that in one case in 500 will a lawyer be employed. But the opportunity should be given to the man, if he thought that his was a case of difficulty and intricacy, to employ a lawyer to present his case succinctly and clearly to the advantage not only of the appellant, but of the Tribunal.
§ 10.1 p.m.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I treat anything that falls from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Holborn (Mr. S. Bevan) on such a topic as this with the greatest respect, but I am bound to say that in this particular instance I profoundly disagree with him. So far as the Minister's statement is concerned that a friend of the appellant is to be permitted to attend, all I can say, with such experience as I have had of one or two wages tribunals and other tribunals 1828 of that sort, is that this particular method has managed to work out extremely well. We are dealing in this case, as the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) has rightly pointed out, with matters which may be of importance, but they are matters which are of the most considerable human interest; and the less the lawyers have to deal with such topics the better. While I welcome such an Amendment in the interests of my profession, I cannot help feeling that it is not really in the interests of the people who are going to make the appeals. There is a great danger that lawyers may lose sight—and it is one of the dangers of the profession that we should lose sight—of the human interest in a case, and it is precisely for that reason that our forefathers introduced the jury system into the Courts: it was in order to see that cases are not too much in the hands of the lawyers.
As far as I can see, the tendency may be under this Schedule to introduce lawyers more and more into matters of this sort, and I say deliberately that I should very much regret it. It is said that there may be a lawyer or two upon the appeal tribunal. If that be so, they will be people of experience in those points which are likely to come up and will deal with a particular subject, unlike the ordinary appeal judge who has to deal with dozens of different Acts of Parliament. They will only deal with this particular Act, and they will have before them, I have no doubt, in course of time, most points, if not all the points, of difficulty that can arise. As I understand the suggestion of the Minister, there will be people who will appear on behalf of the appellant in the nature of a friend who will probably be, I suspect—and quite frankly I hope—in the majority of cases a trade union representative detailed for the task, or a member of a similar organisation such, for example, as the British Legion. People of that sort, knowing much more about the conditions of working people than the average lawyer, will be much better able to present a case before the appeal tribunal. If we use the word "represented" I think it will be unfortunate, and in view of the pledge given by my hon. Friend the word seems to be much too broad.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
We are not suggesting that this should be compulsory, as one would gather from the hon. and learned Member, but that an applicant who wishes to select a lawyer to present his case should be allowed to do so. Surely that is not going very far.
§ Mr. CROOM-JOHNSON
I am very much obliged to the hon. Member for the opportunity of dealing with that point. We all know that there are lawyers and lawyers, and that there is a type of lawyer who somehow manages to get into cases in a mysterious way which some of us do not always quite follow. There is a danger that that kind of lawyer, not, as a rule, the most reputable members of the profession, will, if I may use perfectly blunt language, go round touting for cases which are to come before the appeal tribunals. I do not think those cases will be better done, and they will probably be worse done, and they will be done at the expense of the appellant instead of being done through a trade union or other organisation. I hope very much that hon. Members opposite, who I know are sincerely interested in this matter, will reconsider their attitude and come to the conclusion that this Amendment is far too wide, and is not really and truly in the interests of the people on whose behalf it is moved.
§ 10.8 p.m.
§ Mr. JOHN WALLACE
I would like to associate myself with the speech of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Holborn (Mr. S. Bevan). I would appeal to the Minister to reconsider his attitude on this Amendment. He always states his point of view with great clarity and precision, but what he said to-night was, in effect, that the provisions he has in mind to deal with this particular point differ only slightly from those of the Amendment. I am sure the Government want to do justice to the people affected by this Amendment—which comes from the British Legion—and while it is possible the Mover of the Amendment may withdraw it, I should like the Minister, between now and Report stage, to consider a form of words giving his own idea of what should be done in this matter, while keeping in view the spirit of the Amendment. I am rather unable to follow the hon. and learned Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Croom-Johnson) in his indictment of a very learned profession. 1830 In this Amendment there is no reference to lawyers, and the sole claim here is that the appellant should be entitled to be represented by any person duly authorised by him. I think the Minister slightly misread the terms of the Amendment, because he made it appear that it would be mandatory on the appellant to be represented. That is not the purpose of the Amendment, and I hope that he will consider the spirit of it rather than its precise form, and, before the Report stage, give us a form of words which I am sure we shall be glad to accept from him, knowing his interest in and his solicitude for the class of men represented.
§ 10.10 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I hope the Committee appreciate that this Amendment does not refer only to ex-service men, but is of universal application among appellants. We have had on this Schedule a very full discussion of the procedure to be followed before the appeal tribunals, and it has been generally agreed, I think, that the nearer the procedure approaches to that which is at present followed by courts of referees the better. Before a court of referees a man is entitled to be represented—he can be accompanied by a friend or representative. To take an extreme case, under this Amendment the man would not need to appear at all. Professional touts could go round to every man who was appealing and say, "Appoint me as your representative and I will carry the appeal before the tribunal." I do not say that it would happen in the majority of cases, but it is conceivable that it might happen in a number. We say that every legitimate claim by an appellant will be met by this tribunal, and I really beg of the-Committee not to accept this Amendment, which goes very much further than has been found necessary under the procedure of the court of referees and nobody has suggested that that is unfair.
§ 10.12 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I am surprised at the attitude adopted by the Parliamentary Secretary towards this Amendment, and I am sure that it must come as a matter of grave concern to a large number of hon. Members. With the greatest respect to my hon. and learned Friend the Member 1831 for Bridgwater (Mr. Croom-Johnson), I do not think the position is, in many respects, as he has put it. It is a simple proposition: Shall a man who has an appeal have the opportunity of having his appeal put forward by persons who are competent to do it—that is, if he so desires, or if others who are advising him so desire, whether it be a trade union or the British Legion or anybody else? The abuses to which my hon. and learned Friend referred would not justify the refusal of a provision of this nature. The same abuse exists in respect to workmen's compensation claims and running-down cases, but nobody suggests that because those abuses exist—and I am not making any accusation as to the nature or extent of them—a person shall not be entitled to be represented before the tribunal which is dealing with those matters. I ask my hon. and learned Friend to consider it from that standpoint.
One very important point has been overlooked. I cannot blame my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for not having it in mind, because it is of a technical and legal nature. We have been told that the tribunal has to act in a certain judicial capacity. Supposing it does not, and that a mandamus or a writ of certiorari has to be taken out. I am presenting a case which is quite possible, and which is of extreme importance. If the tribunal does not act fairly and properly, it may be necessary to appeal to the High Court, and a layman, in those circumstances, might be unable to appreciate the possibilities in that regard. It may be that such a case will not arise, but the possibility of dealing with it should not be taken away from the appellant.
I would be content, and so, I am sure, would my hon. Friends who are moving this Amendment, if the Parliamentary Secretary would undertake that there would be a provision of this nature in the rules, although it were not made a statutory provision. I would prefer to see all the rules statutory provisions, but we are not likely to get that in view of the suggestions which we made earlier in the evening. If there were an undertaking that a rule of this sort would be incorporated, we would be prepared to withdraw, or not to press, the Amendment. If an assurance is not given, we 1832 say that that is not dealing fairly with the person who wishes to come before the final appeal tribunal. An appellant must have every opportunity of satisfying himself not only that justice has been done but, as has already been said, that justice appears to have been done. The British Legion, for example, would be approached for advice by one of their members as to whether they considered the case was of such an intricate nature as to need legal representation. A trade union would act in a similar manner. They would not take legal representatives with them unless that were necessary, and if those who were dealing with the case felt that they had sufficient legal knowledge. It would be open to a poor man to go to the poor persons legal department, to whatever organisation he belonged, if he found himself in a legal difficulty, and to ask for legal assistance, if he had no other friend who could accompany him. In those circumstances, I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will concede the point. We are not asking for a terrible lot. It is not as though there were going to be a lawyer in every case before the appeal tribunal. There are so many people who imagine that they are much better than the best lawyers in the country.
§ 10.18 p.m.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I have been approached in regard to this matter, particularly by the British Legion. Those who approached me were only keen to retain their existing rights before the courts of referees. I understand from the Parliamentary Secretary that he has given an assurance that in future they will have the same rights with the courts of referees as they have had in the past, and, in those circumstances, I think that the great majority of the Committee ought to be satisfied. The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner) said the Amendment would give a right to poor persons' defence. Indeed it would not, because that right does not apply to these tribunals.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
Because the Act of Parliament which lays down the poor 1833 persons' defence does not apply to these particular tribunals.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
We will pass that by. The Amendment will clearly enable a man not to appear before the tribunal at all. If he is to be represented by any authorised agent, the tribunal will have to go on with his case whether he is there or not, just as in the High Court you can proceed now as long as you are represented by a barrister, without the plaintiff or the defendant being present in court.
§ Mr. JANNER
As far as my recollection goes—I may be wrong—the appeal tribunal itself has the right to call evidence. If not, that could easily be provided for.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
I was trying to convince the hon. Member that the putting in of these words would mean that the appellant could be represented by anyone who was authorised by him, and the person appearing for him would be able to say, "Parliament has given the appellant the right to be represented by anyone, and you have to go on with the case, because Parliament has said so, whether the appellant is here or not." That, quite clearly, is going to be one of the results of this Amendment if it be carried. Personally, I think that, in cases of this sort, it is important that the tribunal should see the actual man concerned, as it is in the case of the court of referees. Some hon. Members may take a different view, but, holding that view, and seeing that that may not happen if this Amendment be carried, I am opposed to it on that ground.
In the second place, the Amendment, clearly, would authorise lawyers to appear before these tribunals. You do get, unfortunately, and you will get in cases of this small type, a certain type of lawyer, referred to by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Croom-Johnson), who will go round touting for these cases, and will, in many instances—we know that it happens—take a certain amount of whatever the man may get from the appeal tribunal.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
Perhaps the hon. Member thinks they will take the whole, and that is very likely; but we have had no complaint under the existing system of courts of referees, where the man is able to be represented by a friend, perhaps a trade union official or a representative of the British Legion, either of whom would probably represent him extremely well. The Minister has assured us that the existing procedure will continue, and, with that assurance, I hope that the Amendment may be withdrawn.
§ 10.24 p.m.
§ Mr. E. WILLIAMS
I am afraid that the hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Major Llewellin) does not appreciate the problem which confronts the persons who have to go before these tribunals. If hon. Members had had experience before the courts of referees, they would realise the nature of the problem better. For 10 or 12 years it has been my function to represent people before courts of referees on three or four days a week. The powers that are to be given to these tribunals are much greater than those of the court of referees. In fact, these tribunals will have as much power as the court of referees and the umpire's court combined. I cannot understand how the British people can hope to be satisfied if the appellant has just the same rights as he now possesses before the court of referees. From the court of referees there is an appeal to the umpire. The umpire stands by the appellant, as also does the chief insurance officer under the Ministry of Labour. Under this tribunal the appellant will lose all right of appeal beyond the tribunal itself, so that is is imperative that he should have adequate representation. Adequate representation may mean a trade union representative or from time to time, it may be, a lawyer.
Another important feature that I should like to put before the Committee is this. One has a right to assume that it is only a matter of time before we shall have built up a substantial amount of case law, much like what we have to-day at the Umpire's court. The tribunal will have to define cases of special difficulty, and it will be impossible for the appellant, and it may also be impossible for a layman, to argue technically the interpretation that may be placed upon the term "special difficulty" in accordance with Clause 38. At present, 1835 if I may give the case of my own organisation, a trade union official at all times represents the individual in the presentation of his case before the court of referees, but immediately the case passes from the court of referees to the Umpire's court a lawyer is engaged. We have a very eminent lawyer in South Wales who has specialised in this kind of work. Whenever a case is to be heard, whether an individual case standing on its own feet or a test case, the solicitor presents the case on behalf of the appellant. Surely, if there is provision for a lawyer to represent the appellant in the Umpire's court, seeing that this tribunal will, in fact, fill the dual capacity of the court of referees and the Umpire's court, the appellant ought to have the right, if he so desires, to select a person with a trained legal mind to present his case adequately. There are features in Clause 38 which oftentimes call for a legal mind to present them, and certainly no member of the Committee would have any appellant deprived of his rights for want of adequate representation. The Amendment is very reasonable, and I hope that it will be accepted.
§ 10.29 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I think that the Parliamentary Secretary misled the Committee. His chief argument was that to allow this concession would leave it open for touts to come in. There might be some danger of touting if the man got paid his benefit at the place where the case was heard. But he has no money and he is not paid for a week, and the tout will be miles away. Those who take that position can have no conception how the thing works. I have attended more courts of referees, possibly, than any man in Britain. I attended in one week, after the Act of the Labour Government came into operation, no fewer than 500 cases before the court of referees. I attended alongside the so-called touts. The touts did not last long. If they have nothing to do, they soon die off. It is different with regard to workmen's compensation. There a lawyer takes the case, and if compensation is granted, it is paid by the employer, and there is a first charge upon it. There is no comparison in this case. Touts do not exist, but there are 1836 people who try to do decent things on behalf of poor people. I am thinking particularly of the Roman Catholics in my division where they have established an advisory committee to help and to advise people. There is no question about touting in that case. They know the folk and how to argue their cases.
The hon. Member for Stirling and Falkirk (Mr. J. Reid), when we were discussing yesterday the question of an Amendment to increase the membership of the Statutory Committee by two, put perhaps the most cogent case of all for this Amendment. The hon. Member made a sincere argument, and I ask hon. Members to realise with how much more force his argument applies here. He pointed out that if a man had at his elbow another representative of the same interests, he could keep his end up better than if acting alone. If his argument was one-tenth correct on that occasion, it has a hundred thousand times more force on this occasion. As I have said, the touts do not exist; they only exist if there is a living to be got. The tragedy is that you cannot get many people to look after these poor folk. When an applicant wins a case, he walks away and leaves the man who has helped him; if he does not win his case, he does not walk away, but abuses him. That is what happens sometimes to trade union officials. The hon. Member above the Gangway who sits for one of the Welsh divisions knows of this. He has done it, and has had a good deal of abuse, and little credit. This is a human problem which ought not to be trifled with. The hon. and learned Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Croom-Johnson) knows that a man can be charged with a certain offence and can write to the court. He might write, "I do not appear," but he might enclose £l or £2 for the fine. The court could, if they thought fit, accept that, or they could say that the man must appear. I have gone to the courts of referees in hundreds of cases. Where a man has just got a job I have told the court that he would not appear, and that it was more important that he should be at his job than that he should be at court. Very often it is important that the man should not be present in court. If he has just started work it is important that nothing should happen in the first day or two to jeopardise his job. He does not go to 1837 the court, and perhaps his wife may appear or a friend may appear for him. In these cases the court may say that there are circumstances which demand the presence of the man, or they may say: "The man has got a job. We are glad to hear it, and we do not want to do anything that will take him away from his job. Therefore, the case may proceed in his absence."
It is one of the most important things in the day-to-day work of the Employment Exchanges that a man should be given the statutory right of being represented by a friend at court, and I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will reconsider the matter and give the right to a friend to appear. The question about touting has been exaggerated out of all knowledge. There are very few touts now. The difficulty is in getting people to take an interest in such cases. Even the British Legion, I am sorry to say, are not doing the work they used to do in my early days. I do not blame them, because they get a lot of abuse and little thanks. I find that the religious people still take some interest in these cases. From the general point of view. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary seriously and earnestly to allow it as a statutory right that the person concerned shall be able to bring a friend to court to help him to state his case. If the court desires the presence of the person himself, it can insist on that. If the Parliamentary Secretary cannot insert in the Bill what is desired by the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner), I hope that he will give us a firm guarantee that in the regulations it will be provided that the person can bring with him anyone whom he likes to help him to state his case.
§ 10.39 p.m.
§ Captain STRICKLAND
Having debated this matter at some length, the Committee will not desire to carry on the Debate much further, provided that the feeling of the Committee can be satisfied by some assurance from the Parliamentary Secretary. I am not greatly impressed as to the impossibility of inserting the Amendment in the regulations. I cannot see that it presents any greater difficulty than the carrying out of the following provision:for enabling appeals and applications to be proceeded with notwithstanding that the members of the tribunal are not all present.1838 If we take the desire of my hon. Friends in regard to this matter, coupled with the assurance which appears to have been given by the Parliamentary Secretary, of the extent of which we are not certain, one would be right in withdrawing the Amendment and relying on the word of the Parliamentary Secretary to carry out the desires and intentions of the Committee. What is it that we desire? In pension appeals and other matters the case very often is prejudiced by the inadequacy of its presentation, the man is naturally nervous in appearing before a court, and the case goes against him. We want a man who has to appear before the Tribunal to be entitled to take with him a friend who, if necessary, shall present his case for him. We have an assurance that a man is entitled to take a friend with him, but we want to know whether he will be able to present the case on his behalf. If we could have an assurance that if a man is represented by a trade union official or by the British Legion, or if he likes to take a solicitor with him as his friend, they will be entitled to present his case, there is no need to press the Amendment to a Division; but unless we have such a guarantee, I do not see how we can withdraw it. If we can have such an assurance, then we can leave the matter in the hands of the Parliamentary Secretary.
§ 10.42 p.m.
§ Sir GEORGE HUME
I should like to support the appeal that has been made. It is a matter which is causing grave anxiety to many people. I agree that the Amendment may be too wide, but anybody who has had any experience of staff appeals and has seen the appellants before the Committee, their utter helplessness in the face of the Committee and their incapacity for putting their case, must realise that, no matter who the appellant may be, trade unionist or otherwise, he should be allowed to take a friend with him, and, if necessary, put his case for him. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will say that the matter shall be considered between now and Report, and give something more than a comfortable assurance—a definite right.
§ 10.43 p.m.
§ Mr. CAPORN
I also rise to ask the Minister to consider whether he cannot 1839 do something to meet the substance of the Amendment. I have listened to the Debate, and I am convinced that there is no argument at all against the substance of the Amendment. It may be that the actual wording goes a little further than the proposer desires, but the substance of it, to my mind, is a simple matter or ordinary justice. If it were proposed that the man must be represented by a lawyer I should oppose it. It does not do that. The plain case is that if a man happens to belong to a powerful trade union, which has behind it a political party which can raise questions in this House, he can be represented, but if he does not happen to belong to a trade union, he has to go by himself. To my mind, there is neither sense nor justice in that. Unless we can get an assurance that something more equitable will be laid down in the regulations, I shall be bound to vote for the Amendment.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Sir EDWARD CAMPBELL
I understand that the Minister has already given the assurance for which my hon. Friends were asking. My hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Sir G. Hume) talked about staff appeals. I happened to have been chairman of the London County Council Staff Appeals Committee. We allowed friends to come in, for we found on many occasions that those who came to put their cases personally were totally incapable of doing so, and that they prejudiced their cases by the very poor way in which they presented them. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has already given a promise that such a friend will be permitted in future.
§ Mr. JANNER
Is it the hon. Member's suggestion that if you are going to send a representative to a post-mortem examination he must be someone other than a doctor?
§ Sir E. CAMPBELL
I do not know very much about post mortems, except the one we shall shortly have on the Liberal party. It is quite unnecessary to put this matter to a vote. We on this side in any case have the word of the Minister, and as far as I am concerned that is sufficient.
§ 10.47 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
I do not know that I can add anything to what I have already said twice on this Amendment. I have given an assurance that the rules will be so framed in governing the procedure of the tribunal that justice will be done and that the appellant will be entitled to be accompanied by a friend in order to assist the Chairman in seeing that the facts are right. There is a very considerable difference between this tribunal and a court of law. Legal questions will not be involved. What the tribunal will be answerable for will be to establish the facts.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The decision of a court of law depends on an interpretation of the law as well as on the ascertaining of the facts. This will be a question of establishing the facts. It is extremely important, as has been said, to make sure that the appellant is seen by the tribunal and not that he sends somebody else in his place. We shall see that rules are brought into operation that will ensure justice to the appellant, and in particular that he will be able to be accompanied by a friend. I hope that with this assurance my hon. Friends will be satisfied and will let us get on with the remainder of the business.
§ Sir REGINALD BANKS
When the Parliamentary Secretary says that the appellant will be allowed to be accompanied by a friend, does he mean that the friend is to preserve silence?
§ 10.49 p.m.
§ Mr. HUDSON
He will be entitled to assist the chairman in arriving at a proper decision. In spite of the statement that touts do not exist, we have had considerable experience, possibly greater than that of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), and we know that these things do happen. What I frankly do not wish to see is any word of mine twisted into an admission that we will allow some tout to come in and make an hour's oration on some political matter that has nothing to do with the case. We have to preserve the right of the chairman to see that the appellant's friend is limited to helping to elucidate the facts.
§ Mr. SMEDLEY CROOKE
I understand that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has given an assurance that claimants will be able to be accompanied my a friend. If I am right in
§ understanding that the friend will be able to put the case. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 50; Noes, 227.1843
|Division No. 211.]||AYES.||[10.51 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Parkinson. John Allen|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pike, Cecil F.|
|Asks, Sir Robert William||Groves, Thomas E.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Banfield, John William||Grundy, Thomas W.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Harris, Sir Percy||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Batey, Joseph||John. William||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Bernays, Robert||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Kirkwood, David||White, Henry Graham|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Leonard, William||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Buchanan, George||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Cape, Thomas||McEntee, Valentine L.||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||McKeag, William||Wilmot, John|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Daggar, George||Mallalleu, Edward Lanceiot|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Maxton, James.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Milner, Major James||Mr. Holdsworth and Mr. Janner.|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||James, Wing-Corn. A. W. H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Culvarwell, Cyril Tom||Jamleson, Douglas|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Jennings, Roland|
|Apsley, Lord||Dickie, John P.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Drewe, Cedrie||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Dugdate, Captain Thomas Lionel||Law Sir Alfred|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Duggan, Hubert John||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Liddall, Walter S.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Llewellin, Major John J.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mars)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. G'n)|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Loder, Captain J. de Vere|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Loftus, Pierce C.|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Ganzonl, Sir John||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col C. G. (Partick)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Gautt, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||McConnell, Sir Joseph|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Glossop, C. W. H.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Glucksteln, Louis Halle||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Goff, Sir Park||McKle, John Hamilton|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Goldie, Noel B.||McLean, Major Sir Alan|
|Burghley, Lord||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Burnett, John George||Greene, William p. C.||Macmillan, Maurice Harold|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Magnay, Thomas|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Carver, Major William H.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Hales, Harold K.||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hall. Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Christie, James Archibald||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnas)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Clayton, Sir Christopher||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Milne, Charles|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hepworth, Joseph||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Hopkinson, Austin||Morrison, William Shepherd|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hornby, Frank||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Horsbrugh, Florence||Mulrhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.|
|Copeland, Ida||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Munro, Patrick|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brig)||North, Edward T.|
|Cross, R. H.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Nunn, William|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.|
|O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Pearson, William G.||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Peat, Charles U.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Penny, Sir George||Savery, Samuel Servington||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Scone, Lord||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwelll||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Pybus, Sir Percy John||Shute, Colonel J. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Radford, E. A.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Ramsay, Capt. A.H. M. (Midlothian)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Smith, Sir J. walker, (Barrow-in-F.)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Ramsbotham, Herwald||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Rankin, Robert||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Ray, Sir William||Somervell, Sir Donald||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Waymouth, Viscount|
|Held, David D. (County Down)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Soper, Richard||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Remer, John R.||Spens, William Patrick||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur O.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Rickards, George William||Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Stevenson, James|
|Rose Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Stones, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Storey, Samuel||Major George Davies and|
|Runge, Norah Cecil||Strauss, Edward A.||Commander Southby.|
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th December, successively to put forthwith the Questions on the Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given and the Questions necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion.
§ Amendments made: In page 71, line 16, after "appeals," insert "references."
§ In page 71, line 19, after "appeal," insert "reference or application."—[Sir H. Betterton.]
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to.