§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I wish to raise a point of Order in connection with the Amendment which appears in the names of my hon. Friends the Members for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and Shettleston (Mr. McGovern), and myself—in page 9, line 10, to leave out from the beginning, to the end of the Clause, and to add:The Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act shall cease to have effect.There is in the Clause a reference to the Expiring Laws Continuation Act, and I take it from that reference that if this issue were raised only on the question "That the Clause stand part," and even if the Clause were deleted, having regard to this reference to the Expiring Laws Continuation Act, it would not have any force, because it would still leave the Expiring Laws Act in force. If the Clause were deleted you would not have any reference to the Anomalies Act, and, therefore, to overcome that, you must have a definite decision by this Committee, or, if need be, subsequently in the other House, to delete the Anomalies Act; otherwise no Amendment for the deletion of the Clause itself would have the desired effect. For that reason, I ask you, Sir Dennis, if it is not possible for you to reconsider the decision not to call this Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
What the hon. Member has said is demonstrably quite correct, but he has not realised the reason why I did not call his Amendment. It was not because it was possible to deal with the subject on the question "That the Clause stand part," but because I thought he should put down the Amendment he requires in the form of a new Clause, which, of course, there is plenty of opportunity for him to do.
§ 4.3 p.m.
§ Mr. MAXTON
But on your Ruling, Sir Dennis, if we pass this Clause the 576 principle of the continuation of the Anomalies Act has been thereby accepted, and a new Clause would then be attempting to put into the Bill something that has already been rejected at this stage. In our view, the passing of this Clause continues the Anomalies Act with all the disabilities which it places on married women, seasonal workers and part-time workers. The passing of this Clause continues that, and if at a later stage we moved a new Clause to abolish the Anomalies Act, it would not then be in order, since the Committee would have already accepted it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not agree with the hon. Member. I think that the pass-of this Clause would not rule out of order a new Clause on the lines of the Amendment which is on the Order Paper. Clause 11, it is true, refers to the Act in question, but it does not in any way reenact it. I am reading the Clause to see what it does do.
§ 4.5 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
With great respect, the first Sub-section of the Clause refers to the continuance in force of the specified Section, and, later, the Clause abolishes part of the working arrangements. If you continue Section I of the Anomalies Act, and also reject the Advisory Committee, in real essence you have continued the Act.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the Minister has any opinion to express on this particular point, I will consider it.
§ 4.6 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
Before the Minister replies, may I put this point? All that can be raised on the Amendment can also be raised on the question of the Clause standing part, and we should have a repetition of the Debate, because the Amendment, in effect, does the same thing.
§ 4.7 p.m.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Would it not appear from Sub-section (1) that upon the passing of that Sub-section the Anomalies Act would remain in force until Parliament otherwise determined, which must be by a subsequent Act of Parliament and not in the same Act? With the greatest respect, it would be difficult to read it in the sense of your ruling, Sir Dennis, that a subsequent Clause of the 577 same Bill could be a different determination within the meaning of Sub-section (1).
§ 4.8 p.m.
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Henry Betterton)
Since you ask me, Sir Dennis, if I can give any assistance on this point, I am bound to say that the point is new to me in the sense that I have not heard it mentioned until a few minutes ago by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), but it seems to me that there is substance in it, because if the effect of the proposed new Clause would be to repeal the Anomalies Act altogether, then, on the face of it, that would appear to be inconsistent with the Clause already passed. I give this opinion with very great diffidence, and as a first impression, because I have not considered the point.
§ 4.10 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think there is no question about it that the proposed new Clause would not be in order if this Clause were passed as it is or to this effect, and, therefore, it would seem to me that the hon. Member's proper course would be to propose to negative this Clause with a view to bringing in another one. I have considered again very carefully, in view of what the hon. Member has said, his request that the first Amendment on the Order Paper should be called, but I do not think I could see my way to do that. It would be, in my mind, an abuse of the proceedings of the Committee in that the effect of it would be to discuss at the commencement of proceedings on the Clause a Motion which would be tantamount to a Motion to negative the Clause, as a whole. I admit there is a certain inconvenience in this case in that if the hon. Member's proposal to negative the Clause should ultimately be carried, it would, of course, have been a certain waste of time to discuss Amendments to the Clause, but that is a necessary result of our procedure which I do not think I can get over. I must, therefore, adhere to the ruling I have given that I cannot call the Amendment. The only way in which the hon. Member can achieve his purpose is by the two separate steps of negativing this Clause and then bringing in a new Clause to repeal the Act of Parliament referred to.
§ 4.12 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
That is in view of the fact that this Act is continued in the Expiring Laws. Suppose we negative the Clause. It has got no relation to that Act in so far as that, Act is continued in the Expiring Laws, and, consequently, before you can repeal this you must have the words here; otherwise you have got to put down a new Clause to deal with the Expiring Laws Act which is not under discussion. While it may appear to be somewhat redundant to have the discussion, at the same time I think that the Amendment is the only way in which we can conform to Parliamentary procedure.
§ 4.14 p.m.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
With regard to the point just raised by the hon. Member, I would draw attention to the fact that it is not the Expiring Laws Continuance Act which is in question, but an Act which is mentioned specifically in this Clause, namely, the Unemployment Insurance (Expiring Enactments) Act. It is a special Act which was passed to prolong the Anomalies Act by one year to June next. As that Act is specifically mentioned in this Clause, I should say that there is no substance in the last point raised by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) dealing with an Act which is not referred to in this Clause.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) has really answered the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). I do not think, with respect, that there is anything in the point which the hon. Member for Gorbals last raised. I still think that the only way in which the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and his friends can achieve their object and repeal the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act is by moving a new Clause to that effect, and I agree also that in order to do so it would first be necessary for them to negative Clause 11 of this Bill.
§ 4.16 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I merely wish to ask a question and not to discuss your Ruling, Sir Dennis, any further. This Clause does raise the whole question of the Administration of what is known as the Anomalies Act and the question of whether that Act should be continued, in part or in 579 whole. It is not likely that the Committee will negative the Clause. We may as well face that fact. That means in effect that there can be no discussion on the question of the Anomalies Act as a whole. I suggest that it is desirable however that the Committee should have an opportunity of discussing the Anomalies Act, not in relation to one particular point or another but in relation to the whole administration because in our view all the different parts of that Act are correlated one with the other. I would like to ask your guidance therefore, Sir Dennis, as to how we can raise the whole question of the Anomalies Act, not in detail but as one subject, in view of the fact that the Clause is re-enacting that Act in part.
§ 4.17 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On the question that Clause 11 stand part of the Bill, I think it would be in order to discuss Sections 1 and 11 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act, which are specifically referred to in the Clause—that is to discuss the continuance or the repeal of those Sections—but those are the only parts of the Act referred to in the Clause. I have not considered, however, whether this Clause is such as would permit of a discussion on the whole of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act, but I think it would probably permit all the discussion the hon. Member wants, namely, a discussion on those parts of the Act with which the Clause deals specifically and they form the greater part of the Act. I wish to guard against the possibility of having to curtail or restrict discussion later.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
Sections 1 and 11 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act contain practically the whole of the operative part of the Measure. Sections III, IV and V really do not alter the position at all. The whole principle is contained in the first two Sections.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
As I read the Bill, what is being done here refers to married women. That is all your Bill deals with in this Clause. It also sweeps away the advisory committee, but it has no reference to seasonal workers, for instance.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Member misunderstood me. What I was referring to was Section 1 of the Unem- 580 ployment Insurance (No. 3) Act and not Sub-section (1) of this Clause.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I see the point. I thought it was Sub-section (1) of the Clause. But if it is the case that you, Sir Dennis, will allow a discussion on Section 1 of the Anomalies Act it means, in effect, and I say so frankly, largely dealing with the Anomalies Act as a whole.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I intended to refer to Section 1 of the Anomalies Act. If I had intended what the hon. Member thought I should have referred to Sub-section (1) of Clause 11 of the Bill. What I intended the hon. Member to understand was that on the Question, "That Clause 11 stand part of the Bill," it would be open to him to discuss the advisability or otherwise of continuing in operation Section 1 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act. It would be open to him in the same way to discuss Section 2 of that Act which is referred to in Sub-section (4) of the Clause.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Thank you, Sir Dennis!
The following Amendments stood upon, the Order Paper:
In page 9, line 16, leave out Sub-section (2).—[Sir B. Peto.]
In page 9, line 16, after "Minister," insert "subject to the subsequent approval of Parliament."—[Lieut.-Colonel Moore.]In page 9, line 22, at end, insert:but such regulations shall entitle any person covered by paragraph (b) of Sub-section (2) of the said Section one who has been employed and paid contributions for a period of not less than 13 weeks in any year to benefit, during the portion of the year when seasonal employment is not available, for one week in respect of every three weeks for which contributions have been paid in that year."—[Sir B. Peto.]
§ 4.20 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
I do not propose to take a long time in presenting my Amendment as I understand that the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) and his friends wish to have an opportunity later to raise the whole question of the Anomalies Act. The Amendment which you have called, Sir Dennis, was before the House in substance, and practically 581 in identical wording, before the Christmas Recess and the Minister has had ample opportunity of making himself acquainted with the point which I wish to raise, namely, what I regard as the unfair treatment of seasonal workers.
The Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act, referred to in Sub-section (1) of this Clause, was passed in 1931 and was intended to be for a period of two years only. By the Unemployment Insurance (Expiring Enactments) Act, 1933, the Act of 1931, generally known as the Anomalies Act, was extended for a further year, that is until June, 1934. In these circumstances and considering that this Bill proposes to make that Anomalies Act of 1931 a permanent part of our legislation, until Parliament otherwise determines, I think this is a proper occasion on which to consider how that Act has operated in respect of the different classes of people referred to in it. These include people who habitually work less than a full week, people whose occupations are of a seasonal nature and married women. The principle laid down in the Act was that it should be the duty of the Minister to make regulations in relation to the classes of persons to whom the Act applied, and to impose such additional conditions and terms with respect to the receipt of benefit and such restrictions on the amount and period of benefit as might appear necessary for the removal of anomalies. Parliament empowered the Minister to make such regulations as he thought fit for dealing with these classes of insured workers.
The next question which arises, as far as the seasonal workers are concerned, is how these regulations operated. First, let us consider the position before the passing of the Anomalies Act. Then, the seasonal worker, whose normal employment did not exceed six months in the year—usually the summer months—was able to go upon unemployment benefit for the remainder of the year, drawing benefit for the 26 weeks of the off season. That was unfair to the Unemployment Fund and to their insured fellow-workers, because those whose employment was not seasonal had not the same immense pull on the Unemployment Fund. That was one of the anomalies with which Parliament decided to deal in 1931. As I understand it the present position is that if an unemployed seasonal worker finds himself in a "broken" job during the season; 582 if during the season he is out of work and gets another seasonal job before the end of the season, he can claim benefit. But it is very unusual that the seasonal worker has any wish or any need to do so. As a general rule the seasonal workers' employment depends upon the continuance of the season. As long as a seaside resort, for instance, is crowded with summer visitors the seasonal worker is sure of his job. Therefore, under the regulations he is offered a benefit which it is unlikely he will ever be able to claim and which is of no use to him. What he wants is some measure of benefit during the off season.
§ 4.25 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There appears to me to be some little difficulty in connection with this Amendment. I would like the Committee to follow carefully what I say and possibly the Minister will be good enough to help me. What is in my mind is that on the Amendment which the hon. Baronet is moving we must not discuss the past working of the Act called the Anomalies Act. The particular Sub-section which the hon. Baronet proposes to omit seems to give the Minister power to make regulations to deal with anomalies which may arise in the future, whereas Section 1 of the Anomalies Act only gave him power to make regulations in regard to anomalies which had arisen. I am not sure whether that is the only difference between the two. If I am wrong, perhaps the Minister will correct me. If I am right, then on this Amendment, it would only be in order to discuss questions relating to regulations to deal with anomalies which may arise in the future and not those which have arisen and which have been dealt with in the existing Act.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
I gave very definite consideration to that point and Sub-section (2) of Clause 11 gave the Minister what semed to be precisely the same powers to make regulations as those which he already possessed under the Act of 1931 called the Anomalies Act. But the Anomalies Act is continued under this Bill until Parliament otherwise decides and in consideration of that fact it is necessary to give the Minister powers to make regulations in respect of any fresh difficulties or anomalies which may arise in the future. Surely on such an 583 Amendment as I have put down, it is open to us to consider the question of limiting those powers to make regulations in respect of seasonal workers, so as to leave those seaonal workers with some practical benefit and surely I can refer, as I proposed to do quite briefly, to the present position and the nature of the regulations which so far have been made? I do not want to take away his power of doing what he has done in the past, but I do want him to exercise his power differently in future under Sub-section (2).
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
On that point of Order. I would submit that if my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) wishes to establish the point that these regulations have inflicted undue hardship on various classes of persons, he should be entitled to call in aid of that argument the experiences of the past, and would be in order in going over the last two or three years' experience in that regard.
§ 4.31 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that is so, and when I first rose to deal with this point I did not want to strike out all reference to the past. It is the old question that has so often arisen, as to how far one may discuss a point which may properly be referred to, but on which the discussion ought to be limited to matters that really apply to the particular Amendment before the Committee. I can see from what the right hon. Gentleman has said that in dealing with a provision enabling regulations to be made with regard to anomalies which may arise, it is quite relevant and proper to quote in aid cases which have occurred under regulations which the Minister has had power to make with regard to anomalies which have arisen in the past. I only want to guard against this Amendment being made use of to do what I have already ruled cannot be done until we come to the Clause, namely, to discuss the question of the advisability or otherwise of continuing the Anomalies Act as a whole.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
On the point of Order. I understand that the point raised here is that under this Sub-section the Minister has power to make regula- 584 tions, and I understand that the hon. Baronet is questioning the Minister's right to be given complete power to do as he likes in that respect, and is pointing out how that complete power has been wrongly used in the past. That is the issue here, and I think the hon. Baronet is quite right in pointing out that the Minister's powers regarding seasonal workers have been harshly used to their disadvantage, and in asking that there may be some limitation on the Minister in the future.
§ 4.34 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
That was my sole purpose in addressing my remarks to the Committee when you intervened, Sir Dennis. I do not want to give numerous examples, but I will merely indicate the sort of example that I have in mind—that of a seasonable worker at a seaside resort. Take the case of a man who owns a sailing boat or a rowing boat. The boat is put away for the winter and only brought out when the first tourists or trippers arrive. The man is taken on probably for the season, and he is pretty sure of his job. Very likely he carried it out the year before to the satisfaction of his employer. But the moment the tourists have gone, the boats are put away again, and the thing absolutely ends. That man is very unlikely to be the sort of man who will find, in the dead winter season at a seaside resort, employment of any kind to keep himself and his wife and family during the winter. In the past he has been entirely shut off, so far as benefit in respect of his contributions was concerned, during the winter months, and I hold that some benefit in the off season, when no work is obtainable, is a thing that these people have a right to, because they have paid in all the time that they could reasonably get employment, and they ought to be given, in return for their contributions, something which is of value to them, not a mere offer of something which they are very unlikely to be able to claim.
The previous practice, before the Anomalies Act, was unfair to the fund and to those who contributed to it, because it gave an excessive right to these seasonal workers, a right for which 585 people whose employment was not of a seasonal nature had to pay more in contributions, and I suggest in my Amendment that they should be entitled to one week's benefit in the off season as a minimum in respect of three contributions. That would work out like this: Supposing the season had a duration of 21 weeks, or the particular worker had 21 weeks' employment during the summer, he would know that he would be entitled, not to 26 weeks' benefit, as in the past, but to seven weeks' benefit, which would be something substantial and, I hold, a fair return for the contributions that he has made. Of course, I do not wish to pin the Minister down to that, if he can show any reason why what I have suggested as the minimum that the man should receive—
§ Sir B. PETO
I am moving the Amendment in the name of myself and other hon. Members, on page 9, line 22, at the end, to insert certain words.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am much obliged to the hon. Baronet, but he has an earlier Amendment on the Paper, and, as a matter of fact, I called him to move that.
§ Sir B. PETO
I only put down the earlier Amendment in case you might for any reason say you did not purpose to call the second, and in case for some obscure reason, some reason not clear to me, the other Amendment might be out of order. As I was given to understand that my second Amendment, which I regarded as the substantial Amendment, was in order—
§ The CHAIRMAN
Order. I cannot have two hon. Members putting a point of Order at one and the same time. We must have the hon. Baronet's point first, and then I will call on the hon. Member.
§ Sir B. PETO
I was given to understand that the second Amendment was going to be called, and I thought that was the one that you were calling. Would you perhaps now call the Amendment to which I have been speaking, Sir Dennis?
§ Mr. THORNE
On a point of Order. I understood you to say, Sir Dennis, that you called upon the hon. Baronet to move his first Amendment, and now he is not moving it, but he is moving the second one, which cuts other people out.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I was going to deal with that point. I called the hon. Baronet, and it was not clear to me for some time that he was not moving the first Amendment, which I thought he was moving, and then I suddenly discovered that he was moving his second Amendment. I was not proposing to select the only Amendment which comes between those two on the Order Paper; and therefore, in the circumstances, as I called the hon. Baronet understanding that he was going to move the second Amendment in his name, perhaps he will now do so.
§ Sir B. PETO
I beg to move, in page 9, line 22, at the end, to insert:but such regulations shall entitle any person covered by paragraph (b) of Sub-section (2) of the said Section one who has been employed and paid contributions for a period of not less than 13 weeks in any year to benefit, during the portion of the year when seasonal employment is not available, for one week in respect of every three weeks for which contributions have been, paid in that year.I had consulted your colleague, Sir Dennis, on the question of those Amendments, and I understood that the one which was going to be called was this second one which I am now moving. I had nearly finished moving it when you intervened, and I only want to refer to one argument that might be put up against it and which I hope will not be used. The payment to these seasonal workers of any benefit in the off season, it might be said, would be a deterrent to their endeavour to find work in the off season. I do not hold that that would be so at all. I think, on the other hand, that the knowledge that a man had had, say, 21 weeks' work during the season and that he would be entitled to at least seven weeks' benefit during the off season, would be a material help to the seasonal worker to get through the off season. It certainly would not be anything in the nature of support for him and his wife and family. It would be 587 nothing more than a little help to get through the winter season and would act, I think, as an extra incentive to him, rather than otherwise, to get work for as many weeks as possible during that period.
Therefore, while I am satisfied that it would not do to attempt to abolish the Anomalies Act of 1931 and to go back to the previous very unfortunate position, from the Unemployment Fund point of view—for, after all, to be of the greatest use to the great mass of the unemployed we should have a solvent fund and a reasonable system of working it—I want to limit the power of the Minister in the future to make any Regulation with regard to the benefit to seasonal workers which does not secure to them as a minimum one week's benefit in respect of every three contributions paid by them during the season. I hope the Minister will tell us that this part of the discussion will not last long, because I have put such a reasonable plea before him, and I cannot but hope that he will intervene at once and tell me that my plea is absolutely reasonable, that he hopes to accept my Amendment, and that he does not mind his powers, with the heavy duties imposed upon him by the Anomalies Act, being curtailed to that limited extent.
§ Mr. LAWSON
On a point of Order. Do I understand that the hon. Baronet has been moving his second Amendment?
§ Mr. LAWSON
If that is so, his first Amendment, to leave out Sub-section (2), has been waived and is not to be moved at all.
§ Mr. COVE
On the point of Order. This is really important. The fact that the hon. Baronet is not moving his first Amendment prevents our discussing the point of the Minister having power to make Regulations, because I understand that the hon. Baronet's second Amendment is a restriction of the Minister's power, not its complete abolition. Do I take it, therefore, that since the hon. Baronet could have moved his first Amendment under your Ruling, but by mistake did not move it, the Committee has no opportunity of going back to his first Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
We have now got past his first Amendment. I was under the impression, it is true, that the hon. Baronet was going to move the first of the two Amendments in his name, but he did not do so, and he has since said that he did not desire to do so. That is the end of the matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is too late to do so now. The hon. Member should have put his name to the Amendment on the Paper.
§ 4.47 p.m.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I do not wish to go over the ground that has been covered by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto), but I think it would be for the interest of the Committee if hon. Members who wish to take part in this Debate put cases with which they are personally acquainted before the Committee, because there are a number of various classes of seasonal workers who are affected in different parts of the country. I propose to put forward the case of a particular class with which I am acquainted. In my constituency we have a number of people who work on the roads, and, owing to the bad weather during the winter season, they cannot work for three or four months of the year. During the remaining eight or nine months they are employed on the roads. At present a seasonal worker, if he is employed for more than 18 weeks, is unable to obtain exemption. Consequently these men have to pay their contributions during the time they are working without any possibility of getting benefit during the off-season. I put it to any hon. Member whether he would not feel it an intolerable position to be asked to contribute to an insurance fund from which he could get no benefit.
As the hon. Member for Barnstaple has said, it is sometimes put forward as an argument that these men might get benefit during the season in which they are working, but of course they do not want benefit then; they want it in the off-season when they are not working. I 589 have a case before me of a man who over a period of five years averaged from eight to nine months' work in the year, and he is called a seasonal worker. He is unable to obtain any refund of his contributions or any benefit during the off-season because he is a seasonal worker. That is peculiarly a case in my constituency, because there is no other possible class of insurable employment to which these men, living in small islands, can apply for work. I have brought the case of these men to the notice of the Ministry, and the Parliamentary Secretary gave it, his sympathetic consideration. I think he said that he hoped that when there was legislation on the subject this matter would be put straight, or something to that effect. This is the opportunity when anomalies such as this can be put straight. I know that there are a number of hon. Members who can put forward cases, if not as good as this, nearly as good.
§ 4.50 p.m.
§ Captain HEILGERS
I support the Amendment because I am interested in the beet-sugar workers who are classed as seasonal workers. They have the shortest season of all—less than 18 weeks. Owing to the location of the factories, work in the beet-sugar factories is the main occupation of these men. There are 10,000 workers in the industry, and 8,000 of them are seasonal workers; and when they have finished their 18 weeks' work they have no possibility of any other work until May or June. I support the Amendment, because they must have some means of tiding over the three months of February, March and April. I hope that the Minister will not tell us that they are allowed exemption. That is pointed out in the Report of the Royal Commission, but I think that no man worth his salt would claim that exemption. I ask the Minister's favourable consideration for these men to enable them to tide over the difficult three months after the beet-sugar factories close down.
§ 4.51 p.m.
§ Miss RATHBONE
On a point of Order. Do you wish that points which are contained in an Amendment down in the name of my Noble Friend the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) and myself dealing only with part of the Sub-section should 590 be dealt with under the proposal to delete the whole Sub-section, or do you propose to take it later as a separate Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Lady cannot discuss on this Amendment anything which goes beyond it. If she desires to speak on this Amendment she may have an opportunity of doing so.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I understand that the Amendment that is now being considered proposes to leave out the whole of Sub-section (2).
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Lady had been in the Committee she would have known that it was made very clear indeed that that is not so. We are not discussing that Amendment.
§ Sir ADRIAN BAILLIE
I have an Amendment down dealing with this question which I think goes further than the Amendment under discussion. In page 9, line 22, at the end to insert:(3) Paragraph (b) of Sub-section (2) of the said Section one shall have effect as if there were inserted at the end thereof the words 'But any person who has been employed and paid contributions for a period of not less than thirty weeks in any year shall be entitled to benefit during the portion of the year when the seasonal employment is not available.'I would like to know whether my Amendment will be called or whether it will be in order to speak on this Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will be in order to speak on this Amendment. I cannot pledge myself definitely as to the other Amendment, but the probability is that, when the discussion on this Amendment has been dealt with, the later Amendment, which is on a similar point, will not be called.
§ 4.54 p.m.
§ Captain ERSKINE-BOLST
In my constituency this is a burning and vital matter to a greater extent, I suppose, than in any other constituency, because we have 25,000 to 30,000 seasonal workers in our midst. My hon. Friend referred to the principles of the 1920 insurance scheme, which endeavoured to maintain, I believe, the principles of the 1911 scheme. One week's benefit was payable under that scheme for every six weeks' contribution. Of recent years we know that that has been swept away, end the seasonal worker to-day finds himself sometimes inside and sometimes 591 outside insurance and never on any sort of solid and satisfactory basis. The Anomalies Act, I think, placed him in an impossible position. I am aware that the Minister has different views. I understand that he says that the seasonal worker does get benefit, in fact more than he puts in. The seasonal worker can only get work when it is available, that is, in the season. If he could not, he would become simply a seasonal worker in name, and would actually become an ordinary unemployed man. Last December I tried to induce the Minister to get me some information on this question. I asked for the number of seasonal workers in Blackpool and the aggregate amount of contributions they paid in; also the number of workers for a specific period and the amount of their contributions over that period. I did not get a very satisfactory reply. It came from the Parliamentary Secretary and was:I regret that the information desired is not available in respect of the 1932 on-season. An inquiry by sample into the benefit drawn by seasonal workers during the 1933 season is now proceeding, and I will communicate with my hon. and gallant Friend when the results are available. I should add that the figures will relate to the whole country and not to any particular place."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th December, 1933; cols. 1802–3, Vol. 283.]I feel sure that the result of that inquiry will not be accepted by my constituency as a guide to the conditions that obtain there. We are a thriving, prosperous town and we exist on the seasonal worker. With us he is the normal worker, and in consequence we feel that he has a just grievance when he is unable to get any benefit in the off-season unless he conforms to almost impossible conditions. I know that it is possible to contract in or contract out, and on the face of it that seems fairly generous, but in my opinion it is a rather devious method on the part of the Ministry. Indeed, the Ministry says, "We know you will be coming to us for benefit, so just keep out." It is a sort of washing of hands, like Pontius Pilate. My people are so desirous of obtaining work that they do of their own volition come into the insurance scheme because they realise that they would otherwise be in a hopeless position and they hope to get a little work in the off-season. This is such a grave issue with us that I 592 earnestly ask the Minister to give it very favourable consideration. I am sure he will forgive me mentioning the old tag—"What Lancashire thinks to-day, England will think to-morrow." I will go further and say that what Blackpool thinks to-day, Lancashire thinks to-morrow, and England thinks afterwards. My constituency is of one mind in this matter, and I hope that its view will be shared by the Minister. I earnestly beg him to give sympathetic consideration to this very reasonable request.
§ 5.1 p.m.
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
I very much regret to find myself opposing the point of view of the hon. and gallant Member for Blackpool (Captain Erskine-Bolst), for most of my constituents go to his constituency in wakes week to recruit their health for the year. I feel that all the arguments we have heard so far have been based upon the assumption that, in fact, the seasonal worker does obtain more or less regular work during his own season and is unable to draw but a very small proportion of benefit during that period. I do not know whether my hon. and gallant Friend noticed a written answer which appears in to-day's OFFICIAL REPORT which shows a rather different state of things. It is stated, in answer to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Banbury (Major Edmondson) that an analysis over the country of seasonal workers shows that the percentage of men who drew benefit during the course of the season was 48.1 and of women 42.5 per cent. for an average respectively of 39 days and 35 days, and the percentage of the season for which benefit was received was 28.5 and 28.2 respectively. Further, I think I remember an answer given to the hon. and gallant Member for Thanet (Captain Balfour) in which it was shown that the workers at Margate, who can reasonably be compared to those of Blackpool, though they are less numerous, drew in benefit more than four times what they contributed to the fund.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Suppose they gave us the figures for Oldham and for other industrial areas showing the amount the cotton people have paid in and drawn out, would the hon. Member defend the refusal of benefit to workers in Oldham because they had drawn out far more than they had paid in?
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
But they are available for work throughout the year; they are in occupations in which they expect to be employed throughout the year; and I do not know that one could complain about the present regulations on that point. The decision of the umpire definitely laid it down that a worker going into seasonal employment must have been in seasonal employment for three years before he could—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I do not want to interrupt, but I think we ought to have this point clear. After two years the presumption is raised that a person has become a seasonal worker. Before the expiration of two years it is for the man or woman who is applying for benefit to rebut the presumption that he or she has become a seasonal worker, but at the end of two years that presumption is put forward, and the great danger in every case is that after two years they become seasonal workers.
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
There is another safeguard, that under Clause 2 and Clause 19 of this Bill there are perfectly good methods of bringing a class of persons who are special sufferers, such as the class for whom the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) spoke, into the provisions of the Bill and exempt them from the working of the Anomalies Act. Furthermore, under this Bill there is the great difference that if a seasonal worker has not got his seven contributions during the off-season and does not come on to full insurance then instead of going, as now, to the public assistance committees he is dealt with under Part II of this Bill. I maintain that that makes a very big distinction. We must remember that this is an insurance fund, a fund which is rightly intended to be watertight. It had got into a weak financial position two years ago, and in justice to those workers for whom the fund is properly established it would be a great shame for us to undo what has been done since with a view to putting the fund on a more financially stable basis. Therefore, I hope that this Amendment will not be passed.
§ 5.8 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
I shall not spend much time on this comparatively narrow point, which we shall be able to discuss later, and I am of the opinion that it would be a good thing if we could take a vote on 594 it very soon. I rise to urge the Minister to accept the Amendment, though it does not go as far as I would like. I have seasonal workers in my constituency. Porthcawl is a very beautiful place in which to live, and is exceptionally healthy and inviting to visitors, and the impression has got abroad that men who have got work in this very beautiful seaside resort went there with the idea of dodging work in other areas. The suggestion was that they could get an out-of-doors job there for the season, and when it was finished—before we passed the Anomalies Act—could draw insurance for the rest of the year. In other words, they had a very nice occupation in a beautiful place in the summer time, and for the rest of the year were "on the dole," as it was called in those days. As a matter of fact, the men did not go there because it was a beautiful place, but out of sheer necessity. They had been hunting everywhere for jobs. In the hinterland there is the colliery industry. Practically all those men were miners who had tramped the valleys in search of work at their ordinary occupations, but had failed to get it, and had to take anything which they could get. They did not take seasonal work because is was seasonal, but only because it was the only work they could find. Under the present regulations they may now pay insurance during the whole of the season when they are working, and then find it is absolutely impossible for them to get any benefit.
The Minister was given powers some time ago to deal with what were spoken of as outrageous cases, but we have seen this afternoon how the operation of those powers has inflicted very great injustices. It has been shown that a man can pay insurance for nine months and get no benefit. From what was said during the discussions when the Minister was given the powers to which I have referred, one would imagine that we were dealing with cases of men working for one week and getting benefit for the rest of the year. Now it is perfectly clear that the law which we passed to deal with these supposed glaring cases of malingering is being used to penalise men who are good workers and ought to get insurance benefit. I am pleased to associate myself with this step in the right direction, even though it goes no 595 further, which we are now asked to take. As far as I can sum up the views of the Committee, I think there is a strong feeling that grave injustices exist and that we ought to take steps to eradicate them. I hope the Minister will not force us into the Lobby, but if he does so I shall have great pleasure in supporting the Amendment.
§ 5.11 p.m.
§ Mr. DENMAN
I do not pretend to know enough about the facts of seasonal employment to judge whether this Amendment provides the best way of dealing with the problem, but I wish to add my voice to those which have appealed to the Minister to treat this problem with sympathy. Only last week I had representations made to me from my own constituency by one employed in the ice-cream trade. Of course, we all know that that is a seasonal occupation. Those workers are paying contributions all the summer and not getting benefit when they need it in the winter. The hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Crossley) stressed the necessity of maintaining the principles of insurance, but surely one of the elementary principles is that a person who pays his premiums shall have a reasonable possibility of receiving benefit. It was represented to me that these workers have no chance whatever of ever making a claim to benefit, and I feel it is a real hardship that they should have to pay without any chance of getting benefit.
§ Mr. CROSSLEY
I would point out that the aggregate of claims was greatly in excess of the total of contributions.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
So it is in the case of mining and of cotton. It is all right in the case of cotton, though!
§ Mr. DENMAN
I am dealing with representations made to me by a particular class of workers. There are 200 of them in Leeds. The fact that they are a small number does not lessen the hardship to them. I am sure the Minister will deal sympathetically with this limited problem.
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
I think there is a distinct amount of misunderstanding of the situation, and I would ask the Minister to enlighten us as to the facts 596 of the case. Instance after instance has been given by hon. Members of workers in different employments who are paying insurance but getting nothing out of the fund, and I think the idea has got about that in these particular cases there is no insurance at all, that it is merely a case of paying in with no chance of getting anything back. If that be really so surely it is an unfair arrangement, certainly it is not insurance. On the other hand, we hear that there is a very large percentage of these people who are drawing insurance benefits. Therefore, I would like to hear from the Minister what are the real facts. If there are occupations in which there is not the slightest chance of the employé being unemployed, and he still wishes to pay and not to be exempt from paying, we should like to know what those occupations are and why those people are remaining in the insurance scheme when it certainly does not give insurance.
I have always felt—although I have realised that it cannot be the case—that there was something to be said for the insured worker who has been insured all his life and never drawn anything out of the fund at all, having the right of claiming back in his old age all or any of the contributions which he has paid. That is how it ought to be if this is an insurance scheme. You have the chance of paying in, in order that you may have the chance of drawing out. You may continue in employment all your life, in which case you draw out nothing. The contrary statement has been made here this afternoon, and I should like to have further information on the point, especially in the light of the written answer which appears in to-day's OFFICIAL REPORT. I may be making a wrong statement on this point, and I should like an answer from the Minister, as to whether changes have lately been made by regulation or otherwise, which make the lot of the seasonal worker easier.
I lately had a case, which I thought was extremely hard, of a labourer who had tried to get work, but had been unable to obtain it except as a showman's labourer. He discovered that he would be registered as a seasonal worker, and I at once thought that that was surely not fair. The man had not been able to find any other work in the way of labouring, and it seemed to put him in a worse position by taking work as a 597 showman's labourer than if he had secured no labouring at all. On considering the matter further, I realised that other labourers who had taken no work would, in the six months, have run out of benefit. By taking work as a showman's labourer, the man had not put himself into a worse position, because at the end of the time, and after the season was over, he would not have received anything if he had had no work at all, and he would also run out of benefit during the six months. I want to know how this man can again become a nonseasonal worker. I believe that the regulations have lately been changed, and that the minimum number of contributions during the on-season brings him back as a seasonal worker for the whole year and the next year.
§ Miss H0RSBRUGH
I thank the hon. Member. I was not quite sure of the matter, and I would like a clear understanding as to how a seasonal worker in the on-season can become a full-time worker, and how long it lasts. The main points to which I would like the Minister to reply is whether seasonal workers as a whole are getting anything in return for their contributions, whether the majority are getting something in return and that it is insurance; and further, that they are no worse off for taking seasonal work than if they remained unemployed? Lastly, what are their chances of getting back to full-time insurance?
§ 5.18 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I would like to ask if the Minister can now see his way to answer the points which have been raised. I know that he wishes to give as many Members as possible a chance of speaking, but it is now nearly 20 minutes past five, and discussion upon this Clause will come to an end at half-past seven. Because the Amendment of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) has been ruled out, and the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) did not move his first one, we have not yet had an opportunity of discussing the matter. We have been dealing with the Regulations, but we have not had an opportunity of dealing with the general administration.
§ 5.19 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
A good many hon Members have wanted to get up, and I did not like to interfere, but I will very willingly reply to the points which have been made. First of all, I wish to call attention to the wording and to the form of the Amendment which we have been discussing. It reads:but such regulations shall entitle any person covered by paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of the said section one who has been employed and paid contributions for a period of not less than thirteen weeks in any year to benefit, during the portion of the year when seasonal employment is not available, for one week in respect of every three weeks for which contributions have been paid in that year.When I have explained what the Amendment means, the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) will no doubt be surprised. It means that after the seasonal worker has paid 13 contributions, amounting to a sum of less than 13s., he will be entitled to get, as a matter of course, rather more than four weeks' benefit, that is, rather more than £4, in the off-season. The Amendment imposes no requirement at all, even that he must be unemployed, and it will follow that a man who might be employed after having paid 13s. would then proceed to draw £4 during the off-season.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Is it not a fact that such a man has first to satisfy the statutory conditions? The first statutory condition has to be fulfilled.
§ Sir B. PETO
Nobody is entitled to benefit unless he is out of work. That is a fundamental principle, and the right, hon. Gentleman knows that.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
That is not what the Amendment has said. I was going on to assume, I hope in the hon. Baronet's favour, that that was what was meant by the Amendment, because it is on those lines that the whole discussion has taken place. The Amendment seeks to deal with classes of persons who, during the on-season, are engaged the whole time. They pay contributions but they do not draw benefit. That is really the point of substance which lies behind the Amendment. The hon. Member for Dundee (Miss Horsbrugh) drew attention to an answer which appears in to-day's OFFICIAL REPORT. It points out that we have made a sample inquiry, which is the normal 599 method, as the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) knows, of arriving at an estimate in certain cases. The answer says:A full report of the results of the inquiry will appear in the February issue of the Ministry of Labour Gazette.This inquiry shows, as the hon. Member for Dundee has said, the percentage of people receiving benefit or transitional payments as no less than 48 per cent. during the season. The average duration of the season was five months four days for men, and four months 16 days for women. The answer states:Among the men, salmon fishers, waiters, and certain classes of labourers received amounts well in excess of the average, and the same is true among women, of kipperers and other fish workers.Then it goes on in the last paragraph:From the sample, it appears that the benefit and transitional payments received during the 1933 season were well in excess of the amount of the contributions paid by workers, employers and the State and was over three times as great as the amount of the contributions paid by all the seasonal workers, including those who were not unemployed during the season."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st January, 1934; cols. 373–4, Vol. 285.]Therefore there are large numbers of seasonal workers who, during their season, are not unemployed and who in consequence pay contributions for which they get nothing.
§ Sir B. PETO
What becomes of the 52 per cent.? Owing to the nature of the inquiry there is no evidence as to their contributions.
§ Sir Sir H. BETTERTON
The Committee must really make up their minds whether we are discussing a pension scheme or an insurance scheme, and if it is intended to make this a pension scheme the Committee must say so. It is not my view, and it was not the view of the Labour Government in 1931 when the position of those who do not get employment at all in the off-season was considered. Unless it is a pension scheme, you cannot expect, and it would not be right to ask, 600 contributors to provide pensions for those who in the off-season are doing no work at all. There is one further point which has already been referred to. If a seasonal worker is aggrieved by the operation of the regulation, he may take his exemption, if his normal employment does not extend over 18 weeks in the year. The third point to which I want to draw attention is that there are a certain number of persons who are classed as seasonal workers but who get a certain amount of work in the off-season. The Act says that if that period of employment is substantial, such a worker is no longer regarded as a seasonal worker, and the regulations do not apply to him.
The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) said quite truly that the Umpire has said that a man is employed for a substantial period if he is employed for one-quarter of the off-season. I do not think that it is very unreasonable to say that if a man is not employed for as much as one-quarter of the off-season, he should still be entitled to draw benefit in respect of contributions which he has paid. The hon. Member for Dundee asked whether I knew of any case where a seasonal worker's employment during the season was such as to fall into a certain category. No such case has been brought to my notice. I would remind the Committee that the procedure set up under the Act has been simplified in this regard, so I am just going to refer to it. It is open to me to put formally to the Advisory Committee under the existing Act, draft regulations for their consideration, but as at present advised I do not propose to draft fresh regulations. I will willingly put to that Committee any case or any class of case where it seems to any body of persons that they are being unfairly treated by the regulations as they now exist. It is the business of the Advisory Committee, as it will be the business of the new body, to consider this matter from time to time, when draft regulations are submitted to them. My hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) said that I exercised this right of making regulations quite arbitrarily, and that therefore I was to be criticised for making regulations which were acting unfairly. The Committee will remember, however, that this very point was provided for in the Act 601 passed by the Labour Government in 1931. Sub-section (6) of Section I of that Act says:Before making any regulations under this Section the Minister shall submit a draft thereof to the Advisory Committee, and that Committee shall forthwith proceed to take the draft into consideration and shall as soon as may be make a report thereon to the Minister.The next Section of the Act prescribes the constitution of the Committee, which includes representatives both of employers and of workpeople. That procedure, which was laid down by the Act, is exactly the procedure that I have followed from the very moment I took office. I have not made a single regulation that has not been approved and sanctioned by the Advisory Committee set up for the very purpose of advising me. Therefore, I am entitled to say that my action has been strictly in accordance with the obligations placed upon me by the Act. The very first thing that I did after I was appointed Minister of Labour was to set up an Advisory Committee. Draft regulations were put to them, were approved by them subject to certain suggestions which I adopted, and were then made as regulations. Some time last summer, I think in July, I thought that some of these regulations might be acting rather harshly, and I put before the Advisory Committee other suggested regulations modifying the former ones substantially. These again were approved by the Committee, and they are the regulations now in force. Therefore, with regard to this question, which has been raised in various parts of the Committee, of alleged grievance or injustice to any class of workers in any trade, I shall be perfectly willing, if any case seems substantial and worthy of consideration, to put it to the Committee for their advice.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
Is it not the case that Sub-section (4) of Clause 11 of the Bill abolishes the Advisory Committee to which the Minister has referred?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
Yes; I meant to have said that. The Advisory Committee under the previous Act is abolished, but its duties are to be taken over by the Statutory Committee.
§ 5.34 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
I should like to ask my right hon. Friend two questions. In the 602 first place, I should like to know, in view of the nature of his reply to this Amendment, whether his objections to it would be removed or modified if the right to benefit in the off season were limited to those workers who had made no claim to benefit during the season—if, in fact, it were limited to the 52 per cent. who, according to the inquiries which he has made, made no claim to benefit during the season. My other question is whether, in view of the fact that the only way in which a seasonal worker can get out of being classified as a seasonal worker—which, ex hypothesi, is greatly to his disadvantage—and get back to his full right to benefit, is that he should have found employment for at least a quarter of the off season, the Minister thinks it a just provision that the person who does not get a chance of getting any employment in the off season should receive nothing in the way of benefit, while the person who gets employment for a quarter of the off season is entitled to get out of being classified as a seasonal worker and then to get benefit? The principle here seems to be that he who hath shall receive more, and from him who hath nothing there shall be taken away even that which he hath.
§ 5.36 p.m.
§ Mr. HARBORD
I represent a town where there is a number of these seasonal workers who work for two or three months in the summer during the fishing season or who work in the beet sugar industry. There are some 800 of them who are engaged in that industry. Their complaint, I think, is a just one, and one which should receive favourable consideration from the House under this Bill, and their employers would like to see them receive a certain benefit and a proper answer to their complaint. The point has been put very clearly by my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto). They have done their best, paying their contributions to State insurance for seven or eight months of the year, and yet, although they cannot get any kind of employment in the off season, they are turned down. That is a hardship and a shame which should be remedied here when we have the opportunity.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 75; Noes, 246.605
|Division No. 81.]||AYES.||[5.39 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mason. David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Z'tl'nd)||Milner, Major James|
|Bernays, Robert||Harbord, Arthur||Paling, Wilfred|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Harris, Sir Percy||Parkinson, John Alien|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Healy, Cahir||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Buchanan, George||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Price, Gabriel|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Cape, Thomas||Holdsworth, Herbert||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jenkins, Sir William||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||John, William||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Cove, William G.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Curry, A. C.||Kirkwood, David||Thorne, William James|
|Daggar, George||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Klim'rnock)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Dobbie, William||Lunn, William||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Edwards, Charles||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.℄|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Groves and Captain Erskine-|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Davison, Sir William Henry||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Denville, Alfred||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Albery, Irving James||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Dickie, John P.||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Doran, Edward||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Drewe, Cedric||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Apsley, Lord||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Duggan, Hubert John||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Leckie, J. A.|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Eden, Robert Anthony||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Levy, Thomas|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.)||Elmley, Viscount||Liewellin, Major John J.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Locker-Lampson, Rt.Hn. G.(Wd. Gr'n)|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Blindell, James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Boulton, W. W.||Flint, Abraham John||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Fraser, Captain Ian||Mabane, William|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)|
|Braithwalte, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Ganzonl, Sir John||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McKle, John Hamilton|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Glossop, C. W. H.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton|
|Buchan, John||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Goff, Sir Park||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Gower, Sir Robert||Magnay, Thomas|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Maitland, Adam|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Grimston, R. V.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. [...]. D. R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Hanbury, Cecil||Meller, Sir Richard James|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hartland, George A.||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres|
|Cooke, Douglas||Hornby, Frank||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Copeland, Ida||Horobln, Ian M.||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Horsbrugh, Florence||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Munro, Patrick|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hurd, Sir Percy||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Hurst, Sir Geraid B.||Nicholson. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid|
|Crossley, A. C.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||North, Edward T.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Jamieson, Douglas||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Cuiverwell, Cyril Tom||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Peat, Charles U.||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Petherick, M.||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bllst'n)||Smithers, Waldron||Train, John|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Tree, Ronald|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Soper, Richard||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Rankin, Robert||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Stevenson, James||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Rickards, George William||Stones, James||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Storey, Samuel||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Stourton, Hon. John J.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Strauss, Edward A.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ross, Ronald D.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Salmon, Sir Isidore||Summersby, Charles H.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Salt, Edward W.||Tate, Mavis Constance||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.(Pd'gt'n,S.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Savery, Samuel Servington||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Selley, Harry R.||Thompson, Sir Luke||Sir George Penny and Dr. Morris-|
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Jones.|
§ 5.47 p.m.
§ Mr. HOLDSWORTH
I beg to move, in page, line 22, at the end, to insert:Provided that such regulations shall not take effect until they have been submitted to Parliament for amendment and approval, and have been approved with or without amendment by both Houses of Parliament.There is general agreement on all sides of the Committee as to the importance of the regulations that are made under what is termed the Anomalies Act. They are so vital to the interests of those who might come under the Act, that it is essenial that the House should not only have power to approve or disapprove of them, but to amend them. I feel that the reply of the Minister on the previous Amendment was very unsatisfactory and I, for one, am quite unwilling to leave the sole judgment of the rightness or otherwise of these regulations in his hands. I think we should be very wise in insisting upon the power to amend what the Minister recommends.
§ 5.50 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The Minister has told us that he made a very drastic alteration in the regulations at the end of last year. The point upon which he altered them was one that affected a great mass of women whom we have always said it was never intended in the least that the Anomalies Act should have touched. One thing that has roused a great mass of criticism during the past two years has 606 been that the Act applied to large numbers of women in the cotton areas who were thought to be normally unemployed, and were not anomalous cases at all. I find that one amendment that we made to the regulations, which has operated for two years, is to the effect that a woman who is unemployed as a result of depressed conditions in the particular area ought not to be subject to the conditions of the Anomalies Act. Many thousands of women in the cotton area particularly, who are unemployed directly because of depressed conditions have actually been subject to the Anomalies Act, and the right hon. Gentleman has had to revise his own regulation to see that these women did not suffer as the result of the operation of that Act. I am very pleased that he has done it. It is a sweeping alteration. It is rather remarkable that the amendment that he has made has passed almost without observation but, if it is right now, it was right two years ago and, if it is right, it means that the Act has been applied to great masses of women to whom it ought never to have applied. One would have expected the Advisory Committee to be up-to-date and to keep pace with experience, but it has not done so.
Now these regulations have to go from the hands of the Advisory Committee to the Statutory Committee, a body which is outside Parliament and is in a very powerful position, and it seems to me, in 607 respect particularly to the working of the Anomalies Act, that the House of Commons ought to keep these regulations definitely within their reach and, in the light of experience, make sure that an opportunity is provided for their proper consideration and revision, so that such a thing shall not happen as has happened during the past two years. The Act is no longer to apply to great masses of women to whom the Minister now says it will not apply. That is very good for the future, but what is going to happen to the women who have been put out? In the light of that experience, the House of Commons certainly ought to make sure that the regulations are kept within its reach, so that it can have an opportunity of real and searching examination of their operation in the future.
§ 5.57 p.m.
I am not sure that the Minister will go so far as to allow amendment of these regulations, because that will open up a very big question. Under a great many Acts of Parliament regulations have been made and the practice has grown up that the House can only accept or reject them, which, of course, gives an opportunity for a Debate and, no doubt, if feeling were generated very strongly against the draft regulations, those who are responsible for drafting them would have to take note of that and make alterations. It was with that onsideration in mind that I gave notice of an Amendment which does not go so far as this, but suggests that the regulations shall not take effect unless laid before and approved by both Houses of Parliament. I hope, if the Minister is not going to accede to this, which on the face of it is a very reasonable Amendment but might create a very awkward precedent, he will accept my suggestion, and so ensure that this House will have a final say, and can express its opinion so strongly that the regulations can be re-drafted if necessary.
§ 5.59 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
There has been a good deal of feeling on this question of regulations. The question was raised with the last Labour Government. We are not dealing here with people who have run through their insurance rights. 608 Parliament has thought it wise to modify them, but, nevertheless, they have insurance rights, and they ought to have the right of having the conditions scrutinised. I hope that hon. Members will not fence about it, because at that time we were subject to a great deal of abuse. I was called by a Labour Minister a megalomaniac on this question. I was told by the Secretary of State for War in the Labour Government at that time, that I was not even a member of my Trade Union, and therefore, hon. Members must not complain now about our saying things about them. The Labour party deliberately voted that night to exclude the matter from Parliament with a number of exceptions. The case against us was that those of us who said that there should be approval by Parliament were too lazy to wait until 11 o'clock. I quote this from responsible men in the Labour party; let hon. Members read it. That was the excuse that was made. I always feel contempt for politics when I see men doing things here when they are painfully conscious of the fact that if they were sitting on the Government benches they would do the opposite. There can be no reality in anything until men stop that kind of carrying on.
The point I want to make is that these regulations operate without the consent of Parliament at all. The Minister may bring in regulations at a time when the House of Commons is not sitting, and the House of Commons has no opportunity of rejecting them. They operate on the day that he publishes them. All that is required under the regulations, is that they must lie upon the Table for a certain number of days of Parliamentary time, and a Member can raise the matter during that time, but during the time they are lying on the Table they operate. Whatever may have ben said by the Minister in regard to seasonal workers, at least they have an insurance right which should not be modified or altered without Parliament giving consent. That is the point.
You say that this is an Insurance Bill. You either mean it or you do not. Nobody should have their insurance right modified or altered without Parliament giving consent. Surely, that is a fair proposition. The issue is that Parlia- 609 ment should give consent before an insurance right is altered. The Minister has power to alter an insurance right and to apply the alteration without Parliament knowing about it. If we discuss the question of a regulation after it has begun to operate we do not really discuss the regulation, but a vote of censure upon the Minister, which is a totally different thing. If the House discussed the regulation, Members would vote on its merits, but once a regulation begins to operate, the whole conduct of the Minister is involved. If we carried the vote it would be a censure of the Minister, and he would have to resign. The right of Parliament to retain control over the insured contributor is an inalienable right, and should not be challenged. I trust that those who have regard for the Minister and for the decencies of life will see to it that the Amendment, which is a reasonable one, is carried.
§ 6.6 p.m.
§ Mr. HOLFORD KNIGHT
I am sure that my right hon. Friend will, on personal grounds, listen sympathetically to the considerations which have been offered. We have now an opportunity of checking a process which has been the subject of severe comment outside, as I think on reasonable grounds. His Majesty's judges have repeatedly called attention to the fact that under recent legislation disabilities and rights are put upon the subject without the proper review and sanction of Parliament, and that it is contrary to the best interests of this House that these matters should receive the force of law without the direct approval of Parliament. In this particular matter we are asked to enable the Ministry to take powers to affect the rights of the subject without proper review by Parliament. I think that that is contrary to the public interest, and that we ought to avoid as far as possible the suspicion and disquiet which will become general if subjects in distress realise that their privileges and rights are being withheld without the direct responsibility of Parliament. Therefore, I join in the representation to my right hon. Friend that, in some appropriate form, this House should have an effective opportunity of reviewing any curtailment of the rights of the subject which this Bill provides.
§ 6.8 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I rise at this stage because I think that it will probably be for the convenience of the Committee if I state the views which I have formed with respect to this and other Amendments, including the one put down by my hon. Friend the Member for Gains-borough (Captain Crookshank), which deal with the same point. First of all, I will explain what the Bill does with regard to making regulations. Regulations have to be placed before the Statutory Committee for their recommendations, comments and advice. As the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) said, Regulations made under the Insurance Acts have to be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after they are made, and if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House in the next subsequent 20 days on which that House has sat, next after any such Regulations came before it, praying that the Regulation may be annulled, it shall thenceforth be void but without prejudice to the validity of anything done under it. That means, as the hon. Member said, that the moment a Regulation is made we can act upon it. Unless an Address is presented within 20 days the Regulation becomes binding. All that can happen in the 20 days is a Prayer and unless the Prayer is acceded to, the regulation becomes operative. I have to consider the regulations which can be made under this Clause. I agree that the power to make regulations is a very serious one quite apart from the protection which the Statute gives. The power which the Minister has in his hands by Regulations under the Anomalies Act is a great deal more probably than the House is aware. Let me tell hon. Members what I can do. The Anomalies Act, 1931, which was passed by the last Labour Government in Section 1 says:For the purpose of removing anomalies which have arisen in the operation of the Unemployment Insurance Acts … it shall be the duty of the Minister after consultation with the Advisory Committee … to make … regulations which shall … impose such additional conditions and terms with respect to the receipt of benefit and such restrictions on the amount and period of benefit and make such modifications in the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Acts … as may appear necessary.611 That means that under Regulations, as things stand now, I should have the power to make a regulation cutting down benefits and altering conditions in various directions, which, I frankly suggest, I do not think are powers which should be entrusted to a Minister without the approval of Parliament. I think that these Regulations ought to be subject to the approval of Parliament. Therefore, I am prepared to accept the principle of the Amendment in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gains-borough which reads:Provided that such regulations shall not take effect unless and until they have been laid before and approved by both Houses of Parliament.I cannot accept, of course, the Amendment now under discussion because it raises very big questions, which I am not prepared to enter into or consider at the moment. But I am prepared to accept the principle that these regulations should be approved by Parliament, and I shall insert such words as may be necessary on the Report stage.
§ 6.12 p.m.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
Although we appreciate the fact that the Minister has gone some way towards meeting our views, nevertheless my friends and I feel that we must press our Amendment to a Division. We feel that the question of allowing this House to amend regulations is one of the first importance. We have realised in the lifetime of this Parliament that when you take away the power to amend, you take away part of the authority of this House. We have seen this sort of thing in operation in a number of instances, particularly in the agricultural marketing schemes, where Member after Member has got up and put very serious and weighty objections but has been unwilling to vote against the scheme as a whole. In that instance and many other instances the House of Commons has found that its hands have been tied because the powers to make amendment have been taken away. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Gains-borough (Captain Crookshank) said that this would be a very awkward precedent if it were carried out. We realise that it would be an awkward precedent for the Minister, and to every Minister who hereafter may sit on the Government Front Bench. We think that it would be an 612 admirable precedent from the point of view of the House of Commons, and for that reason we propose to take the Amendment to a Division.
§ 6.14 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
I imagine that a considerable part of this discussion will be raised again on Clause 17 dealing with the Statutory Committee. The concession which the Minister has made has reference to his powers under the Anomalies Act, though I assume that when we come to discuss this Clause the concession will be extended to the regulations as a whole—I am assuming that—otherwise the concession will lose a great deal of its value.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I should not do so, but I assume that if the concession is not extended to all the regulations under the Statutory Advisory Committee, it will lose a great deal of its point. The Statutory Advisory Committee will have the most extensive obligations imposed upon it to make recommendations to the Minister. I should like to support the point of view which has been put forward by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. D. Foot). We are, for the last time, discussing the right to legislate for the unemployed. From now on legislation with respect to insurance benefit and Government assistance will be in an entirely new form. The right to move an Amendment to a Bill is, in effect, the right of a private Member to initiate legislation. If we have no right to make an Amendment, then the right to initiate legislation effectively disappears and only the Minister will have the right to make any proposals to the House. If hon. Members will think of what has happened in the last three days, they will realise how important it is that hon. Members should have the right to voice the grievances of their constituencies in this House. That right disappears if an hon. Member cannot move an Amendment relating to his constituency. Hon. Members this evening have articulated the grievances of their constituents because they have had the opportunity of moving Amendments. Once that opportunity disappears and the grievances of their constituents are not articulated in the proposals of the Minis- 613 ter, then their rights disappear. It is our duty to preserve those rights and powers.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
On the Motion for approval these matters can be raised. The constituents are not rendered inarticulate.
§ Mr. BEVAN
The hon. and learned Member forgets the procedure that will occur. It is true that the Minister must come to the House to secure approval before the Regulations can be made law, but the position of the House will be that of acceptance or rejection. In order that an hon. Member may be able to represent in the course of legislation the views of his constituents he must be able to move an Amendment giving expression to them. That is the only effective way. If an hon. Member thinks that the only way to represent his constituents is simply to make a speech and to get it in the OFFICIAL REPORT, that is one way of looking at it, but the effective way to represent his constituents is to be able to amend the law, and not merely to make a speech just to satisfy his constituents that he is here.
The power which the House has always retained is the power to move specific Amendments relating to specific grievances, and to have those Amendments incorporated in the law of the land. That is why when, I regret to say, this proceeding was started in respect of unemployment insurance by the Labour Government I protested against it, because it appeared to be taking away from the House of Commons, a function which it has kept for the whole of the centuries of its existence. That is precisely why we are here. The conflicts which have taken place in British history between the Commons and the Crown centred around the right to initiate legislation. The Executive is now taking to itself the functions that formerly belonged to the Crown in the days when the Commons objected to the exercise of those functions by the Crown. Parliament has not the right of initiating legislation; that belongs to the Executive. Hon. Members lay themselves open to the accusation that they are endeavouring to remove from themselves the obligation of ventilating the grievances of their constituents. In the last few days the Minister has made many concessions. Why? 614 Because the eyes of the constituencies are upon the Members of this House.
§ Mr. MARTIN
I am not clear about the hon. Member's argument. If an hon. Member moves an Amendment which his constituents wish to be moved and it impresses the House, then the House will accept it. The same argument applies if an hon. Member moves the rejection of the regulations and the House rejects the regulations. In that case the Minister would bring in new regulations, with the new proposal inserted.
§ Mr. BEVAN
That is not the same thing. There is this difficulty in that course that you have not an opportunity of modifying the legislation without rejecting the whole. The difficulty is that you cannot focus your desire on the Amendment inself. You can only do that in a speech, and some of us are so inarticulate that it is difficult to understand what we are saying. Therefore, it is better to have a form of words on the Order Paper. Although an hon. Member may have a perfectly good point, he cannot force his point of view to the attention of the House or the Committee unless he can compel them to relate it to the possibilities of a Division. If other hon. Members are allowed to make general speeches, they can obscure the point that he has made.
I would ask hon. Members to realise—I am not saying this by way of threat, but by way of representing what is happening—that this Bill is being watched by the country more carefully than any other Bill of recent years. The House is under suspicion that what it is attempting is to exonerate hon. Members from the obligation of representing the grievances of their constituencies. That is a charge that is being levied, and it is a perfectly correct charge. In the past, unemployment insurance legislation has been discussed by this House in the most microscopic manner, but now, for the first time, we are discussing unemployment insurance under the Guillotine. We have discussed only a few Clauses in the last few days, and on those we have had concessions. What might we not have had in the way of concessions if the other Clauses had been discussed?
§ Mr. BEVAN
I am addressing a most serious argument to the House, and one on which I feel most keenly. If it amuses the hon. Member, or he objects to it, perhaps he might hide himself in some of the other rooms of the House. The Minister seeks to protect himself from the pressure of Private Members by the Guillotine, and he now wants to protect Private Members from the pressure of the constituencies by means of regulations. That is a very important step towards the destruction of democratic principles. There are lots of things that can be discussed by way of regulation. Parliamentary procedure ought to be short-circuited very often by methods of this kind, but there is one subject that must not be taken from the Floor of the House, because if we do so we destroy the essentials of Parliamentary government, and that is the problem of the condition of the people. Unemployment insurance raises that problem in a form that no other subject raises it, and I submit that if the House regards itself as the custodian of the liberties of the British people it will prevent the Minister of Labour from suffocating, suppressing or frustrating in any way the rights of Private Members by dealing with the rights of their constituents by decrees rather than by the orthodox methods of Parliament.
§ 6.27 p.m.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
The concession which has been made by the Minister is one of real value, but I should like to make one or two points before we proceed further. I have always held that it is primarily the right of the House of Commons in these matters to deal with the position of the individual, but that provision has not very often been inserted in legislation. It was common and well known, but is has frequently been dealt with by way of Regulation and Orders. To-day we have so many Orders lying on the Table that a large percentage of them are neglected, with the result that Parliament is almost flooded with these papers, and the real value of them is less than it used to be. That is a matter which Parliament ought to consider.
The proposed Amendment would lay the Regulation on the Table not only for approval but for amendment. I realise that it is impossible for the Min- 616 ister to accept the Amendment, because it would set up an almost entirely new precedent. Already the time of Parliament is hopelessly overburdened, and if we attempt to set up another precedent we may produce absolute confusion. I sympathise with the Amendment and would like to see it brought about in its entirety, but I do not see any good in bringing it in unless we are able to operate on this occasion and on other occasions with real business, in a political and Parliamentary sense. The Amendment is not practicable in the present state of Parliament, but I do think that there should be provision made whereby Regulations of this kind could be amended, but that should be done by a Committee upstairs. I would like the Government to consider whether it would not be possible for this new system of Orders to be considered in such a way that Parliament could exercise its mind properly in dealing with them, and not merely say "yes" or "no." Unless the House of Commons readjusts itself and takes a much fuller control of Parliamentary life, it will go down hill and become less powerful than it is to-day. For that reason I congratulate the Minister on accepting the ordinary form of our procedure, although I am sorry that an Amendment of great value and interest is not one which we can really accept.
§ 6.31 p.m.
§ Miss RATHBONE
I desire to lay stress on the constitutional issue. When three years ago we were discussing the Anomalies Act, many hon. Members, including those who approved of it—I was one to disapprove—thought that we were granting undue powers to a committee outside Parliament. What has happened is that the Anomalies Act has succeeded in changing the whole principle of contributory insurance as it affects women. Who would have anticipated that before the first set of regulations had been on the paper for a fortnight 74,000 women would have been swept off insurance, and that before they had been in force a year 180,000 women would have been swept off insurance? Who would have anticipated that large numbers of women who are compelled to be contributors, who were genuinely seeking work and in urgent need of benefit, would practically lose the 617 value of all their contributions up to the time of marriage under new regulations made for them by a committee who are under no obligation to get the sanction of Parliament for their regulations? What has been done has not been to apply the principles laid down by Parliament, but practically to change the whole basis of compulsory insurance against unemployment, and to make a married woman a person who has the privilege of contributing towards insurance but very little chance indeed of receiving any benefit.
§ 6.33 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
I am a little surprised that so much indignation has been expressed on this matter, having regard to the fact that seldom has the power to make regulations been more safeguarded than in this case. These regulations are to be laid on the Table of the House after they have been examined by the Statutory Committee, after that Committee has reported on them, and after they have been brought to our notice accompanied by that report. They are not to be placed on the Table with no explanation. They are going to be examined with great care by people with technical knowledge who have to report on them and, therefore, Parliament will get what it very seldom gets in these cases.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The hon. Member is quite wrong. The regulations as soon as they are approved will come into force. As soon as the Minister approves them they will operate.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
That may be so. They may be in operation for a period, but if Parliament does not approve of them they will cease to operate. The same thing occurs in the case of Import Duties. They come into operation—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
That is no analogy at all. Regulations under the Import Duties Act must be approved by Parliament; they do not operate right away.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I really must ask the hon. Member to read the Act. Obviously, if they did not operate right away you would get a large amount of anticipatory importations. But they cannot continue to operate unless Parliament approves. In this case Parliament gets what it very rarely gets, and that is a report on the 618 regulations by someone other than the Minister. Imagine what would happen in Parliament if this proposal were extended generally to regulations. I was responsible for approving 20 pages of detailed technical regulations regarding petrol pumps, in order to ensure that hon. Members and citizens generally got full measure when they bought petrol. If the Weights and Measures Act, under which those regulations were made, had required amendment as well as affirmative approval by this House, I am satisfied that any body of Members who desired to obstruct the business could have kept my petrol regulations under discussion for weeks.
§ Mr. HOLDSWORTH
Will the hon. Member answer one question? Who is better able to judge the necessity of these regulations, as to whether they are right or wrong, than an hon. Member who is coming up against these cases every day?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The regulations are to be drawn up by the Minister, and "Minister" means all the numerous competent people who work under him, who are not up against these things in the sense in which the hon. Member and I, but who are actually daily administering them. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Obviously they are. Does any hon. Member suggest that the people who know most about this matter are not the officers of the Exchanges? [Interruption.]
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
The man who knows most about this question, who knows how much a man can live upon, is the perfectly ordinary person and not the expert, and a Member of Parliament, in his representative capacity, is not supposed to be an expert but an ordinary person representing ordinary individuals.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
We all understand that perfectly well. I have listened to this Debate very carefully, and I have only made one interjection, and that was when the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) was protesting against not having an opportunity to discuss certain Clauses of the Bill. I said that if he talked less on some Clauses he would have more opportunity of talking on others.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
—in any way provocative, but I have been constantly interrupted since I rose. I assume that the reason is that I happen to be saying things which do not quite suit those who are interrupting. We are discussing a grave constitutional issue. I did not raise it, and I am expressing a point of view substantially different from that expressed by anybody else. Therefore it may save time if I am allowed to express it. I suggest that the Amendment partakes of the nature of something which cannot conveniently in any circumstances be incorporated in an Act of Parliament. Regulations are intended to deal with smaller items of detail. The whole object of the system of regulations is to make it possible to pass ordinary Acts of Parliament. If you attempted to incorporate in any Act of Parliament the great mass of material which is incorporated in regulations, you would never pass but one Bill a session. That might be an advantage, but I submit, respectfully, that if you do not wish to bring the work of Parliament to a stop, you must not ask it to deal in detail with regulations. We should be grateful to the Minister for undoing the great evil done by the Socialist Government in withdrawing some of these things from the purview of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman is now proposing to restore them to Parliamentary control, but it would be absurd to bring this matter within the range of amendment, because, obviously, to attempt to amend regulations in detail would be a matter of hopeless difficulty. If there is any objection the Minister will withdraw the regulation and re-draft it. I hope the hon. Member will not press the Amendment, because if it is carried it will impose upon us a new procedure which will make the work of Parliament absolutely impossible in the future.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Mr. CURRY
We are supporting this Amendment because we are convinced that in it is wrapped up the whole future of Parliamentary government in this country. I rose to ask the Minister one question. It would be ungracious not to acknowledge the concession he has made; 620 it is a valuable concession, but in undertaking to accept the principle of the Amendment he said he would consider the introduction of words on the Report stage. He directed our attention not to the Amendment under discussion but to the one in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) which says:Provided that such regulations shall not take effect unless and until they have been laid before and approved by both Houses of Parliament.Are we to understand that the undertaking given by the Minister is that the words which he will insert on the Report stage will have the effect of preventing the regulations from being acted upon before the approval of Parliament has been obtained?
§ Mr. CURRY
That makes the concession all the more valuable, because one of the greatest objections to the regulations issued under the Anomalies Act is that they have always been acted upon before they have been approved. I regret that the Minister has not accepted the Amendment under discussion, because we consider the ability of Parliament to make amendments is the only way of preventing the regulations being acted upon before they have been approved and the only effective way of securing Parliamentary control.
§ 6.44 p.m.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Perhaps it would not be inappropriate for me to utter a warning to the Minister of Labour in regard to the Clause we are considering. By the Sub-section, even after the assurance he has given, the Minister of Labour is only to have power to make regulations subject to the provisions of Section 1 of the Act of 1931. That Section relates to the Unemployment Insurance Acts which were then in existence, and provides that the regulations are to be made as soon as possible after the passage of that Act. It may he, therefore, that the Minister is not taking anything like the power that he anticipates in this Sub-section, that he will not be taking any powers to deal with the later Unemployment Insurance Acts, including the Bill we are discussing.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
That point did not escape me. I think probably that 621 when we have to draft the words for the Report stage we shall substitute "Order" for "Regulation" and make it perfectly correct.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 66; Noes, 270.623
|Division No. 82.]||AYES.||[6.47 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Angiesea)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Banfield, John William||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot|
|Batey, Joseph||Grove, Thomas E.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Bernays, Robert||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Milner, Major James|
|Buchanan, George||Harris, Sir Percy||Paling, Wilfred|
|Cape, Thomas||Healy, Cahir||Parkinson, John Alien|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Holdsworth, Herbert||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cove, William G.||Janner, Barnett||Price, Gabriel|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Curry, A. C.||John, William||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Daggar, George||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Thorne, William James|
|Dobbie, William||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Weish Univ.)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Lunn, William||Wilmot, John|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Mr. Walter Rea and Sir Murdoch|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Conant, R. J. E.||Hamllton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Cook, Thomas A.||Harbord, Arthur|
|Albary, Irving James||Cooke, Douglas||Hartland, George A.|
|Alexander, Sir William||Copeland, Ida||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)|
|Alien, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Anstruther-Gray. W. J.||Cranborne, Viscount||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Apsley, Lord||Crooke J. Smedley||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Crossley, A. C.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Wailer|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Hornby, Frank|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Baldwin. Rt. Hon. Stanley||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Barclay-Harvey. C. M.||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Howltt, Dr. Alfred S.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Denville, Alfred||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Dickie, John P.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Donner. P. W.||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Bilndell, James||Doran, Edward||Hurd, Sir Percy|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Drawe, Cedric||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Duggan, Hubert John||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Jamleson, Douglas|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Eden, Robert Anthony||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Braithwaite. J. G. (Hillsborough)||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Knight, Holford|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Burnett, John George||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burniey)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Leckie, J. A.|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Levy, Thomas|
|Cassels, James Dale||Gledhill, Gilbert||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Glossop, C. W. H.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd.Gr'n)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Gluckstein, Louis Halie||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Goff, Sir Park||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Gower, Sir Robert||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Mabane, William|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)|
|Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Graves, Marjorie||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Grimston, R. V.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Stones, James|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.||Storey, Samuel|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Ramsay, T B. W. (Western Isles)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Magnay, Thomas||Rankin, Robert||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.|
|Maitland, Adam||Ray, Sir William||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col Sir M.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Rickards, George William||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecciesall)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Ropner, Colonel L.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Meller, Sir Richard James||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Ross, Ronald D.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Train, John|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Tree, Ronald|
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. B. (Ayr)||Saimon, Sir Isldors||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Salt, Edward W.||Wallace, Captain D. C. (Hornsey)|
|Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Ward. Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Morris-Jones. D. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wailsend)|
|Moss, Captain H. J.||Savery, Samuel Servington||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Selley, Harry R.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Munro, Patrick||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Smiles, Lieut.-Col Sir Walter D.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|North, Edward T.||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Nunn, William||Smlthers, Waldron||Weymouth, Viscount|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Somervell, Sir Donald||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Soper, Richard||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S)|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Pearson, William G.||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Peat, Charles U.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Perkins. Walter R. D.||Spens, William Patrick||Withers, Sir John James|
|Petherick, M.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Stevenson, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)||Sir George Penny and Commander|
§ 6.55 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I beg to move, in page 9, line 23, to leave out Sub-section (3), and to insert—(3) The proviso to sub-section (2) of the said section one shall have effect as though at the end thereof the following words were added:—'or who prove that they have been deserted by, or are permanently separated from, their husbands.'The point I wish to raise is a very small one having regard to the number of people who are affected by it, but it is a very important one. It is such a tricky point that I ask the Committee to follow me closely in dealing with it. My Amendment is designed to add certain words which are in the Bill to the proviso that is in the present Act. What the Bill seeks to do is to abolish the proviso which gives benefits to certain women; that is to say the Bill is to abolish that proviso and add certain words. The Minister under this Bill is to give benefits to certain people. He wants to exclude from the operation of the Anomalies Act the woman who proves that she has been deserted by or 624 is permanently separated from her husband, or that her husband is permanently incapacitated. That class of women will not be subject to the Anomalies Act. Unless words are simply taken for what they are worth and added to the Bill the effect would be to cut out certain women whose husbands are unemployed and not receiving any benefit. While the Clause says that a husband must be permanently incapacitated before a woman is outside the Anomalies Act, under the present Act any woman whose husband is incapacitated is excluded from the operations of this Bill.
I do not think it is necessary to argue the point. I am wondering whether the Government really understand the changes they make in this particular Clause. What we propose to do is to leave in the proviso that excludes the woman whose husband is unemployed or the woman whose husband is in capacitated, from the operations of the Anomalies Act—to leave that proviso in and to add to it the benefits that the Government want to give under this Bill, that is in the case of the woman whose 625 husband has deserted her or is permanently separated from her. I hope the Committee has gathered from that statement what the Amendment does. The Government want to exclude women whose husbands have deserted them, or from whom they are permanently separated, from the penalties of the Anomalies Act. But if the Government merely abolish the proviso, as the third Sub-section says, then it will bring women, who are now excluded from the operation of the Anomalies Act because their husbands are unemployed or incapacitated, into the purview of the Act, and thus penalise them to that extent.
There was a great debate upon this subject when the Act went through, and I trust that the Government will see their way clear. There are one or two small Amendments to follow this one before the question is put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," and if the right hon. Gentleman will give us a reply in the affirmative we can pass to the next Clause. While it is a small point, it is one of overwhelming importance to the women who are concerned under this Clause.
§ 7.2 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
As I read the Bill, it merely cuts out a woman whose husband is not receiving benefit. At the present time the Anomalies Act says that if a woman can prove that her husband is not receiving unemployment benefit or any kind of benefit, then she is entitled to receive benefit and need not be counted as a married woman; in other words, she is a single woman for the purposes of the Act if her husband does not receive benefit or is incapacitated. There is no limit under the present Act to the duration of the incapacity. This cuts out the woman whose husband is not receiving benefit of any kind, and also the woman whose husband may be sick but is not permanently incapable.
I think that the Government will be left in the same position here as in workmen's compensation, with the old-time argument about when a person is incapacitated and when he is not incapacitated. It is difficult for medical science to prove that a person is absolutely incapable of work for all time. I know the case of a man who was incapable of work because of some disease of his nose; they brought him from Glasgow to 626 London, to Harley Street, and after years they made him a new nose—a magnificent piece of work. What is the definition, in view of such a case, of being absolutely incapable of work? I also want to point out to the Minister that for a woman to turn round and say to a man that he is absolutely incapable of work would be entirely wrong, even if she believed it; it would mean her sending that man, whatever spirit he had, to damnation. I think it is a good thing to keep people thinking that they are going to get back to work even if we know that they are not. This is asking a man's wife to say to him, "You are incapable of work." We should not ask a woman to say that.
We on this side have a special affinity for this part of the Act, for we moved it. We moved this proviso, and it was carried unanimously after a speech by Mr. Scott, who represented the Liberal party, and a plea by one of the Labour Members. I say, try to keep the Act as it is. There has been no abuse of the Act; I have read through the evidence of the Royal Commission, and there is no evidence that the Act has been abused. In fairness to the procedure, it was the duty of the Advisory Committee to report on abuse if any had occurred, and no such report has ever been furnished. Keep the Act where it is: a woman is entitled to be treated as single if her husband is incapable of work. In certain diseases it is almost impossible to say how long the incapacity will last. As regards a man not drawing benefit, the position is that he is not entitled to it; he is not an insured person, but must be a person outside insurance and not in receipt of benefit. In that case the woman does not want him to become a charge on the public funds, the Poor Law, and she claims benefit and receives it. To keep the Act as it is will be the right and proper thing for the Minister to do, and I trust he will do it.
§ 7.7 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. R. S. Hudson)
I think I can remove a great deal of the quite genuine misapprehension and clearly expressed fears entertained by the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) and the hon. Member for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (Mr. Buchanan). At present 627 the Anomalies Act imposes certain additional conditions which certain people have to fulfil, and it entrusts to the Minister the power of laying down by regulation, after consultation with the Advisory Committee, what those conditions shall be. After Sub-section (2), (d), of Section 1 of the No. 3 Act of 1931, which deals with married women, there was inserted a proviso which excluded two categories of married women from the scope of the Anomalies Act and therefore from coming under the regulations. Those two categories were women whose husbands were incapacitated from work and women whose husbands were unemployed and not in receipt of benefit. It did not enable us to deal with those two classes of women in any way; it kept them right outside the Act.
The result, of course, has been a certain number of anomalies. Let us take the case of a woman whose husband, for instance, had been at work and who had herself been classified as a woman coming under the Anomalies Act. If her husband fell out of work, then during the first six days of his waiting period—although it was clear that he was unemployed and not in receipt of benefits, for those six days only, his wife became suddenly taken out of the Anomalies Act and entitled to be dealt with as a single woman. As soon as her husband had served his waiting period and was entitled to draw benefit, the whole rigmarole had to be gone through of putting this woman up again before the court of referees and having the decision taken that she properly came under the Anomalies Act. Possibly, there was not a six-days' waiting period and the man was only unemployed for one or two days, but according to this proviso the absurd position arose that a woman whose husband was unemployed even for one day and not qualified to draw benefit was for that one day outside the Anomalies Act, and that when that day was over, back she came inside it.
It is in order to overcome that type of difficulty that we want to abolish the proviso and to remove this type of woman, with the full intention that if this alteration that we are making goes through, we shall put the case of the class of woman whose husband is unemployed but not in receipt of benefit before the 628 Statutory Advisory Committee in order to have regulations drawn up which will cover her case and yet not result in the woman whose husband is uninsured, unemployed, unable to get benefits, being penalised. I hope that assurance will satisfy the hon. Member for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow on this point, about that particular class of woman.
I turn to the other class of woman under the proviso, whose husband was incapacitated. Again, as the Act did not describe in any way what "incapacitated" was, you get the position that if the husband is incapacitated for work for one day, then technically under the Act for that one day while he is ill the woman ceases to be subject to the Act, but if after that day he gets well again, back she goes under the Act. It is an impossible administrative position, and that is why in the new Sub-section of the Bill we have inserted the word "permanently." A little later on among these Amendments the hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) has an Amendment on the Paper to leave out the word "permanently." I have a great deal of sympathy with the argument used by the hon. Member for Gorbals in that respect, and I will give this assurance that, as we probably shall not reach the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Woolwich, I will see on the Report stage if I can devise some form of words other than "permanently" that will meet what we have in mind in order to get out of the difficulty. I do not know whether I can, but I shall certainly endeavour to do so.
As regards the remaining class of woman, who has been deserted by or is permanently separated from her husband, both we and the party opposite are agreed that she ought to be excluded from the purview of the Anomalies regulations. That is the effect of the Sub-section which stands in the Bill. I observe that the hon. Member opposite has agreed with me upon the reasonableness of the ouns of proof being placed upon the woman instead of on the insurance officer. We are all agreed on that. With that explanation, I hope that the hon. Member opposite will agree to withdraw his Amendment and let the Clause stand.
§ 7.14 p.m.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I am sure that the Committee will be obliged to the Parliamentary Secretary for the explana- 629 tion he has given in reply to the speech of my hon. Friend on my left, but he will pardon some of us being still a little concerned about the qualification for benefit of this type of woman. I know of nothing more helpless than the woman whose husband is incapacitated, or who has been deserted by her husband, or whose husband is unemployed and is drawing no benefit at all. Quite frankly, I did not follow the hon. Gentleman in his reply, and I am no clearer on this point now than I was when he rose to speak. But I have asked someone who knows more about these problems than I do to put in writing the effect of Sub-section (3) and, with the permission of the Committee, I will read his observations:While this Sub-section improves the law to the extent of benefiting women who have been deserted or are permanently separated, it restricts the law to the extent of penalising the woman whose husband is unemployed and not in receipt of benefit, and, as regards the woman whose husband is incapacitated, it introduces the word 'permanently'.
§ Mr. HUDSON
It seems obvious that the brief from which the hon. Gentleman is reading was prepared before I made my statement. I covered both those points.
§ Mr. DAVIES
The Noble Lady's speeches always do. I wish to touch upon another question of which I know just a little. In regard to the question of incapacity I wish to ask the Minister whether proof of incapacity will in future come from the approved society or not. There must be in this country at least 500,000 adult people, men and women, who are permanently incapacitated and there will be I imagine not more than 7s. 6d.
§ per week paid to them in respect of National Health Insurance benefit. I do not think it is sufficient for the purpose of determining total incapacity to wait in every case until the approved society begins to pay disablement benefit at the end of six months, because permanent disablement might very well commence on the very day a men fell ill. Before we pass this Clause I would like to find out whether the Ministry is in communication with the Ministry of Health and the approved societies on the question of what is meant by permanent incapacity.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The point raised by the hon. Member illustrates very clearly the disadvantages of putting words into the Statute instead of taking advantage of the new procedure and leaving these matters to be dealt with by regulations by the Statutory Advisory Committee after full inquiry and after, for example, the friendly societies have had an opportunity of putting their case. I do not know whether the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) or the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) would agree with me, but my view is that it might be better to abolish the proviso under the existing Act and leave these three points, with the promise that they would be dealt with by the Statutory Committee. Then we could cover all these questions which have been raised. We cannot put into an Act of Parliament all the provisions that would be required to meet the various cases that might be brought up. I merely throw that out as a suggestion.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'have,' in line 24, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 294; Noes, 47.633
|Division No. 83.]||AYES.||[7.20 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Beaumont, Hen. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Brass, Captain Sir William|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Broadbent, Colonel John|
|Albery, Irving James||Bernays, Robert||Brocklebank, C. E. R.|
|Alexander, Sir William||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Browne, Ernest (Leith)|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Blaker, Sir Reginald||Browne, Captain A. C.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Boothby, Robert John Graham||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.|
|Apsley, Lord||Borodale, Viscount||Burnett, John George|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Boulton, W. W.||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)|
|Bainlel, Lord||Bracken, Brendan||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Cassels, James Dale||Howltt, Dr. Alfred B.||Pybus, Sir Percy John|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western isles)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hurd, Sir Percy||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Ray, Sir William|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jamleson, Douglas||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jennings, Roland||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Colfax, Major William Philip||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Rickards, George William|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Ker, J. Campbell||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesail)|
|Cooke, Douglas||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Copeland, Ida||Knight, Holford||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Knox, Sir Alfred||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Crossley, A. C.||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Law, Sir Alfred||Salt, Edward W.|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Leckie, J. A.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Curry, A. C.||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Lees-Jones, John||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Levy, Thomas||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)||Selley, Harry R.|
|Denville, Alfred||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Dickle, John P.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn.G.(Wd.Gr'n)||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Donner, P. W.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Doran, Edward||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Mabane, William||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Soper, Richard|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||McKie, John Hamilton||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Spens, William Patrick|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Macqulsten, Frederick Alexander||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Magnay, Thomas||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Maitland, Adam||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Stevenson, James|
|Fermoy, Lord||Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stones, James|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Storey, Samuel|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Martin, Thomas B.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Giedhill, Gilbert||Meller, Sir Richard James||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Goff, Sir Park||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Moreing, Adrian C.||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Granville, Edgar||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Train, John|
|Graves, Marjorie||Moss, Captain H. J.||Tree, Ronald|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Grimston, R. V.||Munro, Patrick||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Ward, Sarah Adela[...]e (Cannock)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||North, Edward T.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Nunn, William||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||O'Connor, Terence James||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Harbord, Arthur||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Hartland, George A.||Ormiston, Thomas||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Patrick, Colin M.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Haslem, Henry (Horncastle)||Peat, Charles U.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Penny, Sir George||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Petherick, M.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Hornby, Frank||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Mr. Blindell and Mr. Womersley.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Maxton, James|
|Banfield, John William||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Milner, Major James|
|Batey, Joseph||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, Gabriel|
|Buchanan, George.||Jenkins, Sir William||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thorne, William James|
|Cove, William G.||Kirkwood, David||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Lawson, John James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Logan, David Gilbert||Wilmot, John|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William|
|Dobble, William||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Edwards, Charles||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Groves and Mr. G. Macdonald.|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
§ It being after Half-past Seven of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th December, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Seven of the Clock at this day's sitting.634
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 290; Noes, 61.636
|Division No. 84.]||AYES.||[7.31 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Conant, R. J. E.||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Cook, Thomas A.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cooke, Douglas||Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)|
|Alexander, Sir William||Cooper, A. Duff||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Copeland, Ida||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Cranborne, Viscount||Harbord, Arthur|
|Apsley, Lord||Craven-Ellis, William||Hartland, George A.|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Crooke, J. Smedley||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Crossley, A. C.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Bainlel, Lord||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovill)||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)|
|Bateman, A. L.||Denville, Alfred||Hornby, Frank|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Dickie, John P.||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Donner, P. W.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|B[...]nays, Robert||Doran, Edward||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Drewe, Cedric||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Bilndell, James||Duggan, Hubert John||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Hurd, Sir Percy|
|Borodale, Viscount||Eden, Robert Anthony||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Jamieson, Douglas|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Jennings, Roland|
|Bracken, Brendan||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E.R.)||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fermoy, Lord||Knight, Holford|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Fox, Sir Gifford||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul|
|Burnett, John George||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Leckie, J. A.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Gledhill, Gilbert||Lees-Jones, John|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Glossop, C. W. H.||Levy, Thomas|
|Cassels, James Dale||Glucksteln, Louis Halle||Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Goff, Sir Park||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. G'n)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Gower, Sir Robert||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Granville, Edgar||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Mabane, William|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Graves, Marjorie||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Grimston, R. V.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Stevenson, James|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Stones, James|
|Macqulsten, Frederick Alexander||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western isles)||Storey, Samuel|
|Magnay, Thomas||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Maitland, Adam||Ray, Sir William||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Meller, Sir Richard James||Rickards, George William||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Mitcheson, G. G.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Ross, Ronald D.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Runge, Norah Cecil||Train, John|
|Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Tree, Ronald|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Morrls-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Salt, Edward W.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Moss, Captain H. J.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Munro, Patrick||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wardlaw-Mline, Sir John S.|
|Nicholson. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Selley, Harry R.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|North, Edward T.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Nunn, William||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Weymouth, Viscount|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Ormiston, Thomas||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Somervell, Sir Donald||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Pearson, William G.||Soper, Richard||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Peat, Charles U.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Penny, Sir George||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Spears, Brigadier General Edward L.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Petherick, M.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Spens, William Patrick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Mr. Womersley and Lord Erskine.|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Banfield, John William||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Maxton, James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Milner, Major James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Buchanan, George||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cape, Thomas||Harris, Sir Percy||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Janner, Barnett||Price, Gabriel|
|Cove, William G.||Jenkins, Sir William||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||John, William||Rea, Waiter Russell|
|Curry, A. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Thorne, William James|
|Dobbie, William||Leonard, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Lunn, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Unlv.)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Mainwaring, William Henry||Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. Groves.|