§ 3.47 p.m.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I beg to move, in page 31, line 41, to leave out "with the approval of the Minister," and to insert:in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister.I rise to address the Committee in difficult circumstances but if hon. Members will behave themselves they will be able to hear what I have to say. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"] After what we have just listened to from the Prime Minister and others, the levity of hon. Members seems, to a simple member of the working-class, something which passes all human understanding. This Amendment is intended to ensure that the provisions of the Clause with regard to training centres shall be carried out under regulations, which shall be laid before Parliament and to which objection may be taken. It may seem at first glance that there is not much in the Amendment but I assure hon. Members that this is a very serious matter. The training centres conceived by the Minister and those responsible for this Bill will not touch the fringe of the serious problem with which we are faced, particularly in the great industrial centres. Tens of thousands of young men, the best asset which any country could have—for there is no finer raw material in the world than the youth of Britain—are being allowed to go to waste. This great problem goes beyond economics. It touches every human attribute and goes right into the lives of the common people of our country.
195 Just think of the situation as we see it, we who come from working-class constituencies, we who live among the working class, we who are members of the working class, we who live the life of the working class. As we see it, there is absolutely no hope for the youth held out by the present régime, and the Government's idea of work centres gives no encouragement to the youth of the working class to take advantage of them. They abhor them, and there is nothing in them that would induce them to leave the life which they are living at the moment, which is all wrong, because at the moment they have nothing to do. All over Britain to-day the cry of the mothers of these young men is reaching well nigh to Heaven, "What am I to do with my boy?" And along comes the Minister of Labour, than whom, in my opinion, we could get none more sympathetic, but it is more than sympathy that we require here. I have asked of every Minister who has held that post since I came to this House 12 years ago that he should have courage to face up to this problem of the youth of this country running riot, with nothing to do, with no aim in life.
We on these benches suggest that the Minister should lay these regulations before Parliament in order that we can discuss them and in order that he should get the benefit of our experience as workers who understand the situation and who are dealing with it when we are not in the House, but at home for the week-end. We have to face this problem. We have mothers coming to us whose husbands may be comfortably circumstanced and may even belong to the professions. Here is what the principal of St. Andrew's University, Sir James Irvine, has said. I have quoted this in the House before, but it is well worth repeating here now. In the middle of last year, in his address to the students of St. Andrew's University, Sir James Irvine said that schoolmasters and schoolmistresses in Scotland are now faced with a unique position, because when fathers, mothers, or guardians come to them and ask what profession they would suggest for a young man or young woman who is now qualified for a university career, the schoolmaster or schoolmistress is forced to say, "I really cannot tell." Formerly, it was a case 196 of the artisan not knowing what to put his child to, because every position was occupied, but now the same holds good of the professions. In Scotland alone we have over 3,000 who have passed through our universities and who are M.A. and B.Sc., for whom there is no employment.
§ Mr. ALBERY
On a point of Order. Did you rule last night, Sir Dennis, that these Amendments were to be taken one by one, or did you rule that there should be a general discussion? I understood that you said there was not to be a general discussion on this Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is so. I said that I did not think this was an Amendment on which the Clause could be discussed as a whole. The hon. Member who has been moving the Amendment, as I have followed him, has been giving what he regarded as arguments in favour of a different scheme under which the arrangements for these training centres should be made by means of regulations which would have to come before and be discussed by this House. To that extent I have not thought it necessary to interrupt him so far, but I think he has been perhaps a little bit discursive, and I am sure he will bear in mind what I have said and not go too much into the question of the advisability or otherwise of training centres of some kind, but restrict his argument to the question of the advisability or otherwise of the regulations for these training centres being brought before Parliament for discussion.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Thank you, Sir Dennis; I will respect your Ruling. There is one other point that I wish to raise to justify the necessity for the Minister bringing these regulations before the House, and it is the only justification for our coming here. The great thing that is held out about this country is that this is a democratic country, and that the idea of our House of Commons is that the laws that are made here are made, not by the Government, but by the Members of the House of Commons. That is the meaning of having an Opposition. Now we are the Opposition, constituted legally and recognised accordingly, and, of course, it is irksome to our opponents when the contributions that we make do not correspond with theirs, but it has always been held that that was the outstanding glory of the 197 British House of Commons, that irrespective of how offensive even or how revolutionary the point of view that any Member wished to put, this House would always see that, he could put his point of view. I hope hon. Members away up in the corners opposite, far removed from the common man, will allow me to proceed with this Amendment, because we desire to retain as far as is humanly possible the power of the Members of this House over the Government and over the Ministers.
We see what is going on even in our own country. All the power of Parliament is gradually being fleeced from us. We are not going to sit under that without putting up a fight. The last man in the House and in the Government at the moment who would wish to do that is the present Minister of Labour. Yet he is doing it. We have got to counteract the spirit that is abroad. The Minister is the victim of it; he simply has not the strength of character that we wish to implant in him to resist this evil spirit that is abroad, and to allow us here to render our contribution to the common weal of our native land. That is why we want the regulations to be brought here.
I want to give an impression of what, in our view, these training centres ought to be. We have one of the principal training centres at Carstairs. I remember the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) when in the Labour Government questions were raised regarding the Carstairs training centre. It never can operate in the interests of the worker at all. I have had instances of young men who were forced to go there, or else be threatened with being cut off from the Employment Exchange. The present Minister of Labour, to his everlasting credit, gave me a concession that they need not go unless they wished. Nevertheless, if they care, they can force the boys to go to those places. If the places were such as to convince the youth that there was a future for them, that there was something worth striving for, it would not be necessary to drive them there. They go there to repair boots, to learn to cut hay, to learn to mend chairs and to learn to work pneumatic drills. It was because of that that we came along, as these individuals were sent as cheap labour to cut out our folk, so many of 198 whom are now on the streets. My suggestion with regard to the training centres is this: we are living in a peculiar age—an age of plenty. It is not necessary—
§ Mr. MOLSON
On a point of Order. I respectfully suggest that the Amendment which has been moved is to insert "in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister." The hon. Member is criticising training centres altogether, and I respectfully suggest that it is not relevant to this Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not think that I can take that view, but I had in my mind that the hon. Member was passing rather to the future. If he wants to discuss administration of the training centres in the past, that would be out of order, but if he confines his remarks to centres to be set up under this Clause and recommendations for the future administration, that is the point of the Amendment.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
It can be seen again that this is the spirit that is abroad. It is not Members on these benches who object to the Chairman. It is always from other benches that attention is drawn to the fact that you, Sir Dennis, are not doing your job. That is what it means.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The point I was making was that if we had these regulations before the House, then we would lay before the Minister a method which would solve the problem. That, surely, is worth the most serious consideration of this Committee. What is the use of these training centres with the regulations which hold good at the moment? We want to get the opportunity of placing new regulations, which would mean new ideas. I hope that there will be an opportunity, for the first time in history, so that instead of education which reaches to our Universities being the privilege of a few, it will be the right of the many, instead of those young men going to training centres, which undoubtedly sounds to the young men of my class like taking them to training camps and militarising them. It would be different 199 if you held up to the youth of the working class the possibility of a university training. In my experience I have seen a young man, 21 years of age, who, as soon as he had finished his time as an engineer, instead of roaming the streets unemployed, like the average young man, went to Oxford University and sat through his examination alongside the son of a duke, and alongside the son of a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's son passes, the son of the duke fails, and the son of the engineer passes with honours and distinction. I hope that the possibility of getting the best education will be put within the power of the young men of my class. It is not simply that those young fellows at Oxford and Cambridge have been mentally developed. They have been politically developed.
I have heard Members of this House bemoaning the fate of the young men in this country because they do not get plenty of good hard work to-day, and saying that it was a bad thing. I never held that view. It is not true. I have been associated with practically every university in this country, and what do I see? There are no better specimens of humanity in the world, for they are being mentally and physically cared for, getting the best training, mental and physical, that this country can give its youth. I hold that the Minister of Labour has a glorious opportunity by accepting this Amendment, and putting into practice the high ideal that is possible in this age, but which has never been possible at any other time in the history of the world. As I said last night, three of the biggest engineering and shipbuilding employers agreed that it was essential to find something different for tens of thousands of our youths who will never be employed in shipbuilding and engineering again. That is how I see it, and how the Minister of Labour has got to face this question—give the youth of this country an opportunity to try to attain something. I would not impose myself on the Committee on this Amendment to the extent I am doing unless I believed in my innermost being that this is the way out. If it were followed, we have no idea of the heights which the future generation of Britain would attain. Think what the youth of the working classes of this country have attained in trying circumstances. What would they not attain, 200 given equal opportunity to that of the privileged section of our country?
§ 4.13 p.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
In rising to support my hon. Friend in the appeal he has made, I am sure that everyone who heard his speech will realise how deeply he feels upon this matter. This Clause passes to the Unemployment Assistance Board certain powers to set up training camps, and to submit to the Minister certain plans for his approval. The Minister will then approve or not, but it is left to the Minister. If these camps are set up, it will mean a big change. I know very well that the Committee will accept them, and I am not going to deal with the wisdom or otherwise of the camps. The point I want to impress upon the Committee is this: Seeing the big step that we are taking, Parliament at least ought to have control of this matter. Whatever plans are submitted to the Minister, he ought not to have the power to approve or otherwise without the sanction of Parliament. Therefore, we are asking in this Amendment that the regulations shall be put before the House of Commons, so that we can examine them in all their phases, and determine whether they are right or wrong. I think that the Committee would be well advised to give this due consideration. There is nothing to be afraid of. If the Assistance Board are dealing with the matter properly, then no objection can be taken when the matter comes before us. If, on the other hand, they are not, and we have not the power to deal with them, certain things might happen which would act detrimentally to all. As this board is the biggest thing that has been before us for a long time, we ask that Parliament should keep control.
All Members are interested in these schemes and are anxious that the men who are sent to the training centres should have every possible help so that they can prepare themselves to be ready to take their place in industry if employment improves. No one knows what will be done by the Advisory Committee. We strongly object to its appointment for Parliament will have no control over it or over the suggestions which they will put before the Minister. I do not say that the Minister of Labour will not act as well as any other fair-minded individual, but there is always a 201 feeling that if these regulations are left in the hands of one man they will not be as good as regulations which are examined by Parliament. We are afraid to put in the hands of a certain body of men powers which we think ought to be under the control of Parliament. We want Parliament to have an opportunity of determining what is the best course to follow in the regulations.
§ 4.17 p.m.
§ Mr. HOLDSWORTH
I want to add my voice to those that have spoken in favour of the Amendment. I have been impressed in the last few weeks by the great number of men who have come to me with the fear that in connection with these training centres there will be set up a sort of semi-military organisation. I do not believe that for a moment, but there is a genuine fear in the minds of the ordinary workers that something of that kind will be done under this Clause. If the regulations were made subject to the approval or disapproval of the House a good deal of that suspicion would be allayed. This Clause may have a greater effect than we imagine, for it must be taken in association with Clause 39. If the regulations are so severe that a man feels he must refuse to go to a training centre, he can be treated under Clause 39 as a difficult case. For a great many years it has been possible under the present Act to send a man to a training centre, but the power has not been used in a general way. We cannot discuss on this Amendment the question of training centres in general, but I may say, in passing, that they might be useful for the youngest sections—those of 18 or 19 years of age. There is a grave fear on the part of men of 35 and upwards that they will come under the training centre scheme. I have always thought it is a waste of time to send the older men to training centres. That fear would be eased if the men felt that Parliament could make itself heard on any regulations that were made. I hope that in view of these real suspicions the Minister will feel that he can accept the Amendment.
§ 4.21 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I trust that the Minister will give serious consideration to the Amendment, and I ask the Committee also to do so. The Clause does not deal with training under the Ministry. 202 That ought to be borne in mind. Anyone who knows anything about training under the Ministry knows its great value as well as its great dangers. The Minister himself would be the first to admit that. For my connection with training under the Ministry I would not make any apology, especially as in most cases it has been of a voluntary nature. Some men, it is true, have asked to be sent to centres sometimes, and they have used them mainly as jumping off grounds, after a feed or two, to get into other parts of the country. I know so much, however, of cases of men who have benefited that I would be unfair to myself if I condemned training under the Ministry. This Clause does not deal with that training, and the Committee ought to be aware of what it is doing. Apparently the Assistance Board is to have power not only to fix the amount of payments for people but to determine who shall be trained. I do not find anywhere in the Bill that it is to be a voluntary matter; indeed, the Bill gives me the impression that we are giving the board power to compel men to go to some kind of training. That would be a grave power to give even to the Minister, but to give it to a body that is, as we contend, outside the control of the House, is not only fraught with great danger but is likely to have results, if it is not kept under control by means of some kind of regulation, that hon. Members will have reason to regret. This body will be able to make arrangements for training and send men for training to camps of some kind. We do not know yet what class of work they will be called upon to do. The board will have power tocontribute towards the cost of the provision and maintenance of such courses by the Minister or by any local authority or other body.What will be those other bodies?
§ Mr. LAWSON
I am showing the general powers that this board apparently will have. It has to make arrangements later not only for the training, butfor the continuance of the training and instruction afforded in connection with any such training course by entering into agreements with local authorities.203 They can make arrangements with some other bodies. The right hon. Gentleman says there is an Amendment dealing with that, but what I am saying is relevant to the importance of the regulations being laid before Parliament. What are those other bodies which are mentioned? As the hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth) said, one of the dangers of this Clause is that it is connected with the Clause dealing with cases of special difficulty. Suppose this board, either by training or by some class of work which was supposed to be training, made arrangements to make certain things, and in the opinion of the men who have been sent to the centres the making of the things meant that they were infringing upon the work of some class of people in the immediate neighbourhood or some other part of the country. They might say, "We have been asked to be trained, but we are making things that are undermining the wage rates of other people." The Unemployment Assistance Board, which is in control of the training, would say, "We order you to do this work, and you must do it." The men would then say, "We will not, for by doing that work we should be undermining standards of wages." Having refused, they are declared to be cases of special difficulty.
It may not be in the mind of the Minister that they should be cases of special difficulty, but there is the power in the board to declare them such if they refuse to carry out the work. They may be the most decent kind of men who would refuse to do this work, men who would like to be trained, but who would object to being called upon to perform a duty which is against the principles for which they have spent their lives. In that case they will be refused payments and allowances. The House is being asked to hand over to a body which is already placed out of the control of Parliament wholesale training powers. We are asking for very little in saying that these Regulations should be submitted to this House before they come into operation, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will agree with us. We should be able to keep them under the periodic influence of the House, so that we may have an opportunity of determining the conditions under which those people will have to work.
§ 4.31 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I was very glad, though not in the least surprised, to hear the well-deserved tribute which the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) paid to the general value of training centres. With the experience he has had in these matters I think I can satisfy him that the acceptance of this Amendment, so far from assisting the object he has in view, which I am sure is to improve their usefulness, would have precisely the opposite effect. I can assure the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) that there is no question of an evil spirit being abroad; my one object is to secure an entirely different spirit throughout the country. The Amendment asks that instead of arrangements being made by the board, with the approval of the Minister, Regulations should be made by the Minister. What that means is that every detail of the day-to-day administration would have to be the subject of Regulations. This is not the time to discuss the general value of training centres, but they could not be run if we had to lay down precise and rigid Regulations for running them. There is the instance which the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street gave. He said complaints might arise that work was being done which meant undercutting workmen employed in some industry outside. We could not make a general Regulation about a matter like that, whereas if a specific instance were brought forward we might very properly be called upon to deal with it. Therefore, to have rigid Regulations would make the whole day-to-day working and management of the training centres absolutely impossible.
Once regulations are made with the approval of Parliament they can only be altered with the approval of Parliament. The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs said that he has many new ideas. I am sure he has, and I shall be only too glad to hear them, but it does not in the least follow that to-morrow his ideas will not be even better, and if his ideas are to be embodied in regulations passed and approved by this House they can only be altered by other regulations to be subsequently passed by the House. The proper course of action if any hon. Member has a grievance, or any complaint that something is being done which is inconsistent with the duty of the Minister 205 or the conduct of these centres, is for him to attack the Minister, and the occasion for that is provided on the Minister's Vote. It is the Minister who ought to be and is responsible for what takes place and for the rules made at these centres. If we put the whole thing into a strait-waistcoat of regulations we shall make the management of these centres impossible.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Before the Minister finishes may I put it to him that he has spoken on the assumption that we are dealing with Ministry of Labour training centres, whereas this is a Clause concerning training centres under the Unemployment Assistance Board? I do not think the right hon. Gentleman addressed himself to that point.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must point out that we have passed beyond that stage. The Clause, with the addition of the Amendment, would read:In the exercise of the functions of the Unemployment Assistance Board under this part of this Act the board in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister.It is those words which we are now discussing; and not whether these centres should be set up by the board, because we have passed from that. We are merely discussing whether they should be carried on with the approval of the Minister or under regulations which have to come before Parliament.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The point I was making was that the Minister seemed to base his defence on the ground that these were training centres under his control, but they are not under his control.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I did not understand that to be the Minister's defence. If that had been the case it would have been outside the scope of the Amendment. What I understood him to argue was that he was in favour of leaving this matter to require only the approval of the Minister, not that he should be required to make regulations which would have to be laid before this House.
§ 4.37 p.m.
§ Mr. PALING
In my view the answer of the Minister has emphasised the importance of our contention. He argues that if the regulations have to come before this House they will be rigid, and it will not be possible to alter them without coming to the House on a subsequent 206 occasion. That may be so, but what is the alternative? He suggests that questions can be brought up on the Minister's Vote. Am I not right in supposing that that would give us an opportunity of discussing them only about once a year? If anything was wrong with the regulations we should have an opportunity of discussing them only once a year. In my view that is a very strong reason for inserting this Amendment. If the regulations prove to be wrong, even after the House has adopted them, we need not wait anything like a year to alter them; it could be done in a few weeks, or months at the most. I think the Minister has evaded one of the main points—the fear that we are going to lose Parliamentary control over the unemployed. That is why this Amendment has been put down. Even the regulations do not give us the kind of control we would like, because it would be very limited, but they would provide some kind of control, and if we do not get regulations laid down in accordance with the terms of this Amendment then our control will have gone altogether. Another point I wish to put is that these training centres may prove to be one of the most controversial parts of the Bill. A lot of things are being said about them already. They are referred to as "slave camps," and although that may be exaggerated language—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member made a reference to something. I do not want that taken up by other hon. Members so as to lead the hon. Member on to something irrelevant.
§ Mr. PALING
That is the kind of thing that is being said. It may be exaggerated—I do not know—but the fear is there. As has been said by the hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth) men who are getting on in years, men of 35 to 40 years of age, want to know what these training camps will mean for them. They are afraid they will be disciplined and dragooned, and required to do things for which they have no liking. It will prove to be a very controversial part of the Bill, and if that is so there is all the more reason why we should have some kind of control over what will be done. The Minister's answer is no answer, it 207 does not meet the situation. If it proves anything, it proves the necessity for the Amendment.
§ 4.41 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I wish the Minister would really face up to this proposition. You have given a Ruling, Sir Dennis, and I have no doubt you will not grant me the licence that others have had on this question of training, but there is this point which I think does come within the Amendment. This Measure will apply to everybody who comes on to transitional benefit, irrespective of age, family commitments or anything else. It gives the Ministry the power to make a man undergo training, and there is an extremely wide alteration in the law. Hitherto those who were undergoing training had the safeguard of what we call rota committees plus the courts of referees. This Bill makes training apply to everybody and without the safeguards formerly existing. In such circumstances surely Parliament should have a right of control. The Minister may decide in future that this requirement shall not apply to people of a certain age. Surely Parliament has a right to discuss at what age men shall come under these regulations. The Minister has suggested difficulties by saying that every week or every month some alterations may have to be made, and because a former Under Secretary in a Labour Government has praised these training camps the Minister asks us to let him do whatever he likes. That does not meet our point, however, which is that this House ought to approve of the conditions under which men are required to undergo training. The House ought to approve of the age, and have the right to say that no man with a young family should be compelled to go.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must call the hon. Member's attention to the fact that the question of compelling people to go to training centres certainly does not arise on this Amendment, and I cannot find that it arises anywhere on this Clause. That is why I nearly interrupted him before. I still fail to see the point of his remarks.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The point is this: If the centres were governed by regulations, the Minister would come here with 208 the regulations and would say, "This training shall apply only to classes defined in the regulations." Those regulations would have to define the classes of the unemployed and the ages to which they applied. Unless you have regulations, you give the Minister absolute and unlimited power. Only regulations can limit his power, and unless the Minister incorporates this Amendment, which will throw upon him the responsibility of bringing regulations here, he will have power over the lives of people, a power which he ought not to possess.
The regulations ought to be subject to the approval of Parliament, for this further reason, that everybody knows that you cannot apply the training to everybody. It has to be circumscribed, and the choice before the Committee is whether the Minister shall circumscribe it with his officials without the consent of Parliament, or whether it shall be circumscribed by regulations which shall be subject to the approval of Parliament. The Minister will agree that he has no intention of sending people of about 60 years of age to the training camps, because—I expect he would also agree—that would be a waste of money and time. Therefore he will circumscribe the training. I expect that the training scheme will not apply to people who have tremendous family ties which make it impossible for them to go. The point which the Committee is now discussing is what control we shall have in regard to the people who are to go to the training camp. We say that no regulations should be passed that send anybody there until the House of Commons definitely approve them.
I am not going to argue the wide field of training camps here or training camps in other places. There have been different types of training camps set up in the country. For example, that at Carstairs did not deal with engineers or carpenters because Carstairs was purely for foreign service. It was at Springburn that the men and women were trained to be hairdressers. At Carstairs the training was in agricultural and road work. The Minister ought seriously to consider bringing before the House regulations limiting his power; otherwise, his power will be of such a wide character. The House of Commons ought to have some say in the matter.
§ 4.49 p.m.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I feel that the Minister probably met, to a certain extent, the point which is raised by the wording of the Amendment. He may be, and no doubt he is, right that if those words were inserted it would be necessary to bring before the House from time to time trivial matters of routine of the kind to which he referred. I do not feel that he has met the point of substance that was raised by the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, and which has been reinforced by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanon). This Amendment, as I see it, seeks to bring out the difficulty that the Clause as it stands merely provides for the setting up of courses and camps—
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Exactly. It does not prescribe in any way who is to be sent to those camps, except that they must be over 18 years of age. There is nothing in the Bill which in any way prescribes the method by which the selection of the individuals who are to be sent to the camps is to be carried out. The only thing that one finds is the penal provision which says what there is power to do if people do not go to camp. There is a very great point of substance which the Committee might be reluctant to hand over to the board, even though we take an opposite view from hon. Gentlemen of the Opposition as to the precise extent to which the board will be within the control of Parliament.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for putting the point. He has made it quite clear that the point to which he was addressing himself and that to which the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) addressed himself are points which arise on Clause 39, and not on this Clause at all. The hon. and learned Gentleman is quite wrong in one respect. No part of this Clause deals with the question of compelling anybody to go to training camps.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I have been trying to keep within the limits of order. It is not entirely easy, because the two Clauses are to some extent interconnected. The point of substance which I have tried to bring out, and which I 210 think was in the mind of the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood), is that as the Clause stands, and merely with the words "with the approval of the Minister," there is no method of bringing before the House of Commons, not the details of the different kinds of training, to which point the Minister gave an effective reply, but the general basis upon which people should be brought within the scheme of training. There is the question of age, for example. It is unthinkable that power should be reposed in a board to bring within the scheme everybody who is over the age of 18. Unless some words, either similar to the ones which have been moved or better for the purpose, are inserted, the Committee, in passing this Clause as it now stands, abandon all power of reviewing the type of people who are to be brought within the ambit of the training camps. It is possible that these exact words do not carry out the intentions of those who moved them, and I beg the Minister to consider between now and the Report stage whether suitable words could not be inserted so as to ensure that the principles upon which people are to be admitted to the camps are brought before the House by regulation or otherwise.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will try to follow my Ruling because I think I am right. He will tell me if he thinks that I am wrong. I think that he will see that even if this Amendment were carried, it would not lead in the slightest degree, any more than the Clause does at present, to compelling people to go to the centres. That confirms what I said just now that the proper place for raising this question is upon Clause 39.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I am very much obliged. I entirely agree with your Ruling that whatever is done by these words they would not meet the point that hon. Members opposite are trying to make. It is for that reason that I attempted to throw out a caveat that the point which has been raised, although not met, by these words, is a point of substance.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I quite agree. No doubt it is a point of substance, but I think we shall definitely find that it is a point of substance which is out of Order on this Clause.
§ Mr. JANNER
On the point of Order. Would it not be correct to say that if this Clause is accepted as it stands it would ultimately mean that there would be compulsion in the event of the board saying that they wanted regulations?
§ Mr. JANNER
What would be the purpose of passing this Clause if at a later stage, an Amendment was passed to one of the other Clauses which would invalidate the effect of it?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is a question which perhaps the hon. Member will ask when we come to the Clause. This Clause is a fairly simple one to provide for the establishment of these particular courses and centres. It does not provide who is to go there.
§ Mr. JANNER
I am sorry, but I cannot follow how the point is still out of Order. Once the Clause is passed we shall have created a machine for the introduction of regulations.
§ Mr. JANNER
The possibility of the introduction of regulations. If at a later stage the Committee come to the conclusion that there should be no regulations, the insertion of this Clause in the Bill would be unnecessary. That is why I say with respect that we ought to be allowed to discuss the matter as a question of policy.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am sorry that I entirely fail to follow the hon. Member. At the present moment the word "regulations" is not mentioned in this Clause; it is mentioned in the Amendment. If the hon. Member will just follow me for a moment, I will try and make clear what I have already said. The only effect of this Clause is to set up certain centres or establishments. The particular Amendment which we are now discussing is as to whether they shall be set up by the board with the approval of the Minister, or under regulations made by the Minister. To put in the words "in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister", would no more give power to those regulations to compel people to go there than it would give power to those regulations to do anything else which is entirely outside this particular Clause.
§ Mr. CAPORN
May I call your attention to paragraph (a) of the Clause, in which the courses are to be set up for certain persons. The paragraph obviously contemplates that somebody is to go there.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Certainly. The hon. Member is not going to alter my opinion. I do not anticipate that the Clause was intended to set up establishments that were not to be used. It does not alter my opinion that there is nothing in the Clause to compel anybody to go there.
§ 4.59 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
The issue before the Committee is as to which is the more effective way of the House of Commons having control over the training centres. The Amendment says that the effective way is to do it by regulations, and the Minister says that that would interfere with the efficient management of the training centres. In order that we might have some clarity on the matter, will the Minister please tell us what is the significance of the words "with the approval of the Minister"? I should like to know whether that means that the Minister himself will be responsible for the training, because I gather that the Unemployment Assistance Board must in each case carry out the functions imposed upon them under this Clause with the approval of the Minister himself. As the Minister is the servant of the House, and all these things can be done only with his approval, does that mean with the approval of the House? In other words, shall we be permitted day by day, if we so wish, to put questions on the Order Paper relating to the setting up of these training centres, the persons who are sent to them, their ages, and matters of that sort, as we are now entitled to ask the Minister questions with respect to the other training centres? That is the issue before us.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
The Chairman has ruled, and, with great respect, I would say absolutely accurately, that that point would not be helped by the Amendment. The Amendment would only help as regards the provision and the type of training.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I am on a different issue entirely. I agree, if I may say so respectfully, that the Ruling of the Chair is absolutely correct as regards Clause 39, 213 but the issue before the House is as to which is the most effective way of establishing popular control over these training centres and over the setting up of the training centres. Do the words "with the approval of the Minister" mean that, if he accepts responsibility, we can hold him responsible?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
Perhaps I might answer that question at once. In this matter I hold the purse-strings, and, therefore, nothing can be done without my approval, because, if it were, I should not pay for it. Therefore, the House has the full power and authority and right to question me, as I am responsible for the money. That, also, is the answer to the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). If I found that persons were asked to go to these centres who were of unsuitable age or unsuitable character, I should at once say that I did not approve, and should not provide the money to pay for it. Therefore, I am responsible.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I understand that the funds for this purpose will be disbursed from the general funds of the Unemployment Assistance Board. That merely means that we shall be able to discuss the matter on the Vote of Supply. That is not what we want. What we want is to know from the Minister, and we should be very much indebted to him if he would give us a straightforward reply, whether the words "with the approval of the Minister" mean that the House can, through the Minister, by the various devices open to Members—letters to him, questions on the Order Paper, interpolations of various kinds on the Adjournment, and methods of that kind—that the House can exercise over these training centres, through these words, control from day to day. If the words "with the approval of the Minister" mean that, I would prefer that method, but that is what I want to know, and what I think the Committee want to know. Is that the significance of the words "with the approval of the Minister"?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I can assure the hon. Member that he will be very much better off as regards obtaining what he wants by the words in the Clause than by the words proposed in the Amendment.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I think hon. Members will agree that this is a most important 214 matter. We are parting with powers to an organisation which may give them power to conscript people and take them from their homes without the slightest let or hindrance, and we are entitled to ask the Minister in what way we shall be able to exercise Parliamentary control over such great powers. If the words "with the approval of the Minister" mean that the Minister is going to be responsible, then we can hold him responsible for what he does. If, on the other hand, that approval merely means that he gives his formal assent to the setting up of training centres, and that after they have been set up he washes his hands of further responsibility for what happens in them, the House will be completely helpless in the matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not know whether I shall help the hon. Member or otherwise, but it seems to me that we are getting into a discussion of something which is quite an improper subject for discussion on the Floor of the House, as well as a most unsuitable subject for discussion on the Clause. We are apparently discussing some question of Parliamentary procedure, and, if the Minister were to give a particular and detailed answer to such questions as the hon. Member is asking, he would be giving an answer on matters which are in the hands of the House and the Chair, and not in his hands. I would point out—and here I think I can assist the hon. Member—that it is perfectly well known, in theory if not in practice, to every Member of the House, what right he as a Member of the House has in regard to holding a Minister responsible for his actions. The point that I want, if I can, to impress upon the hon. Member, is that the responsibility of a Minister to the House of Commons is unlimited, under the Constitution of this country and the Rules of Procedure of the House. Therefore, I suggest that the hon. Member is getting on to rather dangerous ground if he is trying to force the Minister to say exactly what the effect will be in the event of either the hon. Member himself, or other Members of the House, disapproving of the Minister's conduct.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is not so at all. This is not a question of giving the Minister certain independent powers; it is a question of the Minister having certain duties or discretions; and the power of the House to call him to account on the way in which he carries out his duties or exercises his discretions is not circumscribed and not limited to the mere occasion of the vote for hips salary. It can be done at any time, in case of need even for instance, by a vote of censure on the Minister.
§ Mr. BEVAN
That is precisely the point that I am raising. If the language of the Clause as set out now in the Bill, and the legal interpretation of the words "with the approval of the Minister," is that the Unemployment Assistance Board is to be responsible for the training, and not the Minister, then, if we go to the Table, the Clerk will say to us, "You cannot put a question about training, because that is carried on by a statutory board which is set up by an Act and outside the control of Parliament, its expenses being charged on the Consolidated Fund." If, on the other hand, the words "with the approval of the Minister" mean that the Minister is to be responsible for the training centres, then we can question the Minister. That is the issue before the Committee, and I would respectfully represent to you, Sir, that the relationship between a Department and a Member of Parliament is limited and circumscribed by the Statute about which the Member wishes to question the Minister.
We have parted with the first Clause of this second part of the Act, and, therefore, we cannot now put any questions to the Minister with respect to the Unemployment Assistance Board; we can only discuss it on the Vote of Supply, on the report of the board, or by moving a vote of censure. My hon. Friend who moved the Amendment has said, "Here is a very important matter of training centres, and we think that, in order that Parliament may be able to exercise control, these training centres should be set up only under regulations approved by the House." On the other hand, my hon. Friends would be perfectly prepared to say—at least, I think so—that, if the 216 Minister admits that he is going to be responsible directly from day to day for these training centres, we should prefer that form of control, because it gives us the right to criticise the Minister from day to day. Indeed, in those circumstances a Member could move the Adjournment of the House on the ground that the Minister had given his approval to something of which he ought not to have approved, or he could raise the matter on the Adjournment.
Will the Minister be good enough to help us? We are at the moment without the assistance of legal authority on these benches. Perhaps the Solicitor-General would help us by saying what in his judgment is the meaning of the words "with the approval of the Minister," and whether they establish direct responsibility on the part of the Minister for the training to be carried on under the Unemployment Assistance Board. I do not wish to pursue the matter any further, but I believe that Members in all parts of the Committee would be helped if we could learn the significance of these words in the Bill.
§ 5.12 p.m.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Before the Solicitor-General replies, may I point out that the approval of the Minister goes both to the provision of the training courses and also to the maintenance of the courses, and, therefore, the Minister is, in my submission, quite clearly responsible for the maintenance of these courses, and could be challenged on the Floor of the House?
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
I should like to point out to the Committee the extreme gravity of this matter. We are discussing regulations for placing restrictions on the conduct of very large numbers of persons who will be brought within this Measure. For the first time in our history we are bringing very large numbers of persons—for good cause shown, as I think—within the scope of the Measure, and it is an extremely serious question whether the restrictions to be placed upon the liberties of those persons are to be under regulations or conditions approved by the House of Commons. That, as I understand it, is the point.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Perhaps the hon. and learned Member will tell me where 217 in the Clause any question of restrictions on anybody is dealt with.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
The answer is this: The Clause contemplates the exercise of functions by the Unemployment Assistance Board under the approval of the Minister, and we are now discussing whether that approval will ensure Parliamentary control.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
With great respect, I thought it was common ground here that this Clause contemplates that certain persons—I am not going into categories of persons; it would be out of order—are, under this part of the Bill, brought under some government control. That is common ground.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It may be common ground, but that comes under Clause 39, and not under this Clause. That is what I am trying to point out to the hon. and learned Member.
§ Mr. KNIGHT
I am aware of that. I am pointing out that, when we are asked to vest the Minister with power to approve the exercise of these functions by the board, it is germane to consider how grave the exercise of that power will be. These regulations or functions are going to be exercised in respect of very large numbers of people for the first time. They may say, "This treatment of us is not just." It is for us to see that the regulations of these functions, as contemplated by the Clause, by the Minister is such that those reasonable complaints will be satisfied. It is the function of this House, surely, to be certain that, when the Minister approves the functions of this board, his exercise of that power will be under conditions which this House can review. I am satisfied with the Minister's explanation.
I think the House will have a reasonable opportunity of considering the exercise of the functions by the board. While it is true that the expenses are not on the Consolidated Fund, the constitutional 218 principle to which you, Sir, have just referred has a very valuable extension, namely, that the House has the right to question the Minister as to any conduct and I am satisfied that under the present Rules of the House the Committee can rely upon any function exercised by this or any other Minister in respect of the Bill being reviewed. Suppose a complaint is made that these orders impose undue hardship on the subject, surely it will be open for the conduct of the Minister to be called in question. Is it suggested that there is any conduct of the Minister which cannot be reviewed by the House? There are ample means for such review. But let the Committee be under no delusion. This matter is one of the greatest encroachments on the liberty of the subject which Parliament has considered for generations. [Laughter.] If anyone laughs at that, he does not appreciate the meaning of the scheme. I believe the fears of these matters not being adequately reviewed are not well founded.
§ 5.20 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I wonder if we might have the Solicitor-General's views. The Minister has endeavoured to explain his functions, but all that he has done is somewhat to mystify us. You, Sir, have tried to help us by explaining what the Minister's powers are, but that has made the Minister's explanation all the more difficult to understand. I think the Solicitor-General might explain to us exactly what powers this body is going to have, what power the Minister has, and what power we are going to have to put questions to the Minister on this important function. The right hon. Gentleman says he controls the purse strings. I gather from the Clause that it is the board which is to maintain the training courses. I think the Solicitor-General might help us, and tell us whether we have power to put questions and whether the Minister is really handing over extraordinary powers, with penal clauses at their disposal, to a body which is going to be beyond our control, or whether we are really going to have from time to time the powers to control this matter by questions and in other ways.
§ 5.32 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
I hope the Solicitor-General will give us his views. As I understand my hon. Friends, they desire 219 —though I doubt whether the Amendment expresses it in the way they wish—to be in a position to question the Minister in regard to the operations of the board. I submit that they will only be able to question him as to why, and when and to whom, and on what grounds he gives his approval. It would not be permissible under this Clause, whatever it may be elsewhere, to question him as to the operations of the board, which is what my hon. Friends desire to do, and, if that is so, some form of words ought to be found enabling Members to question the Minister as to the operations of the board and not merely limiting questions and interpretations to the matter of giving or withholding his approval as the case may be, which is the case at present.
§ 5.23 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Donald Somervell)
I did not hear the earlier part of the discussion, and I only intervene to give such help as I can, because the hon. Member asked me to do so. As I understand the position, the Minister has to approve both the provision and the maintenance of the courses. I should have said the House would have considerably more power under the words in the Bill than under the Amendment once the regulations were passed. Once the regulations were passed, the thing to some extent would pass away from the general area of Ministerial approval to regulations which the House has dealt with. The day-to-day conduct of these courses will he by the board, but, if things happen at these training courses which found the argument that here is something that ought not to have been approved by the Minister, hon. Members could obviously on an appropriate occasion raise matters of that kind under that head.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
Any one of the Supply Days or a Vote of Censure, or on general occasions. I should have said day-to-day questions in regard to anything that has happened. If the intention is that matters of which they disapprove should be brought to the notice of Parliament, there will be ample opportunity under the words of the Bill.
§ 5.27 p.m.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
After hearing the Solicitor-General's opinion, I am more 220 convinced than ever that our Amendment is correct. Before the Minister sets up these training centres and makes the rules and regulations which are going to govern them, we desire that he will lay them before us, so that they may meet with our approval or disapproval. The explanation that we have had from the Solicitor-General does not give us that right. I shall press the Amendment to a Division.
§ 5.29 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I, to, have come definitely to the conclusion that the Amendment should be pressed to a Division. It is clear not only that the matter is of extreme importance but that the actual provision of the training centres depends entirely upon the Clause. The Clause talks about the provision and maintenance of training courses and the amount to be contributed towards the cost of them. Obviously, all the questions relating to their provision and management will have to be taken into consideration prior to the decision being arrived at. Consequently, this is obviously the most important part of the Bill relating to this matter. In these circumstances, we say that it is not proper that the matter should, in the first instance, be decided by the Minister and that after it is discovered that things are not working properly someone should endeavour to move a Vote of Censure or something of that nature. Apart from any other consideration, we on this side know what the results of moving a Vote of Censure are likely to be, and we are not satisfied that we shall be in a position to remedy a matter that has gone wrong.
In those circumstances, I would appeal to the right hon. Member to accept the Amendment. There is nothing unreasonable in it. It is obvious that the House ought to be consulted on a matter of this description, and ought to know why it is necessary to have such and such a training centre, and why we should contribute towards its maintenance. The House should be given an opportunity of expressing itself before the possibility of a mistake arises and not after a mistake has been made. Some of us on these benches—and I have no doubt that there are hon. Members in other parts of the House—do not always agree with every action which is taken by every Minister. I have no doubt that the present Minister is a competent and very reasonable man, 221 but at some later stage he may be replaced by a Minister not as competent or reasonable, or, in due course, owing to attacks made upon him in other parts of the House, he may change his reasonableness and feel embittered about the matter. He might be a Liberal Minister, as an hon. Member says, and the House might consider that too many concessions were being made. It is clear that once this matter has passed, the House will not have adequate opportunities for upsetting what may have been done.
Therefore, the Minister ought to give a concession of this kind, as it does not mean anything very terrible as far as he is concerned. It would mean that instead of having to take the responsibility himself, the House would assist him, and if things went wrong he would be able to turn to the House and say that it was as much the fault of the House as it was his fault. We ought to be given a guarantee on this matter, and should not give away something which is of extreme importance by passing over an issue which, on the surface, may not appear to be very clear. It will mean the controlling of the lives of many people, and it is not fair that it should be done in any other manner than with the assistance of the House, or be done without reasonable consideration.
§ 5.33 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
I am surprised that the Minister has not met us to-night by making a concession. I can only explain it by the fact that whenever we come to any of the machinery in the Bill we know that there will be no concession. The machinery which he is erecting is the vital part of the Bill, and therefore the Minister sticks to it tenaciously, and will not give any concession which seeks to modify the machinery. I am of the opinion, however, that the Minister, if he could really get away from the board and could think of the most effective provisions which might be made for the training centres, would meet us. The board, as constituted by him, is not a fit and proper board to deal with this subject. It will have no experience. Its personnel will not consist of the kind of people who ought to deal with this matter. I should have thought that in the interests of the scheme which the Minister has in view, he would have given the maximum amount of opportunity for this House to discuss the regu- 222 lations relating to the provision of the training centres. All that the Minister has given us is the opportunity to talk about mistakes generally in the middle of a discursive discussion ranging over the whole activities of his Department. Under that provision, even after the explanation which we have had, we shall not be able to concentrate the attention of this House on the provision of these centres to the extent that we ought to be able to do. I would impress upon the Minister that it is not sufficient that we should merely have power to criticise in a ma[...] of this kind and be able to look back. If the Minister is really concerned about a constructive effort, and if there is anything in the Bill of the smallest constructive nature, it is this part of it—there is nothing else in it, and even this is extremely small—and if he wants a contribution from all those Members of Parliament who are interested in the future well-being of these youths, he ought to give Members of the House the maximum number of opportunities to discuss matters relating to this issue.
I am of opinion, from the attitude which the Minister has adopted to-night, that he is far more concerned about the integrity and powers of the board than he is about anything else in the Bill. He is far more concerned with the fact that this secret board and its powers must not be tampered with, and that it should be immune from all criticism. The Minister to-night is looking upon the board from the angle that it must not even receive suggestions from the House of Commons by any discussion upon the regulations applying to the training centres. I am surprised that the Minister, in this part of his Bill anyhow, does not welcome the maximum amount of interest from Members of the House in those centres. I do not think that it will be possible for training centres to make the best possible contribution when shut away under the jurisdiction of the board. It will be very difficult for us to get at them. If the Minister wants his training centres to do the best possible work, we must be given a chance in this House to say what they shall do, or even to say who shall go to the training centres, and to lay down the general regulations upon which they shall be run.
I protest against the attitude of the Government to-night as expressed by the 223 Minister. The same attitude is running through the whole of these Debates. They are setting up dictatorial machinery, for that is what it means. They are determined that our dictators shall not only not be criticised, but that we shall not be able to tender them advice even about the training centres. It will lead to ineffectiveness and to the centres not contributing what they ought to contribute. Indeed, I am desperately afraid that without Parliament having an opportunity to discuss them, intense grievances will arise in the training centres, and all the defects of bureaucracy will be there. An atmosphere of discontent will be aroused, and the centres will be unable to render their best services. The Government can go on with this process of trying to arrive at a Tory dictatorship in this country. The board may be regarded as a secret instrument, but the Minister, I am certain, will find in a few years' time the advice, criticism and help of democracy in and through this Parliament the best thing he could possibly have even for the successful running of these training centres.
§ 5.40 p.m
§ Mr. MAXTON
The hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) has very nearly done his job too well. If I believed what he has said, namely, that leaving the Bill as it is would wreck all prospect of these training centres becoming a success, I would support the retention of the existing Bill. If there is one thing upon which those who sit with me on these benches are united, it is that we are satisfied that the whole conception behind this training centre plan is a wicked and foolish one. It is an attempt to impose conscription upon that section of the community who are too poor to resist it, and a conscription which would not be tolerated by any other section of society.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am not sure whether the hon. Member was present earlier when it was ruled that the question of conscription does not arise upon this Amendment.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I was not here, Sir Dennis, when you gave your Ruling, but my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) explained to me the nature of your Ruling and the frequency 224 of it. Surely, even in Committee a Member is allowed a certain exordium and a certain peroration. I was merely at the exordium. The reason why I used the word "conscription" was particularly with reference to the explanation given by the learned Solicitor-General who described to us in detail, I think with your full approval, the occasions when Members of this House would have an opportunity of raising the matters involved on the Floor of this House. In detailing the occasions he said that, while it might be raised on a Vote of Censure on one of the Supply Days on the Minister's salary, it would not be in order to raise it by day to day questioning in this House. That seems to say that this Clause gives to the men who are in these camps a more discredited position than is presently given. I can, on any day, raise questions in this House affecting a soldier, sailor, or a member of the Air Force or a member of the police force who has been guilty of the most flagrant breach of discipline. I can question the appropriate Minister any day I like. If a convict at Dartmoor communicates with me, as one did yesterday, on a matter affecting his health in prison, I can raise it here, or I can write to the Home Secretary, or see him personally, with the knowledge that the thing which I ask on behalf of my aggrieved constituent is something which is reasonable, and the Minister has power to act on behalf of that constituent. If he is a criminal or if he is a member of one of the Forces who has voluntarily taken upon himself long-term periods of discipline and subordination to authority, I can raise his case, but in the case of an unemployed man who is compelled by this law to go into these places willy-nilly, with the alternative of starvation offered to him, then the learned Solicitor-General says that there will be no opportunity for me, as a representative in this House, to raise his legitimate grievance.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
Any question by an hon. Member on a proper subject matter of criticism can be brought before the House on the appropriate occasion, as showing that the course which was being maintained, with the approval of the Minister, was not a course which the Minister ought to have approved. Therefore, the hon. Member is wrong in saying that matters of complaint such as those to which he has referred 225 could not be brought before the House by hon. Members on behalf of their constituents.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Am I to understand the Solicitor-General to say now that the day-to-day grievances of men in these training centres, either as individuals or as groups, are appropriate matters for question in the ordinary way in this House? Can I put down a question on the Order Paper about John Smith, of Bridgeton, being penalised in a certain training centre by having his leave withdrawn, or being deprived of food, or being subjected to some other disciplinary measure which may have been taken against him, or can I raise it on the Adjournment of the House from day to day? As I understood the Solicitor-General, he said that I cannot raise these particular issues, and I say that, if that be so, the person who goes to one of these training centres is on a lower status of citizenship than a man in one of the armed Forces of the Crown, or a man in one of our convict prisons. His status is less than that of an outlaw. If a man is an outlaw I can raise a question about him in this House.
§ 5.49 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
I apologise for speaking again. This is a matter of importance. It is not for me to rule or decide in advance what questions are or are not proper to be put on the Order Paper. I was only endeavouring to assist the Committee by stating how the words in the Bill presented themselves to me in regard to the question of the responsibility of the Minister. What I said was, that these particular training courses are run by the board, and that you cannot hold the Minister responsible for what goes on from day to day there in the same way that you can hold him responsible for something which happens, say, in his own office; but as the cost of the provision and the maintenance of these centres has to be approved by the Minister, he could be attacked on anything that takes place at those courses on the ground that he had approved something, namely, the maintenance of the courses, that ought not to have been approved. I understand that questions if they were put in that form probably would be in order. I was not saying what could or could not be put on the Order Paper, but I was trying to analyse for 226 the Committee how the responsibility of the Minister is dealt with in the Bill, and I said that questions relating to the responsibility of the Minister would be in order.
§ 5.50 p.m.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I understand the position as the Solicitor-General puts it now, but it is not essentially different from the interpretation that I have been putting. The Minister having set up the centres and having made regulations, the centres are then put under a board over whom we have only that measure of control that we have over judges of the highest courts of the land; which is the most detached and independent position that anyone could occupy in the State, designedly and deliberately, and probably wisely so, in the case of judges. Now the responsibility for the regulation and control and direction of the lives of several millions of citizens, who have committed no offence, is to be put under the control of a board over whom we have no control whatever of an effective kind. Once the regulations are made, or once this Clause is passed, our effective power has gone to defend any one of these individuals. If that be so, then I think, knowing the unemployed men of this country very well, what the hon. Member for Aberavon fears I may reasonably hope.
§ 5.51 p.m.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
The position of the Committee in regard to this Amendment of the Clause which it seeks to correct is extremely unsatisfactory, because questions have been asked to-day quite genuinely, to which we cannot obtain an answer. I am sure the Solicitor-General has done his very best to put the position before us, but obviously he cannot anticipate with any confidence what will be the decision on some future occasion as to questions being put on the Order Paper; neither, as I gather, would it be in order for us to address questions to the Chair and to ask for some hypothetical decision as to dealing with some hypothetical question in the future. The result is that the question whether we can keep our hands on the day to day administration of these training centres is something which is left entirely in the dark. We shall not know until long after the Bill has been passed and comes into opera- 227 tion, and until some hon. Member tries to put a question on the Order Paper and it is allowed or disallowed. Then it will be too late to alter it.
The result is that, through no fault of the Solicitor-General, we are approaching this question without knowing whether the Minister's words really give us the control that we desire, or ought to desire. That is a most unsatisfactory position. If the words which the Government have put into the Bill lead to that unsatisfactory position, then the words ought to be altered. Either the Government ought to accept the words suggested in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood), or if they cannot accept that Amendment they ought to say, as they have said on other occasions, that they will try between now and the Report stage to discover words—it is going to be a pretty big Report stage if they are to do all these things—by means of which we can get a definite answer and be assured as to the control we are to have over the lives and fortunes of these people. I am not allowed by the Ruling that has been given to anticipate Clause 39, but it is obvious that these training centres are not to be without discipline, and that the people who join them are to be subject to discipline. Therefore, the nature of that discipline is all-important from the point of view of the people who go there, whether they go there voluntarily or not. Either the Amendment should be accepted or we should get some kind of assurance from the Minister. If we do not get that assurance of better words being inserted, I cannot see how any Member of the Committee can be safe in doing anything but supporting the Amendment.
§ 5.56 p.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I can see the difficulty of setting up and putting into operation training centres in the depressed areas, and because of that I think it is advisable that on the Report stage the Government should bring forward words that would conform with the wishes expressed by hon. Members. It may be that the words, "in accordance with regulations to be made by the Minister" may not exactly meet the occasion. I must be quite candid in my statement on this matter when I say that the words "with the approval of the Minister" 228 appear to me to be complete eye-wash. They do not convey anything to me as to the authority that is going to be exercised, unless it means a dictatorship by a sacrosanct body, which will be dealing with this administration. I am not entitled to go into matters of administration, but I do say that we ought to have full authority. It is because a restriction is implied in this Clause and we shall not be able to exercise our authority in regard to the functioning of this body that I urge the necessity of some alteration in the wording.
The Solicitor-General gave an interpretation of the words, and that interpretation conforms with the opinions that have been expressed by several hon. Members. We feel that the limitation of the authority of Parliament implied in this Clause is one which we are not anxious to bring into operation. I want full power to discuss the difficulties that may arise from day to day. We are not prepared to accept anything in the nature of dictatorship. We feel that there is a difficulty in the Clause, and because of that and the phraseology of the Clause which, in its essentials, sets up a dictatorship, with no control from the House of Commons, we feel that words should be brought forward more in conformity with the power that ought to be vested in this House. I think the Minister ought to take this Clause back. If he wishes to work the Act in the spirit that he has mentioned, he ought to be prepared to take the Clause back. I am afraid that he is not prepared to take it back, that he wishes powers to be vested in this body and that it should be able to exercise its functions apart from the House of Commons. He ought to show his liberality by agreeing to the Amendment. The phraseology of the Amendment proposed may be wrong, but the right hon. Gentleman ought to meet the spirit of the Committee and agree to a change of phraseology which would give the control which is desired by the House. Therefore, I ask the Minister to say that on the Report stage he is prepared to bring forward words that will meet the spirit of the mover of the Amendment.
§ 5.59 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
My view is that the words in the Bill do include and give every right and power which hon. 229 Members desire. If they do not, I will look into the matter, and if I can find words which better carry out what I have in mind, then I will put them in, but it is only right to tell the Committee that I am advised that the words in the Bill carry out everything which hon. Members want. I can say nothing more.
§ 6 p.m.
§ Mr. BATEY
If the position is as stated by the Minister of Labour, then there is no reason why he should not accept the Amendment, because it makes the matter perfectly clear. I am not going to discuss the question of the training centres, as it would be out of order, but if they are to be set up without the House of Commons having a chance of considering them, we cannot spend too much time in discussing the regulations which are to be issued. The Amendment simply asks that the regulations shall be laid before the House of Commons before they are agreed to. The Minister thinks that the words in the Bill are sufficient, and that he alone should have the right of approving the regulations. One could understand that point of view if the Minister of Labour never made any mistake, but our experience is that the present Minister of Labour has made more mistakes than any of his predecessors. [Interruption.] Let us see whether that is true. The present Minister of Labour was responsible for sending the unemployed before the public assistance committee, but to-day no one condemns that mere strongly than the Minister of Labour himself. It proves conclusively that he made a colossal blunder. He made another mistake. He was responsible for the means test, for making the family keep the unemployed man. That was a mistake. The Prime Minister even condemns that to-day. Speaking in Seaham a week or two ago the Prime Minister said:Any means test which tended towards the destruction of family life was bad in principle.In addition, there are hon. Members in all parts of the House who condemn the destruction of family life by the application of the means test. It was a mistake on the part of the present Minister of Labour, and hon. Members opposite backed him up in applying the means test to the destruction of family life. If he has made mistakes in these 230 two important questions, may we not conclude that he may be making a colossal mistake in regard to these training centres? We should be unwise in leaving this matter in the hands of the Minister of Labour. And in framing the new regulations would he not be guided by the present regulations which apply to training centres? I want to read one or two of the present regulations to which the Minister of Labour has agreed. One regulation says:In regard to the training centres, the hours of work are normally 44 hours per week. Most of the time is spent on forest clearing, trenching, draining, road making, and other such work. No wages are paid. So far as circumstances permit jobs will be found for as many as possible of those who work hard and show keenness.That is one regulation, and I am certain that this House would never have agreed to such a regulation. The same regulation goes on to say:It is unlikely that these jobs will be found in the home town.In my opinion it is a most serious thing to send men away from their home towns, leaving their wives and families, in order to find work somewhere else. The regulation also provides:If a man abandons the course without good cause, or is dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct, his claim for benefit or transitional payment may be affected.That is another regulation to which it would be extremely difficult to get this House to agree. Under the Bill this regulation would mean that if a man was dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct, he could get no relief under Part II. Where is that man to go? He must be helped in some way. I submit that if this is to be one of the new regulations, then there is only one place for that man, and that is the workhouse. Another regulation says:Men applying for a course must be prepared to proceed either to a residential or non-residential centre. On and from 1st March, 1934, the fixed charge for board and lodging at residential centres will be increased by 1s. per week so that a man sent to that type of centre will be left with 3s. per week for personal expenses.If the new regulations for these training centres are made on the lines of the present regulations, then the Lord help the poor fellows who have to go there.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON
Nonsense. I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member further than to say that 231 I have spent a good many weeks in the last three months talking to trainees in their own homes and in their lodgings, and I have gone round the training centres themselves. I think that they are probably the most contented body of young men in England to-day. They are enthusiastic at the chance of getting a fresh start in life away from home. Only yesterday a man said to me, "I have never been so well satisfied for years as I am now. I have got away from home, and a chance now to start life afresh. People are good, and help me." To talk as the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) is now talking shows that he is wholly out of touch with the young trainees themselves.
§ Mr. MARTIN
Has the hon. Member visited any of the training centres which draw their men from the distressed areas? I have visited several which draw largely from the Tyneside and my own division, and I can support what the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) says.
§ Mr. BATEY
I am not denying the fact that some of them are quite comfortable, but at the same time that is not all the story, because one has met many men in the distressed areas who have returned dissatisfied. Here is another regulation which is in force at present:The fixed charge for board and lodgings at residential centres will be increased by 1s. per week so that a man sent to that type of centre will be left with 3s. per week for personal expenses.I put it to hon. Members, would they be satisfied with 3s. a week for personal expenses?—[HON. MEMBERS: "Certainly!"]—All I have to say is that hon. Members are easily satisfied. The hon. and gallant Member says that he has met a good many of these men who are quite contented. I have heard the same argument before. During the War it was said that our soldiers were quite contented. It was the common story—
§ 6.13 p.m.
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
The point which the Committee was discussing before the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) intervened, was one which raised an important question of principle under Part II. I did not hear the earlier part of the Debate, but I heard the hon. Member for Maxton [Interruption]—I am sorry for the slip; it is only in another place that each Member is himself his own constituency—I meant the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and the speech of the Minister of Labour as well as the Solicitor-General, and I confess that the answers of the Solicitor-General and the Minister seemed to me to contradict one another. The hon. Member for Bridgeton put a specific point. Suppose a grievance arises at one of the training centres and the individual concerned communicates with a Member of Parliament, is the Member of Parliament in a position to raise the case at once in this House? I gathered from the speech of the Solicitor-General that he would not be, that he would be only at liberty to discuss whether the regulations were properly made and properly applied, but from the Minister of Labour I gathered that all that for which hon. Members have been asking would be allowable. It is an important principle, because hitherto the citizen has always been able, if aggrieved, to have recourse to some person in authority who is responsible to the people. If it is an institution under a local authority, he can have recourse to the local authority, but if the institution belongs to some authority which is not in receipt of public money, he has, of course, no such redress.
In the case of an institution belonging to the British Broadcasting Corporation, for example, or the Electricity Commissioners there would be no redress, because no public money is being spent, but in this case the money is provided by the taxpayer, and the question that arises is as to whom 233 the aggrieved person can have recourse, or whether this board is irresponsible. That is the main point which has been raised from the Liberal and Labour benches. It now arises in a very conspicuous way. If any one raises a question with regard to the police the Home Secretary cannot say "This is a matter for the Commissioner of Police and I will give no answer." Although everyone knows that the Commissioner does bear the responsibility, still he has to be covered by a Minister in this House, and if a wrong is done the Minister can be censured. If a soldier complains of grave ill-treatment in a regiment, the Secretary for War cannot say "This is a matter for regimental administration. The Colonel is responsible and I shall not answer in the House." Everyone knows that the Minister cannot personally have had control in that particular incident, but the system is such that responsibility has to be taken by the Ministry.
Our grievance against this part of the Bill, is that the Ministry is not willing to shoulder its own responsibility, but wants to create, in between the unemployed and the nation, a buffer authority, this board which is appointed by the Government but can exercise its functions in its own way, and that while there may be occasions for Parliamentary review on particular days in the course of a year, any special grievance arising at a particular time cannot be raised in Parliament immediately. Either that is so or it is not. I gather from the Solicitor-General that it is so, and from the Minister that it is not. Perhaps some other Minister will arbitrate between them.
§ 6.17 p.m.234
§ I withdraw the Amendment or not. There are two distinct points that must be made clear to me. Are we to have the right to raise any complaint that may come from any individual who happens to be in a training center? Can we raise such matters here by questions just as we do with everything else? I understand the Minister to say that he has conceded all that. But to satisfy me he will have to stand up and say it now. Further, I must have accepted what is the kernel of my Amendment, as to the regulations. Will those regulations be submitted to this House for our approval before they are put into force?
§ 6.18 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
The answer to the first question is in the affirmative, and to the second in the negative. As I read the Bill it is quite clear that an individual question can be put to the Minister and the Minister will have to answer it. With regard to the second question, it is not my intention to submit these regulations to the House for affirmative approval.
§ Mr. PALING
Do we understand that if the Minister finds out between now and Report that the Bill does not allow us to do what he states, he will alter the words accordingly?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
If the hon. Member presses the Amendment to a Division, the situation is rather changed. I will look into the matter, and if the Bill does not do what I think it does, I will consider it again. I do not withdraw the offer I have made.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 315; Noes, 70.237
|Division No. 112.]||AYES.||[6.21 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brass, Captain Sir William|
|Alexander, Sir William||Barrle, Sir Charles Coupar||Broadbent, Colonel John|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Beaumont, Hn. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)|
|Asks, Sir Robert William||Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Brown, Ernest (Leith)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Browne, Captain A. C.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Blaker, Sir Reginald||Buchan, John|
|Balley, Eric Alfred George||Boothby, Robert John Graham||Burnett, John George|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Boulton, W. W.||Butler, Richard Austen|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Butt, Sir Alfred|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Balniel, Lord||Bracken, Brendan||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.|
|Carver, Major William H.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Patrick, Colin M.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Pearson, William G.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Peat, Charles U.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hepworth, Joseph||Petherick, M|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord Hugh||Hornby, Frank||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Pybus, Sir Percy John|
|Christle, James Archibald||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Radford, E. A.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Ramsey, Alexander (W. Bromwich)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hurd, Sir Percy||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cook, Thomas A.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Cooke, Douglas||Jennings, Roland||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Copeland, Ida||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Remer, John R.|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Ker, J. Campbell||Rickards, George William|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Knight, Holford||Robinson, John Roland|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Cross, R. H.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Crossley, A. C.||Law, Sir Alfred||Ruggies-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Lees-Jones, John||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Leigh, Sir John||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Levy, Thomas||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lewis, Oswald||Salt, Edward W.|
|Denville, Alfred||Liddall, Walter S.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Dickie, John P.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Donner, P. W.||Llewellin, Major John J.||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Drewe, Cedric||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Eady, George H.||Mabane, William||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Elmley, Viscount||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Emrys, Evans, P. V.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||McKie, John Hamilton||Soper, Richard|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Fermoy, Lord||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurat||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Magnay, Thomas||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Fuller, Captain A. G||Maitland, Adam||Spens, William Patrick|
|Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Stones, James|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Martin, Thomas B.||Storey, Samuel|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Meller, Sir Richard James||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Goldie, Noel B.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitcheson, G. G.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Granville, Edgar||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Morgan, Robert H.||Templeton, William P.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Moss, Captain H. J.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Munro, Patrick||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Nall, Sir Joseph||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Train, John|
|Harbord, Arthur||Nunn, William||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||O'Connor, Terence James||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Hartland, George A.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||Womersley, Walter James|
|Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Wills, Wilfrid D.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Wayland, Sir William A.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Wells, Sydney Richard||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Weymouth, Viscount||Wise, Alfred R.||Sir George Penny and Major George Davies.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxton, James.|
|Bernays, Robert||Grundy, Thomas W.||Milner, Major James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Buchanan, George||Harris, Sir Percy||Parkinson, John Allan|
|Cape, Thomas||Hicks, Ernest George||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Holdsworth, Herbert||Price, Gabriel|
|Cove, William G.||Janner, Barnett||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Curry, A. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Dagger, George||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Dobbie, William||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Logan, David Gilbert||White, Henry Graham|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Lunn, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Wilmot, John|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. Groves.|
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I beg to move, in page 32, line 1, to leave out "Contribute towards," and to insert "make contributions in respect of."
The purpose of this Amendment is to enable the Board to contribute, if they wish, the whole cost of a course. It was thought that the words "contribute towards" might limit them to a proportion, however large the proportion might be. This Amendment, which is little more than a drafting Amendment, is proposed in order to make it clear that they have full power as regards their contribution.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 6.31 p.m.
I beg to move, in page 32, line 2, after "courses" to insert:and of any charges incidental thereto, including contributions towards compensation of accidents, conducted.The object of the Amendment is to make certain that if a person is unfortunately injured while undergoing training, he shall not be debarred by the interplay of departmental authorities or what not, from being abe to get some compensation which at present appears to be possible. My hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Albery), who is 238 associated with me in this Amendment, has had a case brought to his notice in which a man who had been put on to some form of relief work lost his eye. He could get no compensation from anybody, and he was rendered unfit to carry on his original occupation, which was that of a chauffeur, because a chauffeur with one eye would be a public danger. Under the regulations and rules of administration which exist to-day such a case can happen, and I do not wish that that should be possible any longer.
Under paragraph (b) I fancy that any person who was being employed in that way by a local authority would be able to recover, but in the case of a person actually in a training camp it is doubtful who, if anybody, is his employer from the point of view of the Workmen's Compensation Acts. Our object is to safeguard the position in that respect. Possibly, the point is covered somewhere else in the Bill. In such a complicated Measure it is not easy to discover whether points of this kind are covered or not. If this kind of case is not covered, I hope that action will be taken to deal with it. If it is covered, I apologise to the Committee for detaining them.
§ 6.35 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I hope that the Minister will give serious consideration to this 239 suggestion. The Minister himself, in his own experience, is probably aware of the desirability of some arrangement being made to bring a trainee or workman in these circumstances definitely within the compensation law. In my own experience at the Ministry of Labour I have known cases in which the difficulty has arisen of getting some standard of assessment and where there has been just some sort of honorarium to meet the case. Whether the Minister accepts this Amendment or not I think he ought to take steps to see that the essence of the Amendment is included in this Bill so as to safeguard not only the men concerned but the Unemployment Assistance Board.
§ 6.36 p.m.
§ Sir A. WILSON
I appeal to the Minister to give this Amendment favourable consideration. It is within my knowledge that there is some anxiety among trainees as to whether or not they would receive fair compensation in the event of an accident. I know that at every centre a careful record is kept of every accident however trifling and that very few accidents actually occur. But some accidents do happen, particularly of the type involving the doctrine of common employment of which we recently heard so much. Those are cases in which one trainee causes accident to another by carelessness or by skylarking, which cannot be avoided when you are dealing with boys of 18. Further, when men are working at oxy-acetylene welding and electric welding it is impossible to avoid accidents altogether, and I feel sure that the training courses would be more popular if some hope were held out of a regular standard of compensation in such cases.
§ 6.37 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
The words in the Billcontribute towards the cost of the provision and maintenance of such courseshave been held by the Treasury to cover contributions of the kind which the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) contemplates. That is to say, they would give the board the power to make contributions by way of compensation in cases where persons are injured, and it is the intention that such payments should continue to be made in connection with the training 240 centres which may be established under the Bill. The Amendment merely refers to the power to give compensation, and does not raise the wider question mentioned by the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) as to whether it might or might not be desirable to introduce a definite compensation scheme. I do not go into that question, because, as I say, it is not raised in the Amendment, and I am not sure that such a proposal might not increase the charge. So far as the Amendment is concerned, the suggested power is already there, and the intention is that it should be exercised.
The objection to accepting the Amendment is that there are certain other powers incidental to the maintenance of these courses which have been, and are, held by the Treasury to be covered by the words "provision and maintenance." For example, there was a case—not a compensation case in the sense contemplated by the Amendment—where a trainee through some carelessness set fire to neighbouring property in circumstances in which he was personally liable. Under these words a grant was made to the person injured so as to prevent the trainee being made liable for the whole amount. I mention that to illustrate the fact that these words are capable of a wide meaning, but if we were to introduce the words of the Amendment and a reference to specific contributions towards compensation, they might be held to exclude the other and wider powers to which I have referred. I hope, therefore, that with the assurance that the powers contemplated are already there, and that his words might be made the basis of an argument for cutting down further powers, the hon. and gallant Member will withdraw his Amendment.
I see the hon. and learned Member's point, and I do not press the matter. I merely express the hope that between now and the Report stage consideration will be given to the suggestion of the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), which is really what we had in mind, although perhaps we did not express it quite as well as he did.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
I beg to move, in page 32, line 3, to leave out "or other body."
241 This Clause provides that the Unemployment Assistance Board may provide and maintain training courses and contribute towards the cost of the provision and maintenance of such courses "by the Minister or any local authority or other body." We on this side take the strongest exception to the possibility of such training courses being run by some body other than the Minister himself or the local authority. We are not quite happy at the idea of these courses being run by the Minister or by any local authority, but we certainly object to the proposal that they should be organised by any other bodies.
I do not know what the Minister has in mind in these words. He may have in mind the centres run by the Council of Social Service and similar bodies. But these words might conceivably cover training courses provided and maintained by an employer of labour. They would certainly seem to cover courses provided and maintained by an association of employers, and there are great possibilities of danger in that, not only to the men themselves but to the standards of labour and wages which have been set up for so many years. We fear that courses in the form here indicated might lead to something in the nature of Fascism—certainly to some form of test work—and might result in the reduction of standards. In our view it is essential, if training courses are to be provided at all, that they should be provided and maintained by the Minister or by local authorities, and not by any other body. No doubt the Minister will tell us the body he has in mind, but in our view the words "or other body" are far too vague and indefinite. More than that, we see in these words the possibility of an exploitation of the unemployed which none of us could visualise with any degree of satisfaction. The words are far too wide, and the possibilities are far too indefinite.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
We have been discussing this evening whether this House has effective control over the training organisations which are to be set up under this Clause, and after listening to the speeches of the Minister and the Solicitor-General, we came to the conclusion that the amount of control by the House over the Unemployment Assistance 242 Board in respect of these training centres is very little indeed. We understand that under this Clause the board, provided it can satisfy the Minister, which ought not to be very difficult, because he is the one who is giving it these powers, will be able to make substantial contributions to organisations entirely outside any sort of popular control at all. That is an amazing thing to do. First, we have training centres under the Ministry of Labour, over which we have direct control. We abandon them and put them under the aegis of the Unemployment Assistance Board, over which we have the most indirect control, and then public money may be paid out by the board to voluntary associations over which we have simply no control at all. I submit that this is a rake's progress. Where is this House going to stop setting up and promoting all sorts of extra-constitutional organisations without the slightest measure of Parliamentary control?
We have been told that we have some sort of control because we can raise this matter on a Vote of Supply. There are 70 odd issues on which the salary of the Minister of Labour can be challenged, and we have to assume that we can exercise effective control over this vast enterprise, this most extraordinary departure from our constitutional practice, by having one opportunity among 70 other subjects of criticising the Minister. It is rubbish, and every hon. Member knows it is rubbish. We have had some suggestion as to what is to be done. There are certain social service centres being established in Great Britain, some with the assistance of Government money and others with contributions made by philanthropic persons. The rich will do everything for the poor except get off their backs. At the present time there is a large number of philanthropically inclined persons who make contributions to the Conservative funds and to these social service centres. They make contributions to Conservative funds to stop the Income Tax being raised and to the social service centres to assist the unemployed, who are being demoralised and depressed because the Income Taxpayer will not pay more.
We have centres in South Wales like Nant-y-glo, Blaenavon, and Brynmawr, where there are something like 86 per cent. of the insurable population out of 243 employment. It is true that in Brynmawr some idealistic persons have done what they consider to be good work, but it is a mere drop in the ocean. I believe the Prime Minister paid a special tribute to the work being done in Brynmawr, but the most they have done is to colour-wash a couple of ugly houses. That is the purpose of the National Government. It is not to remove distress, but to whitewash it. In Nant-y-glo and Brynmawr where there are 86 per cent. of the adult insurable population out of employment, the suggestion is that you should organise social service centres in order that the men might be able to repair their own boots. You organise social services like club houses, in which men can play bagatelles, or ludo, or snakes and ladders. You first of all, by neglect or by failure to face up to your opportunities, reduce the unemployed to a position of demoralisation, and then you organise these voluntary services in order that people may be encouraged to pay a bit of conscience money. It is a shocking commentary upon social organisations in this country that, instead of according to unemployed men their rights, you dole out charity.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain Bourne)
The hon. Member seems to me to be getting rather far from the Amendment. Whether the Amendment is carried or not, it will not prevent contributions being paid towards the provision and maintenance of these courses.
§ Mr. BEVAN
It would prevent public money being used to subsidise voluntary organisations, and when you say I am getting rather far from the Amendment, Captain Bourne, the difficulty facing us is that we are giving wide and comprehensive powers to the Minister, and we do not know where those powers will stop. Parliament itself is not imposing any limits, and when you tell me I am out of order, you could perhaps guide me by telling me exactly what the Minister would be prevented from making a contribution towards. Then I shall know what I am not able to discuss, but under these powers the Minister will be allowed to make contributions to the Unemployment Assistance Board and to any other body, provided he agrees with them. When you say to me in this Committee that I am out of order, I say that it 244 is possible for an hon. Member to discuss any form of voluntary association or any organisation, because the Minister under these powers can make a contribution to anything he likes.
§ Mr. BEVAN
He can contribute, as my hon. Friend says, to the expenses of the hunger marchers if he likes. I suggest to the Committee that it is not possible to criticise Members on this side because they point out that these powers may be used to make contributions to any organisation whatsoever. Indeed, I should be in perfect order in saying that, provided the Unemployment Assistance Board wanted to do it and the Minister approved of it, they could give funds to Fascist organisations under this Clause. It is not sufficient to tell us that the Minister will not do it. The function of this House is to prevent his having the power to do it, and I submit that we ought not to extend this system of voluntary training to include any organisation except those organisations over which Parliament has direct control.
This point has given rise to very high feelings among some of the unemployed men. I attended a most heated discussion of unemployed men the other day as to whether or not they ought to associate themselves with a voluntary scheme for boot repairing and recreation, and the unemployed took up this line: They said, "We are citizens of this country. If the State thinks that it has with these things, hen we ought to be an obligation towards us to provide us accorded them in respect to our citizenship, and we ought not to be the recipients of private relief or charity from any person whatsoever." Many of them were exceedingly angry about it, and they said they were not going to be the recipients of charity, that these people who have come to organise these social services, while they were themselves decent persons, could not substitute as a charity something that ought to be accorded to them as a right.
That is the line that we are taking on this Bill. It is an offence against the dignity of unemployed men that public money should be handled by private people over whom Parliament has no control. The House of Commons is degenerating to a miserable level indeed in 245 being prepared to relinquish these powers. I would point out the extraordinary situation in which we shall be placed. There are large numbers of voluntary organisations, and the Minister will have power to select one and to reject another. Can any hon. Member who supports this proposal tell me the criteria which will decide to which organisation funds are to be given? [An HON. MEMBER: "Common sense!"] I have never seen any signs of common sense among Conservative Members yet. This is going to be an arbitrary selection. If you have a purely voluntary organisation among the unemployed themselves, run by people who might be described by the Minister as politically undesirable, some of whom might be Communists or Socialists, and they themselves organise voluntary games, the Minister will say, "No, we cannot subsidise you out of public money."
§ Mr. BEVAN
As my hon. Friend says, they are not in the Primrose League. But if another set of people come forward doing exactly the same work, carrying on exactly the same activities, but they are people of a different political complexion, although, of course, they will call themselves non-political, they will have public money. I submit that it ought not to be in the power of a Minister to make such discrimination. Public money ought not to be given out in such a way, and I appeal to the Committee to carry the Amendment. If you wish to establish training centres, if you wish to pay out public money, pay it out and establish them under the aegis of the board. If any extension is required, extend them under the aegis of the board. Once, however, you permit the board, over whom Parliament has no control, to hand out money to voluntary organisations, then you are laying yourselves open to very grave suspicion indeed. The Noble Lord the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) talked the other day about patronage. You are now saying to the Minister, "Here is unlimited money at your disposal; you can give it to whom you like; you can even go along and give it to your own constituents." That would be a remarkable situation. Some hon. Members would be able to secure money for their own constituencies with help 246 from other constituencies, because if a voluntary organisation is in a constituency or can be set up in a constituency, hon. Members may be able to obtain money from this fund for their own constituents which cannot be obtained for the constituents of other hon. Members.
Hon. Members may think that this is drawing a bow at a venture, but we have already had experience of it. Very high feeling has been created, because in some centres some of the money that was available has been spent on this Community Service Committee and not in other ways. Unless you have some sort of objective criteria on which to decide where, how and upon whom the money is to be spent, you must rely upon a purely subjective decision by an authoritative person. When you have reached that position, you have a possibility of endless corruption of the most serious kind and of the most deadly nature for the political democracy. You will be able to afford to the constituents of certain hon. Members amenities which will be withheld from others. I submit to the Minister that he ought to accept this Amendment, and I would point out to hon. Members—although some of them will probably get up and make speeches on what good work has been done by this and what excellent work has been done by that organisation, and how desirable these bodies are and how they ought to be supported—that if the work is good it should be done under the Unemployment Assistance Board. If it is desirable work, do it under your own organisations; if you think that it is reconditioning the unemployed or preventing them from becoming further demoralised, do it under your own aegis; but do not permit a lot of mealy-mouthed people to acquire a reputation for virtue by spending public money.
§ 7.4 p.m.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
I do not mean to follow the hon. Member who has just sat down into all the descriptions he has given of much of the work, but I should like to say, in passing, that the large majority of his descriptions of the work that has been done for the unemployed is of much the same standard as his description yesterday of the whole meaning of democracy. I should, however, like to draw the attention of the Committee to what was put forward by the Royal Commission on page 340 of its report. The 247 Royal Commission pointed out that a great deal of good work had been done, and suggested that on certain conditions funds should be given to carry on that work. It spoke of the Society of Friends, the British Institute of Adult Education, the Settlements, the Workers' Educational Association, and the like—which have given evidence of active interest in the provision of special facilities for unemployed workers. We should hope that alongside the official efforts, these unofficial agencies will continue their work.On another part of the same page, the report states:The inauguration and management of these schemes sometimes involves the voluntary associations in expenditure beyond their resources. We think that it should be possible for the official authorities, under agreed conditions, to give some financial assistance.That is what has been done with financial assistance to voluntary organisations. But I rose particularly to draw the attention of the Minister to one point which has probably not been fully understood, and to a particular kind of work which has probably not been fully appreciated, by those who are moving this Amendment. I refer particularly to the Central Committee on Women's Training and Employment. I should like to ask whether those who have moved this Amendment wish all grants to that committee to be stopped? If they studied the report they would see, if they do not already know, the work which that committee is doing in training unemployed women. If they had looked at the work that has been done, they would not have lightly asked for the removal of the financial assistance. As most hon. Members know, that work is particularly concerned with domestic training. My hon. Friends opposite would do well, before they deprive these women of the chance of getting domestic service, a chance of which they are not forced to take advantage but which they accept voluntarily, to study what the result has been and to hear from some of the people who have taken advantage of that training how it has helped them. No doubt in many cases hon. Members opposite would think it better that women who cannot now get employment in the trades in which they were previously employed should not seek employment at all. That is not my opinion. I have tremendous admiration for the girls and women who 248 have found that they cannot now get employment in the industries in which they were employed in the past and have gone voluntarily to training centres to fit themselves to earn their own livelihood and to make themselves independent by getting such training as has been offered. [An HON. MEMBER: "Independent!"] I see a great deal of value in being independent and earning your own livelihood rather than being unemployed because the particular walk in life which is open to you is not one which you yourself would prefer. On page 326 the report states that since 1931 a total of 5,640 women have been trained through these arrangements, and that out of that number 4,263 have entered domestic service during or after the completion of their training. These centres are voluntary, this training is voluntary, and I fail to see why hon. Members opposite who have said, as the last hon. Member said, that it was right for people to go to training centres, should deny the rights of these people to go to these centres and should wish to take away the financial aid which makes it possible.
§ Mr. BEVAN
All I said was that, if you think that this work should be done, why do you not do it through organisations that are perfectly responsible to Parliament? Why do you do it through organisations for which this House has no direct responsibility? Why should you allow individuals over whom we have no control to spend public money?
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
I do not think for one moment that I ever misrepresented the hon. Member opposite. I never said that his point had not been as he has stated. I pointed out—and I thought perhaps from the applause that hon. Members agreed with me—that if this Amendment was accepted, hon. Members opposite would be perfectly satisfied to see this work of the Central Women's Committee abandoned. My hon. Friend agree with me there. I have said that the work of the central committee should be ended. I do not know whether the hon. Member, and also hon. Members on the Front Bench, agree with me when I say that it is a good thing that the people who have been working and have done yeoman service in the past on this committee, and those who have availed themselves thankfully of that work, should now realise that there are 249 people who are asking that their grant shall be taken away and that they may be deprived of the chance of training at that centre.
§ 7.10 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I should probably not have intervened but for the speech of the last hon. Member. I hope that I shall not be accused of lecturing anyone when I suggest that she must agree that some of us have taken an interest in these matters for at least as long a time as she has. I have never seen unemployed women welcome this interference from outside bodies, even from the women's committee. I admit that this women's body has been the subject of approval of all Governments, but the hon. Lady fails to recognise first of all the point put by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan). She has never answered that point. Here you are making grants of public money. Hitherto those bodies have carried on in the main without grants of public money. In certain cases the Government gave them limited sums, but here is a new proposal that no limit should be placed on them, that public money should be handed over to outside bodies to administer as they like, and that this House should have no right to control the spending of that money. It ought to be spent by a public authority.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
Does my hon. Friend not see in the Bill that this has all to be done with the approval of the Minister?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Yes, approved by the Minister, but the actual spending of the money is done by another body. The Minister approves of the body, but he cannot—and anybody who knows administration knows that he cannot—approve of every £100 that is spent. Once he has approved of the bodies they spend as they think fit.
To turn to the question of domestic service, I am surprised at what the hon. Lady has said. First of all, may I say that she is wrong about the service being voluntary? She is now being confused: she is talking about the last Act, not the Bill which we are passing. Will she please read the Clause? She is capable in other matters; I wish she were as capable in this one. In Clause 39 it is laid down that if a person does not attend 250 one of those training centres he is not merely to be disallowed benefit, but he will actually be classified along with the men who ill-treat their wives. It is one of a certain limited set of offences which are dealt with very drastically. Voluntary bodies of this kind, moreover, often have a religious connection. Under this Clause it is possible for a person to be compelled to go to a training centre run by a voluntary body of another religious denomination than his own. I presume that the hon. Lady will allow the unemployed to have a religious training of their own. There may well be a conflict between the individual and the body running the centre. Under this Clause the attendance is no longer voluntary. My parents in Scotland come from the Highlands and have all been domestic servants. They did not need to be trained to be domestic servants. [An HON. MEMBER: "They would need it now!"] I will try to answer the point that training for domestic service is needed now. It may be true that some servants need to be trained, but I must confess that I cannot see the need.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
I pointed out that this work was voluntary in the sense that in 1931 over 5,600 women went voluntarily for training. They evidently thought that they were in need of training.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In actual fact, they did not go voluntarily. It never was really voluntary. A person was passed for training under the old Acts, and, if she went before the court of referees and did not take the training, it was tantamount to doing something which prejudiced her benefit. I have a rooted objection to spending public money the proceeds of which, even if the body be a good one, must go to a limited section of the community. Who employs domestic servants? The people who employ them are a small minority. The working class cannot employ domestic servants, and I have a fundamental objection to working-class money being used to provide domestic servants for the rich. In Glasgow they have trained women who are able to assist the working class in times of illness and distress, but this scheme is to train people to be servants of the rich. A person who employs a domestic servant must be comparatively well off. The servant has to be fed and 251 clothed, and payments have to be made for insurance and compensation. That means that a domestic servant cannot be kept unless—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I do not think this is the time to discuss who can and who cannot employ domestic servants. The hon. Lady merely said that this was one of the type of bodies that would come under this Clause, and the question who employs domestic servants cannot be discussed.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I object to public money being used to train servants for people who can pay for the training themselves. The rich people are mainly the employers of domestic servants, and, instead of setting apart a fund of their own to train them, they came and filch public funds for it. There is a good deal of nonsense talked about training domestic servants. I have lived in a big industrial city where unemployment among women is relatively higher than among men. If the mothers of these women had a sufficient income, they could train their daughters intelligently to do ordinary household duties without them going to a training centre. I have all my life mixed with ordinary working people, and a girl can have no finer training for domestic service than from her mother if she has a decent income. This scheme is a substitute for giving the mother an income herself to train the girl. Why not give the money to the mothers instead of handing it over to this private charity and enable them to equip their girls better for their work?
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) will forgive me bringing in a contentious matter, but he knows that we had the matter in the Trades Union Congress in Scotland, and they unfortunately supported it. It seems to me that this training body is a small set of people who wish to become well known and to earn distinction as cheaply as they can. There is nothing to prevent them raising all the money they need without coming to the House, but they wish to earn a reputation for being kindly disposed and willing to help the poor. The poor are as capable of looking after themselves as any body of persons. They do not need any voluntary body with State funds to do it for them. If you 252 will give the ordinary unemployed man and woman a decent income, they will train their daughters more capably than anybody else can, but I trust that the Minister will devote any money that he may give to these bodies to seeing that the mothers are given a decent chance to look after their families.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Mr. KENNETH LINDSAY
This is not a new principle at all. The principle of the State subsidising voluntary institutions is a very old principle. It has been done in the Overseas Settlement Department ever since the end of the War, and all kinds of settlers have been subsidised. If the hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) were here, he would agree that some valuable work has been done. The principle is much older than the Empire Settlement Act. It is as old as the form of subsidy that is given, say, to a secondary school which has inherited endowments. The phrase with regard to any other body is also inserted in Part I of the Bill. The National Council of Social Services was instrumental in helping to get this Clause put in the Bill. That body does not require great funds. If it had big funds, the voluntary nature of the work would immediately be lost. There are, however, certain administrative expenses which have to be met, and £10,000 a year is a mere bagatelle. I do not think that that will make any difference to the problem of poverty. The point is that there are people in the mining areas—unemployed men themselves—who are organising centres. In some of the areas men with a little leisure time have given the lead. Good luck to them for anything that will make some difference to the men in these areas is to be encouraged.
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) discussed most of the time the Minister's powers, but that is another question. I am only saying that under the Empire Settlement Act and a great many other Acts this assistance has been given before. I do not want to go over all the other questions which hon. Gentlemen and hon. and learned Gentlemen have been discussing for four hours to-day, but I do say that the training organisations apart from the centres which the Ministry have set up have done good work. The Ministry of Labour cannot do this sort of work. You are not 253 going to train people for fresh employment in the centres. There is a limited amount of that kind of training that can be done in the centres, and their main advantage is that they give their men some chance of getting work when industry improves. In the National Council we are dealing with 200,000 men who are practically self-organised. It has nothing to do with Fascism or Nazism; it is based on the oldest principle in this country, the principle of voluntary organisation. On these grounds this necessary Clause may well be inserted in the Bill.
§ 7.27 p.m.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
The reason for the insertion of these words has been correctly stated by the hon. Member for Dundee (Miss Horsbrugh). Without this power the board would not be enabled to make contributions to the Central Committee for Women's Training or for such bodies as the National Council of Social Service. The board may also make arrangements with local education authorities and other bodies of that kind. Whatever views hon. Members may have on the propriety of giving
§ money to such bodies as these, the place to raise the question is on the Estimates. Every item appears separately in the Estimates, and therefore every question that arises as to the propriety of giving grants to any of these bodies can be properly raised and decided when the Estimates are before the House. Ever since I have been in the House the demand has been for more money for training women, and I will certainly not accept an Amendment which will not allow this to be done.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
Suppose a certain sum is given to an organisation, who will audit the accounts of the money so given and certify to the House that it has been spent?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
As regards the National Council, I will look into it and let the hon. Gentleman know. I really cannot answer now.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 348; Noes, 71.257
|Division No. 113.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Craven-Ellis, William|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Crooke, J. Smedley|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)|
|Alexander, Sir William||Browne, Captain A. C.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Buchan, John||Cross, R. H.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Crossley, A. C.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Burghley, Lord||Culverwell, Cyril Tom|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Burnett, John George||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Davison, Sir William Henry|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Denville, Alfred|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Dickie, John P.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Donner, P. W.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Carver, Major William H.||Drewe, Cedric|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cassels, James Dale||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Barrle, Sir Charles Coupar||Castlereagh, Viscount||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Duggan, Hubert John|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Dunglass, Lord|
|Bann, Sir Arthur Shirley||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Eady, George H.|
|Bernays, Robert||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Edge, Sir William|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Elmley, Viscount|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Blindell, James||Christle, James Archibald||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Clarry, Reginald George||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Borodale, Viscount.||Clayton, Sir Christopher||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Conant, R. J. E.||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Cook, Thomas A.||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Bracken, Brendan||Cooke, Douglas||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Cooper, A. Duff||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Copeland, Ida||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||Mabane, William||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Salt, Edward W.|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||McCorquodale, M. S.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Goff, Sir Park||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Goldie, Noel B.||McKie, John Hamilton||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Scone, Lord|
|Gower, Sir Robert||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Magnay, Thomas||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Maitland, Adam||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Martin, Thomas B.||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Meller, Sir Richard James||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Harbord, Arthur||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Soper, Richard|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hartland, George A.||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Morgan, Robert H.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Spans, William Patrick|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Munro, Patrick||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Nall, Sir Joseph||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stones, James|
|Hornby, Frank||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Storey, Samuel|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Nunn, William||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||O'Connor, Terence James||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Hurd, Sir Percy||Patrick, Colin M.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Pearson, William G.||Templeton, William P.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Peat, Charles U.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe)||Penny, Sir George||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Percy, Lord Eustace||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Jennings, Roland||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Petherick, M||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Train, John|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Radford, E. A.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Knight, Hollord||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Ratcliffe, Arthur||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Lees-Jones, John||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Levy, Thomas||Remer, John R.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Lewis, Oswald||Rickards, George William||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)||Robinson, John Roland||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Llewellin, Major John J.||Ross, Ronald D.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Roes Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Locker-Lampoon, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd, Gr'n)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndsw'th)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Major George Davies and Mr. Womersley.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Buchanan, George||Curry, A. C.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cape, Thomas||Dagger, George|
|Batey, Joseph||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Cove, William G.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Dobbie, William|
|Edwards, Charles||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Price, Gabriel|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Kirkwood, David||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Lawson, John James||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Rothschild, James A. de|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Logan, David Gilbert||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W).||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mainwaring, William Henry||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||White, Henry Graham|
|Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Z'tl'nd)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Wilmot, John|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Maxton, James||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Milner, Major James||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Janner, Barnett||Owen, Major Goronwy||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Jenkins, Sir William||Paling, Wilfred||Mr. C. Macdonald and Mr. Groves.|
|John, William||Parkinson, John Allen|
§ It being after Half-past Seven of the Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th December, successively to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment moved by the Government of which notice had been given, and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Seven of the Clock at this day's sitting.258
§ Amendment made: In page 32, line 20, leave out "towards," and insert "in respect of."—[Sir Betterton.]
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 350; Noes, 65.261
|Division No. 114.]||AYES.||[7.43 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Burghley, Lord||Donner, P. W.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Burnett, John George||Drewe, Cedric|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Alexander, Sir William||Butt, Sir Alfred||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Duggan, Hubert John|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Dunglass, Lord|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Eady, George H.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Carver, Major William H.||Edge, Sir William|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Cassels, James Dale||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Castlereagh, Viscount||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Elmley, Viscount|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Fleming, Edward Lascelles|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Christle, James Archibald||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Bernays, Robert||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Clarry, Reginald George||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Clayton, Sir Christopher||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Blindell, James||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Conant, R. J. E.||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Borodale, Viscount||Cook, Thomas A.||Gledhill, Gilbert|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cooke, Douglas||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cooper, A. Duff||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Copeland, Ida||Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Craven-Ellis, William||Goldie, Noel B.|
|Bracken, Brendan||Crooke, J. Smedley||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cross, R. H.||Granville, Edgar|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Crossley, A. C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Greene, William P. C.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Davison, Sir William Henry||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Buchan, John||Denville, Alfred||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Dickie, John P.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbert||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Maitland, Adam||Scone, Lord|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Harbord, Arthur||Martin, Thomas B.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Hartland, George A.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Meller, Sir Richard James||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Mills, Sir Frederick (Layton, E.)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col, Sir Walter D.|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Morgan, Robert H.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Moss, Captain H. J.||Soper, Richard|
|Hornby, Frank||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Munro, Patrick||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Nall, Sir Joseph||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Spens, William Patrick|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Nunn, William||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||O'Connor, Terence James||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Stones, James|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Storey, Samuel|
|Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Palmer, Francis Noel||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Jennings, Roland||Pearson, William G.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Peat, Charles U.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Penny, Sir George||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Percy, Lord Eustace||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Petherick, M.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Templeton, William P.|
|Knight, Holford||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Radford, E. A.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on.T.)|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Train, John|
|Lees-Jones, John||Ratcliffe, Arthur||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Levy, Thomas||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Lewis, Oswald||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Walisend)|
|Llewellin, Major John J.||Remer, John R.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Rickards, George William||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt.Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'ndew'th)||Robinson, John Roland||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Ross, Ronald [...].||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Mabane, William||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Withers, Sir John James|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Salt, Edward W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|McLean, Major Sir Alan||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Womersley.||Major George Davies and Mr.|
|Magnay, Thomas||Savery, Samuel Servington||Womersley.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Daggar, George||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Dobbie, William||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Edwards, Charles||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Buchanan, George||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Grundy, Thomas W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Hicks, Ernest George|
|Curry, A. C.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Holdsworth, Herbert|
|Janner, Barnett||Mainwaring, William Henry||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Jenkins, Sir William||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|John, William||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Maxton, James||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Milner, Major James||Sinker, John Joseph|
|Kirkwood, David||Nathan, Major H. L.||White, Henry Graham|
|Lawson, John James||Owen, Major Goronwy||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Paling, Wilfred||Wilmot, John|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Lunn, William||Pickering, Ernest H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|McEntee, Valentine L.||Price, Gabriel||Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. Groves.|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Rea, Walter Russell|