§ 3.40 p.m.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)
I beg to move, in page 39, line 32, to leave out from "be" to the end of the paragraph, and insert:calculated as if the sum of the two amounts aforesaid were reduced by an amount equal to that grant.I do not think it is necessary for me to say much in support of this Amendment, because it merely fulfils a promise which I made last December that I would make this further concession to the distressed areas. I think the concession explains itself. The effect is that from the sum of the two amounts mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Sub-section (2) of Clause 44 there is to be deducted the amount of the grant already given to distressed areas, and the 60 per cent. contribution is only to be made on the reduced amount. The effect is, of course, that not only is the amount of the relief increased, but the field it covers is extended to all those areas which have been in receipt of a special grant.
§ Mr. LECKIE
This carries out the promise made by the Chancellor on the 942 Second Reading, and, on behalf of the distressed areas, I beg to thank him for having carried it out.
§ 3.42 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
It is true that this carries out the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Second Reading of the Money Resolution, but I say now, as I said then, and shall say further on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," that it in no sense carries out the promise made earlier from the Government Benches as to the taking over of the whole of the unemployed and accepting financial responsibility for them, as was understood at that time.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 3.43 p.m.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 40, line 33, to leave out from the first "the" to the end of the Sub-section, and insert:cost of such relief as aforesaid provided by that council bears to the aggregate cost of such relief provided in Great Britain.This is a further concession. It is not one which affects the Exchequer, but it is one which alters the distribution of the relief among the various authorities concerned, and, instead of making the relief proportionate to the relation which the contribution of any particular council 943 bears to the whole amount of the contributions so payable, it is now made proportionate to the relation which the cost of the relief provided by that council bears to the aggregate cost of relief in Great Britain. That means to say that it is a proportionate relief in each case according to the amount provided by any particular council. This also is in response to a definitely expressed desire on the part of the authorities themselves.
§ 3.44 p.m.
§ Mr. JAMES REID
I am sure that the local authorities will be gratified to have some concession from the Chancellor in this matter, but I am not clear how far the concession goes, and I would like to ask my right hon. Friend a question, if I may put it in a concrete way. As I understand it, if the expenditure disbursed under Clause 40 exceeds 5 per cent. of the whole contributions all over the country, then this concession takes effect. Let us suppose that in one area the proportion is 10 per cent. That area will now get its whole 10 per cent., and not a smaller sum, as it would have done had not this Amendment been made. Suppose, however, that all over the country, on the average, the sum incurred under Clause 40 is only 4 per cent. of the total contributions, and suppose that in the particular area of which we are speaking it is nevertheless 10 per cent., do I understand that that area, although it has the same 10 per cent., gets nothing, simply because in other places things work rather differently and the average is only 4 instead of 5 per cent.? I should like to be assured by the Chancellor, in the first place, that the local authority's expenditure is fully met provided that the national average is 5 per cent., and I would like to ask him what is the position in the case of a heavily burdened area where the proportion is, say, 10 per cent., when the national average is only 4 per cent.
§ 3.47 p.m.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I would like the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give attention to the point which has been raised by the hon. Member for Stirling and Falkirk (Mr. J. Reid), and also to be good enough to put me right if I am wrong in regard to this matter. I understand that the 944 local authorities will be compensated by the Treasury if the amount which they pay out is over 5 per cent.; but under the Bill as it stands the compensation is calculated in such a way that all local authorities will get the amount that is coming to them in accordance with the amount they have actually, contributed to the fund. That appears to me, and to a number of local authorities, to work very unfairly, because in most of the poorer areas the number of people whom I have seen described as "condition breakers"—people who break conditions and in consequence are transferred from the Unemployment Assistance Board to the local public assistance committee—obviously will be more numerous, and, if these poorer areas are compelled to pay whatever amount of relief they pay to these "condition breakers" as a consequence of their having been prevented from getting relief from the Unemployment Assistance Board, I think everyone will agree that the areas in which money is spent on these condition breakers ought to get the full proportion, not of the amount they have contributed to the national fund, but of the amount which they have actually spent in keeping these condition breakers. I am not going to take up time by trying to figure out the effects of the Amendment and see whether the insertion of these words will make the position of these hardly hit local authorities more fair and just than it is under the Bill as it is printed, but if the Chancellor could inform us whether those hardly hit areas will be fairly compensated, I think the Committee, and local authorities, will be very pleased. I should be glad if he would make it clear whether that is the intention of the Amendment.
§ 3.51 p.m.
§ Mr. GRAHAM WHITE
The Clause as originally drafted did not appear to afford the protection to individuals and municipalities which was foreshadowed in the financial memorandum, and there has, consequently, been some anxiety in the minds of a number of municipalities as to the additional charges that they might be called upon to bear as the result of the operation of Clauses 39 and 40. The charges that will arise under those Clauses must naturally be a source of speculation until actual practice has shown how they work out. I have been 945 studying the Amendment and I have the same difficulty and doubt as the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. I understand, however, that the form of words on the Paper satisfies the municipal authorities that are concerned in the matter. I thank the right hon. Gentleman, accordingly, for the intention of meeting them, and I hope he may be able to resolve the doubt that has been raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ 3.52 p.m.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am not surprised that it is a little difficult to be quite certain of the exact meaning of the words. It requires rather close attention. I hope, if it is not clear, that I may be able to make it perfectly unmistakable. This relief only comes into operation when the aggregate of all the cost of relief is in excess of 5 per cent. of the contributions. Therefore the answer to my hon. and learned Friend's question is that while, if the aggregate is in excess of 5 per cent., the relief that is given will be divided among the authorities in proportion to the cost in each case, if the aggregate should not reach 5 per cent. none of them get any relief. I can hardly go further than I have done, because, if there were not that limiting factor, it might happen that people in a particular district would be easy with the condition breakers because they would see that, if they were to be easy with them, it would be at the expense of the Treasury and not of the local authorities. The Treasury must, therefore, guard itself by a limitation against any danger of that kind, but, subject to the excess being over 5 per cent., they will now get relief in proportion to the actual costs.
§ 3.54 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
I am afraid, although the right hon. Gentleman has made the point quite clear, it will not relieve the anxiety that is felt by many local authorities. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Stirling and Falkirk (Mr. J. Reid) put the position very clearly when he said that a local authority might incur an expenditure of much more than 5 per cent., although the average cost incurred by local authorities throughout the country might be less than 5 per cent. In that case the particular local authority 946 having an excess would have no relief. That is so because the Exchequer must protect itself against an over generous local authority, which might accept responsibility for the difficult cases and treat them so generously that the cost would exceed 5 per cent. Whereas the Exchequer is protecting itself, it is not protecting the particular local authority which might have these excessive charges. It may easily happen that an excess over 5 per cent. is incurred by a local authority, not because of its generous treatment, but because it may have in its area a far larger percentage of difficult cases than exists in any other area. Unemployment is diversely distributed throughout the country. There are some districts where it has been excessive for years, and it would follow that in those districts the number of difficult persons would vary as the amount of unemployment varies. Those local authorities will have their difficulties accentuated by the failure on the part of the Exchequer to protect the authority against an excess charge. So, although it is true that some local authorities have been satisfied by this Amendment, it must, nevertheless, be understood that the voices of the depressed areas have been submerged by those other local authorities who are so comparatively well off that they are not articulate in the claims of the distressed areas.
There is another matter which causes local authorities in the distressed districts grave alarm. The Chancellor has now said that local authorities must not be too generous. What he means by that is that the local authorities' standards of public assistance are now to be permanently governed by the standards of unemployment assistance allowances because, if unemployment assistance is less favourable than the run of public assistance, there will be a natural tendency on the part of large numbers of unemployed persons to let themselves be categorised as difficult cases, because in those circumstances they can make themselves chargeable to the more generous local authority. If a local authority is to protect itself against such an influx of additional claims, it will have to lower its own standard of public assistance. So that we are now considering a proposal 947 which will operate as a lever to lower the standard of public assistance. That is a very serious matter indeed.
I think the hon. Member's second argument would be better directed to the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." The Amendment is somewhat narrow.
§ Mr. BEVAN
In the very difficult machinery that is being set up, the line of demarcation between the local authorities and the national authorities is now drawn in so blurred a way, that all sorts of anomalies can arise. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the matter and see if it is not possible to make such Amendments as will protect the local authorities most hardly hit by having to carry an excess charge merely because other local authorities will be more favourably situated than they are?
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The discussions which we have just heard are proof of the complicated nature of this Clause. It has been made complicated by the fact that the Government have not had the courage completely to carry out their original promise made to the House. We object to this Clause, because the local authorities still have to make a financial contribution towards the maintenance of the unemployed, and they have got to make that contribution although they have no control whatever over the treatment of those unemployed. My hon. Friend who has just spoken has emphasised what the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself said in the Debate on the Money Resolution, and to some extent it was quite true. The Chancellor said on that occasion that, as far as the distressed areas were concerned, their trouble was rather that they should be treated as distressed areas in a separate category. The Committee may remember that I pointed out, on the Second Reading of the Money Resolution, that this still left certain areas with great financial responsibilities even though the Government had accepted a certain amount of that responsibility for the unemployed.
948 We have been told—and I was told particularly pointedly in this House—that the £94,000 special grant of the Government which comes into this calculation now, and was given to Durham because of its special position out of the £500,000 granted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to various authorities, had the effect of lowering the rates of the rural and urban authorities in Durham County. As a matter of fact, just to show the Committee the problem with which we have to wrestle in these areas, the £94,000 which the Chancellor gave us was not equal to the increased cost of the maintenance of the unemployed over the two years before the Chancellor made that grant. Taking the whole of 1932 and 1933, the increased numbers of those who, for one reason or another, were put upon the Poor Law in Durham, cost that county over £100,000 a year. So that the £94,000 which the Chancellor gave did not meet, not the kernel of the problem, but even the needs of those who had gone on to the Poor Law since the Government came into office.
Therefore, the Government did not even make atonement for the increase which had taken place since they came into office, and, as I calculate from figures which have been given to me, we are left in the county—and it is an illustration of what is happening in other parts of the country similarly placed—in addition to our ordinary poor rate, which is something over 8s., with a rate of 1s. in the £ to pay for the unemployed whom the Government are taking over. It is quite true that the Government are taking over the administration, but they are leaving to the counties a certain amount of the cost of the maintenance of these people and, indeed—I do not know how far we would be entitled to discuss this question—to contribute towards the administration of these unemployed under a system which, I am sure, in the long run is going to have the effect of trespassing upon the functions of the local authorities and the Poor Law authorities as was illustrated in the Debate which took place last night on the treatment of the people themselves. In that Debate the Committee seemed to be very well aware of the fact that there are dangers ahead in respect of the administration of the unemployed who are to be taken over by the Public Assistance Board. I think that Members will regret, before they are very 949 much older, that the work was not handed over completely to these bodies, and I also think that they will regret the results of the administration because of the penal clauses which are put in the hands of the board.
The Government made a promise, but I say now, as I said at the time, that they left themselves a road out. I think it was intended that they should leave themselves a road out, but I seldom see—I have not seen for some years, at any rate—the House so exhilarated as when they learnt that to all appearances the Government were going to take control of the unemployed. We were told about it in the country, and if it had been a fact there would have been something which, without some of the penal powers given to the Public Assistance Board, would have been some real contribution which the Government could have claimed they had made to social legislation. But when they give over the unemployed to the Public Assistance Board with sweeping and dangerous powers, and then they make the local authorities contribute to that work, it is a reactionary step rather than a real step in advance. I am certain, from very close examination of this Clause, from a close attention to the Debates here, and looking at the powers which the board have got, that the unemployed themselves will live to regret being placed in the hands of the board, and the local authorities will wonder what powers they have left when they have to make contributions of this kind when they have absolutely no control or responsibility. Therefore, we shall vote against this Clause to-day, because it has failed to carry out what we thought, and what the Government representatives said, was the Government's promise to the country. It fails to give effect to an old-time claim of labour and of all social thinkers in the country which is much more necessary now, in view of the increase in the number of the long-term unemployed in this country.
§ 4.11 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
I am very reluctant to add any words to this Debate, but we have just had a discussion on a very important principle, which, owing to the restricted nature of the Amendment, it was not possible to discuss with sufficient amplitude. There is a tendency to believe that the local authorities are 950 satisfied with having to make a contribution only of three-fifths of their contribution in the standard year, but I think hon. Members must realise that, while there is a general agreement on the part of local authorities, there is intense dissatisfaction among those local authorities who have had to carry the burden of unemployment for many years. It is very difficult to make those hon. Members who represent constituencies in the agricultural parts of Great Britain, where the farming community are almost entirely exempted from giving any contribution to local government, realise what are the circumstances in the industrial districts, and particularly in the districts where the percentage of unemployment for some years has been round about 30 and 40. In Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, Durham, Lanarkshire and places like that, leaving the boroughs entirely out of account, the charges due to the maintenance of the able-bodied poor have had a very grave effect in retarding the development of local government services, and we were hoping—I believe our hopes were shared by Members in all parts of the House—that when this Bill was brought forward, it would put unemployment assistance on a permanent basis, and that this burden would be entirely taken off the shoulders of the local authorities.
That has not been the case. In the areas suffering from the most acute distress, where there has been grave restriction of the feeding of school children, and where many of the amenities which poor people should be receiving are restricted because of the height of the rates, the Chancellor still proposes to take yearly many thousands of pounds which are needed for the extra nourishment of the people. Some hon. Members, a few days ago in this House, made quite a fuss about whether children's allowances should be raised from 2s. to 3s. a week, but they do not seem to realise that in promoting legislation of this sort they are depriving the local authorities of funds which would otherwise be available for the better nourishment of children in the schools. Because a shilling a week has a certain demagogic element about it, hon. Members said, "If only we can give three shillings a week, we are making a considerable contribution to the relief of distress." It would be making a contribution almost as adequate, though not as spectacular, to 951 allow this money, which the Chancellor is taking into national funds, to remain in the hands of local authorities for disbursement in social services and additional nourishment for the poor. Though it is not so spectacular, or has not the same demagogic element, hon. Members ought to go into the Lobby with us in a matter of this kind.
I would point out to hon. Members that they must not be deceived into imagining that the local authorities in the distressed areas are content with the concession which the Chancellor has made. He has made it very largely because he thinks that the local authorities ought still to have some financial obligation to the able-bodied poor. I do not know upon what that contention rests. It certainly has historical justification, because local rates have had to carry this burden all through. It has no support at all from contemporary conditions, because the local authority has not the slightest control over the volume of unemployment in its own area. It would be a proper thing, if you added to the burden of the local authority and made them keep their able-bodied poor, still to permit them to provide employment. But the local authorities have no control. You are adding a burden to the local authority which is helpless to relieve distress at all and ultimately has to pass it on to the poorest sections of the community—the unemployed people themselves.
Secondly, under Clauses 39 and 40, the Minister has provided himself with powers to transfer to the local rates certain people who are declared to be incorrigible and for the treatment of whom the Unemployment Assistance Board will not have the machinery which is available to the Poor Law authority. The Poor Law authority will have to carry these people up to 5 per cent. of three-fifths of the contribution in the standard year—that is, an average of 5 per cent. throughout the country. So that here again the distressed areas are receiving no relief. Their burden may be added to. They will have no relief because they are lost in the general body of local government. All through this controversy—and I have been associated with it in local government administration since 1921—the claim has been that the distressed areas are in a difficult and exceptional posi- 952 tion, and that you cannot treat the necessitous areas as though they were a normal part of the local government structure, and that in evolving a principle which has regard to the structure of local government as a whole you do not deal with the problem of the necessitous area in particular. It was that difficulty which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was up against when he was framing his de-rating proposals. In the discussions in this House the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that, when the relief of de-rating had gone through, there would still remain the special problem of the necessitous areas. That special problem arises particularly because of the incidence of unemployment in those areas.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer in weighting the population formula for giving block grants made some provisions for that by weighting the formula heavier for unemployment than for anything else. The contention of the local authorities has been that the formula should be revised and an additional factor added for excess unemployment. That relief has not been given. We have asked for it over and over again and it has not been given, and now it will be possible for a distressed area, having a large percentage of its population out of work, to have between 15 per cent. and 20 per cent. of its three-fifths contribution added to it under Clauses 39 and 40, but because the average will still be less than 5 per cent., the area itself will have no additional relief. I know that it is difficult to convince hon. Members that there is any grave position here, because the whole thing is expressed in terms of figures and formulae. Hon. Members find it difficult to see the reality which lies behind it, which is, that distressed districts have to levy rates upon impoverished populations to assist in maintaining the social services of places like Eastbourne, Cheltenham and Folkestone. That is what happens. You are collecting money from distressed areas, and redistributing it over areas which are better situated. It is a monstrous proposition, and I would warn hon. Members that it has a tendency to upset the whole economy of Great Britain. As a consequence of the increasing impoverishment of the North and the West you have brought about, in the last 10 or 15 years, a drift in industry to the South and 953 South-East. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Lindsay) shakes his head, but I am afraid that he has not perhaps given the attention to this matter that he should have given it.
§ Mr. KENNETH LINDSAY
I was only referring to that point. All the statistics prove that industry has not drifted from the North to the South and that the development in the South is due to new industrial enterprises.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I used the collective term and spoke of industry as a whole. There is always a substitution of industries taking place. Industries are always dying and new industries are always being set up, but it is a case of the reduced purchasing power in those areas, of the failure to build up social services, and of the failure to maintain a set of social services in those areas such as is to be found in the South. The South is attracting the industrial population, and it is badly unbalancing the economy of Great Britain. If it goes on much longer you will have derelict areas in the North, and the red rash of suburbia in the South, and there will be nothing left of rural England to speak about. Perhaps those who go and spend their time outside Great Britain would like to see that. The most substantial point of all is that you are creating a relationship between the Unemployment Assistance Board and the local authority to depress gravely standards of public assistance throughout Great Britain.
I should like to have the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour, because the Debate last night left us in a very peculiar position, Under Clauses 39 and 40 a specially difficult case which proves incorrigible can be transferred from the Unemployment Assistance Board to the local authority. I contend that it will not be possible for the local authority in those circumstances to relieve such an individual outside the workhouse. The Parliamentary Secretary disagrees with that view. I ask the Minister of Labour, if it is possible for the local authority to relieve such an individual by means of outdoor relief, what are the penalties in Clauses 39 and 40? Obviously, the intention is to make it difficult for a person—an undesirable person so-called—to receive an unemployment assistance allowance from the board. If he proves 954 too difficult, you have three ways of treating him. You can pay him in kind and not in cash, or you can pay an allowance to his family and not to him; you can cause him to go to a training centre and in that way destroy his family connections; and you may put him into the workhouse. If a man falls from under the Unemployment Assistance Board on to the local rates in that way, and if he can leave the workhouse and be a recipient of outdoor relief, all the penalties will vanish into thin air. You leave yourselves with no means of punishment at all, because all the man has to do is to get himself classified as a difficult case, and he will become an outdoor recipient of public assistance instead of an outdoor recipient of unemployment assistance.
If the public assistance is given more generously, as it conceivably may easily be, he will prefer to be a difficult case rather than a normal case. In those circumstances, the local authorities will find themselves with an increased outdoor-relief register, because men will get themselves transferred and still be able to have the protection of the local council under the Unemployment Assistance Board. They will be faced by a deadly, impersonal and dispassionate machine over which they can have no control at all, and in which the human and personal elements will be completely destroyed, whereas with regard to the local public assistance authority there is the council, or the guardian, or the organisation, and they can get personal attention to their difficulties. If assistance by the local authority proves to be more generous than, or the same as, the assistance from the Unemployment Assistance Board, there will be a tendency on the part of the unemployed to get themselves classified under local authorities and away from the Unemployment Assistance Board. The local authority in those circumstances would have to protect itself against such an increased burden. What is the way to protect itself? The way in which it can protect itself is by reducing its own standards of public assistance, and it has to reduce those standards of public assistance to the point where public assistance is always less favourable that unemployment assistance. So that by this relationship between the board and the local authority you are indeed reducing the standards of the poor in Great Britain all round.
955 The second point in connection with that which I want the right hon. Gentleman to answer is as follows: If, on the other hand, the local authority is not entitled to give outdoor-relief—I have been speaking on the assumption that it is, and if it is, the circumstances which I have indicated will follow—then the individual remains permanently in the workhouse. We must get out of this tangle somehow. Either the individual is entitled to Poor Law assistance, in which case the burden of the Poor Law increases, or he is not entitled, and if he is not so entitled he is permanently imprisoned in the workhouse. That is the position, and it discloses a relationship between the local authority and the Unemployment Assistance Board so Gilbertian that before many months are over, when the machinery starts operating, you will find yourselves faced with the most difficult anomalies, and local authorities all over the country will be up in arms. I am sure that it is not the intention of hon. Members to create a machinery which will lower the level of public assistance throughout Great Britain. That is not their intention. We must envisage not our intentions, but what the consequences of the machine will be. I shall be very grateful if either the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour can relieve my apprehensions in this regard, because I can assure them that they are apprehensions shared by many local authorities in Great Britain.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Will the hon. Member be good enough, in order to enable me to give him an answer, to explain to me how this is related to Clause 44?
§ Mr. BEVAN
It is related to Clause 44 in this way, that when you speak of a 5 per cent. contribution, which is 5 per cent. of the three-fifths, it is an average of 5 per cent. over Great Britain. The second point is that it may be more than 5 per cent. for a particular local authority and is likely to be more for the distressed areas. My case is, that individuals can get themselves transferred—it is the difficult cases we are talking about under Clauses 39 and 40, and it is in respect of those persons that the 5 per cent. arises—to certain categories as difficult persons, and if they are able to receive outdoor relief they may be in more 956 favourable circumstances than the normal person in receipt of unemployment assistance allowances.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Is it suggested that it is in the power of these people to demand outdoor relief rather than indoor relief?
§ Mr. BEVAN
No. Then the other situation arises, that they become permanent inhabitants of the poor house and the charge is still upon the local authority. That is our difficulty. As I understand it—perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer can help me here—under the Seventh Schedule the local authority is debarred from giving such a person outdoor relief. The Schedule, at the top of page 72, provides that in respect of the persons referred to in Clause 39,the foregoing provisions of this paragraph shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Section Eighteen of the Poor Law Act, 1930, be taken as only prohibiting the giving of outdoor relief to that person himself.Although the Schedule expresses it in a negative way it produces a positive result, and that is that outdoor relief shall not be given to such person. If outdoor relief cannot be given there arises the issue that that person is permanently in the workhouse. Therefore, I am afraid in devising this hotch-potch scheme, this jigsaw puzzle, the Minister of Labour cannot have had regard to the repercussions upon the local authorities of Great Britain. Instead of having been devised as a means of unemployment insurance on a permanent basis it is throwing a spanner into the whole machinery. I should like this point to be cleared up. I put these questions not to embarrass the Government, but because these things ought to be cleared up before the Bill leaves the Committee.
§ 4.34 p.m.
§ Mr. CURRY
As far as Clause 44 is concerned, I find myself in general agreement with the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan). The matter to which he referred arising out of Clause 39 was left in a very nebulous state last night. There were contradictory statements made with regard to the person we call, for want of a better term, the discard. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer can clear up that point many of us on this side will be obliged. My objections to Clause 44 do not coincide exactly 957 with those of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale although they came to the same thing in the long run. I have the conviction that both in the old Act and in this Bill we fail to grapple with the problem of the distressed areas, because the contributions which the local authorities are asked to make are worked out on a percentage basis of that which they were paying before in respect of their able-bodied poor. So long as we adhere to a method of that sort we fail to differentiate between the heavy burdens of the distressed areas and the normal burdens of the areas less distressed. We must face up to that problem, because it is almost at the root of the unemployment problem.
The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay) dissented from the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, and pointed out that industries were not moving from the north to the south. As a matter of fact, the history of unemployment in this country since the War, and the tragedy of it, is that it was present for nearly 10 years only in those industries which could not move. The five large heavy immobile industries of the north and the west carried for nearly 10 years practically the whole weight of unemployment, and the only request that the distressed areas have made is that that burden which unemployment has cast upon their rates should be spread equitably over the whole community. The weight of that rate in the distressed areas has produced a growing tendency for light industries to spring up in the south and the south-east. Following upon that movement we have new social problems, problems of housing, health, &c., which follow a civilised community, growing in intensity and demanding still further expenditure from the public purse. Now that we have to deal with such a large Measure as this, we ought to make some provision for taking over not merely the responsibility for, but the financial burdens in respect of the unemployed. For the Government to say that they are taking over the administration and therefore the responsibility for the unemployed people, without taking over the expense, is really beside the point.
We have always accepted the principle in this country that wherever public money goes public control must follow, and that there should be no taxation without representation. It is the general 958 acceptance of that principle which has provided the Chancellor of the Exchequer with his difficulties in this case. He is faced with the problem that the people who are spending the money should be responsible in some measure for the raising of that money, but that principle does not hold in this case. The principle established in this Clause is that the central authority shall raise a certain amount of money and shall then levy toll upon the local authorities and those authorities must collect rates from their people and hand them over to a board to spend. That is a violation of the generally accepted principle which has been recognised in this country for years. A contribution fixed in relation not to the burdens of the moment but in relation to the burdens of the past, levied in the shape of a most onerous form of taxation, rating, which is more onerous than Income Tax, will as this scheme develops cause great difficulties and a certain sense of resentment.
We have discussed this Clause, which is an exceedingly difficult one, in the form of a Financial Resolution. We have talked about it from every aspect and we have come to a stage when it is true to say that the Clause as it is before us represents the utmost concession which the Government can see their way to make. Under Sub-section (4) the local authority is to receive some sort of relief in the event of their expenditure in respect of discards being more than 5 per cent., which is calculated upon the aggregate amount spent throughout the whole country. That means that we may have certain municipalities where the expenditure under this heading will far exceed the 5 per cent. and they will get no relief until that distress somehow or other permeates other districts which, apparently, cannot be affected. Therefore, the nominal concession which the Government have made is one—I do not want to use exaggerated language—which means very little to the distressed areas. It is undoubtedly a fact that these proposals have caused great disappointment in those areas which have struggled on for the last 10 years carrying this tremendous weight of unemployment. I would not mind disappointment and disillusionment if I were not convinced from my own experience in the distressed areas that we shall never get our industries going properly until the weight 959 of taxation through the rates is taken from them. Until we can get that burden removed we have very little hope of reviving the export trade in those heavy industries upon which the life blood of our country depends. I speak from the depth of a great conviction and I say that I am firmly convinced that as this scheme goes on it will produce more and more disappointment and will eventually be one of the greatest errors in the whole Bill.
§ 4.43 p.m.
§ Mr. MARTIN
I should like to add my voice to the plea to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of the distressed areas. Those people who do not know what the distressed areas have gone through in the last 10 years must find great difficulty in understanding why we insist so much on what may appear to be a small amount, merely 5 per cent. or a fraction of it, but, as the last speaker admirably pointed out, there is a great case to be made out if only on the ground that the burden has been carried on for so long that even this last straw, if not halved or taken away altogether, may be the straw which will break the camel's back, the camel of industry, which is the most important thing when we remember the exports of this country. The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) disturbed me to a great extent with his argument, and I am waiting anxiously to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer's reply. It seems to me that the local authority in a distressed area will be put into a difficult position under this Clause. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able to explain to our satisfaction that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale is wrong, but I have very grave doubts whether he will be able to do so.
In the autumn the Chancellor of the Exchequer loosened his first strings, somewhat reluctantly, in order to give some concession to the distressed areas. It was given for one year; but if in a transitional period there is a hiatus between the grant given at that time and the operation of this Bill it will be more than ever difficult for distressed areas to carry on because they will have no added help during the interregnum. I hope that he will extend any proposal to cover the period which will exist between the 960 former distressed area grant and the coming into force of the Bill. The condition of distressed areas is constantly thrust down the throat of hon. Members representing agricultural districts, but it is the concern of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give his attention to these areas more than to anything else and, therefore, I offer no apology for supporting the hon. Member when he says that this is a vital matter for the country, because throughout all these areas there will be great distress if the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot give a satisfactory answer to the appeal.
§ 4.48 p.m.
§ Mr. LEONARD
May I add a word or two in an effort to get some further concession from the Government? Of course, the easiest way out in the long run is for the total burden to be borne by national funds. I appreciate the Chancellor of the Exchequer's recognition that this is rather a complex matter, and at the present time I am not in a position to say how it will work out in Glasgow. As far as I can make out no method of applying any apportionment will dispose of certain anomalies with regard to distressed areas, but may I point out how it works out in the case of Scotland as a whole? According to the January number of the Ministry of Labour Gazette the total number of unemployed is 1,918,000, and of that number 292,479 are in Scotland. That is to say, 15.2 per cent. of the total registered unemployed are to be found in a population of approximately 4,800,000.
As far as I can gather from the proposals in the Bill, the anomalies which have previously existed, which have already been dealt with in great detail, will not be disposed of. As far as Glasgow is concerned, rightly or wrongly, a certain interpretation of the Government's intention in these matters was accepted, not only on the part of the elected representatives of the city, but also on the part of the officials; and they were not too hasty in coming to conclusions. They have had several things brought to their notice which required attention and which have added to the rates. Action has been taken in anticipation of the relief which it now appears is not to be forthcoming, therefore, I suggest that in Glasgow, which has no less than 5.2 of the total unemployed in 961 Scotland to deal with, they have every reason to expect a much greater relief than that visualised in the original proposals.
While the proposals will remove obvious anomalies there are others that will still remain. For instance, at the end of the first five years period I find that Birmingham, a city comparable to Glasgow in every respect, will have contributed to the burden of unemployment in this country a sum of £200,000, but that Glasgow will have contributed no less than £2,200,000. I feel that any attempt to deal with this question on the basis of apportionment will not remove anomalies, and that the only way to play fair with every part of the country is to do what we expected the rather well placed areas would have done by consent. There is no doubt that the Government expected that areas not heavily rated would have helped their more unfortunate neighbours. That has not materialised, but it shows that the Government did expect something to be done in that direction. That having failed the Government should now recognise the equity and justice of the proposal for taking the burden off the rates and withdraw the Clause.
§ 4.53 p.m.
§ Mr. CONANT
It seems to me that in considering who shall be responsible for paying for unemployment three interests are involved, not two, the interests of the taxpayers, the interests of the ratepayers and the interests of the unemployed man himself. Undoubtedly the interests of the unemployed are best looked after when the cost of unemployment is spread over as wide a field as possible, the more people that are financially interested the more assistance the unemployed man is likely to receive. It is a mistake to assume that local authorities should take no interest as to whether the people for whom they are responsible are at work or are unemployed. They should take not only a personal financial interest in these people but local authorities can, in fact, do a great deal to assist employment in their areas by encouraging industries.
I recognise that the cause of unemployment is probably only to a small extent local; it can hardly be said to be national, it is international, but the fact remains that the vast bulk of the cost of unemployment must obviously be a 962 national charge, and in point of fact that is what is being done by the Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out that about 95 per cent. of the cost was being borne by the State and that local authorities were only being called upon to pay 5 per cent. That is not an ungenerous offer to local authorities. This is borne out by a statement made by local authorities themselves in a document sent out by the Association of Municipal Corporations in which they gave their views on the Report of the Royal Commission. They explained, of course, that they were in favour of unemployment being a national charge and they went on to say in paragraph 8:We consider that the only classes of persons whose assistance is properly and rightly a local charge are: (1) unemployed persons over 65 years of age, and (2) persons who cannot be regarded as effective industrial workers on account of physical or mental incapacity.A few paragraphs later they say:'We would point out that upon evidence received by the Royal Commission in February, 1931, it as estimated that some 374,000 men and 97,000 women on the registers of Employment Exchanges at that time would fall within class (2) of the above paragraph 8.That is within the category of persons who cannot be regarded as effective industrial workers. Out of that total of 471,000 men and women who were on the registers of the exchanges at that time some, of course, were being assisted by the local authority, some by the insurance scheme and some by transitional payments, but the point is that at that time, that is January, 1933, the Association of Municipal Corporations thought it was fair and right that the section of the 471,000 who were then being supported by insurance or transitional payments should be borne on the rates in exchange for the taking over by the Exchequer of the whole cost of able-bodied unemployed. This document was issued before the Bill was presented, and I am wondering whether, now that the Bill has been presented, local authorities are still prepared to stand by what they regarded as fair at that time. Under the Bill they are receiving much more generous treatment. They are receiving in addition relief of 40 per cent. of the cost which they incurred on unemployment in 1933, and it must therefore, be apparent that under the Bill as it stands local authorities are receiving much more generous treatment 963 than they were prepared to say was fair in January, 1933. I believe that it is in the interests of the unemployed as a whole that their financial assistance should be spread over as large a number of people as possible and, therefore, I support the Clause.
§ 4.58 p.m.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I am certain that if the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Conant) consulted the local authorities he would find that they did not agree with him in any detail. The figures he quoted were interesting but they only refer to classes of people who are not able-bodied unemployed. The classes we are dealing with are able-bodied unemployed, and local authorities are still of the opinion that the cost of keeping the able-bodied unemployed should be borne by the State. The remarks of the hon. Member are utterly beside the point. With regard to the 60 per cent. which local authorities are being called upon to pay, it must be remembered that it is 60 per cent. not only of the cost of maintaining the unemployed but also of the cost of providing means for training, where they are considered to be necessary. In fact, they are called upon under the Bill to provide relief for those people who cannot receive relief from the National Assistance Board. They are to be transferred to the local authorities as an additional burden, which must be borne by the local authorities up to 5 per cent. of the aggregate over the whole country. That is a considerable burden, and I doubt very much whether any local authority would pass a resolution congratulating the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to the position in which they are placed as compared with the position they were in before the introduction of the Bill.
But, whatever may be the position of certain well-situated local authorities, where there are comparatively few unemployed, I do not think anyone would say that those areas—such as the one in which I live and others which have been described as necessitous areas—are receiving anything like fair treatment. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is very well aware of the great number of deputations that have waited on him and other Chancellors of the Exchequer from the hard-hit local authorities because of the very 964 serious condition in which they found themselves by reason of unemployment. If we look up the speeches made by the several Chancellors in reply to those deputations, we find in every one of them an admission that the areas concerned were entitled to relief, but the excuse made was that it was almost impossible to find a reasonable formula by which those areas could be assisted. The Government themselves made an appeal to the better-off local authorities to come to the aid of the hard-hit local authorities, but there was no response, and the Government got no such assistance.
Many consultations have taken place between the Treasury and the representatives of local authorities in regard to the 60 per cent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer knows that the local authorities have never accepted the 40 per cent. as an adequate contribution towards the cost of the unemployed in a distressed area. They do not accept it now. They have always held, quite outside the promises made by the Government, that the maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed, men and women, should be a national responsibility and charge. But the Government, after having made a promise which everyone considered at the time was a definite promise, that the entire maintenance of the unemployed would be taken over by the Government, made a statement that 60 per cent. of the cost, and now an additional 5 per cent., must be borne by the local authorities. I cannot imagine how representatives of necessitious areas can vote for such a proposal. They know well that their own local authorities will not endorse it. They know that through their association the local authorities have vigorously opposed the proposal. I was, therefore, surprised to hear the statement by the hon. Member for Chesterfield that local authorities were in any way satisfied with the contribution of the Government.
§ Mr. McENTEE
The hon. Member indicated that the contributions of the Government were very much better than the local authorities had a right to expect.
§ Mr. CONANT
I said that their treatment was far more generous than the 965 Association of Municipal Corporations had asked for at the beginning of the year.
§ Mr. McENTEE
The Association of Municipal Corporations never took such a point of view and they do not take it now. They have always been opposed to this financial arrangement, and they have expressed their opposition. I speak with some knowledge of the association, for I think I have read all the matter that has been issued by them with regard to local unemployment and its cost. I think that the quotation read by the hon. Member for Chesterfield was an indication that that is so, because it referred to a section of unemployed who are not able-bodied and are not industrial workers at all.
I would put to the Chancellor a small point but a very important one. Since the right hon. Gentleman's explanation of his own Amendment I have been trying to find out what is the meaning of that Amendment, and how it affects a point which I endeavoured to raise on a previous occasion. It is a point raised also by the Association of Municipal Corporations. It is as to the 60 per cent., or the addition to the 60 per cent. of an amount up to 5 per cent. which may be borne by the local public assistance committee. If it exceeds 5 per cent. a remission is to be given of the amount above the 5 per cent., but it is in regard to the way in which that remission is given, and the method of calculating it, that I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give an explanation. I cannot understand the proposal. Let us assume that the excess over 5 per cent. is 10 per cent. over the whole country. I presume that a remission will be made of 5 per cent. What is the method of calculating that 5 per cent.? The Association of Municipal Corporations point out that the remission ought to be made, not in accordance with the amount contributed over the whole country, but in accordance with the amount actually expended on keeping the people who have been referred to the local authorities by the national board. It appears to be elementary justice that if a large number of people are referred to the locality by the national board, if they are put out of what might be called benefit and are put on the local rates, any remission that is to come from the national fund 966 to the local rates obviously ought to go to those who are paying for the maintenance of the unemployed.
Under the Bill it will not go in that way at all. It will be paid in proportion to the amount that actually contributed to the fund over the whole country, and it may easily be that the areas which have contributed largely will get a share equal with the others, although they have paid out larger amounts than others because they have had to keep a larger number of unemployed. That is an unfair method of distributing the excess over 5 per cent. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce an Amendment on the Report stage which will give more equitable treatment to public assistance committees that have paid out large sums of money in keeping unemployed who have been referred to them by the national board.
§ 5.10 p.m.
§ Mr. MOLSON
The criticism of the proposals in this Clause has taken two forms. The hon. Member who has just spoken still continues to accuse the Government of not having carried out its promise to undertake the greater part of the charge for the able-bodied unemployed. That criticism was very fully dealt with by my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Conant). I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stand quite firm on this point. I think that he has carried out his undertaking and has actually made further concessions, and it would well become those who speak on behalf of the local authorities to express some gratitude to my right hon. Friend for what he has done.
The second criticism is of a quite different kind, and with it I have some sympathy. I wonder whether it would be possible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make some qualifications in the Clause between now and Report, so that without increasing the cost to the Exchequer—there I agree that my right hon. Friend has gone to the limit of concession—the distribution amongst the different local authorities should be in accordance with the needs of the areas concerned. I think it was very well argued by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) and by my hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Curry) that the concession which has been made by the Chancellor of the 967 Exchequer would go to the local authorities where the cost of maintaining the able-bodied unemployed is not very burdensome. When this additional charge is being imposed on the taxpayer the money should go to the districts where the burden is greatest and where the need for relief is also greatest.
I would remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer of his own political record in this matter. One of the greatest achievements of the last Conservative Governments was the De-rating Act and the grants that were made under it. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I think that that is not disputed now by anyone. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] There are some things that would be disputed by members of the Labour party even though they were apparent to every one else in the country. I am not trying to be provocative. I am trying to do some good for the distressed areas. The Chancellor of the Exchequer on that occasion made a grant to the distressed areas in accordance with and in proportion to their need, and again last year he made a special grant for the assistance of the distressed areas and distributed it according to a formula which gave the greatest relief when the need was greatest. Would it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to consider between now and Report whether, without making any further financial concessions from the Treasury, he could not once more do something to spend this money amongst the different authorities in such a way as to give further relief to depressed and distressed areas?
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. K. LINDSAY
Every day I get resolutions from Scotland on this question and I am sure that other hon. Members and probably the right hon. Gentleman also, get similar resolutions from other parts of the country. Reference has been made to the encouragement by local authorities of industries in their areas and it seems to me that as this Bill is doing so much to tackle unemployment in a constructive way, its financial provisions might also help in that way. It is out of the profits of industry that our social services are paid for, including the salaries of this board, but we have the vicious circle caused by the existence of certain very heavily-rated areas and their 968 effect upon industry. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer could do what the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Molson) suggests and see to it that this alleviation will go only to the most depressed areas I believe that he will be taking one more step—and I perfectly agree as to what he did before in connection with de-rating—to help to deal with this question. For several weeks we have been talking about dealing with unemployment. Here is one little part of this Bill by means of which we might make some slight effect on unemployment itself.
At the present moment in Scotland it is quite impossible in certain areas to start fresh industries and while one finds that the figures in general are improving there is still this persistent core of heavily rated areas and nothing is being done to touch it. It is for that reason that I venture to take up a few minutes of the Committee's time on this point. The saying, "No taxation without representation" has no meaning in connection with this question. The relation between central and local taxation has been completely revolutionised. While the average in the country as a whole is nearly 50 per cent., in the agricultural areas—which, I believe, the last Conservative Government helped—it will probably be found that the central Government is paying up to 70 or 75 per cent. and in the depressed areas it is 50, 60 or 70 per cent. Therefore, that argument does not seem to have much point in reference to this question. Nor, I think, has the argument in regard to Clauses 39 and 40 of the Bill.
The real problem is the problem of the heavily rated area and the question of whether, by some positive step on the financial side, something cannot be done to help the establishment of fresh industries. I know of cases in Scotland in which employers from abroad and also from the South have tried to start fresh industries but have found it impossible to do so in these persistently heavily-rated areas. I hope that this matter will be given consideration between now and the Report stage because every step which can be taken in the direction indicated will be much appreciated in the North and north-East no less than in South Wales.
§ 5.20 p.m.
§ Mr. NALL-CAIN
My constituency is a part of Liverpool and there is one point arising on this Clause which is causing much concern to the local authorities there. That is in regard to the framing of their budgets in relation to the cost of unemployment during the year 1934–35. Every month before this Measure becomes operative the city of Liverpool is paying a larger proportion for unemployment than it will pay after the Measure has become operative. If, for instance, it becomes operative on 1st July, the estimated cost for the city of Liverpool in the year 1934–1935 will be £930,000. If it does not become operative until 1st October the cost will be £1,040,000. If, on the other hand, such a thing could happen as that it would become operative on 1st April, the cost then would be £817,400. This is causing a great worry to these local authorities in making up their budgets for this year and I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he could not give some idea to those local authorities, that, if the Measure did not become operative until a later date, he would help them out in some way. I am not raising the point of whether local authorities in distressed areas are happy with the Government's contribution or not. I might say that a great many of them are very grateful to the Government for the help which the Government are giving. But they want that help to come quickly. They do not want to see their rates increased to such an extent as to swallow up the benefit of that help. Therefore, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give these local authorities some idea of what their position will be between now and the coming into operation of this Measure.
§ 5.23 p.m.
§ Mr. EDWARD WILLIAMS
I wish to reinforce one or two of the points submitted by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan). I was rather surprised to hear congratulations being extended to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and expressions of gratitude offered on behalf of local authorities, although perhaps I should not be surprised at that. It is well known that the burden of the able-bodied unemployed was placed upon the local authorities by the Government. Having placed the whole burden on the local 970 authorities, hon. Members opposite are congratulating one another on the fact that the Government are now offering some partial relief. I am pleased, however, to notice the interest which is being taken in this Clause. The conclusion which I draw from the Clause is that the persons who are in receipt of relief in these areas, will find themselves going down deeper and deeper to even more depressed standards than those which they have at present.
I am certain that if hon. Members opposite were representing constituencies like those in Glamorgan they would regard this matter with very grave concern. For years we have been faced with an unemployment average of 38 per cent. of the total complement of employable workers in Glamorgan. Glamorgan is carrying an unemployment burden of 40.1 per cent. and over the past 12 months the burden of able-bodied being carried by the county council—by the public assistance committee—has been 2,000. It is true that as a distressed area we are receiving something out of the grants given to such areas. It is true that 40 per cent. of that burden is carried by the Treasury but we are still faced with a very serious problem in Glamorgan where the poor rate at present is about 8s. in the £ while as regards the boroughs, the poor rate in Merthyr Tydfil is 13s. 7d. in the £. That indicates the plight in which we find ourselves in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. Hon. Members opposite would not be complacent on this subject and would not be prepared to accept this Clause so readily if they were faced with that problem in their own constituencies. They are not, however, faced with that problem because agricultural constituencies pay no rates whatever.
A great deal of what has been said by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay) is sheer nonsense. How can it be argued that industries are not going to the depressed areas because of high rates, when, in fact, they would only pay 25 per cent. of the rates? It is not that at all. That is not the problem. It is a kind of red herring drawn across the trail. It is a delusion and indicates a misconception of the whole problem. Before any relief can come to the distressed areas, unemployment will 971 have to be faced as a national problem and some national planning will have to be done to deal with it. There will have to be a redistribution of population within this country and not within the Empire. Something will have to be done upon those lines but as that is outside the range of the Clause I do not propose to go into the matter any further.
This is a grave problem for us. Certain vital considerations arise on the Seventh Schedule and I would like the Minister of Labour to reply to the point of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale as to why persons who have been termed "discards" should be thrown upon the local authorities. Are the local authorities to be made responsible for the sins of certain individuals who happen to reside in their areas? Are these people to be kept permanently in the workhouse? If their cases are thrown out by the board which is to consider them, is the burden to be cast on the local authorities? I hope we shall have a reply from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the very cogent remarks and the three or four substantial points made by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. I wish to reinforce his remarks and also to destroy any illusion which may have been created by the speech of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock.
§ 5.27 p.m.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The discussion of this Clause, which deals with the contributions of local authorities to the Unemployment Assistance Fund, has enabled hon. Members to cover a wide field. Indeed, several of them have taken this opportunity of repeating their former gloomy prophecies as to the sad fate of the unemployed under the provisions of this Bill. I differ considerably on various points from the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. E. Williams). When he said, for example, that the Government had thrown the whole burden of unemployment on local authorities I can only describe that statement in the words which he applied to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay). It is sheer nonsense. On the other hand, I agree with him that the problem of what may be called, and what sometimes are called derelict areas is one of great importance. It is not one which depends upon rates. It is a wider 972 question than that and it is one which, as it appears to me, would come within the purview of the Unemployment Assistance Board's duties.
I have always claimed that as one of the advantages of a board of this kind whose duties are defined as including that of promoting the welfare of the unemployed and restoring their condition. It is one of the advantages of that scheme that a board formed as this board will be, can take a very much wider view and can spread its activities over a wider field than would be possible to any particular local authority. The sort of conditions to which the hon. Member opposite referred are not confined to an area within the boundaries of any particular local authority, but they may be considered to fall within certain fairly well-defined regions, and I hope that the Unemployment Assistance Board will be found, when it gets to work, to take a regional rather than a local authority view of its problem.
With regard to the general question as to whether local authorities have or have not been liberally treated under the substantial proposals of the Bill, I think the case was very aptly put in the extremely well-informed speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Conant). To put it in a nutshell, what is the use of talking about the old story of taxation without representation when, as a matter of fact, the Exchequer is contributing 95 per cent. out of 100 per cent. of the cost of relief of the able-bodied unemployed? I think the Committee has already disposed of this question and that I need not any longer argue a position which, although theoretically, I agree, maintained by the Association of Municipal Corporations, but not, I think, by the County Councils Association, has now been so completely met that I do not think it remains any longer as a point of substance.
But when you come to the case of the distressed areas, the position is not quite so clear. Let me once again remind the Committee that special attention has been paid to the distressed areas both in the past and in the present provisions. The hon. Member who began this discussion repeated four times, I think, that the Government had made a promise that they would take over the whole cost of the assistance of the able-bodied unemployed, but if he had said so 40 times, 973 that would not make it true, and it is not a statement which has been put forward by the local authorities. I would point out to the hon. Member, as indeed I did earlier, that in the calculation of the block grant special consideration has been given to the question of the distressed areas and the formula has been weighted in their favour, in order to give them more aid than is given to others. In the case of the county of Durham, for example, the relief given under the block grant is equivalent to a rate of over 1ls. in the £, and that compares with an average for all the counties in the country of 4s. 9d., so that the relief given to the county of Durham is more than twice as large as the relief given on the average to the county districts of the country; and I could quote similar figures, of course, for other distressed areas.
A number of my hon. Friends say: Cannot something still further be done? It is suggested that everybody wants to help these cases which are most in need, and, if relief is to be given, should not that relief go to those whose difficulties are the greatest? We have a demand that the treatment of the able-bodied unemployed, instead of falling upon the local authorities, should be made a national charge. We admit that to the extent of 95 per cent., but the new proposal is that it should not be a national charge any more, but that the rich districts, or the comparatively rich districts, whether they be county boroughs or county councils, should pay for the difficulties of the poorer districts, that instead of the poorer districts relief being given to all local authorities, less should be given to the richer authorities and more to the poorer.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member must recollect that the so-called rich districts are often paying rates at a very high level. Take my own town of Birmingham, for example, which would probably be classed as a rich one and which is certainly more fortunate than some other towns in the country. The rates there are now, and have been for a long time, 14s. in the £, and that is a great deal higher than the rates in many other places. I would like my hon. Friends to consider this point, which in- 974 deed I made on a previous occasion: This is not a Bill for equalising rates. It is not a Bill for trying to make everybody's rates the same. It is a Bill for new treatment of the able-bodied unemployed, and in settling where the cost of that should lie we have taken into account, in the Clause which is now before the Committee, the special difficulties of what are called the distressed areas, and we have done what we could to meet them.
Now I come to say a few words about the subject of the speech of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan). He said that we had got into a tangle somehow or other, but, in listening to him I thought that if there was a tangle, it was the hon. Member who had made it.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It is not a question of either Oxford or Cambridge. As a plain man, I put a few questions to the hon. Member in order that I might clarify my mind and find out what he was driving at, because it appeared to me that he was mixing up two Clauses which are different in fact from one another and have very different effects. He talked about Clauses 39 and 40 almost indiscriminately, but surely he must know by now, as we have already passed that point in the Bill, that they deal with very different circumstances. Clause 39 does not deal with men who are excluded from Part II of the Bill. Under Clause 39 the individuals affected still remain under the jurisdiction of the board, but in Sub-section (2, d) of that Clause there is a provision under which, in certain circumstances, individuals may, where arrangements in that behalf have been made with the local authority, be sent to the workhouse. In that case the charge does not fall upon the local authority, but still remains upon the board, and the board have under that Clause to make good the charge to the local authority. Therefore, although the hon. Member spoke repeatedly of the cases of special difficulty, nevertheless it is not Clause 39 which he had in mind, but Clause 40.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
The right hon. Gentleman was evidently not here last night, or he would have understood the point under discussion, which is that when a man drops out of Part II of the Act because he—
§ Mr. BEVAN
If the right hon. Gentleman will look at Clause 39, he will see that it deals with cases of special difficulty. It says, and indeed I said so in my speech, that it would be possible for the Unemployment Assistance Board, by arrangement with the local authority, to put such a man in a workhouse. I said so, and the right hon. Gentleman mistakes me. Last night. however, the point was put, If he walks out of the workhouse, to whom does he become chargeable? To the local authority or still to the board? The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and the Minister of Labour could not give a reply to that question.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I was not here last night, but the hon. Member has now made it plain that he was, as I said, confusing Clauses 39 and 40. He talks about persons dropping out of Part II of the Act, but they do not drop out of Part II under Clause 39 at all; they only do that under Clause 40, and the hon. Member surely, with all the attention that he has given to the Bill, must know that by now. I come now to Clause 40, which is an entirely different case. It is not the cases of special difficulty that really formed the argument of the hon. Member at all; it is the cases under Clause 40, where they are suspended from the application of this Part of the Act.
§ Mr. BEVAN
Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the words at the beginning of Clause 40, which specifically refer to "the foregoing section," namely, Clause 39? It refers to those persons who havecontravened conditions attached in accordance with determinations made under the last foregoing section.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That is under Clause 40, not Clause 39. It does not arise until the applicanthas persistently contravened the conditions attachedorhas persistently refused or neglected to maintain himself or his family.Those are the conditions under which a person may come under Clause 40, not 976 under Clause 39, and, therefore, it is not Clause 39, but Clause 40, to which the hon. Member's observations were directed.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I was trying to see whether there was any real substance in what I understood to be the hon. Member's argument. The argument was that Clause 44 imposed undue risks upon the local authorities, because under Clauses 39 and 40 certain charges might be imposed upon the local authorities over which they would have no control, but which might cause their costs to be a very great deal higher than had been anticipated, and such as would not be relieved by Clause 44. That was the hon. Member's argument. I have shown, I hope, to the Committee, at any rate, if not to the hon. Member, that that case does not arise under Clause 39.
I now come to Clause 40, which is that of the incorrigible condition-breaker, the man who will not keep the conditions, and in that case in certain circumstances that person ceases, for a time at any rate, to be under Part II of the Act at all. He is no longer under the jurisdiction of the board, and if he wants relief, therefore, he must go to the public assistance committee. Is he thereby going to impose this charge upon the local authority to the extent which the hon. Member fears? I hope the Committee will bear in mind that the person in question is not in special difficulties at all, but is the incorrigible condition-breaker. What is the duty of the local authority when this person comes before them? I imagine that the local authorities would prosecute him under the Vagrancy Act. In that case, if he is convicted, he will have to serve his sentence, and it will not be a question of going to the workhouse but of going to prison. On the other hand, the hon. Member may say that they may not choose to prosecute him under the Vagrancy Act but may give him relief. Again, I say that they are not obliged to give him out-relief. They 977 may give him relief in the workhouse. Then, he says, they may choose to give him out-relief in excess of that given by the Unemployment Assistance Board. Therefore, said the hon. Member, a man will be better off if he continually breaks the conditions than if he complies with the conditions. If a local authority really does take that point of view and gives a man who is a condition-breaker and refuses to maintain his family relief at a higher rate than is given by the board, are they to be compensated for that at the expense of the public Exchequer? That is the very justification of the provision in the Clause.
There is only one other point I want to mention, and it was put by the hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Nall-Cain). The point is one of substance. Certain districts have been in receipt of distressed area grants, which come to an end at the end of the financial year. We do not know when this Bill will come into operation because the appointed day has not been settled, and I am asked what will happen in the case of distressed areas between the end of the financial year and the beginning of the operation of this Bill. This is a convenient opportunity to tell the Committee what my proposals are in that respect. I propose that the distressed area grant should continue at the same rate as is now being paid up to the date when the Bill comes into operation. Things will carry on as they are at present until the new arrangement takes place. That does not need any Amendment or alteration in the Bill. It means that there will have to be a Supplementary Estimate for the extra amount required.
§ 5.48 p.m.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
This is the right hon. Gentleman's second appearance on the Committee stage of this Bill—only the second. It is a great pity that he has not attended the Debates a little more frequently, because, if he had, he would have made a good deal better speech than he has made this afternoon. I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman ought to confine himself to protecting the coffers of the State, which is his primary job, or, if he wants to talk about the substance of the Bill, that he ought really to understand the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman to-day has been speaking as a plain man. I propose to speak as a plainer man on what is really 978 the question which divides the right hon. Gentleman's friends from those of us who sit on this side of the Committee. There is no doubt that when the Minister of Health nearly a year ago said that unemployment was to be made a national responsibility, the country believed one thing and one thing only, and all the local authorities believed it too. That was that any financial responsibility for the maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed was to be put upon the State and none of it was to rest on the local authorities. That was what hon. Members on the other side of the Committee believed in March last year; that is, again, the impression which was created in the Press; and that is what local authorities believed would happen. It is true, as I have said before, that the County Councils Association, being the body that it is, has acceded now to the policy of the Government. The Municipal Corporations Association, notwithstanding the speech of the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Conant) has always stood, ever since about 1921, for a policy of complete financial responsibility by the State for the maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed.
That is the issue, and the Government, as a matter of fact, have not fulfilled their pledge. The right hon. Gentleman tried to show that 95 per cent. of it is now being met. That is a curious figure arrived at by a very elaborate calculation, the kind of calculation which we expect from the right hon. Gentleman because he is the author of the famous formula that nobody understands. One is not surprised that he should by an elaborate calculation arrive at a figure of that kind. The point is that it does not matter if it is 97½ per cent., the Government meant to convey to the people of this country the view that they were going to take over all the responsibility, and they have not done so. Although the right hon. Gentleman devised his famous formula in 1929 to redistribute the State assistance which was given to local authorities it has left an unequal burden bearing on local authorities. As a matter of fact, it has not worked properly, and the fact that the Government are continuing the distressed areas grant up to the moment when this new scheme comes into existence—a proposal that was cheered lustily by hon. Members on the other side as an act of generosity—is merely an act of 979 common decency. It is not additional assistance to distressed areas. They will still be left to bear relatively a heavier burden than other local authorities in the country. I was astonished at the Chancellor of the Exchequer arguing that the rich should not pay for the poor areas—
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
He was arguing in favour of a national charge—which is not accepted—and he argued against the rich areas paying for the poorer. He put the proposal to the richer areas that the Government were prepared to find £500,000 for the distressed areas if the other local authorities would find a like amount; that is, the well-to-do authorities were asked to contribute to the expenses of the poorer authorities. Was there ever a more monstrous proposal? It was an admission that the responsibility ought not to rest on the poorer authorities. It was an admission that they needed help from outside, and it was a cowardly device for getting certain areas to help the poorer areas when the responsibility ought to have been taken by the nation as a whole.
The right hon. Gentleman has told us that expense has been taken off the rates. That is true, but what is happening to the local authorities? The right hon. Gentleman made a most unfortunate excursion into Clauses 39 and 40. Under the Unemployment Assistance Board in the administration of Clauses 39 and 40 we do not know how large will be the field of cases of special difficulty. That was argued last night. We do not even know who are the incorrigible condition-breakers. They need not be confined to men who persistently refuse to maintain their families. Cases of special difficulty under Clause 39 might comprise a very substantial number of the people who come under the operation of Part II. We are justified in entertaining suspicions about the administration of these Clauses, and cases of special difficulty may be cases of men who refuse to black-leg and to accept employment under humiliating conditions and scandalously low wages. Before they become cases of special difficulty under Clause 39 they may be cases of incorrigible condition-breakers under Clause 40. These responsibilities are being put upon the local authorities, and 980 the right hon. Gentleman has never yet tried to prove that the 5 per cent. of the cost which he estimated—I do not accept it—that they will be bearing for the maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed will cover the cost of the cases of special difficulty that come under Clause 40 and of the odds and ends of unemployed people who slip out of the net of both Part I and Part II.
The chances are that local authorities, in so far as they deal with able-bodied unemployed now, will find themselves in respect of those cases facing a heavier financial burden than they have done in the past. Not only so, but the right hon. Gentleman has not said to-day, and indeed he has not said during the discussions on the Bill, that local authorities are being faced with new responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of training centres. So that, as a matter of fact, the story that the Government have taken over the responsibility for the maintenance of the unemployed is not true. Even if it were true that the local authorities were really grateful for the assistance that has been given, there are two points to be borne in mind. The local authorities of this country do not believe that they are called upon to maintain people who are unemployed because of something outside the control of the powers of local authorities. Even if it is true that certain authorities are getting some relief, what is the price that we are paying for it?
The price that we are paying for this partial relief for local authorities is the establishment of a new kind of Poor Law system which will be harsher in its operation than the present system, which will operate through centralised regulations and which may create a situation so intolerable to people who are victims of unemployment that they will leave Part II, and go—where? As my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) said, it is perpetual workhouse conditions for them. Even though some relief may be given to the local authorities, the price which the unemployed are going to have to pay is, in our view, a very heavy one. Hon. Members opposite who do not represent county divisions but represent urban authorities know quite well that, whatever their political complexion, all of them are against any burden being cast on local authorities for the maintenance of the 981 victims of international difficulties, for the maintenance of people who are out of work through no fault of their own. If hon. Members choose to support the Government on Clause 44—and we have heard one or two feeble arguments in support of it—they must do so, but I must point out that our attitude on this question has been consistent, and that on this Clause, as on other Clauses of principle, we shall divide against the Government, upholding our view in the Lobby, and, as I believe, putting supporters of the Government in the wrong.
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
I should not have spoken but for the quite unnecessarily provocative note of the reply of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I tried to put my own remarks in as unprovocative a manner as possible, because I wanted to obtain serious consideration for them, but the Chancellor gave us a reply which was meagre in matter and cheap in manner. Of course, he can always count on a number of hon. Members coming in to listen to some cheap debating points which have nothing to do with the subject-matter under discussion and then going out. He was asked a specific question—why should a distressed area which may have to meet a charge amounting to 10, 15 or 20 per cent. of its own cost towards the maintenance of the able-bodied poor, have to meet it merely because the average cost for the country is less than 5 per cent.? He did not answer that. It was a substantial point made in the course of the Debate, and the Chancellor did not deign to make the slightest reply. The reason is that he has not any reply to make. He skimmed over it, and seized upon a number of quite unsubstantial points made in the course of the speeches in the hope that we should forget all about this substantial point.
Let us come to Clauses 39 and 40. The difficulty we experience in discussing the Bill is that we have to educate the front bench opposite as to what the Bill means. Clauses 39 and 40 cannot be taken separately, they have no meaning separately, because Clause 40 deals with what happens to persons who contravene the conditions laid down in Clause 39. To say that Clause 39 has nothing to do with Clause 40 is to falsify the issue en- 982 tirely. Clause 39 speaks not merely of the person who leaves his family or persistently refuses to support them. Whenever the Chancellor of the Exchequer wants to do a particularly mean thing he always trots out a perfectly exceptional case. He did it on more than one occasion when he set aside the guardians, he trotted out the exceptional case for the purpose of reducing the standards of ordinary men, and he is doing it now. Under Clause 39 a man who refuses to accept employment can be subjected to the penalties imposed by Clause 40. To refuse to accept employment is not a very heinous crime.
§ Mr. BEVAN
It imposes no burden on the State. Somebody else will have the job. Where there are many more men than jobs the fact that one man refuses to accept a job means, simply, that some other man goes off the State and takes the job. The State has to carry no heavier burden. So there is no point in that at all. The refusal to accept a job is not a heinous thing at all, it is normally done under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Praiseworthy!"] I am not arguing that it is praiseworthy or otherwise, merely pointing out that it is not a considerable crime. It certainly is not a crime for which a man should be sentenced to permanent imprisonment in a workhouse.
§ Mr. BEVAN
You do not know anything at all about it. If the Noble Lady had listened to the Chancellor of the Exchequer she would know that he admitted that this man might be put into the workhouse and kept at the expense of the board. He said that, only he said it in connection with a man refusing to support his family, but it equally applies to the other case.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I quoted paragraph (d). That has nothing to do with persistently refusing to maintain his family. It is a condition attaching to an allowance.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I will read out the Clause, because it is evident the right hon. Gentleman has not read it:Upon any applicaion for an allowance, if the officer of the Unemployment Assistance Board by whom the application is to be determined is satisfied that the applicant has per- 983 sistently refused or neglected to maintain himself or his family or has persistently contravened conditions attached in accordance with determinations made under the last foregoing section.What is the last foregoing section?No application for an allowance shall be dealt with under this section unless, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, and, in particular, to the question whether the applicant has failed to avail himself of opportunities of employment or training and to the question whether there is any necessity for protecting the interests of the applicant or of persons dependent upon him.So if the man refuses to accept a certain type of training because it offends him in any respect whatever, or refuses to accept employment which is repugnant to him, or if he refuses to support his family, that is what may follow. Those are incidents which happen in working class life day by day, but, of course, hon. Members do not want to allow an unemployed man the right to select his employment. He must accept any miserable job we like to give him, no matter what the conditions of employment or the wage.
§ Mr. BEVAN
I will:Provided that an application shall not be so dealt with by reason only that the applicant has not accepted an offer of employment which would not, in relation to a claim for benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, have been held to be suitable employment.That is the same thing, only I put it in plainer language. The difficulty with the right hon. Gentleman is that he did not read the Clauses until he came into the House this afternoon, and consequently did not understand them. The point I would make is that these are not exceptional cases, these are not incorrigible and undesirable persons, they are normal persons who take exception to training for certain jobs and they may be put in the workhouse and kept in the workhouse. I wish to put a further question to the right hon. Gentleman. Are they 984 kept in the workhouse permanently as a charge upon the Unemployment Assistance Board? No. Because the Unemployment Assistance Board is not going to keep them indefinitely and hands them over to the local authorities, and then the rates have to keep them. I put a point to which the right hon. Gentleman did not reply—if a man ceases to be a charge to the Unemployment Assistance Board and becomes a charge to the local rates, can the local authorities give him out door relief? If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to the Seventh Schedule he will see that it cannot do so, and that is the basis of my charge that the man is permanently imprisoned in a workhouse for having refused to go to a training camp.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Will the hon. Member tell me for my information where it is in the Seventh Schedule?
§ Mr. BEVAN
It says:The foregoing provisions of this paragraph"—That refers to paragraphs (c) or (d) of Sub-section (2) of Clause 39 of the Bill—shall notwithstanding the provisions of Section eighteen of the Poor Law Act, 1930, be taken only as prohibiting the giving of out door relief to that person himself.If that is given the interpretation which ordinary, unlearned, simple, plain people like myself give it, it means a man cannot be given out-door relief if he falls from under the Unemployment Assistance Board on to the local authority. So, having no other means of support in himself, he must either go to a training centre, which is repugnant to him, or he must be permanently imprisoned in the workhouse. The Parliamentary Secretary disagrees with that; so he does not agree with his chief, who agrees with me. I am going to suppose that the Parliamentary Secretary is correct, and that, in fact, the man is not liable to permanent imprisonment in a workhouse. If he is not he can receive outdoor relief. If he receives outdoor relief all the penalties imposed upon him under Sections 39 and 40 vanish into thin air; we have deprived ourselves of any means of punishing this terribly incorrigible person.
Which of those two positions do the Government take up? Which is the Bill to enact? Does it want to keep a man in the workhouse permanently or give 985 the local authority the right to keep him outside? If it gives the right to keep him outside the workhouse, Sections 39 and 40 have no meaning. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, "Ah, but a Public Assistance Committee that gave a standard of benefit higher than under the Unemployment Assistance Board would have to carry the additional charge." Public assistance authorities in Great Britain were in many cases paying higher allowances than he wanted the unemployed to have and they were reduced in 1931. In Durham the standard of public assistance was different from the Commissioner's standard, but this Bill makes the Commissioner universal, so that unless the public assistance authorities wish to protect themselves against this class being transferred to them they will have to carry higher charges on the rates or lower their own level of public assistance. The right hon. Gentleman knows that to be correct, but he is trying to run away from the issue.
§ Hon. Members must remember what will happen when this Bill is being administered. It will not then be a question of cheap debating points made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When the Bill leaves us it will put the Unemployment Assistance Board and the public assistance authorities in such a confused relationship that we shall soon require further legislation to put it right. All that I am asking now, very humbly, is that we should put the matter right before the Bill leaves us. If the right hon. Gentleman intends to honour us with a reply, I should be glad if he would give some answer to the points which I have raised, because I think that every hon. Member would be under an obligation to him. He should not try to ride off on cheap debating points which are not worthy of himself or of the Committee.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 322; Noes, 64.989
|Division No. 135.]||AYES.||[6.16 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (P'rtsm'th, S.)||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Albery, Irving James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nhd.)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Fermoy, Lord|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Fleming, Edward Lascelles|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Clarke, Frank||Flint, Abraham John|
|Apsley, Lord||Clayton, Sir Christopher||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Colfax, Major William Philip||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Conant, R. J. E.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Craven-Ellis, William||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Crooke, J. Smedley||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Goff, Sir Park|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Goldie, Noel B.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Cross, R. H.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Crossley, A. C.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)|
|Blindell, James||Dalkeith, Earl of||Granville, Edgar|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Borodale, Viscount.||Davison, Sir William Henry||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Boulton, W. W.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Grigg, Sir Edward|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Denville, Alfred||Grimston, R. V.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Bracken, Brendan||Donner, P. W.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Doran, Edward||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Drewe, Cedric||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Hammersley, Samuel S.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Duggan, Hubert John||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Burnett, John George||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Dunglass, Lord||Harbord, Arthur|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Edge, Sir William||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Hartland, George A.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Elmley, Viscount||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Cassels, James Dale||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hornby, Frank||Morrison, William Shephard||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Horebrugh, Florence||Moss, Captain H. J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Munro, Patrick||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nall, Sir Joseph||Soper, Richard|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hurd, Sir Percy||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||North, Edward T.||Spens, William Patrick|
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Nunn, William||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Stevenson, James|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Patrick, Colin M.||Stones, James|
|Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Peaks, Captain Osbert||Storey, Samuel|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Peat, Charles U.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Percy, Lord Eustace||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Petherick, M.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Leckie, J. A.||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bliston)||Templeton, William P.|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Lees-Jones, John||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Levy, Thomas||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Lewis, Oswald||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Liddell, Walter S.||Radford, E. A.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Llewellin, Major John J.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Train, John|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Tree, Ronald|
|Locker- Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. G'n)||Ramebotham, Herwald||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Loftus, Pierce C.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Mabane, William||Remer, John R.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Pertick)||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesalf)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Weymouth, Viscount|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Runge, Norah Cecil||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|McLean, Dr. W H. (Tradeston)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Magnay, Thomas||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Maitland, Adam||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Salt, Edward W.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Womersiey, Walter James|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Milne, Charles||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Sir George Penny and Commander Southby.|
|Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Dobble, William||Holdsworth, Herbert|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Edwards, Charles||Janner, Barnett|
|Banfield, John William||Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Batey, Joseph||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Bernays, Robert||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Kirkwood, David|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Lawson, John James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Leonard, William|
|Buchanan, George||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William|
|Cove, William G.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McGovern, John|
|Curry, A. C.||Groves, Thomas E.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Dagger, George||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Z'tl'nd)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Maxton, James||Rea, Walter Russell||White, Henry Graham|
|Milner, Major James||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Owen, Major Goronwy||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmors)|
|Paling, Wilfred||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Parkinson, John Allen||Smith, Tom (Normanton)||Wilmot, John|
|Pickering, Ernest H.||Thorne, William James|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Tinker, John Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. G. Macdonald.|
Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause 45 (Payment of expenses out of Unemployment Assistance Fund) ordered to stand part of the Bill.