HC Deb 29 January 1934 vol 285 cc109-72

I desire to put a point of Order to you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, before we take the discussion on Clause 3. We have had a discussion on Clause 1, but there has been no discussion at all on Clause 2. I am not allowed to move to report Progress, and, therefore, I desire to ask the Government, through you, whether, seeing as the guillotine arrangements have broken down and that there has been no waste of time, it is not possible to reconsider the existing arrangements? It seems to me that on this important Clause all the available time will be taken and that we shall not be able to discuss other important Clauses and, therefore, I should like to ask whether some protection cannot be given to hon. Members who desire to discuss these questions.


I, as well as other Members of the Committee, am bound by the Order of the House, which lays it down that certain Clauses are to be passed by a certain hour. It is not for the Committee to vary an Order of the House, and I suggest to hon. Members that as we are working to a timetable they should make their speeches as short as possible in order to give as many hon. Members as possible an opportunity of speaking.


In order not to waste time we did not go to a Division on Clause 2, a most important Clause, and the Government must see that important Clauses are going to be passed without any discussion at all as a result of the Guillotine. I think they should reconsider their time-table.

7.42 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 21, at the beginning, to insert: After the rate of weekly benefit in respect of each dependent child shall have been raised to not less than three shillings. I am moving this Amendment in the absence of the hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) and in view of what has been said I shall be very brief. Most people who have been in touch with the condition of people who are out of work to-day would say that the greatest need of the moment is the need for raising the amount payable for children. I do not think there is any question about that; and what we are seeking to do by the Amendment is to make it a condition precedent to an extension of insurance benefits, which is one of the great features, and a deservedly good feature, of the Bill. When all is done under the ratio rule by which this Clause is to deal with extending the period during which benefits will be payable, it is highly desirable that contributions should nearly balance benefits. Up to the moment there has been no agitation that benefits should be increased in this manner. But I think that every single person, every social worker who has dealt with this problem, would say that there is a very grave need, in view of the prolonged period of unemployment, for making the first call on any money available the raising of the scale for dependent children.

That is really all the case in view of the short time that we have for discussing the Amendment. I do not know how much it will cost. That, I know, will be thrown up against me by the Minister. But I am certain that this proposal will not cost anything like the money that is available now, because at Question Time the right hon. Gentleman said that to restore all the benefits—this is what I understood, for it is always rather difficult to take down the figures at Question Time—to restore all the cuts which were made in unemployment benefit would involve an expenditure of something like £4,500,000. Hon. Members will see from the financial memorandum attached to the Bill that the provision for the additional benefit under this Clause, it is estimated, will add £8,350,000 to the amount of benefit paid in a year. That is somewhere about twice as much as the restoration of the total cuts. I take it that an extension from 2s. to 3s. would not be anything in the same sphere of millions as that, though that is only one's deduction and one has no figures to quote. I think it is certain, however, that the cost would be nothing like the cost that this Clause will anyhow involve. Therefore, it could quite well be made the first condition precedent, because the money is presumably available under the general scheme of the Bill.

To say that such a move would be a popular move is merely to say the obvious. But it stands to reason that popularity is not being courted by the Bill. The object is to try to make the best insurance scheme possible without inflicting any hardships that can be avoided on any section of the community. Where it is patently obvious that there are hardships in regard to the children, it is our duty as a Committee to deal with them first. I hope that the Government's answer will not be, "Well, the Bill is devised upon a certain financial structure, and an Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee is to be set up under Clause 17 to deal with surpluses, if there are any, and deficiencies, if there are such, and because we are to set up that Committee we ought not to tie their hands ahead of time." I want my proposal to be a condition precedent to anything that the Statutory Committee may be empowered to do. You may tell an architect that you want a house built and leave him to settle the kind of house, but you will surely take the precaution of telling him in which particular field you want him to build. I am prepared to leave the Statutory Committee to deal with surpluses and deficiencies as they arise, but I do not want it to do either before this particular proviso is carried into execution.

It may be asked, why 3s. and not more? It is merely because 3s. is the figure which, so far as I know, is always quoted in all the documents which the Opposition put forward when dealing with this problem. Therefore, presumably, it is what they consider right or not unreasonable to do in the extension of benefits for children. I hope that neither the Minister nor anyone else who criticises the suggestion will do so on the ground that sometimes appears in more irresponsible organs of the public Press, and that is that if anything is ever done to increase the children's benefit it is going to bring about an enormous increase in the population of this country. That argument has often been quoted. The Noble Lady the Member for Sutton (Viscountess Astor) will recognise it.

Viscountess ASTOR

It never came from a woman.


I did not say that it did; I said it came from some of the more irresponsible organs of the Press. I hope that that argument will never be used in this connection, because it is a perfectly wicked one to bring up. I shall be interested to hear any argument of the Minister against the Amendment. On the face of it, there might be something to be said for a slight alteration. If it was found that there was not enough money to raise the benefits for all the children to 3s., a case could be argued that the first two or three children should have the 3s. and the next children the 2s. I have been told—of course it is a matter of which I have no personal knowledge—that in the case of very large families it is slightly easier to get on than when there are only one or two children. If the money is insufficient to do what we suggest, it might, be possible to find a compromise in that way, but guessing from the figures that we have—it is all that we can do—my hon. Friend and I think that the money is there, and, if it is there, we suggest that this should be made a condition precedent to the extension of any kind of benefits in any direction.

7.53 p.m.


I can well understand the hon. and gallant Member for Gains-borough (Captain Crookshank) bringing forward an Amendment of this kind, because we are just resuming after a holiday of about five weeks, and no doubt the hon. and gallant Member has been in his constituency and has seen a good deal of the poverty resulting from the prevalent unemployment.


The Amendment was put on the Paper before the House adjourned.


I give the hon. and gallant Member credit for foresight. I remember him in this House since 1922, and I would be the last person in the world to say that he was short of tact and shrewdness. There must be many Members more or less conscience-stricken at the apathy shown by the Government regarding the restoration of the cuts in benefit imposed on the unemployed in 1931. I can well understand that hon. Members would like to see a slight increase in the children's benefit, because they know what is taking place up and down the country. We on the Opposition side welcome a discussion on this Amendment, because we hope that it may be possible to extract from the Minister of Labour some statement of the Government's intention with regard to the restoration of the 1931 cuts. I am one of those who believe that the Government have no intention whatever of restoring the cuts. I may be wrong; I hope I am. But during the past three of four months there have been repeated questions put to the Minister, and not the slightest attempt has been made to answer them. We want to know from him what are the Government's intentions. Do they intend to restore the cuts, or do they not? I have read with a good deal of interest the woolly speeches made by the Prime Minister recently——


On a point of Order. This Amendment deals with the rate of benefit for children and does not deal with the restoration of the unemployment benefit cuts, and as the rate of benefit for children has never been more than 2s., even in the most munificent period of the Labour Government, is it in order for the hon. Member to discuss the restoration of the cuts?


Is it not competent for an hon. Member to suggest that if there is a tendency to accept Amendments of this kind, it is to be presumed that it is not the intention of the Government to restore the cuts which were made in 1931?


Is it not relevant, when discussing the amount of benefit that is to go to the children to discuss the amount that is to go to the parents?


Further to the point of Order. The exact point of the hon. Member for Stockton (Mr. Macmillan) was that my hon. Friend was dealing with the question of the Prime Minister's speech. Surely it is not out of order to deal with that at any time


I was myself under the impression that at one time the rate was 3s. for the eldest child, with lower rates for the second child and other children. I may be wrong. Perhaps we had better leave the question of cuts alone.


I could go into the whole history of Unemployment Insurance, but I agree that that would be out of order. I remember that when Miss Bondfield was Minister of Labour hon. Members who were then in Opposition voted for 5s. a week for the children, knowing that there was no possible chance of it being carried. I can understand the anxiety of the hon. Member for Stock- ton (Mr. Macmillan) that we should not discuss what the Prime Minister has been saying recently. As a matter of fact if the hon. Member knows what the Prime Minister means he knows more than I do, and that is the opinion generally held in the country. I was making the point that we want to know from the Minister of Labour what are the Government's intentions. On the Second Reading of the Bill we were told repeatedly that when it reached the Committee stage we should be able to ask the Minister definite questions and get definite answers.

I support the Amendment because even 1s. a week additional benefit for the children would be welcomed in the homes of the unemployed. When we have Ministers talking about people living on calories of about 3,000, and of 5s. 2¼d. a week being sufficient to maintain a man, with due respect to the rules of the House I can only reply that the man who says that is talking through his hat. I suggest to the Minister that if he cannot accept the Amendment he should give the country an assurance as to what the Government intend to do with regard to restoring the cuts in unemployment benefit. Whether we get that assurance or not, I tell the Mover of this Amendment that if the Minister will not accept it and it goes to a division, we on this side will support it.

7.59 p.m.


I wish to support the Amendment. During the Second Reading Debate we were told that there would be a sum, amounting to £8,500,000, which was to be a surplus to this fund, and this particular Clause allocates the spending of that £8,500,000. It is to be spent, I understand, by giving back a certain extra amount of benefit to the people who have paid the most premiums. What is suggested by the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) is that before that money is given back to the people who have paid the greatest number of premiums, the children should receive 3s. a week instead of 2s. a week. In the Second Reading Debate I pointed out that in Burnley, which is close to my division, the amount given for the first child was 5s., for the second child 4s. and for the third child 3s. 6d.; that in Preston the amount was 3s., and that in Warrington 3s., 4s. and 5s. were the amounts allowed. I also quoted a statement of the British Medical Association giving some figures showing the amount estimated to be required for the proper nourishment of children of different ages. The amount for children under six years was 3s. 5d.; that for children over eight and under 10 years was 4s. 2d., and for children over 12 and under 14 it was 5s. 4d.

In view of these facts, I would press upon my right hon. Friend to consider this Amendment very seriously. I feel that all the people who are to benefit under Clause 3 would be very glad to delay the coming into operation of those benefits in order to allow the children to have the extra benefit which is here proposed. I feel that if we can induce the Minister to allow the children to have 3s. under Part I of the Bill it will give an indication to the Unemployment Assistance Board which is to be set up under Part II that we consider that 2s. is not enough and that 3s. will be laid down as the amount in relation to transitional benefit under Part II of the Bill. I ask the Minister in all sincerity to remember the deep distress which prevails in Lancashire, and I urge him to consider the acceptance of this Amendment.

8.5 p.m.


I only wish to make a brief intervention because we have other important matters to discuss on this Clause. We treat this Amendment as seriously as the hon. and gallant Member has suggested it ought to be treated, but we on this side want to be quite sure that we are not giving the Government some cheap substitute for the restoration of the cuts. How far we can discuss a matter of that kind on the Amendment is very doubtful. When the Money Resolution was passed it practically set aside what is called the surplus, for interest upon the fund and for the matter of the 52 weeks instead of 26 weeks. I think in order to shorten the discussion upon this Amendment and enable us to get down to the fundamental parts of the Clause, the Minister might reply to this point and tell us at once what the Government propose to do about it.

8.6 p.m.


I wish to express my gratitude to the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) for introducing this matter. The Minister must be aware that the Amendment does no more than express the general feeling throughout the country and in the House of Commons. For years everybody has been in favour of a larger benefit in respect of children but it is unfortunate that those who have expressed the desire to increase the childrens allowance have always been, at the moment, on benches other than the Government bench. I feel that this rate has only lasted as sudh a low insurance rate, because of the sacrifices which the working-class mother always makes for her children in times of distress. Without that, it would have been palpable to the most casual observer that the children were ill-nurtured and underfed. This is an opportunity, When the Government is passing a Measure which looks as if it had all the characteristics of permanency to deal with that matter and the Government ought to accept the Amendment as a precautionary measure. I should associate myself with what has been said already on another point. Although we welcome such an Amendment and would support it if it went to a Division, we would not regard it as in any way equivalent to the restoration of the cuts. But we assume that to be a matter which does not arise on this Amendment and which is not capable of appropriate and effective discussion at this stage.

8.8 p.m.


I also put in a plea for this Amendment. We all, I think, realise the impossibility of keeping a child on 2s. a week and, as has been pointed out, the attempt to do so means that the benefit available for the rest of the family is cut down. I wish to ask the Minister whether in the event of his refusal to accept the Amendment the matter will remain open so that the 3s. can be put in under Part II of the Bill? In my area the 2s. is regularly supplemented up to the figure of 3s. 6d. out of public assistance funds. In future, it will not be possible to supplement Part I benefit out of public assistance funds but it will be possible to supplement Part I benefit out of Part II. Is the Minister going to keep the matter open, so that the practice which has done a great deal in my area to make the present system acceptable can be continued in some form? Will he make certain that room is left for supplementing Part I out of Part II, until such time as the Part I scale is brought up to 3s? That would avoid all technical questions as to whether or not the fund can bear 3s. at present. I understand that the Department of Health in Scotland have never questioned the propriety of the public assistance bodies making the 2s. up to 3s. 6d. It has been recognised that, where local feeling so required, such a supplement ought to be given and I should view with dismay any change which resulted in it being impossible in future by one means or another to supplement the 2s. at least to 3s. If the Minister is unable at present to promise an increase under Part I of the Bill we ask him to leave the door open for making Part II provide for such a supplement.

8.11 p.m.


During the Second Reading Debate I suggested that the 2s. should be raised to 3s. and I should like therefore to refer briefly to one point which arises on this Amendment. I rather disagree with the hon. Member for Stirling (Mr. J. Reid). I believe that under the Bill, Part I can be supplemented by Part II but apart from that and regardless of the question of cuts I should like to see the 3s. figure stand as a good figure on its own merits. It is probably a bad principle in many cases to supplement Part I by Part II. Personally I would sooner see Part II supplemented by the public assistance committee. That however is another question and I would say at this point that expert opinion outside the House of Commons has long been convinced that the method here proposed would be the best method of making the benefit under unemployment insurance of a higher standard. It is wrong to talk about need because insurance has nothing to do with need, and it is insurance with Which we are dealing. Therefore to fix the 3s. which I think is an arbitrary figure is probably the best method. It was suggested in the "Times" over a year ago and I think figures were given showing that it would not involve the enormous expenditure which some people thought it would involve. I have forgotten the actual figures and I have not got them here because I thought this matter would arise on Clause 10 but I would support the proposal on its own merits, regardless of questions of supplementation or of cuts, as setting out a figure which ought to have been there several years ago, as a part of insurance benefit.

8.14 p.m.


I find myself, as I think the majority of the Committee are, in sympathy and agreement with my hon. and gallant Friend who has moved this Amendment. I gather that his purpose is that before any additional period is added to the 26 weeks, the benefit in respect of children should be raised to 8s. per week. I only rise to ask whether the words here proposed will in fact achieve the object of my hon. and gallant Friend. It seems to me that in the place in which he proposes to insert these words, having regard to the fact that he uses the words "after the rate of weekly benefit shall have been raised," the effect of the Amendment will be to prevent any benefit at all being paid under this Measure until something has been done which results in raising the dependents allowance. I suggest that the appropriate place for the Amendment is in line 30. The Clause would then provide that an insured contributor should receive benefit, subject to fulfilling the statutory conditions, in respect of 156 days and after the children's allowance has been raised to 3s. should then be entitled, under the statutory provisions, in respect of additional days.

8.15 p.m.


An appeal has been made to me, the sincerity of which I do not doubt for one second, by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank), by the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith), and by my hon. Friend the Member for Stirling (Mr. J. Reid), to accept this Amendment. I do not dispute the fact that there is perhaps a general opinion that these children's allowances should be raised. I am, therefore, bound to give, perhaps in some detail, the reasons, which appeal to me as overwhelming, why I cannot accept this Amendment. In doing so, I must ask the Committee to remember the history of these children's allowances. I was in the House at the time, and I think that the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham), and other hon. Members opposite were also in the House when this question was first raised. It was first raised in the Coalition Government, when the then Minister of Labour, Dr. Macnamara, brought in a Bill, entitled the Unemployed Workers' Dependants Bill, in 1921, and then for the first time he gave an allowance to children of 1s., and he gave a wife's allowance of 5s. Further—it is not very material or important—there was actually in that Bill a provision that, in all, the two sums of 5s. and 1s. should not exceed 9s., which meant, of course, that the 1s. applied to four children and could in no case go beyond that. That supplement of 1s. was increased by Mr. Shaw, who was then Minister of Labour, in 1924 to 2s., and the wife's benefit of 5s. remained the same.

At that figure of 2s. it has remained from that day to this, but, on the other hand, the benefit to the wife has varied from time to time. For instance, it was increased to 7s. by the Conservative Government in 1928, it was increased to 9s. by the Labour Government in 1930, and that 9s. was affected, like other benefits, in 1931, but the children's allowance remained unchanged during the whole of that period from 1924 onwards. All the arguments which have been addressed to the Committee to-day, and all the reasons, with which we are very familiar, have been present with exactly the same force from 1924 to the present time, and indeed they are reasons which applied with additional force, because the cost of living, taking the usual 100 as the ratio for 1914, was in November, 1921, 203, and in 1930, when the Labour party was in power, the cost of living was 161, while to-day it is 142. The point that I make with regard to that is that these arguments have all existed during the whole of that time. Every Government—the Coalition Government, the first Labour Government, next the Conservative Government, then the Labour Government, and then the National Government—have all of them, in spite of these reasons, allowed this sum to remain the same.

Why was it that the last Conservative Government and the last Labour Govern- went allowed the sum to remain at 2s.? They must have had very good reasons, because all these arguments which we have heard to-day and all these appeals with which we are so familiar were just as present when the Labour Government were in power as they are to-day, and, as I say, they applied with even greater force because of the cost of living. Let me give what I conceive to be the reason. It is that every Government has regarded as the appropriate unit of variation, not this grant-in-aid to the children—because that is what it is—but the benefit given to the parent. The benefit given to the parent has, of course, been varied from time to time, but this grant-in-aid has remained static, because each Government in turn has felt, as I say, that the proper method of dealing with the total amount was by varying the benefit rate and not this grant-in-aid. The present Amendment, supported as it is, I fully agree, by very powerful arguments, asks me for the first time to vary this grant and to increase it. I was asked for figures in connection with the Amendment. This Amendment, if adopted, would cost nearly £2,000,000, but I do not base myself on that. I only mention the fact in order to show that the amount involved is very considerable, but that is not the ground on which I base my refusal, my reluctant refusal, to accept the Amendment.

Having made that brief historical review of what has happened under every party during the last dozen years, let me state the present position. The majority of the House have accepted the view that this insurance fund should be solvent and self-supporting. That was the view, we know, of the last Labour Government, because in their terms of reference to the Royal Commission they made it a term of reference that it should be the duty of the Royal Commission to devise a scheme under which the fund would be self-supporting. I make no debating point about that—hon. Members opposite have a perfect right to change their minds on this or on any other point—I am merely pointing out that up to quite recently that was the view of every party in the House. I stated in my Second Reading speech that in spite of what is, I think, a manifest improvement in trade, as shown by the fall in the expenditure—and I took full account of the normal annual increase—I did not think I should be justified, so soon after I made that estimate, which I then called a very conservative estimate, in revising it.

The Bill provides, in Part I, that we should set up a committee whose function it is to give advice after considering all possible alternatives, and the Bill also provides—I do not know whether hon. Members have observed it—that this committee shall come into existence as soon as this Bill becomes law. That provision was put in so that no time would be lost in enabling them to get to work in considering just such problems as we are considering to-night. It has been constantly urged in all parts of the House and in the country that the question of cuts should be reconsidered as soon as possible. I agree that that should be done, but the recommendations which the Statutory Committee make must be determined by the state of the fund, and I am most anxious that their full consideration of the situation should not be prejudiced at this moment by my adding this obligation of something like £2,000,000. I want that committee to have an absolutely free hand to make their report and give their advice. It is certainly within the province of the Committee to consider the proposal that has been made this evening and to make any recommendations they like both in regard to the grants-in-aid of the children and in regard to the cuts, and they will consider whether the state of the fund warrants it.

I do hope, having regard to what I have said, that hon. Members will not ask me to take a course of action at this time in these circumstances which would be novel and contrary to the course of action which has been taken by every Government during the last 10 years. I make that plea because I want the Statutory Committee to feel that they have an absolutely free hand to deal with this matter, both in regard to the fund and in regard to the allowances, just as they feel that the state of the fund warrants. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Clitheroe (Sir W. Brass) said in effect that it would not be unpopular or misunderstood if we took some part of the £8,300,000 which is being utilised in order to take a very large number of people off the means test. He said that we should take some of that and utilise it in defraying the cost which would be involved if the Amend- ment were accepted. Quite frankly, I cannot break faith with those on the means test who have had their expectations aroused——


I do not want my right hon. Friend to misinterpret me. I said I thought that the people who would receive this benefit would be willing to allow this other obligation to come in front of them.


That comes to the same thing. If it comes in front of those on the means test, there is so much less money to be devoted towards the extension of the 26 weeks. I think that it would be a grave breach of faith after what we have said and the expectations we have aroused and the hopes we have excited with regard to the means test if we said that we cannot extend the 26 weeks because we have placed another obligation in front of those on the means test. I do not think that that would be treating those people fairly, and I am not prepared to do it. My hon. Friend the Member for Stirling and Falkirk asked me whether the question remains open. Of course, it remains open. In Part II there is no figure at all, and the regulations will come before this House for approval.


As I understand it, the regulations will come before the House in such a shape that we shall not be entitled to propose an Amendment. If the right hon. Gentleman will undertake that the regulations will come before the House in such a shape that I or some other Member will be entitled to propose as an Amendment to the scales under Part II the substitution or insertion of 3s., I will withdraw my opposition to this Section.


The hon. Gentleman knows that I cannot give an undertaking of that kind. There is no figure named in Part II. This matter will be considered by the board, and all the arguments which have been stressed with such force by hon. Members in all parts of the House will be before the board when the regulations are framed.


Of course, the Minister has power to alter anything that the board may recommend. Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake that he will insert the figure of 3s. in the means test scale, or give some undertaking on those lines?


How can the hon. Gentleman expect me at this stage to give an undertaking as to what I shall do under Part II. He is in any case premature, and any question of that kind would be very much better raised two months hence. I hope I have made the position clear, namely, that at this time I should, first of all, not be acting in accordance with precedent; and, in the second place, that, while I am fully alive to the force of the case that has been put before me, I claim that in the past this grant-in-aid has remanded static, and, while it will be open to the Committee to make any recommendations they like, I do not think it would be fair to the Fund or to the Committee or to the insured persons themselves if this Amendment were accepted.

8.33 p.m.

Viscountess ASTOR

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be a very good guide to the Statutory Committee if this Committee showed a large vote in favour of the Amendment? I do not say that they should defeat the Government; I do not go so far as that, but it would give an indication of what the House and the country feel when the Statutory Committee adjudicate on the question?

8.34 p.m.


In my experience in the House I have seen supporters of the Government in the difficult position of desiring to go into the Lobby against the Government and yet not wanting to defeat the Government, but I have never heard it so ingenuously expressed as by the Noble Lady. She wants all the reputation of virtue without paying any of the price for it.

Viscountess ASTOR

I am not nervous of my reputation for virtue.


I refrained from speaking before the Minister because I wanted to give the Minister's own supporters an opportunity of addressing their arguments to him. Now that the Minister has replied I would like to show what real bunkum it is to which we have been listening. The Minister must permit me to point out what, in fact, his statement means. I grant that he speaks in as conciliatory a manner as any other man in this House, and far more so than most; if the Minister of Health had taken a leaf out of his book, probably he would not have created such a nasty feeling in the country. What the Minister has said to his supporters is "I realise the force of your arguments, indeed, I am inclined to be powerfully moved by them, and probably when the Statutory Committee get to work they will take those factors into consideration after they have provided for the £5,000,000 a year." Really, you must permit us to point out what hypocrisy that is. You cannot stand up and claim to have any regard for the children or for the arguments which have been addressed to you——


The hon. Member had better address the Chair.


I am addressing myself to the fact that it will be almost impossible for the statutory committee to take this matter into consideration, because the Minister, in the proposals we are now discussing, has deprived the committee of the money which they have at their disposal, and has imposed upon them a statutory obligation to meet other outgoings before they face up to the prospect of increasing dependants' allowances. That is perfectly in order.


Apparently, the hon. Member did not gather why I interrupted him. I said that he had better address his remarks to the Chair, because I thought it was particularly dangerous that he should be addressing the Minister as "you" in the strain in which he was then speaking.


I apologise, Sir Dennis. I prefer the more direct mode of expression, but I will conform to the rules of the House. I was suggesting that it is obvious that the Minister, in his reply, did not speak with his customary candour. Again, the Minister said, in effect, that he has so little confidence in the revival of trade now supposed to be taking place that he regards it as undesirable to vary the rate of benefit, because the rate might have to be lowered again in the immediate future. That is what the Minister meant by his statement just now that it would be undesirable to alter the rate of benefit because it is too soon as yet to make decisions of that kind. It is a pleasing thing to raise children's allowances by 1s. a week, but if they were raised now and the fund did not balance they might have to be reduced in the immediate future, and the result would be politically unpopular. The Government will not expose themselves to unpopularity by varying the rate. The hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Colonel Crookshank) was perfectly correct; it is much the more popular thing and the more just thing to alter the rate of benefit than the period of benefit, but it is much the most dangerous thing to do if we are imposing upon the fund the obligation of making itself actuarially solvent, because if the rate of benefit is varied it might have to be varied downwards as well as upwards. At any rate the Minister of Labour, who, with the special knowledge at his disposal has not very much confidence in the revival of trade, thinks it would be undesirable to vary it at this stage.

He went on to explain that the reason he is unable to accept this Amendment is that it would upset the whole financial structure of his Bill, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to find no new money. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to take the money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund; to save money by extending the insurance period. A second reason why he could not raise the rate of benefit is that if he did so he would not have any transitional benefit applicants taken off his shoulders. In that situation he relieves himself of £6,750,000 by extending the period of benefit and transferring the charge from the Budget to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The third reason why the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot agree to an Amendment of this description is found in the argument raised by the hon. Member sitting behind me that if we raise the rate of benefit we make it more difficult to keep down unemployment assistance to the level at which it must be kept if the Chancellor is to save money. Therefore, there are three reasons why the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in order to save the Budget and to save the taxpayer, must keep the rate of unemployment benefit down. The Minister knows that as well as I do, and it is a further vindication of the argument we advanced on the Second Read- ing which the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to shelve by sharp practice in debate. In point of fact the Government are giving an indication to the Statutory Committee of how they are to handle future surpluses.


No, I really cannot allow that to pass. No indication one way or the other is given to the Statutory Committee. They will have an absolutely free hand to deal with this matter, with "cuts" and with every other point.


The statutory committee will find themselves in the same difficulty as the right hon. Gentleman is in at the moment. They will, first, have to find this £5,000,000; in the next place they will have to discuss what they are to do with any surpluses at their disposal. They are going to be very careful, as the Minister has been. They are going to accumulate large surpluses before they alter the rate. I ask the Members of this Committee, in all seriousness, whether they think the gentlemen sitting on the statutory committee, not being able to see the course of trade for anything more than a year ahead—most business men cannot see it for more than a week ahead—are going to increase the rate of benefit if they know that in perhaps a few months' time or in a year's time they may have to reduce the rate of benefit again, and expose themselves to all the shocks of public criticism? The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Labour have, between them, provided the statutory committee with a most elastic way of disposing of any surplus—a way capable of actuarial calculation, a way capable of variation with the least difficulty and the least acrimony. If they have a surplus at their disposal they can extend the period of benefit and relieve the Chancellor of the Exchequer. If they have a deficit accumulating they can contract the period of benefit. Those are the indications which the Minister has made to the statutory committee. Those are the facts of the case, and I shall be surprised if we see any substantial alteration in the rate of benefit. The Minister made so many highly controversial statements in his reply that we could not allow them to go unchallenged.

In the next place, let me say that the hon. Members who proposed the increase in the rate of benefit to children seemed to ignore the fact that a child is a part of a family. They voted for the reduction in unemployment insurance benefit, which falls as heavily on the child as it does on the parents.

Viscountess ASTOR



The Noble Lady says "No." If you take the money of the mother and father, and if you admit that 2s. is inadequate for the child, you take away from the mother and father what they would expend on the child.

Viscountess ASTOR



It is utter nonsense for hon. Members to try to snatch a little sentimental victory by putting up arguments of that kind. In his history, the Minister left out the point that although the Labour Government resisted an Amendment to increase the children's allowances, they increased the wife's allowance. The Government to which the right hon. Gentleman is responsible and of which he is a Member took that allowance off, and thereby took away some of the subsistence from the children. An hon. Member used the argument that his public assistance authority was supplementing insurance benefit by the Poor Law, and he let it be assumed that in future unemployment assistance is to supplement insurance benefit. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay) said that we are discussing insurance matters and not needs matters. If this 3s. is not fixed on the assumption that it is the amount necessary to support a child, will he support the contention that, on the basis of the needs, we must give more than 3s. to every child? Will the hon. Member do that? Of course, he will not. He will not accept the logic of his position, which is that if one deals with the needs test he must meet the needs, and if 3s. is not adequate to meet the needs of the children it must be supplemented. The Chancellor of the Exchequer saves £10,000,000 a year by not supplementing that sum, and the very purpose of the Bill is to give less under Part II than under Part I. The hon. Member must be brought to see the irrelevancies and inconsistencies, and he must face up to the inconsistencies of his own position.


I have never said that Part II is lower than Part I. Part II is based upon need. I never said such a thing.


I never accused the hon. Member of saying it. What I said was that if he accepts the logic of the position which he puts before the Committee, that the amount given to the children shall be based upon the children's needs, and if 2s., or even 3s., is less than they require, then they must receive more, even under Part II of the Bill. Two years' experience shows that they will receive less, and in only an insignificant number of cases will unemployment assistance be used to supplement insurance benefit. The argument that has been advanced over and over again is that men who have had long periods of employment ought to be more favourably treated than men who have had longer periods of unemployment, and the less favourable treatment that is given to these is to transfer them to the needs test. Transference to the needs test is transference to a lower standard of life.

That is the position. Most of the people in my constituency who are unemployed would not receive a cent, because more than 70 per cent., 80 per cent. or 90 per cent. of those who are out of work are not receiving transitional payments, and would have no advantage at all from the Amendment which has been rejected. I urge hon. Members to realise when considering these matters that the Minister cannot receive Amendments of this description without altering the whole financial structure of the Bill, and that if they move such Amendments in the future they ought to do so with that knowledge in the forefront of their minds.

8.50 p.m.


I am sorry that this Debate has taken place upon this Amendment, because it is not the proper way in which to approach the question of the children's allowance. By his answer the Minister has raised what was a minor Amendment to a very high level of importance. We can take the Minister's answer as being the one that he would give at a later stage to any proposal for a variation of benefit. His answer impressed very strongly upon my mind the force of the argument put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) and other speakers, that we are to stop discussing the unemployment benefit and the treatment of the 2,000,000 people, now that the care of them is to be taken over by the Statutory Committee. That was the tenor of the Minister's answer, and he is more than scrupulous about saying anything in this Committee that will indicate, either to the Statutory Committee or to the public outside, that he will in any way attempt to influence or to prejudice in advance the decisions of that committee. His answer makes it all the more important, if in the future we are to have no say as to how unemployed people are to be treated, that before we finally give away our rights we shall make ourselves heard very definitely.

The Minister excused himself for continuing the 2s. payments in this legislation by giving a history of children's allowances in previous Parliaments. He justified them on the fact that the amount has remained stationary for a considerable number of years. I cannot remember any Minister trying to defend 2s. as an adequate amount to keep a child. I had not heard any Minister at any stage advance the justification which the Minister has presented to-day. The justification that I have heard in the past has always been that there was an assumption of other resources; that unemployment was not a long-term matter because the assumption was that the man was going to get back into employment; that payments under unemployment insurance were not supposed to meet all his needs, but were an assistance to tide over the gaps between one period of remunerative employment and another. Those arguments cease to have potency with every year of extended unemployment. The assumption of other resources on the part of the unemployed man is a less sound assumption to-day than it was three or four years ago, and the assumption of only a short gap of unemployment to be bridged is a less sound assumption than it was in the past.

We have now got to the stage when, if we are genuinely honest, we have to face up to the fact that what is going to be allowed for maintaining a child is what we vote here, and, if we do not give an adequate amount, then the youngster is going to be inadequately attended. Do not let us soothe our consciences in any way by assuming that, when we vote a parent 2s. to keep a child, there will be 2s. coming from some other place, and 3s. from somewhere else, so that as a whole it will make up an adequate amount. If we vote 2s. in this Bill, then it is a 2s. standard that is going to be the standard of maintenance for the children, and that is an impossible sum of money—quite impossible. The House does not like personal allusions, but, if I were asked to-night to face the task of maintaining my one child on 2s., I should consider that I was being faced with a cruel, a brutal and an inhuman proposal, and I am sure that that is the feeling of every Member in the House. We have no right to face it in any other way than this: "Would you take in hand to maintain your child, do the right thing by it in every respect, feed it, clothe it, house it, educate it, give it the fun that every child is entitled to get—would you take in hand to do these things on 2s.?" The answer would be a unanimous negative. And the giving of that youngster the chance to grow up big and strong and hearty, full of the joy of life, and the fitness to grapple with life, is an infinitely bigger political consideration than the getting of the figures of the Unemployment Insurance Fund to balance.

I do not know what the hon. and gallant Member who proposed this Amendment is going to do about it. While I have been in Parliament, hon. Members on the Government side of the House have always found excuses, and may I say to my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay) that I felt that in his speech to-night he was trying to find excuses for himself for doing something which in his own heart and conscience he knows to be wrong. I have no doubt that the hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank), who has absented himself while the Committee has been seriously discussing his Amendment, will not in the end carry it to a Division, but, so far as I am concerned, I am not going to ask any statutory committee to shoulder my responsibility. I am taking my responsibilities in my own hands, and, in the case of every Amendment moved in this Committee and accepted by the Chair which proposes to increase the allowances to the unemployed man, his wife, or his dependants, I vote for that Amendment.

8.59 p.m.


I could not but admire the Parliamentary skill of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour when he came to reply to this Amendment. It was clear in the course of the discussion, at any rate in its earlier stages, that there was a very large body of opinion which supported the Amendment. It is true that, since the Minister spoke, Members of the Opposition, with the. I think, somewhat common lack of good Parliamentary tactics, have done their best to insult all Members on the Government side who might have liked to support the Amendment. I must say that I thought my right hon. Friend showed all those gifts which have so rightly and for so long endeared him to the House. He began on a very low note. He gave an account of the history of this particular form of benefit, and he showed that it was in no way connected with the original idea of insurance, but bad been introduced and raised from the paltry sum of 1s. to 2s., and that it was, as it were, a kind of fixed, permanent principle that dependants' benefit as regards children should be at the rate of 2s. In the course of this argument he put forward some propositions which I could not believe he really put forward very seriously. He said that this proposal was contrary to precedent, but that argument could be used against every reform, and complete consistency would be a bar to any kind of progress. I would remind my right hon. Friend that, as a great Prime Minister once said, it is the privilege of great men not only to follow precedents but to create them, and I should like him on this occasion not to appeal so learnedly, and even pedantically, to the history of this sum, but to consider more seriously the arguments which were put forward in support of the Amendment.

Surely, the real question that we are now discussing is a very clear one. We are not by this Amendment making any additional charge on the Exchequer. Of course, if the Amendment did that, it would not be called by the Chair. There is no question of this £2,000,000 coming out of the Exchequer; it does not come from the taxpayer. We are sitting here, as I understand it, in Committee on this Bill, to do the best we can as trustees for the beneficiaries, and to lay down the kind of direction in which we want the fund accumulated from the resources which it has at its command to be spent; and, surely, what this Amendment does is to say that, in distributing the fund as it accumulates, this increased benefit to children shall be a prior charge before further benefits are given such as those described in Clause 3 under the ratio rule. We say that this shall be a prior charge, as it were a lien on the fund to the extent of £2,000,000, and that would be the immediate effect of the Amendment if it were carried. Surely, therefore, it is our duty to consider whether we prefer to lay that down or, as the Minister suggests, perhaps to leave it to the Committee to consider in due course whether that kind of benefit might be given. I am not very much impressed by my right hon. Friend's argument that, if we were to carry this Amendment, we should be unduly tying the hands of the Committee. In Clause 3 we are tying the hands of the Committee to the tune of £8,000,000; and, if this Amendment introduces a novel benefit, so does Clause 3. The Minister's argument against the Amendment was that it was novel. The whole of Clause 3 is novel. He says it is without precedent that benefit should be given to children. So is this unprecedented. If really the logic of his argument were followed, it would surely be said that you are just as much tying the hands of the Committee by Clause 3 as by this particular and specific proposal.

I find myself in agreement with what has been said in many quarters of the House, and particularly my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Clitheroe (Sir W. Brass). I believe that at no time has public opinion been happy about this sum of 2s., and that the raising of it to 3s. will be acceptable in every part of the House and in every part of the country. It is obviously true that, if it were accepted, it would pro tanto delay some other benefit which would be given to some other class of beneficiary, but, like my hon. and gallant Friend, I believe that those classes of beneficiaries would prefer this slight reduction of their benefit in order to establish once and for all the principle of raising this amount. Both the rival schools of medical authorities who have been discussing these matters have put it considerably higher than 3s. I cannot help thinking that the Committee would be wise to adopt this Amendment. I do not altogether think the Minister did himself justice in saying that we should in some way or other be betraying hopes which have been held out to those under the means test. There are other sources—he knows that there is the source of £5,000,000 a year to be used in repayment of debt—to carry out both the desired objects. I shall certainly vote if the Amendment is pressed to a Division, and I hope all my hon. Friends will do so. We think public opinion will approve that this prior charge should be admitted upon the sums which will ultimately be available for division among the different classes of beneficiaries under the scheme.

9.30 p.m.


This Amendment proposes that the Committee should say, with regard to the money available, what are the first things which should be done first. After all, that is a matter which it is eminently for the Committee to decide. An attempt having been made in that direction, we are told in effect by the Minister that is an improper and, indeed, an impossible thing to do. The Minister himself has not hesitated to put additional burdens upon the fund. We must not interfere with that at all. That is to be sacrosanct. If we make an alteration in one direction, we are going to disappoint the expectations of those on the means test. If we make an alteration in another direction, we shall disappoint the expectations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We are likely to disappoint someone whatever we do. But the Minister may give these indications, and afterwards it is handed over to another body, the Statutory Committee, who are also allowed to make their suggestions as to what are the first things which should come first, but the people on the back benches are not to make any suggestions at all or, if they do, they have done something apparently in very poor taste, and, although the suggestion comes in the most friendly way from Conservative supporters of the Government, we are put off with a statement which means that we can only look forward to any suggestions of the kind that we make on other parts of the Bill receiving the same answer.

What sort of Council of State are we becoming if our consideration of a Bill of this kind is to be along these lines? This is a matter on which back bench Members have, perhaps, a greater right to speak than they have on Measures of another kind. So many of us are in close contact with the people who are suffering and are seeing the immediate results of this legislation that, however wise the Front Bench may be, they can afford to take a hint from the back benches on a matter like this, just as they can from the Statutory Committee. It is very unfortunate that we should have been greeted with a blank refusal in these terms. The eloquent appeal that was made by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) aroused echoes in every part of the House. The conscience of the House in all parts has been aroused on this matter of the children's allowances, and I hope the Committee is not going to be satisfied with the suave and intriguing suggestion of the Minister that everything will come out all right in the long run if we only leave it to his beautiful committee. We are responsible, and we cannot afford to abdicate our responsibility in favour of anyone. I hope that the Amendment will be pressed to a Division and that there will be a sufficient vote on it to show to the country and to the Ministerial benches the way the public conscience is feeling in the matter.

9.12 p.m.


I should like to make an appeal to the Minister. The strength and depth of the feeling in the House on the subject is obvious. If the Amendment is pressed to a Division, I shall be bound to vote in favour of it. I would suggest an argument which I do not think has been put before, or rather the contrary side of an argument which has been put, I think, erroneously. If there is one thing certain about the working of the Bill, it is that under Part II a higher children's allowance will be fixed. One hon. Member opposite said the experience of the means test in the past has been that it was always low, but he was only thinking of transitional payment, which is not the analogy of Part II. He was not thinking of the work of all the public assistance authorities throughout the country, and it is not true that their allowances in respect of children have been fixed below the allowances payable under the insurance scheme. It is inevitable that, if Part II works properly, a higher allowance should be fixed for the children by the Assistance Board.

That in itself, I agree, is no argument. It is perfectly proper to say, being an insurance scheme, that we will pay benefit to an insured person without any consideration at all of his family commitments. He has made a contract, and he gets something in exchange. He is the insured person. He gets the benefit. But, as the Minister pointed out, the Government left that position some 12 years ago. We began to give the children allowances, and we are now in that position, and every Government that the Minister quoted has been in that position, and it is no uncommon thing for a Government which is in that illogical position, or a succession of Governments which find themselves in the same illogical position, to do nothing about it. That is all that Governments do when they come to an illogical conclusion. They have done nothing about it, and find themselves in this impossible position, that they have got outside what might be regarded as the direct insurance principle, and have fixed a family allowance at a figure which, by the confession of every public assistance committee in the country, is wholly inadequate. That is the illogical position in which previous and weak Governments have been content to remain, but that is no reason why this National Government with a doctor's mandate should be involved interminably in the same illogical position in which previous Labour Governments have been involved.

The time has come definitely now—and it is the first thing, taking precedence over additional days of benefit, and over the restoration of the cuts, and it takes, in my view, precedence over everything else—when, as far as possible, and making various allowances which we all recognise should be made, those family allowances should either be put upon a logical basis, or should be abolished altogether and the insured person himself recognised as the only beneficiary of a flat rate of benefit. Of those two alternatives there can be no doubt as to what we must choose. Statesmen with a due regard to public opinion and to facts cannot put the clock wholly back. We must put the family allowance on a basis on which it will appear prima facie reasonable to public opinion and to the insured people themselves. That is the position in which we find ourselves. I really appeal to the Minister—and I cannot be accused of not having been thus far a supporter of this Government—to recognise the real strength of feeling in this House, not merely the emotional appeal which the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) put before us—we can all make emotional appeals—but the real argumentative case for this Amendment, and, realising that fact, I hope that the Minister will be prepared to make a concession.

9.19 p.m.


I should not have intervened for a moment in this Debate were is not for the fact that I am fully convinced that the Government have an opportunity of doing something which is really noble, and making provision for the children who belong to the unemployed who have contributed to the fund. We have heard an Amendment moved by an hon. Member of the Government who thoroughly agrees that the children's allowance ought to be raised. If it is not raised, there will be a stigma on the National Government because they are stating to-night that the standard in respect of the child life of the nation is fixed at a sum of two shillings a week. The Noble Lord mentioned that relief has not been based on the standard rate of pay to unemployed. Speaking of my knowledge of the Poor Law, the standard of unemployment benefit is certainly in the minds of members of the public assistance committees in regard to the relief which they are granting. In many cases a genuinely unemployed man who has been paying into the fund is not able to get any public assistance at all. We are reminded to-night that the advocacy of an increase for the children is of very little consequence. It may be very nice for the Noble Lord to make a statement and then, perhaps, go into the Lobby to vote against the Government, but I am not concerned whether I vote for or against the National Government. I am concerned with the people who live in my particular neighbourhood who are being badly fed, housed and clothed. No Member of this Committee can say that two shillings a week is an adequate allowance for the child of any man or woman in our poverty-stricken districts.

It would be a wise policy on the part of the National Government to give greater spending power to the people in our congested areas, and adequate allowances in respect of the children, which, in turn must prove of benefit to the nation. They are crippling the nation; they are underfeeding the children. In regard to malnutrition, the members of the public are placing an indictment upon the National Government because they are not doing their duty by making proper provision. I am vehement in my expressions in this Committee because of the condition of the people in the neighbourhood in which I live, and in the city where I go about among the people. I come here, not to speak as a supporter of the National Government, but to voice the opinions which I have voiced in the street in regard to the obligations of the Government concerning the child life of the nation. Is there anyone in any part of this House who dare face a respectable audience in any hall in this country and say that two shillings a week for a child is sufficient? It is an insult to the intelligence of every Member of Parliament to be told by the Minister of Labour that that is all the National Government can do.

Viscountess ASTOR

What about the Labour Government?


We shall see what you can do when this matter goes to a vote. I am not fumbling with this question. I know what it means. I know, because I have had to administer relief in the City of Liverpool. I can see the vision before me now. I should like to know what the Noble Lady knows of the conditions of the poor. I lived among them for 15 years. I call on hon. Members not only to move pious Amendments but to go into the Lobby and vote against the Government who have had so much power placed in their hands. The people outside will clamour if better assistance is not given. They will make you hear, they will make you listen, and it is because I fear the voice outside that I want hon. Members of this Committee not to be struck dumb, as they are, but to go into the Lobby and vote against the Government and against their proposal that the standard of life of the child shall be 2s. a week. The nation that saved £15,000,000 on the unemployed and £10,000,000 on transitional benefit will not be put off with noisy Debate on the question of one shilling for the child when the medical fraternity have declared that the child life of the nation is in danger.

The Government must be an impossible crew if they are unable to realise the finger on the wall—or the handwriting on the wall, whichever it may be. I am pointing out to them the child's finger on the wall, the handwriting on the wall. I have stated in this House before—and I have no wish to be too personal—that you do not want Macaulay's Essays inside this House; you want rapid speech; you want to know the facts of the case as they are. I know them, and it is because I know them that I am speaking here. I will defy any hon. Member of the Committee to say that the facts which I am stating are untrue. The Government are not doing their duty after two years on those benches. They are not doing their duty with the power that they have. This is a pious resolution, and I want it to be carried into execution. I am prepared to support the Amendment.

9.28 p.m.

Viscountess ASTOR

I have never heard a more inaccurate speech than that of the hon. Member who has just spoken. No one said that 2s. was adequate to support a child. That is not the question before the Committee. We have listened to most constructive and loyal speeches from Members of the Government, and if the Opposition had any psychology at all they would have said "Divide" after the speech of the right hon. Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy). No wonder the Opposition are in the wilderness. If the public outside the House could see the Opposition, they would never get into power again as long as they lived. I beg the Government to remember that they have a most loyal and docile public. I have never seen the House really eoused except twice, and both times it was about children. Once was when we tried to get the regulation of the hours of children in blind-alley occupations, and the House went into the Lobby and voted 86 strong against the Government. I am certain that many hon. Members to-night are going to vote for this Amendment. It is not because we went to put the Government in a difficult position, but because we want to help the Government by showing that some of their supporters are perfectly willing to break the precedent. I beg the Government, for the sake of all of us, to accept the Amendment. They know it is not going to ruin the insurance principle; if it were, then all of us would be against it. They know perfectly well that it would help the Statutory Committee that is to be set up; it would show them the strength of the feeling of this Committee as far as young people are concerned. I beg of them, for the sake of their loyal followers, many of whom admire them enormously up to a point, but do not admire them enough to let them make a blunder of the first magnitude, to accept the Amendment. If they do not, we shall have to go into the Lobby against them.

9.30 p.m.


The chief point I have to make is that the position put by the Minister shows the weakness of the Committee. It means that whatever point is put forward by the House in Committee, this Bill cannot be altered by one iota. In the speech he made, a very excellent speech from his point of view, he told us that certain plans are laid down upon which the finances of the Government are based, and that he does not want to interfere with them at all; that they must be left to the Statutory Committee. The effect is that whatever hon. Members say here, we are to have no voice at all. On that point the Committee ought to express itself quite determinedly, and to say what it thinks. When we went into Committee I expected that some points would be accepted. To-night I wrote a letter to a constituent of mine saying that we were in the Committee stage, and that I did not expect much alteration, but that I did expect that one thing would be accepted—that the Government would take the hon. Member's Amendment and give the 3s. Earlier in the Debate, when the Noble Lady was criticising us, I said to her that I believed the Government would accept this Amendment. I felt that they would do so, but the Minister has told us to-night that he does not intend to accept it, and, judging from what has happened to-night, no change is to take place in this Bill as far as finance is concerned. The Committee should feel that now is the opportunity for Members on all sides to determine what they, and not the Government, shall do with the Bill.

9.33 p.m.


This Debate has been a revelation, because those who heard the Debate on the Money Resolution and that on the Second Reading knew very well that we practically agreed at that time that the first thing this Bill did was to arrange that the debt should be paid back on an average of £5,500,000 annual interest for something like 40 years. The Schedule says nothing whatever about anything but making the fund solvent. It hardly mentions restoration, increase of benefits or anything else; it does nothing but make arrangements for paying back debt. The hon. Members who spoke to-night were

bound to know that from the earlier Debates in this House. Those who spoke on these benches knew that, however well-meaning those hon. Members who moved or have supported this Amendment may be, they are very late in the day in taking the line which they have taken. I can only hope that they are loyal enough, strong enough and courageous enough to go into the Lobby and support this Amendment, as we shall certainly give them the opportunity to do.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 104; Noes, 200.

Division No. 70.] AYES. [9.36 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Maxton, James
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Milner, Major James
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Moss, Captain H. J.
Albery, Irving James Gillett, Sir George Masterman Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Glossop, C. W. H. Owen, Major Goronwy
Aske, Sir Robert William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Paling, Wilfred
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Parkinson, John Allen
Attlee, Clement Richard Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Pearson, William G.
Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Percy, Lord Eustace
Banfieid, John William Groves, Thomas E. Plckering, Ernest H.
Betsy, Joseph Grundy, Thomas W. Price, Gabriel
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Rathbone, Eleanor
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Harris, Sir Percy Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Blaker, Sir Reginald Hartland, George A. Rickards, George William
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Hicks, Ernest George Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
Bralthwalte, J. G. (Hillsborough) Holdsworth, Herbert Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Brass, Captain Sir William Jenkins, Sir William Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Briant, Frank Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Buchanan, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Soper, Richard
Cape, Thomas Kerr, Lleut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Stourton, Hon. John J.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Kirkwood, David Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Knight, Hollord Tinker, John Joseph
Cooke, Douglas Lawson, John James Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Cove, William G. Leckie, J. A. Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Cripps, Sir Stafford Leonard, William Wallhead, Richard C.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Curry, A. C. Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick White, Henry Graham
Daggar, George Logan, David Gilbert Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Lunn, William Williams, Dr. John H. (Lienelly)
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) McCorquodale, M. S. Wilmot, John
Dickle, John P. McEntee, Valentine L. Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Dobble, William Maclean, Neli (Glasgow, Govan)
Edwards, Charles Macmillan, Maurice Harold TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Mainwaring, William Henry Mr. John and Mr. D. Graham.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Martin, Thomas B.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Broadbent, Colonel John Craven-Ellis, William
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Brocklebank, C. E. R. Crooke, J. Smedley
Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Croom-Johnson, R. P.
Apsley, Lord Burnett, John George Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Culverwell, Cyril Tom
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Dalkeith, Earl of
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Caporn, Arthur Cecil Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Carver, Major William H. Davles, Maj.Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Bainiel, Lord Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Dawson. Sir Philip
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Denman, Hon. R. D.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric Denville, Alfred
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Clarry, Reginald George Drewe, Cedric
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Conant, R. J. E. Edmondson, Major A. J.
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Cook, Thomas A. Elliston, Captain George Sampson
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Cooper, A. Duff Elmley, Viscount
Boyce, H. Leslie Copeland, Ida Emmott, Charles E. G. C.
Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Levy, Thomas Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Erskine-Boist, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Liddall, Walter S. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Salt, Edward W.
Everard, W. Lindsay Liewellin, Major John J. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Selley, Harry R.
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H
Fox, Sir Gifford Lyons, Abraham Montagu Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Fremantle, Sir Francis MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Ganzonl, Sir John MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Gluckstein, Louis Halle MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)
Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)
Gower, Sir Robert McKie, John Hamilton Somervell, Sir Donald
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Graves, Marjorie Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Greene, William P. C. Makins, Brigedier-General Ernest Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Spens, William Patrick
Grimston, R. V. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fyide)
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Guneton, Captain D. W. Meller, Sir Richard James Storey, Samuel
Guy, J. C. Morrison Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'ti'd & Chisw'k) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Hanbury, Cecil Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Hanley, Dennis A. Moreing, Adrian C. Thompson, Sir Luke
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Morrison, William Shepherd Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Munro, Patrick Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Hepworth, Joseph Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Turton, Robert Hugh
Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Hornby, Frank North, Edward T. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Horobin, Ian M. Nunn, William Wardle w-Milne, Sir John S.
Horsbrugh, Florence Peat, Charles U. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Penny, Sir George Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Perkins, Walter R. D. Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Procter, Major Henry Adam Wells, Sydney Richard
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Radford, E. A. Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Whyte, Jardine Bell
James. Wing-Com. A. W. H. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Jamleson, Douglas Ramsbotham, Herwaid Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Jesson, Major Thomas E. Ramsden, Sir Eugene Wills, Wilfrid D.
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Ratcliffe, Arthur Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Reid, William Allan (Derby) Wise, Alfred R.
Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Ramer, John R. Womersley, Waiter James
Kerr, Hamilton W. Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U Wragg, Herbert
Knox, Sir Alfred Ropner, Colonel L. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Leech, Dr. J. W. Ross, Ronald D. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lees-Jones, John Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Mr. Blindell and Commander
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Ruggies-Brise, Colonel E. A. Southby.

9.45 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 29, to leave out from "aggregate," to the end of line 29, page 4, and to insert "three hundred and twelve days."

I hope the good example set by hon. Members opposite on the last Amendment will be followed on this proposal, and that they will again register their votes against the Government and in favour of the Amendment. The purpose of the proposal is clear. It is to establish 312 days in the year for benefit as against 156 days. In other words, it is to ensure benefit for the insured worker for 12 months instead of six. Indeed, it re-enacts a provision which obtains in the 1927 Act, passed by a Conservative Government, which made statutory benefit possible for a period of 12 months. Extraordinary as it may appear unemployed are human beings and they have needs for 12 months in the year. That elementary fact does not appear to be grasped by some hon. Members. They have needs every day for food, clothing and shelter. How are they going to purchase these necessaries? There may be some with meagre means at their disposal by which they can supplement their unemployment benefit, but there are millions who have no other income at all. They cannot sleep, they cannot fast, for six months; they have to live and, therefore, we on these benches are asking that the proposal in the 1927 Act should be reinstated and that they should receive 12 months' benefit in the year.

Officialdom might say that these people have not to be entertained for six months of the year, that no benefit is to be paid. It means that they will have to meet the cost of the necessaries of life, according to the proposal of the Bill, during a period of six months when they are not to be entitled to benefit. The Bill, as it stands, is divorced from actualities. We on these benches have tried to make clear the position of the unemployed worker, and there are in the Labour party a greater proportion who have had experience of unemployment and who are familiar with the handicaps associated with unemployment, than in any party in the House. We have tried to impress upon hon. Members the seriousness of the position of these men. Disguise it as you will, the fact remains that the workers can only live by selling their labour. The only opportunity they have for obtaining a livelihood is to get work. They cannot, employ themselves; they have to seek an employer. Employment means life, unemployment means a living death, as medical officers of health have testified and as facts in abundance have shown.

What alternatives are there for these workers who are without any means at all, apart from what they get in unemployment benefit during the other six months of the year? What are they to do for those six months? This is the greatest place for examining proposals of this character. What steps are we as the representatives of the people proposing to take to deal with the unemployed who will not be entitled to benefit for six months of the year? How are they to live? Are they to live by robbery, by begging, by tricks, by crime? If they are turned out of benefit they must turn to other resources. Are they to live illegally? How are the girls to live? Are they to live by thieving, by immorality? These are questions, harsh and brutal questions but live questions, on which the Government must accept some responsibility. No employer will employ them, and no public works are to be proceeded with. What are these people to do? They cannot sleep for half the year; and at the back of all this there is the inalienable right to live. [An HON. MEMBER: "Part II."] I am speaking about unemployment and unemployment benefit, and not the iniquitous means test that has come into an examination of the right to benefit and the right to live. However much we may try to dodge the situation the issue is insistent because it is based upon an inalienable right to live, and it will burst through all attempts to burke it.

The people have a right to employment, the right to a means of livelihood, or the community must, maintain them if it denies them an opportunity to earn their livelihood. I do not suppose that I shall receive very great encouragement from the Minister after his last speech, but none the less I ask the Committee to vote for the Amendment. These unemployed men are Britishers, the same stock, the same blood as ourselves. Do the Government want to turn them into the street to become motor bandits or footpads or something of that kind? These men are not responsible for the social system under which they live but are the victims of it. They would prefer employment and they beg for employment, but it is denied them. If we do not treat them in a proper way, if we turn them loose on the streets without hope, I believe it will cost the nation more for safety, for police protection and for medical services.

The amount of benefit paid now, if paid for the whole of the year, is not sufficient to maintain a man in health. This Committee ought not to be told that human beings, compelled to drift into the undesirable condition I have indicated, must become physical and moral wrecks. There are limits to what fathers and mothers can stand. There are limits to the plaintive cries of their families. It may be said, either that we are catering for them in an efficient way or that the resources of the country are not equal to meeting the demand of the Amendment. But there are limits to the physical endurance of the people. It is a marvel to me that they have endured so much so long. We all know the splendid courage, the stoicism of our people, but when I visit the houses of the unemployed, when I hear of their privations, when I hear the statements of medical officers in mining villages, in textile towns and in the shipyard areas, when I hear of the mental anguish of decent Britishers who desire a free life but find privations heaped upon them year after year, I marvel at their endurance.

If we do not give them unemployment benefit, we shall have to give them help in another direction. Maintenance is maintenance, call it by whatever name you like. In order to be kept alive these people must have food, clothing and shelter. They must get relief if they can- not get benefit. To give less than maintenance is to punish the innocent. If the unemployed were guilty of any crime I could understand the infliction of punishment on them. The handicap of their lives is that they are innocently unemployed. An unemployed man cannot get an employer unless there is an employer willing to employ him, and an employer cannot employ him unless he has work that can be done at a profitable figure. The Trade Unions Congress, in giving evidence before the Royal Commission, stated: Unemployment is a national and international problem resulting from the industrial system under which we live. The workers are not the authors of the system but the victims of it, and unless the community so organises its resources as to provide work for every willing worker, the unemployed, as the reserves of industry, are entitled to maintenance. The Blanesburgh Committee reported that they were not able to recommend anything less than what had previously been provided. This problem will arise again and again until Parliament decides to grapple with it earnestly, until Parliament says that the victims of the social system shall be dealt with as honourable citizens. Unless the Government and the community can organise the resources and the industries of the country so as to give these men employment, millions of our fellow citizens will be denied the shelter and protection that we ought to give them. We on the Labour benches can, at the suitable time, put forward proposals for the reorganisation of society, but I should be ruled out of order if I dealt with that subject now. The Government have a responsibility to bridge the gap between the inability of private enterprise to provide employment and the great unemployed army who are seeking work and cannot obtain it.

If private enterprise cannot provide employment for 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 of our people it is the duty of the Government to provide employment for those people in public works, or, failing that, to treat them as reserves of labour and give them adequate maintenance. The question, I think, has only to be stated for hon. Members to appreciate the moral obligation involved. Under the 1927 Act benefit was available for the whole 12 months and in the interim period there was an opportunity for qualification by the 30 weeks' contribution provision and for those who became disentitled there was uncovenanted benefit. We are going back instead of going forward. The Minister said it was competent for anyone to change his point of view when fresh facts appeared, and I thank him for that statement. Are the Government not able to take a changed view of this matter in view of the fresh facts which have been revealed? The difference between now and 1927 is that the problem of unemployment has been intensified.

The real position as regards unemployment is that the problem is more severe than we thought it was at that period, and it has become static. Therefore, the need for this Amendment is urgent and real and the Committee would be well advised to agree to it. In view of the fresh facts which have arisen and in view of the opinions that could be advanced here the Government ought to change their attitude and give to these Britishers a statutory right to benefit, instead of turning them into avenues of crime. We ought to recognise the great principle which is involved here. I know that other Members wish to join in this discussion, and we hope to get opinions from other quarters of the Committee in support of our view, and I therefore do not propose to detain the Committee longer. I would only say that the House of Commons will never be able to exclude this subject from discussion, the problem having become so deeply rooted in our economic life. Our people have reached a stage at which they are no longer prepared to endure the prospect of suffering indefinitely. They will insist upon their public representatives discussing this matter and pressing for adequate measures to deal with the situation. I trust, therefore, that the Government will see their way to incorporate this Amendment in the Bill.

10.10 p.m.


The hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) said that the House of Commons was the greatest place in the world for examining proposals—not that he entirely fulfilled that description in his own speech—and there was one proposition made by him, of which I think we ought to have some further explanation. He described the terrible dangers to the community which would arise if this Amendment were not carried. Among the fears which he expressed was that there would be a need for more police protection for the community if this proposal were not accepted. The Committee are entitled to know, is that a threat to the House of Commons and the country, or is it merely the expression of a fear by the hon. Member that he will not be able to control his supporters? Has he joined the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps) in a threat to the community? We all know how the Labour party conference undertook to consider the proposals of the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol, which I am not going into now, but we ought to know, is the hon. Member for East Woolwich to be a new ally of the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol if this particular Amendment is not carried?


The point which I was making was that if the unemployed had no means of subsistence for six months in the year they might be driven on to the streets. I asked what means these people had of obtaining a livelihood, I asked were they to do it by begging or by thieving, or by becoming footpads and bandits? I submitted that if they were unable to obtain the necessaries of life, the community would have to pay for it in another way; that if the community did not pay unemployment benefit, they would have to pay in other ways for the demoralisation, physical and moral, which mould take place among the unemployed. I submitted that one of the agencies through which it was possible that such expense would arise, would be the necessity for having additional police protection. I did not ally myself with anybody or with any other statement outside but only sought to show the moral consequences of not recognising our moral responsibility to the unemployed.


I am sure the Committee is grateful to the hon. Member for his explanation and that most hon. Members will draw from it two conclusions. First, that he has thrown over his leader and second that, by implication, we are threatened by hon. Members with lawlessness if this Amendment is not carried. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Then why talk to the Committee about police protection?


I thought the hon. and gallant Member had accepted my hon. Friend's explanation.


If you talk about police protection you must mean, by implication, that it will become necessary, if the proposal which you are supporting is not carried. But having heard the hon. Member's threats let us examine his proposal. He said that there was no provision for the unemployed for six months of the year. He seems to forget that this is an insurance Bill dealing with insurance principles and that any surplus in the fund, which is contributed by three parties, goes entirely to the benefit of one of those parties, namely the drawers of benefit. I do not think he can complain that those who subscribe to the fund are going to be badly treated. Then Part II of the Bill covers the need for the other six months of the year. The hon. Member brushed aside Part II merely saying that he and his friends would not touch the iniquitous means test. It is about time that this question of the means test was faced by Members of the party who are largely responsible for it. The trouble is that hon. Members above the Gangway always like to do something and then to be able to run away from it. What is wrong with the means test?


It appears to me that the means test will arise under Part II.


I at once bow to your Ruling. This Amendment is not necessary, because there is a Part II of this Bill which we shall be discussing later, and which contains provisions which the trade unions themselves have in their own particular funds and which every Income Tax payer when he gives money has to pass, and I see no reason why those who receive money should not have to do likewise. I think this Amendment is thoroughly hypocritical. If hon. Members above the Gangway were responsible for the formation of a Government and for the preparation of an Unemployment Insurance Bill, they would have, in deference to the wishes of their own Members who have fine industrial records, to produce an Insurance Bill and not one which endeavours to catch votes, but which will fail dismally of its objective, because the electors have seen through these promises made for the sake of catching votes.

10.16 p.m.


It might be for the convenience of the Committee, as we still have a number of Amendments to deal with, if I indicated very briefly the reasons why the Government cannot accept the Amendment, which I am sure will not surprise the hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks). The minimum number of days in a year in respect of which a man can draw benefit under the Bill, 156, is at present the maximum: it is exactly twice the minimum recommended by the Royal Commission. They recommended a

minimum of 78 days, but we are giving double that, and we are therefore being very generous. The Amendment of the hon. Member would cost about £14,000,000; it would only affect about 2½ per cent. of the persons concerned, and it would involve an increased contribution of something like 7d. a week. For these reasons, it is impossible for the Government to accept it.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the end of line 36, page 3, stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 46.

Division No. 71.] AYES. [10.16 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Crossley, A. C. Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Hornby, Frank
Albery, Irving James Culverwell, Cyril Tom Horobin, Ian M.
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Curry, A. C. Horsbrugh, Florence
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.
Applln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Apsley, Lord Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)
Aske, Sir Robert William Dawson, Sir Philip Hume, Sir George Hopwood
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Denman, Hon. R. D. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Denville, Alfred Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)
Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J. Dickle, John P. James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Drewe, Cedric Jamleson, Douglas
Balniel, Lord Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Jesson, Major Thomas E.
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Joel, Dudley J. Barnato
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Edmondson, Major A. J. Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Elliston, Captain George Sampson Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Elmley, Viscount Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Emrys-Evans, P. V. Kerr, Hamilton W.
Blaker, Sir Reginald Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Knight, Holford
Blindell, James Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Knox, Sir Alfred
Boulton, W. W. Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Leckie, J. A.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Everard, W. Lindsay Leech, Dr. J. W.
Boyce, H. Leslie Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lees-Jones, John
Bracken, Brendan Fleming, Edward Lascelles Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.) Fox, Sir Gifford Levy, Thomas
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Fraser, Captain Ian Liddall, Walter S.
Brass, Captain Sir William Fremantle, Sir Francis Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock)
Briant, Frank Ganzonl, Sir John Llewellin, Major John J.
Broadbent, Colonel John Gillett, Sir George Masterman Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)
Browne, Captain A. C. Glossop, C. W. H. Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Gluckstein, Louis Halle Lyons, Abraham Montagu
Burghley, Lord Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. Mabane, William
Burnett, John George Gower, Sir Robert MacAndrew, Lt.-Col C. G. (Partick)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Graves, Marjorie MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Greene, William P. C. McCorquodale, M. S.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Carver, Major William H. Grimston. R. V. McEwen, Captain J. H. F.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. McKie, John Hamilton
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Gunston, Captain D. W. Macquisten, Frederick Alexander
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Guy, J. C. Morrison Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.
Clarry, Reginald George Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Colman, N. C. D. Hammersley, Samuel S. Marsden, Commander Arthur
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Hanbury, Cecil Martin, Thomas B.
Conant, R. J. E. Hanley, Dennis A. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Cook, Thomas A. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Meller, Sir Richard James
Cooke, Douglas Harris, Sir Percy Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Cooper, A. Duff Hartland, George A. Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)
Copeland, Ida Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Mitcheson, G. G.
Cranborne, Viscount Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
Craven-Ellis, William Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Moreing, Adrian C.
Crooke, J. Smedley Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Hepworth, Joseph Morrison, William Shepherd
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Holdsworth, Herbert Moss, Captain H. J.
Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Ropner, Colonel L. Sutcliffe, Harold
Munro, Patrick Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Ross, Ronald D. Thompson, Sir Luke
Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A. Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
North, Edward T. Runge, Norah Cecil Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Nunn, William Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy) Touche, Gordon Cosmo
O'Donovan, Dr. William James Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside) Turton, Robert Hugh
Patrick, Colin M. Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Pearson, William G. Salmon, Sir Isidore Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Peat, Charles U. Salt, Edward W. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Penny, Sir George Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Percy, Lord Eustace Selley, Harry R. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Perkins, Walter R. D. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Pete, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Pickering, Ernest H. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Procter, Major Henry Adam Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.) Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Pybus, Sir Percy John Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Wells, Sydney Richard
Radford, E. A. Somervell, Sir Donald Weymouth, Viscount
Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) White, Henry Graham
Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Soper, Richard Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Ramsbotham, Herwald Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E. Whyte, Jardine Bell
Ramsden, Sir Eugene Southby, Commander Archibald R. J. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Ratcliffe, Arthur Spencer, Captain Richard A. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Rathbone, Eleanor Spans, William Patrick Wills, Wilfrid D.
Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Storey, Samuel Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Reid, William Allan (Derby) Stourton, Hon. John J. Wise, Alfred R.
Remer, John R. Strickland, Captain W. F. Womersley, Walter James
Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton. Wragg, Herbert
Rickards, George William Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) Summersby, Charles H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lord Erskine and Dr. Morris-Jones.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Maxton, James
Attlee, Clement Richard Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Milner, Major James
Banfield, John William Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Paling, Wilfred
Batey, Joseph Grundy, Thomas W. Parkinson, John Allen
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Price, Gabriel
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Hicks, Ernest George Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Jenkins, Sir William Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cape, Thomas Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Kirkwood, David Wallhead. Richard C.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lawson, John James Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Daggar, George Leonard, William Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Logan, David Gilbert Wilmot, John
Dobbie, William Lunn, William
Edwards, Charles Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mainwaring, William Henry Mr. John and Mr. Groves.

10.27 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 37, to leave out paragraph (a).

The paragraph which we are proposing should be omitted ought to be read in conjunction with the other parts of the Clause. The first part of the Clause says that the first statutory condition can be removed, that is to say, that more than 156 days' benefit can be paid in any benefit year. Then it goes on to lay down other conditions and this paragraph (a) says that a claimant must have been in insurance for five years. This Amendment is moved in order to take away that bar, because we contend that when a man has fulfilled the statutory condition relating to the 30 stamps he ought to be entitled to the whole period of 12 months benefit.

10.28 p.m.


The provisions which have been inserted affect only the early entrants into insurance. The overwhelming mass of insured persons will not be affected by the first part of the proviso when the Bill comes into operation, because they will have been in insurance for more than five years. It seems only right to us that a child who happens to have a period of employment in the first two years of insurance life should not be entitled to these benefits—that it would be better that he should attain the age of 19 before he is qualified for them. He will not lose anything, but, on the contrary, he will gain, because he is more likely to want this benefit in the later years than in the earlier years. As to the abolition of the five years' gap, it is clear that we must have a statutory limit somewhere. Otherwise, the Ministry of Labour would be compelled to keep the record of every insured man practically for ever, because after a man had ceased to be in insurance—suppose he drops out of insurance at the age even of 35—we should have to keep his record for an unlimited period in case at some future time he might come back. We therefore think that the two periods ought to coincide, and for that reason I am afraid that the Government cannot accept the Amendment.

10.31 p.m.


I must confess that I am unable to follow the argument of the hon. Gentleman. He says he will have to keep the record for an unlimited time, but to have benefit an insured person must have 30 stamps a year. That is the first statutory condition. If a man goes out of insurance and then comes back, he would not have 30 stamps in two years and there would be no need to keep his record. Automatically he is disqualified from benefit as he would not have satisfied the first statutory condition, and before he could get benefit he would need to satisfy that condition. As this matter is applied to children, it is most unfair. Hitherto one of the benefits in respect of children was that the five-year provision would apply until the insured person became 19 years of age. I interjected that it was a very moot point as to whether he would become entitled to benefit only subsequent to his 19th year and not at 19, and that nobody could be in benefit at the age of 19 but only subsequently. I cannot understand why the contributions of a person whom you have taken into insurance cannot be treated as those of anybody else.

It is argued that it is bad business for a young person to get insurance money from the age of 16, and one hon. Member introduced the moral issue. The Minister said that there would be something wrong about putting a person straight from school on to the Employment Exchange, but that position does not arise here. The person is paid for five years until reaching the age of 19, and if there is any virtue in this Clause I cannot understand why that virtue should not be given to the boy who has paid from 14 as well as to any other section of contributors. The Minister's answer to-day does not alter the position very much. I trust that those who have put forward this Amendment will divide upon it, because the position is an iniquitous one. The Government are bringing these persons in and subjecting them to terrible conditions. That position will be debated to-morrow. The Government are refusing to apply the ordinary five-year provision to them as it is applied to any other section of employed persons.

The least that the Minister could have done, in bringing these young people in, would have been to treat them equitably with any other section of the insured population. That, however, he is not doing. During these discussions we have continually heard the phrase, "This is an Insurance Bill." I confess that I have never agreed with unemployment insurance. I agree with the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. K. Lindsay) that you cannot run unemployment on insurance principles; human considerations and other considerations come in which sweep insurance principles away. But, even if there were an insurance principle, it seems to me that young persons are not being treated on anything like a basis of an insurance right when their first five years is not counted like any other five years, and I trust that those who have put down this Amendment will vote against the Government.

10.46 p.m.


There is one point that I do not quite understand. Supposing that someone comes in at the age of 20, and begins his insurance life at the age of 20, has he to run five years before he is qualified? I should like that point cleared up, because this is really rather a complicated piece of legislation. There is another point that I should like made certain. I think that the position of the ex-soldier or sailor is quite safe, but some others would like to know that his position is absolutely secure, and that he just goes on as at present, but naturally with a rather better benefit under the Bill.

10.37 p.m.


I might perhaps remind the Committee that this Amendment is concerned with additional benefit and not with ordinary benefit. A man, even if he has fallen out of insurance for five years, will still be entitled, as soon as he gets his 30 stamps, to 156 days' ordinary benefit in the year. It will only be in the case of the additional benefit that he will have to pay for five years. As regards the point made by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), about unfairness in the case of children, I do not think that on reconsideration he will really believe that it is unfair. The child is paying 2d., and those contributions which he pays at 2d. will remain to his credit, and he will be able to draw on them at the age of 19, when he will obviously be getting a much higher rate of benefit than he would be at 16. At 19 he will be paying contributions at the rate of 9d., and drawing a corresponding rate of benefit. It is obviously unfair that for a contribution of 2d. he should get benefit equivalent to that for which he is asked to pay 9d. He is really being given for 4d. that for which he would otherwise have to pay 9d., and, therefore, far from treating him badly, we are treating him generously. With regard to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) the position of ex-regular soldiers, sailors and airmen will come up on a later Clause, and I think he will find that it will be fully safeguarded.


There was the further point as to the man who comes in at 20.


The man who comes in at 20 will be entitled to draw benefit as soon as he has 30 stamps, if he falls out

of work, for the minimum period of 156 days, but he will not be able to draw additional benefit until he has attained the age of 25.


The boy who comes out of the school or university at 19, after he has got 30 stamps, gets his six months' benefit, but the other person who has entered at 14, and paid for 4½ years longer, will only get a very small addition to his six months' benefit.


I must point out to the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) that, whether this Amendment be carried or not, there is no suggestion to delete paragraph (ii) on page 4, which really covers the point that he raises. Whether this Amendment be carried or not, that paragraph will still remain in the Bill.


The Minister says we are treating the person entering at 14 generously. I say that, compared with the person who enters at 19, he is being treated meanly.


No, because a boy who enters industry at 19 will be able to draw only 156 days in each year until he attains the age of 24. A boy who enters at 14 is five years better off than a man who comes in at 19.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'five' in line 39, stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 283; Noes, 47.

Division No. 72.] AYES. [10.41 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Brass, Captain Sir William Craven-Ellis, William
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Briant, Frank Crooke, J. Smedley
Albery, Irving James Broadbent, Colonel John Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Brocklebank, C. E. R. Croom-Johnson, R. P.
Applln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Browne, Captain A. C. Crossley, A. C.
Apsley, Lord Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard
Asks, Sir Robert William Burghley, Lord Culverwell, Cyril Tom
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Burnett, John George Curry, A. C.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Cadogan, Hon. Edward Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)
Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J. Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Dawson, Sir Philip
Balniel, Lord Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Denville, Alfred
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Caporn, Arthur Cecil Dickie, John P.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Carver, Major William H. Drewe, Cedric
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Cautley, Sir Henry S. Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel
Beaumont, Hn. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.) Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Duggan, Hubert John
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Edmondson, Major A. J.
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey
Blaker, Sir Reginald Clarry, Reginald George Elliston, Captain George Sampson
Blindell, James Colman, N. C. D. Elmley, Viscount
Boulton, W. W. Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Emmott, Charles E. G. C.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Conant, R. J. E. Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Cook, Thomas A. Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)
Boyce, H. Leslie Cooke, Douglas Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)
Bracken, Brendan Cooper, A. Duff Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.) Copeland, Ida Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Cranborne, Viscount Everard, W. Lindsay
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Fox, Sir Gifford Lyons, Abraham Montagu Runge, Norah Cecil
Fraser, Captain Ian Mabane, William Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Fremantle, Sir Francis MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Ganzonl, Sir John MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Gillett, Sir George Masterman McCorquodale, M. S. Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Salmon, Sir Isidore
Glossop, C. W. H. MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Salt, Edward W.
Gluckstein, Louis Halle McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. McKie, John Hamilton Selley, Harry R.
Gower, Sir Robert McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Graves, Marjorie Macmillan, Maurice Harold Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Greene, William P. C. Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Grimston, R. V. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Somervell, Sir Donald
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Marsden, Commander Arthur Soper, Richard
Gunston, Captain D. W. Martin, Thomas B. Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Guy, J. C. Morrison Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Meller, Sir Richard James Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Spens, William Patrick
Hammersley, Samuel S. Milne, Charles Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Hanbury, Cecil Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)
Hanley, Dennis A. Mitcheson, G. G Storey, Samuel
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Moore, LL-Col, Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Stourton, Hon. John J.
Hartland, George A. Moreing, Adrian C. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Morrison, William Shepherd Summersby, Charles H.
Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Moss, Captain H. J. Sutcliffe, Harold
Hepworth, Joseph Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Munro, Patrick Thompson, Sir Luke
Holdsworth, Herbert Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Thorp, Linton Theodore
Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Hornby, Frank North, Edward T. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Horobin, Ian M. Nunn, William Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Horsbrugh, Florence O'Connor, Terence James Turton, Robert Hugh
Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. O'Donovan, Dr. William James Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Patrick, Colin M. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Pearson, William G. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Peat, Charles U. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Penny, Sir George Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Perkins, Walter R. D. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Jamleson, Douglas Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Jesson, Major Thomas E. Pickering, Ernest H. Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Wells, Sydney Richard
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Pybus, Sir Percy John Weymouth, Viscount
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Radford, E. A. White, Henry Graham
Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Kerr, Hamilton W. Ramsbotham, Herwald Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Knight, Holford Ramsden, Sir Eugene Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Knox, Sir Alfred Ratcliffe, Arthur Wills, Wilfrid D.
Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Rathbone, Eleanor Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Law, Sir Alfred Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Leckie, J. A. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Wise, Alfred R.
Leech, Dr. J. W. Reid, William Allan (Derby) Womersley, Walter James
Lees-Jones, John Remer, John R. Wragg, Herbert
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Levy, Thomas Rickards, George William
Liddall, Walter S. Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock) Ropner, Colonel L. Sir Frederick Thomson and Lord
Llewellin, Major John J. Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Erskine.
Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Ross, Ronald D.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Edwards, Charles Logan, David Gilbert
Attlee, Clement Richard Graham, D. M. (Lunark, Hamilton) Lunn, William
Banfield, John William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur McEntee, Valentine L.
Batey, Joseph Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Mainwaring, William Henry
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Grundy, Thomas W. Maxton, James
Buchanan, George Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Milner, Major James
Cape, Thomas Hicks, Ernest George Owen, Major Goronwy
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jenkins, Sir William Paling, Wilfred
Cove, William G. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Parkinson, John Allen
Cripps, Sir Stafford Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Price, Gabriel
Daggar, George Kirkwood, David Salter, Dr. Alfred
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lawson, John James Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Dobble, William Leonard, William Thorne, William James
Tinker, John Joseph Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Wallhead, Richard C. Wilmot, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Williams, David (Swansea, East) Mr. John and Mr. Groves.

10.50 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 3, line 39, to leave out "five," and to insert "two."

The Committee will agree that one of the principles upon which there is most difference between hon. Members on this side of the Committee and supporters of the Government is with regard to the separation of the unemployed into two classes. While we should have liked to see no separation and the whole of the people who are out of work treated alike so far as duration of benefit goes, the Government have seen fit to introduce this Sub-section, which gives additional days' benefit in certain circumstances. While we were discussing the last Amendment, the point was raised by one of my hon. Friends behind me as to the position of a man who entered insurance at 20 years of age. Both the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary will agree that this Clause is perfectly clear: no additional days can be paid to a man who falls out of work unless he has been in insurance for at least five years before being out of work. I wish we had more time to discuss this matter, because I fail to see where the magic of the five years comes in. It is true that the majority of the Royal Commission made some reference to the fact that this figure of five years gives a rough-and-ready ratio for everyday use. I can foresee, from the point of view of hardship, a number of cases that are likely to arise and that are going to be very hard indeed. Suppose, for example, that you have a person entering insurance at 18 years of age who falls out of work at 22. The most that individual can get is 156 days. No additional days will be paid, because he has not been in insurance for five years before falling out of work.

I think that there are likely to be a number of cases of hardship. One could have understood this question of ratio if the Government had based it on a kind of pro rata principle; if, for example, you take the case of a man who had been in work for five years before falling out and had paid the full 260 stamps, he should be entitled to 52 weeks as a maximum, then you scale that down in proportion, taking the man who has been in insurance four, three, two years and so on, and regulating it in that way. It would have been fairer, and would have had the effect of bringing under Part 1 thousands of people who are now going to be treated under Part 11. I can well understand the Government having difficulty in deciding what period should be taken. We think that five years is too long a period and that a fair compromise would be two years. If the Amendment were accepted by the Government certain consequential Amendments would follow. As it is now five minutes to eleven and the Guillotine is to fall at eleven o'clock, I will conclude in order to give the Minister of Labour or the Parliamentary Secretary time to reply, but I must utter a protest in regard to what is going to happen under the Guillotine. The first day's discussion shows clearly that 14 days is a totally inadequate period for dealing with an important Measure of this kind, and I enter my protest against the Guillotine being put into operation.

10.56 p.m.


Before the Minister replies, may I ask for guidance from the Chair? We are now giving Clause 3, and Clauses 4 and 5 are supposed to pass under the Guillotine. Clause 5 deals with a subject that affects hundreds of thousands of men in this country, where holidays are concerned, and that is certainly going to be one of the subjects which will cause great embarrassment to the Government. I would ask the Chair, or the Government, if some arrangement cannot be made whereby we can have these matters discussed. In spite of the fact that the Guillotine has been passed, we cannot allow great subjects like these to pass, and an important Clause affecting the lives of masses of the people, actually reversing an umpire's decision, which has been working for years, without serious protest. What have the Government to say about this matter? Is there to be no opportunity of discussion?

10.58 p.m.


In regard to the last point raised by the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), it is clear that I can make no other reply than this, that I agree there are subjects which will be passed under the Guillotine which ought to be discussed. I hope that the fullest opportunity will be taken on the Report stage to bring up questions, such as the customary holidays, to which reference has been made. As far as I can I will see that on the Report stage we deal as reasonably as possible with the outstanding points not touched in Committee.


Has any number of days been allocated for the Report stage?


Yes. The effect of the second Amendment will be that

if a man pays no contribution for two years he will have to requalify by paying contributions for two years, whereas under the Bill a man has not to requalify unless he has been out of employment five years.


We propose the first Amendment, not the second.


With regard to the first Amendment, we think that five years is a reasonable qualifying period and hon. Members think it ought to be two years. Five years was recommended by the Royal Commission.

Question put, "That the word 'five' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 47.

Division No. 73.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds,W.) Cooke, Douglas Grimston, R. V.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Cooper, A. Duff Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.
Albery, Irving James Copeland, Ida Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Cranborne, Viscount Gunston, Captain D. W.
Appiln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Craven-Ellis, William Guy, J. C. Morrison
Apsley, Lord Crooke, J. Smedley Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H
Aske, Sir Robert William Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon)
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hammersley, Samuel S.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Crossley, A. C. Hanbury, Cecil
Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J. Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Hanley, Dennis A.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Culverwell, Cyril Tom Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Balniel, Lord Curry, A. C. Hartland, George A.
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Dalkelth, Earl of Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Davies, Maj. Geo.F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)
Bateman, A. L. Dawson, Sir Philip Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th,C.) Denville, Alfred Hepworth, Joseph
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Dickle, John P. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Donner, P. W. Holdsworth, Herbert
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Drewe, Cedric Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)
Blaker, Sir Reginald Dugvale, Captain Thomas Lionel Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)
Bllndeil, James Duggan, Hubert John Hornhy, Frank
Boulton, W. W. Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Horobin, Ian M.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Eastwood, John Francis Horsbrugh, Florence
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Edmondson, Major A. J. Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.
Boyce, H. Leslie Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)
Bracken, Brendan Elliston, Captain George Sampson Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.) Elmley, Viscount Hume, Sir George Hopwood
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.
Brass, Captain Sir William Emrys-Evans, P. V. Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)
Briant, Frank Entwistle, Cyril Fullard James, Wing-Corn. A. W. H.
Broadbent, Colonel John Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Jamieson, Douglas
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Jesson, Major Thomas E.
Browne, Captain A. C. Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Joel, Dudley J. Barnato
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)
Burghley, Lord Everard, W. Lindsay Jonas, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Flelden, Edward Brocklehurst Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Burnett, John George Fleming, Edward Lascelles Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Fox, Sir Gifford Kerr, Lieut.-Cot. Charies (Montrose)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmiy) Fraser, Captain Ian Kerr, Hamllton W.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Fremantle, Sir Francis Knight, Holford
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Ganzonl, Sir John Knox, Sir Alfred
Carver, Major William H. Gillett, Sir George Masterman Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Law, Sir Alfred
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Glossop, C. W. H. Leckie, J. A.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (P'rtsm'th, S.) Gluckstein, Louis Halle Leech, Dr. J. W.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. Lees-Jones, John
Charlton, Alan Ernest Leoiric Goff, Sir Park Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Clarry, Reginald George Gower, Sir Robert Levy, Thomas
Colman, N. C. D. Graves, Marjorie Liddail, Walter S.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Greene, William P. C. Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Klim'rnock)
Conant, R. J. E. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Llewellin, Major John J.
Cook, Thomas A. Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)
Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Petherick, M. Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n) Spens, William Patrick
Lyons, Abraham Montagu Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fyide)
Mabane, William Procter, Major Henry Adam Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Pybus, Sir Percy John Storey, Samuel
MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Radford, E. A. Stourton, Hon. John J.
McCorquodale, M. S. Ralkes, Henry V. A. M. Strickland, Captain W. F.
MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Seaham) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Ramsbotham, Herwald Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Ramsden, Sir Eugene Summersby, Charles H.
McKie, John Hamilton Ratcliffe, Arthur Sutcliffe, Harold
McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Rathbone, Eleanor Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Macmillan, Maurice Harold Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Thompson, Sir Luke
Macqulsten, Frederick Alexander Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham- Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Maitland, Adam Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Thorp, Linton Theodore
Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Reid, William Allan (Derby) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Remer, John R. Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Rickards, George William Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Marsden, Commander Arthur Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) Turton, Robert Hugh
Martin, Thomas B. Ropner, Colonel L. Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Meller, Sir Richard James Ross, Ronald D. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Milne, Charles Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k) Runge, Norah Cecil Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Mitcheson, G. G. Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Moreing, Adrian C. Russell, Hamer Field (Shef'ld, B'tside) Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Llverp'l) Wells, Sydney Richard
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Salmon, Sir Isidore Weymouth, Viscount
Morrison, William Shepherd Salt, Edward W. White, Henry Graham
Moss, Captain H. J. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Selley, Harry R. Whyte, Jardine Bell
Munro, Patrick Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Wills, Wlltrid D.
Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
North, Edward T. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Nunn, William Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-In-F.) Wise, Alfred R.
O'Connor, Terence James Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Womersley, Waiter James
O'Donovan, Dr. William James Somervell, Sir Donald Wragg, Herbert
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)
Patrick, Colin M. Soper, Richard
Pearson, William G. Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Peat, Charles U. Southby, Commander Archibald R. J. Sir George Penny and Lord Erskine.
Perkins, Waiter R. D. Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Milner, Major James
Attlee, Clement Richard Groves, Thomas E. Owen, Major Goronwy
Banfield, John William Grundy, Thomas W. Paling, Wilfred
Batey, Joseph Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Parkinson, John Allen
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hicks, Ernest George Price, Gabriel
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jenkins, Sir William Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cape, Thomas Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kirkwood, David Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Wellhead, Richard C.
Cripps, Sir Stafford Leonard, William Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Dagger, George Logan, David Gilbert Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lunn, William Wilmot, John
Dobble, William McEntee, Valentine L.
Edwards, Charles Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mainwaring, William Henry Mr. John and Mr. D. Graham.
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maxton, James

It being after Eleven of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th December, to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Eleven of the Clock at this day's sitting.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 288; Noes, 43.

Division No. 74.] AYES. [11.10 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Apsley, Lord Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.
Albery, Irving James Aske, Sir Robert William Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Balniel, Lord
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Goff, Sir Park Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Gower, Sir Robert Morrison, William Shephard
Bateman, A. L. Graves, Marjorie Moss, Captain H. J.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.) Greene, William P. C. Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Munro, Patrick
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.) Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Blaker, Sir Reginald Grimston, R. V. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Blindell, James Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
Boulton, W. W. Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Nunn, William
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Gunston, Captain D. W. O'Connor, Terence James
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Guy, J. C. Morrison O'Donovan, Dr. William James
Boyce, H. Leslie Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Bracken, Brendan Hammersley, Samuel S. Patrick, Colin M.
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.) Hanbury, Cecil Pearson, William G.
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Hanley, Dennis A. Peat, Charles U.
Brass, Captain Sir William Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Perkins, Walter R. D.
Briant, Frank Hartland, George A. Petherick, M.
Broadbent, Colonel John Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Pickering, Ernest H.
Browne, Captain A. C. Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Procter, Major Henry Adam
Burghley, Lord Hepworth, Joseph Pybus, Sir Percy John
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Radford, E. A.
Burnett, John George Hoiduworth, Herbert Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmiy) Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge) Ramsbotham, Herwald
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Hornby, Frank Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Horobin, Ian M. Ratcliffe, Arthur
Carver, Major William H. Horsbrugh, Florence Rathbone, Eleanor
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Howitt, Dr. Allred B. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hume, Sir George Hopwood Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Clarry, Reginald George Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Rickards, George William
Colman, N. C. D. James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Jamieson, Douglas Ropner, Colonel L.
Conant, R. J. E. Jesson, Major Thomas E. Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Cook, Thomas A. Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Ross, Ronald D.
Cooke, Douglas Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Cooper, A. Duff Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Copeland, Ida Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Runge, Norah Cecil
Cranborne, Viscount Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Craven-Ellis, William Kerr, Hamilton W. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Crooke, J. Smedley Knox, Sir Alfred Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Llverp'l)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Law, Sir Alfred Salmon, Sir Isidore
Crossley, A. C. Leckie, J. A. Salt, Edward W.
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Leech, Dr. J. W. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Lees-Jones, John Seiley, Harry R.
Curry, A. C. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Dalkeith, Earl of Levy, Thomas Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery) Llddall, Walter S. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Dawson, Sir Philip Llewellin, Major John J. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Denville, Alfred Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)
Dickle, John P. Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Klnc'dlne, C.)
Donner, P. W. Lyons, Abraham Montagu Somerveil, Sir Donald
Drewe, Cedric Mabane, William Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Duggan, Hubert John MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Soper, Richard
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Eastwood, John Francis McCorquodale, M. S. Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Edmondson, Major A. J. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Ellieton, Captain George Sampson McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Spens, William Patrick
Elmley, Viscount McKie, John Hamilton Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Macmillan, Maurice Harold Storey, Samuel
Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Stourton, Hon. John J.
Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Maitland, Adam Strickland, Captain W. F.
Erskine-Boist, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Malialleu, Edward Lancelot Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Summersby, Charles H.
Everard, W. Lindsay Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sutcilffe, Harold
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Marsden, Commander Arthur Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Martin, Thomas B. Thompson, Sir Luke
Fox, Sir Gifford Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Fraser, Captain Ian Meller, Sir Richard James Thorp, Linton Theodore
Fremantle, Sir Francis Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Ganzonl, Sir John Milne, Charles Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Gillett, Sir George Masterman Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mitcheson, G. G. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Glossop, C. W. H. Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Turton, Robert Hugh
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Moreing, Adrian C. Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend) Weymouth, Viscount Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George
Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock) White, Henry Graham Wise, Alfred R.
Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S. Whiteside, Borras Noel H. Womersley, Waiter James
Warrender, Sir Victor A. G. Whyte, Jardine Bell Wragg, Herbert
Waterhouse, Captain Charles Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Watt, Captain George Steven H. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour- Wills, Wilfrid D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Wells, Sydney Richard Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.) Sir George Penny and Lieut.-Colonel
Sir A. Lambert Ward.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Mainwaring, william Henry
Attlee, Clement Richard Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pon'ybool) Maxton, James
Banfield, John William Grundy, Thomas W. Milner, Major James
Batey, Joseph Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Owen, Major Goronwy
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hicks, Ernest George Paling, Wilfred
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Jenkins, Sir William Parkinson, John Allen
Buchanan, George Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cape, Thomas Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kirkwood, David Thorne, William James
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lawson, John James Tinker, John Joseph
Dagger, George Leonard, William Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Dobbie, William Logan, David Gilbert Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)
Edwards, Charles Lunn, William Wilmot, John
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) McEntee, Valentine L.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. John and Mr. Groves
  1. CLAUSE 4.—(Definition of benefit year.) 13 words
  2. cc170-2
  3. CLAUSE 5.—(Amendments as to meaning of unemployment.) 1,539 words, 1 division