HC Deb 23 March 1936 vol 310 cc908-52

4.27 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 3, to leave out lines 1 to 19.

I move this in order to call attention to the inadequacy of the Sub-section and to give the Minister an opportunity of stating what concession, if any, he proposes to give as far as benefit is concerned. This Sub-section has undergone some slight change in Committee. In the Bill as presented the children's allowance was 3s. for the first and 2s. 6d. for each other. I am very pleased to say that the Minister accepted an Amendment making it 3s. in all cases. If he can show the same generosity with regard to one or two other things he will make the Bill more acceptable to the unemployed agricultural labourer. The Sub-section is divided into two parts. The first deals with the adult dependants' allowance and suggests 7s. instead of 9s., as in the principal Act. Then the adult dependants' allowance of 9s. was not only applied to the wife. It can, if circumstances permit, apply to the widowed mother, the widowed stepmother and others. I suppose the Minister will argue that, this being a special scheme with a lower rate of contribution, he is compelled to put forward a lower scale of benefit. But, if the Minister accepts this Amendment, there will still be a differentiation.

Under the Bill a man gets 14s. for himself and 7s. for his wife. Under the General Act it is 26s., a difference of 5s. against the agricultural labourer. If the Minister were to accept our suggestion and increase the 7s. to 9s., there would still be a difference of 3s. a week. I hope sincerely that he will do it. I do not intend to argue whether you can keep a wife on 7s. or 9s. a week. We think that the differentiation between the two classes is too big, and that there ought to be no difference with regard to the adult dependent. Your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the previous Amendment, on which we hoped to discuss the question of contribution, may give the Minister of Labour a good argument against us. It is anticipated that if the adult dependent's allowance were raised from 7s. to 9s., it would cost approximately £72,000 a year, and that sum, according to the Actuary's report, is not available. The Treasury contribution to this fund is at the rate of about £600,000 a year. The three parties will pay £1,800,000, and £72,000 could have been found quite easily if the State's contribution to the fund were increased by a halfpenny per head. The Minister could accept this Amendment without throwing any undue burden upon the finances of the fund. I hope that with his usual generosity he will extend it to this adult dependent, and give us that for which we ask.

One has to speak a little more strongly and plainly with regard to the other matter. I want hon. Members opposite to understand exactly what is proposed in the Sub-section where it says: Where the weekly rate of agricultural benefit increased under the last two foregoing sections would exceed thirty shillings, the rate of benefit payable to the agricultural contributor shall be reduced by an amount equal to the excess. This is the first time in the history of Unemployment Insurance that we have put in a maximum. From pre-war days until the present time Unemployment Insurance has been administered without a maximum, and it is now proposed to put in a maximum of 30s. a week. The same committee which recommended the 30s. per week maximum also made a recommendation a few months ago which the right hon. Gentleman was not prepared to accept. On 24th October, a few weeks before the General Election, the right hon. Gentleman stood at that Box and said that he was pleased to ask the House to accept the recommendation of the committee to increase the children's allowance by 1s. per week. He also said that the committee suggested an over-all limit of 41s. per week, which the Government were not prepared to accept. I would remind him of what he said on that occasion: The Committee do not urge the over-all limit on financial grounds"— I can well understand that The Committee urge it on very grave grounds of public policy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th October, 1935; col. 471, Vol. 305.] What are those grave grounds of public policy? It is the belief that is often expressed that, if you give an unemployed man more when he is out of work than he gets when he is employed, you take away the incentive to find a job. There may be something in that, but why should that principle apply only to the agricultural unemployed? It does not apply to any of the classes of people who receive money from the Exchequer. There are hon. Members who sit on the benches opposite who have advocated subsidies to industry of all kinds, agriculture, shipping and so on, and money has been paid to people who did not need it. It must not be imagined that, after the Unemployment Insurance (Agriculture) Bill has been passed, the only thing for the agricultural worker to do is to fall out of work. The agricultural unemployed man will have to fulfil the law just like anybody else, and they will take jolly good care that he does not malinger, and that if he refuses a job he does not get benefit. When the Government were not prepared to accept an over-all limit of 41s. in respect of more than 10,000,000 people in Unemployment Insurance, they ought not to propose an over-all limit of 30s. to almost the poorest paid class of workers in industry in a scheme which is to embrace 750,000.

I could have understood the argument if the right hon. Gentleman had stated that no unemployed man should receive more when he is out of work than the weekly wages he obtains when he is in work. The 30s. maximum is based upon the fallacy that wages in agriculture are in the region of 30s. a week. The average wage in agriculture is about 31s. 8d. per week, but, as was pointed out in Committee, when you make an average there must be some drawing more and some less. There are minimum wages in this country for agricultural wages as high as 34s., 36s. and 39s. a week, and there are horsemen and men who may be called the higher skilled agricultural workers who receive more than £2 a week. Still, the Government say to these men, when they fall out of work, and if they have a big family, that the most they can get is 30s. a week. To put in 30s. a week is a mistake, which, I hope, will be rectified.

There is another point of view which I wish to put before the House. This country is paying more attention to-day to the question of diet and nutrition than ever before. We have reports by eminent men as to the quantity and quality of food necessary to maintain a human being. The effect of the 30s. maximum is that, if an agricultural labourer has a wife and more than three children, there is nothing allowed in respect of the additional children. I ask hon. Members who represent agricultural constituencies to keep this in mind and, before they cast their votes, to have some regard to what they are doing. What is the position of a man with a wife and four children receiving 30s. a week? If you deduct 6s. for rent, fuel and light, a very modest figure, it leaves 24s. to keep six persons for a week, or an average of 4s. per head, or roughly 7d. a day. I agree with what the Minister said in Committee, that it was a marvel how some poor families make the money go as far as they do. Is there an hon. Gentleman opposite who dare get up this afternoon and say that you can provide proper nourishment for a man and woman and four kiddies on 7d. per head a day, or even if the whole of the money available were used to purchase food? This matter is worthy of the consideration of the Minister of Labour to see whether he cannot withdraw the maximum altogether.

We had a discussion in Committee when dealing with alternative forms of assistance as to whether the town dweller was more generous than the villager and vice versa. The Minister quoted his experience in London which, I think, on the whole may be the true position. In the villages where people know each other better than they do in London, you would no doubt get a little more sympathy when out of work if you were in need of assistance. But why should the agricultural labourer be compelled to look for it? Why should, the unemployed agricultural worker be compelled to rely upon neighbourly generosity. Why should we not be big enough in the Act to make provision for a man to receive more than 30s. a week. This is worthy of the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman. I did him the honour of reading some of his past speeches during the week-end, and I would remind him of a few things he said when in opposition. I remember that in 1929–30 he pointed his finger at the then Minister of Labour and said that the unemployed man had a right to decent treatment when he was out of work. I would remind him of a speech when he said that young children needed sustenance even when the father was out of work, and I ask him to reflect on the possibility of a man, wife and four, five or six children having to exist on 30s. a week. He may say that the Unemployment Statutory Committee can reconsider this matter as time goes on. Of course they can, but the Unemployment Statutory Committee are not this House. It is for this House to say what shall be done. We arc making the legislation.

I should have been absolutely astonished if the Minister had attempted to justify the 30s. maximum on financial grounds, because he told us in Committee that it would cost approximately between.£13,000 and £17,000 a year spread over England, Scotland and Wales. It is so trifling that it is not worth bothering about, and I hope that hon. Members will protest against the 30s. maximum. It is indeed so trifling that I hope the Minister will take it out of Clause 3. I ask him to remember what he said last October, that the Government had disagreed with the proviso without in any way deciding for or against the general issue and had left the question open for further consideration. I ask him to apply the sate treatment to the agricultural scheme. Leave it over for further consideration. He should not make his overall experiment on a new scheme for agriculture, but should take out the 30s. maximum. If a man is blessed with a large family the children, whether the father is out of work or is in work, are entitled to good nourishing food, and to provide that takes more than 30s. per week.

4.45 p.m.


I beg to second the Amendment.

My hon. Friend must have put himself to a deal of hard labour in reading the speeches of the Minister of Labour during the week-end. That is one of the things which I cannot do. I have often made up my mind that I will read a particular speech during the week-end, but it is very difficult, and my hon. Friend deserves congratulation for his effort. He has provided good reasons why the case of the wife should be considered. The House has decided that the dependants should be given special treatment. I know that we cannot expect the full rate of benefit for the person, but we can argue that the 7s. should be increased to 9s. for the chief dependent relative. The 9s. is provided under the ordinary unemployment scheme and no one will argue that it is not requisite under this Measure. The case against the relief stopping at 30s. a week is even stronger. It is difficult to understand why it should stop at that figure. A great deal has been said recently about the birth rate, that if the race is to be dominant we must have more children. Yet the people to whom you look to provide more children, the labouring classes, are told that they will be a penalty. If they have more than three children there is nothing for the extra two children. If they have seven or eight children it means that they will still have to make do with the 30s. In the interest of the State I put it to the Minister of Labour that this question of the children is a vital matter, and if he cannot give the 9s. I hope he will at any rate relax the 30s. maximum and thus have some thought for those with large families who are doing something for posterity.


The hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith) has moved to leave out the whole of the Sub-section. The hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) wishes to leave it out in paragraphs. If he wants to deal with the two points separately I will save his Amendment.


I should like to have the two issues put separately.


In that case I will put the Question that the words of the Subsection, down to line 6, stand part of the Clause.


I take it that we can discuss the two points together but if we desire divide upon each of them?


I think it will be for the convenience of the House to discuss the two points together, but I will save the hon. Member's second Amendment and put it as a separate Question.

4.52 p.m.


I was not a member of the Committee which considered this Bill, although I felt that I ought to have been put on the Committee. I felt that I should have been asked, but I suppose the idea was that we who are opposing the Bill must not be allowed to become members of the Committee. As I understand it, the costs in one case will be about £70,000, and the cost for the children less than £20,000, a total of about £90,000. It is a little difficult to discuss these matters because once you have passed the Second Reading of the Bill and the Financial Resolution, you have practically bound yourself to the scales, that is to the financial obligations of the Measure. Any alteration in benefits must affect contributions, although the hon. Member who moved the Amendment said that a small increase in contributions would cover both alterations. I do not know whether that is so or not. The only point is that the House is bound by their obligations under the Financial Resolution.

With regard to raising the 7s. to 9s. let me make this point. We are apt to discuss the agricultural worker as a worker who is entirely confined to the agricultural villages. That is an entire mistake. There are a number of people outside agricultural areas who will come under the terms of the Bill. The seedsmen, near Baynes Park, come under the Bill, and they must be paid far in excess of £2 or £2 10s. in order to live in that locality. Take also the seedsmen employed at Reading or at Edinburgh. Every public park employé in the country, like those in Glasgow, are agricultural workers within the meaning of this Bill, and their wages are not less than £2 17s. per week. The extension of the towns and of motor transport has brought the agricultural worker and the town worker very close together. In fact, the old agricultural worker has ceased to be. He is now a mechanical worker; he works a machine. The difference between the two has to a large extent gone; and in wages as well. A large number of people who will benefit by this Bill are paid wages far in excess of what is commonly accepted by the agricultural worker, and I object to agricultural workers determining not merely their own wages but also the wages of people in the towns. They have a case in their own area, but it must not dominate the towns. If they are to determine the condition of the people I represent I strongly object.

If the 7s. is raised to 9s. it means that a married couple without children will only get 23s. Surely that is not an unreasonable proposition. As to the children, I am staggered at the proposed maximum. A man and wife, if our concession is not granted, will get 21s., and if they have six children they are to get a maximum of 30s. I have heard it stated that farm labourers have bigger families than town workers. I am not an authority on the matter, but I am told by experts and also in a lecture which I heard at the London School of Economics that farm workers in the main have larger families than the town-dwellers. But, take a family of five. The town-dweller is allowed 26s. plus 15s., that is 41s. per week. In other words he gets 11s. a week more than his fellow worker, the farm labourer. That is even if the maximum had been observed.

Under this Bill a man and his wife will get 21s., and everyone is agreed now that 21s. for a man and woman without children is the barest possible minimum. The Minister has accepted that. If that man and his wife have five children, those children have to be kept on 9s. a week. Each child has to live on less than 2s. per week. If there are six children they have to be kept on 9s., or is. 6d. each per week. The concession made by the Minister has increased the amount if there are only two children, but to my mind that concession has only brought into greater relief the inequality of fixing 30s. as the maximum. When I raised a point in a question the Minister said that greater implications were raised than was contained in the Unemployment Insurance Bill. At any rate, I took it that that was what he meant. In other words, if you accepted the principle of a family maximum you accepted the principle that people should not have larger families. If I am wrong I stand to be corrected, but I say that if that principle is to be adopted it ought to be done in a proper way and not introduced as a side measure.

To me the way children are dealt with in this Bill is fundamentally wrong. The argument has been put that this benefit is related to wages. Let me say that that is not an argument against adequate unemployment benefit, but is an indictment against the employers. We cannot get decent unemployment benefit because the farmer refuses to treat his workers decently. Surely that is a state of affairs that nobody can defend. I say to the Minister that the Amendment we are now pressing is only a request for common, elementary justice. Farmers go about complaining because their milk is not being sold and their butter is not being bought. The greatest buyers of these commodities are working people. We demand that working people should be given greater opportunity to buy these things which they produce. I trust that on grounds of equity and common decency and humanity the House will see that the maximum is abolished and the 9s. restored.

5.5 p.m.


Like other speakers in this Debate I very much regret the low level at which it has been found necessary to fix these rates of benefit, but it seems to me that every speaker except the last has failed to see one of the main reasons why these rates have been fixed so low, and he, I suggest, has drawn a wrong inference from the facts. It seems to me quite obvious that these rates must be fixed in relation to the rates of wages which agricultural labourers are able to earn when they are in full work. Those rates of earnings must themselves be fixed by the capacity of the industry to pay wages. We who are interested in the industry of agriculture know full well that the capacity of the industry at the present time is very limited and has been very limited for many years past. The reason why the capacity of our industry is so low is that its main product is food and the urban dwellers who are so largely represented on the benches opposite do not see the necessity of making our industry more prosperous at their expense. It is they, the urban dwellers, who in fact bear the responsibility for sweating the agricultural labourer, and who by their action, or rather their inaction, compel the labourers in the countryside to accept a wage which they, the urban dwellers, would refuse with scorn.

Therefore, the responsibility for the low rate of benefit which is fixed in this Bill rests entirely upon the urban dwellers, who so stoutly refuse to allow the agricultural labourer to earn a decent living. Another result of the same fact is the necessity of fixing the contributions under this scheme lower than the contributions which have been fixed for urban dwellers under their Unemployment Insurance schemes. When contributions are fixed at a comparatively low rate, as is inevitable in the case of agriculture—inevitable because the agricultural labourer is, through the action of the urban dweller, prevented from earning wages on a more reasonable scale—then it of necessity follows that the benefits which can be paid under such a scheme must be correspondingly low. Therefore, I say that the responsibility in every case belongs, not to those engaged in agriculture, but solely and directly to those people who through their selfishness and their regard merely for their own personal interests are satisfied to compel the agricultural labourers to live under sweated conditions and to grind them down. As I said at the outset, I much regret the low level at which these benefits have to be fixed, but I can see no possible alternative except to make our agricultural industry prosperous, and that cannot he done so long as there is a selfish disregard for any but their own interests on the part of Members opposite.

5.12 p.m.


I should like to say that it is not true that agricultural workers in all parts of England arc paid low rates of wages. In the North of England the position of agricultural workers is much more comparable with the position of those employed in other industries. If there is no reason why a miner who only receives a little more than £2 a week when he is employed should be subject to a maximum in unemployment benefit, I see no reason why the agricultural worker living beside him who also earns £2 a week should be subject to a maximum of 30s. unemployment benefit. It will be an injustice to men placed in that position. It is not only in the North of England that agricultural workers live beside industrial workers. The same thing is happening in the South of England, where small industries are springing up in some districts. There is no special reason that I can see why agricultural workers should be subject to this maximum, and I hope the Minister will consider withdrawing that provision and see also whether he can make some concession with regard to the allowance for dependants.

I want to draw attention again to the anomaly which may arise in some dis- tricts where unemployed agricultural workers arc receiving at the present time from the public assistance committee rates of relief which are higher than the proposed scale under this scheme. Are agricultural workers now receiving relief to be paid lower allowances in the future? The Minister gave us in Committee an assurance that public assistance committees would be entitled to supplement allowances in special cases. I am wondering what is going to happen when the second appointed day arrives. What sort of scale is going to be brought up by the Unemployment Assistance Board? Is there to be another scale for agricultural workers who have fallen out of benefit, and if so on what basis of need is it going to be determined? Can it be argued that there will be a lower standard of need for the agricultural worker than at the present time? It has to be remembered, too, that the scale of public assistance does make allowance for rent. If we are going again into the question of the cost of living I suggest that there is no evidence to show that the cost of living is lower in the country. This points the way to the Unemployment Assistance Boards, after the second appointed day, introducing a separate scale for agricultural workers, and there will be a piling up of one scale after another. We are not now dealing with the question of standard benefits, but I do say that there is nothing in favour of retaining 7s. for a wife who happens to live in the country and whose husband is occupied in agriculture, whereas there is 9s. for her sister who lives next door and is married to an industrial worker.

I would like specially to ask the Minister whether, after the second appointed day, the public assistance committees will be allowed to supplement the allowances granted. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not according to the Act."] If that be so, I suggest to the Minister that it would be simpler and more just to have one standard series of allowances for dependants. There will be a sense of great injustice if the introduction of this Act means, as it will do in many districts in the North, that after having paid contributions for six months or a year, a man on becoming unemployed receives less under a system of benefit than he has received in relief from the public assistance committee.

5.18 p.m.


I am sorry that I cannot support the hon. Members opposite. We must deal with facts as they are and not as we would like them to be. The hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith), in introducing the Amendment, spoke with very great sympathy and sincerity, and in both those respects I am absolutely with him; but we must deal with facts as they exist. The scale of benefits must be in relation to the amount of wages paid in the industry. It is of no use saying that there are some agricultural workers who are receiving wages higher than the minimum. I am glad that is the case, because it proves that where they are able to do so, farmers pay higher wages; but I would point out that it is not these men who will draw on the scheme. The men who are receiving higher wages are in most cases the stockmen or what are generally called the key-men, who are employed all the year round and are never unemployed. Consequently, we must consider the average wage paid in the industry. There are other reasons why I cannot support the hon. Member in what he said. We were told quite definitely that the actuaries have not arranged for this—and I would like to remind hon. Members that this is an insurance scheme—and consequently I cannot see how we can accept it at the moment. With regard to the low wages in agriculture, the hon. Member opposite was quite correct in his remarks, and although he did not like low wages, that does not mean to say that he was not correct. I often find one does not like those things which are correct. The reason wages in agriculture are low is not—


I tried to obtain from the hon. Gentleman who was speaking from the opposite benches some explanation as to the amount. It is very difficult for us to understand what he meant in this respect. Did he mean that the urban worker is paid too low wages and is unable to pay the price he ought to pay for agricultural products?


He meant what he said, that agricultural labourers are not paid enough. The fact that wages are low does not mean that agriculturists do not wish to pay more wages. During the War there were higher wages in agriculture, because the industry was able to pay them. In fact, the agricultural wages boards are bound to fix wages which can be paid by the industry. The paying of low wages is very much against the wishes of agriculturists, but they can only pay what they can afford economically. Nor are low wages the fault of the Minister of Agriculture. When Ministers of Agriculture have brought forward Measures to benefit the industry, the House and the community as a whole have not allowed those Measures to pass. That is a fact, although I will not go as far as the hon. Member who said that hon. Members opposite are entirely responsible for that. The community as a whole, both high and low, has only been willing to pay prices at which it is uneconomical to produce in this country.


On a point of Order, Sir, will subsequent speakers be allowed to range over the whole area of agriculture as the hon. Member and the one who preceded him seem to be doing?

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Dennis Herbert)

So far the hon. Member does not seem to be going beyond the point before the House and if he should do so I shall call him to order.


I hope the hon. Member is not afraid of my going too far. I think the House realise the point which I wish to make and I will not pursue it any further. An hon. Member opposite said that because the limit is 30s., if there are so many children in a family, that only leaves so much per child. Is that the truth or not? Under this Bill there is so much per child, but I would remind hon. Members that there still exists public assistance. Where there is need, application may be made for public assistance. I know hon. Members will ask why these people should go to the Poor Law, but it is not Poor Law; it is public assistance, and industrial workers have to do the same thing. I repeat that this is an insurance scheme and not a public assistance scheme, and under the scheme, as at present drawn and as calculated by the actuaries, these are the limits which can be paid. On those grounds, much to my regret, I am bound to support the Bill and not the Amendment.

5.23 p.m.


I doubt very much whether I would have taken part in the discussion of this Amendment had it not been for the statement made by the hon. Member who spoke last, and who tried to make us believe that there are only n few men receiving wages above the figures which were quoted earlier in the Debate. Hon. Members have spoken of wages of 31s. 8d. as an average. That is true if one takes the country as a whole, but there are men for whom some of us are responsible, and who are engaged in agriculture, to whom we would not attempt to pay a wage so inadequate as that which is paid by many of the farmers in the country. We have very many men in our employment not one of whom receives less than 49s. 6d. a week. In saying that I am referring to the lowest-paid labour, because the key-men, to whom reference was made by one hon. Member, receive many shillings a week more than 49s. 6d.

It has been said that the benefits must be made to accord with the wages. If that be so, then this limit of 30s. is altogether too low for the men for whom I am speaking at this moment. It is unfair. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where are these men?"] They are within 15 miles of the spot in which we are assembled at this moment. This limit of 30s. a week is unfair to them. Moreover, 7s. a week for wives instead of the 9s. which is paid to many others who may be living near them is a most unfair figure. I hope the Amendments will be carried, for at any rate they will take us some way towards justice within the limits of this Bill.

5.25 p.m.


I wish to draw the attention of the House to a very important aspect of the Bill, the portion which this Amendment proposes to amend. An hon. Member opposite said that it would be possible for the public assistance committee, and later on for the Unemployment Assistance Board, to supplement the 30s, by an additional amount. That is becoming a most cowardly alibi in this House, for the fact is that it is not done except in a number of cases so limited that they do not count. Hon. Members who say such things, and the Minister, ought to be forced to produce on the Floor of the House evidence concerning the number of cases where the Unemployment Assistance Board supplement the ordinary rates of Unemployment Insurance benefit.


It is for the workers to make application.


Surely the hon. Member does not assume that applications are not made. They are invariably made, and would be made much more often if people knew they were able to obtain additional assistance. Hon. Members know very well that if it were the normal practice to supplement Unemployment Insurance benefit by assistance from the Unemployment Assistance Board, the whole of the insurance position would be destroyed. I am not now speaking about exceptional cases, but about normal cases. Let me take a normal case as an illustration. Let me take the case of an agricultural worker's family of five children, with no other wage-earner in the family. Do hon. Members opposite and does the Minister suggest that this scale is not based upon need, but entirely upon the actuarial needs of the scheme I Will such a family, if it goes to the Unemployment Assistance Board, receive additional assistance? I challenge the hon. Member to answer me.


It should, and I hope it would, receive full consideration.


This is a serious position and the House ought to consider it. If the Minister is not able to answer that question in the affirmative, then hon. Members opposite expose themselves justly to the charge that they are prepared to starve the agricultural worker's children in order to defend low wages. Perhaps the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) will be good enough to answer.


Make your own speech.


I am doing so and I say that I am not speaking of a family where there is sickness or any sudden disaster, but of the ordinary normal agricultural family. Suppose that a. man with five children, has fallen out of employment and that his maximum from the scheme will be 30s. a week. Will he receive any additional benefit from the unemployment officer, and, if not, why not? For exactly the same reason that this 30s. maximum has been put into the Bill, namely, because it would be as much as or more than the rate of wages. The assumption is "if you have to starve while you are working, you must also starve when you are idle." The 30s. maximum has been put into the Clause for exactly the same reason as that for which the lower rates of benefit have been put into the Bill—to support low agricultural wages. No hon. Member opposite has attempted, either on the Second Reading, or during the Committee stage, or to-day, to defend these rates of benefit on the ground that they are adequate to maintain a normal family in a normal condition of health. If any hon. Member likes to make an assertion to that effect, I will sit down and give him the opportunity. Apparently no hon. Member wishes to do so. If that is the case—and if the hyena opposite would give his attention—


The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) must know that that is not a Parliamentary expression.




The hon. Member opposite is in the habit of treating remarks from this side in that way, but I do not wish to make use of any expression which would be offensive to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and therefore I withdraw. I do not want to be drawn away from the main course of my argument, but I think it necessary that hon. Members opposite should be compelled to face the fact and they are trying to run away from it. If they defend these scales not on the ground that they meet the needs of the cases but because no more can be given under the finance of the scheme, will they say from what source the agricultural unemployed will get supplementary assistance? Will a man, in a normal case, be able to go to the Unemployment Assistance Board and will he, in normal circumstances, receive a supplementary allowance? Does the Minister say that that will be the case? Does the Minister suggest that it will be the practice of the board, normally, to supplement such a man's allowance? If not, and if the House will not take steps to see that that is done, then the House is saying that the agricultural worker should have a standard of agricultural benefit lower than the basis of need.

It is not sufficient to say that the workers will be able to go to the board and that their cases will be sympathetically heard or that the board will be able to assist in case of special need. As I say, I am dealing not with the special case but with the normal case, and hon. Members have admitted that, in the normal case, the rates of benefit are too low and that those rates have been fixed because of the finance of the scheme. If the normal rate of benefit is too low, what is the normal source from which it is to be supplemented? It will not come from the board, or the public assistance committees, because if they did that, they would be destroying the reason for having any Bill at all. Hon. Members have frankly disclosed the main cause for the maximum of 30s. The main cause for it is that the rate of wages of agricultural workers is to be defended at its present level. We, on the other hand, had hoped that the agricultural workers' rates of insurance benefit would be used as a lever to raise wages. Apparently the farmers have had their way. This Bill is a compromise with the farmers. The Treasury said they were anxious to have this scheme adopted in the industry, because by so doing they got rid of the responsibility for 45,000 workers. They said that when the second appointed day came they would have great difficulty and they wanted to be relieved of a part of that difficulty by having the whole question of agricultural workers' insurance taken off their hands.

The farmers have fought bitterly against the proposal and are only reluctantly accepting it now, and they say, "If you are going to relieve the Treasury and simplify your problem, you must give us some protection and ensure that rates of wages will not be forced upwards by higher rates of benefit." The Minister, being a farmers' representative and not a farm labourers' representative, made the concession. He agreed to put a protection in the Bill so that the rates of benefit would not be used to raise wages. That is the reason for this compromise. It is no use using any un-Parliamentary language in order to obscure the native horror of what the House is now accomplishing. It is definitely deciding to reduce the unemployed farm labourer to a level of semi-starvation and it is doing so, deliberately, because it wants to protect the farmer as against the farm labourer and not as against the urban worker. If the urban worker had more money he would buy more agricultural goods, and if hon. Members opposite want to make farming more prosperous let them talk to the other employers and not to the workers.

When the second appointed day comes if you have this maximum in operation in addition to the lower scales of benefit and if you are faced with the task of superimposing regional standards of allowances, as well as different industrial scales of benefit, there will be such chaos and anarchy in the system of public relief that the Minister will have an even worse time than his predecessor. He would have been well-advised to have postponed agricultural insurance until a later date, because his problem would then have been much simplified but I want to protest against putting into the Bill a provision which, in effect, reverses the whole public assistance policy which has existed in Great Britain since the days of Queen Elizabeth. The guardians of the poor were enjoined by law to take into account the need of applicants for relief. This maximum is an instruction to every officer to disregard need where need conflicts with the rate of wages. This House should be in opposition to such a proposal. That it is not in opposition to the present proposal is evidence of the degradation of public morals, to which it has sunk in the hands of hon. Gentlemen opposite.

5.40 p.m.


The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) has put a series of questions on what he called a "cowardly alibi." By that, I understand he meant the limitation of benefit to 30s. a week.


No. The alibi is the statement that the man who has been limited to 30s. a week will be able to receive supplementary assistance from the board.


No doubt the hon. Gentleman has his own interpretation of the word "alibi." He does not like the limitation of benefit to 30s. a week and he seems to have been surprised at it. While he was speaking, I read a copy of the "Land Worker" which is the organ of the National Union of Agricultural Workers for whom he was presuming to speak. The "Land Worker" for January, 1936, states: The limitation of benefit to a sum of not more than 30s. a week was expected by all who have followed the official discussions, carried on during the past 15 years. In the course of those 15 years, were discussions carried on when Miss Margaret Bondfield was Minister of Labour and when the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale sat as a loyal supporter of hers on the Government benches? The hon. Member speaks of a "cowardly alibi" but surely the cowardice comes from those who when they were responsible, ran away from giving unemployment benefit and ran away from putting on a limitation, though they knew that it would have to be put on, if the scheme was to be an insurance scheme.

The effect of the Amendments of hon. Members opposite would be to bankrupt this insurance scheme. If they were carried the Minister would soon have to come to the House and announce that the fund was bankrupt and that there was nothing to be drawn out of it. I can conceive of hon. Members who want the fund to become bankrupt, moving these Amendments. But if they genuinely want to get unemployment insurance that will be of value to the agricultural workers, let them try to co-operate in framing a decent scheme that will work instead of making great political demonstrations like that which the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale has given the House. What are the facts? The National Union of Agricultural Workers put forward their demand to the standing committee, and that demand included the limitation of benefit to 29s. a week. The hon. Member assumed to speak for the National Union.


No. The hon. Member does me a great injustice. I did not say that I spoke on behalf of the agricultural workers.


I am glad to hear that the hon. Member was not speaking for the agricultural workers. They thought at the time that 29s. was fair, but we have given them 30s. The hon. Member waxed indignant and described the Bill as a compromise with the farmers. He said the farmers have got their way. What in fact the Government have done has been to ask the National Union of Agricultural Workers what they wanted. They wanted 6s. for the wife, not the 7s. that they are getting nor the 9s. of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan). They asked 6s., with a limitation of 29s., and they have been given a limitation of 30s., with 7s. for the wife. I do not defend those limits as being satisfactory for all time, but your benefits under an insurance scheme must depend on your rates of wages. The hon. Member for Gorbals talked about butter, potatoes, and meat. How can the agricultural worker get a decent wage when butter is being sold at 1s. a lb., when eggs are being sold at 10d. a dozen, and when meat is being sold at 35s. at the most per live cwt.?


Does the hon. Member know that cabbages were 5d. each this week-end?


If the hon. Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) came down to the country districts and took the trouble to buy cabbages off the farms, he would find that we could give him a, good many for a good deal less than 5d. each. I will send him a few down if he likes. But let us get back to the point. So long as you have low wages, you must have in your unemployment insurance scheme a lower benefit and a lower contribution than you otherwise need have.

There is one real point which has come out of this Debate, and that was made by the hon. Member for Gorbals who said that a number of his better paid constituents will come under this scheme. I hope the Minister heard him and reflected upon it, because if that is so, if his constituents who are earning, as he says, much higher wages than agriculturists are being put under this scheme instead of under the general scheme, I think there is a good deal to be said for those men being included in the general scheme rather than in this scheme. I confess that I do not see why public park employés should come under the agricultural employment scheme. They could afford to pay the full rate of contribution, and, that being so, I think they deserve to get the full rate of benefit also. I think that question wants looking into, and it will probably be raised on another Amendment, but for the ordinary agriculturist who is receiving a far lower rate of wages it is another matter.

The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) talked about certain dairy farms in which he had engaged which paid far higher wages, but he did not mention that the Co-operative societies in their farming have suffered huge losses as a result of that farming, and it is merely because they are merged with a big retail trade where they make large profits that they are able to pay higher wages.


What I referred to was not the Co-operative societies. I can assure the hon. Member that there is no other item included in either the income or the expenditure of those farms except what is farming, and the £18,000 profit was on the farming last year.


I am very glad of that, and I am certain that my constituents will be glad to hear from the hon. Member for Rochdale how to make £18,000 profit in a year, but we cannot do it at the present agricultural prices. I ask the House to take a sane view of this matter and to pass a real insurance scheme. When times improve the benefits also will improve, under the recommendations of the Statutory Committee. Meanwhile, we have to be content with what we can get.

5.50 p.m.


There is one issue that is raised by the proposed deletion of this paragraph which would absolve us from the establishment of a new principle in unemployment insurance. Apart from the differentiations which we are prepared to admit should be applied under certain conditions, for the first time in unemployment insurance there is to be established a maximum amount of benefit. On what ground can that be justified? Further, this exception is being made in the case of a section of the community that is least able to bear it. Take an ordinary insured worker who comes under the general scheme. There is no differentiation in the amount of benefit given to the labourer in an engineering works because his wages are lower than those of some others. I recollect labourers' wages being 16s. and 18s. a week, but they were entitled to the same benefits as the craftsmen, who were the engineers, because they paid the same contributions. There was no limit on the plea that they had a lower rate of wages.

Those of us who represent constituencies that are equally agricultural and urban will be faced with the possibility that next-door neighbours will have differentiations under the two schemes, not only of benefits, but in one case, whatever the family responsibilities may be, there is a maximum placed upon one family and not upon the other. I trust the Minister will give us some assurance, not merely that at some time in the future action will be taken, or that, provided the actuarial results of the scheme prove that it is going to be beneficial, it can again be referred to the Statutory Committee. What we want is an assurance that he will withdraw definitely the maximum that is laid down, because it is not compatible with the insurance principle. I do not wish to raise the other questions of moment on this Amendment, but I wish rather to emphasise that which is a deterrent to the acceptance on this side of the House of the principle of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has violated the main principle of insurance by making it possible that there should be a maximum, a maximum which cannot possibly maintain human existence in many agricultural homes.

5.55 p.m.


I am sorry the hon. Member opposite was not prepared to give way when I wanted to interrupt him, because we are anxious to understand what hon. Members opposite really mean when they make statements regarding urban workers in this connection. I think the farmers in my constituency would subscribe to the statement that when the miners' wages were relatively high, farming was prosperous and that the depression that has taken place in agriculture of late years is almost solely due to the depression in industry generally. That is why I was so anxious to know precisely what was meant by the two hon. Members opposite who referred to that point. If they meant that the employers of labour in urban areas were responsible for the plight of the agricultural areas, then our party would subscribe to that.

I rise at this juncture to put the position of a constituency like mine. While numerically the rural portion of it is not comparable to the urban portion, geographically it is about 40 per cent., and in that partially rural constituency we have a very large number of quarries, lime-kilns, and so on, in which the employés are paying the normal contribution of industrial employés. They are living in a rural area, in houses adjacent, and in many cases next door, to rural workers' houses, and this has thrown up, particularly in Glamorganshire, and I think also in Monmouthshire, a very singular problem. We have found, as public assistance committees in those counties, that it was very difficult to differentiate as between the need of the person living in a rural area and the need of the person, who may be unemployed and who may have absorbed his credit, previously working in a quarry or some industry like that. It has been very difficult for us to find that there was really any differentiation at all, so that throughout Glamorganshire—and I think it is equally true of Monmouthshire—the public assistance committees have granted the same scales of relief to rural workers generally as to urban workers.

Since the Unemployment Assistance Board has come in and taken over the work previously performed by the public assistance committees, I think it is true to say that, generally speaking, the board has observed to a large extent the conditions previously operated by the public assistance committees. But the House will appreciate that the rural workers as able-bodied persons do not strictly come under the Unemployment Assistance Board, and they are therefore being maintained in those counties by the public assistance committees and paid per week a comparable relief to the amount of allowances now paid by the Unemployment Assistance Board. When they are at work and are paying contributions they will, when they come under this scheme, receive less than they now receive from the public assistance committee as able-bodied persons. I would like hon. Members opposite to face the fact that these persons will have a financial obligation placed on them and yet they will receive less, after having paid contributions, than they receive now. The Minister will realise the difficulty in which he is placing counties such as those I have mentioned. It is not because those counties have been very generous, but because they are unable to differentiate between the urban and the rural workers when unemployed, particularly when they are living in contiguous districts.

The question I would have liked to put to the hon. Member who spoke from the other side is whether there is any reason why the State should not make the same contribution per individual to this fund as it is making to the other fund. It is true that the rural worker and the farmer will pay less, but is there any reason why the State should pay less, particularly when the State alone will benefit? Neither the farmer nor the agricultural labourer will benefit. Perhaps the farm worker will benefit where there is a harsh public assistance committee. He will then gain on the treatment meted out by some public assistance committees, particularly in county areas which are dominated by the same political complex as is reflected on the other side of the House.


Is the hon. Member speaking officially for the Labour party, and is it their policy to introduce into Unemployment Insurance the principle that the State should pay considerably more than the employer?


I am afraid that the question shows a vast ignorance of Labour party policy. The hon. Member has failed to appreciate that the Labour party stands for a living wage.


I hope that the hon. Member will not be led into a discussion on this question, which is rather beyond the Amendment.


You have prevented me from explaining to the hon. Gentleman precisely what the Labour party's policy is in regard to wages and Unemployment Insurance. I was referring to the point I wished to put to the hon. and learned Member opposite. There is no reason for this maximum except to maintain a low wage level on the countryside. We have experts, economists and medical men of eminence proclaiming that there ought to be increased purchasing power for the people. We know that poverty could be solved if the distribution of products were properly dealt with and if the people had the wages they really earned. Is there any reason why the State should not make as great a contribution towards this fund as it does to the other fund, in order to remove the disparity that will occur months hence between what the rural workers who are unemployed will receive under this scheme and what they now receive under unemployment assistance? The only party really to gain under this scheme is the State. The State will have saved a lot of money when the second appointed day is decided, and persons who meanwhile have made contributions will receive substantially less than they are getting to-day. It is a raw deal perpetrated on rural workers who are unemployed.

6.7 p.m.


I intervene because I am to have an opportunity afterwards of formally moving an Amendment, and I would not like to do so without having the opportunity of saying something about this Amendment. The two points before us are the dependant's allowance and the maximum to be paid to the unemployed agricultural worker. The bulk of the discussion has centred round the maximum, and I would ask the Minister and the House to look at the question again and consider whether the amount to be paid to the wife of the agricultural worker is enough. No one can say that 9s. a week for her maintenance is excessive. It is no answer, as was suggested by an hon. Member opposite, to point to the fact that the Agricultural Workers' Union suggested 6s. in their scheme and that 7s. will be paid under this scheme. That is no answer for reasonably thinking people. I am confident that if hon. Members were free to vote, they would all vote for the 9s. Various other economic considerations come in, and I suggest to the Minister that he should reconsider the question of the payments under this scheme.

The hon. Member who preceded me pointed out that there was one way out for the Minister, apart from the bankruptcy of the Insurance Fund, and that was to come to the House again with an additional Financial Resolution. There is no reason why the agricultural worker, now that he is coming into an insurance scheme, should not have an equal amount paid by the State as the industrial worker. The amount to be paid for the agricultural worker is to be a great deal less than the State pays for the industrial worker. It is not sound sense that agricultural workers should be the stepchildren of the State in this matter. The Minister will save himself a lot of trouble in future if he will recast the scheme and agree to the Amendment.

The position with regard to the maximum is this, as I see it. If a person is in receipt of the maximum he may go to the public assistance committee and get assistance at the present time. If the second appointed day comes into operation, the agricultural worker, while he may not go to the public assistance committee for this increase over the 30s. a week, may go to the Unemployment Assistance Board, which may do for him what the public assistance committee did before the second appointed day came into operation. While theoretically there is the possibility of the allowance being paid into the agricultural household being more than 30s., everyone knows that in practice it will not be more than 30s. if the scheme goes through as it is. That is proved by the common admission of the other side that 30s. is the wage that is now being paid to agricultural workers, and if 30s. were paid in the agricultural household it would create an impossible position. They point out that in many districts agriculture with present prices is able to pay only 30s. a week to the workers. Surely it is plain that all that is contemplated for these households is an income of 30s., and the reference to the public assistance committee or the Unemployment Assistance Board after the coming into operation of the second appointed day is only an evasion by which Members are seeking to soothe their consciences when they are faced with such treatment of their fellow human beings.

I appreciate the strong opposition to the provisions of the Bill from hon. Members above the Gangway and the absolute condemnation of the Bill in respect of the particular payments which are under discussion. After those speeches of condemnation I wonder how any Member can feel anything but disgust for this Bill and not seek to prevent its making further progress. I think the speeches on this Amendment should lead to opposition to the Third Reading. The Minister, I understand, came from an agricultural household and is able to recall his own early experiences, and I put it to him that with the recollection of what he himself has suffered in the past he cannot allow this iniquitous state of things to continue—this figure of 30s. as the limit for an agricultural household. I believe he is clear-minded enough to know that 30s. is the figure for a household, and that the references to the public assistance committee or the Unemployment Assistance Board really have no possibility of practical application.

I realise the anomalies that will be created through some man who is unemployed drawing more in unemployment benefit than a man alongside him is getting although in employment. My answer to it is that every workman who is in employment at a lower figure than the rate of unemployment benefit should be allowed to give up his employment and take unemployment benefit. That is the proper answer to that conundrum. But I have another conundrum to put to the Minister. I am thinking of a village in Ayrshire where agricultural workers and industrial workers live next door to each other. One man when out of employment will be drawing 30s. a week for his household—that is all he can get—while the other, whose work is very similar, will be drawing, possibly, over £2, and may be getting £2 5s. Can any hon. Member defend that? But that is the position we get by allowing the Bill to go through in its present form.

I dread the consequences of this 30s. maximum on the position of the man who is at present able to get 45s. There will be a tremendous outcry—not to put up the income going into the agricultural household but to cut down the income going into the home of the industrial worker. The Press and the other organs of public opinion are very largely in the hands of people who will exploit this situation in order to try to reduce the rates of benefit paid to industrial workers. I ask the Minister to think, and to think again, before allowing the Bill to go on to the Statute Book with the present rates of benefit. I ask him to remember the very impressive speeches he made just before he came into this House as Member for Leith Burghs criticising Miss Margaret Bondfield for constantly saying "The Blanesburgh Report." He would do better to get out of public life rather than be associated with a 30s. maximum for agricultural households.

6.20 p.m.

The Minister of LABOUR (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The quotations which we have had from "The Land Worker" and a number of other people who have to deal with the problems which are involved in this Clause—those who have to deal with them from day to day and week to week and on the ground—show that they take a rather different view of the issues before us than has been taken by certain hon. Members in the course of this Debate. The issue is a threefold one. Hon. Members of the Independent Labour party have put down their particular Amendment dealing with the rates of benefit. It is not quite the same as that presented by hon. Members above the Gangway, whose case was put by the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith). When discussing the suggestion that the 7s. should be raised to 9s. he said that, of course, nobody would say that 9s. is enough, and that he was not there basing his case on a question of need, but in that observation he undercut the whole of his case in the rest of his speech. Half way through his speech he, like most other Members who are supporting his Amendment, was founding his case upon need. That is the difference between hon. Members of the Independent Labour party and the hon. Members above the Gangway opposite. If hon. Members of the Independent Labour party had their way they would have a scheme for the able-bodied poor with no contributions of any kind. I know that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) also took that view, but, if he does not mind my saying so, I will wait to have higher authority, as I am sure the House as a whole will, before accepting his view as the statement of his party's view. It has not been the view of hon. Members of the Labour party in the last 15 years.


The evidence given before the Blanesburgh Committee showed that they stood for a non-contributory scheme, although they accepted the present system.


I agree with that, but I am talking of the legislation they put forward when they were sitting on this bench, which is a very different thing from any evidence given before a committee, and up to the moment there has been no indication that they would be likely to change that view if and when they sit here again. The real issue is whether we are now dealing with a scheme which is based upon insurance or a scheme based upon need. None of the Insurance Acts passed since 1911 has ever claimed to be based upon need, nor is this Bill. The payments are not represented as provid- ing complete cover against loss of income from unemployment, but upon practical considerations of how large a contribution it is feasible to require on, roughly, equal terms from all concerned, and what is the best use that ought to be made of such resources in contributing to the maintenance of those who are out of work. It is on this basis that the whole Bill has been drafted, including the particular figures in Clause 3, and not on the basis of saying that the benefits proposed, whether for adults individually or the maximum for the family, are in all cases adequate for the full maintenance of those who receive them. The issue is what is possible in terms of an agricultural insurance scheme.

Despite his heated words, I think that, on reflection, the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) will feel that the countryside will not share his views about this Bill. They will not regard it as a Bill which any Minister should be ashamed to bring in, but will be glad that at last, after long years, a Minister and a Government have been found ready to produce such a Bill. Everyone who has examined the problem in the last 15 years — Governments, farmers, landowners and land workers—have all taken the view that an agricultural insurance scheme must be a special scheme drawn up against the agricultural background. That does not refer solely to wages, but it means that account must be taken of the whole conditions of rural life. The thing that has bothered the real rural people, both farmers and farm workers, has been what will be the social effect of the scheme not only upon wages but upon the casualisation of labour and the whole surroundings of rural life. All who have discussed the problem have come to the conclusion that there had to be a special scheme, with special contributions and special benefits. With regard to the question of 9s. and 7s., I agree with the hon. Member for Normanton that we cannot argue this problem in terms of need. I do not so argue it now, never have argued it, and never shall. It is a question of how, suiting things to rural conditions and rural incomes, we can levy a contribution that is not unfair and give the best possible benefits to all concerned, whether they be adults, dependants or juveniles. We have solved the problem one way. Hon. Members opposite desire to solve it in another way.

I would remind hon. Members that I have not quite as much money in hand now as I had when we went into Committee. As a result of accepting the Amendment with reference to children there is £14,000 a year less available. Then I had a margin of £31,000 on a normal year's working—apart from the £800,000 which was the first six months' contributions—but now we are down to the slender margin of £17,000 a year on our calculations, and we are in a field of insurance that has not yet been explored, because even the trade unions have found the rural conditions so difficult that there is no insurance scheme in the unions for agricultural workers. That, again, is because of the difficulties of the background, which are at the root of the proposals we are now discussing. I am asked now to raise the adult dependants' benefit from 7s. to 9s., and I cannot do it. I am not discussing whether 7s., 9s., 11s. or 14s. is the sum I would like to give to suit their need if I had my own way, but discussing the question in the terms of what we can do within the structure of the Bill.

I am asked to do two things. The first is to give this extra 2s. and then to abolish the 30s. maximum. If the 2s. extra were given, apart from the abolition of the maximum, it would cost £61,200 a year, and if it were given in addition to abolishing the maximum the effect—taking into account that 2s.—would be to add another £11,000, making a total of £72,000. Abolishing the maximum alone would itself cost £18,400 a year. That means that to accept the two Amendments would cost altogether £90,400. The House will see at once that it is quite impossible, however much I may desire to express my sympathy or, as one Member put it, to show my generosity, to accept those Amendments. I have one other word to say about the maximum. I made the point on Second Reading and the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) underlined it at that time in moving the rejection of the Bill. One of the difficulties in applying insurance to the countryside is that we are working in a field which has hitherto been untilled, and that no one could tell what the reaction might be. Responsible people, who have discussed it in the light of their knowledge of rural life, have come to the conclusion that if we were to have a scheme based upon contributions and benefits suitable, as far as we could make them, to the rural background, we should be obliged to have, if the genuine land worker were to receive the maximum benefit of the scheme, an overriding maximum. The maximum in the Bill is not in any sense sinister.

We prepared this proposal with very great care, and gave very great thought to all the arguments which have been put forward for these long 15 years. I have come here in the full assurance that these proposals are reasonable. For the first time, in regard to insurance, we have an instrument for betterment in the impartial committee by whom, every year, this fund as well as the other fund must be examined. If and when our hopes are justified, they will be able to recommend in the future what is the best way to distribute the money, whether by additional benefits or by a modification of the 30s. maximum.

6.33 p.m.


I am rather disappointed at the Minister's speech. From the general approach to things in the Committee, we thought we might expect some concession in this matter. In no part of the Bill was it more likely that there would be concession than in the part now before the House. As one might have expected, the right hon. Gentleman has held very closely to the actuary's calculations. I did not expect the right hon. Gentleman to be generous, but I expected him to be reasonable to the families for whom the Bill is presumed to be catering. When he discriminates, as was inevitable in the nature of the case, by a special scheme with regard to contributions and benefits, there was nevertheless ample room between the two extremes for the right hon. Gentleman to make a nearer approach to what we regard as decent conditions, making this scheme infinitely more effective than it is.

What does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that he will confer upon agricultural workers who have a period of unemployment? The first part of the Amendment asks for an increase from 7s. to 9s. for dependants. If the Amendment had been accepted we should be asking for 23s. for a married man with a wife dependent upon him. The whole scheme is based on a calculation of 7½ per cent. of unemployment. An average of about 3¾ weeks' unemployment is presumed for every person in agriculture. Some labourers would be unemployed for more than 3¾ weeks and others for less. For the four weeks, the Bill confers upon a man and his wife the benefit of 21s. per week. We are not asking for generosity when we plead for 23s. instead of 21s. We can put up a substantial case that, as a result of the failure of the Minister to concede something to the labourers, he might do a great deal to drive the best of our agricultural labourers from the agricultural areas altogether.

The Minister and his advisers, as well hon. Gentlemen on those benches, should attempt to place themselves in the position of the newly-married man in rural England confronted with a known four weeks' unemployment every year, and with a maximum income of 21s. per week. That sum is not a very great magnet or attraction in the countryside. It is fairly obvious that large numbers of agricultural labourers will migrate to the towns if there is half a chance of obtaining a job there. From the point of view of desiring to retain the best agricultural labourers a very substantial case can be made out for the first part of the Amendment.

Then comes the question of finances. It is being argued that the small contributions and the inevitable small benefits are the result of low wages in agriculture. That is not the end of the story. It is the duty of the Minister when introducing a scheme of this description to make provision for its finances. Apparently the Minister thinks that 4½d. is as much as an agricultural labourer can afford to pay. There is that mythical million which the Minister talks about. The Treasury are the only party to make a benefit under the terms of this Measure. If 9d. from employer and employé is as much as we can hope to obtain, there is no real reason, although there is plenty of excuse made, why a special scheme for a special section of the community in special circumstances should not mean special consideration given to it by the Treasury. As was stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Normanton (Mr. T. Smith) only a copper or two is required per person per week to provide the increased benefits for the dependent wife. The financial side of the scheme does not make any great appeal to me.

On the question of small wages in agriculture the Minister did not give justifiable reason. Questions have been submitted during the afternoon, to which the right hon. Gentleman did not reply, particularly as to whether a person in receipt of benefit under the scheme, and with a family in excess of three children, will be able to proceed to the public assistance committee and secure supplementary relief. I wish the right hon. Gentleman had replied to that question, because certain public assistance committees have already decided that no person in receipt of unemployment benefit can have supplementary relief in the form of public assistance unless there is illness in the home. Perhaps one of the most decent of our public assistance committees is that for the West Riding of Yorkshire, but they decided in 1934 that applicants for outdoor relief shall not, as a general rule, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as sickness and so forth, be granted supplementary relief. The right hon. Gentleman might have replied very fully on that point. The agricultural labourers in my division who are recipients of Poor Law relief under the West Riding county public assistance committee, will find themselves, after the passing of the Bill, with a reduction of their income, for a number of children in the family, of 10s. or more per week.


Nineteen shillings.


They will not thank the right hon. Gentleman for this Measure, and even though, by their losing, someone else is gaining, that is poor consolation to the families who know that they will lose these sums of money at the outset. Hon. Members should consider before they assent to the maximum imposed by the right hon. Gentleman. The cost of removing the maximum would be between £13,000 and £18,000 per annum. That would only affect a comparatively small number of families, but it would affect the wage-scale of agricultural labourers throughout Great Britain. The right hon. Gentleman has these sums of money at his disposal under the actuary's report. We start with an annual saving of £31,000. The Minister bas conceded £14,000 upstairs, by granting 6d. for the two children, and there therefore is £17,000. The fund has also a surplus of £800,000, so that the maximum could be removed and payments could be made for 20 or 30 years, and the solvency of the fund would never be in doubt. If the right hon. Gentleman removed the maximum from those families with children in excess of three, they could receive 3s.

It is rather late in the day for the right hon. Gentleman to lecture us, or even to hint at a lecture, by saying that, after all, this is an insurance scheme. The right hon. Gentleman removed it from the basis of insurance when he granted the rebate under Clause 10 for those who hire for six-monthly or I2-monthly periods. It is not an insurance in the full sense of the word. I am satisfied that the money could have been found if the Government had been half as generous to agricultural labourers as they have so frequently been to the farmers in this country; if they had felt that wives in the rural areas should receive as much as wives in the urban areas they could have provided for another ½d. contribution per week. We would like to know why some nearer approach has not been made to the benefits in the general scheme, even within the terms of the finances of the Bill.

An hon. Member quoted from a document from the Agricultural Labourers' Union as he frequently did upstairs. I wish he would be good enough to tell the House the whole of the truth. He well knows that the scheme sent by the agricultural labourers to the statutory committee was merely drawn up upon the actuarial calculations to prove that a scheme for agricultural labourers was a possibility. The figures in the scheme are not regarded as the last word mathematically, or in human need. The hon. Member told us that it provides for a shilling less than the maximum referred to in the Bill; he did not tell the House that, under the terms of that suggested scheme, the benefits would cost £100,000 more per annum than under this scheme. Why did he not tell the House that the suggestion of the Agricultural Labourers' Union was a 3d. contribution from the employes instead of 4½d., and a 6d. contribution from the Treasury instead of 4½.? Why did he not really tell the full story, instead of the part of it that he tells so frequently?


The reason why I did not give a fuller account was that it would have been out of order. We are now dealing with two specific questions, the substitution of the words "seven shillings" and the maximum of 30s., and in each case the Agricultural Workers' Union asked for less.


The hon. Member, both in Committee and on Report, has. without giving the full story, quoted short paragraphs or portions of paragraphs that suited his particular purpose, but he ought not to repeat that too frequently. That scheme was put forward in order to help the Statutory Committee, and the present scheme has emerged from the Statutory Committee's recommendations. Therefore, the Agricultural Workers' Union did, at least, help them to do what previously had been regarded as impossible—


By your Government.


Not by the Government of 1929–31. The hon. Member has hinted that the Labour Government of 1929–31 had some scheme in mind with a maximum benefit, notwithstanding the number of children. Has he a copy of that scheme?


I was reading out the views of the National Union of Agricultural Workers. That scheme was the Labour Government's scheme, not mine.


The hon. Member hinted during his speech that the Labour Government had a scheme which contained a maximum notwithstanding the number of children. He had not a copy of that scheme in his possession. There is not such a thing in existence, and, consequently, he ought not even to hint at it on the Floor of this House. I happened to have the good fortune, or the misfortune, to be present when the discussion on the scheme of the Agricultural Labourers' Union took place, and know exactly what happened, and certainly at that time there was no suggestion of a maximum of 30s. for a man, his wife, and 17 children. I trust, therefore, that during the course of the Debate the hon. Gentleman will not impute false motives to the Labour Government., or, indeed, to any other Government that has been in office. We are very disappointed that the right hon. Gentlemen is making no effort to mitigate the evil that we can foresee in some areas where Poor Law relief or public assistance is far in advance of the maximum that he lays down here for benefit. We think that he not only ought to remove the maximum, but ought to let the lady who lives in a rural area, divorced from all the social amenities that the townswoman enjoys, see at least that

she is not forgotten, even by a Tory Government. I hope that all my friends and many other hon. Members apart from the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton will go into the Lobby against the Government on this Amendment.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the end of line 5, stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 117.

Division No. 111.] AYES. 6.50 p.m.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Dower, Capt. A. V. G. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.
Albery, I. J. Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop) Latham, Sir P.
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Dugdale, Major T. L. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Duggan, H. J. Leech, Dr J. W.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Duncan, J. A. L. Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Dunglass, Lord Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Assheton, R. Dunne, P. R. R. Levy, T.
Atholl, Duchess of Eales, J. F. Lewis, O.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Eastwood, J. F. Liddall, W. S.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Edmondson, Major Sir J. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.
Balniel, Lord Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Ellis, Sir G. Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V.
Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury) Elliston, G. S. Loftus, P. C.
Beaumont, Hon. R, E. B. (Portsm'h) Elmley, Viscount Lovat-Fraser, J. A.
Belt, Sir A. L. Emrys-Evans, P. V. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)
Bernays, R. H. Entwistie, C. F. MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G.
Blair, Sir R. Errington, E. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Bossom, A. C. Everard, W. L. Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)
Boulton, W. W. Fox, Sir G. W. G. Maclay, Hon. J. P.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Fremantle, Sir F. E. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Furness, S. N. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Manningham-Buller, Sir M.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Gledhill, G. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Gluckstein, L. H. Markham, S. F.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C. Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Goldle, N. B. Maxwell, S. A.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Goodman, Col. A. W. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Gower, Sir R. V. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)
Bull, B. B. Graham Captain A. C. (Wirral) Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Burton, Col. H. W. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)
Butler, R. A. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Butt, Sir A. Gridley, Sir A. B. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Grimston, R. V. Moreing, A. C.
Cartland, J. R. H. Gritten, W. G. Howard Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester)
Cautley, Sir H. S. Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor) Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Guinness, T. L. E. B. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Channon, H. Gunston, Capt. D. W. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Guy, J. C. M. Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Hanbury, Sir C. Patrick, C. M.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hannah, I. C. Peake, O.
Clarke, F. E. Harbord, A. Penny, Sir G.
Clarry, Sir R. G. Harvey, G. Perkins, W. R. D.
Cobb, Sir C. S. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Peters, Dr. S. J.
Colfox, Major W. P. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Petherick, M.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Procter, Major H. A.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Holmes, J. S. Rankin, R.
Courthope, Col. Sip G. L. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Craddock, Sir R. H. Hopkinson, A. Rayner, Major R. H.
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Horsbrugh, Florence Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Howitt, Dr. A. B. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Cross, R. H. Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Remer, J. R.
Crowder, J. F. E. Hume, Sir G. H. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Cruddas, Col. B. Jackson, Sir H. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Culverwell, C. T. Joel, D. J. B. Ropner, Colonel L.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n) Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'nderry)
Davison, Sir W. H. Keeling, E. H. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
De Chair, S. S. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Denville, Alfred Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Donner, P. W. Kirkpatrick, W. M. Salmon, Sir I.
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Salt, E. W.
Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney) Stanley. Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Sandys, E. D. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Savery, Servington Storey, S. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Scott, Lord William Stourton, Hon. J. J. Wells, S. R.
Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar) Strickland, Captain W. F. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton. (N'thw'h) Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Willoughby de E[...]sby, Lord
Smithers, Sir W. Sutcliffe, H. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Somerset, T. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Touche, G. C. Wise, A. R.
Southby, Comdr. A. R. J. Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L, Turton, R. H.
Spender-Clay, Lt.-CI. Rt. Hn. H. H. Wakefield, W. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Spens, W. P. Ward, Lieut-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull) Major George Davies and Dr.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Grenfell, D, R. Parker, H. J. H.
Adams, D. (Consett) Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Potts, J.
Adamson, W. M. Groves, T. E. Pritt, D. N.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Quibell, J. D.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Harris, Sir P. A. Riley, B.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Ritson, J.
Banfield, J. W. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Barnes, A. J. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Rowson, G.
Barr, J. Holdsworth, H. Salter, Dr. A.
Bellenger, F. Holland, A. Sanders, W. S.
Benson, G. Hopkin, D. Seely, Sir H. M.
Bevan, A. Jagger, J. Sexton, T. M.
Broad, F. A. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Shinwell, E.
Brooke, W. Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Short, A.
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Silverman, S. S.
Burke, W. A. Kelly, W. T. Simpson, F. B.
Cape, T. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Lathan, G. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cocks, F. S. Lawson, J. J. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cove, W. G. Leach, W. Stephen, C.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Lee, F. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Daggar, G. Leonard, W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Dalton, H. Leslie, J. R. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Day, H. Lunn, W. Thorne, W.
Dobbie, W. McEntee, V. La T. Thurtle, E.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) McGhee, H. G. Tinker, J. J.
Ede, J. C. MacLaren, A. Vlant, S. P.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Mainwaring, W. H. Walkden, A. G.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Marklew, E. Walker, J.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Maxton, J. Watkins, F. C.
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Messer, F. Wilkinson, Ellen
Foot, D. M. Montague, F. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Frankel, D. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Gallacher, W. Muff, G. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Gardner, B. W. Naylor, T. E. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Oliver, G. H.
Green, W. H. (Doptford) Owen, Major G. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A, Paling, W. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.

I beg to move, in page 3, line, 6, to leave out paragraph (a).


I beg to second the Amendment.

Question put, "That paragraph (a) stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 244; Noes, 120.

Division No. 112.] AYES. [7.0 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Beaumont, M. W. (Aylesbury) Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)
Albery, I. J. Beit, Sir A. L. Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Bernays, R. H. Bull, B. B.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Blair, Sir R. Burton, Col. H. W.
Anderson Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Bossom, A. C. Butler, R. A.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Boulton, W. W. Butt, Sir A.
Assheton, R. Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vanslttart Campbell, Sir E. T.
Atholl, Duchess of Bower, Comdr. R. T. Cartland, J. R. H.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Cautley, Sir H. S.
Balfour, Capt, H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Braithwaite, Major A. N. Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)
Balniel, Lord Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Brocklebank, C. E. R. Channon, H.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Ponsonty, Col. C. E.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Procter, Major H. A.
Clarke, F. E. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Rankin, R.
Clarry, Sir R. G. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Cobb, Sir C. S. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Rayner, Major R. H.
Colfox, Major W. P. Holmes, J. S. Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Hopkinson, A. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Horsbrugh, Florence Remer, J. R.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Howltt, Dr. A. B. Rickards, G. w. (Skipton)
Courthope, Col. Sir G. L. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Craddock, Sir R. H. Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Ropner, Colonel L.
Cranborne, Viscount Hume, Sir G. H. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'nderry)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Jackson, Sir H. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Joel, D. J. B. Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)
Croom-Johnson, R. P, Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n) Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cross, R. H. Keeling, E. H. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Crowder, J. F. E. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Salmon Sir I.
Cruddas, Col. B. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Salt, E W.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Davies, C. (Montgomery) Kirkpatrick, W. M. Sandys, E. D.
Davison, Sir W. H. Lamb, Sir J. Q. Savery, Servington
De Chair, S. S. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Scott, Lord William
Denville, Alfred Latham, Sir P. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Donner, P. W. Leech, Dr. J. W. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Dorman Smith, Major R. H. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Dower, Capt. A. V. G. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop) Levy, T. Smithers, Sir W.
Dugdale, Major T. L. Lewis, O. Somerset, T.
Duggan, H J. Liddall, W. S. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Duncan, J. A. L. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Dunglass, Lord Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Dunne, P. R. R. Loder, Captain Hon. J. de V. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Eales, J. F. Loftus, P. C. Spender-Clay Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. H. H.
Eastwood, J. F. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Spens, W. P.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Lumley, Capt. L. R. Stanley Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Stanley Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Ellis, Sir G. MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G Storey, S.
Elliston, G. S. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Stourton, Hon. J. J.
Elmley, Viscount Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Maclay, Hon. J. P. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Entwistle, C. F. Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Errington, E. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Everard, W. L. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Sutcliffe, H.
Fox, Sir G. W. G. Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Taylor Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Fremantle, Sir F. E. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Thomas J. P. L. (Hereford)
Furness, S. N. Markham, S. F. Touche, G. C.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.
Gledhill, G. Maxwell, S. A. Turton, R H.
Gluekstein, L. H. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Wakefield, W. W.
Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C. Mellor, sir R. J. (Mitcham) Ward, Lieut-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Goldie, N. B. Mellor, Sir J. S. p. (Tamworth) Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Goodman, Col. A. W. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Gower, Sir R. V. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Graham Captain A. C. (Wirral) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Wells, S. R.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N Moreing, A. C. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Morrison, W. S. (Clrencester) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Gridley, Sir A. B. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Grimston, R. V. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gritten. W. G. Howard O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Wilson. Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N. W.) Orr-Ewing, I. L. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Guinness, T. L. E. B. Patrick, C. M. Wise, A. R.
Gunston, Capt. D. W. Peake, O. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Guy, J. C. M. Penny, Sir G.
Hanbury, Sir C. Perkins, W. R. D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hannah, I. C. Peters, Dr. S. J. Major George Davies and Dr.
Harbord, A. Petherick, M. Morris-Jones.
Harvey, G. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Bevan, A. Dalton, H.
Adams, D. (Consett) Broad, F. A. Day. H
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Brooke, W. Dobbie, W.
Adamson, W. M. Buchanan, G. Dunn, E. (Rather Valley)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Burke, W. A Ede, J. C.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Cape, T. Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Cluse, W. S. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)
Banfield, I. W. Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)
Barnes, A. J. Cocks, F. S. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.
Barr, J. Cove, W. G. Foot, D. M.
Bellenger, F. Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Frankel D.
Benson, G. Daggar, G. Gallacher, W.
Gardner, B. W. Lunn, W. Short, A.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McEntee, V. La T. Silverman, S. S.
Glbbins, J. McGhee, H. G. Simpson, F. B.
Green, W. H. (Deptford) MacLaren, A. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Mainwaring, W. H. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Grenfell, D. R. Marklew, E. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Maxton, J. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Messer, F. Stephen, C.
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Montague, F. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Harris, Sir P. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Muff, G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Naylor, T. E. Thorne, W.
Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Oliver, G. H. Thurtle, E.
Holdsworth, H. Owen, Major G. Tinker, J. J.
Holland, A. Paling, W. Viant, S. P.
Hopkin, D. Parker, H. J. H. Walkden, A. G.
Jagger, J. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Walker, J.
Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Potts, J. Watkins, F. C.
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Pritt, D. N. Whiteley, W.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Quibell, J. D. Wilkinson, Ellen
Kelly, W. T. Riley, B. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Ritson, J. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Lathan, G. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Lawson, J. J. Rowson, G. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Leach, W. Salter, Dr. A. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Leo, F. Sanders, W. S.
Leonard, W. Seely, Sir H. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Leslie, J. R. Sexton, T. M. Mr. Craves and Mr. Mathers.
Logan, D. G. Shinwell, E.

I beg to move, in page 3, line 11, to leave out paragraph (b).

Question put, "That paragraph (b) stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 240; Noes, 122.

Division No. 113.] AYES. [7.10 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W) Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.
Albery, I. J. Courthope, Col. Sir G. L. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Craddock, Sir R. H. Gridley, Sir A. B.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Cranborne, Viscount Grimston, R. V.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Croft, Brig.-Gen. sir H. Page Gritten, W. G. Howard
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)
Aske, Sir R. W. Croom-Johnson, R. P. Guest, Maj. Hon. O.(C'mb'rw'll, N. W.)
Assheton, R. Cross, R. H. Guinness, T. L. E. B.
Atholl, Duchess of Crossley, A. C. Gunston, Capt. D. W.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Crowder, J. F. E. Guy, J. C. M.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Cruddas, Col. B. Hanbury, Sir C.
Balniel, Lord Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C. Hannah, I. C.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil) Harbord, A.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Davison, Sir W. H. Harvey, G.
Beit, Sir A. L. De Chair, S. S. Heslam, Sir J. (Bolton)
Bernays, R. H. Denville, Alfred Heligers, Captain F. F. A.
Blair, Sir R. Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.
Bossom, A. C. Donner, P. W. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-
Boulton, W. W. Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Dower, Capt. A. V. G. Holmes, J. S.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop) Hopklnson, A.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir G. E. W. Dugdale, Major T. L. Horsbrugh, Florence
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Duggan, H. J. Howitt, Dr. A. B.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Duncan, J. A. L. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Dunglass, Lord Hudson, R. S. (Southport)
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Dunne, P. R. R. Hume, Sir G. H.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Eales, J. F. Jackson, Sir H.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Eastwood, J. F. Joel, D. J. B.
Bull, B. B. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Burton, Col. H. W. Ellis, Sir G. Keeling, E. H.
Butler, R. A. Elliston, G. S. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Butt, Sir A. Elmley, viscount Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Emrys- Evans, P. V. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)
Cartland, J. R. H. Errington, E. Kirkpatrick, W. M.
Cautley, Sir H. S. Everard, W. L. Lamb, Sir J. Q.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Fox, Sir G. W. G. Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Fremantle, Sir F. E. Latham, Sir P.
Channon, H. Furness, S. N. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Leckle, J. A.
Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.) Gledhill, G. Leech, Dr. J. W.
Clarke, F. E. Gluckstein, L. H. Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Clarry, Sir R. G. Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Goldie, N. B. Levy, T.
Cobb, Sir C. S. Goodman, Col. A. W. Lewis, O.
Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Gower, Sir R. V. Liddall, W. S.
Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Spender-Clay, Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. H. H.
Loder, Captain Hon. J de V. Procter, Major H. A. Spens, W. P.
Loftus, P. C. Rankin, R. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Lumley, Capt. L. R. Rayner, Major R. H. Storey, S.
Mabane, W. (Hudderefield) Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Stourton, Hon. J. J.
MacAndrew, Lt.-Col. Sir C. G. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Maclay, Hon. J. P. Renter, J. R. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) Sutcliffe, H.
Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Ropner, Colonel L. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A. Touche, G. C.
Markham, S. F. Russell, A. West (Tynemouth) Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.
Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Turton, R. H.
Maxwell, S. A. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Wakefield, W. W.
Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Salmon, Sir I. Ward, Lieut-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham) Salt, E. W. Ward, Irene (Wallsend)
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Sandys, E. D. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Savery, Servington Wells, S. R.
Mcreing, A. C. Scott, Lord William Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree) Williams, C. (Torquay)
Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar) Williams. H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Shepperson, Sir E. W. Willoughhy de Eresby, Lord
O'Neill. Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hush Shute, Colonel Sir J. J. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Orr-Ewing, I. L. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Peake, O. Smithers, Sir W. Wise, A. R.
Penny, Sir G. Somerset, T. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Perkins, W. R. D. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Peters, Dr. S. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Petherick, M. Southby, Comdr. A. R. J. Dr. Morris-Jones and Captain Hope.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Grenfell, D. R. Parker, H. J. H.
Adams, D. (Consett) Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Potts, J.
Adamson, W. M Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Pritt, D. N.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'Isbr.) Harris, Sir P. A. Quibell, J. D.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Riley, B.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Ritson, J.
Banfield, J. W. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Roberta, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Barnes, A. J. Holdsworth, H. Rowson, G.
Barr, J. Holland, A. Salter, Dr. A.
Bellenger, F. Hopkin, D. Sanders, w. S.
Benson, G. Jagger, J. Seely, Sir H. M.
Bevan, A. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Sexton T. M.
Broad, F. A. Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Shinwell, E.
Brooke, W. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Short, A.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Kelly, w, T. Silverman S. S.
Buchanan, G. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Simpson, F. B.
Burke, W. A. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Cape, T. Lathan, G. Smith, E (Stoke)
Cluse, W. S. Lawson, J. J. Smith, Rt Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Leach, W. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cocks, F. S. Lee, F. Stephen, C.
Cove, W. G. Leonard, W. Steward, w. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Leslie, J. R. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Daggar, G. Logan, D. G. Taylor R. J. (Morpeth)
Dalton, H. Lunn, W. Thorne, W.
Day, H. McEntee, V. La T. Thurtle, E.
Dobbie, W. McGhee, H. G. Tinker J J.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) MacLaren, A. Viant, S. P.
Ede, J. C. Mainwaring, W. H. Walkden, A. G.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Mander, G. le M. Walker, J.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Marklew, E. Watkins, F. C.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Mathers, G. Wilkinson, Ellen
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Maxton, J. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Foot, D. M. Messer, F. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Frankel, D. Montague, F. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Gallacher, W. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Gardner, B. W. Muff, G. Young Sir R. (Newton)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Naylor, T. E.
Gibbins, J. Oliver, G. H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Owen, Major G. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Groves.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Paling, w.