HC Deb 20 December 1937 vol 330 cc1623-80

3.59 p.m.

The Chairman

The first Amendment I propose to call is that in the name of the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald)—in page 20, line 15, after "to," to insert "one quarter of." I am not quite sure exactly what the hon. Member means by it, but perhaps he will explain his intention and how it is connected with the other Amendments to this Clause on the Order Paper. Subject to anything that the hon. Member may say which may cause me to alter my mind, I suggest that we shall find it convenient, on this Amendment, to discuss the next Amendment on the Paper in his name, and the next two in the name of the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Cape), and a third Amendment in the name of the same hon. Member. On this Amendment I think we should discuss also the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander), which might be called later for the purpose of a Division. In brief, I suggest that all these other Amendments should be discussed on the First Amendment which I shall now call.

Mr. Shinwell

Are you proposing to include discussion of the Amendment, on page 552, in the name of the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Cape).

The Chairman

That is one of the Amendments which I had indicated. We could discuss that Amendment and all the other Amendments to the Clause, on the Amendment, which I shall call, in the name of the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald), with the exception of three Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield (Sir G. Ellis), and with the reservation that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) may be called for the purpose of a Division.

4.2 p.m.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald

I beg to move, in page 20, line 15, after "to," to insert "one quarter of."

The purpose of this Amendment and others on the Paper is to enable us to discuss the allocation of the surplus fund. On the Second Reading of the Bill we thought that the provision in this Clause was not satisfactory to the miners. If the miners are to receive anything from the Bill it is necessary to specify definitely what ought to be done with the surplus. Since we first saw the Bill we have felt that the scheme here is to some extent a piece of confiscation. In saying that, our point of view is different from that of the Government. It is true that the royalty owners are getting adequate payment for royalties, but at the expense of the industry. It is rather a piece of confiscation in an indirect way. We say that the miners should get something of a definite character. In our series of Amendments we suggest, first of all, the establishment of a pension fund for mineworkers who are over 55. We may be told that we ought not to differentiate in age between a pension fund for miners and a general pension fund, but we think that there is justification for that differentiation. Men in the mines age much more quickly than workers in other industries. They work under tremendous pressure in a mechanised industry. When a miner has laboured from 14 to 55 years of age in an industry which takes a great deal out of a man, a pension is a reasonable thing to demand. We realise that this surplus will not provide such a pension, but we want to secure here some nucleus of a pension fund for the miners.

I shall be surprised if the President of the Board of Trade says that, while sympathetic to our proposal, he does not agree with this method of providing the funds, and that ways and means ought to be found outside the Bill. I ask him to consider whether it is not advisable to make a specific provision for the miners in the Bill. Other parts of the Bill will displace the miner of 55 years and over, and we ought to make provision for these men to receive pensions out of the proceeds provided in the Bill. Our second suggestion is an improvement of the conditions of workers in the mines, having particular regard to safety. We realise that much money needs to be spent from a safety point of view. Some of us had misgivings about putting in these words here, for we thought that this ought to be the responsibility of a State fund. Our last proposal is that provision should be made for dis-placed miners in general. Apart from the older miners, we think that the Bill ought to make provision for all miners who are displaced by the Bill. It will be seen that our proposals have a very humanitarian purpose. We say that if a surplus accrues from the financial provisions of the Bill, it shall be applied directly to the miners. The royalty owners and the coalowners will do very well out of the Bill, and we say that the miners should be provided for directly from the proceeds of the Bill.

4.10 p.m.

Mr. Cape

The hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald) has accepted the suggestion as to how our Amendments should be dealt with, and I agree with him. I think it was a very happy idea, as it enables us to get a Debate on the principal Amendments to the Clause. We are anxious that in page 21, line 11, the word "shall" be inserted for "may." We want the Commission to have power for the purposes mentioned in our Amendments. We think that the Commission ought to have power to dispose of the surplus in a way that they think best, and not to have to consider whether they should or should not dispose of it. With regard to pensions for miners, I take a rather different line from that of my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment. Colliery workers get old very rapidly and at the end of 30 or 40 years work they are practically finished.

From the point of view of age and waste of physique, there is another matter to be considered. Suppose that a colliery finishes working, that it is abandoned for economic reasons. There may be at work at that colliery good practical men who can do any class of work in a mine. But they have reached the age of 50. Because the colliery has stopped such men have a very remote chance of getting new work. There will be numbers of younger men unemployed. For four jobs there may be six applicants, four between 20 and 30 years of age, one between 30 and 40 and the sixth the man of about 55. The elder man may be the best of the six, but the manager does not know it. He looks over the men and says to the two eldest, "We are starting only four men and we cannot start you two." That older man goes from pit to pit and meets with the same treatment at every place. We want to create a pension fund so that once a man has finished work we can say to him, "There is a pension fund for you now." On those grounds and on the grounds stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Ince, I think now is the opportune time to create a fund for the purpose out of this surplus money, so that the men who have helped to create the wealth of the country may have the satisfaction of knowing that they will not be left in semi-starvation for the rest of their lives.

In regard to the question of safety, I have been for nine years a member of the Safety-in-Mines Research Board. A large part of the money which that board handle is drawn from the Miners' Welfare Fund; on paper it looks to be a pretty healthy sum and I know that it has been used for the purposes to which it was allocated. The Mines Department, through the Treasury, make a very meagre grant towards the work of that board, and I think it is a disgrace that the British Government should devote so little to the work of research in such a dangerous occupation as mining. We think that until the Treasury make up their minds to allocate more money to the work of this board some of this reserve money should be applied to this branch of research work. In those two ways the surplus fund which will come to the Commissioners could be used in a useful and humane fashion, and would prove of value not only to the mining community but to the nation as a whole.

Coming now to the question of the transference of miners, I have watched the mining situation for a good many years, and it is clear that some mines are gradually working towards their close. In my part of the country in 1925 there were 25 collieries and to-day there are only 14. Some of the pits which have been closed will never reopen, because it would not be worth anybody's while to reopen them. What is happening in Cumberland is happening in a good many other coalfields, and as the older coalfields decline it will be necessary to find new ones if we are to keep up the supply of coal to meet the demands of the country. Some new coalfields have already been found—in Kent and one or two other places. When these new coalfields are started miners will have to transfer from one mining area to another, and we shall have to give the men some inducements to transfer. What I mean by "inducements" is this: Suppose we want 30 or 40 miners from one locality to go to another district. It is all very well to say that they will get a portion of their unemployment pay, and their train fare and other privileges from the Employment Exchanges.

That is not sufficient. Those men will have to leave everything behind. They will have to leave all their old associations; it will mean a break up of families. There will be a good deal of inconvenience. Very often, too, unforeseen things happen, and when they do those men will find themselves in a new world, practically speaking; they will be in new surroundings and having to rely on their own efforts to exist. In times of difficulty and distress when they were in the districts to which they really belong they always found friends and relatives at hand ready to help them. I think part of this fund should be set aside for the purpose of helping men in those circumstances. If the money which will be accumulated by the Commissioners can be used in the ways I have described the Committee will be able to congratulate itself on having done something useful.

4.21 p.m.

Sir Hugh Seely

I understand that a number of Amendments are being discussed together on this Clause, and one of them which is on the Paper stands in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) and myself. This is one of the most important Clauses in the whole Bill, because it deals with the question—which also arises under Clause 21—of what is to happen to this reserve fund. Of course, it is always rather enjoyable to be in the position of "dividing the swag," which is what we are really doing now, and I suggest to hon. Members in every part of the House that we ought to avoid the danger of quarelling over the "division of the swag." First of all we ought to know from the Government how much money there will be in this reserve fund, and when it will accumulate, because as I see things it will take many years, perhaps 15 years, before there is any appreciable money in the reserve fund. Any demands which we may make regarding the allocation of the money in the reserve fund will have to be tested by the amount of money there is in the fund after all the other claims have been met. Many of us are trying to decide what will be left over for the reserve fund; there are going to be many claims, and one is admirably presented in the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton and myself.

It will be within the recollection of the Committee that a very strong claim was put forward by the surface owners in relation to subsidence; they put forward an eloquent plea for some contribution from the fund. I feel we ought to know how much money there will be and when it will be available, and what advice the Government propose to give to the Commission, which, after all, must be governed from this House. We all have ideas on the subject and suggestions have been put forward that the money should be applied in research into safety and also in the provision of pensions for miners over 60. The miners who will be put out of employment when Part II of this Measure is put into operation have, in my opinion, perhaps the strongest claim to consideration, because this Bill is going to affect them. The question of pensions for miners at 60 is an old-standing one, and is really a matter for the coal trade itself, and should be dealt with by the industry as a whole, because I feel certain that there will not be enough money available under this Bill to create a fund to provide pensions for miners over 60. If we include them in this Bill people will say, "Oh, we have dealt with the miners over 60 out of this reserve fund, and therefore we need not deal with pensions for miners in the industry as a whole." There is a danger of that.

I think the greatest stress should be laid on the case of the people who may become unemployed owing to the operation of this Bill, because if the Bill is a success there are bound to be people put out of employment. The whole point of any amalgamation, either a voluntary or a forced one, is to create unemployment—however you put it that is what it really comes down to. Reorganisation means the closing down of various uneconomic units in the industry, however "uneconomic" may be defined, and that must give rise to unemployment in the areas where pits are closed down. This Bill is part and parcel of the method by which those men have become unemployed; there is no doubt about that; and therefore, they have a very special claim to be considered in connection with this fund, but it is difficult to say how much the fund will amount to, when it can be drawn upon and what instructions will be given by the Government to the Commission. It is impossible for the Commission to deal with this matter themselves. They can only act upon instructions from this House to the Board of Trade, and we ought to know at an early stage if any instructions are to be given to the Commission to deal with this reserve fund on any of the lines which have been suggested by the last two speakers.

4.27 p.m.

Mr. Gallacher

When we were discussing an earlier Amendment to this Bill I referred to the royalty owners and the mineowners as robbers, and now my hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Sir H. Seely) accepts the title without a blush of shame by- talking about "dividing the swag." We are concerned with where the swag has come from, because it is not the mineowners or the royalty owners who have produced it, but the miners, and we want to know whether the miners are to get any consideration. If by the waving of a magic wand we could cause the mineowners and the royalty owners to disappear tomorrow, would that mean the stoppage of the production of coal? No. The mines would go on working; the coal would still be produced. On the other hand, suppose by the wave of a magic wand we caused all the miners to disappear, though leaving the royalty owners and the mineowners, would there then be any wealth? No; there would be no swag then. The swag has been stolen from the miners, and we want to see to it that we do not get a repetition of what happened under a previous Measure dealing with markets, when everybody got compensation except the actual workers in the markets.

In connection with this Bill the greatest possible concern has been shown for the mineowners and the royalty owners but none for the miners. Take the case of the older miners. I wonder whether hon. Members opposite have given any thought to the tragedy it is to a man when he learns that they will not give him any more work. He has a wife and family to go home to and he wants them to be proud of him—every husband and father does; but he has come to the stage when he is thrown out as scrap. He is cast out. I do not think hon. Members on the other side have ever had an opportunity of associating with such people and of getting from them all that it means in suffering—appalling suffering—caused not only by lack of suffer-and of food. There is terrible mental suffering when a man is thrown on the scrap-heap. The Amendment proposes to give consideration to such men, and it should receive the suport of everybody who has any human feelings.

Then there is the question of amalgamation. When the question of compensation arose in this House on a previous occasion and the Secretary for Mines was asked whether miners displaced by compulsory amalgamation could not be compensated, he said that the men would have no more claim to compensation than if they had been thrown out because of voluntary amalgamation. I chipped in and said that they should all get compensation, whereupon the Secretary for Mines said that I was the only one who held that opinion. I do not know why the Secretary for Mines should make such a foolish and unjust statement. Not one hon. Member on this side but is in favour of compensation for those who are unemployed not only as a result of compulsory amalgamation but as a result of voluntary amalgamation. If a provision were inserted in the Bill for compensation when unemployment arose as a result of compulsory amalgamation, the movement for compensation in the case of voluntary amalgamation would be greatly strengthened.

Apart from any arguments used by the Secretary for Mines or anyone alse in connection with voluntary amalgamation, the case for compensation arising out of compulsory amalgamation cannot possibly be denied. When we are discussing what is to be done with royalty owners and mineowners, surely it is asking only for elementary justice that the men thrown out as a result of amalgamations arising from the operation of the Bill should have some consideration and should get a little, anyhow, of the wealth that is being divided. I should not like to use here some of the expressions which were used on this side of the House about the Secretary for Mines when he made that foolish statement, but if he had heard, or even read, one or two of the observations that were made about him, he would be careful never to make such foolish statements in the future. Every Member on this side of the House is in favour of compensation for miners thrown out of work, whether by compulsory or by voluntary amalgamation.

The Chairman

I would remind the hon. Member that the Clause does not deal with compulsory amalgamation. I am not saying that the things which he has said were entirely out of order on this Amendment, but that there is no question of amalgamation at all on this Clause.

Mr. Gallacher

No, Sir Dennis, but this is an Amendment which suggests that a fund could be used for the benefit of those thrown out of employment as the result of the operation of the Bill, and that is the point with which I am concerned. On the further point of safety in the mines, I consider that safety is one of the most desirable objects to which any fund could be directed. I know there is need for higher wages and for pensions and compensation, but the vital thing for the miner and for the mining community is safety in the pit. I am sure that the Secretary for Mines will admit that the regular monthly inspections of workmen's inspectors are of very great help and have avoided many accidents and much suffering among the miners. Nevertheless, there is often much trouble to get a workmen's inspector appointed. If the Union does not agree to pay the inspector, the only way to do so is by collections at the pit-head. Is that the best way to organise safety in the pit? This system of workmen's inspections has extended very much in the coalfields of Fife, and a number of pits are inspected regularly every month. Reports are submitted to the Department in Edinburgh and have provided valuable information about conditions in the pits. These inspections have prevented the neglect of repairs which often lead to accidents of a serious character.

Although workmen's inspectors go down the pit every month at a number of collieries in Fife, they have to depend upon collections taken among the men. Surely that should not happen. Surely the system could be organised better than it is at present so that every pit in the country had its regular workmen's inspectors. There are many directions in which the question of safety could be taken up and money spent. I suggest to the Secretary for Mines that special attention should be given to this important matter of regular workmen's inspections. There is no greater safeguard to the miners. I hope that the Amendment in which these matters are raised will receive the support of all hon. Members.

4.38 p.m.

Mr. Short

We have made several attempts during the progress of this Bill to introduce provisions which would benefit the working miners, but up to now we have met with very little success. I think it would be generally admitted, apart from the psychological appeal made by the principle of unification of royalties, that no material advantage is conferred upon the miners by the Bill. I heard it suggested just now by the hon. Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Sir H. Seely) that the Bill will ultimately lead to the displacement of many men by reason of compulsory amalgamation; that would be a perpetuation of the distress which already exists among the mining community. Nothing is likely to come the way of the miner in the disposal of the surplus. The hon. Member said, also, that it was desirable that the industry should make provision for pensions for miners. When Parliament discusses legislation for co-ordinating and amalgamating within the industry, and seeks to impose statutory conditions upon mine-owners and upon the mining community such as will change the relations between worker and employer, we are entitled to ask that that change should be accompanied by provisions to benefit those employed in the industry.

It seldom occurs to His Majesty's Government to make provision for compensating displaced workers, such as is bound to be the case under the provisions of the Bill, nor does it occur to them to provide pensions for workers at the age of 55, as is proposed in the Amendment. A very strong case can be made out for special treatment for miners as distinct from other classes in the community. The Mover of the Amendment referred to the arduous character and unnatural conditions under which they labour and which make them old at an early age. Another factor to which I attach importance and to which I should be glad that the President of the Board of Trade should address himself in his reply, is that during the recent depression in the industry many miners have been out of employment for a very long time and have reached the age of 50 or 55. They are no longer wanted in the industry. Employers will not engage them. I have heard competent and experienced representatives of the miners say that when a miner has been out of the pit for four or five years he feels a complete stranger, if he is permitted to go down the pit again, because of the radical changes that have taken place in the methods of production.

Employers are taking the line to-day that they will not employ men at the age of 50, for fear that the changed methods of production may increase the risks of workmen's compensation. Evidence to that effect may be found in the report of the Unemployment Assistance Board, from which I propose to read extracts, and I shall ask the Minister what he proposes to do about it. I am going to tell him that it is no use telling us that the Bill will not make great changes in the industry. There will be changes, and they will not only affect the coalowners, but will also affect the miners. Their living is at stake, and, if Parliament interferes, we are entitled to ask that Parliament shall make provision for those who are affected. If you buy out the royalty owners, you must buy out the displaced workpeople or make provision for them by way of pensions at, we suggest, the very moderate age of 55. Let me read what the North-East England regional officer of the Unemployment Assistance Board says: Statements from time to time appear in the Press suggesting that there is a shortage of skilled pit-workers in the parts of County Durham where the coal trade has improved. It is true (the Durham District Officer reports) that employers are finding it necessary to recruit men living some considerable distance from the pits, even although, from local statistics, there would appear to be no lack of suitable labour available close at hand. This is due to the fact that by no means the whole of the unemployed who in the past have worked in the pits are now accepted by employers as suitable for their present-day requirements. For example, there appears to be general reluctance to engage men over 50 years of age. … Some employers make their age limit much lower than 50. There is also reluctance to engagemen who, at some time or another, have been in receipt of Workmen's Compensation. If managers cannot obtain local men up to their standards, they go further afield and skim the cream of the available labour over a wider radius. The Committee will observe that he says; "if managers cannot obtain men up to their standards." It is not a question of their being up to any standard fixed by the Miners' Federation. This is not a matter that can be referred to arbitration and negotiation between the Miners' Federation and the Coal Owners' Association, This is the law adopted by the managers themselves to the detriment of the workpeople. No provision is made for the displaced workers. I do not know what the Secretary for Mines is thinking of. He has been in office for two years, and I do not recall a single thing that he has done by way of initiation on behalf of the miners. I have followed his career with great interest. I have watched him for the last two years, and, when I think of him as he was when he used to sit on the fourth bench below the Gangway opposite, with his high spirits and his measure of initiation, I am surprised that it is so lacking so far as the miners are concerned. I turn to another paragraph of the Report—that relating to Wales and the West Midlands. This is what the regional officer says: It appears to be generally true at present that in all industries a man over 45 or 50 who has been unemployed for any length of time finds great difficulty in regaining employment, and this is specially true of the coal mining industry. It is not that such men have lost their willingness to work, but that they find the physical strain of the first few weeks in some cases too much for their strength, and employers are naturally apprehensive of the consequences of a physical breakdown which may involve questions of Workmen's Compensation. He goes on to say that, if this practice continues, the matter will have to be taken up with the responsible coalowners with a view to seeing whether the practice can be done away with. We are asking that the right hon. Gentleman should incorporate in this Clause some Amendment whereby workers in the coal industry who cannot find work at the age of 50—and, indeed, some employers will not take them on even at a lower age than 50—will be provided for. This Bill seeks to put the industry on an efficient basis; the only justification for the Bill is the inefficiency of the industry; and we ask that in the Bill some provision should be made for the men who produce the coal, who produce this wealth in the interests of the trade and commerce of our country. I shall be glad to hear that the right hon. Gentleman will accede to our request, and I hope that, when he comes to reply, he will not overlook the evidence I have put before him, for it seems to me to be unchallengeable.

4.54 p.m.

Mr. Peake

Having listened to the Debate this afternoon, and having a good deal of sympathy with several of the objects mentioned in the Labour Amendment and with some of the objects mentioned in the Liberal Amendment, I should like to explain to the Committee why I cannot support either of these Amendments in the Lobby. On the most favourable showing, there can be no surplus available under this Clause for at least 12 or 15 years, and it may well be 30 years before there is a penny in the fund which is available for disposal by way of surplus. I am a good deal more optimistic than some hon. Members opposite, because, if we are to have a pension fund for mineworkers, I hope we shall get it a good deal sooner than 15 or 20 years hence. Some concerns have already gone in for pension schemes, and I believe that pension schemes will be adopted very rapidly throughout the industry in the next five or 10 years. If, however, a Clause of this kind is put into the Bill, it will lead to the argument by the mine-owners, every time the matter is taken up, "Oh, that is provided for under the Coal Act of 1937"; and you may have to wait 15, 20 or 25 years before you get a penny piece of surplus out of the provision of this Clause of the Bill.

Exactly the same thing applies to safety measures. The hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) stressed the importance of a contribution for safety purposes and research into safety matters. That is a thing which, if it is needed at all, is of paramount importance, and we cannot afford to wait 15 or 20 years; we cannot afford to wait even four years until a fund is established for safety measures under the provisions of the Bill at the present time. Safety ought to be, and is, I believe, of paramount importance in the mining industry, and to provide that out of a fund of this kind—which, as I have said, may not have a surplus until 15 or 20 year's time—money shall be available for safety purposes, is simply fiddling with a grave problem.

Mr. Gallacher

It is not suggested that this fund is a fund for safety purposes. It is suggested that a part of the fund should be used for safety purposes. That does not mean that it is the only fund for safety purposes. We shall carry on in other directions.

Mr. Peake

Of course, this is not the only fund for safety purposes. We all known that the Safety in Mines Research Board draws very considerable sums of money from the Miners' Welfare Fund, and also by way of contributions from the Colliery Owners' Association; but the point is that, if money is required for safety purposes, it ought to be forthcoming straight away, and it ought not to be necessary to await a possible surplus in 15 or 20 years' time. The hon. Member for West Fife stressed the importance of workmen's inspections at the mines. I agree with him that they are of first-class importance; the more workmen's inspections of the mines that we have, the better. But, if the hon. Member says that because of the poverty of the mineworkers they cannot afford to pay two of their own men to go down the pits, I say that they cannot attach very much importance to inspection by the workpeople.

Mr. George Griffiths

May I ask the hon. Member what would be his estimate of the cost of employing two men to inspect a mine—a mine similar to that from which I came to this House—to inspect it properly?

Mr. Peake

It is a comparatively small sum. Two men go down the pit once a month and make a workmen's inspection. They do not inspect the whole pit, of course, every time they go down, but their inspections are just as thorough as the inspections of His Majesty's Inspectors of Mines. It is a poor reflection on the miners to say that they cannot afford the money for these workmen's inspections.

Mr. Gallacher

I did not say that the miners were too poor and could not find the money. I said that they did find the money. But I also said that it is not the correct method of organising the whole scheme of workmen's inspections to leave it to that haphazard method of collections at the pit.

Mr. Peake

It may not be the right way of organising matters for the miners to find the money for the payment of the expenses of their own Department, but it is obvious that the carrying out of these things will be deferred until the Greek Kalends if we have to await the arrival of a surplus under this Clause. It is for these reasons that I oppose the Amendment.

Mr. Shinwell

Is there not some misunderstanding in the hon. Member's mind about this matter? We are asking, not that the whole of the annual surplus should be devoted to the building up of a reserve, but that only one-quarter of it should be so used.

Mr. Peake

But the surplus is struck after providing for interest and sinking fund charges. That is laid down in the Bill. Sub-section (1) of Clause 20 says that the annual surplus is to be arrived at after providing for interest and sinking fund charges.

Mr. Shinwell

Surely the hon. Member agrees that that is entirely dependent on the financial position? Surely he will not rule out the existence of an annual surplus after the first year?

Mr. Peake

Assuming that the Government borrow£75,000,000 at 3½ per cent., and provide for repayment of the loan over a period of 30 years, the surplus will be absolutely negligible. If, however, they provide for repayment over a longer period, say, 60 years, there will be an annual surplus of something like£1,000,000.

Mr. Shinwell

Does that mean that the Government are actually paying too much for the royalties, and that their assets will not exceed their liabilities?

Mr. Peake

I do not want to get into a lot of technical financial details, but the interest on£75,000,000 at 3½ per cent. is£2,625,000 a year, and something over and above that has to be provided for sinking fund. If the sinking fund period is 30 years, there will be no surplus whatever. If it is 60 years, there will be a surplus of about£1,000,000 a year. That surplus has, first of all, to be devoted to the building up of a reserve. [Interruption.] It is obvious that you will not be able to borrow the money unless you provide for the setting up of a reserve, and if you provide for only one-quarter of the surplus going to reserve, it will take you 20 or 30 years to build up an adequate reserve. Assuming that an adequate reserve is going to be established—and I think we have got to assume that, for the security of the stockholders—it will take five or ten years to build up an adequate reserve. Therefore, it cannot possibly be for a period of 12 to 14 years from the present date that any surplus will exist, on the most favourable calculation.

5.1 p.m.

Mr. G. Griffiths

I should like to read Sub-section (3) of Clause 20 as we desire it to read: At any time at which the value of the reserve fund is greater than the prescribed minimum reserve, the Commission shall apply the whole thereof. … We on this side have had experience of the word "may" in other Acts of Parliament. I remember getting up on this side and opposing on the Housing Bill of 1935, a provision that the Minister "may" contribute a certain figure to local authorities, and in another Section of that Act it states definitely that the Minister "shall." When the local authorities make application to the Minister of Health for a subsidy for building houses, the Minister has the power in his own hands. We on this side desire to delete entirely from this Sub-section the word "may," and to state that the Minister "shall." Then this Sub-section talks of "a part" but we are asking that the whole of the surplus shall be applied, and I should like whoever replies for the Government to tell us what that surplus is going to be. Are they expecting£1,000,000 or£2,000,000? We say that if they are expecting£1,000,000 or£2,000,000, that surplus for once "shall" go to the miners, because up to now nothing has gone to them.

We are asking that this money shall be provided for three purposes. The first is for a pension fund for mine workers over 55 years of age. While I was at home this week-end, I was looking up some figures, and I found from some returns that the men working in the pits between 55 and 59 years of age number 51,985 and that the men out of work between those ages are 22,914, or a total of 74,899 persons. Between 60 and 65, there are 31,529 working in the pits and 20,823 not working. Over 65 there are 19,347 working in the pits to-day, and 11,028 not working, making a total of 157,626 miners who would be entitled, under this Amendment, to a pension. We do not stipulate or state the amount of the pension. The hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) stated that he was in sympathy with this idea. I believe he is composed of 100 per cent. sympathy.

Mr. Gallacher

And no cash.

Mr. Griffiths

I have never heard the hon. Member get up on any mining question, during the four years that I have been a Member of this House, without bursting with sympathy. I remember, when we were speaking about holidays with pay, that he agreed that the miners ought to have holidays with pay and that the coalowners would be better off if they had. I said to him, "Go thou and do what thou art preaching in this House," because in the hon. Member's pits they have not got holidays with pay yet, and I am sure that if he would put into practice what he is preaching and set the example in Yorkshire, so that their pits gave holidays with pay, there would not be so much trouble with the union as there is at present at the Central Hotel in Sheffield about giving the men holidays with pay.

In regard to pensions, at the pit that I came from the men have been getting pensions when they have ceased work, out of the men's wages, for the last 25 years. They have been getting 4s., 5s. and 7s. 6d. a week, which has come out of the wage packets of the men every week. Last year alone, at our pit, we paid out£4,500 of the men's money, not of the owner's money, by way of pensions. It was stopped off the men's notes, and it did not come out of "costs other than wages." We have not got holidays with pay yet, but our chaps are finding pensions for some of the men who are too old to work, and I shall be delighted to know that the pits belonging to the hon. Member for North Leeds are paying pensions.

Mr. Peake

The hon. Member will appreciate that we on the owners' side also have certain trade union rules.

Mr. Griffiths

I will just say to the hon. Member that the devil will never die for an excuse. I will not say anything further than that. We ask that a portion of this reserve shall be given to pensions. The second purpose of our Amendment is very important. We say that a portion shall go towards improving the conditions of work in the mines, and I want to appeal to the Minister that a portion of it shall go under Section 16 of the Coal Mines Act, namely, for workmen's inspectors. I know something about workmen's inspectors from a practical standpoint. I was a workman's inspector for 25 years, and when I was appointed an attempt was made to put fear into my heart from the manager's side. I was got into the office of the managing director, who walked in from one side, and the manager came in from another side, so that I was within closed doors, and they told me that it would be better for me if I did not become a workman's inspector. That was not in Germany, but in this country, in Yorkshire, in a strong trade-union county. I said clearly to both of them that I was going on with the thing because of the confidence that the men had in me. Not many months ago the same manager, who is now the managing director of the firm, turned round and said to me, "George, the workmen's inspectors are a safety valve as far as we are concerned."

Previous to that the present manager said, "The Government inspectors are never off our doorstep; they are always here. Why is that?" I said, "You know yourself that the workmen's inspectors' reports are what go to the inspector. When the inspector gets workmen's inspectors' reports, if there is anything wrong in those reports, he has to get back there as quick as lightning, because if he did not and anything happened, the rope would be round his own neck, you know that." The manager said, "The inspectors are at our pit oftener than at any other pit in the county of Yorkshire." If a portion of this sum went so that the workmen's inspectors could be paid by this fund, without altering the Act as it stands, that would be a good thing. Nobody knows better than does the hon. Member for North Leeds that they shall visit the pit, any part of the pit, once a month. If I visit one district as a workmen's inspector, I can go back to that same spot the next month. The hon. Member for North Leeds told us that if we paid a couple of workmen's inspectors to inspect a pit once a month, they could get all round it.

Mr. Peake


Mr. Griffiths

But that was the way it was put across, and anybody who did not understand the matter would think they could manage it in that way. When I was an inspector it used to take us six weeks to inspect the entire pit from beginning to end. We did it right enough, and we choose the part of the pit that we wanted to inspect. We did not let the manager choose the part that he wanted, and it took not less than six weeks to inspect the pit. If the inspectors were only getting£3 a week each, that would be£6 for two inspectors, or£36 for six weeks, and that requires to be done three times a year. If a pit is to be thoroughly inspected by workmen's inspectors, it requires to be inspected at least three times a year. What came out at the Gresford inquiry? It came out that that pit had not been inspected by the workmen's inspectors for, I think it was, three years. [An HON. MEMBER: "Since 1921."] If the workmen's inspectors had been able to go down that pit—nobody knows better than does the hon. Member for North Leeds that one reason at Gresford was fear. It came out, and it is no good for the hon. Member to shake his head. Another reason was that the colliery company would not stop it off the men's wages at the pit, although they desired that inspections should take place. That obtained not alone at Gresford, but it obtains at more than 50 per cent. of the collieries in Great Britain to-day. They will not stop a levy for the men to be able to pay their own inspectors.

We say that if this provision is inserted in the Bill, it will help the safety of the mines better than anything else. You can have your research and your committees, but our own men, who understand the work and who understand the dangers, should inspect the pits. The men who are working in the pit are the people who can smell danger more quickly than anybody else. It is all very well for the Secretary for Mines to smile at that.

The Secretary for Mines (Captain Crookshank)

I did not smile at that.

Mr. Griffiths

Well, the hon. and gallant Gentleman just smiled at the time that I got that out. As I was saying, they are the people who understand the danger in the mines, and we are pressing for that Amendment. The third part of the Amendment seeks to make provision for transferred or unemployed miners, but one or two of my hon. Friends desire to deal with that matter. Now I come to the Amendment to insert the words: For the purpose of advising the Commission as to the expenditure upon the purposes set out in the preceding Sub-section, there shall be an Advisory Board consisting of twelve members appointed by the Mine-workers' Federation of Great Britain. If this is carried—it is in the direct interests of the workmen themselves; it is not in the interests of the coalowners for the time being, although it ultimately will be—we ask that, as far as these three Sub-sections are concerned, there shall be an advisory board of 12 persons appointed by the Federation to advise the Commission as to the expenditure of this money over the 12 months. Who would be more competent to do that than the men at the pits? I served on the South Yorkshire Committee for 12 years, and the Central Welfare Committee have repeatedly stated, with reference to the way the districts have been governed by joint committees, that the help the workmen's representatives have given has been of untold value. If the assistance of workmen's representatives can be of untold value in that connection, I suggest that it would be of untold value in advising the Commission on pensions, safety in mines and the transference of unemployed members.

5.17 p.m.

Mr. Maitland

I am sure that anyone who has anything to do with coal mining, whether from the point of view of the miner or the colliery proprietor, is deeply interested in the question of safety in mines, and I should be very sorry to think that any of them did not realise that the question is one of paramount importance, and a problem constantly and prominently before all concerned in the industry. I am sure nobody on the other side would suggest that this is not a matter in which owners and miners are jointly concerned. It struck me that during the Debate we were rather talking about things which, as far as I can gather, will not materialise under the Bill. May I briefly recall the salient facts? We are going to spend roughly£75,000,000—£65,000,000 for royalties and£10,000,000 for other rights. If we assume, as I think we can, that this will bring in a revenue at 6 per cent. that is precisely£4,500,000. The Government will have to raise the capital of£75,000,000 by way of loan and, presumably, they can get it by reason of favourable circumstances existing to-day at a rate of interest of, say, 3½ per cent.

That will mean that they will have to pay each year, by way of interest,£2,625,000, leaving a balance of£1,900,000 without deducting anything in the way of expenses and charges. But that is not all. The Bill says that, before anything is done with this balance, there shall be found all expenses plus capital repayments which are necessary for the raising of the stock. My hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) is right in saying that before you arrive at the amount of cash available you must take into account the provisions imposed when the loan is raised in respect of terms of repayment. The yearly amount so payable (out of the£1,900,000) all depends on whether the loan is arranged on long or short terms. It is for the Government to decide whether the loan should be long or short. I quite agree that a long-term loan, from the point of view of the present condition of affairs, would be wise, but I desire to emphasise that the capital repayment each year would have to be met before any surplus is available. There is the£75,000,000 represented by the capital figure, and a considerable sum each year will have to be repaid. Thinking of the operation to its conclusion, the State is assisting by giving the weight of a Governmental guarantee in order that a loan should be raised. Assuming it is raised and repaid over 30 years, in those 30 years you will have raised from the revenue of the fund the whole of the sum necessary, and the State will be possessed of the royalties without having found one penny.

The purchase price is, in fact, actually found by the capital repayments each year. That seems to be absent from the minds of hon. Gentlemen when they talk about what to me is an imaginary surplus, because I do not think you can have a surplus in the years immediately after the Act comes into operation and at the same time repay the capital loan. The hon. Member asked, quite properly, if the President of the Board of Trade could give us any idea of the kind of terms the Government have in mind, and whether he has any estimate of the amount of the surplus which will be available for the purposes suggested by hon. Members opposite. I will only say that those are purposes with which we are all agreed, but I think my hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds is correct in saying that it is merely a gesture, and unless hon. Members are satisfied that it has any real meaning when translated into actual practice I suggest they are either deceiving themselves or labouring under a delusion in suggesting that there will be a substantial surplus to distribute. If hon. Members are suggesting, as they do today, that a non-existing surplus should be applied to help the miners, they are also misleading the miners, in building up hopes which cannot be fulfilled.

5.23 p.m.

Mr. James Griffiths

It is a great pity we did not have this Debate in the initial stages of this Bill, particularly before the Division on the Amendment moved by my hon. Friends on this side to reduce the amount to be paid in a global sum to the royalty owners. Actually, hon. Members are saying now that this Bill is so framed, and the Treasury and the Government are such incompetent bunglers, that there is no hope of anything for anybody for 20 years.

Mr. Maitland

I dissociate myself from that at once, because I said specifically that what the Government are doing, by the arrangements embodied in the Bill, is to get for the State a very valuable asset, which will be raised from their guarantee and for which the State eventually pays nothing.

Mr. Griffiths

Hon. Members seem to be divided on that side, but in this House we have come to look on the hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) as the official spokesman of that poor, downtrodden body, the mineowners. When he speaks, he speaks not only for North Leeds, but for the mineowners.[Interruption.] Hon. Members demur. I agree that when he speaks his accents are often more reasonable than those of the mine-owners as a body. Why did we go to all this trouble if there is to be no surplus of any kind? If all we are doing is transferring the royalties from one set to another, without relieving the industry of one halfpenny, what is there in this Bill; except, what we suspect, that it is merely put forward by pressure from various organisations to reorganise the coal industry in their interests? I am glad to find that that is the view of hon. Members opposite. But, at any rate, the Government have provided for a surplus, and have not only suggested, but have laid down in terms of reference, definite instructions to the Commission, saying,; "If you anticipate that there will be a surplus, this is the way in which it shall be spent."

We accept all the reservations, that there may be more of a surplus or less of a surplus; but we assume that there will be a surplus, and, if so, we believe that the miners ought to have the first claim upon it. We do not anticipate that the present Government will be here for ever, and if there is a surplus at all we say that, first of all, it ought to go to the miners. The hon. Member for North Leeds said that whatever advantages came from this Bill, if there was a reduction of a penny or twopence per ton on the royalties, all of it would eventually filter through to the miners.

Mr. Peake

"Filtering through" was not my expression. That came from the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps).

Mr. Griffiths

I agree that the "filtering through" belongs to my hon. and learned Friend on the Front Bench, but the idea came from the hon. Member for North Leeds. All that my hon. and learned F'riend did, as was his province as a lawyer, was to filter the ideas as a result of his very able knowledge. We are asked to deal with this problem. If there is a surplus, how best can it be spent? Would it be to the better advantage of the men in the industry and the large community who depend upon the industry, if the surplus were used to cut off a halfpenny per ton here and there? Money that trickles back to the industry in that way has to filter through a very clever piece of mechanism. It has been my business to try and understand it, and, although I do not go as far as to say that I understand it now, I believe that I do. Since 1921 there has been a most complicated system of settling wages in operation—the ascertainment system. I do not know who claims the credit for having invented it, but it was an extraordinarily clever invention. It enables the industry to show substantial losses on the ascertainment and substantial profits on the balance-sheet. I remember in wage negotiations as President of the South Wales Miners' Federation, that whenever we were discussing wages we were told to look at the ascertainments; to look at the losses of fivepence, sixpence and ninepence a ton. During one year the ascertainments were able to show tremendous losses, and in the same 12 months colliery companies producing 85 per cent. of the output in South Wales showed a profit of more than£3,000,000 in their balance-sheets. That is the wrong way to allow the surplus to filter through, as it enables a rake-off before it gets through.

This money should be used as a collective fund. If a million pounds were to filter back it would be lost, but a million pounds in one fund would be an enormous advantage. Would the Secretary for Mines, who is the Minister responsible to this House for the Miners' Welfare Fund, or would anybody, dare suggest that the penny which continued for a good many years, or the halfpenny now, which is due to the meanness of this House, had not been an advantage? The meanest thing done towards the miners, apart from the introduction of the eight-hour day during the last two generations, was the taking away of that halfpenny per ton, but I have read in the Press that the Secretary for Mines has issued a report which shows that, from 1920 to the end of November of this year, the total amount subscribed from the industry and pooled in the Welfare Fund was nearly£17,000,000. Suppose that that£17,000,000 had not been collected, and the penny or halfpenny had remained, who would have seen the loss of it, and who would have seen the gain of it?

Imagine what can be done with it when collected together in one sum. Let hon. Members come to South Wales and see the convalescent home which we have built there, through which 40,000 miners have passed from illness to convalescence and to the rejuvenation of health and spirits so as to be able to go back to work again. Let them come with me to Blaenavon and see the football ground cut out of the mountain side, or see the marvellous uses to which this money has been put through being centralised in one fund. The right and proper thing to do is not to enable this money to trickle back in pennies and halfpennies, but to centralise it in one fund and to use it in accordance with the suggestions which are made in the Amendment. We suggest that there should be an advisory board consisting of 12 members drawn from the Mineworkers' Federation of Great Britain to advise the Commission as to how the money should be spent. Unless we are able to carry this Amendment, this will be the first Coal Mines Bill that has ever passed through this House without a workmen's representative having a look-in. There is not a single provision in the Bill enabling the men's representatives to have any say at all. The Secretary for Mines, before he introduced the Bill, submitted a memorandum to the Mineworkers' Federation of Great Britain outlining its main provisions and inviting them to make their observations upon it. But when the Bill came forward they were considered of such inconsequence and so little importance that they were given no place in it at all. We suggest, therefore, that representatives of the men shall be called in to advise as to how this money should be spent, and why not? Could any one give any reason why hon. Members should vote against that proposal?

There should be a pension for miners at 55 years of age. Mining has changed, and nowadays a miner at 55 is becoming old. In 20 or 30 years time he will be a very old man. The pace and the strain of modern mining are such that boys beginning work at 14 or 15 will, after 25 or 30 years' experience of this modem method of mining, be sucked dry. I have said this more than once to my own people and I have said it to my colleagues. I began mining at 13, and I know that some hon. Members on these benches began at an earlier age. I worked nine hours per day, seeing daylight only on Saturday afternoons and Sundays in winter, and to-day, if I were told that I must go back to the pit to work, I would prefer to go back to the pit of my boyhood and work nine hours than go back to the pit of to-day and work seven hours under the modern conditions of mechanised mining. There is no craftsmanship or outlet for personality. The coal-cutter comes in, and when you get there in the morning the coal-cutter undermines the coal and you are told to get it out or go out. The conveyor causes so much noise that one of the greatest guarantees of safety in the mine has been destroyed. Miners develop a quick ear for movements in the roof. When I and my hon. Friends here were in the mine, we could detect movements of roof in this way, and it was our best safety guide, and as good as any regula- tion, and very often better. This is now of no use. What roof movement could one hear in the conveyor place?

It is because of these modern mining conditions that a miner at 55 is an old man. Is not that true? The Minister of Labour came to South Wales the other day and had to face this problem, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths) has referred to-day. What did he find? He said that one of the gravest problems in South Wales is that of the unemployed miner of 45. No one will take him. He has been out of the pit for five years, and during the time he has been absent, the pit has been revolutionised. If he goes back, it will be to a new pit with new methods of working, and consequently no one will employ him. He is unemployable and unwanted at 45 years of age. If there are young men about no one will employ him. And at 55, who is there that will employ him? We have in South Wales nearly 50,000 men, of whom 30,000 are miners between 45 and 55 years of age. We are almost at the highest peak of the boom, and yet there are 30,000 miners of 45 and over. What a prospect. Unwanted at 45 with nothing to look forward to but 20 years of unemployment benefit or assistance, and a prospect of being cut down to 10S. a week when attaining the age of 55. All we ask is that the Commission shall be empowered to investigate the problem as to whether miners can be pensioned at 55.

When, during Jubilee year, I was President of the South Wales Federation and my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypool (Mr. Jenkins) was Vice-President, we approached the South Wales coalowners for a day's pay for Jubilee day. We had a meeting and the coal-owners said, "We can do something better than give the men a day's pay." We replied that we would be very glad to hear their suggestion. They said, "We have calculated that a day's pay to all the men and boys employed in the industry in South Wales will amount to a global sum of£50,000. We propose, therefore, to pay this£50,000 into a fund to become the nucleus of a pension fund, and we invite you to accept this sum as a gift to a pension fund to enable us to retire some of the older miners from the industry in South Wales." We thanked them for the offer and we went back to our men. We said to our men that we would not be outdone in generosity by the coalowners, and would go into the committee not as men going to administer charity, but as equal partners, and that we would find£25,000 ourselves. With this sum and the£50,000, the nucleus of a fund was started, and, beginning at the time that my hon. Friend and I were officers, and now being carried on very efficiently by those who have followed us in these offices, we are trying to work out a satisfactory pension fund for the miners in South Wales.

Suppose there were a surplus of£1,000,000—South Wales provides roughly one-fifth of the output of coal of this country—and it were divided collectively on that basis, there would be£200,000 for South Wales. Such a sum would convert the South Wales pension scheme from being a possibility into a certainty. Would it not be worth while to make that contribution to the South Wales coalfield rather than to allow it to dribble back in halfpennies or pennies on which there would be a rake-off, and to use it as one collective sum to help the miners?

I subscribe to all that has been said in regard to safety. I am disappointed at the amount of money and the time spent on research in this country, and I subscribe to every word that has been said about mines inspectors. Give the mining inspectors the right to prosecute as well as to examine breaches in the mine, and it would do more towards ensuring safety than all the regulations that could be passed in this Parliament for the next 20 years. I would press that the Commission should be empowered to spend some of this money on research.

I come from a coalfield which until the last ten years was always considered the safest in the country—the anthracite coal-field. The coal is of such a character as to make explosions practically unknown. The general conditions have been on the whole good. From the safety standpoint it has been one of the best coalfields in the country, but now conditions are becoming worse.

I attended a meeting in Ammanford recently to enable representatives of the Medical Research Committee, the representatives of the Ministry of Mines and the mines' inspectors to meet the men working at the Ammanford Colliery. A meeting of 500 men was called, and the men invited me to go, in the first place because I represent that part of the anthracite coalfield and, secondly, what counted much more with the men and with myself, because that was the pit where I started work at 13 years of age. I went there and I heard the story. At this moment in the Ammanford Colliery 58 men are certified as disabled by silicosis. That means 58 sentenced to death. That is what it means. We know that those men cannot be cured because they have contracted this disease. In another colliery in my Division, at Ponty-berem, which is a beautiful Welsh name, a beautiful village is haunted by the fact that there are 62 men there who are disabled by silicosis—men sentenced to death.

I should like to see it possible for the Commission to spend some of this money in investigating safety problems of that kind. There are many problems. I see the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) present. In his coalfield they are developing the pneumatic pick. Some of us have seen them at work in the streets of London. Imagine using those implements in two feet of coal. Imagine the tremendous nerve strain. There is a great crop of problems arising through mechanisation in the pits. The pits are becoming dustier, and that causes silicosis. The pits are becoming noisier, and that is causing nerve strain. I should like the Commission to be empowered to spend money in dealing with some of these things. If the miners were offered tonight this choice whether, if there is a surplus—be it£5,000,£10,000 or£1,000,000—they would prefer that it should go into the ascertainment, so that they might get something in increased wages, which would also mean that the owners would get some of it, or would prefer it to be used as a fund for providing the benefits that we have outlined to-day, I am sure that every miner in the country would agree with the Amendment that we have proposed, so that the money could be used as a fund for providing the benefits which we suggest.

5.49 p.m.

Mr. Tinker

The hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) has made a remarkable speech. Every time he addresses the House he puts us all in the shade because he is in such close touch with the mining industry. I should like to refer to the speeches made by two hon. Members opposite. Their remarks were not in antagonism to the scheme which we have outlined in our Amendment. They say that the money is not available, but if it were available the hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) would be agreeable that pensions should be recognised. Their second point was in regard to the question of safety in mines. On that point I think they have misunderstood us. Our position is that wherever there is danger it ought to be put right without any delay. There ought not to be any question of waiting for money to be provided for that purpose. There is not one hon. Member on these benches who is not agreed that every danger in the mines ought to be dealt with at once. We do not want money to accumulate to deal with those points.

With regard to the question of pensions, I have had to change my outlook somewhat. For a long time I assumed that pensions ought to be given in a general way to every citizen at a certain time. I have had to change my outlook because of what is happening in the coal industry. The coal industry provides an example of what can take place under modem conditions, namely, the displacement of the older workmen to a far greater extent than in any other industry. To-day I asked for the figures of the number of men employed in the mines in 1924 and at the present time, and also the output per man-shift, and I find that in 1924 there were 1,000,000 men employed, whereas there are only 750,000 employed at the present time. That means that 300,000 to 400,000 fewer men are employed in the industry than in 1924. The output per man-shift, however, has gone up from 17 to over 23 cwt., which means that there is a greater output. It also proves that there is a greater speeding up than ever was known before in the industry.

That brings me to a point which confronts every miners' agent and representative when he has to meet the colliery owners. The owners refuse to take on elderly workmen. So long as they have not to displace anybody the elderly man is kept on, but immediately there is any displacement, the man who shows signs of age is dismissed. The owners say: "If we have to choose, we are going to choose the younger men. We are not philanthropists, we are here to make the industry pay, and as the older men cannot keep pace with the younger men, they must go out of the industry." That is happening all over the coalfield, and because of that fact I have changed my view about a general pension scheme and have particularised certain industries, and the mining industry is one that ought to be recognised for pensions.

It is said that we do not know that there will be any surplus. That may be true, but if there happens to be a surplus, then the first provision that ought to be made from that surplus is to form a fund for pensions. Hon. Members opposite ought to support us in that. If, as they say, there will be no surplus, then there will be no case to answer, but if there happens to be a surplus and they are in sympathy with our object, then they ought to give us their votes in regard to the way that the money should be allocated. I hope that what has been said on these benches will make an impression on the President of the Board of Trade. I should like him to say whether there is any likelihood of a surplus and, if so, what the Government intend to do with it. If it is possible for any surplus to be created, then the first claim upon it should be a fund set up for mine workers who are displaced when a certain age is reached. We say 55, but we are not wedded to 55. If we could reach agreement on 60 years we should certainly accept it. In any case we think the money ought to be used in that direction.

The question of transference ought to be examined and if it can be dealt with there is certainly need for something to be done there. If people have to be transferred from one area to another through no fault of their own but because of the exigencies of the industry, something ought to be done for them. We approach the question of pensions and surplus, because we think that something more ought to be done for the mine-workers than is being done at the present time. We can find nothing in the Bill that is materially good for the mine-workers, and I hope that we shall get a response from the Board of Trade or the Secretary for Mines as to what will be done with any surplus that accrues. I hope that it will be used in the way outlined in our Amendment.

5.51 p.m.

Mr. E. J. Williams

I am sure that hon. Members will have been impressed with the remarkable speech of the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). I cannot think that any hon. Member would vote against the Amendment if he followed the substance of the hon. Member's remarks. Most hon. Members must appreciate the fact that to-day the person who works the hardest in industry and is most productive is the person who seems to have least regard from the community. When we look at the Civil Service and the Police Force and large numbers of people engaged in sedentary occupations, we find that provision is made for them after so many years of service, but persons who are engaged in arduous and dangerous occupations are generally least cared for in society. Some day this House will have to face up to that problem. There is an ever smaller number of persons being engaged in productive industry and an ever increasing number engaged in the distribution of products. Some day we shall have to face up to that problem. In other words, industry is being over-weighted very much by people engaged on the distributive side. We find that the people who are not engaged in production as such but are fulfilling any essential part in the chaotic system of capitalism, are receiving substantial consideration at the expense of people engaged in industry.

We are putting up a case for men who are the most necessary in this country, men who are risking themselves and working as hard as, if not harder than, any other section of the community. My hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly referred to the attempts that have been made in South Wales to set up a pension scheme. Since I have been in Parliament I have received many letters from my constituents with regard to this matter. In Maesteg they have set up an Aged Miners' Pension Society, and for years they have been pressing their claim on the South Wales Miners' Federation and the South Wales Coalowners' Association. They thought that at last something would be done. They are always referring to the Jubilee offer of the South Wales coalowners, that they were prepared to advance£50,000 in order to start a pension scheme, but they have been very sadly disappointed with the result. They find that while the miners have been prepared to pay an additional£25,000 and the contribution in many cases of 6d. a week, nothing has come of it. Frankly, the Miners' Federation and the coalowners found it was impossible to face the problem because, by the nature of the industry, the age limit is being reduced each year. If we took a census we should find that as compared with 10 or 15 years ago the age of the best type of miner working in the industry has been lessened year by year. The technique which has been introduced into the industry makes it impossible for persons over 50 years of age to keep up with the pace.

All those who have any knowledge of mining matters will know the enormous developments which have taken place-during the last 10 or 12 years, and a study of the statistics will show the increasing quantity of coal that is now produced by machinery. That is the trend of the industry, and there is a need for an ever-increasing number of virile men from 20 to 40 years of age. They are the only persons who can keep pace with the machine. It is the machine at the coal-face which determines the pace for the whole of the pit; the pace at which the haulage shall work underground and the winding gear. It is the pace at which the machine cuts the coal-face which determines the rate at which the coal must be got away from the coalface. Only young men can stand the pace, and this means that an ever-increasing number of persons between 40 and 50 years of age are being made redundant by the machinery which is now used in the industry. We suggest that if there is a surplus the President of the Board of Trade could not do better than authorise the Commission to consider the setting up of a pensions scheme and that a portion of the surplus should be made available for it. It is either that or these men will have to fall on public assistance in perpetuity. It is either unemployment benefit, supplemented by public assistance, or something in the nature of this scheme which will have to be provided to meet the ever-increasing number of men who are being made redundant in the mining industry.

We hope that the President of the Board of Trade will look favourably on the Amendments which deal with various aspects of this problem and that we shall have a favourable reply. If it is pressed to a Division I hope we shall have the support of all hon. Members who realise the necessity for some scheme of this nature. The hon. Member for Faversham (Mr. Maitland) was really begging the question when he referred to the surplus. If there is no surplus there is nothing to distribute, but if there is a surplus then we say the exact proportions which should be used for specific purposes. I hope the hon. Member appreciates the fact that it is the mining industry which is presenting these royalties to the nation. The whole of the money will be found by the mining industry, not by the State. Surely, therefore, something should be done to help the miners who in our view are the most essential portion of the industry to receive something when they reach a certain age. We are not asking something for parasites but for men who have rendered years and years of arduous toil to the industry. The miners in the industry are presenting this sum of money to the State and the least the State can do is to see that persons at the age of 55 shall have provided for them such a portion of the money as will enable them to live more comfortably than they will be able to do if a pension does not come their way.

6.7 p.m.

Mr. Sexton

I have listened very attentively to the arguments put forward that miners at 55 years of age should receive a pension. The hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths) has said that 158,626 miners over 50 years of age are either at work or unemployed. Surely, a man who works in the mines from 15 to 55, 40 long years of arduous occupation, has done his share towards the prosperity of the community and it ought to be possible to pay him a pension. Up to the present it has not been found possible to give him a pension, and we think that there could be no better way of spending any surplus which might arise than by giving these men a pension. Less than 40 years is enough to qualify in many other occupations for a pension, and, indeed, the miners and the mining industry have to pay their share of the pensions for these other people. It has always amazed me that I as a school teacher who worked with my coat on should get a superannuation whereas the man who works with his coat off is not entitled to any pension at all. I understand that the House is going to discuss the question of pensions for Members of Parliament. How dare we consider pensions for ourselves and vote against pensions for miners?

We are not asking this for people who have done nothing for themselves. The miners have done much for themselves. In the North of England there are the aged miners' homes, largely made possible through the contributions of the miners and the mine-owners. It is always a delight to see these old homes, and the old people living in contentment. In addition we have in the north what is called a permanent relief fund, inaugurated long years before any old-age pension was instituted. They are built up entirely by contributions from miners' wages. The fund has suffered through the depression in the coalfield. What could the Government do better than to supplement a fund like that, by inaugurating a pension fund? The miners have found the money for these things m many cases and are prepared now to do their bit towards a pensions scheme.

It would be a humane gesture if the Committee were to incorporate the Amendments in the Bill. It is said that God helps those who help themselves. Cannot the National Government help these men who are helping themselves? On the question of safety I know the wonderful work which the workmen inspectors have done. I could wish that more power were given to them to withdraw men from places which they consider dangerous and not have to wait until a report has been handed in. If the surplus could be used to provide more workmen inspectors it would be doing a valuable thing. I am glad to be able to pay my tribute to the miners of the country, although I am not a miner myself. I am glad to pay my tribute to their wonderful courage and heroism, and I hope that in the Division Lobby we shall have the support of every hon. Member who agrees with a proposal of pensions for the miners.

6.13 p.m.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

I am sure that whatever view the Committee may take on the series of Amendments they will be grateful. Captain Bourne, to your predecessor in the Chair for allowing them to be discussed together, and give an opportunity for a Debate of great interest and comprehensive in character. The issue, of course, raised by the Amendments is of the first importance. We have dealt rather at large with the subject and perhaps it would be for the benefit of the Committee if I explained to those who did not hear the speech of the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald), who moved the Amendment, exactly the difference between the scheme proposed by the hon. Member in his series of Amendments and the scheme of the Bill. Incidentally, there are in the drafting of the various Amendments certain technical difficulties to which I do not intend to refer. The object of the Amendments is quite clear and I shall treat them on their merits without any reference to any difficulties in drafting.

The changes which would be brought about by the Amendments are twofold. There is first a change in the allocation and method of allocation of amounts to reserve and, secondly, and more important, a change in the distribution of any surplus which may afterwards result. The hon. Member's scheme for dealing with the reserve is simple. It is that after the current liabilities of the Commission have been met, and its liabilities include that of a sinking fund, one quarter of the excess shall be applied to the reserve fund and the remaining three-quarters in every year shall be available for distribution. Our scheme is a rather more complicated one and I believe that financially it is a more sound one; but I will take this opportunity of explaining our scheme in some detail, because it is apparent from the speech of one of my hon. Friends that it is not fully understood. In Sub-section (1) of Clause 20, it is laid down that in the first instance any surplus remaining after the payment of these annual liabilities shall be carried to the credit of the reserve fund; but that rather bald statement is altered to some extent by the provisions that follow.

There are two things which the Board of Trade, in consultation with the Treasury, have to do. First, they have to prescribe a minimum reserve, and secondly, they have to prescribe an appropriation to reserve every year. Where I think there is some misunderstanding is in some hon. Members thinking that there is no possibility of any surplus being available for distribution until the prescribed minimum reserve has been reached. That is not the case. We prescribe the minimum reserve, and we prescribe the appropriation to reserve, and that annual appropriation to reserve is then added to the annual liabilities of the Commission, which have to be met before there is any surplus available. But if hon. Members will look at Sub-section (1) of Clause 21, they will see that it is possible for the Commission at any time to make an estimate, and if it appears to them that their annual surplus for future years is likely on the average to exceed the amount of appropriation to reserve, then, if the minimum reserve has already been met, they can distribute the whole of that surplus; but if the minimum reserve has not been reached, they may distribute one-half. Therefore, it is clear that the Commission have not to wait until the whole prescribed minimum is "in the kitty" before it is possible for a surplus to be distributed. Consequently, there may have been some misunderstanding which tinged with such melancholy the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Mr. Maitland).

The hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Sir H. Seely) asked me to state here and now what surplus would be available, when it would be available and what the prescribed reserve was to be. I think the Committee will not expect me to answer those questions now. Hon. Members have been doing sums, and any hon. Member can do a sum in this matter as well as I can, because until we are in a position to say at what rate and in what conditions we shall be able to raise loans, and until we see year by year what are the returns that we get from the royalties, any estimates which one might give now as to what surplus might be available, and when, would be no more than hypothetical guesses. I would point out that we have been very careful in weighing the scales between the financial stability of this scheme, which is essential, and the earliest possible distribution of any surplus that could with safety be distributed.

Sir H. Seely

What I was asking was whether the right hon. Gentleman could give his opinion as to what the surplus would be. What are the Government aiming at? We have not heard from the Government what is their idea as to what surplus there will be.

Mr. Stanley

The surplus will depend upon two imponderables, the interest charged and the sinking fund. Those will depend upon the conditions of the market at the time we raise the loan and the yearly receipts from the royalties, which to a large extent will depend upon the condition of the mining industry at the time. With regard to the prescribed minimum reserve and the prescribed appropriation to reserve, hon. Gentlemen will see that those are matters to be dealt with by regulations, which will be published and, in so far as they are prescribed by the Board of Trade, will be subject to the control of the House. I will pass now to the second part of the Amendments of hon. Members opposite, the part on which they laid most stress and to which I think they attach most importance; that is to say, the alteration of the destination of these surpluses as and when they accrue. Hon. Members opposite asked, as did hon. Members below the Gangway opposite, in a slightly different form, that the surpluses should be devoted to a certain number of extremely good causes. The distribution proposed in the scheme as it exists at present is set out in Clause 21, and I propose to deal with the respective merits, as I see them, of the two methods of distribution.

The three main objects to which, by the Amendments of hon. Members opposite, the surpluses would be devoted are pensions, safety in the mines, and compensation for displaced workmen. Naturally, with none of those three objects can any one quarrel. However, there is something that I would like to say on each of them. First of all, on the question of pensions, I think hon. Members opposite have been touching on a subject very much wider than that of this Clause, a subject which is growing in importance, as we all know if we try to follow the vital statistics of the country and project our minds to the next generation and see what a different country, from the point of view of age distribution, this country will be. No one can deny that the question of pensions, whether for certain groups of workers or for all workers, whether at the age of 50, 55 or 60, is a matter of great and growing importance, but as the hon. Member who moved the Amendment said, nothing that this Commission could do, and no fund which the Commission would have at its disposed, would alone solve the problem. It could be nothing more than a contribution to whatever scheme there might be. Whether it were a scheme within the industry or whether, in distant years there might be some State scheme—whatever it might be—this could be no more than a contribution. The question is an important one. I am encouraged by some remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) to think that its importance is recognised inside the industry' itself, and that, as in many other industries where perhaps the conditions are not even as urgent as in this one, discussions will take place for dealing with the problem. But I do not think any sporadic contribution which a Commission of this sort could make year by year, as its surplus rose or fell or disappeared, would be in any way a safe foundation upon which such a scheme, however desirable in itself, could possibly or properly be based.

With regard to safety, I must confess that, in listening to the speech of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment, I felt that, even if the whole range of objects was one that ought to be accepted, as compared with the scheme of the Bill, this one would have very great dangers. I rather thought that, as the hon. Member put it, the proposal was, that the onus of providing safety would be taken away from those on whom it should properly fall, that is, the owners working the pits, and that the contribution of the Commission should in some way relieve them of the expenses which they ought properly to incur in carrying out safety provisions in the pits. As the discussion proceeded, however, I realised that I had misunderstood the proposal, and that it really amounted to two specific objects, one of them being the payment of workmen's inspectors and the other research. The question of workmen's inspectors is an interesting one, with which several hon. Members have dealt with the additional interest which personal experience always gives to arguments in the House; but I think it is a subject which we must leave for decision by the Royal Commission which is considering, among other matters, this very question. I think it would be wrong to take a matter of this sort out of the general question of safety and hang it on to this scheme.

As regards research, which is an equally important matter, and in connection with which the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), in a very able speech, referred to modern developments, I would point out that at present the greater part of the cost of research is borne by the Miners' Welfare Fund, although the Secretary for Mines has power to make, and already makes, contributions for the purpose of research. Under this scheme, nothing could be available for at least five years. [Interruption.] I was going on to say that in the early years of the scheme, the amount available might be small or even negligible. Surely, it is not right that, if work of this sort is indeed starved for money, there should be any question of waiting for a scheme such as this to put it right.

Funds are already available and I do not believe there is any ground for the statement that research to-day is being starved for money. On the particularly important point of silicosis to which the hon. Member opposite referred, research, I understand, is proceeding and I have not heard that it has been hampered or delayed because there is not sufficient money for it. But the point I wish to make is that if there is a case for saying that research to-day is hampered by lack of funds, and that inquiries into an important point of that kind are not being brought to full fruition because there is not the money to do so, then the remedy lies among other lines, and will be achieved by other and simpler and quicker methods than those proposed.

With regard to the question of compensation in respect of compulsory amalgamations, a great point was made by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Short) that as the State was, under Part II of the Bill, in a certain sense pressing these amalgamations, so the State should be responsible for the consequences. That is not a subject which I wish to discuss at any length on this Amendment because it seems to me that the appropriate place for such a discussion is on Part II. Whatever one's views may be as to whether compensation is properly payable or not as a result of compulsory amalgamations, this, to me, at any rate seems self-evident. If such compensation is to be paid, it should be part of the scheme of amalgamations. It should be one of the factors to be weighed in deciding whether a scheme is a good scheme and in no circumstances could it be right to spread these costs over the industry as a whole.

Mr. A. Jenkins

On a point of Order. Will the right hon. Gentleman explain how on Part II of the Bill we shall be able to deal with the question of compensation for displaced miners if Clauses 20 and 21 have been passed?

Mr. Stanley

I notice that the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) has an Amendment down which raises the question.

Mr. Jenkins

Yes, but will that Amendment be called?

Mr. Stanley

That I cannot say.

Mr. Jenkins

In view of the doubt which exists about the possibility of discussing effectively on Part II the question of compensation for displaced miners, will the right hon. Gentleman now express his opinion on that point?

The Deputy - Chairman (Captain Bourne)

At the moment I have not considered Part II of the Bill at all, but obviously if we discuss the question at any length now, it will not be open to the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) to move his Amendment later.

Mr. Stanley

I suggest that in any case even if that Amendment is not called that it will be possible to raise the point either on the question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" or on a proposal to leave out one of the Sub-sections. I wish, in conclusion, to say that I believe that the methods which we have provided in the Bill for the disposal of this surplus are preferable to the other methods proposed. This Commission is primarily charged with the management of leases and the receipt of royalties for them and we believe that the first charge upon any surplus which the Commission has available should be that of removing inequalities for which the Commission itself assumes responsibility.

Mr. MacLaren

On a point of Order. Will any statement which is made by the right hon. Gentleman now cut across the discussion on Clause 21 of the Bill? It seems to me that we are now entering upon a discussion of the elements of that Clause.

The Deputy-Chairman

The position is rather difficult, but obviously if we discuss now matters which are in Clause 21, the discussion on that Clause when we reach it must be correspondingly restricted. I have not heard the whole of the Debate and I do not know how widely it has gone, but I think that if the Committee desire to have a discussion on Clause 21 they should wait until we reach it.

Mr. Stanley

I shall certainly respond to that Ruling. I shall simply say that I consider that the methods set out in Clause 21, which, no doubt, we shall be able to discuss when we reach that point, seems to me to be preferable in the long run to the method proposed in this Amendment. When we get to Clause 21 I think I shall be able to show that the method there proposed will tend in the long run to the greater efficiency and stability of the industry; and I hope I shall be able to make it clear that it will eventually provide the industry with sufficient economic relief and economic improvement to make easier, if it is thought desirable, the bringing into effect of some of those very things to which hon. Members opposite have been referring in the course of this discussion.

6.36 p.m.

Mr. Shinwell

The right hon. Gentleman has effectively disposed of the principal objections raised to the Amendment moved and supported by my hon. Friends. It is clear that a surplus is automatically provided for and that that surplus, although related to the prescribed minimum reserve, is something quite other than the reserve provided for either in Clause 20 or in Clause 21. One thing is clear beyond the possibility of doubt. A surplus is assumed by the right hon. Gentleman and the question which we have to consider is whether part of that surplus—three-quarters of it in the judgment of my hon. Friends—should be devoted to improving the conditions of the miners and providing for men who are displaced, or should be devoted to other purposes. That is the simple issue before the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman said that the primary purpose of the Commission was to grant leases. That is true, but he will recall that when we were discussing Clause 2 it was made clear that leases were to be granted only in so far as they promoted efficiency in the industry, and I take it that at least one of the prime purposes of the Commission will be to reorganise the industry on the basis of greater efficiency. We on this side cannot dissociate the conditions of the workers from the efficiency of the industry. The two questions in our view are closely related and that is the reason for these Amendments.

The right hon. Gentleman said that no money would be available, in any case, for at least five years. That of course is true because the Measure will not begin to operate for some years. He argued, therefore, that there was no advantage in discussing the question of research. He seemed also to argue that there was little advantage in considering the questions of pensions or compensation for displaced miners. It will be noticed that the right hon. Gentleman's view as to money being available after five years had reference to the opinion expressed by hon. Members on this side as to the disposable surplus the next 30 years. It is clear that their views were unduly pessimistic and that the financial future of the Commission is rosier than they imagined. It may be true that for five years little can be done either in promoting research or improving the conditions of the miners. But surely in spite of all the schemes that may be promoted in the interim period, it is not expected that the industry will have fully equipped itself as regards research in five years. Surely research will be required when the Commission has begun operations. Over and above that it will not be disputed that within the next five years under this Measure, it is unlikely that the condition of the mineworkers will have improved. Therefore we must look ahead. We must take the long view.

What is to happen when the Bill has become operative and has been operating for some years? Taking that standpoint I submit that the right hon. Gentleman has not faced the realities of the situation. The main issue before the Committee is the question of whether this Bill provides, among other things, for any substantial improvement in the conditions of the workers in the industry. If we accept the right hon. Gentleman's version, no improvement whatever under this Bill is assumed. At all events it is a very remote assumption. It is just as hypothetical as the amount required for the prescribed minimum reserve upon which the right hon. Gentleman did not make himself too clear—though I do not wish to argue that point now. But our submission is that in view of the declared intention of the Government and their desire to promote efficiency, they cannot leave out of their calculations the need to provide some benefit, even of a lesser kind, for the mineworkers.

I come to what I regard as the substantial issue. It is that of the proposal to provide a pension fund. I agree at once with the right hon. Gentleman that this is not a way of solving the problem. The question of pensions is a much wider problem than the suggestions of my hon. Friends are capable of solving. They recognise that fact and this is a very modest proposal. In effect, all we ask is that out of the surplus of which the Commission is in possession, a sum—it may be small or comparatively large—should be devoted to establishing the nucleus of a fund, it may be a supplementary pensions fund. If we are to deal with the general question of pensions clearly, sooner or later, there must be a comprehensive scheme not for miners only but for every worker in the country. But in the meantime it is permissible to propose that there shall be a pension scheme for mineworkers within the industry itself backed up, it may be, by some State assistance. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman should not rule that out of his calculations.

I want to narrow the issue as it has been narrowed in this Amendment. There is, in spite of a boom period in the mining industry, considerable competition among the workers for employment, and it presses very heavily on the older workers above 45. It sometimes happens that a man of 65 remains at the pit although he is in receipt of a pension of 10s. a week from the State. If that man had his pension supplemented by a pension fund it might induce him to make way for someone not so old and just as valuable to the industry as he is. Therefore, if we are concerned about limiting the field of competition in labour, this is one one of the most valuable means of undertaking that desirable task.

I come to the question of the displacement of labour. We have heard many speeches from hon. Members behind me, including an eloquent speech by the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). I cannot add to what they have said; they spoke with well-informed minds on the subject and said all that requires to be said on the matter. It will not be denied that the Government contemplate the displacement of labour under this Bill, to put it no higher than that. It is implicit in the Bill. It has been mentioned by the hon. Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Sir H. Seely), and it has been admitted by the hon. Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake), who knows the mining industry very well; no Member is better informed from the mineowners' standpoint. There is general agreement that sooner or later there will be rapid displacement of labour in the industry. Will the right hon. Gentleman direct the attention of the Committee to any provision in the Bill which provides the remedy, or even a partial remedy, for that displacement? There is no such thing. There is not a line or a Clause or a Sub-section in the Bill—

Mr. Stanley

Will the hon. Gentleman do the same service to the Committee with regard to the Act of 1930?

Mr. Shinwell

I am bound to say that I do not see the point of that interruption. If the right hon. Gentleman wants, sometime during the passage of this Bill, to debate what happened in 1931, no one will be more ready than me to take him on, but I do not think that this is the opportune moment and I shall not yield to the temptation at this stage. There is a great deal to be said about the Act of 1930 which has not been said in this House and may require to be said one of these days. I will only say that there was as much responsibility on the shoulders of the right hon. Gentleman and his friends behind him as there was on the Labour Government in 1930. I hardly think that he will deny that.

I was putting the point which I believe is eminently reasonable and will be acceptable to the right hon. Gentleman, however unpalatable it may be to those in the industry, that there is bound to be displacement of labour in the industry. What provision is made for it? None whatever. This is the first attempt that has been made—and it is being made by my hon. Friends—to provide some measure of partial relief for whatever displacement may occur. I want to come to a point that so far appears to have been overlooked. The mineworkers are not asking for anything to which they are not entitled. If provision is made in the Bill to provide out of a surplus fund for the improvement of miners' conditions, the bulk of it will come out of miners' wages. If the rents remain as they are—and I take it that it is the object of hon. Members opposite to reduce the rents—the miners will have charged against the ascertainments the cost of royalties. They pay for that. If, on the other hand, rents are reduced, in due course the charge against the miners will be or may be correspondingly reduced. It is difficult to say whether it will be, for the miners do not control the industry. If they are reduced, the miners may gain slightly, but surely it is much better for the miners to have a direct measure of relief which they can understand rather than an indirect measure which is problematical and depends on a great many contingencies and circumstances and is not in their hands to control. That is the case that has been presented by my hon. Friends.

The right hon. Gentleman has been persuasive but unreasonable in his conclusions. He agrees with us that there is to be money that can be devoted to some purpose or other. We put it to him that, if there is to be a surplus, part of it—we are not asking for the whole of it—should be devoted to help the miners. It need not interfere with the prescribed minimum reserve. If part of the surplus is used in this way the miners will be able to say that they have obtained some

benefit out of this Bill which the mining industry has not hitherto afforded. Against our case the right hon. Gentleman has taken refuge in asides, hypotheses, assumptions and an inconclusive summing up of the position which is unjustifiable in the circumstances. If the right hon. Gentleman stands by his guns and refuses to give way, it is clear that the miners can look forward to nothing out of this Bill.

I am not going to discuss Part II at this stage, but I will say that if the right hon. Gentleman opposes this Amendment and deprives the mineworkers of an opportunity of utilising a part of the surplus, all the eloquence of my hon. Friends and all the arguments they have put up, no matter how strong their case in support of some measure of reorganisation by a displacement of labour under amalgamation, will be of no avail. The right hon. Gentleman will then tell us that he agrees with us that something must be done to deal with the displacement of labour, but that unfortunately there is no money. In order to prevent him adopting that method when we come to Part II, I suggest that he should advise his hon. Friends to support the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Ince (Mr. G. Macdonald). If he does so, it will not only relieve the position of the mineworkers but make it easier for the Commission in future.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 115; Noes, 199.

Division No. 68.] AYES. [6.58 p.m.
Adams, D. (Consett) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Dobbie, W. Hayday, A.
Adamson, W. M. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Ammon, C. G. Ede, J. C. Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Hills, A. (Pontefract)
Banfield, J. W. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Hopkin, D.
Barnes, A. J. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)
Batey, J. Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Kelly, W. T.
Bellenger, F. J. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.
Benson, G. Foot, D. M. Kirby, B. V.
Bevan, A. Gallacher, W. Lawson, J. J.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Gardner, B. W. Leach, W.
Buchanan, G. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Lee, F.
Burke, W. A. Gibson, R. (Greenock) Leonard, W.
Cape, T. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Leslie, J. R.
Charleton, H. C. Grenfell, D. R. Logan, D. G.
Chater, D. Griffith. F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Macdonald, G. (Ince)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) McEntee, V. La T.
Cooks, F. S. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) McGhee, H. G.
Cove, W. G. Groves, T. E. MacLaren, A.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) MacNeill Weir, L.
Daggar, G. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Mainwaring, W. H.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Hardie, Agnes Marshall, F.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Harris, Sir P. A. Maxton, J.
Messer, F. Seely, Sir H. M. Tinker, J. J.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Sexton, T. M. Walkden, A. G.
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Shinwell, E. Walker, J.
Naylor, T. E. Short, A. Watkins, F. C.
Oliver, G. H. Silkin, L. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Paling, W. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Parker, J. Smith, E. (Stoke) Wilkinson, Ellen
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Price, M. P. Sorensen, R. W. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.) Stephen, C. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Ridley, G. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Ritson, J. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Young, Sir R. (Nawton)
Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Thorne, W.
Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey) Thurtle, E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Mr. Mathers and Mr. Anderson.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Gluckstein, L. H. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Albery, Sir Irving Goldie, N. B. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Gower, Sir R. V. Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Peake, O.
Aske, Sir R. W. Grant-Ferris, R. Peat, C. U.
Assheton, R, Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Peters, Dr. S. J.
Blaillie, Sir A. W. M. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Petherick, M.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Gretton, Col. Rt. Non. J. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Gridley, Sir A. B. Ramsbotham, H.
Balniel, Lord Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Barrie, Sir C. C. Gritten, W. G. Howard Rayner, Major R. H.
Baxter, A. Beverley Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T P H. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Bernays, R. H. Hacking, Rt. Hon. D H. Richards, R. (Wrexham)
Bird, Sir R. B. Hannah, I. C. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Bossom, A. C. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Ropner, Colonel L.
Boulton, W. W. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Rowlands, G.
Bracken, B. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Royds, Admiral P. M. R.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Higgs, W. F. Russell, Sir Alexander
Bull, B. B. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Butler, R. A. Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Holmes, J. S. Salt, E. W.
Carver, Major W. H. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Samuel, M. R. A.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Hopkinson, A. Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Savery, Sir Servington
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Scott, Lord William
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Hume, Sir G. H. Selley, H. R.
Channon, H. Hunter, T. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hutchinson, G. C. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Christie, J. A. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead) Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak) Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Lees-Jones, J. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'ld)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs) Levy, T. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Liddall, W. S. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Lindsay, K. M Sutcliffe, H.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Tate, Mavis C.
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Lloyd, G. W. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Cross, R. H. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Thomas, J. P. L.
Crossley, A. C. Loftus, P. C. Titchfield, Marquess of
Crowder, J. F. E. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Touche, G. C.
Culverwell, C. T. Lyons, A. M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) McCorquodale, M. S. Wakefield, W. W.
De la Bère, R. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Denman, Hon. R. D. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Denville, Alfred Macdonald, Capt. T. (Isle of Wight) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Doland, G. F. McKie, J. H. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Dorman-Smith, Major Sir R. H. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Warrender, Sir V.
Drewe, C. Macquisten, F. A. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Maitland, A. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Duncan, J. A. L. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Wells, S. R.
Dunglass, Lord Markham, S. F. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Errington, E. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Withers, Sir J. J.
Erskine-Hill, A. G. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Everard, W. L. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Findlay, Sir E. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.
Fleming, E. L. Munro, P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Fremantle, Sir F. E. Nall, Sir J. Major Sir James Edmondson and
Furness, S. N. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Mr. Grimston.
Fyfe, D. P. M. Nicholson, G. (Farnham)

7.4 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel R. S. Clarke

I beg to move, in page 20, line 36, to leave out "minimum."

I hope that it will be in order if, in moving this Amendment, I touch also on the two following Amendments in; the name of my hon. Friends: In page 21, line 8, at the end, to insert: Provided that no appropriation to reserve shall be made of any amount which would cause the value of the reserve fund to exceed the prescribed reserve. And in line 9, to leave out Subsection (3).

A number of suggestions have been made this evening as to how the Commission should spend such surplus as they may derive from their trusteeship of royalties. I think we have heard most of those suggestions with Sympathy, and I do not think we could have listened to the speeches from hon. Members opposite, particularly that of the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), without a feeling of sympathy, but the President of the Board of Trade has indicated that the purpose he has in mind in the disposal of this surplus is definitely the systematic reduction of royalties and, possibly, their final extinction. Such a course would be for the benefit of all connected with the industry, both owners and miners, and consumers as well. Our object in moving these Amendments is to obtain as much benefit from those reductions as we can, and to obtain it as soon as possible. The President has given us a very reassuring statement that there will be some surplus available to spend in the future when the Commission come into operation, and we respectfully suggest that acceptance of these Amendments would help in the task of its disposal. While quite realising the importance of creating a really effective reserve, we wish to keep the allocations to that reserve as low as possible, to fix that reserve at a definite figure and to suggest that that figure should be rather a maximum than a minimum figure.

Lastly, we do not wish to see two different forms of sinking fund provided. With that object we have put down the Amendment to delete Sub-section (3). We see a danger there that at some future time, if there were just a small balance, possibly the officials might think that it was not worth while to use it for the reduction of wayleaves or royalty rents and that it would be a good deal simpler to go into the market and buy stock and cancel it. We suggest that if that were done the benefits which we hope to receive from the work of the Commission would be postponed almost indefinitely, at any rate for a very long time indeed. Lastly, we consider that these Amendments are particularly important, because, as many hon. Members have said, the surpluses each year cannot be large, and we fear that unless everything that can possibly be turned into those channels is devoted to them we shall see very little benefit.

7.8 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel H. Guest

I beg to support the Amendment and also the other Amendments on the Paper upon which my hon. and gallant Friend has touched. The first one proposes to leave out the word "minimum." I foresee the possibility that many years may elapse before a prescribed minimum reserve is built up, and that being so it must prevent any possibility of the remission of royalties.

Mr. Stanley

I do not want to interrupt the hon. and gallant Member, but I have explained the misunderstanding that it is impossible to make any reduction under Clause 21 until the whole of the minimum reserve is established.

Lieut.-Colonel Guest

I apologise. I think the right hon. Gentleman's speech was the only one which I did not hear. The other two Amendments raise somewhat similar points and concern the annual appropriations. We want to leave out an annual appropriation, because we do not think it necessary that there should be any annual appropriation which is more than is actually required for the purpose of the sinking fund of the loan. We feel that that is the limit of the appropriation which should be permitted in any one year. Equally, we feel that, as my hon. Friend has said, to have this double sinking fund, that is, to create a sinking fund and at the same time buy back stock in the market for the purpose of the reduction of the loan, would put on the immediate future a responsibility which should be spread over a long number of years. It would mean that there could be little remission of royalties while those excessive charges on the fund were in force. The whole motive of the Bill is to see that the royalties are remitted or reduced at the earliest possible date, and we do not want a long period to elapse before those remissions begin, because the colliery owners cannot get any advantage unless some remission of royalties takes place, and certainly the miners can get nothing unless those remissions are brought into force as early as possible.

7.12 p.m.

Mr. Stanley

To some extent I covered these points in the reply which I made in the earlier Debate, but the present Amendments are designed to make a much less drastic alteration than the previous Amendment in the provisions for the reserve which have been laid down in the Bill. Frankly, I think that the desire of hon. Members to effect these alterations depends to a large extent upon a misunderstanding of the terms of the Bill. I hope that I have removed the misunderstanding of my hon. and gallant Friend that it is impossible to make any reduction under Clause 21 until the whole of the minimum reserve is established. As I explained before, that is not so. Secondly, I think the Mover was under a complete misapprehension when he spoke about the provisions of Sub-section (3) being, in effect, a double sinking fund, as though Sub-section (3) were to assume such importance that it would be a rival almost of the sinking fund already dealt with in Sub-section (1). That, of course, is not the intention of Sub-section (3), if he notes the provisions for the reviews after which some disposal of surpluses is made, he will realise that, however careful such reviews may be, however near may be the estimate, no one can be quite certain that at the end of the year the amount of reduction which has been given under Sub-section (2) will exactly equal the amount of surplus which would actually accrue. For that and other reasons there will be from time to time casual sums reverting to the reserve, bringing it, perhaps, above the prescribed minimum, and we feel that in such circumstances the Commission should have the option to decide whether it suits them best, from the financial point of view, to go on with those casual surpluses as part of the reserve invested in Government stock or to use those casual surpluses for the purchase and redemption of their own stock. Surely that is a matter of business on which the Commission should have the option to decide.

I cannot help feeling that a great deal of the apprehensions lying behind these Amendments come from a failure to realise the very great flexibility which there is in the arrangement proposed in the Clause. The hon. and gallant Member who moved the Amendment spoke rather as though not only was the prescribed minimum reserve good for all time but as though the prescribed appropriation to reserve was good for all time, and that we should, therefore, see the spectacle, when the minimum had already been reached, that this annual appropriation would automatically come to an end. That is, of course, not so. It is open for either this minimum reserve or the appropriation to be reviewed at any time and, of course, it is possible that, if the minimum reserve had been reached and the Board of Trade or the Treasury thought there was no reason to have a greater sum standing to reserve than the prescribed appropriation, it could be reduced to a purely nominal figure.

I think I can do no more than assure my hon. Friend that it is our intention to hold the balance fairly between having a sufficient reserve to ensure the stability of the fund, depending as it does upon an industry which is subject sometimes to great depression and which, therefore, does need a certain reserve behind it, and the earliest possible distribution of any surplus which there may be over that reserve. There is no intention of using the fund in order to overload the thing on the side of building up a reserve, and by that means preventing the distribution of any surplus. As I say, we intend to hold the balance evenly between a reasonable and fruitful allocation to reserve and a distribution of whatever surplus there may be at the earliest moment when it may be reasonable to do so.

Amendment negatived.

7.17 p.m.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

I beg to move, in page 21, line 11, to leave out from the word "apply," to the end of the Subsection, and to insert: the whole thereof to the following purposes or any of them, that is to say—

  1. (a) a pension fund for mine workers over the age of fifty-five;
  2. (b) improving the conditions of work in the mines having particular regard to the safety of the workers;
  3. (c) making provision for transferred or unemployed mine workers."

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes,199 Noes, 118.

Division No. 69.] AYES. [7.19 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Fyfe, D. P. M. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.
Albery, Sir Irving Gluckstein, L H. Nicholson, G. (Farnham)
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Goldie, N. B. Nicolson, Hon. H. G.
Aske, Sir R. W. Gower, Sir R. V. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Assheton, R. Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Grant-Ferris, R. Peake, O.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Peat, C. U.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Peters, Dr. S. J.
Balniel, Lord Gretton, Col Rt. Hon. J. Petherick, M.
Barrie, Sir C. C. Gridley, Sir A. B. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Baxter, A. Beverley Grigg, Sir E. W. M. Procter, Major H. A.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Grimston, R. V. Ramsbotham, H.
Bernays, R. H. Gritten, W. G. Howard Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Bird, Sir R. B. Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake) Rayner, Major R. H.
Boulton, W. W. Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Guinness, T. L. E. B. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Bracken, B. Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Hannah, I. C. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Ropner, Colonel L.
Bull, B. B. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Butler, R. A. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Rowlands, G.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Royds, Admiral P. M. R.
Cartland, J. R. H. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Carver, Major W. H. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Russell, Sir Alexander
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Higgs, W. F. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.) Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Holmes, J. S. Salmon, Sir I.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Salt, E. W
Channon, H. Hopkinson, A. Samuel, M. R. A.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Christie, J. A. Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Savery, Sir Servington
Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead) Hume, Sir G. H. Scott, Lord William
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Hunter, T. Selley, H. R.
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Hutchinson, G. C. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs) Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak) Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Lees-Jones, J. Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Levy, T. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Crossley, A. C. Lewis, O. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Crowder, J. F. E. Liddall, W. S. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Culverwell, C. T. Lindsay, K. M. Sutcliffe, H.
Davies, Major Sir G. F, (Yeovil) Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Tate, Mavis C.
De la Bère, R. Lloyd, G. W. Thomas, J. P. L.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S Titchfield, Marquess of
Denville, Alfred Loftus, P. C. Touche, G. C.
Doland, G. F. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Tree, A. R. L. F.
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Lyons, A. M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Drewe, C. McCorquodale, M. S. Wakefield, W. W.
Duncan, J. A. L. MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Dunglass, Lord McKie, J. H. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Macquisten, F. A. Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Maitland, A. Warrender, Sir V.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Margesson, Capt, Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Wells, S. R.
Errington, E. Markham, S. F. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Erskine-Hill, A. G. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Everard. W. L. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fildes, Sir H. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Withers, Sir J. J.
Findlay, Sir E. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Womersley, Sir W. J.
Fleming, E. L. Muirhead, Lt.-Cot. A. J. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Fremantle, Sir F. E Munro, P.
Furness, S. N. Nall, Sir J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Cross and Captain Dugdale.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Banfield, J. W. Buchanan, G.
Adams, D. (Consett) Barnes, A. J. Burke, W. A.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Batey, J. Cape, T.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Bellenger, F. J. Charleton, H. C.
Ammon, C. G. Benson G. Chater, D.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bevan, A. Cluse, W. S.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Brown, C. (Mansfield) Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.
Cocks, F. S. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Ridley, G.
Cove, W. G. Hopkin, D, Ritson, J.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Daggar, G. Kelly, W. T. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Seely, Sir H. M.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Kirby, B. V. Sexton, T. M.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Shinwell, E.
Dobbie, W. Lawson, J. J. Silkin, L.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Leach, W. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Ede, J. C. Lee, F. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Leslie, J. R. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Logan, D. G. Sorensen, R. W.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Stephen, C.
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) McEntee, V. La T. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. McGhee, H. G. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Foot, D. M. MacLaren, A. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Gallacher, W. MacNeill Weir, L. Thorne, W.
Gardner, B. W. Mainwaring, W. H. Thurtle, E.
Garro Jones, G. M. Marshall, F. Tinker, J. J.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Maxton, J. Walkden, A. G.
Gibson, R. (Greenock) Messer, F. Walker, J.
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Milner, Major J. Watkins, F. C.
Grenfell, D. R. Montague, F. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.) Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Gritfiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wilkinson, Ellen
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Naylor, T. E. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Noel-Baker, P. J. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Oliver, G. H. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Hardie, Agnes Paling, W. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Harris, Sir P. A. Parker, J. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Hayday, A. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Henderson, A. (Kingiwinford) Price, M. P.
Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Mr. Mathers and Mr. Adamson

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

7.27 p.m.

Sir Stafford Cripps

I rise only to explain why we shall not vote for this Clause. The Clause provides financial provision by putting the whole burden of the acquisition of royalties upon the miners of the country. It is not taking the responsibility which should be taken by the Exchequer and the Government.

We do not believe that it is the right method of proceeding to acquire these royalties that the whole cost should be thrown upon the Commission and, through the Commission, upon the miners themselves. We shall, therefore, oppose the Clause.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 200; Noes, 113.

Division No. 70.] AYES. [7.29 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Channon, H. Entwistle, Sir C. F.
Albery, Sir Irving Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Errington, E.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Christie, J. A. Erskine-Hill, A. G.
Aske, Sir R. W. Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead) Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)
Assheton, R. Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Everard, W. L.
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Fildes, Sir H.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Conant, Captain R. J. E. Findlay, Sir E.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Cooks, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Fleming, E. L.
Balniel, Lord Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Dull (W'st'r S. G'gs) Fremantle, Sir F. E.
Barrie, Sir C. C. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Furness, S. N.
Baxter, A. Beverley Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Fyle, D. P. M.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Gluckstein, L. H.
Bernays, R. H. Croom-Johnson, R. P. Goldie, N. B.
Bird, Sir R. B. Cross, R. H. Gower, Sir R. V.
Boulton, W. W. Crossley, A. C. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Crowder, J. F. E. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)
Boyce, H. Leslie Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J
Bracken, B. De la Bère, R. Gridley, Sir A. B.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Denman, Hon. R. D. Grigg, Sir E. W. M.
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Denville, Alfred Grillen, W. G. Howard
Bull, B. B. Doland, G. F. Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)
Butler, R. A. Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.)
Campbell, Sir E. T. Drewe, C. Guinness, T. L. E. B
Cartland, J. R. H. Duncan, J. A. L. Gunston, Capt. D. W.
Carver, Major W. H. Dunglass, Lord Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Hannah, I. C.
Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.) Edmondson, Major Sir J Hannon, Sir P. J. H.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Elliston, Capt. G. S. Harbord, A.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Emrys-Evans, P. V. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)
Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Samuel, M. R. A.
Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Savery, Sir Servington
Hepburn, P. G. T. Eushan- Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Scott, Lord William
Higgs, W. F. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Selley, H. R.
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Holmes, J. S. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Hopkinson, A. Munro, P. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Nall, Sir J. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Hudson, R. S. (Southport) Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Hum, Sir G. H. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Hunter, T. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
Hutchinson, G. C. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Orr-Ewing, I. L. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Peake, O. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)
Kimball, L. Peat, C. U. Sutcliffe, H.
Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak) Peters, Dr. S. J. Tale, Mavis C.
Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.) Petherick, M. Titchfield, Marquess of
Lees-Jones, J. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Touche, G. C.
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Procter, Major H. A. Tree, A. R. L. F.
Levy, T. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Lewis, O. Ramsbotham, H. Wakefield, W. W.
Liddall, W. S. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Lindsay, K. M. Rayner, Major R. H. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Little, Sir E. Graham- Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Lloyd, G. W. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Warrender, Sir V.
Loftus, P. C. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Ropner, Colonel L. Wells, S. R.
Lyons, A. M. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge) Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
McCorquodale, M. S. Rowlands, G. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
McKie, J. H. Royds, Admiral P. M. R. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Macquisten, F. A. Russell, Sir Alexander Withers, Sir J. J.
Maitland, A. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Womersley, Sir W. J.
Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Salmon, Sir I.
Markham, S. F. Salt, E. W TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Captain Dugdale and Mr. Grimston
Adams, D. (Consett) Green, W. H. (Deptford) Oliver, G. H.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Grenfell, D. R. Paling, W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Parker, J.
Ammon, C. G. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Price, M. P.
Banfield, J. W. Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Ridley, G.
Barnes, A. J. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Ritson, J.
Batey, J. Hardie, Agnes Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Bellenger, F. J. Harris, Sir P. A. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)
Benson G. Hayday, A. Seely, Sir H. M.
Bevan, A. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Sextan, T. M.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Shinwell, E.
Buchanan, G. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Silkin, L.
Burke, W. A. Hopkin, D. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Cape, T. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Charleton, H. C. Kelly, W. T. Sorensen, R. W.
Chater, D. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Stephen, C.
Cluse, W. S. Kirby, B. V. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Cocks, F. S. Lawson, J. J. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Cove, W. G. Leach, W. Thorne, W.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Lee, F. Thurtle, E.
Daggar, G. Leslie, J. R. Tinker, J. J.
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Logan, D. G. Walkden, A. G.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Walker, J.
Dobbie, W. McEntee, V. La T. Watkins, F. O.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) McGhea, H. G. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Ede, J. C. MacLaren, A. Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) MacNeill Weir, L. Wilkinson, Ellen
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Mainwaring, W. H. Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Marshall, F. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Maxton, J. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Messer, F. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Foot, D. M. Milner, Major J. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Gallacher, W. Montague, F. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Gardner, B. W. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Garro Jones, G. M. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Naylor, T. E. Mr. Mathers and Mr. Adamson.
Gibson, R. (Greenock) Noel-Baker, P. J.

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