HC Deb 19 July 1938 vol 338 cc2103-22

9.12 p.m.

Mr. Johnston

I beg to move, in page 2, line 31, to leave out "receive pay."

The Deputy-Chairman

Before the right hon. Gentleman proceeds, perhaps I ought to make it clear to the Committee that the Amendment deals with the same point as that covered by a later Amendment in his name, and, therefore, he must argue the two Amendments together.

Mr. Johnston

I willingly accept your suggestion, and I am sure that it will make for brevity in the discussion. Clause 2 of the Bill provides that the workers who get holidays shall receive pay in respect of the holiday. The second part of the Clause declares that the trade boards or agricultural wages committees shall have power to fix, as the Minister wants it, separate wages rates. The words in the Bill are "additional minimum rates of wages," and the Minister proposes in a subsequent Amendment to substitute the word "separate" for "additional," which will mean that workers who are under trade boards or agricultural wages committees are to receive pay for their holiday periods, but that the rate of pay is to be a different rate from that at which they are normally employed.

Mr. E. Brown

indicated dissent.

Mr. Johnston

If the Minister says that that is not so, I shall be glad to sit down at once.

Mr. E. Brown

Not necessarily. You could argue both ways. The right hon. Gentleman's Amendment would propose to say that a minimum should be fixed, and there might be others who would argue that it was a maximum. The Bill as it stands gives neither minimum nor maximum.

Mr. Johnston

I have not gone further than to say that they are to have power to fix different rates of pay. The wages board fix, say 1s. an hour for a normal working hour, and the Minister says that they shall have power to fix pay for the holiday period, but that they may fix a different rate from the 1s. an hour. It means that the workers are not to receive holidays at their normal rates of pay.

Mr. E. Brown

indicated dissent.

Mr. Johnston

With all deference to the Minister, that is what is specifically being put into Clause 2. It is perfectly correct to say that a wages board might say, in defiance of Clause 2 of the Bill, "We are going to insist that the rate of wages shall be the same as the normal rate of wages," but the Minister is specifically directing that the wages committees have power to fix different rates of wages for the holiday period. What does all this mean? It means in effect that the workers are not going to get holidays with pay at the normal rate of wages, and they will, in fact, in most cases, be getting holidays at lower rates of pay than those at which they are normally employed. That is how we interpret this Clause, and the Minister himself really makes my point more clear by the Amendments he has put on the Order Paper for subsequent discussion when he asks that, instead of the words "additional minimum rates of wages," it shall be "separate minimum rates of wages." He is making it clear to the agricultural wages committees and the trade boards that what is intended is that they shall have power to pay lower rates for the holiday periods than is paid during the normal working period. With great deference to the Minister and his advisers, I suggest that that is not implementing the intention, the spirit and the bargain of the Amulree Committee that holidays with pay are to be granted, if it means that they are to be given power to give holidays with reduced pay.

If the Bill passes in its present form I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman finds that as a result of the working of the Measure there are masses of his fellow-countrymen from Lands End to John o' Groats who will have their holidays, whether of seven days or whatever the period may be, with pay, but with pay that may be one-half, one-third, one-fourth or a mere fraction of their normal working rate of pay, he will be seriously grieved and disturbed. Therefore, I put it to him that this Clause as it stands would enable a wages committee to fix holidays with pay at a penny an hour, and they would still be within the terms of the Clause. If that were done, the intention of Parliament and the intention of the Amulree Committee would be abandoned and Parliament would have failed in its duty towards the people we are trying to assist.

9.17 p.m.

Mr. Harold Macmillan

There are two or three sets of Amendments which deal with this point. I think the one which the right hon. Gentleman has moved is in better language than those put down by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool (Mr. R. Robinson) and myself. When I read this Amendment on the Order Paper I could scarcely believe that it would be necessary. One may assume that when people speak of holidays with pay they mean holidays with the normal rate of pay. Perhaps I am wasting time in stressing the point. Perhaps my right hon. Friend the Minister will tell us that the Amendment is unnecessary, but failing that assurance I feel that this discussion is perhaps more important than it seemed likely to be. When a clerk gets a holiday with pay one does not mean that he gets pay at a less rate than he ordinarily earns in the office. Therefore, one assumes that the workers affected under this Clause will not receive less than their ordinary pay. I hope the Minister will be able to reassure us that that is the intention he has in mind. I had hoped that my right hon. Friend's Amendment would be accepted at once, because it is necessary to carry out the spirit of what is ordinarily understood by the term "holidays with pay."

9.19 p.m.

Mr. Riley

I raised this matter on the Second Reading, but I got no satisfaction, and am glad that my right hon. Friend is seeking to deal with the point by Amendment in Committee. It is important that we should get clearly in our minds the fact that the Clause as it stands gives no guarantee whatever that these statutory bdies will not fix for the holiday period less rates of wages than those normally received by the workers. On that point I do not think there can be any doubt. If there is, I should like the right hon. Gentleman or the Parliamentary Secretary to point out any words in the Clause which say that the payment shall be equal to the normal week's wage. In the absence of such security, we are entitled to say that the Bill is not carrying out the will of Parliament. Whenever we have spoken of establishing holidays with pay, it has always been in our minds that the payment for the holiday would be at the ordinary rate of wage which the worker received. It would be a departure from the whole spirit which has been shown in this House in discussions on previous Bills that whenever holidays with pay are contemplated it means pay at the proper remuneration, the normal wage.

There may be some trades, which are not concerned with the trade boards, where for various reasons the weekly wage is an abnormal amount. There may be highly laborious occupations in the steel and iron industries where men may earn on piece work £12, £14 or £18 a week. In those cases one could well understand that there might be some doubt whether the employers would be called upon to give amounts of that kind on holiday. That question has to be faced in the future. To-night we are considering occupations which come under the trade boards, the agricultural wages committees and the Road Haulage Board. We are concerned with people who rarely get more than£2 a week. In the case of the agricultural workers the wages are anything from 30s. to 37s. a week. Surely, it is not too much to expect that when we establish holidays with pay the employer should be called upon to provide in the holiday period pay equal to the full week's wage. I suggest to the Minister that if he cannot accept my right hon. Friend's Amendment he should bring forward words to meet the point on the Report stage.

9.24 p.m.

Mr. E. Brown

I hope to convince the right hon. Gentleman that the form of the Bill is better than the amended form which he suggests. His form would not do, because of the structure of the wages board system. We have to deal with a most elaborate system, concerned with time rates, piece rates and a whole mass of complications. If his Amendment were accepted it would mean a most elaborate Clause, with all the machinery for it.

Mr. Riley

The right hon. Gentleman must know quite well that there are already in operation holiday agreements in various trades where all these points have been met. The printing trade for the last 20 years has been giving, almost without exception, the full rate of wages during holidays.

Mr. E. Brown

There is no dispute between us there; but the difficulties of giving directions in the Bill are well illustrated by the word "additional" which might make it appear obligatory to pay higher wages than the normal. That is why I have an Amendment later, to make it clear that "additional" does not mean an addition to the normal rate. It was the hon. Member's own speech on the Second Reading that drew my attention to it. The issue is very simple. The hon. Member desires payment at the normal rate. So do we. That being so, let us forecast what is likely to happen. The order is not made by the board. It is made by the Minister and, if he is dissatisfied with any proposal put up to him by the board, he has the power to refer it back. It is inconceivable that any board would put up for ratification to the Minister a rate, whether for time or piece work, much inferior to the normal rate in the industry. Indeed I cannot conceive that they will want to fix lower rates. It may very well be, if we can get the atmosphere of good will for which I have been striving, when this question becomes a matter of detailed discussion in the committees the natural good feeling between the two sides will lead to the result that Members may say, "We will decide to give this rate," and it may easily be higher than the normal rate. What the Bill does is to leave the trade board completely free to make its own recommendation, and that is much the wiser way, rather than encumbering the Bill with elaborate machinery which might very easily make the earnings question much more difficult than it otherwise would be.

9.28 p.m.

Mr. T. Williams

Unless I misunderstand the English language, if the right hon. Gentleman's suggested Amendment to insert the word "separate" does not mean that they can fix a rate higher or lower, it does not mean anything at all. He talks about the highly complicated machinery of the county wages committees. Of course it was highly complicated in 1924 but it is no longer complicated now. In every county in the country they have already fixed a minimum wage for agricultural labourers. Every single category of workers now has its minimum wage fixed by the county committees and there is no complication about it at all. If, with his Amendment, he allows them to fix separate minimum rates, clearly those separate rates may be either up or down. We all expect that common sense is going to prevail with the trade boards and agricultural wages committees, but is there any real reason why we should leave it to them to exercise common sense, discretion and restraint? The right hon. Gentleman's statement in no way removes the doubt that is felt on these benches. If he would accept this Amendment, that covers the point. I do not understand why he should refuse to accept the general feeling of the Committee.

9.31 p.m.

Mr. Johnston

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what he meant when he said it was the Government's intention, as it was clearly the intention of the Amulree Committee, that the pay for holidays should be the normal rate. I cannot conceive a wages committee fixing a rate of, say, 1s. an hour for 51 weeks and deciding that there shall be 1s. 6d. on a holiday. He said it was his intention that at least the normal rate should be paid. Will he tell us why he has simply put in the words "receive pay"? They are clearly put in for a purpose. There are industries where the pay for holidays is at a lower rate than the normal. There are sections of the clothing trade where that is so. We are anxious to prevent the Minister putting in a provision which opens the door to committees to pay lower rates during holiday periods than for normal working periods. If he says that all that stands between us is a form of words and that our intentions are the same, we need not take up any further time, because the Minister and his advisers can get a proper form of words. But he did not explain what was wrong with my words and he certainly has not explained why he put in these words "receive pay," and why he does not clearly and specifically lay down a direction to the wages committees that they shall pay the normal rate for holiday periods. If he would make the point clear it would expedite the passage of the Bill.

9.34 P.m.

Mr. E. Brown

I have done my best to make the point clear. It is clear to me that the best way to expedite the working of what we all desire is not to ply the Committee with unnecessary directions. The basis of the right hon. Gentleman's argument is fear. I do not share that fear. He said it was unthinkable that they would fix one wage for 51 weeks in the year and a higher wage for the remaining week. Why is it not equally unthinkable that they should fix one wage for 51 weeks and a lower wage for the other week? I think we shall expedite the work of these committees much better if we leave it in the form it is, especially as I have explained that you can only express it in a technical form if you wish to cover all the varied differences that there are in the various trades and the various trade boards. I am afraid that I cannot make it any clearer. It is clear enough to me. I do not share the right hon. Gentleman's fears, and I ask the Committee to share my hopes rather than his fears.

Mr. Jagger

Will the Minister of Labour carry his assurance just a little further? Will he say definitely that he will not regularise rates which are notably lower than the average earnings of the worker?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member cannot expect me to give a pledge in those terms. I have given an indication of my mind on the matter and it must rest there. The hon. Member knows that there is great force in what I have said about the necessity for a very wide and technical drafting to deal with this difficult Section, because the rates change from grade to grade inside an industry, and the difficulty of fixing at any time what the remuneration for holidays should be is a most difficult matter.

Mr. Cassells

Can the right hon. Gentleman point to any part of this Clause which compels a wage committee to have regard to the average weekly earnings?

Mr. Brown

No. The fact is that there are two entirely distinct points of view on the matter. There are those who are always talking about collective agreements but do not seem to have any confidence in good will. We have drafted the Bill on the basis that if we are to go forward with this movement we must get the maximum good will, which I am sure this Clause will secure much more easily than by the method suggested in the Amendment.

9.37 P.m.

Mr. R. Robinson

I was pleased indeed to hear the Minister say that in his mind it was clear that the rate for holidays with pay should not be less than the rate paid when a man was in work. [HON. MEMBERS: "He did not say that!"] I thought so, and it is in accordance with my idea of holidays with pay and I think with the idea of most hon. Members. All we are trying to do in the Amendment is to make sure that the Bill remains a Holiday with Pay Bill and does not degenerate into holidays without pay Bill. That is the danger, and I am sure the Minister of Labour does not want that to happen. The Bill can be interpreted only by the printed words. It is not possible for a court of law to go beyond what is printed and say that Parliament had some other intentions. I would urge the Minister to see whether he cannot find some form of words which would provide that the rate of holiday pay granted by trade boards does not fall below the minimum rate of wage which the trade boards themselves have authorised.

9.39 P.m.

Mr. Mander

I should like to see incorporated in the Bill a provision which would make it incumbent to pay holidays with full pay, and I hope the Minister will consider the possibility of doing that in view of the appeals he has been receiving from all sides of the Committee. At the same time I feel that there is a good deal in what he says. We have been arguing at earlier stages that we must trust the trade boards to negotiate and to arrive at a fair solution. That also applies to this matter. It is quite unthinkable that a trade board would arrive at a decision to pay anything less than the full rate of pay, and certainly unthinkable that the Minister of Labour would authorise any such rate of pay or that the House of Commons would not create a tremendous row if he did so. While I hope it will be possible to do what we are demanding, I feel that the Minister has made out a fairly good case for trusting these boards.

9.40 p.m.

Mr. E. J. Williams

I cannot understand why the Minister is not prepared to accept what is the considered judgment of the Committee on this matter. No doubt he is right in regard to his view of the position of the trade boards, but there is no specific instruction that it is to be the normal rate, and the Minister must forgive us if we are suspicious in this respect. He will agree that we have had a much longer experience of negotiations than he has. Some of us have spent the whole of our lives in different industries meeting employers of labour, and we have had to argue for weeks in order to get an increase of one penny per hour. If we are suspicious it is because we know there is a tendency to reduce rather than increase wages. But I should have thought that the Minister would have accepted these words in order to remove what may become a grave anomaly.

One can conceive of a committee deciding upon a rate for the holiday week which will be less than the normal weekly wage. In that case the person would have to seek assistance elsewhere, he could not take his holiday on half-pay. The Minister, I think, should take this into consideration, and ought in the Bill itself to make sure that such a situation will not arise. We ought to have the intention of Parliament made clear in every single word in the Bill. The Minister should put in the Bill the intentions to which he has given expression. Persons who are normally under trade boards or agricultural committees are receiving a very low wage, and if these persons are to receive less in the holiday week than they normally get they cannot take their holiday and would have to seek assistance from the public assistance committee in order to enable them to take their holiday. The Minister should avoid anomalies of that kind arising.

9.43 P.m.

Mr. Markham

I feel great sympathy with the plea made by the hon. Member for Blackpool (Mr. R. Robinson) for a reconsideration of the point at a later stage. I agree that there is considerable force in the words of the Minister of Labour, that it is the determination to see that holidays are granted with pay. But we have no definition of the word "pay," and I should like to see a definition. To my mind "pay" means the average weekly earning of the man, and surely it is not beyond the wisdom of this House to devise a phrase which will meet that requirement. Some of the Amendments refer to the minimum rates of pay, but I should much prefer the term "average rates of pay." I submit that it is not beyond the power of the Minister to see that, at a later stage, an Amendment is introduced which will make average rates of pay the right of every man when he has a week's holiday.

9.46 p.m.

Mr. Cassells

I was quite unconvinced by the Minister's explanation, and I thought that the rather virulent attack which he made, following the perfectly straightforward question which I put to him, was entirely unjustified. So far as the right hon. Gentleman has not answered the question that I put. It is a question to which hon. Members are entitled to have an answer. The purpose of the Bill is that the men shall receive holidays with pay. I agree with the hon. Member for South Nottingham (Mr. Markham) that the meaning of the word "pay" is pay which has regard to the average weekly earnings. The Clause is quite specific in its terms, and, interpreting it from a legal point of view, to my mind it makes it clear that the wages committee is not bound in any way. For example, it is not bound to have the slightest regard to the average weekly earnings. What the Clause says is that Where a wage regulating authority in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act direct that any workers shall be entitled to be allowed holidays, the authority shall make provision for securing that the workers shall receive pay. What is the legal definition of the word "pay"? There is no definition of it in the Bill. It may mean a penny a week, five shillings a week, or absolutely nothing. If we refer to other Acts of Parliament, we find that there is a definite instruction given to the various courts dealing with the fixation of wages. To take an outstanding example, under the Workmen's Compensation Act, when a man is disabled he is entitled to apply to the courts to receive weekly compensation on a weekly basis which is capable of being accurately assessed by the court. Why is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman, in exercise of the high office which he holds, if he is honest in the statements which he makes that the Government desire at the earliest possible moment to give holidays with pay, to say that, as far as the definition of pay is concerned, the wages committee must have due regard to the average weekly earnings. If he is not prepared to do that, hon. Members on this side and the country will know precisely how to judge him.

9.49 P.m.

Miss Ward

I think this is a point which requires most careful consideration, and I have been trying to think the matter out while listening to the Debate. I do not for one moment doubt that the trade boards, the negotiating machinery and the Minister of Labour are absolutely genuine in their desire to get a fair and straight deal for the men concerned, but I am not certain that my very small experience of recent events in relation to holidays with pay has been altogether a very happy one. I want to be quite certain that, by leaving the Clause as it is, we are doing the thing which my right hon. Friend and the whole Committee desire to do.

I know that my right hon. Friend will agree that it is very difficult in seven months to examine all the voluntary agreements that have been entered into between industrial bodies outside the scope of the trade boards and to see exactly how those agreements have worked out in relation to the wages that are normally paid for a week's work; but, although I am not in a position to speak with any great degree of accuracy on the point, I think I do not mislead the House when I say that, under some of the voluntary agreements which are based on wages—that is to say, week by week, there is a percentage put aside which is paid out to the worker when the holiday comes—the amount of money available, in some instances at any rate, is not equivalent to the amount which would be drawn if the men had worked during that time and the full rate of wages had been paid to them. I agree that in this Bill we are dealing with an entirely different situation, but that makes it all the more important that we should see that the matter is fairly and squarely dealt with.

There is another point which I would like to develop briefly, and on which I should like to have the Minister's opinion Supposing that, for argument's sake, when the different parties were engaged in negotiating an agreement, there was a discussion as to the best method of giving a holiday with pay, and it was found that there was a great number of men drawing very inadequate wages who, if they were married and had large families, would not be able to take a holiday, would it be possible, with the Clause drafted as it is at present, so to amend the scheme, by agreement, that the people who were getting wages which did not make it possible for them to take a holiday, would get wages which would enable them to do so? I give that as an instance, because I think it is of the utmost importance. Some 12 months ago a very well-known colliery company——

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Lady is going rather beyond the scope of the Amendment.

Miss Ward

I bow to your Ruling, Captain Bourne, but I consider that the point is a very important one, and although I am not allowed to develop my argument, I think that probably my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour is aware of the argument that I am anxious to develop. I put the point in this way: Would it be possible, with good will, if the Clause were left as it is at present, and it were possible to get complete agreement within the scheme as negotiated, to see to it that men who are drawing wages which would not be——

The Deputy-Chairman

I must point out to the hon. Lady that this Clause has nothing to do with schemes and negotiations. It deals with the question of what a trade board, an agricultural wages committee, or a road haulage wages authority can do.

Miss Ward

As I understood the discussion, the point was what the rate of pay would be, and what decision would be taken by the various boards as to the rate that would be paid. What I want to know is whether, if the Clause is left as it is, it will be possible so to amend the whole scheme that a man who is drawing low wages may be enabled to go away for a holiday. I understand that the desire of the House is to ensure not only that there should be holidays with pay, but that it should be possible for every man to get a holiday, to go away and to have a complete change of surroundings, and to take his wife and family wih him. I consider that it is most important that this matter should be adequately discussed and that we should not pass a Bill which does not make provision for a whole variety of circumstances. I am afraid I have explained my point rather badly, but that is because I have been limited in what I could say. I hope that my right hon. Friend understands the point, and I would like him to develop it, if he can within the Ruling, so that we can make the best possible job of this Bill.

9.55 P.m.

Mr. Logan

I am at a loss to understand what difficulty the Minister finds in accepting the Amendment. If anybody can tell me what is meant by the words in the Bill "shall receive pay" I shall be very pleased indeed. The Minister expressed the pious conviction that nobody would reduce the normal rate of pay during the holiday period. Anybody who is in employment has no difficulty in understanding what is meant by "the normal rate of pay," but the words "shall receive pay" contain no information as to the amount of money which a person is entitled to receive during holidays and why such words should be put into an Act of Parliament is beyond my imagination. This is a very subtle Clause. Anybody can read anything into it. I do not want any subtlety in a Clause of this kind. There is no use in the Minister wagging his head about it. We want straight minds in dealing with these matters and we dia not want subtleties. What is intended in this Bill is holidays with pay as generally understood. The Minister on all occasions when it is to his advantage, is able to use language to make clear to hon. Members what is meant by particular provisions, but he is not able to tell us what these words mean.

It is no use the Minister assuming that he will be there for all time. He will not and the definition of these words will rest with others. It is not what the Minister thinks that other people will do that matters. It is the words of the Act which matter. If the normal pay in any of these classifications is £2 or 35s., anyone who comes under any of these boards will naturally think that the normal rate of pay will be given to him for his holidays. But the Act will not say so and the Minister is not able to say that that will be the case. I hope I am not upsetting the Minister in any way—though I would do so if I possibly could—but I want him to explain the meaning of these words which he is asking us to accept. From the point of view of the English language these words do not mean anything. From the point of the view of determining what pay a person shall receive for holidays they have no meaning whatever. It is absurd for the Minister to go forward to the country with a proposition called "holidays with pay," when it may mean, according to these words, a holiday with reduced pay.

If people are expected to accept reduced pay for their holiday period then let us face the situation honestly. Let the Minister rise here and state exactly what the position is and that we want to give these boards the right to give smaller amounts to these people when they are on holidays. This Clause as it is now, would permit them to do so. I have had some experience of the interpretation of Acts of Parliament by judges and I know that it is not the pious wishes of a Minister that are taken into account but the words of the Acts themselves. If a person is allowed only £1 or 25s. will they have to seek relief? Will such persons have to go to the public assistance committees for subsistence allowances, instead of being able to go on holidays, although the State has said that they are to be allowed holidays with pay. Is that to be the case simply because of the illiberality and the smallness of mind of a Minister who is not able to understand the plain language of an Amendment?

The Amendment states that the normal rate of pay shall be given, and the normal rates of pay are not excessive. We are living in an age of miracles and we have a miracle Minister, but I do not think we have yet seen the miracle of additional rates of pay being given to those engaged in industry. Surely to goodness it is time that those on the Government Front Bench were able to make up their minds and let the workers know what they mean. I am not able to understand their minds, nor am I able to understand the English in which they phrase their intentions. Cannot they get down to elementary facts and put this provision in plain English which the ordinary man will understand, and say that if his wages are £2 a week, he will receive £2 a week and not £1 a week, when he goes on holiday?

10.2 p.m.

Mr. Tomlinson

On the Second Reading I suggested that the words "for some" should be inserted in the Title of the Bill after the words "Holidays with Pay." After these discussions and the Minister's explanations I realise that it should be further amended and that it is really "A Bill for holidays with some pay, for some workers." The hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Macmillan) said that the discussion reminded him of "Alice in Wonderland." Listening to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) I thought that somebody else had got into wonderland. She was endeavouring to interpret the mind of the Minister and suggested that this Bill might result in somebody receiving more pay during the holiday period than they received while working. If the Minister is submitting that proposition seriously as a reason against the Amendment, I ask him to put it on one side. We are prepared to take the risk of the possibility of more money being paid for holidays than for working periods.

Again, I would emphasise the point that the actual wording of an Act is the only thing that matters once the Act has been passed. The trade union of which I am a member some time ago had a dispute with employers. The trouble with the Minister is that he has not been in touch with the workers' side in recent days. It may be that the time when he represented the workers, or thought that he did, has passed, and that that accounts to some extent for his attitude. In the case to which I refer we were discussing the interpretation of a Section of an Act of Parliament and we spent £800 in seeking to prove that Parliament intended that a reference to a bobbin meant a certain type of thing which everybody realised it ought to mean. But the employers, acting upon the wording of the Act, proved that a bobbin could be the size of a loom and in consequence were able to save 5 per cent.—all because the Minister of

that day had a great deal of faith in the people who were to interpret that Act of Parliament.

I suggest that under this Bill as it stands you can have as many agreements as there are wages boards, and the same argument will apply when these boards send up their agreements for ratification to the Minister. We have heard that this Bill has been drawn according to the report of the Amulree Committee and that we must not depart from that report, except that the Minister is allowed to depart from it when he thinks fit. Every agreement that is sent up to the Minister for ratification will be the result of a board's negotiation between the employers, the employés, and the individuals who represent the community on that board, and coming to the Minister thus, it will not be for him to say whether or not he considers it reasonable; it will be for him to say whether or not he is prepared to ratify it, so that you can have as many different agreements under this Clause as there are wages boards in the country.

This Bill means nothing at all to my people, at any rate, but for those who will come under it, let us see to it that they get something in the nature of a square deal. These boards have been set up to establish minimum rates, and all the complications that the right hon. Gentleman has spoken about are now in existence. Surely it is not asking too much to say that for the one week out of the 52 weeks that this Bill is intended to cover the same principle shall apply as applies during the other 51 weeks. There is no earthly reason, except the leaving of the door open to pay less than the accepted minimum wages, why these words should be in the Clause.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 207; Noes, 141.

Division No. 309.] AYES. [10.7 p.m.
Acland-Troyle, Lt.-Col. G. J. Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M. Briscoe, Capt. R. G.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Baxter, A. Beverley Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)
Albery, Sir Irving Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Beechman, N. A. Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)
Allen, Lt-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Bernays, R. H. Bull, B. B.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Birchall, Sir J. D. Butcher, H. W.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Blair, Sir R. Campbell, Sir E. T.
Atholl, Duchess of Boulton, W. W. Carver, Major W. H.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Boyce, H. Leslie Cary, R. A.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Brass, Sir W. Castlereagh, Viscount
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Harbord, A. Porritt, R. W.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Harvey, Sir G. Radford, E. A.
Channon, H. Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Christie, J. A. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Ramsbotham, H.
Clarke, Colonel R, S. (E. Grinstead) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Rankin, Sir R.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Hepworth, J. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Colville, Rt. Hon. John Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Rayner, Major R. H.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Reed, A. C. (Exeter)
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Higgs, W. F. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'rS.G'gs) Holmes, J. S. Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Cox, H. B. Trevor Hopkinson, A. Remer, J. R.
Craven-Ellis, W. Horsbrugh, Florence Ropner, Colonel L.
Crooke, Sir J. Smedley Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Hulbert, N. J. Rowlands, G.
Cross, R. H. Hunloke, H. P. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Crossley, A. C. Hunter, T. Russell, Sir Alexander
Crowder, J. F. E. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'W'gt'n) Rusell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Cruddas, Col. B. Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Rusell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Culverwpell, C. T. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) salt E. W.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
De Chair, S. S. Kimball, L. Selley, H. R.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Shakespeare, G. H.
Denville, Alfred Lamb, Sir J. Q. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Dodd, J. S. Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)
Dorman-Smith, Major Sir R. H. Leech, Sir J. W. Smith, Sir Louis (Hallam)
Drewe, C. Lees-Jones, J. Smithers, Sir W.
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Liddall, W. S. spens, W. P.
Eastwood, J. F. Llewellin, Colonel J. J. Storey, S.
Eckersley, P. T. Lloyd, G. W. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Edmondson, Major Sir J. MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Ellis, Sir G. M'Connell, Sir J. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Elmley, Viscount Macdonald, Capt. T. (Isle of Wight) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Emery, J. F. Maitland, A. Thomas, J. P. L.
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Thorneycroft, G. E. P.
Erskine-Hill, A. G. Marsden, Commander A. Tilchfield, Marquess of
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Touche, G. C.
Everard, W. L. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Fildes, Sir H. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham) Wakefield W. W.
Findlay, Sir E. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Fleming, E. L. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Fremantle, Sir F. E. Moreing, A. C. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Fyfe, D. P. M. Morgan, R. H. Warrender, Sir V.
Gibson, Sir C. G. (Pudsey and Otley) Morris-Jones, Sir Henry Waterhouse, Captain C.
Gluckstein, L. H. Nall, Sir J. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Goldie, N. B. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Wells, Sir Sydney
Gower, Sir R. V. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) O'Connor, Sir Terence J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Grant-Ferris, R. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Patrick, C. M. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Gretten, Col. Rt. Hon. J. peat, C. U. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Grimston, R. V. Perkins, W. R. D. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Peters, Dr. S. J.
Hambro, A. V. Petherick, M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Pickthorn, K. W. M. Mr. Munro and Mr. Furness.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Cluse, W. S. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Cocks, F. S. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
Adamson, W. M. Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Daggar, G. Groves, T. E.
Ammon, C. G. Dalton, H. Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)
Aske, Sir R. W. Davies, C. (Montgomery) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hardie, Agnes
Banfield, J. W. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Harris, Sir P. A.
Barnes, A. J. Day, H. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)
Barr, J. Dobbie, W. Hayday, A.
Batey, J. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Bellenger, F. J. Ede, J. C. Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Benson, G. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Hills, A. (Pontefract)
Broad, F. A. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Holdsworth, H.
Bromfield, W. Foot, D. M. Hopkin, D.
Buchanan, G. Frankel, D. Jagger, J.
Burke, W. A. Gardner, B. W. John, W.
Cartland, J. R. H. Garro Jones, G. M. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.
Cassells, T. Granville, E. L. Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
Charleton, H. C. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Chater, D: Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Kelly, W. T. Muff, G. Sorensen, R. W.
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Naylor, T. E. Stephen, C.
Kirby, B. V. Noel-Baker, P. J. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Lathan, G. Oliver, G. H. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Lawson. J. J. Owen, Major G. Stokes, R. R.
Leach, W. Paling, W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Leonard, W. Parkinson, J. A. Tate, Mavis C.
Leslie, J. R. Pearson, A. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Lipson, D. L. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W Thurtle, E.
Logan, D. G. Poole, C. C. Tinker, J. J.
Lunn, W. Price, M. P. Tomlinson, G.
Macdonald. G. (Ince) Pritt, D. N. Viant, S. P.
McEntee, V. La T. Quibell, D. J. K. Walkden, A. G.
McGhee, H. G. Richards, R. (Wrexham) Walker, J.
MacLaren, A. Ridley, G. Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)
Maclean, N. Ritson, J. Watkins, F. C.
Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Mander, G. le M. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Westwood, J.
Markham, S. F. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey) Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Marshall, F. Seely, Sir H. M. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Mathers, G. Sexton, T. M. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Maxton, J. Silverman, S. S. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Messer, F. Simpson, F. B. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Milner, Major J. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Montague, F. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees. (K'ly) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Smith, T. (Normanton) Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Anderson.

Lords Amendments considered, and agreed to.

Amendment made: In page 2, line 36, leave out "additional," and insert "separate."—[Mr. Lennox-Boyd.]

10.17 p.m.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I beg to move, in page 2, line 38, after the first "of," to insert "such."

Mr. Rhys Davies

With the insertion of the word "such" the wages paid during holidays will be confined to the one week's holiday with pay, and we are afraid that the wages ordinarily paid during bank holidays will be ruled out. May we be assured that that is not the case?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that where a bank holiday is included in a holiday given under this Bill the statutory authorities have power to give wages for that bank holiday.

Mr. Rhys Davies

That is not the point. What we want to be assured about is that when the bank holiday is in the week's holiday for which wages are paid, will the insertion of this word prevent the employer being compelled to pay for Christmas Day and Boxing Day?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

If the statutory holiday falls within the week for which holidays with pay have been granted, the provisions of the Bill apply. Where a wage regulating authority directs that a bank holiday may be allowed as one of the holidays directed under Clause 1, there will be power to fix holiday remuneration for that day. The sole purpose of Clause 2 is to confer upon the wage regulating authorities power to provide for the pay which is to be given in

respect of holidays granted under Clause 1.

Amendment agreed to,

Clauses 3 and 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.