§ 4.8 p.m.
§ The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Colonel Llewellin)
I beg to move, in page 12, line 31, to leave out "service," and to insert "training." 1016 This Amendment is consequential to one that I moved on Friday.
§ Mr. Maxton
I wish to be ready to vote on this Amendment at the appropriate time, but would it be asking too much to request the Minister to let us know what he has said, for we could not hear him.
§ Colonel Llewellin
I am very sorry, for I spoke as loudly as I could. I said that this Amendment was consequential to one that I moved on Friday, which was then accepted by the Committee.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Mander
Before the hon. Member whom you have called moves his Amendment, am I right in thinking that my Amendment—In page 12, line 32, after "conditions," to insert "of work and hours not lower than the standard conditions of the trade"—which appears before that of the hon. Member, can be discussed on the one that is now called?
§ The Chairman
It depends very much on the interpretation of it. The hon. Member no doubt will try to discuss it.
§ 4.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Naylor
I beg to move, in page 12, line 33, to leave out "applicable to him when he was," and to insert:which would have been applicable to him had he not been.This is something more than a drafting Amendment. Throughout these discussions Members have declared their desire to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the young men who are to be called up under this Bill. This Clause deals with the position of apprentices who are subject to differential treatment according to the years they are serving. It also applies to young men whose increment of wages alters from year to year according to their age. If the words now in the Clause remain as they are they would mean that after serving six months a young man going back to the workshop could be told by the employers that he had to start again where he left off. I think all hon. Members will agree that the maximum inconvenience a young man can suffer under the Clause is the loss of wages that will ensue in the event of his returning to work on the same terms as when he left work. I am hoping that the Minister will accept my Amendment. 1017 It may be that he has in mind that an apprentice, or a young man who is not an apprentice, will have the right to apply for a postponement of his call-up, but I want to point out that that would result in the apprentice postponing his period of training at a time when he would have been receiving higher wages had he been in the workshop.
Therefore, if Ministers are desirous that these young men shall be put to the minimum inconvenience as a result of this Measure, they must agree with us that it will be as well to accept such an Amendment as this, and that it is better for these young men from every point of view that they shall be allowed to serve immediately they are called up, and not be expected to defer the period of training until such time as their wages may be considerably more, and, therefore, the loss the greater as a result of such a postponement. A young printer of 20 to 21 years of age is not necessarily in the last year of his apprenticeship. A boy may be apprenticed at 14, 15 or 16 years of age, and if he has to serve for seven years, it means that his remuneration as an apprentice increases until he is 21, 22 or 23 years of age. This Clause is intended to protect the apprentice against the unscrupulous employer. There are good employers, and there are not so good employers; there are employers who have more regard for law than for justice. If we leave the Clause as it is worded, it will mean that an employer can say to a young man when he returns, "The Section in the Act of Parliament says that I must reinstate you on terms not less favourable than what you had when you were called up." That would mean that a young man would have to serve another six months on his term of apprenticeship and would lose the higher wages he would otherwise have received. If the Act finally reads as we desire it to read by the insertion of this Amendment, a man will enjoy the same conditions as he would have if he had not been called up. This is a measure of simple justice, which, I hope, the Minister will accept.
I would like to mention another reason why he should be very careful in not allowing the Bill to go forward as it now is. The Minister of Labour said on Friday last that men engaged on Government work of national importance, and who had secured exemption as conscientious objectors, would be allowed to 1018 continue on that work undisturbed. I ask the Minister to consider what would be the position. You may have two young men working side by side on Government work of national importance. One is a conscientious objector who has secured exemption and will not suffer the loss of a single penny by virtue of the fact that he remains at work instead of going for military training. The other young man, also on work of national importance, has cheerfully accepted the call and goes away for six months. If the present wording of the Clause remains, he comes back on terms not less favourable than those which he enjoyed when he left work for training. That means that when he comes back he will have, perhaps, missed possibilities of added increment and of promotion in spite of the fact that he answered the call for service. In these circumstances the Minister would be justified in saying that possibly, after all, the draftsmen of the Bill were too ready to adopt a phrase that certainly does not apply with equal effect to all classes of men called up for military training. I hope that it may be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to accept the Amendment, in which event I am sure that my hon. Friends will not desire to prolong the discussion.
§ The Chairman
May I call the attention of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) to the point which he put to me just now? He will observe that his actual Amendment cannot be discussed or put to the Committee now because we have passed it. He says that the subject matter or the point with which he wishes to deal in the Amendment in his name on the Order Paper is somewhat similar to the point arising on this Amendment, and perhaps he would wish to put it shortly on the Amendment now before the Committee.
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown) rose—
§ The Chairman
I was wondering whether the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton wished to make any observations.
§ 4.21 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
It will be, perhaps, for the convenience of the Committee if I say at once that the point which the hon. 1019 Member for South-East Southwark (Mr. Naylor) has put in the Amendment is a very sound one. There will, no doubt, be changes of wage rates, and the issue is much wider than that of apprentices. But the point is an important one, and I propose to accept the Amendment, subject to any redrafting that we might want to make in relation to the structure of the Bill.
§ 4.22 p.m.
§ Mr. Mander
There are two points I want to put with regard to this Amendment. The first is that the word used is the word "applicable," and I would like to know precisely what that means. Does it mean the standard rate, because there may be cases where a man is being paid by an employer, say, 10s. below the standard rate recognised for the particular trade? I hope that the Minister will see that the word "applicable" means applicable in accordance with the fair wages clause and the appropriate standard recognised by trade unions. It will make a great deal of difference if the word "applicable" means the rate of wages that the employer chooses to give. That is a matter of very great importance, and the purpose of the Amendment I have put down, but which I am not going to discuss now, was really to do what, I think, may possibly be covered by the word "applicable," namely, to make sure that the proper rates are to be paid and that there shall be no undercutting.
The second point is to reinforce what the hon. Member for South-East Southwark (Mr. Naylor) has said, only from another point of view. There are other industries, and perhaps I may be allowed to quote one with which I am familiar. The rates agreed by the National Joint Industrial Council for the paint, colour and varnish industry provide that persons of 19 get 39s. 4d., persons of 20, a minimum of 46s., and persons of 21 receive 55s. It is very important that a young man going away at 20 and coming back at 21 shall receive not the 46s. which he was receiving, but the 55s. I gather from what the Minister said that that is the intention, but perhaps he will be good enough to deal with the other point which I have put.
§ 4.24 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
It was because I wanted to look into the full meaning of the word 1020 "applicable" to make sure that we are dealing with the appropriate word, that I said that we might have to look at the drafting of the Bill on Report, although the substance of the Amendment is, in our judgment, quite right. That answers the second point which the hon. Gentleman has just put. With regard to the first point, it is estimated that some 200,000 men will be called up, and they will be men from all sorts and conditions of industry. They will be from industries which are, like the industry to which the hon. Member referred, regulated by collective agreements, and also from industries where there are no such agreements. What we are proposing to do in the Bill, now being corrected by the Amendment, is that when a young man comes back he shall not be treated less favourably than he was being treated when he went. Now we have altered that so that he shall have applied to him any changes which may have taken place in the period, and that will be applied equally to those outside of agreements as to those inside agreements. We cannot undertake to alter the whole industrial structure in one Amendment of this kind.
§ Mr. Brown
I want to be quite clear on this matter. In two or three years' time there might even be a reduction in rates of wages, and it is bound to cut both ways, but—and the hon. Member is correct—if in that period of six months while a man is doing his training he comes into a grade which is higher or the wage rate fixed by mutual agreement has gone up, he will get the advantage of that just as if he had not been called up.
§ Mr. Mander
I am not clear on one point. If a man, when he goes away, has been paid say 5s. below the general Industrial Council rates, will he when he comes back be able to say to his employer that the rate applicable to him is the Industrial Council rate and that he must pay him that rate, or can the employer pay him the old sweated rate as before?
§ Mr. Shinwell
The assurance of the right hon. Gentleman is satisfactory so far as it goes, but I hope that when he comes to a final decision the definition of "applicable" will be as wide as possible. There is a great diversity both of occupations and conditions in industry, and, if the definition were strictly on the lines suggested by the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander), it might be found that a very large number of persons were excluded from the provision which might be inserted or the Regulation which might be issued by the Minister. There are many occupations where there are no standard conditions and no industrial council, and no machinery for determining wages and conditions, and, obviously, the Minister must provide for contingencies of that sort. However, we accept the assurance of the Minister on the understanding that he will make the definition as wide as possible.
§ Mr. Brown
I do not want to leave the Committee under a misapprehension. I think that no alteration will have to be made. As far as I can see at first sight the Amendment can stand as it is, but we want to be sure that we are not adopting words which may have a meaning which will not be taken by the industries concerned. But as far as I can see, the words can stand as they are.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede
In view of the alteration that the Minister is prepared to accept, I should like to know how it would work in connection with local government and Government servants under the rules affecting superannuation. I hope that the Amendment when it is made will cover the point that the months spent with the colours will rank as recognised service for superannuation as though the men had been at work. I suggest that if the Minister is legally advised that the point is not quite met by the Amendment, we may have an assurance that at a later stage the rules of the superannuation fund for local government employés and for 1022 teachers who are local government servants will be so drafted as to make sure that this period counts as recognised service.
§ Mr. E. Brown indicated assent.
§ 4.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Cluse
It applies to thousands of apprentices who have rates of pay which increase as their years of apprenticeship increase. There is this further point, that if an apprentice is not called up at once it may happen that by the time his period of military service has finished he may be out of his apprenticeship. I do not know whether the Minister has thought of the position of an apprentice who on returning and finding that his apprenticeship has ended also finds that the employer has no contract to give him journeyman's wages. Reference has been made to superannuation for municipal servants, but apart from the superannuation question there is the annual increment which arises as their service goes on. I hope the Minister will remember that question as well as the question of superannuation.
§ Mr. E. Brown
What I meant was that it is no use giving an answer now. The point arises later on another Clause.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
I beg to move, in page 12, line 40, to leave out "four," and to insert "twelve."
The Clause provides that in the case of an employer who does not carry out the obligation of reinstating a man who has been called up for service, he may be brought before the court and on conviction be fined £50. That fine may afford some satisfaction to the feelings of the man who has not been reinstated, but it will not help him otherwise. Later on the Clause says that in such a case the 1023 employer may be ordered to pay the man an amount equal to four weeks' remuneration at the rate at which remuneration was last payable to him by the employer. In the case of a man whose employer treats him in this way and does not reinstate him on the conclusion of his military service, four weeks' remuneration is an altogether inadequate solace for him, and the object of my Amendment is to provide that, instead of four weeks' remuneration, the man shall be entitled to 12 weeks. In other words, the Amendment fixes the remuneration at two weeks for each month of his six months' military service. I think this proposal will commend itself to the sense of fairness of the Committee, and I cannot anticipate that the Minister will not be able to accept it.
§ 4.35 p.m.
§ Mr. T. Smith
I do not know whether the Minister is prepared to accept the Amendment is readily as he accepted the last one, but I think it would be right for him to do so. The general purpose of the Clause is to ensure that when a young man is called up for his six months' service he comes back into industry on the same terms and conditions as when he was called up. In the majority of cases the employers will carry out the provisions of this Clause in a fair manner, but I am wondering whether we have made the penalties quite as severe upon the unfair employer as we ought to have done. In saying that, I have in mind the experience that we have had at one time or another in the mining industry. As I read the Clause, an employer may say: "You have done your six months' service, but I do not intend to employ you any longer in this firm, and I am prepared to go to court and be fined £50 and pay you four weeks' wages in order to get rid of you." That is the full penalty that can be applied to the employer if he fails to reinstate the man.
If this Bill had been the law of the land when two or three hon. Members of this House and myself were 21 years of age, it is just possible that we should not have been here now. There were colliery managers who would have given more than £50 and four weeks' wages to have got rid of us; and they said so. Perhaps some hon. Members opposite will agree that it would have been a good thing for the employers if they had done so. I 1024 worked at a colliery where the general manager told me that if ever he could kick me from Sheffield he would do so.
§ Mr. Smith
I have been to New Zealand, but under different conditions from those under which they wanted to send my hon. Friend. There are employers and managers of firms who in certain individual cases would be prepared to pay more than £50 and four weeks' wages to get rid of certain men. I am sorry that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams), which proposed as an alternative to a £50 fine, three months' imprisonment, has not been called. The £50 fine will not be paid by the colliery manager but by the firm. It will be no penalty at all on the manager, but if he had to stand the risk of three months' imprisonment it would certainly be a bigger deterrent than a £50 fine. That would do more to stop the injustice that might be done to the young man who is not reinstated.
The payment of four weeks' wages is not a sufficient penalty. I agree wholeheartedly with the Amendment of 12 weeks now proposed, and I hope the Minister will accept it. If he is not prepared to accept it, I hope that hon. Members opposite, in fairness to these young men who will be called up for service, will do their best to see that the Minister does accept what we regard as a very fair Amendment.
§ 4.39 p.m.
§ Sir John Haslam
Before the Minister rejects or accepts the Amendment, may I draw his attention to the Amendment that stands in my name and the names of several of my hon. Friends—in page 12, line 39, after "reinstate," to insert "the amount of the fine imposed, and." In that Amendment we meet the point of view in regard to the four weeks' wages fine, and at the same time we award the fine to the person who suffers. I am trying to look at this subject from the point of view of the magistrates sitting on the bench. We should be in a difficulty in adjudicating on a case when we knew that the fine went, as it does in Lancashire, to the Duchy of Lancaster, where they have quite enough money. They have not hitherto received fines of 1025 this description, but they receive fines from motor car prosecutions. We believe that if the man made out his case that he has been wrongly treated, he should be given the amount of the fine. The court costs would be paid in any case. We think that the right person to receive the money should be the person who suffers.
I shall probably be met by the assertion that this is an innovation, contrary to legal precedent, except in regard to the common informer. I have, however, two eminent legal gentlemen who support my Amendment. Moreover, before I put the Amendment on the Order Paper I consulted the ex-Attorney-General and the present Attorney-General who, on the spur of the moment, could not raise any objection to it, although they may have been able to concoct an objection since then. There was no objection on their part, and therefore I put the Amendment on the Order Paper. I would ask the Minister of Labour to give careful consideration to my Amendment when he is considering the Amendment now before the Committee, because I believe, although it is an innovation in law, it is just and equitable. We are constantly introducing innovations. This Bill is an innovation.
§ Mr. McEntee
On a point of Order. May I ask what Amendment we are discussing? Are we discussing the Amendment that has been moved by my hon. and gallant Friend?
§ The Chairman
Yes, that is so. I do not think the hon. Member for Bolton (Sir J. Haslam) is out of Order in raising his point. There is no reason why he should not say what he has done on consideration of the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Sir J. Haslam
I have nothing further to say except that I hope the Minister will consider the Amendment in the name of myself and my colleagues. We believe that it really meets the wishes of the proposers of the present Amendment, the wishes of the Government, and it does justice to the person who will suffer by non-reinstatement.
§ 4.43 p.m.
§ Mr. Mander
I support the Amendment because I think the penalties in the Clause are not adequate to deal with the offence. I am afraid it is going to be 1026 difficult to get at the employer who refuses to reinstate a man, and therefore I think the penalties ought to be adequate. Since the hon. Member referred to one alternative, perhaps I might allude to another possible alternative. My suggestion would be that the penalty should be a continuing one: that, instead of being limited, as the Government want to limit it, to four weeks' wages, or as this Amendment would limit it to 12 weeks' wages, it should go on indefinitely, until the employer has agreed to reinstate the man. He should go on having to pay him his weekly wage until he chooses to do what the law and the courts say he should do. In those circumstances, I think he would reinstate the man. That would be far more satisfactory than simply paying him a month's wages or three months' wages. However, I support the Amendment that has been moved, and I hope that it will be accepted by the Government.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. G. Griffiths
I hope the Parliamentary Secretary is not going to oppose the Amendment. Like the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander), I should have preferred some other Amendment as preferable to the one which has been under discussion. I want to put a point which, perhaps, the Minister of Labour and the Parliamentary Secretary have not considered. If a man gets 12 weeks' wages he will also get 12 weeks' stamps, and if he gets these 12 stamps on the top of the 26 weeks which he has served he gets more than 30 stamps during that period, and it puts him in statutory benefit, whereas if he only gets four weeks' wages he is not in benefit. The hon. Member for Norman-ton (Mr. T. Smith) has spoken of employers who would be delighted to get any man who is a good sound trade unionist out of his employ. Some of us know what has happened in the mining industry. We have had to fight inch by inch to maintain the wages list which has been signed by the employer and the representatives of the employés. I do not speak of the managing director, because he very seldom sees any of the workmen, but managers many a time have made the statement that they wish they could get rid of a man, and that at the first chance they would do so. That is their attitude. In my opinion this Clause 1027 is nothing but camouflage; it is eyewash. It does not say that the magistrates "shall" but that they "may," and it must be remembered that the four weeks' wages and a fine of £50 are a maximum. They may fine an employer £5 or one week's wages. What are 12 weeks' wages to a man who has lost his job? I am glad that the Prime Minister is listening to this Debate. I wish he would get up and accept the Amendment without wasting any more time. At any rate, I hope the Government will see the reasonableness of the proposal and accept it.
§ 4.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Messer
There is one aspect of this problem which, I think, the Government should consider. Personally, I regard this Clause as one which will be most difficult to administer. It will be a difficult job to ensure that there shall not be any victimisation, there are so many reasons which employers can find that it will not be difficult for them to take advantage of the Clause, as it provides that it shall be a reasonable defence that it was not reasonably practicable for him to take them on. Anybody who knows anything of seasonal industries knows that if a man loses his employment at the beginning of the slack period there is no opportunity for him at all anywhere to be reinstated in that trade or calling, but if the calling up notice is applied to him at the beginning of the slack period and carries him into the busy period, he will be all right for his job because the employer will want him. If he is called up for his six months' training and his time of reinstatement in his job happens at the beginning of the slack period, the employer may be able to prove that it is not reasonable to engage him, and if he can get away with that, then to give a man four weeks' compensation is unfair. I am not so concerned with the punishment of a bad employer; I am more concerned with the victim, and from that point of view the Amendment is quite reasonable. I hope the Government will take a serious view that it is quite reasonable that a man who is being robbed by the Government of an opportunity of continuing in his job should get three months' wages, because he has been prevented by the necessity of his being trained in military service from earning money which he would otherwise have got. I am certain 1028 that the Government do not want to deprive any member of the working classes of wages which he would have been ordinarily getting but for the necessity of military training. If that is true, they cannot oppose the proposal, which is a reasonable one, that he should get 12 weeks' wages instead of four.
§ 4.51 p.m.
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I rise to support the Amendment. The Clause as it stands limits the employé's right to four weeks' wages. To my mind that is wholly inadequate. It is perfectly true that perhaps the larger number of employés are under their terms of service subject to one week's notice or even less, but that does not mean that there are not other employés who in their terms of service are entitled to longer notice. In the North of England there are certain long-term hirings which would certainly not be compensated by four weeks' wages, and in the circumstances it seems to be wrong that an employer who is so unpatriotic and so little interested in his employés that he dismisses them, should get out under the Bill more cheaply than he does under common law. For that reason I welcome the Amendment. My regret is that it is limited to 12 weeks' maximum. I would rather it had been the minimum.
§ 4.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Tinker
I hope that the arguments which have been used will have some influence on the Minister. I have always understood that the House of Commons is a place where matters can be argued, that we can debate a point in order to influence the Minister who is in charge of a Measure. On this particular point, I think something more should be done for the man who is not taken back by his employer. I do not think there will be many employers who will resort to an unfair attitude towards those who are called up, but we know that there will be bad employers who will resort to any excuse in order to escape their liability. If a man is called up for the defence of his country and is not taken back by his employer after his period of training, the court may decide that the man has been unfairly treated and his employer may have to pay anything up to £50 or four weeks' wages. What we are asking is that there should be an extension of these penalties as a deterrent for the few employers who may attempt to do that kind 1029 of thing. In any case, it is not for the Government Front Bench to defend the bad employer, and I think they should listen to the arguments which have been put to them from all sides of the Committee. In our view, we think it is reasonable to protect the man who is not taken back by his employer and that the Government should accept the Amendment. The appeals which have been made from all parts of the Committee, by the hon. Member for Bolton (Sir J. Haslam) and the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Thorneycroft) ought to add a little extra strength to the arguments which we have put forward, and I trust that the Parliamentary Secretary will not turn the Amendment down. If he cannot accept it this afternoon, I hope he will promise to consider it before the Report stage and see what can be done.
§ 4.55 p.m.
§ Mr. Logan
I trust that the Government will accept the Amendment and I will give the Committee the reasons why they should do so Having a knowledge of the last War and remembering the many thousands who came home to the City of Liverpool, I do not want to see a repetition of what took place then. There were many in the engineering trade, which suffered from dilution during the War, who had to go to the War and then found when they came back that their jobs were occupied. I trust that by reorganisation we can avoid that happening again should, unfortunately, war take place. It is no use the Minister on an Amendment of this description saying that it can be brushed on one side. It is our responsibility to see that the best conditions are brought about, and therefore, a question of this kind cannot be roughly thrown aside. If patriotic subjects are taken into the Army as being absolutely essential for the welfare of the nation, and if penalties are to be imposed we have a responsibility to see that the penalties are imposed. In this Clause, with regard to penalties, it is not "shall" but "may." Take the question of the £50. It is all very well to talk flippantly about £50. If a man who has returned has lost his job it is a different matter when the action arises in the court. When the magistrates are sitting they will say that it will be very hard to impose a £50 fine on the employer, and, therefore, £50 will not be the penalty. It will be within the consideration of the 1030 magistrates to decide that the penalty shall be 40s. The other compensation is also something that "may" be and is not "shall" be.
What is going to happen? When he comes out of the Army after six months' training he may lose his situation. The young man in his twentieth year, having fulfilled six months in the Army, the employer may get the benefits of the Bill and make money while the man who has given his services to the country will lose his job, and the question of a fine is a consideration which does not matter. Those who are of an age for military service claim our protection. It is proposed that we should fix such a standard that men who serve in His Majesty's Forces, on returning to civil life, will have to make application for poor relief. I am sure that is not the way in which the Committee wants to deal with this position. If an employer does not give a man what he ought to give him as a matter of equity, the man ought to be entitled to receive the statutory benefit, if he has the 12 stamps on his card. I trust that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour will listen to me. I will wait until he has finished his conversation with his colleague. [Interruption.] I am not going to talk to benches.
§ Mr. Logan
I am sure you will realise, Sir Dennis, that my observations were not addressed to you personally. I ask the Minister to consider the responsibilities of the Committee in regard to this matter. I ask him to consider the question of the statutory benefit to which the man will be entitled if he has 12 stamps, the question of recourse to the Poor Law if the employer refuses to reinstate the man, the question of the optional treatment in regard to the £50 fine, which is a maximum, so that the magistrates may set any amount they decide; and the question of the man's home. I am sure that hon. Members do not desire that when a man has done his period of service and then does not get his job back, he should have to go to the Poor Law for relief. I ask the Minister to accept the Amendment, which I think would be the most equitable and reasonable way of dealing with the matter.
§ 5.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Spens
I am very much inclined to support the Amendment. The Committee will realise that the question of penalties will arise only in cases where the employer has no defence of any sort. In the provisions following the one with which we are now dealing, a number of reasonable defences are stated which an employer can put forward, and it is only when all these have failed, and it is held by the court that the employer has deliberately committed an offence by definitely refusing to reinstate a man whom he ought to have reinstated and has a job to which he could have reinstated him, that the question of the penalty arises. I think the danger in extending the period as regards the amount to be paid to the man is that undoubtedly there would be a certain number of men who would think that the mere refusal of the employer to reinstate them absolved them from making any sort of attempt to obtain a job during the 12 weeks. The man would go to the court and say that the employer had refused to reinstate him and that he wanted 12 weeks' wages and a fine of £50 to be imposed on the employer. The Committee ought to realise that the ordinary rules as regards a person claiming what is in the nature of damages for lost employment ought to apply. The law is that there is an obligation on such a person to mitigate the damages; that is to say, to use his best endeavours to obtain alternative employment. I do not think it would be safe to assume that every workman who was refused employment by an employer would automatically get 12 weeks' wages. It is for this reason that I think there is no danger whatever in extending the period to 12 weeks.
If this were done, the practical position would be this. A fortnight or three weeks after the man had come back, the prosecution would take place, and the court would have to consider what was the position. If the offence were proved—if there had been an absolute refusal to employ the man—the court would have to consider what it ought to do. If it was a bad offence, or a second or third offence, no doubt there would be a fine of £50. What would the man get? That would depend on his particular situation. If he had been refused a job in an industry in which there were very few other jobs, and consequently very little chance of his get- 1032 ting other employment, the case would be one in which he ought to get more than four weeks' wages, and I do not think that three months would be a very exaggerated period up to which he might claim. At the same time, I am certain it will not be an automatic arrangement; but if it is administered fairly—[Interruption.] While there may be employers on the bench, there are certain to be representatives of the workmen on it as well. On many benches the number of representatives of what are called the working classes far exceeds the number of representatives of the employers. If it is administered fairly, it seems to me that the possibility of awarding up to 12 weeks' wages might very well meet the very varied conditions affecting the individual men. Therefore, I cannot see what real danger there would be in accepting the Amendment.
§ 5.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I think there is general agreement on all sides of the Committee that four weeks' wages as compensation is grossly inadequate, and in view of the opinions that have been expressed from all quarters, I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour will accept the Amendment. I do not believe that there are good employers in the country who would refuse compensation to the extent of 12 weeks' wages if called upon to pay it. There may be bad employers who would be unwilling to do so, but surely, we ought not to legislate in order to support those employers who are unscrupulous enough to take advantage of the position in which they find themselves under the Bill. I want to correct a misapprehension on the part of some hon. Members. There seems to be an assumption that the four weeks' compensation, or whatever may be agreed upon, is to be paid automatically if a man is not reinstated. That is not so. The hon. and learned Member for Ashford (Mr. Spens) has made a useful contribution in support of the Amendment. A man must, in the first instance, give notice to his employer that he proposes to apply for reinstatement.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I was about to say that that is provided for later on. The man has to make application. Therefore, the employer has due notice. If, for some reason—perhaps because of a shortage of orders, or because of some temporary dislocation in the industry, or because he does not feel disposed to employ the man again—the employer decides that he cannot reinstate him, then if the man is dissatisfied he must take out a summons and bring the employer before a court of summary jurisdiction. It is not until the employer has been convicted by the magistrates, or by a magistrate, that he is called upon to compensate the man to the extent of four weeks' wages. As regards the penalty, we may very well assume that in few cases will the fine be one of £50. There may be a fine of 30s. or 40s. But not until the employer is convicted is he called upon to pay compensation, and it may well be that, in spite of a fine being imposed on the employer, the magistrates may decide not to call upon him to compensate to the extent of four weeks. We are not now discussing the principle of the Measure, but I would add that we ought not to make conscription too easy for the employers or too cheap for them. In view of the circumstances, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment.
§ 5.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Denman
I want to add a brief point, which has not yet been made, in support of the thesis that four weeks' compensation may not in all cases be adequate. Twelve weeks may not necessarily be the correct period to insert, but I should have thought that obviously, in some cases, four weeks would be too few. The four weeks' remuneration is to be at the rate of the remuneration last payable to the man by the employer; that is to say, the rate of remuneration paid when the man was called up. In a previous Amendment, we have decided that, on returning to his employment, he should be paid at the rate in force when he returns. Hon. Members will know that at that period in a man's life the rate of wages may go up very steeply. He might, therefore, be in a position in which he was paid four weeks' wages at a much lower rate than the rate to which he would be entitled. In such circumstances, the court might reasonably have an option to give a man more than four weeks' remuneration.
§ 5.12 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
Now that the Minister's attention has been called to the point raised by the hon. Member for Central Leeds (Mr. Denman), I hope he will make the necessary Amendment, which I think would be consequential on one that has already been made. The last words in the Sub-section are:four week's remuneration at the rate at which his remuneration was last payable to him by the employer.The Minister has accepted an Amendment by which the remuneration paid—
§ The Chairman
Attention has already been called to that point, and the hon. Member may not argue the matter, since that is not the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. McEntee
I will only say that I am glad attention has been called to the matter. This provision raises two matters punishment of the employers and compensation to the men. Under the Clause as it is, it might very easily be that the court would get the benefit and that the man would get none; at least, the court might get very much more than the compensation that would be paid to the man. Under the Clause, a fine of £50 may be inflicted in certain conditions, and probably in very bad cases that fine would be inflicted. Having inflicted that punishment on the employer, the same court might award to the man compensation not exceeding four weeks' remuneration at the rate at which he was paid at the time when he joined the Army. I hope the Minister will take the view that it is more important to compensate the man than to punish the employer. That is the purpose of the Amendment which we ask the right hon. Gentleman to accept. Before the Bill comes up on Report stage, I should like to see it made obligatory on the employer to pay compensation, rather than that the matter should be left to the good will or otherwise of a court that may or may not be favourable to the man, according to the district in which it is. The man should get compensation, and the question of compensation is considerably more important than the mere punishment of the employer.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Sir Adam Maitland
There has been, on the part of the Government, a ready disposition to be influenced by the opinion 1035 of the Committee on preceding Amendments, and I reinforce the appeals which have been made to them, to accept this Amendment. Broadly speaking, two parties are affected in connection with this matter. First there is the man who has been called up and who, on the completion of his service, returns to seek employment. Everybody desires that he should be treated in the most generous manner possible. The other party is the employer whose business it is to try to put such a man in the same position as he would have occupied, had he not been called up. The general body of employers will not object to the acceptance of the principle of the Amendment and, having regard to the case which has been made out for it, I hope the Government will accept it.
§ 5.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Silverman
Who will have the right under this Clause to make a complaint? The Clause does not seem to be specific on that point. Will the man affected lay a complaint in a court of summary jurisdiction, or will the official prosecuting machinery be employed, or must both take a hand? If the onus were left entirely on the man himself, then all the provisions about penalties and compensation might become dead letters because the man had not the means to go to court. I hope the Minister will be able to assure us that either the man himself may lay a complaint, or that any authority clothed with the functions of the prosecution of offences, may on its own initiative, lay a complaint and commence proceedings. There is another point, on which I had some discussion with the Minister the other day, and on which I would like further information. What is the position, under this Clause, of the employer of a man who is subject to this Bill and who is on a contract of service which is weekly, or for a lesser period?
§ Mr. Silverman
I submit that it is relevant in this way. We are now considering an addition to the damages which may be awarded by the court under the procedure laid down in this Clause. I ask what will be the position of a man employed on a weekly contract of service, if he returns to his employment and 1036 is then, under his contract, given a week's notice?
§ The Chairman
The hon. Member is now making it perfectly clear that the point which he is seeking to raise has nothing to do with this Amendment.
§ Mr. Silverman
I have no intention of straying beyond the rules of Order and I addressed my question to the Minister in that form, because I thought it was relevant to what we are discussing.
§ The Chairman
The hon. Member has just expressly stated that his question relates to the case of a man who is taken back and afterwards dismissed. The Amendment does not provide for a case of that kind at all. It deals with a case where the man has not been reinstated.
§ Mr. Silverman
It is precisely on that point that I would like the Minister to advise the Committee.
§ The Chairman
Yes, but the point about a man who has been reinstated is one upon which I could not allow the Minister to give any information on this. Amendment, nor can I allow the hon. Member to ask the question.
§ Mr. Silverman
I only ask the Minister in that case, what classes of men, if any, will be protected by this Clause?
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
My hon. Friend asked who would initiate proceedings against the employer. Has he considered the possibility of the military-authorities initiating proceedings?
§ The Chairman
That, again, is a matter which cannot be discussed on this Amendment. I allowed a little latitude earlier as regards references to these matters, but they cannot be discussed at length.
§ 5.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Holdsworth
I feel strongly on this Amendment and hope that it will be accepted. If I may give a personal case, I would say that in the last War my brother, who joined up as a boy of 17, was refused his former employment when he came back. I do not believe that the employer who refused to give him back his job was typical, but there are employers who would take advantage of such a circumstance. Under this Clause, an employer who has reasonable grounds for not giving a man back his job is adequately protected. From the young; man's point of view, it means a 1037 tremendous lot to get back into his employment, because at the age of 21 he is just starting on a real man's job. If an employer takes advantage of the circumstances, it seems to me that four weeks' remuneration is inadequate compensation in view of the fact that the employer is protected under the Clause. We should see that those who give service to their country get adequate recompense, if they are treated badly by their employers.
§ 5.23 p.m.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Lennox-Boyd)
Before I deal with the general intention of the Amendment I wish to dispose of two preliminary points. The hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Thorneycroft) raised the question of long contracts. Nothing in this Clause or in the Bill diminishes in any way the ordinary common law rights of a workman or any other individual. If a man has a long contract and that contract is broken before the proper time, he will have, as he always has, a right to claim damages for breach of contract.
§ Mr. Turton
If he has been awarded damages under the statutory remedy, he would, however, be estopped from claiming damages for wrongful dismissal.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
He can make his own choice of the right under which he shall proceed for the damages to which he is entitled. The second point was raised by the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths) and others who urged that there was justification for increasing the period to 12 weeks because thereby eight further stamps would be paid and the man would be placed in a better position for the ultimate receipt of unemployment benefit. Though, in fact, there would be only 26 stamps to the credit of the man who had served his militia training it is the intention of the Government, by Order in Council, to credit all men who go on that service with their full 30 stamps, so that if a man has no stamps before he undergoes his militia training he will, at the end of it have received 30. If he has a few stamps these will be brought up to 30, and every man at the end of his service will be in a position, should be not obtain work, to go straight on to statutory benefit.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The hon. Member will find that Clause 10, which provides for certain consequential matters, has been drawn widely enough to meet a case of this kind and I am sure that it will meet the general wish of the Committee that a man who has served his militia training, should be entitled, at the end of it, to full statutory benefit.
On the general point of whether the period for which a man is entitled to wages should be extended from four weeks to 12 weeks I would remind hon. Members that when the Bill was announced a desire was expressed that all parties, should collaborate in an attempt to make it the best Measure possible in the circumstances. The Government have been much impressed by the arguments used from all quarters of the Committee on this question, and I am in a position to say that, as a result of the arguments which have been put forward this afternoon, we are prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 5.27 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I beg to move, in page 13, line 3, to leave out from "not," to "or," in line 5, and to insert:before the expiration of one month after the termination of such training as aforesaid apply to the employer for reinstatement, or that, having been offered reinstatement by him, he failed, without reasonable excuse, to present himself for employment at the time and place notified to him by the employer.This Amendment deals with the defence open to an employer who is charged with failing to reinstate a workman. At present the Bill provides that it is a defence for the employer to prove that the person did not apply for reinstatement within a reasonable time after the termination of his training. On consideration, we feel that the expression "reasonable time" might have varying constructions placed upon it by different courts of summary jurisdiction. The Amendment provides, in the interest of all concerned, both employers and workers, that after the expiration of his period of training the worker has one month, which we think a reasonable time, in which to apply for reinstatement. That will give him plenty of time in which to make up his mind whether he wants to apply for reinstatement in his former employment, or prefers some other kind of work. I think the Committee will agree that it is a 1039 reasonable proposition. The Amendment also provides that where after his period of training has expired, a man is offered reinstatement by his former employer, it shall be a defence for the employer in any proceedings against him that the former employé did not come back to work at the time and place notified to him by the employer. Provision is also made that any failure on the part of the employé to present himself is excused if the worker can show reasonable cause.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Stephen
I would like to suggest that there is an alternative here. There is a month in which a man can apply to his employer for work or the employer can say to him, "You must start work on such and such a day." Those are the alternatives, and it occurred to me that if an employer wanted a man to start the day after he came back from his training, it might not be convenient for the man. If the Minister will put in the word "and" instead of "or," I think it will he more satisfactory.
§ Mr. Kingsley Griffith
Supposing that during the month a man is ill, if he applies in writing, will that clear him under this provision?
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 5.32 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede
I beg to move, in page 13, line 5, to leave out from the words last inserted to the end of line 16.
The effect of the Amendment would be to deprive the employer of other defences than those which have just been inserted by the Minister in his last Amendment. A great deal of the argument on this matter has been based on the experience of the Territorials and what happened to them after embodiment. I suggest that that may quite likely be a completely false analogy, because most of the Territorials enlisted with their employers' consent, it was known by the employers that the men were in the Territorials and 1040 when they went away the employers probably had some warning beforehand that that was likely to happen. Further, it was voluntary service. In fact, there were employers who encouraged their men to go into the Territorials, and it was, therefore, understood that they were expecting these disturbances of employment. These men here, however, are not in the same position. They will be taken up by the Government at such time as the Government think fit, and as I understand the rules with regard to the military hardship tribunals, an employer has no right to go to the tribunal and say that it is inconvenient for him if a certain man is taken. The only person who has the right to go is the man himself, and although he might produce his employer as a witness, it would have to be a question of the hardship to the man, not to the employer.
Therefore, we are now a long way from the position that the Territorials occupied, and the response that was made by employers on the recent embodiment and at the end of the last War cannot, I think, be taken as any very good guide as to what will happen with a certain type of employer in the future. My hon. Friends who are associated with me in this Amendment share my view that it will be very undesirable to give the employer too many opportunities to wriggle out of the position in which I think the Committee and the country desire to place him. I can well imagine the hon. and learned Member for Ashford (Mr. Spens), called to defend an employer, doing as he would have to do by the rules of his profession, but much against his heart, his very best for the employer with the various words of the Clause that I propose to leave out. There are the words "reasonably practicable." I have heard long arguments on those words, and there never seems to be any agreement about them. In fact, one side thinks them reasonable, and the other side says, "Can you imagine anything more unreasonable than my learned colleague has said?" When it comes to the word "practicable," there is another word that is a delightful word for casuistry under these circumstances.
Then we come to paragraph (b), and I presume the Minister will take steps to amend the words "not less favourable to him" in accordance with his previous Amendment. There you get the word "impracticable," and we go on after that to the words: 1041reinstate him in the most favourable occupation and under the most favourable conditions reasonably practicable.I tremble to think for how long before quarter sessions, on appeal, learned counsel would deal with each of those words successively, and the variety and ingenuity of the arguments that could be adduced to prove that an employer who had in fact dismissed a man whom he wanted to get rid of had not infringed the Section. I believe that this Committee, irrespective of where we may happen to sit, and the country as a whole desire that these men who are called up shall be protected and shall be assured that when they come back their job shall be available for them. As has been pointed out on a previous Amendment, the penalties that are to be inflicted are within the discretion of the court, and that is an important thing to remember. People will talk as if each time on conviction the magistrates, without retiring, will announce, "You will be fined £50 and pay the employé 12 weeks' wages," and that when the prosecuting solicitor asks, "What about costs?" they will say, "What do you suggest?" and he will say, "Five guineas," and they will say, "Can't you think of six?" I really do not think that is how these cases will be considered by the courts. I have no doubt that, as in every other class of case, the offences will differ in enormity and the penalties inflicted will be graded according to what the bench think is the degree of culpability of the person convicted.
It seems to me that in those circumstances it will be very unwise of the Committee to have vague general words left in the Clause, words providing loopholes for the employer who is in a position to employ learned counsel to plead his case before the bench or before quarter sessions when he goes there on appeal. I hope that it will be regarded as a very serious stigma on an employer if he has to suffer a conviction under this Clause, and, therefore, I conceive that no matter what the penalties are, every excuse will be employed in an endeavour to escape conviction. It was clearly pointed out on Second Reading that my hon. and right hon. Friends on these benches regarded the words that I propose to leave out with the gravest apprehension. We feel that in the generous mood in which the Minister has been to-day, this is a 1042 very small concession for which we are asking. It would improve his Bill and shorten it, and by removing words of vague meaning, which are sure to lead to legal controversy, it will be with the collaboration, as the Parliamentary Secretary said just now, of the Committee one of these improvements which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would desire to achieve in his Bill.
§ 5.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
On a point of Order. I wish to submit to you, Sir Dennis, that as hon. Members are anxious to give adequate time to the discussion of the Amendments on the Paper, and as many of these Amendments bear on the question of reinstatement, and in view of the fact that the Guillotine falls at 7.30, we might take further Amendments now and embrace them in a general discussion on this point. That would enable Members to put their points on the several matters that arise, and we could then divide on them formally. May I mention the Amendments that I think could be dealt with in this way?
§ The Chairman
Does the hon. Member mean those which might be discussed together with the Amendment that is now before the Committee?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Precisely. They are the present Amendment, the one which follows it, in page 13, line 12 and the one on the top of page 1134 of the Order Paper, in page 13, line 16, in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague), which is a matter of machinery. I think it would be desirable if we could take these together, because if we do not discuss machinery at this stage, we may not have the opportunity of discussing it at all.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I do not see how the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague), to line 16, could be discussed with the Amendment now before the Committee.
§ The Chairman
I understand that the Amendment on the top of page 1134 would be as an addition to the Clause, coming after the words which it is now proposed to leave out. The hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell) has, I think, missed one Amendment, in the name of the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. 1043 Rhys Davies), in line 16, to add a proviso at the end, which I have already told the hon. Member I thought we might probably discuss on this Amendment. Then, if hon. Members wished, I could put it to the Committee to divide upon, but I am afraid I could not include in that discussion the Amendment at the top of page 1134.
§ Mr. Shinwell
As we are discussing the general question of reinstatement, I thought we should also be permitted to discuss the question of the appropriate machinery.
§ The Chairman
I think we had better not do that, and if we did, the Debate would probably be prolonged rather than shortened.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
The point raised in my Amendment deals with reinstatement; and those of us who are connected with trade unions will be forgiven if we feel rather strongly about this problem. I would like the Committee to listen to a letter I have just received from my constituency, so that they can see what can happen even now. This is the letter:This man complains that he was recalled to service as a Reservist in September, 1938, and was away from home six days. At the time he was called up he was employed by a Government contractor on the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton, Lancashire; so when he was called up for service in His Majesty's Forces he was already employed on a Government job. On his return home he was informed that there was no work for him and he was unable to secure a reason or explanation from the foreman or from the office on the site, nor could he get to see one of the principals. He also wrote to the Commodore, Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, but received no reply. In consequence he wrote to the Admiralty but again received no reply. He is still unemployed and has a wife and three children.That can happen now, and I intend to write to the Admiralty about it, for I imagine that there ought to be a redress in such a case.
I cannot understand why this Clause on reinstatement is so cumbersome. The Government are deciding at one fell stroke to call up 200,000 young men. Why cannot they use the same power to compel employers at the end of six months to reinstate every one of them? My Amendment, however, deals with a specific point. If an employer is defeated in his defence in court he will pay a fine up to 1044 £50 and pay up to 12 weeks' wages. My Amendment goes further and makes it clear that if the employer succeeds in his defence he must, even in that case, pay the 12 weeks' wages to the man he failed to reinstate. That may appear to a large order; but let me bring the Committee back to what happened during the last War. There were some employers who made up the wages of their employés to the full during the whole period of the War and reinstated them in their former places or in the better jobs they would have reached at a higher scale of pay if they had remained in employment all the time. All employers of labour, even if they succeed in their defence, ought to compensate their employés if they fail to take them back. That is the meaning of my Amendment. When an engineer or a compositor is taken out of his job to become a militiaman, the employer will be compelled to put another man in his place. In the distributive trades, in a shop or office, however, where there are 10 to 20 persons employed, it does not follow that a new man is engaged to fill the vacancy. The people remaining in the shop or office will often do between them the work of the person who is absent for six months. We, therefore, have a strong case for calling upon that employer, at any rate, to pay wages for 12 weeks if he does not reinstate the employé.
The right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to accede to a request from this side on the previous Amendment. Although we talk about paying wages for 12 weeks in these cases, it depends upon the bench of magistrates in the end whether a man gets 12, or two or even one week's wages, or none at all. We know that when fines can be imposed up to £20 the amount is in some cases 10s. or even 5s. I speak with a little knowledge of factory laws. In a factory town where the bench of magistrates is made up of manufacturers, it follows too often that the fine is only 5s. for a serious breach of the Factory Acts. These militiamen are, after all, called up to serve their country. Is it not a fact that they are serving their employers almost as much by becoming militiamen as they are serving their country? The hon. Gentleman opposite shakes his head.
§ Mr. Davies
I thought it was taken for granted that the employer has a greater financial stake in the country than the average boy who is compelled to become a militiaman. We are keen for another reason that these men's employment should be safeguarded when they return. If they are members of trade unions the unions will probably attend to their reinstatement. It is, therefore, a good thing if they are members of trade unions and they ought to be encouraged to join. I have heard it stated by hon. and learned Gentlemen on this side of the Committee on more than one occasion that it is astonishing how many persons who could secure legal redress in courts of law never take the initiative to get it. That is to say, they do not employ hon. and learned Gentlemen often enough and when they ought to. Let us take the case of a young man who is employed by one of the large capitalist combines such as a chain store or a big emporium or Imperial Chemical Industries—
§ Mr. Davies
I have a document here which shows that the National Co-operative authority has already decided to recommend to all co-operative societies to make up the wages of their employés who join the Territorial Force.
§ Mr. Mabane
I am sure the hon. Gentleman would like to state in fairness that the initiative for that came from the chain store organisation and that it was accepted by the Co-operative movement.
§ Mr. Davies
In spite of that, if any large multiple firm did not want to take one of their employés back, what chance would he have against such an organisation of obtaining legal redress?
§ Mr. Mabane
The Multiple Shop Federation are the initiators of the very document to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, and have already given the fullest undertaking on that score. The hon. Gentleman knows it very well.
§ Mr. Davies
The recommendation of the national authority of the co-operative movement is to make up the wages. I am not talking about reinstatement in the co-operatives. It matters little what resolutions some employers pass about reinstatement; trade union officials know too 1046 well the difficulties to be contended with when men come back.
§ Mr. Mabane
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) would not agree with what the hon. Gentleman has been saying.
§ Mr. Davies
I do not care who agrees or disagrees with that. My own trade union employs about 200 persons, and nine or 10 of them will be called up under this scheme. My union, I understand, will make up their wages to the full while they are serving. I would not like of course to say what my union thinks of conscription; that is a different matter. Having said these things in rather strong terms I hope I have not annoyed anybody. I feel almost certain that I have now convinced the Minister that he ought to make a concession on this Amendment, as he did on the last.
§ 5.56 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The hon. Member has not annoyed me in the least but I can assure him that he has failed to convince me of the reasonableness of his Amendment. He puts forward the plea that even if an employer establishes his defence under Clause 6 (1) (a), (1) (b), none the less he shall be obliged to pay 12 weeks' wages to which the man will now become entitled. The hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) did not go so far as that in his Amendment. He wanted to abolish the defence altogether. I think the hon. Member for South Shields realised that it would be impossible for the Government to accept the Amendment when he asked us to make some verbal alteration in line 11, I think, of page 13. He showed thereby that he appreciates that the words to which he takes exception will remain in the finished Bill and that it would be impossible for the Government to accept an Amendment of this kind. He has perhaps forgotten that, far from the employer being the only person who is able to have legal aid in court, legal aid would not be refused to the workman in these circumstances. There is no suggestion that the case of one party to the application would be prejudiced and that the other party would gain.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I can assure the hon. Member that in cases of this kind legal aid would be forthcoming.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
In cases of this kind, when a man asked for legal aid under this Clause, the court would in practice provide it.
§ Mr. Dingle Foot
I would point out that legal aid can be granted only to someone who is accused of an offence. In this case it is the employer who is accused of an offence. The workman is not a party to the proceedings at all. How, then, can he be granted any legal aid?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I must confess that I have been in error on this matter. I had, of course, no desire to mislead the Committee, and I can now only assure them that the point put forward by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Foot) is correct, and that as the employer is the person who is accused it will be the employer who is entitled to legal aid. Apart from that error on my part there is a quite important point with which it is my duty to deal which is more strictly relevant to the Amendment which has been moved. If this Amendment were carried the employer could not feel that, owing to a change in circumstances, it was not reasonably practicable for him to reinstate the man in the job which he had held before. Anybody can realise that it is quite conceivable that during the period of the man's militia service the business itself might have collapsed and it would be quite unreasonable that an employer should not be able to claim as a defence 1048 that his business no longer existed and that he should find himself obliged to pay a heavy fine and give the man 12 weeks' wages for a non-existent job. Even if the man had not been called upon for militia service he would still have been liable to changes and uncertainties of business life, and if the business was liable to disappear he would have lost his job anyhow.
All we are concerned about is to see that no man suffers from being called upon to give militia service. We cannot in other respects put him in a different position from anybody else. If when he came back he found that the business in which he was engaged no longer existed it would be clearly unreasonable that an employer should be compelled to pay him 12 weeks wages or to suffer a fine. This argument, which applies with great force to the Amendment which was moved by the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), applies with even greater force to the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. R. Davies) which was not actually called and which unfortunately led me into that legal error. In regard to the case, mentioned by the hon. Member for Westhoughton, of the man working at the Chorley Munition Works, the Civil Lord of the Admiralty has asked me to say that, without in the least accepting the facts as stated, if the hon. Member will furnish him with full particulars he will most certainly be given an answer.
§ 6.3 p.m.
§ Mr. Stephen
I regard the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary as most unsatisfactory. Some of us have said that this Clause was simply eyewash, and the answer makes it all the more apparent. He has fallen back upon the possibility of the business collapsing after the man has joined the militia and it has lost his valuable services. The only case which he visualised is that of the collapse of the business, none of the other possibilities which are covered by the two words "reasonably practicable." If the Government had been in earnest they would not have put in "reasonably" at all, and would have contented themselves with the one word "practicable," but what is in the mind of the Parliamentary Secretary is that it would be unfair to 1049 put any penalty upon an employer in connection with the man's leaving to give militia service. The employer must not be called upon to make any sacrifice. All right. Suppose that view is accepted. Equally, I claim, the militiaman should not be called upon for any sacrifice in addition to that which he is making by giving six months' service. He may come back and find there is no job for him, but if he had not been away on militia service he would have had all the possibilities of getting other employment during that period.
§ Mr. Stephen
He would have had the possibility of getting 26 stamps, and as to the 30, I am a little doubtful whether the Order in Council under Clause 15 can give him the four additional stamps, because it will have to be based upon the Unemployment Insurance Acts, and I do not know whether a court would give the ruling that the Minister would expect—rule that it would be consequential that there should be 30 stamps. But, as I was saying, the man could get the 26 stamps, and would also have the opportunity of getting employment in his district, where he would be in touch with trade and industry, and might have opportunities for promotion or of going here and there. But he may come back to find that the firm have gone out of business or have decided to reduce their staff, and they can say it is not reasonably practicable for them to give him back his job, and so he is being called upon to make a sacrifice. If the Government do not intend that any sacrifice should fall upon the employer they should take equal care that no sacrifice falls upon the militiaman, and should be willing themselves to provide the 12 weeks' pay if the employer has disappeared and is not to be found and there is no private party upon whom they can put the burden.
The present position is absolutely unsatisfactory. The Government are taking six months of the life of the militiaman and giving him no adequate safeguards as to employment oh his return from service. They say that he is to be given 30 stamps—that is less than a couple of pounds in stamps—and they throw him on to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. 1050 They make him a burden upon the Unemployment Insurance Fund, that is upon the contributions of his fellow workers, because that money which is coming out of the fund might have gone to provide other benefits for the workers. Therefore, it is the workers who are being called upon to make whatever sacrifice is necessary as respects this individual. The Government are careful to do nothing which would impose any burden upon the employers.
If the Government refuse to accept this Amendment it is certain that the militiamen will have no decent prospects when they come back from service, except in the case of a very limited section of employers such as are to be found in the Co-operative movement or in local government or Government service. In the case of ordinary industry carried on by private contractors it is quite apparent that the militiamen will suffer ever so much hardship. We have had the experience of reservists being called up on various occasions, and when they have returned to civil life many of them have been refused employment and have never been able to get back into employment. I think the Committee ought to insist upon the Government reconsidering the whole matter. The Government ought to recognise that they have opened far too wide a gate by introducing this word "reasonably." They have given employers the opportunity of saying that they do not need to employ the man if it is reasonably impracticable for them to do so. The words are far too wide and indefinite, and there is no saying what the courts will decide in the matter.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ Sir Patrick Hannon
I intervene only in consequence of the statements made by the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen). Does he think that the employers of this country are all dishonest people or that they will treat their employés dishonestly? Listening to him, one would imagine that there was no sense of patriotism and responsibility among employers. As a matter of fact, a great number of employers have already indicated their desire to make up the pay of the men during their period of service, and great numbers of employers have declared that they are willing to receive a man back into employment on the very terms which are embodied here. I was 1051 sorry to hear the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) make a speech which was so unkind and ungenerous to employers. He himself has had considerable experience in local government, and he certainly ought not to make a sweeping charge of that kind.
§ Mr. Ede
When did I say anything like that in my speech? I made no such general sweeping charge. I was particularly careful to point out that this Amendment applied to a very limited number of people, those to whom every Member of this House would desire it to apply, and I regret to find that there is one hon. Member who does not wish it so to apply?
§ Sir P. Hannon
The whole of the hon. Member's speech was in the direction of expressing widespread doubt that employers would play fair towards their employés. At least, that is the impression which I got, and I think it is the case with most Members on this side of the Committee. I should like to say also, that the ideas of the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) regarding the organisation of business in this country during the process of war seem somewhat remote from the actual facts. What is to happen to an employer if his business is destroyed from some circumstances arising out of war? There will probably be many instances in which employers will find it impossible to replace in employment the men who are called up for service, and with the best will in the world towards the men there must be some opportunity given to employers to resist the very heavy fines which can be imposed under this procedure.
§ Mr. Stephen
The hon. Member says there will probably be many cases in which it will be impossible for the employer to provide employment for the man after his period of service. Will he say what provision is to be made for the militiaman if he is not able to get employment?
§ Sir P. Hannon
That is a matter entirely in the hands of His Majesty's Government, who are responsible. It is not fair to saddle an employer in this way and, because opportunities of reinstating his people are out of his power, to saddle him with the penalties proposed. I hope that the Minister will resist the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for South 1052 Shields (Mr. Ede) and will pass the consequential Amendment.
§ Mr. Rhys Davies
Would the hon. Member be good enough to read a news cutting which I have here relating to a man who, as reported in Epsom Police Court the other day, was dismissed from his job because of the coming of conscription?
§ Sir P. Hannon
I would read any newspaper cutting presented to me by the hon. Gentleman. I am sure that his selection of news will be on the lines of rigid correctitude. I am dealing with the case of employers of this country; they are prepared to bear their burdens under the Military Training Bill, but they ought not to be accused of subterfuge towards people who return from the Services. Employers are prepared to discharge their duties, under the scheme of preparedness in which the country is now involved, as honestly and honourably as any other member of the community.
§ 6.17 p.m.
Mr. David Adams
In my judgment the Amendment that we are discussing is one of the most important upon the Order Paper. It is unfortunate that the Parliamentary Secretary was absent when the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) was explained because he would have had the advantage of hearing some of the subsequent speeches which must have converted any Member of the Committee who was prepared to be impartial. A militiaman may return after six months' training to find there is no employment for him, or he may return to find himself offered by his employer some inferior engagement, of a lower character financially or otherwise, than the one he had before he left for his training. His position financially and in respect of knowledge of the business may be depreciated so substantially as to change the whole current of his industrial life. Surely in that kind of case, it is reasonable that militiamen should have some compensation, either from the Government or from the employers, for such loss of status. The Government have said in the country that militiamen who join up to be conscripts and who go for six months' training shall not be prejudiced thereby, as they are doing the nation's work.
1053 If our Amendment is not accepted, an employer may not be able for some reason or other, perhaps because his business has changed in certain aspects or because of amalgamation in which he may be financially advantaged, restricted trade or reduced personnel, to make provision for his old employés. What justice is it for the Parliamentary Secretary to refuse compensation for those individuals? There is no difficulty to the employer. Hon. Members opposite have said that it would be a great hardship if employers had to make provision for 12 weeks' pay, on the basis of the pay that the conscript was receiving when first called up, but in many cases that sum would be quite small. Moreover, for a slender insurance premium employers might and ought to be compelled by the Government to insure against such contingencies as might arise. I am advised that for one or two shillings an insurance policy can be taken out by employers who believe themselves to be affected by the circumstances set forth in the Amendment, and they would be preserved against the financial loss of paying out to an employé. It is an act of elementary justice that these men should receive some financial consideration for the loss they will sustain in going away for their six months' training.
§ 6.21 p.m.
§ Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) has in mind. No one would seek to defend the employer who was anxious to escape his duty of reinstating one of these militiamen at the end of the period of service. On the other hand, very little reflection will show us that merely to leave out all these words would not produce a just result. Changes in circumstances regarding businesses might make it impracticable, in the commonsense understanding of the term, for the man to go back, such as in those cases where the man would not have continued in the employment if he had not gone into the Service. I was not greatly impressed with the reply made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour. I suggest that the Minister should tell us that he would reconsider the wording of the Bill to see whether it might be made a little less ambiguous and the purpose that we all have in mind more certainly carried out. In that case, the hon. Member for South Shields would no doubt withdraw his Amendment. When I listened to his speech I certainly thought that his purpose was one which we all had in mind.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'applicable', in line 12, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 241; Noes, 132.1057
|Division No. 122.]||AYES.||[6.24 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Cartland, J. R. H.||Dunglass, Lord|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Carver, Major W. H.||Eastwood, J. F.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Edmondson, Major Sir J.|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Elliston, Capt. G. S.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Emmott, C. E. G. C.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Entwistle, Sir C. F.|
|Assheton, R.||Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Errington, E|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Balfour, Capl. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)|
|Balniel, Lord||Cooks, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Fildes, Sir H.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Findlay, Sir E.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Foot, D. M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Cox, H. B. Trevor||Fox, Sir G. W. G.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Crooks, Sir J. Smedley||Fremantle, Sir F. E.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Furness, S. N.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Cross, R. H.||Fyfe, D. P. M.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Crossley, A. C.||Gluckstein, L. H.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Crowder, J. F. E.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Culverwell, C. T.||Goldie, N. B.|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Halderness)||Davies, C. (Montgomery)||Gower, Sir R. V.|
|Brass, Sir W.||De Chair, S. S.||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Da la Bère, R.||Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Gridley, Sir A. B.|
|Brooks, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Denvills, Alfred||Grimston, R. V.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C (Newbury)||Dorman-Smith, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir R. H.||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.|
|Bull, B. B.||Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G.||Hambro, A. V.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Dugdale, Captain T. L.||Hannah, I. C.|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Duncan, J. A. L.||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.|
|Harbord, A.||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Sanderson, Sir F. B.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Maxwell, Hon. S. A.||Sandys, E. D.|
|Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Schuster, Sir G. E.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Hepworth, J.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S.||Moreing, A. C.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Holdsworth, H.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Hopkinson, A.||Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Hunter, T.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Spens, W. P.|
|Hutchinson, G. C.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Munro, P.||Storey, S.|
|Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Keeling, E. H.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montross)||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Kimball, L.||Palmer, G. E. H.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Patrick, C. M.||Thomas, J. P. L.|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Peat, C. U.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Petherick, M.||Touche, G. C.|
|Latham, Sir P.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Train, Sir J.|
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Pilkington, R.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Procter, Major H. A.||Turton, R. H.|
|Levy, T.||Radford, E. A.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Lewis, O.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Liddall, W. S.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Lipson, D. L.||Ramsbotham, H.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Little, Sir E. Graham-||Rankin, Sir R.||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Little, J.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Rayner, Major R. H.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Lloyd, G. W.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Loftus, P. C.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Remer, J. R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.|
|Macdonald, Capt. T. (Isle of Wight)||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Russell, Sir Alexander||York, C.|
|McKie, J. H.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)||Young, A. S. L. (Patrick)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Salmon, Sir I.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Salt, E. W.||Captain Waterhouse and Lieut.- Colonel Harvie Watt.|
|Markham, S. F.||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Marsden, Commander A.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Acland, R. T, D. (Barnstaple)||Dobbie, W.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Ede, J. C.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||Kirby, B. V.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Lathan, G.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Gallacher, W.||Lawson, J. J.|
|Barr, J.||Gardner, B. W.||Leach, W.|
|Bartlett, C. V. O.||Garro Jones, G. M.||Lee, F.|
|Batey, J.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Leonard, W.|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Gibson R. (Greenock)||Leslie, J. R.|
|Bellenger, F. J||Green, w. H. (Deptford)||Logan, D. G.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Lunn, W.|
|Bevan, A.||Grenfell, D. R.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)|
|Broad, F. A.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||McEntee, V. La T.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||McGhee, H. G.|
|Buchanan, G.||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||McGovern, J.|
|Burke, W. A.||Groves, T. E.||MacLaren, A.|
|Cape, T.||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Maclean, N.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Mainwaring, W. H.|
|Chater, D.||Hardie, Agnes||Marshall, F.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Mathers, G.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Maxton, J.|
|Collindridge, F.||Hayday, A.||Messer, F.|
|Cove, W. G.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Milner, Major J.|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Montague, F.|
|Daggar, G.||Hicks, E. G.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Dalton, H.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Hopkin, D.||Noel-Baker, P. J.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Paling, W.|
|Parkinson, J. A.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Pearson, A.||Smith, T. (Normanton)||Watson, W. McL.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Sorensen, R. W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Pritt, D. N.||Stephen, C.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Richards, R. (Wrexham)||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Riley, B.||Stokes, R. R.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Ritson, J.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Summerskill, Dr. Edith||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Sanders, W. S.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Seely, Sir H. M.||Thorne, W.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Sexton, T. M.||Thurtle, E.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Shinwell, E.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Silverman, S. S.||Tomlinson, G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Smith, E. (Stoke)||Viant, S. P.||Mr. Anderson and Mr. Adamson.|
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Naylor
I beg to move, in page 13, line 12, to leave out "applicable to him when he was," and to insert:which would have been applicable to him had he not been.This Amendment is consequential on one that has already been passed by the Committee.
§ Amendment agreed to.1058
§ "Provided also that where a defence an any of the grounds set forth in the foregoing paragraphs (a) and (b) is successfully maintained, the court shall nevertheless order the employer to pay to the person concerned, a sum not less than an amount equal to 12 weeks' remuneration at the rate at which his remuneration was last payable to him by the employer."
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 135; Noes, 241.1059
|Division No. 123.]||AYES.||[6.34 p.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Noel-Baker, P. J.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Owen, Major G.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Groves, T. E.||Paling, W.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Pearson, A.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Hardie, Agnes||Pethick-Lawrenes, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Barr, J.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Bartlett, C. V. O.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Batey, J.||Hayday, A.||Riley, B.|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Ritson, J.|
|Bellenger F. J.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Hicks, E. G.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Bevan, A.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hopkin, D.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Shinwell, E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Silverman, S. S.|
|Burke, W. A.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Cape, T.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Chater, D.||Kirby, B. V.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Stephen, C.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Lathan, G.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Collindridge, F.||Lawson, J. J.||Stokes, R. R.|
|Cove, W. G.||Leach, W.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Lee, F.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Daggar, G.||Leonard, W.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Dalton, H.||Leslie, J. R.||Thorne, W.|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Logan, D. G.||Thurtle, E.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Lunn, W.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Tomlinson, G.|
|Dobbie, W.||McEntee, V. La T.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||McGhee, H. G.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Ede, J. C.||McGovern, J.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||MacLaren, A.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Maclean, N.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Frankel, D.||Mander, G. le M.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Gallacher, W.||Marshall, F.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Gardner, B. W.||Mathers, G.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Maxton, J.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Messer, F.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||Milner, Major J.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Montague, F.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Naylor, T. E.||Mr. Anderson and Mr. Adamson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Fyfe, D. P. M.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Gluckstein, L. H.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Palmer, G. E. H.|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Goldie, N. B.||Patrick, C. M.|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Gower, Sir R. V.||Peat, C. U.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Peters, Dr. S. J.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Petherick, M.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Assheton, R.||Grimston, R. V.||Pilkington, R.|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Balniel, Lord||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.||Procter, Major H. A.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Hambro, A. V.||Radford, E. A.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Hammersley, S. S.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Hannah, I. C.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Harbord, A.||Rankin, Sir R.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Rayner, Major R. H.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)|
|Brass, Sir W.||Hepworth, J.||Remer, J. R.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Holdsworth, H.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Hopkinson, A.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Russell, Sir Alexander|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Hunter, T.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Bull, B. B.||Hutchinson, G. C.||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Burghley, Lord||James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Salt, E. W.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Keeling, E. H.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Sanderson, Sir F. B.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Sandys, E. D.|
|Carves, Major W. H.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Schuster, Sir G. E.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Kimball, L.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Ponrtsmouth, S.)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Latham, Sir P.||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Spens. W. P.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Levy, T.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Lewis, O.||Storey, S.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Liddall, W. S.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Cox, H. B. Trevor||Lipson, D. L.||Strickland, Captain W F.|
|Crooke, Sir J. Smedley||Little, Sir E. Graham-||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Little, J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Cross, R. H.||Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Lloyd, G. W||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Loftus, P. C.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Culverwell, C. T.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Thomas, J. P. L.|
|Davies, C. (Montgomery)||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.|
|De Chair, S. S.||M'Connell, Sir J.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|De la Bère, R.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Touche, G. C.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Train, Sir J.|
|Denville, Alfred||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||McKie, J. H.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Donner, P. W.||Macquisten, F. A.||Turton, R. H.|
|Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Dugdale, Captain T. L.||Markham, S. F.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Marsden, Commander A.||Warrender, Sir V|
|Dunglass, Lord||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Wayland, Sir W. A|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Maxwell, Hon. S A.||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)||Williams, H. G. (Croyden, S.)|
|Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Moreing, A. C.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Errington, E.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||York, C.|
|Fildes, Sir H.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Findlay, Sir E.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)|
|Foot, D. M.||Munro, P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Neven-Spence, Major B H. H.||Captain Waterhouse and Lieut.- Colonel Harvie Watt.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.|
|Furness, S. N.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.|
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Colonel Llewellin
I beg to move, in page 13, line 16, at the end, to insert:(2) The training to which this Section applies is training for a continuous period of six months or more, being training which the person called up has become liable to undergo by virtue of his having entered or enlisted in one of His Majesty's reserve and auxiliary forces on or after the twenty-seventh day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, and any reference in this Section to a person enlisted or called up shall be construed as including a reference to a person who, by virtue of this Act, is deemed to have been enlisted or to have been called up, as the case may be.This Amendment, as the Committee will recollect, was discussed on Friday in conjunction with an Amendment which I then moved. Although it cannot really be said to be consequential, it is part of the five Amendments to which I drew particular attention on Friday, and I think it will probably be the wish of the Committee to pass it without further discussion.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 6.43 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I beg to move, in page 13, line 16, after the words last inserted, to insert:(3) For the purpose of securing the fair adjustment of contracts of service or apprenticeship in force between employers and employés when the employés are called up for training to which this Section applies, the Minister may make regulations relieving the parties to such contracts of all or any of their obligations thereunder in respect of the period of that training, and may also make regulations modifying such contracts by extending the period of service or apprenticeship thereunder by a period not exceeding the period of the said training and adapting the terms of the contracts in relation to any such extension.This is an important Amendment. It really deals with two points—one major point and one supplementary point. It relates to a matter on which doubt has been thrown recently in the courts by the decision in the case of Marrison versus Bell. The issue is whether or not, for example, wages must continue to be paid during the six months' training. I am advised that in our original drafting we do not resolve the doubt, and so we have put down this Amendment to make sure that, in cases where persons called up for training under the Bill are serving under a continuing contract, either of service or of apprenticeship, there shall be some power, such as is obviously necessary, whereby 1062 the parties to such a contract on either side can be relieved of their obligations or the period of service amended.
In the case of Marrison versus Bell, to which I have referred, a man was absent from his work owing to illness for 3½ months, at the end of which time, on his return to work he was given a month's notice. In that case the court held that he was entitled to his wages during the period of his illness. There is also the case of an agricultural worker employed under contract. The contract is usually for six or 12 months, commencing from some specific date. Then there is the contract for an apprentice, which invariably extends over some years. If this contract is to be interrupted for six months, some ruling ought to be made as to the rights of the parties when the six months comes to an end.
§ Mr. Naylor
We have already passed an Amendment which laid it down that when the militiaman returns to work the conditions of his employment shall be the same as though he had not been called up. Therefore, all the contracts will remain undisturbed, and regulations ought not to be necessary.
§ Mr. Brown
I think the Committee understands clearly what was done in that Amendment. It may be to the apprentice's advantage to settle the matter in one way and the employer's advantage to settle it in another way, or they may both agree. Therefore, we have provided for this way of handling the subject, by regulations, in accordance with the principle laid down. This is a very difficult and complicated problem, and we need a flexible instrument. Let me put it from the apprentice's point of view. Suppose the apprentice has a year to run when he is called up. When he returns, six months later, the question is, should his apprenticeship continue for six months or for 12 months or for some intermediate period? He might prefer to serve another year, or he might prefer that his apprenticeship should end in six months, so that he might qualify for a higher wage. Suppose the contract of service of a worker had still a fortnight to run when he was called up. He might desire reinstatement at the end of his training, or he might prefer to go into other employment and not be bound by his contract. We consider that a reasonable view should be taken of these various options. 1063 We want to make the position about contracts quite clear, in order to meet these varying circumstances which are bound to arise. We suggest that it is wise to do it under general provisions giving the Minister power to make regulations varying according to the circumstances.
§ 6.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Gordon Macdonald
I do not know whether this is the appropriate place to raise the point to which I want to refer. It relates to holidays with pay. The amount of holidays with pay that workers get is determined by the proportion of the year that they have been in their employment. This Bill will mean that for men called up for training six months will be taken out of the year. I wonder whether their position can be provided for in the Bill, so that a young man called up for training will not have his period of holidays reduced as a result.
§ Mr. E. Brown
That will be done under Clause 10. It is intended that no man shall be worse off in any way because he has served his training.
§ 6.51 p.m.
§ Mr. Turton
I am rather unhappy about the position in regard to long-term hiring in the North of England. Agricultural workers there are employed on 12 months' hiring. It would be very unfortunate if their employment was terminated and they were left without any redress. I hope the regulations will be framed to cover all these hirings. Otherwise, we shall be in great difficulty.
§ 6.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Naylor
I have not been able to follow the Minister's argument in support of the Amendment. Obviously, the Amendment was put on the Paper before the Minister knew that there was going to be an alteration made in the Clause on the lines of the Amendment that was accepted earlier.
§ Mr. E. Brown
It is true that this comes after the earlier Amendment, but we have considered it in relation to the concession made, and are satisfied that this does not infringe that concession.
§ Mr. Naylor
I am obliged for the explanation, but I am not clear as to whether there can be any reservation over and above what we have decided already on that Amendment. We said in that 1064 Amendment that when the militiaman returns to work he shall resume under conditions such as would have obtained had he not been called up. Therefore, his conditions of service will not be affected by the fact that he has put in this six months' training. In the case envisaged by the Minister himself a man has a fortnight to serve before he is called up. Under the Amendment we have passed, he will not have to serve his two weeks. There is no question of regulation or alteration of contracts. We have said that apprentices shall be treated as though there had been no interference in consequence of their being called up. Then where do the regulations come in? What are you going to regulate? Does the Minister thoroughly understand what he has already done? Unless he can give me instances of how contracts will have to be regulated by this means, there can be no interference with contracts. Are there any exceptions to that?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I thought I had answered that question. The contract itself we have made quite safe; but there will be questions arising, such as those of which I gave instances; and it is for them that we want power of Regulation.
§ Mr. Naylor
In the event of a contract being modified by Regulation, will it require the mutual approval of employer and apprentice?
§ Mr. Oliver
What does the Minister contemplate with respect to an apprentice who finishes his apprenticeship immediately before becoming a militiaman, who has been employed as an apprentice and not as a journeyman? When he comes back to civil employment as a journeyman, will there be an obligation on the part of the employer to employ him as a journeyman?
§ Miss Wilkinson
When a man comes back to his employment after his training, unless he is an apprentice, with apprenticeship articles, the employer may sack him after a week or two. Is there any tribunal to which he can appeal?
Mr. David Adams
In the case of a bound apprentice in the engineering industry who has six months of his apprenticeship to run when he is called up, is it possible that he may receive his indentures as having completed his apprenticeship, or must he complete the apprenticeship first?
§ Mr. Lees-Smith
This Amendment gives the Minister powers so wide that they could be used to nullify the intentions he expressed in accepting the other Amendments. Before we accept this, I would like the Minister to give us an assurance that the overriding purpose shall be to ensure that when the man returns to his employment he shall be placed in a position no worse than when he went for his training.
§ 6.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Leonard
I would like to hear an answer to the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Miss Wilkinson). In the case of a person, returning to his work after his training, who works for one week, are not the terms of the Bill then complied with, and cannot dismissal take place without any penalty for the employer?
§ Mr. S. O. Davies
Before such Regulations as are proposed here are issued, will the Minister give an assurance that he will consult with trade union representatives?
§ Mr. Brown
As the Committee knows, in these industrial matters it is our constant and regular practice to consult with the employers and employed when we issue regulations affecting an industry. In regard to the other point, we had repeated discussions on that before the hon. Member was in the House. It is quite clear that you cannot put terms on an employer outside the contract. What we are doing is to say that a man shall be 1066 in no worse position than he would have been in if he had not been called up for service.
§ 7.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Silverman
We have agreed to an Amendment which provides that when a man returns to his job he shall return upon terms no less favourable to him than the terms on which he was engaged before he went away. If those terms were a weekly contract, he would have been entitled, before he went away, to a week's notice and no more, and it would seem to follow therefore than when he comes back he is entitled to a week's notice and no more. It would further seem to follow from that—and this is what I understood the Minister to say, and I would like him to confirm it—that if in those circumstances a man employed on a weekly contract is reinstated by the employer on the same terms as before, including a week's notice, and then works a week and at the end of that week is given a week's notice, or a week's wages in lieu of notice, the employer has then completely discharged his obligations under the contract itself. There is no question of any evasion in those circumstances. Clause 6 has not been broken at all, and no question of penalty or compensation arises.
If that is so, is it not patent that there is no protection at all for anybody under this Clause, because the great majority of boys between 20 and 21 are employed precisely on those weekly contracts of service. So that if an employer does not want to take a young man back because it would disturb his way of working, or because he never liked him anyhow, all that he has to do, in order to avoid all this elaborate machinery, and appearing before the courts and being given compensation, is to take him back and, at the expense of one or two weeks' wages, he avoids all liability of any kind. If that is so, I say that this Clause is the cruellest fraud on an unsuspecting public that has ever passed this House.
§ 7.4 p.m.
§ Mr. Spens
I do not know whether this is the right moment to discuss this question or on the Amendment to the next Sub-section that the Minister has put down. But I should be sorry to sit in this House as a lawyer if I believed that the courts of this country would not be able to find that an employer who made a 1067 habit of taking men back for a week after their service and then discharging them was not evading every single obligation under this Clause.
§ Miss Wilkinson
Has the hon. and learned Gentleman any experience under Workmen's Compensation law, where the whole body of employers deliberately do this sort of thing, and they have been held to be right under the law? Every trade union official knows that this is the kind of thing that we are continually having to deal with, and men like the hon. and learned Gentleman take enormous fees to go into the courts in these cases.
§ 7.6 p.m.
Mr. David Adams
May I have an answer to my question? What I want to know is whether, when an apprentice has spent the last six months of his apprenticeship in the Army his apprenticeship is to be considered under these regulations as completed or not. The answer the Minister gave was that that is just the sort of question that will arise under these regulations; which is no answer at all. The undertaking of the Government is that apprentices will not be prejudiced. But that apprentice comes home and is to be compelled to serve his aprenticeship for six months more; he cannot receive what he would have received, a journeyman's wage. In that case he is prejudiced, and the Government are not keeping their contract. What I want to know is, Are an apprenticeship's indentures considered to be completed when he comes back home at the end of six months?
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I have already told the hon. Member that the whole basis of this is that the man should not be worse off when he comes back. That, I think, is a complete answer to the hon. Member. In answer to the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman), the week's contract which he mentioned may be the normal practice of the industry concerned, and in that case the man is not damnified at all, because when he comes back he remains in the same position as before. On the other hand, there might be good 1068 reason to suppose that certain employers were making use of these conditions deliberately to evade their obligations. We cover that by regulations, and indeed, if the hon. Member will look at the later Amendment on line 26, he will see we propose to take power to make regulations to deal with just those circumstances.
§ 7.9 p.m.
§ Mr. Silverman
Would the right hon. Gentleman deal with another point? It may very well be true—and I should not be concerned to dispute it with him—that where a weekly contract is the normal thing in an industry, a man coming back from his military service and getting a week's notice would not in a legal sense be damnified. He would have got the same notice after returning to work as he would have been entitled to before, and it is possible in a purely legalistic way to argue that he has not suffered. But the right hon. Gentleman knows as well as I do that in fact the man has suffered, because, had he never gone away, his place would not have been filled and the employer would have been under no inducement to give him the week's notice, which admittedly he had the legal right to give him. So that, although that man's legal position may, in an argumentative sense, be said to be unaffected, his actual economic position has been affected, in that he has lost the job which formerly he had, and which there is every reason to believe that, but for his period of training, he would have continued to hold.
§ 7.11 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
The hon. Gentleman overlooked this: That man might be a class of employé who was under a weekly contract of service but was in an industry where employment was intermittent. Then he would be better off if he had been away for six months because, as already explained to the Committee, he would have his compensation paid for that period.
§ 7.12 p.m.
§ Sir Percy Harris
What the right hon. Gentleman says is certainly very disturbing, and strikes at the very root of the promises made by the Government. The impression generally conveyed to the young men who are going to be liable for service is that the vast majority of them will be able to go back to their jobs and stay in those jobs for three months. Un- 1069 fortunately, the vast majority of my constituents are not apprentices; they are weekly wage earners. I have heard it said that all that an employer has to do in the case of an ordinary workman at a weekly wage, is to take him back for the week, and he can then dismiss him. I was inclined to deny that, but the statement of the right hon. Gentleman makes it clear that that will be his fate. The whole Clause is largely a fraud, except for men who are apprentices, or who are engaged on a long-term employment. I think the right hon. Gentleman should amend the Clause in such a way as to give a real, and not artificial, protection.
§ 7.13 p.m.
§ Mr. Mainwaring
In the mining industry there is little or no apprenticeship. It is possible that in the period during which young men will be called up for training a large number of them will have been due for promotion in the service of the company which employs them. This year is a more material year in the life of a young man in the mining industry than any other year. To return a young man to the particular employment he was in before he left is not justice to him at all. Justice will be done only if he is reinstated, not in the job he had before, but in the job he might have been promoted to had he not been called away for his conscript service.
§ 7.14 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
It was precisely on that point that an hon. Member opposite moved an Amendment, which the Government accepted earlier in the day. In answer to the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) I think he misunderstood the position. He is putting the case of a man who comes back from service, is reinstated in his job, and a week later is sacked. In the clearest possible sense of the word that would be a deliberate evasion of the Act. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Well, I am giving my opinion. It is to deal with such things that the Government have put down an Amendment later giving them power to make regulations under this Clause to deal with evasion. But the hon. Baronet surely would not say that if a man on a weekly contract comes back from service, and afterwards that job ends, the man in those circumstances is damnified because he has been away for his training. 1070 I submit that the Government's line is the right line. We say to a man who is going for his-service, "When you come back you shall not be worse off than you were, and shall not lose the chance of betterment you would have had." You are not entitled to say in the normal run of industry that a man, who comes to the end of the job, should therefore have the right to ask for continuous employment. I think the hon. Baronet was a little unfair to the great bulk of employers in this country. From past experience on previous occasions, the overwhelming majority of employers, whether the contracts with their men are daily, weekly, monthly, or long-term contracts, will only be too keen to do justice to the men who have gone for training.
§ Sir P. Harris
I did not wish to make any insinuation against the vast majority of employers. I have no doubt that they are desirous of doing justice, but I want to make sure that the right hon. Gentleman will consider this case of the weekly wage-earner, which is a liability for only one week.
§ 7.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Stokes
I understand the point of view of the Minister perfectly well in putting over the sob-stuff on behalf of employers, because I am an employer myself. What I want to do is to put the young man's case to the Minister. The Government are in a very difficult mess in this matter, and I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the only fair way to deal with these young men is to say, "Provided you have been employed for a period, say, of six months before your conscription, it shall be obligatory on your employer to take you back, unless he is either bankrupt or out of business, for at least a period of six months after you have returned from your military service."
§ 7.17 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
May I submit this point to the Minister and ask for a reply? As I understand this matter, a man may have a job with an employer with every prospect of continuing in that employment for some years, and also of receiving increases in his wages as his service goes on. He is called up for service, and his employer engages a substitute. When the man comes back from training, for a great 1071 variety of reasons, the employer may prefer to continue to employ the substitute rather than to reinstate the conscript, and he can then under this Bill discharge all his liabilities to the conscript by giving him a week's notice. The man looses the prospect that he enjoyed of having continuous employment and of receiving increases of wages. If that is the legal position of the man under this Bill, how can the Government, by regulations, do anything to improve it or to penalise the employer for having done what he is legally entitled to do? If that is the true interpretation of the facts, can the Minister tell us how he proposes to deal with that particular situation by means of regulations?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I should say that that is an obvious case of evasion. The hon. and gallant Member has put a case where a man has been replaced in a job which would have been his on termination of his training. The Committee will see exactly the division between the two classes of employer which I made in my last speech. To ask me to explain how it is to be done in all these cases is, I think, not quite reasonable, but I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that the Amendment which we have put down later' on in line 26 is intended to deal with just this class of case.
§ Mr. Montague
Does that mean the dealing with the case of evasion which may involve the question of the one week job of the militiaman?
§ 7.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Leslie
The Minister is well aware that wages in the distributive trades are fixed according to age. Will a man who is called up at 20 and reaches the age of 21 by the time he returns from military service, be entitled to the wage that he ought to receive at 21, or will he receive the wage which he was obtaining at 20? Statements have been made that employers are not likely to dismiss men 1072 at the end of a week. Our experience in the distributive trade in the last War was that thousands of men were kept on for only a short period; many of their places were filled by women and they were not able to return to the distributive trade.
§ Mr. E. Brown
The answer to the hon. Member is certainly "Yes." It is not the sort of case where, in legal phraseology, there would be a variation in contract.
§ 7.21 p.m.
§ Mr. David Grenfell
Am I to understand that the Minister claims for his Amendment that the position of the employé is not prejudiced by the gap in the performance of contract? There are conditions and terms of employment which bind workmen and employer. The workman is called away by the Government and spends six months in military training and the service of the State. He returns to his employment, and the previous conditions of service are to continue as if there had been no gap or absence on his part. Then, I understand, it is that the Minister claims that in his later Amendment he will provide for the avoidance of the evasion which my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman) fears is possible unless something more than the present Amendment is done. Does a workman, with the right to a week's notice before his employment is terminated, get some guarantee in the subsequent Amendment that the employer will not claim that he has fulfilled his obligations by simply giving him a week's wages instead of a week's work? Are these two Amendments together sufficient to protect the ordinary normal working contract of the workman, and is the second Amendment meant to prevent the employer from assuming that his obligations have been discharged by payment of a week's wages?
§ 7.23 p.m.
§ Mr. Leonard
It is clear from the statement of the Minister that the Amendment to which he has referred is to deal with evasion, but the point involved here is held out not to be evasion at all. May I draw his attention to the statements of his own supporters, especially that of the hon. and learned Member for Ashford (Mr. Spens), who said that the employer who habitually indulged in this practice 1073 would be evading the law, but we are not dealing with the person who does this thing habitually.
§ Mr. Leonard
The hon. and learned Gentleman said that a single case will be difficult. It should not be difficult; it should be clear. When a conscript has served his period under economic conditions less favourable generally than the work he left, it is all the more necessary that he should be assured of a period of employment when he comes back. That is very important, and, apart from what is to be done to cover evasions, more attention should be given to this particular point.
§ 7.26 p.m.
§ Mr. Gallacher
With all respect to my hon. Friend I do not believe in the legend of the good employer. The so-called good employer is the one who is prosperous today, but if he is in difficulties to-morrow, he becomes a bad employer. This is the actual fact from experience. Therefore, we have to make certain that we leave no loopholes. I would call the attention of the Minister to this situation. An employer has in his employ a man of 20 who is called up this year. He has also a lad aged 19, and one or two younger employés in his service. The lad of 19 is moved into the job which has been vacated by the young man of 20 who has been called up for military training, and the other lads in employment are moved up accordingly. When the young man, who is now 21, returns after doing his six months' military training, he finds the young man who is in his job is nearing 20. According to the provisions of this Bill the employer cannot sack the young man about to be called up next, and, therefore, what is he going to do with regard to the young man who has come out after having done his six months' service? Is he going to find him a job? What will he do in the ordinary run of affairs? He may take him on at
§ some other and possibly less remunerative form of occupation, and then, after a day or two, give him a week's notice and clear him out. That is what will happen in many cases. I ask the Minister whether he has given any consideration at all to the case where a job of a conscript has been filled by a lad of 19 who is already an employé, and what is to happen when the conscript comes back?
§ 7.29 p.m.
§ Mr. Montague
I beg to move, in page 13, line 16, after the words last inserted, to insert:(2) Any person whose employer has failed to reinstate him in accordance with the provisions of this Section, may submit his complaint to a Military Training (Hardship) Committee, and if the Committee are satisfied that the complaint is well-founded they shall advise the Minister accordingly, whose duty it shall be to institute proceedings against the employer.There is no time left to argue the point of the Amendment, which I formally move. I ask the Minister to accept this perfectly reasonable proposal.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am sorry that we cannot close this part of the proceedings by accepting what the hon. Member has asked us to do. These hardship committees are to be set up to discharge quite definite functions, and there would be no sense in making provision for them to deal with this particular matter. There is elaborate, and we believe, effective machinery to meet the case which the hon. Member has in mind. The Minister, or the trade union, or the man himself, or indeed any other person, may institute police court proceedings if an employer fails to carry out his obligations.
§ It being Half-past Seven of the Clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 10th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 141; Noes, 267.1077
|Division No. 124.]||AYES.||[7.31 p.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Barnes, A. J.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Ammon, C. G.||Barr, J.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Banfield, J. W.||Bartlett, C. V. O.|
|Batey, J.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Owen, Major G.|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Hardie, Agnes||Paling, W.|
|Bellenger, F. J.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Parker, J.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Bevan, A.||Hayday, A.||Pearson, A.|
|Broad, F. A.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Pathick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Bromfield, W.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Price, M. P.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hicks, E. G.||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Burke, W. A.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Riley, B.|
|Cape, T.||Hopkin, D.||Ritson, J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Chater, O.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Sanders, W. S.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Collindridge, F.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Shinwell, E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Kirby, B. V.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Daggar, G.||Lathan, G.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Dalton, H.||Lawson, J. J.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Leach, W.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Lee, F.||Stephen, C.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Leonard, W.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Dobbie, W.||Leslie, J. R.||Stokes, R. R.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Logan, D. G.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Ede, J. C.||Lunn, W.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||McEntee, V. La T.||Thorne, W.|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||McGhee, H. G.||Thurtle, E.|
|Foot, D. M.||McGovern, J.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Frankel, D.||MacLaren, A.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Gallacher, W.||Maclean, N.||Viant, S. P.|
|Gardner, B. W.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Marshall, F.||Watson, W. McL.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Mathers, G.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gibson R. (Greenock)||Maxton, J.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Messer, F.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Milner, Major J.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Montague, F.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Muff, G.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Groves, T. E.||Naylor, T, E.|
|Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Noel-Baker, P. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Oliver, G. H.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Adamson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Elliston, Capt. G. S.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Emery, J. F.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Emmott, C. E. G. C.|
|Albery, Sir Irvin||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Entwistle, Sir C. F.|
|Allan, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Errington, E.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Channon, H.||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Everard, Sir William Lindsay|
|Assheton, R.||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Fildes, Sir H.|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Colville, Rt. Hon. John||Findlay, Sir E.|
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)||Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Fleming, E. L.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Fox, Sir G. W. G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Fremantle, Sir F. E.|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Furness, S. N.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Cox, H. B. Trevor||Fyfe, D. P. M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Craven-Ellis, W.||Gluckstein, L. H.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Crooke, Sir J. Smedley||Goldie, N. B.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Cross, R. H.||Gower, Sir R. V.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Crossley, A. C.||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Crowder, J. F. E.||Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Culverwell, C. T.||Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.|
|Boyes, H. Leslie||Davies, C. (Montgomery)||Gridley, Sir A. B.|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)||De Chair, S. S.||Grigg, Sir E. W. M.|
|Brass, Sir W.||De la Bère, R.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Denville, Alfred||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Hambro, A. V.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Donner, P. W.||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G.||Hannah, I. C.|
|Bull, B. B.||Duokworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.|
|Burghley, Lord||Duggan, H. J.||Harbord, A.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Duncan, J. A. L.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Dunglass, Lord||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)|
|Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A.||Eastwood, J. F.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan|
|Hepworth, J.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Shepperson, Sir E. W.|
|Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.||Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Holdsworth, H.||Moreing, A. C.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Hopkinson, A.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.||Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)||Smithers, Sir W|
|Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hunter, T.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Hutchinson, G. C.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Spens, W. P.|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Nall, Sir J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Storey, S.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Keeling, E. H.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Patrick, C. M.||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Peake, O.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Kimball, L.||Peat, C. U.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S)|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Petherick, M.||Thomas, J. P. L.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.|
|Latham, Sir P.||Pilkington, R.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Touche, G. C.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Procter, Major H. A.||Train, Sir J.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Radford, E. A.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Levy, T.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Lewis, O.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.||Turton, R. H.|
|Liddall, W. S.||Ramsbotham, H.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Lipson, D. L.||Ramsden, Sir E.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Little, Sir E. Graham-||Rankin, Sir R.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Little, J.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Rayner, Major R. H.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Lloyd, G. W.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Loftus, P. C.||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Watt, Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie|
|M'Connell, Sir J.||Remer, J. R.||Wayland, Sir W. A|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|McKie, J. H.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Rowlands, G.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Maitland, Sir Adam||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Russell, Sir Alexander||Wise, A. R.|
|Markham, S. F.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Marsden, Commander A.||Salmon, Sir I.||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.|
|Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Salt, E. W.||Wragg, H.|
|Maxwell, Hon. S. A.||Samuel M. R. A.||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.||York, C.|
|Medlicott, F.||Schuster, Sir G. E.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Selley, H. R.|
|Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)||Shakespeare, G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Captain Dugdale and Mr. Munro.|
§ The CHAIRMAN then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments moved by the Government, of which notice had been given, and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Seven of the Clock at this day's sitting.
§ Amendments made:
§ In page 13, line 17, leave out "out for service under this Act," and insert "up for training."
§ In line 21, leave out "service," and insert "training."
In line 26, leave out Sub-section (3) and insert:
(3) If the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary to restrain employers from termi-
§ nating the employment of their employés by reason of any duties or liabilities which they are or may become liable to perform or discharge by virtue of the provisions of this Act, or to make provision for the prevention of evasion of the provisions of this Section, he may make regulations for those purposes, and such regulations may make provision for the punishment of breaches of the regulations and may in particular apply with, respect to persons found guilty of such-breaches any of the provisions of this Section relating to persons found guilty of offences under this Section, with or without modifications."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 269, Noes, 132.1081
|Division No. 125.]||AYES.||[7.41 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Albery, Sir Irvine||Anstruther-Gray, W. J.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Aske, Sir R. W.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Amory, Bt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Assheton, R.|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)||Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.||Owen, Major G.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Peake, O.|
|Balniel, Lord||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Mddl'sbro, W.)||Peat, C. U.|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||Grigg, Sir E. W. M||Peters, Dr. S. J.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Grimston, R. V.||Petherick, M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.||Pilkington, K.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Hambro, A. V.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Hammersley, S. S.||Procter, Major H. A.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hannah, I. C.||Radford, E. A.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Harbord, A.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.|
|Soyce, H. Leslie||Harris, Sir P. A.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurnay (Holderness)||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Ramsden, Sir E.|
|Brats, Sir W.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Rankin, Sir R.|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Rayner, Major R. H.|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Hepworth, J.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)|
|Bull, B. B.||Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.||Remer, J. R.|
|Burghley, Lord||Holdsworth, H.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland. N.)|
|Butcher, H. W.||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hunter, T.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Hutchinson, G. C.||Rowlands, G.|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.|
|Cazalat, Thelma (Islington, b.)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Russell, Sir Alexander|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)||Keeling, E. H.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Channon, H.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Salt, E. W.|
|Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Colville, Rt. Hon. John||Kimball, L.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Schuster, Sir G. E.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.||Selley, H. R.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Latham, Sir P.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Cox, H. B. Trevor||Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Shepperson, Sir E. W.|
|Craven-Ellis, W.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Crooke, Sir J. Smedley||Levy, T.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Cross, R. H.||Lewis, O.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Liddall, W. S.||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Lipson, D. L.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Culverwell, C. T.||Little, Sir E. Graham-||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Davies, C. (Montgomery;||Little, J.||Spens, W. P.|
|De Chair, S. S||Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|De la Bère, R.||Lloyd, G. W.||Storey, S.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Denville, Alfred||Loftus, P. C.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Donner, P. W.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Dower, Lieut.-Col. A. V. G.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Duggan, H. J.||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||McKie, J. H.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Dunglass, Lord||Macquisten, F. A.||Thomas, J. P. L.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Maitland, Sir Adam||Thorneycroft, G. E. P.|
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Mander, G. le M.||Touche, G. C.|
|Ellis, Sir G.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Train, Sir J|
|Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Markham, S. F.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Emery, J. F.||Marsden, Commander A.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Mason, Lt.-Col. Hon. G. K. M.||Turton, R. H.|
|Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Errington, E.||Medlicott, F.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Everard, Sir William Lindsay||Mills, Major J. O. (New Forest)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Fildes, Sir H.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Findlay, Sir E.||Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Fleming, E. L.||Moreing, A. C.||Watt, Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie|
|Foot, D. M.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Furness, S. N.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Nall, Sir J.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Gluckstein, L. H.||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Goldie, N. B.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Wise, A. R.|
|Gower, Sir R. V.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Wood, Hon. C. I. C.||York, C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wragg, H.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)||Captain Dugdale and Mr. Munro.|
|Wright, Wing-commander J. A. C.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Noel-Baker, P. J|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Oliver, G. H.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Paling, W.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Parker, J.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Hardie, Agnes||Pearson, A.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Hayday, A.||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Price, M. P.|
|Batey, J.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Bellenger, F. J.||Hicks, E. G.||Riley, B.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Ritson, J.|
|Bevan, A.||Hopkin, D.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Bromfield, W.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Shinwell, E.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Burke, W. A.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly|
|Cape, T.||Kirby, B. V.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Chater, D.||Lathan, G.||Stephen, C.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawson, J. J.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Cocks, F. S.||Leach, W.||Stokes, R. R.|
|Collindridge, F.||Lee, F.||Strauss, G R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Cove, W. G.||Leonard, W.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Leslie, J. R.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Daggar, G.||Logan, D. G.||Thorne, W.|
|Dalton, H.||Lunn, W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Tinker, J. J.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||McEntee, V. La T.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||McGhee, H. G.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dobbie, W.||McGovern, J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||MacLaren, A.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Ede, J. C.||Maclean, N.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Marshall, F.||Wilkinson, Ellen|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Maxton, J.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Frankel, D.||Messer, F.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Gallacher, W.||Milner, Major J.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Gardner, B. W.||Montague, F.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, SJ||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Muff, G.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Nathan, Colonel H. L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Naylor, T. E.||Mr. Groves and Mr. Mathers|
Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.