HL Deb 08 July 1926 vol 64 cc963-95

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


My Lords, if those with whom I am associated on this Bench have not placed a Motion on the Paper for the rejection of this Bill on Third Reading it is not because of any want of strength in the opinions they entertain about it. We set down such an Amendment on the Motion for Second Reading and there we discussed the reasons which make us object to the Bill in its entirety. I will not recapitulate those reasons, but I am going to draw attention to a circumstance of gravity in its bearing on this Bill which emerged during the discussion and which led the Government itself to pause and, I think, to get into a mood of considerable nervousness. The intimation came that the Yorkshire coal owners would not conform to the standard scales of wages which were supposed to have been accepted by the rest of the coal owners. Very properly that was a matter which came as a shock to the Government and the Government actually put off the stages which they had intended to ask for as regards the Bill in order that that might be cleared up. Has it been cleared up? So far as the Yorkshire coal owners are concerned, I do not doubt that they will carry out what they have said, but that docs not touch the real difficulty—the difficulty which we indicated in our speeches on the Second Reading and which I will indicate now.

The Government certainly ought, as soon as they found that that was a real source of danger—and, indeed, they ought, to have done it, as we indicated, before—to have taken the Bill out of the category of being a Bill which was to come into operation whether the miners liked it or not, which was to send them back to the old eight-and-a-half-hour system which they used to have before 1919. The Government should have taken power to suspend the operation of this measure by Order in Council, or in any other way they liked, so long as it gave them control over the proceedings in each mine and group of mines as well as in the mines as a whole. I say that with the greater emphasis after the incident to which I have referred. But what occurred? The Government are gambling. The Government are playing for the miners going in. Frankly I do not know whether they will or not. I am certainly not in a position to say they will and I am not in a position to say they will not. They know themselves and the Government do not know. According to the newspapers there is not the least indication of the miners accepting the Bill and the situation which it creates at the present time.

In these circumstances, with the Bill in the form that it is now in—a Bill reserving to the Government no control over the situation, not enabling them to deal with the coal owner who is acting unjustly, not putting it in the Government's power to deal with groups of mines in particular districts, still less with the mines as a whole—what is the position that the Government may have to face? We may have a series of sporadic strikes—strikes not in every mine, strikes where the men feel themselves, wrongly or rightly, outraged by terms which may be put upon them. And what assurance have we that that will not happen? I have looked at the announcements of the coal owners. They have announced wages for three months ahead, sometimes for six months, but generally for the shorter period. When that time elapses, what then? The men are at their mercy. It is very easy to talk of a coal strike as a thing that passes away quickly, but it does not come without inflicting immense damage on the industries of the country and it is not a thing as to which you can predict what its duration will be. I say that in those circumstances the Government have been very wrong in not keeping in their hands power by means of which they could control the action of the coal owners in the future, if coal owners act in an unreasonable way.

Coal owners are only human. They are not there for philanthropy; they are there for profit; and so long as they make their profit in a reasonable way all is well. But sometimes they do not make their profit in a reasonable way, and that is what has led to a good deal of the disturbance that there is at the present time. Here we have this Bill, by your Lordships' fiat about to pass into law, with all the consequences which it may entail, with the perils, industrial and social, which it may well bring with it, and with no instrument in the Government's hands by which in the future they can control the situation. It is not easy to go back on a measure of this kind after you have once passed it. It is not easy to deal with a situation for which you have made no provision. I can only say, speaking with the deepest seriousness, that I do not think I have been present on an occasion which I more regret than this, when the Government, despite the warning they have had, despite the situation which has sprung into view, have failed to keep in their bands any power by which they might deal with what may be lying immediately before them.


My Lords, I submit, with all respect to your Lordships' House, that since the Second Reading of this Bill a new situation has arisen which calls for some discussion. It cannot be discussed in another place, and your Lordships' House is the only place where it can be discussed. That new situation is, of course, this incident in the Yorkshire coalfield. Even before the Bill was on the Statute Book certain mine owners posted rates of wages which were described by two members of the Government as "profoundly unsatisfactory." That was done before this Bill had passed through your Lordships' House. It was an anticipatory measure on the part of the coal owners. If such things happen in the green leaf, what is going to happen in the future? After all this Bill, though advocated as temporary as well as permissive, is going to operate for a period of five years. I think it may be claimed for the Labour Party that it not only foresaw but it also foretold something of this kind, though I do not believe anybody in that Party ever expected that what has happened would happen quite so soon.

When I heard the decision of His Majesty's Government the other night in this House I must say I was profoundly gratified. I felt like a man who has been standing by watching a conflict between the powers of darkness and the powers of light within a certain body and from that announcement it looked to me as if the powers of light had won a victory. It seemed to me a magnificent move on the part of the Government to hold up the Bill. They exerted thereby a pressure on the owners which dismayed them and, so far as I can see, they did perhaps the finest thing a Government can do—insisted so far as possible on justice being done to both sides in a controversy. I was lost in admiration of the Government and I did hope that they would persist, I did not put their action on the low ground of Party politics. Not at all. I cannot better describe their action than as a victory for the powers of light. The threat that this Bill would not pass brought the coal owners in the West Yorkshire field to their senses. I doubt if there has ever been a more sulky letter than the letter of those owners saying that they would come into line.

The noble Viscount who has been piloting this Bill through your Lordships' House declared, if indeed he did not complain, that the Government could not insist upon conditions as between the two parties in this coal dispute, that the Government could only act as a mediator, could only suggest methods of compromise, could try and bring the two parties together, but in point of fact had no real power at all. That, unfortunately, will be the case when this Bill is passed. I submit that while this Bill is in a state of suspense the Government can do what the noble Viscount regretted they were unable to do—at least I gather that he regretted it. He declared that the Government were impotent and that is, surely, a very disagreeable confession in a matter so vital to the national welfare as this. He said, "We have no power." I submit that the Government have a very real power at this moment, but if this Bill passes for the period of five years, Heaven only knows what will happen in the minefields this day nine months, what conditions will be imposed, and then the Government, having forged this weapon, will find themselves impotent to prevent one party to this controversy using it.

I listened with the greatest attention to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, on this subject. It seemed to me that if some modification of the Government's programme was possible, it was on those lines that it could best be made. I also agree with my noble Leader, Lord Haldane, that something in the way of amendment which would give the Government powers of discrimination hereafter is absolutely essential for the just working of this Bill. It is not too late to remedy this evil. We have had a sharp lesson during the last few days. We have seen what might happen and what I am much afraid will happen if this Bill becomes law as it stands. This is an age-long conflict between owners and men. It is a conflict; it is no good disguising the fact. Everybody knows that certain owners are very popular with their men, even beloved by them, but radically and fundamentally there is strife between these two parties and it is likely to go on in a far more bitter form. I give the Government every credit for the best intentions when they first brought in this Bill, but, to go back to my first point, I submit that in the last few days we have had a lesson which has absolutely transformed the situation and that in common justice to the men, with this lesson before our eyes, we should amend the Bill both on the lines suggested by my noble friend Lord Haldane and with due regard to the suggestion of the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Burleigh.


My Lords, before the noble Viscount makes his reply on behalf of the Government I would like to say one word. In the first place, I would like to thank the noble Viscount for the kind and courteous way in which he dealt with the suggestion I made on Second Reading. One of the objects which I had in mind in making that suggestion was that the impartiality of the Government should be made patent by a proof which could not be contradicted. It so happens that that object has been achieved in a rather different way by the events of the last few days. The intervention of the Government in the matter of wages has gone a long way to make it clear, if proof were needed, that they are holding the scales level.

But it possibly may also have had another consequence. I was very glad to hear the noble Lord opposite describe that intervention as a victory for the light, but unfortunately all the noble Lords on that Bench, perhaps, are not quite of the same opinion. Some of them at all events have rather suspicious minds. I refer to the comment of the noble Earl, Lord De La Warr, on the suggestion I made on Second Reading. I believe that suspicious minds throughout the country have made the suggestion that this intervention in the matter of wages is evidence that the Government have, in fact, some kind of responsibility for the wages which have been offered in the coalfields by the owners. My understanding of the situation is different. As I see it the Government are merely doing their best to act as umpire and have no responsibility whatever for the terms which may have been proposed. It is simply because I think it is highly-desirable that we should know where we stand in that matter that I venture to ask the noble Viscount if he can throw-any light on that point.


My Lords, I venture to think there has been a little misapprehension about this incident of the Yorkshire owners. The point is simply this: that the Yorkshire owners—I am not judging them, or saying whether they were right or wrong, or had any justification for what they did—made an entirely fresh proposal which was not one which had been discussed or considered—namely, that the ratio of division of proceeds should be varied from that which had been settled, I think it was in 1924. That is to say, instead of the proceeds being divided in the ratio of 87 to the miner and 13 to the employer it should be 85 and 15. The Government did feel that it was a very unfortunate thing that an entirely new suggestion of that kind should be made at the last moment. It was with reference to that proposal, and that proposal only, that the Government thought it right to say that they desired further time to consider the situation if that proposal was going to be persisted in. The moment that matter was brought to the attention of the owners they said, in the letter which was read in your Lordships' House, that they recognised in the circumstances that it would be right not to persist in that proposal.

But in taking that action, I venture to say quite definitely to my noble friend behind me, the Government did not propose to accept any responsibility one way or the other for the general rate of wages that was going to be offered. That is a matter which they think must be settled between the parties, as it always has been settled, and it is quite impossible for the Government to fix rates of wages either in that or in any other industry. That is not the purpose or the object of the action which the Government took. I confess I am a little, startled that there should be any suggestion that the Government should take any such action as that. I have always understood that the Labour Party were vehemently opposed to compulsory arbitration in wage disputes. That may be right or wrong, but if there is to be compulsory arbitration it is evident there must be compulsion on both sides. The noble Lord now speaks as if it were right that there should be some means of compulsion on the owners, but quite wrong that there should be any means of compulsion on the miners. I do not think that he will consider, on reflection, that that is a fair suggestion to put forward.

I venture very respectfully to protest against the line of argument which noble Lords have adopted. The noble and learned Viscount said that this was a gambling proceeding. I really do not quite know what he means. This is an effort to bring the coal dispute to an end. It is an offer, a suggestion of a further means which may be tried for that purpose. We have tried every other means—




Well, that is our view. We have made every other suggestion that we could make for three months past and, having made these suggestions and all of them having failed, we thought it right that this new avenue should be opened towards a solution. I do not know why that should be called a gamble. That is the whole object of the Government's action. It is not taken in the least with a view to coercing this side or that, but merely with a view to opening one further method of bringing this dispute to an end. I know that it is the, practice outside, but I regret that it should be so in this House, to treat these people, as the noble Lord who has just spoken treated them, as being essentially opposed to one another and enemies of one another. There is no hope of industrial peace on those lines. The coal owner may be, as the enemy of Mr. Briggs said, "a very devil"; but coal owners are not perfect fools and they cannot desire a perpetual continuance of strife with their employees. Of course it is madness and destructive of the whole of their interests if it is to be thought thru they are moved by no other or higher motive than that. They all desire peace and it is a matter of profound regret that, both sides desiring peace, as I cannot doubt that they do, they should yet be unable to come to terms and make peace for themselves.

All that the Government can do is to help in every way towards that end. I do not think that we should be helping if we were to assume that one side or the other was going to act unfairly and that therefore we were to retain or reserve some means of coercing one side, particularly as it would be an entirely one-sided operation. I beg noble Lords opposite to try to get into a better state of mind, to try and assume that this is going to lead to peace, and to use their influence with those who pay attention to them, if the miners pay attention to anybody, to preserve a peaceful attitude and to come to a settlement of this dispute. The Government are prepared to use all their influence with all sides and all parties with that object, and I venture to think that the best thing to be done now is to pass this Bill without further delay and to see whether this avenue will load to peace, though the other avenues unfortunately have not done so.


My Lords, I always listen with the greatest respect to the noble and learned Viscount opposite. He told us that this was a gamble on the part of the Government, and that he did not know whether the miners were going in or staying out. That has been pretty well hinted at by the noble Lord who spoke just before the noble Viscount who is in charge of the Bill. The noble Viscount spoke of perils. Yes, there are perils, serious perils, and I wonder if the Labour Party and its representatives on that Bench have thought of the perils that this country has to go through in the industrial districts where there is no coal; if they have thought of the miserable conditions in Middlesbrough and other places of which we have heard. Let me add this.

All the speeches that we have heard from the other Benches lead only to one thought in my mind, and that is that so long as they support the miners in their attitude and encourage them to stop out they are encouraging a system of anarchy. It has been stated quite clearly in another place that they are out for that. I am sorry to say that I have seen anarchy at work and it is a terrible thing. I do not think that your Lordships realise what living in a state of anarchy is. I have lived under it and seen it in practice; it is the most horrible thing that you can ever see. We all know that, whatever the Labour Party may say in another place, it is what they say outside that really matters to the people whom they address. They wish to create confusion in this country, and there is no use in blinking that prospect, The hand of peace has been held out by the Prime Minister throughout, and the noble Viscount has appealed to noble Lords on the other side of the House to bring about peace if they possibly can.

Let me draw attention to a pronouncement issued the other day by the Labour Party. It consists of twenty-three instructions issued by the Third International of Moscow to the British Communists, and the twenty-third and last of these instructions runs as follows:— Agitate for a change of Government Demand 'Down with Baldwin, the defender of capitalists Long live a real Labour Government.' This has never been denied by anybody, even by the late Labour Prime Minister, and I wish to know if noble Lords opposite agree with this exhortation which was issued two or three weeks ago by the Labour Party. I am not going to trouble your Lordships any longer, but I hope that I may make one suggestion to those gentlemen and noble Lords who own coal mines. Let them got out in the open and speak to the miners themselves. Do not take a hall and speak to them there, but go out and speak to them and tell them exactly what the state of affairs is, what their leaders want them to do and what it will lead to. That will have a great deal more effect then any inside meetings, and the best time to do it is at the luncheon hour. If they do that they will be listened to with respect and with care. Your Lordships may think it rather impudent of me to make such a suggestion, but I have had to do it myself and to talk even to men who were a great deal more wicked than the English miners. They have gradually come to the conclusion that order is the best thing and that anarchy is a bad thing.


My Lords, I hope that your Lordships will be as patient with me as we draw near the dinner hour as the noble Lord's friends are at the luncheon hour. I was very glad to hear from the Bench opposite some statement at least as to their view of the present situation. I have not said anything on this Bill before. It is not because I have not felt very strongly about it, however, and I should like first to tell the House what is my own view of the Bill and its effect, and, in the second place, to say a word upon what I understand to he the view and the belief of noble Lords opposite, and to make an appeal to them. The noble Viscount, Lord Cecil, said that this Bill is a gesture and an offer of peace by the Government. It is the most ill-received offer of peace that I have ever known of, for from the moment that this suggestion was made opinion among the miners has hardened in every possible way, and the strike has been embittered.

I think it is fair to say that up to that moment the head of the Government, Mr. Baldwin, was looked upon as a man who really was passionately in favour of industrial peace, and passionately doing his best to achieve it. Rightly or wrongly, the moment this decision as to hours was adopted the view taken by the miners, and by the rest of the labour world, was that Mr. Baldwin had come down on the side of the owners. Whether that view is rightly taken or not, it does not make for peace, and will not make for a shortening of the struggle. It is suggested that the effect of this Bill is to give another opportunity for arriving at a settlement by an extension of hours instead of a reduction of wages, or a smaller reduction of wages. That may be perfectly true, but there was no demand for that solution on the part of one of the parties. Only the owners demanded, and clamorously demanded, that solution, and the Government would, I think, have had their good intentions more credited, and more believed in outside, if they had coupled with what is really a concession to the owners' demand those steps towards the reorganisation and improvement of the coalfields which are recommended by the Coal Commission.

The Government said at one stage that they accepted the Report of the Commission; that is, if the other parties accepted it. I am not saying for a moment that the miners' conduct has been at all wise in this matter, or that they have always adopted the best method for arriving at a compromise or negotiation, or indeed that they have not sometimes asked the impossible; but I am inclined to think that it would have been possible to get the acceptance by both parties of the Report of the Commission if the matter had been approached reasonably. There was a remark made by Mr. Baldwin during the passage of the Bill in another place which was seized upon as suggesting, and apparently meaning, that that possibility was still open. Unfortunately that was not developed, and the Bill has been hurried on, and I rather understand that we are now asked to believe that the expression was merely one of good will and not one of desire to go back to the Report of the Coal Commission.

It has been said that the Bill is permissive. There never was such an abuse of words. You are saying to the men, "The law will not prevent your working more than seven hours," but the terms which the owners are going to present to the men are terms of eight hours, and what it means is this: "if you do not accept those terms you do not get any work." That is hardly permissive. It is permissive to the extent that if the owners do not ask for eight hours the men can work seven, but if they ask for eight hours the Bill is only permissive in the sense that you say to the men: "You either take the job or you starve." It is also said that the Bill is going to help the miners because the actual money wage which they will receive is going to be less reduced. I do not profess to understand the finance of the coal-mines, but it does appear to be the fact—I think all speakers admit that it is the fact—that a large number of the coal-mines, as at present run, are uneconomical and do not pay.

One remedy, of course, is longer hours or lower wages. Another remedy is reorganisation. Well, what I under- stand is suggested by the Royal Commission is that both remedies should be tried concurrently—that sacrifices should be made by the men on the understanding that the owners put their house in order. Yesterday, when the Bill was being discussed, I heard a speech from a mine owner on the other side, who addressed the occupants of this Bench and said the mine owners were tired of being told how to manage their own business. We have no wish to interfere with the business of the mine owners, but it has been presented to us time after time by industrial disputes and by strike disturbances, because, apparently, they cannot manage their own business, and to complain because the country and the Government have been at last compelled to intervene seems to be a little audacious. They got short shrift from the Royal Commission, and they appear to get rather short shrift from the Prime Minister in some of the correspondence. I do not think they can come here and say: "Here we are, commercial people, running a commercial enterprise so extremely well that it is impertinent for you to talk about it." Such a line is indefensible.

Those are my feelings about this Bill, and I want in conclusion to make an appeal to the Government. Lord Cecil of Chelwood said it was not for the Government to fix wages. Be it so. But the Government do apparently consider that they have some right, and even some duty, to put pressure upon the owners in certain circumstances, as to the terms to be offered. So apparently some sort of responsibility is admitted. How were they able to put that pressure upon the owners? By the very fact that this Bill was not upon the Statute Book. When this Bill passes will they not have sacrificed, once and for all, that weapon? If the Government are serious—and I credit them with the best intentions, and with really believing the case they put forward—if they are serious in saying that they want to hold the balance fairly and do not want the owners to change the percentages or other conditions of work in a way which is unexpected and unlooked for—if they are prepared to intervene and prevent that, will they not insert an Amendment in the Bill to retain that power? That is a question which really requires an answer.

If the Government thought proper during the passage of this Bill to impose terms upon certain Yorkshire coal owners, why have they not the right to keep that power in their hands? I am not prepared to think so meanly of the Government as to suppose that their only reason is that they cannot afford a few days' delay in the passage of this Bill. That would hardly be a reason creditable to a Government which says, and I suppose thinks, it is doing all it can for industrial peace in this matter. I therefore ask the noble Marquess, the Leader of this House, whether the Government will not even at this last moment propose an Amendment of that character to this Bill. It would go a considerable way to restore faith in the Government, which has been entirely destroyed by the course taken in this matter, and it is perfectly obvious that their intervention, advice and suggestions cannot be useful and fruitful if one side has entirely lost faith in them.

Your Lordships know perfectly well that, rightly or wrongly, the miners are convinced that the Government have come down on the side of the owners, and mostly I cannot blame them for thinking that. I am sure the noble Marquess does not take that view, and I am sure that that is not in his mind, but it is the feeling which exists, and therefore I ask the Government: Cannot you do something to remedy it by putting an Amendment in the Bill and retaining some power in your hands? Let them consider the position. The Bill passes, and is put upon the Statute Book, giving what you are pleased to call a permissive eight-hour day. Terms have already been posted in some of the coalfields, as if this Bill had already passed, and with complete contempt for this House and its power of revision. At the end of the comparatively short period fixed in those terms what will the coal owners be free to do? They will be free to impose longer hours with shorter wages, and there is nothing to stop it except a fresh strike.

We are all concerned. The last noble Lord who spoke read some extracts from Moscow, which I confess did not interest me. It is not a source from which I take my inspiration—or my terrors. What are we all concerned with? We are all concerned with industrial peace and prosperity in this country. It is not only His Majesty's Government who have that in their concern. Very few of us, and I think none of us in this House, are out for revolution. Of course, the noble Marquess would be the last person to taunt us with anything of that sort. But we are honestly trying to help His Majesty's Government not to go too far wrong and to make the situation too impossible. I do appeal to what a noble Lord has called the better feelings of His Majesty's Government. I ask them to think over this matter and see whether at this moment they will not insert an Amendment which will give them some control over the future of this Bill rather than have to introduce another Bill to suspend it.


I do not intend at this late hour, when your Lordships are anxious to come to a decision, to make a speech, but it would not be courteous to a noble Earl for whom I have a great regard if I did not respond to the appeal which has just been addressed to me. The noble Earl has tried to impose upon the Government the responsibility of fixing all the conditions of employment in the coal industry—because that is what his speech really amounted to. There is a tremendous difference between an intervention such as took place in the course of the passage of this Bill, where conditions were sought to be imposed which were profoundly unsatisfactory, in the opinion of the Government, and taking the responsibility of all the details of the conditions of the industry and of the wages in the industry. We cannot, of course, accept any such responsibility.

I should have thought, however, that the fact of that intervention to which the noble Earl (has referred would have restored his confidence, and the confidence of the miners, in the complete impartiality of His Majesty's Government. I hoped—not that that was the reason of our action—that one of its consequences would have been that men of good will, like the noble Earl, would have been convinced of our good faith. He must trust the Government. I know he does not agree with us but that is the Constitution of our country—he must trust the Government, and the Government have the power always to propose to Parliament any measures which they think fit. That is the ultimate resource and that is the only resource to which the noble Earl can appeal, or which the Government can use.

There is one other observation of the noble Earl's to which I should like to make reference. He said that ho was convinced that if an effort had been made the parties could have been got to accept the Report. Why does the noble Earl think so We tried our hardest. The Prime Minister did everything he could. As a matter of fact, I myself was present at what may have been the last effort which was made, and I heard the actual question put to the Labour leaders—"Will you accept the Report, including its effect upon wages, whatever that may be?'" "No." What more could we do? We did out utmost, and now we are still trying our best to restore peace, and, as my noble friend behind me has said, this is another effort so that no opportunity shall be missed, no effort spared, that lies in the power of His Majesty's Government to produce peace in the coal industry.


My Lords, I entirely agree with one remark of the noble Marquess, and that is that the one object I hope we all have is the restoration of peace. It is only from that point of view that I wish to say a few words. As the Bill now stands, and having regard to what happened in the Yorkshire coalfield, is it in the least probable that the miners will consider the Bill as a kind of olive branch which might possibly lead to a peaceful solution? I am perfectly certain that the noble Marquess himself would come to the conclusion, if he thought it over, that that is not really in accordance with either human nature or human probability. I very much sympathise with the view that if you want a friendly feeling you might get it in the same sort of way that you get it at Geneva, that is to say, you might have a peace policy and a League policy, as was pointed out by Mr. Clynes the other day, in order to bring these industrial disputes to a peaceful end. Is it possible that you could expect a movement in that direction by pressing forward a Bill of this kind in its present form? Everyone knows that the Government are pressing forward this Bill in its present form without any provision whatever for the protection of the miners. It is just the sort of Bill that is likely to raise the maximum of antagonism and friction and to give the least chance of a settlement.

What took place in South Yorkshire the other day showed—and I do not blame the Government in the least for it—that there was no security under the terms of this Bill that the only alteration would be in the hours of labour. My own view is that that is a tremendously serious matter, which goes down very deep into the social standards of the workers. But what we are asking for now is that, having knowledge and notice of an act of this kind, the Government should assent to the proposition that, if their intentions and desires as regards this Bill, as expressed constantly in this House, are not carried out, they should provide themselves with a suspensory power. What is the objection to that? I do not hold the view, to which the noble Marquess referred, that any Government can interfere in all the details of a business transaction. That is a matter between employers and employees. I presume that on a subsequent occasion we shall have the opportunity of discussing what their ideas of reorganisation are.

How does this Bill stand? What guarantee have the miners of peace if they assent to these prolonged hours of labour Nothing can be more terrible than unduly prolonged hours of labour in such an industry as that in which the miners are carrying on their daily work. I have often noticed in the noble Marquess's speeches, both in this House and outside, that he has very properly dwelt on the necessity of creating a good feeling. I look upon that as more or less the kernel of the whole business. If you are to have satisfactory conditions you must in the long run depend on the good feeling between employer and employed. The noble Marquess himself has pointed out, very soundly and properly, that in many country districts where you do not have the industrial conditions that exist in the mining industry, it has been possible to create a feeling of that kind, which has gone a long way to solve working class difficulties. In the same way the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, has pointed out one or two directions, particularly in the direction of co- partnership, along which, if you have good feeling, you could probably carry out a peaceful arrangement as between the miners on one side and the mine owners on the other. You cannot do that under this Bill as it stands, and I think that is admitted all round.

But why should not there be a suspensory clause, so that the miners should be protected against this Bill being used to their detriment, except so far as they come to agreements on the question of the number of hours? If the noble Marquess himself was attempting in any way to create good feeling between himself and those in his employment, I am sure he would take the very action that I am urging the Government to adopt in connection with the Bill. Of course he would. He would say: "I do not want to coerce you; it is not my object to force you to do what in your hearts you detest. But I think the longer hours are necessary"—I assume that is part of his case—"and I will see that you are protected against any imposition being placed upon you in other directions by the power which the mine owners will have under a Bill of this kind." I feel sure that that would be his action and that what I say has his sympathy.

I am aware that this is a Government matter. Then why should not the Government bring peace (because that would be the result) into this great industry by retaining a suspensory power which should only be used on occasions when they thought that a wrong use had been made of the provisions of the Bill? That is a very simple question. I do not know whether the noble Lord, Lord Gainford, is in his place at the moment, but I listened with great interest to the speech he made yesterday afternoon. It must have occurred to everyone who heard that speech that the mine owners intend in their own financial interests to run this Bill as far as they can. That is what came out of what he said. That is wrong.




It is very easy to say "Divide"; but on a great social issue of this kind this House ought to listen with the greatest patience. Nothing, I think, can be more derogatory to the dignity of this House than to seek to get an early Division on a Bill dealing with a great social question of this kind which affects the whole standard of living of the working classes of this country. We may not be able to convince noble Lords, but surely they will have the decency to listen to what is being said about a great question of this description. I know it is not the view of the noble Marquess. He has not attempted to intervene in an unseemly way, and I am certain that I have his sympathy in what I am saying. I know that he would desire a peaceful solution and we have suggested from our side of the House how that may be brought about. I beg the noble Marquess, if possible, to reconsider the answer he has given and to insert in the Bill a suspensory clause which would further peaceful negotiations in this great national industry.


My Lords, I can assure your Lordships that it is only with the greatest diffidence—


Divide !


If your Lordships prefer the sounds of your own voices, I am perfectly prepared to stand here and listen to them. It is only with the greatest diffidence that I rise at this late hour to address your Lordships. It is however, because we consider on this side of the House that the Bill which the Government seek to pass is full of the most pregnant meaning for the future of this country that I do so. I cannot help noticing somewhat of a contrast between the attitude of some of your Lordships and the appeal made by the noble Viscount speaking on behalf of the Government. He appealed to noble Lords on this side of the House to assume peace.




If your Lordships are not even willing to listen to the case of the miners how will it be possible for us on this side of the House to assume peace, and what guarantees have we before us for assuming peace? Are we not being asked to burn our boats by allowing this Bill to go through without further delay? After all, what is it that is offered us in return? Absolutely nothing. We are told that there is a form of agreement between the Government and the mine owners that something like 50 per cent. of the districts shall not make any reduction in wages. There is another way of stating that case. If we were feeling rather less charitable towards the Government we might put it that there was an agreement between the mine owners and the Government that on the passage of this Bill there should be a reduction of wages in 50 per cent. of the districts. How, then, can you expect the miners to regard this Bill as anything but a declaration of war?

But it is worse than that. The offers put forward by the mine owners are only temporary offers; they are offers only for three months. So the position is that the miners are to be expected to go back to work on an eight-hour day, 50 per cent. of the districts suffering wages reductions and the other 50 per cent. offering the same wages as before for three months. Then, having got the men back and knowing that it is not always as easy to get men out as to keep them in, the coal owners are doubtless trusting to the hope that they will be able to force whatever terms they wish upon the men.

During the debate on the Second Reading I ventured to ask the noble Viscount who spoke for the Government one or two questions. I was unable to get a reply and, with your Lordships' permission, I shall repeat those questions. I believe they are fundamental to the whole case for this Bill. After all, what is the case for the Bill? As far as I can remember, and I have listened fairly patiently to the debates in your Lordships' House and in another place, there has been hardly any attempt whatsoever on the part of the Government to demonstrate stage by stage by economic argument exactly how it is possible to benefit the industry by reversion to an eight-hour day. Not at all, and that is not the case. The case has been this: "The miners are so hopeless that they will not accept anything; they have no counter proposals to put forward; they will not agree to the Report, and we can only put the Report into operation with the agreement of both sides."

With your Lordships' permission I will attempt to deal as briefly as possible with those three points. With regard to the point that the miners have not accepted the Report, that is made first of all as a charge, and can only be con- sidered a charge against the miners if it could be definitely established and proved, as has never been done, that the other two parties to the dispute, the Government and the mine owners, had accepted the Report in all sincerity. The noble Marquess, Lord Londonderry, said with very great heat, interrupting the speech of my noble friend behind me, Lord Arnold, that the mine owners have accepted the Report. Does that statement really bear one moment's analysis? If they accepted the Report why did they, within one week, make an attempt to go outside the Report by endeavouring to go past the Miners' Federation and make arrangements in the districts. That was a direct breach of the Report and even the Government had to admit it. The mine owners departed from the Report further than that. I will ask your Lordships to cast your minds back to the final terms they offered to the Miners' Federation on April 30. What were those terms? I will not give them in detail, but will put them as briefly as I can as it is getting so late. The terms were these: A reduction of wages plus an increase of hours.

For the moment we are not arguing the merits, we are discussing whether the mine owners ever really accepted the Report or whether they did not. What does the Report say on this question? We are unable accordingly to recommend the acceptance of the main proposal of the Mining Association for a return to the 8½ hour day. Then they sum up that chapter of "Hours" in the following words, on page 179:— The important objections to an extension of working hours would remain unaffected."— They have been discussing various suggestions— Extension of working hours at this time of depression is not a natural but an unnatural way of reducing costs and meeting the immediate difficulty. That is very clear— Extension of working hours at this time of depression is not a natural but an unnatural way of reducing costs and meeting the immediate difficulty. Nothing could be clearer than that. They go on— On the other hand, looking away from the immediate difficulty to the time when the various measures which are proposed for reorganisation of the industry shall have had their effect, we see no reason why the standards of living and leisure already won should not be maintained. As the main charge against the miner appears to be that he has not accepted the Report, can your Lordships now honestly complain that that really is a charge at all?

On the contrary, admitting that the miners have not accepted the Report, the mine owners are in exactly the same or a very much worse position. And what about the Government? We are told the Government accepted the Report. Will that statement bear analysis? The noble Marquess the Leader of the House referred to certain negotiations that took place on April 30 and to a certain question that was put to the Miners' Federation by, I think, Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister. This is a point on which I have endeavoured twice before to obtain an answer from the Government. I can only hope that perhaps I may have more fortune to-night. He asked the Miners' Federation a question. I venture with very great humility to suggest that the version I will give of that conversation is the more correct one. I have always understood that the question that was put to the Miners' Federation was this: "Will you or will you not admit a reduction of wages?" That question may seem perfectly reasonable, but are we quite sure that the Government had any right whatsoever to ask it, and afterwards go on to make it their main charge against the miner and constantly state that one of their main reasons for introducing this Bill was the fact that the miners never accepted the Report?

Let us see what the Report has to say on this matter. I think your Lordships, however prejudiced you may be, will have to admit, when you hear the first part of the recommendations of the Commission, that there is a very good reason why it has been impossible to obtain a reply from the Government on this question. What is it that the Commission say? Before any sacrifices are asked from those engaged in the industry, it shall be definitely agreed between them that all practicable means for improving its organisation and increasing its efficiency should be adopted, as speedily as the circumstances in each case allow. The measures to these ends which we consider practicable are stated in the preceding chapters of this Report and will be summarised in the chapter that follows. Your Lordships will have noticed these words: Before any sacrifices are asked from those engaged in the industry. I ask your Lordships to look at this matter in a fair and unprejudiced manner. Can you honestly say—and I challenge the Government to deny it—that the Government did not on that evening of April 30 throw over the Report?

There is another reason which the Government have given for introducing this Bill. They have told the nation repeatedly that they could only apply the Report of the Commission if it was agreed to by both parties to the dispute. Surely that introduces an entirely new conception of Government—that the Government, even when dealing with a great national industry such as the coal industry, are unable to come forward with national proposals and to treat that national industry as a national concern. I do not think that the Government's statement that they could not apply this Report without agreement by both parties will bear analysis any more than their other statements. If agreement is really so very essential, why is it that ten weeks or more after the beginning of the strike they have produced this Bill? If they had sat down in Cabinet Council for a fortnight on end they could not have found a more provoking or more controversial Bill. They knew all along that, whatever the attitude of the Miners' Federation is on wages, it is doubly adamant on hours.

Before I pass on to reorganisation and the steps that we believe should take the place of this Bill, there is one other question which I asked the noble Viscount on the Second Reading to which I should be very grateful to have an answer and not only I. It is a matter, I believe, that is of vital concern to the whole nation. The noble Viscount in his speech on Second Reading referred to the matchless power of sympathy and sincerity of the present Prime Minister. Many of us on this side of the House have felt up till quite lately that, however much we disagreed with the Prime Minister in general views on political questions, we could at least say that we regarded his honour as unassailable. There are many of us still willing and anxious to be convinced that we are wrong in having changed our opinion, as we have done, and if the noble Viscount could give me an answer to this question I think it would do much to clear up the feeling of doubt that exists in our minds. The Prime Minister, during the period of the General Strike, was naturally very anxious to obtain the confidence of the workers, to reassure them and to make it quite clear that they were wrong in seeing in this struggle a direct attack on the standard of the life of the miner. He therefore broadcast a certain speech in which he said:— I wish to make it as clear as I can that the Government is not fighting to lower the standard of life of the miners or of any other section of the workers. Would the noble Viscount reconcile that statement with the terms of the Bill which is before your Lordships?

The noble Viscount, in his reply on Second Reading, attacked the noble Earl, Lord Beauchamp, for having blamed the Government first and foremost for having delayed action in dealing with the whole mining dispute that started in April of 1925 until a crisis was forced on the nation, a crisis which could not be dealt with in the space of the few months that the Government thought sufficient; and then said he contradicted himself by making the charge against the Government that this particular step was far too strong a step. The noble Viscount, in effect, said:—"Surely this is a contradiction. The noble Earl first complains that we took no steps whatever and then he complains that we have taken steps." The noble Earl was perfectly right in his contradiction. That is exactly what has happened. The Government did shirk the issue the whole of last year right up to the end of July. It shirked the issue again right up to April 30 of this year, and now at last, driven by panic into taking some sort of action, they commit the folly of taking action that could do nothing but prolong—and prolong, to some of our minds, almost indefinitely—the conditions in which the country finds itself to-day. Now, some of us are making a last-minute attempt, a last-minute appeal to the Government to realise what they are doing, to come to their senses and see that there is another way out. But they will not. It has sometimes been said that there is no man so obstinate as the really weak man, and that saying cannot help having an appeal, not only I think to the Labour Party but to many people in the country who have hitherto sympathised with the Government.

There was one further point which the spokesmen for the Government have urged as a reason for introducing this Bill. It was this: that there was no alternative, that there was nothing else to do, and that certainly, the noble Viscount said, no sort of alternative had been proposed from the Labour Benches. He gave us the credit, I remember, of having put forward nationalisation of the coal industry, but he dismissed that as being generally accepted in your Lordships' House to be an inefficient way of dealing with industry. I would like to ask your Lordships this: Do any of you imagine that if the coal industry was being run to-day and had been run during the last few years under Socialism, under national control, that a single one of your Lordships sifting over there would have given that system as many chances as private enterprise has been given in the control of the coal industry? Of course not. In 1919, after the first Inquiry had declared the industry in its business organisation to be scandalously inefficient, there would have been such a protest in your Lordships' House that it would have been difficult for any Conservative Government, at any rate, to have stood up against restoring the coal industry to private enterprise.

What then are our immediate proposals? What would we do if a Labour Government was in office and in power at the present moment? Of course we have to admit that any action that had to be taken now would not be nearly so easy of being brought to a successful conclusion as it was a year or more ago. You cannot for over a year do what the present Government have done, neglect opportunity after opportunity for dealing with the situation, and then expect suddenly to turn round and find exactly the same situation which faced you before, by your handling, you had aroused all the passions that exist to-day. I think one of the saddest things that faces us to-day is that the spirit of war is rampant, not only in the hearts and minds of men who usually call for war but in the minds of those who have always been known to be men of peace.

The road may be more difficult and longer, but still it would be the same road. There is only one road for dealing with this problem, and that is the road of reconstruction and of building up a new industry. To hear some of the most distinguished members of His Majesty's Government speaking and to read their speeches in the country one would almost begin to believe that all this trouble arose from a sort of combination of the natural original sin of the British working man backed up by Russian gold, but I do not think that the more intelligent of your Lordships need reassuring on that point. You know perfectly well that the reason why we are in the present situation is that the men who at present control the industry have failed lamentably to carry on that industry in so efficient a manner as to provide the nation with coal at a decent price or the men who are employed in that industry with a decent standard of livelihood.

We are told that the Labour Party has no constructive proposals. If the proposals of the Labour Party, which have been before the country for years, had been put into operation when they were first asked for, there would have been no crisis to-day. I would ask those of your Lordships who believe that the Labour Party is acting in some spirit of obstruction in opposing this Bill and that they have no other proposals, to buy a small pamphlet entitled "Coal and Common Sense," which summarises the proposals of the Labour Party on this question. We are told that it contains pure theory. Is that fair? If your Lordships go through the constructive-proposals of the Royal Commission you will find that their Report, while omitting many of our suggestions, is based on the Labour Party's proposals. Some of your Lordships, most notably the coal owners, the noble Lords, Lord Joicey and Lord Gainford, who have apparently left the House, told us what they thought of reorganisation. As one listened to the speeches of those coal owners, one began to realise why it is that the coal industry to-day is in a state of turmoil and why it is that it has never been possible either for the mine owners or the nation to persuade these men to reorganise the industry. They have no faith in reorganisation and they have told us so.

Let us for a moment admit their contention. There is no need to admit it, for we have the Reports of no less than four national Inquiries behind us in making our contentions. Let us admit that Lord Joicey and Lord Gainford know more about it than do the four national Inquiries and that the miner really does overrate the value of reorganisation. Does that absolve the Government from blame for having thrown over the Report and having given up the problem? No one who has studied the problem seriously would say that their Reorganisation Bill is going to effect anything serious. Does it really justify them on throwing over the Report? As I see it, the Government have told us that it is not their business to interfere and to enforce agreement. Very well; let us admit that they are right. But surely this makes it all the more important for the Government to attempt to remove the psychological barriers to a settlement. They know perfectly well that, rightly or wrongly, the miners are convinced that the whole future of their standard of living is bound up irrevocably with the reorganisation of their industry. Was it not, therefore, the obvious course for the Government to start right away as soon as the Commission reported and say to the two parties: "I do not care what you think. Here we have a national Report for which we paid over £20,000,000. We are going ahead to put it into force and we are not going to insist as a condition of putting that Report into force that the miners admit before entering into negotiations that they will undergo reductions in their standard of living." I think that is the way in which the Labour Party would have attempted to deal with the matter, and that is the way in which I am going to appeal to the Government even now to deal with it.

What are the proposals? There is the nationalisation of royalties. That is a proposal that has been in the Labour Party programme for years and has now been adopted by those who were appointed by the nation to inquire into the industry. It was adopted temporarily by the Government and then thrown over. Then there is amalgamation of the mines in the various districts. They are to come together and be organised very much more efficiently from the point of view of production and cutting down overhead expenses. Then there was another point which was dealt with by the Commission, and which perhaps explains why the miners did not jump at its Report as quickly as the Government would have liked. I refer to the unification of the industry on a sound national basis, the better organisation of production, the better use of carbonisation and electricity, better sales, the establishment of a central selling agency for the export trade and the giving of powers to the municipalities at home to sell coal at reasonable prices, thus ensuring that, so far from the price to the consumer being kept up, by keeping up the standard of living for miners, it would actually be reduced by increasing the efficiency of marketing and cutting out countless dealers who stand between the consumer and the producer at the present moment.

After all, this last point is not anything very new. Municipal trading is not a new principle. Every day in your Lordships' House we have before us Bills assenting to various municipalities taking over new trailing powers, but unfortunately the Government, having in their first enthusiasm for the Report pledged themselves to introduce this measure, have now on mature thought decided that it is not necessary. On the question of unification it has been argued or implied that the unification of the coal mines may be all very well as a business proposition, or by itself may be all right for a commercial trust on a profit-making basis, but it will make it easier for a Labour Government to nationalise the coal industry when they come into power. That may be so, and in our opinion it is so, but your Lordships really must face this question and ask yourselves whether you are serious in the contention that all economic progress is to be held up because of the bogey that the Labour Party may use it for the nationalisation of industry. Surely that is a fence which sooner or later your Lordships have got to take. If it is really true that the coal industry of this country by unification would be put into a position to perform greater service to the country, are your Lordships really going to stand out against this necessary reform on the ground that later it may lead to nationalisation?

We believe that these proposals of ours are practical constructive proposals, able to be put into operation at once. We believe that they would transform the industry and give the miners confidence of prosperity, if not now at any rate in the future, and therefore change his outlook on the present situation profoundly, and also offer a definite practical alternative to the suggestion contained in this Bill. We implore the Government, and we make this last appeal, to go forward in building up this great national asset of a prosperous coal industry, and not to go backwards in the direction of breaking down the advances already made in the social condition of our people. We believe that the Government's policy is at once an economic folly and a moral crime, and that if they persist in adhering to it, it can produce nothing but destruction.

We believe that there is a way out of the present difficulty. Lord Balfour of Burleigh made a suggestion on the Second Heading, and I notice that certain words with which I followed him were taken by a noble Lord as showing that the Labour Party was not willing to adopt or pay any heed to Lord Balfour of Burleigh's suggestion. I would be very sorry if any words of mine were taken to mean that, because if I were in a position to make a proposition I would make very much the same proposition as Lord Balfour of Burleigh made. But I would want to qualify it and to go further than he did. We do, as he does, ask the Government to delay this Bill until they can approach the Miners' Federation again with an offer of a return to the Report, and not only the Report but the Memorandum which followed. We want more than that. We want them to put into operation all its proposals, and when we say "all" we mean not only the nationalisation of royalties, not only the municipal selling of coal, and other proposals which they have now thrown over, but, what is even more important, that they should no longer insist, as they have clone all along, that the Miners' Federation shall tie their own hands before entering into negotiations.

The first recommendation of the Report, which I have read to your Lordships, admits the fairness of this claim, and until the Government have taken this step I maintain that they can never claim that they have ever really accepted the Report in its true sense. Surely the Prime Minister, even at this late hour, can come forward and show us that he is still master in his own Cabinet, and that his idealism is a real factor in the Government of this country. Platitudes such as those to which the country has been treated for the last year or two by the Prime Minister, are no longer of the slightest use. We are up against facts. Let him give us action, and action based on that spirit of peace and good will and conciliation of which, in the past, we have always heard so much. Let him withdraw the Bill or postpone it, and make another attempt to settle this question on the lines of common sense and sanity, and by a real constructive policy.


My Lords, before this Bill goes to a Division I feel it my duty to put certain considerations before your Lordships, most of which have not yet been raised in regard to the various issues. The situation changes so rapidly from day to day, and from hour to hour, that in many respects it is now completely different from what it was even two short days ago, on the occasion of the Second Reading. A great deal has happened since then which I feel it my duty to put before your Lordships. I also feel it my duty to ensure that it shall be on the records of this House, because in my opinion this is an historical night in the annals of the House of Lords, and we want to have on record certain things which can be quoted in the controversy which we know will come, and is already beginning. We want to be able to say that these things were said and that it is of no use saying that things were not made as clear as they could be in the limited time at our disposal. That is why my colleagues and myself have felt it our duty to make the contribution to the debate which we have made and which we are making.

In the first place, I desire to deal with a very important constitutional point. I am glad that the noble Viscount (Lord Cecil of Chelwood) is coming into the House, because I am really dealing with words that he used in the debate. I do not know whether the noble Viscount will be good enough to give me his attention. Apparently not. Well, so be it. But I am going to quote various things. I have given him warning, and it is a matter of indifference to me whether he listens to me or not. But he did lay down on Tuesday a most amazing doctrine. I use that word most advisedly and deliberately.

Let me briefly remind your Lordships of how that came about. I pointed out that there is no mandate for this Bill. There cannot even be the vestige of a mandate, because it was never as much as mentioned on any platform at the last Election, and I say therefore that your Lordships, if you are going to fulfil the usual function associated with a Second Chamber, ought to reject this Bill because there is every reason to believe that, if it were submitted to the people, it would be defeated by a large majority. I quoted the words of the noble Marquess opposite. I must repeat one or two of them in order to make the point quite clear. I pointed out that he had laid down the doctrine that it was the duty of your Lordships' House to ensure that measures which were passed were in accordance with the will of the people, and that if there was doubt about it your Lordships should, in effect, reject them. He said:— We have grave economic difficulties, there is great Labour unrest, there is great industrial change, there is great mechanical development, and there is every element which might lead to a momentary majority passing legislation which did not represent the wishes of the people. All that we ask is that by its personnel or its powers—for I am not going to pronounce upon it—or by a combination of both there shall be in the Second Chamber sufficient authority to prevent hasty decisions from doing permanent harm to the country. If people have made up their minds after the matter has really been put to them, after they have had time to consider it, by all means let it be as they desire. I quoted that, as, of course, I was quite entitled to quote it, because it is so extremely apposite to the present situation. And what did the noble Viscount say in reply? He denounced me in very violent language. Since I came to your Lordships' House I have in various ways been obliged to revise my opinion of it, and that process was carried a step further two days ago. The noble Viscount used astonishing language. He is a distinguished servant of the Crown, he belongs to a family with great political traditions, and he used language in regard to the highly proper constitutional argument I had advanced which was more suited to the street corner than to a deliberative Assembly like your Lordships' House. I suggest that it does not conduce to the traditions or to the dignity of the House to use language like that.

He practically suggested that my argument was scarcely worthy of a sane person. He said:— The noble Lord stated that my noble friend who lends this House had laid down as a principle for its conduct that it ought to reject any Bill if it is not sure that the country desired that Hill. I am quite sure that my noble friend never said anything of the kind, and I cannot imagine that anyone outside of a lunatic asylum would ever commit himself to such a proposition. Then he said— That is to say that, however well your Lordships think of a. Bill that is before the House, however satisfied you are as to its principles, if you are not satisfied that the country approves of the Bill, that Bill must be rejected. That has never been put forward as a rule of conduct in any quarter of this House. There is only one rule that your Lordships can follow for the advantage of the State and of your Lordships. That is to do what is right with every proposal that is made to you.'' I do not think that that represents the constitutional position.

I have discussed this matter with a great constitutional authority and he tells me—and it certainly agrees with my own view—that that statement is contrary to the doctrine upon which the House of Lords has from time to time

Resolved in the affirmative and Motion agreed to accordingly.

founded its own defence for its actions and for its existence. Just let me analyse what the noble Viscount said, and see what it really means. I am, of course, throughout speaking of Bills of importance. I am not speaking of minor Bills, I am not speaking of Private Bills. There may, for instance, be minor Bills such as a Bill for looking after ancient monuments.


I rise to a point of order. It is quite obvious what the noble Lord and his friends are trying to do. It is an abuse, of the traditions and the privileges of this House. I move that the Question be now put.

Moved, That the Question be now put.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


I rise to speak on that Motion.


The Question cannot be debated. I have put the Motion, That the Question be now put.


I protest as strongly as I can against this precedent on this Bill. I have most convincing arguments to advance. I am giving reasons why this Bill should be held up, and I protest as strongly as I can.

On Question, Whether the Question shall be now put?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 44; Not-Contents, 4.

Cave, V. (L. Chancellor.) Bertie of Thame, V. Elphinstone, L.
Cecil of Chelwood, V. Erskine, L.
Balfour, E. (L. President.) Churchill, V. Gage, L. (V. Gage.) [Teller.]
Salisbury. M. (L. Privy Seal.) FitzAlan of Derwent, V. Gainford, L.
Inchcape, V. Hanworth, L.
Sutherland, D. Novar, V. Joicey, L.
Sidmouth, V. Merrivale, L.
Abingdon, E. Ullswater, V. Newton, L.
Airlie, E. Annaly, L. O'Hagan, L.
Beauchamp, E. Banbury of Southam, L. Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)
Liverpool, E.
Lucan, E. [Teller.] Barnard, L. St. John of Bletso, L.
Malmesbury, E. Blythswood, L. St. Levan, L.
Morton, E. Cochrane of Cults, L. Somerleyton, L.
Powis, E. Darling, L. Southwark, L.
Dynevor, L. Treowen, L.
Allendale, V. Douglas, L. (E. Home.)
De La Warr, E. [Teller.] Arnold, L. [Teller.] Thomson, L.
Parmoor, L.

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.

[* See debate on "Procedure of the House." July 14, 1926, column 1117.]

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.