HL Deb 03 February 1930 vol 76 cc399-406

Clause 6, page 5, line 16, at end insert ("until the first day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-one")

Clause 16, page 11, line 17, at end insert ("Provided that no person shall be entitled to receive benefit under the said subsection (2) of Section fourteen of the Unemployment Insurance. Act, 1927, as extended by the Unemployment Insurance (Transitional Provisions Amendment) Act, 1929, or by the present Act, after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-one")

Clause 16, page 11, line 42, at end insert ("until the first day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-one")

Clause 17, page 12, line 20, leave out ("be made") and insert ("have effect")

Clause 17, page 12, line 22, at end insert ("until the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-one")

Clause 20, page 13, line 30, leave out ("are hereby repealed") and insert ("shall")

Clause 20, page 13, line 31, at end insert ("cease to have effect until the first day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-one")

Clause 20, page 14, line 13, at end insert: ("(8) This Act shall continue in force until the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-one, and no longer, and thereafter the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1929, shall have effect as if this Act had not been passed.")

The Commons disagree to the above Amendments for the following Reason:

Because they limit the duration of the Act and thereby affect the Unemployment Fund, and the Commons consider it unnecessary to offer any further Reason, honing the above Reason may be deemed sufficient.


I think all the succeeding Amendments are what may be called consequential on the time-limit Amendment. Therefore in one Motion I would move that we do not insist upon the time-limit Amendment. Should the House negative that, then the consequential Amendments will come on to be inserted.


Will the noble and learned Lord forgive me for a moment? I think it would be more clear to your Lordships if he would allow me to move that this House doth insist upon these Amendments.


I have no objection.


I beg to move that your Lordships' House insist upon these Amendments.

Moved, That this House doth insist on the said Amendments.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


My Lords, there is only one word I want to say, and I think I ought to say it, and that is I think the noble Marquess—I am sure he would not wish to make a mistake—was quite under an error in his reference to what was said by the light hon. lady the Minister of Labour. I will not repeat what was said by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Buckmaster, but I am quite certain what he said was perfectly right.


My Lords, I think it quite possible the right hon. lady said what, she did not mean. If, however, she denies it, I would not for a moment insist upon it. It would be unworthy of me to do so. I only, of course, quoted her words.


My Lords, on a previous occasion I voted for a time limit to this Bill. I did so upon educational grounds. Having been entrusted with the administration of the Board of Education for a longer period, I think, than any other Minister before the War, I was satisfied that at the present moment there was no opportunity for education authorities to make the necessary arrangements for building premises, and for arranging the appropriate teaching institutions for the training of teachers, and until the introduction of the Government Bill dealing with education it seemed to me premature for us to pass into law a permanent Bill. This Bill, in so far as it affects young persons, and an Education Bill, to a very large extent go hand in hand, and it is on those grounds that I voted in favour of a time limit. I thought it was due to the country, due to the education authorities, and due to our institutions that we should realise what the position would be after the passing of the Bill which is going to raise the school age. I am wholly in favour of raising the school age, but that is by the way. I thought we ought to know what the provisions of that Bill were before we made this Bill a permanent Act on the Statute Book. For those reasons I voted in favour of a time limit. I still believe it is right that there should be a time limit, but I do not desire to get into direct conflict with another place on that matter. I think the other place has chosen this particular moment for political ends rather than on grounds of fair reason. I feel that at the moment I had better abstain from voting, although it is very reluctantly that I do so.


My Lords, may I draw attention to the fact that the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack is waiting for the usual opportunity of stating what the Motion is?


I am very much obliged to the noble and learned Viscount. The Question is, That this House doth insist on the time Amendments to the Bill.


My Lords, might I, if I am now in order, say two or three words in consequence of what was said by my noble and learned friend Lord Buck-master. He made a point which I am afraid we all of us made last week on reading our morning papers, that circumstances in the other place had not been as favourable to the line which is now being taken as could have been wished. It is impossible, while preserving that profound respect which one is bound to preserve for the other place, to say all that one thinks about what happened there, but, as we are speaking upon a constitutional point, I would venture to refer to what my noble and learned friend Lord Buckmaster said in agreeing that some day or other we must either fight or lie down—I expect him to fight and not lie down—but only when the right time comes. When are we going to find the right time? If we are to be entirely dependent upon private engagements of members of another House who, for reasons I cannot understand and which may be entirely inscrutable but at any rate are personal to them, do not find it convenient to turn up in such numbers as we would have desired, our position becomes impossible. I am afraid, as this is a, matter of constitutional importance, we must pull ourselves together and decide here whether we are to abide by our decision or not.

The other point I wish to make quite briefly is this. The noble and learned Lord who leads the House dwelt upon the claim of Privilege, wrapping himself in a mysterious term, and, if I may be allowed to say so, making it still more mysterious as he wrapped himself. Mr. Speaker in the course of his duties informed the other House that one Amendment after another raised the question of Privilege. The noble and learned Lord said that that was a ruling. Of coarse it is a ruling for the other House, but I am not aware that, apart from Statute law, the members of this House are deprived of the opportunity of exercising a judg- ment of their own upon the question. But be that as it may, it is common ground that the other House can waive the objection of Privilege, and in some cases it did so, and it waived the objection of Privilege in exactly the same form and exactly the same way as, according to the noble and learned Lord, it maintained the objection upon this clause.

I should have thought it was quite clear that waiver was a thing that was to be implied from the conduct of the House in another place, and that, when proceedings have taken place there indifferently, in the same form whether clauses were to be waived or not, the decision is not to be taken by Ministers who, when they come here, say "Now this clause is one as to which Privilege has not been waived, although two others are clauses as to which Privilege was waived." If any one can explain to me in what possible way the Privileges of the House of Commons are touched by saying that this Bill is not to have effect for more than twelve months I am sure I should be exceedingly obliged to him. It is a Bill that can be repealed in another Session without any breach of Privilege. It is a Bill which so far as this particular clause is concerned does not purport to touch either the expenditure of public money or the appropriation of public money. It simply says, rightly or wrongly—I am not going to discuss now whether it is wise or not; that has been discussed before—that this arrangement shall have effect for twelve months and after that it will be at the disposal of Parliament once more. How can that be a question of Privilege? At any rate I hope your Lordships will not on the mere ipse dixit of the noble and learned Lord be daunted by the fear that this can possibly be objectionable on that ground.


My Lords, I should like to ask the noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, a question in relation to the matter that has just arisen. I should like to ask whether in view of the statement of the Speaker that Privilege could be waived in the House of Commons it is possible if this point is insisted upon by your Lordships' House that the question of Privilege may not be waived on another occasion?


My Lords, I am afraid that is a hypothetical question which, at the moment, I am not prepared to answer.


My Lords, if I might give an answer to the noble Lord I think that, for the moment, the question stands in this way. He knows very well that the decision on a matter of Privilege is for the Speaker. There was no waiver of Privilege, but the Commons, in the Reason they have sent up to us, put Privilege in the foreground. I do not want to say more than that. That is how the matter stands at the present time.


My Lords, I should like to say that it is not correct to say that the Privilege of this House is decided by the Speaker of the House of Commons.


I never said that.


That is quite incorrect. We have the greatest regard for Mr. Speaker, but the Privileges of your Lordships' House are decided by this House itself.

On Question, Whether this House doth insist on the said Amendments?

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 156; Not-Contents, 42.

Norfolk, D. (E. Marshal.) Salisbury, M. Fitzwilliam, E.
Argyll, D. Winchester, M. Grey, E.
Beaufort, D. Halsbury, E.
Bedford, D. Abingdon, E. Harrowby, E.
Marlborough, D. Airlie, E. Howe, E.
Rutland, D. Albemarle, E. Iddesleigh, E.
Wellington, D. Birkenhead, E. Ilchester, E.
Bradford, E. Iveagh, E.
Bute, M. Cottenham, E. Lauderdale, E.
Camden, M. Cranbrook, E. Lindsay, E.
Dufferin and Ava, M. Denbigh, E. Lucan, E. [Teller.]
Linlithgow, M. Eldon, E.
Lytton, E. Balfour of Burleigh, L. Heneage, L.
Macclesfield, E. Banbury of Southam, L. Howard of Glossop, L.
Malmesbury, E. Basing, L. Hylton, L.
Mar and Kellie, E. Bayford, L. Jessel, L.
Midleton, E. Berwick, L. Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)
Morton, E. Biddulph, L. Lamington, L.
Mount Edgcumbe, E. Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.) Lawrence, L.
Munster, E. Brotherton, L. Leigh, L.
Onslow, E. Brownlow, L. Lovat, L.
Roden, E. Camrose, L. Luke, L.
Sandwich, E. Carew, L. Manners, L.
Scarbrough, E. Carson, L. Merthyr, L.
Spencer, E. Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.) Middleton, L.
Stanhope, E. Monteagle, L. (M. Sligo.)
Strange, E. (D. Atholl.) Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.) Mowbray, L.
Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.) Conyers, L. Newton, L.
Westmorland, E. Cornwallis, L. O'Hagan, L.
Wharncliffe, E. Cottesloe, L. Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)
Yarborough, E. Cranworth, L. Ormathwaite, L.
Ypres, E. Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)
Oushendun, L. Penrhyn, L.
Bertie of Thame, V. Danesfort, L. Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)
Burnham, V. D'Arcy de Knayth, L.
Chaplin, V. Daresbury, L. Rayleigh, L.
Elibank, V. Daryngton, L. Redesdale, L.
Falkland, V. Deramore, L. Remnant, L.
Falmouth, V. Desart, L. (E. Desart.) Rossmore, L.
FitzAlan of Derwent, V. Desborough, L. Ruthven of Gowrie, L.
Hambleden, V. Dynevor, L. St. John of Bletso, L.
Hardinge, V. Erskine, L. Saltoun, L.
Knutsford, V. Fairlie, L. (E. Glasgow.) Sandys, L.
Novar, V. Faringdon, L. Sherborne, L.
Sumner, V. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.) Sinclair, L.
Templetown, V. Gifford, L. Stafford, L.
Glentanar, L. Sudeley, L.
Addington, L. Greenwood, L. Sydenham of Combe, L.
Alvingham, L. Greville, L. Templemore, L. [Teller.]
Ampthill, L. Hampton, L. Tennyson, L.
Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.) Harlech, L. Vivian, L.
Ashfield, L. Harris, L. Waring, L.
Askwith, L. Hastings, L. Wharton, L.
Auckland, L. Hayter, L. Wraxall, L.
Wyfold, L.
Sankey, L. (L. Chancellor.) Worcester, L. Bp. Marks, L. [Teller.]
Marley, L. [Teller.]
Parmoor, L. (L. President.) Amulree, L. Meston, L.
Arnold, L. Northbourne, L.
Exeter, M. Buckmaster, L. Northington, L. (L. Henley.)
Charnwood, L. Olivier, L.
Ancaster, E. Cozens-Hardy, L. Passfield, L.
Beauchamp, E. Oraigmyle, L. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
De La Warr, E. Dickinson, L. Shandon, L.
Russell, E. Doverdale, L. Southampton, L.
Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.) Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)
Allendale, V.
Devonport, V. Ernle, L. Swaythling, L.
Hood, V. Forres, L. Tenterden, L.
Mersey, V. Gorell, L. Thomson, L.
Hay, L. (E. Kinnoull.) Wargrave, L.
Southwark, L. Bp. Marshall of Chipstead, L.

Resolved in the Affirmative and Motion agreed to accordingly.

A Committee appointed to prepare a Reason for the Lords insisting on certain of their Amendments: The Committee to meet forthwith.

Report from the Committee of the Reason to be offered to the Commons: read, and agreed to: And a Message sent to the Commons to return the Bill with the Reason.

House adjourned at six o'clock.