§ Clause 14, page 20, line 32, at end insert ("Provided that—
- (a) the substitution of the words 'half an hour' for the words 'one hour' in Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, shall not apply as respects any mine at which, by agreement between representatives of employers and workmen, the daily hours below ground on an average taken over the twelve weekdays in any fortnight do not exceed the daily hours permissible under Section one of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1919, by more than the extension of half an hour made under Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1920, and this section;
- (b) at any mine where an extension of time is in any week made under the said Section three, the workmen, by agreement between representatives of employers and workmen, may, notwithstanding anything in the Coal Mines Act, 1908, as amended by any subsequent enactment, begin their period of work on the Saturday of that week before twenty-four hours have elapsed since the beginning of their last period of work, so long as at least eight hours have elapsed since the termination thereof.")
The Commons disagree to the above Amendment for the following Reason:—
Because they consider it desirable to reduce for every day of the week the maximum hours of 'work permissible in coal mines.
THU MARQUESS OF SALISBURY had given Notice to move, That this House does not insist upon the Amendment in Clause 14, page 20, line 32, but proposes the following Amendment in lieu thereof:—
Provided that, if before this sections comes into operation an application, by agreement between representative organisations of the owners of and the workers employed in or about the coal mines in any district, is made to the Board of Trade in that behalf, the Board of Trade shall make an order, which shall become effective on the coming into operation of this section, that the substitution of the words 'half an hour' for the words 'one hour' in Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, shall not apply as respects any mine in such district at which the daily hours below ground on an average taken over the twelve weekdays in any fortnight do not exceed the daily hours permissible under Section one of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1919, by more than the extension of half an hour made under Section throe of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1926, and this section.
At any mine to which an order made under this section applies, the order shall, if the application aforesaid so requests, provide that where an extension of time is in any week made Under the said Section three, the workmen may notwithstanding anything in the Coal Mines Act, 1908, as amended by any subsequent enactment, begin their period of work on the Saturday of that week before twenty-four hours have elapsed since the beginning of their last period of work, so long as at least eight hours have elapsed since the termination thereof.
§ The noble Marquess said: My Lords, we now come to the spread-over Amendment. I do not propose to weary your Lordships by repeating what I have already said this afternoon in favour of the spread-over Amendment. Perhaps your Lordships will allow me just a moment or two in order to explain the form of new words which I am going to propose to substitute for the old words. Your Lordships are familiar with the Amendment as it stood in the Bill when it was read a third time, and we propose 95 not to insist upon it in that form but to make a distinction in the words as they appear in the print which lies on the Table. There is a slight modification in that print which I will explain in a moment. But the form of this spread-over is that the parties, instead of coming to an agreement amongst themselves and the spread-over operating thereupon, will have to operate through the Board of Trade, and the Board of Trade will be under an obligation, under the terms which I am about to move, to put the spread-over system in force where this application has been made to the Board of Trade by the employers and by the miners—a purely optional arrangement.
§ If your Lordships ask why we make this change in the drafting, I cannot give, I am sorry to say, a very clear answer. As far as your Lordships who sit on this side of the House are concerned we should be quite content with the old drafting, but it has been represented to me that it would give much greater confidence to the workers if they were allowed to proceed through a central authority. As the Bill was drawn when it left your Lordships' House, they would have been under the impression that they were not free agents in the matter, because, as I said, there would be a sort of moral coercion which would have forced them to agree, and, therefore, the words which I now propose are preferable. I see no objection whatever, from our point of view, to these words, and therefore I move the Amendment in the new form.
Since I handed the Amendment in at the Table it has been represented to me that the opening words of the proviso are a little too restricted. As it is printed it says:—
Provided that if before this section comes into operation an application …
It has been represented to me that the miners and the owners of a mine might change their minds after the section has come into operation, and want to bring the spread-over system into force. They have four months in which to make up their minds, but they may not make up their minds in the four months. They might try the 7½ hours rigid system, and then say: "This won't do; we will have the spread-over after all." If certain words were left in the Amendment as I have had it printed that would not be
Therefore, with your Lordships' consent, I propose to move it in the following form:—
Provided that if"—
leaving out the words "before this section comes into operation"—
an application, by agreement between representative organisations of the owners of and the workers employed in or about the coal mines in any district, is made to the Board of Trade in that behalf, the Board of Trade shall make an order, which shall become effective forthwith.
Here I have left out the words "on the coming into operation of this section" and inserted the word "forthwith." It is a very slight modification in the Amendment as it is printed, and I hope your Lordships will consent to it. I have said enough, I think, to explain the character of the new draft, and the reasons why, in our humble judgment, your Lordships ought to insist upon the spread-over system being inserted in the Bill.
Moved, That this House doth not insist upon the Amendment in Clause 14,page 20, line 32, but proposes the following Amendment in lieu thereof:—
("Provided that if an application, by agreement between representative organisations of the owners of and the workers employed in or about the coal mines in any district, is made to the Board of Trade in that behalf, the Board of Trade shall make an order, which shall become effective forthwith, that the substitution of the words half an hour 'for the words one hour' in Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, shall not apply as respects any mine in such district at which the daily hours below ground on an average taken over the twelve weekdays in any fortnight do not exceed the daily hours permissible under Section one of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1.919, by more than the extension of half an hour made under Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1926, and this section.
At any mine to which an order made under this section applies, the order shall, if the application aforesaid so requests, provide that where an extension of time is in any week made under the said Section three, the workmen may notwithstanding anything in the Coal Mines Act, 1908, as amended by any subsequent enactment, begin their period of work on the Saturday of that week before twenty-four hours have elapsed since the beginning of their last period of work, so long as at least eight hours have elapsed since the termination thereof).—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, I do not rise to say anything in regard to the exact merits of this Amendment, though I confess I do not like it. I would invite the attention of the noble Marquess, the Leader of the Opposition, to the emphasis which he has on more than one occasion lately laid upon the extraordinary undesirability of moving Amendments which are not printed upon the Paper in the last stage of a Bill. If ever there was an occasion on which that principle should be applied surely it is the present occasion. The noble Marquess wishes to amend the Amendment, and that is a thing against which the noble Marquess himself on other occasions has entered the strongest protest.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, may only by way of explanation, say at once that the noble Earl is confusing two things—the Third Reading of a Bill and the consideration of Commons Amendments. These matters are all matters of regulation and practice, and I have had the experience, as the noble Earl has, on a number or occasions of the Commons Amendments having to be considered sometimes even without having the opportunity of printing anything at all. They come perhaps at the last moment. Therefore, the rule does not apply.
§ LORD GAINFORD
My Lords, as I was responsible for the original Amendment passed by your Lordships which has been rejected in another place, I want to say at once that I have no objection to the altered form which is now suggested by the noble Marquess. The owners have not the slightest desire to try to put undue, pressure on the men in any district to secure a spread-over if the men do not want it. All we want is a free opportunity of being able to place our case before the men in order to show the men that it is to their interest as well as the interest of the industry that there should be a spread-over. If there is to be a reduction of hours obviously there will be a reduction of work and if there is a reduction of work there will be a consequent reduction of pay. The last thing the miners want is a reduction of pay. So far as I hear from managers in different parts of the country there is no indisposition on the part of the men to work their full length of time at the present moment. They are anxious to make their earnings as big as they can 98 and they ale working well and are not complaining of their hours. Even on a gala day, when a meeting was addressed by Mr. Graham in Fifeshire, when the resolution against the spread-over was put to the meeting, I understand that only thirty miners held up their hands to support the attitude of the Government.
It seems quite true, as the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, said in his opening remarks this afternoon, that the men are not at all agreed amongst themselves in regard to the rejection of an Amendment of this character. It is almost, vital to the industry when you consider that the position is that in South Wales without a spread-over there will be an increased cost of from Ls. 6d. to 2s. a ton, in Scotland 10d., in Northumberland from 8d. to 1s. and that in Durham it will vary from 5d. to 9d. That increase is so considerable that it will mean the closing of a great number of pits. The men do not desire that pits should be closed and that they should be prevented from working, it is vital to them as well as to the industry that the operation of collieries shall go on and that agreement should be permitted between then men and the owners in connection with the spread-over; that the men should be able to apply to the Board of Trade and that the owners should be able to do the same, which is really tantamount to an agreement being made between them. We have no objection to the particular form of the Amendment so long as there may be an order for a spread-over and as long as there is opportunity to place clearly before the men the position that increased costs would close collieries and result in a great number of men being thrown out of work.
As a matter of fact, the difference between the spread-over and the reduction of hours proposed in the Bill is equivalent to the industry being able to pay £5,000,000 more in wages than otherwise they would be able to pay. If there is any difficulty about those figures I can explain them, although it is a rather complicated matter owing to the agreement that the men should be paid 85 per cent. of the proceeds and the owners should get only 15 per cent. The owners only get their 15 per cent. if there are sufficient proceeds to enable the owners to get their remuneration as 99 well as to enable the men to get their wages, but the men are guaranteed their wages in any case. The costs of the reduction in quantity as the result of the diminution of time would be equivalent to 6d. a ton and that on 240 million tons is equivalent, as your Lordships will see, to £6,000,000, which would mean a difference of £5,000,000 in the capacity of the industry as compared with what it could pay if the full daily reduction of hours took place throughout the country.
There is one further Amendment to which I should like to draw attention which I think should be made in the Amendment proposed by the noble Marquess. The words in the Amendment as it appears on the Paper are almost identical with those which were passed at the Committee stage. They refer to a practice which has grown up in many of our coal mines, where the men themselves almost take the law into their hands and say: "We want to be out of the pit in time to go to our football matches or our recreation, and we want to be above ground by 12 o'clock and to get our half day's holiday legalised." At present men cannot legally go to work earlier than a certain hour. It is to enable them in their own interests to get their half holiday that this provision has been inserted in the Bill, but, by the words proposed by the noble Marquess the ability to go earlier to work on the Saturday morning would be restricted to those cases only where there is a spread-over.
I think your Lordships will realise that it is reasonable, whether the men have accepted the spread-over or whether they work 7½hours a day, that if they desire by agreement with the owners to go to work earlier on Saturday mornings they should be at liberty to do so. Therefore, with the leave of your Lordships, I would like to propose an Amendment to the second paragraph of the Amendment moved by the noble Marquess. That paragraph begins: "At any mine"—and I propose to strike out the following words—"to which an order made under this section applies, the order shall, if the application aforesaid so requests provide that," and, after the word "workmen" in the last line on page 1 of the Amendment, to insert "by agreement between representatives of employers and workmen." The paragraph in the proposed Amendment would then read:— 100At any mine where an extension of time is in any week made under the said Section three, the workmen by agreement between representatives of employers and workmen may notwithstanding anything in the Coal Mines Act, 1908, …and so on. That would make it quite clear that all the men would be able to go to work earlier on the Saturday instead of the provision being restricted to those Who accept the spread-over. With that alteration I quite accept the alteration of form in the Amendment which is moved by the noble Marquess and I hope your Lordships will pass it into law.
May I add that the great reason why we object to the reduction of hours is on account of the position of the industry? Collieries are going out of work almost every day. In the last three or four weeks four or five collieries have been closed down in Wales and three or four in the County of Durham, and I think probably two of my own collieries will be closed down and notice given to another 2,000 men in the course of a few days. We cannot find markets for our coal, it does not pay to work collieries only three days a week, and we have to concentrate our output. It is time the men realised the position of the coal industry and the position of the iron and steel industry and other industries dependent on coal. We want the men to have the whole of the facts before them so that they may decide whether the spread-over should be accepted. I believe it is in their own interests.
Amendment to the proposed Amendment moved—
In the second paragraph leave out ("to which an order made under this section applies, the order shall, if the application aforesaid so requests, provide that"), and after ("workmen") insert ("by agreement between representatives of employers and workmen").—(Lord Gainford.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, the Government are unable to accept the Amendment relating to the spread-over. Outside this House appeals have been made to your Lordships to be courageous and to insist on this spread-over. That is a ridiculous request. Your Lordships have many critics, but no one has yet called in question your courage. Rather would I appeal to your wisdom. Is it wise to insist on this Amendment? Undoubtedly it is your duty, and I am sure it is your desire, to say and to do what you think is best for the country. 101 I have already indicated on the Second Reading the reasons why your Lordships should accept the clause as originally drafted—namely, (1), that the proposals do not reduce the general level of English working hours below the general level of Continental working hours; (2), that the system of 7½ hours plus one winding time is responsible for the production of 100,000,0010 tons out of the 250,000,000 tons of coal annually raised in this country; and (3), that the proposals make for peace and the acquisition of the good will of the miners. I am aware of the figures—the serious figures—put by Lord Gainford, but it is hoped that the reorganisation of the industry which your Lordships have agreed to, if your Lordships do not insist upon your Amendment in that respect this afternoon, will make a difference in the cost of production.
I cannot add a further argument to those three, but I would venture to remind your Lordships again that the House of Commons does not agree to this Amendment and that the Bill in its present form is really a compromise to which we are committed. We cannot alter it without the consent of both parties. There is still something to be said in this country for the man who "sweareth unto his neighbour and disappointeth him not, though it is to his own hindrance." Under the old Act the number of hours worked was eight. The miners wanted seven, and the compromise has been effected under which the hours are to be 7½ plus one winding time. How much -it is to be wished that parties to disputes in the coal field were familiar with the story of the Sibylline Books, which your Lordships know so well ! Those who reject a reasonable compromise may have to pay the uttermost farthing for something less than they might originally have obtained.
With regard to the proposed spread-over, the miners are of opinion that it renders illusory the concessions which they think they have obtained under the compromise to which I have already referred. The figures have already been given to your Lordships but, as this is a matter of such vital importance, perhaps I may be permitted, at the risk of detaining your Lordships two or three minutes longer, to give those figures again. Under the spread-over, there 102 will be no change of hours in most of Scotland, all of Northumberland and Durham—
§ LORD GAINFORD
May I interrupt the noble and learned Lord on that point to say that 30 per cent. of the men would work less hours under the spread-over than they do at the present time?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I am much obliged to the noble Lord, but I will put the case for the miners. It would make no change of hours in the afternoon and night shifts in South Wales and, in addition to that, Yorkshire, Notts, North Derby and Kent are not affected in any case. As regards the rest, some reduction, it is true, would take place, but it would be so small as to be insignificant. If you want peace in the coalfields, would it not be advisable to uphold this compromise? The House has many expert coal owners to advise it, but unfortunately it has not a single miners' leader, who could put the case from a practical and technical point of view far better than I can ever hope to do. They do not want the spread-over. They will not work it.
As they have no spokesman in this House, let me read two very short extracts from what their spokesman said on this point in the House of Commons. Mr. Hartshorn, the well-known miners' leader and now a member of the Cabinet, in a reply on this question on June 4, which your Lordships will find in Column 2329 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, said—and I draw your Lordships' special attention to this—I am going to tell the House why we would infinitely prefer to have this Bill defeated and bear the consequences than to have the spread-over.The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, said that he was not quite able to give details—of course he could not—as to the feeling of the men on the subject. Let me read the next sentence of Mr. Hartshorn's speech:The hon. Member has just said that the opposition is coming from the miners' members of this House and not from miners' members outside. The miners' national executive have unanimously decided against the spread-over, and at every meeting of miners which I have addressed in the country, the miners have been absolutely united. If the case were put to the miners of this country, there would not be one miner in the land who would support the spread-over.103 Let me read one other short sentence, for this House, although it has many expert advisers, is unfortunately deprived of the advisers of the men. Mr. Hartshorn continued—I am now quoting from Column 2340—We are satisfied that the Amendment, if carried"—that is, this spread-over Amendment—can only result in very serious trouble during the next four months. As soon as this Bill is passed we have to make agreements in every coal field in Britain, and the coalowners know that they can hold the threat over the heads of the miners and that unless the miners agree to a reduction of wages they will insist upon an Order in Council changing these hours.Assume that that is all wrong, and that your Lordships are right. If you insist upon this Amendment you will certainly cause disappointment to thousands of miners. You will certainly cause difficulties in the coal fields. You may even cause serious trouble. Heaven knows we have got enough trouble in England at present, what with unemployment and bad trade. Do not add to these troubles by insisting upon this spread-over. Finally, let me ask your Lordships whether it is worth while. If this 7½hours plus one winding time were to be like the laws of the Medes and Persians, unalterable, if it were to last for ever, that might be another question, but your Lordships will remember that it is only to remain in force until July 31 of next year—13 months—and over and above that it is not to come into force for four months. Is it worth while, for nine months, to cause all this disappointment, all these difficulties, and the possible trouble which I have indicated to your Lordships. I beg your Lordships to pause before you insist upon this Amendment.
My Lords, I would not detain you at this time except for the very remarkable speech which we have heard from the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. I am speaking here for the miners of South Wales, and I say that every statement which he has made is entirely incorrect, and that Mr. Hartshorn does not represent the views of the miners. Far from having trouble if this Bill is passed with the perfectly optional spread-over, we shall certainly have a strike in South Wales if it is not done. Without the spread-over we 104 have got to make new wages agreements, and these wages agreements will compel a reduction in wages. It is an economic fact, and the miners' leaders in South Wales, responsible men, are in favour of the spread-over. If the noble and learned Lord will give me the opinion of Mr. Tom Richards and not that of Mr. Hartshorn I will listen to him. Mr. Hartshorn's opinion is not worth this House's attention. Recently there have been two ballots in two of the largest collieries in South Wales, and I am informed that the ballots resulted almost unanimously in favour of the spread-over. Thousands of miners who are employed by the company of which I am chairman are, I am assured, almost unanimously in favour of the spread-over. What answer has the noble and learned Lord got to those facts? He has no answer, and I say that the picture which he has presented to your Lordships is entirely false.
We are fighting here for the liberty of the British working man to be able to earn his living, and the Labour Party are striving to throw him on the "dole." I should never have thought it conceivable in this country that the Labour Party, at the dictation of some of the miners' leaders, would deny to the working man the liberty of making up his own mind as to whether or not be will adopt a certain scheme. Such an attitude on the part of the Labour Party is inconceivable. It is indefensible, and I would like to go to the country upon the matter. The noble and learned Lord spoke as if we were endeavouring to compel the scheme to be adopted, and Mr. Hartshorn seems to have fallen into the same error; but the men are entitled to refuse it, and if they do not want it none of these things will happen. The noble and learned Lord knows South Wales and he knows that you cannot compel a single collier to do anything that he does not want to do. Colliers are the most independent men in the country, and cannot be compelled to do anything that they do not want to do.
Then what is the use of these figures about hours in this country as compared with hours on the Continent? The noble and learned Lord knows that the conditions in South Wales are entirely different from those in Yorkshire, and it is not a question of averages at all. There is 105 a different technical position, and I am heartbroken that the Lord Chancellor should begin this discussion with a desire for peace and yet refuse to allow peace in South Wales. I ask the Government at this eleventh hour to allow this Amendment to be re-inserted, and to accept this provision. We know as a fact that it was only due to an accident that this matter was not settled before. As a matter of fact this question was almost a fait accompli, and do not let us take up this pedantic, non possumus attitude. I hope that in the interests, not of the coal owners but of this country and its industry, and in the interests of the miners themselves, your Lordships will reintroduce this Amendment and leave the responsibility to the Labour Government of throwing still more tens of thousands of people upon the "dole," which is what they have been doing ever since they came into office.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
My Lords, having listened to two speeches of a diametrically opposite character, I find myself in complete agreement with the forcible speech of the noble Lord behind me, Lord Melchett. The Lord Chancellor, in his remarks, made a very strong appeal to your Lordships not to agree to the Amendment which is now before the House. The reason for that is that the question of (hours is obviously the most important part of this Bill. It is the reason why this Bill has been introduced by the Government. They have given pledges to their supporters as to the hours which will be enacted, and round this provision of the Bill as to hours there are other clauses which it is hoped will assist and reorganise the industry. The real kernel of the Bill, however, is the question of hours, and I think the Government feel that they will be going back: on their pledges if they give way in any degree on this question of hours. This is a very important matter, and I was rather sorry to hear from the Lord Chancellor, when he began his speech, that he felt that noble Lords in this House might have been influenced by pressure from outside to insist upon this Amendment regardless of the consequences which he seemed to foreshadow, I will not say in a threatening manner, but certainly in a very serious manner. I think that the Lord Chancellor is as fully aware as any of us that noble Lords in this House are determined 106 to do their duty in this House by the people of this country; and I am quite sure that, whatever decision is taken by them in the Division shortly, that decision will be free from any bias whatever, but will be taken in what they truly and honestly believe to be the best interests of the country.
I think the noble Lord behind me has dealt with the dicta of Mr. Hartshorn, to which the Lord Chancellor referred. Mr. Hartshorn was quoted by the Lord Chancellor as saying he believed that not one single miner would agree to the spread-over. The experience of myself and of a great many in this House is entirely different. Those of us who are in touch with the miners hear from a great many quarters that the idea of the spread-over is one which appeals to them, and which they are convinced would be an improvement on the Bill. I know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes, but I do feel that before this question was decided in the unanimous manner in which we are told it was decided—and the unanimous manner in which the decisions of the Miners' Federation are come to from time to time—there were great differences of opinion; and I am inclined to say that Mr. Hartshorn made a very exaggerated statement, and that there is a feeling in all the coalfields that, where this provision would operate—because it would not operate in a large portion of the country—this permissive provision would be for the improvement of the Bill and in the interests of the mining community.
I am quite prepared to be very sympathetic to the apprehensions which I know exist, and have existed, in the minds of the miners themselves. If this Amendment in its original form had been enacted in the Bill I am inclined to think that the miners themselves would have felt—wrongly, I think—that by legislation one of their bargaining counters had been taken out of their hands. But I think that noble Lords will agree with me when I say that in the Amendment which is now before the House the arrangement is entirely of a permissive character, that there is no force majeure in the hands of the owners for compelling the men to accept this provision whether they like it or not. And I am quite sure that when it is understood how this Amendment differs from our previous Amendment a 107 great deal of the genuine opposition will disappear. By that I mean the opposition in principle to this Amendment which was in the minds of a great many interested in the mining industry in all parts of the country. They will realise that this Amendment is in their best interests, and in the best interests of the country as a whole.
The noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, has made an appeal to your Lordships in regard to the state in which industry finds itself at the present moment. There is not one of your Lordships who is not very susceptible to that appeal, and who does not realise the very difficult and very dangerous position in which industry stands at the present moment. The Lord Chancellor appealed to you to let the Bill go through in its present form, in the hope, he said, of acquiring the good will of the miners, and in the further hope of obviating trouble and of not creating difficulties. I differ from the noble and learned Lord altogether. We have arrived, almost for the first time, at a stage in the whole industry when both sides (I am speaking particularly of the men now) fully realise the great difficulties in which we both stand. The men know perfectly well that the employers during these last few years have been spending their capital and working their mines at a loss, certainly in the hope that the trade would improve, for their own benefit—I am not saying that that was not their idea—but also in the interests of the industry which has meant so much for the country. There is a far greater understanding at this moment and a far better chance of owners and men coming together and, in the four months at their disposal, working out a plan by which the industry can, we hope, emerge into smoother and calmer waters. Here is the opportunity, here is the elasticity which we are proposing in this Amendment to give to the industry.
I should be a bold person if I ventured to make any prophecy, but I am quite sure that, if this Bill goes through with this Amendment, the meetings of owners and men are likely to take place in a far better and more useful atmosphere than would be the case if you rigidly enacted the 7½-hour provision. I need hardly say that I hope that in the four months which are before us, with 108 a spread-over of an entirely permissive character, and with no stronger influence on one side or the other—a stronger influence of which the men are apprehensive—discussions will take place, out of which we shall find that in many districts, rather than see mines thrown out of operation, rather than see the dismal roll of unemployment increased by hundreds of thousands of men, the miners will come together on the lines of the spread-over, and work this Bill, which will shortly no doubt be enacted.
I do not feel entitled to go more deeply into this matter. It is only that I feel entirely in disagreement with the Lord Chancellor who opposed this Amendment. He fears that any step which is taken by your Lordships for putting elasticity into the Bill is taken as a hostile move on our part towards the mining population. On the contrary, I feel that the effect will be of an entirely different character, and that this permissive power will enable mines to be worked which would otherwise, unfortunately, be closed, will enable a larger sum of money to be paid in wages, and will at the same time, I believe, improve a Bill on which none of us look with very great favour, but from which, we hope, may come some of those benefits which noble Lords opposite have told us it contains.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, with respect to the Amendment to the Amendment, to which I have not addressed myself, perhaps your Lordships will allow me to say this. I cannot be responsible at all for the Amendment which my noble friend has proposed in the second paragraph. I have not had time to consider it and I should not like to recommend it to your Lordships. My noble friend is, of course, a far greater authority on this question than I am and I yield to him entirely in that respect; but I cannot take any responsibility for putting in these words without further consideration. I am responsible for the slight modification in the earlier part, which appears to me to be justified. Of course, if your Lordships are willing to agree with my noble friend Lord Gainford your Lordships will, no doubt, be right and I shall be wrong; but I cannot take the responsibility for it.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I will now put the Amendments moved by the noble Lord, Lord Gainford.
On Question, Whether the House shall agree to the Motion not to insist upon the Amendment in Clause 11, page 20, line 32, but to insert the following Amendment in lieu thereof:—
("Provided that if an application, by agreement between representative organisations of the owners of and the workers employed in or about the coal mines in any district, is made to the Board of Trade in that behalf, the Board of Trade shall make an order, which shall become effective forthwith, that the substitution of the words 'half an hour' for the wards 'one hour' in Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, shall not apply as respects any mine in such district at which the daily hours below ground on an average taken over the twelve weekdays in any fortnight
§ do not exceed the daily hours permissible under Section one of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1919, by more than the extension of half an hour made under Section three of the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, as amended by the Coal Mines Act, 1920, and this section.
§ At any mine where an extension of time is in any week made under the said Section three, the workmen by agreement between the representatives of employers and workmen may notwithstanding anything in the Coal Mines Act, 1908, as amended by any subsequent enactment, begin their period of work on the Saturday of that week before twenty-four hours have elapsed since the beginning of their last period of work, so long as at least eight hours have elapsed since the termination thereof.")
§ Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 162; Not-Contents, 16.111
|Argyll, D.||Spencer, E.||Cullen of Ashbourne, L.|
|Rutland, D.||Stanhope, E.||Cushendun, L.|
|Sutherland, D.||Stradbroke, E.||Danesfort, L.|
|Wellington, D.||Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)|
|Wieklow, E.||Deramore, L.|
|Abergavenny, M.||Yarborough, E.||Desart, L. (E. Desart.)|
|Camden, M.||Desborough, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Bertie of Thame, V.||Dynevor, L.|
|Linlithgow, M.||Chaplin, V.||Doverdale, L.|
|Normanby, M.||Churchill, V.||Dulverton, L.|
|Salisbury, M.||De Vesci, V.||Elphinstone, L.|
|Winchester, M.||Elibank, V.||Ernle, L.|
|Zetland, M.||Falkland, V.||Fairfax of Cameron, L.|
|FitzAlan of Derwent, V.||Fairhaven, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Goschen, V.||Faringdon, L.|
|Ancaster, E.||Hailsham, V.||FitzWalter, L.|
|Beatty, E.||Hambleden, V.||Forester, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Hill, V.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.) [Teller.]|
|Cranbrook, E.||Hood, V.||Gainford, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Novar, V.||Gifford, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Sidmouth, V.||Glentanar, L.|
|Sumner, V.||Greville, L.|
|Dudley,' E.||Ullswater, V.||Hampton, L.|
|Feversham, E.||Hardinge of Penshurst, L.|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||Aberdare, L.||Harlech, L.|
|Grey, E.||Addington, L.||Harris, L.|
|Halsbury, E.||Aldenham, L.||Hastings, L.|
|Harewood, E.||Alvingham, L.||Hawke, L.|
|Iddesleigh, L.||Ampthill, L.||Heneage, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Annaly, L.||Howard of Glossop, L.|
|Inchcape, E.||Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)||Hunsdon of Hunsdon, L.|
|Iveagh, E.||Armstrong, L.||Joicey, L.|
|Jellicoe, E.||Arundell of Wardour, L.||Kenlis, L. (M. Headfort)|
|Lauderdale, E.||Ashton of Hyde, L.||Kenmare, L.(E. Kenmore.)|
|Lindsay, E.||Askwith, L.||Lawrence, L.|
|Lucan, E. [Teller.']||Auckland, L.||Leconfield, L.|
|Macclesfield, E.||Balfour of Burleigh, L.||Leigh, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Banbury of Southam, L.||Lloyd, L.|
|Mar and Kellie, E.||Bayford, L.||Lovat, L.|
|Midleton, E.||Berwick, L.||Luke, L.|
|Minto, E.||Biddulph, L.||Melchett, L.|
|Morton, E.||Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)||Monkswell, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Carson, L.||Monteagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Peel, E.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)||Mowbray, L.|
|Plymouth, E.||Moynihan, L.|
|Powis, E.||Clifford of. Chudleigh, L.||O'Hagan, L.|
|Sandwich, E.||Clinton, L.||Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)|
|Selborne, E.||Cozens-Hardy, L.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)||Somerleyton, L.||Thurlow, L.|
|Southampton, L.||Trenchard, L.|
|Redesdale, L.||Strachie, L.||Vernon, L.|
|Ritchie of Dundee, L.||Sudeley, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Roundway, L.||Swansea, L.||Waleran, L.|
|Sandys, L.||Sydenham of Combe, L.||Wavertree, L.|
|Sempill, L.||Templemore, L.||Weir L.|
|Sinclair, L.||Teynham, L.||Wharton, L.|
|Sankey, L. (L. Chancellor.)||De La Warr, E.||Clwyd, L.|
|Russell, E.||Denman, L.|
|Parmoor, L. (L. President.)||Marley, L. [Teller.]|
|Mersey, V.||Passfield, L.|
|Reading, M.||Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.|
|Amulree, L. [Teller.]||Stanmore, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Arnold, L.||Thomson, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Resolved in the affirmative and Motion agreed to accordingly.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, there is a small consequential Amendment which I hope your Lordships will allow me to make in the Interpretation Clause, Clause 18. In that clause in the definition of "District" there is a reference to Part IV of the Bill. The Amendment which has just been inserted relates to Clause 14, which is Part III of the Bill. Therefore in the Interpretation Clause we must leave out "Part 112 IV" and insert "Parts III and IV." It is purely consequential. I beg to move.
Clause 18, page 23, line 40, after ("Part") insert ("III and").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ A Committee appointed to prepare Reasons for the Lords insisting on certain of their Amendments: the Committee to meet to-morrow.
§ House adjourned at half-past seven o'clock.