§ Mr. T. SHAW
Last night or early this morning we discussed an extremely involved and technical point, and with your permission, Captain FitzRoy, I think it would be for the benefit of the whole Committee if I put a question to the Minister of Labour on that point. We have had the advantage of an interview with a certain distinguished member of the Civil Service, and we are told quite definitely that paragraphs (b) and (c) of Clause 5 will be dominated and covered by Sub-section (2) of the same Clause. I want to know whether, in view of the extreme difficulty of understanding this matter, the Minister of Labour will take such steps in case these conditions are accepted to notify, either by an instruction or in some other informative way, whether paragraphs (b) and (c) are considered to be dominating and governed by Sub-section (2).
I think the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) had better move his Amendment in order to have some Question before the Chair.
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)
The answer to the question put to me by the right hon. Gentleman is "yes." I will have it made perfectly clear to the officials in interpreting this Section that paragraphs (b) and (c), as amended, are governed by the provisions of Clause 5, Sub-section (2), of this Bill. The whole of them are to be read together and taken as one whole.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
In view of the fact that paragraphs (b) and (c) have been accepted, I withdraw my Amend- 524 ment, and I would like to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly).
If the hon. Members have no objection, we will take that course.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I beg to move, in page 4, line 31, after the word "reasonable," to insert the words, "but not in any case less than fifteen months."
§ 4.0 p.m
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am afraid that it would be impossible for me to accept this Amendment. In many cases that period would be too long. To insert a minimum of 15 months would mean that no one would be required to seek employment in another occupation until nearly the whole of his benefit period had elapsed. The benefit period amounts to two years less 30 weeks, and, if this Amendment were accepted, a man could remain in his own occupation in all cases for 15 of the 17 months and a bit. I suggest to the Committee that the proper thing to do is to allow more elasticity in this matter, and leave the question of reasonableness to be decided by the proper authority. This question might lead to a different conclusion in different cases. A limitation to three months or less might be reasonable in some cases, but in other cases it might be reasonable to let a man remain on at his own occupation without requiring him to find employment in a new one for a very long period. Take such examples as a bricklayer's labourer or a painter's labourer. You could not say to him that he must not take an ordinary labourer's job until he has been unemployed for 15 months. It would not be reasonable in his case to have anything like so long a period. On the other hand, I would give again the same instance I gave the other night to show that a longish period is required in other cases. Take a skilled jeweller or metal-worker, where the value of his skill lies in his delicacy of touch. You cannot require him after one month or two, three or four months, to take a job which would roughen his hands and completely spoil him for his ordinary occupation. Therefore, any reasonable person would allow a longish period before asking him to take up another occupation. I say to the Committee, 525 therefore, that it would be wrong, in my opinion, to accept this Amendment from that point of view, and that it would be far better to leave it to the sense of reasonableness of the authority to decide. I would add one more difficulty which, to my mind, makes the acceptance of this Amendment quite impossible. As I read it, and as I am advised, if a person had one day's employment after the lapse of eight or 10 months, the whole of the period of 15 months would have to run afresh. That, again, would lead to a perfectly absurd position. For those two reasons, both of which seem to me to be conclusive, I would ask that this Amendment should not be pressed, and that full elasticity should be left to the proper authorities to decide.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
My hon. Friend the Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) and I have an Amendment on the Paper to insert the words "two years or". We have put it down because we are most anxious to have it made clear in the Debate on this Sub-section that the Sub-section in connection with paragraphs (b) and (c) of the principal Act should not be used as a weapon against men in order to force them from their empoyment into some other employment. I think it is advisable for the Committee to discuss for a short period the question, because there is undoubtedly a great deal in the fears expressed by the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Shaw) last night, that this arrangement for the mobility of labour may be used as a weapon against men against whom it ought not to be used. It will be agreed on all sides of the Committee that a man, say a skilled shipbuilder, who is temporarily out of employment in his own area, because there is a shortage of shipbuilding, ought not to be forced out of that craft as long as there is a reasonable chance of real improvement taking place in the industry, and my hon. Friend and I, and those who think with us, are much concerned that this discussion should at least make it clear to those who have to administer the law that the intention of the Committee is not to use this as a weapon against the men, but to use it in order to find opportunities for work when none in their own craft are likely to be available. That is, really, why we put down our Amendment.
§ Mr. KELLY
I certainly cannot agree to withdraw this Amendment even on the plea of the Minister. The arguments he has used and the illustrations he has given to the Committee this afternoon do not at all afford any justification for our meeting him in the way he asks. He tells us that elasticity ought to obtain, but our experience of giving elasticity to the officials of the Ministry, or to those who have to decide these cases, means that reasonableness will have a very narrow interpretation indeed, and when we realise the condition of industry, the commercial situation with which we are now faced, it is very clear that we require 15 months for the protection of those people who are dependent upon wages from industry and commerce for their livelihood. The illustration of the jeweller is not one that quite meets the case. Let me take the textile worker. The textile worker in this depressed time may be called upon to find a job in another industry. I think all the argument that was used with regard to the jeweller applies with even added force in the case of the textile worker whose handling of delicate machinery and delicate material shows clearly that, at any rate, something would be taken away from him if you sent him into some other occupation. All this talk about people being adaptable for more than one calling is beside the mark, and those who are concerned with many industries in this country know that there is a great deal of hypocrisy, if not ignorance on the part of those who talk about drafting people from one industry into another. To attempt to turn people from the cotton textile industry into some other industry is not at all helpful either to the individual, the industry or the State, and that also applies to the woollen textile industry as well as to people engaged in the chemical trade and the shipbuilding trade.
I would point out that it was only on the understanding that this particular Amendment should go through without discussion that I allowed a full discussion on the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Shaw) to leave out paragraph (b). If I had known there was going to be a discussion on this subject, I should have had to confine it strictly to the letter of the Amendment
§ against it, and I will certainly press it to a Division.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 135; Noes, 227.529
|Division No. 411.]||AYES.||[4.10 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harney, E. A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Sexton, James|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayes, John Henry||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, G. H.||Snell, Harry|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Barnes, A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kennedy, T.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwcod, D.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lansbury, George||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clowes, S.||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker. John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Clynes. Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, T.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Connolly, M||Mackinder, W.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cove, W. G.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacNeill-Weir. L.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dennison, R.||Mitchell, E. Rossiyn (Paisley)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dunnico, H.||Morris, R. H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edge, Sir William||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Oliver, George Harold||Whiteley, w.|
|Gillett, George M.||Owen, Major G.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffs)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Riley, Ben||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robinson, W. C.(Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles|
|Acland-Troyte. Lieut.-Colonel||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Albery, Irving James||Blundell, F. N.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Boothby, R. J. G.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton|
|Atholi, Duchess of||Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood)|
|Atkinson, C.||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Christie, J. A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Churchman. Sir Arthur C.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Briggs, J. Harold||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd, Hexham)||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks. Newb'y)||Cope, Major William|
|Bennett, A. J.||Buckingham, Sir H.||Couper, J. B.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Burman, J. B.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Berry, Sir George||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Bethel, A.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Campbell, E. T.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Huntingfield, Lord||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hurd, Percy A.||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset. Yeovll)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sandon, Lord|
|Drewe, C.||Kidd. J. (Linlithgow)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Duckworth, John||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Edmondson. Major A. J.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lamb, J. Q.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|England, Colonel A.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Loder, J. de v.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Long, Major Eric||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Lumley, L. R.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Flelden, E. B.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Flnburgh, S.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Forrest, W.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Macintyre, Ian||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||McLean, Major A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Gates, Percy||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Malone, Major P. B.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Goff, Sir Park||Margesson, Captain D.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Grotrlan, H. Brent||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Waddington, R.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hanbury, C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Newman, Sir R. H S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wells, S. R.|
|Harvey. G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Oakley, T.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Womerslev, W J|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||pildltch, Sir Philip||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hope, Capt:. A. O. J. (WarW'k, Nun.)||Preston, William||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Radford, E. A.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Raine, Sir Walter||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Hudson, Capt. A. u. M. (Hackney, N.)||Remnant, Sir James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hume, Sir G. H||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.|
|Hunter-Weston. Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Rice, Sir Frederick|
§ Mr. NAYLOR
I beg to move, in page 4, line 41, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that an insured contributor who has accepted work in other than his usual occupation shall, when again unemployed, be registered for employment in his usual occupation.I was hoping that the Minister would have made the moving of this Amendment unnecessary, by rising in his place to say that he accepted it. I think it is fairly obvious that, in the unfortunate circumstances in which this Sub-section places an insured person who has been transferred to another industry where the rate of pay is lower and the conditions inferior to those he would have enjoyed in his own occupation, it is absolutely 530 necessary, in the interests of fair play, that the insured person should be put back for registration in his own trade on becoming unemployed in his new trade, so that he may at least endeavour to secure employment in the higher-paid occupation.
§ Mr. NAYLOR
I understand that the Minister's assent merely indicates that he understands the point that is being raised; I hope he will be equally clear in understanding the argument that is used in support of it. It is essential that he should understand clearly what the Amendment seeks to do. The assump- 531 tion of the Amendment is that the insured person has, under the terms of this Sub-section, been transferred, possibly from a highly-skilled occupation, into an occupation in which the wages are not so high as those he was accustomed to receive. Can there be any-excuse for keeping that man, when he falls out of employment in his new occupation, on the register of the Exchange as seeking work in an occupation with which he is only partially acquainted? Surely, the skilled workmen may claim the consideration of the Minister in this matter. I understand that the Conservative party have always been in favour of preserving to a skilled craftsman the conditions under which he works, and if a man has served an apprenticeship, possibly of seven years, to a trade, and has spent the best years of his life in following that trade—it may be such a trade as the one referred to by the Minister this afternoon, a trade in which lightness of touch and keenness of eye are matters of importance—is it to be said, merely because he has been transferred to another occupation, possibly for three months or six months, that, when he is again unemployed, he must be registered in a business of which he has only an incomplete knowledge?
It will also be fairly obvious that a workman or a workwoman who has been so transferred would not give the same satisfaction in their new occupation as they would be likely to give in their original occupation, and that, consequently, they are much more likely to fall out of work after a short period of employment. When they have so fallen out of work, this Sub-section says they must remain in that particular occupation their knowledge of which is incomplete, and must be deprived of the opportunity of being registered in the occupation to which they have devoted their lives. I suggest that that is really unfair to the person who is so transferred. I look upon it as even more unfair that the man or woman should be transferred at all. If there is so much opportunity for employment in certain trades as to justify the operation of this particular Subsection, I should like the Minister to tell us in his reply in what particular trade is employment so good that it can absorb skilled men or women from other industries or occupations without detriment 532 to those who are already unemployed in that particular occupation. There is not a single trade or occupation in this country, with the exception, perhaps, of domestic service, where there is absence of unemployment, and, if that be so, where is the necessity for this Subsection, and what can be the justification for taking a man or woman from any particular trade or occupation and placing them where the conditions of service are not so good?
One case recently in my own division was that of a young woman who was a shop assistant, but had been out of work for some time, and was offered employment in an office where she would have to act as a cleaner; and, although she had been trained as a shop assistant, she was expected to take employment as a cleaner, at the risk of being penalised by loss of benefit if she refused. On the other hand, there are many skilled industries in which men are thoroughly trained in their occupations, but are subject to long periods of unemployment by reason? of the exigencies of trade. While we can understand these exigencies of trade, they are not so easily comprehended by the officials and assistants at the Employment Exchanges, and, consequently, the insured person suffers because of the absence of knowledge and experience on the part of young persons, who carry out their work under very difficult conditions and with the greatest possible credit to themselves, but who, from the very nature of their work, are compelled to consider the special cases of individual applicants with whom they may be brought into official contact; and even the rota committees and the courts of referees are not always so considerate in these matters as we should expect and like them to be.
The loss of benefit, however, is not the only disability that is placed upon the insured person. You have a skilled man who is proud of his home, who, possibly, has come upon bad times, and he refuses to accept employment outside his own occupation because the conditions are so inferior to those to which he has been used. It is not merely the benefit that you are taking away from that man; you are branding him as a work-shy, you are saying that he does not want work, because that is the implication of suspen- 533 sion from benefit. Many a man might say:Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;…But he that filches from me my good name,Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.I submit that even more important to a man is his own good name than the mere matter of 26 weeks' benefit in the year. I daresay the Minister will object, and will ask, is it not better for such a person to accept work, even under these conditions, than to be out of work and possibly go on Poor Law relief? But that does not visualise the position. I am speaking of men and women who belong to trade unions, which do for their members what the State' has failed to do. I can speak of men in a trade union who are getting from their union 36s. a week in unemployment benefit, if they need it, for 52 weeks in the year. Therefore, a man having paid for that benefit, has a right to be left in a position to carry on his occupation, being supported in the meantime by the benefits of his own trade union, for which he has paid for many years.
I am quite prepared to admit that there appears to be in this Sub-section a safeguard, that safeguard being, the Minister will tell us, that no man or woman is expected to accept employment outside his or her occupation except under conditions recognised by an agreement between employers' associations and trade unions, or, in the absence of such an agreement, at the rate recognised by good employers. What consolation is it to a man who has been accustomed to receive £4 a week, and is then asked to accept another situation at £2 a week, to be told that that £2 a week is the rate recognised by an agreement between employers' associations and trade unions? It is no consolation to him at all, and he ought not to be regarded as shirking his responsibilites to the State merely because he declines to place himself in that position of disadvantage.
Again, it is not merely a question of transferring a man from one trade to another. He may be removed from one district to another, even though in the same occupation, and be threatened with penalties if he refuses. He may be trans ferred, in the same trade, to another 534 district where the wages are a great deal lower. What happens then? He has to go away to another town, and, even though he may not always be called upon to pay the full expenses of his own transfer, he has, when he gets there, to get lodgings, and he has to support the home that he has left behind; and yet, because he refuses to place himself in that position of disadvantage, the Minister is coming down upon him and saying that he must accept this other job, at, perhaps, 25 per cent, lower wages, and possibly involving an increase of 25 per cent, in his domestic expenses, or, if he does not, he will be penalised under Sub-section (2) of Clause 5. I ask the Minister whether, if he were a skilled workman, he would like to be placed in that position. Let him imagine how he would feel with a wife and family in London, a member of a trade union earning, perhaps, £4 or £5 a week, working 48 hours a week all the year round, at being suddenly confronted with a request from the Exchange to go into another town 20, 30 or 50 miles distant where the wages were 10s. or £1 a week less and the hours four to six per week more than those he had been accustomed to. Notwithstanding that that might conceivably be recognised by industrial agreement, it would be none the less acceptable for that reason to a man who has been in possession of superior comforts.
Again, how is it going to work in the case of young women, where trade is not organised as it is among the men? What is going to be the position, say, of a shop assistant or a young woman carrying on some semi-skilled occupation and receiving, possibly, up to £2 a week? There are many opportunities of work for young women if they are prepared to accept conditions which I should hesitate to offer but which are offered to them every day of the week. Take the position of a cleaner-up in a coffee shop. What would be the recognised rate for her? There are no trade agreements apart from what might be secured in some occupations by Trade Board agreements. In a case I have in mind a young woman was getting fairly good wages as a shop assistant, and she was penalised because she refused to accept a cleaner's job. This Clause is going to accentuate that hardship. Hitherto it has been largely at the discretion of those who administer the Act. Now it is to be made 535 a statutory provision. The mere act of refusing is to be made a reason for suspending the insured person. That is not fair, and the Minister would be well-advised to accept my Amendment.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Perhaps I might answer the hon. Member, who has stated his case very cogently, in this way. If I were a skilled workman or a woman employed as a shop assistant and wanted to preserve my status, I should not like this Amendment to be passed. First of all, let me show the hon. Member that I understand the reason that has caused him to move it, and, secondly, give the reason why, if I were a skilled workman, I should come to that conclusion. What the hon. Member has in mind is the fear that he thinks there might be in the mind of a skilled workman. He might say to himself, "Unless I get the safeguard contained in this Amendment, they may register me as belonging to the new occupation in which they have asked me to take a job, which apart from wages, is not of such a high grade of skill. If I take the job for the time being, then, unless I am safeguarded in this way, they may write me down permanently as a member of that new class, whereas I want to 'be assured that I can still be recognised as a member of my own skilled craft." The fear is groundless, for a reason that is not generally apprehended. We keep the register by industries for convenience in classifying men and for offering them suitable jobs when we can get them. The Register is not a sort of final and conclusive proof that when a person is once written down as belonging to one category he is adjudged to be for all time a member of the occupation in which he has been written down. The regular practice is that a man can register for any occupation he likes. It is true that at the same time the officials of the exchange will very likely make a note of his name in some other occupation for which he might be suitable, and that is what the man himself would wish to have. There may be other quite reasonable and proper occupations in which if there were a job going an unemployed man would like to have it offered to him, but his name remains in the occupation in which he himself registers. It is from that point of view that the hon. Member's fear is really groundless.
536 On the other hand, it is inadvisable to have a provision of this kind, because the moment you begin to put in a safeguard, as is the case with other limiting words, you begin to make another thing of the Register. You begin to say that the occupation is to be regarded as really some definite and conclusive category. It is not so, I do not want to make it so and I do not think anyone wants to make it so. If it were, there would be wrangles about precisely in what occupation a person ought to be written down and it might not always be easy to adjudicate. At present, if a question came up before the Referees or the Umpire, it would be perfectly natural to ask what the man's regular trade had been. From that point of view, it is not wise to try to crystallise the Register into something it is not intended to be and ought not to be. It might even work to the man's disadvantage. He might have wanted to change to a new occupation. My memory begins to be a little dim as to what was said and by whom at different stages, but I think it was the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) who talked about a man in his spare time going in for music, and possibly wishing to become a musician and ultimately to be registered as a musician. This safeguard would tend to prevent that. It is for that reason that I think the fear is groundless and any effect there might follow from this amendment would be really undesirable. That is why I cannot ask the Committee to accept it.
§ Miss WILKINSON
Can the Minister tell me whether this case is covered by the Amendment In my union we have a large number of butchers, and they are insured. If they are out of work, they can take work as killers, where they may be regarded as sub-contractors, and they go out of insurance altogether. A good many of these men are finding it very difficult, when they have taken temporary employment, to get back into their own trade, and, though they may have paid for a good many years, when they appeal for unemployment pay they are written down as in an uninsurable employment. Would not this Amendment safeguard them by causing them to be registered only in their own insurable occupation?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
No. The most usual case is that of a man who 537 takes an agricultural job, which is an uninsured occupation. In such a case the man ought to be safeguarded. I can assure the Committee that he is not injured in his own craft by taking another job. It helps him and does not fetter him. He can register in his own trade as before, and the very fact that he is ready to turn his hand to another job for the time being, and will go back to his own trade as soon as there is a chance, is always in his favour when it comes to the usual procedure of asking whether he is making every reasonable effort to obtain employment.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
It is the last reply of the Minister that, to my mind, represents the greater measure of fear that we have in connection with this Amendment. The possibility of the transference of an unemployed person to another occupation throws open a wide field of uninsured industries which we feel will be exploited and will become part of the general transference of labour from insured to uninsured occupations. Some of our recent experiences rather belie the accuracy of the last part of his statement. When men have been sent to an uninsured occupation and come back to the register, the incidence of their employment in the uninsured trade is taken into account, and, if by chance the lapse of time has altered their stamp qualification, because no stamps have been stuck on while in the uninsured occupation, they have been looked upon as being occupied in an uninsured trade. About one-third of the total of occupied persons are not covered by unemployment insurance—round about 5,000,000 persons I should imagine according to the census. If you transfer a young woman from a factory to domestic service and she then becomes unemployed, under some circumstances she is not permitted to re-register in her old occupation. She is looked upon as an unemployed person coming from an uninsurable occupation, and that makes all the difference to her being able to re-establish herself in her particular class of employment within the insurance area.
It is in that case and the case of the agricultural worker that I have the greatest fear, because I feel sure that the Minister and his Department would 538 say that the Court of Referees, or the insurance officer, might come to a decision that a person had been a sufficiently long period in the uninsurable occupation to have gone out of insurance. Many persons, although desirous of keeping in their old occupation, do, because of a long term of slackness in their old occupation, seek other employment rather than be unemployed. When they come back, are you sure that your officers will not say: "This person has been a sufficiently long period in an uninsurable occupation and he cannot now register under his old occupation, which is within the insurable field." That is the great fear which I have in connection with this matter. It is not so much a fear concerning the mechanic taking the semi-skilled or the labourer taking the semi-skilled job, because you would not desire under those circumstances—nor would I—that the individual should have no choice in the matter, and that, having once been a labourer, he must for ever afterwards be classified as a labourer. If he is an engineer's labourer, and finds employment as a semi-skilled worker, a machinist, I desire him to have the liberty when he comes back to register as a machinist and not to have his old category of labourer applied to him.
On the other hand, I do not want the highly technical skilled man who has found employment in some lower grade, to be placed in the position of having to say: "I was an engineer or a pattern maker before I took this job. I took this job largely on your advice, because I preferred to be at work, and because I was able to do it, but now I am back again. I have been eight or nine months in an uninsurable occupation." When he comes back it would be hard if you did not give that man the right to be reestablished in his old occupation. It would be preferable if the Minister could devise means whereby we might encourage that man to come back to his old occupation and give him some form of credit for having gone into an uninsurable trade for the time being. I think that most of the women from insurable occupations are now sent out from the Employment Exchanges to situations as domestic servants. I know a good deal of fear prevails that as soon as they go into domestic service they go 539 out of the insurable field. If their own industry looks like picking up again and they desire to return, they believe that, having been out of it for a time, they are put outside the scope of insurance. They have developed a certain skill in their trade occupation and they prefer to follow that occupation because of its greater liberties in the evenings and its restricted number of hours as compared with the conditions of domestic service. If they desire to come back again, surely it would be unfair to say, "You must now register as a person not within the insurable field, and, as your last occupation was that of domestic servant, you must now be entered as a domestic servant ready and available for any applications for domestic servants." Under these circumstances, they woud be placed outside the possibility of being again absorbed in their old insurable occupation. I think that while the Minister feels that there are already adequate safeguards for the temporary change over to occupations within the uninsurable field, and while perhaps one week outside the insurable field might be all right, yet there is a great fear in our minds, in view of the alterations that have already been made in the previous Clauses of this Bill; and there should be some better safeguard in the interests of the insured persons so dealt with.
§ Sir HENRY CAUTLEY
One would assume from what the Minister has said that any man was at liberty to register himself in his previous occupation. As far as the insured trades are concerned, where a man has changed occupation to a lower grade, I am content to leave that to be dealt with by hon. Members who are more used to the working of the Insurance Acts. I was more interested in the Minister's statement that a man who has hitherto been in an insured trade and then goes into an uninsured occupation, like agriculture, is not prejudiced. There is, all over the country, a very prevalent idea that, if a man who is out of work and is in an insured trade takes work in agriculture, he thereby loses the right either to be registered or to be counted a member of his own trade. As far as this idea prevails, the result has been that the agricultural industry has been deprived of a most useful class of workers, namely, the men who come out during the sum- 540 mertime to do seasonal work. It is extra work in the agricultural industry for which there is a great demand. It does not interfere with the ordinary requirements of the agricultural industry. The men who take that work are very often improved in health in consequence, and they, at any rate, cease to be a tax on their fellows, on their own trade, or on the taxpayers. They work for a few months in the country doing very useful work and benefiting a great deal in health. I do not want to pursue this matter further, but I want the Minister to make it quite clear that it is the law that a man can come from his insured trade and work at an uninsurable occupation like agriculture during the summer season without prejudicing his position in his own insured trade, and being registered in that occupation. If necessary, I would like him, if he possibly could, to insert some proviso in this Bill to that effect so that it may be known.
§ Mr. VARLEY
It is exactly the point raised by the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) to which I want to call attention. It might shorten the discussion on the Amendment if the Minister could give some guarantee that his statement is a correct rendering of the existing law. If it be true that a man has a right to be registered in the name of the occupation from which he has come, and, according to the words of the Minister, presumably under a designation chosen by himself, perhaps there is no reason for this Amendment, but, certainly, that is not how the Act is interpreted in the country. I had a case brought to my notice only three weeks ago. Fortunately, the rate of unemployment in my district is very low indeed. We have very few unemployed men but thousands of under-employed men. We have a few victimised men. These men are willing to turn their hands to anything. One is a collier who had been out of work for 14 months. He was offered work in the town in which he lived, as a butcher's assistant, forsooth. He was quite pleased to get this employment, but the only reason he went was because the butcher with whom he enlisted was a friend of his, and was prepared to overlook his shortcomings, lack of experience and lack of knowledge. Supposing when that job has come to an end this man is offered a similar job, or a job under the 541 same designation in the wholesale slaughtering trade in Nottingham, and he refuses to go because of his shortcomings, lack of experience, and lack of knowledge, the great probability will be that thereafter he will be refused benefit. The hon. Member who introduced this Amendment did so with a quotation from Shakespeare. I think that same gentleman once said:
"What's in a name?"
In these matters, a very great deal depends upon a name. In the early months of this year, we had some men registered under the broad designation of "miner" who were refused benefit because they had refused work 11 miles away, at a rate of remuneration 3s. less than that to which they had been accustomed. Other men, more learned in the intricacies of unemployment insurance law, had taken the precaution to register as coal-face contractors. The difference between the two was that the man who was registered as a coal-face contractor got unemployment benefit and the common or garden miner did not. I want to know whether, if the Minister has correctly interpreted the law, we can have it placed on record here, and have an assurance that it will be so interpreted in the Employment Exchanges of the country. If that could be done and every man chose his own designation, there would be a removal of the fear that was expressed by the Mover of the Amendment, and there would be absolutely no point whatever in having an Amendment of this kind added to this already overloaded Measure.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
A man can choose his own designation. May I put that first and foremost? A man or woman can chose his or her own designation.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
He chooses his designation himself, and he is registered under that designation. That is what happens.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
That is not quite com plete. On the first occasion, yes, but if he goes into an uninsurable occupation—
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am coming to that. As far as work in agriculture is concerned, which is the case the hon. Member, and my hon. and learned Friend, the Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) put, the fact that a man goes off into agriculture does not for one moment prevent him from continuing to register in his previous insured occupation. I must make one point clear, in passing, that, as far as time runs for contributions and the rest of it—it may run while he is off in agriculture as in other cases—the point will come in really on Subsection (4), when we get to it. He can continue to register in his original occupation all the time that he is away in agriculture.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am coming now to the qualification for benefit. The qualification for benefit is a question of fact. Whether he registers as an engineer or as a steel worker, he would register as a matter of choice, but whether he qualifies for benefit in the end is a question of fact, and you do not alter the question of fact by the designation a person gives himself on the register. The fact that is considered is the work that he has actually been doing. The insurance officer, the Court of Referees and the Umpire say, "What is this man's regular work in life?" and they judge according to that. The fact that he has taken a job in some other occupation or some other industrial category or an uninsured job will not prejudice him in that respect. Here, for instance, is a steel worker who has taken work in some other occupation but his trade is obviously that of a steel worker and he will be judged accordingly.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That is precisely what comes up under Subsection (4) and I would prefer not to enter on that discussion at the present time.
§ Mr. J. BAKER
I look upon this provision as an attack upon the skilled men of this country and a desire on the part of the Government to get power to make skilled men into general labourers, when there are general labourers out of work.
543 Therefore, I do not like it. If the right hon. Gentleman will live up to his assertion that he always tells "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"; if there is nothing in his mind beyond that, and if he really desires that the skilled man shall have the benefit of his skill, why does he not accept the Amendment, or tell us that there is something in our case and that he will find words that will meet his case and ours, and preserve to the workman the title to his skill? Let me put a case. Here is a man who serves five or seven years as an apprentice, and trade falls slack and he becomes unemployed. Thereupon not only a skilled man but a labourer is thrown out of work. The labourers up to now say that they have a grievance when skilled men take their jobs.
This is not a question of a man getting a job, but a question of being registered in his own occupation, which is quite a different matter.
I said nothing of the kind. We must confine ourselves to this particular Amendment and the point it raises.
§ Mr. BAKER
You used the words in another connection, and I asked if this Amendment was in the bargain. I do not wish to transgress and I did not know that I was transgressing in pointing out to the Committee that because a group of skilled men are put into lower grades they create a grievance amongst the men in the lower grades. If I cannot express myself clearly on a point like that, I ought to take lessons.
I am quite sure the hon. Member wishes to put his point clearly, but I am pointing out that the Amendment before the Committee is not a question as to whether a man can get a job in some other occupation, but whether he can be allowed to register for employment in his usual occupation. It is a matter of registration.
§ Mr. BAKER
I want to say that the Minister's assurance is not sufficient. I am dealing with the question of registration and I am quoting the case of a man who by training acquires skill. He has worked at his occupation for seven years at a low rate of pay, under the theory that he was acquiring skill; the theory being that the employer teaches him a trade, although he teaches him nothing. When he reaches a certain age we deduct contributions from him, whether he likes it or not. That man falls out of work because trade is bad, and the Department is now reserving to itself the right to say to that man: "Here is a job, not in your own trade and not necessarily a skilled job. Go and take that!" We say that the Department has no right to degrade that man.
It is not a question of whether he can be given employment in some other occupation; it is merely a question whether he is registered in his own occupation. That is the only point.
It is only a question of registration. In this Act of Parliament, it is obligatory that he should be registered, and the only question now is whether he is to be registered in the particular industry or occupation in which he is usually employed.
§ Mr. BAKER
I think he ought to be registered as a skilled man and to retain that classification throughout his life. I do not know how far one is allowed to deal with statements made by the Minister; but it is not a fact in my experience that registration gives a man a status which he carries for the rest of his life. The Minister is forgetting that the Unemployment Insurance Acts in Whitehall are not the Unemployment Insurance Acts in the Employment Exchanges. Men who' have gone to work for two months at an uninsured occupation have been declined the right of registration. In that case, the man has rights but he does not know it, and if he is not in a trade union or if he has not friends to take up his case he suffers by default, and that is why we want this Amendment 545 inserted. I am not wedded to the particular wording of the Amendment, but we want some equivalent declaration that will reserve the rights to these men. It is not only the facts of the case that are taken into account but the intentions of the man. Last year, after the general strike, we had a case of some men who previously to the stoppage had been working in steel works for a number of years. Trade fell slack and they had secured work at the mines. The mines closed and when the case came before the Umpire he inquired as to the occupation of the men. One of the men had retained his membership in our organization, and the Umpire took that fact into account and said that the man was a steel worker; but the other men who had worked in the steel trade previously had not retained their membership with us, and the Umpire decided that they had shown an intention to change their occupation. Up to now, mere registration has not meant anything to the minds of the Employment Exchange people if they have not been very favourable to a man, and I think the Minister ought to meet us on a point like this which involves so much in the skilled trades of this country.
§ Mr. OLIVER
The importance of this Amendment is only realised when we understand the implications of the Subsection which is being discussed. While this Sub-section is in existence there is the gravest possible fear that the most diligent workman may at any time lose his benefit because it may be proved of him that within a reasonable period he has not sought employment in an occupation other than that in which he has been accustomed to work. While that danger is in existence and while this particular Sub-section exists, it is of the utmost importance that this Amendment should be inserted. There is always a great disinclination, amongst the craftsmen of the country, to change occupation, particularly when it means accepting a lower status than that which they have been accustomed to possess. Take the engineer. I wonder what prospect in the higher branches of engineering there would be for an engineer ever to get back into the same grade which he had been accustomed to follow if, for instance, he has had to accept a labourer's job or some work of that description. Such a 546 man when he sought a job in engineering would be asked: "What was your last occupation," and he would have to reply, "I was a labourer." Take a well-known motor-car manufacturer, such as the Rolls Royce Company. I wonder whether that company would give a man a job in their high-grade department and particularly in their tool room unless he could bring to them the very highest testimonials. However unfortunate he might have been in having had to accept a lower standard of work than engineering, there would not be the remotest prospect of getting back into that line of business again. The same would apply also in the machine-tool industry. I wonder what a high-class machine tool firm would say to a man who sought occupation in that particular industry if he had been unfortunate enough through unemployment to have to accept employment at some other industry regarded as inferior to that particular occupation. If that be the case, the insertion of this Amendment is of absolute and paramount importance, because it must be clear that a man who through the misfortune of unemployment has had to accept a so-called inferior occupation ought to be safeguarded to the utmost possible limit during that unfortunate period, and he must not be penalised for the future.
§ Mr. VIANT
This Amendment has been put down as the result of experience, not because of any desire on our part to submit Amendments to this Bill. Some hon. Members on these benches have had the experience which this Amendment is designed to meet. I know of a number of first-class joiners who have been compelled as the result of bad trade in the building industry to accept employment on road repairs, and it is difficult for them, after they have done so, to get into a good first-class job again. Under this Clause the Department will have power to degrade workers, because unemployment benefit is to be refused if the applicant will not accept certain other occupations. Degrading, therefore, is bound to take place, and we are submitting this Amendment in the hope that the Department will appreciate our point of view and enable a man or woman who has been degraded in this sense to upgrade themselves again with the assistance of the Department. I cannot appreciate many of the points which have been made by the Minister of Labour, and as 547 far as I have heard the Debate all the arguments have been in favour of the Amendment, and the least the Department can do, if these particular words are unacceptable, is to insert other words which they consider better and incorporate them in the Bill during its later stages. The danger, however, is a very real one and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate it.
§ Mr. MARCH
I was surprised to hear from the Minister of Labour the argument that if he accepted this Amendment it would complicate the register. The right hon. Gentleman says that if a man has taken a job in another occupation he has the option of registering in his first or his new occupation. If he decides to register in his new occupation it probably might complicate the register, hut if he decides to register in his usual occupation it would not complicate matters at all. And if the Exchange officer directs a man in any industry or trade to go into some other industry or trade he will have a record as to where he sent the man and how long he was there, that is, if it was another insured trade. Then as to the man who goes and looks for employment himself. He may get into agriculture. In the industry to which I have the honour to belong, the transport trade, we have men who, when trade is slack in the summer time, frequently go on to farm work and do mechanical driving and other work. He may be away for three, four, five or six months. Who is going to follow him and ascertain whether he is actually in that occupation? The man naturally registers in his previous occupation because it is no use to him to register as being in agriculture. They would want to know where he had been, and questions would arise as to his qualification for benefit. If you are going to encourage men to take up work other than their usual occupation you should at least give them the right to register in their previous occupation. That is the logic of the scheme. If a person registers his employment on the first occasion he has a right to re-register in the same employment although he may have accepted other employment in the meantime. It only shows the willingness on the part of these people to accept employment rather than the unemployment benefit.
548 If this Amendment is refused it gives those affected an opportunity of saying that it was never the intention of the Government that they should have the benefit of the contributions for which they have paid. They will be able to say that the Government want to disqualify them. As the hon. Member for Nelson and Come (Mr. Greenwood) has said, this ought to be renamed the "Insurance Disqualification Bill," for apparently the Government want to disqualify as many men and women as they can, who have been forced into an insurance scheme, many of them against their will, regulated by the Government, officered by the Government, and dominated all the way through by the Government. If this Bill becomes an Act there will be less opportunity for them to explain their case than they have at present. If they are dissatisfied with a decision of the insurance officer they can report it to the Committee who can interview them, but under this Bill the matter has to go straight to the referee, and there is not much opportunity for them to be represented unless they are in a trade union. This Bill is going to disqualify thousands of people who have paid their contributions into unemployment insurance. Let me say one word with regard to the position of women. I have had one or two cases brought to my notice. There was a young woman who had been for five or six years bookkeeper in a rather large firm. She became unemployed because of a reduction of staff, and she registered at the Employment Exchange. Inquiries were made with regard to her work, but they had no book-keeping situations open and they sent her on daily work. She did not refuse it. She did her best, although it was drudgery and with a great deal less wage than she had been getting previously. She had to keep herself and an invalid mother, and found that it was impossible. Still she did not turn up the job. Then they wanted her to work longer hours than she had agreed to work, and she was dismissed.
This has nothing at all to do with the matter now under discussion. I do not know how the hon. Member raises this question on this Amendment. It has nothing to do with it. I have been waiting a long time for him to come to the point.
§ Mr. MARCH
I have just come to the point—the young woman did not turn up the job, she was dismissed. She goes and registers, and they say "We have you down as a daily worker." She was not a daily worker, she was a bookkeeper, and because she had accepted daily work she has to go on accepting daily work. That is the way you disqualify men and women from getting the benefits for which they have paid, and that is the way the Government will get their scheme well equipped with finances so that somebody else can come and take it away as they did in connection with the Road Fund.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
While I cannot agree with everything that my hon. Friends have said, I hope the Minister will reconsider this question, and if he cannot accept the form of words in the Amendment will suggest some other form which will meet the case—
Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; Committee counted, and 40 Members being present—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
—I want to put one or two points to the Minister. I hope my hon. Friends, because I do not accept all they have said, will not think I am trying to be critical. Let me take a case from my own Division. Take the case of a pattern maker. I know the Minister will say that when a man enters another occupation he has the option, when he goes to the Employment Exchange, of re-registering in his first occupation, and that a pattern maker, if he is set to work as a joiner, has the option of registering in his former occupation. That is not sufficient. I think an Amendment ought to be accepted giving a person the right to register in at least two or three occupations. This Amendment does not meet the case I have in mind. Take a man who is a professional footballer. He is fully insured. Before becoming a professional footballer he may have been an engineer. Then comes what is known as the close season for football, when the game is not played. The man loses his club. He signs on at the Employment Exchange, and at the present time he must sign as a professional footballer. Previous to that he might have been a skilled joiner or craftsman.
550 My point is, that if the Amendment be not accepted at least something ought to be done so that a man who is a professional footballer could register in what are both legitimate occupations. The man might be anxious for the time being to follow his occupation as a footballer, but if a job came along in his previous occupation he might be perfectly willing to take it. I suggest that on the Report stage something should be done to meet cases of that kind of dual occupations. The Government say they are anxious that people should be keen in looking for work. What could be a better example of a man looking for work than his registering in both the occupations that he could legitimately follow? I am told that at the present time a man has a right to register, but he has no right under the Act. The right is granted to him only with the consent of some Exchange official. There is no definite instruction laid down in the Act that he has the right. We say that an Act of Parliament ought to safeguard a man who has been working away from his trade and wishes to reregister in that trade. We would like to see a definite instruction given to meet the point.
Take the case of joiners and pattern makers. Joiners may be extremely busy on building. Along comes an employer and he says to the joiners' trade union, "We want 12 men." The trade union says, "You cannot have them, as we are extremely busy." The employer says, "We would like 12 men who are accustomed to woodwork." The joiners, to their credit, then say, "We will allow you to have 12 pattern makers if you pay them the standard rate of wages," and the 12 pattern makers go to the job. Eventually, when the work is done, they are dismissed. All we ask is that those 12 should not be registered as joiners, as that trade might be overcrowded, but that they should be registered in the occupation they followed before, namely, that of pattern makers. This is a matter which crops up from time to time, and it is a point of substance. Everybody wants the mobility of labour, but unless this Amendment is carried, such mobility would be lessened.
The Amendment would not mean that pattern makers who took up joinery work would be regarded as permanent members of the joiners' craft. It means only that 551 the joiners' union for the time being would be willing to concede to others the right to enter their craft temporarily, but would not accept them as permanent competitors in the craft. Unless the Amendment is carried the joiners' union would say to the pattern makers, "We are not going to allow these men to enter our craft, because once they come in they will have a right to register permanently as joiners, and the trade will be filled to overflowing." That is how the craftsman sees it. Some may say that we should not have all these regulations governing crafts, but they are regulations which have grown up after many years, and there they are. Frankly, I want to see as few craft barriers as possible. I think the Minister would be well-advised to accept the Amendment in the interest of mobility of labour. Distinctions and jealousies exist as between craft and craft. The Amendment would do something to meet the point of view of the Minister and would lessen such jealousies. It ought not to be left to some subordinate official at an Employment Exchange to say whether or not a man has the right to register in the way I have suggested. The Act should say definitely what a man's rights are.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
There seems to be a good deal of misapprehension, judging from some of the speeches delivered, as to what are the functions of the register and why we have a register at all. Our object in having a register is to find a man a job. It matters little to us how he describes himself so long as we have an opportunity of being able to find him a job in the trade under which he describes himself. Quite often, I am told, we have a note in another part of the register saying that a man, although registered under one description, can undertake a job of another kind. That is the practice now and it will" continue. The effect of the Amendment would really be the opposite of what the last speaker has suggested. It is true that our wish is to make labour as mobile and fluid as possible and to assist a man to get a job. That is our one object. If the Amendment were carried it would require a man to be registered in his own occupation. We do not want to tie him to registration in his own occupation, if 552 he thinks that his own interests can be best served by giving himself another description. Acceptance of the Amendment would have the result of doing the opposite of what hon. Members opposite and I equally desire, namely, to make the register as effective an instrument as possible to get a job for a man.
A fitter is forced through lack of employment in his trade to take some other work which is not the ordinary work in which he is skilled. He then goes back to the Exchange and is registered as a worker in the temporary work that he has been doing. Then the Exchange get a request for fitters. Does the Parliamentary Secretary mean to say that the man who has been registered under an occupation which is not his would get as good a chance as men who were registered at the Exchange as fitters?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
Of course I would not like to answer regarding a particular case without knowing the full details, but I think it would be obvious that if a man's description, as given by himself, was not the best description of his capability and capacity, his chances would not be so good or might not be so good as they would have been had his description been more accurately related to his qualification.
I suggest that that is not a fair way of dealing with this particular problem. The Minister knows as well as we do who represent engineering constituencies that there are many skilled fitters and engineers and boiler-makers who, not because they are not fitted for their avocation, but just because at the moment there is not enough work for them, are either obliged to become unemployed or to take some temporary occupation of another kind. That does not mean that engineering is not the work that they can do best. When the temporary job is over and fitters or boilermakers are wanted again, surely they are going to be handicapped in geting work if they are not on the register for the occupation in which they have been trained for many years?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I do not think that this important Amendment has been adequately discussed, and I am indebted to you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, for protecting the freedom and privileges of Members. The Amendment contains a very important principle. It is in the widest sense the principle of protection. One would have thought that it would have found support from Conservative Members. Indeed, if the Conservative party had been present I would have made a very impassioned appeal to them on the fundamental principles of Conservatism to come to the aid of the Labour party and to see that those principles were maintained. It is quite easy to talk about our objection to the existence of craftsmen in the ranks of industrial workers. These workers to-day have their wages fixed by competition, and they naturally, like the traders on the other side, think of the best means of protecting themselves against any encroachments that will directly result in a reduction of their wages I think they are perfectly right. Many of these tradesmen have had to undergo an industrial training which is equal—in time at any rate—to that undertaken by a student for one of the professional occupations. In the printing trade, for instance, youths have to spend seven years in learning their trade before they become qualified journeymen and entitled to the journeyman's standard of wages. Naturally they want to protect themselves. I think they have been very generous in the way they have acted during the present industrial depression. They have been willing, where there was a possibility of doing so, to make way in their particular trade or occupation for someone who, although he did not meet all the requirements of their union, could, in a way, perform the duties which they were performing. But I do not think we ought to take advantage of that generosity of spirit to injure them permanently through the Measure now before the Committee.
I cannot remind the Committee too often that this is not so much an Insurance Bill as a Bill for the depression of the condition of the working class of this country. Here we find a party which, on general principles, advocates Protection as the only means of saving this unfortunate country of ours, but when it comes to dealing with the workers they are 554 the most eloquent Free Traders in the world. They want Free Trade in labour. The Parliamentary Secretary says that if we pass this Amendment we shall make things very difficult for the workman. The hon. Gentleman tells us that if a workman goes into an occupation and works at it for six months and is then thrown out of work again, our Amendment will prevent that man from registering in that occupation of which he has now obtained some knowledge and in which he has some little opportunity of finding employment. The hon. Gentleman tells us that we want to force the man back into the occupation in which he was before he took up the temporary employment and that this would be a terrible hardship on the man. The hon. Gentleman is thinking of the individual worker. I agree there is hardship, but the whole system bristles with hardships and we have to consider which is the greater hardship. The greater hardship, I submit, is to allow that man's temporary difficulties to be used as a means of depressing conditions in the occupation in which he has temporarily served. In the one case, you may do a hardship to the individual; in the other case, under the guise of protecting the individual, you may do injury to all the men employed in a particular occupation.
That is the consideration which is worrying Members on this side of the Committee. They want the Government to apply the views which they hold generally with regard to unemployment to this particular Amendment. What are those views? The Government say that unemployment is only temporary. The Bill is based on that assumption. The Government say that the Committee ought not to accept the pessimistic views of the left-wingers of the Labour party that unemployment is inherent in the Capitalist system—now in its state of decay—and that we must regard it as permanent. "No," the Government say, "You must not accept that view at all. You must say that it is temporary." If that be the case, is it not reasonable that the man who is engaged temporarily in an occupation other than his own during this temporary depression, should be compelled to register in his own trade? The Government say that unemployment is about to disappear and that things are going to be normal in a couple of years. If we accept the Government's 555 view to that effect for the moment, where can be the hardship of laying it down—as this Amendment proposes to do—that this man should register for his normal employment now that we are getting back to normal times according to the Government? Is it not a perfectly reasonable Amendment, and would it not be accepted by any Government which was viewing this problem in an independent spirit with only one object in view, namely, to provide temporarily for the unfortunate victims of a temporary depression of trade? But that is not and never was the view of the Government.
The view of the Government is to use one man against another. The policy of this Bill and of the series of Measures to which it belongs is to use the unemployed in order to bring down wages and conditions of the employed. That is a dastardly view and could only emanate from people who think that Britain is to go on permanently in a state of society, in which the comfortable classes exist on the cheap labour of a servile mass. Hon. Members on this side of the Committee cannot subscribe to that view. We want to break down these barriers, and not only among the workers. We want to break down, not merely craft distinctions, but class distinctions. We would gladly subscribe to a levelling, if it were a levelling up, but the object in this Bill is to level down. The people
§ of this country are poor enough, and the results of poverty in this country are tremendous in their possibilities of permanent injury to the country. We can not subscribe to any Measure, or any provision in a Measure, which is going to increase that poverty and make it more difficult for our people to get a market for the product of their labour, embarrassing the capitalists who are engaged nobly in trying to—
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I would be the last in this Committee to attempt to travel one inch further than your ruling, Sir, as to the limitation of the Amendment. But I am trying to impress the Committee with the tremendous importance of standing up to the efforts of the Government to use this Bill, and particularly that part of it which we are now discussing, for the purpose of lowering the condition of the people of this country to a worse level than it is at to-day.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 141.559
|Division No. 412.]||AYES.||[5.54 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Briggs, J. Harold||Conway, Sir W Martin|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Albery, Irving James||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Cope. Major William|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brown, Col. D. C. N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Astor. Viscountess||Burman, J. B.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Atkinson, C.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Campbell, E. T.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Carver, Major W. H.||Davidson, J. (Hertfd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Bennett, A. J.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Berry, Sir George||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Bethel, A.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Drewe, C.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Duckworth, John|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Christie, J. A.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Clarry, Reginald George||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Clayton, G. C.||Ellis, R. G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||England, Colonel A.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Flelden, E. B.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Forrest, W.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lamb, J. Q.||Sandon, Lord|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Galbralth, J. F. W.||Loder, J. de V.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Long, Major Eric||Skelton, A. N.|
|Gates, Percy||Lumley, L. R.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Smith-Carlngton, Neville W.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Grace, John||Maclntyre, Ian||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||McLean, Major A.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Greene, W. p. Crawford||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Malone, Major P. B.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Margesson, Captain D.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Merriman, F. B.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hanbury, C.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Harland, A.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Waddington, R.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R (Oxf'd, Henley)||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L.(Bootie)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cilve||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wells, S. R.|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Oakley, T.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Pennefather, Sir John||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Penny, Frederick George||Wilson, Sir Charles H.(Leeds, Centrl.)|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hudson. R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Radford, E. A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Raine, Sir Walter||Womersley, W. J.|
|Huntingfield, Lord||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wood, E.(Chest'r. Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Remnant, Sir James||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rice. Sir Frederick||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Ruggles-Brise. Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Russell, Alexander West- (Tynemouth)||Major The Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)||Connolly, M.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Cove, W. G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hardie, George D.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Day, Colonel Harry||Harris, Percy A.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Dennison, R.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Baker, Walter||Duncan, C.||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Dunnico, H.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Edge, Sir William||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, C. (Monmouth. Bedwellty)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Gardner, J. P.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Broad, F. A.||Gibbins, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Bromfield, William||Gillett, George M.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Bromley, J.||Gosling, Harry||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham. Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kelly, W T.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Greenall, T.||Kennedy, T.|
|Cape, Thomas||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Clowes, S.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lansbury, George|
|Cluse, W. S.||Grundy, T. W.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Lawson, John James||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Lowth, T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Townend, A. E.|
|Lunn, William||Scurr, John||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Sexton, James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Mackinder, W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Vlant, S. P.|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|March, S.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Sitch, Charles H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Montague, Frederick||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Morris, R. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Murnin, H.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Snell, Harry||Westwood, J.|
|Oliver, George Harold||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Owen, Major G.||Stamford, T. W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Palin, John Henry||Stephen. Campbell||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Paling, W.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W||Strauss, E. A.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Sullivan, J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Potts, John S.||Sutton, J. E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Ritson, J.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Wright, W.|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Rose, Frank H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Saklatvala, Shapurji||Thurtle, Ernest||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Whiteley|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."560
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 147; Noes, 254.563
|Division No. 413.]||AYES.||[6.3 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Sexton, James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayes, John Henry||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Bondfield, Margaret||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromley, J.||Kennedy, T.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Sullivan, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kirkwood, D.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lansbury, George||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawrence, Susan||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Clowes, S.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lunn, William||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dennison, R.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Duckworth, John||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duncan, C.||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edge, Sir William||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Naylor, T. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Oliver, George Harold||Wellock, Wilfred|
|England, Colonel A.||Owen, Major G.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Forrest, W.||Palin, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gillett, George M.||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.|
|Gosling, Harry||Ritson, J.||Williams. Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark. Hamilton)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T.||Robinson. W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Rose, Frank H.||Wright, W.|
|Grenfeil, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Salter, Dr. Altred|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES —|
|Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)||Scurr, John||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fielden, E. B.||Merrimap E S|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Albery, Irving James||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool. W. Derby)||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Mitchell, w. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Ganzoni, Sir John||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gates, Percy||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Atkinson, C.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Balniel, Lord||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Goff, Sir Park||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gower, Sir Robert||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Grace, John||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Oakley, T.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Grant, Sir J. A.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Bennett, A. J.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Penny, Frederick George|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Berry, Sir George||Grotrian, H. Brent||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)|
|Bethel, A.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Preston, William|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Radford, E. A.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hanbury, C.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Harland, A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Richardson, Sir p. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Haslam, Henry C.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hills, Major John Waller||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hilton, Cecil||Sandon, Lord|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S J. G.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hope, Sir Harry (Foriar)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hopkinson, Sir A (Eng. Universities)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cayzer, sir C. (Chester, City)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N).||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Huntingfield, Lord||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Christie, J. A.||Hurd. Percy A.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Joynson-Hicks Rt Hon. Sir William||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Tasker, R. Inigo|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cope. Major William||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lamb, J. Q.||Tinne. J. A.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Creokshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Loder, J. de V.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Long, Major Eric||Waddington, R.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Lumley, L. R.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macintyre. I.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||McLean, Major A||Wells, S. R.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Macmillan, Captain H.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Drewe, C.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. steel-||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Malone, Major P. B.||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Margesson, Captain D.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —|
|Womersley, W. J.||Wragg, Herbert||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Wood. B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.||Captain Bowyer.|
|Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
§ Mr. VIANT
I beg to move, in page 5, line 16, after the word "condition," to insert the words "unable to obtain employment or."
This Amendment means that the man who is unemployed and who has been unemployed for some time, and can give good reasons for his inability to obtain work, will be placed in a similar position to the man who, through being ill or incapacitated, enjoys under this Clause an extension of 12 months in which to provide himself with the necessary 30 contributions. We feel that there are many to-day, as there will be in the future undoubtedly, who are exceedingly unfortunate from the point of view of obtaining employment, and we feel that there are great hardships in this Clause, but that by the insertion of this Amendment we should at least be showing the same amount of sympathy with a man who is unable to obtain employment as we show to a man who is sick or incapacitated. We hope that the spirit of the Amendment will be accepted by the Minister, and that he will concede the measure of justice which we endeavour to express in it.
§ Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
Does the Amendment mean simply unable to get work or unable to get work because of illness?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member cannot have seen my point. A man may be capable of working but may experience difficulty in obtaining a job, or he may be incapable of working.
§ Mr. VIANT
If the hon. Member would only wait and not be so precipitate, he would hear me explain the effect of the Amendment. We are asking that the man or woman who is able to prove that he or she has been unable to obtain work shall have the same consideration as the man or woman who is incapacitated through illness. We feel that we are not asking 564 for anything very great, because it simply means that there is a 12 months' extension during which the man or woman is enabled to provide the 30 contributions expected under the Bill before qualifying for benefit. We are hoping that we shall be met in a reasonable spirit in this matter, and that our Amendment will be accepted.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The hon. Member who moved this Amendment, at any rate, made it perfectly clear what he meant. What he desires is to insert the words, "unable to obtain employment or" before the words "incapacitated for work" in Sub-section (4) of Clause 5. This Sub-section, which, by the way, is almost precisely the recommendation of the Blanesburgh Report, has been inserted because it is desired to give an extra qualifying time to persons described in the Sub-section, that is to say, persons incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or body or mental disablement. In such cases— if I may paraphrase it—this condition shall have effect as if for a period of two years is substituted a period of two years increased by the periods of incapacity, but not in any case is it to exceed three years. The object of the Subsection is to give, instead of the period of two years, a period of three years to those persons who come within the description of those contained in the Sub-section. The effect, and, I doubt not, the object of the hon. Member's Amendment is to include within that class those who are unable to obtain employment, and to give them three years instead of two as a qualifying period. The points whether 30 contributions were enough, and whether two years was a fair period, we have discussed in this Committee for four or five days, and I will not re-open the discussion we have had so fully, but I will content myself by pointing out that this Clause is limited, and is intended to be limited, to those who are incapacitated by reason of some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement, and we really cannot include in it another class of persons for whom the period will be prolonged from two to three years.
I am afraid the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary is only along the lines we can expect from him after his treatment of other Amendments, and I suggest to him and to the Minister that the time has surely come when they should confer together, in view of the deep-seated hostility which is shown either by speeches in the Committee or by the absence from the Committee during the discussions of the majority of Members of all parties, and see whether they are not getting rather tired of being the two most unpopular Ministers who ever introduced an unpopular Bill.
I was trying to appeal to the hearts of the Ministers to accept our Amendment, and in so doing I was hoping that my appeal to their hearts would be strengthened if I appealed to their material instincts. If they were to consider an Amendment of this description, I do think it would do a little to help them out of the wilderness in which they have found themselves during the discussions on this Bill. The Parliamentary Secretary has made no effort to reply to the arguments that were put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for West Willesden (Mr. Viant). The Parliamentary Secretary argued that because already a majority of the Committee, who, unfortunately, have not heard the discussion of the matter, have voted in favour of the 30 stamps, therefore he seemed to feel that the question was pre-judged, and much as the Minister might desire to accept the Amendment it would be impossible for him to do so. The main point of the Sub-section we are seeking to amend is that where a man, through no fault of his own, through sickness, etc., is likely to lose benefit, then he is to be given a short extra period in which to make up the number of stamps; and we in this Amendment endorse that view, and seek to extend that relief to men who are not habitually unemployed, not to men who have been permanently or frequently or constantly on the live register receiving benefit, but to unfortunate individuals who, perhaps through trade depression or ill-fortune, or through a difficulty in the 566 business in which they were engaged, have been during the particular two years out of work for sufficient periods to prevent their getting 30 stamps.
I have in my mind the case of the small blown-glass industry which we have in my own constituency. It will be within the knowledge of a number of Members of the Committee, probably on both sides, that for several years the British blown-glass industry has been in an extraordinarily difficult position. It has only a small branch in Gateshead— I think only two firms. One of these found itself in some difficulty with regard to competitive selling; the other found trade very bad for a period. In normal times of prosperity there have been 1,300 to 1,400 men employed—not casual workers, but very skilled men organised in a tight and very old-fashioned craft union, and working on the most excellent terms. They have only had one strike, and that of one day, in 17 years. It has no more occurred to these men that they might be out of work than it occurs to the ordinary man in a managerial or technical post. They go into work like this when they are young, probably because their fathers are engaged in it, and they go on steadily working week by week. Then there suddenly comes, owing to the activities of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) at Versailles, a tremendous blow upon this industry, and these men found that, instead of there being sufficient work for 1,200, there was only work for 350 to 450. These facts can be checked by the Minister, if he wishes, because I, in conjunction with the employers and the employed had to see the President of the Board of Trade about the matter not long ago. Instead of allowing 1,000 men to go out and 350 to carry on, they did a very wise thing in their own interests and in the interests of the nation, because that trade is an important trade and one that will come back, and it is important that this country should keep it. So they decided that, instead of throwing 1,000 men out of work, they would keep the whole of the 1,300 or 1,400 men, but would work on a rota. I very much doubt whether during the two years that they will be affected under this Clause any of the men in that industry will be able to show 30 full weeks' employment, or even 30 stamps.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
When the Mover was raising this question, I interrupted him to ask him what it meant, whether it meant people who are unable to obtain work for any cause, or because of their condition? The hon. Member was not very clear, but his speech indicated that he meant unable to obtain work in any case. If that is what he means, this is a proposal in effect that the condition of benefit shall be 30 stamps, not in two years, but in three, and it is, I venture to point out, out of order because the Committee has already come to a decision on that point.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Sub-section now stands, "if an insured contributor proves" that he isincapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablementthis condition shall have effect as if for the period of two years there were substituted two years increased by the periods of incapacity. The Amendment is put in after the word "condition," so that it reads:unable to obtain employment or incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease";and the Amendment is governed by the words "by some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablement" and the words at the end of the Sub-section would cover "unable to obtain work." I can conceive of a case in which a man, although not incapacitated for work, might be unable to obtain work because some foreman might say, "Yon are not fit for it." I read it so, and I admitted the Amendment in order on those grounds, but the hon. Member is arguing as if unable to obtain work is to be a separate condition.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I submit that the Amendment means exactly what it says, and it would read:If an insured contributor proves…that he was during any period … unable 568 to obtain employment or incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease,and so on to the end.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Lady has not taken into account the words in line 20,increased by the said period of incapacity
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Under the National Health Insurance Act, when a person is ill he is, practically, given credit for stamps during the period of his illness. Under this Amendment it is proposed that the same principle should apply. The incapacity is the incapacity of being unable to find employment.
May I put this point to you? The Amendment, as my hon. Friend meant to move it, certainly meant inability to get work during that period. If, as you have just ruled, that does not reconcile itself with the words in line 20, when we have decided on this Amendment could we not, if necessary, alter line 20?
§ The CHAIRMAN
This whole Subsection deals with incapacity. In cases of physical or other disablement it gives a certain relaxation of the rule as to 30 contributions in two years. To propose to introduce some other mitigation of that rule which has no reference to incapacity is outside the scope of the Sub-section.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
Referring to what you said just now, that the word "incapacity" at the end of the Clause ruled out this proposed interpretation. May I draw your attention to the third Amendment on page 2146 of the Amendment Paper? The two. taken together, seem to meet that point
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
If the subsequent Amendment be moved, it will make the Clause read so that unemployment in itself is a justification for the extension. Therefore, I submit that it raises a point which you have ruled as being outside the scope of the Sub-section, and as the whole of the speeches are based on the argument for including unemployment, I claim that the Amendment is out of order.
§ Sir H. CAUTLEY
On the ruling that you have given, Mr. Hope—I am not sure whether it was a ruling or not, but you gave a tentative ruling just now, and I ask to be heard on that point. I would Suggest that it is not necessary to decide that point now, because it might rule out an Amendment which I have put down.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Sub-section (4) deals with various reasons for extending the period. The reasons are specific—bodily disease or mental disablement. In addition, we suggest that an extension should be allowed for other specific reasons. There are other things which are cognate to disease or disablement, inasmuch as they place an individual in a position in which it is impossible for him to obtain 30 stamps.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Does the hon. Member say that a case of hostility by a foreman might be added to the list?
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Yes. I did not intro duce the foreman, but I certainly suggest that that should be added. My point is, however, that the proposal in this Amendment is akin to the practice followed under the National Health insurance Act in cases of sickness, where the contributor is not asked—
§ The CHAIRMAN
That may be so, but I have to consider the Amendment in relation to the words in the Clause before us, and not with reference to the National Health Insurance Act. There is quite enough reference in this Bill as it is. Mr. Batey.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understood the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) was going to raise another point of Order.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
May I ask, Mr. Hope, whether you have given your decision on the point of Order which was raised?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The whole of the argument in support of the case has been 570 sustained by references which you have already ruled out of order. May I ask if it is permissible for hon. Members to continue to argue a. case which you have said is out of order?
I would suggest that hon. Members should hear what I was arguing before raising points of order about what I might argue. I am not sure that I quite understand the ruling of the Chair even now, but I think it is, that while I may argue in favour of men who, through some unfortunate accident, have been prevented from getting 30 stamps in two years, I may not argue on behalf of a class of men who through no other accident than the accident of unemployment have been unable to get 30 stamps.
The other class of case to which I was coming is that of men who through slackness in their own industry have been working in some other non-insurable occupation, or who have been abroad.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I would like to raise this point of Order. Can we argue this question to which the hon. Member is just coming, that of persons residing abroad—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member for Gateshead (Mr. Beckett) was anticipating the Amendment in which the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) is interested.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will be in order as long as he refers to an inability to obtain work which arises from any physical or mental incapacity. It certainly seems a question of drafting and construction, and is a narrow one.
There is just one point left which, I think, I shall be in order in bringing forward. There are a considerable number of men — I know quite a number on Tyneside— who have tried their hands at emigrating. Two who have been trying to make a living 571 in Canada came to see me at the House only last week. They have come back with anything but good tales about the possibilities out there. Now that these men have returned to England they have to try to get back into industry and into the insurable grade. Providing they have been away only, say, six to eight months, it is very possible they will have on their cards anything from 5 to 25 stamps. If our Amendment were carried, I take it that those men would be allowed a certain extra period equivalent to the period they were away.
§ The CHAIRMAN
My attention was otherwise occupied for a moment, so that the tenour of the hon. Member's argument was lost upon me.
Fortunately, the II o'clock Rule has been suspended, and I have time to repeat what I said for the benefit of the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) and your self, Mr. Hope. I was saying that a certain number of men — not a large number, but a considerable number— have tried their hands at emigration. Two men from my constituency, who have been to Canada, came to see me here last week. Those men had done a certain amount of work in England before they went abroad, and they have a certain number of stamps on their cards, but they have got the 30.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot see what this has to do with the Amendment. I think the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) was right.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is a narrow point of construction in drafting, and I do not think much can be said on the matter.
§ Mr. BATEY
In supporting the Amendment, I would like to say that I hope we are going to have only one chairman. The present occupant of the Chair seems to be quite sufficient to keep us in order, without assistance from hon. Members opposite. I am rather sorry 572 that you, Mr. Hope, have narrowed the construction which we were placing upon this Amendment, but, still, I support it. Sub-section (4) is not like some of the other Sub-sections we have passed. It is not so vicious or so bitter, and is not directed so much against the unemployed workman. To some extent it does help the unemployed workman, and I am glad of it, so far as it goes, but I do not think it goes far enough. The Minister said this Sub-section was put in on the strength of the Blanesburgh Report. Some of us have not much liking for that Report, we think it ought to have been very different from what it is, but, as far as this Sub-section goes, we are glad that it enables the Minister to take a turning from the path which he has been pursuing up to the present time.
I would like to refer to what is happening in the mining industry. There we have large masses of men who have been idle for years. Miners cannot be idle for years without their physical condition suffering. Their physical fitness begins to decline, and we shall find hundreds and thousands of men suffering from sheer weakness. I submit that men who, because they are suffering from weakness do not find it so easy to obtain work as do fit and strong men, have some claim upon the consideration of the Minister. There is another class of workmen in connection with the mining industry, those who have been injured at some time or another and are classed as fitted only for light occupations. Those are men who have been certified by doctors as being able to follow some employment. It is our experience that these men are dismissed. It is of no use for a man suffering from a physical disability to go into another calling in the hope of getting work, because as soon as an employer looks at him he sees the physical disability and there is no work for him. Could not the Minister do something to meet the case of men of that class? When we were discussing the Workmen's Compensation Act we urged that if an employer could not find work for these men they ought to be paid full compensation, but the Home Secretary at that time said that in his opinion they were entitled to unemployment benefit. In hundreds of cases, however, unemployment benefit has been re- 573 fused, and the fact that they are suffering from this physical disability entitles them, in my opinion, to the consideration of the Minister.
I ask the Minister to consider whether it is not possible to allow this class of men to come under the Amendment. I have had much experience with this particular class of men. It seems to me that during these discussions the Minister of Labour has been more concerned about getting men put off the Unemployment Fund in the interest of the Treasury. I would like to point out to him that the Treasury does not pay the bulk of the money which goes in unemployment benefit. The larger portion of that money is provided by employers and by the workmen. We have been told that when this Measure comes into operation the employers will contribute £17,000,000, the workmen£14,000,000 and the Treasury£12,000,000. The employers and the workmen will contribute£31,000,000 as against£12,000,000 by the Treasury. I want the Minister to remember, when dealing with those who are incapacitated by reason of some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement, that the bulk of the money which is paid out is provided by the employers and the workmen. When we ask the right hon. Gentleman to include this particular class in the three years' allowance scheme, we are not asking for something to which we are not entitled, but something for which the workmen and the employers have already paid.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary a question with regard to a statement he made on this point. When he was explaining the working of this particular Sub-section, he said that anyone who suffered from any physical or mental illness would have an extension of one year, and that he would have three years instead of the two years which applied to those who were considered physically or mentally fit. Is it not the case that this extension for three years to the people who are mentally or physically ill is only for the period that they are ill?
"incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablement."
§ Mr. MACLEAN
The Parliamentary Secretary went on to state that that extension applied to those people for three years.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that point will arise on the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short).
§ Mr. MACLEAN
There is another point which comes within the limits which you, Mr. Hope, have placed upon this Amendment. You referred to someone who might be told by a foreman that he was not fit for some particular work. The Minister of Labour and the Parliamentary Secretary know very well that I have raised somewhat similar conditions in which men have been told by foremen that they are not fit for the work which they have been asked to do in Govan in the construction of the Shieldhall Docks. Afterwards they have applied to the Employment Exchange. The result has been that they have only been employed a day or two, most of them not more than a week, when the foreman has informed them that they are not to have any more work, and then the Employment Exchange refuse these men unemployment benefit. The Parliamentary Secretary knows the nature of the answers which I have always received in those cases. In these circumstances, is the Minister not prepared to accept this Amendment on the understanding that it would cover cases such as I have indicated of men working at the Govan Docks, as well as the particular class of workers referred to by the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey)?
I think these cases come within the ruling given by you, Mr. Hope, and this Amendment, if incorporated within the Bill, would give relief to those individuals. The fact that a man is sent to a particular job and is found to be unfit is considered in a different way by the Employment Exchange. The Exchange looks upon that man as an individual who does not want work, and refuses him employment, and very often declines to consider the stamp he has received for the three or four days' work which he 575 has done on any particular job. The Exchange refuse to recognise that stamp as qualifying the man for unemployment benefit at a future date. I am sure the Minister of Labour does not want anything inserted in the Bill which will operate harshly against a man who is willing to work. Take the case of a man employed in the shipyards who takes a job outside the ordinary occupation for which he has been specifically trained. When the man goes to that particular job, the foreman comes along, and because he is not handling a shovel or a pick in the proper way, or carrying timber on his shoulder in a particular way, he is dismissed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Really unaccustomed or unskilled men will not be provided for by this Amendment at all.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I am dealing with mental or bodily disablement. That does not mean that a man is not able to handle a tool. A man may not be expert in the use of a spade or a pick when he first goes on to a job, but he may not be given a long enough time to acquire the necessary skill.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I think you ruled, Mr. Hope, that it would be out of order if it applied to those who are simply unemployed, and to whom we want to extend this Clause to allow these men three years instead of two years. You went on to say that you could conceive a case where a man might be told by a foreman, in consequence of some hostility to the man, that he was not fit for the job and that that would come in under the Amendment.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I was under the impression that the ruling you gave would come within the meaning of the words of the Clause. Supposing instead of this individual proving himself to be expert enough in the use of the spade or the pick, the foreman took some dislike to him.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That was the case I cited. You cannot bring in all sorts 576 of different reasons under this Amendment. I gave that as an example of how this Clause could not be amended.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
We are discussing the insertion of the words "unable to obtain employment or." These words are to precede the words "incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablement." Therefore, this Amendment seems to me to raise a point quite apart from bodily or mental disablement.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is exactly what I was pointing out, and it is only the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) who has really been in order.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. MARCH
I am surprised that the Minister of Labour has not accepted this Amendment. At any rate, I think he might have introduced some words which would meet the case we have been discussing on a previous Amendment. The Parliamentary Secretary knows perfectly well the cases we have cited, which we consider would involve a hardship to the men if they do not get an extension of time. Naturally when we dropped that argument we expected to get words introduced into the Bill which would meet that point. Apparently, it does not seem to be so. I take it that the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley) had taken that case up, and was desirous of introducing words to meet the point of men and women going out of insured trades and coming back again so that they might have an extension of time for their 30 contributions. I hope that point will be dealt with by the Minister.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
It is not only miners who are incapacitated in the way mentioned by the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) but there are many men in various trades who, in the course of their occupation and through the use of certain limbs, get those limbs hardened to their work. After a prolonged period away from their occupation their limbs 577 become soft, and I have seen men returning to their own job who, because of the physical disabilities brought upon them by following their own occupation, have actually been thrown out of work and could not continue their work until their hands or the particular limb used had again become hardened to the work. That can happen with steel workers, with stone masons, with plasterers, with cutlers, and
§ with all kinds of men whose hands become soft, and who, on returning to their work and being unable to keep pace with the demands upon them, are thrown out of work.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 140; Noes, 251.579
|Division No. 414.]||AYES.||[7.4 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, G. H.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sitch. Charles H.|
|Baker, Walter||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Barnes, A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snell, Harry|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield. William||Kirkwood, D.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bromley, J.||Lansbury, George||Sullivan, J.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lawrence, Susan||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lawson, John James||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lindley, F. W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lowth, T.||Thorne7 W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lunn, William||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clowes, S.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Clynes. Rt. Hon. John R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Connolly, M.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Cove, W. G.||March, S.||Vlant, S. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dennison, R.||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Duncan, C.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edge, Sir William||Naylor, T. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Oliver, George Harold||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Owen, Major G.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Paiin, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenail, T.||Rees, Sir Beddos||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Riley, Ben||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurjl||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scurr, John||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Bennett, A. J.||Broun- Lindsay, Major H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)|
|Albery, Irving James||Berry, Sir George||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Bethel, A.||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Betterton, Henry B.||Burman, J. B.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Butt, Sir Alfred|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Blundell, F. N.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward|
|Balniel, Lord||Boothby, R. J. G.||Campbell, E. T.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Briggs, J. Harold||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.s)|
|Bellairs, Commander Cariyon W.||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Hilton, Cecil||Preston, William|
|Christie, J. A.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Radford, E. A.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Clayton, G. C.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stratford)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Cope, Major William||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whlteh'n)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Huntingfield, Lord||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hurd, Percy A.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandon, Lord|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Jones, G. W. H. (stoke Newington)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smith-Carlngton, Neville W.|
|Dean, Arthur Weilesley||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Smithers, Waldron|
|Drewe, C.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Duckworth, John||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lamb, J. Q.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lana Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Ellis, R. G.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Storry-Deans, R.|
|England, Colonel A.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Loder, J. de V.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Faile, Sir Bertram G.||Long, Major Eric||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D||Lumley, L. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Finburgh, S.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Forrest, W.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. ef W.)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macdonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Maclntyre, Ian||Tinne, J. A.|
|Galbraith, J. F W.||McLean, Major A||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Ganzonl, Sir John.||Macmllian, Captain H.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Waddington, R.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Gower. Sir Robert||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Graham, Fergus'(Cumberland, N.)||Malone, Major P. B.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W,|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Marriott, Sir J. A, R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)||Merriman, F. B.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wells, S R.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hall. Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hanbury, C.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Harland, A.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Winterton. Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Harmsworth. Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Withers, John James|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Oakley, T.||Wemersiey, W. J.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||O'Connor, T.J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pennefather, Sir John||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Penny, Frederick George||Wragg, Herbert|
|Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Perring, sir William George|
|Hennessy, Major sir G. R. J.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Hills, Major John Waller||pilcher, G.||Margesson|
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not propose to call any Amendments before that of the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short).
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
With regard to the Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. 580 Stephen) and of the hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. Griffiths), I understand you have ruled that the Amendments about residing abroad are out of order. My point is that they both raise points of substance and, while I do not dispute your ruling, I suggest that an opportunity should be given of raising them.
§ The CHAIRMAN
They are not in order on this Sub-section, and the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) with some ingenuity has already drafted another one.
§ Sir H. CAUTLEY
I gather that by calling on the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short) you have decided not to select an Amendment I handed in a short time ago to your predecessor, which I understood he had accepted. The Amendment I handed in arose out of what took place on a previous Amendment when, in answer to a speech which I made, the Minister suggested that the matter might be raised where I am seeking to raise it now. Might I also point out that the object of the Amendment is to prevent insured men who work in agriculture being prejudiced by doing so? It vitally affects the whole of the agricultural industry which is most distressed, and I really beg of you to see your way to allow this to be discussed, and I undertake to discuss it very shortly.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid I must adhere to the rule I made in the conduct of this Debate that, when a new point arises, it must appear on the Paper. I except the case where there has been imperfect drafting, and I can accept a fresh draft, but I do not think I can in this case, especially as I gather that the references of the Minister were made yesterday.
§ Sir H. CAUTLEY
No, to-day. As the whole matter was raised to-day in deference to what the Minister said, I suggest that it should be raised now.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The matter can be raised on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," and the hon. and learned Member will be in order, if he so desires, in putting down an Amendment on the Report stage.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
With reference to what you said just now, Mr. Hope, about the next three Amendments being out of order because of something else which would come later, may I ask you, for the guidance of the Committee, whether those three Amendments that you are not taking now are incorporated in some subsequent manuscript Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
One of them, namely, that standing in the name of the hon. Member for West Willesden (Mr. Viant)—in page 5, line 20, after "of" to insert the words "unemployment or "—is consequential on the Amendment last disposed of, while the other two will be covered by the redrafting, if it be in order, of a new Sub-section.
§ Mr. SHORT
I beg to move, in page 5, to leave out from the word "incapacity" in line 20 to the end of line 21.
I think that this Amendment will afford the Minister an opportunity of displaying some measure of generosity, particularly in respect of insured persons who suffer from some disease or specific illness or bodily disablement. We have already decided that an insured person, to establish a claim for benefit, must obtain 30 stamps during the two years prior to the application for benefit, and in Sub-section (4) of Clause 5 it is proposed to extend that period of two years to a period not exceeding three years, to cover the cases of insured persons who are incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablement. I think it is clear that, if my Amendment were adopted, it would ensure that whatever period of sickness a man may have had would not be counted in the two-years period for stamp contributions.
I cannot help thinking that, if this Subsection be adopted in its present form grave hardship will ensue. Let me give an example. An insured person following any occupation may suddenly become incapacitated by some specific disease or by 'bodily or mental disablement, and may be unable, consequently, to follow his or her occupation. The illness might continue for a long period; it might well continue for longer than the period of three years set out in this Sub-section. No doubt hon. Members will recall cases of illness extending over as long as five years, and possibly even longer. If, then, as a result of first-class medical skill and treatment, this insured person recovers 583 sufficiently to enable him or her to return to some form of employment, and if, shortly after obtaining such employment, the insured person falls out of work again, it is clear that it will not be possible for that person to obtain 30 stamps during the three years laid down in this Sub-section. The result will be that, when the insured person applies for unemployment benefit, it will be disallowed on the ground of failure to conform with the statutory condition of having 30 stamps during the three years prior to the application for benefit.
This person, however, is an insured person, who has been insured and who may have had a large number of stamps to his or her credit prior to the illness; and, if that be so, it would appear to be reasonable to ask that the claim for benefit should be allowed; but, as the Sub-section stands, the claim will not be allowed. My contention is that the Fund really owes this person something; he has paid for something. He has been compelled by law to become an insured person, he has paid his contributions, and his employer and the State have equally paid their contributions. Perhaps he was never unemployed before his illness, and never had occasion to draw benefit, but, having recovered from his illness and returned to employment, because he cannot establish the statutory condition of having 30 contributions during the three years, his claim for benefit is disallowed.
I venture to think that the views I am expressing are quite reasonable, and I hope the Minister will rise to the occasion and come to the rescue of these un fortunate insured persons, either by accepting this Amendment or, if the words of the Amendment are not appropriate, altering them to suit the Parliamentary draftsman or the expert who may be advising the Minister. This is not a case in which the insured person should be penalised. I may be told, of course, that the number of such cases is small, and that you cannot legislate upon the basis of hardship. If we began to re draft, modify and amend the provisions of this Bill purely to meet a few cases of hardship, we should, of course, never get anywhere; but I may point out that the Minister has already set us a very good example. In two or three cases he 584 has changed words either in the principal Act or in subsequent Acts, and has included others, and, when we have asked for the evidence, he has only been able to give us a very small number of cases which justified his policy. I would only remind him that in Clause 4 he deleted the words "at the cost of," and inserted the word "by"—I am not discussing the merit of that, but am only mentioning it—and quite recently, in Clause 5, he has included the words "bona fide employment." I cannot think that the evidence he gave us in those cases justified the serious changes that he has incorporated in the provisions of this Bill.
If this Amendment were accepted, it would not cost a great deal. I do not say that there are millions of these cases, but I do say that there is a large number, involving a large measure of hardship, and I believe that, if my Amendment were accepted, the relief afforded would be very great and very welcome. The Amendment has another virtue; it will not upset the actuarial soundness of the scheme. As I have said, its purpose is to deal with a minority of cases. They are, however, cases in which this provision entails hardship on insured persons who have paid their contributions for these benefits, but who, when they want them, at the most critical time, when they have recovered after four or five years of serious illness and are able to work, and then happen to be thrown out of work, find that, owing to this condition, their claim for benefit is disallowed. This is the very time in the life of these persons when we ought to come to their rescue We ought not to penalise them, but we ought to be generous, we ought to be big, and I venture to say that it will not really cost the Minister anything at all; it is a mere trimming. I hope that the Minister on this occasion will not hesitate because of the advice of his experts, that he will not pursue the policy of meanness which, up to the present, has characterised the provisions of the Bill, and also his general attitude towards our Amendments, but that, as I have appealed to him before in these Debates to do, he will be big and will be generous. It is in that spirit that I venture to move this Amendment.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
I would like to add a few words to the appeal that has been 585 made to the Minister by my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Short). In doing so, I am not going to take a hypothetical case, but am going to mention again, for the benefit of Members who were not in the House during the Second Reading Debate, an actual case which I myself at the present moment have before the Minister, and which illustrates the hardship imposed on this class of workmen, who, as my hon. Friend has said, are not Very numerous. I have before the Minister now the case of a man who happened to have a very bad accident in August, 1925. He was away from work owing to that accident for a year and eight months, and became available for work in April of this year. He had been an insured person from the commencement of the Act, and had never drawn a single penny of unemployment benefit up to the time of his accident. That case is before the Minister now. He becomes available for work in April this year and, partly on account of his incapacity, he did not get employment and has had none up to the present. He is denied benefit. We are very anxious that this class of man, which is not numerous, should be protected—men who have been insured from the commencement of the Act, who have drawn no benefit and are denied now in their incapacity and unemployment. It is not a case that comes up frequently and it will not interfere at all with the actuarial basis of the Bill. The Amendment means that the total period of incapacity will be added to the two years—that the man will get the full benefit of the period of incapacity and that the two years will stand by itself? over which the 30 contributions shall be paid. I think it is a very reasonable request and I hope it will receive some consideration from the Government.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I hope the Minister will accept the Amendment. The real trouble is not the transitional period when the eight contributions come in but the question of what is going to happen if this becomes a permanent Bill. I have in mind a man who came under the first Act. He was insured in 1912, was never out of work till the end of 1919 and then he fell ill. He has been ill ever since and is just recovering. I do not agree that there are only a few cases. There are many of them. Part of the trouble, as was shown in the evidence 586 before the Commission, of administering the Unemployment Insurance Acts is due to unwitting misrepresentation. Simple people think they are being deprived of what they ought to have and, although statements are made in good faith, they really are? not accurate, because they do not understand the complications of the system to be administered, and this is one of the cases that arouses a great deal of feeling—the relation of sickness to unemployment. Here is a man in 1929, when the Act becomes permanent. He has been in insurance for eight or nine years and perhaps has had very little benefit, or none at all. He falls ill and is ill for a long period, perhaps 18 months or two years. It may be mental trouble or physical incapacity or other illness or accident. Then he gets a chance to come on to the labour market again, gets a temporary job for a week or two and is then turned out. Under this Bill he will not draw benefit. In my judgment, and in the judgment probably of the Minister himself, that man, who has paid a great number of contributions, is being deprived of what he really ought to have.
Unemployment insurance is meant to give him benefit when he is genuinely seeking work and unable to find it. I cannot see that there can be any argument against it. It does not undercut the Sub-section, but it would make the administration much more simple than it will be under this rule up to three years, because directly you make a rule of this kind—I am retorting to the Minister one of the arguments he continually puts to us—you are limiting, and directly you start to limit you create hardships just above or below the line. I am sure there is strong ground for this. I am sure, equally, there are many cases that will be covered by it. I am equally sure it will be for the good administration of the Act as a permanent Act if the Amendment is accepted. It appears to me to meet the point, and I hope the Minister will see his way to grant this concession. There are a number of Employment Exchange committees administering the Act that feel as we feel. I have here a resolution passed by an Exchange in a very Conservative part of London—in the Division represented by the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. At their meeting last week, considering the sick- 587 ness part of the Bill, this is their conclusion:That this Committee is of opinion that the Minister of Labour should insert a Clause in the new Unemployment Insurance Bill to the effect that applicants whose failure to fulfil the 30 contributions condition, due solely to prolonged periods of sickness, should not thereby be debarred from the receipt of unemployment insurance benefit.Whether it be six, nine or 12 months or three or four years, if a man has paid his unemployment contributions when he was in employment, surely the fact that he has been a victim of an accident or mental trouble or sickness ought not to debar him from receiving the benefits for which he has subscribed.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I have listened with care to the arguments that have been adduced on the other side, but I should like the Committee to consider that in any case the extension up to a year is in itself a fairly generous allowance, covering a very great deal of the ordinary cases of sickness. It was in order to try to meet the greater part of such hardships that I wished to have this section in the Bill as it now stands. There must be, in my opinion, some time limit. Everyone has sympathy for a person who is sick, but I am not prepared to accept a quite indefinite extension. I do not think that is possible, but I am willing to meet the Commitetee in what, I think, would cover the vast majority of cases, and that is to increase the period by an extra year to four years. I am not at all sure whether I shall gain acceptance from hon. Members opposite, and I am not saying this in order to get their consent. I am saying it after consideration of the case upon its merits. I am undoubtedly casting on the administration a very considerable amount of trouble; yet, at the same time, I have a great deal of sympathy with people who are sick, and not only while they are sick, but during the first weeks after their recovery, when they are getting into work again. Therefore, if the Committee will agree, I will insert four years instead of three years, a concession which will cover a great number of the cases.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The extension of a year at least goes some considerable way towards meeting the Amendment. There is no doubt the concession is one of real 588 value. The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) has argued that the numbers are fairly numerous, but they are small in comparison with the large number of claims. The number left out must be very much smaller now with the extension of a year. At present the Act does not debar a man under the conditions that we are asking. It is true a man may be refused benefit at present who has been sick for three or four years, but a man may be off for six years and still retain the right to get benefit, and the present Bill is making the position of the sick man very much worse even than it is at present. The Minister might say a. man who has been off for six years cannot get benefit, but nevertheless the facts are that at the moment he may be off five years and still have a claim to be considered, and the local committee would have to consider his case and go into the merits of it. This appears to be a real hardship. I wrote to the Under-Secretary on the Sabbath of this week asking him to consider the case of a man who has been employed steadily from the beginning of the Act until 1921 by the Glasgow Corporation. He was not a day idle. He took a severe illness and has been off continuously since 1921. A little over a year ago his friends raised a sufficient amount of money to get him treated by a specialist and the treatment was so successful that he has now been certified by his doctor as fit for work, but the Minister refuses to give him benefit although he has stamps in excess. He has never drawn benefit. Under health insurance a man may be unemployed for four or five years but if he pays his arrears, which are a very small fraction of what he would have had to pay if he had been employed, he retains all his benefits and rights. The maximum amount is 7s. a week, and in most cases approved societies make provision for the payment of the Vs. If the Minister had made some provision, if he had given a, subsidy to the man's society to pay any arrears, as in the case of Health Insurance, the man would have ben constantly kept in benefit. He was not sick because he wanted to be sick. He was sick through circumstances over which he had no control.
In unemployment insurance we should try to be as generous as health insurance is to its contributors. The health insurance people give to their members 589 almost continuity of benefit no matter how long those members may be away from employment, and we say that what is good for health insurance is good for sick members under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. We are asking that the two things should be levelled up. I put it to the Minister that this is not a compliment to the skill of the medical people. We may spend years, we may give devotion and skill to making a man better, and then when that has been accomplished by something like a medical feat and the man is made better the Ministry come along and say that because medical skill has accomplished something they cannot aid the man because the period during which he has been off was outside the limit they had laid down for the payment of benefit. We think that that position is a hard one. While I frankly appreciate the extension of a year, I would much rather the Minister had taken the full step.
The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) said the number is large, but I think the number is comparatively small. [Interruption.] I have my own view. I was an organiser of my union for a year, and I do not remember a single case. I represent a division in which, I should say, almost every family at some time or other since 1920 has come under the insurance scheme. I have had only one case in the whole of my division, and that case is the one in which, as I have already stated, a man kept steady until 1921 and was never a day unemployed. The doctors have now made him fit and well, and he will not be aided by the present Act. I think the Minister might have left it to. the discretion of the Court of Referees. After all, if a man has 30 stamps it does not necessarily mean that he will get benefit. It only means that he has a claim to be considered. The right hon. Gentleman might, at least, have left the claim to be considered by the Court of Referees. While I agree that anything that is offered in the nature of a concession when dealing with unemployed people ought thankfully to be accepted, I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to extend his concession in order to bring within its scope every genuinely sick man so that such a man may not be penalised by sickness.
§ Mr. BARKER
There is one point in this Sub-section on which I should like to have a little enlightenment if the Minister can give it. In line 16 it says:incapacitated for work by reason of some specific disease or by bodily or mental disablement.I should like to know if those words refer to men who are incapacitated as a result of an accident while following their employment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment deals with last words of the Sub-section on the question of the time limit.
§ Mr. BARKER
I am very much obliged to the Minister, who has made a very substantial concession, but I know of several cases which will not be covered by this concession. Everybody is entitled to two years. The Minister put in another year, making three, and now he has added another year, making four. The point I wish to make is that in certain cases this extension will not cover a serious mining accident. We recognise the generous concession that the Minister has made, but, at the same time, it may have the effect of penalising some of the very severest cases and deprive them of unemployment benefit because of incapacity either through accident caused by following their employment or through some disease. At any rate, I am very glad that he has made a concession. I wish he could have taken away the limit altogether, because I feel that if a person is incapacitated through illness or through accident there should be no limit.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I think we all appreciate the fact that, for the first time after many days, the Minister has met the Committee. I wish the Committee had been full in order to hear this new concession and to see the olive branch carried. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he cannot go a little further, because I appreciate the value of the additional year. I think, if I may say so, he is magnifying the administrative difficulties that may arise. We are dealing with cases of incapacity, all of which in practice would fall either under Workmen's Compensation or Health Insurance. There is no case of a man suddenly wandering out into the world uncared for. He will, in one way or the other, be under the supervision of the 591 law, and that gives a check which would prevent a man malingering or any abuse of this provision. It is quite conceivable that a man may be under the Workmen's Compensation Act for two years or two and a half years, and that at the end of that time be perfectly able to do his work. He then has to build up his qualifications again, and, if it should be that he is not able to do so before he has a period of unemployment, lie is going to be penalised, not merely because of unemployment, but because of his previous incapacity. The same would apply in the case of very lengthy illnesses. An illness may last two and a half years. It may last three years.
It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman, having admitted the case for extending the period by a year and then, having, on reflection, agreed that it must be extended by two years, might just as well go the whole hog and remove the time limit entirely. I do not share the view of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), because I do not think the number of cases is very substantial. Relatively, the number is very small. The number of cases of workmen's compensation where compensation is payable for two years or more is a very tiny fraction of the total number of cases which come under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The number of cases of benefit under the Insurance Act for a period of over six months, let alone two years, is almost negligible. Therefore, it cannot be a question of money. The question arises whether there would be real administrative difficulties. It seems to me that the additional burden which would be put on the right hon. Gentleman's Department by extending the three years to four years is so small that the right hon. Gentleman has been prepared to accept the four years. In giving us that concession, he meets at least 80 per cent, of the cases that could arise, and therefore he could I am quite sure give us the little bit more which would make a complete job of this Amendment. I put it to him in all seriousness. It is not because I want to make debating points on this Amendment, but I think the character of the administrative difficulties that could arise would be unimportant and that he might quite well, seeing that he is in the mood for forgiving concessions—and we think we ought to take full advantage of him now 592 that we have got him into this mood— allow' us to press the Amendment as it stands without the limit he puts upon it. I would ask him seriously, if he does not think that he can give us the concession completely instead of meeting us half way.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
I would like to add my little contribution to the appeal that has been made to the Minister to go just a further step in the direction indicated, because, as has been pointed out, something like 80 per cent, of the cases that are under discussion have already been dealt with in the concession that he has made. I have risen because—I quite agree that relatively the number of cases is small—this particular Clause will affect a particular section that I have in mind. My hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) does not meet the members of this section as often as I do. They are the people who are engaged in sedentary occupations. These people are subject to longer illnesses than those who are largely engaged in manual and operative work. My experience of working superannuation schemes and the like indicates to me that where administrative and clerical workers are concerned whenever they suffer a mental breakdown it invariably involves a very long illness, with added expense on their return to employment. Take the case, for instance—I have one in mind at the present time—of a man who has undergone, I am glad to say what appears to be a satisfactory cure for Consumption. He has been away from work for something like 12 or 14 months. Other cases that spring to my mind are cases of neurasthenia—men who remain away from work for nine, 10 or 12 months, come back for two or three months, and then have to go away again. These people are not going to be able to qualify under the conditions laid down in this Clause. Until their first breakdown, they had a value in the Insurance Fund of many years' standing. Surely, if from no other point of view and from no other angle, eliminating the humanitarian point of view for a moment, from the point of view of equity these unfortunate cases, which are very few but still remain to be dealt with, should receive more generous treatment from the hands of the Minister. Therefore, I suggest that the further very slight concession for which we are now asking is not too great in view of the generosity that he has already indicated.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I am sorry I cannot give more. I have considered the question very carefully, but I cannot accept the attitude that as the advance which I have made covers the great percentage of cases, say 80 per cent., it ought to cover the remaining 20 per cent. It is an argument which can always be put whenever a concession is given. I am not debating the question; I am merely saying that I have done all that I could do to try and cover as fully as is practically possible the great bulk of the cases of sickness. If the hon. Member will accept this, then perhaps I may suggest to him that he should withdraw his Amendment, and in place of it move that the word "four" be substituted for the word "three."
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment made: In page 5, line 21, to leave out the word "three" and insert instead thereof the word "four."— [Mr. Short.]
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I desire to move the manuscript Amendment which I have handed in to the Chair and to the Minister of Labour.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The Amendment which has been handed to me is, I understand, under the Chairman's Ruling, to be moved as a new Sub-section (5) and not as Sub-section (6).
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I ought to have mentioned that myself. It would be in better sequence if the Amendment came in as Sub-section (5), because it is much of the same nature as Sub-section (4), although dealing with a different point. I think it would be better to come in at this point rather than as Sub-section (6).
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I beg to move, in page 5, line 21, at the end, to insert the words(5) If an insured contributor proves in the prescribed manner that he was during any periods, falling within the period of two years mentioned in the first statutory condition, residing abroad or in temporary employment abroad, the said condition shall have effect as if for the said period of two years there was substituted a period of two years increased by the times of residing abroad, but so as not to exceed in any ease three years.594 I am sorry that I did not make my point plain at the outset. We have an Amendment on the Paper, in page 5, line 16, after the word "condition" to insert the words "residing abroad or," but it has been thought that that would give a limitation to the Amendment which is not desirable on the basis of Sub-section (4). Therefore, we wish to substitute a different Amendment and insert a new Sub-section. Hon. Members may feel some grievance that this Amendment, which is fairly long, is not printed on the Order Paper, but they will have no difficulty in following the Amendment if they look at Sub-section (4), because they will see that the Amendment and the Sub-section are the same, except that the reference in Sub-section (4) tospecific disease, or by bodily or mental disablementis replaced by the wordsresiding abroad or in temporary employment abroad.At the present time a certain practice is followed by the Department in regard to people who go abroad, and the position in which they find themselves in connection with insurance benefit if and when they return to this country.
§ Mr. LUKE THOMPSON
Does the hon. Member wish to insert the words which he has moved as a new Sub-section?
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Yes, I propose to insert the words as a new Sub-section (5), in which event the present Sub-section (5) in the Bill will become Subsection (6). At the present time, the Ministry follows a certain practice in connection with individuals who have gone to other countries and have subsequently returned to this country. There are two types of cases. There is the type which goes abroad with no intention of returning to this country, but circumstances become such that they find themselves in the position of having to return to this country. Such a person may have a good long record of employment behind him, and contributions to unemployment insurance The other case is that of an individual who goes to another country temporarily, possibly to undertake a job on behalf of the firm by whom he is employed. Such a person is out of the country temporarily, and residing in another country. My Amendment proposed to deal with these two 595 types of case. They were covered by two Amendments on the Paper, but in order that the question might be thoroughly discussed we have put our Amendment in the form of a new Subsection. I have referred to the practice of the Ministry in connection with such cases. In the codified directions of the Ministry of Labour, paragraph 32, referring to persons returning from abroad, says:A person who was hitherto employed in insurable work in this country, and who has been abroad otherwise than for a visit or to do temporary work for an employer in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, must be regarded as having definitely changed over to uninsurable work, and such a person cannot be held to satisfy the condition normally engaged in insurable employment, etc.' until he has performed subsequently at least eight weeks' insurable work in this country, or until a period of three months has elapsed and he can show that during such time he has continuously been making every reasonable effort to obtain insurable employment.The paragraph further says:It must not be understood, however, that the performance of eight weeks' insurable work is by itself sufficient to enable the claimant to be regarded as being normally in insurable employment.That represents the practice adopted at the present time. I dare say hon. Members who represent a Division which is also a port will have had experience of very hard cases of people who have gone away and have been compelled to come back and find themselves in very great difficulties. There have been people who, when the depression of unemployment overtook them at once decided that they would try to make the best use of their material resources, and try their fortune in one of the Dominions or the United States of America. Before the little which they had amassed could be entirely frittered away, they decided to make the adventure in new lands, but possibly sickness came to some member of the family or some other happening in the other country made it impossible for them to remain there, and there was nothing for them to do but to come back to the old country, and when they came back they found themselves unable to get employment. Their savings had gone in the adventure they had made with such high hopes, and they found themselves unable to obtain unemployment benefit.
596 I think it should be our business to see that in the future people who are in that position should have their rights safeguarded to a certain extent, and that is what we are seeking to do by this Amendment. If those people come back they have, according to the Bill, to be in employment long enough to obtain 30 stamps before they will have a claim for benefit. Some of them may be people who have been in insurable employment since the scheme came into operation in 1912. They may have been paying into the Fund all those years and may have a big record of contributions, but because of the very fact that they showed a sufficiently adventurous spirit as to desire to make the most of their resources they may be placed in very disadvantageous circumstances. Therefore, I hope the Minister will see his way to meet us in regard to this qualification. I am inclined to think that the reason there is nothing in the Bill dealing with this point is due to an oversight on the part of the Minister and that it has escaped his notice in the general arrangements that he has made. I do think that these people should have some provision made for them, and we desire to give them an opportunity of getting back into insurance again and trying to make their past record of employment of some use to them in that connection.
With regard to the second type of case, those who have gone abroad not with the intention of remaining permanently out of the country, but have gone out in pursuit of their employment, to do work in the other country for their employers, we feel that their rights in insurance should be safeguarded. I will not labour the point so far as they are concerned, because one of my colleagues who is associated with me in this Amendment will foe able to deal with their position. The Amendment takes in both types of cases, and I hope the Minister will give his most generous consideration to it and try to meet the point. Very often in the case of those who have been most hard hit by having to return to this country, there have been cases of parents with a small family, in very distressed circumstances. If these people have taken the line of trying to do the best for themselves and their attempt to do so has not been successful, we ought not to discourage them any further by saying: "We will regard you as a sort of semi- 597 alien for the time being." There are some hon. Members who take the view that our unemployment problem may as to a great part of it be solved by the development of emigration and the development of the Empire through emigration. If the Minister and those hon. Members who are of that opinion are anxious not to discourage people, then, if through certain circumstances people have to change back from some part of the Empire to this country because of circumstances over which they have no control they will agree that such people ought to have consideration and a certain measure of justice when they get back in regard to unemployment insurance and the contributions which they have made in the past.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The hon. Member has put his case with his usual insinuating and seductive manner, but I do not feel that I can possibly accept the proposition he makes in this new Sub-section. The reasons are tolerably obvious to anyone who considers the matter. The exceptions which have been made hitherto, and the exception which it is proposed to make in the next Subsection, cover cases of incapacity from sickness or disablement; some form of incapacity to continue work as a member of an insured trade which comes upon a man involuntarily and against his own wishes. Those are cases which afford ground for making exception to what is otherwise a general rule. Quite naturally, the hon. Member wishes to extend the favourable exceptions to a new class, but I do not think the people he mentioned can be put in quite the same category as those who are incapacitated through sickness or disablement, for whom it is proposed to make special provisions under the Bill.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The intention to go abroad is voluntary. Let me deal with the reasons given by the hon. Member in moving the Amendment. In the first place, he has shown a zeal for imperialism which, if I could, I would encourage to the greatest extent, and a wish to further migration to the different Dominions of the Crown. I am afraid in this instance that I cannot help, 598 but I hope he will show the same activity in other walks of life. I can assure him that the absence of the special provision he wishes to create will not be a check to emigration, and those of us who are glad to see the Dominions peopled by men from this country will not be cast down by the fact that this Sub-section is not passed. There is not one man or woman in a hundred who intends to emigrate, who will be deterred by the fact that, if he or she came back to this country, the period of time is not extended in the way the hon. Member proposes. If it is not a case of migration but only of a temporary job, then I say that the position will be different to what it is under the existing law. If a man has 30 contributions on his card he is franked for 74 weeks. In other words, if he goes abroad on a temporary job then he is franked for a considerable space of time. That is the answer to this point.
Let me point out one further reason why we cannot accept the Amendment. When a person has voluntarily left this country he has really of his own volition left the insurance field, and an extension of this kind would involve as its necessary corollary an extension of a similar kind to all uninsured trades. If there is one uninsured trade more than another to which I should be glad to give it, it is agriculture. There is at least as much to be said for that; but it would not stop at agriculture. It could be claimed by a man who gave up his occupation for a time and set up a little shop of his own. The consequences would be that unemployment insurance would be setting a premium on any uninsured trade in contrast to trades which are insured. It would be an extension which is wholly at variance with the principle of unemployment insurance and, willing as I am to do anything I could to help anybody who goes into agriculture, I am quite sure that generally it is an extension which we cannot possibly accept.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
I am sorry the Minister is not able to accept this very reasonable Amendment in favour of those who migrate from this country and also those who are prepared, for a temporary period, to give their services for the building up of the Empire. The hon. Member who moved this Amendment 599 made a somewhat general statement; I should like to give particular instances in order to show why it should be accepted by the Government. I do not see why the Minister of Labour cannot deal as generously with his own members in the unemployment insurance field as the trade unions deal with their members who go and work abroad for a temporary period. Take the case of a steel works being established in India. The promoters, or the employers, are probably people living in this country, and they come to my society and ask us to provide the skilled hands to work on the furnaces, or in the barmills, or on the gas producers. We fix the rate of wages, and on many occasions they have to sign a three years' agreement before they are accepted.
Sometimes these men have to return home because of sickness. You have provisions under the Act for them. But if they work the full time of the agreement, for the three years, and then return, they are penalised by the Act. The Amendment will just meet cases of that kind. It is not only steel works that I have in mind. We have sent men out from firms in this country to the Burma Oil Company, to make tin plates. We have sent men out to Italy and to France. These men enter into an agreement for three years. When the agreement is ended and they come back to this country they are penalised. Let me give an even stronger case. The Government are associated as shareholders with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and in this House there is a Director on the Board of that company. When I was in Persia I met hundreds of Scotsmen there. Whether or not they were after the money I cannot say. I met several skilled men from Scotland, and some of them had an agreement for three years. I was told that some had been there for three years, had come back to this country, had worked for a period here, and then had returned to Persia. They drew attention to the hardship inflicted on them when they returned to this country, so far as unemployment insurance is concerned. We have a very strong case. I do not say that the number of men affected is large, but men do go to these places abroad. You find true Britishers abroad and you should treat them properly. Even if the Government refuse to accept the Amendment now, 600 they could reconsider the question between now and the Report stage in the light of the general statement made by my hon. Friend and the particular cases I have submitted.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
I rise to ask a question to which I ought, perhaps, to know the answer. It affects one part of the subject covered by the Amendment. It seems to me that while the Minister has, perhaps, established a good case against covering those people who leave this country with an idea of permanent settlement elsewhere, the case of those who go abroad temporarily, under contract with a British company, is a much stronger one, and if my right hon. Friend cannot meet the case of the migrant who intends to settle abroad permanently, he might consider meeting the case of those who go abroad under agreement for the purpose of carrying out contracts obtained by firms or companies registered in this country. For instance, there is the great piece of work to be undertaken by Messrs. Dorman, Long in the building of the Sydney Bridge. A large number of workmen have gone out to superintend the building of that bridge. They will go out under some such contract arrangement as that described by the last speaker. I do not know whether men in the employ of a British company and temporarily employed abroad are still carried in insurance. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I imagine it is not so. I should have thought, therefore, that as contributions are not paid in respect of them, it would be quite possible between now and Report for the Minister to meet part of the point covered by this Amendment. If the Minister could consider the matter it would give considerable satisfaction, and would meet a very large part of the case put forward by the supporters of the Amendment as a whole.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I am disappointed with the answer of the Minister, who seems to look upon his Bill as one which must be closely guarded to prevent benefits going to anyone who can fairly or unfairly be refused benefit. I am afraid that his own attitude towards the unemployment problem is so radically different from our own that it is very difficult indeed for us even to argue with him. We say that the genuine unem- 601 ployed person ought to receive unemployment benefit, and that it is very bad economy, sham economy and a mockery, to refuse benefits to genuine Britons who are willing to work but cannot get work. Take the case of the ordinary Briton, the working man who goes abroad. How many cases are there of a Briton who deliberately goes to a foreign country to settle there. They are so few in number that they do not count. With the exception of the United States, almost the whole of them go to other parts of the Empire overseas. It often happens that either the work is unsuitable or there has been some mistake in the assumption by the person who has migrated that he was able to do a certain job. Such persons have to return home. Why not use the same method as is used by the Minister of Health with regard to contributory pensions? The Minister of Labour is shockingly different from the Minister of Health in dealing with people who come under the purview of his particular scheme. Whilst the Minister of Health is always trying to find a way of keeping the people in benefit for his scheme, the Minister of Labour seems to be making every effort to keep the people out of benefit under his scheme.
I cannot argue that subject until the Question is proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." We have statutory rules and orders dealing with contributory pensions, so that those people who are employed outside Great Britain are dealt with in a sympathetic way that literally bridges over their stay abroad. People who go abroad are very valuable people indeed, particularly the people referred to by the last speaker. Take the case of big firms like Bullough, of Accrington, and Mather and Platt's. I have been in thousands of textile mills all over the world, and everywhere I have found the machinery of these firms or of other British firms. Nearly all that machinery has been erected by British working men who have gone out and spent a considerable time in foreign countries. In Russia and all round the world wherever one goes, one finds the work of these men's hands. Surely it is wrong that a man who has been engaged in developing British trade abroad, if he returns home and has the misfortune to strike a bad patch of trade, should be thrown out of benefit under the Unem- 602 ployment Insurance scheme simply because he has been abroad.
I am surprised that the Minister does not show a greater desire to meet the Committee on points like this. They are little points in the sense that they do not cost a great deal of money, but they mean a great deal to the individuals in question. In view of the fact that the Ministry of Health find it possible to deal with these cases, and in view of the fact that these people deserve well of their country, surely, the Minister will reconsider his decision. I ask the right hon. Gentleman not to seek for ways in which to throw men out of benefit, but to seek for ways of ensuring that the genuine working man shall get the benefit to which he is entitled. If the Minister takes notice of what has been said on this point I think there is a possibility that he will reconsider his decision and bring his Department into line with the much wider and more generous policy of the Ministry of Health in reference to similar cases. I ask him to give a consideration to these men which will, at any rate, guarantee them against incurring loss by going abroad to develop the trade of the country.
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
I do not think the argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) on the question of including in the scheme those who are residing abroad calls for an answer from the Minister. It seems utterly impossible to put forward any scheme which can include those who have gone abroad to become citizens of a Dominion or a foreign country in which they intend to spend the remainder of their lives. I do not rise to ask the Minister about that point, but to ask about those men who have gone abroad temporarily. There, I think, a case can be made out, and I have no doubt that the Minister, when he replies, will state the reasons for not agreeing to the inclusion of such men. There may be economical reasons; or it may be impossible to do it in a practical manner. But it was done after the War. Section 43 of the Act of 1920 made temporary provision for contributors who during the continuance of the War and a period of one year thereafter were engaged in work connected with or arising out of the War. That Section provided that if, by agreement 603 between the workman and his employer, contributions were paid, they were deemed to be properly paid for the purposes of the Act.
If it was done then, I see no great reason why it should not be done to-day. Of course, the fact has to be considered that the provision had reference then to men who were in France and it was then possible through the Army or by some other means to make the necessary arrangements. Perhaps it is not possible to do so in the same way now with men scattered all over the world. But the matter was raised in evidence before the Blanesburgh Committee, and I think the evidence given then from the Iron and Steel Trades Federation made out a case for these men. If a man has paid a year's contributions before he goes abroad, it seems rather unfair that he should return, after an absence, say, of a year, and find that the stamps which he collected on his card prior to going abroad have been definitely wiped out and that he has to start afresh. I can visualise the case of a man who, on returning from abroad to this country, finds he is no longer required at the work in which he was engaged. Such a man may toe unemployed for a period during which he looks for work, that is provided he is a genuine worker, and he would not have gone abroad had he not been a genuine worker. He has to look for work, and, if he fails to find it, there is no scheme which is going to assist him. I suggest that those are cases which ought to be treated sympathetically. I ask the Minister to deal with that point and to state quite frankly the reasons for not making any provision in the Bill for such cases.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
Having heard the hon. Member for Thanet (Mr. Harms-worth) so often on this Bill, it is refreshing to find him, at last, giving some advice to the Minister on the lines of generosity and fairness. The Minister immediately after the Amendment had been moved said he was absolutely hardhearted in regard to the appeal made to him. I emphasise what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) as to the difference between the health insurance treatment of the man who goes abroad, under the conditions mentioned by the 604 hon. and gallant Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) and the attitude taken up by the Minister of Labour in this Bill towards the same class of persons. Under the Health Insurance Act such a man has benefit for 12 months. Apart from that, the Parliamentary Secretary is, I am sure, aware of a decision given by the High Court of Justice in October of last year to the effect that the man who goes abroad for a British firm and remains for any length of time—there is no limit —shall not be debarred on account of that absence abroad from participating in the benefits of the Pensions Act of 1925. The decision of the Court was that as long as such a man was maintaining a home in Britain he was in residence here. That is a most important decision for the protection of the interests of these men. Compare their position in that respect with their position under these proposals. The attitude which the Minister of Labour takes up is that they should have no protection whatever, even if they go abroad under contract for British firms.
We often hear in discussions on unemployment the recommendation that men should go abroad either inside the Empire or to foreign countries in search of employment. I myself, during a period of unemployment, preferred to go abroad rather than walk the streets, and I spent my savings, amounting to about £40, in that venture. I was unsuccessful, but I was all the better for the experience. There are thousands of men who, if they can do so, will go abroad, and why should they be Penalised? why should they suffer for that spirit of adventure, that right sense of things that we commend in this House? Yet that is what the decision of the Minister means; it means that these men, who are the best of our race and have that spirit in them, are to be penalised. I put it to the Parliamentary Secretary that this thing ought to be reconsidered. I am not modifying the Amendment to exempt all who go abroad, but I say that this is a particular phase of the matter, and that he might give some consideration to these men who go abroad on British contracts. Further, I say that he should compare his own position on this Bill and generally in 605 regard to other matters with that of the Ministry of Health, which does give fair consideration to people of this character.
§ Mr. L. THOMPSON
I want to add a word in support of what the hon. and gallant Member for Stockton (Captain Macmillan) has said. It appears to me that there may be certain difficulties presenting themselves with regard to the Amendment in its entirety, but I think there is a strong case made out for men who go abroad under contract. The Minister suggested, in his reply, that these temporary cases were franked to about 74 benefits, but that depends where a man's 30 contributions start. If they start from the point where he left for employment abroad, it is true to say that 74 will be the result, but if it is at the other end, it places him in a very difficult position; and I can quite see that while these men who are sent out on contracts may be of such a character that they have considerably more than 36 contributions to their credit, they may come back home and find themselves in difficulties. If that is so, I think the Minister would be well advised to take this fact into consideration, to review the position carefully, and, if possible, to concede at least these cases of men who go abroad under contract.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I want to submit a further reason why the Parliamentary Secretary might accept the submission, not only from Members on these benches, but from three of his own supporters, who, one after another, have seen fit to support the principle embodied in this Amendment. Previous speakers have referred to the differences between the administration of the National Health Insurance Fund and the intention of the Minister of Labour in the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, but I want to recall the fact that one of the very first things that happened after the Second Reading of this Bill was that the Government themselves introduced a Financial Resolution to the effect that all persons who had served in the Army, Navy, or Air Force were given credit for six months' stamps after they returned from a period of service in one of His Majesty's places of defence. It seems to me that the difference between a person who joins the Army, Navy, or Air Force for three years and then 606 returns to civil life and a person who goes abroad under contract at the request of his employer for two or three years, is so thin as to be almost unnoticeable, and if it is fair for the Government to credit the returned soldier, sailor, or airman with six months' stamps or to enable him to qualify for at least 18 months' unemployment benefit, it is fair that the other person, who similarly goes abroad to serve our industry and establish, perhaps, British machinery and British methods in some foreign nation— which is going to mean continuous orders for his employers who invited him to go abroad—should not, if he finds himself either totally unemployed or reduced to short time, be penalised because he had the spirit and the will to make the venture to earn wages abroad when no facilities were provided at home.
If only from that point of view, I think the Parliamentary Secretary might be good enough to tell us whether he thinks that the person who goes abroad to serve his country in an industrial sense for two or three years is not performing a service of equal value to that of the person who joins the armed forces of the Crown. I can recall the case of an individual, a boiler-maker, who had been working three days and two days a week for very many months. A few months ago he had an opportunity to serve his employers in South America, and he readily consented to go, for two years. After having endured short time and small wages and a miserable livelihood for a long period of time, he went abroad, and he is abroad at this moment; and I suggest that it is totally unfair, when this person returns to this country, after having served his employers and his nation abroad, that he should he deprived of the benefits obtainable under the unemployment insurance scheme. Should he be fortunate enough to find employment immediately, the hon. Gentleman opposite would not hesitate to demand the first sixpence that he earned as a contribution towards the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and for that reason it seems to me that the plea that has been put forward from these benches, supported by at least three hon. Members from the benches opposite, justifies the Parliamentary Secretary in reconsidering this case. If he is unable to say at this moment that he will accept the Amendment, he might give us at least the con- 607 solation of stating that between now and the Report Stage he will go fully into the matter, and guarantee to do something to meet the comparatively small number of cases affected by this Amendment.
§ Mr. J. BAKER
The Minister, in his reply, said the exemptions now in the Clause, namely, disease, mental incapacity, and accident, are brought about involuntarily, against the wish of the insured person. As he excluded the employés of contractors from being restored to benefit on their return home, it appeared that he would lead the Committee to believe that these men go out voluntarily. I suppose the contract in theory is a voluntary act, but in practice, if a man was not prepared to go abroad on a contract when his employers asked him to go, he would find that they had no work for him at home. It is not a voluntary act at all. In practice it is found that the men who are engaged at home to advance a contract to a given point in this country have promised, before getting the job, that they would follow the contract abroad and do the erection there. Those men, while engaged here, are paying contributions under this scheme, but they cannot draw benefit until they come home, for these reasons. They will be on pay from leaving home to returning home, and if they are not on pay any part of the time, the minute they embark on the ship they are no longer available for work in this country, and the Minister would argue that they are not entitled to benefit. I do not like this House agreeing to taking men's contributions under conditions when it is impossible for them to get benefit. That is not fair.
The extent of these contracts does not seem to be quite realised by the Minister. For instance, there are not only bridges, but electrical works. We have electrical engineering jobs all over the world. I daresay most of the railways in the world have been built by British contractors. Large engineering works, dam construction, and that kind of thing is going on all over the world. In Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and India there are men doing British work, following up the jobs they had in this country in which they paid contributions, and, when their work is ended and they come home, they are 608 treated as though they had never been insured before. I do not think that is fair. The hon. and gallant Member for Stockton (Captain Macmillan) thought that was the strong point of our case. I do not quite accept that view. There are men out of work who are not willing to starve here. If they stayed at home and took unemployment benefit, Members on the other side would gibe at them for being content to live on the dole. If they are not content to stay at home and live on the dole, and go abroad in the hope of getting a job, but, failing to get a job, come home again, they are not allowed to have the dole because they went away. That is "Heads I win and tails you lose," and it is a game the House of Commons should not play. I want to draw the attention of the Committee to another group of people that has not been mentioned. There is a floating population between Scotland and Ireland of workmen who work in both countries. Some of them are small landowners, and they will come here at a suitable season and work in our shipyards and engineering shops, usually doing labouring work. While they are doing that work they are paying contributions to our funds. If work gets slack, they go home and work on their own farms. In theory, the minute they decide to go—according to the Minister to night, it is not going but deciding to go that penalises the man— the minute they decide to return home, they cannot have unemployment pay. Under the present law, I understand, there is an arrangement whereby these men can be counted as available for work and can receive pay. I wonder if the Minister will tell the Committee what is going to happen to these people under this Bill, and whether any similar arrangement will be in vogue as far as they are concerned?
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. OLIVER
I think the Committee is indebted to the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) for bringing forward this Amendment; and if the Parliamentary Secretary is dead to the appeals from this side of the Committee, I hope he will not forget that it induced three of his own supporters to urge, at any rate, some consideration for one section of the people dealt with by it. I heard the Minister of Labour himself refer to some consideration being given to people who were involuntarily put into a position of 609 misfortune. I want to draw his attention to this fact, that many of the people who leave these shores are compelled to do so by the unfortunate position in which they find themselves owing to bad trade in this country, and, while leaving here may not in itself be an involuntary act, the conditions which make them go away are something absolutely outside their control. For that reason I do hope the Parliamentary Secretary will take into consideration, if not the people who emigrate in response to the appeals made for people to leave these shores and make their home abroad, the claims of those who leave England to take up employment in other countries for various firms which have their establishments here.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. Shaw) referred to the textile firms of this country installing machinery abroad. He might well have extended his reference to a number of other engineering firms, such as the great firm of Dobson and Barlow, of Bolton, who send out their men to erect plants in Belgium, Russia, India and China, and they are away for months. What is their unfortunate position when they return, as has already been explained this evening There are other firms, too. One of the best known engineering firms in this country opened a branch in Paris and installed another plant in America. Men left this country hoping to establish themselves in a new country, but found, for reasons over which they had no control, that, on the one hand, Paris was unsuitable, and, on the other, the United States was unsuitable, and they had to return to this country. We claim that if the period is a reasonably short one, some consideration should be given to these people, and that they should not be regarded as foreigners coming into this country. I am quite sure the appeals that have been made from this side of the Committee and from the Government's own side will not fall on deaf ears, and that if the Minister cannot grant the whole substance of the Amendment, he will consider that section that has been specifically dealt with, namely, engineers and craftsmen leaving this country to do work abroad.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
In the discussion of a Bill of this complexity I think the Committee will agree that it is a little 610 inconvenient to have a manuscript Amendment handed in, particularly when that Amendment provokes, and quite properly provokes, arguments of a highly technical character with reference to other Acts of Parliament which may have a bearing upon it. But I am bound to say that I think the discussion we have heard on the manuscript Amendment handed in by the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) has been a discussion of very great interest and some importance. Therefore, I do not complain, but if my answer to the technical points that have been raised is not so complete as I should like to make it, I must ask the Committee to bear with me and to remember that I had no idea until I came into the House that the matter was going to be raised.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) has been good enough to hand me across the table the leaflet issued by the Ministry of Health on which he based his contention. If I understood him rightly, his point, shortly, was this. He said that in certain pension cases the Ministry of Health make concessions to persons who are abroad under conditions similar to those in respect of which he asks for concessions under this Bill. Since he spoke, I have obtained a copy of the Contributory Pensions Act, 1925. Section 23 of that Act sets out the necessary qualifications for pensions, and one of them is that the applicant shall have been resident in Great Britain for a period of two years prior to the date of application. In the circular which the right hon. Gentleman gave me it states that where a person is employed outside Great Britain by the same person by whom he was employed immediately before in Great Britain, that qualification is relaxed. It seems to me that there is an obvious difference between that case and the one raised by this Amendment. In the case of the pensioner, the point relates entirely to residence and not to contributions. So far as I can see in the short examination which I have been able to give to the matter, there is nothing in the circular dealing with the question of contributions. Therefore, I do not think the analogy presented by the right hon. Gentleman is a complete one.
§ Mr. T. SHAW
I think it is strikingly similar. We are not throwing these things across the table for fun; we are 611 trying to get a common agreement if we can. The qualification for a pension is a certain length of residence, but the Ministry of Health say, "Notwithstanding that qualification, if you are working abroad on a contract of service for a British employer, we will waive the qualification." Why cannot the Ministry of Labour say, "Notwithstanding this qualification, if you are working abroad on a contract of service for a British employer, we will waive our qualification"?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I think there is all the difference between a qualification involving a contribution and a mere qualification of residence. The hon. and gallant Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan), and another hon. Member, asked, "In such cases, why cannot you pay the contributions yourself, and keep the man in insurance?" On the face of it, that is a very attractive proposal, and at first sight it appears to be one well worthy of serious consideration, but the short answer to it is that, if such a proposal were accepted we should need a Financial Resolution; without it the proposal would be outside the scope of the Bill, because it would throw an additional charge upon the Exchequer.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I would say just one word with regard to the general question raised by my hon. Friend The position of people who go abroad for a temporary purpose is made much more favourable by the present Bill than it was under the existing law. The law as it stands at present, with the one-in-six rule, and the other conditions of standard benefit, would preclude people who have gone abroad for a comparatively short time from having the necessary qualifications for benefit, but the qualification of 30 contributions in two years laid down by this Bill must, I think, let in a very large number of those people who go abroad on purely temporary engagements in connection with contracts. With regard to those people who go abroad for long periods, if we accept the principle of the Amendment in their case we should have to include many other classes who would then claim 612 to come into the scheme, although at present it is not designed to include them.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Will the hon. Member take into account this consideration in connection with the case of a man who leaves the country for a short period to work on a contract abroad? Let us assume that if he remained at home he would have been unemployed for a part of that time. Would it not be more economic to allow that man to become eligible for benefits on his return rather than that he should be deterred from going abroad through fear of what may happen to him if, on his return, he finds himself out of work? Is it not sound economics to encourage the man to go where work is available by making it possible for him to receive benefits, if he should require them, on his return to this country?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
No doubt there are many individual cases which one would wish to include in the scheme, if one could do so, but we cannot accept individual cases. We should have to accept the principle, and this is a principle which we are not prepared to accept.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
I think the hon. Gentleman rather misunderstood my argument. I see the difficulty to which he has alluded of paying the contributions of a man during his temporary absence from this country while working on a contract abroad, but my argument was based on other considerations. A man who has been two years in employment in this country becomes qualified for benefits. If he is away for six months working on a contract abroad, he is still qualified on his return, because he still has the necessary number of contributions to his credit; but if he goes away for two years he returns unqualified. If he cannot continue his benefit by paying contributions why should not the two years during which he is absent from this country be treated as non-existent and why should he not on his return resume his position in insurance as though he had not missed those two years? I would still urge the Minister to consider whether that might not be possible. I can see that it is a somewhat difficult and complicated matter, and I do not press him for a decision at this moment, but I would ask him to consider this small part of the Amendment between now and the Report stage.
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
The Parliamentary Secretary has seriously put to the Committee that the main obstacle to this Amendment is that it would require a Money Resolution. May I point out that what is proposed is simply an exemption from contributions, and therefore no Money Resolution would be necessary.
I am very disappointed with the answer of the Parliamentary Secretary. Surely there is some way of getting over this obvious difficulty. I do not think any of the critics of the Amendment have been too rigid; we have not been doctrinaire in pressing for any particular method, and everybody has asked that something should be done. Many things might be done. There are at least half-a-dozen ways by which this difficulty might be got over. The Parliamentary Secretary says, in effect, that he agrees with all that has been said, but he is not going to do anything because he does not see how it is possible. We all know it is possible to allow a man to go into the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force for three years and when he comes back he gets his benefit. I suggest that the men who go abroad to erect British machinery or build British bridges are doing the nation as good a service as the men in the Army. If this concession can be made for the men in the fighting forces in the Army, surely it can be made for the men engaged in the fighting forces of British industry.
This could be done by the Amendment, because it would give the men an extra 12 months to qualify. If the Parliamentary Secretary is not going to accept that method, there are other ways by which this injustice could be avoided. Is it not possible to devise a way of allowing these men to go on stamping their cards while they are working abroad? Is it impossible for the House of Commons and the Government to turn to the men engaged on contract work which takes them abroad, and say to them, "We cannot pay you benefit under our Bill; we do not intend to do so, and we have not devised any form of benefit for you, but we will not ask for your contributions, because we should be taking your money under false pretences and the Bill does not contain any method by which you can draw benefits"? There are three ways in which the right 614 hon. Gentleman can avoid these difficulties. The first is by accepting the Amendment, thus giving the men another year to qualify. The second way is that the Minister of Labour should devise some scheme by which the men would be allowed to go on stamping their cards while they are abroad. The majority of these men go abroad representing very large and reputable British firms, and I am sure those firms could be induced very easily to stamp the cards of the men employed in India or Buenos Aires in the same way as, is done when the men are employed at Middlesbrough, Barrow or Stockton.
If the Minister refuses to adopt the suggestion to give an extra 12 months' qualification or that they should stamp their cards abroad, I do think, in common honesty, he should adopt the third course, and say, "We cannot give you benefits, and therefore we will not accept your contributions." It is quite obvious that there is no difficulty in regard to this problem. The Parliamentary Secretary knows quite well that his own Department faces a far more difficult problem with regard to those who serve overseas. I think his reply is very disappointing, because there has been no rigid demand, and it is perfectly obvious that the Parliamentary Secretary does not want to commit his Department and his chief without consultation. The least he can do is to say that he realises that, in common justice, something ought to be done for these men, and I think he ought to give the Committee his word that he will represent the case to the Minister in order to see whether, on the Report stage, either this Amendment or some other words may be introduced to achieve this object, and in that way give to these men a certain amount of reasonableness and justice.
§ Mr. BROAD
I am very much disappointed with the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary, who seems very anxious to find a way out of this difficulty. Here we have a large number of men concerned with one particular industry who are Very badly treated under the Bill as it is now drafted. The Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary hardly realise the extent to which the engineering industry in the past has manufactured machinery of various kinds in this country. Many large firms have contracted to erect that machinery on the 615 site where it is required abroad, and to maintain it for a certain period of time. To do this, they have to keep men to instruct the people on the spot in the use of that machinery. Those men who have been sent abroad have worked in the shops in this country while the machinery was being manufactured, and, consequently, they are familiar with it in every way. They are invited to go abroad for 12 or 18 months, and they are working abroad in the interests of British trade.
We did a good deal of work in that direction before the War, and it is well known that many of our finest mechanics were willing to leave their wives and families and go abroad in the interests of the firms with which they were associated. It is very unjust to reflect that, because of that they are to be victimised, and when their job abroad is finished, if the particular firm who sent them out cannot put them on another contract, they are not to be entitled to the proportion of the stamps they have got, because they have been away 18 months or more. I think that case demands that the Minister should go very carefully into this matter. This is a question which does not apply simply to dams and pumping machinery. A great deal of the machinery in the textile industry has been manufactured in this country and exported abroad, not only to Europe, but to the Far East, to the great advantage of all those who have invested their money in China, and while those who have made those investments abroad may come home and spread the Union Jack on their chests and say, "See what we are doing for the British Empire," the workmen are to be told, "You have been away too long, and you cannot have the benefits for which you have paid."
To extract money from men under such circumstances is very like obtaining money under false pretences. It seems to me, particularly under this Bill, which is supposed to be contributory insurance against unemployment and where you have compulsorily insisted that a man should be thrifty and have compelled him to contribute so much week by week out of his wages to provide for a certain eventuality, that at the end of that period the Ministry toss up with him, and it is two to one as to whether he gets the benefit for which he has paid, 616 and the weight is put on the wrong side of the scale. That seems to me to be the position. It is quite a simple thing, and the Minister could very well devise that any workman going abroad under such circumstances could register the fact either with his employer or directly at the Employment Exchange; and, when he returns he should be put back in exactly the same position as when he went away. There is no question of having any Financial Resolution or going to the Treasury for it. There is no extra money to be found for it at all. It is simply that for the period in which a man is serving the nation in the interests of its trade and industry, and not for the purpose of preparing to destroy life, he should be entitled to consideration, and, when he comes back, he. should be put exactly where he was, side by side with his brother workmen who have not been away.
Not only that. Two or three years ago when our industry was in a very bad way indeed, and particularly the engineering industry associated with shipbuilding, we were too busy absorbing the war indemnities to be able to find work for our shipbuilders and engineers. They were very busy in France with engineering work, and young engineers were urged by the Employment Exchanges to go to France to get work, and many did so. If they had remained in this country, they might have got a job later and have had benefit when they got back to work, but, having been away in France and having worked there for 12 months, when they came back they found that they were not qualified for benefit. We do not know but what again similar circumstances may happen. Young men were almost compelled to go to France to work because they were treated rather roughly by the Employment Exchanges if they did not accept those offers. I hope the Minister will take this seriously into consideration. There is nobody who is familiar with unemployment insurance, from the workman's point of view, who can see any difficulty at all, and I must say that where there is a will there is a way. It is not a question of squeezing out of benefit those people who, through no fault of their own, are likely, it has been suggested, to acquire a general 617 habit of qualifying for the dole. It is a question of men who have been away to work and who have been prepared to leave their homes and go away, and that they should be treated like this seems to me a very unfair thing indeed. I hope that at this very last moment the Parliamentary Secretary will undertake to consult with his principal on this matter, and that we shall be able to get from him before this Debate closes some intimation that, at all events on the Report stage, they will do their best to deal with this matter in a satisfactory way.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee proceeded to a Division.618
§ Mr. T. SHAW
(seated and covered): I venture to suggest to you, Sir, that everybody thought, when you rose, that you were rising to put the Question, "That the Question be now put"; otherwise, I think I may give you my personal assurance and that of all my friends that certainly somebody would have risen.
The right hon. Gentleman will remember that I made the statement that I thought the Committee was ready to come to a decision. Had anybody risen I should have accepted the Motion.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 218.619
|Division No. 4151]||AYES.||[9.30 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife West)||Groves, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben|
|Amman, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hardie, George D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Robinson, w. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Rose, Frank H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayes, John Henry||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, G. H.||Scurr, John|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sexton, James|
|Broad, F. A.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Bromfield, William||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury]|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Clowes, S.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)|
|Compton, Joseph||Kirkwood, D.||Snell, Harry|
|Connolly, M.||Lawrence, Susan||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Dennison. R.||Lunn, William||Sullivan, J.|
|Duckworth, John||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Duncan, C.||Mackinder, W.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Dunnico, H.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Edge, Sir William||March, S.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|England, Colonel A.||Mitchell, E. Rossiyn (Paisley)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Forrest, W.||Montague, Frederick||Tinker. John Joseph|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Townend, A. E.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Naylor, T. E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Owen, Major G.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paiin, John Henry||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Paling, W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Greenail, T.||Parkinson, John Alien (Wigan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypooi)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Welsh, J. C.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)||Wright, W.|
|westwood, J.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Wiggins, William Martin||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES —|
|Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Windsor, Walter||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Grotrian, H. Brent||Pennetather, Sir John|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Albery, Irving James||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Apsley, Lord||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Peto. G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Hanbury, C.||Pilcher, G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Harland, A.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Bainiel, Lord||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Preston, William|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Harrison, G. J. C.||Price Major C. W. M.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Radford, E. A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Haslam, Henry C.||Raine sir Walter|
|Bennett, A. J.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Berry, Sir George||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Bethel, A.||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Heneage. Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ruggles- Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hills, Major John Waller||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Hilton, Cecil||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th 'I'd., Hexham)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shaw. R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Huntingfield Lord||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hurst Gerald B||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Christie, J. A.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kidd, J. (Liniithgow)||stott Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Kinioch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lamb, J. Q||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Cope. Major William||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Templeton, W. p.|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Long, Major Eric||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lumley, L. R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Macintyre, I.||Waddington, R.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||McLean, Major A||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Malone, Major P. B.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Dixey, A. C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Drewe, C.||Merriman, F. B.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Welden)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Falle. Sir Bertram G.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Monsell. Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Finburgh, S.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Withers, John James|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Womersley, W. J.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Grace, John||Oakley, T.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Oman. Sir Charles William C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Captain Viscount Curson and Mr.|
§ Mr. TINKER
I beg to move, in page 5, to leave out from the word "shall" in line 28 to the word "be" in line 31.
The words which I desire to leave out are these:if he proves that not less than fifteen contributions were paid in respect of him as an insured contributor during the said period of two years.This would mean, in effect, that the ex-service man would not be called upon to have any stamps in order to entitle him to benefit. I want to ask the Minister to recognise that, in making an appeal to him through this Amendment, we are not cutting across any principle in the Bill, because concessions have already been made in this regard by reducing the number of contributions from 20 to 15, in recognition of the fact that something must be, done for ex-service men. The reason why ex-service men should be granted some concession is that in many cases they are obviously unfitted to compete in the open labour market, or, to put it in another way, they are handicapped in getting the same chance of employment that the ordinary man has. Because of that, various Ministers have agreed that it is reasonable to give them some concession. We are asking the right hon. Gentleman, in view of what has happened, to go a little further, and say that these men shall not be called upon to fulfil any of these conditions.
It may be said that this is a matter which ought to be dealt with by the Minister of Pensions, and that question was considered by the Blanesburgh Committee, who say in their Report:
The following resolution passed at a Conference of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Committees in the South-Western Division is typical of the views of the Local Employment Committees generally: —'Disabled ex-service men who are unlikely to obtain employment under ordinary industrial conditions on account of their disabilities should be regarded as a charge upon the Ministry of Pensions and not upon the Ministry of Labour.'That shows that an attempt has been made to get the Minister of Pensions to take up these cases, but the Minister of Pensions would not agree to that, and, consequently, we have to come back to the Minister of Labour. We ask, seeing that these men have to be looked after by someone, that the Ministry of Labour should take them over. On Monday night, the Minister of Labour quoted the 622 Blanesburgh Report in regard to the requirement of 30 contributions, in reply to our request that the number of contributions required should be only 20, and he said, in defence of his decision, that the Blanesburgh Committee had laid it down unanimously that 30 contributions should be required. If the Minister stands by the Committee on the one question, I would also ask him to refer to that portion of the Report which deals with ex-service men, in order to see if I can get him to agree to my Amendment. The Blanesburgh Committee went on to say:We understand the reluctance of the Ministry of Pensions to abandon the principle of the award of pensions. We readily agree also that, where the unemployment is due to economic causes, the Unemployment Insurance Scheme, so far as insured persons are concerned, may be fairly expected to make the provision which is requisite. In the result, however, while we deprecate any modification of the main principles of our proposals, we consider that, if they are found to bear hardly on disabled ex-service men of the class now in question, the Ministry should be empowered, as a temporary measure, to make such suitable adaptations in the insurance scheme as may meet their case. It may be that, with better trade, these men will be more fortunate in obtaining and retaining work; as time goes on, the nature of the problem itself will change, but whatever form it assumes it can never, we feel, be neglected, for the duty of providing for these men is not a subject of political controversy.If the Minister of Labour took what the Committee said on the subject of the 30 contributions as a guide to him in principle in laying down the provisions of this Measure, I would ask him to consider also what they have said in regard to ex-service men. They have said that the duty of providing for these men is not a matter for political controversy. I think we all agree on that, and we all agree that special attention should be paid to this class of men. The employers were patriotic enough during the War period, but now they say, in a time of industrial stress, that they cannot give these men any better opportunity than anyone else, so that it is very unlikely that these men will be able to comply with the conditions laid down in this Measure, and, unless the Minister is prepared to give them better conditions than are now laid down, I am afraid that many of them will not be able to get the benefits that we think they ought to have.
623 During the War it was a common joke among us in the Army that, if we survived the struggle, we should later on be meeting one another in the streets, some playing barrel-organs and others collecting money in various ways in order to try to get a living, owing to our incapacity. One never thought, of course, that that would come to pass, but, if this Measure passes as it stands, one can realise that what we said in jest then will become an actual reality. It is because of our knowledge of what these men went through, and the incapacity from which they are suffering, that we are making this direct appeal to the Minister, knowing that it will not cut across any principle of the Bill, and it will not cost very much, because these are a diminishing quantity. It is not as if it was going to last for ever. The ex-service men will pass away, like everyone else, and the whole thing will come to an end. I think the Committee ought to consider it on the lines I have put forward, and I appeal to the Minister to give way on the point seeing that he has given way on one or two other points.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The hon. Member has espoused the cause of the ex-service man and has moved to omit that they should have to show any qualifications at all. I say at once that I have an enormous sympathy with the disabled ex-service men. I have always tried to help them in this House. I have taken power to relax their qualifications under the existing system, and, though I do not want to claim too much, I think, so far as helping in the work of the King's Roll to provide employment for them is concerned, what I have done will compare with the work of any of my pre decessors. While I say that, I think it is right that in the unemployment in surance scheme there should be some stamp qualification for disabled ex-servicemen. I do not think it is right in a permanent scheme that there should be no qualification for them whatever. When I say that, I am only saying precisely what is said by the disabled ex-service men on their own behalf. I am voicing their wish. At the last meeting of the British Legion a proposal very similar in principle to this proposal was moved, and it was rejected on the suggestion 624 of an ex-service man with 100 per cent, disablement, and he did it on these grounds, that, if they put partially-disabled men above the necessity for looking for work, they would produce a class whose minds, bodies, and souls would be a menace to the community. I am not stating that as my own opinion. I am stating it as the considered and expressed opinion of the last meeting of the British Legion themselves on behalf of disabled ex-service men. On those grounds, I think it is right that there should be some stamp qualification. On the other hand, I should be the first to say, as I have said and done in times past, that it should not be a qualification of anything like the same character as that which the ordinary able-bodied man ought properly to have. The 30-contri-bution rule in ordinary times of normal trade is by no means too severe a test. The 15-contribution rule which I have suggested for disabled ex-service men is an easy condition for them to satisfy.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
It is particularly easy for them when they can, in addition to the 15 contributions qualification, get the benefit of the incapacity Clause as well. The hon. Member for St. Helens (Mr. Sexton) says: How about their getting a job at all. I can only point once again to the facts and remind the Committee of the excellent work done for disabled ex-service men by the King's Roll National Council. If I might mention anyone particularly in connection with the King's Roll, it would be the hon. and gallant Member for Bootle (Sir V. Henderson), who has only just given up the honorary secretaryship. I will ask the Committee to realise the degree of unemployment among disabled ex-service men. It is only half what it is among the general population. In the last three years it has been reduced from 37,000 to between 17,000 and 18,000, out of a probable figure of about 400,000 disabled ex-service men who form part of the industrial community. The Mover of the Amendment talked about employers who showed patriotism, at any rate in the War, but could not take on disabled ex-service men now. I have never taken one side or the other, for or against employers, but when it comes to employing disabled ex-service men, I feel 625 bound to point out that when employers under the King's Roll, and even those who are not on the King's Roll, have employed disabled ex-service men to the extent that the proportion of unemployment among them is only half that among employed insured men generally, it ill becomes anyone, in this respect at any rate, to cast a slur on the public spirit of employers. The test as it is proposed in this Measure is an easy one. It is 15 contributions, and there is the benefit of the incapacity Clause as well.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
In what way do the facts the right hon. Gentleman is now giving touch the resolution of the British Legion?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
They did not want disabled men to be put completely out of the category of ordinary people who do not have the necessity of looking for work. I think the test is not for them a difficult one. I purposely made it easy. Taking the 15 contributions clause together with the fact that they get the benefit of the incapacity Clause, and bearing in mind the work of the King's Roll, it is not difficult. On the other hand, I am ready to meet the situation. I am prepared to take the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser) and reduce it to 10, and I am glad to do it. But I believe the disabled ex-service men themselves would not be a party to wishing to be entirely removed from the same category as their own fellow citizens under a scheme of this kind.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman should have based his case on that resolution. I can understand the British Legion saying that they do not wish to have their members put in the category of people who are to be relegated to the shelf, but that has nothing whatever to do with the Amendment. It is not intended by the Amendment to remove these people from the chances of employment or unemployment. They have to run the same risks under this Amendment of obtaining employment as the perfectly able-bodied worker. All that is asked is that they should not have imposed upon them an onerous condition with regard to eligibility for benefit, which is an entirely different question. I 626 think we should all agree that if a partially disabled man can obtain employment and keep himself, it is a very good thing. We agree about that The point is really this. In the first place, I agree that these people ought not to be a charge upon the Unemployment Insurance Fund at all. People, if they are only partially disabled, who have had their earning capacity reduced because of their disability, are put at a disadvantage in the economic struggle. The cause of that disability is the war itself. The organisation which has been built up to deal with those who have suffered because of the war, is the organisation which really ought to deal with these people. Unfortunately, in this Bill, we are really unable to bring before the Committee all the people who are really responsible. We ought to have had the Minister of Health here yesterday. We ought to have the Minister of Pensions here to-day. [HON. MEMBERS "He is here!"] Unfortunately, he is a silent spectator.
It would not be in order for me to argue the case at length that these people ought to be a responsibility placed upon the Ministry of Pensions. What is the situation? You have to-day a competitive system. I am not blaming employers for saying that they are unable to employ partially disabled ex-service men. They are not in business for pleasure or for philanthropic motives. I am not blaming them, and it is to their credit that very many of them have been fortunate enough to employ, possibly uneconomically, a number of partially disabled men. We have been told that the right hon. Gentleman has devoted special attention to this matter, but, notwithstanding all his pleadings and all his eloquence and all the power of his Department, there are still between 17,000 and 18,000 partially disabled men for whom employment is not available. I am not going to blame the employers. In a competitive system they are bound to have regard to economic influences. If they are in a position where they cannot afford to employ a man who is partially disabled, they are not to be blamed for that.
I imagine that the majority of these partially disabled ex-service men are not, strictly speaking, in industrial employment at all. They are gate-keepers at lodges attached to big houses. They 627 are engaged as watchmen. They are not, for the most part, employed in the industrial field as we understand it when we are considering the Unemployment Insurance Bill. That outlet for employment is practically exhausted for them, and we are left- with this very substantial number of people—who to-day, the right hon. Gentleman says, number 'between 17,000 and 18,000—still unemployed. These people are most unlikely to be absorbed in ordinary industries. That is a fact. That has been realised by the Trade Union Congress, and many of those disabled men belong to unions affiliated to that body. It has been recognised by some employers' associations—it has certainly been recognised by the Association of Chambers of Commerce—that these people ought to be dealt with apart from the rough and tumble of ordinary industrial life and ought to be placed in a special category. They have not been so placed.
Immediately the War was over it was found possible, without any suggestion being made that these people were intending to undertake employment when it became available, to offer to every ex-service man and to very large numbers of munition workers free unemployment insurance, without a stamp on a card, for a considerable period of time on terms of benefit more generous than has ever been given in any country at any time or than has ever been given since that scheme came to an end. Now we are left with the remnant of the people—the people for whom work is not now available—and we are to deal with them less generously than we were prepared to deal with the 4,000,000 men who might have created civil disturbance if they had not been properly dealt with. Nine years have passed. Four millions could not be flouted. Seventeen or 18,000 people can be neglected. I do not want to put it too strongly. [Interruption.] No, I do not want to put it too strongly. I have defended employers during this speech, and I am most unaccustomed to do so. I do not want to put the case too high. What is the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman to reduce the stamp qualification by half? I do not see that there is any justification for saying that they have half the chances of employment of able-bodied men. They have not. The situa- 628 tion to-day is this, that you have in many important industries of this country able-bodied men who, when this Bill becomes an Act and is put into operation, will not be able to fulfil the 15 stamps qualification. If that be true, why should we assume that partially disabled men will be able to fulfil a qualification that in many parts of the country able-bodied men are unable to fulfil. We are told that there must be some qualification.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
Will the hon. Member excuse me. Under those circumstances, how is it, when he says they cannot, that disabled ex-service men have a present proportion of unemployment only half that of the rest of the able-bodied men.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I have tried to make that point clear. I do not know the figures, but I shall be glad if the right hon. Gentleman will look into them. I imagine that a very substantial proportion of the people who are employed are not in insurable occupations. I am sure that I am right in saying that. They are in domestic service of one kind or another. [Interruption.] Well, a good many of them. I am not arguing that employers have not tried to do the right thing. I have paid tribute to them for trying to do the right thing, but I say that we have now reached a point when, having regard to the state in the big staple industries in this country, and economic conditions being what they are, nobody has any right to expect employers to employ any workmen except that employment is an economic proposition. I should not blame an employer if he refused to employ in these days of stress an inefficient workman, because it is possible for him to get efficient workmen, and it is good business to get efficient workmen if they are available. My point is that, notwithstanding all the efforts that have been made by successive Ministers of Labour—I think I am right in saying that every Minister of Labour has pushed the King's Roll—we are still left with a situation in which, according to the right hon. Gentleman's figures, between 17,000 and 18,000 of these men are out of work. My view is that had it been possible by exhortation, by pressure and by appeals to patriotism to absorb the whole of these people, they would have been absorbed by now, but, unfortunately, they are the derelicts of the in- 629 dustrial system and for them it seems to be most unlikely that there will be regular employment available.
The right hon. Gentleman's proposal is really not to say, "We want you to try to get work if you can"—we could agree with him there—but his proposal is to say, "You must get a stamp qualification and you must always have a stamp qualification." Our suggestion is that these people, now engaged in insurable occupations, should be excused from a stamp qualification. It is our case that everybody should be excused from a stamp qualification in a period of unemployment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] What is wrong with that? Do hon. Members opposite wish to deprive genuinely unemployed workers of benefits. The only way of giving it is by that method. If the case can be substantiated as regards one-tenth, clearly it ought to be admitted as a whole in the case of people who are not fit for the stress and strain of industrial competition.
One of my hon. Friends referred to barrel organs. Was it not the case that within a mile of this House on Armistice Day you could have found 50 such men peddling for a living? Victoria Street was crowded from end to end on both sides of the street with ex-Service men, wearing the Mons Ribbon and other ribbons, who were engaged in peddling or in some form of musical exercise of a doubtful quality. That is a very serious state of affairs. We have that now. A fear was expressed that that might be the end of these people, and it has unfortunately been realised. Can these men get their 15 stamps qualification? It is impossible. The problem is so small that I cannot understand the right hon. Gentleman being at all doubtful about it. It is a problem which is a steadily diminishing quantity. In a relatively few years it will cease to exist, and if we meet the position to-day it will mean that a substantial number of partially disabled men will be put in a position where, if they are genuinely unemployed, they will be able to reap the advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Scheme. I am not saying that that is an ideal method of dealing with the problem, because I do not think it is. I do not believe that these people ought to be a charge on the Unemployment Insurance Fund, but we are precluded 630 from dealing with the way in which this might be met and are driven back, seeing that the Minister has made some concession, to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he cannot carry the matter still further.
The right hon. Gentleman has given us one concession to-night, and I said at the time that I wished there had been more people in the House to hear it. It was really worthy of a full Committee. We have had one concession, and we duly appreciate it. Is it not possible to go further even than the 10 stamps qualification? When you are coming down to that level you might go further. The 10 stamps qualification is a useless qualification and you might as well go the whole hog and wipe out the whole 15 now in the Bill and ensure that the insured ex-Service man shall be eligible for unemployment benefit when he has fulfilled the statutory conditions, without a stamp qualification. We are not asking that these people should be put permanently on the Unemployment Insurance benefit. We simply ask that, without any stamp qualification, these partially disabled men, when they have fulfilled all the rigorous statutory conditions laid down in this Bill, shall be eligible for the benefits of the Unemployment Insurance Scheme, in lieu of the Minister of Pensions taking upon himself what is really his responsibility.
§ Mr. BROMLEY
I suggest very respectfully that the right hon. Gentleman gave his case away when he was replying to the Mover of this Amendment. He told the Committee about the employers making every effort to employ disabled ex-service men, and he eulogised the King's Roll people, and said that that scheme had assisted very greatly in obtaining employment for these poor fellows; but immediately afterwards he said that there were to-day 17,000 or 18,000 of these men unemployed. When the right hon. Gentleman assures the Committee of the efforts that have been mad© to find employment for these people and then admits that there is practically an Army Corps of them unemployed at this moment—[HON. MEMBERS: "An Army Corps!"] I am no militarist, but I am told by my military friends of this side that it is more than the strength of a division. If my lack of knowledge of the murder machine causes hilarity to hon. Members opposite, I would say 631 that when these fellows were asked to go and fight and were being persuaded to go, their position after the War was not treated with hilarity. They were promised every protection and assistance and speaker after speaker from the Government side assured them that there would be no selling of matches or playing of barrel organs for them; but we have that to-day.
I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman, when he offers to accept a further Amendment which is on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for St. Pancras North (Captain Fraser), to reduce the stamp qualification by five stamps fewer than the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend, does he think that these men have a one-third opportunity of finding occupation with the fully qualified, thoroughly able and healthy mechanic or ordinary worker of to-day I suggest that they certainly have not. It has been suggested that they will die out. Of course, they will die out, and they will die the more quickly on account of their disability and their War service than they otherwise would do. But before they do die out there will be an addition to these unemployed ex-service men, because as they get on in years the partial disability which they are able to master now and therefore they are able to find some sort of employment will intensify itself by the very fact of their acquiring years along the road of life, and there will be by the time this Act comes into operation even a greater number than the 17,000 or 18,000 who are unemployed to-day.
It is a travesty to talk about 10 stamps. Why not remove it altogether? The right hon. Gentleman has already accepted the estimate that their chance of employment is about one-third of that of the strong and able workman, and if he really desires to do a kindly thing he would accept this Amendment, no matter what it might cost the nation. The nation paid a great deal during the War, and since the War, to very unworthy people who pocketed it. Promises were made to the people who really suffered and lost part of their happiness and comfort and ability in life, and a proposal such as this ought not to cost this House 10 minutes consideration.
I do not want to say an unkindly thing for the sake of gibing at hon. Members 632 opposite, or for the purpose of making the Minister of Labour uncomfortable. I did not do anything to assist the War; I did not believe in it, but I said that, although these promises were held out to the poor fellows who went to the War, when they came back they would have to stand on the curbs and streets of our cities. I cannot understand how any Member of this House can go home to-night, or any other night, with a peaceful happy conscience, remembering the promises that were made, if he puts the slightest trouble in the way of these poor fellows getting unemployment benefit other than fulfilling the ordinary statutory obligations which are necessary. I know that the right hon. Gentleman himself is not entirely responsible for it. I put the whole of the Government in the dock and condemn them for it. These people should be a charge in the right direction. Everyone appears to be quite willing, now that the War is over, to get rid of them at any cost. I know of one case in which a Government Department was concerned. The disabled man, whose legs were crippled, was a postman. The nation which was responsible for it said, through the Department, that he was unfitted for carrying letters, and dismissed him. He came to the Pensions Department and asked for an increase in his pension. The doctor who examined him said that he was not sufficiently disabled to have his pension increased, although the doctor in the other Department certified him as being unfit for carrying letters. The Government know this case because it was one from my own constituency. I had great difficulty in getting him employment, but it was obtained eventually. He had to remove from that town, and I do not know what has become of him. These things are forgotten, like a damaged piece of goods thrown under the bench when the foreman is not looking.
I shall be as much against the next war, which is inevitable, as I was against the last, but I am full of sympathy for and also indignation at the treatment of these fellows who had to go through hell during the War. There should be no question of party in these cases. Hon. Members opposite should not oppose this Amendment because it comes from this side. We should remember our promises to these poor fellows and our pride in them, and not niggle at a few hundred 633 thousand pounds in order to do them justice. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to do the big thing. He suggested half the ability to obtain employment. We ask that it shall be removed altogether. Then he suggests that it should be one-third. I am quite sure the right hon. Gentleman, but for his evil association with the Cabinet, would do justice to these men by accepting this Amendment, not as a concession to the Labour party but as a concession to humanity.
§ Captain FRASER
If members of the Labour party indulge in the occupation of gardening I should imagine that when they return to their houses they almost invariably tell their poor wives of the mud and worms which they have found and never of the flowers. They seem to have an extraordinary faculty for finding out everything that is bad in Britain instead of looking some times to see whether there is something that is good in Britain. I cannot help thinking that the eloquent appeal to our nationhood, made by the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, comes with ill grace from one who took the action that he took in the War.
§ Captain FRASER
It seems to be the elementary duty of one who is proud of his country to make known sometimes what his country has done rather than always to deal with what his country has not done. It is the fact that no country in Europe has looked after its ex-service men better than this country, and while there are undoubtedly many sad cases for whom more should be done, and while I should be the first to join in any appeal for them, I think that no service is done to Britain and very little to ex-service men by gross and palpable exaggeration of their case. I suggest to the Committee that—the Minister having said he would accept my little Amendment later—what these partially disabled men are being asked to do is not the hardship which members of the Labour party suggest. It is true that these men may find difficulty in getting employment. It is true that a plea can be made for greater care of them by the administration of pensions and other charges; but so far as this Bill is concerned it contemplates that before a 634 man gets benefit he must show that he has, in the preceding two years, obtained 10 stamps—assuming the Minister's acceptance of my Amendment. That is five weeks in a year or 10 weeks in two years. I suggest that the cases in which it is impossible for a man to show such an extraordinarily small number of weeks of employment must be so few as almost not to exist.
§ Captain FRASER
The suggestion was made that it is becoming increasingly difficult for these particular men to get employment. That may be true, having regard to the undoubted fact that sentiment for ex-service men is receding as the War becomes more a matter of history; but, even if that be so, surely supporters of the Labour party are not so pessimistic as to suppose that conditions of employment throughout the whole field of insured employés is going to get worse, or at any rate is not going to get better? There seems to be a very strong hope that a Conservative majority may be maintained in this House for some years to come.
§ Captain FRASER
I apologise. I could not help thinking that the question as to how this country is governed had a very important relation to unemployment. I will leave that subject and will conclude upon one other aspect of the matter. It is wrong, in my view, to suppose that ex-service men, especially the partially disabled men—though it applies also to many totally disabled men—desire everything they can get for nothing from the House of Commons.
§ Captain FRASER
I deny that ex-service men desire everything they can get for nothing from the House of Commons. Vast numbers of these men would like, above all else, to be treated, in so far as it is possible to do so, as normal beings, and, while it may be impossible for many of them to pay 30 contributions, I am by no means persuaded that any majority of them would desire to pay no contributions. I therefore consider that the compromise made in the 635 Bill of 15 contributions, which the Minister says will now be reduced to 10 contributions, is a reasonable one, and I ask the Committee to accept it.
§ Mr. CRAWFURD
Hon. Members always have listened, and I am sure always will listen, with great respect to anything said on behalf of the ex-service men by the hon. and gallant Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser), but I cannot help thinking that on this occasion, the hon. and gallant Member has done rather less than justice to his own record. What is his position? He finds in the Bill, that in the case of these ex-service men the number of necessary contributions is to be reduced from 30 to 15, and he puts down an Amendment to reduce the 15 to 10. Any hon. Member who puts down an Amendment to reduce the number of contributions from 15 to 10 is apparently, in his view, not doing any disservice to the ex-service men; but any hon. Member who suggests that the 10 should be reduced to nothing is, he argues, doing them a disservice. What is the virtue in 10. What is the virtue in a proportion of one-tenth as opposed to a proportion of one-sixth? It seems to me the hon. and gallant Member him self gave the case away when he put down this Amendment. In the course of some remarks made from the front bench an hon. Member who often makes interjections, and does not often do anything else, made an interjection to the effect that if the men were disabled and therefore unable to get employment, they would by the very fact of being disabled be in receipt of pensions which would enable them to support themselves. It does not follow in the least.
This is not the time to argue concerning the administration of the Ministry of Pensions but I think it is pertinent to this discussion to argue that what may be a 50 per cent., 30 per cent, or 10 per cent. physical disability very often is a total economic disability. Many a man has come to me since I have been a Member of Parliament with a 10 per cent, or a 20 per cent, or a 25 per cent, disability on which his pension was based but that man has been totally disabled economically. I cannot see anything wrong in the appeal just made by hon. Members above the Gangway. It does not seem to be making use of false sentiment. I do not 636 know what has been the experience of other hon. Members but I know my own experience. I represent a poor constituency and therefore the ex-service men in it are, on the whole, poor men. I do not propose to go into these matters but I can call to mind 20 cases of men who have been totally disabled economically and whose pensions are only percentage pensions. These men are progressively becoming more disabled. I hope I am not travelling too far from the Amendment— but we are comparing insurance and pensions—when I say that one of the hardest things in the world is to get men of that kind an increase in a disability pension that they have been awarded. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman's own feelings are on this matter, but I would like to join issue with the hon. and gallant Member who last addressed the Committee, speaking very humbly and not with his authority as an ex-service man myself, and saying that it seems to me to be an occasion on which the Government might very well do a graceful thing, because it would not be a generous thing, and do something to redeem the pledges which we have all made.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I feel that when the question is put fully to the Minister of Labour, he will see how much he has done himself and his Department an injustice by his reply to my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment, because it is a well-known fact that from 1918 to 1920 you had your out-of-work donation scheme and there was no question then as to payments or contributions. You know that early in 1921 you transferred from your out-of-work donation scheme all ex-service men who could not produce a stamp qualification at all into benefit under the 1920 Act. It is also a thing well known and undisputed that at the present moment there is quite a large number of partially disabled ex-service men without a stamp qualification receiving benefit under the Minister's discretion. As that discretion will go under this Bill, that large body of ex-service men with a small disability pension will pass out of the range of his discretion. He says, therefore, "Seeing that I will no longer have the opportunity of admitting them to unemployment benefit without a stamp qualification as I am doing now, I must impose a qualification which is as nearly as possible an 637 approach to the stamp qualification generally implied for the ordinary civilian industrial worker"; and he fixes that number at 15, though it is since suggested as 10. I want to tell him—and undoubtedly it will prove to be quite correct and no mere assumption—that by the time the transitional period has run out and the stamp qualification imposition has commenced, at least one-half of those who are at present semi-disabled ex-service men will not be able to qualify even though he reduces that number of stamps to five. It is no earthly use waiting till the end of 1929 and then saying, "We cannot help it; we are sorry we did not provide for you," and then quoting a decision of the British Legion in support of the arbitrary action he took on this occasion.
Perhaps there are as many disabled ex-service men or more outside the British Legion, attached to other associations, and with whom we come in contact almost every day through our industrial organisations, as inside the Legion. It is all very well for the Minister of Labour to speak as though all the effort for the absorption of these unfortunate citizens was always in one direction alone, and only engaged in by one particular party. I am speaking of trade union officials, as I have myself been a party to interviews with employers urging them to take a proportion of semi-disabled men into their works, and we have actually run the risk of reducing the standard in order that they might be absorbed into industry. With all that effort, with all the effort of the Government with the King's Roll, and with all the publicity and propaganda urging that these men should be absorbed, we are told that at the moment there are somewhere about 17,000 or 18,000 of them.
One would like to know how many of these thousands are at the moment enjoying unemployment benefit at the Minister's discretion and could not supply a 10 stamp qualification. If you get that picture, and I think it is readily available, then you would know the size of the problem with which you are called upon to deal. If you found that there were somewhere about 10,000 of them who cannot give a 10 stamp qualification, do you mean to tell me that the British public would thank any Government of the day for saying, "Under the guise of 638 generosity and prudence, we will reduce the number of contributions from 15 to 10"? It would be only a mockery, and the public would realise it was a mockery and a pretence, and did not in any way touch the real facts. The hon. Member who spoke from below the Gangway touched one of the most serious sides of this matter when he said that the chances of the partially disabled man getting work are receding as the months go by. The number of disabled ex-service men is increasing, and those now becoming disabled will not be able to qualify for State pensions because of the lapse of time.
§ Captain FRASER
Would the hon. Gentleman allow me. I am accused of having said that these men's chances are receding.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I am sure the Committee will realise that I was in no sense referring to the hon. and gallant Member, but to the hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. Crawfurd). The fact does remain that there are a large number of men, physical wrecks, ex-service men without pensions, who cannot get a stamp qualification, who cannot be absorbed into industry, and their chances of obtaining a military pension for their disability has gone with the lapse of time; but, nevertheless, with the advance in years, the ability to throw it off becomes less, and their condition, of course, becomes worse. They cannot under any circumstances give, and will not in my opinion be able at the end of the transition period to give anything like a 10 stamp qualification. Surely the Minister could do what we ask with the full accord of the Committee. We need not say that it was wrung from the Conservative party, and the Conservative party need not say, "We did this." As men of the world, we ought to agree that it is our duty to do all we can for these men. The additional burden on the Fund would be willingly borne by the other contributors, employers, workmen and the State alike. They would not regard it as a burden, but would be glad to think we were giving a little relief to some man who may be worried by the thought that he will not have the necessary stamps qualification if he has to seek unemploy- 639 ment benefit. I feel sure that none of us in his heart wishes to do an injustice to one of these men, who, in all conscience, suffered enough for us. Their disabilities have been a great handicap to them during this long period of distress, and now is the time for us to show ourselves as fair and as just as we should expect all Britishers to be in like circumstances. We ought to say to these men, "Until such time as normality returns to our industry and you have a better chance of finding work, we will not be parties to handicapping you further, but we will relieve you of the liability of the stamps qualification which we insist on in the case of other civilian workers."
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
The hon. and gallant Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser) said that we on the Labour benches has been guilty of gross and palpable exaggeration, but he did not explain whether he referred to the lot of individual ex-service men or to their numbers.
§ Captain FRASER
I was referring to the suggestion made that vast numbers of these men are to be found in the streets. Hon. Members above the Gangway know that it not true.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
I see that the hon. and gallant Member was referring to numbers. I represent a constituency which almost adjoins his. They are similar constituencies in many respects— the same type of residences, the same kind of poverty, and the same class of people. I get correspondence from my constituents, and I am sure the hon. and gallant Member gets correspondence from his, and I should be very much surprised if his correspondence differs very greatly from my own, and my correspondence does indicate to me that, comparatively, there are vast numbers of these people. I do not know what interpretation may be put upon the word "vast," but I should say that any tangible number of ex-service men in such a plight ought to be regarded as vast by those who promised them so much. In my constituency there are, from my point of view, large numbers of ex-service men who have no pension, or only a slight pension, and whose disability makes them economically impossible. But the point 640 I want to urge on the hon. and gallant Member is this: If it be true that there are comparatively few of them, surely that is an argument to be pressed upon the Minister of Labour in support of our Amendment? It will not cost so much if there are so few of them. Why should he stand out against a slight extra expenditure which will be so beneficial to a few ex-service men who have done their duty to their country, as I did my duty to my country, and as the hon. and gallant Member did his.
The suggestion has been made that the idea is not merely to relieve the ex-service man but to relieve him of the necessity of seeking work. That was really the suggestion made by the quotation of the resolution passed by the British Legion. For the life of me I cannot see what that quotation had to do with the argument, because under those circumstances the British Legion did what everybody else would have done. The ex-service men are not pleading for charity, and all they want is to be regarded as ordinary citizens. They have done their duty to their country and they do not want to be regarded as objects of charity, but we are not proposing to do that by this Amendment. We are not even proposing that the ex-service man should be relieved in the slightest degree of the necessity of seeking work and coming under the ban if he does not do so just like any other citizen.
What we say is that the ex-service man should not be required to have the same stamp qualification. If you can prove that he has not been genuinely seeking work you are not required to pay him any unemployment insurance at all. The assumption is that he has been genuinely looking for work and has failed to obtain it. We are dealing with ex-service men who are placed in that position through service to their country. We all remember the promises made to the ex-service man when it paid the Government to issue posters about what was going to be done for exservice men when the War was over. I think those men, after having sacrificed so much, are quite entitled to what is proposed in this Amendment. The hon. and gallant Member for North St. Pancras spoke about mud and worms in the garden, but I think the hon. and gallant Member is quite out of place in regard to 641 a subject of this kind. Why should the ex-service man not be relieved of the necessity of having a stamp qualification if he is genuinely seeking work?
§ Major PRICE
The hon. and gallant Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser) was not referring to ex-service men, but to those sitting on the Labour benches.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
There are some ex-service men sitting upon these benches I think I am quite entitled to use a figure of speech from the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member who spoke before me. I urge the Minister of Labour to consider the case of an ex-Service man who cannot get a job, and who ought not, in that case, to be burdened with a qualification which he cannot fulfil. If he could fulfil that qualification, there would be no argument at all for this Amendment. The assumption is that he cannot get work, and he cannot get stamps because he is not economically efficient. Under those circumstances, I think the ex-Service man is entitled to demand from the Government some recognition of his service. The whole of the discussion of this Amendment upon the opposite side of the Committee has been on the assumption that there are jobs to be had; in fact that there is a pool or a reservoir of jobs waiting to be done and nobody to do them, and that they have only to be found. The people who think that have had no experience at all of the unemployment problem. The jobs are not there. Even the ex-Service man, if he gets a job on the score of being an ex-Service man under the King's Roll, is in nine cases out of ten pushing somebody else out. Why argue on the assumption that if people are only prodded hard enough, and conditions are made difficult enough, they can find work? That assumption is altogether away from the truth. On this question of the ex-Service man, surely the Minister of Labour can afford to be generous in view of the promises which were made three years ago.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I deeply regret that the Government have included in this Bill the proviso insisting on 15 stamps for ex-service men. I represent a Division and come from an area in which it is practically impossible at the present moment to argue that able-bodied men can possibly find jobs. It may be true that some ex-service men who have got 642 jobs under the King's Boll have obtained them, as the hon. Member for West Wal-thamstow (Mr. Crawfurd) pointed out, in uninsured positions. I can assure him that in South Wales and in the coal mining areas where there are very large numbers of ex-service men who have been badly wounded and are suffering tremendous disabilities, there are not many jobs as game-keepers or domestic servants. The jobs they can get hold of are extremely limited, and in every mining area, particularly in South Wales, though it applies to Durham as well, it is no use talking about ex-service men being able to get 10 stamps on their cards. Able-bodied men cannot, and it is extremely unlikely in that area and in the whole county of Glamorgan or of Monmouth that there will be in the next two years the possibility of all the able-bodied miners who are unemployed having the ability to get 10 stamps on their cards. If that applies to able-bodied miners, what is going to be done with ex-service men or injured men whose occupation has been mining?
Scores of cases come to me regularly of men who have developed all kinds of illnesses and weaknesses as the result, they say—and their medical men say— of the military service they performed, and particularly those who went out in battalions from the mining areas, and who were subjected to the development of all kinds of rheumatic disease and consumption through their continuous underground work. Even if you had only got a number of these men in the mining areas alone for whom this proviso was an absolute impossibility, it would be a complete justification for knocking out the proviso altogether. Why try to make the matter a party question? I have no desire, and I speak for every Member on these benches, to make this a party question at all. We would very, very gladly remove it outside the sphere of party activities altogether. I say to this Committee, mindful of its pledges and promises given by men occupying the highest positions in the country at the time, and who might have been expected at least to have the power to carry into effect the solemn pledges they made, why cannot we agree that these pledges shall be redeemed and the promises kept to men who have been rendered incapable as a result of military service?
643 That is the least the Government can do, and if any plea of mine is of any value in this House or any word of mine can carry any weight at all, I would urge the Government to take away this 10 stamp proviso. It cannot mean many thousand of pounds in the whole sum. Its value financially is of quite an infinitesimal character, and, surely, from the point of view of the effect of the 10 stamps, this proviso is not worth the attention or the consideration of a House which throws away in other directions millions of pounds upon far less worthy objects than the men for whom this plea is being made.
§ Mr. THURTLE
I should like to reinforce the point made by the hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. Crawfurd), that, while an ex-service man may have a comparatively small disability pension, he may yet be suffering very largely from economic disability. Most of us who have had experience of ex-service men—and I myself have had a fairly considerable amount—must be able to recall cases illustrating this point very clearly. I would venture to call the attention of the Committee to one case of which I have personal knowledge. It is that of an ex-service man suffering from a marked degree of deafness, in respect of which he gets a pension of 30 per cent., amounting to 12s. a week. I am sure the present Minister of Pensions, who is present, will realise that, before a man can get a pension of 30 per cent, in respect of deafness, he must be very deaf indeed.
That man, in all other respects, is perfectly fit. He is of excellent physique, is a very intelligent man, and is very keen indeed to get work, but his deafness is an absolute bar to employment as the labour market is at present. He cannot get employment even at road-making, which the borough council provides, because the fact that he is deaf makes it extremely dangerous to employ him on that work. He cannot get employment as a messenger, because his deafness renders him unsuitable for that. and in many factories and warehouses he cannot be employed because his deafness would expose him to very serious dangers. The consequence is that, no matter where he looks, that young man has no hope of getting em- 644 ployment. He has invited me to use my influence with the borough council, I have tried to get the Society for the Deaf to find him work, and I have tried through the British Legion. I have tried every possible agency, but his 30 per cent, deafness is an absolute bar to his getting any kind of employment. I submit that a man like that has a just claim upon the indulgence of the Minister of Labour. There must be many other similar cases, but I have referred to this one because it has come before me personally. I should like to reinforce the plea made by the hon. Member for West Walthamstow that the Minister should take such cases as this into consideration, and agree to review the whole question and see if he cannot dispense with the necessity of stamps in the case of disabled ex-service men.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Mr. RITSON
I was sorry to hear the hon. and gallant Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser) suggest that it was an easy matter for a man to get 10 stamps. I do not blame the hon. and gallant Member, because he does not understand the position in which we are, and is not in a position to know what we know. I may tell him that we have thousands of ex-service men in the county of Durham to-day who will not find it possible to qualify even with 10 stamps. There are even thousands of well-seeing well-hearing, strong and vigorous men, who will never get the opportunity to qualify with 10 stamps. I am sure that, if the hon. and gallant Member were to go to the colliery companies as often as I go to them, with men who have been troubled with gas and things of that kind, and who have to go into hot pits, he will find that the manager naturally says, "We do not keep this place as a hospital; we have done our share and given our quota," and many of these brave men, therefore, cannot get employment and are suffering very keenly to-day.
If you go into any village in the County of Durham on a day of festivity you will find men there with their breasts covered with medals, and the unfortunate thing is- that they are known in every colliery village and every colliery office where they have tried to find work. I have many a time heard these men swear and curse and say that they wished they had been more disabled than they were. Many a time, if they had lost a limb, they would have been guaranteed something to live 645 upon, instead of the miserable seven or eight shillings a week which they are now getting. With regard to the Minister's suggestion that someone in the British Legion had said that the ex-service men were not wanting to be free of stamps, I want to say that, while there may be men in the British Legion who would say that, if you were to take a ballot of the rank and file of the people in the County of Durham the decision would be quite the opposite. I plead in this case of ex-service men the very large number we have in Durham to-day. I was at a function on Saturday where there were hundreds of these men, and at least 15 per cent, of them were unemployed and were begging from day to day for work. Their brothers and fathers, many of them vigorous men, cannot possibly get work and will never qualify at all. Another thing that is against them is that many-colliery companies, the larger amalgamated companies, know all these men and will not give them an opportunity. All the little light jobs of gatekeepers and clerks are filled up. It is a very small concession on the part of the Government that we ask. When we ask them to fulfil the obligation of looking for work, for Heaven's sake give them an opportunity of doing away with the ten stamps.
§ Major PRICE
I should like to bring us back to the Bill. It is an Unemployment Insurance Bill. Hon. Members opposite, are seeking to turn it into an additional Pensions Act. The whole of their criticisms are directed to pensions. I have always been interested in the ex-service man movement. We are at one with them in thinking that there are many hardships under the pension scheme. In many cases their arguments would properly apply, but with regard to the present scheme the Ministry has treated them fairly and generously in reducing the stamps to 10. The fact that he is not able to get four weeks' employment owing to his disability is something that should be brought under the Pensions Act and not under an unemployment insurance scheme.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The hon. and gallant Gentleman says ex-service men do not want this insurance scheme to be specially arranged for the benefit of men who cannot get work on account of their disability.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
It was very like it. If times were normal and there were sufficient employment in the country the ex-service men would no doubt take their chance with everyone else, but the trouble is that the times are not normal, and in certain districts it is extraordinarily difficult for them to get work. I have had cases brought to my notice where, if they have a small pension, the employers say, "After all, you have something to fall back upon," and they give the job to someone else.
§ Lieut.- Commander KENWORTHY
Yes, because there are so many men outside the works gates waiting for the job. There are three men for every job in most of the big industrial centres. It is perfectly appalling. As for the British Legion, which I understand the Minister of Labour dragged in and made out that they do not want any special treatment, that is the first time I have heard that charge made against them. The Resolution read out has nothing to do with this case at all. Some of us have done work for the British Legion, and I also know something about their policy. I know something about the policy of the British Legion, and, while the present pensions are inadequate, they want, if possible, consideration to be given to ex-service men under this scheme. In cutting down the number of stamps from 15 to 10, according to the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North St. Pancras (Captain Fraser), which, I understand, is going to be accepted, you are giving special consideration to the ex-service men. Instead of 30 stamps, the figure was reduced in the Bill to 15, and now it is to be further reduced to 10. That is a substantial consideration, and we want just a little bit more, that is all.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 233; Noes, 130.649
|Division No. 416.]||AYES.||[11.7 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fraser, Captain Ian||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Albery, Irving James||Galbralth, J. F. W.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Apsley, Lord||Gates. Percy||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Perring, Sir William George|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple|
|Athoil, Duchess of||Goff, Sir Park||Peto. G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gower, Sir Robert||Pilcher, G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Grace, John||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Preston, William|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Radford, E. A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Berry, Sir George||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bethel, A.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y. Ch'ts'y)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hammersley, S. S.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hanbury, C.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Harland, A.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hartington, Marquess of||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Hasiam, Henry C.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Waller||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hilton, Cecil||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'thTd., Hexham)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Campbell, E. T.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Huntingfield, Lord||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cazaiet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'I)||Storry-Deans. R.|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sugden. Sir Wilfrid|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Kinioch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G.|
|Colfox. Major Wm. Phillips||Lamb, J. Q.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Cope, Major William||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Tinne. J. A.|
|Couper, J. B.||Long, Major Eric||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Courtauid, Major J. S.||Lumley, L. R.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||MacAndrew. Major Charles Glen||Waddington, R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Maclntyre, Ian||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||McLean, Major A.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovli)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||White. Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacRobert, Alexander M||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Williams, Com. C. (Devon. Torquay)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Malone, Major P. B.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wilson, Sir Charles H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Drewe, C.||Merriman. F. B.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Duckworth, John||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||withers, John James|
|Ellis, R. G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||wolmer, Viscount|
|England, Colonel A.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Finburgh S.||Oakley, T.||Captain Margesson and Major the|
|Forrest, W.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Adamson, w. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayday, Arthur||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, Walter||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Broad, F. A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromley, J.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stewart. J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G||Jones, J. J (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sullivan, J|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Clowes, S.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, G. R. (Woiverhampton, E.)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lansbury, George||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawson, John James||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lindley, F. w.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lunn, William||Varley, Frank B.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||Mitchell, E. Rossiyn (Paisley)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Duncan, C.||Montague. Frederick||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||Morris, R. H.||Watts-Morgan. LI. Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edge, Sir William||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Murnin, H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Palin, John Henry||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Davit (Swansea, E.)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Riley, Ben||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ritson, J.||Windsor. Walter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Groves, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'fifteen', in line 29, stand part of the Clause."650
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 224; Noes, 134.653
|Division No. 417.]||AYES||[11.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davies. Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Albery, Irving James||Burman, J. B.||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Allen. J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Butt, Sir Alfred||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Apsley, Lord||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Campbell, E. T.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Carver, Major W. H.||Drewe, C.|
|Athoil, Duchess of||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester. City)||Ellis, R. G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Barclav-Harvey, C. M.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Falie, Sir Bertram G.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Christie, J. A.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Barry, Sir George||Clarry, Reginald George||Fielden, E. B.|
|Bethel, A.||Clayton, G. C.||Finburgh, S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gates, Percy|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cope, Major William||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W||Couper, J. B.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Courtauid, Major J. S.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Grace, John|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||MacRobert, Alexander M||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Malone, Major P. B.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Duiwich)||Margesson, Captain D.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Hanbury, C.||Mason, Lieut-Col. Glyn K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Harland, A.||Merriman, F. B.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth. Kennington)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hasiam, Henry C.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootle)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Sugden. Sir Wilfrid|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Oakley, T.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hills, Major John Waller||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Tinne, J. A.|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Pennefather, Sir John||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Penny, Frederick George||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Waddington, R.|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||perring, sir William George||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||pilcher, G.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Preston, William||Wells, S. R.|
|Kidd. J. (Linlithgow)||Price, Major C. W. M.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Radford, E. A.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Raine, Sir Walter||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rice, Sir Frederick||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Long, Major Eric||Ruggles- Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Winter ton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lumley, L. R.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Withers, John James|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Salmon, Major I.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Fordham)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Macintyre, Ian||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|McLean, Major A.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Sandon, Lord||Mr.F. C. Thomson and Major|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavo D.||The Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gardner, J. P.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lawson, John James|
|Alexander, A, V. (Sheffield, Hllisbro')||Gibbins, Joseph||Lindley, F. W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Gillett, George M.||Lunn, William|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Gosling, Harry||Mackinder, W.|
|Baker, Walter||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Barnes, A.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Batey, Joseph||Greenall, T.||Montague, Frederick|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Morris, R. H|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Broad, F. A.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Murnin, H.|
|Bromfield, William||Groves, T.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Grundy, T. W.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Palln, John Henry|
|Buchanan, G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hardie, George D.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Clowes, S.||Harris, Percy A.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Ponsonby. Arthur|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hayday, Arthur||Potts, John S.|
|Compton, Joseph||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Riley, Bei|
|Cove, W. G.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Ritson, J.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hirst, G. H.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hore- Bellsha, Leslie||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Hudson J. H. (Huddersfield)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Dennlson, R.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Duckworth, John||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Duncan, C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Scurr, John|
|Dunnico, H.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Sllvertown)||Sexton, James|
|Edge, Sir William||Kennedy, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kenworthy. Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|England, Colonel A.||Kirkwood, D||Short, Altred (Wednesbury)|
|Forrest, W.||Lansbury, George||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Variey, Frank B.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Snell, Harry||Viant, S. P.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Stamford, T. W.||Wallhead, Richard C.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Stephen, Campbell||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sullivan. Joseph||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Windsor, Walter|
|Sutton, J. E.||Wellock, Wilfred||Wright, W.|
|Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbre. W.)||Welsh, J. C.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Westwood, J.|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Whiteley. W.||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Hayes.|
|Townend, A. E.||Wiggins, William Martin|
§ Amendment made:
§ In page 5, line 29, leave out the word "fifteen" and insert instead thereof the word "ten."—[Captain Fraser.]
§ Mr. T. SHAW
May I ask, before we proceed to the discussion on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," how long the Minister intends to go on to-night?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
That depends upon the conciseness of the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends opposite in dealing with the Clause.
Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. SHAW
I take it the Minister intends to have this Clause to-night and I desire to state without undue waste of time the reasons why we must vote against it. At the very beginning of the Clause there is a provision which, in our opinion, is unfair to the workmen and workwomen who are at present unemployed in this country and dangerous to the unemployment insurance scheme. In our estimate, assuming the conditions when the Bill comes into operation to be what they are to-day— and everything points to the fact that there will be no material difference— this Measure, as its first effect, will throw out of benefit some 200,000 people without finding employment for one of them. That is the first reason for our opposition to the Clause. The Minister has made many assumptions for the future which we consider to be quite unjustified by any developments that we can either see or imagine. Yet even the Minister estimates that if things improve to an extent which at present is highly problematical, some 56,000 people will be thrown out of benefit. On the Minister's own showing, assuming that a tremendous number of people at present unemployed will foe able to find 654 work, that will be the net result of the operation of the first part of the Clause. Obviously, we cannot consent to such a Clause going through without raising strenuous objection to its passage.
As I have already indicated, even in the most favourable circumstances the Bill, if it becomes law, will lead to a condition of affairs which no Member of this Committee can regard with equanimity. It is not enough for the Minister to say that if circumstances are not as favourable as he thinks they will be, he has time in which, so to speak, to turn round. If the Bill becomes an Act, there is no guarantee in it that the Minister will take any action to avoid what seem to us to be the inevitable results of its operation. Indeed, by a very unfortunate expression from the Government Front Bench, we have been led to believe that only a very serious state of things will cause o the Minister to take any such action. He said that if a cataclysm occurred, he would be able to move. I do not know what he calls a cataclysm, but to me his own assumption of 66,000 people for whom not a single job is found, and who will be out of benefit, is a cataclysm in itself. Apparently the Minister is quite prepared to face that eventuality, and that to him is the basis on which his Bill is built. He assumes 56,000 and quite calmly is prepared to see them disappear, and that will not be a cataclysm. As I say, the 56,000 is not, in our opinion, a reasonable estimate at all, and we prefer to accept the estimate of the Actuary based on conditions applying when, roughly speaking, they are what they are to-day, which will mean not 56,000, but some 200,000 people refused benefit if this Bill becomes law.
In the second place, I, personally, am still very uneasy as to whether or not the right of a man or a woman to refuse employment under certain circumstances 655 will be taken away. I am extremely doubtful, and even if that question alone were in the Clause, I should be very loth to vote for it. Then the Clause is very imperfect, because it does not accept a principle that one finds accepted in health insurance. When a person is ill, no arrears are counted against him for the time during which he is ill, but when a person is unemployed for a week that unemployment will be counted against him for unemployment pay, provided the unemployment lasts for a certain length of time. In other words, while a person is suffering unemployment and drawing benefit, every week for which the benefit is paid is a week added up to prevent the qualification of the 30 contributions, and because the Clause does not contain a provision covering that point, which is included in health insurance, we oppose it. It would have been quite easy for the Minister to have made an arrangement whereby, at any rate, weeks of unemployment should be counted neutral, even if contributions were not credited for them.
Then there is another reason for not voting for the Clause. We have discussed the Clause and its effect on that part of our working population which goes out either to one of our Colonies or to a foreign country to make a home there, but which, for various reasons, has to return to the mother country, and that other section of our working-class copulation, which goes out definitely in a temporary way to build up our trade abroad—cases such as Bulloughs, Dobson and Barlows, and Mather and Platts, who have their men over the whole of the civilised world, men who go out building machinery to develop the trade of this country and who, by virtue of the very fact that they must not only build the machines in the countries to which they go, but must run them until the people who will have to take charge of them are taught, must stay out of their own country for very considerable periods of time. When a man of that kind goes out of the country, he has no stamp qualification at all on his return, and if there be no work for him there is no unemployment benefit. That is another of the small details in which this Clause is very unsatisfactory.
To-morrow, I understand, there will be a certain Motion put down by the Gov- 656 ernment and an opportunity of dealing with the Bill in a rather more extensive way, and it is certainly not my intention either to trespass on the patience of the Committee or to use the forms of the House in an unfair way in order to make too long a speech on a matter which will be debated thoroughly to-morrow. Consequently, I am going to sum up my objections to the Clause— objections shared by all my Friends. First, that the very beginning of the Clause means in our opinion 200,000 people thrown out of benefit without a single job being provided by the Government; second, that there is no guarantee that the men w-ho formerly had the right to refuse work under improper conditions will have the same right under this Bill; third, that the weeks of unemployment under the Bill will count as arrears against a person who draws unemployment pay; and fourth, that no provision is made for that particular type of worker, who above all other industrial workers perhaps ought to be specially catered for, namely, the worker who goes out of his own country and helps to build up our trade in foreign countries. I do not intend to dilate on the question of the treatment the Clause gives to ex-service men. So far as we are concerned, we shall go into the Lobby to vote against this Clause, because we think it is disadvantageous; we think it is unfair to the workers; we think it is not economy to starve people. We believe that the best way is to keep our people efficient, and as this Clause will do everything we do not want it to do, and nothing we would like it to do, we have no option but to vote against it.
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
I have listened to the right hon. Member who has spoken, and I ask the Committee to vote for this Clause on its merits. We have, it is quite true, in this Clause once again followed the Blanesburgh recommendations, but I do not want to shelter myself behind that fact. The tests to be imposed and the conditions under which a man may refuse to accept work or may be required to accept work are proper conditions for inclusion in any permanent scheme. I need only refer to the three main points: Genuinely seeking work, the condition hallowed by the right hon. Gentleman's own example in setting it up. The reasons given by the Report for the 30-contribu- 657 tions rule still hold good; and it also is hallowed by the right hon. Gentleman, who set it up. The fear that it will throw 200,000 men out of benefit is based merely upon an inadequate conception of what was meant by the Actuary in his Report. Finally, the conditions under which a man may claim to remain in his own occupation or may be asked to seek for employment in another occupation are the precise conditions which were suggested, and I think quite rightly, by the representatives of the trade unions when giving evidence before the Blanesburgh Committee. For all these reasons, I hope the Committee will accept the Clause.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I rise to support the rejection of the Clause, because I do not believe it to be based on facts which would justify the Minister in regarding this as the basis of a permanent scheme. The main defect of the Clause, as of the Bill, is that it regards the problem too much from the departmental standpoint and does not take a sufficiently grave view of the position in the areas where unemployment has been chronic. The whole Debate has confirmed the view I formed as the result of my own personal investigations in my own Division, and other necessitous areas, that the effect upon local industries and the rates will be much more serious than is believed by the Minister. Personally I shall be only too glad if experience shows our fears to be unwarranted—only too glad —but I have heard nothing in the Debate, nor read anything produced by the Department, which would dispel the fears I entertained after examining the problem before the Bill was introduced. I feel bound to vote against the Clause because I do not think the time is ripe for a permanent scheme.
§ Mr. J. JONES
In listening to this Debate for two days I have been very much interested in the expert knowledge of the people who know nothing about the subject. I shall confine my remarks to the part of the Clause dealing with the transfer of workers from one industry to another. Yesterday I heard men talking of the position of skilled mechanics under this Bill if they were to be transferred to another district—all the time assuming that there was plenty of work for them somewhere else, but not one supporter of the Clause pointed out 658 where the work was. I represent a general labourers' union. Of course they are called unskilled workers. The only time I have seen unskilled workers is when I have walked behind the Speaker into the next Chamber. They do nothing —and they do it very well, and they get all sorts of incomes for doing it so successfully. I will take the case of my particular class, the unskilled worker— so called. Supposing a workman is told there is a job going at making a new road or a new sewer or a tube railway, and that if he refuses to accept it he must sacrifice his unemployment benefit. When he gets to the place he finds there plenty of other men, who have been accustomed to that kind of work, who all their lives have lived that kind of life. Is this only an excuse to get him off the unemployed register? A married man with a family may be asked to go into a new district to take a so-called unskilled workers' job. Has he got to keep two homes, under threat of being disqualified? From the practical point of view it means you are making that man become an industrial conscript.
What has become of the unskilled labourer? Where has he to go? To the workhouse! Figures cannot lie, but hon. Members opposite can. [An HON. MEMBER: "Withdraw!"] I will withdraw that remark, and I will say instead that they can imagine things. The hon. Member who interrupted me has no doubt spent more money this evening on his personal appetite than he is willing to allow to an unemployed workman to keep him for a whole week when he goes to a transfer job. [HON. MEMBERS: "No! "] Hon. Members opposite know that what I have said is quite true, and we are not going to stand this kind of thing. You may pass this Clause by using your artificial majority, but the economic fact stands out that, if you cannot find men work, you have no right to drive them further down into poverty and destitution. We are not backing up the work-shy. Hon. Members opposite have more of that class among them than we have. We object to a policy of industrial conscription which forces men willy-nilly to accept conditions which are opposed to the principles for which we stand.
In the union with which I am connected we have over 200 different classes of workers, and their rates of wages 659 vary according to the kind of occupation which they follow. Some of them get 3d. or 4d. per hour more than the others. What is going to happen in these cases? I understand that the manager of an Employment Exchange may say to a man or woman getting 2d. or 3d. per hour more than the others: "Here is a job for you." That man or woman may reply: "Yes, but the wages are not so much as I have been receiving; I know nothing about the other trade, and I refuse to accept it." By making that excuse the man or woman in this case is wiped off the map, although there are hundreds of men and women who are well acquainted with that particular trade who cannot get a job. Instead of introducing these Amendments, the Minister ought to find work for these people, and, if he is unable to do so, then he should at least recognise the right of these men and women to receive the benefits for which they have paid. This Bill is a general ramp to bring down wages. It is directed against the unskilled workers, and it is intended to bring about a general reduction in wages. In face of all this, right hon. Gentlemen opposite are going about the country talking about peace in industry, although they are well aware that under these conditions no peace is possible. Any person who talks about a five years' truce in industry with a Bill of this kind before us deserves five years' penal servitude. I know what it will mean, and I know how it will work out. I kept quiet during the whole of yesterday's Debate, because I could not "catch the Chairman's eye." I might have caught his boot. We are opposing this Clause because it contains all the bias of the existing position, and practically says to the worker: "Down, down, down thou must go." Personally, I would prefer to starve out of work than to starve in work. The operation of this Clause will be so effective in the direction of industrial conscription that it will be far worse for the workers who have work to do than those who are out of work.
I spent part of my time in the workhouse before I was a guardian, and some of my time in gaol—not for anything I am ashamed of, and I would do the same again if I were called upon. A clever rogue can always gel round all your 660 Regulations. The man who knows the ropes can get through every mesh. The only thing that this will do will be to make it almost impossible for the honest workman to get a chance. He has to go before a court of referees. I know something about them, because I have had to go before them on behalf of members of my own union. They are nice gentlemen while you are talking to them, but, when you get their decision, you believe that the court has been held in Hell and the Devil has been the presiding magistrate. The facts which you have placed before them of the workmen's position seem to have been ignored.
We are asked to pass this Clause which contemplates within its borders practically every infamy that some of our opponents have been so anxious to establish. I therefore want to oppose the Clause on behalf of the bottom dog in industry. It is not a question of a change over from one section of work to another. This Clause is deliberately intended to put one section up against another and to see how a man can be ruled out and not how he can be brought in. There is only one test of employment. If you have employment to give under reasonable conditions, and if men are not prepared to accept it, then they ought not to be allowed to receive benefit. That is the only thing. But I know what is going to happen. Transferences of men from one industry to another where there is already congestion and an over-excess of employable people are going to take place. That is going to be the policy. It will give an excuse to managers of Exchanges and other people to say: "This man refused reasonable employment." The whole thing is a farce and a fraud. That is the reason I said the other night that the Debate was largely a sham, and this Clause is the greatest sham of all.
This Bill will not be effective in dealing with the problem of unemployment. For three years now they have had their chance to put their house in order. Where are we now?
All we can get is this, which is the thin edge of the wedge of industrial conscription and an attempt to drive the workers lower and lower down in the social scale, and the Government are responsible for that. Their days are numbered, and they have done the worst they could do. We are there- 661 fore fighting right up to the very last minute against the proposals contained in the Clause, because this is the most vicious Clause in any Bill that I ever had the opportunity of discussing in this House. Therefore, I say that with all the smiles of hon. Gentlemen opposite. They know all about juvenile unemployment. They are the most juvenile statesmen I have ever listened to. We ought to have a training school for the Minister of Labour. When they have learned their job and know the industrial workers' point of view, then will be time for them to lecture us. They cannot tell us anything that we do not know. What they know would fill a book, and what they do not know would fill a library. We have to sit and listen to it all, as though we knew nothing—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We cannot, on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," discuss something for which the Minister is not responsible.
§ Mr. JONES
The Minister is responsible for it, if he is responsible for anything; it is his baby, not ours. This is the worst point in a contemptible Clause. The Minister does not understand the situation. I do not care whether the figure is 56,000 or 200,000—it does not matter; if only one man or woman is victimised as a consequence of this Clause, it stands condemned in the eyes of every workman in the country who understands this industrial situation. Therefore, I say we ought to go unanimously into the Lobby in opposition to a Clause of this character, which is an affront and an insult to the general body of workers of the country.
§ Mr. HANNON
I am not going to follow the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) in his disquisition on the merits of the Clause, but I should like to call attention, on this Motion, to a remarkable statement made during the Debate in Committee on the Clause, by the hon. Member for the Hillsborough Division of Sheffield (Mr. A. V. Alexander). He said the other night, during the Debate, that officers of Employment Exchanges had been employing their opportunities, within his own knowledge, to induce persons to enter a trap—to answer advertisements offering possibilities of employment in certain places—in order to use that as an argument against 662 them and to prevent them from receiving unemployment benefit. I regard that as an extraordinarily serious attack upon the integrity and capacity and honesty of the officers of the Ministry of Labour through out the country. My experience of the officers of the Ministry of Labour—
§ Mr. HANNON
Certainly, Sir; it was made on an Amendment moved to this Clause by the hon. Member for Hillsborough. I do not think he will deny that he did make a very extraordinary statement with regard to the action of officers of Employment Exchanges in relation to providing opportunities of employment for certain persons, namely, domestic servants. My experience is that the officers of the Exchanges with which I am acquainted have discharged their duties, in the face of great difficulties, in the most admirable way in the interests of the people with whom they had to deal. In Birmingham and the Midlands, the officers of Employment Exchanges have never lost an opportunity of sympathetically and kindly and helpfully doing everything they could to provide opportunities of employment for the people who made application to them. I have never found—[Interruption]—a single instance in which an officer of an Employment Exchange has used his official position otherwise than to help the people who appealed to him, to give them the possibility and opportunity of getting employment.
I only intervene in the Debate now to say one word on behalf of a body of public servants who throughout this country have, in season and out of season, in the face of great difficulties, done their duty in the most exemplary way in the service of the State; and I think it most unfair on the part of my hon. Friend, for whom I have the greatest respect in this House, that he should bring forward an accusation, against the officers of Employment Exchanges, of trying to use their official position to prevent people from having adequate opportunities of getting employment, and to create, as he pointed out, a trap to prevent them from having the advantage of unemployment insurance benefit. In Birmingham and the Midlands the officers 663 of Employment Exchanges have done everything in their power, sympathetically, kindly and helpfully—[Interruption]—I am standing up to try and defend an important branch of the Civil Service of this country, which was attacked a few nights ago in a Debate in this House. Civil Servants cannot defend themselves in this House. Surely I am entitled to say that officers of the Employment Exchanges have discharged their duties with exemplary capacity. I have appealed to the Employment Exchanges in Birmingham in hundreds of cases during the past five or six years on behalf of persons or groups of people who wanted employment, and I have always received the most helpful assistance. It is most unfair to make attacks of this kind.
§ Mr. HANNON
I say no member of the Civil Service can have been responsible for action of the kind the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) mentioned.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
There is nothing new in the charge I made. If the hon. Member read the second Report of the Blanesburgh Committee he would see that in the Labour party's evidence they had grounds for making a widespread charge. I will read paragraph 61:It should also be laid down quite clearly that only bona fide offers of employment shall be made by the Exchanges. Many complaints have reached us that Exchanges have attempted to tempt workers by offering work that does not really exist. This procedure is cruel in the extreme and should be strictly prohibited.No evidence was produced to the contrary, that offers of work of that character had not been made to the detriment of insured persons. With regard to the particular case in Sheffield, I informed the Committee, and I inform it again, that we try to do our job in representing our people and we investigated hundreds of cases in our constituencies. We do not want to stand for the person who is not a bona fide 664 person genuinely seeking employment. We find that the great majority of the cases we have had brought to our knowledge are genuine cases and the facts are vouched for by our own local secretary of numbers of girls being offered situations at Skegness. We find as the result of our testing of the cases that, while some refused, some accepted, but of those who accepted a large number have not found jobs. Those who say they cannot accept are then turned down from benefit. I say that is offering work that does not exist.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I have never made a charge against the bona fides of civil servants carrying out their instructions. If the Ministry of Labour instructs persons to take a certain line of action their officers must carry it out. In our evidence before the Blanesburgh Commission we opposed that policy and that is why I made that statement.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
I will, with your permission, Captain FitzRoy, give the hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) one specific case which has come within my own knowledge. A joiner in the faraway island of Lewis, in Stornaway, wanted a man, or is alleged to have wanted a man. This notice was sent to Employment Exchanges miles away—a day and a-half's journey away. At the Employment Exchange in Dundee nine separate unemployed joiners are offered this job. The first man who is offered it —a married man—accepts the job. He never hears any more about it. I question if there is a job there. The other fellows refuse the job. It is too far away. It means either breaking up their home or keeping two homes going and they cannot take the job. They are then cut off from unemployment benefit. The first man accepts the job, but hears nothing more about it and cannot discover any more about it, and the other men refuse the job. There is one specific case for the hon. Gentleman.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 182; Noes, 97.667
|Division No. 418]||AYES.||[12.8 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Preston, William|
|Albery, Irving James||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Radford, E. A.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Hammersley, S. S.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hanbury, C.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'yl|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Harland, A.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bethel, A.||Hartington, Marquess of||Salmon. Major I.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Blundell. F. N.||Haslam, Henry C.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Senders, Sir Robert A.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxford, Henley)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sandon, Lord|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Henn. Sir Sydney H.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavs D.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Herbert. Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hills, Major John Waller||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Hilton, Cecil||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon-|
|Burman, J. B.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St.Marylebone)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.j|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Holt, Captain H. P.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cayzer. Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Steel Major Samuel Strang|
|Cazalet, Captain victor A.||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Christie, J. A.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kidd. J. (Linlithgow)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Clayton, G. C.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||Lamb, J. Q.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Loder, J. de V.||Templeton, W. p.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Long, Major Eric||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cope, Major William||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Couper, J. B||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Maclntyre, Ian||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||McLean, Major A.||Tltchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Macmillan. Captain H.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Curzon, Captain viscount||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Margesson, Captain D.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Marriott. Sir J. A. R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Ellis, R. G.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Merriman, F. B.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wells, S. R.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Finburgh, S.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Oakley, T.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||O'Connor, T. J (Bedford, Luton)||Wood. E.(Chest'r. Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Gates, Percy||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Perry, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Goff, Sir Park||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Perring, Sir William George|
|Grace, John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES —|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pilcher, G.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Day, Colonel Harry||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Duckworth, John||Hardie, George D.|
|Barnes, A.||Duncan, C.||Harris, Percy A.|
|Batey. Joseph||Dunnico, H.||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Edge, Sir William||Hayday, Arthur|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||England, Colonel A.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Broad, F. A.||Gardner, J. P.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Bromfield, William||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gibbins, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Gillett, George M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Clowes. S.||Greenail, T.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Compton, Joseph||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Grundy, T. W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Potts, John S.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Riley, Ben||Welsh, J. C.|
|Kennedy, T.||Ritson, J.||Westwood, J.|
|Kirk wood, D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Lansbury, George||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Whiteley, W.|
|Lawson, John James||Scurr, John||Wilkinson. Ellen C.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Lunn, William||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Mackinder, W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Murnin, H.||Sullivan, Joseph||Windsor, Walter|
|Naylor, T. E.||Thurtle, Ernest||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Palin, John Henry||Townend, A. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —|
|Paling, W.||Variey, Frank B.||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Charles Edwards|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."— [ Commander Eyres Monsell.]
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
§ The remaining Government Orders were read, and postponed.668
§ It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock upon Wednesday evening, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the. Order of the House of 8th November.
§ Adjourned at Sixteen Minutes after Twelve o'Clock.