Orders of the Day — Unemployment Insurance [Money].

– in the House of Commons on 30th March 1922.

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Considered in Committee.

[Sir EDWIN CORNWALL in the Chair.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session relating to insurance against unemployment, it is expedient—

  1. (1) to authorise the payment, out of moneys provided by Parliament, in respect of the period between the seventh day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-two and the end of the deficiency period, of an increased contribution towards unemployment benefit, and any other payment to be made out of the Unemployment Fund, not exceeding the amount determined by the Treasury to be approximately equivalent to the sum which would be produced by weekly contributions paid in respect of insured persons at the rate of threepence in the case of men and twopence in the case of women, boys, and girls; and
  2. (2) to authorise the Treasury to make, for the purpose of discharging the liabilities of the unemployment fund in Great Britain under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 and 1921, as amended by the said Act, advances out of the Consolidated Fund, or the growing produce thereof, not exceeding at any time thirty million pounds, and to borrow money for such advances by the issue of such securities as the Treasury think proper, the principal of and interest on any such securities to be charged on and payable out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

I wish to raise a point or two upon this Money Resolution, because I feel that there is considerable misunderstanding both inside and outside the House as to the financial obligations that the State is undertaking, and as to the restrictions that the passage of this Resolution may place upon Members when the Bill is in Committee upstairs in moving Amendments to the Bill dealing with the payments. In view of some of the statements made yesterday upon the general question of the payment of what was then termed "doles," and in view of the assumption that in the main the State is the general paymaster and supplier of the funds, overlooking the money that comes from the joint contributions, it is just as well to remind the Committee that there stood to the credit of the fund a sum of £20,000,000 or thereabouts in 1920 when the Amending Act, embracing a further 8,000,000 workers, came into 1581 Unemployment Insurance operation. We heard from the Minister of Labour during the discussion that in the first three months of the operation of the 1920 Act there was expended in unemployment benefit about £15,000,000, and that in the succeeding 12 months, including, I imagine, the period up to 5th April this year, the expenditure was £62,000,000. The Money Resolution now before us is intended to provide the Treasury's quota for the further period ending June, 1923, being the period covered by the Bill before the House. The estimated expenditure until June, 1923, is a further sum of £60,000,000. It is just as well to remember, therefore, that out of this total which is anticipated to be spent from November, 1920, to June, 1923, the State will only have contributed £30,500,000 towards the sum total of £137,000,000, £106,500,000 being the contribution expected from employers and from workmen. I should like, therefore, to dispel that stupid egotistical notion that this is a form of out-relief, that you would not have to pay this if you would only permit men to be unemployed without income in order that they might compete to pull down the standard of wages with employés who happen to be in work. Such a ludicrous, idiotic or cruel attitude at a time like this I should really never have credited to the hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. Hopkinson).

In view of the fact that you take £106,500,000 from two of the partners to this great effort to pay an amount which will enable the unemployed in the desert of adversity to tide over the journey, and your contribution is only £30,500,000, it appears to me that there is not very much to shout about, and there is not much credit to the State itself for its smallness of contribution. It is a third party interest. It is more than a third party interest, for indeed it is the determining authority as to the conditions under which the joint contributions shall be paid out. The three parties are never called together as to what amount the fund will stand paying out. They are never called together to determine the conditions under which it shall be paid out. Conditions vary and the State is the sole arbiter. They determine and decide all the conditions, and yet the other contributors have to pay by far the larger amount of money. I do not want us to be in the same position we were in on the last occasion. We were then informed that the mere fact that the Money Resolution had passed through this House precluded us from amending any part of the Bill so as to vary the periods for which payment could be made or the amounts of such payments, or the share in contribution that the State should make towards the whole. I imagine this Resolution will tie our hands to that extent. I want to say that the State should pay a third share. I appreciate the fact that under the existing Act their share is a fifth. They now propose to increase it to a fourth.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

I think, under the exceptional circumstances, it should not be less than a third. Why not? Even if my hon. Friend suggests that they should pay the whole lot, I again say why not? Who stands to benefit more than the State? [Interruption.] My hon. Friend the Member for Mossley says no one stands to benefit. No one would stand to benefit if ever he had his way. It would not be the crumbs from the table. Even those would be swept up and cleared out of the way. He spoke yesterday of sloppy sentimentalism. If in his makeup he has no room for any human feeling, it seems to me that he is something more than sloppy, and there are certain places where sloppy people are taken care of. I should like that point made clear by the Labour Minister, or perhaps the Deputy-Chairman would rule as to whether the passage of this Money Resolution will preclude us in Committee from varying the periods or the amount of payment to be made or the share of the State as the joint contributor to the Fund. If it does, I do not know whether I should be in order in moving an Amendment to make it clear that the contribution of the State, as the third partner, should be one-third, if there is going to be anything like equality of sacrifice in dealing with what is, after all, accepted by all men who think clearly as quite right and Justifiable, but one can quite appreciate how difficult it is for those who have ceased thinking in a very healthy manner to understand the State's obligations in these matters I never expect anything short of a good sharp chisel would penetrate or let light into the hon. Member's mind. Certainly my tongue is not keen enough. I never expect him to acknowledge that anyone in this House can make a point except himself. He makes them in a very humorous strain. At Christmas there are such characters as clown and pantaloon, who are not altogether dissociated from the ludicrous attitude taken up by the hon. Member upon these matters. There are the three periods of five weeks. I cannot help thinking that the new Bill is worse than the existing Act in some respects. Under existing arrangements there are 16 weeks and a possible appeal for a further six, making a total of 22 weeks. It is true there would be a break from 5th April until June or July were it not for this provision. Then they would come in July for their further 16, plus a further six.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

The emergency period under the existing legislation is at an end. All I did in the existing Act was to provide 25 weeks qualification so that they could start off after four weeks from that time, and I hope then to get back to a permanent state of affairs.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Then we understand that from. July the permanent state of affairs would have been 16 weeks with a possible further extension.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

Four only, if we had not got this Bill.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Therefore the present Bill, in consequence of the continued state of unemployment, now proposes to continue, as from 22 weeks, periods of 15 weeks, covering 30, so that from 17th April those successful in re-establishing their old claims or establishing new claims will have five weeks of benefit. There are then to be five weeks without any benefit at all. Notwithstanding the fact that they have already established a claim for the first five weeks, unless they have the 20 stamps to their credit they must have their case re-examined for the second five weeks—that is those who may have come on the fund in November, 1920, or at a subsequent period under the special arrangement then made and who could not qualify according to the number of stamps. They will have another five weeks without anything. They must again have their case reviewed for the third five weeks, and so for a period of 30 weeks. And hon. Members sometimes talk as though this is a payment of 15s. per week all the year round. I heard that yesterday. They say "There is 15s. per week and there is 5s. for the wife." As a matter of fact it works out at 7s. 6d. per week for 30 weeks for those who have been successful in surviving two extra inquiries as to their right to benefit.

The Minister is providing for a possible average of one million and a half of unemployed until July, 1923. That shows a very small reduction in the unemployed market, and in view of the fact that many of these applicants, and those already on the register, have had a two months' period of wait without anything prior to last November, that they have never received more than £1 a week at the highest point of the previous Act of Parliament as individuals, throughout that long period of over 12 months—and there are some who have been continuously unemployed for well over 12 months—the position has been gradually getting worse and their physical standard becoming worse as the time goes on, and the avenue for sustenance becoming narrower and more cramped and confined, I suggest that the State, under these special circumstances, ought to raise their quota from one-fourth to one-third. That would enable those who will be cut off after their first or second five weeks to have some prolonged period of benefit. It may be said the five weeks' wait will mostly come in the summertime, but people are as hungry in summer as they are in winter.

It may be said that inclement weather and liability to physical breakdown or illness brought about by a lower standard of physique is less worthy of consideration in summer than in winter. I hope that that is not the outstanding reason for their not having equal payment during the summer and winter months. One can only imagine that this is one of those psychological freaks, one of the points of view, which those in charge too often apply falsely to a situation, and that is that in winter time to leave people without any resource, to leave them cold to nurse their bitterness, means greater likelihood of open revolt than would be expected in the summer time. I can assure the House that that is not always a truism, because after going through a long period without sustenance, when winter falls upon them they are in a condition less able to rebut any of the illnesses that may overtake them, and you have the aggravation increased. It is not as though in the winter time you expect to be "out of the wood." On the estimate of the Minister of Labour, up to July, 1923, there will be one and a half million on the unemployment funds of the country. If you go five weeks through the desert and then when the oasis is reached you are told "you cannot have your fill; you can have a little, but you must go a further stage on," it is not like a message of hope, it is not rendering true help to the people who are called upon to bear a burden that becomes increasingly beyond their power to bear. Naturally they will fall by the way.

Would I be in order in moving such an Amendment as would make the State contribution one-third of the total instead of one-fourth? There is one point that in justice to the Labour Ministry should be emphasised. I confess that I am not quite clear as to the actual position. I would like to know whether any part of the expense of Employment Exchange administration is defrayed from the fund created by the general contributions or whether the total amount of Employment Exchange administration and of all the departments incidental to the registering and checking and the paying out of benefits is borne by the State without any part of it being attached to the general contributions to the unemployment fund. If the State bears the whole cost that certainly ought to stand to its credit. If it attacks the funds and draws from them any part for administration expenses, that is merely aggravating the unfairness of the partnership. You have three partners and two are the chief payers. The third partner sets down the conditions under which the bulk of the contributions shall be paid. It would be wise if the Labour Minister called together some kind of conference representative of those interested, the contributors', the employers' and the workmen's side, and also the State side, with a view of seeing whether from the present chaotic condition of things some suggestion could emerge that would enable the Ministry, the Exchanges and the recipients of this benefit to meet many of the difficulties that arise.

I realise that some of this money will go to provide for the continued payment for the excess period in the case of those who have established their right by the 20 stamps on their cards. I wish to clear away one misapprehension. It is said that the youth, the single person, may possibly be swept aside on these extension periods. That can apply only where the condition as to 20 stamps has not been fulfilled, because any person, young or old, who has established a right behaving the 20 stamps on his card, will not have his ease brought up for review at any of these subsequent periods. He will have established his right, and that will carry him through. That will do away with one of the difficulties in the old Act, which provided that all cases had to be reviewed separately. I appeal to the Minister to initiate some machinery which, in the case of those whose claims have to be reviewed after these periods, will ensure greater rapidity of review than is shown now. The Minister of Labour rightly paid a tribute to those voluntary committees of tradesmen, workpeople, and others, which have had an enormous task thrust upon them in areas where nearly half the male adult population have had their cases reviewed. I suggest that some machinery should be set up that will deal with such cases with greater expedition. Suppose a man has established his right for the first number of weeks. To leave him for a month or six weeks in a state of uncertainty as to whether his claim is allowed for an extended period, he meanwhile having no income at all, is bound to add to his privations and anxieties. Each day he tramps home after seeking work, and has to see his wife and children in want, and yet is unable to satisfy any of their material needs. If you keep a man in suspense for four, five, or six weeks before you either admit or refuse his right to benefit for an extended period, you are acting cruelly and harshly. That ought to be avoided. No doubt there will be ample opportunity in Committee to deal with that larger question.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

I have been asked whether it would be in order to move an Amendment which would increase the charge. It is a very old, in fact, one of the oldest traditions of this House, that a private Member cannot move an Amendment or a Motion which would increase the charge beyond the amount in the Motion put forward by a Minister of the Crown. But in this ease the Resolution setting up this Committee, and the Motion that is put down by the Minister of the Crown, with the King's Assent signified, are rather wide, and, so far as I can read the Resolution, there is no limitation of the amount of money that might be moved in this Committee on this Resolution. It is often thought by Members of the Committee that the words of a Motion on the Paper are the governing words, but the words which govern this Committee are the words setting up this Committee, and the words setting up the Committee are: The Committee to consider of authorising the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of an increased contribution towards the unemployment benefit. There is no limitation there. The hon. Member for Govan (Mr. N. Maclean) has given me notice of an Amendment which would increase the charge. It is not within my power to move it out of order, because of the setting-up Resolution. When the Bill goes into Committee the Resolution that governs that Committee is the Resolution we pass, but the Resolution that governs us is the Resolution of the House setting up this Committee, and in it I see no limitation.

Photo of Mr Thomas Warner Mr Thomas Warner , Lichfield

May I ask for a further ruling. It seems quite clear that we can increase the charge, but that when it comes to the Bill there will be no possibility of increasing the charge that stands in the Bill as introduced by the Government. Therefore, though this Committee may have passed an increase, either the Bill would be made null and void or the Resolution passed in this Committee would be null and void.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The Chairman of the Committee on the Bill would be governed by the Resolution passed by this Committee.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

There is only one point relevant to this discussion of which I would wish to remind the Committee. Before doing that I wish to pay a tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) for a display of wit and swordmanship that I have never seen equalled in this House. The only trouble is that his delicate rapier thrusts fail entirely to penetrate that colossal stupidity which I am afraid he regards as my chief quality, and, therefore, his efforts are wasted upon me. The hon. Member spoke repeatedly of the contributions of the State in respect of this Resolution. He said repeatedly that there are three partners in this matter, the employer, the workman and the State, and he implied that the third partner in the concern was not doing its proper duty in the matter, that it was ungenerous and ought to contribute a very much larger sum to the common fund. Of all the dangerous errors which circulate on the Labour benches the greatest and the most dangerous is the idea that the State is in possession of money which it can pay out whenever it is required to do so. As a matter of fact the State, in the very nature of things, has not a penny and never could have a penny under any possible conditions. When you speak of the State you simply mean in reality the two other partners in the concern, the employer and the employed. That being so, every penny of what is called State contribution is simply an additional load upon the workers and employers in the industries concerned.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

We know all about that. Give us something new.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Unfortunately the hon. Gentleman's colleague (Mr. Hayday) does not know. Therefore I feel I am justified in endeavouring, as far as lies in my stupid power, to teach him one of the elementary principles.

Photo of Mr William Graham Mr William Graham , Edinburgh Central

The ruling which you have just given, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, makes it very much easier for some of us to put one or two points regarding this Money Resolution, which, probably, otherwise we would have hesitated to do, because of the idea that we were not at liberty to suggest anything that meant an increase in the charge. The broad position under this Resolution, as I understand it, is that we are making provision for fifteen months ahead, and that, according to the estimate at 1st July, 1923, the indebtedness of this fund will be, approximately, £27,000,000, on the basis that for more than a year ahead we are to have 1,500,000 people unemployed. I do hope that that is a pessimistic forecast, and that, in point of fact, things will be very much better in this country than the basis on which the Minister of Labour has proceeded. The consideration which I want to urge divides itself into two points. First of all, if things are actually better than was suggested by the Minister of Labour, I think provision should be made in the Bill for giving rather better treatment in those blank periods between the allowances which are not covered at the present time and during which the applicants for assistance will require to have recourse to some other agency, Poor Law or whatever it may be, in the State. In the second place, may I make a suggestion regarding those blank periods in the time between April and October next and in the period beyond. As I understand the proposal of the Minister of Labour it amounts to this, that between April and October next, a period of, approximately, 30 weeks, there will be in all 15 weeks of allowances, divided into three periods of five weeks each, and it is indicated that in the periods which are not covered by the allowances applicants will have, to rely on their own resources or fall back on the Poor Law or any other kind of assistance they can get. Might I make this suggestion, that in the period to which we are now advancing, conditions, as regards the Poor Law, are bound to be substantially different from anything we have hitherto experienced, for this reason, that owing to the very grave depression of the past year or 18 months the resources of an enormous number of people have become exhausted, and, at the same time, the power of people who have been in employment or partial employment to assist those less fortunate than themselves has been undermined. Therefore, there is not the slightest doubt there will be an inevitably greater tendency to rely on the Poor Law in the time to which we are now advancing.

In the course of the debate yesterday an hon. Member on this side of the House indicated that it might be more economical in some respects to rely on Poor Law assistance than to make further provision under this Bill. Might I on that head make this suggestion, that that probably would have been true if the old conditions of Poor Law assistance had obtained. But as we know perfectly well it has been necessary to extend the scope of the Poor Law because of this crisis. If I may take the case of Scotland as an illustration of a country in which a very extreme form of Poor Law is applied, we will see exactly what I mean on this point. In Scotland formerly no assistance was given where the applicant was able-bodied, although there was always provision that in times of national stress or emergency that rule might be waived and a certain amount of relief to able-bodied given. At the present time in practice it has become necessary to relieve in many large areas all and sundry, and in the time to which we are shortly passing, and more particularly in those blank periods under this Bill, it will be necessary for the Poor Law authorities practically to disregard their old rules regarding Poor Law relief and give such assistance as they can to those who are unemployed and to the very large numbers dependent upon them. If that is true, it becomes perfectly plain that we are going in the financial proposals of this Bill to perpetrate a very serious injustice, as in my judgment there will be no substantial difference between what we are going to pay under this Measure and what the Poor Law authorities will be compelled to pay. But there will be a very great difference indeed in the manner in which that burden is imposed upon the ratepayers of this country.

Within recent times in Scotland, and England too, attention has been drawn to the manner in which this grave financial burden has been imposed on the crowded areas for relief of unemployment, falling particularly on those districts in which distress is most acute. If the ordinary rules in the tracing of liability could be followed, or the normal procedure of the Poor Law were in force, it might be possible to attain some kind of fair distribution, but in existing circumstances everybody knows relief must be given on the basis of necessity and a great deal of inquiry must be postponed. Already these local authorities have drawn attention to the enormous burdens which they are carrying and which, I think, they are going to carry to an even greater extent, particularly as regards those periods which, under this Bill, will find no provision made for unemployed people at all. My contention is this, that if we are bound to give assistance it would be far better business for the State to give that assistance under this Bill, and try and do something to fill up these blank periods during which, beyond the shadow of a doubt, these people must have recourse to the Poor Law, which will introduce two sets of administration for the one problem and at the same time bring within the scope of Poor Law relief a very large number of people who would never otherwise, if my plan were adopted, come within its compass at all.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I hope the Minister will take note of the remarks of the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham). Let me take, as an illustration of the point he made, the rates imposed upon the Rhondda Urban District Council. In the Rhondda thousands of miners are idle, and in Monmouthshire as well, whereas in Cardiff unemployment is not so great. The rates imposed by the guardians were practically 50 per cent. higher in the Rhondda and in Monmouthshire than in Cardiff. We have two millionaires from Cardiff in this House, and there were about five millionaires who made about five millions in Cardiff during the War. I think the point put forward by the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh is this, that this ought to be a national responsibility and not a local responsibility. I am very pleased that in Committee upstairs, as I understand it, we shall be able now to move Amendments in so far as the money is claimed by the Minister of Labour

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

All I said was that in this Committee I, as Chairman, was bound by the setting-up Resolution. I was careful not to give any ruling as to what should happen in another Committee; that would be outside my province altogether.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I understand by the Memorandum that the amount the Government will be borrowing is £5,800,000.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

No, that is the direct Treasury charge.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I do not consider that is sufficient.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

Then there is borrowing power at the end of the Clause.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I think that in order to meet the exigencies and the claims of those who are unemployed this is not sufficient. There are people who have been idle ever since the slump took place—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

We are not entitled at this stage to enter into a general discussion on the question of unemployment. We are now only considering the financial aspect, and I cannot allow another discussion such as we had yesterday on the Second Reading.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

The point I was going to bring out was that the Treasury is only going to borrow £5,800,000.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

No, that is the direct charge in addition.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

My point is that that is not sufficient. There ought to be a far larger sum. Some Ministers in other Departments can obtain money from the Cabinet for Russian refugees for instance. I, myself, as a taxpayer, have to contribute towards these Russian refugees.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member also contributes as a taxpayer to the Air Force and the Army, but he cannot bring those subjects into the discussion on a Financial Resolution on unemployment.

5.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I wanted to show that the Government are contributing 15s. a week per man, 5s. for the wife, and 1s. a week per child, whereas, in other directions, so far as these people (the Russian refugees) are concerned, they are contributing £1 1s. 7d. to the man, £1 1s. 7d. to the wife, and to each child 14s. 3½d., making a total of about £4 6s. 1½d. for someone who has never fought for this country, and £1 a week and a shilling per child to someone who has sacrificed everything so far as this country is concerned, and is now walking the streets. I think that our own unemployed ex-service men should be treated better by us than these Russian refugees.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

I cannot allow this discussion.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

The Resolution gives the Committee an opportunity of reviewing the financial side of the Government insurance scheme. A short time ago the Insurance Acts had a surplus of £22,000,000. That surplus has disappeared. The Minister has already borrowed £14,500,000, and is taking power under the present Bill to increase his borrowing powers from £14,500,000 to £30,000,000—

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

To increase his borrowing powers from £20,000,000 to £30,000,000. These large sums which the Government are borrowing for this purpose, as I have mentioned before, should not be borrowed. They should come from the annual revenue of the State. Certain Government organs often talk about the Poplar Guardians and their financial methods, but I think the talk might be fairly levelled against the Government. References have been made to the State making an increased provision for unemployment insurance, and the case has been put that for a certain five weeks during a given period the State will make a contribution to men and women who are out of work. During the next five weeks the unfortunate individuals who are out of work will pass to the guardians. The State, when the unemployed are receiving grants from that source, will not find any money for that purpose, and I think that, if the State can find further sums of money for this purpose, they will be well advised to consider the grave inequality which exists to-day as to unemployment varying in a marked degree in various parts of the country. The case was well put this afternoon by the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham), that through the piecemeal method of dealing with this situation grave inequalities are existing to-day. We have, times without number, pressed Ministers of the Crown on this point, and I hope, before the Debate closes on this Committee stage, that the Minister of Labour will give some assurance that, even if he cannot on this occasion announce the policy of the Government to deal with these grave inequalities, some statement will be made at an early date, so that the hardship and distress may be swept away. The War revealed that the people of this country were prepared to accept great sacrifices if those sacrifices were spread evenly over the community. Great hardships are likely during the present 12 months because of unemployment, and that burden would be more loyally shared if there was an assurance that district by-district and trade by trade were evenly divided.

Photo of Sir William Pearce Sir William Pearce , Stepney Limehouse

Hon. Members on the Labour benches have raised a very important matter. I have taken an optimistic view of the situation myself, and, except for these present disturbances in the labour world, I think we should have got down to a better state of affairs. Still, we have to consider the situation as the Labour Minister gave it to us, which is, that we have a million and a half unemployed and only 15 good weeks' insurance benefits out of 30. The insurance only covers 15 weeks. This, perhaps, is the most important consideration which this House has to deal with at the present moment. I am glad that the suggestion is made that, if there is to be a further contribution, it should be made from the Government. We often lose sight of the contributions paid by industry and labour. This is an enormous burden at the present time, when every one is fighting against the cost of production. The burden that the employers and labour have to bear is an essential consideration. It is a question whether, in spite of the Geddes Economy Committee, something more should not be done by the State.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

This debate must not develop into a general discussion on unemployment. That is a matter for the Second Reading. We are now dealing with the financial machinery.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

Would it not be in Order, if the State contribution wore increased, that that increase above the provision of the Bill could be set aside for the necessitous districts throughout the country?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

This is only a Financial Resolution, and I am prepared to allow a reasonable latitude, but the suggestion of the hon. Member would make it too wide.

Photo of Sir William Pearce Sir William Pearce , Stepney Limehouse

It only remains for the State to increase the contribution. If the State does not do this the burden will have to be met soon in some way. People cannot be allowed to starve, and if it does not come from the State it must come from the Poor Rates. In districts where unemployment is above the average the burdens on the guardians are intense, and I suggest that it may be good business on the part of the House to increase the Government contribution. I rise from this side to add my voice to the plea of Labour that, under the special circumstances of the case, the Government, I hope, may be able to consider whether it is not possible, in view of the whole situation, to increase the Government contribution in respect of unemployment insurance.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

Let me take up the discussion initiated by the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday), and answer his points. To begin with, there is his inquiry as to this Financial Resolution—what it means, and what you can do under it. The Financial Resolution deals with State grant, paragraph 1, and with paragraph 2, borrowing. With regard to the first part, we are only there dealing with the State Grants under the Dependants' Act. It will come to an end on the 9th of May. We do not need to deal with the State contributions of the Insurance Act. We have that already under an earlier Financial Resolution and Act.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

The contribution is one-fifth. We now propose under the Kill that that should be one-fourth. How has this been brought about?

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I say it is not necessary in this Financial Resolution to provide for the continuance of the State contribution to the Insurance Act. What we have not got is a Financial Resolution to enable us to carry on the 3d. for the men, 2d. for the women, boys and girls, provided under the Unemployed Workers' Dependants Act. That is why we want power to carry that on as well. I submit that it would be out of order if this Resolution were passed as it stands, to move any Amendment which would increase either the rate or the amount of the State grant or the borrowing. If this Resolution passes as it stands, no hon. Member can move to increase the State grant or to increase the borrowing. Technically, an Amendment could be moved, increasing either the rates or the periods of benefit, and that brings me to the point raised by the hon. Member for Stepney (Sir W. Pearce). If an Amendment were moved, to increase the rates, I should have to point out that we cannot get the additional income by increasing the State grant, if this Resolution stands as it is. Then we should have to get it from one or other, or both, of the two remaining sources. We must either increase the contribution of the employer or the contribution of the employed person or both. I should have to tell the Committee at once, and I do tell the Committee, that this is out of the question. We cannot increase the contribution from the employers, because they are now heavy to a degree never contemplated before, and we cannot increase the contribution from the employed person.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

The right hon. Gentleman says that in such an eventuality he will be obliged to state that we cannot increase the contribution from the workman and we cannot increase the contribution from the employer. What becomes of the third?

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I have already pointed out that the Resolution as it stands, if agreed to by the Committee, would not permit us to increase that. If it leaves the Committee in the form in which it now is, it will constitute a bar to that.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I am only now saying what its effect will be if it is passed as it stands. Under its present form, if we seek to vary the period or increase the rate of benefit, we shall have to increase either the employer's or the employed person's contribution. We cannot do either. Both are out of the question. The contributions, as everybody knows, are very heavy, and they are paid very cheerfully both by employers and employed. Take, as an instance, the contribution paid by the employed person on short time. It is an extremely high contribution, admittedly, and the characteristic British desire to help those who are down and out has resulted in this, that I have had practically no complaint about these heavy burdens either on the part of the employers or the employed persons. But I cannot carry them too far, and I think I have carried them as far as is possible. Therefore, I shall have to resist any proposal, such as it would be technically possible to make now, for either a variation of the period or an increase in the rates of benefit. There is another way in which this thing could be done, and that is by taking it out of the borrowing powers. The result of increasing the rates of benefit or extending the period would be that the borrowing powers would be exhausted more rapidly. Under such a proposal the borrowing powers would decrease the more rapidly and the fund would sooner become exhausted.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Then come to the House again and get more borrowing powers.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I am afraid in that case I should be chidden, especially by the hon. Member for Greenock (Sir G. Collins) for coming so often with insurance schemes. I am doing my best not to come more often than is absolutely necessary. I am afraid, in view of all these circumstances, I cannot accept proposals to vary the rates or the period, although, as I have said, an Amendment to that effect can be moved. Let me come to the precise charges which will come in course of payment under the Bill which is to be founded on the Financial Resolution as it stands before the Committee. In the Estimates for the Labour Ministry for 1922–3, which are to be discussed on this day week, provision is made for £8,161,760 Exchequer grant for the purposes we are now discussing. I have authority in a previous Financial Resolution for that, but in order to deal with the 15 months, I am adding to that amount by a direct Treasury charge of £5,800,000. As I have tried to make hon. members understand, it is that new charge for which I require the first part of this Financial Resolution. Looking at it from the Estimates point of view, I shall have to lay a Supplementary Estimate to cover such portion of the £5,800,000—this provision for the 15 months—as will come in course of payment in 1922–3 abated by such appropriations-in-aid as I shall receive from the fund in respect of administration. The hon. Member for Greenock has suggested that the Supplementary Estimate may represent an increase of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000. As I indicated previously, I have not the exact figure, but I do not dissent from that.

Taking the second paragraph of the Resolution, which deals with borrowing power, I may point out that last June I sought for borrowing powers of £20,000,000. I have got to subtract about £1,000,000 from the borrowing powers because of the transference of powers to Ireland for the purpose of unemployment insurance there. I therefore remain with roughly £19,000,000 of borrowing power under existing legislation. I am now asking for a total of £30,000,000 borrowing power, of which I have already got £19,000,000, or, in other words, I am asking for about £11,000,000 of additional borrowing power for Great Britain. Regarding the exhaustion of borrowing power, I have exhausted about £14,000,000 of the original £20,000,000—or £19,000,000, as it will be shortly, by the transfer of powers in the case of Ireland. On the assumption of unemployment which we have made, i.e., 1,500,000 from-June, 1922, to June, 1923, I expect to reach the exhaustion of the borrowing powers in this Bill if I get it, representing a total of £30,000,000 borrowing powers for Great Britain—I expect, rather, to reach the peak of my borrowing powers, which will be £28,500,000. about this time next year on the assumption I have indicated. Thereafter, I hope to reduce the debt to 27 millions when we have come to the end of the period for which we are now legislating.

That is a statement of what these two paragraphs involve and of what can and what cannot be done in connection with them. The hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hay day) has asked why the State contribution is not increased to one-third? The State being one of three contributing parties, that would mean an equal amount from each. If the hon. Member will look at the Actuary's Report, he will find that the contribution of the three parties for the period I am dealing with comes to £56,000,000. If we increased the State contribution to one-third, the State contribution would be somewhere about £19,000,000. The provision already under the proposals is £14,700,000, and a proposal to increase the State proportion to one-third would, according to the Actuary's statement, mean that the £14,700,000 would be £19,000,000. I cannot possibly do it.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

We have not got the money. [HON. MEMBEES: "Oh, oh!"] An hon. Member has said that I should go back to the Cabinet and get more out of them. I think I have done very well out of the Cabinet in this respect in being able to carry forward, as I am doing, this Measure giving the wife 5s. and the child Is. It was brought in originally as a little temporary Measure, and it was frankly put to the House as being for six months; and to continue benefit at the present level, remembering the financial straits, not only of the local authorities, as I admit, but of the Exchequer as well, I do not consider that these provisions are unsatisfactory. I cannot ask for provisions which would still further increase the Estimate, to which, as I have just stated, this adds £5,800,000, to say nothing of the increased borrowing powers. I cannot ask that the £14,700,000 should be increased to £19,000,000. I respectfully hope that my hon. Friends will not press me to widen this provision still further. There is no thing like it in any other country in the world. It may not be all that one might desire; the provision of 1s. a week for a child has often been described in this House as falling far short of what is desirable, but we should remember what has been provided from 1920 onwards. I have carried on under the Insurance Act 52 weeks' benefit, eight in the Fall of 1920, and two periods of 22 weeks each since. From this point onwards, I am providing 15 weeks to the end of October, and a possible 22 beyond that—one 12 and two possible 5's. That is the provision which is being made, and it is for uncovenanted benefit to people in some cases who have paid nothing at all into this fund, and certainly to a large number who have not paid sums which would qualify them for covenanted benefit. I have done that because I know when good times come they will be able to repay the benefits which they are now receiving in advance of contributions. Do hon. Members realise what has been done? First, the original 52 weeks, and now a further 15—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The right hon. Gentleman will not object if I in- terrupt him reluctantly to point out that he is going into general matters which are not quite within the scope of the Resolution.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

With great respect, Sir, I shall return to the Resolution, making the excuse that I was merely answering points which were put to me. The point as to the increase of the State's share is a matter which the Committee may have to deal with, and perhaps it would be as well to argue that if and when such a proposal is made. The hon. Member for West Nottingham also asked what I think is a very proper question, i.e., does the State pay the whole of the cost of administration in addition to the contribution? The reply is that it does not. There is a sum, not exceeding 10 per cent. of the total income of the fund, appropriated for administration expenses, and any balance of expenditure over that is met by the State, and in this Bill, it will be observed, we propose to change the 10 per cent. to 12½ per cent. With regard to the proposal for paying five weeks' benefit followed by a five weeks' interval, and thus making 15 weeks' benefit cover the 30 weeks up to the end of October, I have been asked as to the reason for delay in reviewing and determining qualifications. Nobody knows as well as my hon. Friend the enormous burden which is laid upon the local employment committees, and, as a matter of fact, they do their work with great expedition. There are claims which require close investigation, and I can say on their behalf that every effort is made to deal with these claims as quickly as possible. Last year alone the local employment committees who helped me themselves examined no fewer than 5,344,000 claims in the year. I have reason to believe everybody concerned did their utmost to make the scheme work as smoothly as possible. Finally, I hope the Resolution will stand. I shall have to resist its Amendment, for the reasons I have given, either in respect of the first paragraph, which deals with the direct charge, or in respect of the second paragraph, which deals with borrowing powers, because I say that, in all the circumstances of the strain which rests upon us, this is a provision which cannot be considered ungenerous, and remembering the pro- vision which has been made during this long period, it is not a provision concerning which we need to be ashamed.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I beg to move, in paragraph (1), to leave out the words produced by weekly contributions paid in respect of insured persons at the rate of threepence in the case of men and twopence in the case of women, boys, and girls; and to insert instead thereof the words required to meet the full costs of unemployed persons' and dependants' benefits. After the remarks of the Minister of Labour, I cannot see any hope of my Amendment being carried, but I intend to-press it, as well as others, if I can get the support of hon. Members, to a division. This Amendment seeks to throw upon the State the full burden of unemployment and the maintenance of the dependants. This is the attitude I have taken in previous debates, and I do not intend to shift my ground. I understand that by the terms of the Financial Resolution we may discuss the question of contributions from insured persona, and partly where some of the money can come from to bear the burden of the State's maintenance of the unemployed person. At the present time the unemployed person has, during a period of employment, paid certain sums in contributions to qualify him for his benefit.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

Prior to these new Acts he has been doing so. That has been the custom. Now, owing to the widespread unemployment in the country, we have found it necessary not merely to meet the unemployment benefit to which the insured person is entitled, but also to meet some persons who figure as exempted persons, and in addition to pay a certain quota of benefit to the wife or housekeeper and the children of an unemployed person. At the present time we are paying those people 16s. a week, with 5s. for the wife or housekeeper, and 1s. per child. My grievance against the sum is not merely on the question of the recurring period of five weeks on and five weeks off, but that the sum paid is too low, that there is not sufficient being given to the unemployed person in the weeks during which he draws his unemployment benefit to maintain him in anything like comfort or in a satisfactory condition which would enable him to undertake a physically hard day's work if he got the opportunity of employment. In other words, my grievance is that the unemployment benefit which we are paying enables the unemployed person only to keep starvation at bay, and that during this period he is gradually deteriorating, and consequently we believe that the amount of money paid to him and to his dependants should be increased. We also believe that the present unemployment crisis is not due to anything the individual has done, and consequently it is a national problem. The working man stands out to-day waiting the opportunity to have a situation, and he is prepared to accept work as it comes along. The function of the unemployment insurance money Resolution which we are now discussing is to provide the unemployed person with a sufficiency of money with which to purchase the necessaries of life to enable him to be competent, when a job comes along, to take that job and work at it in an efficient manner.

The national resources are to a very large degree untapped. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour asked the House where he could get the money from, and told us we had no money. His esteemed Leader has told us on previous occasions that a well equipped duke cost the country as much as two battleships, and if you reduced his income by half he would still live royally as one battleship. [An HON. MEMBER: "It has been done!"] Yes, but it has been handed back again by the present Government. That there is plenty of money in the country has been shown by speakers in other Debates, and as the unemployed man to-day is naturally anxious to keep himself in that standard of efficiency that will enable him to give satisfaction when the opportunity of employment comes along, we agree that it is a State problem, that the Ministry of Labour ought to look upon it as such, and that the Treasury ought to come before the country with the full determination that, the burden of unemployment being a national problem and being due to national difficulties in the past arising from certain contingencies during periods of national stress, the problem ought to be met by the country as a whole. For example, you have various other men who are unemployed, to whom you pay full rates of pay. You have various Departments of State to which men are recruited for certain purposes, and in which men are trained for certain purposes, but where those men are not every day, nor every week, nor indeed for several years, performing the functions for which they are trained and recruited, and yet you pay those men full rates, provide them with training—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member is getting beyond his Amendment, which is only a question as between a sum equivalent to the weekly contributions and a sum equivalent to the sum required to meet the full cost of unemployment. It is only a different method of arriving at the equivalent sum, and the hon. Member must confine himself to that Amendment, and not have a general discussion of the unemployment question or go into other Departments.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I thought I would be in order in drawing an illustration from another Department.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

It is difficult to know whether it is an illustration or a speech. An illustration does not take long, and if it takes up too much time it is not an illustration.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

With respect, Sir, I do not think my illustration has taken more than two minutes, and it would not have taken more than a minute longer to have put the point of the illustration. However, I shall not infringe your ruling. I shall be in order in pointing out where some of the money can be found.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member is not entitled to go into all the possible sources of revenue. That would be departing entirely from the general custom in dealing with Financial Resolutions in Committee.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I notice that it is suggested on the Paper that the money should be taken out of the Consolidated Fund, and that wipes out any suggestion of putting forward a policy of where the money can be obtained, but, in conclusion, I would point out to the Minister of Labour that the periods to which he has referred, the 15 weeks during the 30 weeks, and then again, I think, it is 12 weeks during the later period—

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

November to June. There are 12 weeks, with discretionary power to add two further periods.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

There is therefore the possibility of the man receiving unemployment donation, and there is also the possibility of his not receiving it. That is not a very healthy frame of mind in which to put the unemployed man, especially in view of what the right hon. Gentleman has himself told us of the probable number of people who will be unemployed during the ensuing 35 months. I sincerely hope his expectations will not be realised, but I think the matter might receive a little more attention, not only from the Government, but some more sympathetic attention from the Members of this House. The men and their dependants, when you look at it from the point of view that for five weeks they get 15s., with 5s. for the wife, or 20s. in all, and then for five weeks there is nothing, may starve. Anything may happen in the house, because there is nothing coming in. They may go upon the rates, but again they may be denied relief from the rates. Then there is another five weeks following, and so you go on for 30 weeks. Surely that is a fiddling, pettifogging method of approaching a grave and a serious question, the question of retaining and maintaining the physical efficiency of the working classes of this country who happen to be unemployed.

I am suggesting that your whole scheme be placed upon the Government. The working classes to-day, when there is so much unemployment, cannot provide the money. The employers, as has been admitted, find themselves heavily taxed because of the contributions. Wipe out those contributions, at least temporarily; recognise that this situation is merely temporary, as we all hope it will be, and look forward to the time when trade is fully going, when we can build up a balance on the unemployment fund, and make it solvent, and even repay some of the money which has had to be taken to meet the full brunt of unemployment at the present time. I hope the Minister of Labour and other Members of this House will approach this question and this money Resolution in the spirit that this is a matter of investment, and by meeting the full cost at the moment, the result, when trade turns round, factories become busy and men and women find full employment, will be a restoration to the community in greater abundance than that which has been taken out by payments on behalf of the State.

Photo of Mr George Renwick Mr George Renwick , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I am not sure whether, according to the ruling you, Sir, have given, we should be in order in discussing the Amendment, because I do not think, by the terms of the Resolution, we can, under the Bill, extend the scope. It is sufficient to me to make a few remarks with regard to what is provided under the Bill. I would like to point out to hon. Members representing the Labour party that we invariably find, whenever there is any proposal to give any grant from the State, they are never satisfied, and are always asking for more. I want to remind the Committee of this important point, that, according to the statement of the Government Actuary, no less than 11,250,000 workers have to contribute towards the money to be provided by the workers under this Bill for some 1,900,000 people who are estimated to be out of employment from April to July of this year. Afterwards, to the following July, it is estimated that 1,500,000 will be out of employment. I am an employer, and know something about the unemployment, and I should not be surprised if that 1,500,000 were possibly largely increased. If that be so, I think another Bill will be necessary to provide further sums for the unemployed. The reason why I think there will be an increase is owing to the state of the country at the present time in regard to strikes and threatened strikes.

Then, I would like to remind the Committee that these 11,250,000 workers have to provide £22,500,000 under this Bill, the employers have to provide £22,500,000, and the Government have to provide £15,000,000, making £60,000,000 altogether. The Government Actuary points out that, in addition, there will be £1,500,000 for interest, which, surely, at a time like this, is quite sufficient claim upon the State. Therefore, I am glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill that he is not going to agree to any increase, and I sincerely hope he will not do so. Some hon. Members seem to think that the 11,250,000 workers are all in favour of giving an increase of unemployment pay. I can assure them it is not so. May I tell the Committee of an instance that came to me? About a week ago I was travelling in a mining district. There were five miners in the train, and one and all condemned these unemployment doles. I think that, considering the state of the trade of this country at the present time, £22,500,000 is enough to call upon the employers to pay, £22,500,000 is sufficient to call upon the workers to pay, and £15,000,000 is sufficient to call upon the Government to pay, and I am extremely pleased to hear that the right hon. Gentleman has set his face against a further dole, or an increase of the unemployment pay, and I hope he will continue in that position.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

This is an issue we have had before us on every Insurance Bill with which I have been connected, and on every Financial Resolution relating to an Insurance Bill. Was this to be a contributory system, or was it to be provided entirely by the State? Under this Bill, thanks to the contributory system, there will be, if necessary, £60,000,000 of benefit provided in the next 15 months, as to which a little over three-eighths will be found by the employers, less than three-eighths by the employed workers, and a quarter by the State. My hon. Friend opposite says, "No; you find the £60,000,000 entirely by the State." He said, "This is a temporary emergency, and when things improve we can put this again on a contributory basis."

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I was not putting that forward as an argument of my own, but on behalf of the unemployed in the country, to meet a probable objection on the part of my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I wondered if the hon. Gentleman had abated his claim to a non-contributory system. He is now, as is the Labour party generally, in favour of a non-contributory scheme. The Labour party makes no secret about it. Under my proposals, of the £60,000,000, the State will find about £14,700,000.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

Who is the State?

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

My hon. Friend is a most distinguished member of it. The taxpayer will pay £14,700,000.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

Of whom the working people, who pay three-eighths of the benefits, constitute five-sixths of the State.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I did not suppose the taxpayers belong to one class. My hon. Friend will not suggest that. I say the taxpayer will pay £14,700,000 under this scheme. What my hon. Friend says is, "No, bring up the taxpayers' contribution to £60,000,000." We have divided on this proposition many a time, and I hope we may soon vote upon it again. I oppose it. I am in favour of a contributory system. I think it has worked admirably, and I am certainly against increasing the Exchequer grants in the next 15 months from £14,700,000 to £60,000,000, because it has not got it, and cannot pay it. Therefore, I do beg the Committee to reject the Amendment.

6.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

There has been much play made in every one of these discussions upon the State paying so much, the worker paying so much, and the employer paying so much. I think there is no man, certainly in this House, and very few outside, who know the economic meaning of the term "State" better than the right hon. Gentleman himself. Let us see, in one particular case, how this thing will work out. I will take the case of mining. Under the system at present that governs the profits of the mine-owners and the wages of the men, there is a certain ratio of profit paid to the owner and a certain ratio of wages paid to the men. For every 1s. contributed by the coalowners under this scheme of the right hon. Gentleman, 83 per cent. of it will be paid by the men in addition to their own contribution. Now take the State's contribution. The workpeople themselves constitute at least five-sixths of the State, and therefore they also pay five-sixths of the remaining contributions in one form or another, either by taxes upon food or taxes upon wages. The State—some curious kind of personality behind a green cloth—is constantly referred to as though it were something entirely outside the workers and something entirely outside the employers. As a matter of fact, the workpeople themselves are paying both the employers' contribution and their own, and five-sixths of the State contribution as well. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] That question admits my argument. I think we are entitled to protest against the assumption that workpeople are receiving some substantial benefit at the hands of the State, as though the State were something entirely outside themselves, and were showering benefits upon them. It is really time that we got down to practical meanings. My right hon. Friend opposite will tell me if my statement is in any serious degree incorrect.

Let me give an occasion in point. Every one of the workpeople in the mines, every one of the nation's manual workers who are drawing any sufficient amount of wages, are also taxed for Income Tax now, and a heavier burden has never been known in the history of the nation. They are paying not only directly out of their wages every week an increasing portion, but they are, in fact, paying the employers' portion also. There is not the slightest doubt about that. In the case of the miners, I have given my right hon. Friend the exact percentage of 83. I really would ask hon. Members to give over indulging in such constant abstractions as references to "the State," as though the State were something outside ourselves and showering benefits from outside upon us. It is perfectly true the Labour party has always been in favour of a non-contributory basis. That is the only method by which you can gradually get to a fair system in which the incidence of taxation will be properly adjusted.

Photo of Captain John Jameson Captain John Jameson , Edinburgh West

I shall not—[HON. MEMBERS: "Divide, divide!"]—occupy more than a moment or two in commenting upon the speech just made from the Labour Front Bench. It is irreconcilable with the position generally taken up by the Labour party. As I understand it, they advocate a non-contributory system. The thesis, as I understood it, that the right hon. Gentleman was propounding to us, was that the workmen practically paid everything anyway. If he starts with that hypothesis it would be no hardship to pay directly under a contributory system what he would pay in any case!

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

On a point of Order. I said that my proposal was the only method whereby you could get a readjustment of the incidence of taxation.

Photo of Captain John Jameson Captain John Jameson , Edinburgh West

It certainly takes away any possible idea of hardship when, according to the thesis of the right hon. Gentleman, the workman pays whatever system you are under, and accordingly it does not matter twopence whether he pays indirectly as taxation or directly under a contributory system. I should like to point out the entire fallacy in figures that the hon. Gentleman made in the defence of his extraordinary thesis. He says that of all taxation in one way or another, direct and indirect, five-sixths are paid out of the workmen's pockets. I do not in the least want to minimise the services the workman renders in taxation or in any other way. But surely it is a complete fallacy to say that the workmen contribute five-sixths of the money paid out of the pockets of the taxpayers of this country. In taxation the amount is everything. The overwhelming incidence of direct taxation and Income Tax falls upon the Income Tax payers of the country who are nearly all the people of the middle and upper classes. It is really absurd for the right hon. and Gentleman to juggle with words in this way and to maintain that the taxpayer is really equivalent to the workman. Everybody is glad to see the State relieving the miseries of the unemployed, but its proportion in contribution I do not think can be attacked upon the ground of not being generous.

Photo of Mr John Cairns Mr John Cairns , Morpeth

I agree with the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. N. Maclean). Not long since we had a Great War. We did not begrudge spending £8,000,000,000 for destructive purposes. Surely we ought not to begrudge £50,000,000 for constructive purposes. The men whom I represent have had big reductions in wages, and we cannot afford to contribute anything to the scheme. Again, they have to wipe out the debts contracted during the lock-out. Our men are getting less money. Those who had money have spent it all. Some had a couple of hundred pounds, gathered together for old age and other eventualities. That is all spent. They are now spending 5s. per week per man to wipe out their loans, 2s. or 3s. a week for tools, 13s. for rent, and all that is offered by my right hon. Friend is what is in this Resolution. I think he has a kind heart. Every time I have met him in his office he has been sympathetic. I still want £5,000 for two pits, in the matter in which we were three months late in applying for our money.

If hon. Members opposite have a horse they will feed him and find him a stable, or he will be no good. He will have a good harness put on him. Surely, the working man is as good as a horse? That is all we are asking you to-day to recognise. It has been said the coal trade is good. It should be best at this time of the year, but it is very dull. There are still thousands of our men idle. I was idle at this period of the year for nine months in 1887. There was then a slump in the coal trade. If any man had said to me that I would sooner have the dole than work, I would have told him he was telling lies. My class believes in working. Also we volunteered, to the extent of 400,000, to fight our enemies in the field. I know, because I did some of the recruiting. The men have never been paid. There are any number of men out of work now, and they cannot get work. They would be willing to go back to work if they had the chance. I know, because I have heard it at public meetings.

Let us talk about the men who are out of work. I may make a pun, Mr. Hope, and say I am hopeful that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this money Bill will do all he can. I believe he will, but the Cabinet is not on his side. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are quite willing to raise any amount, hundreds of thousands, millions, for the purpose of sending expeditions to different parts of the world. Surely they cannot begrudge this that we are asking. Five shillings for a woman—for a mother in Israel! It will not pay for the clogs to go to the pit in. Fifteen

shillings for the man, 1s. for each of the children. I would not ask any hon. or right hon. Gentleman opposite to try to live on it. It would be an insult to him. Our money is all gone. We believe that this should be a non-contributory, scheme, and we are sufficiently generous that we would make it universal. Some of you may come upon it some day. I am afraid of American oil, and of Persian oil, laying our mines idle. The hon. Member said we would pay it back. We always do. I believe there would be nobody more willingly paying rates and taxes than ourselves if we had the income to do it—if, say, the income of the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury); we would be quite willing. I believe the heart of the right hon. Baronet is in the right place, too. My hon. Friend the Member for Central Newcastle (Sir G. Renwick) said he had met some of the miners.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

I did not hear what the hon. Gentleman said a few moments ago. I am told he said something about me and my income. I can tell him that I pay half of my income in taxation.

Photo of Mr John Cairns Mr John Cairns , Morpeth

I was just endeavouring to compliment the right hon. Baronet. The hon. Member for Central Newcastle said that these five miners whom he met stated they did not want doles. Nobody wants doles if they can get work. It is work we want; it is the healthiest thing in the world.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'threepence' ["rate of threepence"] stand part of the Question."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 204; Noes, 50.

Division No. 68.]AYES.[6.15 p.m.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.Blake, Sir Francis DouglasChilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteBorwick, Major G. O.Coats, Sir Stuart
Amery, Leopold C. M.S.Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Cobb, Sir Cyril
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel MartinBowles, Colonel H. F.Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips
Armstrong, Henry BruceBowyer, Captain G. W. E.Conway, Sir W. Martin
Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.Brassey, H. L. C.Cope, Major William
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyBreese, Major Charles E.Cory. Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveCourthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-Broad, Thomas TuckerCowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)Brown, Major D. C.Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)
Barnett, Major Richard W.Bruton, Sir JamesCroft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page
Barnston, Major HarryBuchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.Curzon, Captain Viscount
Beckett, Hon. GervaseBuckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Burdon, Colonel RowlandDavies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Butcher, Sir John GeorgeDavies, David (Montgomery)
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)Campbell, J. G. D.Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)
Bennett, Sir Thomas JewellCasey, T. W.Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Betterton, Henry B.Cautley, Henry StrotherDawson, Sir Philip
Bigland, AlfredCecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)Dockrall, Sir Maurice
Birchall, J. DearmanCheyne, Sir William WatsonDoyle, N. Grattan
Edge, Captain Sir WilliamJones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Randies, Sir John Scurrah
Ednam, ViscountKellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeRees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)King, Captain Henry DouglasRees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Kinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementRenwick, Sir George
Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithLarmor, Sir JosephRichardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)
Evans, ErnestLaw, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Richardson, Lt -Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodtrayLloyd, George ButlerRoundell, Colonel R. F.
Farquharson, Major A. C.Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)
Fell, Sir ArthurLorden, John WilliamSamuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.Loseby, Captain C. E.Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur
Flannery, Sir James FortescueLowther, Maj.-Gen. Sir C. (Penrith)Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Ford, Patrick JohnstonLyle, C. E. LeonardScott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Forestier-Walker, L.Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Seddon, J. A.
Forrest, WalterM'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
France, Gerald AshburnerMcMicking, Major GilbertShaw, William T. (Forfar)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Ganzoni, Sir JohnMacpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Gee, Captain RobertMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMallalieu, Frederick WilliamStanton, Charles Butt
Gilbert, James DanielMitchell, Sir William LaneSteel, Major S. Strang
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnMond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzStevens, Marshall
Glyn, Major RalphMoreing, Captain Algernon H.Strauss, Edward Anthony
Greig, Colonel Sir James WilliamMunro, Rt. Hon. RobertSueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Murchison, C. K.Sutherland, Sir William
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Thomas-Stanford, Charles
Hamilton, Major C. G. C.Murray, John (Leeds, West)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)Murray, William (Dumfries)Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Neal, ArthurTownley, Maximilian G.
Haslam, LewisNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Tryon, Major George Clement
Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Walton, J. (York. W. R., Don Valley)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)
Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankNicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)Waring, Major Walter
Hills, Major John WallerNicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)Warren, Sir Alfred H.
Hohler, Gerald FitzroyNorman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir HenryWatson, Captain John Bertrand
Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardNorton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir JohnWilliams, C. (Tavistock)
Hood, Sir JosephParker, JamesWindsor, Viscount
Hopkins, John W. W.Pearce, Sir WilliamWinterton, Earl
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)Wise, Frederick
Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)Pennefather, De FonblanqueWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)Percy, Charles (Tynemouth)Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Hudson, R. M.Phillpps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest MurrayYate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Hurd, Percy A.Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel AsshetonYoung, E. H. (Norwich)
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Pratt, John WilliamYoung, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)
Jameson, John GordonPrescott, Major Sir W. H.
Jesson, C.Purchase, H. G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Jodrell, Neville PaulRaeburn, Sir William H.Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr. McCurdy.
NOES
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHallas, EldredSexton, James
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hayday, ArthurShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Hayward, EvanSmith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)Spencer, George A.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hirst, G. H.Sutton, John Edward
Cape, ThomasHolmes, J. StanleyThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)Irving, DanThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Davies, Alfred (Lanes-, Clitheroe)John, William (Rhondda, West)Thome, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Kennedy, ThomasWaterson, A. E.
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)Kenyon, BarnetWatts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.
Finney, SamuelLawson, John JamesWedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Gillis, WilliamLunn, WilliamWhite, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Myers, ThomasYoung, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Naylor, Thomas Ellis
Grundy, T. W.O'Connor, Thomas P.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le Spring)Mr. Cairns and Mr. Neil Maclean.
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Royce, William Stapleton

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I beg to move, in paragraph (1) to leave out the word "threepence," and to insert instead thereof the word "sixpence."

The Resolution provides that the weekly contributions paid in the case of men shall be threepence, and in the case of women twopence, and I wish to make the amount sixpence in the case of men. This proposal will give the Minister of Labour an opportunity of providing a larger sum.

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I am sure my hon. Friend will see that it is impossible for me now to make any statement as to what would be the financial effect of this proposal, but it certainly would be very considerable because this already is a new charge of over £5,800,000. Under these circumstances my hon. Friend will not be at all surprised when I say that I cannot accept this Amendment.

Question put, "That the word 'threepence' stand part of the Question."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 54.

Division No. 69.]AYES.[6.25 p.m.
Adair, Rear-AdmiralFrance, Gerald AshburnerNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)
Amery, Leopold C. M. S.Ganzoni, Sir JohnNicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel MartinGee, Captain RobertNicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Armstrong, Henry BruceGibbs, Colonel George AbrahamNorman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGilbert, James DanielNorton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John
Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick)Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnParker, James
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Glyn, Major RalphParry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)Greig, Colonel Sir James WilliamPennefather, De Fonblanque
Barnett, Major Richard W.Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Percy, Charles (Tynemouth)
Barnston, Major HarryHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Beckett, Hon. GervaseHamilton, Major C. G. C.Phillpps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)Pollock, Rt.- Hon. Sir Ernest Murray
Benn, Capt, Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Poison, Sir Thomas A.
Bennett, Sir Thomas JewellHaslam, LewisPownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)Pratt, John William
Betterton, Henry B.Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Prescott, Major Sir W. H.
Sirchall, J. DearmanHilder. Lieut.-Colonel FrankPurchase, H. G.
Blake, Sir Francis DouglasHills, Major John WallerRaeburn, Sir William H.
Berwick, Major G. O.Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Hohler, Gerald FitzroyRees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)
Bowles, Colonel H. F.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardRees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Hood, Sir JosephRenwick, Sir George
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Hopkins, John W. W.Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)
Breese, Major Charles E.Hopkinson, A- (Lancaster, Mosslay)Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHorne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Broad, Thomas TuckerHorne, Sir R. S. (Hillhead)Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Brown, Major D. C.Hudson, R. M.Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)
Bruton, Sir JamesHunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.Hurd, Percy A.Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Burdon, Colonel RowlandJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertScott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Butcher, Sir John GeorgeJameson, John GordonSeddon, J. A.
Campbell, J. D. G.Jesson, C.Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Casey, T. W.Jodrell, Neville PaulShortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Cautley, Henry StrotherJones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonKellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeStanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W.King, Captain Henry DouglasStanton, Charles Butt
Coats, Sir StuartKinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementSteel, Major S. Strang
Cobb, Sir CyrilLarmor, Sir JosephStevens, Marshall
Collox, Major Wm. PhillipsLaw, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Strauss, Edward Anthony
Conway, Sir W. MartinLewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Cope, Major WilliamLloyd, George ButlerSutherland, Sir William
Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.Lorden, John WilliamThomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Loseby, Captain C. E.Townley, Maximillan G.
Cowan, Sir H. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)Lowther, Maj.-Gen. Sir C. (Penrith)Tryon, Major George Clement
Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry PageLyle, C. E. LeonardWallace, J.
Curzon, Captain ViscountMackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)McMicking, Major GilbertWard, William Dudley (Southampton)
Davies, David (Montgomery)Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Waring, Major Walter
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Macquisten, F. A.Warren, Sir Alfred H.
Dawson, Sir PhilipMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Williams, C. (Tavistock)
Dockrell, Sir MauriceMallalieu, Frederick WilliamWilliams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Doyle, N. GrattanMitchell, Sir William LaneWindsor, Viscount
Ednam, ViscountMond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzWinterton, Earl
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.Wise, Frederick
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Moreing, Captain Algernon H.Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Evans, ErnestMunro, Rt. Hon. RobertWood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Falcon, Captain MichaelMurray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayMurray, John (Leeds, West)Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Fell, Sir ArthurMurray, William (Dumfries)Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)
FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.Neal, Arthur
Forestier-Walker, L.Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Forrest, WalterNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr. McCurdy.
NOES.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeCairns, JohnDavison, J. E. (Smethwick)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Cape, ThomasEdwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)Finney, Samuel
Gillis, WilliamKenyon, BarnetSpencer, George A.
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Lawson, John JamesSutton, John Edward
Grundy, T. W.Lunn, WilliamThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Myers, ThomasThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hallas, EldredNaylor, Thomas EllisWalsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Hayday, ArthurNewbould, Alfred ErnestWard, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)
Hayward, EvanO'Connor, Thomas P.Waterson, A. E.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Wldnes)Pearce, Sir WilliamWatts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.
Hirst, G. H.Raffan, Peter WilsonWedgwood, Colonel Joslah C.
Holmes, J. StanleyRendall, AthelstanWhite, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Irving, DanRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
John, William (Rhondda, West)Royce, William Stapleton
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Sexton, JamesTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Kennedy, ThomasShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. W. Smith.

Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.—[Sir A. Boscawen.]

Photo of Mr James Hope Mr James Hope , Sheffield Central

The hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) has handed in four Amendments in manuscript, but I propose to call on him to move only the first, which is in paragraph (2) to delete the word "thirty" ["thirty million pounds"], and to insert instead thereof the word "sixty."

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I do not intend either to speak on this Amendment or to press it to a Division. It was given notice of mainly as a consequential Amendment to one I had previously moved and the object was to enable the Government, in the same money Resolution to get the additional money that would be required by them in the event of the House assenting to that Amendment.

Original Question again proposed.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

On a point of Order. I have given notice of other Amendments.

Photo of Mr James Hope Mr James Hope , Sheffield Central

I have announced that I do not propose in my discretion as Chairman to select the Amendments to call those other Amendments.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I did not understand that.

Photo of Mr James Hope Mr James Hope , Sheffield Central

I am sorry. It is too late now as I have already put the Question.

Resolved, That for the purposes of any Act of the present Session relating to insurance against unemployment, it is expedient—

  1. (1) to authorise the payment, out of moneys provided by Parliament, in respect of the period between the seventh day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-two, and the end of the deficiency period, of an increased contribution towards unemployment benefit, and any other payment to be made out of the Unemployment Fund, not exceeding the amount determined by the Treasury to be approximately equivalent to the sum which would be produced by weekly contributions paid 1618 in respect of insured persons at the rate of threepence in the case of men and twopence in the case of women, boys, and girls; and
  2. (2) to authorise the Treasury to make, for the purpose of discharging the liabilities of the unemployment fund in Great Britain under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 and 1921, as amended by the said Act, advances out of the Consolidated Fund, or the growing produce thereof, not exceeding at any time thirty million pounds, and to borrow money for such advances by the issue of such securities as the Treasury think proper, the principal of and interest on any such securities to be charged on and payable out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof."

Resolution to be reported To-morrow.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

I wish to raise a point of Order. I do not quite understand, perhaps, the procedure which should be adopted here, and I am quite willing, of course, to be guided by the ruling of the Chair. On the Committee stage I had given notice of several Amendments. One was a consequential Amendment and need not have been called on as the Amendment to which it was consequential had been defeated. The Chairman, who was conducting the business of the Committee, stated that I had handed in four Amendments, but he proposed only to take the first. That first having been consequential did not require to be taken, because of the defeat of the previous Amendment. Consequently the power of selection being limited to one Amendment, the Chairman declined to take the other Amendments. I am asking for a ruling whether I can raise the question on a subsequent occasion, and what is the course to be adopted in order to put the matter right?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The proceedings in Committee are entirely under the control of the Chairman, and there is no appeal on any matter from the Chairman of Committees to Mr. Speaker. I cannot, therefore, say anything about it.