Mines Department of the Board of Trade.

Class Ii. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1922.

Alert me about debates like this

Postponed Proceeding resumed on Question proposed on consideration of Question, That a sum, not exceeding £95,284, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1923, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Mines Department of the Board of Trade.

Question again proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £95,184, he granted for the said Service."

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

The intruduction of this Vote has given hon. Members representing the mining elements an opportunity of uttering a warning which is certainly justified by the facts of the situation at the present time. I can assure the Committee that the average miners' representative is by no means desirous of seeing any trouble in the mining areas at any time, but I think the language which has been used to-day by various hon. Members on the Labour Benches is certainly justified by the facts of the present situation in the coalfields. I represent an area which can be described as one of the most moderate areas in the British coalfields, yet I feel that conditions obtain there which, if allowed to continue much longer, will certainly have serious developments. I believe in what I should describe as a fearless reliance upon reason and goodwill in industrial affairs. Any trouble in the mining areas will be to the detriment of the miners themselves, but at the same time there are prevailing facts which I shall describe to the Committee, of which the Committee and the country ought to be aware and which afford grounds for very serious consideration.

I have here a book which gives the minimum wage and the average wage of the various classes in Durham. I believe that no particular wages have been given this afternoon. I find, for instance, that the class called the "shifters," the labourers in the mines, are now down to a minimum wage of 6s. 2d. per day. On an average of five days a week, which is the usual estimate of the coalowners for the purposes of compensation, these men are left with something like 30s. 10d. a week if they go the whole of the five days. A man working at the coal face has a minimum wage of 7s. 9d. a day, and a county average of 8s. 8d. a day. That means that if he does not make sufficient at the piece rates, he receives under £2 a week unless the owners refuse to pay that minimum. If he gets the county average he gets a little over £2 a week.

As a matter of fact, there are large numbers of very good men indeed who are not receiving even the minimum wage. The facts which I have here speak for themselves, and I have gone to the trouble to get the pay notes of some very good workmen in the mines. It will be discovered that in case after case they have gone down from £3 a week to £2 a week and even below that sum. In the particular collieries from which these pay checks are taken the men have increased their output in a remarkable way from month to month. The net result of that increase of output, has been that they have merely reduced their own wages. In the county I represent it is a remarkable fact that the only result of the increase of output has been a reduction of prices to a point which makes it impossible for the men to make anything very much above the minimum wage.

While I agree that in a number of cases in my own county the coalowners have made a genuine attempt to meet the situation, there are other instances in which the owners are taking up a line of action which can have only one result, the destruction of incentive. This line of action will leave the men in the position of saying. "It does not matter what we do, the increased output and the increased energy expressed simply result in lowering our prices and in bringing us back to the minimum all the time." I know that that has taken place. The coalowners in such cases are forgetting all the admissions that they made, in common with other employers, to the effect that the cutting down of prices when output was increased was a suicidal thing. The result of that line of action must certainly be detrimental to themselves. I was talking to a man not very long ago who told me that he was in a worse position now than he had been for 25 years. I know the man very well. He is a strong man, who gives of his best when he is at work, and he is there every day when he is in good physical condition. He said, "At the present time we can manage to get food, we can manage to get a roof over our heads, but we cannot buy clothes." That is the position of a strong man who has brought his family up. What most be the position of a man who has to bring home wages to maintain a small family?

The right hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Adamson) put forward a request this afternoon for an inquiry into the coal mining industry. There is abundant ground for such inquiry, and I do not think it would be without avail. Even the hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. Hopkinson) has said that he agrees that this is not exactly an ideal state of things. The hon. Member for Central Cardiff (Mr. Gould) seemed to think it was a regrettable thing, but that all we could do was to bring other workers into the same position in which these workmen were. We will resist any step which means bringing the workers in the other industries down to the same point where the miners are at the present time. The position is so terrible to our people now, that we will not help forward by any means an attempt to bring other workers to the same position. But there is ground for an inquiry.

The position, for instance, of the royalty rents ought to be borne in mind as a burden upon the industry of this country. Here is a Board of Trade Report which tells us that for one quarter alone the net results from the British coalfield were £1,547,835 as a burden on the industry. I say that, in the light of present-day facts, the industry cannot stand a burden of that kind. What is the situation? I represent a Division in which there is a colliery where a certain person was receiving a royalty of something like 3s. There was an attempt to compromise, and when it was refused steps were taken to close the seam. Had it not been for the intervention of the right hon. Gentleman in bringing them to something like a normal state of mind it is almost certain that that seam would have been closed because of the royalty question. Why should those who do not even have the virtue of living in.the mining area continue to he doing very well out of that particular industry, while men are starving and their wives and children can scarcely make ends meet from week to week. In one case I could mention, something like £50 a day is going to the person concerned when the pit is working, and in that particular case when the output is increased there is an increase to the person who takes the royalty rents, while on the other hand you have a man who is working hard at the coal face getting something under £2 a week with which to meet the facts of living to-day.

I say that there is ground for an inquiry into the various burdens upon the industry. Take the other facts in the cost of production. It is a remarkable fact that in the Federation generally, as the wages have gone down, the cost of production has gone up. In my own county, wages have gone down by hundreds of thousands a quarter, and I think the last ascertained figures show that the cost of production has gone up by £91,000 for the quarter, that is, the cost of production and all the rest of it has increased. I am not one of those who believe there is anything in what the hon. Member for Mossley suggested, I think, that the increasing of the hours from 7 to 8 was a possible line of advance. I do not think it has any vital effect at all upon the industry.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

I said I thought it would have very little effect upon the output.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

In individual cases there may be ground for reconsideration, but you have to consider the matter as a whole. I come from an area where we have always had seven hours, and I should say that was sufficient. Is a matter of fact, we have gone from 6½ hours to seven hours in most collieries in order to make the thing uniform. I believe there is ground for really serious inquiry, not only upon the facts of the increased cost of production and the facts of the royalties and other matters of that kind, but upon the realities of the situation in the mining areas at the present time. I do not believe there is any body of men in this country who could, or would, stand what the miners are standing at the present time, and I do not believe they can stand it much longer. They have not the will to make trouble. There are bits of disturbances here and there, but in my own county, which is a moderate one, I know there is no desire to make any trouble. But I do know that there is a great danger of this country of an upheaval which is born of despair. Therefore, I want the Secretary for Mines to take this matter very seriously. We want to avoid, and will use our influence to avoid, anything of the kind occurring, but unless there is a tendency on the part of this House to take the situation seriously—and they can take it seriously in the form of an inquiry which will bring out the real facts, and help us to diagnose what is the real disease with which we have got to deal —unless we do that, I believe we are running a very great danger indeed.

Mr. FOOT:

I shall not detain the Committee for more than a few minutes in asking the Secretary for Mines to have regard to the appeal which was made just now by the right hon. Member for Camborne (Mr. Acland), especially having regard to what is the altogether distressing position of those who are connected with the mining industry in Cornwall. The position there at present is desperate beyond any of the circumstances that have previously obtained. There was a meeting of the unemployment committee held yesterday, and reported in this morning's paper, where it was stated that at the end of the present week there would be between 1,000 and 1,500 miners of Cornwall who would be reaching the five weeks' interval when they would be receiving absolutely no relief whatever. The miners for whom I want to make an appeal are not in the division I represent, but they are associated with the county, and upon that county there has fallen a very dreadful calamity. The miners there, in asking for relief, do not consider that they occupy the position of an ordinary uneconomic industry which is asking for Government support. Hon. Members will know that not long ago a Committee was appointed by the Government—the Non-ferrous Mines Committee—under the Chairmanship of a Member of this House, and a very close and exhaustive inquiry was made, extending over several months. At the end of the inquiry, it was recommended that there should be some Government support to help these mines, and that there were factors which made the claim a special one upon the consideration of the Government. The position at the present time is that the guardians in that part of the county are at their wit's end, the relief committees have expended something like £40,000 contributed by charitably-disposed people, and the mines are practically derelict. The industry is one of the oldest in the country, existing before the coming of Julius Cesar—and therefore probably is the oldest industry —is threatened with absolute extinction. When that takes place the mines in Cornwall will become useless. There will be no tin available for this country nearer than Nigeria. If the tin mines are closed the associated products of wolfram and arsenic will not be available either.

The people concerned are an independent people absolutely, and as virile and self-reliant as there are in the whole country. They have always been known for their enterprise and initiative; from generation to generation they have gone into different parts of the world. It is positively heartbreaking to see the condition in which they are at the present moment placed. It is not so much a question of public money being spent upon the mining industry as the diversion of money that is now being spent upon the maintenance of people in enforced idleness to the maintenance of the mines themselves. As a result of certain questions that I have put to several Ministers within the last few weeks, it has been ascertained that something like over £250,000 has been paid since the mines were closed in unemployment benefit, and in benefit to dependants. I myself think the figure is probably nearer £300,000 since the armistice than £250,000. If I remember rightly, it was a sum of £200,000 that was asked for by the competent authorities in order that the industry might be maintained. Beyond the £250,000 that has gone in unemployment benefit, over £40,000 has been raised and paid out in private charity. The guardians in the different parts of the county have distributed many thousands, so that the total sum raised from one source and another, while these people have been kept in enforced idleness since these mines have become derelict, is probably much beyond £300,000.

Hopes were raised in the county and in the industry, following upon the Report presented more than 12 months ago; and I want to ask the Secretary for Mines to consider in consultation with his colleagues whether they can suggest any scheme to follow up that proposal. If it is complained that the miners to-day are not united and cannot present a considered and united scheme, will the right hon. Gentleman make proposals so that the responsibility will then rest upon those concerned with the industry in Cornwall? If there is a blank refusal it means simply that upon that part of the county sentence of death is pronounced, and that the industry must pass out of existence. I am sure that is not what the Secretary for Mines desires. I know his interest and sympathy in this matter. I hope, therefore, he will be able to tell us as to the announcement made, I think, a week or two ago, that help might be forthcoming from the Trade Facilities Fund—that that help might be extended in other directions, so that, at any rate, some message of hope may be sent to these distressed people.

Photo of Mr Thomas Cape Mr Thomas Cape , Workington

I rise to support the Amendment moved by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Fife (Mr. Adamson). I may say, at the same time, that I was very much interested in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Mines. There was one sentence in the closing stages of it which struck me as rather significant. The right hon. Gentleman said something like this: "If we could have a year without stoppages of work or strikes, we could get on deal- ing with the questions of safety and health in the mines." I want to say that those two things are two very essential things in relation to the life of the miner. We all agree that safety ought to be an indispensable condition in every industry. Several hon. Members, in the course of the afternoon and evening, have dealt with the question of safety in mines, and it is not my intention to deal with that point now. I want to deal with the part relating to health. I may assume that it is the intention of the Ministry of Mines to go into questions such as adequate ventilation and the conditions necessary to make life better below ground than it is, so that health may be maintained. I frankly admit that these are very good things indeed, things which ought to have the attention of the Mines Department. Vet there is another thing which also is very essential, and that is the question of under-feeding.

I want to suggest to the Secretary for Mines that one of the things which is most detrimental to the health of the miner to-day is the inability of the miner to obtain food sufficient to strengthen him for his work underground. That is due to the wage that he earns under existing circumstances. Wages have been quoted from several counties, and several important mining areas. I represent a district that cannot be said to be an important mining area.; still what we think about ourselves I am not going to tell the House. But it must be said that when it comes down to a matter of the individual that the individual in a small district is quite as much affected as an individual in A big district by matters of this sort. Therefore, let me point out the wages that have been earned by men in the district that I represent. If a pit-top labourer can follow his occupation and obtain 5½ days per week, at the end of the week he will receive the magnificent sum of £1 15s. 9d. The next scale of wages is that of the mechanics working at the pits. The mechanic receives somewhere about £2 4s. or £2 5s. It may be asked: "Why does he stay there?" I am coming to that later. The next grade underground is the adult worker, and assuming he makes five days on an average per week, he will take home—or rather there will be on his pay-note—the sum of £1 14s. 4d. Then we come to the coal-getter. In debates of this sort the hon. Member for Mossley Division (Mr. Hopkinson) interjects various remarks, which is one of his habits. So far as we on these Benches are concerned while we listen attentively, we are perhaps like the rustics mentioned in "The Deserted Village," of whom it was said: Still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew. There is not much difference between the minimum wage and the average wage of the coal-getter in some counties. The average or minimum wage in the county which I represent is, for a hewer working five days a, week, £2 0s. 5d. The coal-getter working on piecework will probably earn slightly more than that. It will be seen that that is something which must be detrimental to the mining community in that particular area. It is not only detrimental to the miner but to his children as well, and the miner's wife has also to suffer, and help to bear a share of the burden. Schoolmasters and school teachers in this district tell me that they have seen a big decline in the physical condition of the children during the last 12 months. These children do not get sufficient nutritious food to make them grow into strong and healthy men and women.

It may be asked what has the Government to do with this? I want to point out that the Government are somewhat to blame for this state of affairs in the mining industry. The Sankey Commission made some startling revelations, and the whole country stood aghast at them. One of the things we said that we were entitled to was an advance of 30 per cent. not in respect of the cost of living. The Sankey Commission said. "You cannot have 30 per cent.; but we are satisfied that you have proved a case in which you are entitled to 2s. to raise your standard of life above 1914." That implied that the standard of life in 1914 had not been adequate. The Leader of the House at that time said that the Government were prepared to accept the Sankey Commission's findings both in spirit and in the letter, but in two or three important points they have thrown those recommendations to the winds. When the battle came last year and wages had to be ruthlessly cut down, the Government never interfered to prevent this 2s. being taken from us. In that respect they did not carry out the Sankey Award. We have had a speech to-day from the hon. Member for North East Derbyshire (Mr. Holmes) in which he set out certain weaknesses which he contended were embodied in the present agreement under which we are working. One thing which struck me in his statement was that in certain districts where a very small surplus was shown, and sometimes none at all, there were certain collieries still showing a reasonable profit while the other collieries were going to the bad.

10.0 P.M.

What happens in districts like this is that the employers with the bad collieries say, "We are going to stop working the colliery," and then either by letter or by notice they give the union officials or the men an intimation that the colliery is going to be stopped. The natural consequence is that when this intimation comes to the miners' agent or their representatives, they immediately inquire why the colliery is going to he stopped. The owner replies, "It cannot be worked because we are losing money, and we shall have to stop the colliery." The miners' representatives then ask if anything can be done, and the owner replies, "Yes; if you will give us a reduction of the tonnage rates the colliery can go on." The result is that the colliery closes, and the men sign on at the Employment Exchange. There they are told, "This is a trade dispute, and therefore you are not entitled to unemployment benefit." The hon. Member for Central Cardiff (Mr. Gould) says that is not the fault of the employers, but I would remind him that when a man makes a claim at the Employment Exchange it is forwarded to the owner for whom he has been working, and the owner has to make a statement as to why the man is out of work, and invariably the reply is that the man has left his work owing to a trade dispute, and the consequence is that the men remain idle.

I want to say to the Secretary for Mines that the men are not desirous of causing any stoppage, and they cannot be accused of causing a stoppage when it is the employer who stops them from working. I want the right hon. Gentleman to use his influence to utilise the different district Conciliation Boards more frequently. In my county the miners have got quite tired of being asked to submit to a reduction of wages, and the owners are now turning in other directions. The last notice we had from one owner, who has already got the reduction of the standard rates, was to the effect that he could not work his pit because he was losing money. We asked the owner why the pit could not be worked, and he replied that the only condition on which the pit could be worked was that for every ton of coal brought up the shaft the man must weigh in 1 cwt. less than the weigh-beam indicates. I submitted that that was a breach of the Coal Mines Act with regard to weighing. The men employed Previously at this pit went to the Employment Exchange, and they were told that in this case it was a trade dispute. In face of such evidence as this, we have come to the conclusion in my county that the Ministry of Labour is using the Unemployment Insurance Act to force down the wages of miners and make the conditions intolerable. It may be said that there is peace and quietness in the coalfield, but let me assure hon. Members that although there is quietness, that is not always an indication of peace. I know there is silence amongst them, and that speaks volumes for the Britisher, and the miners are Britishers, hut they are often most dangerous when silent. The state of things cannot go on, because the men cannot bear the strain much more.

I stated when the Bill decontrolling the mines was placed on the Statute Book that there would be chaos and disorder throughout the length and breadth of the land, and that result certainly followed. I should be one of the last to use a threat, but I know the psychology of the men I go amongst, and I want to say that it would not surprise me at any time to find this silence broken and industry in this country again thrown into chaos. One cannot wonder at it at all. The men are hungry. They have a natural desire to see the development of the industry, as we all have, but when they find that it is not to be obtained then there is nothing else but for them to express their feeling in some other way. I want to join in asking the Minister of Mines if it is not possible to introduce some form of inquiry—not another Sankey Commission —hut some form of inquiry into the whole condition of the industry from the point of view of the employer as well as of the workmen. If that were done it might lead us to some avenues whereby something might be done to put the coal trade in a better position than it is to-day. That would be beneficial not only to the mine-owners and the miners, but to the whole country. In the mining districts, not merely the miners, but business men and municipalities, are crying out because the miners have no money to spend, and the tradesmen therefore cannot sell their goods. Everything is in a state of chaos, and people are wondering what is going to occur. It is essential, therefore, to have an inquiry into the whole of this great and vital industry in the interests of all concerned.

Captain COOTE:

I think the Secretary for Mines may consider himself fortunate in one respect in that his Department has not come in for much personal criticism. I want to say one or two things about his Department, but before doing so I will touch upon the speeches that have already been made. I agree that there is unfortunately, at the present moment, a grave prospect that the agreement under which the late coal dispute terminated will be in danger. The reasons for that have been stated by hon. Members on the Labour benches, but that leads me to ask them, What is the use of an inquiry at the present moment? The conditions are admitted. Everybody deplores them. But hon. Members themselves will agree that in the vast majority of instances at any rate there is a common purpose and a common desire on the part of both owners and men to produce better conditions which will lead to a resumption of that agreement which many of us hoped would be the beginning of better days for this great industry. The reasons why the condition of the miners is as deplorable as has been described are patent to every-body. How is an inquiry to set that right? The facts have been admitted all round, and what is wanted at the present time is not an inquiry but rather suggestions as to how the conditions may be bettered. There are many suggestions that could be put forward. However that may be, we all, I think, ought to admit that the condition of the miners is deplorable, and we ought to be willing to do our best to improve those conditions.

May I turn to the Minister and his Department? Something has been said as to the Labour Adviser, who occupies in the Ministry a position which I can only describe as a sinecure. What does this gentleman do for the large salary he receives? So far as I know, he has practically nothing to do. I am sure my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Mines will acquit me of any intention to make a personal attack on him when I ask what he himself is doing in the Department? The work that is being done there at the present time is largely what one may call police work—work connected with security and safety and such like matters. That work, I suggest, should be discharged, not by a separate Ministry, but by a Department of the Home Office. That is a small economy which, although one would regret to see the right hon. Gentleman leaving the office he adorns, should not be neglected at the present time. I know that the Geddes Committee gives support on the whole to the work which is being done by the Department, especially in the matter of clearing up the Coal Account, but surely in the pie-sent condition of national affairs we do not need a separate Ministry to do that work, and I do suggest therefore that consideration should be given to the question of handing it over to a Department of the Home Office.

May I repeat what I said at the beginning. I do not think that hon. Members opposite have made out a case for an inquiry, because the facts which they have put forward are admitted facts. As to the deplorable condition of the industry we should he glad to hear from them suggestions for a remedy rather than a description of the position. What is needed at the moment is for those engaged in the industry outside this House to get together and see how they can secure better conditions for the men engaged in it. The hon. Member who spoke last said quite truly that, in certain instances, colliery owners were threatening to close down collieries which did not pay their way, and when the men asked the reason for closing down they were told that it was because the collieries did not pay, and could only continue if the men would accept lower rates of wages. That is quite true, but the whole purpose of the agreement was, if possible, to put the coal mining industry upon an economic basis. It was deliberately intended that the bad mines, the uneconomic mines, should be closed down, because their existence adversely affected the general run of the mining industry. I do not think that that will be denied. The agreement, however, has not had that effect, and that has been its weakness. It is also exceedingly bad luck that this period of trade depression should have occurred just on the morrow of the conclusion of this agreement, because it has not had a fair chance. It is almost impossible now to range over the wide variety of subjects that have been referred to in this Debate, but I hope that when the Secretary for Mines comes to reply, he will say something upon the point which I have raised as to the continuance of his Department. That is a practical matter affecting the Estimate, and I hope that, sorry as we should be to lose the right hon. Gentleman, he will be able to give better reasons than appear on the face of it for his staying.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

The hon. and gallant Member who spoke last stated that the miners' Members had mainly been reciting admitted facts, and that it would have been better had they suggested some means of removing those facts and replacing them by better conditions. I think that that betokens, on the part of the hon. and gallant Member, a little lack of that sense of responsibility which rests upon this House and upon himself as one of its Members. After all, it is this House that is directly responsible for the condition in which the mining industry finds itself to-day. It is easy to say that we are all willing to do our best to get it out of the difficulty. What is the attitude that the hon. and gallant Member is prepared to take? We told you 12 months ago and more that, if any settlement such as this was forced upon the men, the men would be driven to such a state of starvation as would be disgraceful to the country itself; and every hon. Member who took part in the Division against the miners' Members on that occasion is to that degree responsible for the conditions now prevailing.

The facts are these. A system of Government control had been established, with the full consent of this House, and it was quite right that control should be established during the period of the War. But, consequent upon that system of control, a chaotic set of conditions resulted, than which no hon. Member can imagine anything worse outside Bedlam. Midlands coal, to the amount of hundreds of thousands of tons was sent to Newcastle; South Wales coal ships were sent to Mersey ports; Lancashire coal was sent down to South Wales. A set of conditions resulted which, as I have said, could not be conceived outside Bedlam. The Government quite rightly controlled wages, and here let me say that, well within 12 months of the outbreak of War, the miners' Members suggested that the Government should control wages and prices, and we said we would not put in for any advances in wages. I am speaking of that which I know, because I was a member of the Coal Mining Organisation Committee of the Home Office at the time, and Mr. Robert Smillie, the present hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Hartshorn), and myself suggested that we ought not to be allowed to fleece the public on either side, that we ought not to be allowed to charge extortionate prices, and that the men would undertake not to put in for advances in wages if the Government would control the selling price. That was in May, 1915—seven years ago.

That agreement was faithfully carried out. Then control came on, at the end of 1916, in South Wales, and at the beginning of 1917 in the rest of the United Kingdom, and these conditions resulted to which I have just referred. It was the control which was forced upon the Government by the necessities of the War that resulted in those conditions. The British Government, therefore, was responsible for doing its very best to remove those conditions before they removed control. But they left both employers and workmen in a more chaotic and disgraceful state than any honourable Government with due regard to its pledges would ever have done. We said, "Give us a chance," those of us who were miners' agents in our areas as well as Members of Parliament, "to get down to our areas and tell them what are the actual facts." We admit that there ought to be an attempt on the part of the two sides in the industry to get down as early as they possibly could to normal conditions. "No," they said "It is true that in the -Mining Industry Act, 1920, we have guaranteed control until 31st August, 1921." [HON. MEMBERS: "No"] I say Yes. You took power to extend it to February, 1922. You took no power to diminish the time. You took power to extend it. You brought in a new Act to break down the old one and that is disgraceful. You promised the men and the employers in that Act of Parliament to continue control until 31st August, 1921, and you took power in the same Act to extend the period for six months longer. That is the case, and it can be found in your own Act, of Parliament. We took no part in it. The responsibility is yours. We said, "We do not want an Act of Parliament that is going to break up the mining kingdom into districts and introduce a provision which must be fatal both to employers and workmen," and we took no part in your Debates. You yourselves passed the Act of Parliament, and it is you who have brought the industry into this chaotic condition. Upon you rests the responsibility.

Let us carry this a little further. In the Committee Room and in this House I, myself, appealed time after time, "Give us one month." "No," said the rigid economists of that time." "It will cost £5,000,000. It would have cost nothing like £5,000,000, but the possibility induced the Government and their supporters to de-control the industry under the most chaotic conditions the mind of man could conceive. And that is statesmanship' It is true the employers themselves said the Act was a breach of faith with them and with the men, and at that very time the Lancashire coalowners had agreed with the miners' representatives to come to London and urge this breach of faith but the Bill was brought in to guarantee to the owners 50 per cent. of their pre-War standard of profit. I suppose money talks, and it talked so effectively that it bought off the employers' opposition. The purchasing power of the men's wages to-day is less than it was 50 years ago. I remember just before the settlement was imposed upon the men certain words spoken by the Prime Minister: The main feature of the permanent scheme is that it fixes a system by which the workman shares with the employer the profits of the industry. I think it will ensure peace for a very long period, and not only will it ensure peace, but, I think, will ensure peace on a very satisfactory basis A satisfactory basis, when tens of thousands of workmen, honestly desirous of doing their best, men of irreproach- able records, have to go, week after week, to the guardians, to have their wages supplemented, because the wages they can earn are insufficient to maintain soul and body. This is the "satisfactory basis." The Prime Minister went on to say: I believe that no such large and scientific application of the theory of profit-sharing has ever taken place in any industry in any country, certainly not in this country. If it is a scientific application, it is certainly most remorseless in its effects. Up to now, taking the aggregate profits, the employers have not done at all badly. Certainly more than one half of the whole mining population are placed to-day upon wages which have not been equalled in meagreness during the last 50 years. How is it that there is such a state of things in this great industry? I am not going to claim any credit for the industry greater than any other industry, hut can any hon. Members point to any industry in this or any other country where reductions on such a tremendous scale have taken place? It is true that the textile industry is depressed, that shipbuilding is depressed, that engineering is depressed, and that all these industries are passing through a more or less heavy state of depression, but is there one industry in the whole country, or in any land of which we have knowledge, which has undergone such tribulation and depression and such heavy reductions of wages as the coal mining industry?

It is all because this House has settled it "upon a scientific basis." Greater cant was never spoken by the Prime Minister. I say that he possessed no knowledge of what he was talking about. He read from a document prepared for him. He knew nothing at all about its contents. He said that twice or thrice in this House, and twice or thrice at the meetings at 10, Downing Street, and he admitted his complete ignorance of the particular profit-sharing scheme he was submitting. Yet he comes to this House and reads from a document that this was the greatest profit-sharing scheme that had ever been applied in this country. The House supported him. It is because hon. Members are willing to be doped with this kind of ignorance that this House acted in the way it did. At any rate, on account of that ignorance the mining industry is reduced to its present condition. I do not intend to go into small details and to compare one with the other. The fact is that the vast mass of the mining population to-day are in a state of semi-starvation, they and their children, and that really implies the greatest possible dishonour upon this House for the work it did. If that is the condition, and it cannot be disputed, it is for the Members of this House to say: "We committed a great wrong; but we acted in ignorance. We did not know the facts. We were honourable party men, and were bound to go into the lobby that was properly marked out for us. We never thought that things would come to their present position, but now that we do know the facts, now that there have been nearly 12 months' trial of this profit-sharing scheme, which has reduced the workmen in this great industry to their present condition, we will try to atone for our faults. We will try and see what are the real causes of this deplorable state of things, and we will take part in an inquiry having for its purpose the lifting of the workmen out of this condition." That is what Members ought to say to themselves and not taunt us with making complaints without suggesting remedies. Even if we suggest remedies we should be treated with contempt.

There is a great deal more levity about anything affecting the miners than about any other industry in the kingdom. The House has been empty nearly all the night, and Members have been laughing and talking with each other. Even when Members know the facts, they find cause for laughter. That is not the attitude in which Members should approach a consideration of this question. It is an attitude exactly similar to that which was shown in March of last year in this House. We are bound to speak with feeling in this matter. It is said that we have made peace. We have heard of people in the olden times who made a solitude, and called it peace. It is true, as one of my hon. Friends has said, that there is peace, but it is the peace of semi-despair, of people who know not where to turn, of people who have been law-abiding in the past, of fathers and mothers who gave their sons by hundreds of thousands to maintain the honour of this land, of people who are driven to despair, who are counselled by their leaders to maintain peace, and not to rush into frenzied action of any kind, but to appeal to Parliament and to the good sense of the nation to see if something cannot be done to raise them from this terrible morass in which they find themselves.

Do not let hon. Members believe that miners are going to remain for ever peaceable in these conditions. They cannot even if they wish. It would be dishonourable for them to do so. We appeal even now that these conditions should be fully inquired into. We desire to act as self-respecting members of a great community, and to imbue our own people with the same feeling, but we cannot for ever go on crying peace when there is no real peace, but poverty and semi-starvation, and when hundreds of thousands of homes are going through an agony which it is impossible to describe. That is why we have taken part in the discussion of this miners' question. It is the most serious condition of things that I have ever known personally or from history. We are going back to a condition of things even worse than that which prevailed during the Napoleonic wars, when the poor rates had to supplement the wages of the people. That is what is being done now on a larger scale than ever, and when we are told that we ought to do something more than complain, and ought to put forward constructive proposals, it is they who destroyed the previously existing conditions, despite all warning, upon whom rests the responsibility of reconstruction. It is upon them rests the responsibility of building again where they have destroyed and giving to the miners that degree of satisfaction to which they are entitled.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

There are one or two minor points with which I wish to deal before coming to the main question raised in the Debate. The hon. Member for North-East Derbyshire (Mr. Holmes) made several suggestions about altering the agreement. I was glad to hear him say that, in substance, the agreement was sound, though it required several variations. His observations will be studied by those responsible for the agreement and for continuing or abrogating it when the time comes. The hon. Member for Attercliffe (Mr. Casey) raised an interesting question about the testing of safety appliances against over-winding. I would be glad if he would communicate with my Department so that we may get a little more information from him on the subject, and see whether anything can be done towards carrying out his suggestion, which seemed to me to be a very reasonable one. The right hon. Member for Camborne (Mr. Acland) and the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Foot) spoke about the Cornish mines. I entirely agree with them in their expressions of sympathy with the Cornish tin miners. I do not know anything that can put that industry again on its feet except a marked revival of trade. They asked me two direct questions. One was about the South Crofty mine and the treatment it received from the Trade Facilities Committee. That Committee is not under my Department, but I understand that a guarantee of £30,000 was given to the South Crofty mine to carry out certain operations. I am afraid I can say no more as to the policy of the Trade Facilities Committee. Such questions must be asked of the Treasury, who are responsible.

On the whole I may congratulate myself and my Department that the criticisms directed against us to-day have been slight. Some were complimentary and others not. At any rate, they do not form such a formidable attack as would justify me in taking up much of the time of the Committee in replying to them. One point was raised with regard to the position of the Labour Adviser. It was suggested that his services were not required. I cannot admit that. A man of lifelong experience in the mining industry, he knows the whole question from A to Z, and especially the question as it presents itself to the trade union mind; and he cannot fail to be of immense value in the saving of time, by putting us very often on the right lines on a subject which might occupy many days if we worked it out ourselves. His value has been recognised for the Government of South Africa has asked for him to be sent out to serve on a special Commission to inquire into the Johannesburg strike. That in itself is sufficient testimony to his value to a Department like ours. The hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely (Captain Coote) suggested that the Department would be better off if I were no longer there. Some people may be, alone, the judges of their own value; I prefer to leave the judgment to others. If it is thought that in the public interest the work which I do, and which may or may not be of any value, could be better done by somebody else who is already occupied, I will never complain. All I will say is, I do not quite see what the saving is going to be in attaching the Mines Department to the Home Office, or in splitting up its work among the different Departments from which it was evolved. A question was raised by the hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. F. Hall) as to whether unemployment benefit was refused to men who had gone out of employment because they could not agree to terms offered by owners, which were below the standard fixed by the settlement. That point, it seems to me, should be inquired into. It rests, I understand, with the Umpire, and not with the Labour Department, but I can, at any rate, say I will discuss with the Minister of Labour the point which has been raised, in order that I may be able more fully to understand it and point out to him what appears to me to be the hardships involved.

The main purport of this Debate was not, I think, to criticise the Estimate of the Mines Department, but to let the public know, if they do not know already, the very unhappy state in which the mining industry is in many parts of the country. I am sorry that some speakers thought it necessary to rake up old controversies about decontrol and the part the Government took at that time in order to try to prove that the whole of the present difficulties are due to the action of the Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "So it is!"] That has been said by more than one hon. Member to-night and I am not going to argue the question all over again. I will say this—I do not admit for one moment, there was any breach of faith. The mining industry—both owners and men—was warned that decontrol might take place before 31st August. Owners and men were asked to sit together and come to some arrangement to carry on after control came to an end. They had four months in which to do it and at the end of that time they had come to no agreement. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who?"] The owners and the men—I know what I am talking about.

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

And we know what we are suffering.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

We all know what the suffering is, but I am not going to admit it is due to any action on the part of the Government. Everybody is entitled to his own opinions. But I would like to go further than that, and say that, so far from the Government having been deaf to the entreaties of the mining industry, £25,000,000 of money were spent out of the public purse at the beginning of the year in order to keep up wages during those three months to the point at which they were, and not only that, but since then £7,000,000 have been spent in order to allow the decline to be more gradual, and I should like to ask hon. Members opposite whether any other industry has received from the taxpayers of this country so much assistance as the mining industry has.

Photo of Mr Vernon Hartshorn Mr Vernon Hartshorn , Ogmore

Is it not a fact that most of the £25,000,000 was spent, not to keep wages up to their point, but to enable all the other industries in the country to have coal below the cost of production—and the Navy too? [HON. MEMBERS: "That is the same thing."]

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

They were spent in the period when the trade slump began and to prevent the miners receiving too severe cuts in their wages, but what I would say is this—[Interruption]—I am surely entitled, when an attack has been made on the Government by several speakers, to point out to the Committee what the position of the Government is, and nobody can dispute what I have said. I have stated what are the plain and unvarnished facts. What the hon. Member for Ince (Mr. S. Walsh) tried to prove was that all the trouble was due to the settlement, which he said was a very bad one, and that, so far from being a profit-sharing arrangement, it had been a loss-sharing arrangement. Surely every profit-sharing arrangement must also be a loss-sharing arrangement, according to the circumstances of the time. This particular arrangement has not only been a loss sharing, but it has been an arrangement under which the owners have in many cases made no profits at all, and I do not admit for a moment that the agreement is a bad one. I say it is a very good one on general principles. I do not say it is not capable of being amended.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I disagree. I think it is a good arrangement, and what is more, I have considerable support for my view in the opinion of the Secretary of the Miners' Federation. At that time, on the 27th June, 1921, when the settlement was made, Mr. Frank Hodges said: With a settlement of this description before us, I think the nation will be glad to give what assistance is necessary to help us on to our feet again… That is when he asked for the £10,000,000: In this agreement, Mr. Prime Minister, we have a principle to which I attach the greatest importance—the first principle that we have ever had in the history of our trade which gives the workmen and the owners well-defined shares in its prosperity. It is not a question of the fluctuation of prices any longer; it is not a question of having wages fixed at a maximum point and the owners having profits indefinitely above that maximum point; it is a question of knowing to a penny what the trade will bear and what our respective shares will be. If this does not bring peace into the trade under private enterprise, there is nothing that can, and I am convinced that there is during the lifetime of this agreement a period of peace which the nation will welcome and which the nation is dying to witness and experience. If you read your "Daily Herald" for to-day, you will see that he still says, and he is quite right, that the agreement in principle is a good one. I cannot imagine any greater folly than that those who have such terms as the miners have under this agreement should try to get out, of the agreement because, at the moment, they happen to be at the bottom of the scale. It is like trying to sell your shares when they are at the lowest possible point. The moment industry improves wages will improve also.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

What good does that do if it does not pay the grocer's and the butcher's budget?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

Surely you can more easily pay the grocer's and the butcher's budget if wages have risen by 30s. or 35s. than if wages have not risen at all.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

They cannot pay them at all.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

It would be an act of extreme folly to back out of the agreement when things are at their very worst, because then the miners would have had no benefit out of it and would lose the chance of the certain benefits they would get if things improved. What is it that we are asked to do? We are asked to have an inquiry. An inquiry about what?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

An inquiry into the state of the industry which, I think, is known to every hon. Member of this Committee. What possible new fact can be gained by an inquiry No single hon. Member opposite has offered a single suggestion for improvement.

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

It is in the Sankey Report.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

That is the first suggestion we have had. [HON. MEMBERS: "The question of royalties!"] The question of royalties was considered at one time, and an offer was made by the Prime Minister in conjunction with other conditions, and that was turned down. What is it that we should get from an inquiry?

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

Certain proposals were laid before, Parliament, and we were promised that they should be transformed into law without delay. One of those proposals was that the ownership of the royalties should come into the hands of the nation. Who turned that proposal down? The right hon. Gentleman said it was turned down will he tell us who turned it down?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

It was offered at the time of the dispute as part of another settlement. It was turned down at the moment and has not been offered since. How this proposal to buy out the royalty owners would be of any benefit at this moment, I do not know. All it would mean would be that the trade would pay the royalty to the State instead of to the mineowners.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

Surely, the right hon. Gentleman can answer the question who turned the proposal down?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I have already answered that it was put before the Miners' Federation as part of a settlement offered by the Prime Minister.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

It was offered to this House. Was it turned down by this House?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I am not speaking about this House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."]

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

It is not a question of Order simply, but a question for the right hon. Gentleman to answer.

The CHAIRMAN:

I would ask hon. Members to let the right hon. Gentleman continue, as there are only five minutes left.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

I have already said three times that it was not turned down by the House.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

It was left to this House.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

Whether it was left to this House or not, it would do no good at this moment merely to transfer the payment of royalties from the present owners to the State. It would be very easy indeed for me to say that I would have an inquiry. Perhaps it would be the easiest way out of it, but would it not be rather a deception? I do not know what we are going to inquire into. Nobody knows what would be the result of an inquiry. It might tide over difficulties for me and other people in the next three or four weeks to say we are having an inquiry, but what possible good could come out of it? What hon. Members opposite want is some financial aid to the industry—that is the long and short. of it. Are you prepared to go to the other industries in this country some of whom are in as bad a position as you are yourselves, and when we have got nearly 2,000,000 people out of employment in this country—are you able to go to the country and say that the other industries and the taxpayers have got to find some more money for the mining industry, or are you not? I do not think that that is what you would ever dream at this moment of asking, and, if that be so, I really think that an inquiry can be of very little use. It is money that is wanted. Nobody can deplore the state of the industry more than I do, but sympathy is not of very much value. For what it is worth, I think the mining industry has the sympathy of the whole House. But what you want is money.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

Could it not be made a subject of inquiry by the right hon.

Gentleman's Department how it is that there is in an industry such as this, a consecutive series of reductions greater than ever known in the history of the industry, and never having taken place in any other industry? Could that not be made a subject of inquiry?

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

An inquiry of that sort would be an inquiry into the course of the economic laws, and I say it would be a very easy and simple way out of it in deluding anybody, but no good could come out of it. Therefore, although, of course, the proposal will no doubt be considered by those in higher authority than I am, I cannot myself see what possible good an inquiry could do. It seems a hard thing to say, but my own view is that the only thing for the industry to do is to go on and grin and bear it for a bit longer in the hope, and with some reasonable hope, that an improvement in trade will bring—

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

We have just got to stew in our own juice.

Photo of Mr William Bridgeman Mr William Bridgeman , Oswestry

The mining industry is not the only industry in this country in trouble. I am more interested in the mining industry than any other, and therefore I would rather do anything to help that industry than any other, but one thing I want to avoid is cant and humbug. Therefore, I venture to say, knowing as we do in this House the trouble in which the mining industry is, we have admired the courage with which they have borne their troubles up to now, and we feel confident in their endurance to bear those troubles for a little longer in the hope that a revival in trade will bring to them and to other people in this country the relief they so much desire.

Question put, "That a sum not exceeding £95,184 be granted for the said Service."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 53: Noes, 146.

Division No. 109.]AYES.[11.0 p.m.
Adamson, Hi Hon. WilliamDavies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)Grundy, T. W.
Amnion, Charles GeorgeDavies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Halls, Walter
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Hancock, John George
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Finney, SamuelHartshorn, Vernon
Bromfield, WilliamFoot, IsaacHayday, Arthur
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Galbraith, SamuelHayward, Evan
Cairns, JohnGills, WilliamHirst, G. H.
Cape, ThomasGraham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Holmes, J. Stanley
Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Kennedy, ThomasNewbould, Alfred ErnestTillett, Benjamin
Kenyon, BarnetParkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Kiley, James DanielRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lawson, John JamesRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)Wignall, James
Lunn, WilliamRobertson, JohnWilson, James (Dudley)
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Sexton, James
Mills, John EdmundSpencer, George A.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Sutton, John EdwardMr. W. Smith and Mr. T. Griffiths.
Naylor, Thomas EllisSwan, J. E.
NOES.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteFraser, Major Sir KeithPease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Armltage, RobertFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)
Armstrong, Henry BruceGange, E. StanleyPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Atkey, A. R.Ganzonl, Sir JohnPerring, William George
Baird, Sir John LawrenceGibbs, Colonel George AbrahamPollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Gould, James C.Purchase, H. G.
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Grant, James AugustusRaeburn, Sir William H.
Barker, Major Robert H.Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Barlow, Sir MontagueGreenwood, William (Stockport)Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)
Barnett, Major Richard W.Gregory, HolmanRemer, J. R.
Barnston, Major HarryGretton, Colonel JohnRichardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Barrand, A. R.Gritten, W. G. HowardRoberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Betterton, Henry B.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Rounded, Colonel R. F.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRoyds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, putney)
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Breese, Major Charles E.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Seddon, J. A.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankShaw, William T. (Forfar)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Hinds, JohnShortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William JamesHolbrook, sir Arthur RichardStanley, Major Hon, G. (Preston)
Burdon, Colonel RowlandHopkins, John W. W.Strauss, Edward Anthony
Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Sturrock, J. Long
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Howard, Major S. G.Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Carr, W. TheodoreInskip, Thomas Walker H.Sutherland, Sir William
Casey, T. W.Jodrell, Neville PaulTerrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Cautley, Henry StrotherJohnson, Sir StanleyThomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Coats, Sir StuartJones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Tryon, Major George Clement
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeWaddington, R.
Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeKing, Captain Henry DouglasWalters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor
Conway, Sir W. MartinLindsay, William ArthurWard-Jackson, Major C. L.
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)Lloyd, George ButlerWarner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Cope, Major WilliamLocker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Watson, Captain John Bertrand
Curzon, Captain ViscountLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)Lort-Williams, J.Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Davies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.)Macquisten, F. A.Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Dawson, Sir PhilipManville, EdwardWilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Doyle, N. GrattanMitchell, Sir William LaneWinterton, Earl
Edge, Captain Sir WilliamMolson, Major John ElsdaleWise, Frederick
Elveden, ViscountMorden, Col. W. GrantWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithMorrison, HughWood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Evans, ErnestNeal, ArthurWood, Major Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Worsfold, T. Cato
Flides, HenryNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Ford, Patrick JohnstonNicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)
Forestier-Walker, L.Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Forrest, WalterNorton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir JohnColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotParker, JamesMcCurdy.

Original Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 139; Noes, 49.

Division No. 110.]AYES.[11.10 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteBoscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-Conway, Sir W. Martin
Armltage, RobertBowyer, Captain G. W. E.Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)
Armstrong, Henry BruceBreese, Major Charles E.Cope, Major William
Atkey, A. R.Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveCurzon, Captain Viscount
Baird, Sir John LawrenceBuckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William JamesDavies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.)
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Burdon, Colonel RowlandDawson, Sir Philip
Barker, Major Robert H.Camplon, Lieut.-Colonel w. R.Doyle, N. Grattan
Barlow, Sir MontagueCarr, W. TheodoreEdge, Captain Sir William
Barnett, Major Richard W.Casey, T. W.Elveden, viscount
Barnston, Major HarryCautley, Henry StrotherErskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Barrand, A. R.Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm, w.)Evans, Ernest
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Coats, Sir StuartEyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.
Betterton, Henry B.Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeFord, Patrick Johnston
Forestier-Walker, L.Lloyd, George ButlerSeddon, J. A.
Forrest, waiterLocker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John
Fraser, Major Sir KeithLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)Shaw, William T. (Forfar)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Lort-Williams, J.Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Gange, E. StanleyMacquisten, F. A.Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Ganzonl, Sir JohnManville, EdwardStrauss, Edward Anthony
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMitchell, Sir William LaneSturrock, J. Long
Gould, James C.Molson, Major John ElsdaleSurtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Grant, James AugustusMorden, Col. W. GrantSutherland, Sir William
Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Morrison, HughTerrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Greenwood, William (Stockport)Neal, ArthurThomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
Gregory, HolmanNewman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Gritten, W. G. HowardNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Tryon, Major George Clement
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Waddington, R.
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)Walters, Rt. Hon. sir John Tudor
Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryNicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col- Sir JohnWatson, Captain John Bertrand
Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Parker, JamesWheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Herbert, Denis (Hertford, Watford)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert PikeWilliams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankPeel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Hinds, JohnPerring, William GeorgeWilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardPollock, Rt. Hon. sir Ernest MurrayWise, Frederick
Hopkins, John W. W.Purchase, H. G.Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Raeburn, Sir William H.Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Howard, Major S. G.Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)Wood, Major Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Inskip, Thomas Walker H.Remer, J. R.Worsfold, T. Cato
Jodrell, Neville PaulRichardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Johnson, Sir StanleyRoberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Roundell, Colonel R. F.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeRoyds, Lieut.-Colonel EdmundColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
King, Captain Henry DouglasSamuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)McCurdy.
Lindsay, William ArthurScott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamGalbraith, SamuelMaclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Ammon, Charles GeorgeGillis, WilliamMills, John Edmund
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Grundy, T. W.Naylor, Thomas Ellis
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Bromfield, WilliamHalls, WalterRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hancock, John GeorgeRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Cairns, JohnHartshorn, VernonRobertson, John
Cape, ThomasHayday, ArthurSexton, James
Carter, w. (Nottingham, Mansfield)Hayward, EvanSpencer, George A.
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)Hirst, G. H.Sutton, John Edward
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Holmes, J. StanleySwan, J. E.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Tillett, Benjamin
Edwards, C (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Kennedy, ThomasWalsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Flldes, HenryKenyon, BarnetWilson, James (Dudley)
Finney, SamuelLawson, John James
Foot, IsaacLunn, WilliamTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. W. Smith and Mr. T. Griffiths.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next, 22nd May.

Committee to sit again upon Monday next.