Unclassified Services.

Orders of the Day — Civil Services Supplementary Estimates, 1922–23. – in the House of Commons on 12th December 1922.

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Resolution reported: That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,070,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1923, for Relief arising out of Unemployment, including a Grant-in-Aid.

Resolution read a Second time.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I beg to move to leave out "£1,070,000," and to insert instead thereof "£1,069,900."

It is rather unfortunate that at 4.30 in the morning we should be beginning a discussion on the most important topic which has taken up the time of this House in this short Session. The vote of money which we are now considering has to do with the question of unemployment, and I suggest to hon. Members that that great social fact with which we are all face to face at the moment is not one which should be discussed in those circumstances and at this time. I do not for a single moment allege, because I do not think there is any truth in the allegation, that any hon. Member in this House is lacking in sympathy with the unemployed man and his dependents. After all, every one of us must know what it means to these people socially. We also know that they look to the House of Commons for some relief from the unfortunate situation in which, through no fault of their own, they now find themselves, and it is therefore peculiarly unfortunate that we should be discussing the subject at this moment in so attenuated a House with no very great prospect of any satisfactory solution. Before we separate for the Recess, whatever theories we hold about unemployment, we ought to try, if we can, to realise that between now and 13th February, or whatever date the House may resume, the great mass of those who are unemployed will be passing through a period when the great mass of the people of the country will be enjoying themselves over Christmas and the New Year. In addition, there is for the unemployed the added irony that they cannot share in the good things of that season of the year. Therefore, I think, we ought to try to make some practical contribution to the problem. After all, what the unemployed man wants is work this morning. He also wants to know that, when he joins with his wife and children at the breakfast table there will be sufficient food to maintain himself and his family in physical efficiency, and destroy that pathetic feeling that every man must have who is faced with that situation. In that situation, it does not do for us to say that private enterprise has broken down. That may be quite true. Personally, I do not think that private enterprise has broken down so much as that the conditions under which private enterprise operates as a result of the War are exceptionally difficult. Private enterprise, whatever its faults may be, is not at the present moment operating under conditions which are favourable to its success. Let us put it no higher than that. That is no great comfort to the man who has not got any work, and that is not going to supply him with work. That is presenting the man with a stone when he is asking for bread.

On the other hand, you have the argument which has been put by many hon. Members that, if private enterprise were allowed a free field, you would create conditions under which unemployment would not be rife. Assuming it is true that private enterprise has broken down, this also is true that until you get in this House of Commons a majority of Members who represent that view, which means until you have educated public opinion up to the point that will send sufficient Members here to represent that view, that argument will not give the unemployed man any work either. There is the situation. I hope hon. Members on both sides will not misunderstand me. I am not arguing the pros and cons of the situation. I am only stating this, that when you have considered both these arguments, you have 1,500,000 people who have not got work. Therefore, the situation we have to address ourselves to at this time of the morning is: Have we done everything we can do to provide work? I am not going to engage in any unfruitful discussion. Everybody will admit straight away that until we settle the question of high policy there is a cause of a great deal of the unemployment that exists. That, of course, cannot be done in sufficient time to help the unemployed now. We have passed the Trade Facilities Act; we have given credits for £50,000,000, which in its way is a contribution to the problem. But, after all, the effects of that will not percolate to the unemployed man sufficiently soon to enable him to get to grips with the poverty problem with which he is face to face. In these circumstances I have been asking myself—and I am only making this as a contribution to the Debate—if there is any immediate way in which we can do more for the unemployed man than we have been able to do by the contributions we have already made.

There are certain Members of the House who will remember that the Conservative Government, in 1905, passed an Act which was very much eriticisedi—which was not perfect by any means, and which did not last for very long—as an experiment. If I remember rightly, it certainly covered that particular winter. It was known as the Unemployed Workmen Act. The merit of that Act, if it had merit, and I think it had some, was that it did make a slight attempt to co-ordinate the agencies that dealt with unemployment. To-day we have too many agencies dealing with the problem of unemployment. There are city and borough councils, parish councils, boards of guardians, trade unions and Government schemes dealing with the subject. There are half a dozen, if not more, agencies all dealing with the same problem, to a large extent overlapping and probably not making the contribution they ought to make to the problem if they were coordinated. The main principle of the Unemployed Workmen Act was that you set up in every borough what was then known as a distress committee. I should like to say, parenthetically, that I do not thirl myself to these precise words or this precise Act; it is only the principle I am dealing with at the moment. Those distress committees had on them representatives from the city council, the board of guardians, and now, of course, there are other agencies such as the labour exchanges which could be got together. They sat down to this problem: How can we provide useful work in our borough for the man who is unemployed? I venture to suggest that in every borough of any size in this country there is municipal work which could be put into operation to- morrow. I remember that at the time of this Act I happened to be the chairman of the distress committee in the City of York. We found a piece of work by which we were enabled to employ about 400 men for the best part of three months, levelling two playing fields in front of the girls' secondary school above the flood level of the river which they adjoined. We got a grant of money from the Government, if I remember rightly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will correct me if I am wrong, the Government gave £100,000 to that particular scheme in 1905. Then we got money from the education committee of the York City Council for the improvement we made upon their fields. There is no great municipality which: could not put forward a great deal of its planting at this time of the year and so employ men. Every town could be made cleaner than it is, and could give labour straightaway in keeping the towns clean. These great national schemes involve the mobility of labour, and frequently if you move a man from his home you have to take into account the question of housing and you have to bear in mind the question of the separation of the man from his wife and family. But the work to which he had referred could be done at once without waiting, as we are bound to wait, for these other schemes to be effective. You can get the best brains in every borough council, in every city and town, and you can get the sympathy of all the people, and you could find work for a large proportion of men straight away. It may not be the kind of work that everybody would prefer, but, at any rate, the men would be in work. As said in an earlier speech this afternoon on another aspect, I think we are taking a very considerable risk. On Friday I listened to a great many of the speeches that were made, and I remember in particular listening to a speech by the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). He made a very short but very effective speech. The hon. Member for Bridgeton is no fool. He has been a long time in contact with public opinion in Glasgow. He is an old personal friend of my own, and I value his opinion. What did he say! He said I have to go back to Glasgow and I have to say to the people in Glasgow, "This House cannot help you." If responsible Members of this House are going back to masses of men in the country and take their courage in both hands and say to them, "This House cannot help them," then we are going to be face to face with a situation which may be dangerous. When the War was on this House never had recesses of the length we are going to have now, because we felt that the men who were fighting at the front required the constant attention of this House in providing them with everything necessary. In the same way, when you have so large a proportion of the community fighting unemployment, fighting poverty, it did not help for this House to separate so long, unless at the same time they can provide an effective remedy. I do not want to enter upon the theoretical argument. What the House wants to do is to do something effective and practical at once. I am quite certain that if the Government consider it and set up at once—by at once I mean to-morrow or the next day—the Act is on the Statute Book and the Minister of Labour could send out a telegram to-morrow netting up these Committees all over the country and the Prime Minister could say that the Government were willing to provide a certain sum of money which this House might agree upon for the work. I am not claiming any more than that, but I do claim that it is a practical suggestion, and a suggestion that this House could very well carry out in view of the season of the year which we are now approaching, and I think we would do ourselves credit. The hon. Member for Bridgeton would agree that if we did that it would be something to show that we are doing our very best to deal with the practical problem. It would be very much more than futile debates in this House as to how one system, private enterprise, or another system, public enterprise, would solve this question. I would respectfully move this reduction of £100 in order to draw attention to this practical suggestion. I hope very much my hon. Friend the Minister of Labour may give it his sympathy and sympathetic attention.

Photo of Mr William Pringle Mr William Pringle , Penistone

It is not my intention to-night to deal with the particular administrative problem to which my hon. Friend has just directed the attention of the House. He has been dealing with this important problem mainly from the point of view of the unemployed man. My object in intervening this morning is to call the attention of the House and of the Minister, in particular, to the very grave problem which concerns the local authorities in very many areas in this country where unemployment is most grave at the present moment. This subject has emerged in a number of Debates that have taken place and by no one has it been more strongly forced upon the attention of the House than by the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Trevelyan Thomson). In no case do Ministers appear to me to have faced this problem at all. This is no new problem. It is a problem which was brought, before the late Government by a very representative deputation which waited, I think, upon the late Prime Minister, on which occasion the representatives of local authorities pointed out how serious the situation was. In the course of the Debates during the present Session we have had a variety of answers on the part of the Government. We have been told that the loans which are being made available to authorities are going to lighten the burden, that by giving short loans repayable in a period of time of 10 years the situation is being immediately eased and that these authorities must be content with that contribution from the central Government, It is also pointed out that the works which are in contemplation under various Government schemes are likely to be a contribution towards the same object, but I am surprised at the main answer which has been given, I think on Friday last, by the Minister of Labour when it was suggested that the burden which now falls mainly upon these authorities should be to some extent transferred to the Exchequer. He pointed out that it came to the same thing that if the Exchequer shouldered the burden the subject had to pay simply in taxes, and that made no difference to him as it was simply relieving him of rates. But this ignores the fundamental point of the problem, which is that the problem is concentrated in certain areas. There are some well-defined districts where unemployment is, at the present moment, abnormal as compared with anything we have ever experienced in this country. We are told that the percentage of unemployment in the shipbuilding trades is 40 per cent., and one can understand what that means to Clydeside or Barrow or the Tyne, and in the iron and steel trades you find that a situation approximating in gravity prevails on the north-east coast, in Sheffield, and in several other parts of the country. In Sheffield 40 per cent, of the working population are out of work, and have been for more than a year, and the rates now exceed 23s. in the pound. Taking the rural districts on the confines of Sheffield, the rates now amount to 18s. 9d. in the pound. If it meant that when this crisis is at an end, of which there is no immediate prospect, that there would be a drop in the rates the situation would not be so serious, but these authorities are only able to keep the rates down to that figure by borrowing, and it means that the rates must remain at that figure for five or ten years. What the people are face to face with is that they are piling up a burden of rates which makes it impossible for the industries of these areas to survive at all. There are many business men on the other side of the House who will appreciate the point that rates amounting to 23s. in the pound are going to be a tremendous handicap on industry in the future. They are to hamper its recovery; indeed, they may prevent it recovering altogether. Many of us remember the removal of Yarrow's great works from the Thames, and the reason given was the heavy burden of rates.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

No, that was not the reason given by Yarrow's.

Photo of Mr William Pringle Mr William Pringle , Penistone

That was one reason given at any rate. I am not putting it as the sole reason, but undoubtedly it is admitted on all hands that when you have in any locality an abnormal burden of rates it is very difficult for industry to survive, and we know that in the case of any undertaking that is in contemplation one factor which determines the selection of the site is the amount of local rates. I have no doubt whatever that if, as the result of the concentration of unemployment in those particular areas, you are to have abnormal rates for a long period of years, you are creating a situation which is making the recovery of industry in these places almost impossible for the future. I suggest, therefore, it is not sufficient for the Minister to say that it does not matter whether this burden is paid out of taxes or out of rates; I am now drawing attention to the immediate aspect of this problem which I think can be dealt with by the Government, and an aspect which the Government have up to the present inadequately appreciated, and for which they have offered no adequate remedy at all. I hope the Minister will be able to announce that the Government is giving further attention to the matter. He did me the courtesy of asking me what I was to speak about in this Debate and I informed him what aspect I was to deal with. I hope, therefore, he will be able to give some assurance on behalf of the Government that before the House meet again, the Government will be in a position to put some more tangible proposals before the House.

5.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr Anderson Barlow Mr Anderson Barlow , Salford South

I should like, if I may, to reply very shortly to the two speeches which have just been made, and which constitute a real contribution to this subject. First of all, as to the suggestion as to the Unemployed Workmen Act of 1905 and the revival of the distress committees, this was one of the very first things we considered when the Unemployment Committee was set up. The Act is in operation at the present moment: it is kept alive, mainly for Hollesley Bay and Ockenden, by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act; but, generally speaking, the distress committees have ceased to function. The work which those committees used to do is now being done in another way. The distress committees had no money. They could accept voluntary funds, and on one occasion, I think, they received a grant from the Government of about £300,000, but they had no funds of their own, and they could only initiate relief works through the local authorities. Anybody familiar with this matter knows that the Unemployment Grants Committee have a two-fold method of operation—first, by means of schemes, and, secondly, by CO per cent, grants in aid of wages; this Committee are placing in the hands of the corporations, acting, as a rule, in conjunction with the Unemployment Committees, of the Labour Exchanges large sums of money, and many corporations have great difficulty now, not so much in finding sufficient money, because Lord St. David's Committee has considerable funds at its disposal, but in discovering plans for useful work. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] I assure my friends that that is so. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where?"] I cannot involve myself in a controversy in details of that kind across the Floor. The work is being efficiently done. The local authorities and corporations have loyally prepared numerous schemes and secured funds from the Unemployment Grants Committee so that they are enabled to put their schemes when approved in operation: that it is not necessary, therefore, to set up the distress committee again. They would, in fact, be less a help than a hindrance. There was another function the distress committees were intended to discharge, namely, to compile a register of unemployed persons in each area. This work of registration which the distress committee was intended to discharge is being more effectively carried out under the Unemployment Insurance Acts and the information we secure thereby. So much for the distress committees: and with the best will in the world to accept fruitful suggestions from any quarter I am very much afraid we cannot look to any help from the proposal of my hon. Friend opposite.

As to the necessitous areas I do not wish that what I said last Friday should be misunderstood: I was very careful to indicate, in answer to an interjection, that the thesis I endeavoured to put forward was on broad lines and must not be confined to the special point of the difference between one rate area and another area. Many Members of the House urge the claims of the ratepayer; but they forget that the taxpayer has Claims too: in other words, that if the ratepayer's pocket is not bottomless the taxpayer's is not either. When we face the more difficult problem suggested by the Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle), that as between one rateable area and another there is inequality, then we arrive at a more tangible problem. Now one of the proposals suggested, and which we have been putting in operation, is a solution of the difficulty by way of loans. It has been objected that the loan solution is not a very sound one. Well, it has carried us through last winter and in these difficult times any scheme that works for the time being is of some merit: and when it is suggested, as it is in certain quarters, that we should drop the loan policy altogether and simply pour into the hands of the guardians large sums of money from central sources, I should like to draw the notice of the House to what was said by the president of the Poor Law Unions at a recent meeting. He speaks with great experience and has had, I believe, a lifelong connection with this kind of work. He says: "I would remind those of this meeting who feel that the council has not been militant enough [i.e., in demanding money from the Central Government] that this association stands for local government and the preservation of the guardians." I say that you cannot stand for a policy of local control and a policy of nationalisation at the same time. If you ask the nation which placed this work in your hands to take it back again by making unemployment a national responsibility, or if you ask the Government to bear the cost of a large proportion of your work, you must be content to give up local control. As the Prime Minister announced: "The whole system of local government will break down if the people who are responsible for local expenditure are not also responsible for the raising and spending the necessary money. Nationalisation and local control cannot live together." That issue has to be faced by those who are always demanding that large sums of money should be poured into local administration from national sources. The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Pringle) says that, accepting for the moment our present system of the raising of the necessary funds locally by means of rates, there is great injustice between one area and another. That is the same point that has been pressed upon our notice with a great deal of force by the Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) on many occasions. We are thoroughly alive to the difficulty, but the matter is by no means so easy as might appear at first sight; and I would like to give my friends an instance of the kind of difficulty that arises. Take the more or less similar towns of Rotherham and Walsall. Rotherham has about 70,000 and Walsall about 96,000 of population. Both are industrial towns. The unemployment bears a fair proportion to the population, 3,000 in Rotherham at the end of October, and 5,000 in Walsall. Now those areas are fairly alike. The paupers represent the same proportion to the population, 7,000 and 9,000. Yet, though those two areas are so much alike, in Rotherham the rates for the relief of the poor are in the present year 4s. 6d., and rates for all other purposes other than education are 11s. 6d., while in Walsall the rates for the relief of the poor are 10s. 11d. and for other purposes 5s. Id., almost exactly the reverse. I do not want to go into that and discuss it. I give it as an instance to show that, when you try and probe local rating differences and suggest adjustments, you discover the most extraordinary disparities. We have appointed a Committee only recently to examine the question. How soon that Committee will be able to come to a conclusion I cannot say, but I very much hope, as the hon. Gentleman did himself, that when the House meets again we may be in a position to make some announcement on the subject.

Now a word or two of a general character on the Vote. The Vote in general is a Vote with regard to unemployment and, in dealing with the Estimate as I was enabled to do somewhat fully last Friday, I mentioned not only the Government programme actually involved in the Vote but also, as indicated on page 3, the general expenditure forming the whole Government programme other than and beyond the particular expenditure of £1,070,000 involved in the Supplementary Estimate. I think it is germane to refer to the two battleships which have just been announced as about to be laid down forthwith. I cannot say these ships form part of the general Government programme for dealing with unemployment. I do not put the announcement on that basis; but I believe the House would like to know what the effect of laying down those two battleships will be as far as the great problem we have to face is concerned. The two battleships will be constructed on the Tyne and Mersey, and large orders for machinery and armaments will be placed in Sheffield, Clydebank, and Barrow, all areas with a high unemployment figure. As the case of Barrow has been mentioned often by the hon. Member for Barrow I hope he will make a note of the fact that Barrow's difficult unemployment problem should be favourably affected by the orders to be placed in respect of the construction of those two capital ships. There will be ten millions spent in wages and 500 firms will be interested in the orders. During the first three months 4,000 to 5,000, mounting up before long to 40,000, men will be employed; and over the whole period of three years 21,000 men will be engaged. Then I mentioned the programme of reconditioning and acceleration of contracts which under normal circumstances would not be begun until somewhat later; and I am now able to announce that the Admiralty are undertaking their share in this programme, and during the winter work under four categories will be put in hand, repair of dockyard machinery, repair of buildings, reconditioning of guns and acceleration of Government contracts. That will involve a cost of something like £365,000 and will supply 5,600 men with work over a considerable period. [An HON.MEMBER: Why not sink the Navy and give them all work?"] I do not think that is the kind of work that is desirable.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the taxation of the people adds to the wealth of the country?

Photo of Mr Anderson Barlow Mr Anderson Barlow , Salford South

That is not relevant. The areas affected will include the dockyard towns such as Portsmouth, Devonport, Sheerness, Rosyth and also Barrow. Orders will also go to the big industrial areas including Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield and the north-east district; and so far as expediting contracts for clothing are concerned, the woollen trade of Lancashire and Yorkshire will come in for their share of the orders. The Home Office also announce certain accelerated building work, together with repairs to buildings including police stations, employing something like 250 men for three months. I imagine that workmen engaged in that kind of work will find it as remunerative and satisfactory as any other work. I want to say a last word about the Manchester and Liverpool road. Negotiations with the local authorities are proceeding. I believe one such meeting took place in the north recently and another is due to take place shortly in London. With regard to the one and a half millions which the Government are authorising from the Road Fund for the purpose of the road, the Committee will recollect that in my speech on 30th November my statement was to the effect that the one and a half millions was in addition to the £5,300,000 already available from the Road Fund. This is not quite in accordance with the note on page 3 of the Estimate. Directly I realised this on Friday last, I caused inquiries to be made. I was not able to explain the discrepancy on Friday, and I now take the earliest opportunity of doing so. The real position is that when the present Government took over the question the total expenditure to which the Road Fund could be held to be definitely committed in respect of all suitable schemes was £3,800,000. That is the, figure which appears on the Paper. That left approximately one and a half millions available for the Manchester-Liverpool road. On the information supplied to me from the Ministry of Transport prior to my speech on 30th November. I made a statement that the existing suitable schemes apart from the Manchester-Liverpool road amounted to £5,300,000, but the corrected figure is £3,800,000. The Manchester-Liverpool road is an additional scheme for which the Government have sanctioned a further 1½ millions from the Fund. That concludes all I wish to say on this Vote for the moment. It will, of course, be in the memory of the House tint we had discussed this matter fully last Friday and arrived at the Vote without undue pressure being put on the Committee in the matter, and I do hope v e may be able to get the Vote without further delay this morning.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

I would like to say, first, that apparently when battleships are concerned we can find the money. The Government are planking down this 10 or 12 millions for the purpose. I also want to point out that I had hoped that in making speeches that will be reported, this figure will not be flung at the unemployed as being money to be spent on unemployment, for the total number of people that is to be set to work is 4,000.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

I do not at all mind whether you say 4,000 or 5,000, but I want to call the attention of the House to the fact that when you are dealing with necessitous areas and what is being done by boards of guardians, that this House ought to recognise that you are facing a situation rather worse than was faced by the House in 1832. At that time the legislators were faced with the difficulty that workers all over the country were being paid such low wages that their wages had to be made up out of public funds, and the new Poor Law was insti- tuted to put an end to that. It is extraordinary that we have got back to that condition and a little worse, and the extraordinary thing is that the Government of the day is encouraging boards of guardians to do these things. We had the spectacle of a captain of industry like the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Sir A. Mond) telling us it would be a good thing if the working people who were out of work went to their employers and asked them to take the money they drew from the employment exchanges and count is a part of the week's wages.

HON. MEMBERS:

He did say it.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

The hon. Gentleman did not make the statement quite complete.

Photo of Mr George Lansbury Mr George Lansbury , Poplar Bow and Bromley

The main effect of the right hon. Gentleman's proposition is that the money paid through the Labour Exchanges should be given in aid of wages. That is all I say. The extraordinary thing to me is that a gentleman holding the position of the right hon. Gentleman belonging to the Manchester School can stand up and make such a proposition. I would ask the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. G. Balfour) if he thinks this is an economic proposition that wealth should be partly paid for out of rates or taxes. I want to point out what private enterprise during 80 years has brought us to. You have made a circle, and we have come back again to where we were. That is a condition of things this House ought to sit down and consider, but not at 20 minutes past five in the morning. The House should give time to the consideration of how to get out of that position. The temporary Measure you propose is that you should give us loans. The right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench tell us to borrow money for what ought to be a national burden. Some districts are rated higher than others, and the argument that local authorities should bear some part of this burden shows that the people who make this sort of statement have not taken the trouble to consider the question. Not only do districts vary, but this problem has grown as society has grown, and what was good in the reign of Elizabeth, when the burden was put on the parish, and in 1832, or later, when it was put on the union, does not meet the case to-day. Society has so grown, and industry is so universal over the country, that you must look at the problem from the national point of view. If the cost of this problem is put upon the nation, then those parts which are not affected will have to help to pay for those which are affected. It is clear that the whole nation is responsible for the condition of things in which we find ourselves. When the Minister responsible issued orders in Scotland that outdoor relief might be given to able-bodied men, I thought this is something like a revolution. I have sat on the opposite side when I was here before and been chastised by Mr. John Burns with regard to the principles which had been enunciated in 1832. Now the whole Treasury Bench are treating these principles with contempt. They have encouraged boards of guardians to treat them with contempt, for, according to your own laws, able-bodied men should not get treatment outside institutions except in sudden emergencies, and a sudden emergency has lasted in the case of hundreds of thousands of men for two years. That shows how ridiculous these Regulations have become. The Member for North Lanark (Mr. Sullivan) made the same point about the Scottish workman. You have now brought the British workman, generally speaking, not only to accept this belief, but you have smashed the idea of hatred of the Poor Law. You have insisted that the workman shall come to the Poor Law guardians because your unemployment pay is so miserable, and he has no alternative but to do that. In doing this, you have smashed up every principle laid down 80 or 90 years ago. The result is that you have not only bankrupted the unions, but you have also robbed the workmen of their morale, especially the young men and women.

I come from a district where we are accused of doing this for a set purpose. We do not. I hate giving money away for nothing. I hate even giving it to ex-Cabinet Ministers for nothing, for I know we cannot get anything for nothing, because somebody has to produce it. But what you are doing to-day is accustoming masses of young people to live, and expect to live, without working, and to live in the meanest sort of way. Young people of the middle and upper classes go on with their education because it is considered the right thing for them not to go to work too early, but children who expect to go to work when they grow up are now thrown upon the streets, and you are piling up a problem of inefficiency and waste such as this country has never known before. You sit there and talk about economy and spend these £10,000,000 on battleships. If it were spent on continuing the education of the children, then you would have something in the future to thank God for. Instead, you are going to spend the money on destructive purposes.

I want to say a word or two about the Minister of Labour's statement with regard to the Unemployed Workmen Act. I suppose you think we are a great nuisance about this unemployment problem. I and Mr. Keir Hardie sat under the Gallery and we had something to do with getting that Bill put on the Statute Book. I know its limitations. I think it is no use for the ordinary able-bodied man and woman, and I think the work is better done through local authorities, but local authorities, as I shall show in a minute or two, suffer exactly the same as the people who administered the Unemployed Workmen Act—they cannot get money. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say that districts have not sent in schemes. What we want to know is the number of authorities who have sent in schemes and for whom money has not been found. There is work being sent up to the tune of millions of pounds. This morning I am to go to various Ministries with a deputation to ask them to give us some money for these schemes. I think I suggested the deputation myself to my colleague from Poplar (Mr. March) because we said there has been a discussion in the House and the Minister of Labour has stated what great things are to be done. It would not matter whether you had the. Unemployed Workmen Act in vogue or go on, as now, with the borough and town councils, it is always money that is needed; but if this Government had thought this business out, or the late Government had thought it out, it would have been a different matter. I have heard two speeches by the Member for North-West Camberwell (Dr. Macnamara) and I have heard these speeches at least six times at various deputations of ex-service men and others. People like me have been talked dead by the right hon. Gentleman, and I am sorry he is not here. This ringing of figures, this word spinning of schemes always leave me quite cold. You have wanted, I understand, to do something for the young people, very largely in land settlement in this country. When I advocated that here on the last occasion I was called a rather stupid sort of old chap who did not know what he was talking about. Now you have said to-night that you keep the Central Unemployed Body of London in being in order that Hollesley Bay may be kept going. That happened to be a derelict estate in Suffolk which was taken in hand through the generosity of the late Joseph Fells, and on that estate some hundreds of men were put to work, and as a result numbers of them were quite willing to become smallholders on another sort of co-operative settlement if we had been allowed to establish it.

Although I am a Socialist, we know we could not put Socialism into operation in patches. We have to wait until we have converted people like the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. G. Balfour). We are going to have him as one of our organisers. We are going to use his brains intelligently one of these days for the benefit of the community. We tried to get an estate where the men on this Holesley Bay Colony could go, an estate which had been acquired and was ready for them to work on a cooperative basis. That was knocked on the head, because the scheme cost a lot of money. In dealing with unemployment any scheme will cost a lot of money. You cannot deal with it cheaply, no matter how you try. When the late Lord Northcliffe held an Empire exhibition, the best fruit shown was fruit that came from trees planted by London unemployed at Hollesley Bay. Why should the Government not have done what we stupid people in Poplar asked them to do at least a couple of years ago to save the young single men of IS years and upwards who were out of work? They should have said, "We do not care to give you money for nothing, but we are willing to take you to settlements in the country to till the land, and if possible to turn you into smallholders, and we will pay you decently and house you decently." The Government are always saying that we on this side never put any schemes before them. This scheme has been put before not only the Member for West Swansea (Sir A. Mond) but also the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) and the late Minister for Labour. Again and again I have been to them and have begged them to do this, and I want to get the present Minister of Labour to listen to me this morning, in order that something may be done, first to preserve the morale of these young men, and secondly, to do something towards bringing some of the waste pieces of the earth in this country into cultivation. I am not in favour of emigration as a panacea for unemployment, but if people want to emigrate, I will help them; only if you want to do that, you could not do better than to have the young men trained in agriculture. You cannot say that this has not been put up to you. It has been, times without number, and I am now putting it publicly in the House of Commons.

I would like to say further that the central unemployed body not only ran Hollesley Bay, but they did useful work in various parts of the country for the unemployed. It may be argued that a number of these men would not want to do ordinary land work, but another side of the land business that I would like to see taken in hand is the matter of the boys and girls in the country districts. I was amazed when an hon. Gentleman said that the boys and girls in the villages grew up with the intention of leaving the villages, and he said that was a very good thing. I say it is a very bad thing. No nation in history has ever been able to exist permanently that gave up tilling the soil, and in the case of our country, a much greater number has got to go back to the soil. Another hon. Gentleman said on the first day of the Session that it might very Well be that the nation would have a higher standard of life all over, but that some of the people at the top would have to have a lower standard because of the changed economic conditions of the world. Now, I want to put it to the right hon. Gentleman that when the children are turned out of the schools nest March, the figures of unemployment will go up again Large numbers will not be able to find work, and especially will that be true in the country districts. Why should you not start organising technical training for these children in agricultural pursuits?

Denmark 70 years ago was the poorest country agriculturally in the world. Today she is the richest country agriculturally. Nobody is very rich in Denmark, and nobody is very poor. [An HON. MEMBER: "Taxation of land values."] Yes, but they have also organised agriculture, and they have trained their children not to run away from their homes, but to get their living outside their own doors. That could be done here. It is no use saying that land in Suffolk could not be turned to the same purpose as land in Denmark. To tell me that you are bound,to be dependent upon Denmark for butter, eggs, and so on, is to tell me what I will never believe, because the land in the eastern counties is infinitely better than any land that I saw in Denmark. If you tell me that you must have a market for your coal and other goods, why not have the market here instead of sending your coal and goods to Denmark. It can be done. You have only to set about doing it, and this is the time it ought to be done instead of allowing the children to grow up in the ruination in which they are just now. I want to speak of the young people in the towns. I do not understand the apathetic sort of indifference there is about it. I am not charging hon. Members with want of sympathy. I am sure if I came to hon. Members this morning each would give me a big subscription to help to feed some unemployed people, because at the bottom you are as warm-hearted as anyone. But you will not see. You will not sec that you are driving those masses down and down, and that you are creating more and more of them every day. Take the young people from 14 to 18. I ask any of you to go through an industrial part of London, or any other industrial part, and walk up and down the streets. I live on the great main road in the East End. Before I came to this House I used to spend two hours every morning at a desk facing the main road. Now and then I got up and looked out. Every morning I would see multitudes of young people walking aimlessly up and down. I meet them when I am coming here early in the morning. I submit you are heaping up, not only an economic problem, but a moral problem, which those who come after us will find in-solvable. The hon. Member for Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) was told that the Government was sympathetically considering the matter. Give up considering, and start doing something. That is what is needed. It only requires a little money, and I would say to every young person who draws unemployment pay, "You must day by day get some training"—physical training many of them want.

I would give them training suitable to their brain power. Education does not mean teaching everybody the same kind of thing; you have to make your training suitable to the person you want to train. I want to speak now about your own national jobs you are doing and the shocking rates of pay you are paying the men and the long hours you are working them. On these great arterial roads, about which you talk so much, you pay them a little over 50s. a week, provided the men can work the whole week through. They work at least from 80 to 84 hours a week, because you must count the time the man gets up in the morning and the time he gets back home again. You are not giving these men a subsistence wage even when they work the full week. Is there anybody on the opposite side of the House who could work and keep himself in good condition and maintain a wife and children on 50s. a week? They have to pay just now in our district and in other parts from 16s. to 18s. a week for rent. I am perfectly certain there is no one on that side of the House if you face it out fairly and squarely would agree that it was the right thing to do, and I want to press that you should reconsider these wages. There is only one other thing and that is about the schemes. I hold in my hand a document which we sent to the authorities somewhere about 1920. We asked for a dry dock from Manchester Road Bridge into the South Dock Basin at Poplar, which was an improvement. The Dock Company, or rather the Port of London Authority, has agreed it is necessary to have powers to carry it through if only the money is found for it. Why you should find or guarantee money for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and not for an authority of this kind—[An HON. MEMBER: "Or the Sudan!"]—I do not know. We wanted a new street at Cuba Street, Millwall, and Manilla Street. We wanted a diversion of Preston Road and part of Manchester Road. We also wanted to alter the levels in East Ferry Road and Manchester Road and Stewart Street. Outside the borough we wanted to enlarge Shadwell Old Basin, a new street at St. George's in the East and a new street by Old Gravel Lane. The total cost of all these works—and they would have employed thousands of workmen, for it was nearly all unskilled work—waa four millions. We have never been able to get a move on in any of these things.

I will tell the Minister some others. We want £62,000, £24,000 to complete a paving programme, £8,000 for a painting scheme, and £35,000 for electricity mains. I would like the hon. Member for Hampstead to listen to this. We have a municipal electricity works at Poplar which produces electricity cheaper than any other place in the Metropolitan area, and we are trying to get electricity into every poor person's home in the borough. We think it would be a good thing in this time of stress to get the money to put down all the mains and so on. We have not got it, but we are trying to get it. That is remunerative work. Then in poor districts there is always road work to be done. It is not true, and I want to emphasise this, that the boroughs cannot find work. They can, and my object in reading out these things concerning one of the boroughs in London is to show that there is work and to ask you for help to get it done. We want to improve the recreation grounds and we want to do further work on electricity mains. We have done some of our electricity main work, but we want the other to be done and we want the money from you. We do not want to hear any more that there are no schemes. I just want to say this in conclusion: I say it in all seriousness to the House because I have to say it to myself every day —and I would like to say it to the hon. Member for Hampstead. Many of you are captains of industry, many of you are the men who think that we belittle what you have done, what you try to do, on behalf of the workers of the country. But the greatest charge against the capitalist system is that it has failed in the one function that it claims to exist to carry through, namely, to provide work, maintenance, and decent conditions for the mass of the population. You are back to the bad old days of the old Poor Law, only worse, because you have a bigger population whom you attempt to educate. You think this population can be kept under by the policeman, the soldier, the Navy, and so on. So it can. But the greatest foe of England, the power that will pull it down, the power you have to fear, is not an outside enemy, it is an enemy from within, economic and moral decay brought about by a system which has grown out of your system, which makes people who are half-educated think they can live on doles, on unemployment pay, and so on. A similar condition of things pulled down old Rome, but this is the first time that democracy has been educated, and it is the first time in history that a mass of men like ourselves can come to stand for a new social order. I believe the world is at the parting of the ways. I believe our country has an opportunity of taking the lead, and it is because I believe that, I am here talking to you men to try to make you see as I see. I tell you, who are cleverer than we are—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]—Yes, I admit it. I tell you that the reason you have got gifts is not that you may be richer in money but richer in service to the common weal, to serve the whole of humanity, and not merely yourselves.

Mr. T. HENDERSON:

Prior to the Election I was an unemployed person; I was signing the register at the Employment. Exchange every morning. I have been living in the midst of the misery and evils of unemployment for the last two years, and to talk about distress committees and the methods you have adopted up to the present to deal with unemployment is sheer nonsense. You talk about sympathy with the unemployed. Do you understand the lives of the unemployed people? I am afraid not, I am sure many of you have seen a person suffering from toothache, and you have offered that person sympathy, with the natural result that that person wanted to do something to you in return. There is no use talking to starving men and women about your sympathy: you have to do something practical if you are to assist these people at all. What do you propose? You propose to spend a sum that will not give every unemployed person £l per head. That will not do. You charge us with not being practical people, that while we are willing to criticise your efforts we are not anxious to show you what can be done. I believe we can, but I would like to be persuaded that the Government are anxious to do it. I would like to understand clearly that the men who are here this morning on the Treasury Bench are the real rulers of this country to-day Speaking now for many workers who are unemployed on the banks of the Clyde, I say they do not believe it. They believe the real governing power of this country is the Federation of British Industries, and that that power is greater than the Government. While the late Prime Minister was felling the Clyde workmen who went to interview him to be audacious in the future and never to go back to the old days, and while we were attempting to put that into practice by refusing to accept the conditions the employers were attempting to enforce upon us, those at the head of the organisation I have referred to and who are represented in this House to a very large extent—their intentions were to bring the working classes down to the pre-war level, [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I want to say to the hon. Members opposite what has been said by one of their own Members. He said during the Debate, referring to the shipbuilding industry, that, in his opinion, many years would elapse before it would be possible to absorb the shipbuilding workmen, even if you had normal conditions. I am going to prove it to you.

6.0 p.m.

In 1913 shipbuilding was fairly busy, and still there was a large percentage of unemployed, something like five per cent. During the War, partly by the aid of the Government, because of their great necessity for providing the means for the destruction of human life and property, the shipbuilding employers added to their establishments to an enormous extent, and that was aided by the anxiety of the employers to escape the Excess Profits Duty. The result was, that at the end of the War and from that time you were faced with new conditions in the shipbuilding industry, and the Clyde workmen understand that because of development, along the lines of welding machines and riveting machines, there is to be a displacement of labour, and 50 per cent, of the shipbuilding workers will never again enter the workshops. What are you going to do? I am only an ordinary workman, after all, but I be- lieve I could suggest to the Government a method by which you can alleviate the suffering of the working class. I am not anxious to claim one of the big warships for the Clyde. It is perfectly true that in the hands of every Member for Glasgow, including the Prime Minister, there was placed a telegram in which the Lord Provost of the great city of Glasgow suggested that we should use every means in our power to get something done here in the House to see that a ship should be sent to the Clyde. Well, we have not done it. I am not anxious to see a warship on the Clyde. I am anxious to see warships become things of the past altogether. A warship means that you have got to lose the wealth created by some other industry. When you have produced your ship you have no return for the work you have done and there is, in addition, the expenditure for maintaining and manning the ship. I am going to suggest that this might be done. Not only have Members on the opposite side stated during debates, but is it admitted by the highest authorities both in this country and in America that the country that is going to be really powerful in the future is the country that is going to possess the greatest oil supplies in the world, and we can easily understand that. Even the workman on the Clyde understands why there is a danger of war in the future. I am anxious to get some kind of work for the starving workers on the Clyde-side, and I am going to suggest you should consider the advisability of acting in conjunction with the town councils of places like Glasgow and the Tyneside and Jarrow to build a fleet of oil vessels. If oil is going to be the basis of our wealth in the future, then surely the Government, acting with those town councils, might provide a fleet of a dozen oil vessels to look after the oil industry in the interests of this country. Yon require oil carrying ships for the present Navy. If you are going to increase it you will want more and more oil. If you are anxious to have necessary work done you will proceed to build the ships I have suggested. It will be work that will be beneficial, and you will get a return for it. There will be no waste. The workmen on the Clyde understand the position better than you give them credit for. They have sent us here and told us that if you will not listen they will take every means of attaining their hopes, and men on these benches will be at the head of the men when they take that step if you refuse to give due attention to their demands now.

Photo of Mr George Middleton Mr George Middleton , Carlisle

I want to express my disappointment with the attitude of the Minister, and I am afraid the unemployed people who are watching this House will find very cold comfort when they turn to the pages of the OFFICIAL REPORT this morning. The Minister mentioned in addition to this Vote the fact that two capital ships were going to be built. I do not know if the Minister have ever been to the pictures and seen the film featuring Charlie Chaplin as a glazier preceded by young Jackie Coogan who breaks the windows for Charlie to repair. If we are going to find work on that principle by building ships which, according to many of the experts, are obsolete to-day, it is analogous to breaking windows to find work for the glaziers. I am afraid we cannot, in this House, afford to ignore the psychology of the unemployed at the present time. I have to-day received a letter from the border city of Carlisle, which I am proud to represent, to say that the unemployed marchers are still going daily through that city on their way to London, and that those who are caring for and feeding them as they pass through are beginning to notice a distinct change in the temper of the men. They are at last exhibiting signs of having come to the end of their patience, and I would ask the Government to bear in mind that it will have possibly in the future to deal with a very difficult position at a time when this House will not be sitting. The men themselves will not find comfort in the Government's proposals. You are not going to do any good by building warships. You will pay wages in more printed money. If you were producing wealth by the efforts of the unemployed men you would not get the inflation consequent on an increased output of paper money. The present policy is one of making more difficulties in the future than we have had in the past, and I am disposed to believe that what has been done for the unemployed men up to now has not been purely out of regard for them. My opponent made during the election a statement that the dole was given as a means of staving off trouble, and I am disposed to think there is something in that particular point, but you cannot by Votes, such as we are passing to-night, of a million and odd pounds dispose of a problem of something like two millions of people depending on what is coming from the State to keep them. I suggest it would be very much better indeed if the men were engaged on productive work. It has been suggested this morning that there are schemes ready to be done. In Croydon, where I live, I pass up every morning a street so broken that it is dangerous to walk on the pavement after dark. As I pass out of that street I regularly see a queue of unemployed men waiting to register. Would not a statesmanlike Government link up the requirements of the town with the needs of the unemployed and the resources of the State? That would be the sensible method of dealing with the difficulty. You would then have men, instead of drawing unemployment dole for which they give no service in return, at least doing something, even if you do not. get a full economic return for the money you nay. It would also have a very great effect of absorbing some of that large reservoir of unemployed men and women who are not only a menace to themselves, but a danger to the people who are in work.

I am not indisposed to believe that there is quite a large number of employers who like to see this reservoir kept full. It enables them, when they are bargaining with the workmen, to say: If you do not like the conditions, we shall not alter our minds. They can say this because they know that outside the factories there are thousands of men with wives and children who want bread and who would be tempted to take the jobs of the men who are fighting for better conditions. The Government, in not taking heed of all these things, are not pursuing a wise course. I cannot under stand for the life of me why people who want to judge these things impartially do not accept the view that public effort is better than private effort. In every case in which it has been tried public effort has proved successful. Take the railways during the War. During the Election, when the Labour Party were talking about nationalisation, the other side said: "We have had a taste, of nationalisation. Do you not remember what happened when the Government had control during the War?" They were trying to make the people believe that control during the War was a fair test of State management in peace time. The Government took over the railway service, not to improve it, but to restrict it for the public because it could not trust the private companies to offer the transport that was necessary to enable the sailors and soldiers to win the War. I suggest that the same public enterprise which was successful in taking us out of the difficulties of the national crisis should be devoted to solving the problem of unemployment. If you devote it to the housing question at once there will be work for all the building employes. In my constituency, at the invitation of some poor people in a working class district, I visited them and found about 26 families living in a small court in houses half of which were upstairs and half downstairs, houses with no back doors, and windows which might drop out. In the centre of that court were six so-called sanitary conveniences facing the front door of the houses with no doors on them, and every man, woman and child bad to use them practically in public. Not far away was building land, in the same town were builders, and in the same town were building materials. Nobody harnessed these three things up, because it would not pay private enterprise at the moment. Yet the Government is willing to allow these things to continue because it is not willing to use the power the State possesses. The landlord draws his rent, but. throws on the State any liability for dealing with evils that arise out of these conditions. You can prove by statistics —and I can show it in regard to that city —that infant mortality is almost in exact mathematical ratio to the number of houses per acre. In one district I discovered that the death-rate of infants was 120 per thousand, compared with 20 per thousand in a district where the housing conditions are good. If that means anything, it means that by the maintenance of the present housing conditions you are deliberately sacrificing human life on the altar of private enterprise. Everybody who puts up with the present system is a baby-killer, figuratively, if not literally, and it is high time that a Government-which affects to represent the good of the people should step in to destroy this state of affairs. You could pay for new houses by the saving in the cost of health services in the course of a few years. The £200,000,000 you are now spending annually on health services means that you are trying to cure something that could be prevented, and if the Government are wise they will scrap these ideas of throwing to the workers sops and crusts, and will tackle the problem fundamentally and change the present system. I hope the Government will reconsider the position.

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

I have been endeavouring to find in the Debate some simple points of agreement. For three weeks now we have been listening to Debates on unemployment; at least I and a good many others have been listening. It seems to be a conventional method of commencing a speech on unemployment to express sympathy with the unemployed. If I were the Speaker I might save a great deal of time in this House by putting, as a first Resolution, that every Member of this House deeply sympathises with the unemployed. That would be agreed to with acclamation, and it would save a good deal of time, as nobody need refer to it further. Another point on which we might get considerable agreement is that the efforts of the late Government in dealing with unemployment were hopelessly inadequate. A Resolution to that effect would be carried, so far as the country, at any rate, was concerned, by an overwhelming majority. The advantage would be that, having passed this Resolution, we need spend no more time abusing the late Government. They met a fate which they richly deserved, at least a number of them did; a good many others escaped just in time. Now, I think the next point of agreement we might get would be that unemployment is a matter of the greatest urgency. I think also that Members will agree with this point, that this Session has been called only to deal with problems of urgency. I think also they will agree that I am logical at least in arguing that, as this Session has been called to deal with urgent problems, unemployment being an urgent problem, it would be very wrong of us to adjourn for a matter of two months and leave this problem in its present condition.

We have just gone througn a General Election in which unemployment played a considerable part. In many parts of London—I am only speaking for London— posters which appeared for the Conservative candidates said, "Work at good wages. Vote for the Conservative candidate and employment for1 all." Some of these posters were illustrated by fearful and wonderful pictures. I read a few days ago, in an old newspaper, which dealt with the opening of this Session, about "Red" speeches in the House of Commons by the Scottish Members. There was a good deal of Red literature during the General Election—I would just draw the attention of the hon. Members opposite to the literature issued on their behalf. That is what we call Red literature. The people at the end of the Election gave their decision. I frankly accept that decision. I respect that decision. In my own constituency it was a very wise decision; in some other constituencies it was not so wise. Because I respect that decision I am not going to spend any of my time shaking my fist and getting angry at the hon. Members on the other side of the House I prefer to shake my fist at the stupid people outside who sent them here. The trouble lies partly in that some of the hon. Members have hearts that are right, but their pockets will not let them. Many taking part in this discussion have referred to the inherent evil of a solution by loans. The Minister has referred to a solution by loans, but that is not a solution at all. The Minister followed it by saying that it carried us through last winter. Was he satisfied with the way in which we got through last winter? The hon. Members on this side of the House will not be satisfied if we get through the present winter in the same way as we got through last winter. Then the right hon. Gentleman made the unfortunate point that if large sums of money were paid into the funds of the local authorities the whole machinery of local government might break down. Why should it? Large sums are paid into local funds for educational purposes, and the educational machinery does not break down. The suggestion of building two battleships in order to provide work for the unemployed comes somewhat strange from people who have said that unemployment is abnormal owing to the War. They are putting some of the unemployed to build battleships for the. next war. [An HON. MEMBER: "Let us have another little war!"] The Minister of Labour seems to have a pleasant suggestion that a good deal of work will be got in repairing police stations. Is this with a view to increasing the accommodation? Before that is done, we might carry out certain structural alterations in Scotland Yard, so that burglars will not be able to enter. Yesterday morning I was one of a deputation which represented five or six very important parts of London. A deputation representing all these districts waited upon the Minister of Transport, and they put before him a scheme. I do not think it will now be possible to say that we on this side never put in schemes. The deputation, in which two hon. Members on the opposite of the House and myself took part, put forward the suggestion that excellent work would be found for thousands of unemployed by extending the tube northwards from Fins-bury Park to cover the districts of Wood Green, Tottenham, Enfield, Edmonton, etc. The congestion which takes place is well known. At Finsbury Park every evening thousands of workers are unable to continue their journey owing to the lack of transport facilities. The Minister of Transport replied very civilly and very courteously, and told us that he would look into the matter. But this question has been a question of importance in that district for 20 years to my knowledge, and we are getting tired of the eternal answer that people are looking into it.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I am not only looking into it, but I am going there to-morrow afternoon.

Photo of Mr Robert Morrison Mr Robert Morrison , Tottenham North

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his information. It is pleasantly refreshing to realise that we have got a Minister who takes such a practical step. I did not understand the lion. Gentleman to make a- promise this morning and I am, therefore, the more pleased that he is taking this step. I have put forward that suggestion, just as the deputation put it forward this morning. We do not wish merely to be destructive in criticism, but we realise at tile same time the misery, appalling want and destitution that exists. My pockets and, I doubt not, the pockets of the hon. Members on the other side of the House, are full of letters from respectable working people who have been out of work for months. Christmas is coming on, and I should enjoy my Christmas dinner if they could sit down to a Christmas dinner, too—if I had the feeling that everybody in this country was sitting down to a Christmas dinner.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House proceeded to a Division.

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

We have led the unemployed before; we will lead them again.

Photo of Mr Thomas Griffiths Mr Thomas Griffiths , Pontypool

I am sure that the House agrees that this is scandalous treatment.

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

It is a disgrace, Mr. Speaker, that this should be allowed. [Interruption.] I have led the unemployed, I have been battened in the streets of Glasgow, and I will be again, if necessary. [Interruption.] Do you not think, because you sit there well fed and well clothed, that you are to treat us in this fashion. I will not stand it of the best men that England produces. [Interruption.] We have warned you calmly and reasonably, to the very best of our ability. We have stood insults that have been heaped upon us in this House by Gentlemen who fill the Benches opposite. You would think that we were not human, that we were not intelligent men. I come here from the Clyde and represent men who are a credit to the British Army—— [Interruption]. I represent men who stood between the on-rushing Germans and Paris. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame, brutal! "] We will fight you to the death. [Laughter.] You may laugh, but this is no joke. [Interruption.] But man, proud man?Drest in a little brief authority—Most ignorant of what he's most assured,His glassy essence—like an angry ape,Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,As make the angels weep.

—[Interruption.]

Photo of Mr John Newbold Mr John Newbold , Motherwell

Wait till your turn comes!

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Treat them with contempt. We will fight them if necessary on the streets. If they will not give us it constitutionally, we will take it unconstitutionally. This is only the beginning.

Photo of Mr John Newbold Mr John Newbold , Motherwell

We will play their game all right.

The House divided: Ayes, 147; Noes, 61.

Division No. 44]AYES.[6.32 a.m.
Ainsworth, Captain CharlesGray, Harold (Cambridge)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)Greenwood, William (Stockport)Pennefather, De Fonblanque
Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William JamesGuinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Penny, Frederick George
Archer-Shee, Lieut. Colonel MartinGuthrie, Thomas MaulePercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W.(Liv'p'l,W.D'by)Philipson, H. H.
Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John LawrenceHalstead, Major D.Raine, W.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyHarrison, F C.Rawson, Lieut.-Com. A. C.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Harvey, Major S. E.Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)
Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir MontagueHay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)Remer, J. R.
Barnett, Major Richard W.Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)Reynolds, W. G. W.
Becker, HarryHennessy, Major J. R. G.Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Roundel!, Colonel R. F.
Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)Herbert, S. (Scarborough)Ruggles-Brise, Major E.
Betterton, Henry B.Hewett, Sir J. P.Russell, William (Bolton)
Blades, Sir George RowlandHiley, Sir ErnestRussell-Wells Sir Sydney
Blundell, F. N.Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S- J. G.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Brass, Captain W.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.
Brassey, Sir LeonardHopkins, John W. W.Sanderson, Sir Frank B.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHoufton, John PiowrightSandon, Lord
Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)Shepperson, E. W.
Bruton, Sir JamesHoward-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.Skelton, A. N.
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Hudson, Capt. A.Smith, sir Allan M. (Croydon. South)
Butt, Sir AlfredHurd, Percy A.Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Cadogan, Major Edwardinskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Sparkes. H. W
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Jarrett, G. W. S.Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Clayton, G. C.Johnson, Sir L. (Waithamstow, E.)Stuart, Lord C. Crichton.
Cockerlil, Brigadier-General G. K.Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)Sutcliffe, T.
Colfox, Major Win. PhillipsKing, Captain Henry DouglasSykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Cope, Major WilliamLane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.Thomson, Luke (Sunderland)
Curzon, Captain ViscountLloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Thomson. F. C (Aberdeen, S.)
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)Lort-Williams, J.Tryon, Rt. Hon George Clement
Davidson, Major-General Sir J, H.Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)Turton, Edmund Russborough
Doyle, N. GrattanLumley, L. R.Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Du Pre, Colonel William BaringMcNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Huil)
Ednam, ViscountMalone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Waring, Major Walter
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Margesson, H. D. R.Watts, Dr. T. (Man. Withington)
Elveden, ViscountMercer, Colonel H.Wells, S. R.
Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.Milne, J. S. WardlawWilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Windsor, Viscount
Fawkes, Major F. H.Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)Winterton, Earl
Flanagan, W. H.Murchison, C. K.Wise, Frederick
Forestier-Walker, L.Nall, Major JosephWood, Rt. Hit. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotNewman, Colonel J. R. P. (Flnchley)Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Furness, G. J.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Yerburgh, R. D. T.
Garland, C. S.Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)
Gates, PercyPaget, T. G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Goff, Sir R. ParkParker, Owen (Kettering)Colonel Gibbs and Major Barnston.
NOES.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Ritson. J.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hayday, ArthurRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Amnion, Charles GeorgeHenderson, T. (Glasgow)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Batey, JosephHerriotts, J.Sitch. Charles H.
Bonwick, A.Hirst, G. H.Smith, T. (Pontefract)
Broad, F. A.Hogge, James MylesThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Bromfield, WilliamJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Thornton, M.
Brotherton, J.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Watson. W. M. (Dunfermline)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Watts Morgan, Lt-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Buckle, J.Lawson, John JamesWedgwood. Colonel Josiah C.
Burgess, S.M'Entee, V. L.Welsh, J. C.
Cairns, JohnMarshall, Sir Arthur H.Westwood, J.
Charleton, H. C.Middleton, G.Whiteley, W.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Dunnico, H.Murnin, H.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth. Bedwelity)Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)Wilson, R- J. (Jarrow)
Foot, IsaacOliver, George HaroldYoung, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)Parker, H. (Hanley)
Gray, Frank (Oxford)Phillipps, VivianTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Potts, John S.Mr. Amnion and Mr. Morgan
Groves, T.Pringle, W. M. R.Jones
Grundy, T. W.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)

Question put accordingly, "That" '£1,070,000' stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 148; Noes, 77.

Division No. 45.]AYES.[6.37 a.m.
Ainsworth, Captain CharlesGray, Harold (Cambridge)Pennefather, De Fonbianque
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)Greenwood, William (Stockport)Penny, Frederick George
Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William JamesGuinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Archer-Shee, Lieut. Colonel MartinGuthrie, Thomas MaulePerkins, Colonel E. K.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Philipson, H. H.
Astor, J. J. (Kent, Dover)Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Llv'p'l.W.D'by)Raine, W.
Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John LawrenceHalstead, Major D.Rawson, Lieut.-Com. A. C.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyHarrison, F, c.Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Harvey, Major S. E.Remer, J. R.
Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir MontagueHay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)Reynolds, W. G. W.
Barnett, Major Richard W.Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Becker, HarryHennessy, Major J. R. G.Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Ruggles-Brise, Major E.
Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)Herbert, S. (Scarborough)Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney
Betterton, Henry B.Hewett, Sir J. P.Russell, William (Bolton)
Blades, Sir George RowlandHiley, Sir ErnestSamuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Blundell, F. N.Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.
Brass, Captain WHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSanderson, Sir Frank B.
Brassey, Sir LeonardHopkins, John W. W.Sandon, Lord
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHoufton, John PlowrightShepperson, E. W.
Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)Skelton, A. N.
Bruton, Sir JamesHoward-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Hudson, Capt. A.Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Butt, Sir AlfredHurd, Percy A.Sparkes, H. W.
Cadogan, Major EdwardInskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N, (Ladywood)Jarrett, G. W. S.Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Clayton, G. C.Johnson, Sir L. (Waithamstow, E.)Sutcliffe, T.
Cockerlli, Brigadier-General G. K.Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsKing, Captain Henry DouglasThomson, Luke (Sunderland)
Cope, Major WilliamLane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Curzon, Captain ViscountLloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)Lort-Williams, J.Turton, Edmund Russborough
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Doyle, H. GrattanLumley, L. R.Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Dunnico, H.McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)Waring, Major Walter
Du Pre, Colonel William BaringMalone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)
Ednam, ViscountMargesson, H. D. R.Wells, S R.
Elliot, capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Mercer, Colonel H.Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Elveden, ViscountMilne, J. S. WardlawWindsor, Viscount
Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Winterton, Earl
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)Wise, Frederick
Fawkes, Major F, H.Murchison, C. K.Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Flanagan, W. H.Nail, Major JosephWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Forestler-Walker, L.Newman, Colonel J. R. p. (Finchley)Yerburgh, R. D. T.
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Furness, G. J.Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Garland. C. S.Paget, T. G.Colonel Gibbs and Major
Gates, PercyParker, Owen (Kettering)Barnston.
Goff, Sir R. ParkPease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
NOES.
Adamson, W. M, (Staff., Cannock)Groves, T.Maxton, James
Alexander, A. v. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Grundy, T. W.Middleton, G.
Amnion, Charles GeorgeHall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Batey, JosephHardie, George D.Muir, John W.
Bonwick, A.Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)Murnin, H.
Broad, F. A.Hayday, ArthurMurray, R. (Renfrew, Western)
Bromfield, WilliamHenderson, T, (Glasgow)Newbold, J. T. W.
Brotherton, J.Herriotts, JNichol, Robert
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hirst, G. H.Oliver, George Harold
Buckle, J.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Paling, W.
Burgess, S.Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)Parker, H. (Hanley)
Cairns, JohnJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Phillipps, Vivian
Charieton, H. C.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Potts, John S.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Duffy, T. GavanKenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Ritson, J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Lansbury, GeorgeRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Foot, IsaacLawson, John JamesRobertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)Lunn, WilliamShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Gray, Frank (Oxford)M'Entee, V. L.Sitch, Charles H.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)McLaren, AndrewSmith, T. (Pontefract)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Marshall, Sir Arthur H.Stephen, Campbell
Sullivan, t.Welsh, J. C.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)Westwood, J.Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Thornton, M.Wheatley, J.
Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)Whiteley, W.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhonddn)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)Mr. Hogge and Mr. Pringle.
Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

Question, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution," put, and agreed to.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

rose in his place and claimed, "That the Main Question be now put."