Orders of the Day — National Minimum Wage

– in the House of Commons on 13th May 1925.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

I beg to move That, in view of the practically universal acceptance of the principle that a living wage for all workers should be the first charge upon industry, and in view of the large measure of agreement with respect to the advisability of fixing legal minimum time rates of wages reached at the national industrial conference, this House urges the Government to proceed without delay with the Bill introduced by the Government of the day of 1919, constituting a commission to inquire into and report upon legal minimum time rates of wages. I am afraid I must apologise to the House for the fact that I must in the course of my remarks cover ground which has already been covered in previous Debates. This is very largely unavoidable, because my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Dr. Salter) and the hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Comptonin previous Debates have dealt with this matter so exhaustively that there is very little now left untouched by them to be said on this occasion. It has been my privilege to be a Member of this House for some few years, and I never fail to be impressed by the contrast provided by the varying moods of this House on various occasions when various Motions are presented to it. At times the House is quite pleasantly indulgent to some Motions, and at other times it is acutely critical. For instance, when this Motion was presented some two years ago, it was defeated by a narrow majority of about 13. Last year, when the same Motion was presented, it was not even opposed but carried with no Division upon it

Last night. we had another illustration of how the House can behave when it is in an indulgent mood. We were discussing last evening the problem of the superannuation of teachers, and in the course of that Debate reference was made to the fact that various other types of the public service, such as the police, local government officers, and like employés either of local authorities or of the State, were not only in receipt of a minimum wage, but were also in receipt of substantial pensions. I am quite sure I may say on behalf of my hon. Friends on these benches that while they represent in the aggregate millions of organised workers, they would not for one moment deny the right of those public servants, either of the State or of local authorities, to receive an adequate minimum wage for the services which they give to their employers of one sort and another. They grant it, and grant it as I believe, quite readily without any cavil whatsoever. The House last night was in an indulgent mood, and we were actually discussing a proposal which would involve as a consequence of its passage the expenditure of millions of money, and the House was so indulgent that it carried the Second Reading of that Bill without any Division whatsoever

To-night I hope the House will be equally indulgent, and I am encouraged by the fact that there are not many hon. Members on the opposite side present to hear my arguments. At any rate, if they are not indulgent to my proposal, I hope they will be indulgent to me when I put my arguments in favour of this Bill. Let me emphasise this point that the Motion I am putting forward involves no money from the State. It is not a question of pensions at all. I am putting forward a very modest proposal, and one which I think all decent-minded people, whether they are Tories, Liberals or Labour Members, will grant as an elementary right for every decent-minded man, namely, the elementary right to be allowed to live a decent, full and complete life

I submit that my party, anyhow, is thoroughly consistent in this matter in the attitude it took last night when it cordially agreed with the terms of last night's Bill, and to-night, when we are discussing people who are not able to say they are in receipt of salaries because they only receive wages—and they are lucky if they receive those very often—we assert that these people, the manual labourers, are equally entitled to the action we demand of Parliament to-night in defence of their elementary rights as workers and as citizens. I have already referred to the past history of this Motion. It will he observed that it has on one occasion been defeated and on another occasion it has been allowed to pass unchallenged. I know the composition and the complexion of this House has somewhat changed since then, and we have now an overwhelming majority of Conservative Members in this House, and therefore I think it is right and proper at the outset that I should ask this clear and specific question as to whether the Tory party stands precisely in the same position regarding this Motion as it did last year; that is to say, that it is not even prepared to challenge the principle of this Motion, or will it revert to the position it took up two years ago?

We want to know in clear and precise terms from the Minister in charge of this Motion what is the view of the Government in regard to the clear proposal in this Motion, namely, that the first charge upon industry shall be the right of the worker in that industry to a fair and decent minimum wage. I wonder how many Members of this House have not been, as I have been, at some time or other in their lives, struck with wonder and a sense of pride and, indeed, a sense of exhilaration when visiting an ordinary power-house or engine-room attached to any particular works, to observe the cleanliness and spick and spanness of the machinery therein. No one grumbles at it and no one finds fault with it, and everyone concedes that it is entirely appropriate. Even the employer admits it for the simple reason that, in his judgment, it is absolutely essential that the machinery and the mechanism so useful in the production of the commodity which he has for sale shall be kept in an up-to-date condition

The same applies to the keeping of horses at a colliery or in connection with any ordinary business. That is to say, in the matter of mechanism or the matter of the treatment of animal life in connection with industry the employer concedes that these elements have a right to the first consideration in connection with the charges on his business. Now we suggest that human life, the life of the worker, the worker himself, has an equal right to consideration, and he should have the right to be kept in a state of full health and full activity, both mentally and physically, so that he too may be able to give as full a measure of service as his capacity will allow. The only way, as it seems to us, of guaranteeing that each individual worker shall be able to discharge his duties to the utmost of his abilities, is to secure, in the first place, that his labour shall be a first charge upon the industry concerned. The mechanical medium, the animal medium, if I may use that expression, we always provide for amply, but the human medium is to-day, as a matter of fact, underpaid, underfed, ill clad, ill-housed, discontented, often disgruntled, frequently impatient, and, as a consequence, very frequently ill-tempered. We assert that it is no use, that it is nearly platitudinous, to talk about peace in industry until you can remove the causes of this disgruntlement and the occasion of the discontent, by granting to each worker his rights in connection with a minimum wage associated with industry

The question arises, should the labour of the worker he a first charge upon industry? We await the answer of hon. Members opposite to-night with some interest, not merely from the benches opposite, but we shall watch the interpretation of that opinion as they march through either the "Aye" or the "No" Lobby if a Division is challenged. I want to place the House in possession of the opinion of people, aproposof this matter, who cannot be accused by any stretch of imagination of belonging to that class of much derided people called Socialist agitators. At the end of the War, when leaders of industry in this country were somewhat perturbed as to the future, the Ministry of Reconstruction issued an official pamphlet on the subject of the State regulation of wages, and in that pamphlet I find this very interesting statement: One thing is certain; the question of wages will never be allowed to return to the position of 10 years ago, when the Government had no concern in it. A policy will be pursued of stimulating production and at the same time of securing to the worker a fair share of the product. More than that cannot be done. We should be very glad indeed if that much were done Wages, salaries and incomes all depend finally on the total volume of the internal and external trade of the country and the total income derived from it; but labour is riot to be regarded as merely part of the raw material of industry, to be purchased at the cheapest possible rate. A reasonable standard of wages must be a first charge, perhaps the first charge. Whenever a proposal such as this is put before various Members of the House, we are immediately presented with a sort of organised despondency, a sort of pleasurable pessimism and a delightful depression that only bursts forth when we begin io talk of the wages of the manual workers of this country. For instance, we are told that a proposal like this may be all right in theory; that it may sound very well in the House of Commons, and may look very nice on the Order Paper; but that the facts are that the country could not stand it, that we simply could not bear such a burden. It is very curious that this country does bear its burdens remarkably well in certain ways. Let me give, if I may, seine facts drawn, again not from a tainted source of Socialism, but from such a respectable source as the "Economist" newspaper. On the 7th March of this year we found that in December, 1924, the unskilled workers in the building trade were in receipt of wages between 49s. and 61s.; in coal-mining the wages of such workers were from 39s. 6d.to 46s. 9d.; in iron and steel from 36s. 4d.to 44s. 7d.; in engineering from 38s. to 43s. ad. I could add a number of similar figures. Taking, again, the skilled workers—men who have acquired a mastery of their trade—fitters and turners, in December, 1924, were receiving an average weekly wage. of 56s. 6d.; iron moulders, 60s.; pattern makers, 60s. 11d.; shipwrights, 55s. 7d.; ship joiners, 57s. 9d.; and in these cases the percentage increase over the 1914 wages in no case exceeds 45 per cent. For the three months ending in January, 1925, the wages of iron and steel workers were 49.6 per cent. above the 1914 standard, and in 1924 they were 48.7 per cent. above the 1914 standard. I could go on retailing to the House a large number of similar figures, but perhaps I may put the position in a more striking way if I say that the average loss in weekly wages which the workers sustained in the year 1921 amounted to the colossal sum of £6,026,000 per week, in 1922 to £4,195,008 per week, and in 1923 to £309,400 per week. That is a total loss per week of £10,530,400. If that be worked out, spread over the three years, it amounts to the colossal aggregate sum of something like £547,000,000 per year. That is a sacrifice, anyhow, which the workers have had to bear

Photo of Sir George Jones Sir George Jones , Stoke Newington

Was there not a fall in prices?

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

May I put it in another way? On the 31st December, 1924, the cost-of-living index number above July, 1914, to which, apparently, the hon. Member refers, was 80 per cent. above the 1914 standard, and, on the same date, the average increase in the weekly full-time wages was somewhere between 70 and 75 per cent. The obvious deduction from these figures is, that in point of fact, judged by the standard of wages as compared with the cost of living, the workers of this country are worse off to-day than they were in 1914. I could weary the House with a, statement on the other side, showing the profits which have been made in various types of industry in the same period, but I will forbear in order to pass on to another statement which has been presented to this very House. We have a Return, presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, which shows the Exchequer receipts in regard to Income Tax, Super-tax and Death Duties, and we have this amazing result, which I invite the Parliamentary Secretary to apply himself to and explain, if possible, when he replies. In the year 1918-19 the total receipts from Super-tax amounted to 235,595,000. In 1924-25 the Super-tax receipts amounted to £62,680,000 —an actual increase, as between those two years, of 76 per cent. Again, the total receipts from Death Duties in 1918-19 were £30,262,000, while in 1924-25 the total receipts from Death Duties amounted to the colossal sum of £59,450,000, showing a total increase, as between those two years, of 96 per cent. or nearly double. In that very same period the wages of the workers of this country were not merely not stationary, but they showed an actual decrease as compared with the standard obtaining in 1914. These figures are not drawn from a tainted source; they are drawn from official sources, and they prove beyond dispute the argument which the working classes advance in these days, with entire justice. that their claim has been overlooked by the State in connection with their right to a minimum wage in the course of the last few years

I pass on to offer one word of consolation to hon. Members opposite in regard to the Motion I am submitting. There is no need for them to be alarmed on account of this Motion. The rapacious wolves of revolution will not be scratching at their doors to-morrow morning on account of its being passed. It merely states a principle which, I presume, is acceptable to all decent-minded men. It merely asks that to-night Parliament, which is still the vehicle for the expression of enlightened public opinion upon these public questions, shall take this opportunity of declaring that it remains of the same opinion as it was last year in asserting the right of the worker to a minimum wage in return for the labour that he gives to his employer, whoever he may be. We are not asking anything new. Social legislation of this kind has been carried repeatedly. I need not detail the occasions on which Parliament has stepped in to assert the feeling that the public has that unrestricted capitalism is a danger to the life and health and well-being of the individual. Parliament, with that knowledge, has stepped in in defence of the more defence less worker from time to time. This Motion is not merely supported by Socialist agitators: it has been supported by supporters of hon. Members opposite. In 1919 the Tory party constituted the majority,in support of the Coalition Government, though it had a Liberal leader, and they decided to convene a great conference of industry. The Minister of Labour in that day was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead, (Sir R. Horne). It is worth noting what he told that conference. He said: He had read to-day the letter of the Prime Minister and it explained the circumstances in which they stood to-day by reason of his absence. It was the most momentous document which had been presented to the country in a long number of years, and so far as he was concerned, they might take it that lie would not he there that day if ho did not believe that the principles of the report would receive without delay the favor of the Government. I gather from those words that the right hon. Gentleman regarded this as it were as the veritable Ark of the Covenant and the right hon. Gentleman as the High Priest officiating on that occasion, declared that if anyone placed his impious hands upon that Ark, he, the High Priest, would desert the tabernacle. He remained in the tabernacle, however, to officiate in other capacities on later occasions. Similarly the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Car Narvon Boroughs sent a letter which is worth reading: I have read the Report of the Committee of the Joint Industrial Council with very great interest. It seems to me to be an excellent piece of work considering the short time at the disposal of the Committee. I welcome it, especially as it shows what can be done when the representatives of the workers and the employers come together. That is a second reason for the second reference in the Resolution. We ask that the principle of the Bill which was introduced into the House as a consequence of the findings of that Conference shall be embodied in a Bill and presented to the House without delay. We ask, however, that the Government, if it so prefers, shall appoint a Commission of Inquiry so that the whole question shall be examined if you like de novo, having regard to all the questions relative to the subject, presenting to the country an ample report so that the public may arrive at informed judgment upon the point

We are not in this Motion, as we have been accused of doing on previous occasions, advocating anything in the nature of a flat minimum rate. We are merely urging that the principle of a minimum wage shall be recognized, leaving of course to each locality and to each trade in each locality to determine for itself, according to local conditions and customs and so on, what shall be deemed an appropriate minimum wage. That is not a new principle at all. It was embodied in the Coal Mines Minimum Wage Bill, and the Agricultural Wages Regulation Act of last year, and as far as I am able to observe, though of course those pieces of legislation are not perfect, they indicate the lines upon which this kind of legislation might run. The question arises as to what we might call a minimum wage. I am not called upon to answer that in precise arithmetical terms to-night, but in the Agricultural Wages Regulation Act there was laid clown a principle concerning the interpretation of the terms. It read as follows: In fixing minimum rates a Committee shall, so far as practicable, secure for every able-bodied man such wages as in the opinion of the Committee are adequate to 'promote efficiency and to enable a man in an ordinary case to maintain himself and his family in accordance with such standard of comfort as may be reasonable in relation to the nature of his occupation. If I was so disposed, I could quote precedents which might be useful for our guidance as having been applied in other parts of the Empire. For instance, this principle is accepted in every State of Australia, in certain provinces of Canada and in certain States of America. The Australians have a very vigorous way of laying down the principle in regard to the minimum wage. May I read one or two extracts from principles propounded by Mr. Justice Higgins for the settlement of minimum wages by the Court of Con collation and Arbitration of the Australian Commonwealth. No. 7 reads as follows: The wages cannot be allowed to depend on the profits made by the individual employer, but the profits of which the industry is capable may be taken into account. If the industry is novel, and those who undertake it have to proceed economically, there may be a good cause for keeping down wages, but not below the basic wage, which must be sacrosanct. Above the basic wage, bargaining of the skilled employé may, with caution, be allowed to operate. No. 8 is more vigorous still. The fact that a mine is becoming exhausted or poorer in its ores is not a ground for prescribing a lower rate than would otherwise be proper. If shareholders are willing to stake their own money on a speculation, they should not stake part of the employés proper wages also. The Court cannot endanger industrial peace in order to keep unprofitable mines going. In another portion of the same principles we find this quite unexceptional statement made No employer is entitled to purchase by wages the right to endanger life, or to treat men as pigs.'' Perhaps I should not state that principle in the same language, but I entirely agree with the sentiment nevertheless It may be argued that we are not obliged to follow the example of these various parts of the Empire. I admit that no nation is really great that is merely imitative, but, after all, there is no dishonour in honest emulation.

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We are not concerned to-night primarily with people who can look after them selves—the organised trades. After all, the strength of every chain, even the humanchain, depends on the strength of its weakest link, and we are concerned, therefore, that some sort of established principle shall be embodied in legislation so as to safeguard not a few, not even the majority, but all those people, chiefly women, who are associated with those unorganised trades. I know the hon. Gentleman may reply to me, as has been done on previous occasions, that this problem is amply met by the establishment of trade boards. I am not going to argue against Trade Boards. I am not going to discuss the problem as to the applicability of trade boards in all trades. All I say is that, in the absence of other and better machinery, trade boards have undoubtedly been of enormous benefit to the workers concerned. There are, I think, something like 3,000,000 people who are under the ægis of trade boards. There are sonic 2,000,000 still left outside, and if the Government attaches great faith to the establishment of trade boards all I would say is, for heaven's sake establish them as quickly as possible in the interests of the people concerned. There is a case for a forward march in connection with these trade boards. The other day I had placed in my hand a statement, which I believe is duly authenticated, the facts of which are simply staggering in their significance. An organisation whose members are largely employed in distributive trades, writes as follows: We find in London a man assistant of 20 Years of age in the grocery trade receiving 20s. a. week, a woman assistant of 24 years of age 25s. a week, a woman clerk of 22 years of age in the trade 18s. a week, and in the tobacco trade a manageress and a woman assistant of 21 and 24 years of age respectively receiving 26s. per week. All Over the country similar conditions were discovered. In Cornwall a firm was found whose practice it was to pay no wages to women assistants who had already served three years' apprenticeship without wages, but to allow them a small commission on sales. In Plymouth a branch manageress responsible for cash and stock and employed from 8.30 a.m. to 8 p.m., without any relief for meals, received £1 per week with out commission. This girl paid 18s. per week for board and lodging. The firm concerned have four or five branches. all the employæs being paid proportionately. Cases like that can be multiplied, I believe, from various parts of the country, and if that is an indication not of the general character of cases, but is only an indication of a certain number of cases, there is an overwhelming case for legislation being enacted speedily to punish the people concerned in such unjust and inequitable conditions of employment. I have already overstepped the limit of my time in presenting my case, and I apolo- gise to the House for it. I will close my remarks with this statement; that the argument has been advanced frequently by Members on the opposite side that the effect of this kind of legislation is to destroy industrial efficiency and to interfere with the free play of individual initiative in trade. I will not read the document, but I recommend hon. Members to read the evidence given by a gentleman named Mr. Counsell before the Committee of Inquiry into the working and effect of the Trades Boards Acts. I believe they will find in that evidence alone overwhelming proof of the effect of the operation of Trades Boards in regard to the various trades over which they have some sort of supervision. Apart from speeding up the efficiency of the various trades concerned and compelling individual employers, in the absence of unfair competition, to bring their industries into an up-to-date condition for commercial purposes, the work of the Trades Boards has been beyond praise. It has been found that the operation of Trades Boards in Australia., generally, has been to stimulate production and to increase the general volume of trade in the businesses concerned

We ask that the Government should take this problem into consideration at the earliest possible moment. We invite them to set up a commission of inquiry, because if it be found that a large number of our people, as I fear may be the case, are in such desperate straits, and are so ill-paid, in spite of the general service that. they give, and if it he found that no alternative can be provided by our present system, for this system of underpayment, with all its accompanying evils, then we must come to the inevitable conclusion that the system under which we live must be deemed to be inadequate to our modern needs. It will he weighed in the balance, and if the evidence from such a commission of inquiry tends in the direction which I suspect it must go, then the present system must be deemed to be inadequate, and honest men of good will in all parties must apply their minds to substitute something better than this hopeless chaos which we now see about us

Photo of Mr John Baker Mr John Baker , Wolverhampton Bilston

I have pleasure in seconding the Motion, which has been so ably moved. The meaning which I attach to the establishment of a minimum wage goes a little beyond that set up by the Wage Boards. The Wage Boards were set up to prevent the sweating which was destroying the life of the people. We want to take a step ahead of that. The Mover of the Resolution invited hon. Members to go into an engine room, where you can see the engine cared for, the engine-room kept nice and clean, spick and span, as my hon. Friend called it. If you went into the boiler house you would find there, in all up-to-date establishments, much elaborate machinery for testing and keeping track of the efficiency of the boilers. The water is measured, the coal is measured, the coal is analysed, to see that the quality is delivered that is paid for, the ash is measured and tested in order to see that: everything is efficient as far as the mechanism is concerned, but you would not find a single point in those works showing that it was anybody's duty to keep up the physical efficiency of the workers

Many years ago, I read a pamphlet written by a medical gentleman who was a member of the Barrow-in-Furness Board of guardians. In that pamphlet he was demonstrating that the guardians were expecting more energy out of the tramps who called upon them, and who were required I o break so many stones in return for so much food, than the guardians would get out of a steam engine with an equivalent weight of coal. That doctor pointed out that, not only were the guardians unfair to these tramps, but that they were injuring them and shortening their lives. I am afraid that every manager of every works in this country is always trying to get more energy out of the human engine than he is prepared to put into it in the shape of food. The wages paid, on an average, to the workers of this country will not enable them to purchase a sufficient quantity of the proper sort of food to keep up their physical fitness

I am sorry to use a phrase which got into ill-repute a few years ago, but it appears to me that all we are asking for to-night is to get the workers on to a fodder basis. We are actually asking the capitalists, in their own interests, to see to it that their workers are as well fed as their horses and as well cared for as their machinery, at least. We shall be told that we cannot afford it. That is a statement which I am riot prepared to accept. If hon. Members will examine the publications of the Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers—not my trade union, but the employers' association—they will find that in 1873 the average output for a blast furnace was 961½ tons per year. They would also find that we have blast furnaces in this country to-day that are turning out 3,000 tons of pig-iron in a week. If adjustments were made for the increased number of men about these modern furnaces it would be true to say that the modern blast furnace-man, working on a modern furnace is producing 100 times more pig-iron than his grandfather did in a year. His efficiency, with the aid of the engineer, has increased 10,000 per cent., but his wages have not increased 10,000 per cent

In 1873 in all probability the average wage for blast furnace men would be between 25s. and 30s. a week. Twenty years ago the average wage would be 35s. or 40s. a week. I have an elaborate return from South Wales for 1923 which gives an average of about £2 19s. per week, or in a period in which the efficiency of the men has increased 10,000 per cent. the wages have only doubled, and yet we are told that industry cannot afford to pay the men enough to live on in decency. The British Steel Smelters' Association since its inception has kept a record of the age of death of its members who died, and for the first 20 years of its existence the average age of steel smelters who died in this country did not reach 40 years. I am one of those who believe that the health of the people is the wealth of the nation, and I want to suggest that those men were sacrificed to Moloch on the altar of profit, and that we have no right to allow the capitalists to go on destroying the people of this country at that rate

I saw in the Press last week that there are people in the steel trade getting from £20 to £25 a week. There may be, but we do not know of it at our office, and it would be interesting if the gentleman who made that statement would tell us where they are. I would like to be introduced to them. The gentleman who made that statement complained some time ago that his labour cost had gone up 500 or 600 per cent. I knew that our members did not receive 500 or 600 per cent. in advances, and I wanted to know how he arrived at his figures. Part of his state ment was that in 1912 his labour cost for turning out a ton of pig iron was 2s. 4d. He was selling that pig iron at between 50s.and 60s.a ton. In other words, his labour cost was less than 5 per cent., and yet we are told that in an industry like that the workers cannot have more than 5 per cent., of the product without ruining that industry. It is time for this House to try to find out where the waste is. If the workers have increased their efficiency, as I am saying they have, on figures published by the employers themselves, if the labour cost of producing one ton of pig iron is no more than 5 per cent., of the selling price, I think that we are entitled to know where the remainder of the cost is going to. Personally I have a shrewd notion where it is going to

I am not against reading the works published by the opponents of Socialism, and I have taken a keen interest in Mulhall's Dictionary of Statistics, and our friend Mallock's fulminations against the claims of the workers to participate in the product of their own industry to a greater extent than they have done previously, and he gives us there a great number of figures which do not prove his case, but, based on the figures that Mallock gives us in one of these books —I am not sure that the title is not "The Distribution of the Product "—I find that the workers are not getting the same share of the national wealth that they got in the year 1800. In the year 1800 Mallock tells us—and his figures are borne out by Mulhall—that the total income of the nation was £174,000,000 per year. Sir Josiah Stamp tells us that in 1920, as nearly as he could estimate it, the national income was £4,000,000,000, or 28 times as much as in 1800. The same authority tells us that the wealth of this country has increased 10 times in that 120 years. The population has also increased, and if you divide the figure for 1800 by the estimated population at that date you would get a sum of £16 14s. per head. If you carry out the same process for 1920, you would get a figure of £85. That means that the wealth per head of the population has increased five times. Yet while this wealth goes on increasing, not merely as a total, but per head of the population, we are told that the workers are never to have a share that would give them a decent life

This country has spent hundreds of millions of pounds in breeding a race of aristocrats. We have been conducting an experiment as to how far we could develop the human animal, and we believe that we have attained perfection in the people who dub themselves aristocrats. They have bearing, learning and manners and the rest of it. [HON. MEMBERS" Morality!"] No, we do not admire their morality. Accepting the argument that they are better than the common people, we have no right to continue that experiment unless we are going to apply to the common men and women of this country the things that they claim as having made them the finer metal. We want our people not merely stoked as you stoke a boiler. We want for them a wage that will enable them not merely to exist as pieces of mechanism for the production of wealth for others to enjoy, but we want them to have a wage on which they can live up to the magnitude at which God intended that they should live. We want for them leisure, art, literature and music. We want that they should he what we admire in a man, that which many of us would describe as a fine old English gentleman. We want the whole of our people to he fine old English gentlemen. I second the Resolution

Photo of Mr Arthur Dixey Mr Arthur Dixey , Penrith and Cockermouth

T should like to pay a word of compliment to the excellent way in which the Mover took the strong point of this Resolution and also to the able speech made by the Seconder. It does seem a most significant fact. that more people belonging to the other Party in the House of Commons were present this evening to hear this Debate. It is a Subject which, to my mind, should occupy very keenly everybody who takes a real interest in the condition of this nation. If I may say so, I think the Seconder was a hit unkind. Even though some of us may disagree with the emphatic tone of this Resolution, nevertheless I can assure him that among the party on these benches there is a tremendous feeling of sympathy with the idea of a man having a decent day's wage for a decent day's work. A lot of people on this side of the House take every hit as much interest in their own common people as Members opposite, and Members on this side of the House are not wholly composed of bloated aristrocrats without reputations. Some of their reputations are equally as good as those of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and all of us on these benches consider we are as much entitled to represent the interests of the majority of the people in this country as hon. Gentlemen opposite. If I may say so, it is not the sympathy and it is not the feeling behind this Resolution that I object to, and although I have not made up my mind which way I shall vote in this Division to-night, I may say this emphatically, I do feel that the whole future of this country rests on better feeling between capital and labour. I quite agree with hon. Gentlemen opposite that probably in years gone by Labour has not had its proper share of the profits of industry. But what about the schemes of co-operation which have been sometimes suggested by employers? I say emphatically that some of the best employers of labour in this country who have suggested good schemes of the kind have been very poorly received by trade union officials. Everyone agrees with the Seconder of this Resolution that from the financial position it is far better for an employer to give his workmen every comfort and consideration. The old days of the employer who merely looked on the workmen's methods as making money for him to spend have gone

All the brains of industry are not with hon. Gentlemen opposite. If they were, their places might be here instead of where they are. What. I suggest very strongly is—and I think a lot of the sane Labour community in this country agrees—that the majority of employers are men who carry on industry, not merely for what it is worth to themselves, but for the interests of the country. We have a lot of these employers in the country to-day. It would be more helpful if certain prominent Members of the party opposite, instead of holding off the employer, were to give a few words of encouragement to get him to see these things in a friendly way. It is all very well to say of the employer that the. capitalist will not give anything to labour. I say the capitalist appreciates to-day that he has got to give something to labour and I say, further, that sensible and sane labour realises that if our industries are to go ahead at all prosperously, labour has to come forward and give something to capital. There is one other point I should like to speak about. Hon. Gentlemen opposite spoke about the minimum wage, but they did not say how it was to be defined in practice. [An HON. MEMBER: "£400 a year, like we get! "] Some hon. Gentlemen do not think £400 is sufficient. Some people might say some of us are overpaid at £400. If they could see the actions of a certain party in this House to-night they would certainly say they were overpaid. There is too much inequality between skilled and the unskilled rates of pay. Even some hon. Gentlemen opposite will agree that, taking the minimum wage all through, you have unskilled men in certain protected trades who get a far bigger wage for the work they do than many employed in the skilled trades. I am not going into the question of whether these unskilled men are paid too much or too little. All I say is, taking labour as a whole, there is a great discrepancy between the wages paid in certain unskilled trades and skilled trades

I, for one, think the whole question of the wages of British industries needs careful examination. I do hope that this Government with its leader will go into the whole question of British industry. I believe there are certain measures which ought to be taken, not only to equalise the conditions between capital and labour, but also to equalise the conditions amongst labour itself. should appreciate it very strongly if we could have more evenness between the wages paid to the skilled engineer and the wages paid to the unskilled labour, say, of the Corporation of the City of Manchester. I shall vote on this Motion to-night according to the reply given by the Minister in winding up this Debate. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite may laugh. but I am as capable of voting against my party as a lot of hon. Members on the opposite benches. I say with frankness I shall vote according to the reply given by the Minister to this Motion. Whether you pass this Motion or not, whether it is accepted or not, does not matter. What does matter is the engendering of the better feeling in this country between capital and labour. I do not care about the late Prime Minister's gestures to Labour. I know if we could get real Labour leaders from the trade unions and hon. Gentlemen who sit on benches opposite to go hand in hand and meet the decent employer, it would do far more good than all the Resolutions put on the Paper of this House

Photo of Dr Leslie Haden-Guest Dr Leslie Haden-Guest , Southwark North

While agreeing entirely with the appeal of the last speaker for a better feeling between capital and labour, I suggest that the way to get it is very simple. If labour receives anything like justice, you will begin to get that better feeling. But while a large number of the people are underpaid, overworked, casually employed, and unemployed, it is ridiculous to talk about good feeling between those people and the employers. It is one thing to make speeches about good feeling between capital and labour after a good dinner or a good lunch. It is another thing to consider such remarks after returning from a visit to the Poor Law officer for the purpose of obtaining parish relief, and after finding it impossible to obtain an adequate amount of parish relief. The difference in the points of view is a difference which starts, not from the head, but from the stomach. As long as men are divided by those tremendous natural differences which exist when the men on one side are starving and desperate, all your fine appeals to fine feelings fall not on deaf ears, but on the ears of hungry people. I am perfectly certain the Prime Minister did not intend his appeal to be addressed to hungry men. He intended it to be addressed, as it should be addressed in the first instance, to the employers, because it is from the employers that the first move must come at this stage. I intended when I rose to address myself to the question raised by the Seconder of the Motion, and by the last speaker, namely, how a minimum wage is to be defined and calculated. I do not propose to enter into any figures, but I shall place before the House certain purely medical considerations, certain considerations dealing with human life, and certain considerations dealing with wages, and I suggest that these matters should be brought into account when considering how a minimum wage is to be calculated

We are all familiar with the appeals for funds made by the numerous hospitals existing in London. During the last few days, we have been distressed to learn that the Middlesex Hospital is in a very bad position, and needs a large sum of money. From time to time, every hospital in London appeals for money. If you add to the amount of money spent on voluntary hospitals, the money spent on Poor Law infirmaries, and on medical relief through the Poor Law, and, further, acid the amount spent on clinics of one kind or another, you get a sum running into many millions a year. All hon. Members can go into the figures themselves in the statistical returns which are available. A large part of that expenditure is part of the price we pay for compelling men to live on low wages. I would ask hon. Members if they want an illustration to go to Guy's Hospital which is close to London Bridge, and derives a large proportion of ifs patients from occupations where there is casual employment and low wages. They will see how the people in such occupations suffer directly from the effects of low wages and insufficient food. In my own experience in connection with the school clinics, which deal with many thousands of school children in London, I have found the same thing. One curious result. of the War was that the number of cases of illness among children attending schools in London treated at the clinics went down considerably. The figure went down during the War, because separation allowances were being paid. and for the first time in their lives—and apparently for the last time—a large number of people were receiving regularly, week by week, a definite amount of money. The result was a great diminution of illnesses among the children and a consequent diminution in the cost of the arrangements for treatment made by the London County Council, the biggest educational authority in this country

I would also point out that a large number of the cases of what is called mental deficiency as well as of physical deficiency in this country have their origin in conditions of poverty. Those mental and physical defectives, when they reach adult age, are, in one way or another, a charge upon the community. Taking it in the aggregate, you have a very large number of people who are so mentally defective as to be incapable of earning their own livelihood, and of being responsible for themselves. I do not wish to exaggerate. I do not wish to suggest that all these cases are due directly to the underpayment of the fathers and mothers of the patients, but a considerable proportion of those cases, undoubtedly, are due to poverty. They are not really mental deficiency cases, but poverty cases. Many years ago I read an analysis of a large number of cases in London, and I think about 20 per cent. of the cases of illness among children were found to be due to poverty pure and simple. I judge that we pay, on the average, a great deal more for the cost of medical treatment year by year than would make up the wages paid in industry to a decent minimum wage. It is a tragedy. It has always been my opinion that the Labour party, the trade unions, and the workers generally have been much too modest in their demands. The working class of this country have been chronically underpaid for many years

I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite. to realise some very simple facts which they can easily verify for themselves. Go to any ordinary elementary school in a poor district, examine the children, observe their height, their appearance, and their general physical standard. Then go to a school of the secondary grade attended by children from the same social class, and from the same district, and note the difference. It is not a difference of origin, or of place of residence. Speaking broadly, it is a difference clue to the fact that the parents of the elementary school children arc paid less than the parents el the secondary school children, and, consequently, the latter are bigger and broader, and have the opportunity of much better mental development as they grow up. That can be ascertained by dissecting in detail the records of the London County Council, or any education Authority. The Seconder of the Resolution referred to the aristocracy of this country. There is not very much aristocracy in this country. We are a very "mixed bag," taking us all round. and it is probably true that, with a very few exceptions, all classes of the community at present, whatever their financial condition may be, have very much the same kind of blood in their veins and are descended from very much the same class of people

Mr. GUEST:

I am glad the hon. Gentleman assents to that view. If he assents, I would ask him what causes the difference between the physical development and efficiency of a young man of 20 working as a grocer's assistant and that of a young man of 20 at Oxford or Cambridge?

Photo of Mr Arthur Dixey Mr Arthur Dixey , Penrith and Cockermouth

May I say that the finest physical specimens of men I have ever seen have been working men in the colliery districts—mostly miners

Mr. GUEST:

No doubt there are exceedingly fine specimens, but you must take the average, and if you do, you find that the average university undergraduate is much better physically, and has much more opportunity of developing his mind than the average young man working for a low wage in an occupation like that of a grocer's assistant. Where you get men healthfully employed at physical work, you get very good physical development; but I leave it to my friends the miners to say whether they think the life of a miner is the Utopia to be aimed at for members of all classes in this country. I think they will agree with me that it is not. What I want to suggest is that paying people wages below the minimum required to maintain them in health is, from the national point of view, the very worst kind of economy, because we have to pay for it. I am afraid I can-riot share the optimism of my hon. Friend opposite about the good intentions of all employers. Of course, some employers have good intentions, but, perfectly definitely and obviously, other employers have anything but good intentions, and, what is worse than having bad intentions, they are simply indifferent; to the. economic effect of their enterprises on the workers. lion. Members must be familiar with the class of argument—we may even hear it to-night—that the business cannot afford to pay a proper minimum wage, that the industry cannot stand it. and all that kind of thing. It has always seemed to me that, if an industry has to be run on a basis of being unable to pay those whom it employs a wage sufficient to maintain them and their families in health, that is a bankrupt industry and ought not to continue

It is perfectly ridiculous that, because Mr. John Jones wishes to invest his money in a particular industry—[H0N. MEMBERS: "Order ! "]—I should have referred to my hon. Friend the Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones), if I had meant him, by much more endearing epithets —it is ridiculous, I say, that because Mr. John Jones wants to invest his money in a particular industry, we, the nation and the community, should be saddled with having to pay for the cripples that he produces because he has not the capacity, the common honesty—for it is really a question of honesty—to pay the men and women whom he employs a proper amount to maintain them in health. I must confess that I never feel more revolutionary than when I go down to my own clinic in Blackfriars and see the children coming up there for treatment, children who are presenting now the same kind of illnesses, malformations, and bad developments as they did when I began my work down there eighteen years ago, children having good fathers and good mothers, so far as their morals and their care of their children are concerned, but who receive so little that they can only afford the bare minimum of room, and thank God if they are able to get any rooms at all, that they are only able to afford the bare minimum of food, and just enough clothing to keep their children decent and well, and send those children to school to be educated, and, as regularly almost as they go to school, send them to the doctor to be attended to for maladies which are absolutely preventable if they only had more money, more room, and more food

I think on these occasions that some of those whom I know are right when they say that this whole system is so rotten that we must take it up and smash it in our hands. My only reason for not associating myself with those is that I feel certain that out of mere destruction you will only get more misery for the masses. That is the only reason, for it is certain that our present arrangements are, from the scientific point of view, contemptible, and from the human point of view, the moral point of view, absolutely despicable. We only tolerate them because we do not know them. Hon. Members here only tolerate the things which are going on partly because we are so accustomed to them and we do not see them, and partly because of that intolerable patience of the poor, which does not allow them to obtrude themselves upon the attention of others. Poor people are much too patient. As a matter of fact, they do not get enough food to be impatient; they are kept very mild

Let me give the House one or two plain facts, dealing with this medical aspect of the matter, which show the effects of underpayment. Take a very simple malady, such as measles. Years ago the medical officer of health for the County of Essex made a detailed investigation of the deaths from measles in that county, and he found that there was a high death-rate from measles in the county as a whole, but that the death-rate from measles was confined to members of the working classes, that the children who died from measles were the workers' children, and that the children who got measles and who belonged to those who were better paid did not die of measles, because they were in a better physical condition and had better circumstances and were better off because they lived in better homes. The terrible death-rate from infantile illnesses, from tuberculosis, and generally the illnesses which are indices of poverty, these things fall almost entirely on the lives and the homes of poor people, who are underpaid under our present circumstances

Very often, those who are, in my opinion, receiving very low wages, think that they are receiving quite enough. I hope that my lion. Friends on these benches will pitch their demands for a share of the wealth of this country a little higher than they have been doing in the past. I never could see any special reason why one man weighing 10 stone required any more food than another man weighing 10 stone. I never have been really able to see why there should be a different standard of life for one class of the community as compared with another. There is only one real standard of life, and that is to give people the amount of food, the amount of fresh air, the amount of the good things of life that they require for a. full development, and there is no moral, no social, and no respectable intellectual argument which can controvert that position, although our institutions every day controvert it and our daily life controverts it, and everything in our present social system makes a mockery of what should, plain common sense

This Resolution seeks for an inquiry. I hope that that inquiry will be entered into, and that when it is being attempted to define the level of a minimum wage, there will be taken into consideration the medical and physiological questions, and that there shall be determined the amount of food which men and their families require, the amount of sunlight, the amount of air (which means the amount of housing), and that these matters shall not he regarded primarily from the point of view of industry and of the facts and figures that my hon. Friend who moved this Resolution brought forward, but from the point of view primarily of the requirements of the human being, not as an animal, but as a man. I believe that if that inquiry is pursued, not on the old road of these inquiries, not taking trade unions and employers only—they must, of course, both be consulted—but taking also medical evidence, finding how much is required by men, by women, by children, adding these things together and ascertaining their cost, and in that way establishing a kind of criterion for gauging the minimum wage; in that way we shall really take a definite step forward. I very much hope that that will be done. I very much hope that this Debate will emerge from its rather academic stage—I cannot help thinking that that is the view of hon. Gentlemen opposite, not to mention some on this side., that the Debate is in that direction and is so regarded—I do hope that it will be brought out from the academic atmosphere into an atmosphere of reality; an atmosphere in which something will really get done to establish a real minimum wage

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

I hope that hon. Members opposite, whatever may be our views on the main point, will agree with me when I say that just as fully on this side of the House as on the opposite side of the House we are agreed that there. should be a good day's wage for a good day's work. But there is a wide difference between hon. Members on the opposite side and ourselves as to the best way of getting this. The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones), who submitted this Resolution, was rather unhappy in his references to the minimum wage as applied to the mining industry. We cannot but recognise that the conditions of that industry are distinguished quite clearly from those of most other industries. One realises that in working a mine a man may have a difficult position to-day where, if he did not get the minimum wage, his wage would be altogether insufficient, despite the fact that the particular work he has done, under perhaps most disagreeable conditions, is an absolute necessity for the conduct of the mine, and, therefore, is a condition precedent to the earning of a better wage by the man who has a better place. There is a good deal to be said for the minimum wage in these circumstances. I am speaking in the presence of many who are intimately connected with mines, but I hope they will not suggest that we on this side of the House do not recognise the legitimacy of the principle of the minimum wage as applied to mining, but we would have preferred that it had been related to the mine rather than related to the industry as a whole. Take the position of mining to-day. The only pits that look like surviving are the pits situated in the rich mineral areas. There is an extraordinary difference between district and district, and the point which is recognised even in the mining agreement

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

So-called agreement

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

We have evidence of that in the so-called agreement. I hope the right hon. Gentleman-

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

There was no agreement. The arrangement was forced upon the men

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will have the patience to listen while I put forward the view I am doing in regard to how best to get these conditions changed for the better. It may be a very stupid view from the standpoint of the right hon. Gentleman, but it is the view of one who is as intimately connected with mining as anyone on those benches, and as honourably. Therefore, I hope he will listen with patience

10.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr Stephen Walsh Mr Stephen Walsh , Ince

A word of explanation, please. The hon. Gentleman was speaking of a certain principle being recognised in the agreement, but that agreement was never entered into by the men. The. arrangement was thrust upon them in the conference. There was no principle recognised in it at all

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to say, because I am not an admirer of the so-called agreement, that the so-called agreement—and the right hon. Gentleman will admit this—whether it was thrust upon the men or arranged between masters and men, does embody a principle which recognises this diverse value in the mineral fields? What is the position to-day? Every pit is in jeopardy except the pits in the very rich districts. Is it any consolation to the miners to be told that they are enjoying a minimum wage when it is proved to demonstration, and to the satisfaction of both masters and men, that the so-called minimum wage is beyond the ability of a particular mine? Is it any consolation to them to be told that there is a minimum wage, when in certain cases the management, however anxious to give the minimum wage, and even a better one, is baffled as to how to provide it in certain mines? Is it any satisfaction to a man to hear this doctrine of a minimum wage discussed when, with that minimum wage, the pits close down? I, therefore, say that the mining industry is a reminder as to how cautious we ought to be in regard to a national minimum wage. I only mention that in view of what was said by the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Southwark (Mr. Haden Guest), who, I believe, is a distinguished member of the medical profession. He spoke about the emaciated condition of the pupils in the elementary schools. But that has not been my experience of the pupils in the schools north of the Tweed

Mr. H. GUEST:

I was pointing out the difference between the pupils in the secondary schools and the pupils in the elementary schools

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

North of the Tweed precisely the same class of pupils are to be found in the secondary as in the elementary schools. If there is a difference in the health of pupils, it is in favour of those in such schools

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Glasgow is north of the Tweed, and if you go into the West End schools of the city of Glasgow and into the elementary schools of Gorals you notice the difference right away

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

Well, we will not discuss that point. There does not seem very much difference to me, at least in favour of our side. But we will leave it there. What I do submit to hon. Members opposite is this, that perhaps we are entitled to argue that industry to-day is suffering most from rigidity and want of flexibility arising, partly perhaps, from excess of political interference in industrial affairs. We want more flexibility in industry

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

The Silk Duties, for instance

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

If we are to deal with mining in the best possible way, it seems desirable to pursue this discussion with patience. What is wanted more than anything else at the present time is more flexibility in industry. The Prime Minister has given an indication as to how that may be brought about. I think there is an indication by hint that we shall discover the solution of our industrial difficulties, not by more interference, but by the coming together of masters and men, and in the realisation by both of the menace hanging over industry to-day. The Prime Minister has indulged a hope that. I believe will be more and more realised as the days go on, that ways and means will be devised whereby we shall render industry more flexible. Take the case of Germany in the matter of mines to-day. Let us get down to rock bottom. We are being beaten by our competitors in the matter of price. Therefore our objective is to discover ways and means that will occasion the least possible disturbance of social conditions by whichwecan reach a price that. will enable us to meet our opponents and overtake them

That is the whole problem before the Shall we settle that problem by country passing such a Resolution as this, or shall we be more likely to settle it by pursuing the methods suggested by the Prime Minister and bringing into more and more intimate contact the management and the men? We want to discover a way of so adjusting industry that we shall at one and the same time give security to the general mass and a largely increased independence to the individual worker. It is all very well for us here, where each man enjoys full liberty to exercise any talents that he may have to bind others with legislation. But that is not the position of the worker to-day. We want to get rid of the embargo put upon the worker as compared with other classes, and if in doing that we can devise a system whereby we can give general security and greater individual freedom, we shall bring back to industry much of the elasticity which it has lost. When we come to discuss the industrial situation apart from politics, when we look at it simply from the social and economic point of view, we shall discover matters other than money to discuss. The hon. Member who spoke before me belongs to the medical profession. He knows that in that profession money is not the only test. Take a doctor in the Highlands, as compared with a doctor in the industrial district of Gorbals. The man in Gorbals will have a very much larger income than the man in the Highlands

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

I hope you pay the doctor, however you may treat the landlord. All this concentration on money is degrading to the dignity of the worker. The hon. Member who preceded me, speaking in regard to his own profession

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

How about the legal profession?

Photo of Mr James Kidd Mr James Kidd , Linlithgowshire

They are not insensible to ash any more than Labour Members. They don't pretend otherwise: that is the difference. Once you adjust industry and make it more social without impairing the general security, you take a great step forward. If as a miner North of the Tweed I am offered a better wage in some of the richer fields of England, and if I prefer to remain in Scotland, it is because my Scottish habitation has associations and charms for me for which the higher English wage would not be sufficient to compensate me. That is the road we must discover before we can make industry as elastic as it ought to be. My objection to this Resolution is that, over rigid as industry is now, we are adding to the rigidity, and we are postponing a more elastic period

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd), in saying that he had some association with mining, was very careful to depart from any details when he spoke about Germany. I am not an unfair debater. I know that the hon. Member knows nothing about German mining, and he knows very little about

British mining. On the question of the school child, let me say that as a former member of the Glasgow School Board I know that the difference between a child of the people living in the West End of Glasgow and that of people living in the East End of Glasgow, when the children were put on the scales, was from 4 lbs. to 7 lbs., and that the difference in height was from 2½ to 4 inches. We hear great stories told about the poverty of industry, but no speaker opposite has even admitted that the money sunk in mines has been taken out of mines more than once. Nor do hon. Members consider seriously from where the money is to come. I have here a return dealing with the nation's wealth as measured by Income Tax. In 1913–14 the income subject to taxation was £985,000,000. In 1021–22 it was 2,462 millions. Yet we are, being told that there is nothing on which hands can be put for the payment of a living wage. Turn next to the yield of Super-tax and Death Duties. In 1913–14 the taxable total was £74,000,000.In1921-22 it was £451,000,000. Yet we are told that the poverty of industry is such that those engaged in it have nothing wherewith to pay a living wage to those who work. The net income, after paying taxes in 1913–14 was £911,000,000, and in 1921-22 it was £2,011,000,000—an increase in eight years of 120 per cent

Do not forget that the increase in wages, taking the average, is under 60 per cent. Yet we are told that there is no possibility of finding the wherewithal to pay a living wage. These are figures taken from Government Blue Books and they state exactly what have been the returns of industry. The actual income brought under review in 1913–14 was £951,000,000. In 1923-24 it was £2,300,000,000

The living wage, the minimum wage as it-, is called in mining, is not something that permits the father of a family to act as he ought to act had he the means. The moment the law allows it, he has to get his child into industry, in order to help the family. His child is denied opportunities of education for making what is called a gentleman. I do not mean the gentleman of the frock coat and the tile hat, I mean the gentleman of the heart, who wants to see a society in which no child in any walk of life is denied education. The lack of the minimum wage is the biggest contributor to blind-alley occupations. Every time we have a man who is underpaid we see his child pushed into the job which, for the time being, gives the greatest return, and that is how blind-alley occupations are fed

The hon. Member for Linlithgow was talking about mines that could not pay and other mines in the rich mineral areas that do pay. Perhaps he does not realise what the last big fight was about; it was for the pool. If he had the logic of a lawyer, as we understand the legal mind, instead of a confused brain, he would have seen that his argument leads him straight to the nationalisation of our coalfields. The man who is working in the mine which is not so efficient or so good as the mine in the rich field is working harder than the man in the rich field. When the mineowner goes to sell his coal from the inefficient or badly-placed mine, he gets only the same price per ton as does the man whose coal came from the rich field. Therefore, apart from logic, hard, common, horse sense should tell Members that the one thing to be done is to pool. If this nation is to be successful in getting through its present crisis it has to conic down to scientific methods in dealing with the foundation of its industries, which is coal. Unless we apply science to the coal business we are going to be knocked out, not by the Germans, but by our own stupidity. No nation can beat us in coal, iron or steel, as shown in the figures I have mentioned of the increase of 120 per cent. in eight years in the millions made in this country. Yet hon. Members get up and tell us that we cannot pay a minimum wage. The thing is absolutely absurd. Then we heard from the Member for West Cumberland (Mr. Dixey) about the skilled and the unskilled men. It requires skill to handle a shovel properly. I do not know of any unskilled trade or occupation. If anybody can tell me of one, I will be very glad to have all the details

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

The idea in some men's minds is that because what they call an unskilled man is something less than a skilled man, his children have got to do with less bread and fewer comforts than the others. If brains were to be bought of course the rich would have them all, and we would be left with none, but that is not the way brains come. Do hon. Members like the hon. Member for Linlithgow admit that because a man happens to be endowed by God with the gift of brains in his skull he is to have all, and the children of another man not so endowed are to go without education and to have less food? That is not the basis of human life. There is no morality in that. The nation that stands by and permits the masses to get down below the standard that means the best development of the human mind, is not on the road to poverty, it is in poverty, and it is on the road to destruction

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

This is the third time that this question has been brought forward in identical terms before this House, and I am glad it has been moved again to-night. [HON. MEMBERS:" Speak up! ") A good deal has been said by all the speakers with which I agree, and they have also said a good deal with which I disagree. I was asked by the hon. Member who moved the Resolution what is the policy of the party to which I belong with regard to the question we have been discussing to-night, and I will endeavour to tell him. When he indicated as he did that there has been a great change in the country and in the policy of all parties with what he rightly called the principle oflaissez faire,he was absolutely right. I know nothing more striking or significant than that during the first seventy years of the last century the policy oflaisez fairrwasregardedby a great number of people, and by the majority of the people of this country as almost a fetish. Certainly during this century there has been a great growth of opinion in the direction that State control in some form or other is necessary under present day conditions, and with that I absolutely agree

It was not really until 1874, at the beginning of Mr. Disraeli's Administration, that it was realised for the first time, and that realisation was translated into law, that the State had obligations to industry which it refused to recognise before. The party to which I belong are no more favourable" to a hard, rigid, relentless doctrine oflaissez fairethan they are favourable to the dead hand of state regulation and control of industry. One result, undoubtedly, of the long prevalence of that idea oflaissez faireis that industry, sometimes inarticulate, but often clamant, insisted that it should have full rights of organisation before the law in order that the workers might be able to meet organised capital on as equal terms as possible. The result of that was the Act of 1876, which has so often been called the charter of trade unions. It has never been our policy to leave the conditions of labour to the free stress of unlimited competition. The sanitary conditions of labour, the safeguards of life and limb, have long been regulated by Parliament, and, in the passing of laws relating to such matters, the party to which I belong have taken a very close and honourable part

Let me just pursue this line of argument one step further before I deal specifically with the Motion we are discussing to-night. One of the results of the Act of which T have spoken was, of course, the creation of great and powerful unions, and the result of the creation of these great and powerful unions, organised to a high degree, was that those who were engaged in organised industries entered into and made agreements—agreements made by those who knew the difficulties of the trade, the conditions of the trade, and the circumstances of the trade; and many of those agreements are in existence to-day. But in unorganised trades—and this is the point which was, I think, in the mind of the hon. Member for North Southwark k Mr. H. Guest) and also in the mind of the. Mover—in unorganised trades the assistance of the State was and is necessary to prevent sweating. I remember quite well, although I was not a Member of this House at the time, the Debate which took place. in 1909 when the Trade Boards Bill was first introduced. I remember an hon. Friend of mine, who is now dead —Mr. Lyttelton—saying in almost identical language what the hon. Member for North Southwark has said to-night. He said that sweating was not only piteous, but was a menace to the social welfare of the State, and—he was then in Opposition—he urged, and successfully urged, the party to which he and I belonged to support that Bill. Support was given, and the Bill was passed

The policy of the present Government has been stated in the clearest possible language by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. He said, in answer to a question, very shortly after ho came into office, that the Government adhered to the principle that the gross evil of sweating must be prevented, and endorsed the view which was reached unanimously by the Committee of Inquiry presided over by the present Lord Chancellor, Lord Cave, that the Trade Board system is necessary for this purpose. He went on to say that the Act would be extended, and only extended, to new trades where it had clearly been ascertained by systematic investigation that conditions of sweating prevailed. The hon. Gentleman who moved this Resolution referred to the grocery trade. At this moment there is an inquiry going on in the grocery trade, with the object of assisting my right hon. Friend to ascertain whether conditions of sweating do or do not exist. The hon. Member said it had been going on for years. When my right hon. Friend came into office, he found that for one reason and another, for which he, at any rate, was not responsible, that Board had never functioned, and no rates had ever been fixed; and, in his determination to clean up the position in that particular trade, he caused inquiries to be instituted, which, as I have said, are at present proceeding

In the speeches to-night we have heard singularly little about the Motion itself, and what the Motion means. May I remind the House what the Motion says, and then explain to the House exactly what the Motion means? After two recitals, the operative part of the Motion is as follows This House urges the Government to proceed without delay with the Bill introduced by the Government of the day of 1919, constituting a commission to inquire into and report upon legal minimum time rates of wages. The hon. Gentleman who moved this Resolution described this as a modest proposal which he imagined we should have no difficulty in accepting. But, before the House comes to a decision on the matter, may I explain exactly what this Bill is and what it proposes to do? The Bill which the Resolution urges us at once to put into operation does this: After stating that it is expedient. that minimum time rates of wages should be fixed for all persons of the ages of 15 and upwards, and that a Commission should be appointed to inquire and to decide what those rates should be and the manner in which they should be put into operation, the very first Clause of the Bill asks that these Commissioners should be appointed, and that they should consist of a chairman and such other persons as His Majesty—which, of course, is the Government of the day—may think fit. The discretion, therefore, is entirely in the hands of the Government. It further asks that these Commissioners should be appointed for the purpose of inquiring into and deciding what such minimum time rates of wages should be, regard being had to the cost of living and all other relevant circumstances

Further on it says that the Commissioners may act notwithstanding any vacancy in their number, and that five shall be a quorum; and later it says that the Commissioners may in their discretion refuse to allow the public or any portion of the public to be present at the proceedings during the hearing of any part of the evidence except with the consent of the Commission, and, further, that, if any person is present at any of the proceedings, he shall not be allowed to disclose without the authority of the Commissioners anything which takes place, and that, if he does, lie will have to pay a penalty of £50 or suffer imprisonment with hard labour. That means that we are urged to pass into law at. once a Bill which would enable Commissioners appointed by the Government not merely to inquire, but to decide the rate of wages of every industry in the country. I cannot think if the House realises that that is the result of the Bill —to which no reference was made by any previous speaker—that it would be prepared to trust this or any Government with the appointment of gentlemen with powers so arbitrary and so autocratic

I agree, with some hesitation, with the hon. Member opposite who said that what he did not want was a flat minimum wage over the whole country but a minimum wage for each industry. Let the House consider what would be the powers and the duties of the Commissioners if this Bill was passed into law. They would have to fix a minimum wage for every industry, and they would have to make that wage appropriate to the various conditions. I am certain that if such powers were entrusted to any body of men, however faithfully they might attempt to discharge their duties, when it was realised in the country that that was the effect of the Bill, so far from producing anything like contentment and peace it would produce an outcry and an uproar of which we can form but a dim notion. That, to my mind, and in the view of the Government, makes it impossible for us to accept this Resolution. This same Resolution was moved on 4th March last year, and it was accepted by the Government of the day and by the House. From 4th March to the end of the session there was not displayed by the Government a symptom that they intended to put into operation the Bill which the House so urgently asked for. If they are to be merely dead letters it is really not honest, it seems to me, to accept Resolutions which we know perfectly well would be unacceptable to the country and to the House. The principle of the Bill is utterly opposed to the principle in which we believe, namely, that those who know the conditions and the difficulties of industry, and are vitally affected in the prosperity of industry, are better fitted to settle these matters than an arbitrary body, selected by the Government, who would have autocratic powers

Photo of Sir Henry Slesser Sir Henry Slesser , Leeds South East

Wehave listened to one of the most remarkable defences for a change of policy which this House can ever have heard. One would have thought, to listen to the hon. Gentleman, that the Bill of 1919, which he attacked in such severe language, was one produced by some irresponsible person, possibly a Socialist, and therefore deserved all the remarks he made. But what are the facts? This Bill, which the Government now speak about as such a miserable production, was one produced byaGovernment of which the present Prime Minister, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer and the present. Secretary for Foreign Affairs were Members. Therefore the Bill, which I quite agree the Resolution asks the Government to adopt, is one which at least three Members of the present Government, in their collective responsibility as Members of the Cabinet at that time, decided was a proper way to deal with the question of the minimum wage. I hope the House will bear that fact in mind, that whether the Bill be good or bad, it is a Bill of which Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Churchill—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Order ! "]and the Foreign Secretary approved. If I referred to them by their names it was because they had been so dissociated from the Bill by the hon. Gentleman that I had forgotten that they and the present Ministers were the same persons

Why was it that the Government of 1919 decided to produce the Bill They produced it at the joint request of the employers and the employés at that time. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), who was then Prime Minister, had told soldiers very gratifying and consoling things as to what would happen to them when they came back from the War, and one thing he did was to set up this joint conference of employers and employed. Those were the days when heroes were to receive minimum wages, among other benefits, and this joint body of employers and employed agreed to this principle and unanimously asked the Government to introduce the Bill. The Government then proceeded to consider it, and the present Prime Minister, the other members of the Cabinet raised no objection and the Bill was produced before the House. Those are the facts. Therefore, it behoves the hon. Member, who represented the Government in the Debate to-night, to tells us why the Prime Minister has changed his mind as to the usefulness of this Bill, and why employers in this House to-night have got up and condemned this Bill, when their representatives at the Joint Conference in 1919 pressed for this Bill. What has happened

While we have had many discussions, and I hope there will be many more discussions, in this House on the question of a decent living wage for workers, we have reached a much more interesting point to-night, because we are now entitled to ask the Government and the supporters of the Government whether, in spite of all their talk about their sympathy and enthusiasm for social reform, they are in advance or behind the Coalition Government of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs. That was an imperfect Government. Very few people defend it to-day, but, at least, in these matters, it was prepared, apparently, to go a good deal further in the direction of securing a minimum wage than Members of the Government are to-day. When it comes to talk about enthusiasm for social reform upon the benches opposite, the fact is that if hon. Members vote against this Resolution they will be saying that they are not prepared to carry out what both the employers and the employed demanded in 1919, and what the various Members of the Government then thought was expedient

Having said that, may I say a few words as to the wisdom of proceeding with this Bill. Hon. Members speak as though the only two questions for our consideration were the questions of sweating and no sweating. That is entirely a false view. What have we in between sweating and the question of a living age? By a living wagewedo not mean a wage which is something better than sweating. We mean a living wage, and to say that only those industries are to be protected where there is sweating proved does not meet the case in the least. What we say, and what the Mover of this Resolution said, is that we demand that in every occupation the workers in that occupation shall receive such wages as will give them full opportunities of life. Taking those words in their fullest context, what is the great gap between that and such deplorable states of sweating that you need to havetrades boards? A trades board is altogether inadequate to deal with the demand which we are making this evening

I think we shall clearly to-night by the Vote which will soon take place, what the professions which have been made by hon. Members on the other side of the House as to their newly-discovered zeal for social reform and social betterment are really worth. If they are going to vote against this proposal, they are going to adopt the view which has been put forward by the hon. Member who represented the Government, that to extend the laws dealing with sweating adequately meets the situation. I do not agree for a moment that the, record of the Government is good in this matter. We know that a great Press agitation went on in this country for some years for the reduction of even such minimum wages as were given under the Trade Boards Act. As a result of a great deal of what I think was a very heartless, very callous and very inhuman attack on the work of the trades boards, and what the trades boards did, by some of the less honourable of our newspapers, the Cave Committee was appointed to inquire into sweating conditions. In many respects that Committee reported that the powers of the trade boards should be whittled down, and not increased. That has not been entirely done, but nobody can say that in recent times there has been any real extension of the principle of protection for sweated industries in the way which it was once desired, that, automatically, it shall be applied to all the trades requiring it

We have in mind the agricultural labourers who were deprived of the minimum wage which had been given by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) through the repeal of the Corn Production Act. We had to wait for the Labour Government to give back to the agricultural labourers a minimum wage. Had it not been for the Labour Government the agricultural labourers to-day would be without a minimum wage. Therefore we do not see any evidence that the sympathy which is expressed so freely on the other side of the House reveals itself in concrete proposals. We are asking for no more than that this Government should carry out what the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs promised the returned soldiers in 1919. Hon. Members opposite may say, "We are not the same Government. We are not responsible for what he said then," but I do not think that they can escape on that account because the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and many other hon. and right hon. Gentlemen were Members of his Government and they cannot avoid responsibility for the promise which he made to the joint conference between employers and workers that this minimum wage should be increased

Remember what happened the other day on the Debate on the Eight Hours Bill. In that matter also a promise was given, and the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) said: "You made these promises and you are not going to carry them out, while all the other countries of Europe have been made to understand that you intend to carry them out." We have to-night the same cynical attitude taken up. I do not propose at this hour to go over again the arguments in favour of a minimum wage. They have been stated by a large number of Members on this side of the House, and it is needless to repeat them. I am only concerned to point out that the principle. Has been accepted by the Government opposite or by members of the Government opposite, and that to-day so far from bringing in any progressive programme of social reform they are now irrevocably pledged to do something less than the Coalition Government promised in 1919. I would appeal even now to the House to show that it is prepared to give something equal at least to what was given by that Government by voting for this Resolution. It would be quite an unexpected thing for any Resolution from these benches to receive the support of the majority of this House, but I do think that when we move a Resolution in favour of a Measure which so many hon. Members opposite themselves supported they should support their own proposals, and I little thought to see a Member from the Front Bench opposite rise and denounce the Bill for which he shared the responsibility. I do not see any consistency in voting against this Resolution unless hon. Members are prepared to contend that what they voted for in 1919 was wrong, and I ask this House to give a vote in favour of this Resolution

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down has expended a great amount of energy and an equal degree of eloquence in demanding that we on these benches who were Members of the 1919 Parliament should give an adequate reason for not. voting for this Resolution to-night. I gladly accept the challenge of the hon. and learned Member. The reason is very simple and the answer all-sufficient. The reason is that in 1918 a Coalition Government was returned, supported by Conservatives and Liberals. In 1919 a Bill was presented containing some of the proposals which are in *his Resolution. [HON. MEMBERS: "All of them!"] The hon. and learned Gentleman pressed the point that these things had been agreed between employers and employés. That possibly is true, but thank Heavens this House of Commons has still a great duty to perform which is greater, more dignified, more important in the interests of the protection of the liberty of the subject than merely ratifying any private agreement made outside this House. That Bill, which was presented to this House, failed to secure support, even in a Coalition Government made up by a large proportion of Liberal Members. The matter is again presented to-night when those Members of His Majesty's Government, who, in 1919, were trammelled by their faith and allegiance to a Coalition party, are free to come to their own conclusions and abide the responsibility of their own actions and abide by the verdict of the people when they go before them for having accepted the responsibilities if their own acts. I would tell the hon. and learned Gentleman that if that Measure, presented under the conditions of 1919 to a Coalition Government could not obtain support even under the quasi-Socialism which pervaded that Coalition, if it could not at that time command the support of the House, they have no right to expect that an out-and-out Conservative Government—[An HON. MEMBER "An in-and-out Government! "J —should adopt such a Measure. For my part I shall always resist any artificial minimum wage proposal. The hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Hardie) appealed to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd) and said: "Is it fair when you have two men, one endowed by the Almighty with great gifts and the other with lesser endowments, that the man with the lesser endowments should be penalised because he is not endowed like the other one?" My answer to the hon. Member is this, "You cannot legislate against the Almighty."

If in fact a single speech had ever been made from those benches opposite which would lay before me a reason to feel, based upon something that I could lay hold of and see, something which hon. Members opposite could present to me for adopting a minimum wage which could be put into effect and would make for the prosperity of the working man of this country, then I am prepared' to support it

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

I made no suggestion about legislating against the Almighty. I was asking you to put the Sermon on the Mount into practice

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

It would be very nice if we could solve all the ills of the people of this country on sentiment. It would be so easy. My appeal to hon. Gentlemen is that they should formulate their proposals, back those proposals by sound reasons, and show us that if a minimum wage is put into force, it can be reconciled with economic and social conditions, and that it will leave the people at least as well off as they are to-day. But do not come to those of us who have had experience of every condition of industry, including the workshop, and ask us to support a proposal which can only bring ruin and distress to working people. I say in all sincerity I do not yield to any hon. Member opposite in my desire and determination to do the right thing by the workers, but I will never, until sound logical reasons are put forward to show that you will at least leave the people as well off as they are to-day, move one inch from the position I occupy, and I will oppose, on every occasion, proposals for a minimum wage in the interest of and fur the protection of the working people of this country

Photo of Mr Ramsay Macdonald Mr Ramsay Macdonald , Aberavon

In the very short time left to me I can only make one remark. I am sure the House is very much obliged to the hon. Member who has just sat down for interposing in the Debate. He has made the issue perfectly plain. When there was a Coalition Government in office it did things or proposed things which the present Conservative majority, according to the hon. Member, will not support at all, even though that Coalition Government included his own Prime Minister, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, his Foreign Secretary and various other Members of the present Government. His argument is that, with a Conservative majority of over 200, all the pledges given in 1919 by the Coalition Government, all the attempts made by employers and employed to come to agreement upon a minimum wage will be torn to smithereens, and also this Bill. which not only was supported by that Government, but which received a Second Reading towards the middle of August —when there was a majority of Conservative Members in the Coalition—and was only dropped because the Session came to an end. We are much obliged to the hon. Member for making the position of those for whom he can speak in his party so admirably clear, and I am perfectly certain the country will note the declarations he has made

Photo of Mr Arthur Steel-Maitland Mr Arthur Steel-Maitland , Birmingham Erdington

In the one minute that remains may I say that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) and his friends made it perfectly clear that when they passed this Resolution last year they had six months in which to take action

Question put, That, in view of the practically universal acceptance of the principle that a living wage for all workers should be the first charge upon industry, and in view of the large measure of agreement with respect to the advisability of fixing legal minimum time rates of wages reached at the national industrial conference, this House urges the Government to proceed without delay with the Bill introduced by the Government of the day of 1919, constituting a commission to inquire into and report upon legal minimum time rates of wages.

The House divided: Ayes, 132; Noes, 227

Division No. 101AYES[11.0 p.m
Adamson, Rt. Hon. w. (File, West)Hastings, Sir PatrickSexton, James
Adamson, W.M.(Staff., Cannock)Hayday, ArthurShiels, Dr. Drummond
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hayes, John HenryShort, Alfred(Wednesbury,)
Attlee, Clement RichardHenderson, T. (Glasgow)Sitch, Charles H
Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bllston)Hirst, G. HSlesser, Sir Henry H
Barker, G.(Monmouth, Abertillery)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smillie, Robert
Barr, JHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Ben(Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Batey, JosephJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Smith, Rennle(Penistone)
Briant, FrankJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Snell, Harry
Broad, F. AJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, JJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Brown, James(Ayr and Bute)Jones, T.I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Buchanan, GKelly, W. TStamferd, T. w
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John RKennedy, TStephen, Campbell
Compton, JosephKirkwood, DSutton, J. E
Connolly, MLansbury, GeorgeTaylor, R. A
Cove, W. GLawson, John JamesThomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Dalton, HughLee, FThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E)
Davies, Evan(Ebbw Vale)Lowth, TThorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Day, Colonel HarryLunn, WilliamThurtle, E
Dennison, RMacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Abravon)Tinker, John Joseph
Duncan, CMackinder, WTrevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P
Dunnfeo, HMaclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Viant, S. P
Edwards, John H. (Accrington)Marc, h, SWallhead, Richard C
Fenby, T. DMaxton, JamesWalsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Forrest, WMitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Watson, W, M.(Dunfermline)
Garro-Jones, Captain G. MMontague, FrederickWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D, (Rhondde)
Gibbins, JosephMurnin, HWebb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Gillett, George MOliver, George HaroldWestwood, J
Gosling, HarryPalln, John HenryWheatley, Rt. Hon. J
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Paling, WWhiteley, W
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Wlgnall, James
Greenall, TPethick-Lawrence, F.WWilliams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Potts, John SWilliams, David (Swansea, E.)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Williams, Dr. J.H. (Llanelly)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Rifey, BenWilliams, T.(York, Don Valley)
Groves, TRitson, JWilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilfle)
Grundy, T. WRobertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)Windsor, Walter
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)Rose, Frank HWright, W
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Saklatvala, ShapurjiYoung, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hall, G.H.(Merthyr Tydvil)Salter, Or. Alfred
Hardle, George DScrymgeour, ETELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonScurr, JohnMr. Warne and Mr. A. Barnes
NOES
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelBarclay-Harvey, C. MBriscoe, RichardGeorge
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James TBarnett, Major Richard WBrocklebank, C. E. R
Ainsworth, Major CharlesBarnston, Major Sir HarryBrooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I
Albery, Irving JamesBeamish, Captain T. P. HBroun-Lindsay, Major H
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Bellalrs, Commander Carlyon WBrown, Maj. D. C. (N'thld., Hexham)
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Centr'l)Benn, sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Bethell, ABuckingham, Sir H
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. SBetterton, Henry BBullock, Captain M
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan
Atholl, Duchess ofBourne, Captain Robert CroftBurman, J. B
Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John LawrenceBoyd-Carpenter, Major ABurney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D
Balniel, LordBriggs, J. HaroldBurton, Colonel H. W
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHawke, John AnthonyRadford, E. A
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHeadlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. MRaine, W
Campbell, E. THenderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley]Ramsden, E
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Henn, Sir Sydney HRawson, Alfred Cooper
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Alton)Hennessy, Major J. R. GRees, Sir Beddoe
Chadwlck, Sir Robert BurtonHennlker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A Remer, J. R
Charterls, Brigadier-General JHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. GRentoul, G. S
Chllcott, Sir WardenHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardRice, Sir Frederick
Christie, J AHolland, Sir ArthurRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'tl'y)
Churchman, Sir Arthur CHope, Capt. A. O. J.(Warw'k, Nun.)Ruggies-Brise, Major E. A
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Russell, Alexander West-(Tynemouth)
Clayton, G. CHoward, Captain Hon. DonaldRye, F. G
Cockerill, Brigadler-General G. KHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Sandeman, A. Stewart
Cope, Major WilliamHudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)Sanderson, Sir Frank
Couper, J. BHume, Sir G. HSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Courtauld, Major J. SHurd, Percy ASavery, S. S
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George LHutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n P'bl's)Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir Hlliffe, Sir Edward MSheffield, Sir Berkeley
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)Shepperson, E. W
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)Jacob, A. E.Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ., Belfst.)
Cunliffe, Joseph HerbertJones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newlngton)Skelton, A. N
Curzon, Captain ViscountKidd, J. (Linlithgow)Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n Kinc'dine, C.)
Dalkeith, Earl ofKing, Captain Henry DouglasSmith-Carington, Neville W
Davidson, J.(Herff'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Knox, Sir AlfredSmithers, Waldron
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George RSomerville, A. A.(Windsor)
Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Spender Clay, Colonel H
Dawson, Sir PhilipLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(WIll'sden, E.)
Dean, Arthur WellesleyLoder, J. de VStanley, Lord (Fylde)
Dixey, A. CLucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh VereStanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Drewe, CLuce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanSteel Major Samuel Strang
Eden, Captain AnthonyLumley, L. RStorry Deans R
Edmondson, Major A. JLynn, Sir R. JStott Lieut.-Colonel W. H
Elliot, Captain Walter E.MacAndrew, Charles GlenStrickland, Sir Gerald
Elveden, ViscountMaclntyre, IanStuart, Crichton-, Lord C
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)McLean, Major AStuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Everard, W. LindsayMacmillan, Captain HStyles Captain H. Walter
Fairfax, Captain J. GMacnaghten, Hon. Sir MalcolmSugden Sir, Wllfrid
Falls, Sir Charles FMacqulsten, F. ASykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H
Fermoy, LordMac Robert, Alexander MThompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Fleming, D. PMaltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Forestier-Walker, LMakins, Brigadlor-General ETinne, J. A
Foxcroft, Captain C. TMannlngham-Buller, Sir MervynTitchfield, Major the Marquess of
Fraser, Captain IanMargesson, Captain DVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P
Fremantie, Lieut.-Colonel Francis EMerriman, F. Bwaddington, R
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. AnthonyMeyer, Sir FrankWallace, Captain D. E
Ganzonl, Sir JohnMilne, J. S. Wardlaw-Warner Badler-General W. W
Gates, PercyMitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Warrender, Sir Victor
Gee, Captain R.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. MWatson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMoore, Sir Newton JWhite, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple
Gllmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. sir JohnMorden, Colonel Walter GrantWilliams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Gower, Sir RobertMorrison-Bell, Sir Arthur CliveWilliams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Greene, W.P. CrawfordMurchison, C. KWilliams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Greenwood, William (Stockport)Nelson, Sir FrankWinby, Colonel L. P
Gretton, Colonel JohnNeville, R. JWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Grotrian, H. BrentNuttall, EllisWingterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter EOakley, TWise, Sir Fredric
Gunston, Captain D. WO'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)Womersley, W. J
Hacking, Captain Douglas HOman, Sir Charles William CWood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Rlpon)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon &Rad.)Ormsby-Gore, Hon WilliamWilliam Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge Hyd
Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryPennefather, Sir JohnWragg, Herbert
Harland, APercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T
Kartington, Marquess ofPeiklns, Colonel E. K
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennlngton)peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)Lieut.-Colonel Sir j. Nail and Mr
Haslarm, Henry CPrice, Major C. W. MGeorge Balfour