Clause 1. — (Contributory Pensions for Widows, orphans and persons between the ages of 65 and 70.)

Orders of the Day — Contributory Pensions Bill – in the House of Commons on 1st July 1925.

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Question again proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


A few hours ago we were engaged in a very long discussion on this Clause, and the last utterance from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health was that he believed that about seven o'clock in the morning he became more mellow than at any other period. I hope that on resuming the discussion this afternoon he is in the spirit in which we left him at seven o'clock. Since we rose this morning, the Government's new financial arrangements have been made public, and I want to ask the Minister of Health whether he thinks it is fair to the Opposition, and whether justice can be done to these proposals when the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not present. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Health must not assume that I am speaking in any personal sense. One cannot forget that this Bill is linked up with, and made part of, the Budget proposals. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was very careful to explain not only how his Budget was likely to be balanced, but what were the finances of this particular scheme. We immediately availed ourselves of the opportunity of pointing out to the Government that not only was it a bad scheme, but that the method by which the finance of the Bill was to be obtained was bad from every point of view.

4.0 P.M.

We do not hesitate to say that the employers cannot bear the additional burden, and we do not forget that from the point of view of the employers it is likely to have a crippling effect upon industry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in meeting both those charges, contented himself by saying that as far as industry is concerned the other parts of the Budget relieve the employers to such an extent that they will not feel this additional burden We are faced to day with new proposals, and I am quite sure that my right hon. Friend will avail himself of the first opportunity of explaining them to the House. Quite frankly, at the moment I do not understand them, but, as I gather, the finance of the Bill shortly was this. The present additional contribution from the employer and the employé is likely to continue until we reach a figure of unemployed persons of approximately 800,000; that is to say, the deficiency that is now being worked off was to be worked off on the basis of all those above 800,000. The Committee must keep clearly in mind that the financial proposals of this Bill are based exclusively and actuarially on that assumption. I would ask the Minister of Health to explain what has happened between the introduction of the Budget and the revised financial proposals that would warrant him saying that they are much more likely to reach the 800,000 at an earlier date than they anticipated a month ago. Do let the Committee keep that point clearly in mind.

A month ago the budgeting was for reaching 800,000 unemployed by a given date. The proposal that is now made actually assumes that that figure is likely to be reached earlier than was anticipated. Is there any evidence before the Committee that would warrant that assumption? Is there anything that would justify us in saying other than, so far from the unemployed being likely to come down, the tendency is in the other direction? I do therefore hope that the Minister will avail himself of the discussion on this Clause to explain to the Committee in detail what exactly the change means, and I hope he will also explain what part of this new charge the Exchequer is going to bear. It is a very cleverly drafted Clause, and I am quite sure that the Minister can get out of it by saying that no additional charge will be borne by the Exchequer next year. That is carefully provided for, because the period will naturally be covered by the next Budget and not by this one. But what I want the Com- mittee to be clearly told is what exactly is the additional burden that the Exchequer is likely to bear for the revised scheme that the Committee is now considering.

Last night, or rather early this morning, my hon. Friend the Member for the Bridgeton Division of Glasgow (Mr. Maxton) made a very eloquent appeal to the Committee, and I believe those who happened to be on the night shift when he delivered that speech, will agree that he appealed to all sections of the House. In short, he said this: You have to-day thousands of widows who, although denied the breadwinner, although struggling themselves to keep the home and family together, immediately they discover—as indeed all of them discover —their own clever children, make all the sacrifices they can to give their boys or girls the maximum of education. One need not picture up cases that one knows. Everyone will agree that it is a magnificent thing to find a struggling widow prepared to make that sacrifice for her children. My hon. Friend, in asking the Committee to consider that case, also asked the Minister of Health, who had very fairly met us on another point, whether he could not follow that up and make this provision where there are not only children who are not contributing to the household, but where, as I have already explained, it is a tremendous sacrifice to the widowed mother to keep them at the university. Surely all those who desire the well-being and future of our country ought to say, "here is a case that must be helped; we ought to help a widow in that connection." The Minister I am sure, was so mellow this morning that had we kept on for about half-an-hour he would have given way. I hope nothing has happened in the interval that will prevent that very good intention.

Last night we also had a very long discussion as to the injustice to widows who are compelled to contribute 2d. per week, and who only receive their old age pensions. The Committee will remember that there was considerable difference of opinion as to what was the actuarial value of this particular benefit. We on this side of the House said that all our information was that it was worth a contribution of 1d. per week and no more. That was challenged not only by Members in different parts of the House, but by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health himself, who said that he had gone into the matter, and, instead of it being 1d., it was actually 3d. We have had an opportunity of going into the matter since, and the actuarial advice placed at our disposal by the same people who gave their advice to my right hon. Friend, dealing exclusively with this question, was that they had carefully worked it out, and it was 1d. and no more. That is a direct conflict of evidence, but it does not alter the fact.


It is expert evidence, and that excludes all Members of the House of Commons. It only proves the case that we were making, and which we still repeat, that is is a grave injustice to take this contribution from these women, and then deny them the benefits to which they are legitimately entitled, and for which they have paid. This Clause opens out very wide possibilities, but I do ask that at this stage the Minister of Health will tell us exactly what he is prepared to do with regard to the appeal for those boys and girls at the universities, and that he will also make clear that in the new Amendment that he himself inserted, and which we appreciate, the words "day school" are not to be interpreted as merely meaning an elementary school. We want it to be made perfectly clear that they include all schools where children are being educated. I am quite sure that it is the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, but we want it to be made perfectly clear. Then I do want him to explain to the House exactly what the changed proposals mean.

Photo of Sir Basil Peto Sir Basil Peto , Barnstaple

I want to ask the Minister just one question with regard to the last Amendment that we considered last night. It was moved on behalf of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond) and it would have provided that men employed in agriculture should not be called upon for this new contribution of 4d. I do not think that in the short speech which the Minister made in the early hours of this morning he really dealt with the most important aspects underlying the Amendment. Men engaged in agriculture are not subject to the Unemployment Act. They do not insure against unemployment. They only insure under the Health Insurance Act. Therefore, this addition of 4d. is, pro rata, an enormously greater addition on what they have been in the habit of paying than it is in the case of those engaged in other trades. I quite realise that it was not possible for the Minister to have accepted an Amendment which would have given this particular trade the benefits of this Bill for nothing, but I do ask him to bear that aspect of the question in mind, and to remember, further, that the average wage in agriculture is about 30s. per week, and that therefore the 10s. per week provided under this Bill represents about one-third of the usual earnings of a woman's husband, when alive, even at the present rate of agricultural wages. It is much more than one-third of what he would probably earn over a long life engaged in agriculture. In many other trades, wages are double and three times as much, and the proportion of a widow's pension for which a man is compelled to insure represents only perhaps one-sixth or even less of his average weekly earnings.

Therefore, on those two grounds, quite apart from the fact that agriculture certainly is an industry that requires every assistance and no handicap from the Government, I hold that agricultural labourers and the farmers who employ them stand in a category by themselves. They are compelled to insure for a much larger proportion of their weekly wage than is the case in many other industries, and the additional contribution which is required by this Bill is much greater; in fact, it doubles the contribution that they have been in the habit of making from their small weekly wage. Therefore, although I voted with the right hon. Gentleman last night against the proposal to relieve agriculture in this respect, because I did not think that the Amendment, as worded, was reasonable, I do ask the Minister to consider very seriously before we get to the end of this Bill the special condition of agricultural labourers and those who employ them, and to try and find some Amendment by which he will be able to ease off this sudden great increase in the amount that will be taken compulsorily from the very small wages of those skilled men engaged in agriculture can earn.


In view of the information now in the possession of the Committee as regards the proposals for unemployment insurance contributions, one cannot be altogether surprised that the Minister was anxious to get his Clause last night before it was available to the House. He had suggested, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer suggested before him, that the relief to be given to industry through the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill would be such that the burdens imposed by this Bill would be of small account. If we examine the figures now before the Committee we see that the burdens, instead of being lessened, will be increased by this Clause. Although it is true that the total contribution of employers and employed is reduced from 1s. 7d. to 1s. 3d. in the case of men and from 1s. 3d. to 1s. 1d. in the case of women under the Amending Bill, at the same time by this Clause there is an addition of 8d. for men and 4d. for women, and the net result will be that, instead of the contributions being as to-day 1s. 7d. for men and 1s. 3d. for women, they will, under this Clause, be increased to 1s. 11d. for men and 1s. 5d. for women. That is a very heavy burden to place on industry at present.

In the same Bill which proposes to give relief to the extent of 4d. for men and 2d. for women there is a provision that will add considerably to local burdens in the matter of rates on industry in the locality. The Committee should take into cognisance both these financial proposals in order to appreciate the net result of this particular Clause. The proposal of the Government to increase the waiting period from three to six days will add a very heavy burden to industry. There was an interesting report made by the Ministry of Labour the other day on the result of an inquiry into the personal circumstances of some 10,000 insured contributors. It was pointed out that in November, 1923, 10 per cent. of those insured and receiving benefit had to supplement that by going to the guardians, and in November, 1924, after the waiting period had been reduced from six days to three days, and owing, no doubt, to that reduction, the percentage had fallen to 5 per cent., thus halving the burden on the local authorities, due to those receiving unemployment benefit having to supplement it from the rates. That will be reversed by the operation of the Government's new proposal.

If the black spots are not to be borne down by the added burden the Government must do more than they are doing. According to this Clause the contribution which the State is making for pensions is altogether inadequate. What the Government propose in the way of reducing the premiums for unemployment insurance does not meet the case. I may give an example from my own town showing how this may work in a particular district. There are 55,000 insured persons, and one-fifth of those are calculated as women. According to the Bill the net additions to the premiums to be paid between employers and employed will be 4d. for men and 2d. for women. In this particular district they will thus have to find £825 a week in addition to what they are now paying, and there will also be the burden added to the rates owing to the reduction of the waiting period. It is estimated by various local authorities that that will mean an addition of from 1s. to 2s. in the £ on the rates.

Against that, it is true that there will be a small set-off in the case of those widows and orphans who are drawing relief from the guardians, and will, under the Government Bill, get pensions, but I am advised that that set-off will be comparatively small, and will not be anything like equal to the burden added owing to the reduction of the waiting period. Before the Committee leaves this Clause, we should have an assurance from the Government that they are going to do something more than simply add these burdens. We all believe that the pensions are a desirable form of social relief, but the burden is placed on the wrong backs. It should be on the whole community, and wealthy people not engaged in industries, and not helping to find employment, should bear their share. I hope that the Government will hold out some hope that they are going to give some relief to the black spots for which they have expressed so much sympathy.

Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

The Debate has now made clear that there are going to be tens of thousands or rather hundreds of thousands of women who will contribute for years under this Bill and who will then find themselves shut out from either widows' pensions or orphans' pensions. Yesterday we discussed the question of the woman who would be in this position, because after having been employed and contributed she marries an uninsured man. I wish to raise in connection with that, as part of the same problem, another class of woman, a far sadder case, perhaps the most tragic figure in the whole of modern industry. That is the unmarried woman who battles all her life for herself in the industrial market. Our contention is that the whole of this class of women, who contribute without receiving widows' pensions, are being treated with injustice, because they contribute a sum which is far more than is necessary to cover the chance which they may have of an old age pension at 65.

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood) indicated dissent.

Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

The Parliamentary Secretary indicates dissent but this is stated distinctly in the Actuaries' Report on page 5. It states that women contributors are to be called upon to pay contributions which cover not only their own old age pensions at 65 but will assist towards the contribution for widows' and orphans' pensions at the same time. That is a point to which I wish to ask the attention of the Government. To take a woman, say, of 55 or 56, who has never been married, and ask her to contribute towards widows' pensions is to turn this Bill, for her, into a mockery. The Parliamentary Secretary, and I think the Minister of Health, stated yesterday that these women would, at any rate, get the old age pension at 65, and that these contributions were to provide on account of that benefit, but in reality in a large proportion of the cases, which I am considering, of unmarried women, I should say in the majority of cases this Bill is so framed that I doubt whether they will get the old age pension at 65.

There are very few women in employment at 65. I take what is not an abnormal case at all. If I am wrong I hope that I shall be corrected, because at the beginning of these intricate discussions it is not easy to understand all that the Bill contains, but my reading is this, that if you take the normal case of a woman in a mill, such as there are in my consti- tuency, she enters at 16, and she goes on there for 20 or 30 years, but in thousands of cases—I should say, in the majority of cases—by the time that the woman is 55 she leaves industry. She is in many cases too physically deteriorated to continue battling for life in the merciless and unchivalrous conditions of modern industries. She would not be covered by the Clause with regard to sickness, because she is not sick in any technical sense of the term, or the Clause with regard to being genuinely unemployed, because she is not that. She has fallen out altogether. She is living on her relatives or on charity. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] If hon. Members say no they are ignorant of the fate of hundreds of thousands of women. That is not an exceptional but a normal case.

My reading of this Bill is that a woman of that sort who falls out at the age of 55, and is out of insurance for the next 10 years will, as a consequence of that, not get the old age pension at 65. If that is so, here is a case in which the most defenceless class of women will be contributing for the whole of their working lives, and will at the end get no old age pension, no widow's pension, no orphan's pension, and practically nothing beyond what they can get at present. Committee discussions in this House will be useless if a case of this sort is not met. I want to come back, not as the best means but as one of the possible means of alleviating the problem, to the discussion which took place yesterday on voluntary insurance. In the case of a woman like this it may be possible to have voluntary insurance. Again I come back to the Bill. If she wishes to enter into voluntary insurance, by this Bill she has to insure herself, not only for the old age pension, but under the National Health Insurance Act at the same time.

Such a woman might conceivably get together 3d. or 4d. a week, but the Minister insists that she shall get together 1s. 1d. a week, and, as she is already sure to be insured for death benefits, it makes the total amount a sum which in the vast majority of these cases it is impracticable to pay. Therefore voluntary insurance under the provisions of this Bill as drafted is not a solution of the injustice to which these women will be subjected. I, therefore, ask the Government at this early stage to look again into this question of voluntary insurance. Can we have a system by which a woman of that sort, by continuing in insurance, could use all the accumulated payments made for the previous 30 years as a sort of reserve fund for insurance for the remaining few years that she needs to consider? Let her insure for an old age pension at 65, or for a disablement pension if she is incapacitated at an early date. I have tried to consider the difficulties in the way of this proposal, as they were stated by the Parliamentary Secretary last night. He said that the objection to this proposal of a special scheme of voluntary insurance for this Bill alone, was that this Bill was interlocked with Health Insurance, and that it was not convenient to make the separation. That appears to me to be a mere generalisation, which at the most can refer to nothing but certain administrative technique.

I have no expert informants, but I have asked one or two persons who understand this subject what is the difficulty. They say that the administrative difficulty is that if this were done it would need a separate system of cards and stamps for voluntary insurance. That difficulty is surely not one which it is impossible to overcome? You have separate stamps under the Health Insurance Act for low paid wage-earners, separate stamps for exempt persons, separate stamps for women, and all those separate stamps must be a greater administrative difficulty than the separate stamps for this purpose, because these would not need to be put on by the employer but by the voluntary contributor. It is the business of the Government to overcome difficulties of that sort, and in order to impress upon them the importance of not allowing administrative technique to stand in the way of this change, I ask them to remember that we are now bringing before them perhaps one of the most pathetic-tragedies in modern industry. The women on whose behalf I am speaking are, in fact, more entitled to our sympathy than the widows, because they are women who have never had a man to support them all their lives; they have battled for themselves all their lives, and they are women who, unlike the majority of young widows, cannot look forward to children supporting them in their old age.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I want to emphasise some of the points that the last speaker has made, and to offer one or two further suggestions. Before we leave this Clause we ought to have some very definite statement from the Minister of Health as to what he proposes to do for this large mass of contributors to the scheme. May I point out to the right hon. Gentleman that there are roughly 2,000,000 more women than men in this country, and that most of them are wage-earning women. In asking these women to contribute to an insurance scheme, you are asking a large proportion of them to insure against a risk that they cannot possibly run. What the Government are asking is that a large number of women should come in and insure, should pay contributions to this scheme in order to help it along and make it solvent, and then the Government are not making any real provision to safeguard these women against the possible loss of all benefit under the scheme. You cannot say whether the 2,000,000 women are going to marry or not. On the other hand, at a certain age the risk of marriage and of children diminishes. It diminishes at a much earlier age in the case of women than in the case of men. There is an age at which it is very unlikely that a woman will be left as a widow with children. As things are, the single woman contributing under the Bill is successively penalised; she is penalised at almost every stage of her insured life. She has to pay, as the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) has said, 1s. 5d. a week. The average wage of women, those who are covered by the Trade Boards, is 26s. to 28s. a week. The average wage of the majority of women is under 30s. a week. Therefore, a contribution of 1s. 5d. a week is a very serious drain on a woman's resources. Her resources are so slender that she is not getting enough in food or clothes and comfort and rent to keep herself efficient.

In the case of very large numbers of textile workers and of many of the workers in London and the Midlands, a very slender wage is further depleted by systematic short time. Even then, if these women get for a short time week only 10s. or 15s., they will still have to pay the 1s. 5d. per week. [HON. MEMBERS: "Or six shillings a week! "] I am speaking moderately, so as not to exaggerate my case. In the case of shop assistants, you are dealing with women who are often getting under 10s. a week. But they will still have to pay 1s. 5d. a week. Therefore you ask these women to pay an amount that is entirely disproportionate to the wages that they get. The men pay 4d. more, it is true, but the standard of wages of men at its worst —it is pretty bad—is considerably higher in proportion than the standard of wages of women. It is true that the man has a family to keep, but he is at least insured against a possible risk. None the less, you are asking the woman who has so much less wages to pay this totally disproportionate sum out of her very slender resources. Then, when she is in the labour market, by this Clause you are subsidising her competitor. Take the case of the young widow coming into industry. I admit that she is not coming in in hundreds of thousands, but this is none the less a very serious problem to the single girl. A young able-bodied widow comes in. Her husband has paid in for two years, and he dies, though she may have been married to him only for a few months. She conies in with a standing pension of 10s. a week. In addition to getting that pension of 10s. a week, she has not to pay the 1s. 5d. She is specially exempted. She who has the money to pay is specially exempted from paying the 1s. 5d. On the other hand, there is the single girl, for instance, a girl seeking work in one of the cheap drapery emporiums of London, where wages are from 10s. to 15s. a week. A young widow comes along and offers to take 1s. or 2s. less in wages and gets the job. Her competitor, the single women, is faced with this competition and with the drain of 1s. 5d. per week in addition.

Under the Insurance Act the Minister of Labour is restoring the gap in order to get money to help to pay for these pensions. You may say to the unemployed man, "You have this gap, but you are going to get pensions for your widow." What are you going to say to the unemployed girl? There is a further disability for her. She is now suddenly told, "If you are unemployed you must have a waiting period of six days, and your unemployment pay by that amount is reduced." Again, she is paying for a risk she is not running. Therefore, she is penalised once more. In the Insurance (No. 2) Act there is a Clause which provides that where a, woman has reached a certain stage of unemployment she may be able to prove that she is genuinely unemployed, that she has been genuinely seeking work. I have dealt with many such cases as a member of a local committee. They are the most pathetic cases with which we deal. They are the cases of women who have gone into blind alley occupations and then have come to us when unemployed. There is no likelihood of their ever being employed again. You cannot say to them, "Take domestic service." No housewife who is looking for a young and active domestic servant will employ these women of 45 or 50. They may get jobs as occasional charwomen. If they do they fall out of the scheme. I have had to tell scores of these women, "There is no reasonable prospect of your ever getting employment." Under the Insurance (No. 2) Act these women are denied their unemployment benefit.

I ask the Minister to realise the condition of these women. They have paid for unemployment benefit all their lives. Under this scheme they will pay for these widows' pensions also all their lives. They are to help to insure a risk for women who are very much better able to pay than themselves, and then they are to be told that there is nothing for them. I ask, in view of the large amounts which these women have to their credit, whether it is not possible to provide some kind of alternative benefit for them? Would it not be possible at some later stage of the proceedings on this Bill to add a Clause at least enabling these women to get back the contributions which they have paid? I would say to the Minister—if you cannot do anything else for them, at least give them back what they have paid. Do not penalise them at every stage, and after telling them that they must insure and that it is compulsory thrift, reward them for their thrift by turning them off every single fund to which they have contributed. If they have been contributing, and if they get out, and if they are living, God knows how, on relatives and by means of any kind of odd work, they automatically fall out of the scheme, and therefore they will not even get this pension at the age of 65. This is a serious blot on the Bill, and one which will be resented by a large number of women voters. The woman over 30 will, of course, be more conscious of the injustice than the woman under 30, who is considering the possibility of marriage. I suggest to the Minister that this will seriously affect a large and important section of voters in this country.

I come to another point, in regard to which even the widow herself is likely to suffer considerable injustice. We have not yet made clear the position of the unemployed man and the unemployed man's wife under Clause I. I hope before we pass from it we shall have an authoritative statement on the real position in this respect after the confusion which seemed to prevail last night. I confess I look at this Bill from the point of view of the woman. The man's benefit either comes when he is 65 or when he is dead, but I want the Committee to consider the point of view of the woman who is left behind to carry on in this cold and unfeeling world. You may have a case of a woman who does the very best she can for her children and whose husband, though a steady workman, becomes unemployed. If this man, through his misfortune, as happens in so many cases in Middlesbrough, is turned off the insurance fund on the ground that he is not genuinely seeking work, what is the position? We have many cases in that area where men are turned off as not genuinely seeking work, although they have tramped the boots off their feet in the search for work. These men are not given a chance of proving their innocence of the charge that they are not genuinely seeking work. We have repeatedly asked the Minister of Labour what constitutes "genuinely seeking employment," but he will not do so, and he says that it must be left to the local circumstances of the case. Are we to add a further penalisation in such cases? While the husband is alive and the woman has the children to look after, she has all the trouble of going to the guardians and of meeting the difficulties which the guardians are making in overburdened towns like Middlesbrough, and is she to be haunted by the further fear that this disability awaits her if the man dies? We must remember that, as a result of malnutrition and of searching for work in wintry weather without proper food or clothing, the risks of death are infinitely greater to such men than to men in ordinary employment. Are we going to add to this woman's troubles the further horror that she may find, if the man dies, that her contributions are lost and that she is left penniless to do the best she can?

This difficulty is inherent in a contributory scheme, and that is one of the reasons why we have pressed for a non-contributory scheme. The difficulty of a contributory scheme is that you pay, whether there is need or not, and you may have the most terrible cases of need and you are not able to do anything for them because of the state of the contributions of the persons concerned. That is an inverted idea of meeting real need we feel that, in the long run, the Exchequer would have saved money by meeting the real need rather than by meeting the cases of these young widows and giving pensions where they are not required and that it would have been a much more satisfactory solution. However, the Committee has adopted the contributory scheme, and we must do the best we can with it and, therefore, I ask, first, whether the Minister can see any way of providing for those women who have paid in for a long time as single women and are not likely to get benefit and, secondly, while this terrible unemployment crisis is with us, will he make some arrangement by which the wives and children of unemployed men are kept in benefit? Do not let us add to the difficulties of these people by penalising the wife and children of the man who is so unfortunate as to lose his job.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I presume the hon. Member is referring to the case of the man who has been insured and who goes out and becomes unemployed.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

That is the point I am making. I feel that we have not made that matter clear. Further, I ask the Minister if it is not possible to consider the position of the wives and children of men who are earning less than £250 a year and who are in occupations where the risk of death is great and where the widows may be left without provision. Even if we have to add to the Exchequer contribution, in dealing with these matters, we should be doing something to meet the case of women and children who will be looking for assistance under this scheme and who are likely to be disappointed in a very harsh way.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Member who has just addressed the Committee, but I do not propose to follow her argument. I approve of nearly everything she said, and I expressed my views on the question last night. Taking the view I do, that the contributory scheme is the proper one, any suggestions I have to make must be limited by the fact that the scheme has to be worked out actuarially. I was astonished to hear from the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) that the method which the Government had worked out of meeting the difficulty with reference to the deficiency period, was one which really meant that they paid nothing at all. We have been told that the consideration in introducing this pension scheme now was that owing to the fact that the unemployment insurance scheme was breaking down through abnormal unemployment and a deficiency was arising of £7,000,000, it was necessary while that deficiency lasted, to increase the contributions by 4d. above the ordinary.

It was strongly impressed upon the Government that as long as that state of things continued industry could not bear this further increase. They took time to consider it, and I understand from the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for West Middlesbrough, their attitude comes to this: "We will take 2d. off the increased contributions of the men and 1d. off the increased contributions of the women and the corresponding amount off the increased contribution of the employer in order that so far as book-keeping is concerned the Exchequer will meet that difficulty." But the same Treasury which says, "We will meet it," also says, "We will change the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act of last year and we will again make the waiting period six days instead of three days and therefore, whatever extra amount we have to pay in order to meet the difficulty put forward by many of our Members, we will get back in the diminished amounts of benefit payable under the unemployment insurance scheme. Further, we recognise that the reduction in the amount which we have to pay in benefit will have to be made up by the localities; that the ratepayers will have to make up what we used to pay." Therefore it all comes to this, that this great scheme which the Government have been hatching for so long, and which we were told was to bring brightness to the "dark spots," turns out to be nothing more than a pretence of giving concessions, and when those concessions are worked out we find it is the ratepayers who will pay.

I think I may be excused the expression that it is a very mean scheme. I think it is entirely an unstatesmanlike scheme. Although I, for one, felt obliged to say that we would have to adopt the contributory scheme having regard to the Budget, I always recognised that these social services and this unemployment charge should not be attributable to the localities. In the one case as a community we owe it to those who have got past their work and those who find themselves in difficult positions in the struggle of life, that we should lend a helping hand and there is no reason why, because one town has a plentiful crop of necessitous cases and another a small crop, one should be rated more heavily than the other. Similarly in regard to unemployment, you may have engineers, shipwrights, or coalminers unemployed, but why should the localities in which those industries are carried on be the localities to suffer? The whole community should suffer.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. and learned Member is getting rather wide of Clause 1.

5.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I beg pardon. I really was going a little wide but the point to which I was coming was this. This is a Bill in the first Clause of which we say that for certain benefits certain contributions are to be paid. Therefore, it is important that, before we pass the Clause, we should see what are the real contributions to be paid, and, as a result of what we have hear, the real contributions to be paid are not such as will appear in the Bill, but part will appear in the Bill, and the other part will be paid by the ratepayers. It is true, of course, that your benefits must be limited actuarially by your contributions, but I have not heard anybody develop the point I am going to make You have linked this Bill directly with national health. You are now linking it indirectly with the Unemployment Fund Suppose you made that link complete, what would be the position? It is far better to have a man receiving a pension than to have a man receiving the dole. A pension is a real good; a dole is a necessary evil, and if you can take a man off the dole, and put another man on to the pension, then you are reducing unemployment, you are reducing the payment of doles and you will get a larger sum with which to pay pensions How is that to be brought about? At the present time you do not, in the offer of 10s. provide a sufficient allurement to a man of 65 to give up work, and make room for someone else; but if you made your pension a real sustenance—25s. a week, or something like that—you might then say, "Well, the pensions will be this larger amount, and any fine, hale old fellow of 65 who prefers work to the pension, let him have his work and wages," and let the pension only be given to the man when he says, "I would sooner take the pension than continue work,"

There are, I am told, 600,000 or 700,000 over 65 years of age every year. All these, of course, would not give up work if you made an attractive pension, but a good many would. You would probably take 300,000 off the top every year, say, at £1 a week, which would amount to £300,000 a week, but you would be taking 300,000 men who are standing round the Employment Exchanges, and giving them employment which the others have vacated. In that way, by making the pension adequate, you would bring about a result that would enable you to pay it. You would be making it such that men would be willing, and could fairly be forced to say they would prefer at 65, 66, or 67 to give up work, and have this decent sustenance, and at once there would be a demand at the bottom for persons to come in and fill their places. One would balance the other. That is a view I put forward, and I think it is worth consideration. I do not know if that exceedingly able actuary, Sir Alfred Watson, has applied his mind to that, but it does seem to me, that if you worked out your tables on the basis of making your pension such that persons would be willing to take it, and come out of the employment market, they would pay for themselves, and you would be having more efficient men, and also having an addition to your contributions by men in work. I make that suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman, not that he will follow it immediately, but as one, at all events, worth considering.

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I take this opportunity of making a reply to some of the observations addressed to us on this Clause. As the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down invited me to explore the new and brilliant suggestion which he offered to me, I may tell him that, naturally, such an attractive proposition as that which he sketched had not entirely escaped my attention. But I think there is a fallacy in his argument, and it is this, that while he imagines he is making a balance between the saving he affects by the reduction of unemployment and the increase he proposes to give in the old age pension, the amount of unemployment with which we have to deal at the present time is, I hope, and, as I think, we have every reason to believe, of a temporary nature. It is not always going to be what it is to-day, and, therefore, in order to cope with a temporary charge for unemployment, the hon. and learned Gentleman would put on the State a burden which would last for ever, and would have no compensating advantages if unemployment came down to normal dimensions.

One of the subjects upon which we spent most time last night was that of the contributory principle, and some of us, I think, found a little difficulty in relating the arguments used to the subject to which they were, apparently, addressed. At any rate, if it be true that the question whether a contributory principle should be employed or not depends upon the burden which you are thereby going to put on industry, Members to-day have information in their hands as to the new measures which the Government are proposing to give some relief to industry. I do not think it would be proper, or, indeed, in order, for me to accept the invitation of the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) of going into an elaborate explanation of the new Unemployment Insurance Bill. That must be reserved for the Second Reading. All that we are concerned about here, I submit, is what reduction in the contributions by employer and employed is provided in the new Bill, and how far will that relieve the burden, or the alleged burden, which is going to be put upon industry by our proposals under this Bill? The net result of the new proposal is, that all the immense benefits which are provided under this Bill will accrue for a weekly payment, in respect of a man, of 2d. by the employer and 2d. by the man himself, and, in the case of a woman, of 1d. in each case. Therefore, I do not think the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) can say that is a crushing burden.

There was a suggestion by my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Mr. B. Peto), and, if I understood the gist of his argument, he felt that agriculture has been a little left out in the cold, because relief was being given to other forms of industry which was not being given to agriculture. That, naturally, follows from the fact that other industries have had to sustain a burden which has not been put upon agriculture, which does not come within the scope of the Unemployment Insurance Act. I would point out to my hon. Friend that his argument that the benefits in respect of which agricultural labourers have to insure are far greater in proportion to their rates of wages than in other industries, is really a testimony to the exceptional benefits the agricultural labourer may expect to get from this scheme, and if you add to that the fact, which I think is admitted, that the average expectation of life in the case of agricultural workers is greater than that of the workers in the towns, it will be seen that agricultural labourers have to expect greater benefits from their contributions under this Bill than those who work in other industries, some of which are very much worse off, and, in which both employers and workers are far less able to meet the burdens than the agricultural industry.

We have had a repetition of the arguments that were addressed to us last night upon the alleged injustices in the Bill, which injustices appear largely to be upon women, but they nearly all rely on the fact that hon. Members insist upon taking hypothetical cases of certain individuals, who, having paid their con- tributions, do not come in for the full benefits which others may, by the fortunate chances of their lives, expect to obtain, and that is represented as being an injustice. I cannot accept that view. You have got to treat this insurance scheme as a whole, and the contributions of women are, as explained in the Actuary's Report—hon. Members will find it on page 5—not exactly proportioned to benefits, because a large part of the benefits that are received by women really arise out of the contributions of the men, that is, taking into account the fixing of women's contributions at half that of men. If you are to select all the hard cases, and say this or that woman, when she has arrived at a certain age, and in certain circumstances, is no longer able to expect to get certain benefits under the Bill—if you are going to take all these hard cases, and make a refund of contributions, of course the only result would be that you would have to put up the contributions all round. The object of this scheme is to take a flat-rate contribution. Some get more advantages out of it and some get less, but the main thing to remember is, taking it as a whole, that the benefits which will be received are far in excess of the contributions which will have to be paid.

I would like to address myself to a point put by the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith). He took the case of a woman, of which he said there are thousands similar. There may be, but I do not know why he should think there are a majority of women in circumstances which he pictured—the elderly woman, who has never been married, has worked all her life up to 55 and then fallen out of employment.

Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

I said the majority of unmarried women probably fall out of industry.

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

I doubt if the hon. Gentleman has statistics to show how many such women there are. Undoubtedly there are some, but I should say, in a certain number of cases, to begin with, those women will be covered by the Prolongation of Insurance Act. That would account for a certain number of them, and, where that does not come into operation, there is always the possibility, the hon. Member himself recognises, that a woman might become a voluntary contributor. He says it is too much to expect that she will pay 1s. 1d. a week as a voluntary contributor. There, again, I say you must not assume it is too much in every case. It may be too much in some cases, I agree, but you cannot provide for every case. Let us consider, in the first place, what is this 1s. 1d. she will have to pay at the age of 55 worth? I am told that for a women who begins paying the voluntary contribution at 55, the benefits they receive are over 3s. 6d. a week, and so, at any rate, if she can contribute, she is getting very good value, indeed, for her contributions. The hon. Member said he would like to separate health insurance from pensions insurance, but would it be wise to do so?


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean, when he says that that benefit might be described as being worth 3s. 6d, a week, that it is on the. assumption that the contribution commences at 55 years of age?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

If she becomes a voluntary contributor—

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

If she has been a contributor prior to 55 years of age?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

It depends on the age, of course.

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

What about where a woman has been contributing compulsorily and becomes a voluntary contributor?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

It would no doubt in that case be less, but in every case the actuarial value of the benefits would be greater than the contribution paid. I was asking the hon. Member if he was sure that the separation of health insurance from pensions insurance was desirable. I am informed that the experience of the Ministry of Health is that it is generally found to be an extremely wise thing to encourage women of this age to insure for health, as they get very great benefits. They may qualify for sickness benefit, for disablement benefit, for medical attendance, for the supply of drugs, and in some cases for convalescent home treatment. All those things are of very great value to a woman of that age, who is, of course, much more liable to sickness than a younger woman, and, therefore, I think that, on those grounds alone, one would desire not to do any- thing to discourage a woman from entering into health insurance. But the hon. Member has himself, I think, explored this subject with a desire to see what the difficulties were, and I think he must take into account the administrative difficulties. If you are going to have a separation between pensions insurance and health insurance, it means that you have to have at least three kinds of stamps. You have to have a combined stamp for health and pensions, you have to have a separate stamp for health, and you have to have a separate stamp for pensions. That means that the approved society has to keep a record of its members and which form of stamp is attributable to each member, and it would be most extraordinarily difficult to check the stamps and to see that they are correct in value in respect of each individual card. In fact, I am told that the difficulty is so great that it would be almost impossible to prevent a considerable amount of evasion or abuse under a system of that kind.

There is another difficulty. How are you going to get the contributions from the voluntary contributor? It is easy enough when you have compulsory contributions, as we have in health insurance, where you get the stamps put on by the employer, but when you have to take a voluntary contributor, how are you going to ensure that the contributions are kept up? All experience is that these contributions are not kept up, that they lapse, and I am afraid that, even it we could, on other grounds, adopt the suggestion made by the hon. Member, we should find that in a very large number of cases the voluntary contributions would lapse after a time, and those women would be worse off even than they are now, because they would have paid contributions for which they could not in any case possibly receive benefit. Therefore, on all grounds, I feel that, although I pay tribute to the hon. Member for having made a serious attempt to find a solution for these difficulties, I find myself unable to say to him that I think his suggestion would be a practicable solution.

There is one other thing that I want to say to the Committee, and I say it by way of explanation. It was stated, I think, by the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) that we got in some confusion last night about the Prolongation of Insurance Act as to the exact position of unemployed men and women, and I am afraid that I am partly responsible for that confusion myself. I think the conclusion at which I arrived was correct, but I am afraid that, in giving explanations to the Committee, I used some words which misled them, and I must ask for the indulgence of the Committee, because it is extremely difficult to keep in one's head all these complicated conditions about different Acts and, sometimes, different regulations. I think the mistake arose in this way, that I described the conditions that were necessary under the Prolongation of Insurance Act to keep a person in insurance, one of those conditions being that it should be shown that he had been genuinely seeking employment. I misled the Committee there, and confused two things. The Act does not say that. The Act says that the condition is that the approved society has to be satisfied that the insured person has not been unemployed by reason of having entered upon some non-insurable occupation. The Committee will see that that is a very different thing, and that is the point which has to be decided by the approved societies themselves, and it is not connected with unemployment at all. What I was thinking of in connection with unemployment was another matter, which is dealt with by Regulations, for giving a free credit of contributions to unemployed persons in order to secure them a right to cash benefit. I think I ought to apologise to the Committee for having misled them in that respect, but I hope that that, explanation will make it clear and, at the same time, remove some of the doubts and fears which have been felt by hon. Members.


That explains why we were so very emphatic last night.

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

I should like to congratulate the Minister of Health on his wonderfully fresh and vigorous appearance after the ordeal through which he has been passing. In the remarks with which he has just favoured the Committee, he attempted to explain how the burden on industry has been substantially reduced by the provisions that are contained in a Bill now before the House, which it would not be in order to discuss. But I think that, in doing that, he claims something for which he has no just title. He assumes that the contributions to unemployment insurance which the present condition of industry has obliged us to make are permanent in their character and dealing with a permanent situation; in other words, that unemployment is only temporary, and that employment is going to be much better in the very near future than it is at the moment. Indeed, he began his remarks by saying that unemployment is not always going to be what it is to-day. I think that, if he could have assured us that unemployment would be as it is to-day, it would have brought a certain amount of relief to many people in this country, because unemployment to-day is not what it was last week. It is, in round figures, 20,000 worse than it was a week ago, and there are people in this country who fear—and they can give figures to support their fear—that the longer the present Government are in office, the worse unemployment will be.

The nation has had to bear an extraordinary burden as a result of that dislocation in industry. Everyone hopes that that burden will not be permanent. The captains of industry are groaning under the load, and they are appealing to the Government to bring about a state of affairs that will reduce this burden on industry. They are waiting day by day for a reduction. The Government propose to make a reduction of that particular burden, and because of the fact that this widows' pension scheme has been related to industry, the Minister of Health now comes forward and asks to take full credit for his scheme for the reduction that is to be made on quite a different burden. I submit that he is not entitled to make that claim, but that we are justified in expecting the Government to make a reduction of the burden on industry for unemployment, apart altogether from the scheme which is now Before the Committee. I think he was rather weak also in the attempt to reply to the case regarding the position of unmarried women that was put up by my hon. Friends the Members for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) and Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith). There is no doubt at all that in this scheme the right hon. Gentleman has dragged in, I will not say by the hair of the head, women who have a good deal to lose, and very little to gain, by coming in, in order to strengthen the position of this scheme and justify the policy of the Government.

I want to take this opportunity, which may be one of the final opportunities, of protesting, in the name of the Opposition, against the whole principle of a contributory scheme. I would remind the Minister that he has brought in many women who have no desire to come in, and that he is leaving out a large number of women who should be provided for if any benefit is to accrue from the widows' pension scheme at all. If I thought that the provision of pensions for widows in this country would reach its final form in the form in which this Bill will leave this House, I would not vote for any extension of this Bill. To my mind, it might have been properly described, as I said on the Second Reading, as a Widows Poverty Bill, and I would do nothing that would bring into the scheme women who to-day, from local rates, are receiving 16s. or 17s. a week, and who, under the Measure now before the Committee, will be asked to maintain themselves on 10s. a week. I do not believe that any woman in this country can maintain herself in a healthy condition on 10s. a week, and on that point I disagree with His Majesty's Government and with the Minister of Health, but I am hopeful still that, before the Bill leaves this House, we may, by peaceful persuasion, induce the right hon. Gentleman to remove some of its most obnoxious restrictions and limitations.

I know, of course, that we are entirely at his mercy. He has only to give the signal, and from the highways and the byeways of this House hundreds of people will appear, and reason will be submerged in the force of numbers which he controls. But in considering a scheme of widows' pensions, we have to remember that we are laying the foundations of a policy that we may reasonably expect will not be left for ever as this Government will send it to another place. The Election of 1924 will not, I hope, be the last General Election to take place in this country. I have reasonable ground for saying that many Members of this House will yet live to submit themselves again to the judgment of the electors. I have no doubt at all that if the electors of this country were asked to-morrow to pronounce judgment on the single issue of whether this scheme should be contributory or not, there would be an overwhelming majority against the proposals of the Government. We can only look forward to the time when they shall have that opportunity of expressing their views, and we feel stimulated in our belief that they will give the Government the punishment they deserve for the crime they have perpetrated. I can say on behalf of my own friends that when that alternative Government takes the place of the Government which is now being rapidly discredited, that that alternative Government—which doubtless will be a Labour Government—will take the very earliest opportunity of reversing the contributory principle of this Bill and making it non-contributory.

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that as a definite official undertaking on behalf of the Labour party?

Viscountess ASTOR:

On behalf of which party, right or left?

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

It is not the Labour party to which the Noble Lady belongs; it is the Labour party that represents the workers of this country. In the hope, then, that one day in the future the scheme of old age pensions will be put on a non-contributory basis, I want to criticise the Government for having left out of the scheme very many very deserving sections of the working classes of this country. There are thousands, tens of thousands, of women who have been altogether left out of the scheme. I find that the total number of widows in Great Britain is 1,825,675. This, of course, includes widows with means, widows who are having pensions, and widows who are now old age pensioners. It also includes 152,335 widows who are now war pensioners. But there still remains a very large number, no less than 469,424 occupied widows in this country—nearly half-a-million, that is, of which a very large number, 338,000, are employés or in business for themselves.

In its present form the scheme excludes large sections of these. It excludes, for instance, all widows of small shopkeepers to whom reference was made by myself in the discussion which took place in the early hours of this morning. It excludes such women as the widows of crofters, women who probably render as much useful service to the country in the course of their lives as any other section of the population. It leaves out of account altogether the widows also of the professional classes. Quite clearly, apart altogether from the fault of the contributory basis, this scheme cannot be accepted as being in a satisfactory form or in that condition that will satisfy the democracy of this country. To-day all we can do is to protest; to take this opportunity of protesting against the underlying obnoxious contributory principle of the Bill on the part of those who are being burdened by it. I also protest against the exclusion from it of those who ought to be brought within it, and given the benefits which we may reasonably expect from the advent of a Labour Government.

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

I am quite sure that the Minister will not think me ungrateful, after the way he met my Amendment last night, if I still protest against certain injustices that remain in this first Clause of this Bill. I am quite sure that the Amendments he made last night for me he made because he thought—and I fully agree—that the proposals were a great improvement on the Bill as it originally stood. I would venture, therefore, to appeal to him to make an improvement in certain other lines in this Clause in order really that he may make it a better Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has expressed disagreement with my hon. Friends the Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) and Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) on the case they have put up in regard to women's position under this Bill. He says in effect: "It is no good your saying to us that certain women will make a great number of contributions and get no benefit, that is not the essence of insurance. The essence of insurance"—I quite agree—"is that a large number of people pay their contributions and that only some of them obtain benefit as a result of those contributions." That, I say, is quite true. But there is another essential factor in insurance that this Bill does not carry out. It is this: When a person is asked to insure he insures against certain definite risks and he has a right to feel dissatisfied if, having paid the money for those risks, eventually he does not get recompense if the risks actually occur. Our criticism of this Bill is that so far as women are concerned they have not got their benefit, because when a risk for which they have actually paid happens, from certain circumstances over which they have no control, the benefit does not come their way.

Let me put in the form of the insurance, about which we all know, against railway accident. When a passenger goes by train he in many cases takes out an insurance policy. Eventually it is only very few people who suffer accidents, and the contributions of those people who arrive safely at the end of their journey in large numbers make up for the very few accidents that a few people receive. But it would be a very serious form of insurance if the people, in taking their railway ticket, and with it an insurance ticket, found when an accident really happened that they were denied the recompense from circumstances over which they had no control. That is the position, in our contention, of the women who enter this insurance scheme. The Minister says that the contributions which the women make are part of the whole scheme and come back to the women, in the aggregate, in the shape of the various benefits received. That may be true. That is an actuarial question which may be true, taking all the factors of the Bill into account.

But the point is this: that you ask the woman to pay contributions in the early years, at the age of 16, when she enters industry; you ask, I say, the woman to pay her contributions, and hold out to her certain promises that if she pays those contributions and takes her share in this compulsory insurance scheme that she will have the benefit, if she becomes a widow —with or without children—that if she dies, her husband being dead also, and there are left orphan children, that those orphan children will be provided for, and that when she reaches the age of 65 she will get a pension. As a matter of fact, under the terms of this Clause, no one of these three risks are actually certain to be provided for in the case of the women. Let me take them one after the other. In the first place, let me take the woman's right to a pension as a widow. If she marries a man who is uninsured; if she marries a man who is crippled and cannot take his part; if she marries a man who through no fault of hers drops out of insurance, she has no certainty whatever that she will in those cases get a widow's pension or that she will get a pension on behalf of her children. Again, if she is insured, and marries, and goes on with the insurance all her life, and dies before her husband, and the husband is not insured in the last few years, her children will not get the orphan's pension.

Supposing, again, she marries a man who is not insured for the whole of his life. If he is younger than her by two or three years the fact that she has paid her contributions up to the time of marriage—and it may be many years afterwards—or it may be that on her marriage, as is natural and the usual custom in the case of married people that the woman devotes her attention to the house the man earning the money outside and she drops out of insurance she does not get her old age pension at the age of 65 Therefore, though the woman is called upon to make certain contributions with the intention that certain risks shall be covered, as a matter of fact under the-Clause not one of these risks is absolutely assured of being covered in cases of the sort I have given. That is our objection to the Bill. It is not that binder this Clause or under the insurance each individual person does not get back the full amount he has paid in. It would be perfectly natural and a proper thing not to expect that. Our objection is this, that a woman entering the scheme and paying her contributions is not, as a matter of fact, insured against any one of the three risks for which she makes against which she insures.

It is perfectly true and perfectly simple that when the Division comes along there are those from whom the Minister will be assured of a sufficient majority to carry the Clause. It may very well be that while this Bill is going through the people of this country as a whole will not understand the minutiæ of this provision, and, therefore, will not make their protest. That is perfectly natural, but later when the Bill comes into operation as an Act and the effect of the actual provisions of the Act are being found out by the people called upon to come under it there will be a very considerable resentment amongst the women when they find the risks for which they are called upon to pay for a great many years are, as a matter of fact, not covered under circumstances over which they have no control. I would only refer to one more point. I am dealing with the risks that the women consider they are by their contributions covering when they are not covered. Let me take one more illustration—the case of the spinster. Take the case of the girl who has gone on paying her contributions from 16 onwards and only gets a possible pension at 65. My hon. Friend the Member for Keighley pointed out that a large number of widows go on paying their contributions under the Insurance Act up to the age of 65.

The actuary's figures show that, whereas 57 per cent. of men continue to be insured up to 65 years of age, only 10 per cent. of women continue in insurance. It will be within the general knowledge of the Committee that a much larger proportion of women drop out of regular employment and, therefore, of health insurance before the age of 65, and all these women will not get any benefit at all from the provisions of this Bill. I think that is a very hard case. Those who do continue in up to 65, single women, do not get anything like adequate recompense for the money they have paid. Those who continue for, perhaps, 30, 35 or 40 years, and then drop out, get nothing, there is no reversionary value; all the money they have paid, as I understand it, goes for nothing at all. The right hon. Gentleman attempted to meet that by saying there is exactly the same hardship for bachelors. I do not think two wrongs make a right, but, even assuming that the risk which the bachelor runs is reasonable, the risk which the woman runs is very much less fair to her. As I have said, there is this discrepancy that, whereas 57 per cent. of men remain in employment up to 65, only 10 per cent. of women remain to that age. Then there is the further point that men are more likely to marry at a later age, and have more chance of having children in later years, and, therefore, more chance of obtaining the benefits under this Bill. I do not wish to make detailed arguments on this point, but I could illustrate them by a large number of cases of women who will suffer injustice. I am not making a speech to delay or obstruct the Bill, and I do not elaborate the point in detail, but if the Minister will take these two points into consideration he will see what a large amount of injustice will be suffered by people who come under the Bill. Women who are called upon to make these payments will, if they do not marry, not get any equivalent value for the money they have contributed; and, whether they do marry or not, the risks against which they think they are being insured they are not covered against if certain circumstances arise over which they themselves have no control whatever.

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

May I appeal to the Committee to allow us now to come to a decision on this Clause? We have been discussing it for nearly two hours, and I really think we have exhausted all the arguments and all the new points that can be brought up in connection with it.

Photo of Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy Commander Hon. Joseph Kenworthy , Kingston upon Hull Central

I would like to meet the appeal of the right hon. Gentleman and I will speak for only two or three minutes. I must make an observation on the very important statement we have had from my right hon. Friend the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) that the Labour party intend to make this scheme non-contributory at the first opportunity. I was prepared to vote for the non-contributory principle as against the contributory principle, and if they propose to alter it, and I have the honour of being a Member ox the House, I shall support them then, and I am speaking also for a number of my Friends. But there will be very great difficulties on account of what I may call the vested interests, the insured interests we are now creating, because if after a few years we want to reverse the process it will De an extraordinarily difficult thing to fix the compensation to be paid to the people who have so far paid.

The position is extremely unsatisfactory. We are allowing the very wealthy classes of the community to escape altogether. There are successful barristers who employ only a few clerks, and, therefore, do not contribute much. Then there are novel writers, the "best sellers," or people who, by their horrible writings, manage to get their plays accepted at three or four theatres at a time—those people do not directly employ labour at all, and pay nothing towards this scheme, while the man who puts on their plays has to pay in the case of all those whom he employs. The distributing trades are very prosperous on the whole—the retail dealers in provisions, clothing and the like are all doing very well, and they are let off very lightly. There are stockbrokers, too, and film stars, with their enormous salaries. [An HON MEMBER: "DO rot leave out journalists!"] All these classes, in addition to the so-called rentier class, practically escape. The whole principle of the contributory system is unjust, and I welcome the declaration made in such clear terms by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston.

I wish to put one point on another matter. I see that provision is made with regard to childless widows. I think a mistake has been made there, which I hope to deal with on a later Clause, but in the meantime I would like to ask the Minister whether he has considered the case of a woman who marries, not an old man—that is allowed for, she does not get a pension—but who marries a man who is sick and lives but a very short time. I have had a communication from the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship, who represent a body of very intelligent women who study these matters, and they declare? that their members feel there is a real danger here in the case of marriages with men who are on the point of dying—a marriage of convenience you may call it if you will. I think when a man is in extremely bad health there ought to be some time limit in the case of a woman who marries him. I hope that matter will be considered by the Minister before we finish with the Bill.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I also do not want unduly to delay the Committee, but I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that he made hardly any reply at all to the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson), who dealt with what the Prime Minister has described as the "black spots" in our industrial life, and the effect upon those black spots of this Bill and of the Bill which is announced to-day, and which the Government says will help industry generally to bear the burdens of these pension proposals. It would be out of order, I gather, to discuss the details of the Bill which has been laid before the House to-day, but in considering these pension proposals and their effect upon industry we must have some regard to he future of industry. The Minister of Health said just now that under the new Unemployment Insurance Bill there would be a reduction of the contributions from employers and employed which would result in all the great benefits, as he described them, of the Bill we are now discussing being obtained at the price of only 2d. from the employer and 2d. from the employé. What he failed to point out was that the contributions of the Government under the Bill which we are to discuss at a later date are only in relation to the deficiency period. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in introducing these pension proposals in his Budget speech, said he hoped to be able to assure industry that there would be no increased charge upon it when the deficiency period ended. I imagine that what is going to happen is this: If this Government stays in, or a similar Government comes in, we are going to have a pretty permanent level of unemployment in this country, and even though there is an improvement in the present position with regard to the deficiency in the fund of the Unemployment Insurance Act we shall never be in the position of being able to wipe out the other 2d. of the employers and the employed which is imposed at present to make up that deficiency in the Fund. What does that mean? It means that ultimately industry must face the permanent increased charge, not only for unemployment insurance, but also for the provisions for pensions under this Bill. The Minister, in his reply, held out no hope at all to our heavily burdened industries that they will be in a more favourable position than they were when we first began to discuss the Bill.

6.0 P.M.

I wish to add a special plea for "necessitous areas." Though I know the Minister of Health is probably tired of hearing those two words, we cannot separate the industrial position from the position of local authorities in necessitous areas. The very method adopted by the Government for bringing relief to industry, in respect of the contributions under this Pensions Bill, will lay an additional local burden upon industry in the most heavily burdened districts. I wish to put to him one or two facts in connection with Sheffield. Last year the Unemployment Insurance Act, which the Government are now going to amend, brought considerable relief to Sheffield. By the shortening of the waiting period, the removal of the gap, and the making of uncovenanted benefit a statutory right of the unemployed, the local rates were saved something like £70,000. Under the (proposals of the Government to help industry to bear the burdens of these pensions, it is proposed to restore the waiting period and to remove the statutory right to un-covenanted benefit, and, instead, to give more discretion to the Minister. We are certain, as a result, to get a heavy increase of the charges upon the poor rate, and that will impose a serious additional burden upon industries in Sheffield. If the saving last year was as high as £70,000 in Sheffield, what must be the total figure for all the areas in the country? In addition, we have this year the gradually accentuated distress in the mining areas, where, during the last four or five months, unemployment has been steadily growing. The changes in unemployment insurance which are supposed to relieve industry of the charges for pensions will impose another heavy burden upon the local poor rates, and I am sure the right hon. Gentleman must realise he is not giving to industry all the relief that he would like us to believe he is giving. I am wondering whether the Minister could give us any idea of what he thinks will be saved as a whole. What will be the saving under the Unemployment Insurance Bill? What will be the additional charge upon the poor rate and, therefore, upon local industries, as a result of the changes in the Unemployment Insurance Bill? I am sure if he could give us those two figures he would see that he has not really come to the relief of the industrial black spots in such a way as to make this Pensions Bill really workable from the point of view of industry. I wish the right hon. Gentleman would give us a far more detailed and comforting reply upon this point.


What has happened is only what we might expect when the Government waste the whole night dis- cussing these questions in Committee by refusing to give us the information we require. Now we come to the last part of the discussion of this Clause and for the first time we are in the position of knowing what it really means. When the right hon. Gentleman heard about the bombshell that would be waiting for him on his breakfast table this morning he concluded that he could afford to give us one or two minor concessions. For these reasons I confess that to-day I am able to speak about this Bill in a very different attitude to that which I adopted yesterday.

I represent a constituency which I have no doubt the Prime Minister would be ready to admit is one of the blackest of the black spots of the country as far as industry is concerned. Already we have the largest percentage of unemployed in the country, and the whole of the Tyne-side, which up to recent years was one of the busiest centres of industrial England, is now very quiet, and there are thousands of unemployed. Our shipyards are empty and contracts are being lost every day. We find that the miners and skilled engineers, the type of men who have built up the prosperity of this country, are now being driven to the guardians and the Labour Exchanges and they have no hope of finding employment. Our rates are so high that it is impossible for our shipyards to compete with the depreciated rate of exchange in foreign countries. Now we are told in addition to all this that the employers and workmen will have to pay so much every week out of their meagre wages and their scanty profits towards this new scheme.

I saw in the papers this morning a letter from an important organisation, the Federation of British Industries, complaining very bitterly about the damage the scheme was going to do to them. If you must have contributions, and you must, why go to the only two sections in this country who are worth considering at the present moment and tax them out of existence? Large employers of labour and the workpeople are the only people who matter in this country under the present) system of government, which is composed of landlords, rentiers and financiers. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no!"] You know it is quite true. [An HON. MEMBER: "It is not true!"] Many hon. Members opposite representing large manufacturing interests are just as much opposed to this Bill as any hon. Friends of mine if they only had the courage to state their views. They know that this Bill is not only a ruinous proposition from the point of view of necessitous areas, but it is a serious and deadly blow being struck at British industries in the interests, not of the nation, but of the small and growing class of rentiers who are sucking the blood of the nation. I hope the Minister of Health will reconsider this very

serious proposal to exact contributions from the two sections which are the most important in our national life, while at the same time excusing from any contributions at all those sections which have nothing like the same burdens to bear.

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 246; Noes, 147.

Division No. 233.]AYES.[6.8 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Conway, Sir W. MartinHogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)
Albery, Irving JamesCooper, A. DuffHolt. Capt. H. P.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Cope, Major WilliamHoman, C. W. J.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryHopkins, J. W. W.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Crook, C. W.Howard, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)
Astor, ViscountessCunliffe, Joseph HerbertHudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)
Atholl, Duchess ofCurzon, Captain ViscountHume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis
Atkinson, C.Dalkeith, Earl ofHuntingfield, Lord
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Hurst, Gerald B.
Balniel, LordDavidson, Major-General Sir John H.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Barnett, Major Sir RichardDavison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Jacob, A. E.
Barnsten, Major Sir HarryDean, Arthur WellesleyJephcott, A. R.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H.Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. HerbertKidd, J. (Linlithgow)
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Eden, Captain AnthonyKindersley, Major G. M.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Edmondson, Major A. J.King, Captain Henry Douglas
Bennett, A. J.Edwards, John H. (Accrington)Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-Elliot, Captain Walter E.Knox, Sir Alfred
Berry, Sir GeorgeElveden, ViscountLane-Fox, Colonel George R.
Bethell, A.England Colonel A.Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Betterton, Henry B.Everard, W. LindsayLloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Falle, Sir Bertram G.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Blundell, F. N.Fielden, E. B.Lougher, L.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftFinburgh, S.Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Fleming, D. P.Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Brass, Captain W.Ford, P. J.Lumley, L. R.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveForestier-Walker Sir L.MacAndrew, Charles Glen
Briggs, J. HaroldFoxcroft Captain C. T.Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Brittain, Sir HarryGadie, Lieut.-Col. AnthonyMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Galbraith J. F. W.Macintyre, I.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Ganzoni Sir JohnMcLean, Major A.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Gates PercyMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)Goff, Sir ParkMalone, Major P. B.
Buckingham, Sir H.Gower Sir RobertMarningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William JamesGrace, JohnMargesson, Captain D.
Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.Greene W. P. CrawfordMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Butler, Sir GeoffreyGrenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardGuinness, Rt. Hon Walter E.Meller, R. J.
Caine, Gordon HallGunston, Captain D. W.Meyer, Sir Frank
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Hall, Lieut.-Col Sir F. (Dulwich)Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHammersley S. S.Moles, Thomas
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)Hanbury C.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Chapman, Sir S.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Morrison, H. (Wills, Salisbury)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Haslam, Henry C.Murchison, C. K.
Chilcott, Sir WardenHawke, John AnthonyNelson, Sir Frank
Christie, J. A.Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxfd, Henley)Neville, R. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerHeneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Churchman, Sir Arthur C.Henn, Sir Sydney H.Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHenniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Cobb, Sir CyrilHerbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Nuttall, Ellis
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh
Cohen, Major J. BruneiHilton, CecilOrmsby-Gore, Hon. William
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. I. G.Penny, Frederick George
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Sanderson, Sir FrankWarner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Perring, William GeorgeSandon. LordWarrender, Sir Victor
Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W.)Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Pielou, D. P.Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst.)Watts, Dr. T.
Power, Sir John CecilSkelton, A. N.Wells, S. R.
Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel AsshetonSmith-Carington, Neville W,Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Preston, WilliamSomerville, A. A. (Windsor)White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple
Price, Major C. W. M.Spender Clay, Colonel H.Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Raine, W.Sprot, Sir AlexanderWilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Ramsden, E.Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(Will'sden, E.)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Reid, D. D. (County Down)Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Remer, J. R.Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.Wise, Sir Fredric
Remnant, Sir JamesStrickland, Sir GeraldWolmer, Viscount
Rentoul, G. S.Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.Womersley, W. J.
Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W. R., Ripon)
Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).
Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)Sugden, Sir WilfridWood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)Templeton, W. P.Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)Worthington Evans, HI. Hon. Sir L.
Salmon, Major I.Titchfield, Major the Marquess ofWragg, Herbert
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Sandeman, A. StewartWaddington, R.Major Hennessy and Lord Stanley.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hardie, George D.Rose, Frank H.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Harris, Percy A.Saklatvala, Shapurji
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonSalter, Dr. Alfred
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHastings, Sir PatrickScrymgeour, E.
Attlee, Clement RichardHayday, ArthurSexton, James
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Baker, WalterHirst, G. H.Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Barnes, A.Hore-Belisha, LeslieSitch, Charles H.
Barr, J.Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Smillie, Robert
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Briant, FrankJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Smith, H. B. Lees-(Keighley)
Broad, F. A.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Snell, Harry
Buchanan, G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Cape, ThomasJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)
Charleton, H. C.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Stamford T. W.
Clowes, S.Kelly, W. T.Stephen, Campbell
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kennedy, T.Sutton, J. E.
Connolly, M.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Taylor, R. A.
Cove, W. G.Kenyon, BarnetThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Kirkwood, D.Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Crawfurd, H. E.Lansbury, GeorgeThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Dalton, HughLawson, John JamesThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Lee, F.Thurtle, E.
Day, Colonel HarryLowth, T.Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Dennison, R.Lunn, WilliamVarley, Frank B.
Duncan, C.Mackinder, W.Viant, S. P.
Dunnico, H.MacLaron, AndrewWalsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Fenby, T. D.March, S.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Forrest, WMaxton, JamesWebb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Montague, FrederickWedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Welsh, J. C.
Gibbins, JosephMurnin, H.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gilliett, George M.Naylor, T. E.Whiteley, W.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Oliver, George HaroldWilkinson, Ellen C.
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Owen, Major G.Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Greenall, T.Palin, John HenryWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Paling, W.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W,Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Groves, T.Ponsonby, ArthurWindsor, Walter
Grundy, T. W.Potts, John S.Young, E. Hilton (Norwich)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)Riley, Ben
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Ritson, J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)Mr. Hayes and Mr. Warne.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)

Question put accordingly, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 265; Noes, 126.

Division No. 234.]AYES.[6.15 p.m.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Edmondson, Major A. J.McLean, Major A.
Ainsworth, Major CharlesEdwards, John H. (Accrington)Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Albery, Irving JamesElliot, Captain Walter E.Malone, Major P. B.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Elveden, ViscountManningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)England, Colonel A.Margesson, Captain D.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Everard, W. LindsayMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Falle, Sir Bertram G.Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.
Ashley Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Fenby, T. D.Meller, R. J.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Fielden, E. B.Meyer, Sir Frank
Astor, ViscountessFinburgh, S.Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-
Atholl Duchess ofFleming, D. P.Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Atkinson, C.Ford, P. J.Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Balniel, LordForrest, W.Moles, Thomas
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred
Barnett, Major Sir RichardGadie, Lieut.-Col. AnthonyMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H.Galbraith, J. F. W.Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Ganzoni, Sir JohnMorrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Murchison, C. K.
Bennett, A. J.Gates, PercyNelson, Sir Frank
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-Goff, Sir ParkNeville, R. J.
Berry, Sir GeorgeGower, Sir RobertNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Bethell, A.Grace, JohnNicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld),
Betterton, Henry B.Greene, W. P. CrawfordNield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Nuttall, Ellis
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh
Blundell, F. N.Gunston, Captain D. W.Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHacking, Captain Douglas H.Owen, Major G.
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Penny, Frederick George
Brass, Captain W.Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Perring, William George
Briggs, J. HaroldHammersley, S. S.Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Brittain, Sir HarryHanbury, C.Pielou, D. P.
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Harris, Percy A.Power, Sir John Cecil
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Preston, William
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)Haslam, Henry C.Price, Major C. W. M.
Buckingham, Sir H.Hawke, John AnthonyRaine, W.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William JamesHenderson, Capt. R. R.(0xf'd, Henley)Ramsden, E.
Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHenn, Sir Sydney H.Remer, J. R.
Butt, Sir AlfredHenniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A.Remnant, Sir James
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHerbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Rentoul, G. S.
Caine, Gordon HallHerbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hilton, CecilRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Holt, Captain H. P.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHoman, C. W. J.Salmon, Major I.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.)Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Hopkins, J. W. W.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Chapman, Sir S.Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Sandeman, A. Stewart
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Hore-Belisha, LeslieSanderson, Sir Frank
Chilcott, Sir WardenHoward, Capt. Hon. D. (Cumb., N.)Sandon, Lord
Christie, J. A.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerHudson, R.S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W).
Churchman, Sir Arthur C.Hume-Williams, Sir W. EllisSinclair. Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHuntingfield, LordSkelton, A. N.
Cobb, Sir CyrilHurst, Gerald B.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Cohen, Major J. BruneiInskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Spender Clay, Colonel H.
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsJackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)Sprot, Sir Alexander
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Jacob, A. E.Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)
Conway, Sir W. MartinJephcott, A. R.Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cooper, A. DuffJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cope, Major WilliamKidd, J. (Linlithgow)Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L.Kindersley, Major Guy M.Strickland, Sir Gerald
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryKing, Captain Henry DouglasStuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Crawfurd, H. E.Kinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementStuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.Knox, Sir AlfredSueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Crook, C. W.Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipTempleton, W. P.
Cunliffe, Joseph HerbertLloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Curzon, Captain ViscountLocker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Dalkeith, Earl ofLougher, L.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davidson, J.(Hertfd, Hemel Hempst'd)Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh VereVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanWaddington, R.
Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)Lumley. L. RWard, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingstonon-Hull)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)MacAndrew, Charles GlenWarner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Dean, Arthur WellesleyMacdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)Warrender, Sir Victor
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. HerbertMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. AngusWaterhouse, Captain Charles
Eden, Captain AnthonyMacintyre, IanWatts, Dr. T.
Wells, S. R.Winterton, Rt. Hon. EarlWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.Wise, Sir FredricWragg, Herbert
White, Lieut.-Colonel G. DairympleWolmer, ViscountYoung, E. Hilton (Norwich)
Wiggins, William MartinWomersley, W. J.
Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W. R., Ripon)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).Major Sir Harry Barnston and
Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)Major Hennessy.
Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel GeorgeWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonSaklatvala, Shapurji
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hastings, Sir PatrickSalter, Dr. Alfred
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hayday, ArthurScrymgeour, E.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHenderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Sexton, James
Attlee, Clement RichardHirst, G. H.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Baker, WalterHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Sitch, Charles H.
Barnes, A.John, William (Rhondda, West)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barr, J.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Smillie, Robert
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Broad, F. A.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Buchanan, G.Kelly, W. T.Snell, Harry
Cape, ThomasKennedy, T.Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Charleton, H. C.Kirkwood, D.Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)
Clowes, S.Lansbury, GeorgeStamford, T. W.
Cluse, W. S.Lawson, John JamesStephen, Campbell
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Lee, F.Sutton, J. E.
Connolly, M.Lowth, T.Taylor, R. A.
Cove, W. G.Lunn, WilliamThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Dalton, HughMackinder, W.Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)MacLaren, AndrewThurtle, E.
Day, Colonel HarryMaclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Dennison, R.March, S.Varley, Frank B.
Duncan, C.Maxton, JamesViant, S. P.
Dunnico, H.Montague, FrederickWalsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gibbins, JosephMurnin, H.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gillett, George MNaylor, T. E.Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Oliver, George HaroldWedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Palin, John HenryWelsh, J. C.
Greenall, T.Paling, W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Whiteley, W.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Ponsonby, ArthurWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Groves, T.Potts, John S.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Grundy, T. W.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)Riley, BenWilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)Ritson, J.Windsor, Walter
Hall, Fredk. (Yorks, Normanton)Roberts. Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr, Tydvil)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Hardie, George D.Rose. Frank H.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Mr. Hayes and Mr. Warne.