The first Amendment on the Paper—in page 1, line 17, after the word "confirmed," to insert the words "subject to a provision for a repayment of any sums paid"—is not in order on the ground of incompleteness. The next Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) I have some doubt about. I am not quite sure whether it is compatible with the Agreement, but I shall be glad to hear the hon. Member on that.
I beg to move, in page 1, line 17, after the word "confirmed," to insert the words
subject to the modification that the agreement shall not operate in any financial year covered by the agreement in which a
surplus in both Unemployment Funds of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is ascertained.
I do not think the Amendment is in any sense incompatible with the Agreement. It is only a very small modification. It is only to omit from the operation of the Agreement any year in which both the funds are in surplus. It will confine the operation of the Agreement to the years in which one of the funds has a deficiency.
No. The Amendment would be in order if it modifies the Agreement but does not destroy it. That is to say, supposing there were a number of independent provisions, you might vary the Agreement by putting in a Clause, "except as regards A, B, or C." That would be in order as long as the rest of the Agreement could stand by itself. My doubt was, in the somewhat complicated provisions of this Agreement, whether an Amendment of this kind really would be compatible with the Agreement at all, but I cannot on the whole say it will not.
The effect of the Agreement is that the fund which is in a more favourable position shall pay to the other. I suggest that it destroys the whole bargain if you interfere in any year with the fund that is in a superior position paying to the fund that is in an inferior position, whether they both have surpluses or both have deficiencies.
The Amendment will surely be inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Agreement. If this very unlikely contingency did occur and the British surplus was proportionally larger than the Irish surplus, the British Exchequer would have to make a contribution under the Agreement so as to give the Ulster fund an equivalent surplus. But at the same time the British rate of contribution would fall to be reduced under the present law, and if this Amendment were inserted it would not be possible for Northern Ireland to make a similar reduction under the existing law. In consequence, the fundamental principle of the Agreement would have been materially altered by the Amendment.
May I resume the point of Order and point out that Clause 9 of the Agreement definitely lays down a period of four years, to terminate on 31st March, 1930? If the Amendment were carried, if the state of affairs the hon. Member contemplates were to come about at an earlier date, it is clear that the date in Clause 9 could not stand. Consequently, I submit that the Amendment is inconsistent with those words in Clause 9 of the Agreement.
I considered that question in connection with the former Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) for the continuation of the Agreement for a shorter space of time. I do not think in that case it can be said the Agreement would be deestroyed. I think this Amendment must be argued on the merits.
I am sorry to raise yet another point. May I call your attention again to the question whether this Amendment is within the scope of the Bill. My point in regard to that will immediately appear on consideration of the next Amendment which proposes to alter the title and preamble of the Bill. I submit that neither the title nor scope of the Bill extends to modifications of the Agreement, and that this is a modification.
I think the hon. Member has in mind some attempts which have been made to modify the Schedule. Certainly the Schedule cannot be modified, but I think it would be competent for Parliament to say that they would confirm this Agreement less certain provisions. If the hon. Member will carry his memory back to some of the discussions on the Government of Ireland Bill, he will find that the same point arose, and it was held that modifying words might be put into the body of the Bill.
Might I call your attention to the first Sub-section of the first Clause—
The agreement set forth in the Schedule to this Act is hereby confirmed, and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.
I submit that the effect of the Amendment now being moved is not to confirm the Agreement, but is to confirm another Agreement which has not been arrived at. If this Amendment were carried, it would be a direct negative of the Sub-section of the Act to which I have referred. It is not possible to confirm an Agreement with modifications. We can confirm the Agreement as it stands or leave it. We can say that we shall confirm it if certain modifications are made, but the modifications must be made by the parties to the Agreement. We can only confirm the Agreement as it stands.
The Clause goes on to say
and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.
Similar rulings have been given on more than one Government of Ireland Bill, and the hon. Member's contention would have been fatal to the Amendments moved by himself and his friends on those occasions. Parliament can give effect to an Agreement subject to a modification.
As I was saying before these points of order were raised, the object of this Amendment is to confine the operation of the Agreement to those years to which I am sure that the general opinion of this House desires to see it confined. The Agreement as it stands provides a great deal more than is generally supposed. We have been asked to sanction certain payments for this year and succeeding years to the Government of Northern Ireland on the understanding that the Government of Northern Ireland is in very great difficulties owing to the Unemployment Fund being in deficiency, and the argument in favour of ratifying this Agreement in this Bill is that, owing to its deficiency, the Government of Northern Ireland cannot see its way to guarantee the benefits of the Insurance Fund. We have been asked therefore to come in on behalf of this country to enable the Government of Northern Ireland to pay its way. All of us, on these benches as well as on the benches opposite, have seen the force of that argument, and, although we may differ on the method, we are agreed on the principle that something ought to be done, but this Agreement goes a great deal further than that, if it is left to stand as it actually appears. This Agreement does not confine its operation to the years in which the fund of Northern Ireland is in deficiency, but it covers also those years in which the Irish Fund has a surplus, provided that surplus is smaller, in the way it is measured in this Agreement, than the surplus in this country. I think it is asking a great deal of our people, heavily taxed as they are, to ask them to contemplate paying over to the Government of Northern Ireland a sum, for one year or it may be for more, for the Unemployment Fund there, where there has actually been a surplus in Northern Ireland in that year. Therefore, the object of my Amendment is to strike out from this Bill all those years, if any there be, in which both the funds are in surplus.
It may be that the Chancellor will take the view that this is an Agreement, and you have either to ratify an Agreement or reject it. I quite realise that argument has a great deal of force, but it is quite possible that those who made this Agreement may be willing to accept that change. After all, theoretically, at any rate, it is bilateral, and it is theoretically putting on each country a liability in years of surplus, a liability which it is quite absurd should be borne on either side. Therefore, this slight modification of the Agreement might make it acceptable to both parties. If that be so, then it is in the interests of commensense that that modification should be adopted. While we are quite willing to help the Government of Northern Ireland where they are in real difficulties, and where there is an actual deficiency, it does seem to me ridiculous that we should be burdening ourselves in future years when there may be a surplus on the fund. It is for that reason that I put forward this Amendment.
May I refer to something that was said by the hon. Member for Watford (Mr. D. Herbert). He said that if this Amendment were carried it would bring the operation of the Bill to an earlier end. I do not think so. It might suspend the operation as the purpose of the agreement would not be operating in a particular year. That would not be bringing the Agreement to a premature end. It would only not have its effect in a particular year in which a surplus occurred. It is for those reasons that this Amendment in my judgment is doing nothing more than recognising the feeling which there undoubtedly is in this country, and it is for that reason that I ask this Committee to accept it.
May I again raise a point of Order? The hon. Member's speech has now elucidated the point. In his speech the hon. Member said that he was proposing a modification to a bilaterial Agreement which he hoped might be agreeable to both parties. I submit that that shows that his Amendment has the effect of not merely putting a modification in the Bill, but definitely of altering the terms of the Agreement. This country has made a certain bargain under which it has to pay during certain years, and is also entitled in certain events to receive during certain years. If this Amendment were carried, it might cut out the right of this country to receive as against the liability to give.
When an Agreement has been arrived at, and it is brought before Parliament to have the force of law, Parliament can say that it shall have the force of law less this or that pro- vision. If the provision were of such a nature as to destroy the Agreement, it would practically be a negative, but it is not out of order on that account.
In view of your ruling that this Amendment is not disorderly, it must be made plain, on behalf of the Government, that it is unacceptable. It is unacceptable for three reasons. In the first place, because, as was frankly admitted by the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment, it would alter the Agreement, and would involve the resumption of negotiations between the British Government and the Government of Northern Ireland. We really do not think there is any justification for that. Moreover, in the second place, the contingency is most remote, and very unlikely to occur in the period in question. Should we really, just for the sake of rewarding the patient investigations which the hon. Gentleman has made into the structure of this Bill, and for a consideration hypothetical, remote, improbable in the last degree, suspend all these negotiations and embark on new negotiations with the Ulster Government for another Agreement to be signed with them? Really, there are a great many more laborious and necessary tasks before us at the present time than this.
My third objection on behalf of the Government to this Amendment is that it really is not equitable or fair. It does not follow out the principle we have endeavoured to obey, of equal conditions prevailing under similar circumstances between the contributors and beneficiaries of the Fund on each side of the Channel. We have tried in this Bill to secure as far as possible that the benefits and the contributions shall be the same in Northern Ireland as they are in this country. Now this Amendment of the hon. Member, although I am sure he did not intend it, would have the effect of preventing in certain circumstances the Government of Northern Ireland from reducing the contributions of the employer and the workman pari passu with similar reductions which might be justified in this country. It is absolutely necessary that there should be
an endeavour to equate proportionately the deficiencies in any year and equally to equate proportionately the surpluses. The moment that principle is lost you get an inequality of deficiencies, most unfair and most detrimental, prevailing between, say, Belfast and Glasgow. If the British surplus in any year is proportionately larger than the Irish surplus, we should make our contribution to the Irish surplus to make the surpluses proportionately equal. Then it would be possible for the Northern Government and the British Government to carry out the provisions of the law as to reductions of contributions, both of employers and employed. Any variation of this would upset the whole poise and balance of the Agreement.
Even under the Bill as it stands have we an assurance? Is it not true that if the deficiency on the Irish Fund still remains when our deficiency has been wiped out, there will still be that inequality which the right hon. Gentleman says this Agreement will avoid?
I said that the ideal at which the Bill aims is to secure equal results for equal contributions, at the same time, to the people of Northern Ireland and the people of this country, be they employers or workmen. The hon. Member now moves an Amendment which vitiates that principle of even-handed treatment between these two extremely similar populations. When these evil consequences are pointed out to him, the hon. Member proceeds to ask, "Are you sure that your Bill is absolute and perfect in its equalisation at the present time?" I cannot contend that it surpasses ordinary human measures in arriving at a standard of absolute perfection, but I am sure that it is my duty to resist the proposal of the hon. Member, because, whatever may be the present defects in the Bill, the Amendment would emphasise them in a most remarkable and lamentable degree.
|Division No. 77.]||AYES.||[7.17 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Attlee, Clement Richard||Barr, J.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro)||Baker, Walter||Batey, Joseph|
|Ammon, Charles George||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hirst, G. H.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Bromfield, William||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John|
|Bromley, J.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Clynes, Right Hon. John R.||Kelly, W. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Connolly, M.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Cove, W. G.||Kenyon, Barnet||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lansbury, George||Snell, Harry|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lee, F.||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Lowth, T.||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Dennison, R.||Lunn, William||Stamford, T. W.|
|Duncan, C.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Stewart, J. (St. Roilox)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mackinder, W.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Gillett, George M.||March, S.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Gosling, Harry||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Thurtle, E.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Montague, Frederick||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Morris, R. H.||Townend, A. E.|
|Greenall, T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Naylor, T. E.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Oliver, George Harold||Viant, S. P.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Palin, John Henry||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Grundy, T. W.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Warne, G. H.|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Hardie, George D.||Purcell, A. A.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Riley, Ben||Windsor, Walter|
|Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Wright, W.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Rose, Frank H.|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. B. Smith.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Chapman, Sir S.||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Albery, Irving James||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Christie, J. A.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Grant, J. A.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gretton, Colonel John|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Grotrian, H. Brent.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cooper, A. Duff||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cope, Major William||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Couper, J. B.||Harland, A.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hawke, John Anthony|
|Blundell, F. N.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Davidson, J.(Hertl'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford. Watford)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Davidson. Major-General Sir John H.||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hilton, Cecil|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Homan, C. W. J.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Elliot, Captain Walter E.||Holland, Sir Arthur|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Elveden, Viscount||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Erskine Lord (Somerset Weston-s.-M.)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hudson. R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Burman, J. B.||Fermoy, Lord||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fielden, E. B.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Finburgh, S.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Jacob, A. E.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Forrest, W.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pennefather, Sir John||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Perring, Sir William George||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Pilcher, G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Preston, William||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Loder, J. de V.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Radford, E. A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richa'd Harman||Raine, W.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles; Glen||Ramsden, E.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|McLean, Major A.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Remer, J. R.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Wells, S. R.|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Meyer, Sir Frank.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Withers, John James|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sandon, Lord||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Savery, S. S.||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Murchison, C. K.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon||Wragg, Herbert|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Smithers, Waldron||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Lord Stanley.|
|Oakley, T.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)|
I desire to raise a point that was mentioned yesterday. The Committee will recollect that we are committed to £608,000 this year and to £875,000 in the four succeeding years. There was an understanding in a letter from the Finance Minister of Northern Ireland, of February, 1926, that in any year in which the British liability exceeded £1,000,000 it would be open to the Exchequer of this country to re-open the Agreement, without being exposed to a charge of breach of faith. The point I wish to put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is this, that that understanding with the Government of Northern Ireland is included only in the letter which has been signed by the Finance Minister of Northern Ireland, and there is no reference to the £1,000,000 limitation in the Agreement. It is not included in this Bill in any shape or form. I want to say at once from this side, that we do not suggest that there would be any violation of an honourable understanding of this kind, but in view of the fact that it is a very emphatic declaration in the letter I cannot understand why it is not included in the Bill. The burden of this Bill on the British taxpayers is such that I think we ought to be assured that the liability in any year will not go beyond £1,000,000. Accordingly I trust the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be able to tell us why that important provision has been omitted from the Clauses of the Bill.
This Agreement was not reached except as a result of very lengthy discussion. The original negotiations began in the early part of last year, and at the outset we turned our minds to the question of amalgamating the two funds. By July, as the result of the labours of the Cabinet and the expert Committee we had so far advanced that the present principle of the Measure, based on re-insurance, had been established. It was at that time that we reached a Provisional Agreement on this subject with the Ulster Government. That Agreement still remained a Provisional Agreement, and had not been confirmed by the British Cabinet. Here I must apologise for unwittingly misleading the House yesterday, when I said that we reached the Irish settlement in July. It was the Provisional Agreement upon this unemployment insurance question which was made in July, and it was not until September that these matters were confirmed between the two Governments. When the Irish settlement was on the anvil and was being hammered out, the clearing off of these other matters became urgent, and the Agreement was reached which is embodied in this Bill. I suggested that we ought to have some security in the event of unemployment in Ulster becoming so serious and the deficiency between the two funds becoming so great that a charge of over £1,000,000 in any one year might fall upon the the British Exchequer.
I thought that was only a reasonable precaution, but I do not think it ought to be inserted in the face of the Bill. If it were inserted, it would not conform to the general principle of the Bill, which is one of re-insurance, because it would imply an obligation on the one hand which would not be met by any similar obligation on the other; and to put such an obligation and limitation on the one side would really be to go beyond what is reasonable. Without prejudice to the principle and structure of the Bill I thought, as it had been provisionally agreed between the two Governments five months previously to the December Agreement, we would get the necessary guarantee which would enable this House, or any British Government responsible to it, to resume its liberty of action if the Fund became too expensive, and accordingly we got a guarantee in the form of the letters which have been exchanged between the two Governments. The letter from Northern Ireland is absolutely effective, just as effective as if it were inserted in the Bill, so far as the liberty and freedom of the British Government and the House of Commons is concerned. We are entitled to raise the matter in case the deficiency exceeds £1,000,000.
We are completely covered by that letter, not indeed from such arguments as would be used in the event of conditions becoming very bad in Ulster, so bad that further action would have to be taken, not covered from any arguments which may be used on the ground of the hardship and evil consequences which would result from a cessation of British aid; but we are entirely immune from any reproach arising on the ground of breach of good faith, and it is expressly open to any Government sitting here in the event of the cost exceeding £1,000,000 to re-open the whole question. It seems to me if it was re-opened it would probably be settled by an amalgamation of the Funds, but I hope the House will not ask me to go back upon the arrangements which we made with Sir James Craig at the time when Mr. Cosgrave was here in December, when the boundary question with all its anxieties slipped away from us; tear up the letters which have been written and insert in the Bill a Clause which would in no way give greater protection than is afforded by these letters, but which would involve a re-opening of the negotiations which have now reached almost their final stage in the passage of this Bill through the House of Commons. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will rely, as he has said openly he is willing to rely, upon the honourable undertaking contained in the letter, and also on the fact that unquestionably it leaves the House of Commons and the Government of the day perfectly free to take whatever action may seem to them appropriate should those evil circumstances arise.
The reply which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has just given makes it absolutely necessary for us to oppose this Clause. The right hon. Gentleman says that if we insert this definite limitation into the Bill it would run counter to the scheme of re-insurance which is the general principle of the proposal. We saw in the course of the Debate yesterday, and it is confirmed now, that in effect there is no real reinsurance in this scheme at all, because an important passage of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech indicated that certain circumstances would only arise in the course of the four years which would permit us to expect Northern Ireland to make any contribution to our Exchequer. For all practical purposes that has ruled out re-insurance, and the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not valid in this connection. What is the other part of the right hon. Gentleman's case? He says that an agreement was reached many months ago—actually the Agreement was about August, 1925—and that it is impossible now to go back and tear up an understanding of that kind.
According to the White Paper some form of agreement was reached with Northern Ireland round about that date, but I have never heard it stated that the agreement reached then was the com- pleted and detailed proposal which is now incorporated in this Bill. If it were, this matter dragged on until February, 1926, and then the Chancellor of the Exchequer decided to come to this House with a Financial Resolution and a Bill and put the Agreement into a Measure. The right hon. Gentleman himself recognised at that date that the taxpayers of this country must have some kind of protection, and, accordingly, he got the letter from the Finance Minister of Northern Ireland, in which there is no disagreement between the parties as to the limit of £1,000,000 from our Exchequer in any one year. If that was the spirit of the Finance Minister of Northern Ireland at that date, I see no difficulty whatever in the way of a variation of the agreement, by common consent, in order to insert that figure. And I want to point out that in the absence of a figure of that kind in the Bill we have only this letter. While the Chancellor of the Exchequer has rightly said that neither I nor anybody else casts the slightest doubt on the letter it is a slovenly way of doing financial business, and the taxpayers of this country, in a matter of some £4,000,000 or £5,000,000, are entitled to a definite understanding. Accordingly, in view of what the right hon. Gentleman has said and without casting the slightest reflection on Northern Ireland, we feel compelled in the circumstances to divide against the Clause.
Unfortunately I have not got the White Paper with the letter from the Government of Ireland, but perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will correct me if I am wrong. My recollection of that letter is that the arrangement was that if the amount exceeds £1,000,000 in any year it would be open to this Government to reconsider the matter, and I suggest that the method in which that has been done, far from being a slovenly method, is the only correct way of dealing with it. We are now proposing to pass an Act of Parliament which shall provide for certain arrangements continuing for four years. There is nothing, except what I may call the honour of Parliament and the honour of the British nation, to prevent the Government next year passing a Measure to repeal this Bill and put an end to it. Therefore, if it is understood between the two parties to this arrangement that in certain events either party may deter- mine, then this Parliament could, without any breach of an honourable undertaking, bring in a Bill to repeal or alter this arrangement. I am right in saying that there is no limit that we shall not pay more than £1,000,000. If the amount is more than £1,000,000, then we can reconsider it, and the only way in which we can reconsider it, the only practical way of carrying out such an arrangement, is to leave it free to this Parliament to alter this Bill if and whenever the time arises.
This is not merely a matter of form; it is to some extent a point of substance. The Government are bound by the letter they have signed, and so are the Government of Northern Ireland, but the only way in which that letter can become operative is by undertaking a Bill in this House. That means not that the transaction is not complete, but that the transaction might under certain circumstances be not completed except on the introduction of a Bill, with all the hazards of Parliamentary procedure and possibly substantial amendment. A transaction of this kind, if it is to be made at all, ought to have been made in such a form as to be complete within itself, and the exchange of letters, which obviously bind those who have put their names to them, does not necessarily bind this Parliament. It would therefore have been much better, not only in form, but in substance, if the agreement had been set out not only in the letter but in the Statute itself.
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman realises that this arrangement is not a limitation of £1,000,000, but merely a power to reconsider the arrangement, and the power to reconsider can only be exercised by legislation in this House.
I quite understand that from what the hon. Member said in his previous remarks, but that does not invalidate the point I am putting. I should like to make a single criticism on the whole of this transaction. I have listened to all the Debates with very great care and with a comparatively unbiassed mind, although it is a little difficult to be entirely unbiassed on a matter which concerns Ireland. The conclusion I have come to is that a great mistake was made in splitting up the funds at all in the first place. It has led to nothing but trouble on both sides. It is very unfair to the people who come under the various schemes, and it places the insured in a position of jeopardy. As we cannot split up the interests of Belfast, Glasgow, Barrow and Liverpool, they all work together, there is a constant ebb and flow between them according to their trade, it was most improvident and rather shortsighted that we should allow the fund to be split up in the first instance. However, the only thing that Parliament can do now is to repair what has been done. I believe much the best way would be to have brought the two funds together again and to have made them one complete whole operating not only in Northern Ireland but in Great Britain. That may have to be the way in which we shall solve this problem in the future.
The fact is that Northern Ireland has not a basis large enough, nor a sufficient variety of trades, to run an unemployment scheme of this kind. It is necessary we should have the whole of the United Kingdom, except the special case of the Irish Free State, on which to operate unemployment insurance. It is possible that the shipbuilding trade of Belfast may become peculiarly successful, but the House must remember that the shipbuilding trade of Belfast depends to a large extent on the successful operations of a single company. In the next few years it may, from various causes which we can all foresee or imagine, pass through a period of great prosperity, or exactly the reverse. If anything in the nature of a financial crisis overtook one of these groups it would be a grave matter for the whole of Northern Ireland and would make their scheme more and more unreliable. The only way in which they can get a stable and sound financial scheme is to cover the whole of Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland. A great variety of trades is absolutely essential for any scheme of unemployment insurance. It is in these circumstances that I think the Government have proceeded with a wrong solution. They have only themselves to blame for the criticism which has been freely made inside and outside the House that in arranging these terms they have been guided as much by old political feelings of the past as they have by care for the scheme itself. All of that might have been avoided if they had proceeded to undo the mistake that was made when the fund was split up. I do not know whether we have heard the last of this matter, but it is conceivable that five years hence we may have to deal with it once more. I hope that we shall then proceed to a sound solution.
I wish to draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to an answer he gave this afternoon regarding a small number of people who are living over the Ulster border but are normally employed in Northern Ireland territory. They are being deprived of their unemployment benefit. The right hon. Gentleman was asked whether he was prepared to take action to secure a reciprocal agreement between the Government of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State with respect to unemployment insurance, in view of the fact that persons normally employed at the Belleek pottery works in Northern Ireland, but living in the Irish Free State, are now denied unemployment benefit, although they have been insured. The answer of the right hon. Gentleman was that this was a matter to be dealt with entirely by the Northern Ireland Government.
Now that the hon. Gentleman has developed his point it seems to me that the question of the legal construction of the powers of the respective Irish Governments can hardly be affected one way or the other by this Agreement. If the hon. Member thinks otherwise, there may be a further opportunity on the Third Reading to develop his argument, but it seems to me that this Agreement does not affect it one way or the other.
If we as an Imperial Parliament are voting this large sum of £1,250,000 to the Northern Ireland Parliament in order to help them to fulfil their obligations, surely we have some right to say that the Northern Ireland Parliament shall fulfil the obligations for that period for which we were responsible? These people are suffering an injustice, and if they cannot get justice from Northern Ireland they have a right to appeal here. My point was to draw attention to the fact that some people are suffering an injustice and that some representation should be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when this sum is voted, that the people who have paid for unemployment benefit should get it.
It would be quite beyond my jurisdiction to attempt to deal with that particular point. But at the same time, if the hon. Gentleman would put me in possession of any particulars he has on the subject, I think I can undertake to transmit them in, at any rate, a semi-official capacity to the Government of Northern Ireland, by whom no doubt they would be considered. More than that I do not think I ought to say, because I should be stepping outside the province of a Minister of this House, in regard to the details of this administration. I am perfectly justified in saying that on account of the Agreement which Sir James Craig has expressed in his letter we shall have a full opportunity of expressing the method under which relief is administered. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will therefore put himself into communication with me.
I thank the right hon. Gentleman. I have not the particulars, but other hon. Members have. I am interested simply because I am familiar with the district in which these people are.
One other word, and that is that I cannot allow one observation of the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) to pass without comment. He said that he was in favour of the amalgamation of the funds. He said that he thought the method we had taken was not the best method of dealing with an admitted difficulty, and that we had been influenced by old political associations or pre-War associations in taking this method. The amalgamation of the funds was what the Ulster Government and people would have liked. For that they were prepared to make great exertions and to undertake the deficiency. The reason we have adopted this scheme instead of that has been, not deference to political associations, but a desire as far as possible to safeguard the general financial interest of this country as long as it may be safe- guarded. That has been the sole motive. If we had followed the right hon. Gentleman's plan we should have gratified hon. Gentlemen from Ulster a great deal more than we are doing by this present method, and incidentally the cost of Ulster insurance would have been merged in the general borrowing powers of our very large Insurance Fund, and would not have emerged inconveniently for me in the present form of a charge on the Exchequer. Therefore, upon every ground, we have taken a spartan course, both in regard to the treatment of political supporters and in regard to making direct contributions from the Exchequer instead of allowing these matters to pass into general borrowing.
Let me explain what was in my mind. I had in mind the fact that the right hon. Gentleman was in this case making a grant, whereas, in the case of England in similar circumstances it is done by way of loan. There is certainly a special advantage given to Northern Ireland in receiving a grant on which no interest is paid, rather than a loan, on which interest would be paid, in the case of Great Britain.
But the draft on the General Fund which Ulster would make in the present year, if the funds were amalgamated, would be considerably larger than the grant which she will get under the present arrangement, and the rate at which Ulster would repay, over a long period of time, to the fund the extra grant which she will get during the bad years, would be so slow—it will work out at about 3 per cent.—that undoubtedly the present arrangement is less beneficial to Ulster than an amalgamation of the funds.
I understood from the White Paper and the Agreement between the Northern Ireland Parliament and the right hon. Gentleman, that the payments were to be made under the same conditions as payments made in our own country, and that the British Labour Minister had a right to supervise such payments. I wish to ask whether, in the event of circumstances arising such as have been pointed out by my hon. Friend, any Member of this House will have a right to make a statement to our own Labour Minister?
|Division No. 78.]||AYES.||[7.55 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gower, Sir Robert||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Albery Irving James||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Gretton, Colonel John||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Oakley, T.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.(Bristol, N.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Balniel, Lord||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Perring, Sir William George|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Harland, A.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Philipson, Mabel|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hartington, Marquess of||Pilcher, G.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Preston, William|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Haslam, Henry C.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hawke, John Anthony||Radford, E. A.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Raine, W.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hilton, Cecil||Remer, J. R.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Homan, C. W. J.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hudson, R.S. (Cumberl'and, Whiteh'n)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hurd, Percy A.||Sandon, Lord|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Christie, J. A.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Savery, S. S.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Jacob, A. E.||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jephcott, A. R.||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Cope, Major William||Lamb, J. Q.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Couper, J. B.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Smithers, Waldron|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Loder, J. de V.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Looker, Herbert William||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Lougher, L.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macintyre, Ian||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Elliot, Captain Walter E.||McLean, Major A.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Elveden, Viscount||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Templeton, W. P.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Malone, Major P. B||Tinne, J. A.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Fielden, E. B.||Margesson, Captain D.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Finburgh, S.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Forrest, W.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Wells, S. R.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Murchison, C. K.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Neville, R. J.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Womersley, W. J.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wise, Sir Fredric||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain Viscount Curzon.|
|Withers, John James||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Wragg, Herbert|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Scurr, John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Baker, Walter||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barr, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Batey, Joseph||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kelly, W. T.||Snell, Harry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenyon, Barnet||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lee, F||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J.R. (Aberavon)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Townend, A. E.|
|Duncan, C.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Montague, Frederick||Viant, S. P.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morris, R. H.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Naylor, T. E.||Warne, G. H.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Oliver, George Harold||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Greenall, T.||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Groves, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Windsor, Walter|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Potts, John S.||Wright, W.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Hardie, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Riley, Ben||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Rose, Frank H.|