Clause 1. — (Illegal Strikes.)

Orders of the Day — Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill. – in the House of Commons on 17th May 1927.

Alert me about debates like this

The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper in the name of The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

  • In page 1, line 6, in lieu of the word "having" left out, to insert the words "is illegal if it has."
  • Line 7, to leave out the word "besides," and to insert instead thereof the words "other than or in addition to."
  • Line 9, to leave out the words "is an illegal strike if it," and to insert instead thereof the word "and."

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The first Amendment in the name of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General is one of three which hang together, and they were originally put on the Paper as one. I think probably it would be for the convenience of the Committee if I allowed a discussion on the three Amendments as a whole, instead of trying to stick to the actual words of the first Amendment.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

I beg to move, in page 1, line 6, in lieu of the words last left out, to insert the words "is illegal if it has."

This Amendment is one which, in itself, I think, would hardly deserve more than a very few moments' consideration. The question would be whether it is more convenient to say "any strike having any object besides the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry is illegal "on one condition, or whether, as the Amendment proposes, to say "that any strike is illegal if it has such an object and is designed" etc. The reason for that alteration, which is only an alteration in language, is because some people both inside and outside the House hold the view that even a strike which had no object other than the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry might be illegal if it was designed or calculated to coerce the Government. That, of course, was not the effect of the language used, but we are very anxious, if we can, to make clear to everybody what this Bill exactly does, and therefore we are making this slight alteration in language, so that it may be clear beyond doubt that both conditions have to be fulfilled. Without discussing at length the alterations in Sub-section (1), it would perhaps, as you, Mr. Hope, have indicated, be convenient that I should point out what the alterations are in the Sub-section which the Government propose.

The Committee will remember that on the Second Reading criticism against this Clause was directed to four points. It was said, first of ail, that lock-outs were not included it was said, secondly, that the word "intimidate" was ambiguous; it was said, thirdly, that "a substantial portion of the community" was an ambiguous expression, and it was said, finally, that it was difficult to define what was a trade or industry. We have endeavoured by the alterations which we are making to deal with those points. First of all, we are proposing to introduce illegal lock-outs in language exactly similar to that used in regard to strikes; secondly, we are omitting the expression "intimidate"; and, thirdly, we are omitting the expression "a substantial portion." With regard to the words "the same trade or industry," we are satisfied that to define them would be unfair to the workmen, because any language used by way of definition would almost certainly exclude something which would necessarily in ordinary parlance seem to be included. But I think I might mention now, in order to make it clear once more—[Interruption]—I am glad that hon. Members recognise the aptness of that description—that a sympathetic strike is not of itself prohibited by this Bill. The Government are proposing to set down for to-morrow—it would have been on the Paper yesterday, but for the somewhat unusual course which was taken in the Debate, and for which we are not responsible—an Amendment which will make it clear that, without limiting the generality of the expression, it will include cases in which people are working for the same employer or work- ing under conditions of employment which are regulated by the same authority.

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

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman read it to us now?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

I certainly will, That is a reasonable suggestion. I do not want to discuss it now, I think it would be out of order.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It would be congruous to the Amendment put down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw).

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

The Amendment which I am asked to read—and I am not disposed to do more at the moment—would be in the following terms: Without prejudice to the generality of the expression trade or industry,' workmen shall for the purposes of the foregoing Sub-section be deemed to be within the same trade or industry if their wages or conditions of employment are determined in accordance with the conclusion of the same Joint Industrial Council, Conciliation Board, or other similar body, or in accordance with agreements made with the same employer or group of employers. That is being moved in order to ensure that it shall be within the actual terms of the expression "trade or industry" where the same Conciliation Board or Industrial Council regulates the wages or where the wages are regulated by an agreement made with the same employer or group of employers. It is necessary, as the Committee will appreciate, that I should put this not as a limiting definition, because in that case it would shut out cases which are obviously within the trade or industry, such, for example, as railwaymen whose wages are not controlled by the National Wages Board, or, to take another industry, it would cut out the coal industry, where wages are regulated by district agreements.

Mr. THOMAS:

That definition already rules out 300,000 men.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

My right hon. Friend has failed to observe that this is not a limiting definition. It begins with the expression Without prejudice to the generality of the expression. It is a definition which is intended to include some things which might possibly otherwise be held to be outside the language, although the Government did not intend them to be outside, and, although I do not myself think that the Court will construe them as being outside, it cannot exclude anything which without those words would be in, but it may include something which without those words might possibly be deemed to be outside. The Amendment with which we are now dealing is perhaps most conveniently seen as a whole if one looks at the Amendment with regard to lockouts which is on the Order Paper, because there the words are set out exactly as they will read, substituting the word "lock-out" for the word "strike." The Amendments which we propose will make the first Sub-section read as follows: It is hereby declared that any strike is illegal if it has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged and is a strike designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community; and it is further declared that it is illegal to commence or continue or to apply any sums in furtherance or support of any such illegal strike. The Committee will see that when these Amendments are carried, as I hope they will be, there will be two conditions which will have to be fulfilled before a strike can be declared to be illegal. The first is that it must have an object other than, or in addition to, the furtherance of a trade dispute within the industry, and, secondly, it must be designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community. That, in our view, simplifies the language used without, so far as we can judge, materially affecting the effect of the language used, and on those grounds I beg to move.

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

On a point of Order. You, Sir, said it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we could take a discussion on the first three Amendments, but the right hon. and learned Attorney-General has dealt with more than three Amendments. I would like to ask how many Amendments he is expounding to the Committee at this moment? The first three Amendments, I can understand, but they do not alter the Clause in the way that he has laid down, and I think we are entitled to know to how many Amendments this refers.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

There are, technically and literally, four Amendments. The first is the one I am about to put; the second is the one to leave out the word "besides," and to insert instead thereof the words" other than or in addition to." Then there is one simply to insert the word "and," which is purely a drafting Amendment, and there is one of considerable substance—to leave out from the word "Government" to the word "that" in line 12, and to insert instead thereof: either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community; and it is further declared. Those Amendments, I suggest, would make one coherent scheme, and had better be discussed together.

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

I think the Committee will agree with me that the Amendments which are here proposed, and, indeed, the Clause for which they are substituted, constitute the gist of the most important Clause in the Bill, and that on the examination of this Clause turns the whole of the value or the peril of this particular Measure. Therefore, we cannot be too critical or too careful how we deal with the Clause, because the criminal liability, the right of trade unionists to sue their trade union, the right of the Attorney-General to sue for an injunction, all turn upon the meaning of these particular words. Therefore, we have now reached the very gist and heart of the whole of this Bill. I draw the attention of the Committee to this fact, that the Attorney-General has told us in plain and unambiguous language that he does not intend to strike at the sympathetic strike under this Bill. Whether this Amendment achieves that aspiration, we shall see before we finish; but it is a. remarkable confession that, after refusing to accept the limiting words of the right hon. and learned Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), we should now be told that really what that right hon. and learned Gentleman sought to achieve is also the object of the Attorney-General. However, as has been said in another connection, we are not concerned here with the mind of the Attorney-General. We are concerned with the actual words on the Order Paper, and those words, in my opinion, make the matter definitely worse than they were in the original Clause, from the point of view of increasing the liability of strikers in sympathetic strikes.

Let me explain why I say that these words definitely increase the peril of the striker, and of the trade union who orders a strike. As the Attorney-General has quite properly said, this Bill, in order to produce illegality, requires two conditions. First of all, there has to be a dispute which is other than a dispute in the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged. That may take two forms. It may either be an industrial dispute, or a dispute which is not an industrial dispute within the meaning of the words "trade dispute." In addition to that, there are other words which have to satisfy the Clause. In the original Bill, the second condition was that you had to show, in order to get conviction or an injunction, that the strike was "designed or calculated to coerce the Government, or to intimidate the community." The phrase "designed or calculated to coerce the Government" still stands. What "calculated to coerce" means I do not know. "To coerce the Government" is a phrase common to the old Bill and the new Bill, and I should like to ask how any jury, face to face with an ordinary sympathetic strike, which, I agree, in itself would not be illegal, are going to decide whether that strike had or had not the intention, or was calculated, to coerce the Government?

The Bill speaks of an "object." Who is to declare the object? Is it the executive committee of the trade union? Is it the people who advocate the strike? Is it to be the strikers themselves? Is it to be the editor of a newspaper who writes on behalf of the strike? Who is to declare what is the object of the strike? Yet on that word "object" depends the whole criminality of the act, because it is only when the object is to coerce the Government that illegality arises. It is an impossible task to put upon Judge or jury to ascertain what the object is. Take the last general strike or general dispute, whichever you choose to call it, about which, I will say, the Attorney-General this afternoon, for the first time, has not delivered an address, some people say it was intended to over-set the commonwealth. Other people said it was done with the intention of helping the miners. As I understand, if the object were the former, it would be illegal under this Bill, but if the object were the latter, and it was a sympathetic strike, the object not being to coerce the Government, it would be a legal strike. On this very issue, the Prime Minister himself said the other night that that particular cesser of work was not designed to coerce the Government, although it might have had that result.

Now we come to the word "calculated," which, I suppose, means something different from "designed." It means, if anything, that men go out on strike with the design of assisting people in another industry, but do it in such a way as to make the Government afraid that they are committing an offence under this Bill. Is the timidity of the Government to be the criterion by which the criminality of the act is to be judged? If you had a strong-minded Government who stood out resolutely they could not be said to be coerced? If you had a weak and a timid Government, who allowed themselves to be coerced, as the present Government were by the coal-owners on the Eight Hours Bill, then it could be said it was "designed or calculated to coerce the Government." It is an increased peril, when we have a very weak Government in power, when so little is required to coerce them. But, leaving that aside, these were the words in the original Bill, with the addition of the words, "or to intimidate the community." I have criticised these words. I said they were uncertain words. I said I understood what was meant by the words "to intimidate an individual" but I did not understand what was meant by the words "to intimidate the community." It could not mean threatening violence. I said it must mean making the community feel that they were suffering a hardship. At that time, the Attorney-General disagreed with my definition of intimidation. He said it was wrong to say that to cause hardship to the community was a definition of intimidation. Whatever "intimidation" means, in my submission it means something much more violent, something very much more direct in application than the phrase "to cause hardship to the community." I cannot imagine anything more calculated to bring every sym- pathetic strike within its net than the phrase "to cause hardship to the community."

Every strike, every lock-out, every cessation of labour, of necessity, causes hardship to the community. We deplore the strike, we deplore the lock-out, and we deplore trade disputes, because they do cause hardship to the community, and, therefore, to talk of a strike which causes hardship to the community is no more than to include within that definition practically every strike and every lockout which could be conceived. It might be said that this does not talk simply of causing hardship to the community, and that it talks of coercing the Government by inflicting hardship upon the community. But my case is this—and I think every lawyer here will agree with me—that when we have a definition of two things, the first saying you can directly coerce the Government, and the second that you can indirectly coerce the Government by inflicting hardship upon the community, once you have established the fact of inflicting hardship upon the community, you have not to go on to say the Government are coerced. That follows from the fact that it inflicts hardship upon the community. I hope this point is not too technical, but it is very vital to the Bill. The fact is, that granted the railwaymen strike in support of an industrial dispute of miners, and the Attorney-General or any prosecution can show that the effect of the cessation of labour by the railwaymen will inflict hardship on the community, then you have got two elements which constitute a crime under this Clause, because inflicting hardship upon the community will be said, of necessity, to tend to coerce the Government. The Bill draws that clear distinction, because, in the first place, it talks of directly coercing the Government. Either you coerce the Government or you, do not. But when it talks of coercing the Government indirectly by inflicting hardship on the community, it makes the test whether the community has hardship inflicted on it or not, and that is the sole question we have to consider.

It is not for me to inquire into motives and intentions. Certainly the Government, as many supporters in the Press have said, have laid themselves open to the suspicion of deliberate obscurantism on this point. Whatever their methods may be, this Amendment definitely and decisively makes criminal every sympathetic strike which has the effect of inflicting hardship upon the community, and, so far from easing the situation from the point of view of the trade unions, from my point of view, speaking with every responsibility, a Bill which says given (a) a sympathetic strike, and (b) indirect coercion of the Government by inflicting hardship on the community—putting these two together, in every sympathetic strike of any dimensions at all, you have a sufficient number of facts proved to establish the illegality and criminality of that strike. Therefore, without boasting, and with some little knowledge of the subject matter we are discussing, I say that in my opinion, these Amendments as they are now moved by the Attorney-General will put every sympathetic strike of any dimensions at all in jeopardy, and that must be the effect of the Bill.

We were told that the Government had spent six months in the consideration of this Bill—a very considerable period of gestation. And what is the child that has been produced? At the end of six months they have produced a Bill which is so badly drafted that the Government themselves have to withdraw all the cardinal points of the first Clause, and insert an entirely different set of words. What can we think of the responsibility of Ministers who, dealing with a, Bill which affects the whole industrial life of this country, are so incompetent to express their own views in proper language that they now come down to the House, on the third or fourth day of the Committee stage of this Bill, and confess that their particular proposals were quite inapt to produce the result which they desire? It reminds me of another legal gentleman, the policeman in the "Bab Ballads," who lost his way, and the Committee will remember what was said of him by the late W. S. Gilbert: A haughty boy, too proud to ask,Upon his way resolved;And in the progress of his task,Grew more and more involved. That seems to me to be an exact description of the present position of the Attorney-General: Too proud to ask,Upon his way resolved;And in the progress of his task,Grew more and more involved. Where is it going to end? I do not want to discuss, and I should be out of order in discussing, the new Amendment which the Attorney-General very kindly read over to me, but obviously it does not meet the point that I am making. We shall have something to say about it when we see it, but at most it only deals with an extended definition of "trade or industry." The vital question whether in fact this Measure as at present drawn does not make every sympathetic strike, if not illegal, in great peril of being illegal, is untouched by the present Amendment of the Attorney-General. Therefore, we find ourselves now, at long last, face to face with this situation, that the Government, after consideration, after Amendments, produce a Bill the effect of which is undoubtedly to make sympathetic strikes illegal. That is a very serious consideration for the House of Commons and for the country. The consequences are drastic enough. We have the criminality of the organisers and the instigators of the strike in their relentless attack upon the servile State, which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends sought first to introduce into this Bill by making every striker a criminal. I understand that now, under the pressure of public opinion and of opinion in this House on both sides, they proposed to meet that, and have now surrendered. I will not go into that now; it does not arise particularly on this point but we are left over with the criminality of the persons who instigate, declare or take part in a strike; we are left over with the liability of their funds to be sequestrated or held by some garnishee procedure or by means of an injunction; we are left over with the liability of the trade union to be sued by any recalcitrant member, apparently to the full extent of its assets. All these things are going to arise, if I am right, in every case where a sympathetic strike results on any large scale which may be calculated to inflict hardship upon the community.

Finally, this is now to extend to the lock-out. I wonder if the Attorney-General has really given consideration to this question of the lock-out. It is not my business here to plead the cause of the employer; there are other Members more competent to do that than I am; but I am entitled to point out that great confusion will arise on the application of the definition of a lock-out, for, if I am right, if a sympathetic lock-out is once shown to inflict hardship upon the community, it will be just as criminal as a sympathetic strike. What is going to happen to an employer who finds that part of his works has to be closed down because men are either locked out or have gone on strike in other parts, and then it is discovered that, through the commodity being withheld from the public, an attempt is being made to coerce them indirectly by hardship, I hesitate to think. I appeal to the Government, now that they have made three attempts, to give over this form of false Socialism. I call it false Socialism because it is introducing the State into industry—not the beneficent State, but the policeman and the Judge.

In a sense, I suppose, it might be said to be a kind of Socialism if everyone were in prison, because then the community would be keeping everyone, but that is not the sort of Socialism that we care for on these benches. Let us get back, if we may, to the old idea of individual contract. Let people make such agreements as they will; let men give notice to their employers when they want to leave their work; let employers give notice to their men when they find that there is no work going; and leave these things as they are. If there be any other way to do it, this is not the way. I appeal to the Attorney-General to stay his reckless and revolutionary hand. He and his friends are throwing dust into the industrial machine. We know that the Government have been coerced into this Amendment and into this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) told us so. The Government have been directly and indirectly coerced by Conservative Associations to produce this monstrosity. Nevertheless, in spite of that fact, we do ask the Attorney-General to realise that, just as he has abandoned his first draft, so his second is not a whit better, and, if anything, he is more confused that he was. He has now got to the point where we wish to give him every credit for sincerity—[Interruption]. We give credit, but the credit is sometimes overdrawn.

We have pointed out the increased peril in which even now the sympathetic strike lies under this Bill. If the Attorney-General is really sincere, and I assume he is, in saying that he does not want to touch the sympathetic strike, if he agrees with me that every strike which indirectly coerces the Government by inflicting hardship on the community is in peril, surely he must see that such a definition is going to do nothing but extend the definition of an illegal strike miles beyond a general strike. A speech which I read the other day, delivered. I think, by the Minister of Health, went, I thought, far beyond a general strike, and, therefore, these gentlemen, the Government, are speaking with many voices. Surely, a matter of such moment, whether we are merely to reinforce, as I should think, the existing law against seditious conspiracy on the one hand, or, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) thinks, to re-enact it in declaratory terms, or whether, on the other hand, we are to introduce a Bill which is to make sympathetic strikes illegal or perilous, is a matter on which even now we are entitled to a definite decision from the Government. One thing is clear beyond anything, and that is that these words here, whatever their intention, make the position more perilous and more dangerous than it was in the original draft. The distinction is simply this, that it is more perilous and more dangerous to be accused of inflicting hardship upon the community than merely to be accused of intimidation because intimidation, whatever it may mean, is a comparatively confined, ascertainable, and limited thing, whereas inflicting hardship on the community is of the essence of any strike. I say that the Attorney-General has come here with an Amendment which makes the position definitely and decisively worse, both for the workman and now, under the new dispensation, for the employer.

With regard to the words "substantial portion of the community," I attach no importance whatever to that safeguard, and for this reason. "Community" is a collective word, but it is also a collective word which is capable of being aggregated, if I may use the expression. You may have a community, say, in Birmingham, in Leamington, or in London, and any of those is not any portion of the community; it is the community, just as much as the whole Commonwealth is the community. To cut off all the electric light, for example, in one town, is to imperil the community, and the expression is so used in the Emergency Powers Act when it speaks of threatening the community with loss and hardship. It does not mean that you have to show that every one of the 40,000,000 persons in this island is intimidated or coerced. If you show that any substantial portion is coerced, that is the community.

Surely, the Attorney-General is not going to ask us to believe that, because he is taking out the words "substantial portion," you cannot have a criminal act under this Bill unless you show that the whole community are coerced? That must, obviously, be too great a tax upon our credulity. If London is to be deprived of food, if Manchester, Leeds, or any other large centre is to be deprived of food, hardship is just as much inflicted upon them whether they are called "the community" or "a substantial part of the community." Therefore, the omission of these words does not help in the least. To summarise, we are now in more deadly peril, in my opinion, than was the case under the original Bill. Hardship, which is the essence of every strike, is now made the test of illegality. Therefore the Attorney-General, whatever his intentions, however laudable his desire, has definitely and openly come down this afternoon and has said in this new Amendment, to which I suppose he proposes to adhere, that he is going to put every sympathetic strike which inflicts hardship in peril and danger, and on that we are asked to vote. I hope even now, despite the coercion and intimidation which is imposed on hon. Members who sit on the back benches opposite, that, without fear of ridicule or contempt, they will get up and tell the Attorney-General that he has tried twice, that his second attempt is no better than his first, and that all they can advise him to do is to try again.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

I have already occupied the time of the Committee more than most Members, and will only delay them a very few minutes. I think it has become quite obvious that, although the Government are, I believe quite honestly, trying to improve the language of this Clause, it is still a very serious question whether it is in satisfactory shape. I do not take the view of the hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) that the Government by their alterations have simply been making matters worse. That seems to me, with great respect, to be merely rhetorical exaggeration. I certainly do think, however, that, although the Government have been searching, I am sure, for a proper form of words, it is very doubtful indeed whether they have found them. When I read that the Government have been organising a raid on a certain institution connected with Russia because they were searching for a document, I wondered what the document was, and I was almost disposed to suspect that what they were looking for, and, unfortunately, have not discovered, was a definition of a general strike.

Photo of Mr John Simon Mr John Simon , Spen Valley

They say they are quite sure it was at one time on the premises, but it is not there now. I do not know how that may be. The fair view, I think, is this—at least, it is the view that appeals to me. I think it is true that the Government have improved their Clause by striking out the phrase about intimidating the community. I think it is true, though it is not so important, that they have improved the Clause by getting rid of the phrase "a substantial portion of the community." There was force in what the hon. and learned Member for South-East Leeds said just now, because, of course, the community may very well mean only a portion of the population. Community singing, at any rate at present, is not necessarily a performance at the same time of nearly 50,000,000 people. It is better to get rid of phrases like "substantial portion of the community." It is obviously well, also, to have got rid of that difficult phrase which contained the preposition "besides." In all of these ways the Government Clause is an improvement. But I must say I have grave doubts as to whether bringing in the phrase about inflicting hardship on the community is not bringing in a phrase which is calculated—I do not say designed—to make a great many people, who are trying to understand what the Government are after, feel grave doubts about it.

The whole object of this Clause, if it is going to be put on the Statute Book, is, if it can be done, to lay down a plain rule. I ventured the other day to indicate, and I think my hon. Friends rather agreed with me, the sort of phrase that I should have thought was preferable. The Government did not think fit, at any rate then, to accept it, but I am beginning to suspect that in all this changing of the Clause there is something more than a mere examination of alternative phrases. One wants to get back to an issue which is bigger than the mere issue of phrase, and, as it seems to me, the issue is this: What is the real intention of the Government in reference to a widespread industrial disturbance of this class, a disturbance which has for its object the improvement of the lot of a section of organised labour, but a disturbance leading to a strike in which other allied and friendly organisations are disposed to give their sympathetic aid, still purely for the purpose of assisting in the improvement of the conditions of life of those who first struck? [Interruption.] This is a real point, and I do not think hon. Members above the Gangway are assisting any cause if they try to use every occasion for the purpose of raising purely controversial matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "What did you do last year?"] The country will be able to judge in what part of the House the most honest help is being given. It does seem to me that we have before us a real question which is not a question of words, but a question of substance and intention. If the intention of the Government by this Clause was to prevent a sympathetic strike in the sense of a strike which extends beyond the organisation whose members are immediately and personally interested, and none the less keeps from first to last its purely industrial character, then it is not what some of us mean when we speak of making a declaration of the law against general strikes at all. On the other hand, it is useless to pretend that you can, and you may so cut down and limit a Clause of this sort until it has no meaning left. If the Attorney-General can produce a form of words which makes a clear declaration of policy which the country is quite willing to accept, while not impinging upon the undoubted right of combination, although in sympathy one with another, well and good. There is not so much doubt about phrases as there is about the particular abject which the Government have in view when they propose a Clause of this kind.

Mr. THOMAS:

May I ask a simple question which has an important bearing on the point we are discussing. I do so now because I see that the Minister of Health is present, and he made a certain statement at Swansea, on Friday night, to which I wish to call attention. The statement made by the Minister of Health was this: If the miners were on strike for a legitimate trade object nothing in this Bill would affect them. He then went on to say: If the railwaymen came out in sympathy with the miners in order to help the miners and coerce the Government, that, would be illegal. We have just heard the Attorney-General explain the meaning of these words, which he says rule out the sympathetic strike. He says now that there is no intention of ruling out the sympathetic strike. I want to ask this simple question. Suppose the miners' trade dispute is to reduce the hours from eight hours to seven hours, and the railwaymen in an industrial dispute come out sympathetically with them. I want to know if the words which have now been proposed, and which will be included in the Bill if it becomes law, make that act of the railwaymen legal or illegal?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

I think it will be convenient if I answer that question at once. I will give the answer, and I hope it will be accepted. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby has just quoted the statement of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, which I accept as being an accurate statement, and which, I gather, is accepted as being accurate by the Minister of Health. If the miners came out on strike for a legitimate trade object that would not be interfered with by the Bill, but if the railwaymen came out to help the miners, and to coerce the Government, it would be illegal. I agree that would be illegal. Perhaps I may just develop the point. If in any industrial dispute some other persons, who are not in the trade or industry, were to come out in sympathy, if the object and effect and the necessary result of their coming out would be merely to put pressure on the employers, that would not be hit by this Bill. But if another trade came out which was not concerned directly with the dispute, and was not in the same trade or industry, and which came out with the object and the necessary result not of putting pressure merely on the employers but of coercing the Government to intervene, that would be illegal under the Bill. I think that is clear.

Mr. THOMAS:

That is exactly what I want. I understand that in any legitimate dispute, where the remedying of the grievance rests alone with the Government, that is illegal.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

I do not accept that statement.

Photo of Mr John Clynes Mr John Clynes , Manchester Platting

May I raise another aspect of this question. Would the Attorney-General say that in the event of the miners ceasing work in order to get their hours of labour reduced from 8 or 7½ to 7, that act on the part of the miners would be construed by the Government as an act of coercion and as an act of hardship upon the community?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

No, Sir, that question would not arise. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] For this reason, that if the miners struck in order to reduce their hours of labour that would be a strike in furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry, and they would be endeavouring to insist that their conditions of labour should be improved. That is not interfered with by the Bill, either in its original form or with the Amendments we are proposing to insert. I have stated this point before, and it is that in order to make a strike illegal under this Bill two conditions have to be satisfied. The first is that there is an object other than and in addition to a trade dispute in the trade or industry. The second condition is that the strike must be designed or calculated to coerce the Government. Unless both those conditions are fulfilled that strike is not illegal, and in the case put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting, the strike does not satisfy the first condition because it is a strike in furtherance of a trade dispute, namely, a dispute as to conditions of labour, and therefore it does not matter whether it satis- fies the second condition or not, because unless it satisfies both conditions it is not illegal. I am sorry if I have not succeeded in making that point clear before, but that is what I have been trying very hard to make clear, and I am sure that is the effect of the words which I have proposed.

Photo of Mr John Clynes Mr John Clynes , Manchester Platting

That is a lengthy, but I do not regard it as an adequate answer to my question. Must we not assume that in the event of the mineowners being unwilling to agree to a reduction in the working hours of the men that can only take place by a change in the Act of Parliament—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—assuming that the miners cease work to have their hours reduced from eight to seven and a-half, would that be regarded as an attempt on the part of the miners to coerce the Government to reduce their hours of labour by law?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

No, Sir. I think the right hon. Gentleman has stated quite accurately how the problem will arise. He says the miners in the case he puts desire to work less hours than the maximum they can work legally. Accordingly they come to the owners and say, "We desire to work only for seven or six and a-half hours," and the owners refuse. Thereupon there has arisen between the employers and the workmen a dispute as to the conditions of labour, and the miners strike in order to further that trade dispute, and in order to ensure that the mineowners shall employ them for only seven hours. The fact that in effect the mineowners are unwilling to do it so long as the Act of Parliament remains does not make the strike illegal, but it is still a strike in furtherance of a trade dispute.

The only position in which such a case could arise and in which the question of coercion would become relevant would be if the miners were to say, "We do not care for what hours the mineowners are willing to employ us. We do not care whether they are willing to employ us six hours, seven hours, or any other figure which we are willing to accept. We are not going to work unless we get the Eight Hours Act repealed." If they were to say that, "Although the mineowners are willing to employ us for seven hours, we are going to strike because the Government will not pass a particular Act of Parliament," that would be an attempt to coerce the Government, and that would be an attempt not to further a trade dispute, because there would be no trade dispute, but to coerce the Government. It is inconceivable that that position could ever arise, because the moment the miners found they were able to get all they desired, there would be no need for a strike because the parties would be agreed. I hope this explanation has made the point clear.

Mr. THOMAS:

I think it will be agreed that we are now getting right to the importance of the whole thing. I want to follow up what my hon. Friend the Member for Platting has said in his question. I understand that the answer of the Attorney-General is that if the miners themselves were engaged in a dispute for a reduction of hours, never mind whether it involves legislation or not, that would be a trade dispute and would not be illegal under this Bill. I understand that is the substance of the Attorney-General's reply. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] Then I think I had better repeat my question. I gather the answer the Attorney-General has just given is that if the miners are engaged in a trade dispute, the object of which is to reduce working hours that is a legitimate trade dispute and is not affected in any way by this Bill.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL indicated assent.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. THOMAS:

Then apparently we are agreed upon that. Suppose the miners have engaged in this legitimate trade dispute. The railwaymen and the other transport workers feel that it is their duty to go to their help, and they withdraw their labour in support of the miners' dispute, and in doing so, in the words of the Clause, they "inflict hardship upon the community." I want to ask a simple specific question. Will the action of the transport workers or the railwaymen or any other body of men, under the precise circumstances which I have mentioned, be a legal or an illegal action?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

That is a plain question to which I can give quite a plain answer. The strike of the transport workers or the railwaymen, in the case which has been put to me, could obviously not be a strike to put pressure upon the employers or the miners. It could only be a strike which was designed to put pressure upon the Government to compel them to act. [interruption.] That, in my view, would be illegal and illegitimate either by this Bill or independent of this Bill.

Mr. THOMAS:

So that any Minister or hon. Member of this House who makes a Statement that this Bill does not interfere with the sympathetic strike does not know the truth?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

That is quite wrong, for this reason, that some sympathetic strikes are not affected by this Bill; some are. The question whether or not a sympathetic strike is affected by this Bill depends upon two perfectly simple questions: First, is the strike in the trade or industry which is concerned—because there can be a sympathetic strike within a particular industry? If it is within the industry, then it is not touched by the Bill. Secondly, assuming that it is not within the trade or industry, then is it a strike which is aimed, by its natural and necessary consequences, at the employer or the Government? If it be aimed at the employer, then it is not touched by the Bill, but it be aimed at the Government, it is.

Photo of Mr Richard Wallhead Mr Richard Wallhead , Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr

If there were a general strike of the miners under the conditions which have been discussed for the purpose of enforcing a reduction of hours, then there could not be under the Bill a sympathetic strike in their aid?

HON. MEMBERS:

Answer!

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

It would depend entirely upon who the sympathetic strikers were. If they were persons the effect of whose strikes would be to bring pressure upon the mineowners, then it would be perfectly legal. If, on the other hand, they were persons who, by their strikes, could not bring pressure upon the mineowners but were only attempting to coerce the Government, then it would be illegal.

Photo of Mr Walter Greaves-Lord Mr Walter Greaves-Lord , Lambeth Norwood

After the wild statements which we have heard from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South-East Leeds (.Sir H. Slesser) and the rather more subtle statements which we have heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) inside of this House and outside of it, I think there are some considerations to which we should try to come back. Taking the Clause as it is, there are at least two types of sympathetic strikes; one which is clearly a sympathetic strike, designed simply and solely to perfect the conditions in the original strike, and another which has nothing to do with the conditions of the original strike but is designed to try to bring into the original dispute outside pressure of a totally different character. If one may give an illustration of the first, take a strike in an industry producing a particular article. The employers in that industry feeling the pressure of the strike and realising that their business would be entirely ruined if it goes on, choose to make attempts to import that which they ordinarily produce in order to keep their business alive. You might then get men in other industries who would say, "If that kind of thing goes on, this strike will be broken. Effective pressure will not be brought upon these particular employers, and, in these circumstances, we will refuse to handle these imported articles, or we will refuse to work if our employers buy these imported articles and allow these employers to continue their business." In these circumstances, you would get a sympathetic strike which was designed purely and simply for the purpose of perfecting arrangements brought about by the strike. That, as I understand it, would not be touched in the slightest degree by this Bill. In these circumstances, a purely sympathetic strike, which is designed, not for the purpose of bringing any outside pressure but simply and solely to make a strike which is going on an effective strike, is not struck at by this Bill, although one realises that in all these cases great hardship would be caused to the community.

On the other hand, one could imagine a totally different kind of strike. Suppose you have a strike in an engineering shop and suppose that, because that strike would not come to a termination, the bakers of the community said: "If we can only deprive the community of bread, we shall be able to arouse sufficient feeling to put pressure on the Government to bring in legislation to terminate that strike. In these circumstances we, the bakers, although we have no concern in the engineering industry at all, will cease to bake bread altogether." Then you would get something which, while it would be a sympathetic strike, would be, in fact, purely an attempt to coerce the Government to take action. If one uses that illustration with regard to the dispute of last year, you get a clear illustration from the meeting which took place at the Memorial Hall in London on the Saturday afternoon before the general strike started. If you read the report of that meeting, you will find that the orders which purported to be given, I think, by Mr. Ernest Bevan, were that the general strike should start first in one section of the industries of the country, and then, as the General Council of the Trade Union Congress saw fit, it should be extended from industry to industry until such a time as they had brought about, by a gradual process, a complete paralysis of all the industries of the country. That was clearly directed to one purpose and one purpose only, to bring ordered Government and ordered industry to an end, and to compel the Government to intervene. In these circumstances you have a clear illustration of a strike which, while it was paraded as a sympathetic strike, was designed to put pressure upon the Government.

If one may take an illustration of the language which is used by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby I would refer to a report which appeared in the "Daily Herald" on Monday. He first of all used the illustration which he has used to-day of the strike for the purpose of reducing hours of labour in the coal mines. He then founded a statement that such a sympathetic strike to help them would be illegal upon the suggestion that legislation would be absolutely necessary to reduce the hours which are worked in the coal trade. He said: "There you are. You get an illegal strike merely because you are trying to reduce the hours." He forgot, however, that the present position is that any hours may be worked in the mines, as long as they do not exceed eight, and that, in these circumstances, an agreement could be come to and an ordinary industrial strike could bring about that state of affairs if the employers gave way to the pressure of the industrial strike. A further point is that, if the position was that the sympathy of the railwaymen was invoked, no for the purpose of bringing about agreement but to compel the Government to bring in legislation which made it illegal to work for more than seven hours, that would be a totally different thing and would be clearly a political strike. But the right hon. Gentleman went on to say—if the report was right, and I am assuming it is right when it appeared in the "Daily Herald"—that if you had a strike in the railway industry for the purpose of compelling an alteration by Parliament of the Railway Regulations Bill, that would be illegal, and he suggested that that would be a very bad thing. Surely that is entirely on all fours with the illustration which he gave in this Houser a few days ago. He gave an illustration of a strike to compel legislation, and he said that that would be a seditious conspiracy, because it would be trying to get by means of a strike that which you could only get by legislation in Imperial Parliament. Then he goes to the country to address members of his own industry and he suggests to them that it is wrong to prohibit or make illegal a strike which has for its object one sole idea, that of changing the legislation of this country. In those circumstances he is saying one thing in this House and another thing in the country.

Mr. THOMAS:

I never join issue with anyone who corrects me or accurately reports what I have said. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not hear the speech, and he could not have read it accurately, and he certainly was not in the House when I made the statement. I will repeat for his benefit now the statement which I repeated at the public meeting. What I said in this House was that if, next week or some other time, any body of leaders said, "We will advise and organise a general strike to take place at any given date in order to supersede this Government," that, in my view, would be illegal under the existing law. That is what I said in this House. What I said at Newport is an entirely different thing, namely, that if the railwaymen, in order to get protection for their own lives by legislation, felt it was necessary to strike, that would be legal. You have just admitted it.

Photo of Mr Walter Greaves-Lord Mr Walter Greaves-Lord , Lambeth Norwood

The right hon. Gentleman has quite unwittingly proved my contention. The responsibility of the Government of the day—whatever Government it may be—is to the electors of this country and to their declared will as expressed in a general election. [Interruption.] When the right hon. Gentleman says that a strike to supersede the Government would be a seditious conspiracy he is condemning the very thing which he was trying to support in his speech. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"]

Mr. THOMAS:

Not at all!

Photo of Mr Walter Greaves-Lord Mr Walter Greaves-Lord , Lambeth Norwood

I withdraw nothing, for this reason. The right hon. Gentleman now says that it is quite wrong that you should make illegal a strike which has for its object the forcing of legislation upon this House or upon the Government of the day. If you are to make the Government of the day bring in legislation and force this House to pass it by the tyranny of a general strike, or any other type of strike, you are superseding free government by the electors of this country by something which is known purely and simply to revolutionary law. In those circumstances I venture to say that I was right when I said a few moments ago that the right hon. Gentleman had said one thing in this House and another thing in the country. [Interruption.] He has disguised it, it is true, but do not let it go forth that Members of the Opposition can try, by giving a different illustration, to produce one effect in the country and another when they know they will be met by argument in this House. If one may venture a humble opinion, this Clause, as it will be amended, strikes at no sympathetic strike which is purely industrial, but it does make illegal any strike which tries to put in the place of the Imperial Parliament an authority which is not responsible to the people of this country.

Photo of Mr Harry Gosling Mr Harry Gosling , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

It seems to me that the desire of the House is to find the right kind of words to do something which I, personally, do not wish them to do. After long experience I find that the best way of dealing with the matters which hon. Members opposite seem to me concerned about is by letting the people affected settle them for themselves. For many years now organisations on both sides have been steadily built up with that object. I am old enough to remember when parts of some of the big organisations now represented in this House were little odds and ends of unions, all at each others' throats, and strikes were an everyday occurrence, and were all aimed in different directions. An organisation of 1,000 or 2,000 men started to achieve something, and without consultation with any of the other people who were affected. Their action often resulted in putting those other people out of employment. As our people have become educated and have had the advantage of understanding these things they have said, "This kind of thing won't do," and they have banded themselves together in larger organisation. The employers have been doing the same thing. The two sets of organisations have grown up until we have reached the stage where, although we are expressing objection to compulsory arbitration, we are day by day getting nearer and nearer to something of that kind; but the weapon that enables all that conciliatory work to be done is the sympathetic strike—if we fail to do it.

I do not for a moment disguise the fact that with the existence of these bigger organisations, if things do come to a strike, the strike is a very much bigger one that it otherwise would have been; but 90 times out of 100, or even a higher percentage than that, we are able to avoid the strike that we were ready to undertake as the final act—simply because those engaged know they can have the strike if they want it. That is the case also with employers and the lock-out. As regards the sympathetic lock-out by employers, there are hardly any employers worth speaking of in any industry who are not so interlocked with other employers that every action they take will be sympathetic action. Some of the cartoons which have been published lately have shown where the interest of those employers begin, I was going to say, but I think, rather, they show that it never ends, for their operations not only concern this country but extend into other countries. So from that point of view it seems to me the greatest risk the Government are running is of smashing up all the machinery which we have been organising for many years, doing this, I was going to say, at the instigation of the Government, certainly with their help in some cases, and with the help of the Ministry of Labour. I should like to know the opinion of the Ministry of Labour about this Bill, because if their work is to go on on the same lines it ought not to be hampered in this way.

Let me put one or two other points. In my younger days a very terrible state of things existed at the dock gates of which some hon. Members opposite know something; some of them have written about it. There was a scramble to get a living; the tearing of clothes off each others' backs in the effort to get in front; men climbing over other men's shoulders in order that the foreman. might see them—and all that kind of thing. That has nearly all gone now. There has been a tremendous change, and this change has come about because the workers' organisation have been gradually getting together and becoming a more important body. We have been enabled to achieve much by amalgamation and co-operation. We are, to some extent with the aid of the Government, trying to introduce a form of maintenance to prevent men suffering the full effects of unemployment, and we are also, in order to prevent the state of things which I have just described, introducing and solidifying a system of registration of labour.

But it was not even possible to talk about this until we had amalgamated, because when we went to the employer at Southampton he said, "I cannot help you, look at the competition of London," and when we went to Liverpool, the employer said, "I cannot help you, look at the competition of Manchester." So we said, "We must have a national agreement," and we have got it, and now they are all tarred with the same brush; but we have only got all these things—and this is the point to remember—by running the risk that if we did not succeed in negotiations we should at the finish be in a sympathetic strike. If it is to be said that a sympathetic strike is now to be made illegal, I am not going to say that we are going to sit down and say we are beaten. We shall find a way out, but the way out we shall have to find will not be, I believe, in the interest of the State. It will be a very sorry day if we have to go back to the individual action of unions according to their own power to resist. What we have been doing for some time is taking into account the responsibility towards the bottom dog of the men with the mighty power of action and bringing in the bottom dog along with them. In that way we have raised the position of the dock labourers—by conciliation and arbitration, in the main, but always with the risk of the strike, and always with the power and the right to strike if necessary. In that way the position of the men has been improved until they would not be recognised as the same men as I first remember them.

Let us consider for a moment the awful state of things which existed on the canals of this country, where the men were helpless and hopeless until we began to pull them into the big organisations, until we began to teach them that the highly-trained and skilled men with better wages and better conditions were their comrades, and in organisation with them for the purpose of lifting them up. We begin by saying all the children in canal boats should have an opportunity of going to school. Is that an industrial or a political matter? Most of all, is it a proper matter? We begin with the employers, and the employers we begin with know that we are a mighty force, that the organisation I am speaking of is one of 400,000 members and that they are at the disposal of every one of those little children in those canal boats, and they are there to help to get them out of those boats and to get them to school, and to get their mothers out of those cabins. Some two or three years ago we had a very long stoppage because we were unable to maintain the wages we thought the men ought not to go below, and I went along the canal bank one Sunday afternoon and found the children playing and a woman leaning over the side of the boat and, guessing I was a friend or I should not be there, she said: "Do you know this is the first time in my life I have seen so many canal children playing together at one time? "That was because there was a strike and they were all in one spot. When I went to one of the children, they said to me, knowing who I was: "Is the strike over? "I said, "No, why?" They said, "Because we do not want it to be." They were going to school, because the local authorities had compelled them to go while the strike was on.

There is a great work going on with the trade unions. I do not pretend that it is perfect. Now and again we misfire and we get perhaps an unofficial strike. This is going to break it up, as certain as I am here. I do not make threats, but you are not going to get us to work all the way up to the top in keeping this machinery going and then when we are bound to strike, because we cannot help ourselves, we are going to be told that is illegal. We must begin a different way altogether, and do not think we have not brains enough in our heads to think out some other way. I have been thinking, as I have been sitting here. I wonder how many lawyers there are in the House who, as a matter of professional business, would be willing to argue against anything that has been said. Look at the plight we are in if we are never going to know where we stand and what is going to happen. It is not because we are afraid of going to prison. If you take me to prison you will have to put me in the infirmary, and I shall be quite comfortable there. What we want to do is what is best in the interests of the State. I am saying that quite sincerely, and our organisations have been built up for the purpose of doing that. It is a great thing to be able to say you are speaking for 400,000 organised men, not one of them in a dispute that is not being dealt with by machinery which has been set up for the purpose. It is a very big thing to say those 400,000 men have got 200 agreements in existence at this moment and not one of them can be broken by either side unless you go through a certain amount of machinery.

Take the politicians who are on the employers' side. The employers who are not politicians do not want you to interfere. They are quite content to meet us and they are strong enough to do it, and we do not want interference from anyone else. We are able to look after ourselves. That is what the employers would tell you if you went to them. Of course there must be a risk, but if you want to separate political from industrial action you are at least 50 years too late. What we do now has got some of each in it, each of it being wanted to help the other. In the organisation I am speaking of—and there are other big organisations that can say the same—we regard every action that we take that means life saving and health giving to our members as a benefit. We regard spending a great deal of time in the Committee Rooms here and framing regulations and things of that kind as being the real work of the trade unions, industrially and politically. When we see an injustice done to a comparatively small group of people and we bring our powers to their aid, helping them in every way we can by conciliation, and in many cases by arbitration, and when we get to a point that a strike comes you say it is a sympathetic strike which is illegal because they do not work for the same employers. They do not work for the same employers in the sense that we know the employer by the name over the shop or anything of that kind, but they work for the same employers if you get the diagrams and have a look at them. I have gone right through a small union up through federation, which we found was not sufficient, until we got to one union. Just as we have been doing that the employers have been doing the same kind of thing, but rather in a different way, in that they do not disclose, as we have done, that they are all together in one great organisation. They go under separate names. The proper thing to do in this case is not to try to amend but to get at the root of the whole thing You will have to leave it to us at the finish. The employers and the workmen can stand together, just as they do against each other, and if you come interfering with what we are doing now, we have got these big organisations and you will find you will not be able to function. You would do very much better to leave it to us and let us get on with the very good work that is being done. For all these reasons I am against the Amendment.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

We all recognise, in whichever part of the House we sit, the great work the right hon. Gentleman has done for the union of which he is at the head, and we also realise that if all the trade union leaders in a responsible position had adopted the line he has always adopted, there would be no reason for this Bill. One point he mentioned is of tremendous importance. Some of my friends and myself have put down an Amendment. I do not say the wording is perfect, it is far from it, but if lawyers cannot find proper words how should a poor layman? At any rate I hope the Government will between now and Report consider if some words cannot be put into the Bill which will encourage the machinery of conciliation. My association with industry is not very great but, such as it is, I know that in the railway industry it would be almost impossible to carry on unless the management on the one hand and the unions on the other were able to get together, and both sides recognise the enormous benefit which has resulted from the conciliation machinery set up by Statute in the 1921 Act. Those of us who were on that Committee will remember the speeches made by the representatives of the Labour party in which they said they recognised fully that the time had come when statutory effect should be given to conciliation machinery so as to enable these matters to be considered in proper form and after proper discussion by bodies mutually agreed upon by both sides. The experience of the working of that machinery has been entirely satisfactory, and I believe the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) and the hon. Member behind him who has played a large part in these matters, will agree that without that machinery there would undoubtedly have been sectional disputes which might have led to a very serious national danger.

But there is this one point which has not been faced, and could not be faced very well by hon. Members opposite. It seems to me that the time is coming, if it has not already come, when we shall have to recognise, whether we like it or not, that it is absurd to compare the labour done by a man in an essential industry, like railways, or the supply of gas, electricity or water, with that of another man who is equally a member of a union, who makes shirts or even boots. They might cease their labour, and it would not inflict real hardship upon the community, and some of us feel that the people in those industries who, if they exercise their legitimate right to strike, must inflict inconvenience, if not hardship, upon the communty shall know exactly where they are and, still more important to my mind, when the hotheads, who are in a minority in the labour movement, come along bombarding the responsible leaders of labour in those essential services to come out to assist them, they can say, "How can we come out? We have nothing to come out about." Our machinery is such that it must go to conciliation, and therefore in that case it is a deterrent to hasty action and the other things that this Bill is aiming to prevent. I know full well that the words we have put down later on on the Paper are not perfect, but I believe that it is the wish of the Prime Minister, and I think it is the wish of the great majority of those on this side of the House, that there shall be such relationship between management and labour in all industry that we shall avoid that brutal, old-fashioned method of industrial warfare, namely, the strike. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are always saying that they hate war. We all hate war. Why have war in industry if it can be avoided? It is time that we should recognise that the great unions which have been built up and the great organisations, like the four great railway companies, have reached such a position that it is quite obvious that the whole question wants careful consideration, and that nothing should be put into this Bill which would prevent the Parliaments of the future recognising what the situation is. When you get these enormous confederations of persons exercising their legitimate rights as citizens to give or withhold their labour, they may exercise a tremendous influence upon the whole life of the State. I believe, and believe emphatically, that the four principles laid down by the Attorney-General and by the Prime Minister are the deliberate intention of His Majesty's Government. As far as I am concerned, as a layman, I have been puzzled by some of the expressions of the Bill as printed. I say no more, because I am absolutely convinced that this Bill is going to be an Act of Parliament and not only an act of the Executive. I believe, further, as it has been said from the Front Bench, that His Majesty's Government welcome anything which is said by the back bench or in any quarter of the House to make this Measure effective. It is quite impossible for hon. Gentlemen opposite to attempt to arouse us to a sense of indignation by pretending that we are doing anything in opposition to His Majesty's Government. On the contrary, we are, speaking as laymen, openly supporting the Government in carrying out those very principles which they certainly wish to incorporate in the Bill. If we are so stupid, not being lawyers, as not to see that the particular words are suitable, surely as free Members of this House of Commons we have every right to get up and say so. I therefore make an appeal that this question of conciliation in industry may be given further consideration by His Majesty's Government, and that at a later stage they may put in appropriate words, for by so doing they will know they have got the support of a considerable number of their supporters.

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I simply rise to ask a question of the Attorney-General in order to elucidate a point which has been left in considerable doubt after his speech and the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman on the benches below the Gangway. It is quite clear from his last speech that the sympathetic strike is illegal, in spite of the declaration, the very emphatic declaration, which the learned Attorney-General made in his Second Reading speech that a sympathetic strike, provided it were in order to promote a purely industrial purpose, would not be illegal. In spite of that, every instance which can be conceived of a possible sympathetic strike is declared to be illegal. I never had any doubt about it from the first moment I read the Bill. If I had had a doubt, it has been completely extinguished by the speech which the Minister of Health delivered at Swansea on Friday last. I read it on Saturday, and, as I said yesterday in the course of the few observations I made in this House—they were delivered to empty benches—I had absolutely no doubt that the sympathetic strike was completely gone, whether it was for industrial purposes or not The only sympathetic strike which would be possible in the mining industry would not be a strike of transport workers, whether railwaymen or dock labourers, but would be a strike of the safety men in the mines. That would be legal according to the Attorney-General

Mr. THOMAS:

The insurance agents can come out in support of it.

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

That is a very important concession. I am sorry I did an injustice to the Government. The hon. and learned Member for Norwood (Sir W. Greaves-Lord) sought to draw a distinction between a sympathetic strike which would have the effect of intimidating the Government and a sympathetic strike in another industry against the handling of goods which were produced in that industry. That is a very important point. It is very important as coming from the hon. and learned Member, because he is the putative father of this Bill. Therefore, I have no doubt he is understanding it with authority. If I understand him, if there is a strike in a particular industry, and there is another industry which, although it has nothing to do with the production of a particular commodity in that industry, is called upon to handle it in some sort of way and declines to do so, that is a sympathetic strike which would be permissible. I should like to ask the learned Attorney-General if that is so, and that is why I am rising.

Supposing the railwaymen and the dock labourers—and may I add my tribute to what I consider to have been one of the most fascinating speeches to which I have ever listened in this House and to say how very glad I am to see my hon. Friend the Member for White-chapel (Mr. Gosling) back in the House again—supposing the dock labourers and the railwaymen say, "We will not handle coal. We will not handle the coal which is produced in the mines here; we will not handle coal which is brought from abroad." As I understand it, the principle which is laid down by the hon. and learned Gentleman is this, it must be directed against the employers. It might be said that this is something which they themselves are concerned in and therefore it would be directed against the mine-owners and therefore would be legal. But supposing the railwaymen and the dock labourers were to say, "We decline to handle coal which comes from abroad," I should like to know whether that would be regarded as an illegal act within the meaning of this Bill? I should like to press that point, because it is a matter of very considerable importance. Supposing coal which is produced in the mines here is not handled by either railwaymen or dock labourers? That is the first point. The second point is, supposing they say, "We decline to handle coal which is produced abroad by other employers?" Is that an illegal act within the meaning of this new Amendment which has been put down by the learned Attorney-General?

Photo of Mr Samuel March Mr Samuel March , Poplar South Poplar

Before the learned Attorney-General replies, I want to ask a question. I have sat and listened to all these arguments ever since the commencement and I have not had an opportunity of getting in a word on this matter. I want to ask the Attorney-General another question relating to transport. I am very much concerned about the position of 10,000 men in London and in Greater London who are engaged in the carting of coal. Supposing the miners come out on strike and coal is sent to the depots in London. If the men who are in the habit of distributing that coal throughout London refuse to handle it, would they be acting in sympathy with the miners, and would it be legal for them to act in this manner?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, I want to ask an additional question, so that it may be convenient for him to give an answer at the same time. If we assume a rather limited strike in the coal mining industry against a particular company, the chairman of which is also a great newspaper proprietor and a great ship-owner, would it be legitimate for the employés of the newspaper company and the employés of the shipowning company to come out on strike in sympathy with the miners, they having no intention to intimidate the Government or to inflict hardship on the community but merely to coerce the particular employer of labour whom they regard as the principal factor in imposing the evil conditions in the mines.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

It is always dangerous to answer questions without careful and full consideration, but I think the answer to the last question put to me is that it would be perfectly legal. If I may turn to the question put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), he prefaces his question by stating that it is quite clear now that every sympathetic strike is illegal. I cannot, of course, help the right hon. Gentleman saying that or thinking it, but it is the exact opposite of what I have said. He must not assume that because he makes that statement he is in any way representing what my view is or what I believe the position is. I think it is exactly the opposite of what he said. I come to answer his question whether or not, assuming a coal strike, and assuming coal is imported from abroad, to take the place of the coal not being produced here, it will be an illegal action if railwaymen say they will not handle foreign coal. In my belief, if they do that without this Bill they would at this moment be committing an illegal act, for the reason that the railway company is a common carrier whose legal duty it is by Statute and by Common Law to carry coal which is offered for carriage. Therefore, a refusal of their services to carry the coal they were bound to carry would in itself be a breach of their obligations as common carriers.

Photo of Mr David Lloyd George Mr David Lloyd George , Caernarvon District of Boroughs

I am not challenging that in the least. But supposing they give the usual notice and say, "Very well, we will give you a week's notice" or whatever is the legal notice, "if you insist on us carrying this coal," would that be illegal?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

I must be accurate on these things. The question, as framed, I am bound to answer, but this is another question, and says, "Supposing the railwayman give notice that they are going to cease their work will it be illegal." If the effect of that would be, as I think it would be, to inflict hardship on the community to such an extent as to coerce the Government to intervene—[Interruption]. I must answer the question—if the effect of that would be, as I think it would be, to inflict such hardship upon the community as to coerce the Government to intervene, the result would be that it would be illegal.

Photo of Mr Samuel March Mr Samuel March , Poplar South Poplar

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman answer my question in regard to coal cartage in London?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

The answer must be the same.

Photo of Mr Samuel March Mr Samuel March , Poplar South Poplar

It is not a question of a sympathetic strike.

6.0 p.m.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

The answer must be the same, that if the effect of the refusal was to inflict such hardship on the community as to coerce the Government, it would be illegal, but not otherwise. I should have thought that it would not be on such a very large scale that the refusal in the case mentioned by the hon. Member would result in such great hardship; but in the case of the railways, which has been mentioned, the refusal would be such that the conditions which I have mentioned would be fulfilled.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

From what has been said by the Attorney-General, I think the statement of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) is fairly well justified, that all sympathetic strikes are illegal. It has been stated by the Attorney-General many times that sympathetic strikes are not made illegal by this Bill; but in practically every case that has been submitted to him it is obvious that, while he is willing to give that as a general principle, every particular application is practically barred out by the Attorney-General. I believe that it is impossible for the Government to get out of their present position, because they are not really facing up to what they are seeking to provide. Again and again it has been said that what the Government have in mind is such an occurrence as we had last year; that the sole object of the Government is to make impossible a recurrence of what took place last year. I suggest that the Government have failed completely to state what it was that they really objected to in the events of last year as being contrary to law.

When it is suggested to them to take as a criterion the size of the sympathetic strike which took place last year, at once we are told that it is not in any way to be measured by the numbers engaged as to whether such a strike is legal or illegal. The Attorney-General has suggested that there might be millions engaged in a sympathetic strike, and yet that it would be perfectly legal; but on no occasion has he been able to give any particular indication of what such a sympathetic strike could be. When I heard the hon. and learned Member for Norwood (Sir W. Greaves-Lord), it became very plain that what is behind this legislation and what is in the mind of the Government, is the intention or the motive of the people taking part in the dispute.

I want to take the case suggested by the Attorney-General. Suppose we have a mining dispute over a question of hours, and the miners are anxious to compel the Government to repeal the Act of Parliament that was passed last year and to restore the position as it was previous to that legislation. If the railwaymen took part in the dispute and came out in sympathy with the miners in order to assist the miners to achieve their object, the Attorney-General says that such action on the part of the railwaymen would make the strike illegal, because it would be an illegal act on the part of the railwaymen, such a strike satisfying the two conditions which he declares are necessary in order that a strike may be declared illegal. He said that if the railwaymen came out it would be quite obvious that the reason they came out would be in order to coerce the Government. But it is, surely, plain that if the railwaymen came out and refused to handle coal, it might mean a great deal of trouble to the mineowners, and if the railwaymen came out they might come out on the principle that they were anxious to do as much damage to the mineowners as possible. Yet, the Attorney-General would say that because certain people had a different motive, the whole matter would be illegal.

What I think is behind this legislation is confused thinking an the part of the Government. It has been said in one of their own newspapers that all the speeches made have suggested that what is in the minds of hon. Members opposite is their desire to cripple the activities of trade unions. I believe that there is the genesis of this matter, and there also is the difficulty which the Attorney-General has to face in trying to make clear what he means. One hon. Member suggested that if all the trade union leaders were similar to the right hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling), who spoke to-day in such an effective way, there would be no need for this legislation. What is in the minds of hon. Members opposite and in the mind of the Government are the activities of certain trade union leaders. If one were to ask them which of the trade unions leaders they had in mind, it would be difficult to get an answer from them. I do not think they would suggest that it is the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) or any of his colleagues on the Front Bench who are in the mind of the Government. What is in the mind of the Government, and in the minds of hon. Members opposite is a feeling of alarm because of the activities of the leader of the miners, Mr. Cook. We have heard all sorts of abuse of the leaders of the miners and this legislation is an attempt to make it impossible for the leader of the miners to achieve for his men the legitimate object that he ought to achieve for them. It is an attempt to cripple the whole course of trade unions. It is Cook that this legislation is aimed at, evidently on the principle that Cook has interfered with the digestion of British capitalism in this country.

As the discussions have gone on, I do not see that the new words proposed by the Attorney-General are getting the Government one whit out of their difficulties in regard to making clear what is legal or illegal. There will always be a difficulty, so long as the Government have not made up their mind whether it is intention which they are seeking to make illegal or whether it is the size of the industrial conflict which may take place. It is hopeless to seek to persuade the Attorney-General to change his mind on this matter, but I think it is due to this Committee that the Government should make the position more clear. The Attorney-General says that sympathetic strikes will still be quite legal, but Members on the Front Opposition Bench take a different view, and the right hon. Mem-for Carnarvon Boroughs has taken a different view. I hope that in the interests of the whole community there will be another attempt made by the Attorney-General to clear up this matter.

Speeches have been made on the other side in which a special plea has been put forward as to the advisability of setting up conciliation machinery, in order to make arbitration possible in the future. I wonder what can be the state of mind of hon. Members opposite who, on a matter like this, put up a plea for conciliation and arbitration tribunals. They surely must understand the indignation that is felt in regard to this matter. They surely must understand that throughout the whole trade union movement of this country there is the most intense feelings of indignation and disgust at the action of the Government, and yet, in this atmosphere, they have the audacity to suggest that there should be tacked on some conciliation machinery to a Measure of this kind—a Measure which is beyond anything that one would have conceived possible as coming from the present Government. It is no good making such suggestions or thinking that such sugges- tions are going to meet with any response. All such possibilities are destroyed by the Bill. It is the duty of Members of every party in this House to see that another attempt is made to clear up the position with regard to this legislation, which may be a good thing for the lawyers in the time to come. The whole trend of the discussion, the absolute uncertainty among all the Members who have spoken as to what will be the effect of the provisions, certainly call for another attempt to clear up the matter in definite language, so that one may understand what is illegal and what is legal if this Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Photo of Sir Frank Merriman Sir Frank Merriman , Manchester Rusholme

I do not expect to be able to convince the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) by anything I can say that this is a good Bill, but I want to help, if I can, to clear up one small point. May I thank the Attorney-General for accepting an Amendment with regard to the word "besides," which originally stood in my name on the Amendment Paper but is now embellished by much more distinguished names. The Amendment we are now discussing, that is, to strike out the words "is an illegal strike if," affects another Amendment to which I have put my name, that is, to add after the word "is" the words "and always has been." It seems to me to be absolutely vital that in the first Clause of this Bill there should be a declaration not only that the strike therein described is illegal but that it always has been illegal. And for this reason. In Sub-section (3) of Clause 2 there is the fulfilment of the Government's promise, that no one who resisted taking part in the last general strike shall be penalised by his failure to do so, and the wording of that Clause, as it is proposed to be amended by certain words the Government are inserting, regards a strike thus declared by this Bill to have been illegal.

If you look at Clause 1, there is nothing in this Bill which is declared to have been illegal. This is rather a technical point, but Judges have a habit, as all lawyers will agree, of construing legislation which is supposed to be declaratory as from the time when the Bill is passed, and merely to say in the first Clause that such a thing is declared to be illegal will not necessarily bind any Court to say that any particular strike in the past has been illegal, not even though you clearly refer to the general strike of last year by inserting words in Sub-section (3) of Clause 2, referring to a strike or lock-out since the 1st of May, 1926. Although I am not insisting upon any particular form of words, I invite the Attorney-General to consider whether it is not possible to put some form of words in the first Clause which will make it certain that the protection intended to be afforded to those who declined to take part in the general strike last year, and have been victimised in consequence, shall be made effective, as was the intention of the Government.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I do not know whether the Committee fully appreciate the result of the cross-examination to which the Attorney-General has been subjected by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas). The Attorney-General on the first day started by telling us that this is merely a declaratory Bill. On the second day he said that its purpose was only to cover a general strike. Then a controversy arose as to whether a general strike meant a strike general as regards its extent, the number of persons taking part, or the area of the strike, or whether it meant general in that it was aimed and directed at the Government. But it was not until to-day that the Attorney-General is forced to admit, what humbler Members like myself have been acclaiming from the first, that this Bill has nothing to do with declaring the existing law, it is not directed to cover a general strike, but under the cloak of doing so is really aimed at strikes that are in any way annoying to the Government. The Attorney-General has only gone so far as to say that it may cover some sympathetic strikes. I say, and I propose to satisfy the Committee fully on this point, that it will cover every sympathetic strike.

In order that my argument may be understood, let me say what I understand to be the effect of the Clause as it has been re-drafted. Strikes are placed in two categories; first, where its object is in furtherance of better conditions of labour and, secondly, where it has any other object at all. Where its object is in favour of 'better labour conditions it does not make the slightest difference whether it inflicts hardship on the community or not, but where its object is for anything else you have to ask yourself this question, does the strike inflict hardship upon the community? If it does it coerces the Government, and the Bill itself says that the way to ascertain whether a particular sort of coercion is created is to see whether a strike inflicts hardship on the community, and then you have the very sort of coercion the Bill is aiming at. The first question is: show me your strike, and you then ask yourself, has it "any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute"? I call the attention of the Attorney-General to these words because the point has not been made before. There may be something in it, or there may be nothing in it. The first thing you have to ascertain is whether the object of the particular strike is in furtherance of a legitimate industrial dispute. The Attorney-General puts it this way, if your sympathetic strikers come out they may well be not acting illegally, because they may be simply giving aid to one side of the contestants in the primary dispute. But look at the Clause. The object must be other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged. Who would be the strikers? Take the case of the railwaymen. There is a legitimate industrial dispute in the coal mines; there is no question about the legality of that. The railway men come out in sympathy. I ask: have the railway men any object other than the furtherance of the cause of the coal miners? The railway men are the strikers we are dealing with, and they must have an object other than the furtherance of a dispute in the trade in which the strikers, the railway men, are engaged. If that is the true construction, and I think it is, then, quite apart from the facts of the case, on the very wording of the Bill as it has been redrafted, on a strict construction of the Bill, I submit with all confidence that it renders every possible sympathetic strike an illegal strike.

I do not want there to be any mistake about this, and I ask the Attorney-General to explain how it is possible for railway men and transport men, or men in any other secondary industry, to come out not because of a dispute in their own industry but to further a dispute in another industry and for it to be said that they have had an object other than the furtherance of a dispute in their own industry. It cannot be said. The Attorney-General will have another chance to re-draft this Clause and get over that difficulty. The real abjection to the Clause is not on the strict language, to which I have called attention, it is this; that I can conceive of no rational tribunal of any sort that would not say, in the case of a sympathetic strike, that it had an object other than the furtherance of a trade dispute in their own industry. What do they come out for? They are not looking for higher wages or shorter hours. They have no grievance in their own industry. What object have they in coming out? What is the answer? Is their object merely to make a demonstration and show the public what kind-hearted fellows these sympathetic strikers are? Do they come out, throw up their jobs, simply to stand still and show people how sympathetic they are? They give up their jobs in sympathy because they want to bring pressure to bear on somebody. It clearly is not to do anything to better their own conditions.

What was their object? Their object must be something other than to better their own labour conditions, or the labour conditions in the primary industry. Their object must necessarily be an object that excludes them from the exemption given in this first part of Clause 1, the exemption given to those who come out with the object of the furtherance of a trade dispute. You have, therefore, your sympathetic strikers with the brand put upon them that they are in an illegal category. You ask the next question: Are these sympathetic strikers in this illegal category causing hardship to the community? Can yon tell me of any strike that would be large enough to bring out sympathetic strikers that would not inflict hardship on the community. If it does, we look at the Bill and it says that if the Court wants to know whether these sympathetic strikers are coercing the Government, the best way to find that out is to see whether they are inflicting hardship on the community. Let me put another question. The hardship on the community has to reach a point when it will coerce the Government. There may be created a hardship on the Government, but the Government may not choose to say that it is affecting them. But at any moment the Attorney-General, acting for the Government, may choose to say that he considers that hardship is being inflicted on the community—and the Government alone are the persons who are to consider it, they alone can say whether it is putting pressure on them or not. At that moment the Attorney-General, on behalf of the Government, says: "The hardship on the community has reached a point when it is affecting us. Stop the strike." Is it intended that it should henceforth be in the power of any Attorney-General to allow a strike to go on until it has reached a point at which the Government think they ought to stop it, and that he is then to say: "Stop this strike! It is inflicting hardship on the community and that hardship is affecting the Government." Is the exercise of this power by an Attorney-General to be followed by sequestration of funds and all the other penal consequences? If that be intended, then let the Government say so. They may be able to make out a case for stopping all strikes. Let them try. They may be able to make out a case for stopping sympathetic strikes. Let them try. They may be able to justify putting it in the power of the Attorney-General to decide whether any strike shall go on longer than a certain period. But if they want to do those things, let them ask for the approval of the electors.

I think it is unfair to this Committee. It is throwing dust in the eyes of the electors and it is failing to discharge the responsibilities which should attach to His Majesty's Government to bring forward a Bill, deliberately, saying that it is only a declaration of the law and will leave strikes as they were before, when the real intention—which has been kept dark and has only been dragged out after a week's discussion—is, certainly, to stop all sympathetic strikes and also to put it in the power of the Attorney-General to declare how long a strike can proceed. That intention should be known to the country; and I have little doubt that after what has occurred to-day, whatever sympathy there was with the Government in this matter will henceforth vanish. The country will wake up to the fact that those who oppose the Bill are not against the four pious principles laid down by the Attorney-General—with which we all agree—but that we are opposing it because we believe the Bill to be not an honest endeavour to deal with general strikes at all, but a dishonest piece of camouflage to give the Government power to stop all strikes.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

I have listened to the greater part of the Debates on this Bill both on the Second Reading and in Committee and to the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just resumed his seat. I must be very dense if I am not right in saying that the Attorney-General has already completely answered on half-a-dozen occasions every point put by the hon. and learned Member. I will not traverse all the arguments which have already been produced but will content myself with one or two very simple observations on matters which to me appear very clear. The whole difficulty apparently is in regard to the use of the words "sympathetic strike." This Bill does not, in my opinion, touch in any way a real sympathetic strike. [HON. MEMBERS: "What is a real one?"] Let me pursue my argument. It does not, I say, touch the real sympathetic strike but what it does is to prevent any strike which takes place under the guise of a sympathetic strike being treated as a sympathetic strike. I have been asked by hon. Members opposite what is a real sympathetic strike. I think there was a real sympathetic strike when on an occasion which is within the recollection of all hon. Members opposite I am sure, the moulders came out on strike in connection with a dispute in the engineering trade. The moulders' trade is one upon which the engineering industry is directly dependent. The moulders took the view that this was a dispute in the engineering industry and they came out in sympathy and as all hon. Members are aware the strike was maintained for a long time as a result of that action. That strike would not be in any way affected by this Bill.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

In the last 30 years there has been no such strike on the part of the moulders in the engineering trade as the hon. Member suggests.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

I think the hon. Gentleman will remember the strike to which I refer.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I know there was a strike of moulders but it was not a sympathetic strike.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

The sort of case which I have in mind is that of an industry where one branch has already gone on strike and discussions are pending on wages in other branches of the industry. If they come out in sympathy with and to reinforce the branch which is already on strike, it would be a real sympathetic strike. But let me now give an illustration of what may be claimed to be a sympathetic strike but would not be a sympathetic strike. That is the case referred to by the hon. and learned Member for Norwood (Sir W. Greaves-Lord) when he said that if there was a strike in connection with the docks or shipping or the railways, and if the bakers came out with the avowed object of starving the population and depriving them of bread, then that would not be a sympathetic strike whatever name was attached to it. It would be a clear attempt to coerce the Government and would be illegal by the operation of this Clause.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Where do you find that definition in the Bill?

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

Sub-section (1) of Clause 1 makes it perfectly clear.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Then you are the cleverest man in this House.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

I am glad the hon. Member thinks so.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Yes, if you can find it there; but I do not believe that you can.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

This Debate has centred round the loose use of the words "sympathetic strike," and that is the whole question, and I think if hon. Members opposite were to accept the distinction broadly as between a real sympathetic strike of the kind I have indicated and the loosely termed "sympathetic strike," which is in reality an attempt to intimidate the community and coerce the Government, a great deal of the confusion which now exists on this subject would be removed.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I am really surprised at the speech of the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Balfour). One would imagine that after serving an apprenticeship in the engineering trade he would understand that industry. I may at once put him right regarding the strike to which he referred. On that occasion, three or four years ago, the moulders struck for an increase of wages, and it was not what the hon. Member terms a sympathetic strike.

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

It does not matter for the purpose of my argument. I could give five or six other illustrations from other trades.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

In a moment I hope to give the hon. Member an opportunity of producing one from his own trade. He used the illustration that in the event of a strike taking place in a certain industry and the bakers coming out, that would be looked upon as an illegal strike and as something outside the trade or industry primarily concerned. I wonder how far the hon. Member intends to carry that point? If the flour millers were to come out would he hold that to be illegal? If those transporting flour came out would that be illegal? I do not know where he proposes to draw the line. Is it only when it reaches the stage of baking—

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

I think it is perfectly clear. If a dispute arises in a particular trade or industry and if some ancillary part of that trade or industry—the members of which perhaps have a grievance which is still under discussion—comes out to reinforce the others who are on strike within that trade or industry, it would not be struck at by this Clause.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

Then I come back to the engineering dispute. The hon. Member told us that in the event of the engineers being in difficulties, other engineers, and he included the moulders under the style of engineers, might come to their aid. Does that means that he would declare it legal for the engineer engaged in the moulding trade to come out? If so it would be legal for these engineers to come out, but illegal for the flour millers or the bakers. Now we see just where we are being taken with regard to this Measure. I wonder also what is meant by the phrase "trade or industry" used in this Clause? Is there any man in this country who can define what is a particular trade? Is there any hon. Member opposite who is engaged in connection with limited liability companies and other concerns who can define for us what is an industry? I submit to the hon. Member for Moseley, who has some connection with the engineering trade, that he is even more capable than we credit him with being, if he can give us a definition.

Mr. A. HOPKINSON:

I take it that the hon. Member is referring to me, when he speaks of having some connection with the engineering industry, and I would point out that my constituency is Mossley and not Moseley.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I am sorry. I know that the hon. Members for Moseley and Mossley take exception to being mistaken one for the other. I regret my mistake very much, and I apologise to both. But I would ask the Solicitor-General what definition he proposes to attach to these words "trade and industry"? We have down an Amendment asking for the deletion of these words, and I suggest that the Solicitor-General will find it difficult clearly to delimit or define particular trades and industries. I put to the hon. Member for Hampstead the case of his own industry of civil engineering. I call it an "industry" because I can find no other word. Will he tell the Committee what is the exact definition to be placed on civil engineering, which is so wrapped up with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, constructional engineering, building and other trades that it is impossible to distinguish it. How is it to be defined?

Photo of Mr George Balfour Mr George Balfour , Hampstead

We have a federation on the employés side and another on the employers' side which I am glad to say have been working in great harmony for many years past, and I think we can get an easy definition in the application of those conditions to an industry.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

If the hon. Member accepts that definition in regard to his own federation, very good. I happen to be a member of that conciliation board and to sit on the other side of the table from the hon. Member's associates. I will give the hon. Member an illustration. Recently in Regent Street there was erected a place for Messrs. Peter Robinson. The hon. Member and his friends stated, and stuck to it, that that was a civil engineering job, but we claimed it as a building trade job. I am not asking for lines of demarcation here. I think most of them are stupid, and it is because of the stupidity of them that I am amazed now that the Government are bringing them into this Bill. The fact of the matter is that these words have been placed in this Bill by somebody who has been quite as stupid as anything that has been said about the Government and who did not understand anything about the industries of the country. I venture to say that the Prime Minister would find a difficulty in giving any limits to the industry in which he is concerned. Connected with the iron and steel trade as he has been, I wonder what he calls the iron and steel trade and where he thinks it commences and where it concludes. Somebody mentioned earlier in the Debate Whitley Councils and conciliation boards. Whitley Councils cover a trade that is conducted in the same establishment as probably three or more other trades or industries, and you cannot take Whitley Councils as your guide, nor can you take conciliation boards as your guide. In fact, the words "trade and industry" have been placed in the Clause for all the reasons mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney). They are put in there because there is no definition of them, and the Government will be able to prevent most strikes that are entered upon, whether sympathetic or otherwise.

I would ask what is meant by the phrase about attempting to coerce the Government. I know a great many men who are employed in the dockyards of this country, men employed under tire Admiralty and in many of the departments under the control of the War Office. Do those words mean that in the event of any of those men striking for better conditions—and heaven knows every one of them require to strike at this time because of the conditions under which they are working—they would be held to be coercing the Government? It would be against the Government that they would be striking, because the Government fix their wages. Would that strike be illegal? I could go over something like 50 or 60 of the trades of the country in order to show the difficulties that would be found in endeavouring to delimit the words used in this Bill. Take the textile trade. I am wondering whether it is intended, when speaking of the textile trade, to take it only in the form in which we knew it a few years ago. Is it intended that, in the event of trouble in the textile trade, if we brought out in sympathy all the men and women engaged in the artificial silk trade, that would be regarded as an illegal strike? Suppose the chemical workers came out in connection and in sympathy with the textile workers, for, after all, artificial silk is a chemical product. Does it mean that if the chemical trade strikes in these circumstances it is going to be illegal, under the language used in this Clause?

When one realises all that there is in the technicalities of these trades and industries, how is it possible to secure from any of His Majesty's Judges a decision that would be understood by the people engaged in the struggle to improve their conditions? When bon. Members refer to the Law Courts as being able to settle whether people are acting legally or illegally, and whether they are striking in sympathy or otherwise, when it is suggested that the Judges are the people who could decide it for us, I am amazed at the want of knowledge of what has happened in the Law Courts of this country. I remember one dispute in which a magistrate, who was the father of an hon. Member of this House, was asked to define a certain occupation and, in addition, to decide whether or not a person had committed a breach of the law while picketing. The magistrate decided that by picketing and by suggesting that a certain person would be a marked man, the intention of the individual was to make a mark of some kind on the individual, so that for all time he would be noted as he passed along the street, and the man was sent to prison because somebody had suggested that that particular phrase had been used. If our case as to whether a strike is legal or illegal has to be decided in the Courts, it means that this Bill is intended to prevent any dispute at all and to try to keep us in the position, bad as it is, in which we find ourselves at the present time.

I know it is of very little use to plead with the Government, who appear to have made up their minds to take the side of the employers. There are some people who say that employers are opposed to this Clause. I know some employers are opposed to it. I heard the Prime Minister mention what he had received from a body called the Alliance of Employers and Employed, and I know that the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) is a member of that particular body, so that I am amazed to find him to-day supporting this Measure, which has been condemned by that association. During the latter part of last year I suggest that the Prime Minister received a deputation from the Confederation of Employers—not the Federation of British Industries—who insisted upon this Measure being forced through the House, but asked that the matter should not be discussed during last autumn, but should be put off until this year. Those are the masters who are directing the Government now, Those are the employers who have made up their minds that there is going to be no friendliness between them and the workers' organisations. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for St. George's (Mr. Erskine) knows a good deal about industry. I do not doubt.

Mr. ERSKINE:

Certainly. I know much more than you do.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I hope that is true. There are many federations and associations of employers in this country, but with none of them have we ever found the hon. Member associated in any way.

Mr. ERSKINE:

How do you know?

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

We have met them in conference time after time, and I suggest that the representative of the industrial constituency of St. George's, Hanover Square, is one who had better gain some knowledge of industry before he takes a part in this particular discussion. I suggest that this Measure is one that is designed to harass the workers and to prevent them from improving their position, and that it is in keeping with the mind of a Government that is not prepared to see this country placed on an improved standing.

Mr. A. HOPKINSON:

It seems to me the whole Debate in Committee on these Amendments has been along one particular line. Complaints are made constantly by the opponents of the Bill that the definitions are not clear, and constant and, I think, really genuine attempts are being made by those in charge of the Bill to clarify the issues involved. I wish to put forward this point of view—which has not yet been put forward—that it is distinctly dangerous to get too clear a definition in this Clause. This Clause is undoubtedly framed to deal with the possible repetition of a situation such as confronted the Government and the country last May. I may, perhaps, remind hon. Members that the main reason why the country successfully came through that very serious crisis was the fact that there was very grave uncertainty in the minds of everyone concerned—of the Government and of the country at large, as well as of the trade unions—as to what was the exact position in which they found themselves. Any Clause in any Bill which defines such a position so exactly that the tactical situation, if I may so express myself, is consolidated, does undoubtedly introduce a very grave national danger if such a situation ever arises.

7.0 p.m.

If hon. Members will recall the events of the early part of last May, they will remember that one section of the people concerned were running about the country saying it was merely a little industrial dispute and that it had nothing to do with revolution or rebellion of any kind, while those who thought otherwise were impressing upon the people of this country that it was undoubtedly a revolution and a rebellion with which we were confronted. From that conflict of opinion, and from the intense uncertainty of the tactical position, we got this enormous benefit—to my mind a benefit which enabled us successfully to survive that crisis—that the forces which ultimately do decide these matters were able to get fair play in that situation, and those forces are the innate decency and common sense of the vast majority of the people of this country. If, during the crisis of last May, we had been in the position in which we shall be if we get a very clear definition in the Amendments which are now proposed to us, a very dangerous situation would have arisen, for under those conditions there could be no doubt in the mind of anyone that the general strike had produced a revolutionary situation, and the decency and commonsense of the people would not have had that free play which they actually had in the situation which arose last May. Therefore I do hope that hon. Members will consider that point of view and consider whether on the whole, in view of the danger which this Clause is intended to meet, it is really advantageous to the country at large and to the people of this country that we should have too clear and definite a definition and in that way make the tactical situation clear if such a crisis should arise and I earnestly hope it will never arise in the future.

Photo of Mr Thomas Naylor Mr Thomas Naylor , Southwark South East

The hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. A. Hopkinson) in his concluding sentence expressed the view that such a position as that of May last year was not likely to occur again. There may be many in this House who share that view, but no matter what the law may be, no matter what the penalties may be which are imposed for breaking the law, if the causes that animated the trade union movement last year were to recur at any time, I am quite certain that the men who took the action then would take the action again if they thought the circumstances justified them in doing so, whatever the penalties imposed upon them. At times of crisis in the history of mankind, men do not hesitate to do that which they think right regardless of the consequences. Although I am no supporter of the policy of the general strike or of using the industrial weapon of the strike for political purposes, I protest that it is unfair to impose restrictions upon the liberty of men organised for a specific purpose in the field of industry when you do not deny that liberty to men employed in the same industry but occupying altogether different positions. Something was said last week concerning the grammar of Clause 1 and I would like to congratulate the Attorney-General on restoring the grammar, which certainly was in a very uncertain position in the Clause as originally drafted. He has rectified that at least, and I think he has made the Clause more clear. It is not the actual wording of a Clause or the meaning of a Clause as expressed in the terms laid down in the Bill, but it is its interpretation and the possibilities of its interpretation in the Courts that matter.

I would like to refer to the interpretation of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) and to the Attorney-General's reply. The right hon. Member put this illustration. He asked us to assume that the miners were out on strike, and that after the strike had been in progress the railwaymen, after giving notice of their intention to do so, refused to handle blackleg coal. He asked if that would be legal or illegal, and the Attorney-General said that, under the terms of the Clause, such action would be illegal. I do not quite follow that, and I put it to the Attorney-General that the position of the railwaymen in that case does not fall under the two conditions imposed by the Clause. The first condition is that it must be a question other than the furtherance of a trade dispute. The action of the railwaymen in declining to handle that coal and in going out on strike rather than be compelled to do so, does not come in conflict with the Clause. The refusal of the railwaymen to handle coal is a dispute within the trade or industry. It is true that the dispute in the trade or industry starts as a consequence of the miners being out on strike, but it would be quite easy to argue in a Court of Law that the railwaymen were simply coming out in furtherance of a trade dispute within the industry. The first condition, therefore, does not affect the position of the railwaymen in that industry, and I am quite certain that, if the Clause passes in its present form, any King's Counsel would argue against that strike being illegal within the meaning of the Clause. I put that as a point to be answered, because I think it covers quite a number of cases as well as the one already mentioned. I leave it to the Committee to say whether or not this Clause clearly indicates what trade unions may or may not do in definite circumstances, and whether it is fair to place those restrictions upon them.

Photo of Mr Frederick Macquisten Mr Frederick Macquisten , Argyll

This discussion to my mind is just about as unreal as the question of what is a real or an unreal sympathetic strike. We all know quite well what is meant. The Attorney-General has been subjected to an extraordinary fire of questions. It was one of the ancients that said that one child-sometimes the story puts it more cruelly as one fool—can ask more questions in one hour than a hundred philosophers can answer in a hundred years. The Attorney-General stood up extraordinarily well to the enormous fire of hypothetical, and in some cases hypocritical, questions that were let loose upon him. We know perfectly well what this Clause is directed against. It is directed against the events of last year. Hon. Gentlemen opposite could not buy their morning newspaper. They could only get the "Workers' Weekly," which they would not otherwise have thought of buying, and the "British Gazette." They had to walk to their work, and they were rather short of food supplies. I do not know what you like to call the events of last year, but no one wants to see them happen again.

Even hon. Gentlemen opposite, with one or two exceptions. do not want to see them happen again. They do not want to have them, but they want to have the power to threaten them again. They want the weapon of the events of last year—whether you call them a general strike or national strike—they want to keep the monster in the cave, so that they can always threaten to bring it out again. They are very sorry they brought it out at all, because it was far more efficient as a weapon when it had never materialised. We found when it came out that it was like some of those giants in a white sheet, that sometimes frighten females at night. When you examine one, you find that it is some individual of moderate stature holding a white sheet high over his head. It was not so much the Government, but the general mass of the community that disposed of it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why this Bill?"] Because the gentlemen who authorised the last of these strikes are quite capable of organising another. I do not want it to happen again if only that it rendered all the trade union funds nearly bankrupt. I would like myself to see their funds better conserved, because I have a very deep interest in working men.

The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling) said that employers who are not politicians disapprove of the Bill. It is not for him to make that remark as a universal statement. I know as much about employés as most people, and I say, in answer, that employ—eacute;s who are not politicians approve of the Bill. It is the employés who are politicians who do not approve of it, because they generally get some other employment in addition to their usual occupation. The hon. Member said in addition that it was not in the best interests of the State. That is just where the issue is joined. I agree with the right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) that there is a fundamental difference between the parties. That difference is that we who support the Government think that this Bill is to the interest of the whole community, including the trade unionists. Hon. Members on the other side are thinking of the present powers and privileges of trade unionists, or rather of their leaders, and not of the good of the community at all. It is these powers and privileges and immunities for which they are anxious. When one hears the complaints that are being made about these poor oppressed trade unionists, I would like to read them a quotation from a very valuable work on trade unions which says that: The Trade Disputes Act, which remains (in 1920) the main charter of trade unionism, explicitly declares, without any qualification or exception, that no civil action shall be entertained against a trade union in respect of any wrongful act committed by or on behalf of the Union. That is the answer to the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) who queried me last time I spoke— An extraordinary and unlimited immunity, however great may be the damage caused and however unwarranted the act, which most lawyers as well as all employers regard as nothing less than monstrous. Why do lawyers regard it as monstrous? Because one of the most fundamental principles in the law of this country, which it took centuries to get established, is that of equality for all before the law. Your associations are not equal before the law. You are put before the law in a position of extraordinary and unlimited immunity, however great may be the damage caused and however unwarranted the act.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Hackney South

Do not these remarks apply equally to employers' associations?

Photo of Mr Frederick Macquisten Mr Frederick Macquisten , Argyll

Certainly, and I object equally to employers and any other persons combining to put themselves above the ordinary law of the land. What is the result, to leave them to fight one another like the old lawless clans when the Campbells slew the Macleans and vice versa, and the Macdonalds fought the Campbells and there was no law. This Bill still leaves that unhappy state of affairs and only creates a liability where the State and the community are attacked.

Photo of Mr Horace Crawfurd Mr Horace Crawfurd , Walthamstow West

The hon. and learned Member must be well aware that in 1906 his own party was in the House. I would like to ask him whether they opposed the Bill then?

Photo of Mr Frederick Macquisten Mr Frederick Macquisten , Argyll

In 1906 the Bill was opposed in Committee by the party to which I belong, and if I had had the good fortune to be in the House at that time it would have been opposed even more strenuously than it was. It was, as I said on the last occasion I spoke, promoted with the full and certain confidence that it would be rejected in another place. It was not meant to be law. This book from which I am quoting goes on to say: Some friends of the trade unions expressed at the time the doubt whether the policy thus forced upon Parliament would prove, in the long run, entirely in the interests of the Movement; and whether it would not have been better to have chosen the bolder policy of insisting on a complete reform of the law, to which, when properly reformed, trade unions should be subject in the same way as any other associations. Surely that was, and is, the sound view, and it is the view I have always taken, and the view that the wisest members of the trade union party have always taken. If Parliament restores the unions the protection of the law in this respect, it will put hon. Members opposite in a far stronger position with the community. This Clause is directed to put an end to the sort of sympathetic strike known as the general strike. The position of sympathetic strikes is very doubtful as the law stands at present. I do not know whether hon. Members are aware of what I am about to read. [An HON. MEMBER: "From what chapter are you reading?"] I am reading from a great authority on Trade Union Law, the right hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb). It will be observed that I was waiting to be asked, because an answer in cross-examination is always more effective than in chief examination. The right hon. Gentleman goes on to say: Trade unionists would be well advised not to presume too far on this apparently absolute immunity from legal proceedings. It must not be imagined that either the ingenuity of the lawyers or the prejudice of the judges has been exhausted. That is a very unworthy remark. It is the old story. Trade unions have lost a great many cases, and whenever their cases are lost, why do they turn round and say that the judges are prejudiced? Is it not possible that they themselves may be wrong? Even Oliver Cromwell admitted that he might be wrong.

Mr. ROSSLYN MITCHELL:

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman allow me, if not to suggest a correction of law, at least a correction of his history?

Photo of Mr Frederick Macquisten Mr Frederick Macquisten , Argyll

Well, he said it to and of the House of Commons—I think it was the Barebones Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman went on: It has already been urged that the immunity of a trade union from being sued should be regarded as implicitly limited to acts done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute; but such a limitation has so far been negative. It is now suggested that the immunity might one day be held to be limited to acts committed by a trade union in the exercise of its specifically trade union functions, or for the 'statutory objects' of trade unions as defined by the Act, and not to acts which the Court might hold to be beyond its legitimate scope, or not specifically connected with what they might in their wisdom consider to be the principal purpose of a trade union. Thus, a new Taff Vale case, at a moment when public opinion was exceptionally hostile to trade unionism, is by no means impossible. Similarly, trade union officials should remember that their privileged position is confined to a trade dispute. It is a very doubtful position whether, even as matters stand, people are in a position to take to a strike in sympathy with a quarrel, with which they have no concern in their own industry. If one's own trade is close enough to a particular trade or industry, a sympathetic strike is perfectly understandable, but as for the suggestion about the railwaymen not handling coal from abroad, never in the history of trade unionism has a more absurd suggestion been made. They may, as an act of sympathy, occasionally make a show of not handling a particular consignment, but to say there is any bond of union or solidarity of labour in the privileged position of railwaymen and the poor miners who have to stand in competition against the whole world, is the most ridiculous position in the world. There is no relationship or solidarity whatever, and, therefore, that is a situation which, I think, very unlikely to arise. This Parliament would have failed in its duty, and I believe trade union leaders themselves would have been disappointed, if it had not taken the action it has taken, and the working classes and the mass of trade unionists would have despised this House. Here is one of the many letters I have received from working men: Sir,—Reading your remarks at Caxton Hall last week, I as a working man coincide in everything you said there. When we have men (save the name) posing as our leaders who went to Russia in the middle of our last War and made peace with the Russians and Germans, and through their mission to Russia the Germans were able to put a million and a half more men on the Western front, which cost us and our Allies millions of money, and millions of casualties, I, following their careers, and here follows an adjective—and he says of them— Why, they go into chapel in the morning and preach Christianity, and then go into some hall or to some street-corner and preach anarchy or vice versa. Look at that ….….… who at Bristol told the men to take up guns and he would lead them on the Sunday, and when this valorous march was to come off, he was in the pulpit at Victoria Park Chapel—preaching a sermon on the humility of our Lord and Master—200 miles away. I now close, hoping the working men will open their eyes and see through them. I have known the working-men all my life, and I say that in every part of the country they feel that some legislation of this kind is essential. The hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. Smillie) has said there is nothing but misery from strikes. I do not believe in the benefit of strikes. They are just like war—abominable things in which to engage, and involve loss and suffering to all. If before a strikes takes place, those who can look at the Statute and find doubt as to its legality, there will often be no strike. I think it is much better that that should be the position, because it will give some time for consideration; there will be opportunity for the parties to come together. That is the meaning of the phrase in the Prayer-book quoted by the Prime Minister, "Give peace in our time." It gives time for employers to see that they are conceding too little, and for employés to see that they are demanding too much. The instantaneous lightning strike without any consideration is the seed of anarchy and of war, and it is the duty of this or any other Government to see that such a state of affairs as prevailed last May will not occur again.

Photo of Mr Richard Wallhead Mr Richard Wallhead , Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr

I recognise the difficulty, and a certain amount of danger, one incurs in entering into a discussion which we have had for seven days between the legal elements of the House employed on one side or the other. It seems to me that the further we go with the legal luminaries, the more confusion becomes confounded. There is a point or two arising out of the interjections I made this evening when the Attorney-General was speaking. It seems to be assumed that a sympathetic strike must necessarily have some connection, directly or otherwise, with the men engaged in the trade, and the hon. and learned Member who has just spoken seemed to infer that men in certain trades, apparently far removed, say, from miners, could have little or no economic connection one with the other, or no real industrial sympathy. But industry is becoming of such a character that it ought to be perfectly apparent by now that many strikes, which take upon themselves the character of sympathetic strikes, can be really strikes of self-interest. Wages are closely interlocked. The wages paid to men in one industry might well be reflected in the wages paid to other men, and I can well understand that the wages of the engineers might well be defended by the railway men in a sympathetic strike, because of the effect a cut in their wages might have upon railway men themselves.

The same can be said with regard to the miners and the railway men. I believe last May, in addition to the fact that the railway men had tremendous sympathy with the resistance to the attack being made upon the wages of the miners, there was also the feeling that if the wages of a million men were to be reduced, if their conditions of labour were to be made worse, ultimately that was bound to be reflected in the condition of every other workman in this country. There is that point of view, at least, to be taken into consideration. It is becoming abundantly clear—I sit here as a representative of miners—that never again under this Bill can the miners, if on strike, look for any sympathetic aid from any other trade or industry. That seems to be perfectly clear.

Let me put this position. I have heard the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond) say he could suggest something whereby the difficulties in the coal trade could be overcome, and he spoke of international relationships. It is easy to assume that before very long we may see the coal owners of this country linked up with the coal owners of Germany, France and Belgium; there would be inter-locking arrangements of an international character, just as we now have them of a national character. With those conditions the miners here might feel themselves compelled to strike. Then the owners might begin to import coal from the other pits in which they are directly interested on the Continent, and the miners here would be beaten, yet under this Bill it would be illegal for the dockers or railway men to refuse to handle the coal brought in to smash our miners down. It would not he an illegal strike from my point of view, because it would not be directed at the State. Of course, it might bring about hardship for the community, but long before hardship is imposed upon the community by means of a strike very large sections of the community would have been suffering hardship. Men strike because of hardships, they do not strike unless there are hardships. Hardships are endured by millions of men, and it is only by striking that they can remove them. When we talk of hardships being inflicted on others, it is well to remember the hardships which are always with us so far as many people are concerned. That is a point of view which appears to have been missed up to the present.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling) is not the first who has addressed the House in the manner in which he did this afternoon. Many members of the Labour party have continually urged that instead of striking the better way to conduct industrial negotiations is by negotiation and arbitration, and by getting together. More and more men on this side of the House have come to believe that methods of conciliation were the proper methods, in opposition to those who have urged the other point of view, who have taken what hon. Members on the Government side call the class-war attitude. By the introduction of this Bill the Government have proved conclusively that those who argue that conciliation is useless are in the right. When the Attorney-General was speaking in Committee last week he made a reference to those of us on these benches who, he said, believe evil of the Government. I said in an interjection that I was one of them. I said I believed the worst, and so I do, and I believe this Bill is a part of the class struggle which hon. Members opposite are always declaring does not exist. For the past 12 months, in the whole conduct of the dispute of last year, and by ranging themselves now on the employers' side in the action being taken to prevent sympathetic strikes on the part of workmen who feel a joint interest in contesting reductions of wages in a particular trade, the Government are proving themselves the champions of vested interests on all occasions.

This is not the end of the matter. This Bill will settle nothing. It may be taken for granted that none of these prohibitive Clauses can be made really effective. It would be a great deal better if the Government had set themselves to discover some method whereby conciliation might have been followed, instead of throwing down the glove as they have done by introducing this Bill. I am opposed to the Bill from top to bottom. I will preach opposition to this Bill for all I am worth amongst the men I represent, and I will stir up as much opposition to it as I possibly can, and if the Government attempt to make it operative I will do the best I can to prevent it from being effective. [Interruption.] I do not see why hon. Members should object to that. They have thrown down the challenge and they must take what follows. They have indicated clearly that it is war to the knife between one side and the other, and as far as I am personally concerned I will do my level best to assist the workmen in my district to make their protest affective by making this Bill inoperative.

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I feel quite certain the hon. Member who has just sat down will carry into effect the pledge he has given—no one doubts it—but I hope that when he fights this Bill in the country he will be careful as to the accuracy of the statements he makes. The hon. Member did my constituency the honour of paying it a visit a few weeks ago, and in the course of a speech which he made there, of which I have a cutting in my hand, he made the following statement: The Commission set up"— He was referring to the Royal Commission: reported in favour of a reorganisation of the coal industry and that a subsidy should be given to the industry over the difficult period until reorganisation could be made effective. That is an entirely and grossly inaccurate statement. If the hon. Member had read the Report of the Royal Commission, as he ought to have done as the representative of a coalmining constituency, he would have read the words: The subsidy should come to an end at the end of the appointed period and never be repeated. Therefore, I say with confidence, that in that statement to my constituents he made a statement which he should have known was grossly inaccurate.

Photo of Mr Richard Wallhead Mr Richard Wallhead , Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr

I do not hold that it is inaccurate even now. The suggestion was that the subsidy might have been continued until reorganisation had taken place.

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

The hon. Member confuses the issue. Either he has not studied the question or his memory is at fault. The Commission reported definitely that no further subsidy should be given, and the Government, in suggesting to give even the £3,000,000, were going against the Report of the Royal Commission. The hon. Member is confusing the Report of the Royal Commission with what Sir Herbert Samuel, after the strike, suggested as a possible via media; he is quite inaccurate in saying that the Royal Commission reported in favour of a subsidy; and I hope that when he goes round the country speaking about this Bill he will take a little more care to be accurate. The inaccurate statements he made in Great Yarmouth have been fully exposed in the locality.

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I feel confident the hon. Gentleman will take nothing back, but the fact remains that inaccuracy, when it is exposed, does not pay in the long run.

This Debate has revolved mainly about the question of the sympathetic strike. I must confess that when I first approached the objects of this Bill I had some doubts as to whether it was the right object for the Bill to endeavour to attain that sympathetic strikes should be made illegal; but since I have heard the views put forward in this Debate, principally from the Labour benches, and, to some extent, from the, Liberal benches, I have come to the conclusion that sympathetic strikes as there defined should be made illegal. [Interruption.] I am quite prepared to defend that statement in this House or outside. If sympathetic strikes were defined merely as strikes by men within an industry trying to bring pressure on the same—

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

What is an industry?

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I am not here to enter into dialectical arguments. One does try sometimes to follow up a train of thought, though no doubt the hon. Member wishes to turn it to one side. So long as they are directed solely against the same employer or group of employers to endeavour to force them to give better terms, to improve wages or not to lower them, sympathetic strikes are perfectly justified; but the sympathetic strikes that have been referred to by hon. Members opposite and the examples they have given have invariably dealt with cases where it would not be the employer in dispute with his workmen who would be affected, but the general public; and my contention is that sympathetic strikes of that kind, if they are not illegal at the present time, should be made illegal. The party opposite have quite definitely said that last year there was no general strike but only a sympathetic strike. If that is so, I say what the public demand of us is that we should stop sympathetic strikes.

There are opposing views as to what the general strike of last year really was. The present chairman of the Council of the Trade Union Congress says that the general strike of last year was a nobler, a bigger, a better and a braver battle than any battle fought in the Great War and resounds more to the honour of the British people than any action in the European War. That is mere turgid nonsense, which will be judged by the British people. What does the printing trade say? We have had an hon. Member closely identified with the printing trade taking part in the Debate this afternoon. The printing trade says about the general strike: The curtain may well be dropped finally on this unfortunate affair. As a means to a designed end it was an absolute failure. The Printing Trade Unions are not likely to be drawn again into the vortex of a general strike. It is equally unlikely that the general council will be tempted to repeat the experiment. Trade unions exceed their functions in trying to create conditions akin to revolution. The view of the Trade Union concerned and of Mr. Hicks are not the same. Hon. Members opposite say that the strike last year was merely a sympathetic strike. Whether it was so or not it seems to me that the main issue is largely lost sight of in discussing what are the rights or wrongs of it, or what are the duties of the trade unions themselves, and what is the position of the Government, and whether it is right to coerce it, or whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) was right when he said, "Governments exist only to be coerced." All that can be argued one way or the other. One thing of which I am convinced is that nine-tenths of the people of this country are determined that they will not be used as pawns in the game between employers and employed or between the employed and the Government, and for that reason I am in favour not only of the principle laid down by the Attorney-General in his opening speech on the Bill but of making it clear that sympathetic strikes which either intentionally or, if not intentionally, obviously and clearly, result in inflicting hardship on the community outside the unions in dispute shall be made illegal.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Did the Attorney-General in his opening speech on the Second Reading say that? Did he not say something very different? Let me read what he said.

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

Surely this is somewhat irrelevant to my argument.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

You referred to the opening speech of the Attorney-General and what he said with regard to the life of the community. This is what he said: But if we had used that definition, we should have interfered with legitimate and industrial strikes, because as the House will realise, there may well be in one of the essential services an industrial strike which attains so large a scale as to amount to a menace to the life of the community.

Sir H. SLESSER: That is not stopped by the Bill.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Such a strike as the hon. and learned Member for South East Leeds (Sir H. Slesser) has said we have not stopped by this Bill.—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd May, 1927: col. 1320, Vol. 205.]

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I merely said that I was in favour of the principles as enunciated by the Attorney-General in his opening speech, and further that I was in favour of making sympathetic strikes illegal which in their effect or intention inflicted harm upon the community. I was in favour of making those taking part in them illegal, not necessarily of making them subject to criminal prosecution, but making them illegal in order that those conspiring in that way should be subject to penalties. That is my view and it is the view of nine-tenths of the community outside trade unions. That is also the view of hundreds of thousands of trade unionists themselves. I believe that trade unionists value very highly the right to strike in order to improve the conditions within their industry, but I do not believe they value highly the right of being called out by their leaders in a dispute in which they have no concern.

An incident occurred the other day which impressed me very much. As I was leaving my constituency, a member of the National Union of Railwaymen whom I had never seen before, whose name I do not know and who is not a member of my association, came on to the platform at the station, and as the train was moving out he tapped on the window of the carriage and said, "Do not forget to vote for the Trade Unions Bill." A think like that has never happened to me before. I have a great respect for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) because he is one of those who delivers the goods and all Members of the National Union of Railwaymen are thoroughly grateful to him. But although he may defend the rights of trade unionists to strike in sympathy with the men belonging to other unions, I would like to say to the right hon. Gentleman that if he would take a secret ballot of his union as to whether they wanted to give to their leaders the right to call them out in a sympathetic strike without consulting them by ballot, they would by an overwhelming majority say that they were not in favour of giving any such power to their leaders.

Mr. THOMAS:

The more this Debate goes on the more necessary is it to clearly define the issue. The majority of hon. Members on the opposite side who have given any kind of support to this Bill have done so under the sincere belief that they are doing something which, in the first place, will prevent a general strike, and, secondly, will tend to curtail industrial disputes as a whole. I think that is a fair statement of their case, and I want to meet that position right away. The hon. Member who has just sat down opened his speech by a very strong note of censure on what he called the exaggerated statements of the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Wallhead). I ask the hon. Member to reflect as to whether he himself has not fallen into precisely the same error of which he has complained. The hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Sir F. Meyer) said that he was satisfied that nine-tenths of the people of this country were in favour of this Measure.

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I said nine-tenths of the community outside trade unions, and that is my opinion. What I said in reply to the hon. Member for Merthyr was a statement of fact as to what the Royal Commission had said in a printed document which was sent forth to the community.

Mr. THOMAS:

My hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr was also giving his opinion of the Samuel Report, and that was his interpretation of the Report. [HON. MEMBER: "He is wrong."] That at least was his opinion. The hon. Member for Great Yarmouth has told us a story about a railwayman tapping at the window of a railway carriage just as he was leaving the station, and he said he had never seen that railwayman before and did not even know his name. He stated that that man asked him to vote for the Trade Unions Bill. If the hon. Member had not seen that railwayman before how did he know that he was a member of the National Union of Railwaymen?

Photo of Sir Frank Meyer Sir Frank Meyer , Great Yarmouth

I grant that. I know he was a railwayman, but I do not know whether or not he was a member of the National Union of Railwaymen.

Mr. THOMAS:

The hon. Member now tells the Committee that he had no such evidence. I think it is rather unwise for anyone to criticise other people in that way. I want to come back to what I will call the practical side of the Bill. I have heard a number of speeches from hon. Members opposite, who declare that the ordinary trade unionist wishes to be protected against the bad advice and the precipitate action of their leaders in bringing them out on strike. I think that is a fair summary of their statements. Let me take my own case. I represent the biggest trade union, not only in this country but in the world—the biggest single organisation. I think there has been no dispute in which so far as authority is concerned, whatever else may be said about me, no one can say that there has not been some discipline in my union. I wonder how many Members in this House realise that when the whole of those men struck on two occasions, and when they were ordered back to work and went back, not one of them knew the terms on which they went back. That shows the power of the organisation, and it was at their own request that they did not have a ballot. The curious thing about our organisation is that there was a motion on the agenda that before a strike took place and before a settlement could be effected—this proposal was aimed directly at me in order to curtail my own power—the question should be submitted to a ballot of the men. Hon. Members will scarcely believe that there was not 2 per cent. of the railwaymen voted in favour of that motion. I ask the House in fairness, when talking about protecting the men, can there be any more democratic system than that of allowing the members to do exactly as they want to do? Strong as is my position in the union, it may surprise hon. Members to know that I have not even a vote in determining a strike, and all this talk about leaders determining strikes is quite untrue. In the case of a vote taken by my own executive to decide whether there shall be a strike or not, I have not even the power to vote one way or the other, and I think other leaders are in exactly the same position.

Whatever may be the rights or the wrongs of this system, it certainly demonstrates that the power in regard to strikes rests with the rank and file. When we come to the question of a strike, I go beyond that and I say that I have never known my executive actually sanction a strike that was not already started. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about last year?"] When hon. Members talk about the leaders calling the strike, they at once show that they know nothing about the facts. There were no less than 19 motions for my dismissal on our agenda in July, and they were actually put down because I refused to allow strikes and because I was opposed to them. Therefore, when hon. Members assume that the leaders are the cause of strikes, it shows how ignorant they are of the actual facts. I have known a strike engineered, and deliberately engineered, against my advice by a minority movement, and this Bill is going to inflict punishment on my executive and make them pay damages caused by somebody else who engineers the strike.

Captain O'CONNOR:

Is that not exactly what the Prime Minister said? He stated that it was perfectly well known that some of the unions had come under the control of the minority movement? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) has just given us an instance of that, and it will be remembered that when the Prime Minister made that statement he was called a liar

8.0 p.m.

Mr. THOMAS:

We are going to keep quite cool upon this point. The hon. Member for Great Yarmouth could not have followed clearly what I said. What I said is a far different thing, and it only shows the hon. Member's ignorance of the trade union movements when he makes such statements. It is an entirely different thing not only to have one, but 10, 12, and even 20 sectional strikes going on in different parts in which the people who engineered them or were responsible for them were not under the control of the union. Take the example of what happened at Liverpool, when Liverpool was paralysed by a sectional strike which my own executive opposed. In that ease the executive went to the length of refusing to negotiate with the employers until the men went back to work. That was imposing discipline from the head office. The moral of all that is, you believe it is something that ought to be stopped and that you ought to abolish it. You really believe that, and you would support that against the practical experience of every man connected with a union. Surely, such a man ought to be the best judge. My hon. Friend the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling), who spoke this afternoon, has sat with me on a committee year after year, and I have never known him fail to be condemned for his conciliatory methods. I have never known him in any other capacity. If there was an opportunity of finding a way out of the difficulty he would find it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] There is common agreement on that. But my hon. Friend the Member for Whitechapel gets up and says: "I am willing to put my 40 years' actual experience against your theoretical knowledge," and by their votes hon. Members say: "We do not believe you." I ask hon. Members to come back to the logic of it. I am sure they did not intend to reply in that way, but the fact remains that, when my hon. Friend tells the Committee that, hon. Members, by their votes, say to him what I have said.

I come back to the question of this Amendment. To-day we have had admitted what was not made clear on the Second Reading of the Bill. On the Second Reading of the Bill there was no Member on this side of the House who did not understand the Attorney-General to say that, so far as this Bill was concerned, it did not interfere with the existing rights of the workers to strike. I think that is a fair way of putting it. That was immediately challenged from this side of the House. We challenged it, not because of the accuracy of the statement, not because the Attorney-General said it, but because we could not reconcile it with the language of the Bill. That was the whole point. In other words, we said: "Whatever you may say in these speeches, we are compelled to recognise, when it is interpreted by a Judge or a Magistrate, that it will not be your speech but the language in this Bill." That was our case. What followed? The Second Reading went through. The first two days of the Committee took place. We are faced now on the third day with the Government's own actual words, that is to say, the amended words, the words which, when put in the Bill, will show exactly what the Government mean. When those words are submitted to this Committee there is an immediate, frank, and quite straightforward statement—the Attorney-General was not ambiguous, he did not attempt to camouflage it at all—by the Attorney-General, who said quite honestly and frankly, "Yes, in the, illustration that I myself gave I stated that a sympathetic strike would be illegal under this Bill." He has put the question fairly and squarely, and therefore I ask hon. Members not to go away with the impression, or to say in the country, or to contend, that we are dealing with something that retains the existing right of organised labour to withhold that labour.

I say that for this reason. If it was possible for anybody from any part of the House, I do not care where, to introduce a Bill into this House which in its object and in its application was calculated to minimise disputes, to develop more conciliation, in spite of what has been said I would support it. I have no hesitation in saying that, because I have had practical experience of both. I have had the experience of using conciliation, and I have had the experience of controlling strikes, and I have no hesitation in saying that he is a blind, mad, foolish leader who knows nothing of his job and who is in an insignificant minority, who attempts for one moment to say that he prefers the method of a strike. He is not only a foolish man but he is an unwise leader, he would be not only unwise but he would be false to his trust and his obligations, strong as he was for conciliation, bitter as he may be against a strike, anxious as he may be to promote peace—he would be a blind fool both to his own position and to his trust, if he did not recognise that once you take away the power to strike, the method of conciliation is absolutely gone. All experience proves that. Folks talk in this country as if the trade union movement merely came into being last year and the general strike was the result of it, and that is all the connection. I am one of those who frankly admit that there have been mistakes. I am not going to pretend that every strike has been justified. Of course, I know that every strike has not been justified, but I also know that there have been a number of lock-outs that have not been justified. There have been mistakes on both sides. But, making all those allowances, can anyone dispute that trade unions can ultimately only be maintained and have only been built up in the position that they occupy to-day, not by their conciliation methods, but because they have had the power to say, as a last resort: "We will withhold our labour, because we recognise that it is our essential bargaining power and we are not prepared to see it taken away."

We had a speech in the early afternoon from the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten). He is always as happy as if he were discussing a Licensing Bill or some such Bill as that; he is always introducing a lot of quips and cranks, but this is far too serious a matter for a speech of this kind. So far as this House is concerned, this is a very important Bill. There are four millions or five millions on the workers' side and there are large employers who will be affected by it. If, as a result of the Division, this Bill is placed on the Statute Book and the bar put up against these conciliation agreements, this House will have made it more difficult for the spirit of good will to be introduced and hon. Members will not have gained any political kudos. Even if they had, that would have been a detail. What that would have done will have been to create further handicaps on the improvement of the trade and development of this country. If I could have approached this question feeling for one moment that this Bill would do anything to help towards solving the problem, no party consideration would influence me in the least. But I suppose I meet as many men as other Members of the House every week-end. I have met more thousands of men this weekend than many Members will meet for a very long time. I am not now speaking of the sort of man who is always in trouble, but I am speaking of the sober-minded trade unionist; the man who is quiet. I can put in a sentence what he says. He says: "I know that my only bargaining power is the right to withhold my labour and sell it to the best advantage. Take that away and I am done."

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

He still retains that right, surely?

Mr. THOMAS:

Can that be truthfully said after this Debate? If you say he still retains a limited right, I agree with you. But it cannot be argued, it cannot be pretended, that that same right, that power to help not only himself but to help others, not only the desire to help himself economically but to help a man who is not in his own industry—it cannot be pretended that all these things are not affected by it. They are taken away under this Bill. It becomes more and more difficult for me, not only to define this Bill but to say what will be the ultimate end of it. The only end of it, I am perfectly sure, is what we originally suspected. It is not for me to give advice to the Government, but if I were attempting to give advice I would say: "Save the rest of your 19 Parliamentary days and occupy them with something more profitable to yourselves and, certainly, more advantageous to the community."

Captain O'CONNOR:

With a great deal of what the right hon. Gentleman has said I find myself in complete agreement, and if this Bill or any portion of it or any Amendments that we have put down to it really menaced the method of conciliation seriously, then neither the Bill nor the Amendment would have any support from me, no matter on which side of the House I sat. But I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman was chasing a hare. I wonder if he could possibly conceive any matter that could be submitted to conciliation in his industry about which this Bill would prevent a strike? The right of the workers in an industry to withhold their labour and to use that withholding as a supplement to any conciliation method is, so far as I can see, even under the amended Clause, not affected in any conceivable way. But what this Bill does do, and what this Clause does do, is to prevent an industry like that in which the right hon. Gentleman himself is engaged from being made the catspaw of other industries which are desirous of using his undoubted weight and his undoubted organisation for the purpose of a wholly illegal object. I have the honour to represent a constituency which is very largely composed of hat-makers and, taking all the hat-makers in the country, they comprise a very formidable economic body. It is difficult to think of any conceivable trade in which more economic hardship would follow than from a general strike in the hat-making trade. You never find the hat-makers being called in to support the miners, or to support any other industry. The trade or industry that you will find called in nearly always is the industry in which the right hon. Gentleman himself is particularly interested. Is not the reason for that quite obvious, namely, that the motive is too often not a sympathetic motive at all, not a motive for the purpose of putting economic pressure on anyone, but simply the motive of dragging in that trade or industry which will have the most disastrous consequences to the convenience of the community as a whole?

Mr. THOMAS:

May I interrupt for the purpose of making a correction? A similar statement has been made several times this afternoon, and I will endeavour to show in one sentence the connection that exists. In every miners' dispute, no matter how long it lasts, whether it be long or short, the first thing that happens is that an overwhelming number of the trained men employed on the railways go on one, two, or three days a week, and their union have had to support them under those conditions for as long as seven or eight months. The connection, therefore, can easily be seen.

Captain O'CONNOR:

I do not deny that certain disputes have direct economic results which would cause an economic connection between the railways and the industry that is engaged in a strike, but I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman himself would not dispute this, that his industry is the doyen, so to speak, of all industries, and that there is hardly a trade that wanted its particular grievances voiced that would not, if it could possibly to do so, enlist the sympathy of the right hon. Gentleman's union for the purpose of supporting it in its strike. The moment when the motive is so transmuted by a desire to coerce is the moment at which you want to catch the motive and inhibit it, as this Bill seeks to do. I am not saying for a moment that it does so in any way perfectly, or that you can in practice decide at what moment the motives of people cease to be merely sympathetic, and begin to be coercive. That is one of the real difficulties about this Clause as it was at first, or as it has been ever since, but not as I hope it will be before it finally goes on to the Statute Book.

From that argument I am led to be so bold as, first of all, to congratulate the Government on having altered their own Clause considerably. I do not think that in the mind of any discriminating people in the country they have weakened their position in the very least by recognising that they could improve their own Clause, and I hope they will keep to that point of view until this Bill finally comes back from another place. One of the things I am going to ask them to consider is whether they are wedded to the very form of this Clause even as it has been amended by them, and especially to the words as to imposing hardship on the community. The point of view that I want to advance is this: It seems to me, taking the illustration I have just been using, namely, that of the right hon. Gentleman's union, that there are really only a limited number of ways in which a strike such as we are all trying to suppress can be operated at all. It is only by bringing in a very limited number of industries that you can get into a strike that coercive element which is the element that we want to defeat. Why should not the Government recognise that definitely? Why should not they include a specification of a certain number of industries which may be used as the catspaw of coercion? As I have said, one cannot conceive a general strike of hatmakers, or even of bootmakers, and certainly not of barristers, or, less certainly, of doctors—

Photo of Mr David Grenfell Mr David Grenfell , Gower

Doctors have had a strike.

Captain O'CONNOR:

Then they are outside the scope of my argument. Really, when you come to boil it down, there are comparatively very few occupa- tions in this country which could be included within the designs of those who want to coerce the Government. Why not face that, and put them into the Clause, and put them in in this form, that coercing the Government would be attempting to deprive the Government or the community of these various things? Later on the Paper there is an Amendment in my name which attempts to do that by saying that coercing the Government means depriving the community of an essential food supply, of electricity, transport, and so on, and in that way recognising the directions in which the coercive forces are most likely to operate. Having done that, you have then to go a stage further, because you have to provide some machinery whereby the industries which are involved in that definition shall be able to make perfectly certain that they are not engaged in an unlawful enterprise. In connection with that, I have also attempted to put down an Amendment involving conciliation machinery, for which the right hon. Gentleman was pleading so eloquently a moment ago, so that any enterprise which comes within the ambit of the definition of an enterprise that might amount to coercion could put its object to the test. All that it would have to do would be to submit its object to the conciliation machinery, and, if it were a proper object for conciliation machinery, and had not passed through the ordinary stages of that machinery, it would possibly be put down as a general strike and come within the penalties of the Act. I suggest that some such proposal is at any rate worth consideration.

There are, of course, obvious difficulties. It would not be suggested, for instance, that the provision of conciliation machinery should be made a mere device by which those who wanted a general strike could formally submit their objects to the conciliation machinery and, when they were rejected, be able to say, "Now we will have a general strike." The matter would have to be made watertight in that respect. But, until some progress has been made in the direction of defining what coercion is, and, in so defining it, defining the means by which coercion can be exercised, we shall never really make this an absolutely satisfactory Clause. Coercion is the keynote of the whole thing. There are two keynotes. There is the design to coerce, and there is the effect of coercion, and, although it has been indicated that the design may be by inflicting hardship, nothing so far has been done to define the actual central term "coercion." That ought to be defined, even if, if I may say so with great respect, it should at some time or other involve remodelling the Clause; and, if that involves bringing a conciliation Clause into the Bill, I hope we can rely on the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), who, as he said, was prepared to put aside party and so on, to get up and, notwithstanding what those behind him may say, support that part of the Bill which deals with conciliation machinery.

Photo of Sir Rhys Morris Sir Rhys Morris , Cardiganshire

With much of the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) I fully agree, but his speech also illustrates the difficulty of dealing with a Clause of this character, even with the Amendment which the Government have brought in. The hon. and gallant Member suggests that it can only be clarified by defining what coercion is by stating the particular services of which the Government may be deprived, by setting out in a kind of schedule the specific trades. That would virtually mean that in certain classes of trades there would be no right to strike at all. This would merely remove from these people the right to strike in any circumstances, because it could easily be translated as coercion of the Government. I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) when he says this Amendment is an improvement upon the original Clause. It may well be an improvement on the original Clause, but even so it illustrates the real difficulty of attempting to legislate against revolutions, and that is what the Bill is here attempting to do. When events have moved so as to reach the stage of revolution, the Government must either be master in its own house or it must be beaten. An attempt to legislate beforehand against these circumstances is futile. I listened to the Debate through the afternoon, and much has been said about the sympathetic strike. It has been suggested that a sympathetic strike is hit at by this Clause as amended. With that I do not agree. It seems to me that, as the Attorney-General said on the Second Reading, it was not intended on the part of the Government to make the sympathetic strike illegal, and that the Bill does not do so. In my mind that is so, and as far as the wording of the Clause goes, I do not think the sympathetic strike is actually included in the Bill notwithstanding the fact that he said so to-day. It seems to me a sympathetic strike is illegal in certain given circumstances. It must be in furtherance of something beyond a trade dispute, and it must be designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship on the community. Assume for a moment that the coalminers are out on strike, and it is a strike in which they are engaged in pursuance of a dispute within their own trade or industry, and the railwaymen, to take the illustration given by the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. J. H. Thomas) come out on strike, not to coerce the Government but in sympathy with the miners. It is a sympathetic strike in sympathy with the miners. There can be no dispute about the second part, that it will inflict hardship on the community. That is true, but the infliction of hardship on the community by itself does not make that strike illegal. You have to go further and show that that infliction of hardship on the community is designed or calculated to coerce the Government, and unless you satisfy the magistrate or the Judge, as the case may be, that hardship is inflicted on the community in pursuance of that design and attempt to coerce the Government, as I understand and read the Clause, a sympathetic strike is a perfectly legal strike. The difficulty arises not at that point but when the Act comes to be administered. If the hon. Baronet the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth (Sir F. Meyer) had been the magistrate who had to try the case, in his view the Clause as it stands makes illegal a sympathetic strike of any kind. Holding that view and interpreting the Clause as he does, it would be clear that in cases coming before him as a magistrate there would be convictions in all of them. Assume a case of this sort, which has happened even in the events of the last 12 months. Take the miners' strike of 1921, where many unions, instead of coming out themselves, continued in employment but showed their sym- pathy by devoting part of their funds to assisting the miners. I have no doubt in many cases last year one of the arguments that weighed with certain other unions in deciding whether to assist the miners by devoting a portion of their funds or by coming out on strike, was that they should spend the money on themselves. I am not sure that that argument was not used last year.

Supposing a union took this view, that they were going to spend their money and come out on strike. They are clearly inflicting hardship on the community, but it cannot be said their purpose is to coerce the Government. Therefore, they are not engaged in an illegal strike. You come up against the practical difficulty of administration at once, whether the magistrate is going to accept the evidence in favour of the union or against it. It becomes merely a matter of evidence.

Captain O'CONNOR:

The hon. Member, of course, appreciates that there is nothing to prevent any union from applying money to support a perfectly legal strike.

Photo of Sir Rhys Morris Sir Rhys Morris , Cardiganshire

I quite agree that there is nothing to prevent them supplying money, but suppose instead of supplying money they decide to come out themselves, and they are in a key industry. The first thing you have to do is to decide motives. That is the thing you have to determine in order to determine whether a strike is calculated to coerce the Government. You are within the sphere of motives. One magistrate may very well convict and another may acquit. In my view the magistrate clearly in these circumstances ought to acquit. In the view of the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth, if he were the magistrate, he would convict. The result will be a great anomaly in the administration of the law in different parts of the country, and it may very well be that in certain cases where a conviction had been registered the people might not lodge an appeal and not serve their sentence for the given period. In another case there might be an appeal lodged upon the same set of facts and the Court might hold that no offence had been committed. The result will be that certain innocent people wrongfully convicted will have had to serve a sentence for which they ought not to have been sentenced at all.

I agree with every word the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling) said in that very moving speech, in his appeal for the development of conciliation and in that part of the speech of the right hon. Member for Derby. At present the existing law is strong enough to cope with events like those of last year. We saw a signal instance of that in South Wales itself. The Assizes sat one after the other continuously from the middle of November till the end of March of this year, and this is a remarkable thing that happened at Swansea. We found that a number of prisoners who had been convicted and sentenced passed a resolution, after conviction, expressing their appreciation of the way justice had been administered in that Court. The best guarantee for the administration of the law is respect for law and order, and respect for law and order even among those who have offended against the law, and when the law has been administered, they themselves have been sentenced under it. That is very remarkable. Another very remarkable thing is that a year before the general strike in South Wales there was a strike in the anthracite area and a number of offences were committed against the law. It may be said there were as many of the extremist elements in that area—I am putting the case from the point of view of the Government—as there are in any other area in South Wales, but the curious fact is that when the law took its course in the year before last in the anthracite area there was not a single case, as far as I know, from that area during the whole of the trouble in the coal mining district, including the general strike last year. That actually proves that the law as it stands is strong enough to cope with the whole of the situation that can arise, even in dealing with events of the magnitude and as far-reaching as the events of last year. You have to rest your case in this country, and especially so in circumstances that arise in a ease like last year, upon the people's belief in the maintenance of law and order. I would join in the appeal made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) that it would be better for the House of Commons to be spending its time in devising means of conciliation in industry rather than in discussing this Clause in a futile attempt to define a situation which it is impossible to define.

Photo of Sir William Brass Sir William Brass , Clitheroe

I only want to occupy the attention of the Committee for a very short time. I have spent this afternoon listening to the Debate, and what has interested me so much has been this general discussion of what is or is not a sympathetic strike, and whether a sympathetic strike will come under this Bill or not. A sympathetic strike, to my mind, will not come under this Bill, unless it is one trying to attack the community in some way or other. Ordinarily, a strike is called because of a threatened reduction of wages. If other unions threaten to come out on a sympathetic strike and withhold their labour in another industry altogether, how can they force the owners in the original industry to improve the conditions for the men in that industry? The amalgamations of the unions—I do not know whether I am correct in this—I have always understood, were for the purpose of trying to help one another financially, the object being that, if a strike were declared in one industry, the other unions in other industries would be able to support financially the strikers who had gone out, so as to be able to keep them out sufficiently long to bring pressure to bear on the owners in that particular industry, and in that way to win what they were out to get. But when a strike is declared in another industry it has a totally different object, like the general strike of last year. The general strike of last year could not possibly have compelled the coal owners to do anything so far as the miners were concerned. Obviously, it was only a strike to coerce the Government either to give a subsidy or to nationalise the mines. Any sympathetic strike, which, as far as I can make out, does not actually hurt or disturb in any way the owners of the original industry in which the strike takes place would become an illegal strike, because the only pressure it could possibly bring to bear would be a pressure brought to bear on the community and not on the owners or employers in that industry. The sympathetic strike, as I see it, is a strike in an industry where pressure can be brought to bear on that particular industry. That does not come under this Bill at all. That is not an illegal strike at all. It is only illegal when pressure is brought to bear, not on the employers, who are the people upon whom the pressure ought to be brought, but on the community, and, through the community, on the Government. That, I think, is perfectly right, and should be an illegal strike. That, it seems to me, appears to be the difference. The only way to bring pressure to bear on the owners so as to force them to do something is to do it financially, by getting employés to stay out long enough.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

Several speakers have recently said that none of us can be congratulated on the new form of this Clause which has been moved. I do not think there is anyone on this side of the Committee who regards the amended and expurgated Clause as anything in the nature of improvement on the one which was put forward originally. The only kind of improvement we would like to see would be one which would do away with the Clause altogether. The point I want to deal with in the very short time I intend to address the Committee is the inroad which this Clause makes on the right to strike. The right to strike, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) has said, is the very bedrock of trade unionism. If you take that away, trade unionism is of no use. It is the one weapon which can give something like equality of bargaining power as between the employers and employed. The sympathetic strike is becoming an essential part of that strike. It is said that the right of the sympathetic strike is not taken away. It is true that the sympathetic strike is not made expressly illegal, but it amounts to the same thing, because conditions are created which make the sympathetic strike impossible. I am reminded of a few lines which run something like this: Thou shalt not kill, but need not strive, Officiously to keep alive. The Government are saying: "We will not take away the right of the sympathetic strike. We will not destroy that altogether, but we will create such conditions as will make it utterly impossible." I would suggest to the Committee that the developments which have taken place in industry—the great combinations of finance—have made it absolutely essential, if the right to strike is to be of any value, that it should include the right to a sympathetic strike. I do not know whether hon. Members will cast their minds back to the early days of the War, but if they will do so, they will remember this, that when the Allies were fighting the Germans in the early days of the War there was a constant attempt on the part of the Germans to increase their fighting line and so turn the flank of the Allies. The Allies, in order to counter that, had to extend the length of their line until it reached from the Alps to the sea. The same kind of thing has been happening in industry and finance. The employers have been getting together in enormous financial and industrial combinations, and the only effective way in which the workers can counteract these great aggregations of finance is by combining and having, if necessary, sympathetic strikes. Let me give one illustration. Supposing the miners have a strike. They are fighting nominally only the employers in the mining industry, but the fact of the matter is, that these mining companies are now so interlocked and connected with other industries that all the time the contest is going on in that given industry these companies are drawing financial sustenance from their other undertakings. There are concerns which are engaged in 20 or 30 different trades. They can very well be engaged in an industrial dispute in one of their industries. but, having about 29 other industries from which they can draw their sustenance, they can afford to prolong that strike indefinitely. If workers are to stand any chance at all in competition of that sort, obviously, they have got to extend the nature of their strike and try to draw other industries into it and so bring effective pressure to bear upon the employers.

I would like to make this further point. A good deal has been said about the impropriety of coercive strikes—strikes which are going to coerce the Government into a certain line of action. I would suggest that strikes whiċh are designed and calculated to coerce the Government may, in certain instances, be justifiable. Take the conditions which prevailed in the mining industry last year. By general consent those conditions were of a nature which were deplorable. The great mass of the people believed that the miners were being underpaid and that the miners ought not to work more than seven hours a day. When you have a condition of things like that, when you have the conscience of the nation aroused and the mass of trade unionists in the country believing that this position of things ought not to obtain, they ought to be allowed to exercise what coercive power is at their command, in order to bring that condition of things to an end. Coercion is not confined to trade unions. There is coercion of an extra-Parliamentary kind. We had a situation in Shanghai a few months ago—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That cannot possibly apply to anything in this Clause.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

I hope you will allow me to make this illustration, that when one form of coercion is admitted, another form of coercion should also be allowed. I am speaking of extra-Parliamentary coercion of the nation's policy. You had a small community in Shanghai, very small in relation to the great mass of the mining community in this country. It was thought that their condition was such that a certain line of Government policy was necessary, and all sorts of extra-Parliamentary coercion were brought to bear on the Government in order to deflect policy. You had financial interests operating—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

No one in Shanghai struck work to coerce the Government.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

The matter we are now discussing is whether or not it is right for trade unions to endeavour to coerce the Government in a certain line of policy. May we not also suggest, as conditions now obtain which permit other interests to coerce the Government, that it is reasonable to suggest that the trade unions should be allowed to continue to coerce the Government? Is not that a perfectly reasonable point?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The point is whether the illustration is one that will be generally accepted, or whether it will start fresh controversy. If the hon. Member argues that coercion and other influences were brought to bear in Shanghai, some other hon. Member will proceed to rebut him, and we shall get far away from the subject under discussion.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

I do not wish to provoke fresh controversy. May I make my analogy more general? I will not refer specifically to Shanghai, but I will refer to the generally accepted fact that we have great newspapers in this country, with enormous power in influencing Government policy. These newspapers are frequently used for the purpose of coercing the Government. A community like the mining community has not at its command the necessary millions with which to establish and carry on newspapers of this character and to carry on that form of coercion. That kind of coercion is admitted, and I see no reason why, when you have a community like the mining community in conditions which arouse the sympathy of the great mass of the people, that they should not be allowed to utilise what poor coercive means there are at their command, in an endeavour to influence the policy of the Government. The same things apply in regard to legislation. It will never arise unless there are conditions of a scandalous character. You will never get the great mass of trade unionists in this country to agree to carry out a sympathetic strike unless the conditions of the industry which they are going to support are deplorable. If you do get conditions of that kind, if you get men so badly underpaid, or so greatly overworked, that the sympathy of the whole working class is aroused in support of them, and aroused to the point of being prepared to strike in support of them, there is no legitimate reason why you should interfere with that course.

I would like to call attention to the perverted kind of ethics upon which this Bill is based. I cannot refer to the question of the exaltation of blacklegs, because that would be out of order, but I will refer to the fact that you are seeking to degrade the nobility of the sympathetic strike. The Government may say what they like about the sympathetic strike, but it does call forth some of the finest attributes of the British character. You could not possibly hope to see a finer exhibition of altruism, a finer exhibition of comradeship than was displayed last year, when the great mass of the organized workers came out in support of the miners, and yet it is just that fine, exalted spirit of humanity which you are seeking to degrade by means of this prohibition of sympathetic strikes.

My final point is in reference to the right to the general strike. This House ought to be very reluctant to pass any kind of Measure which will make the general strike illegal. I can conceive of this House failing in its function as a representative chamber. There have been Governments in the past which have involved this country in a war which did not at the outset command the support of the great mass of the people. It is true that afterwards, by means of beating drums and all sorts of jingoistic appeals, they have contrived to get the mass of the people behind them, but at the outset of the War—

Mr. ERSKINE:

On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member in order in talking about the War?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

What is the hon. Member's point of Order. I have not been able to gather it.

Mr. ERSKINE:

I was asking whether the hon. Member was in order. You have ruled him out of order twice, and I suggest that he ought to be ruled out of order now.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The argument which the hon. Member is making is that a general strike against the outbreak of the late War would have been justifiable and should have been allowed, and that such a strike should be allowed in future. That argument seems to me to be perfectly in order.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

I would point out to the hon. Member that I am not discussing sex determination, but the right of the people to determine their industrial destiny. Governments have involved this country in wars which did not at the outset command the approval of the great mass of the people. I can conceive of such a contingency arising at some future time, and in that event it does seem to me that the weapon of the general strike would be a most beneficial weapon; it would be something which would command the approval and deserve the gratitude of the whole community, and I hope that when we are discussing the question of the general strike, even apart from the sympathetic strike, that that point of view will not be lost sight of. There was one other point which I wished to develop, but as other hon. Members wish to speak I will not proceed with it.

Photo of Sir Reginald Neville Sir Reginald Neville , Norfolk Eastern

If I had not been a lawyer I do not think I should have taken part in this discussion, but having for many years spent a great portion of my time in considering the history of the Labour movement I can well understand the attitude of most hon. Members opposite in regard to this Bill. When I look back, I see that the chief trouble that has been going through the country since we have had a long list of labour laws has been doubt, and the fact that almost always in every Act of Parliament, when you get to the crucial point, there is some doubt which makes it impossible for the plain man to know on which side law and order or lawlessness resides. When we are considering this Bill, and I think every one is attempting to deal most sincerely with it, we should look at it not from the point of view of any particular party or any particular interest, but from the point of view of the country. Indeed we must not forget that point of view. We have to ask ourselves, what is the reasonable thing to do? I believe everybody in the country, and hon. Members on both sides of the House, wants to act reasonably, if he is a loyal citizen of the country, and, therefore, the point of view is, what is the reasonable thing to be done in the circumstances?

The first thing is to make the provisions of the Bill as clear as it is possible to get them. Anyone looking at this Bill at first sight, would say that the provisions are not clear, and, therefore, looking at the matter from the point of view of the country generally and desiring to do the best that is possible to promote peace in the future, it should be our object to make the law clear and to do everything in our power to clarify and make as definite as possible this very difficult subject. We are dealing with perhaps the most difficult subject which this or many future Parliaments will be called upon to deal. It affects a large number of other cognate questions, such as sedition, treason and blasphemy, and Matters of that sort, and in these matters you are always confronted with the difficulty of giving a definition. We are in this position to-day. We want to have a reasonable definition. Nobody I think desires in the slightest degree to see taken away from labour the right to strike. I agree with much that has been said by hon. Members opposite, and I think they have shown admirable temper in the way they have discussed this question. I do not think any other party could have done better. Let us see what is reasonable.

9.0 p.m.

We have to consider three great sections in the country. We have to consider the employers, who are a small section; we have to consider the em-employés, which is a larger class, and we have to consider also a party which is neither an employer nor an employé, and that is the largest class in the community. The object of this Bill, as I understand it, is to see that this large class, which is not affected directly but which is largely and very hardly affected indirectly, should at all events have justice. If that is the object of the Bill, there is nobody on the Opposition side of the House, certainly no one on this, who would not want to see some reasonable Measure passed; and unless the Measure is a reasonable one, and such as men of good will are prepared to accept, it is going to do no good. If, on the other hand, it is a Measure which, taking into account all the difficulties of defining any of the subjects referred to in the Bill, is, on the whole, reasonable and meets with the approval of men of good will, then, I think, the effect will be like the effect created by a "Fleet-in-Being," it will never be wanted or required. This Bill if it is improved and properly administered may have the effect of bringing peace in the industries of this country. We have to have interpretations in this Measure. Many of the speeches made on the other side of the House, and also some on this side, have dealt with the matter, and I think the general opinion on the Labour benches is against the interpretation which has been placed upon various sections of the preceding Act by High Court Judges. I leave entirely out of the question the magistrates, because very often they are not trained lawyers and are incapable of weighing the niceties of distinctions in an Act of Parliament, and especially in such an Act of Parliament as this. May I say this. It is quite true that Judges are human. So are we in this House, so are also working men and employers. We are dealing with a most human question in the most human way, and when hon. Members find fault with Judges for being human they are only finding fault with themselves, for they are human too. You have to look at the way in which Judges have interpreted the law, first on one side and then on the other, and there are a good many occasions on which Judges have interpreted the law in favour of the working man as against the employers. Let me give one instance. The word "intimidate" appears in this Bill, and there is no word which has—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. and learned Member is going rather wide of the Amendment.

Photo of Sir Reginald Neville Sir Reginald Neville , Norfolk Eastern

I was only trying to point out that the ambiguities in this Clause are inherent in any question which deeply affects a large number of people, and that it is impossible to lay down words which will fit every case. You are bound to have some kind of interpretation in the Bill. Hon. Members opposite say that interpretations given by High Court Judges have been biassed in some cases. I think that is rather unfair. Judges are unable to protect themselves. They cannot write to the papers or defend themselves in public. The only people who can possibly give them protection are hon. Members in this House. I should like to point out, however, that when it comes to a question of interpretation judges have very often interpreted the law against the employers. Let me give one instance. The Act, I think it was the Act of 1871, in which there was a definition of "intimidation" was repealed. The definition in that Act was "such intimidation as would justify a magistrate in binding the man over." That Act was repealed, and the next Statute simply gave the word "intimidate." In one case a judge said that he could not go back on the definition in the previous Act, that intimidation means intimidation which would justify a magistrate in binding a man over, and he held that, although that Act had been repealed, the definition applied to this particular case. When hon. Members talk about judges acting in a biassed way, I think an instance like that, when a judge actually used the interpretation of a word in an Act which had been repealed, should be brought to the attention of the Committee.

I heard with great interest the suggestion of the hon. Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor). It seems to me there are only two ways in which you can deal with such a phrase as "trade or industry." You can either specify every trade and industry intended to be dealt with under the Bill, or you can use some general word, and I do not think anybody has suggested any word to cover all the cases which might arise, other than the words "trade or industry" or, perhaps, the word "employment." I think the hon. Member's suggestion that we should put into a Schedule to the Bill all those industries which are vital to the comfort and indeed to the existence of the great mass of the people, is an excellent one. I hope the Government will take the hon. Member's suggestion into their most careful consideration. I think the Bill ought to have a Schedule definitely setting out those key industries, a strike or stoppage in which would gravely affect the food, or the ordinary comforts or, perhaps, even the existence of the population generally who are not interested in the dispute on either side. Such strikes should be made illegal if carried out for the purpose of coercing the Government. I do not, however, like that word "coerce," and I think "compel" would be a better word. "Coerce" has been eliminated from certain Acts of Parliament because of the difficulties which it raised in the courts, and the word has a bad history in that respect. If a stoppage in a vital industry is for the purpose, not of helping some cognate industry, but of affecting the judgment of the Government and the well-being of the large bulk of the citizens, then I think it ought to be dealt with and by means of the suggestion of the hon. Member for Luton we should know exactly what industries are liable to be dealt with under that head. The hon. Member for Shoreditch (Mr. Thurtle) suggested that if these various industries were named, the men in them could never strike. I think he is in error. In these matters we always come back to the old point of the intent with which a thing is done. If a strike, even in a vital industry, were not for the purpose, of compelling the Government to do something which they did not wish to do, or affecting the community, then it would not be a strike affected by this Clause. You must have the motive of compelling the Government or the country or the State to do something which it does not see fit to do, and a strike not designed and calculated for that purpose would be entirely legal.

With regard to sympathetic strikes, I think the excellent book written by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb)—which is a sort of handbook for those interested in this question—shows that the sympathetic strike first arose about the year 1890, and I think since that time there has never been any decision of the Courts stating that the sympathetic strike is illegal. There is, therefore, a great deal to be said for the line taken by hon. Members of the Labour party, and this question has been admirably and most dispassionately discussed by Members of the Labour party. On that matter, however, they and I are on different sides. I think steps should be taken to deal with anything which menaces the country at large and the mass of citizens who, generally speaking, take but little part in these matters. I am all out for making these things quite clear, and I hope the Government will recognise the necessity for doing so. To leave these matters in doubt is not fair to the men, and is not fair to the employers and it is not fair to the Judges if they are to have put upon them the unpopularity and difficulty of interpreting ambiguous phrases merely because the House of Commons showed itself to be cowardly in facing these matters, and failed to find the best and most sensible words in which to express exactly what it meant.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Wellock Mr Wilfred Wellock , Stourbridge

I desire that my remarks should be chiefly in the nature of a warning. I have listened very carefully to these Debates, trying to discover the sort of dispute which would be possible under this Bill. Not only is the general strike made illegal but what we understand as the sympathetic strike is also ruled out. If we are not allowed to have a strike on a large scale, it may be found that in endeavouring to avoid certain evils, we have fallen into much greater evils. The hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) spoke about the disastrous nature of the dispute of last year and said that was the kind of thing which this Bill sought to avoid in the future. But there may be evils much greater than those arising from such a dispute as that of last year. I put this very obvious question to hon. Members. If the dispute of last year had been a success, what might have been the result? As things turned out, it was a failure. It might have been a success, however, and had it been a success it might have produced a revolution in the industrial methods of this country with far-reaching results. It is well to consider what happened in America a few years ago. We all know that there have been in America during the last few years tremendous changes in industrial methods. Those changes were the result of a series of successful strikes in that country. Those strikes were not exactly general strikes and, perhaps, they were not in the nature of sympathetic strikes, but a number of strikes took place and several of them ran concurrently. As a result, industrial methods were changed almost completely. The delegation recently appointed to study industrial conditions in Canada and the United States made a Report in which there is this very significant passage: There is no doubt that, in the first place, the policy favoured and actually put into operation by employers for the purpose of recovering from the depression of trade in 1921 was a general reduction of wages. Wherever the organisation of the workers was strong this was strongly resisted and with considerable success, notably in the mining, printing and building industries. The resistance to the policy of wages reduction was sufficiently great to enable other counsels to receive consideration. The Report goes on to state: The policy was changed to one of reduction of costs other than by further wages reductions and there was a concentration on increasing productivity, reducing costs and generally increasing efficiency, which, with the maintenance of the purchasing power of the people at the highest level has had far-reaching effects on American industry. If the stoppage of last year had had such a result—and it might have had—it would have revolutionised industrial conditions and method in this country and have justified itself in that particular respect. I want to suggest that there is a very great danger in making the Constitution too watertight. There are instances, such as were referred to by the hon. Member for Shoreditch (Mr. Thurtle), where the Parliamentary system might break down, but there may be other instances. We had a few years ago great trouble in Ireland, and there were members of the party opposite who were inclined to an act of rebellion on that occasion. Supposing we had had a rebellion in this country, led by the present Home Secretary and Lords Birkenhead and Carson. I suggest that in those conditions the probability is that a general strike would have been the only salvation.

Again, I think one can get a very useful illustration from what happened in Germany in 1920, in an incident which I had the opportunity of witnessing at first hand. Reference has already been made to it by my right hon. Friend the Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb). In March, 1920, when what is known as the Kapp putsch took place, I was staying in Berlin and I was living in the centre of the city. On a particular Friday night, quite unknown to anybody a few thousand troops marched into Berlin and took possession of the city. During Saturday and Sunday a general strike was organised by the workers of Berlin, and it was the most complete general strike that has ever taken place in any part of the world. By Sunday evening that strike was in perfect order, and on Monday morning there was not a single service running, gas and electricity were cut off, water was allowed to run, but it was impossible to have any cooked food, and so on, for a period of four or five days, and the result was that the Government, who were previously opposed to a general strike—as much opposed to it as are the present Government of this country—were glad to welcome the general strike as the only means of saving the situation. It did save the situation, and without a safety valve of that kind any country is liable to be in a very queer street when certain situations arise.

That is a very germane illustration of what may happen, and the result was that by the following Thursday evening the whole action of the Kapp putsch fell to pieces, and terms were made. I stood on that Thursday evening in the Leipziger-strasse at the foot of Wilhelmstrasse, and I watched a few thousand troops according to the terms of the agreement march out of the city, defeated by a defenceless mass of people who had operated a very successful general strike. We do not know what the future may have in store for us, and it may be that we should need to resort to a condition of that kind. I may make further mention of a very delicate situation that arose in India a few years ago, at the time when the non-co-operation movement was coming into being. There was discussion in India at that time as to whether this kind of action should be allowed or declared illegal, and thanks to Lord Reading, who held a consultation with Mr. Gandhi and with Lala Rajpat Rai and one or two other leaders, it was decided not to declare that action illegal. If they had declared it illegal, the probability is that there would have been an uprising in India of a very devastating kind, but that was staved off simply because, although it was not actually a general strike or strike action, it was action of a similar character.

The question of war was raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), and I think it needs to be emphasised in this Debate. During the past few years there has been a great development of peace feeling in this country, and large numbers of people to-day believe that wars can and ought to be prevented, and they are prepared to take far more drastic action today than ever they have been in the past. I suggest that on any matter where war is involved, there is likely to be a large amount of opposition in this country, and a general strike for, say, 24 hours, in which people might be able to express their attitude upon a matter of such great importance, is a matter that ought to be very seriously considered. How else can a people manifest its will in a very critical situation such as the proclaiming of a war except by some such method as a general stoppage for 24 hours? In conclusion, I am afraid we are likely to make the mistake that Governments and nations have made in the past. We are forgetting that history repeats itself, and it may be that by making our Constitution too watertight to-day we are simply, instead of preventing revolution, stimulating and causing it by causing our Labour movement to work underground instead of on the surface, and if it cannot ventilate itself in a reasonable way the time may come when it will burst out in ways that none of us desires to see. For these reasons, I think this part of the Clause should be deleted.

Photo of Mr Ellis Davies Mr Ellis Davies , Denbigh

In voting against the Second Reading of the Bill I had no doubt but that the general strike was illegal, and I assumed it would be accepted as general proposition of law, that anything that is inimical to the State is illegal and can be dealt with at common law. If I am asked to decide what is inimical and dangerous to the State, I think the obvious answer is that it is always for a jury to decide and that the ultimate decision of vexed questions between the State and its citizens rests with a jury, which is intended to express the common sense of the people of this country. To my mind, there is a danger that we may harm ourselves, as was stated by the hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. A. Hopkinson) by too clear a definition of what is intended to be dealt with under this Bill. The advantage of a common law prosecution and of an indictment was that it was practically left to the jury to decide and not to the Judge. Incidentally, no question as to whether a strike is illegal or not should be left to the decision of a magistrate. I have had some experience of magistrates, and while I have no doubt that they intend to do what is good and just, I am equally sure, on the other hand, that by their general training they are quite unfit to decide a question of this kind, and I suggest to the Attorney-General that he should consider giving the right of appeal in each case from the decision of a magistrate to that of a jury in quarter sessions or assizes.

I am the more concerned about this Bill after having followed the Debate very closely because, unless I am very much mistaken, the first Clause of the Bill may make practically any strike illegal, for it is not the generality of a strike which makes it illegal, but its object. It is the object of a strike that may make it illegal, and not whether it is extended or otherwise. Take the remarks made by the "Times" on the railway strike in 1919. On 1st October, 1919, the "Times" referred to the attempt of the strike leaders to subvert constitutional government and to starve the nation into acquiescence in their revolutionary design. That was one strike. It was a strike of railwaymen. It was not a general strike, and it was not a sympathetic strike, and yet if the "Times" was right, that strike was illegal within the meaning of this Bill. There is also the question of a sympathetic strike. The Attorney-General has assured us that the sympathetic strike is not illegal under the Bill, but may I point out that the "Solicitors' Journal," the highest authority at any rate in one branch of the profession, pointed out in an article on 14th May that Clause 1 is so framed as to make it necessary that a strike should be sympathetic in order to be illegal and the strange result may follow that an original strike may be legal whilst the subsequent sympathetic strikes would be illegal. and the question arose whether the sympathetic strike made the original and legal strike an illegal one. It is no good the Government or its representatives in the Committee suggesting that there is no difficulty. The difficulty does not lie merely with Labour Members. There is a serious difficulty as to what really the intention of the Government is in the words they have used. The Clause does make a sympathetic strike illegal. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Hon. Members may differ, but I have given the best consideration I could as a Member of the profession to the construction of this particular Bill, and I am quite satisfied in my own mind that, not-withstanding the assurance of the Attorney-General, the effect of Clause 1 is to make every sympathetic strike illegal. Not only that, but if there is a sympathetic strike in connection with a strike which might be perfectly legal and the men come out, that may, as the "Solicitors' Journal" has pointed out, make the original strike, which was perfectly legal, illegal. Surely that is not intended. I do suggest that the Attorney-General might very well remember the advice given by this legal journal. Even if the ambiguity cannot be entirely removed, it would both simplify and strengthen the Clause if the words has any object other than …. within the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged. were omitted altogether. I suggest for serious consideration that if this Clause is to be drafted in a manner which can be understood, not merely by the laymen, who are entitled to understand it, but even by members of the legal profession, the words I have quoted should be deleted.

Mr. ROY WILSON:

I hesitate to take part in the Debate this evening, because I am neither a lawyer nor a trade union official. But as one of a large number of Members sincerely desirous of explaining to one's own constituents with the greatest degree of clarity possible, what this important Clause means, I should like to ask the Attorney-General one or two questions. First of all, may I say how grateful I am to him for the extremely clear statement he gave this afternoon in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) in regard to the attitude, for instance of the railwaymen, coming out in support of the miners. As I understood the position, the Attorney-General stated that if the miners were engaged in a strike to better their conditions and if the railwaymen came out, having no grievance against the railway managers, in support of the miners in their fight against the coalowners, that would be illegal under Clause 1, Sub-section (1) of the Bill. This seems to me to carry with it also not only people like the railwaymen, and I should like to ask the Attorney-General whether I am right in thinking that if, say, people engaged in the supply of water in any large town or those engaged in supplying electric light to the community, or employés engaged in keeping up the essential utility services in the country, were to strike in sympathy with the miners, that would also be illegal under this Bill? As far as I can see, it would, and I hope the Attorney-General will be able to tell us quite clearly when he replies, if my reading of the Bill is correct in that respect.

The other question I should like to ask the Attorney-General is this. The hon. Member who has just sat down and also the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) both made this statement, that under Clause 1 all sympathetic strikes were in future impossible. That is not my view of the Bill, and I should like to put a question to the Attorney-General, because I think it would clear the minds of a good many of us in that respect. Let us assume again that the miners came out on strike to improve their own conditions, and let us assume, further, that the bricklayers or the joiners and carpenters decided that although they had no grievance against their own employers, they would come out in sympathy with the miners. Is that, or is it not, illegal under the Bill? As I read Clause 1, Sub-section (1), such a strike on the part of the bricklayers or carpenters would not be illegal under the Bill because it does not fulfil both the conditions laid down in the Clause, the first condition being that they have to be within the industry—neither of these are within the industry—and, secondly, it does not cause grievous hardship to the community if the bricklayers or joiners come out on strike. If the Attorney-General would be good enough to give me an answer on these points I think it would add greatly to clearing up certain points when talking in our own constituencies about the Bill, because I am quite convinced there are a very large number of Conservative Members like myself whose only desire when addressing meetings is to answer questions in our own constituencies to those people who ask for information on these points, and to give the very best information we can and to be as clear on this controversial Clause as we possibly can.

Photo of Mr Shapurji Saklatvala Mr Shapurji Saklatvala , Battersea North

It has been made amply clear that the present series of Amendments before the Committee are making the original Bill a little worse than it was before. The Attorney-General, as would befit a person of his stamp, quite clearly evaded the real issue. He himself emphatically pointed out, by paraphrasing a few words, that every sympathetic strike would become in fact illegal, though he kept putting forward an imaginary theory that in some inconceivable conditions of life, some imaginary and improbable form of sympathetic strike, could be, or might be illegal. The Attorney-General also clearly pointed out in his speech that when the employés in a particular industry came out and the product of that industry was stopped, the masters in that industry could not be further punished insofar as 100 per cent. of their output is already stopped. He knows very well that, with the development of industry at the present moment, with the develop- ment of capitalism as far as it has gone, and with the activity of the trade union movement, almost every strike in every industry is, and should be, a national strike, so that from the first day the employers are punished to the full 100 per cent., as far as it lies within the power of the employés to punish them.

I should like the learned Attorney-General to give half a dozen examples of ordinary sympathetic strikes which he would describe as legal. He has dodged that all the time. He has given fantastic illustrations, but he cannot give half-a-dozen illustrations of ordinary sympathetic strikes in support of a given industry that would not fall within the new law. The whole of the Bill is really introduced to stop all strikes, and we fail to realise why the Government and their followers should mince words about it, and not openly say that they intend in future to stop all strikes, whether sympathetic or primary. That is the real intention of the Bill. All the time every speaker on the Conservative side is trying to give a false definition of the word "strike." If the community, the nation at large, of its own free will chooses to depend upon private persons for the protection of the necessities of life, then that community must hold itself responsible for the good or bad conduct of those private persons who undertake the production of the necessities of life, and when those private persons enforce untenable or undesirable conditions for labour, then labour has got a right immediately to inconvenience the whole community which permits those private persons to carry on production for the nation.

Every strike under a capitalistic system must directly aim at bringing pressure upon the community which permits private persons to carry on important industries. It then becomes the duty of the community either to force those private persons to behave in a proper way, or to set them aside and nationalise those industries. Every strike must tend to bring pressure upon the community. It would frustrate its object if it did not bring pressure upon the community. It says that to-day, under modern conditions of industry, one set of workers could bring pressure upon the employers, is to state an unrealisable position, and it is the position of the workers in every in- dustry to bring direct pressure upon industry. If that position be properly understood, then the unconstitutional and inequitable nature of the present Bill can easily be seen. The Attorney-General, as well as many other speakers, have said that it is their intention, if any strike calculated to improve the wages, the working conditions, or the social conditions of the trade unions is put into force, then it is legal. It is further said that, even although some workers are themselves not in a dispute with their own employers over any question of wages or conditions of labour, but are stopping work to assist another body of workers, that is also legal. I am sorry that the first Amendment of the Government debars me from moving an Amendment standing in my name, but if the Government honestly believe that these things are legal, my Amendment clearly puts into law that any strike calculated to improve the wages, working conditions, or social conditions of the trade unionists, either directly or indirectly, is legal. Further, the Government should point out the conditions in which sympathetic strikes are legal. Why not clearly tell us in the Bill what strikes and what sympathetic strikes are legal? I suggest seriously to the Government, that if they want "Peace in our time, O Lord," they should scrap this Bill, and accept all the 11 Amendments which stand in my name, and which describe clearly what the rights of the workers are, what strikes are legal and what strikes are illegal, and how the masters who behave illegally should be dealt with. If the master-class is immaculate, as we are told by the Government, I would urge the Government to accept my Amendments, because in that case they would never have to be operated. The masters would never violate those principles from which I am trying to bar them.

In conclusion, let me appeal to the Government to be more candid than they have been hitherto. The right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) tried to analyse the minds of the Government and their followers as to the good intentions with which they are introducing this Bill. I may try to analyse their conscience, and I may not be able, perhaps, to take the same view as the right hon. Member for Derby. I think the Government ought to say quite clearly that, viewing the development of modern capitalism, and viewing the development of the trade union movement, they do not believe it possible to avoid for very long the leadership of the Communist movement in this country. They may be right or they may be wrong—I am not agreeing with the Government, if they do put forward the view—but there is not the slightest doubt that the Government are putting forward this Bill, not with a view to minimising disputes in trades, but with a definite conviction that within a few years the Communist leadership within the trade union movement and the Labour movement of this country is inevitable and unavoidable. It may appear ridiculous to several of my colleagues and friends on this side, but I say the Government have introduced this Bill, not in order to minimise disputes, but—they may be right or they may be wrong; I do not ask my colleagues to accept it—the Government are acting directly with the idea at the back of their minds that, watching the development of the Labour and trade union movement of this country, the leadership of the Communist school of thought is inevitable within a measure of time.

That is the first fear at the back of their minds. The second fear, which they do not put forward so clearly, is that trade unionists will come to understand that no improvement in their conditions is possible whilst the capitalist system lasts, and, therefore, by a series of strikes or general strikes, or by a direct attack on the Government, they will seek not to improve their wages or hours of work, but to overthrow the capitalist system and to take possession of the means of production. These are the two fears which have taken a grip on the soul of the Government, and it is with those two ideas in mind that they have introduced this Bill. The guiding principle of the Bill does not seem to be one of keeping the master class on equal terms in the event of their having to meet such an attack, but of smashing up the trade union movement before is progresses further; and I appeal to the Government to be perfectly honest, and to say they are afraid of Communism going forward, afraid of the trade union movement demanding, not merely higher wages and shorter hours, but demanding to take possession of the State and to take control and possession of the industries. The Government must confess that it is on that account they are not taking any measures to strengthen the employers to meet that attack when it comes, but are purposely intending to smash up the trade union movement before it goes any further.

Captain CROOKSHANK:

I do not wish to follow the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala) in his prophesies of the future of Communism, and if I may get back to the words of this Sub-section, it would be to point out that a governing factor in the phrase in which it is proposed to make a strike illegal are the words Designed or calculated to coerce the Government. I suggest to the Attorney-General that the word "Government" there is entirely out of place, and does not represent what he means to imply. [HON. MEMBERS: "Birrellism!"] As a matter of fact, an Amendment on this point was handed in by myself before Mr. Birrell or anyone else had drawn attention to this; but the support of Mr. Birrell adds strength to the argument that I want to adduce, which is, that I do not think that in law or in constitutional history there is such a thing as "the Government." [HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed!"] I am speaking in the constitutional sense. In the ordinary language of every day the words "the Government" are very well known, and we have never had a more sagacious or competent set of Ministers than those who now occupy the Treasury Bench; but I am speaking about words in an Act of Parliament. We frequently find in Acts of Parliament a statement that a Secretary of State can do such and such a thing, and in other Acts we find the words "the Minister," who is afterwards defined as the head of a certain Department; but I do not think there is any support for introducing the words "the Government," because the Government, after all, are an agglomeration of Secretaries of State and Ministers.

Even if I were to grant the first premiss, that the word "Government" was the correct designation for what we are trying to get at as the body the general strike would be intended to coerce, I think I should be right in saying that the "Government," using the word in that sense, could not be coerced, because a Government as such, and Ministers as such, are not in a position to be coerced. The people who could be coerced are Members of Parliament, because it is only through Parliament that Ministers can act. Ministers proprio motu cannot do anything, I submit. A successful general strike would have two results, roughly speaking. One would be that some legislation would have to be passed through Parliament, or, alternatively, that a sum of money, a subsidy or something of that kind, would have to be provided to assist the industry primarily concerned. A Government qua Government could do neither of those things. To get the money the Government would have to come down to this House and Supply would have to be voted to His Majesty; and though the Government could introduce legislation they could not guarantee its passage Therefore, I invite the learned Attorney-General to consider whether he is right in using the word "Government" in this connection.

I may be wrong in claiming that "Parliament" is the right term. Mr. Birrell has suggested that the right word would be "country," but I do not think you could imagine a general strike the object of which was to coerce a country, because country is not definite enough; and, further, to coerce it would not be any good, because we should still be up against the same proposition as if we were coercing Ministers—only it would be the other way round—in that the country cannot act except through its elected representatives in Parliament. Therefore, from whatever point of view it is considered, the ultimate body on whom pressure is to be brought is Parliament—not necessarily the House of Commons only, but Parliament. The hon. Member for York (Sir J. Marriott), in a learned work on the functions of a modern State which he has published recently, frequently uses the term "the King in Parliament," but I do not think there is any authority for putting that in an Act of Parliament Besides, the use of that phrase would bring us up against the very same sort of difficulty that Mr. Birrell was envisaging when he said that much misapprehension was being caused about this Bill through people thinking it meant coercing this particular set of Ministers. If we use that other phraseology ignorant and thoughtless people might think a general strike could only be illegal because it was an attempt, in the words which would be in the Act, to coerce His Majesty in person, which, of course, would also be ridiculous. Therefore I hope the learned Attorney-General will consider this question.

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Span Valley (Sir J. Simon), in an Amendment which we rejected earlier, did propose the words "Government or Parliament," showing that he had some misgivings about the use of the word "Government" but I do not think his phrase would be adequate for the reason that the one includes the other. Of course, according to our constitutional usage Ministers must be Members of one or other of the two Houses. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] According to our generally accepted usage. We do not have a written constitution, but it is very rare to find Ministers who for any length of time are not Members of one House or the other; excepting, of course, the period of the Great War, which, from a constitutional point of view, may be regarded as apart. Therefore I hope that as we are all aiming to make this particular Measure as clear as possible to the ordinary intelligence of the masses of the country who will be most concerned we shall avoid any constitutional inaccuracies in our desire to give completely accurate phraseology.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Smethwick

Far be it from me to follow the hon. and gallant Gentleman into his plaintive inquiry as to whether or not we have a Government. I am glad that that spirit of inquiry is spreading on the benches opposite. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken displayed a bewilderment in regard to this Measure which is more than excusable when we remember that three King's Counsel have risen on the Conservative benches, and have said that they did not in the least understand what this Measure was designed to promote. The Attorney-General rose in his place and said the one object of the Government was to let every worker in the land know exactly where he stood. In all these discussions surely nothing is more amazing than the denial of the Attorney-General that all sympathetic strikes will be rendered illegal under Clause 1 of this Bill as it is now drafted. In reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), the Attorney-General distinctly stated that any strike by a body of workers outside the trade which was involved in the primary dispute could have no other object than to coerce the Government or inflict hardship upon the community. The right hon. Gentleman said that when a complete cessation of work takes place the maximum pressure has already been brought to bear upon the employers in that trade. Then the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to say that if another body struck in sympathy they would not be inflicting any greater pressure upon the employers, but their strike could only be directed against the Government of the day and therefore would be illegal. That definition is out of the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman himself, and his words will be on record in the OFFICIAL REPORT to-morrow, and that statement most inevitably covers every sympathetic strike.

10.0 p.m.

The Attorney-General, in response to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) carried that definition to a very remarkable extreme. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs put two questions to the Attorney-General. First of all, he asked whether railwaymen would be committing an illegal act if they refused to carry coal from abroad, and the Attorney-General replied: "Certainly they would; it is easy to see that if the Government was importing the coal that would be regarded as evidence against the Government." The Attorney-General carried this matter a stage further, and he said even in the case of coal produced for the British market if railwaymen refused to carry it they would be committing an illegal act, although such action would be primarily directed not against the community but against the owners. It would be necessary for the owners to secure a transport and distribution of the coal in order to sell it and make such profits as were available to them. The right hon. Gentleman carried his definition of a sympathetic strike so far as to cover such cases. It is conclusive when the right hon. Gentleman has been challenged over and over again to produce one single instance of a sympathetic strike which would be legal he has failed to do so. I would like the Minister who is going to reply for the Government to tell us of any single case in which a sympathetic strike would be legal under this Bill. After the definition given by the Attorney-General, which will be on record in the OFFICIAL REPORT, it will be clear to the whole country that any form of sympathetic strike will be totally impossible under the Measure which we are now discussing. I would like to carry this inquiry to a point which has not been discussed very much in these Debates, and it is at what point does illegality arise, even when a strike is confined to the workers engaged in the particular trade in which the dispute originates? Supposing the miners come out on strike unsupported by the railwaymen or anyone else, at what point does that strike become illegal? I contend that it very speedily becomes illegal. The Attorney-General gave two contradictory explanations which appear to have passed unnoticed. First of all he said that if the dispute is confined to a particular trade a strike could never be illegal even if it was designed to coerce the Government. In the second place he said that if they announced that a strike was intended to force the Government to pass legislation then it would be illegal, but he said the workers would not be so foolish as to strike to bring pressure upon the Government to pass legislation for a seven-hours' day.

The right hon. Gentleman distinctly said that a strike would be illegal if the strikers announced the intention was to put pressure on the Government. The men could go out and put pressure on the owners and the object of the strike might be to secure a seven-hours' day. Some leader or worker might say, "We expect nothing from the owners, and our only chance is to keep up the struggle until the Government is forced to intervene with legislation"; then the strike becomes illegal because it is coercing the Government of the day. I want to know if one worker making a speech of that character is sufficient to illegalise the whole of the strike. It is not only the seven-hour day and legislation of that kind that is involved. If the strike is confined to a particular industry it can be represented as having the object of securing a subsidy from the Government, and I would like to ask if that would be an illegal strike designed to coerce the Government?

The Government have not attempted to answer these questions. May I point out the danger which arises from these considerations? When does a subsidy become the object of a strike? Is it when the owners manage to rig the books in order to show that they cannot afford to pay the wages demanded? Is that the moment when it is said that the objective is to secure a subsidy and that the Government is being coerced? All these questions must be met because they are inquiries which go to the very root of the system under which we are living. If the argument is that industry cannot bear the rate of wages, and that the demands made are in excess of what it is considered the industry can bear, is that coercing the Government? If that is so, then we shall have to inquire at what rate of interest the capital is being remunerated. Consider the case of the Lancashire cotton trade where the capital has been so watered that it has become impossible to pay the rate of interest and at the same time to pay a decent rate of wages to the workers. These are questions to which the Government have not addressed themselves at any stage of this discussion, but which must be answered, either in this House, or in the debate in the country which is coming and which will be the real debate, since the Government have seen fit to run away from discussion. Has any more ignoble flight from the tribunal of debate ever been witnessed than the flight of the present Government, after sustaining for 18 hours the biggest hammering that any Government has ever received in the memory of anybody in Parliament, at any rate, since the War, and, I should imagine, before the War? Never have Government spokesmen so totally failed to deal with the arguments and been so contented to sit in ignoble silence until, at the end of a discussion into which they have scarcely entered, the Chief Whip or the Leader of the House moved the Closure and throttled further debate, and at the end of it all, they bring in this Guillotine Motion which has rendered entirely farcical the remainder of our proceedings. All this to carry a Bill which one of their leading supporters said this afternoon was deliberately left so loosely and badly drafted that the Judges in the Courts could read any interpretation into it which they cared to read.

The hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. A. Hopkinson) is a very strong supporter of the Government, and he is one of those people who reveal and express the mind of his party at unfortunate moments. Last year he told us how triumphantly the coalowners had succeeded in coercing the Government. This afternoon, he told us that this Bill was left deliberately vague because it was dangerous to define it, and that lawyers and judges could express the Government's mind in safer ways than the Government could express their own. The only observation I will make about the hon. Member is that if this Bill had been in force and had been fairly administered at the time he wrote that famous article, he certainly would come under its provisions and he might now be enjoying a prolonged rest-cure from his Parliamentary labours. The fact is that the Government would like to be Fascists but have not the courage; they have not the courage to wear their black shirts. They dare not put down in an Act of Parliament what they really mean, and so they draft their Clauses so loosely that class-conscious benches of magistrates can deal as they will with any working class organisation. And they will so deal with them. I have heard the usual eulogies of the impartialities of British justice from the benches opposite.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Smethwick

The Noble Lord's interventions in these Debates are so rare and refreshing that when he spoke, after duly pondering the topic which he is now illuminating, I was at once alert with breathless interest; but I can assure the Noble Lord that there was no necessity for him to repeat that observation. This Bill has been deliberately badly drafted in order to enable the magistrates to do the work which the Government fear to do themselves. Now it is to be rushed through the House. [Interruption.] I trust that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Grantham (Sir V. Warrender) finds his conversation more interesting than we find his speeches. The Government have run away from Debate in this House. The Government have done more than run away from the Debate; they have run away from the one honourable course which they could have taken, that of submitting proposals which have never yet been submitted to the verdict of the country. Our part for the remainder of this farcical Debate, made possible by the curtailment of all discussion and the refusal to make any reasoned reply, is to congratulate the most contemptible Government of modern times on having won its power by forgery and using its power for the establishment of slavery.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

It may be perhaps for the convenience of the Committee that I should, for a very few minutes, endeavour to deal with one or two of the real points which have emerged in this Debate. There were, as it seems to me, two fallacies which underlay a good many of the arguments which we have heard—[Interruption.] The first mistake which, I think, underlay a good many of them, was the assumption that a strike in an essential service was prohibited by this Bill even if it were a strike for the furtherance of a trade dispute within that industry. Of course, I have said repeatedly, and I can only repeat once more, that both conditions have to be fulfilled in order to make a strike illegal, and that any strike within an industry, in furtherance of a trade dispute in that industry, is not affected by this Bill, however much it may tend to coerce the Government.

The second fallacy, which has been repeated more than once, is the suggestion that this Bill renders all sympathetic strikes illegal. Of course, again, it does nothing of the kind. The statement ignores, first of all, the fact that there are a great many sympathetic strikes within a trade or industry. Let me give an instance. Supposing that there were a strike, let us say, in the railway industry, to take an important industry, in respect of the wages of the engine men, and supposing that other grades of railway men desired to come out in support of that strike, that would be what I understand to be a sympathetic strike—[Interruption]—that is to say, it would be a strike by people other than the engine men, who were not striking in respect of their own conditions of labour at all, but in sympathy—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is no good shouting "No" to what is an obvious truism, namely, that the strike, in so far as the railway men who were not engine-drivers were concerned, would not be in respect of their own conditions of labour—because we are dealing with an assumed case in which only engine-drivers' wages and conditions were affected—but in sympathy with the engine-drivers and in order to assist their case. That would be purely sympathetic. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is no good saying "No," because it would be sympathetic. Hon. Members will not be convinced, apparently, by argument, and I certainly shall not be convinced by clamour. Hon. Members sometimes seem to oscillate between the two alternatives of rowdyism and flight. [Interruption.] This evening we have been discussing quite amicably certain real points that need discussion, and I was giving what I intended to be a fair reply.

Photo of Mr James Sexton Mr James Sexton , St Helens

May I put a concrete case? Take the transport trade, with 10 different industries, and 10 different kinds of employers. One separate section of that trade has a dispute with an individual employer. They all belong to one union. The places of the people who have the dispute are taken by blacklegs, and goods are sent to another set of men in the same union, employed by different employers. Would the men whose conditions are not in dispute be entitled legally to assist the men who are engaged in a legal dispute because they are members of the same union?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

The fact that they were members of the same union would not be the test. The test would be, as I said before, first of all, whether the strike was in the same industry—not the same union; and, secondly, if it were not in the same industry, whether it was a strike calculated to coerce the Government. Let me give another illustration of the second sort of sympathetic strike which is not rendered illegal. I think the test was put quite accurately by my hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield (Mr. Roy Wilson) in the speech he made earlier this evening. He took the case of miners striking in respect of some trade dispute of their own, and he asked whether, supposing other trades which related to essential services struck in sympathy that would be a prohibited strike. My answer is that, if that strike took place in an essential service, and if it were on such a, scale that it would inflict hardship on the community to an extent sufficient to coerce the Government, that, of course, would be prohibited. [Interruption.] On the other hand, my hon. Friend, again I think quite accurately, put the case of some workmen in non-essential services who came outin support of such a strike of miners. The answer would be, of course, that that is not prohibited, because it would not be an essential service.

Mr. ROSSLYN MITCHELL:

We hear so much about essential service and there is nothing about it in the Bill. What is an essential service?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

It is a term that has been used five or six times to-day. An essential service is one the stoppage of which inflicts hardship upon the community. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor) suggested—and it was an interesting suggestion—that it would be possible to schedule such services as are essential and were therefore services within which a sympathetic strike on a large scale could not be permitted. The difficulty of doing that is that the question of which services are essential may vary radically, according to the circumstances existing at the moment. Let me give an instance. In ordinary peace time if there were a strike in the chemical industry that would not be a strike in an essential service, because it would not inflict such hardship as to coerce the Government or paralyse the community. But supposing the object of the strike was to coerce the Government, let us say not to go to war with some foreign Power, and to prevent the Government getting the munitions necessary to carry on a campaign. The chemical industry might become such an essential service to the very life of the country that what in ordinary peace time would be a perfectly harmless event would become a menace to the safety of the whole country.

Another instance was given by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) if I followed him rightly. Supposing the silk trade had a dispute and the woollen trade came out. I should say at once that was not an illegal strike because the coming out of the woollen trade would not inflict, such hardship on the community as to coerce the Government.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I said textile and chemical.

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

It would depend on the circumstances. I can imagine circumstances under which the chemical industry might by a strike threaten the whole safety of the community. In such a case a strike in that industry, not for its own industrial purposes, but in order to coerce the Government to do something, would be prohibited. Otherwise it would not. Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling) made a most persuasive speech in which he said, "Why not leave it to ourselves, and we and the employers can manage our own affairs best," and both he and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas) pointed out that they had in their respective industries built up a very successful conciliation machinery and they said the possibility of the strike weapon is a necessary part of that conciliation machinery. I do not in the least quarrel with that, but the fallacy of that argument, of course, is to assume that when the Bill has passed, the strike weapon will be removed. It will still remain for any purpose for which the conciliation machinery could properly be used for any trade dispute within the industry. Therefore, to suggest that any such conciliation machinery is in any way jeopardised or interfered with by the operation of this Bill is a complete fallacy based upon a complete misunderstanding of the Bill.

We have heard considerable discussion as to the rights of strikers, but one has to remember, and I hope the Committee will remember, that we are considering here, not merely the rights of the strikers but the rights of the community at large—[Interruption.]—and the question which the Committee has to ask itself is not whether or not it is legitimate to strike, which remains legitimate after this Bill has passed into law, but whether it is legitimate to use the strike weapon to coerce the State. When one remembers, as I think we all must remember from not very ancient experience, but within the last 12 months, the tremendous inconvenience and hardship and suffering of the use of the strike weapon for political purposes, I feel it is full time that the community should assert itself and that Parliament, as representing the nation at large, should lay down in clear and unmistakeable language that while a strike for industrial purposes is legitimate, it is wrong and illegal to strike in order to coerce the country. We have put repeatedly—and we have not yet had an answer—the question to the Opposition do they or do they not defend the legality of the strike weapon as a coercive measure against the State? We have had from the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala) and the hon. Member for Stourbridge (Mr. Wellock) an answer in the affirmative that they do defend the legality of that weapon. But I doubt very much whether that answer would be endorsed by the Front Bench opposite, and unless and until they can make up their minds to answer that question, I venture to think that they cannot put themselves into the position to deal properly or fairly with the proposal put forward by the Government in this Bill.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Hackney South

It is no doubt to the relief of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General and his Friends, that the Guillotine is about to fall. They have proceeded from ambiguity to ambiguity. The main justification for this Bill is that it is going to clarify the law. There is not an hon. Member on that side who can deny that this Bill will make the law ten times more ambiguous. There is not a word in the Bill which is not of a comprehensive manner, and yet the meaning of every word used in the Bill is so vague that a magistrate will be able to interpret it more according to his political prejudices than to any legal definition. On the contrary, the right hon. and learned Gentleman, to the great relief—

It being Half-past Ten of the Clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 16th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from, the Chair.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 291; Noes, 157.

Division No. 128.]AYES.[10.30 p. m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelFinburgh, S.Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh Vere
Ainsworth, Major CharlesFord, Sir P. J.Luce, Maj-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Albery, Irving JamesForestier-Walker, Sir L.Lumley, L. R.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Forrest, W. Lynn, Sir Robert J.
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)Foster, Sir Harry S.MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Fraser, Captain IanMacdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid WFrece, Sir Walter deMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.McLean, Major A.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGadie, Lieut.-Colonel AnthonyMacmillan, Captain H.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Galbraith, J. F. W.Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Ganzonl, Sir JohnMcNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Barnett, Major Sir RichardGault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonMacquisten, F. A.
Barnston, Major Sir HarryGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMacRobert, Alexander M.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Goff, Sir ParkManningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Gower, Sir RobertMargesson, Captain D.
Bennett, A. J. Grace, JohnMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Bethel, A.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Meller, R. J.
Betterton, Henry B.Grant, Sir J. A. Merriman, F. B.
Birchall, Major J. DearmanGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Meyer, Sir Frank
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Greene, W. P. CrawfordMitchell, sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftGreenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R. (Ayr)
Brass, captain W.Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnMoore, Sir Newton J.
Brassey, Sir LeonardGrotrian, H. Brent.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)Morden, Col. W. Grant
Briggs, J HaroldGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Moreing, Captain A. H.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Brocklebank C. E. R.Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Hammersley, S. S.Nelson, Sir Frank
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryNeville, R. J.
Buckingham, Sir H.Harland, A.Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Burman, J. B.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld.)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Harrison, G. J. C.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHarvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Nuttall, Ellis
Campbell, E. T.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Oakley, T.
Cassels, J. D.Haslam, Henry C.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Pennefather, Sir John
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootie)Penny, Frederick George
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Henn, Sir Sydney H.Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Chapman, Sir S.Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Charteris Brigadier-General J.Hills, Major John WallerPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Chilcott, Sir WardenHilton, CecilPlicher G.
Clarry Reginald GeorgeHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Pilditch, Sir Philip
Clayton, G. C.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Power, Sir John Cecil
Cobb Sir CyrilHohler, Sir Gerald FitzroyPownall, Sir Assheton
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)Preston, William
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHope, Sir Harry (Fortar)Price, Major C. W. M.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelHopkins, J. W. W.Radford, E. A.
Colfox, Major Wm. PhilipHopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)Ralne W.
Conway, Sir W. MartinHorlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.Ramsden, E.
Cope, Major WilliamHorne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Rees, Sir Beddoe
Couper, J. B.Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.Remer, J. R.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Hume, Sir G. H.Rentoul, G. S.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)Hume-Williams, Sir W. EllisRice, Sir Frederick
Crooke, J. Smedley (Daritend)Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir AylmerRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, ch'ts'y)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Hurd, Percy A.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)Hurst, Gerald B.Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Curzon, Captain viscountInskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Ropner, Major L.
Dalkeith, Earl ofJackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Jacob, A. E.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Davies, Dr. VernonJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertRye, F. G.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Jephcott, A. R.Salmon, Major I.
Drewe, C.Jones, G. W. H. (stoke Newington)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Duckworth, JohnKennedy, A. R. (Preston)Sandeman, N. Stewart
Eden, Captain AnthonyKidd, J. (Linllthgow)Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Edmondson, Major A. J.Kindersley, Major Guy MSanderson, Sir Frank
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)King, Captain Henry DouglasSandon, Lord
Ellis, R. G.Kinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Elveden, ViscountKnox, Sir AlfredSavery, S. S.
England, Colonel A.Lamb, J. Q.Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithLeigh, Sir John (Clapham)Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Everard, W. LindsavLister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipShepperson, E. W.
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Little, Dr. E. GrahamSkelton, A. N.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Fanshawe, Captain G. D.Loder, J. de V.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Fermoy, LordLooker, Herbert WilliamSomerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Fielden, E. B.Lougher, LewisSpender-Clay, Colonel H.
Sprot, Sir AlexanderTitchfield, Major the Marquess ofWilliams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George ClementWilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Steel, Major Samuel StrangTurton, Edmund RussboroughWilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Storry-Deans, RVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Streatfelid, Captain S. R.Waddington, R.Wise, Sir Fredric
Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.Wallace, Captain D. E.Withers, John James
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Styles, Captain H. WalterWarrender, Sir VictorWood, E. (Chest'r, Staryb'ge & Hyde)
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWaterhouse, Captain CharlesWood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Sykes Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Tasker, R. Inigo.Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)Watts, Dr, T.Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)Wells, S. R.Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple
Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Tinne, J. A.Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)Major Sir George Hennessy and
Captain Lord Stanley.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Rose, Frank H.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hardie, George D.Saklatvala, Shapurji
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHarney, E. A.Salter, Dr. Alfred
Attlee, Clement RichardHarris, Percy A.Scrymgeour, E.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonScurr, John
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hayday, ArthurSexton, James
Barnes, A.Hayes, John HenryShiels, Dr. Drummond
Barr, J.Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Batey, JosephHenderson, T. (Glasgow)Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hirst, G. H.Sitch, Charles H.
Bondfield, MargaretHirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hore-Bellsha, LeslieSmith, H. B. Lees (Kelghley)
Briant, FrankHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Broad, F. A.Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Snell, Harry
Bromfield, WilliamJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, J.John, William (Rhondda, West)Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Stamford, T. W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Stephen, Campbell
Buchanan, G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. NoelJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Strauss, E. A.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Sullivan, Joseph
Clowes, S.Kelly, W. T.Sutton, J. E.
Cluse, W. S.Kennedy, T.Taylor, R. A.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Connolly, M.Kirkwood, DThomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Cove, W. G.Lansbury, GeorgeThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Lawrence, SusanThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Crawfurd, H. E.Lawson, John JamesThurtle, Ernest
Dalton, HughLee, F.Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)Lindley, F. W.Townend, A. E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Livingstone, A. M.Varley, Frank B.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Lowth, T.Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel HarryLunn, WilliamWallhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R.Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C.March, S.Watson, W. M. (Duntermline)
Dunnico, H.Maxton, JamesWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Fenby, T. D.Morris, R. H.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wellock, Wilfred
Gardner, J. P.Mosley, OswaldWelsh, J. C.
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydMurnin, H.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibbins, JosephNaylor, T. EWhiteley, W.
Gillett, George M.Oliver, George HaroldWiggins, William Martin
Gosling, HarryPalin, John HenryWilkinson, Ellen C
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Paling, W.Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., cent.)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenall, T.Ponsonby, ArthurWilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Potts, John S.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Groves, T. Rlley, Ben
Grundy, T, W.Ritson, J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Charles Edwards.

The CHAIRMAN then proceeded, successively, to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given to that part of the Clause to be concluded at Half-past Ten of the Clock at this day's sitting.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 7, to leave out the word "besides," and to insert instead thereof the words "other than or in addition to."—[The Attorney-General.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 156.

Division No. 129.]AYES.[10.42 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelFord, Sir P. J.Little, Dr. E. Graham
Ainsworth, Major CharlesForestier-Walker, Sir L.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Albery, Irving JamesForrest, W.Loder, J. de V.
Alexander, E. E.(Leyton)Foster, Sir Harry S.Looker, Herbert William
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Lougher, Lewis
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Fraser, Captain IanLucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Frece, Sir Walter deLuce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.Lumley, L. R.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel AnthonyLynn, Sir Robert J.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGalbraith. J. F. W.MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Ganzoni, Sir John.Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonMacdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Barnett, Major Sir RichardGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Barnston, Major Sir HarryGilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMcLean, Major A.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Glyn, Major R. G. C.Macmillan, Captain H.
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Goff, Sir ParkMacnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Gower, Sir RobertMcNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Bethel, A.Grace, JohnMacquisten, F. A.
Betterton, Henry B.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)MacRobert, Alexander M.
Birchall, Maior J. DearmanGrant, Sir J. A.Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMargesson, Captain D.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftGreene, W. P. CrawfordMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Brass, Captain W.Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)Meller, R. J.
Brassey, Sir LeonardGrenfell, Edward C.(City of London)Merriman, F. B.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnMeyer, Sir Frank
Briggs, J. HaroldGrotrian, H. BrentMilne, J. S. Wardlaw-
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F.(Dulwich)Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'ld., Hexham)Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Buckingham, Sir H.Hammersley, S. S.Moore, Sir Newton J.
Burman, J. B.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryMoore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Burton, Colonel H. W.Harland, A.Morden, Col. W. Grant
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHarmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Moreing, Captain A. H.
Campbell, E. T.Harrison, G. J. C.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Cassels, J. D.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Nelson, Sir Frank
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S)Haslam, Henry C.Neville, R. J.
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHawke, John AnthonyNicholson, O. (Westminster)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Lady wood)Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Chapman, Sir S.Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V L. (Bootie)Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Heneage, Lieut. -Col. Arthur P.Nuttall, Ellis
Chilcott, Sir WardenHenn, Sir Sydney H.Oakley, T.
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Clayton, G. C.Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)Pennefather, Sir John
Cobb, Sir CyrilHills, Major John WallerPenny, Frederick George
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hilton, CecilPercy Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelHogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsHohier, Sir Gerald FitzroyPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Conway, Sir W. MartinHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardPlicher, G.
Cope, Major WilliamHope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)Pilditch, Sir Philip
Couper, J. B.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Power, Sir John Cecil
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Hopkins, J. W. W.Pownall, Sir Assheton
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)Preston, William
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.Price, Major C. W. M.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Radford, E. A.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.Raine, W.
Curzon, Captain ViscountHume, Sir G. H.Ramsden, E.
Dalkeith, Earl ofHume-Williams, Sir W. EllisRees, Sir Beddoe
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir AylmerRemer, J. R.
Davies, Dr. VernonHurd, Percy A.Rentoul, G. S.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Hurst, Gerald B.Rice, Sir Frederick
Drewe, C.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Duckworth, JohnJackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen't)Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Eden, Captain AnthonyJacob, A. E.Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)
Edmondson, Major A. J.James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertRopner, Major L.
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)Jephcott, A. R.Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Ellis, R. G.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Elveden, ViscountJoynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamRye, F. G.
England, Colonel A.Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)Salmon, Major 1.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithKindersley, Major Guy M.Sandeman, N. Stewart
Everard, W. LindsayKing, Captain Henry DouglasSanders, Sir Robert A.
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Kinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementSanderson, Sir Frank
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Knox, Sir AlfredSandon, Lord
Fanshawe, Captain G. D.Lamb, J. QSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Guttave D.
Fermoy, LordLane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Savery, S. S.
Fleiden, E. B.Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Finburgh, S.Lister, Cunllffe-,Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipShaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)
Sheffield, Sir BerkeleyThompson, Luke (Sunderland)Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Shepperson, E. W.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Skelton, A. N.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Slaney, Major P. KenyonTinne, J. A.Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Smith-Carington, Neville W.Titchfield, Major the Marquess ofWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)Tryon, Rt. Hon George ClementWise, Sir Fredric
Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Turton, Sir Edmund RussboroughWithers, John James
Sprot, Sir AlexanderVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)Waddington, R.Wood, E. (Chest'r, stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Steel, Major Samuel StrangWallace, Captain D. E.Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Storry-Deans, R.Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Streatfelld, Captain S. R.Warrender, Sir VictorWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Stuart, Crichton-,Lord C.Waterhouse, Captain CharlesWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Styles, Captain H. WalterWatson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWatts, Dr. T.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Wells, S. R.Captain Lord Stanley and Captain
Tasker, R. Inigo.White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple.Bowyer.
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife. West)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Rose, Frank H.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hardie, George D.Saklatvala, Shapurji
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHarney, E. A.Salter, Dr. Alfred
Attlee, Clement RichardHarris, Percy A.Scrymgeour, E.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonScurr, John
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hayday, ArthurSexton, James
Barnes, A.Hayes, John HenryShiels, Dr. Drummond
Barr, J.Henderson, Rt Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Batey, JosephHenderson, T. (Glasgow)Sitch, Charles H.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hirst, G. H.Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Bondfield, MargaretHirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hore-Belisha, LeslieSmith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Briant, FrankHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Broad, F. A.Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Snell, Harry
Bromfield, WilliamJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, J.John, William (Rhondda, West)Spoor, Ht. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Stamford, T. W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Stephen, Campbell
Buchanan, G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. NoelJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Strauss, E. A.
Charleton, H. C.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Sullivan, J.
Clowes, S.Kelly, W. T.Sutton, J. E.
Cluse, W. S.Kennedy, T.Taylor, R. A.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Connolly, M.Kirkwood, D.Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Cove, W. G.Lansbury, GeorgeThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Lawrence, SusanThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Crawfurd, H. E.Lawson, John JamesThurtle, Ernest
Dalton, HughLee, F.Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)Lindley, F. W.Townend, A. E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Livingstone, A. M.Varley, Frank B.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Lowth, T.Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel HarryLunn, WilliamWallhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C.March, S.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H.Maxton, JamesWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Fenby, T. D.Morris, R. H.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wellock, Wilfred
Gardner, J. P.Mosley, OswaldWelsh, J. C.
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydMurnin, H.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibbins, JosephNaylor, T. E.Whiteley, W.
Gillett, George M.Oliver, George HaroldWiggins, William Martin
Gosling, HarryPaling, John HenryWilkinson, Ellen C.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Paling, W.Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenall, T.Ponsonby, ArthurWilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Potts, John S.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Groves, T.Riley, Ben
Grundy, T. W.Ritson, J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Charles Edwards.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 9, to leave out the words "is an illegal strike if it," and to insert instead thereof the word "and."—[The Attorney-General.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 297; Noes, 156.

Division No. 130.]AYES.[10.53 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelFord, Sir P. J.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Ainsworth, Major CharlesForestier-Walker, Sir L.Loder, J. de V.
Albery, Irving JamesForrest, W.Looker, Herbert William
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Foster, Sir Harry S.Lougher, Lewis
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh Vare
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W.Derby)Fraser, Captain IanLuce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Frece, Sir Walter deLumley, L. R.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Lynn, Sir R. J.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Gadie, Lieut.-Col. AnthonyMacAndrew Major Charles Glen
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGalbraith, J. F. W.Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness).
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Ganzonl, Sir JohnMacdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Barnett, Major Sir RichardGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMcLean, Major A.
Barnston, Major Sir HarryGilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMacmillan, Captain H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Glyn, Major R. G. C.Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Goff, Sir ParkMcNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Gower, Sir RobertMacquisten, F. A.
Bennett, A. J.Grace, JohnMacRobert, Alexander M.
Bethel, A.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Betterton, Henry B.Grant, Sir J. A.Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Birchall, Major J. DearmanGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Margesson, Captain D.
Bird, E. R.(Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Greene, W. P. CrawfordMeller, R. J.
Boothby, R. J. G.Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)Merriman, F. B.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftGranfell, Edward C. (City of London)Meyer, Sir Frank
Brass, Captain W.Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnMilne, J. S. Wardlaw
Brassey, Sir LeonardGrotrian, H. BrantMitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.(Bristol, N.)Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Briggs, J. HaroldGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Moore, Sir Newton J.
Brown-Lindsay, Major H.Hammersley, S. S.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryMorden, Col. W. Grant
Buckingham, Sir H.Harland, A.Moreing, Captain A. H.
Burman, J. B.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Burton, Colonel H. W.Harrison, G. J. C.Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHarvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Nelson, Sir Frank
Campbell, E. T.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Neville, R. J.
Cassels, J. D.Haslam, Henry C.Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hawke, John AnthonyNicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHenderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)Nuttall, Ellis
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.Oakley, T.
Chapman, Sir S.Henn, Sir Sydney H.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Pennefather, Sir John
Chilcott, Sir WardenHerbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar, & Wh'by)Penny, Frederick George
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHills, Major John WalterPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Clayton, G. C.Hilton, CecilPerkins, Colonel E. K.
Cobb, Sir CyrilHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHohler, Sir Gerald FitzroyPilcher, G.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardPliditch, Sir Philip
Colfox, Major Wm. PhilipHope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)Power, Sir John Cecil
Conway, Sir W. MartinHope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Pownall, Sir Assheton
Couper, J. B.Hopkins, J. W. W.Preston, William
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)Price, Major C. W. M.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.Radford, E. A.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Raine, W.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.Ramsden, E.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)Hume, Sir G. H.Rees Sir Beddoe
Curzon, Captain ViscountHume-Williams, Sir W. EllisRemer, J. R.
Dalkeith, Earl ofHunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir AylmerRentoul, G. S.
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.Hurd, Percy A.Rice, Sir Frederick
Davies, Dr. VernonHurst, Gerald B.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Davison, sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Drewe, C.Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Duckworth, JohnJacob, A. E.Ropnar, Major L.
Eden, Captain AnthonyJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertRuggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Edmondson, Major A. J.Jephcott, A. R.Russell, Alexander West (Tynsmouth)
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Rye, F. G.
Ellis, R, G.Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamSalmon, Major I
Elveden, viscountKennedy, A. R. (Preston)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
England, Colonel A.Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)Sandeman, N. Stewart
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)Kindersley, Major G. M.Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithKing, Captain Henry DouglasSanderson, Sir Frank
Everard, W. LindsayKinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementSandon, Lord
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Knox, Sir AlfredSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustava D.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Lamb, J. Q.Savery, S. S.
Fanshawe, Captain G. D.Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Shaw. R G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Fermoy, LordLeigh, Sir John (Clapham)Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W.)
Fielden, E. B.Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipSheffield, Sir Berkeley
Finburgh, S.Little, Dr. E. GrahamShapparson, E. W.
Skelton, A. N.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Slaney, Major P. KenyonThomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Smith-Carington, Neville W.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)Tinne, J. A.Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Titchfield, Major the Marquess ofWilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Sprot, Sir AlexanderTryon, Rt. Hon. George ClementWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)Turton, Sir Edmund RussboroughWise, Sir Fredric
Stanley, Lord (Fylde)Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Withers, John James
Steel, Major Samuel StrangWaddington, R.Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Storry-Deans, R.Wallace, Captain D. E.Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Streatfeild, Captain S. R.Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Stuart, Cricton., Lord C.Warrender, Sir victorWood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Waterhouse, Captain CharlesWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Styles, Captain H. W.Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWatson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Watts, Dr. T.
Tasker, R. Inigo.Wells, S. R.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. DalrympleMajor Cope and Captain Bowyer.
NOES
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvit)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R.,Elland)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Rose, Frank H.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHardie, George D.Saklatvala, Shapurji
Attlee, Clement RichardHarney, E. A.Salter, Dr. Alfred
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Harris, Percy A.Scrymgeour, E.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonScurr, John
Barnes, A.Hayday, ArthurSexton, James
Barr, J.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Batey, JosephHenderson, T. (Glasgow)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hirst, G. H.Sitch, Charles H.
Bondfield, MargaretHirst, W. (Bradford, South)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hore-Belisha, LeslieSmith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Briant, FrankHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Broad, F. A.Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Snell, Harry
Bromfield, WilliamJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, J.John, William (Rhondda, West)Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Brown, Ernest(Leith)Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Stamford, T. W.
Brown, James(Ayr and Bute)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Stephen, Campbell
Buchanan, G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. NoelJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Strauss, E. A.
Charleton, H. C.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Sullivan, Joseph
Clowes, S.Kelly, W. T.Sutton, J. E.
Cluse, W. S.Kennedy, T.Taylor, R. A.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph MThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Connolly, M.Kirkwood, D.Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Cove, W. G.Lansbury, GeorgeThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Lawrence, SusanThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Crawfurd, H. E.Lawson, John JamesThurtle, Ernest
Dalton, HughLee, F.Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Eills (Denbigh, Denbigh)Lindley, F. W.Townend, A. E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Livingstone, A. M.Varley, Frank B.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Lowth, T.Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel HarryLunn, WilliamWallhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Walsh. Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C.March, S.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H.Maxton, JamesWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Morris, R. H.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Fenby, T. DMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wellock, Wilfred
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Mosley, OswaldWelsh, J. C.
Gardner, J. P.Murnin, H.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydNaylor, T. E.Whiteley, W.
Gibbins, JosephOliver, George HaroldWiggins, William Martin
Gillett, George M.Palin, John HenryWilkinson. Ellen C.
Gosling, HarryPaling, W.Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Williams, Dr J. H (Lianelly)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wilson. C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Greenall, T.Ponsonby, ArthurWilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colna)Potts, John S.Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Grenfell, D. R, (Glamorgan)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Groves, T.Riley, BenTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grundy, T. W.Ritson, J.Mr. B. Smith, and Mr. Hayes.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 10, to leave out from the word "Government" to the word "that" in line 12, and to insert instead thereof the words either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community; and it is further declared"—[The Attorney-General.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The committee divided: Ayes, 293; Noes, 155.

Division No. 132.]AYES.[11.15p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelEllis, R. G.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Ainsworth, Major CharlesElvedon, ViscountJackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Albery, Irving JamesEngland, Colonel A.Jacob, A. E.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Jephcott A. R.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, Derby)Everard, W. LindsayJones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Fairfax, Captain J. G.Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Falle, Sir Bertram G.Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Fanshawe, Captain G. D.Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyFenby, T. D.Kidd, J. (Llnlithgow)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Fermoy, LordKindersley, Major Guy M.
Banks, Reginald MitchellFielden, E. B.King, Captain Henry Douglas
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Finburgh, S.Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Barnett, Major Sir RichardFord, Sir p. J.Knox, Sir Alfred
Barnston, Major Sir HarryForestier-Walker, Sir L.Lamb, J. O.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Forrest, W.Lane Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R.
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Foster, Sir Henry S.Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Bennett, A. J.Fraser, Captain IanLittle, Dr. E. Graham
Bethel, A.Frece, Sir Walter deLocker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Betterton, Henry B.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Loder, J. de V.
Birchall, Major J. DearmanGadie, Lieut.-Col. AnthonyLooker, Herbert William
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Galbraith, J. F. W.Lougher, Lewis
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Ganzoni, Sir JohnLucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Boothby, R. J. G.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonLuce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamLumley, L. R.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnLynn, Sir R. J.
Brass, Captain W.Glyn, Major R. G. C.MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Brassey, Sir LeonardGoff, Sir ParkMacdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Briant, FrankGower, Sir RobertMacdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. Of W.)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGrace, JohnMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Briggs, J. HaroldGraham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)McLean, Major A.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeGrant, Sir J. A.Macmillan, Captain H.
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Grattan-Dbyle, Sir N.Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMcNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John.
Brown, Col. D. C. (Nth'l'd., Hexham)Greene, W. P. CrawfordMacquisten, F. A.
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Greenwood, Rt.Hn.Sir H. (W'th's'w,E)MacRobert, Alexander M.
Buckingham, Sir H.Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel.
Burman, J. B.Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnManningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.Grotrian, H. BrentMarriott, Sir J. A. R.
Burton, Colonel H. W.Guest. Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)Meller, R. J.
Butler, Sir GeoffreyGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Merriman, F. B.
Campbell, E. T.Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Meyer, Sir Frank
Cassels, J. D.Hall. Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Milne, J. S. Wardlaw
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Hammersley, S. S.Mitchell, Sir w. Lane (Streatham)
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHannon, Patrick Joseph HenryMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M-
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Harland, A.Moore, Lieut-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Chapman, Sir S.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Moore, Sir Newton J.
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Harrison, G. J. C.Moore-Brabazon Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Chilcott, Sir WardenHarvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Morden, Colonel Walter Grant
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHarvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Moreing, Captain A. H.
Clayton, G. C.Haslam Henry C.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cilve
Cobb, Sir CyrilHawke, John AnthonyNall, Colonel Sir Joseph
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Nelson, Sir Frank
Cockerill, Brig-General Sir GeorgeHenderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L.(Bootle)Neville. R. J.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsHenn Sir Sydney H.Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)
Cope, Major WilliamHennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Couper, J. B.Herbert. S.(York, N.R.,Scar. & Wh'by)Nuttall, Ellis
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Hills, Major John WallerOakley, T.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Hilton, CecilO'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Isllngtn., N.)Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Pennefather, Sir John
Crawfurd, H. E.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St.Marylebone)Penny, Frederick George
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)Hohler, Sir Gerald FitzroyPerkins, Colonel E. K.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome),
Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)Plicher, G
Dalkeith, Earl ofHope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Pilditch, Sir Philip
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.Hopkins, J. W. W.Power, Sir John Cecil
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)Pownall, Sir Assheton
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)Horiick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.Preston, William
Davies, Dr. VernonHorne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Price, Major C. W. M.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.Radford, E. A.
Drewe, C.Hume, Sir G. H.Raine, W.
Duckworth JohnHunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir AylmerRamsden, E.
Eden, Captain AnthonyHurd, Percy A.Rees, Sir Beddoe
Edmondson, Major A. J.Hurst, Gerald B.Remer, J. R.
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)Rentoul, G. S.
Rice, Sir FrederickStanley, Col. Hon.G.F. (Will'sden, E.)Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Richardson, Sir P. W.(Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)Stanley, Lord (Fyide)Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)Steel, Major Samuel StrangWatson. Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretlord)Storry-Deans, R.Watts, Dr. T.
Ropner, Major L.Streatfeild Captain S. R.Wells, S. R.
Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple
Russell, Alexander West(Tynemouth)Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray end Nairn)Wiggins, William Martin
Salmon, Major I.Styles, Captain H. WalterWilliams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWilliams, C. P, (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Sandeman, N. StewartSykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Sanders, Sir Robert A.Tasker, R. Inigo.Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central).
Sanderson, Sir FrankThom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)Wilson, H. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Sandon, LordThomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)Wise, Sir Fredric
Savery. S. S.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)Withers, John James
Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W)Tinne, J. A.Wood, E. (Chest'r, stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Sheffield, Sir BerkeleyTitchfleld, Major the Marquess ofWood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Shepperson, E. W.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George ClementWood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)
Skelton, A. N.Turton, Sir Edmund RussboroughWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Slaney, Major P. KenyonVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Smith-Carington, Neville W.Waddington, R.Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)Wallace, Captain D. E.
Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Sprot, Sir AlexanderWarrender, Sir VictorCaptain Viscount Curzon and Captain Margesson.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hayday, ArthurScrymgeour, E.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hayes, John HenryScurr, John
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Henderson, Right Hon. A. [Burnley)Sexton, James
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHirst, G. H.Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Attlee, Clement RichardHirst. W. (Bradford, South)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Sitch, Charles H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Jenkins, W. (Giamorgan, Neath)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barr, J.John, William (Rhondda, West)Smith Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Batey, JosephJohnston, Thomas (Dundee)Smith, H. B. Lees-(Keighley)
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Smith, Rennle (Penistone)
Bondfield, MargaretJones, Morgon (Caerphilly)Snell, Harry
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Broad, F. A.Kelly, W. T.Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Bromfield. WilliamKennedy, T.Stamford, T. W.
Bromley, J.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Stephen, Campbell
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Kirkwood, D.Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buchanan, G.Lansbury, GeorgeSullivan, Joseph
Buxton, Rt. Hon. NoelLawrence, SusanSutton, J. E.
Charieton, H. C.Lawson, John JamesTaylor, R. A.
Clowes, S.Lee, F.Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Cluse, W. S.Lindley, F. W.Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Lowth, T.Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Connolly, M.Lunn WilliamThurtle, Ernest
Cove, W. G.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Tinker, John Joseph
Dalton, HughMarch, S.Townend, A. E.
Davles, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Maxton, JamesVarley, Frank B.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel HarryMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wallhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R.Mosley, OswaldWalsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C.Murnin, H.Watson W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H.Naylor, T. E.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelfty)Oliver, George HaroldWebb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Gardner, J. P.Palin, John HenryWedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Gibbins, JosephPaling, W.Wellock, Wilfred
Gillett, George M.Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Welsh, J. C.
Gosling, HarryPethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Ponsonby, ArthurWhiteley, w.
Greenall, T.Potts, John S.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Riley, BenWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Groves, T.Ritson, J.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Grundy, T. W.Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W.Bromwich)Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Rose, Frank H.
Hardie, George D.Saklatvaia, ShapurjiTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hartshom, Rt. Hon. VernonSalter, Dr. AlfredMr. A. Barnes and Mr. T. Henderson.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 14, at the end, to insert the words: It is hereby declared that any lock-out is illegal if it has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the employers locking-out are engaged and is a lock-out designed or calculated to coerce the Government either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community; and it is further declared that it is illegal to commence or continue or to apply any sums in furtherance or support of any such illegal lock-out."—[The Attorney-General.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

Committee divided: Ayes, 306; 135

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 15, to leave out the word "provision," and to insert instead thereof the word "provisions."—[The Attorney-General.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 291; Noes, 145.

Division No. 133.]AYES.[11.26 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelFielden, E. B.Little, Dr. E. Graham
Ainsworth, Major CharlesFinburgh, S.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Albery, Irving JamesFord, Sir P. J.Loder, J. de V.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Looker, Herbert William
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)Forrest, W.Lougher, Lewis
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Foster, Sir Harry S.Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Applin, Colonel R. V. K.Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Fraser, Captain IanLumley, L. R.
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.Frece, Sir Walter deLynn, Sir R. J.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Gadle, Lieut.-Colonel AnthonyMacdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Banks, Reginald MitchellGalbraith, J. F. W.Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Ganzonl, Sir JohnMcDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Barnett, Major Sir RichardGault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonMcLean, Major A.
Barnston, Major Sir HarryGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMacmillan, Captain H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMacnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)Glvn, Major R. G. C.McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Golf, Sir ParkMacquisten, F. A.
Bennett, A. J.Gower, Sir RobertMacRobert, Alexander M.
Bethel, A.Grace, JohnMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Betterton, Henry B.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Birchall, Major J. DearmanGrant, Sir J. A.Margesson, Captain D.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Marrlott, Sir J. A. R.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMeller, R. J.
Boothby, R. J. G.Greene, W. P. CrawfordMerrlman, F. B.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftGreenwood,Rt.Hn.Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)Meyer, Sir Frank
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-
Brass, Captain W.Grotrian, H. BrentMitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Brassey, Sir LeonardGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.(Bristol, N.)Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Briggs, J. HaroldHall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Moore, Sir Newton J.
Brockiebank, C. E. R.Hammersley, S. S.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryMorden Col. W. Grant
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)Harland, A.Moreing, Captain A. H.
Buckingham, Sir H.Harmsworth. Hon. E. C. (Kent)Morrison-Bell. Sir Arthur Clive
Burman, J. B.Harrison, G. J. C.Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph
Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Nelson, Sir Frank
Burton, Colonel H. W.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Neville, R. J.
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHaslam, Henry C.Nicholson O. (Westminster)
Campbell, E. T.Hawke, John AnthonyNicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)
Cassels, J. D.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Henderson Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)Nield Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R.(Prtsmth.S.)Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Nuttail, Ellis
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHenn, Sir Sydney H.Oakley T.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Chapman, Sir S.Herbert, S. (York. N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)Pennefather, Sir John
Charteris, Brigadier-General J.Hills, Major John WalterPerkins, Colonel E. K.
Chilcott, Sir wardenHilton, CecilPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeHoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.Pilcher, G.
Clayton, G. C.Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St.Marylebone)Pilditch, Sir Philip
Cobb, Sir CyrilHohler, Sir Gerald FitzroyPower, Sir John Cecil
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardPownall, Sir Assheton
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)Preston, William
Cohen, Major J. BrunelHope, Sir Harry (Fortar)Price, Major C. W. M.
Colfox, Major Wm. PhillipsHopkins, J. W. W.Radford, E. A.
Cope, Major WilliamHopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)Raine, W.
Couper, J. B.Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.Ramsden, E.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Rees, Sir Beddos
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.Remer, J. R.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)Hume, Sir G. H.Rentoul, G. S.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir AylmerRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Hurd, Percy A.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Dalkeith, Earl ofHurst, Gerald B.Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Ropner, Major L.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Davies. Dr. VernonJacob, A. E.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSalmon, Major I.
Drewe, C.Jephcott, A. R.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, putney)
Duckworth, JohnJones, G. W. H, (Stoke Newington)Sandeman, N. Stewart
Eden, Captain AnthonyJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Edmondson, Major A. J.Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamSanderson, Sir Frank
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)Sandon, Lord
Ellis, R. G.Kidd, J. (Linilthgow)Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Elveden, ViscountKindersley, Major G. M.Savery, S. S.
England, Colonel A.King, Captain Henry DouglasShaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Erskine, James Malcolm MontelthKinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementShaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Everard, W. LindsayKnox, Sir AlfredSheffield, Sir Berkeley
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Lamb, J. O.Shepperson, E. W.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Skelton, A. N.
fanshawe, Captain G. D.Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Fermoy, LordLister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipSmith-Carington, Neville W.
Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)Tinne, J. A.Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Titchfield, Major the Marquess ofWilliams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Sprot, Sir AlexanderTryon, Rt. Hon. George ClementWilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)Turton, Sir Edmund RussboroughWilson, B. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Stanley, Lord (Fyide)Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Steel, Major Samuel StrangWaddington, R.Wise, Sir Fredric
Storry-Deans, R.Wallace, Captain D. E.Withers, John James
Streatfeild, Captain S. R.Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.Warrender, Sir VictorWood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Waterhouse, Captain CharlesWood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Styles, Captain H. WalterWatson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWatson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Watts, Dr. T.Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)Wells, S. R.Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple
Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)Wiggins, William MartinTELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)Captain Viscount Curzon and Mr. Penny.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hardie, George D.Rose, Frank H.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff. Cannock)Harney, E. A.Saklatvala, Shapurjl
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Harris, Percy A.Salter, Dr. Alfred
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonScrymgeour, E.
Attlee, Clement RichardHayday, ArthurScurr, John
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hayes, John HenrySexton, James
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Barr, J.Hirst, G. HShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Batey, JosephHirst, W. (Bradford, South)Sitch, Charles H.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hore-Bellsha, LeslieSlesser, Sir Henry H.
Bondfield, MargaretHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Briant, FrankJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Snell, Harry
Broad, F. A.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromfield, WilliamJones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Bromley, J.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Stamford, T. W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Stephen, Campbell
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Keily, W. T.Stewart. J. (St. Rollox)
Buchanan, G.Kennedy, T.Sullivan, Joseph
Buxton, Rt. Hon. NoelKenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Sutton, J. E.
Charieton, H. C.Kirkwood, D.Taylor, R. A.
Clowes, S.Lansbury, GeorgeThomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby).
Ciuse, W. S.Lawrence, SusanThomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Connolly, M.Lawson, John JamesThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Lee, F.Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Crawfurd, H. E.Lindley, F. W.Thurtle, Ernest
Dalton, HughLivingstone, A. M.Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Lowth, T.Townend, A. E.
Davies, Rhys John (Wetthoughton)Lunn, WilliamVarley, Frank B.
Day, Colonel HarryMaclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Viant, S. P.
Dennison, R.March, S.Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Duncan, C.Maxton, JamesWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dunnico, H.Mitchell, E. Rossiyn PaisleyWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda).
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Morris, R. H.Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Fenby, T. D.Mosley, OswaldWellock, Wilfred
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Murnin, H.Welsh, J. C.
Gardner, J. P.Naylor, T. E.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibbins, JosephOliver, George HaroldWhiteley, W.
Gillett, George M.Palin, John HenryWilkinson, Ellen C.
Gosling, HarryPaling, W.Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Greenall, T.Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Ponson by, ArthurWilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Potts, John S.Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Groves, T.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Grundy, T. W.Riley, BenTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Ritson, J.Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. T. Handerson.
Hall, G. H. (MerthyrTydvil)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)Henderson
Hamilton Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Robinson, W. C. (Yorks,W.R., Elland)

It being after Eleven of the Clock the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.