Clause 4. — (Rates of unemployment benefit.)

Orders of the Day — Unemployment Insurance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 23rd November 1927.

Alert me about debates like this

The CHAIRMAN:

The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris)—in page 2, line 35, at the end to insert the words "with suitable provisions for training while unemployed"—should come as a new Clause, and I will consider it when he puts it down.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I beg to move, in page 3, to leave out from the word "woman" in line 13 to the word "has" in line 16.

Do I understand, Mr. Hope, that you have called the Amendment standing in my name and that you have pissed over three Amendments standing in the name of other hon. Members. If so, may I ask you why you have not taken those previous Amendments?

The CHAIRMAN:

Because the hon Members did not rise when they were called.

Photo of Mr John Bromley Mr John Bromley , Barrow-in-Furness

I am exceedingly loth to continue challenging your Ruling, but, with all respect, may I ask whether it was possible for hon. Members to hear their names called in the way in which you called them?

The CHAIRMAN:

The Committee will agree that I called them quite slowly and distinctly.

Mr. BECKETT:

Is it possible for an hon. Member whose name is not attached to an Amendment to move that Amendment in the absence of hon. Members whose names are down to it? Is it not usual for the Chairman to allow a moment or two for any hon. Member who may wish to move the Amendment?

The CHAIRMAN:

An hon. Member must get up immediately his name is called, and no other hon. Member can take his place.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I was about to tell your predecessor, Mr. Deputy Chairman, that it would be utterly impossible for any hen. Members on this side of the House to move any Amendment while he remained in the Chair.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member is not entitled to use the occasion of moving an Amendment to make such remarks.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Doncaster

Is it in order for the hon. Member to say that she prefers you to the Chairman?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

It is not the occupant of the Chair but the Chair itself.

Mr. BECKETT:

Is it not in order for a Member to say he prefers you to another Chairman?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I quite agree that we should address our remarks not to any individual but to the Chair, but when the honour of the Chairman has been so pitiably degraded as it was—

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member knows quite well that that is quite out of order on this Amendment.

12.0 m.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I bow to your Ruling. I only wish to assure you I meant no disrespect to you. I only feel it necessary to explain why I move this Amendment when other Amendments had not been moved. I do not want in any way to dissociate myself from what has happened, but after the loss of one's colleagues like this it is extremely difficult to get back to this discussion as one feels the matter so keenly. I want to say, quite briefly, that the object of these Amendments is to obtain for persons under the Insurance Act a concession which after years of struggling was obtained in respect of those who pay Income Tax. For Income Taxpayers it is now customary that, when a man employs a housekeeper either to look after his children or his house, he is allowed an allowance in respect of her as in respect of a wife. The object of these two Amendments is to give to the poor man, who is under the Income Tax limit, and who is faced with the terrible alternative of unemployment benefit, the same exemption that is given to the richer man with regard to Income Tax. Therefore, the object of this Amendment is to provide that the dependant's allowance may be paid in respect of a housekeeper, whether or not there are any children. Will the Minister not consider giving this comparatively small concession, in the way in which it has been given by the Treasury to the Income Taxpayer? I want to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the actual position that may arise. You may have a man who, though he may not have dependant children, that is, children under 16 years of age, may have dependant relatives. He may have a sick or an aged mother, or other sick or aged relations dependent upon him, or there may be children who are just going to work, and who are not absolutely dependent upon him, but it is essential that there should be a housekeeper in the house if the mother is not there, if she is dead or if she is incapacitated; and I feel sure that while the Minister, in drawing up this Clause, wanted to exclude one set of persons, he has in fact excluded more persons than I am sure he desired to do. I hope the right hon Gentleman will go into the matter and see whether it is possible to grant this small concession.

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

I think the hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) has not quite understood the effect of the Amendment, which is really not to give a claimant adult benefit in respect of a housekeeper who is looking after his children; the only effect of her Amendment would be to grant benefit in respect of two adult dependants. Under the present law the contributor who gets benefit is entitled also to an allowance in respect of one adult dependant, and the Amendment would give that person allowances in respect of two adult dependants. That is a principle which has never yet been granted, and the words in question which the hon. Member proposes to leave out were words which were taken from the Act of the Labour party in 1924. In the No. 2 Act, Section 2, Sub-Section (2a), she will find the actual words—" Not being a person entitled to an increase under the said Section otherwise than in respect of his dependent children." We are merely maintaining the practice that was instituted in that Act. As regards the second Amendment to which she referred at the same time, I think she is under a misapprehension as to the effect. The Clause in the Bill means that anybody who has a housekeeper in charge of his children would be entitled to the dependants allowance in respect of her; and the effect of her Amendment would be to give him an allowance in respect of a housekeeper when there were no children to look after. Under these circumstances, it is considered that he ought not to have a right to the same extent to benefit in respect of a housekeeper when there are no children to look after. It is a different case when there are children to look after, because quite obviously there must be someone to look after them. As the hon. Member has misapprehended the reason for the words in the Clause and the effect of her Amendment, I trust she will see her way not to press the Amendment.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I am sorry that I did not make myself clear. I realised, of course, that the object of the second Amendment was to do precisely what the Minister says, that is, that while there is no question that the woman would get benefit if there are dependent children, the trouble arises when there are other dependants for whom a home has been established. I quoted the case of an aged mother or a sick sister, or other people who are absolutely necessarily dependent upon the man. If the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to insert the words "children or other dependants" we could then consider the question of coming to an arrangement.

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

So far as the children are concerned—I am afraid I have not been able to find my notes for the moment, and I am talking from my general knowledge of the Clause—I do not think the children must necessarily be the children of the husband. The dependant's benefit may be received in respect of them, but so far as adult benefit is asked for a second person, that I am afraid I should not be able to grant. It has never been granted before, and I am afraid we could not grant it now.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

As the Clause is now drafted, where a man has children, and has a housekeeper, he can draw dependant's allowance in respect of that housekeeper. The object of these two Amendments is to make that apply, whether the insured man has children or not. I think the case is one of substance. We have had it pointed out to us that these men have to have a bona fide housekeeper, and if that housekeeper makes the insured person eligible for allowance it ought to be so, whether they are the children of the insured person or not. This is a vital consideration here, and surely if a housekeeper entitles a man to a certain allowance in the case of the Income Tax the housekeeper of an insured person ought to be entitled to unemployment benefit. I think the Minister of Labour might meet our point by suggesting some other words.

Photo of Miss Arabella Lawrence Miss Arabella Lawrence , East Ham North

It is very difficult to understand the meaning of this Clause, and if the Minister would read out the Clause as it has been amended we might understand it a little better.

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

There are two points' raised in the two Amendments, which have been moved together by the hon. Member for East Middles-brough (Miss Wilkinson). The effect of the first Amendment would be to allow benefit for two persons in respect of the same claim. The effect of the second Amendment would be to allow benefit for a housekeeper, although there are no children at all. At the present time benefit may be allowed for a housekeeper, although the children may be by a previous marriage or they may be stepchildren. At the present time there is no allowance in respect of a housekeeper where there are no children. Therefore these Amendments contain two distinct proposals, although we are discussing both of them at the same time.

Photo of Miss Arabella Lawrence Miss Arabella Lawrence , East Ham North

What will be the effect of substituting the words "either a man or a woman"?

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

The effect of the Clause will be to cut out a person who is living with a man as his wife and not married in cases where there are no children.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

The only point which has been urged against this Amendment by the Minister of Labour is that be considers that it would not be right to pay an allowance for two adult dependents. I wonder why the right hon. Gentleman takes up that line, and why he is so narrow in his outlook in regard to this insurance scheme. There are cases where there is a wife and probably one of the daughters has been obliged to become the housekeeper by reason of the wife being incapacitated. Why should there not be the payment of an allowance in that case? I hope the hon. Member for Middlesbrough will not withdraw this Amendment. We did not get a chance of moving our Amendments on the last Clause because the Closure was moved, and for that reason we should watch every move on the part of the Government. Why should there not be this payment for the two adult persons because they are not unemployed through

any fault of their own? If they were so unemployed, then they would be deprived of all benefit. If they are out of work, you have no right to refuse a dependent's allowance in respect of the second adult. I hope that we shall press this Amendment to a Division.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 195; Noes, 105.

Division No. 382.]AYES.[12.17 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Ganzoni, Sir JohnNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Ainsworth, Major CharlesGates, PercyNicholson, O. (Westminster)
Albery, Irving JamesGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamNuttall, Ellis
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnOakley, T.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Goff, Sir ParkO'Connor, T. J. (Bedlord, Luton)
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Gower, Sir RobertPennefather, Sir John
Atkinson, C.Grant, Sir J. A.Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Perring, Sir William George
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F.E.(Bristol, N.)Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Balniel, LordGunston, Captain D. W.Pitcher, G.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Power, Sir John Cecil
Barnett, Major Sir RichardHall, Capt. W n'A (Brecon & Rad.)Preston, William
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Harmon, Patrick Joseph HenryPrice, Major C. W. M.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Harland, A.Radford, E. A.
Bethel, A.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Raine, Sir Walter
Betterton, Henry B.Hartington, Marquess ofRawson, Sir Cooper
Bird, E. R. (Yorks. W. R., Skipton)Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Boothby, R. J. G.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Remer, J. R.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHeadlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Henderson, Capt. R. R.(0xf'd, Henley)Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Briggs, J. HaroldHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Brittain, Sir HarryHerbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Brocklebank, C. E. R.Hilton, CecilRye, F. G.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSalmon, Major I.
Bullock, Captain M.Holt, Capt. H. P.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Hopkins, J. W. W.Sandeman, N. Stewart
Campbell, E. T.Hudson, Capt. A. U.M. (Hackney, N.)Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Carver, Major W. H.Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)Sanderson, Sir Frank
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Iliffe, Sir Edward M.Sandon, Lord
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Jephcott, A. R.Savery, S. S.
Christie, J. A.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Churchman, Sir Arthur C.King, Commodore Henry DouglasSheffield, Sir Berkeley
Clayton, G. C.Lamb, J. O.Shepperson, E. W.
Cobb, Sir CyrilLane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipSmithers, Waldron
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeLocker-Lampson. Com. O. (Handsw'th)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cooper, A. DuffLong, Major EricStanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Cope, Major WilliamLuce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanStanley, Lord (Fylde)
Couper, J. B.Lumley, L. R.Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Courtauld, Major J. S.Lynn, Sir R. J.Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Mac Andrew, Major Charles GlenStott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)MacIntyre, IanStreatfeild, Captain S. R.
Curzon, Captain ViscountMcLean, Major A.Styles, Captain H. Walter
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Macmillan, Captain H.Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)Mac Robert, Alexander M.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Dawson, Sir PhilipMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbartōn)
Dean, Arthur WellesleyManningham-Buller, Sir MervynThompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Dixey, A. C.Margesson, Capt. D.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Drewe, C.Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Edmondson. Major A. J.Merriman, F. B.Tinne, J. A.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Meyer, Sir FrankTitchfield, Major the Marquess of
Ellis, R. G.Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
England, Colonel A.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Wallace. Captain D E.
Everard, W. LindsayMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Moore, Sir Newton J.Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Warrender, Sir Victor
Fielden, E. B.Murchison, Sir KennethWells, S. R.
Finburgh, S.Nall, Colonel Sir JosephWilliams. A. M. (Cornwall. Northern)
Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Nelson, Sir FrankWilliams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fraser, Captain IanNeville, Sir Reginald J.Winby, Colonel L. P.
Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel GeorgeWoodcock, Colonel H. C.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)Wragg, HerbertCaptain Bowyer and Mr. P
Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
NOES.
Adamson. Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)Ritson, J.
Adamson W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hardie, George D.Saklatvala, Shapurji
Barnes, A.Harris, Percy A.Scrymgeour, E.
Batey, JosephHayday, ArthurScurr, John
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hayes, John HenrySexton, James
Bondfield, MargaretHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Broad, A. F.Henderson, T. (Glasgow)Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bromfield, WilliamHirst, G. H.Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Charleton, H. C.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Clowes, S.John, William (Rhondda, West)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Cluse, W. S.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Stephen, Campbell
Compton, JosephJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Sullivan, J.
Connolly, M.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Sutton, J. E.
Cove, W. G.Kelly, W. T.Thurtle, Ernest
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Kennedy, T.Tinker, John Joseph
Crawfurd, H. E.Kirkwood, D.Townend, A. E.
Dalton, HughLansbury, GeorgeVarley, Frank B.
Davies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)Lawrence, SusanViant, S. P.
Day, Colonel HarryLawson, John JamesWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Duncan, C.Lee, F.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Dunnico, H.Lindley, F. W.Wellock, Wilfred
Edge, Sir WilliamLunn, WilliamWelsh, J. C.
Fenby, T. D.Mackinder, W.Westwood, J.
Forrest, W.MacLaren, AndrewWheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gardner, J. P.Morris, R. H.Wiggins, William Martin
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Gibbins, JosephMurnin, H.Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Gillett, George M.Oliver, George HaroldWilliams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Palin, John HenryWindsor, Walter
Greenall, T.Paling, W.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Poits, John S.Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Groves, T.Riley, BenWhiteley.
Grundy, T. W.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I beg to move, in page 3, to leave out from the word "person" in line 18 to the end of paragraph (i), and to insert instead thereof the words "in the capacity of housekeeper."

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I think this Amendment raises a point of some importance. As I understand it, the law at present is that a man is entitled to dependant's benefit in respect either of his wife or of a housekeeper, if he has children, or in respect of what has been called an unmarried wife whether he has children or not. The way this marvellously drawn Bill is framed excludes from benefit a woman living with a man if there are no children. I therefore take it that the curious distinction is drawn that it is a highly immoral thing for a man to live with a woman and have no children, but that it changes its moral complexion and becomes quite right if the lady happens to be fruitful. I fail to see, if it is right that a man should receive added benefit in order to maintain a woman who is looking after him, that he is any more entitled to receive that added benefit because he has children through that woman or because he has not. I have read many Acts of Parliament in the course of my professional life, and if ever there was a Bill entitled to the first prize for obscurity this is it. It is very like a jig-saw puzzle. The only way you can get a picture with any meaning at all is by gathering together out of a heap of scattered pieces of painted wood the appropriate ones and sticking them on. I defy anyone to know the meaning of this Clause if he has not half-a-dozen Acts of Parliament open before him at the same time. But that is the system. Whether it has been put forward in this Bill in order that most lay people may be unable to see what underlies it I do not know, but certainly no one but a very acute industrous lawyer would be capable of saying what really is intended by the Clause. I understand the Clause to make this change specifically in the existing law. No longer, if this Bill becomes an Act of Parliament, will it be possible for a man to obtain benefit for the woman looking after him, if she has no children, whether it be a housekeeper or whether it be an unmarried wife. The one test is whether the lady has proved fruitful to him or not. I would like to know what is the ground of the distinction. If a man, by reason of some unfortunate circumstances, is deprived of the blessing of a wife to look after him and is thereby compelled to get some woman to do so, I would like to know on what principle, moral or commonsense, he should be deprived of something additional to maintain that woman merely because she has no children. Why should she get something because she has children?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

This, frankly, is not a very easy matter to discuss. The hon. Member has expressed a view which he is perfectly entitled to hold—that under the circumstances he describes of a man and woman living together and where there are no children, benefit allowances should be made. On the other hand, it is a view which is repugnant to a great many people who think otherwise.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

Is it more immoral to live together and not have children than to live together and have them?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

This is one of those difficult matters on which I think we are justified in being guided by what the Blanesburgh Report says. Of course, we do not shelter ourselves behind the Report, but the Report has put so clearly the view that appeals to us that I venture to read Section 145. It says: At present, the immediate family circle is recognised and the Acts have gone a step further in admitting the widowed mother living with the claimant and maintained by him, and in admiting also a housekeeper to look after the children in place of a mother. But a further departure, which has been made, has evoked considerable criticism, namely, the admission of the grant to an unmarried man or widower in respect of a female person who has been living with him as his wife. We understand that in including this class of dependant the Ministry— that is the Ministry of Labour —followed the precedent of the War Office during the War in regard to Army Separation Allowances. Now, however, the War Office has reverted to the pre-War practice of recognising only married wives for Separation Allowances. The unmarried wife is recognised for the purposes of War Pension but receives a lower rate than the married wife. Under the Unemployment Insurance Scheme, dependants' benefit is allowed if the woman has been living with the claimant for a period of at least six months prior to the date and if the union is and has been on a bona fide domestic basis. This is the significant paragraph: This extension of benefit has been a cause of serious misgiving to many people, and it is, we believe, injurious to the credit of the system. We have agreed to recommend that such unions where there are no children should not be recognised by a scheme to which so large a contribution is made by the State.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I want to clear up a point. What I want to know is whether it is immoral for "A" to live with a woman and have no children and whether it is not equally immoral to live with a woman and have children. You put it on grounds of morality.

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

That is not the right way to put it. We have taken into consideration the cases where there are children. It is not so much a question of morality as a question of the children. We think that where there are children of the unions that puts the situation on a different footing. I do not put it any higher than I have already done. The view of the Committee is very clear on this point, and the expression of that view is incorporated in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Joseph Sullivan Mr Joseph Sullivan , Bothwell

I want to support the Amendment. I do not understand why an Insurance Bill should make any difficulty in granting an allowance for someone who is living there in the capacity of a housekeeper. Allowance is made in dealing with Income Tax. The Minister in defending the Clause quoted the Blanesburgh Report. He should have quoted the paragraph which follows and which says: We understand that claims are sometimes made in respect of dependent mothers who are unmarried. Such a woman does not fall within the definition of widowed mother, since she is, of course, not a widow. We think that she should be included. The same remark applies to the widowed stepmother. In both these cases, it is, of course, to be understood that the woman is in reality and has been dependent on the claimant. If you can quote the Blanesburgh Report when it suits you, it is only right and proper that you should finish the quotation. I think this Report justifies the Amendment.

Lieut.-Colonel LAMBERT WARD:

I think the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) will agree that children are not to blame for the fact that their parents are not married, and although I, and many members on this side of the Committee, may think that it is equally reprehensible to live with a woman unmarried whether there are children or not of that unhallowed union, the children are not to blame. We think it is unfair to penalise the children and subject them to hardship on account of their parents.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

Does it not occur to the hon. Member that there may be cases where a man may be 55 or 60 years of age and have a housekeeper living with him for the exclusive purpose of performing domestic duties. He may be unfortunate enough to be thrown out of work. There is no immorality at all. It is quite a legitimate occurrence and all cases of that description ought to be brought within the ambit of the Section referred to a moment ago. This is a very delicate question, and it may very well be that there are different points of view. Personally, I think that if the individual is obliged to pay his weekly contributions, and for reasons over which he has no control, he is obliged to have a housekeeper, he ought not to be deprived in time of need of the same benefits that are obtained by other individuals in almost indentical situations. I think the Committee would have been justified in taking the view that in 99 cases out of every 100 the domestic arrangement would be a perfectly legitimate one. There would be no sort of imposition on the funds, and the same treatment would be meted out to each individual. For these reasons, I think one is justified even now in asking the Minister to revert to the practice that was approved of during the War.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

Both the Minister and every other Member seem to hold the idea that every housekeeper must be an unmarried wife. We dispute that, absolutely. I think the number of unmarried wives is very small compared with the number of persons who are keeping house for men in order to keep their homes together. There are men whose wives have died, and who have children who want to come and see them occasionally. For that reason, a man wants to keep a home, and for that reason he must have a housekeeper. Everyone has read Burns's "Cottar's Saturday Night," where the children come back to their homes. That is very common, and I say that a man, whether married or not, wants to keep a place where the children can come home. I think on this point the Minister ought to give way. On the point of the unmarried mothers, I do not agree at all. I suppose it does obtain, but it does not obtain in all cases, and there are many honest men with housekeepers simply keeping their homes together for their own comfort, and to have a place where their children can come occasionally. It is a most reasonable request.

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

We have an example here of how our morals change. In the War atmosphere we had nothing of this nice distinction. They were all then accepted as quite legitimate wives for the purpose of our Acts of Parliament. Our morality of pre-War days was thrown to the winds. Now that we are out of the War days we are back again into the state of hypocricy in which we usually live except in periods of national necessity. I do not think that Acts of Parliament should be used to enforce ethical or religious views on people. We have been accustomed in recent years to treat them as human beings, whether or not they conform to our views on religion or on ethics. What are we asked to do here? As has been pointed out, you have in this country, I suppose, tens of thousands of men who find it necessary to have housekeepers to look after their domestic comforts. These people, as has been pointed out, may, and we are entitled to assume do, live ordinarily decent lives, conforming to the morality of the religions that they profess. One of these men is knocked out of employment. He has to maintain the woman during the period of unemployment who has served him so well during the period of employment. He cannot throw her on the street. He cannot tell her to go and beg for a living. She having served him well in a domestic capacity honourably during his employment period, he has now a moral obligation to maintain that woman. The Minister proposes that he is to be deprived of the means of maintenance; because she has not borne children to him. What are you tempting him to do? You are laying it down that if, instead of leading a moral life, he had had sexual intercourse promiscuously and she had borne him children, then he would be rewarded for his immoral conduct by receiving allowance. Someone on the other side said that it would be unfair to punish the children for the wrongful acts of the parents. But here you are punishing a man by refusing him any allowance for his house-keeper unless he performs the immoral act that is necessary to have children. He has to produce illegitimate children in order to get the maintenance to satisfy his moral obligations to the woman who acted as his housekeeper. I say that is a most regrettable departure in our legislation, and it is surely a case that calls for reconsideration by the Minister. If ever there was a proposal in this Bill, the consideration of which ought to be continued until it is viewed from every angle, I submit that this is one, and I hope that the Minister of Labour will see his way to continue this part of the Clause until he has given it more adequate consideration than apparently he has given it up to now.

Photo of Mr Horace Crawfurd Mr Horace Crawfurd , Walthamstow West

I would like, before the Minister replies, to try to urge a human point upon him. I do not think that the discussion of this question is really illuminated by reference to the War period, because that was an exceptional period of stress and strain, and the arrangements made then are not normally made in peace time. The hon. Member who replied for the Government said that he did not shelter himself behind the Report of the Committee, but he agreed with the Report that a distinction should be drawn. Benefit is to be paid to people who are in the position of what is called the unmarried wife if there are children of the union, but that benefit is to be paid not for the sake of the wife, but for the sake of the children. In other cases, it is not paid, and the hon. Member, and presumably the right hon. Gentleman who is his colleague, lays it down quite clearly that the distinction is made, not perhaps on grounds of private morality, but at any rate on grounds of public policy. Therefore, in order to penalise a certain percentage of people who may have offended against the interests of public policy, the Government are also going to penalise an enormous number of women who are quite legitimately following the occupation of housekeeper. An hon. Friend behind me made the suggestion that in many thousands of cases it may be a man's sister. If the right hon. Gentleman and his friends understand the position, they will realise that there are not thousands but hundreds of thousands of people in this country who for one reason or another are compelled to seek the aid of, or employ, some woman to maintain a home. All these people, as I understand it, are going to be penalised because, if you do not penalise them, you lose the opportunity of penalising another class of person, who, you say, are offending against public morality. That seems to be the position, and, before the Government come to a decision on that point, I would like them to make up their minds very clearly on that point. It seems to me that the words of the Amendment express exactly what I am sure all of us would like to see in the Bill. It is the female person in the capacity of housekeeper, whether looking after children or after some man who may be infirm or unable, from other circumstances, to look after himself. The right hon. Gentleman should give this his very careful consideration, and, if the Government are not prepared to make some concession, they will be doing a very grave injustice to a very large and not undeserving class.

Photo of Miss Arabella Lawrence Miss Arabella Lawrence , East Ham North

The point I want to ask the Minister to consider is a very small financial point. The unmarried wife is to be deprived of benefit under the insurance scheme. What is going to become of her? Obviously, the only recourse is Poor Law. Such people are not very numerous, and it is a small part of what I consider one of the great evils of this Bill—the throwing of persons off unemployment insurance on to the Poor Law. These people do not cease to exist because they are struck off benefit. They do not cease to have a claim on the State, but, by putting this small class of person out of benefit, you do in very many case create the necessity of recourse to the Poor Law. It is because I feel that recourse to the Poor Law and the throwing of burdens on to the rates are among the greatest dangers to this country and to our trade, that I draw attention even to a small advance in that direction.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

The Parliamentary Secretary, when he was dealing with this matter, took occasion to review only a very limited section of those who would come under these provisions—only those who are in the position of the unmarried wife. The Amendment is ever so much wider, and the person concerned is the person in the capacity of housekeeper. I dare say hon. Members in every division have had people come to them in connection with claims to benefit, and these people will have told them about the circumstances of their homes. In every division there must be ever so many cases where there is a housekeeper, and, if there be no allowance in respect of that housekeeper, it adds very greatly to the difficulty of maintaining that home. Take the case of a parent, an old man or woman practically infirm, and possibly living with a son, and there is a housekeeper in order to maintain the home. If there be no allowance for that housekeeper, that home, in a time of unemployment comes into a position in which it is apt to be swept away. The son is anxious to do as much as possible to make provision for the old person, but he is quite unable to carry on and to maintain the home if there be no allowance in this respect. There are ever so many other cases, and I would like to see the Government address themselves to this aspect of the problem. A case was mentioned by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown)—the case of a sister or some other relative acting in the capacity of housekeeper. What you have to look at is the economic need of the home. No question of morality or immorality comes into it; it is the case of a sister, a relative, or friend, or someone who is no relative, but is there in the capacity of housekeeper. There has been an income of, say, £3 a week coming into the home,, and they have just been able to get along moderately; and then comes a period of unemployment for six or twelve weeks, and at the end of that time they are in great distress. There is this person who, perhaps, is not a relative, who has got no reason to remain there unless she is able to get adequate maintenance in the home. Surely, it is only reasonable that you should take that basis—the economic need. The Amendment is not pressing the question of public opinion and morality and immorality in the arrangements of the home; it is pressing the practical and ordinary business-like relation and the need for keeping the home together. I hope the Minister will see what can be done in respect of this matter, in order that the burden of unemployment in this aspect, as well as in others will be as light as possible on the people who have to suffer that cruel misfortune.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

May I ask if the Minister will deal with this specific aspect? Is it intended that a man whose sister is housekeeping for him should be placed in a worse position that a man who is living with a woman who has children by him.

Photo of Mr George Oliver Mr George Oliver , Ilkeston

May I ask whether the Minister has any information in his department which justifies the resistance of this particular Amendment? There are Employment Exchanges in every important town, and you have people employed in those Exchanges who can give the information to show quite clearly that there are thousands of cases where men have housekeepers, where there is no question of immorality. Therefore, before resisting this Amendment, I hope that the Minister will give us the specifitc information on what grounds he proposes to resist it.

1.0 a.m.

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

The hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. Crawfurd) put a question to me to which I will reply. Quite briefly, we are not setting out by this Clause to penalise the housekeeper as he seems to think. There were a limited number of members of the family circle in respect of whom previously adult dependants' benefit has been given. There are some cases of aged parents who are completely dependent and presumably beyond the age of working, but in regard to those who are approximately of the same generation as the man who is the insured contributor and in receipt of benefit the question has been, "To how many of the family circle should the adult rate be given?" Pressure has always been in the direction of trying to enlarge that circle. The decision which we have reached is that we should give dependant's benefit, with the exception of unmarried wives, in respect of the same people as under previous Acts. That is, in the first place, to wives; in the second place, to someone who looks after small children. The housekeeper by herself who does not look after small children has never before been given benefit, and we do not wish to extend it to her case. There may be differences of opinion about that, but in that respect we are keeping to precisely the same circle as at present.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

Really, that is not the law at present. The law at present is this. There are three classes of women who are in the household of the men who get benefit. First, where the man has a wife he gets it; second, where he has a housekeeper looking after children he gets it; third, where a woman is living with him as his wife he gets it. That is the law as it stands at present, and as the Clause is drawn it can only mean this: "Show me a man who has a housekeeper, be she his mother or sister, and has no children—he gets nothing in respect of her. Show me a man openly and flagrantly living with a woman and has children—he gets benefit both in respect of that woman and of the children."

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

I do not think the hon. Member can have heard me. Putting aside the aged people, as I have already said under a previous Amendment to this Clause, we do not propose to give it to the unmarried wife, but as regards the rest of the family circle we do give it in respect of two classes—one, the wife; and, secondly, anyone who looks after small children. We do not extend it to the housekeeper. It has never been given to a housekeeper who does not look after children, and we are merely keeping it circumscribed in that respect.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

I want to make an appeal. The ordinary case in a working man's home is not that of an unmarried wife at all. The unmarried wife is a case that is so very exceptional that it is scarcely worth considering at all. But the housekeeper is a well-recognised institution in working-class life. Why force a man of the type who has a housekeeper and who becomes unemployed, to break up his home and go into lodgings? It is much worse for him and worse for the State. May I ask the Minister whether he will not at least leave this matter to a free vote of the Committee and give hon. Members a chance of voting for it purely on the merits of the case?

Photo of Mr Horace Crawfurd Mr Horace Crawfurd , Walthamstow West

May I ask the Minister a question? He said that at present there are three categories that are paid—the wife, the unmarried wife, and the housekeeper of any description who is looking after my children, and that by leaving out the housekeeper he was not contracting the benefits. If a man has a housekeeper and is forced to claim benefit for her, does he have to make a declaration that she is living with him as his wife?

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

I am afraid that I cannot answer on the spur of the moment.

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

Really, I think we ought to adjourn until the Government-make up their minds.

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

As everyone must realise, I cannot be expected to answer every point off-hand.

HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

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

I think I can say, in reply to the question put by the hon. Member for West Waltham-stow (Mr. Crawfurd), that that is the case.

Photo of Mr Thomas Williams Mr Thomas Williams , Don Valley

May I draw the Minister's attention to the Blanesburgh Report, page 69, the latter part of the first paragraph, which answers the question just put to the Minister by the hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. Crawfurd). He said a moment or two ago that the housekeeper had never yet been recognised. In this paragraph of the Blanesburgh Report he will find that that is not quite the case. The Blanesburgh Committee say: Under the Unemployment Insurance Scheme, dependants' benefit is allowed if the woman has been living with the claimant for a period of at least six months prior to the date and if the union is and has been on a bona fide domestic basis. The housekeeper performing purely domestic duties on a perfectly bona fide. basis is entitled to-day to dependant's allowance, and this Bill takes away in future what has been paid up to the present moment. I think the Minister may very well concede so much as to undertake to reconsider this question before he comes to a final decision.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

We want to have this matter cleared up. As I read the words of this Act—and perhaps the Minister will refer this question to the Attorney-General or some other lawyer—at the present time, where a man has a woman in the same establishment, if she be his wife, clearly benefit must arise; if she be his housekeeper looking after children, clearly benefit must arise; if she be an unmarried wife with no children the present law is that benefit in respect of her arises, and now the Minister is changing that law so that if there are children there is benefit, but for a housekeeper or mistress, sister, mother or anybody else, there is no benefit unless there are children. As the law stands to-day, men who are receiving benefit because they have no women living on them who are in all respects their wives but with no children are to be deprived of benefit. It is no answer to say, "The woman is my sister." I ask the Minister seriously if it be really intended to go forward with this proposal and whether these perfectly moral and respectable people are to be deprived of benefit when this Bill becomes law, while a man living in immoral relations with a woman, because they had no children, is to continue to receive benefit.

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

The answer so far as a woman has been living with a man as his wife but is not so in reality is that up to the present time she has received benefit, and in this Bill it is proposed that a change should be made, and that the unmarried wife should no longer receive benefit. At the present moment if a sister be living with a man and keeping house for him but there are no children she is not entitled to benefit under the existing law and she will not be entitled to benefit under the future law.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

This cannot have any great effect on the financial basis of the Bill, and I am sure that there are many among the Minister's own supporters who see the justice of this case and would vote for this allowance. Is it not possible for the Minister to let us have an open vote of the Committee. It cannot hurt the Bill financially. The thing is so small among the general mass that it does not matter, but to the individual it is so great, and I appeal to the Minister to let us have a free vote of the Committee.

Photo of Colonel Sir Joseph Nall Colonel Sir Joseph Nall , Manchester Hulme

I hope my right hon. Friend will do nothing of the sort. Public morality is already sufficiently lax.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

But this emphasises immorality.

Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , St Pancras North

The assumption that most of us on this side of the Committee would agree with our friends above the gangway is a quite unwarrantable one. There is very good reason why this apparent inconsistency should be maintained. It is true that there may be cases in which the relationship is perfectly proper, but, generally speaking, to use the Minister's words, in the case of "people of the same generation, there must be a very large number where the living of those two persons in the same house, while more or less temporary, is perhaps promiscuous. This distinction should be drawn between the people who live together promiscuously and possibly temporarily and those who are unmarried making a real home where children are brought up.

Mr. BECKETT:

I think the remarks of the last speaker would be subscribed to by every member of the Committee, but I do not see how they invalidate the Amendment which we are proposing. We are not proposing to take away the allowances in the cases existing at present. The question of morality or immorality does not arise at all. If this Amendment be not accepted the present allowances will be taken away. Therefore, the argument which the last two hon. Members have introduced with regard to encouraging or lack of encouraging immorality does not seem to have any great bearing on the Minister's decision. Is the Minister so strongly opposed to our Amendment on moral grounds, or is he opposed on the ground of cost? I do not want to put the Minister to a lot of trouble if the facts are not easily ascertainable, but if that be possible for him to give us some idea of the number of cases and the extra money he would have to spend if our Amendment were accepted, the Committee would have reason to be grateful to him. I want to suggest that he has not been very ready in meeting us throughout this discussion. Last week we had an even more intricate Bill to deal with and one on which opinion was very divided, but the President of the Board of Trade, by making concessions, was able to get his Bill through without any ill-feeling. The Minister of Labour, however, has never offered any concession, even in the direction of accepting a harmless Amendment of this kind. He lets us talk and then moves the Closure, or gets someone to do so. I do suggest that he should take one or two of these Amendments seriously.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I would ask the Minister whether it is possible- to come to some accommodation on this question. There is no doubt that there may be certain cases where it would, obviously, be undesirable if dependants' benefits were paid. I want to make it perfectly clear that that is not my intention in moving my Amendment. That is not the sort of thing which we should desire to countenance. What I am trying to get at, and what I want to ask the Minister, is whether it is not possible to get some form of words that would meet the very real difficulties of the position? At present the only woman entitled to benefit is the woman having actual care of dependent children. I ask the Minister if he would be prepared to consider a form of words such as follows: Wholly or mainly maintaining a female person who has care of the children or other dependants of the person entitled to benefit. That would bring in a woman looking after an aged mother or ailing relatives. I have consulted with my friends on my own Front Bench on this matter.

Photo of Colonel Sir Joseph Nall Colonel Sir Joseph Nall , Manchester Hulme

Does it mean if a man has two women living with him, one to look after the other?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I think it is perfectly obvious that that sneer is entirely unwarranted.

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

If that came from this side of the Committee you would have demanded that we should withdraw it. Hon. Members opposite would have shouted out, "Name." But we do not expect anything else when we have a Government in power like the present, and a Minister like the present. The Member for Gateshead (Mr. Beckett), who spoke a minute ago, said we could get concessions from other Ministers. He was referring to the Cinematograph Films Bill. We got concessions there, but we cannot get concessions here when we are appealing for human beings. No concessions for women, particularly of the working classes. It is quite in keeping with actions of the Minister of Labour, the same Minister who is going to drive thousands of working girls on to the streets. He is now going to drive—[Interruption]. What is wrong with that?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member's remarks are really not germane to the Amendment which we are discussing, and it is quite unnecessary for the hon. Member in his remarks to use expressions offensive to the Minister of Labour.

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

You allowed the hon. Member on the other side to make remarks without pulling him up. I think I was quite in order in going along the same road, only I was putting my remarks pointed and direct to the Minister in charge. I am here impeaching him on behalf of my class. I have a case in my mind's eye. In a single apartment in the West of Scotland—and the same holds good all over Britain—you have a man and his family. The mother dies, and invariably the mother has been murdered, starved by the hellish conditions that have been dealt out to her by this cruel and remorseless Government. That mother dies and leaves a family. The breadwinner has probably £2 10s. a week, and there they are struggling on. It is quite impossible for him to go into lodgings. He cannot afford it, and he brings in a sister or, maybe, an aunt, to keep the family. Suddenly, through no fault of the breadwinner, he is deprived of the means of earning a living for them. He is thrown on the street unemployed. This Minister of Labour gives him 17s. a week, and now has the hardihood to say to that man that he has to give an allowance of that 17s. to this sister or aunt. I ask the Minister if he would like his friends to be dealt with in that manner. Could he maintain himself on 17s. a week. Would he give a share of that 17s. to a sister. We have no right to deal out treatment to others different from what we would to those about whom we are concerned. The right hon. Gentleman is smiling, smiling and acting the villain all the while. No one but a villain would put forward legislation such as this. It is our class, the working class, again, just as it is the working girl that is going to be handed out 8s. a week. How are you going to face the working class women. They will chase you. The Government are robbing the women, doing everything that they can to rob them of their virtue—rob them of everything, there is no doubt about it. You would think that at the moment the Government were deliberately going out of their way to destroy what the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. C. Edwards) referred to. He referred to Burns' "Cottar's Saturday night," where the poet describes the home life which the Minister of Labour is at work just now trying to destroy. He is trying to destroy the homes of the people of this country. The home life of the working-class of this country is the backbone of the British Empire. If you are going to destroy the home life of the working-class of this country, you will get away from the very foundations of this great Empire. Here we have to stand time after time, being thrown out of the House, being ejected, defending the workers, defending the British Empire against the individuals who are trying to destroy it. You can laugh, but you have to remember that he who laughs last laughs longest.

I have kept myself in because we do not want to cause unnecessary strife. We are trying everything we possibly can to get the Government to understand working-class life. The Minister of Labour came here with a great reputation. Some of my colleagues on the Front Bench told me that he was a good man, and that he would do all right. I have not given him up even yet, because I believe, while there is life, there is hope. When he came here, he told us about going into the East End of London and studying the aspect of life as lived there, and we believed that he had some knowledge of working-class life. Here you have him this morning standing as if he was metallic. You would think it was a robot that was standing there, and that he was as immovable as the rocks that encircle our island the house. We cannot make any impression on him when we are appealing for our women folk and for the poorest of the poor who have nobody to say a word for them. The Government poses as being a strong Government. They are posers, there is no doubt, of the first order. If they are a strong Government and the Minister of Labour is really in earnest to do something on behalf of suffering humanity, here is a glorious chance for him to stand up and defend those who are not able to defend themselves. Those women folk invariably have no vote. They are practically outcasts. Let the Committee try to understand what it is to be a working man with 36s. a week. There are many thousands in my constituency working a full week for that amount—shipyard workers. How is a man to provide for his children out of that amount? The wives of the workers are imbued with as high ideals as the wives of any Cabinet Ministers and work the flesh off their fingers in order that their boys shall be better men than their fathers. In the midst of the struggle the mother is cut down in many cases because of starvation, and the man is forced to bring in a relation. Then he becomes unemployed. The tragedy of it all. Then you say to that man, after the terrible struggle he has gone through: "You will have 17s. a week, and you have to share it with your sister as we are not going to give her an allowance." You would think she was not a human being. If that does not move the Minister, then I have to give it up, and I shall have to go to the people of the country and tell them exactly how this House sneers and jibes and turns them adrift when we appeal on behalf of our class. What is the use of me telling them that this is the most tolerant institution in the world if that is what its tolerance amounts to? You would think we were Russians. You would think that it was another species we were appealing for, and not the women of our class. Our daughters are just as good as those of any Minister or any Prime Minister, and we have no right to sit calmly by and allow measures like this to go through that are going to crush our women, that are going to drive our women folk into immorality. If the Government are to be allowed to do that, then certainly Britain will fail.

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

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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 90.

Division No. 383.]AYES.[1.39 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGoff Sir ParkPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Gower, Sir RobertPilcher, G.
Ainsworth, Major CharlesGraham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Power, Sir John Cecil
Albery, Irving JamesGrant, Sir J. A.Preston, William
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Price, Major C. W. M.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Gunston, Captain D. W.Radford, E. A.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Raine, Sir Walter
Atkinson, C.Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Rawson, Sir Cooper
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRemer, J. R.
Balniel, LordHarland, A.Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Barnett, Major Sir RichardHartington, Marquess ofRoberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Bethel, A.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Rye, F. G.
Betterton, Henry B.Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)Salmon, Major I.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bird, Sir R B. (Wolverhampton W.)Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Sandeman, N. Stewart
Boothby, R. J. G.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHilton, CecilSanderson, Sir Frank
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSandon, Lord
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Holt, Captain H. P.Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHopkins, J. W. W.Savery, S. S.
Brittain, Sir HarryHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Iliffe, Sir Edward M.Shaw. Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W)
Bullock. Captain M.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Shepperson, E. W.
Burton, Colonel H. W.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Campbell, E. T.King, Commodore Henry DouglasSmithers, Waldron
Carver, Major W. H.Lamb. J. Q.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G.F.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Loder, J. de V.Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Christie, J. A.Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanStanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerLumley, L. R.Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Clayton, G. C.Lynn, Sir Robert J.Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Cobb, Sir CyrilMacAndrew, Major Charles GlenStreatfelld, Captain S. R.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.MacIntyre, IanStyles, Captain H. Walter
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeMcLean, Major A.Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Cooper, A. DuffMacmillan, Captain H.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Couper, J. B.MacRobert, Alexander M.Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Courtauld, Major J. S.Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynThomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Margesson, Captain D.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Curzon, Captain ViscountMason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.Tinne, J. A.
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Merriman, F. B.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yedvil)Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Dawson, Sir PhilipMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Wallace, Captain D. E.
Dean, Arthur WellesleyMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)
Dixey, A. C.Moore, Sir Newton J.Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Drewe, C.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Warrender, Sir Victor
Edmondson, Major A. J.Nall, Colonel Sir JosephWells, S. R.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Nelson, Sir FrankWilliams, A. M. (Cornwall, Nortnern)
Everard, W. LindsayNeville, Sir Reginald J.Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fielden. E. B.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Foxcroft, Captain C. TNicholson, O. (Westminster)Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Fraser, Captain IanNuttall, EllisWoodcock, Colonel H. C.
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Oakley, T.Wragg, Herbert
Ganzoni, Sir JohnO'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Gates, PercyPennefather, Sir JohnTELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Major Cope and Mr. Penny.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPerring, Sir William George
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Cove, W. G.Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Grurdy, T. W.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Crawfurd, H. E.Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)
Barnes, A.Dalton, HughHall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Batey, JosephDavies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)Hardie, George D.
Beckett. John (Gateshead)Day, Colonel HarryHarney, E. A.
Bondfield, MargaretDuncan, C.Hayday, Arthur
Broad, F. A.Dunnico, H.Hayes, John Henry
Bromfield, WilliamEdge, Sir WilliamHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Fenby, T. D.Henderson, T. (Glasgow)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Hirst, G. H.
Charleton, H. C.Glbbins, JosephHirst. W. (Bradford, South)
Clowes, S.Glliett, George MHudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)
Cluse, W. S.Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Compton, JosephGreenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)John, William (Rhondda, West)
Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)Varley, Frank B.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Saklatvala, ShapurjiWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Scrymgeour, E.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Kelly, W. T.Scurr, JohnWellock, Wilfred
Kennedy, T.Sexton, JamesWelsh, J. C.
Kirkwood, D.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)Westwood, J.
Lawrence, SusanShepherd, Arthur LewisWheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Lawson, John JamesShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)Whiteley, W.
Lee, F.Slesser, Sir Henry H.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Lindley, F. W.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Lunn, WilliamSmith, Rennie (Penistone)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Mackinder, W.Stephen, CampbellWindsor, Walter
MacLaren, AndrewSullivan, Joseph
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Thurtle, ErnestTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Oliver, George HaroldTinker, John JosephMr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles
Paling, W.Townend, A. E.Edwards.
Potts, John S.

Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 89.

Division No. 384.]AYES.[1.48 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGower, Sir RobertPitcher, G.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Power, Sir John Cecil
Ainsworth, Major CharlesGrant, Sir J. A.Preston, William
Albery, Irving JamesGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Price, Major C. W. M.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Gunston, Captain D. W.Radford, E. A.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid w.Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Raine, Sir Walter
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Rawson, Sir Cooper
Atkinson, C.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRemer, J. R.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Harland, A.Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Balniel, LordHarmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Hartington, Marquess ofRoberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Barnett, Major Sir RichardHarvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Rye, F. G.
Bethel, A.Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)Salmon, Major I.
Betterton, Henry B.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Sandeman, N. Stewart
Boothby, R. J. G.Hilton, CecilSanders, Sir Robert A.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSanderson, Sir Frank
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.Holt, Captain H. P.Sandon, Lord
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Hopkins, J. W. W.Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Savery, S. S.
Brittain, Sir HarryIliffe, Sir Edward M.Shaw, R. G (Yorks. W.R., Sowerby)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W)
Bullock, Captain M.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Burton, Colonel H. W.King, Commodore Henry DouglasShepperson, E. W.
Campbell, E. T.Lamb, J. Q.Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Carver, Major W. H.Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Smithers, Waldron
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)Long, Major EricSpender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanStanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Christie, J. A.Lumley, L. R.Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston SpencerLynn, Sir Robert J.Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Clayton, G. C.MacAndrew, Major Charles GlenSteel, Major Samuel Strang
Cobb, Sir CyrilMacintyre, I.Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.McLean, Major A.Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeMacMlllan, Captain H.Styles, Captain H. Walter
Cooper, A. DuffMac Robert, Alexander M.sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Couper, J. B.Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynThorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)Margesson, Capt. D.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Mason, Lieut.-Colonel Glyn K.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Merriman, F. B.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.
Curzon, Captain ViscountMitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Tinne, J. A.
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Heme! Hempst'd)Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Maj. Geo.F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Dawson, Sir PhilipMoore, Sir Newton J.Wallace. Captain D. E.
Dean, Arthur WellesleyMoore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Dixey, A. C.Nall, Colonel Sir JosephWarner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Drewe, C.Nelson, Sir FrankWarrender, Sir Victor
Edmondson, Major A. J.Neville, Sir Reginald J.Wells, S. R.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Newman, Sir R. H. s. D. L. (Exeter)Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Everard, W. LindsayNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Nicholson, O. (Westminster)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fielder,, E. B.Nuttall, EllisWood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Oakley, T.Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)Woodcock, Colonel H. c.
Ganzoni, Sir JohnPennefather, Sir JohnWragg, Herbert
Gates, PercyPenny, Frederick George
Gibbs, Col. Rt Hon. George AbrahamPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPerring, Sir William GeorgeMajor Sir George Hennessy and
Goff, Sir ParkPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)Major Cope.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Saklatvala, Shapurji
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Scrymgeour, E.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hardie, George D.Scurr, John
Barnes, A.Harney, E. A.Sexton, James
Batey, JosephHayday, ArthurShaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hayes, John HenryShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bondfield, MargaretHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Broad, F. A.Henderson, T. (Glasgow)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Bromfield, WilliamHirst, G. H.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Stephen, Campbell
Charleton, H. C.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Sullivan, J.
Clowes, S.John, William (Rhondda, West)Thurtle, Ernest
Cluse, W. S.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Tinker, John Joseph
Compton, JosephJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Townend, A. E.
Cove, W. G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Varley, Frank B.
Crawfurd, H. E.Kelly, W. TWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Dalton, HughKennedy, T.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Kirkwood, D.Wellock, Wilfred
Day, Colonel HarryLawrence, SusanWelsh, J. C.
Duncan, CLawson, John JamesWestwood, J.
Dunnico, H.Lee, F.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Edge, Sir WilliamLindley, F. W.Whiteley, W.
Fenby, T. D.Lunn, WilliamWilkinson, Ellen C.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Mackinder, w.Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Gibbins, JosephMacLaren, AndrewWilliams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Gillett, George M.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Windsor, Walter
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Oliver, George Harold
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Paling, W.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Potts, John S.Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles
Grundy, T. W.Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)Edwards.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

Some of us, after all, do regard this Bill as serious. It is full of problems that require an elasticity of mind that we are unable to bring to bear on them at this hour. Then, to-morrow there is a very important debate on and many hon. Members on all sides of the House wish to be fresh with their wits about them for that occasion. I do ask the Minister to bear in mind that it is really impossible to get much more of this Bill through as we stand now, and I think that the time has come when we should report Progress.

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

I do not think that we could possibly stop where we are just at present. I am glad if hon. Members wish to make progress and consider this Bill seriously and precisely, but I think we quite clearly could not accept any Motion to report Progress and leave the debate right in the middle of this Clause.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Doncaster

I would like to ask the Minister whether he thinks it is desirable to carry on a debate of this importance, affecting so many people, in the atmosphere that has been largely created by his own mistakes. I would like to direct his attention to the fact that since the beginning of the Committee stage nearly every Amendment that has been debated, and on the first two Clauses during nearly two nights, the Parliamentary Secretary has never got up to say a word at all, and the Minister himself, when he has got up, has sat down again in two minutes without attempting to answer the arguments at all. Is that fair?

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The Motion before the Committee is a Motion to report Progress. The hon. Member must confine himself strictly to that particular Question and not give a summary of the debate.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Doncaster

I am trying to give reasons.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

May I ask if the Minister would be prepared to fall in with the Motion if he got Clause 4 carried, or at the end of Clause 4 if there were not very much debate on it?

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Doncaster

I was trying to give reasons why we should finish to-night here. One reason is because of what has occurred, particularly in view of the fact that no attention has been given to the arguments by the Minister and no sufficient answer given to them. I have heard one or two things said about this Bill that I never remember having heard said about any other Bill. We have had, for example, a memorandum. The Minister admitted that he did not understand it, and the Chairman of Committees said that it was misleading. To-night we cannot get the Minister on his feet to give a reasonable reply to anything. I do not know whether it is due to the atmosphere that has been created or whether it is because the Minister does not know anything about the Bill. In view of this, I think it is time we put this business back. I appeal to the Minister to give it a new chance. Every speaker from his own side of the Committee—and there have been very few speakers on his own side of the Committee, I will admit—has spoken against the Minister. One of them has asked him plainly to withdraw the Bill. The argument from this side of the Committee has riddled the Bill from beginning to end.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Doncaster

There is question about it. It is a mere question of fact, and, in view of this, I am going to ask the Minister to let us go home to bed and come back to-morrow with clear minds and clear brains and give time to this business worthy of it. This Bill affects a very large number of people in this country. I appeal to him to let us report Progress.

Photo of Hon. Esmond Harmsworth Hon. Esmond Harmsworth , Isle of Thanet

I would ask hon. Members whose fault it is that we are here at this time of the night? I do not want to keep hon. Members opposite longer than I can help. My right hon. Friend has said, in answer to a previous Motion to report Progress, that the Opposition are continually taking the advice of Mirabeau, of being audacious. If we are to have a series of these Motions moved with each Clause we shall be sitting here till the very early hours of the morning. As far as the Opposition are concerned, I think it would be much better if, with the advice of Mirabeau to be audacious, they should take that of Talleyrand and go to bed. I should like to say to the hon. Member who has just sat down and who made a few remarks about the Minister of Labour and the way in which he has treated this Bill that there are some Members on this side of the House who think that he has treated the Committee with courtesy and has listened with a great deal of patience. We hope he will not only stick to the Bill, but be prepared to stay here till breakfast time.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

I think the request of my hon. Friend below the Gangway is quite a reasonable one. If the right, hon. Member cannot agree to it now, he could agree to it at the end of Clause 4. We are approaching Clause 5, and, if I may venture an opinion, that Clause is one of the most important of the Bill, and I should not like it to be the subject of the Closure in order to get it through by any stated time. I would much prefer to commence this Clause on some other day. If the Minister cannot accept the Motion now submitted, I hope that there will be no restriction of Debate so far as Clause 5 is concerned. It is one which will bring into play part of the White Paper dealing with the whole question of the contributions and one can quite well see the amount of interest that must be taken on specific points. I would therefore add my voice to that of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) that if the Minister cannot accept the Motion now he will be satisfied with the completion of Clause 4. We should either get awav now while there is an opportunity of getting some rest or of giving full discussion to the Bill even if it takes us into the next day.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

I hope that the Minister will take note of what has been said and withdraw the Bill for to-night. I have tried to realise what is happening now. Here we are with our tempers on edge on both sides. That is not the right atmosphere in which to discuss a Bill of this kind. What we are earnest about is that, whatever shape the Bill ultimately takes,, it shall have the full consent and opinion of the House of Commons. But you can-uot get this at the present moment. I ask the Minister to consider it from that standpoint. If he does, better progress will be made later and greater satisfaction arrived at: I appeal to the Minister to consent.

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

If hon. Members opposite are willing to give us Clause 4 to-night, I am prepared to leave Clause 5 until to-morrow, or, rather Monday. If we get Clause 4 now, it will give hon. Members the opportunity of starting Clause 5 on Monday.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

I do not accept the suggestion that we have unnecessarily prolonged discussion. It has been quite legitimate considering the very great importance of the Bill. So far as we are concerned, we should be glad to begin Clause 5 when we are fresher, and we shall be glad to finish off at Clause 4, but that does not necessarily mean no Debate on the remaining Amendments to the Clause. I do note ask for prolonged Debate, but such reasonable Debate as will enable my hon. Friends to put their views. Subject to that, we should be glad to agree.

Photo of Mr Edward Harney Mr Edward Harney , South Shields

I withdraw the Motion on the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman, and I appeal to members of the Labour party that really it is a reasonable compromise. We have had a fair debate on the Clause, and we might pass it and then start the next day.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

On a point of Order. The hon. Gentleman says he withdraws his Motion. Is that an indication that my party accepts conditions regarding Clause 5. I suggest that he has no right to make such conditions.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

I do not think that he had any intention of attaching conditions in regard to Clause 5.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

I beg to move, in page 3, line 22, to leave out the word "seven" and to insert instead thereof the word "ten."

I have no doubt that the Committee will agree with the wisdom and the desirability of making provision for adult dependants. We are of opinion that a payment of 7s. is totally inadequate, and we should like to see a large increase in the amount. As I understand the provisions of the Bill, the rate of benefit to the man over 21 years of age will be 17s., with payment of benefit to an adult dependant of 7s. per week, making a total payment of 24s. If my Amendment be carried, the total payment will be 27s. instead of 24s., and, consequently, I am hoping to find, now that we have disposed of the somewhat technical points raised in the previous Amendments, that there will be no opposition to this proposal from the Minister, and that he will experience great difficulty in obtaining any support from his own side in opposition to my Amendment. I would point out that the benefit of the adult has been reduced by virtue of the provisions of this Bill from 18s. to 17s. and that the reduction in the case of the single man without dependants has been transferred to the adult with an adult dependant. But the actuary rightly points out, on page 4 of his report, that this is not something that the Government are giving: The above rates of benefit represent a reduction of 1s. a week in the case of men over 21; on the other hand, the benefit payable in respect of an insured wife or other adult dependant has been increased by 2s. a week. It appears from the statistics collected by the Ministry that 50 per cent. of men claimants have an adult dependant, and therefore that, so far as the total cost of benefits is concerned, these charges balance each other. They not only balance one another, but there is, if my information be correct, a substantial profit made on the transaction. The Minister shakes his head. I said if my information be correct. I understood that to be the position and shall, therefore, ask the Minister to produce the figures. Let us know the number of people affected. Let us know the saving that will be made. I will ask him to give an estimate, if he can, of the outgoings and indicate to us the amount of money that will be expended, having regard to the additional increase of 1s. per week. I do not, seriously, think that anyone will contend that the provision of 24s., including the 7s. for an adult dependant, is adequate or by any means sufficient to enable a man to maintain his wife on the one hand, or an adult dependant on the other. The value of money, from the purchasing point of view, is by no means so great as it was prior to the war. The value of the £ is now somewhere in the neighbourhood of a little over 12s. The cost of living is still exceptionally high. Take these two facts into consideration with the excessive lowering of wages—equivalent to over £10,000,000 per week during the last few years—and associate them with the period of unprecedented unemployment, and we can say that the majority of the working class have already exhausted their resources. They have no bank balances or means at their disposal, and when they fall out of work they are immediately compelled to provide their living from the benefits that we are offering them under this Bill. We have to remember that under the provisions of the Bill a man is not paid from the first day of unemployment. There is a waiting period of over six days, and consequently to suggest that 7s. per week is sufficient for the maintenance of an adult, whether the person be a married woman or otherwise, is to me a most serious proposition. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will seriously consider whether he cannot increase this amount, and whether he will not think it expedient and wise to accept my Amendment. It may well be he will say, it will cost too much. He may suggest that he is giving certain other increased benefits which will absorb the profit made upon the exchange. There is a real substantial case for an increase in these adult dependants' allowances. I hope, though he has not indicated up to now any signs of generosity, though he has resisted every appeal made from these benches to display a more generous hand in the provision of these benefits, that he will nevertheless seriously consider the Amendment I propose, and ultimately incorporate it in the Bill.

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

This Amendment has certainly been proposed most moderately, and I only wish that the funds at the disposal of the Unemployment Insurance system would enable me to meet all the different proposals that are made, each one of them no doubt having much to be said for it if only there were funds to meet it, and if the supply of money was never ending. The fact is that we have to try and make both ends meet. So far as there is an extra drain upon a married man, I agree with the Report that on the whole the distribution of 17s. with a 7s. dependants' benefit is probably an advantage as compared with an 18s. adult benefit and a 5s. dependant allowance. But there is no gain to the Unemployment Fund. Practically 50 per cent. of the adult male claimants for benefit are married, and, therefore, the change makes no difference to the fund, and there is neither gain nor loss. If it were possible to give these additional benefits, just as previously as regards the housekeeper, one would wish to do so, but I am afraid that it is impossible. The fact is that I have already drawn on the comparatively small margin of income over expenditure, and that there is no balance left that could produce anything like this sum. Therefore, I am sorry that we cannot accept the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

The reply of the Minister is what one might have expected. We submitted evidence on behalf of the great industrial movement of this country to the Blanesburgh Committee, and we submitted certain proposals and stood severe questioning on them. At the end of the cross-examination, we certainly felt that our case was stronger than when we first presented it. Now the Committee reported on the lines that any benefit should be of such an amount as not to reach a labourer's rate of wages, but something slightly less than that. We suggested 20s. for the man, 10s. for the adult dependant, and 5s. for each dependent child. Taking the average of husband and wife and three children, that would mean 45s. a week. We were told that that was slightly more than the average wage of a miner, and we had to reply that we were sorry to know that miners' wages were less than what one might reasonably consider to be a subsistence wage, and that that amount would not provide for five persons anything like adequate housing or sustenance in the generally accepted sense. Now you have redistributed the outgoings of the Fund. The Minister says it is a kind of fifty-fifty arrangement, that while the single adult is sacrificing one shilling it is being passed on to the married man and his wife. But he has saved considerably in another direction. He has created a new class that will save to him far more than this Amendment would call for increased expenditure from the Fund. There is not only the 16-to-13 class, but there is the reduction in the 18-to-21 class for which the Fund will no longer be liable. If you look at the larger aspects of the problem, the appeal comes with greater intensity. It is admitted that there are married men who have been unemployed through no fault of their own, some of them for three years; and they are largely becoming unemployable because of the long period that they have been out of work. Our purpose in our evidence, as we have stated before the Committee, was that there should only be one source of benefit; that you should make a provision for unemployment insurance sufficient to meet the sustenance level an unemployed person, rather than that he should have to go elsewhere. Many men have come to me after a long period of unemployment, with a desire to retain respectability in appearance and character, gradually pawning the things dear to them in their homes in order to meet their responsibilities, the principal of which is rent. As their rent gets into arrear, so they apeal to the Guardians as a last resort to keep their little homes over their heads. The information some of them have brought to me is that they have been told by the guardians that they ought to try as long as they could to realise on their homes before coming to them for any relief. Lately the landlords—no doubt because of the high amounts owing in some cases—are frightening them with notices to quit, without going to the Court for ejectment orders. I am afraid they imagine the outcry against them would be too great, but the mere fact of giving a week's notice adds to the disturbance of the minds of these people who are already overburdened with this world's worries. I would like hon. Members opposite, unaffected by political partisanship, to say to the Minister: "We believe the state of affairs to be such that we are doing an injustice to the best men the country can produce, and we ought, so far as possible, to assist them in retaining the full flush of manhood and womanhood, unhampered by any unnecessary domestic worries and anxieties." I would not care whether any party got praise in abundance for such an act, because I should have the satisfaction of knowing that there were a few less tears being shed in the homes of the workers. It is is bad enough for a man and woman going into an apartment house and being fleeced by high rents there, but it is worse where there is a family. You appear to be adamant on proposals of 17s. for a man and 10s. for an adult dependant. With 2s. for each child you only get 33s. a week for a family of three. That is not sufficient to make them feel that there is no need to be anxious about the meal for the next day or a pair of boots for the winter.

The CHAIRMAN:

I read this with the Section of the 1922 Act, and I think it refers only to the dependant and not to the child.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

That is so, but we are so used to dealing with the mother in the family circle that I am sure you will excuse me, speaking as a man of some experience in these matters. You will forgive me if I cannot think of mother without thinking of children. It is because I know that the mother gives to others the sustenance that she ought to have for herself that I would like to see the 7s. increased to 10s., knowing that the extra 3s. would not go to the man or the woman where there were children. Whatever you do for the adult dependants, you do in a measure for the other members of the family also. I do not think the Minister is going ultimately to reduce the number on his funds to any great extent, because the value of manpower in output, in association with modern appliances and machinery, will not call for the same number of human units. Therefore, you will have to face this problem in a far different and better manner. I would strongly urge, in association with this Amendment, that you might well make a special appeal, if it be necessary to your Cabinet or your Treasury to see to what extent they can assist you in improving whatever increased burden would be necessary by reason of the increase in adult dependants' benefit from 7s. to 10s.

Photo of Mr John Tinker Mr John Tinker , Leigh

I want to support the Amendment and I would like also to compliment the Minister on the one bright spot in the Bill, the slight increase he has given to wives or dependants. That is the only good point in the Bill, and I would appeal to the Minister to see if he could not go a little further and give something more. When a man is out of work and has a wife it is a double accident. In our trade unions we make ample recompense for the wives. We give, when a man is on strike, additional allowance to the man and see that the wife gets something substantial. If we recognise that, surely the State, which I understand encourages large families, ought, at least, to see that those people are provided for. I would call the attention of the Minister to page 38 of the Blanes-burgh Committee's Report, dealing with the rates of benefit, It says: Ideal benefits must not be more generous than is consistent with the necessary con- ditions of a good scheme as above set forth; on the other hand, they should certainly be so substantial that the insured contributor can feel that, if he has the misfortune to need them, then, taken in conjunction with such resources as may reasonably in the generality of cases be expected to have been built up, they will be sufficient to prevent him from being haunted while at work by the fear of what must happen to him if he is unemployed. I contend that at this juncture many of the persons have had no opportunity of building up any reserves at all. This insurance scheme, I understand, is for the purpose of dealing with unemployment at a period where there has been a reasonable amount of work, so that a man who may be out of work will have something substantial to fall back on. In the present circumstances, there is nothing to fall back on. Take the mining industry, for example, which has been in a most depressed state, and still is. Wages are hardly sufficient to live on. What chance has a miner, if he is thrown out of work, of having any reserves to live on? Many of the miners have big families, and no resources at all, and it is for that class of people that we are appealing. The hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) referred to certain grades. You will find in both grades, between the ages of 18 and 21, and between the ages of 16 and 18, that a surplus fund has been made because of the reduced benefits to these people. Why not transfer the whole of this surplus to the wives of insured contributors, who may be unemployed? We would like the Minister to go a little further in the direction in which he has gone. To my mind it is one of the best features in all the Amendments that they are trying to give to the married man some better source of income than he has had before.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I wish to approach this Amendment from a different point of view than that of the last speakers. They have asked for the increase of the wife's allowance first in order that it may improve the position of the children, and, secondly, that it may improve the position of the man. I want to suggest that we should ask for it that it should improve the position of the person for whom it is intended, namely, the wife. It is too often assumed in discussing questions of benefit that while you con- sider children and men, the wife is not to be considered. There is an important principle involved in the request that the funds at the disposal of the insurance should be given this higher allocation for the wife. The reason why a capitalist. Government gives unemployment benefit to a worker is that he shall be maintained in efficiency, or so-called efficiency, in the period during his unemployment. I want to suggest that the wife, mother, or housekeeper, is as important a worker as the actual industrially employed worker, and that her work is important in keeping the home together and in looking after the children and preparing for the future generation. Therefore, I suggest that the 7s. is a quite ludicrously inadequate amount and for that matter the 10s. also. We are going as far as we are allowed in asking for 10s. for a housekeeper or wife. She has a special claim on the State and her work is in a special degree work for the State.

There is no work that the State can regard as so important as the rearing of children. The man works for his employment, but in a very special degree the woman engaged in bringing up children is doing service for the State. Seven shillings is quite inadequate, but at least we can press the Minister to give the wife ten shillings. The working women of this country bear a terribly heavy burden under the inadequate wages that the men bring home every week. They have to pay out of that for the home and the children, but when unemployment comes the woman is expected to go on doing her work for the State when the means are taken from them. It seems to me that the State is taking a very short view of the matter. Without the work of the mothers you cannot go on as a nation. It is quite out of proportion to suggest that a man's wife can live on 7s. It is ridiculous. This is a matter of very great importance and will be very gravely regarded by the women electors of the country. Going about the country, I know how bitter is the feeling when the husbands go to the Employment Exchanges. 7s. is the allocation they bring home to the mother and the wife. It is degrading and humiliating as well as condemning these women to semi-starvation. A more adequate amount than 7s. a week should be given to the married woman. The Minister will reply that he is not paying wages, that you cannot regard unemployment benefit from the point of view of wages. But the proposal of the Bill, so far as women are concerned, is a reflection upon that most important work, housekeeping. This is an additional reason why the Minister should re-consider his decision in this matter.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

If you take the whole amount handed out in unemployment benefit—17s., plus 7s., making 24s.—I ask the Government and the members of

the Committee if they can realise what that means to maintain a couple of people for seven days. I am amazed at the objection of the Government to this simple Amendment asking for 10s. instead of 7s. I hope that those on this side of the House at any rate will not be responsible for the payment of a mere 7s. a week. I trust they will carry this Amendment to a Division in order to show our objection to this miserable sum of 7s. which is in the Bill.

Question put, "That the word 'seven' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 160; Noes, 84.

Division No. 385.]AYES.[2.56 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Power, Sir John Cecil
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Gunston, Captain D. W.Preston, William
Ainsworth, Major CharlesHall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Price, Major C. W. M.
Albery, Irving JamesHall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Radford, E. A.
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRaine, Sir Walter
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Harland, A.Rawson, Sir Cooper
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Rhys. Hon. C. A. U
Balniel, LordHartington, Marquess ofRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Barnett, Major Sir RichardHeadlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)Rye, F. G.
Bethel, A.Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.Salmon, Major I.
Betterton, Henry B.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Hilton, CecilSandeman, N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSanders, Sir Robert A.
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Holt, Captain H. P.Sanderson, Sir Frank
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHopkins, J. W. W.Savery, S. S.
Brittain, Sir HarryHudson, Capt. A.U. M.(Hackney, N.)Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Iliffe, Sir Edward M.Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. McI.(Renfrew,W.)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Campbell, E. T.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Shepperson, E. W.
Carver, Major W. H.King, Commodore Henry DouglasSmith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine.C.)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)Lamb, J. Q.Smithers, Waldron
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Christie, J. A.Long, Major EricStanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Clayton, G. C.Luce, Major-Gen.Sir Richard HarmanStanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cobb, Sir CyrilLumley, L. R.Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Lynn, Sir R. J.Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeMacAndrew, Major Charles GlenStott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Cope, Major WilliamMcLean, Major AStreatfeild, Captain S. R.
Couper, J. B.Macmillan, Captain H.Styles, Captain H. Walter
Courtauld, Major J. S.MacRobert, Alexander M.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynThompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Curzon, Captain ViscountMargesson, Captain D.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Merriman, F. B.Tinne, J. A.
Dawson, Sir PhilipMitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Dean, Arthur WellesleyMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. MTryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Dixey, A. C.Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Wallace, Captain D. E.
Drewe, C.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Nall, Colonel Sir JosephWarner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Nelson, Sir FrankWarrender, Sir Victor
Everard, W. LindsayNeville, Sir Reginald J.Wells, S. R.
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Nicholson, O. (Westminster)Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Fraser, Captain IanNuttall, EllisWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Oakley, T.Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Ganzoni, Sir JohnO'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Gates, PercyPennefather, Sir JohnWragg, Herbert
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamPenny, Frederick George
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPercy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Goff Sir ParkPerring, Sir William GeorgeMajor Sir George Hennessy and
Gower, Sir RobertPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)Captain Bowyer.
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Pilcher, G.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Grundy, T. W.Potts, John S.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Saklatvala, Shapurji
Batey, JosephHall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Scrymgeour, E.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hardie, George D.Scurr, John
Bondfield, MargaretHarney, E. A.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Broad, F. A.Hayday, ArthurShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bromfield, WilliamHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Henderson, T. (Glasgow)Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hirst, G. H.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Charleton, H. C.Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Clowes, S.Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Stephen, Campbell
Cluse, W. S.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Sullivan, Joseph
Compton, JosephJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Thurtle, Ernest
Cove, W. G.Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)Tinker, John Joseph
Crawfurd, H. E.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown)Townend, A. E.
Dalton, HughKelly, W. T.Varley, Frank B.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Kennedy, T.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Day, Colonel HarryKirkwood, D.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Duncan, C.Lawrence, SusanWellock, Wilfred
Dunnico, H.Lawson, John JamesWelsh, J. C.
Edge, Sir WilliamLee, F.Westwood, J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Lindley, F. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Fenby, T. D.Lunn, WilliamWhiteley, W.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.Mackinder, W.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Gibbins, JosephMacLaren, AndrewWilliams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Gillett, George M.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Windsor, Walter
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Oliver, George Harold
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Paling, W.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Mr. Hayes and Mr. A. Barnes.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

I beg to move, in page 3, line 28, to leave out paragraph (c).

The purpose of this parapragh is to make an alteration in the definition of dependent child. The definition as it now stands in the Act of 1922 is that a dependent child is maintained wholly or mainly at the cost of the person entitled to benefit. It is proposed in the Bill to alter these words so that a dependent child shall be a child under the age of 14 maintained wholly or mainly by the person entitled to benefit. We on this side have difficulty in ascertaining what is the precise alteration made by the alteration in the Bill. The alteration may restrict the meaning of "dependent child." The paragraph conveys little meaning, and I put down this Amendment to get some information from the right hon. Gentleman.

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

The explanation is not readily apparent on the surface, but it is quite simple to anyone familiar with the legal construction of what the words "at the cost of" may be. At the present moment a person may not actually be maintaining a child; he may not be paying anything for it, but just because of liability to maintain it, constructively in law he is held to be maintaining it at his cost. He may be getting 2s. for a dependent benefit for a child when not paying a penny towards it. By inserting the word "by" instead of the words "at the cost of," he is not able to get the 2s. if he does nothing towards the maintenance of the child.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

It is clear that the word adopted by the right hon. Gentleman is restrictive, and I should like him to tell us what is the actual saving. Really I think there can be very few cases of this character, and I doubt whether the advantage to be derived from that warrants the alteration in the law. I have no doubt that the administration of the law in respect of the word "by" will create exceptional difficulties and a great deal of ill feeling. So far as I am concerned, I cannot think there can be any real justification for the change. Perhaps the Minister will say what is the actual saving. How many people will be affected? If these figures are serious then, of course, he may be justified in making the necessary charge, but I cannot think such is the case.

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

The phrase in the 1922 Act is "maintained" not "maintainable." This appears to point to an actual liability. Perhaps the Minister will enlighten us?

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Now that we have the advantage of the presence of the Solicitor-General or the Bench, I would like a little more information regarding the legal position, and the distinction between "at the cost of" and "by." I take it that there have been cases decided in this connection which have led the Minister to take the action he has taken. It is a matter of some importance, and I would like the Solicitor-General to tell us whether the shorter word "by" will really meet the position that the Minister is evidently desirous of meeting, and if any case has been decided that really conveys a different meaning legally than "at the cost of."

I think the Committee is entitled to this information, first as to the cases that have been decided, and, secondly, as to the amount of money that may be saved, and the number of people that the Minister estimates in this connection. I myself, since I came into this House, have often been told in connection with Bills that this is a little thing and have let it go, but I have repented afterwards when I have found that some of the things assumed to be little became serious. One wants to know whether this is really meeting the difficulty or whether it would not be necessary to get even stronger words.

Photo of Mr William Kelly Mr William Kelly , Rochdale

I am surprised at the statement of the Minister that it was possible for recipients of benefit to draw the 2s. for a child even though they were not doing anything for the maintenance of the children. I want to put this to the Minister. Can he state a case during the whole time that these children's allowances have been in the Act where the Ministry of Labour have paid that benefit to the man or woman when the children were not being maintained by them? I can only say if there is such a case that I am amazed at the method of administration. I know they have taken strong exception to the payment of the benefit, and to suggest that something that they know has been happening in the past is responsible for this change of words I am afraid I cannot accept from the Minister of Labour. Throughout the administration of the present Act they have refused to pay the money unless the child was being maintained by the parent.

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

We are dealing here with an Amendment of the Insurance Act of 1922, and I have not a copy of that Act, so that it is all the more necessary that we should have from the legal authorities on the other side a clear definition of what we are doing. I can only try to understand this Amendment from the words that are at my disposal here. I would like to know what is the difference in fact between saying the child of a man "being maintained at my cost" and "being maintained by me." There is a distinction I suppose, but as far as the words at my service here are concerned, I cannot see the distinction. Again, I would like this point cleared up. Is the onus of proof that he is maintaining a child thrown on the unemployed man, or are the people in charge of the fund, the Ministry of Labour, to prove that he is not maintaining the child. The whole thing seems a little complex, and I hope we will have the matter cleared up.

Photo of Mr Charles Duncan Mr Charles Duncan , Clay Cross

It seems to me, from the statement of the Minister, that there must be some sort of evidence that men receiving the money are not maintaining the children. If there be such a case, we should have the benefit of the information. That would lead to a better understanding of the situation.

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

Generally the case is one where a man has made a false declaration, or rather has made a declaration that the children are being maintained at his cost, whereas, in fact, he is not paying for them. But the words "maintained at his cost" are held to be constructively true, because he is liable to reimburse the people who are actually paying. We have actually had cases where magistrates have taken that view, and obviously, under these circumstances, these fathers who have made the declaration have been able to put the 2s. into their pockets when they had not themselves ever paid a penny towards the maintenance, and were not likely to reimburse the people who were paying for it. That is the reason why we want to cure that state of affairs.

Photo of Mr Joseph Sullivan Mr Joseph Sullivan , Bothwell

I want to be clear upon this question. I had a case that I put before the Minister of children being sent to an institution and the parent contributing so much, but not the whole, because an unemployed man could not possibly pay the amount of money to keep them in an institution. Are we to assume that unless an unemployed person proves that he is maintaining his children in an institution—possibly a defective children's institution—he is not to be paid the 2s.?

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 159; Noes, 62.

Division No. 386.]AYES.[3.20 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamPeto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPilcher, G.
Ainsworth, Major CharlesGoff, Sir ParkPower, Sir John Cecil
Albery, Irving JamesGraham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Preston, William
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)Gunston, Captain D. W.Price, Major C. W. M.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)Radford, E. A.
Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent,Dover)Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)Raine, Sir Walter
Balniel, LordHannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRawson, Sir Cooper
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Harland, A.Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Barnett, Major Sir RichardHarmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y>
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Hartington, Marquess ofRoberts E. H. G. (Flint)
Bethel, A.Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Betterton, Henry B.Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.Rye, F. G.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Henderson, Capt. R. R (Oxf'd, Henley)Salmon, Major I.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Sandeman, N. Stewart
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)Sanderson, Sir Frank
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHilton, CecilSavery, S. S.
Brittain, Sir HarryHolbrook, Sir Arthur RichardShaw, R. G (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Holt, Captain H. P.Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI.(Renfrew, W.)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hopkins, J. W. W.Sheffield. Sir Berkeley
Burton, Colonel H. W.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)Shepperson, E. W.
Campbell, E. T.Iliffe, Sir Edward M.Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)
Carver, Major W. H.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Smithers, Waldron
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.King, Commodore Henry DouglasStanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Christie, J. A.Lamb, J. Q.Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Clayton, G. C.Long, Major EricStanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Cobb, Sir CyrilLuce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard HarmanSteel, Major Samuel Strang
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Lumley, L. R.Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeLynn, Sir R. J.Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Cope. Major WilliamMacAndrew, Major Charles GlenStyles, Captain H. Walter
Couper, J. B.McLean, Major A.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Macmillan, Captain H.Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Crawfurd, H. EMac Robert, Alexander M.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynThomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Curzon, Captain ViscountMason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.Tinne, J. A.
Davidson, J.(Hertf'd. Hemel Hempst'd)Merriman. F. B.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Wallace, Captain D. E.
Dawson, Sir PhilipMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Dean, Arthur WellesleyMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Dixey, A. C.Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Warrender, Sir Victor
Drewe, C.Nail, Colonel Sir JosephWells, S. R.
Edge, Sir WilliamNelson, Sir FrankWilliams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Neville, Sir Reginald J.Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Elliot, Major Walter E.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Everard, W. LindsayNicholson, O. (Westminster)Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Fairfax, Captain J. G.Nuttall, EllisWood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Fenby, T. D.Oakley, T.Wragg, Herbert
Foxcroft, Captain C. T.O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Fraser, Captain IanPenny, Frederick GeorgeTELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Fremantle, Lieut. Colonel Francis E.Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Captain Margesson and Major the
Ganzonl, Sir JohnPerring, Sir William GeorgeMarquess of Titchfield.
Gates, Percy
NOES.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Gillett, George M.Kirkwood, D.
Batey, JosephGraham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lawson, John James
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Lee, F.
Broad, F. A.Grundy, T. W.Lindley, F. W.
Bromfield, WilliamHall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Lunn, William
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Mackinder, W.
Charleton, H. C.Hayday, ArthurMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Clowes, S.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Oliver, George Harold
Cluse, W. S.Henderson, T. (Glasgow)Paling, W.
Compton, JosephHirst, G. H.Potts, John S.
Cove, W. G.Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Saklatvala, Shapurji
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Scrymgeour, E.
Day, Colonel HarryJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Scurr, John
Duncan, C.John, William (Rhondda, West)Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Dunnico, H.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Kelly, W. T.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gibbins, JosephKennedy, T.Stephen, Campbell
Thurtie, ErnestWellock, WilfredWindsor, Walter
Townend, A. E.Welsh, J. C.
Varley, Frank B.Westwood, J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.Mr. Tinker and Mr. Sullivan.
Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Dundee

While we gladly acknowledge that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour has made some response to our appeals on the Second Reading for more adequate benefits for the new classes he has created in Schedule Three, we still regard the benefits that he is paying as so insufficient that we are compelled to divide against this Clause. We believe that ultimately we shall have to pay for these benefits in ill-health, in disease and in misery, but even the limited figures which he has admitted on Schedule Three—the increase of 2s. at the age of 19 to 20 and the increase of 4s. at the age of 20 to 21—must be qualified by the extraordinary delays which normally take place in the payment of these benefits. I will endeavour to explain how, in Scotland at all events, these delays, in fact, reduce his schedule of benefits very considerably. Take a girl of 18 years of age, to whom he proposes under this Schedule to pay the miserable benefit of 8s. in future, and suppose she loses her employment on Saturday. She reports on the Monday to the Employment Exchange that she is now out of employment. On the same day, the Monday, the employer is written to by the manager of the Employment Exchange to inquire as to whether or not the statement by this girl was correct. On the Tuesday, the employer replies. By the Wednesday his reply is received, and the girl is written to and given the substance of the employer's answer to the statements in her claim. On the Thursday the girl receives this reply. On the Friday she makes a further reply to the employer's statement, and both the employer's statement and her claim are then sent to the Chief Insurance Officer in London, who gets these documents on a Saturday morning. A week has now gone.

If the Chief Insurance Officer, who is popularly known as the C.I.O., or one of his clerks—because the C.I.O. never sees the thing—says that benefit should not be paid for any particular reason, good, bad, or indifferent, then on the Monday that reply is sent back to Scotland disallowing the claim. On Tuesday the decision arrives in Scotland and the girl is written to and informed that the C.I.O. has disallowed the claim. On the Wednesday she receives that note and appeals. On the Thursday her appeal is received. On the Friday the papers are sent away to the Court of Referees at Edinburgh. On the Saturday they are received in Edinburgh. Nothing can be done that day. Nothing is done on the Monday, nor on the Tuesday, nor on the Wednesday, and the Court of Referees, who cannot meet until the Thursday, sit on the Thursday and decide, say, in favour of the girl's claim. That is to say, they decide against the C.I.O. Their decision is sent back to London to the C.I.O. On the Friday, or the Saturday at latest, he receives that decision.

Let us again take it in its most favourable light. Let us say that the C.I.O. accepts the decision of the Court of Referees. Three weeks have gone. He then sends an intimation back to Scotland saying that he accepts that decision. That intimation is received on the Monday. No payment is made on the Tuesday, nor on the Wednesday, nor on the Thursday, because the first pay day is the Friday. So four weeks have gone. That is the normal regular method in which these applications are dealt with. Consider the case of a girl of 18 years of age who has been in employment at a wage which does not permit of her banking money against a rainy day. Consider the fact that she has to wait four weeks before she is paid benefit and then, when she is paid benefit under the provisions which the Bill asks the House to approve of and Clause 4 deals with, this girl is to be paid a benefit of only eight shillings a week.

I submit without further argument that this payment of eight shillings a week is insufficient and is grossly inadequate, and that it will make for social disease and social misery of a serious kind of which this generation will never see the end. When the Bill was discussed on the last occasion I put forward something similar to this point of view, and the hon. Member who is private Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister got up and said in effect that there are not hundreds of thousands of girls who may be subject to this, and that I had grossly exaggerated. He says there are only 500,000 girls in this Clause at all between the ages of 18 and 21, and of that 500,000 only six per cent. are unemployed, so that there are only 30,000 girls in the position of being compelled to attempt to live cleanly and decently on 8s. a week after four weeks have elapsed, during which they have got nothing at all. I put it to any hon. Member in this House, whatever side he is on politically or whatever his attitude towards this Bill may be, that this provision is hopelessly indefensible, and that if we vote for Clause 4 as it stands we are voting for 8s. a week to a girl of 18, 10s. to a girl between 19 and 20, 12s. to a girl between 20 and 21, and 15s. to a girl who is older than that—and that they cannot live on those payments. It cannot be done. However unpopular it may be to say so, I repeat that there will be some cases of girls driven to the streets as a result of that vote that will be given in a few moments in this House to-night on Clause 4. I do beg of the Minister to make an increase in these figures, and at any rate to put figures in the Schedule which will make it possible for a girl to live honourably and decently—and that is what she cannot possibly do on the figures in the Schedule at the present time.

Photo of Mr Edwin Scrymgeour Mr Edwin Scrymgeour , Dundee

I wish very heartily to support what has been said by the hon. Member who has just sat down. With regard to the question of the very indirect method that is adopted concerning these cases, we have had that put before us in our constituency, and undoubtedly that particular phase of the matter is a decided grievance to many who have really good grounds for urging on the Government the necessity of making a very considerable alteration. I believe that that action is a question that will have to be dealt with by Scotland itself. With regard to the Clause itself and the figures in the Schedule, I do not know whether it is possible to make any more fervent appeals than have already been made to-day. We have heard appeals of the most heart-searching character. The struggles of these people are, I reckon, beyond all proper description. It seems to me from my experience in this House that it looks somewhat like as if it were steering on the rock, as the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) said. Perhaps he was thinking of the great rock of Dumbarton. Unless we do find in the later proposals of the Minister pertaining to Schedule 3 that we are going to have some evidence of improved figures the position is hopeless. The improvement already made goes to show that the hurricane of condemnation brought to bear on the Minister has had some considerable influence. But even at that, I do wish to say that it is a heartrending situation that is confronting the masses of these people.

I feel deeply convinced that many of the Members of this House are treating these matters—as, for example, the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Harmsworth), who told us that they would gladly sit here until the earliest hour in order to get the Bill through—in such a manner that it does make one feel somewhat keenly when we hear such sardonic references of that character, that there is being burned into the minds of those people the necessity for bringing about a bloody revolution. Yes, even in evening dress, I see them before me now with the look of scorn concerning these people. Sometimes we are impelled to express ourselves in no ordinary fashion. I am quite well aware of the environment and the atmosphere with which many Members on that side are familiar. Many on the opposite side of the House do not understand the references made from this side concerning these matters. They live to all intents and purposes in an artificial world. They are handled by the Government in a way that becomes purely mechanical and go through with a crushing remorseless determination. When the hon. Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday) was speaking about the situation you could see that the man's whole heart was being expressed to the full possibly to make an impression upon the Government. It seems to me impossible for any professing Christian man to deal with these things in the hard fashion in which they are being dealt with in this Committee. We are not getting down to the realities of life. We read of suicides, of men throwing themselves into the river, having no hope whatever. We want the Government to realise these things. It is not for want of money, because, if you want any money for the defence of the Empire, millions will go as readily as anything. But these, people for whom we are pleading, are not put on the plane of humanity at all. Dogs and horses are better looked after. I hope that the Government will do more than they now propose for these people and realise the situation.

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

The hon. Member who has just sat down has used a good many hard words. I hope that the Committee will allow me to deal briefly with the reasons for putting in this new Clause. The reasons are given by the Blanesburgh Committee on which this Bill is based. Although I have quoted them before, I do so again. They say: The rates finally resolved upon are an adjustment of conflicting views, but they leave in the minds of all of us their justification in principle. The Committee then went on to refer to the rates of persons over 21 and the proportion between the married man and the single man on the ground of the greater commitments of the former, and they conclude the paragraph as follows: It is by similar considerations that the lower rates for unemployed boys, girls and young persons are principally to be justified, although other factors also enter into this case. A little later in the Report they again reiterate the same opinion: Our purpose has been to apportion the available money according to need, but so also as to correct features of the existing practice which in some cases have been attended by undesirable results. We have also taken into account the report of Sir Donald Maclean's recent Committee. To quote once again, the Committee says: We have considered it of the first importance so to frame our scheme that it is as free as possible from all injurious tendencies. The conditions of benefit are so devised as to admit of speedy payment to those who are genuinely entitled to it and at the same time to make it as certain as is possible that these alone can establish a claim. The prior payment of 30 weekly contributions, the reduction in the rate of benefit of young persons, the periodical review of those who make lengthy claims on the fund by a competent, authoritative and impartial tribunal, namely, the Court of Referees, are expressly designed for this purpose. We have realised that the reputation of the scheme in the eyes of the in- sured persons must be continuously maintained. Otherwise the benefits, so far from maintaining the self-respect and independence of these persons when they are unemployed, will have precisely the opposite effect. These are the statements in the Report: Again, I would ask the Committee to realise what the opinion of the local committees means. These bodies, from whom the Blanesburgh Committee sought information, were the local employment committees of whom the chairman and vice-chairman came together by districts in order to give opinions on points submitted to them. There was a difference of opinion among the local committees, but the preponderating opinion was in favour of having a separate class of from 18 to 21. This was an influential body of expert opinion, and they were preponderatingly in favour of the establishment of this class. I went into the question of rates. I was not moved by the hurricane of disapproval of what I proposed, but I wanted the figures to be as accurate as possible. I paid atten-to opinions expressed in the House, and also to the opinions suggested by the Local Employment Committees. That led me to propose that those rates should be increased so as to form some intermediate stage between the rates for the juveniles and the rates for the adults. That is the reason for the proposal which stands in the Amendment in my name and which will be discussed later.

I would like to say one more word. On a considerable number of occasions it has been urged in connection with this Clause that the rates, even the larger rates proposed in my Amendment, would lead to prostitution amongst young women. That is an extraordinarily grave charge to make. It would be a very grave situation if it were to exist, and if any proof could be produced from examples in the past that such a situation was likely to occur, the evidence should be brought forward as an analogy at the present date. It is an extraordinarily grave charge, and if there are any lessons of the past to prove it, one way or the other, they are very material at the moment. At the same time the responsibility is much the more heavy upon people who make these charges. I ask the Committee to judge of charges like that, made fairly freely in this House without one bit of evidence on the subject. There was a reduction in the rate for women in the late summer of 1921. The rate was then reduced for all women from 15s. to 12s. That meant that it was reduced for the older women, too, who were much more likely to be alone in the world than the younger women. It was reduced for women who were widows with dependants although that was at a time when dependant's benefit was much smaller than at the present day. A reduction to 12s. with the cost of living at that time was a reduction to what was in value a smaller sum than the rates now proposed. Not a case such as has been suggested has ever come to light, and T would say further that before such charges are made—many by hon. Members opposite who were Members of the House when that change was made—they should, if there was a real foundation of cases, have brought them forward to substantiate such statements and such charges. None has been forthcoming, and I repeat that so far as I have been able to ascertain nothing of the kind occurred. Supposing there was any ground in these apprehensions as regards the future, it could have been easily shown what had been the result then. The charges recoil upon the heads of those who make them if they cannot bring forward some substantiation of such calumnies upon their fellow countrymen.

Photo of Miss Margaret Bondfield Miss Margaret Bondfield , Wallsend

When the Local Employment Committees were consulted upon this matter, it was not a question entirely new to them. It was a matter which had been canvassed as to what was happening to our young people who could not get into employment. I have a vivid recollection of the attitude in which this discussion was conducted inside the Blanesburgh Committee. I want to say that I have no shadow of doubt in my mind that this Clause would never have been agreed to by the Blanesburgh Committee if it had not been contingent upon the secondary benefit of giving occupation, training and discipline to these young people—giving them some chance to get some place in the industrial world. It was never intended that the Clause should be disassociated from that idea. This is a large group which is suffering most terrible cases of hardship. We are making savages of some of them and unprincipled young people of others. These cases are thrust into a condition of which that is an inevitable consequence. Your children have never had to find their amusement by grouping the street corner outside the public house.

This section signing on at the Employment Exchange in the morning has nothing to do during the rest of the day in the miserable overcrowded condition in which the home can occupy little of their interest. This deterioration, after six years, is a progressive thing. I remember one piece of evidence put before the Committee. It was from a Poor Law representative. I think he was from Scotland. The Poor Law guardian was cross-examined as to why the actual amounts of benefit paid to-day were so much greater than the amounts paid in 1914. We had the table of scales and we asked what made the difference? This was the statement made. In 1914 our people were a hardy, independent, self-respecting people who would not go to the Poor Law if there was anybody who would help them to keep away—if there was anybody in the family earning anything they would help each other rather than go to the Poor Law, or if they had any money or friendly society money. The periods of unemployment were of shorter duration so that they were able to fall back upon their thrift. It is not a question now of help from the bank or neighbours. They are down to the bone when you have got a situation such as that you have created, a situation which can only be handled by Governments, and only by a national and central organisation. The primary object of an intermediate scale was that special expenditure should be incurred in other ways to come to the help of these young people, above all by training, and I personally protest against the idea that anything in the Blanesburgh Report can be held to assume that that Committee consented without the other considerations to the payment of 8s. a week to women of from 18 to 21, and I shall certainly go into the Lobby against the Clause.

Photo of Mr William Mackinder Mr William Mackinder , Shipley

I have been trying to help the Minister and the Committee by not intervening in the Debate too much, but the last explanation the Minister made transcends anything that he has hitherto said. Like many members of the Committee I am the father of a daughter, but had I been a workman on the old 25s. a week I should have felt very sorry to think that that daughter would ever be out of work under a scheme of unemployment insurance such as this. I come from a textile district where our girls are as skilful as any in the world, but they are not earning enough to keep them in times of unemployment. In the Division I represent there are girls drawn from all over the country living in hostels, paying anything from £1 to £1 5s. a week for board and lodgings. If they become unemployed these girls have no home to go to. What are they going to do with 8s.? Will the Minister tell me? One of these particular hostels is kept by a millionaire in order that he may have the girls on the job ready to do the work, but when there is no work they have to live. What is going to happen to them? These girls at the present moment are working under the disgraceful two-shift system. When there is no work what will they do? Will this gentleman keep them for 8s. a week? The Minister asked us to find some evidence that some of the suggestions made have some substance; that is to say, to find a girl who has gone wrong because of the miserable pay. You cannot find them. They are lost in the streets of the cities of this country, and nobody will find them. It is no good saying we have to find evidence that this kind of thing will happen to a girl. It is nothing less than a scandal to say that a girl at the most attractive time of her life must live on 8s. a week. No one, even the most mean, could keep her on that sum. The girl would go down in morale. She could not even afford clothing. I protest most strongly against the exceedingly bad case the Minister has put up. I can understand the recommendation of the Committee that girls shall have training. If they are being trained they are doing something. If they are having domestic training they are having a midday meal, and they are having something to do to keep their poor brains from breaking. There is no more heart-breaking work than looking for work, and if a girl is receiving training and a small amount of food there is something to relieve her brain. I can visualise two girls. One is being trained, even, for domestic service, which I do not think is bad service for some girls. She will be learning something which will be useful to her, and she will get a midday meal. In that case I can imagine her scraping through. But I cannot imagine a girl with only 8s. a week scraping through. The explanation given by the Minister is the worst I have heard since I came into this House. If he could have given the provision suggested we could not have forced even a show of indignation, but there is no excuse for saying that 8s. is enough for our girls. As far as I am concerned, I intend to say that not only in the House but in every possible place I can in the country.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

I understand that what the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill said is the view of the Government, and I have no doubt all his friends will troop into the Lobby in support of him. I do not distinguish between the right hon. Gentleman and the Chairman of the Blanesburgh Committee. The Chairman of the Committee knows as much about working class life as the right hon. Gentleman who is leading the Committee, and that is nothing at all, or if he does he has a very curious way of expressing himself. The right hon. Gentleman was asked to answer a series of questions put to him by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour). He never even referred to them, but he began to tell us about the virtues of the chairmen of the local employment committees, and he wants us to believe that the chairmen of the local committees are men who are conversant with the actual conditions obtaining amongst the working classes in the areas over which they happen to be chairmen. As a matter of fact the chairmen of the committees do not even attend the committee meetings. They only occupy their positions because they happen to be of a socially superior class, because they happen to belong to the employing class.

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

Forgive me if I did not make myself clear. I said the chairmen and the vice-chairmen after consulting the Committees.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

It would require something more than the statement of the Minister to convince me that the consultation with the Committees meant that there was any desire to find out what effect this proposal would have.

I do not believe that a working class member of a Committee anywhere in the country would agree that 8s. a week is sufficient to maintain a girl of 18 years of age. It is no good the Minister telling us that he is backed in his proposal by members of the local unemployment committees. Let him test it fairly, and, if he can get the ordinary working class representatives on the local unemployment committees to accept the proposal that he has defended to-night, I shall withdraw my opposition. I have been led to believe that it was the same God that created me, that created him. I have two daughters. I do not know whether he or other hon. Members on the other side have daughters, but I put the question to them—not to the son of a newspaper owner who never knew what it was to do any work in his life—is there a man on the other side of the House, who would believe that his daughter could live on 8s. a week and preserve her purity? Most of the men who come from the class to which the majority on the other side belong, live to a large extent by preying upon the girls who are being reduced to this state.

HON. MEMBERS:

Withdraw.

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

I will say the same if he withdraws.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:

I hope the hon. Member can carry on the debate without making offensive remarks.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

I quite agree. I have no desire to make offensive remarks; neither am I entitled to listen to offensive remarks.

Photo of Mr James Couper Mr James Couper , Glasgow Maryhill

I must ask the hon. Member to withdraw such an allegation. It is a personal matter, and he must withdraw.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

You only require to read the papers owned by Lord Rothermere, and his friends to know—

Photo of Mr James Couper Mr James Couper , Glasgow Maryhill

That is not an answer to my question. [Interruption.]

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

I have no desire to say anything offensive.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

I am quite sure that the hon. Member is right when he says that he did not mean to make any offensive remark. I hope that he will say so openly again.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

I have said so. I have no desire to say anything offensive, but neither have I any desire to listen to any offensive things said about myself or those belonging to me.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member must also believe that if there had been anything offensive said against him, I should equally have asked other hon. Members to make the same withdrawal.

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

No doubt, you would if it had been said about an individual, but it cannot be said that I have said that of any individual over there. I have said it about the class generally. We are dealing now with a purely class issue.

Photo of Mr James Couper Mr James Couper , Glasgow Maryhill

On a point of Order. The hon. Member said it was hon. Members on the other side. I desire to ask that he should withdraw such a statement. [Interruption.]

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

I repeat this is purely a class matter. It is a question on which my hon. Friend from Maryhill (Mr. Couper), and I could not possibly agree. I put it to him that if he and his family were faced in exactly similar circumstances—

Photo of Mr James Couper Mr James Couper , Glasgow Maryhill

Would the hon. Member kindly address the Chair?

Photo of Mr Duncan Graham Mr Duncan Graham , Hamilton

What I take strong exception to is the way in which the right hon. Gentleman, the Minister of Labour, instead of meeting points that were raised, deviated and went on to matters that had nothing to do with the Clause under discussion. What the opinions of the Blanesburgh Committee are or were are of no importance so far as this House is concerned. It is this House that makes the law, and it is the Minister who will have to administer this Bill, and he and every member of the Ministry of Labour staff know that even under present conditions it is absolutely impossible for young women to live in a manner that each of us would expect our own daughters to get an opportunity to live. I make an exceptionally strong protest against the right hon. Gentleman seeking to get away from the real points that we are raising on this discussion by reference to the opinions of the Blanesburgh Committee and the chairmen and vice-chairmen of local unemployment committees—men who have absolutely nothing whatever to do with the question. If the right hon. Gentleman believes that 8s. is too little to maintain a girl in decency, apart entirely from any question of comfort, the Blanesburgh Committee will not prevent him from putting a reasonable figure in the Bill. I believe the right hon. Gentleman felt ashamed when he got up to apologise for the position which the Government occupy in this matter. I am convinced that behind the Ministry of Labour is a department that is not represented on the benches here to-night—the Treasury. They simply tell you what money you are going to get, and it is time this House made a protest against the attitude of that particular department which is laying down conditions that make it impossible for the ordinary spending departments to carry on their work. I have had some experience during the last few years, particularly of the treatment that girls get from the Ministry of Labour, and it is absolutely scandalous. It is nearly impossible for a girl to get a claim recognised. Every little petty, mean, and contemptible trick is adopted to put these girls off the Employment Exchange. Now, in addition to that, we find the Government coming along and trying to justify their action by moral arguments for the reduction of payments to these girls.

I sincerely hope that the Government will even now consider the whole position. If anyone is entitled to get more money it is the girl more than the man. The girl is more entitled to depend on the good will and support of this House than the young man is. But it is the young girl that is being taken out of the scheme—the young girl at the period of life when she is most attractive and therefore all the more likely to come under the influence of some designing scoundrel. I sincerely hope that the Government will consider this matter in a more favourable light than they have done in connection with other questions. This is a question of the utmost importance, and I can assure the Committee that there is no stronger feeling amongst us on these benches than there is amongst the working classes outside, including the Tory working men. I am one of those who do not deny that there are a number of Tory working men, but I do say that they would not vote for this, and if hon. Members are really seeking to represent their constituencies in this House they would join in this appeal to the Government to recast this part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

I listened to the Minister's statement with a feeling of profound dejection. I really do not think his speech was worthy of him. He made no defence at all of the proposal. He said the Blanesburgh Committee did it. When was it an axiom of the Parliamentary life of this country that a Committee that was appointed to inquire into a subject was a law-making body, and if an ad hoc Committee said a thing the responsibility of the Minister introducing the Bill no longer existed and the responsibility lay on people who cannot be here to defend their projects? They are people who have nothing to do with the discussions in the House and have no responsibility at all to the Members of this House, and who absolutely did not suggest, even if they were responsible, what the Minister implies. May I read again to him certain passages from the Report of the Blanesburgh Committee to prove that what I am saying is correct? The Report says: Indeed, if we had not been recommending that useful training should be provided—if necessary, even out of any surplus in the Fund—some of us would not have agreed to reduce the existing scale of benefits for juveniles, and others would have insisted that juvenile benefit should be abolished altogether.Training is scarcely less important in the case of young men and women from 18 to 21, and we earnestly desire that in their case also facilities for training will be available or made available to the greatest possible extent. What, after all, is the position of the Minister, who comes to the House and says that he can escape his own responsibilities and throw them on the shoulders of a Committee when the Committee tell him plainly that this training is an essential part of their suggestion? The responsibility still lies on the shoulders of the Minister, and though the sins of the Opposition be scarlet, that is no excuse for the Minister declining to defend his own proposals. He has never made any attempt to prove that these benefits are sufficient or to defend the proposal. He has run away on every occasion to the Blanesburgh Committee and he has done them the profoundest injustice. Does he consider the benefits adequate? I challenge him to answer plainly that question. Does he consider the payments to these girls are adequate?

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

I will tell the right hon. Member perfectly plainly two things. I am going to deal with training when we come to it. As regards training from 18 to 21, that was always considered as subsidiary. If the right hon. Gentleman says I am not doing justice to the Blanesburgh Committee's Report, let him look at the summary of all the main recommendations. When he comes to the summary of the things considered most essential, then there is no mention of it. As to the question of the sufficiency of benefit, I have never pretended, for one moment, that any young woman could live on ten shillings a week. I never pretended that any rate of benefit is considered to be a full maintenance allowance. It never was, it never is, and I hope it never will be.

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

What I am prepared to say is that, if a Committee is appointed of people of the ability and experience of the Blanesburgh Committee, and they obtain the considered opinions of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the consultative committees throughout the country, then I think it is a body of opinion to which I should pay deference. Though I have been responsible for breaking the scales up, I am prepared to abide by their opinion and say that I agree with them.

Photo of Mr Thomas Shaw Mr Thomas Shaw , Preston

May I take it that the Minister is prepared to justify these figures and analyse them for us a little? No man in the House knows better than the Minister that, after these years of unemployment, particularly in the distressed areas, there is a degree of misery that has never been known before during the last half century in this country. He knows that in scores of thousands of cases every farthing of savings is gone. He knows that in scores of thousands of cases even the little extra bits of furniture have gone from the house. He must know that in thousands of these cases, if the girls cannot maintain themselves, they have no relatives on whom they can fall back who are able to help them. It is under these circumstances, with another three years of unemployment since 1924, that he begins to reduce the benefits that we were able to raise in that year. I had the privilege myself of lifting the benefits. I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman has not the same privilege. It is time for another advance and not for another reduction. The conditions are worse than in 1924. Let us take 10s. a week for a girl. Can you imagine a girl spending less than 2s. a week on clothing and washing? Can she get any decent lodging for less than 5s. a week anywhere and under any conditions. There goes 7s. a week, and the girl has 3s. a week on which to live. There is nothing for insurance, there is nothing to put by for a rainy day, and there is nothing for amusements. Are these people to be considered? Are they as good as dogs, or horses or cattle? Would anybody treat his horse as the Government intends to treat these girls? Hon. Members opposite treat their horses and dogs better than they treat these human beings. But what is worse, those people who do give way to temptation—and temptation is always there, not only for the girl, but for the young man as well—those who do yield to temptation and get into prison find that the nation is prepared to spend far more on them to keep them as criminals than to keep them decent. Neither the Blanesburgh Committee or any other committee can take away the responsibility of what is done. You cannot place blame on the Blanesburgh Committee. It is not the Blanesburgh Committee that has introduced the Bill; it is the Government that have introduced the Bill. I am sorry that the Government think that the treatment to be meted out to working people should be far less favourable and far less costly than to criminals or that the workhouse has to pay to paupers. What is the condition of affairs? The Government say that in their opinion this is a suitable scheme. The only answer I have to the Government is this—that if this is what they consider a suitable scheme there is no wonder that in this country the feeling of class bitterness is growing. It is growing because working people in this country see that in spite of all the talk there is a class that does not preach class struggle, but that practises it. This class looks upon the worker as a kind of inferior brown pottery, whilst they them selves are fine china. It is a sorry state of affairs, and I should be very sorry if I felt I could bear the responsibility for any young man or woman who in these circumstances yields to temptation and goes the wrong way. The burden of responsibility will rest on the shoulders of those who deny them reasonable treatment.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I wish the Minister of Labour in his speeches had gone a little further in connection with this matter. If a girl, who is without home or friends and is getting 8s. or 10s. a week goes to the board of guardians to have it made up she is told she cannot have outdoor relief. The only thing she can have is a ticket for the workhouse. I ask the right hon. Gentleman what he imagines a ticket for the workhouse means for a girl of these years. I have had some experience of these cases. If I cannot appeal on humanitarian grounds may I appeal on grounds of economy. It costs far more to keep a woman in an institution of this kind than to give a generous form of benefit. The proposals are forcing the Government into an extremely extravagant thing. I do not suggest that every girl or the vast majority of girls in these conditions are going on the streets. The idea is ridiculous. Most of them will prefer starvation to that. But does the right hon. Gentleman contemplate with pleasure what he is doing. May I give the right hon. Gentleman a case that came under my own experience. A perfectly decent girl, whose name and address I can give—a member of the union I represent—went on unemployment benefit. This was exhausted. She had no home to go to; her box containing her clothes was taken by her landlady for rent, and that girl slept on the Embankment, and although she was perfectly decent and respectable she had nowhere but the public fountains at which to wash herself.

I admit that is an extreme case. I just challenge the hon. Gentlemen on this point. If he said that 8s. or 10s. a week is not a maintenance wage, and if the Minister of Health said that relief cannot be given to ablebodied young persons, what is a girl to do? That is a question we have a right to address to the right hon. Gentlemen, and we have not had an answer from the Minister on that point. Every time he has spoken he has made the position worse. He says the evidence in favour of this age rule was overwhelming. I am not denying it, but there was not a word in that questionnaire that that particular age group was to be paid 8s. or 10s. a week. If he had suggested that I imagine the answer he would have got would have been overwhelmingly on the other side, not only from the Labour benches but from the Conservative members, because Conservative members dealing with this from the local point of view would have been horrified at the further burden on the local rates. The Minister says that the Blanesburgh Committee is a responsible Committee and that, therefore, he must adopt the report. May I remind him that there was such a. Commission as the Sankey Commission. Its report was not what the Government wanted and it was thought convenient to ignore it. But this Report is what his great party wanted and it is convenient to quote the Blanesburgh Report on every point. If it had demanded decent conditions of maintenance we should have had the Report explained away and pigeon-holed in the same way as the Sankey Commission Report. Unless we can have an answer from the Minister as to what these girls are to do he is driving a nail into the coffin of the Government and giving us a slogan.

Photo of Mr William Hirst Mr William Hirst , Bradford South

Reference has been repeatedly made by the Minister and also by the Under-Secretary to the fact that certain conferences have been held throughout the country to consider certain proposals in connection with this Bill. I have been labelled the chairman of the Employment Committee of Bradford, and I say without hesitation that when the chairmen and vice-chairmen attended the conference—I had not the privilege or it was not convenient for me to go—whatever may have happened then I do associate myself with the view expressed by the Noble Lord. It was never contemplated that there was to be this marked reduction in the benefits paid to these people. I would say to the credit of the Bradford Committee that they responded to the appeal I made that we should meet specially to consider this Bill. Every member of that Committee got hold of a copy of the Bill—both em- ployers and the operative side. When we came to consider its provisions the final remark was that there was no single vote in favour of a single penny of reduction under this Measure. We had no less than 10 employers present at that joint meeting, along with 10 or 11 on the opposite side. After giving it very exhaustive consideration we finally arrived at this position that we should attempt, not only to reject the reduction, but, if the right hon. Gentleman were to give all the evidence before them, it would be seen that he had received from the Bradford Employment Committee a recommendation signed by employers and ourselves that no reduction should be given effect to. It is as well that this Committee should know that. I do not often stand up for the employers, but on this occasion that body of people should be given their proper meed of praise when they supported the position the operatives so keenly put forward. I venture to suggest that if all the evidence were brought forward it would probably be found that other committees were taking the same line. The rates which are proposed, even the amended rates, are a positive scandal and a positive disgrace for a Labour Ministry or any Government to put forward. I associate myself entirely with the protests from this side of the House and I will ask the right hon. Gentleman, when using this evidence again, to bring it forward fully. It is not true that the chairman and vice-chairman are committed to this Bill.

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

I was careful to explain that the recommendations were not unanimous, but that it was in the preponderating majority in the direction I stated.

Photo of Mr William Hirst Mr William Hirst , Bradford South

Is it not a fact that the hon. Gentleman and the Minister of Labour have both attempted to convey to the House and the country that at least these people were favourable to this reduction? They are not favourable to it in all cases. We have not only the example of the Bradford Committee. I hope there are other Committees in the country who have been courageous enough to resist these astounding proposals. I join in denouncing them and I hope the hon. Gentleman will have the courage to say that the case made out this day is a reasonable case. This is very bad economy and I hope he will say to the Chancellor of the Exchequer: "You are lending yourself to a most discreditable adventure, and I hope you will not attempt to pursue this reduction. Go the whole hog and agree with the Bradford Committee that there must be no reduction whatever". I hope you will follow the idea that there must be no reduction whatever. If we cannot find work we must find maintenance.

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

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

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 144; Noes, 79.

Division No. 387.]AYES.[4.52 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelCockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Cope, Major WilliamHarland, A.
Ainsworth, Major CharlesCouper, J. B.Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Courtauld, Major J. S.Hartington, Marquess of
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent,Dover)Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Balniel, LordCrookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Barnett, Major Sir RichardDavies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset,Yeovil)Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Dawson, Sir PhilipHerbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Bethel, A.Dean, Arthur WellesleyHilton, Cecil
Betterton, Henry B.Drewe, C.Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Edmondson, Major A. J.Holt, Capt. H. P.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftElliot, Major Walter E.Hopkins, J. W. W.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.Everard, W. LindsayHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Fairfax, Captain J. G.Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeFoxcroft, Captain C. T.Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)
Brittain, Sir HarryFraser, Captain IanKing, Commodore Henry Douglas
Burton, Colonel H. W.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Lamb, J. Q
Campbell, E. T.Ganzoni, Sir JohnLong, Major Eric
Carver, Major W. H.Gates, PercyLuce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamLumley, L. R.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnLynn, Sir R. J.
Christie, J. A.Goff Sir ParkMacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Clayton, G. C.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)McLean, Major A.
Cobb, Sir CyrilGunston, Captain D. W.Macmillan, Captain H.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)MacRobert, Alexander M.
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Rawson, Sir CooperStyles, Captain H. Walter
Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynRhys, Hon. C. A. U.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Margesson, Captain D.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Merriman, F. B.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Rye, F. G.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Salmon, Major I.Tinne, J. A.
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Sandeman, N. StewartTitchfield, Major the Marquess of
Nail, Colonel Sir JosephSanders, Sir Robert A.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Nelson, Sir FrankSanderson, Sir FrankWallace, Captain D. E.
Neville, Sir Reginald J.Savery, S. S.Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)
Nicholson, O. (Westminster)Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Nuttall, EllisShaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W.)Warrender, Sir Victor
Oakley, T.Sheffield, Sir BerkeleyWells, S. R.
O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)Snepperson, E. W.Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Perring, Sir William GeorgeSmithers, WaldronWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Peto. G. (Somerset, Frome)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Pilcher, G.Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.Wragg, Herbert
Power, Sir John CecilStanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland)
Preston, WilliamSteel, Major Samuel StrangTELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Price, Major C. W. M.Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.Mr. Penny and Captain Viscount
Radford. E. A.Streatfeild, Captain S. R.Curzon.
Raine, Sir Walter
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Grundy, T. W.Potts, John S.
Barnes, A.Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Saklatvala, Shapurji
Batey, JosephHall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Scrymgeour, E.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hardie, George D.Scurr, John
Bondfield, MargaretHayday, ArthurShaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Broad, F. A.Hayes, John HenryShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bromfield, WilliamHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hirst, G. H.Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Charleton, H. C.Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Stephen, Campbell
Clowes, S.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Sullivan, J.
Cluse, W. S.John, William (Rhondda, West)Thurtle, Ernest
Compton, JosephJohnston, Thomas (Dundee)Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, W. G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Townend, A. E.
Crawfurd. H. E.Kelly. W. T.Varley, Frank B.
Dalton, HughKennedy, T.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Davies. Evan (Ebbw Vale)Kirkwood, D.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Day, Colonel HarryLawrence, SusanWellock, Wilfred
Duncan, C.Lawson, John JamesWelsh, J. C.
Dunnico, H.Llndley, F. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Edge, Sir WilliamLunn, WilliamWilkinson, Ellen C.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Mackinder, W.Williams, T (York, Don Valley)
Fenby, T. D.MacLaren, AndrewWindsor, Walter
Gibbins, JosephMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Gillett, George MOliver, George HaroldTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Graham. D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Paling, W.Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Whiteley.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 143; Noes, 79.

Division No. 388.]AYES.[5.0 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelChristie, J. A.Ganzoni, Sir John
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Clayton, G. C.Gates, Percy
Ainsworth, Major CharlesCobb, Sir CyrilGibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeGoff. Sir Park
Balniel, LordCope, Major WilliamGraham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Couper, J. B.Gunston, Captain D. W.
Barnett, Major Sir RichardCourtauld, Major J. S.Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Bethel, A.Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Harland, A.
Betterton, Henry B.Davidson, J.(Hertf'd.Hemel Hempst'd)Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)
Bird. E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Hartington, Marquess of
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftDawson. Sir PhilipHarvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Dean, Arthur WellesleyHeadlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Drewe, C.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeEdmondson, Major A. J.Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Brittain, Sir HarryElliot, Major Walter E.Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.Everard, W. LindsayHilton, Cecil
Burton, Colonel H. W.Fairfax, Captain J. G.Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Campbell. E. T.Foxcroft, Captain C. T.Holt, Capt. H. P.
Carver, Major W. H.Fraser, Captain IanHopkins, J. W. W.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.Perring, sir William GeorgeStanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)Steel, Major Samuel Strang
King, Commodore Henry DouglasPilcher, G.Stott. Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Lamb, J. Q.Power, Sir John CecilStreatfeild, Captain S. R.
Long, Major EricPreston, WilliamStyles, Captain H. Walter
Luce, Major-Gen.Sir Richard HarmanPrice, Major C. W. M.Tasker, R. Inigo.
Lumley, L. R.Radford, E. A.Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Lynn, Sir R. J.Raine. Sir WalterThompson, Luke (Sunderland)
MacAndrew, Major Charles GlenRawson, Sir CooperThomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
McLean, Major A.Rhys. Hon. C. A. U.Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Macmillan, Captain H.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)Tinne, J. A.
MacRobert, Alexander M.Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Manningham-Buller, Sir MervynRye, F. G.Wallace, Captain D. E.
Margesson, Captain D.Salmon, Major I.Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Merriman, F. B.Sandeman, N. StewartWarner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)Sanders, Sir Robert A.Warrender, Sir Victor
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Sanderson, Sir FrankWells, S. R
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. R. C. (Ayr)Savery, S. S.Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.Shaw, R. G (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Nail, Colonel Sir JosephShaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel.(Renfrew, W)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Nelson, Sir FrankSheffield, Sir BerkeleyWood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Neville, Sir Reginald J.Shepperson, E. W.Wragg, Herbert
Nicholson, O. (Westminster)Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)
Nuttall, EllisSmithers, WaldronTELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Oakley, T.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.Captain Viscount Curzon and Mr.
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.Penny.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Grundy T. W.Potts, John S.
Barnes, A.Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton)Saklatvala, Shapurji
Batey, JosephHall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)Scrymgeour, E.
Beckett, John (Gateshead)Hardie, George D.Scurr, John
Bondfield, MargaretHayday, ArthurShaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Broad, F, A.Hayes, John HenryShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Bromfield, WilliamHenderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hirst, G. H.Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Smith. Rennie (Penistone)
Charleton, H. C.Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)Stephen, Campbell
Clowes, S.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Sullivan, J.
Cluse, W. S.John, William (Rhondda, West)Thurtle, Ernest
Compton, JosephJohnston, Thomas (Dundee)Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, W. G.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Townend, A. E.
Crawfurd, H E.Kelly, W. T.Varley, Frank B.
Dalton, HughKennedy, T.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)Kirkwood, D.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Day, Colonel HarryLawrence, SusanWellock, Wilfred
Duncan, C.Lawson, John JamesWelsh. J. C.
Dunnico, H.Lindley, F. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Edge, Sir WilliamLunn, WilliamWilkinson, Ellen C.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Mackinder, W.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Fenby, T. D.MacLaren, AndrewWindsor, Walter
Gibbins, JosephMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Gillett, George M.Oliver, George HaroldTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Graham, D M (Lanark, Hamilton)Paling, W.Mr. Whiteley and Mr. B. Smith.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)

Question put, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."—(Sir A. Steel-Maitland.)

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , West Ham Silvertown

We have been dealing with questions affecting the lives of the common people of this country, the working people. When we ask for anything for them, there is nothing doing; but when the other people want something, everything is doing. The whole machinery of the State can be brought into operation to provide them with the things they want. I expect the Government do not imagine for a moment that we are asking them to solve the unemployed problem. They are incapable of it. What we are asking is that they shall provide means whereby the people who are suffering in consequence of unemployment shall be able to get some real assistance during the period of their real misery. When we ask for bread, we get a stone. All the things we say, and all the appeals we make, fall on deaf ears. I do not want to make a personal reference, but every day we spend in this House we spend more on our own personal sustenance than we are prepared to allow in a week to—

The CHAIRMAN:

What connection has this with the Question that I report Progress?

Photo of Mr John Jones Mr John Jones , West Ham Silvertown

So far as we are concerned, reporting Progress simply means a convenient way of getting out of a difficulty, particularly when the Government move it. You want to rob the workers of something they are entitled to, and therefore you are reporting Progress so that you may be successful in your depredations. You believe 8s. is enough, but we say that the whole of this Debate has been a sham. That is because you are responsible for it. It is you who have raised the issue. We are dealing with the problem of unemployment and so far as this House is concerned I say that the Debate has been a sham because no one can say that the provisions for benefit under this Bill are adequate to the situation. They do not meet any part of the problem. Therefore, to that extent the Debate is a mere sham. I would go to any constituency you like, even the most reactionary—if it is possible to find the most reaction- ary constituency—with any of you and argue this Bill out in all its details and I do not believe any one of you would be able—

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. Member cannot go until I report Progress.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

The remaining Government Orders were read, and postponed.

It being after half-past Eleven of the clock upon Wednesday evening, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House, without question put, pursuant to the Order of the Mouse of 8th November.

Adjourned at Twelve minutes after Five o'Clock a.m.