Clause 82. — (Remuneration of teachers.)

Orders of the Day — Education Bill – in the House of Commons on 30th March 1944.

Alert me about debates like this

[Major MILNER in the Chair]

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The Committee may wish for some indication as to the scope of the Debate, and it may perhaps be a help if I say that I have not selected any further Amendments to Clause 82 and that I propose to put the Question forth-With "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill." We are, of course, still on the Committee stage of the Education Bill and must conform to the normal rules of procedure in Committee. A Debate on the Motion "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill" must, therefore, be confined to the Clause as amended. It cannot extend to the circumstances under which the Amendment was made, nor can it review the proceedings on the Clause in detail. The Chair will endeavour to give the most liberal interpretation of that Rule that is possible, particularly as there has only been one Amendment to the Clause, but it would not be within the Rules of Order, on such a Motion, to go into the details of any constitutional issue involved or into the war effort generallly, some of which issues were, incidentally, fairly fully debated yesterday on, a Motion for the Adjournment. I hope we may now proceed.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister, in reply to a question by me yesterday, expressed the opinion that a fairly wide Debate would be allowed on this Motion "That the Clause stand part"—

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) is addressing a question to the Chair.

Photo of Mr Samuel Hammersley Mr Samuel Hammersley , Willesden East

I wish to raise a point of Order.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The Prime Minister said yesterday: As an old Member of the House I should have thought that it was, obviously, an issue which required the widest latitude that the Chair felt inclined to give, when the Chair would be supported, as it certainly would be, by the general sense of the House."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th March, 5944, col. 1435, Vol. 398.] From those words, it would appear that the Prime Minister expected that as this Motion was to be a question of confidence a fairly wide Debate would be permitted. It is now clear, from what you have said, Major Milner, that we shall not be able to discuss any of the implications of the Prime Minister's statement yesterday. Will the Prime Minister, therefore, inform the Committee whether the Government propose to adopt any other procedure for the purpose of ascertaining the confidence of the House in it?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. Member will appreciate that the Chair must act on the established Rules of procedure interpretated as liberally as possible. I however fully appreciate the position, and there is a method whereby the range of Debate may be enlarged if the Committee so wish. It would be possible, for example, to move that I do report Progress and ask leave to sit again, and, in that event, there would be rather wider scope. May I say that, if any hon. Member contemplates moving such a Motion, even there there are certain limits. The Committee will be aware that Standing Order 21 restricts Debate in the matter of a dilatory Motion, such as to report Progress, "to the matter of such Motion." The purpose of moving such a Motion is to avoid or postpone immediate decision on a question. If it is desired to widen the scope of the Debate in this instance, then it would be the object of such a Motion to avoid a decision or to postpone it on the particular Motion "That Clause 82, as amended, stand part of the Bill." Such a Motion would enable an hon. Member, for example, to give reasons why he desires to avoid a decision on the Clause, but his reasons must be relevant to the Question "That the Clause stand part." For example, if I understand the point that the hon. Member has in mind, and if such a Motion were the subject of discussion, a Member would be entitled to argue that under the Rules of Debate he could not, on the Clause itself, explain why his support of the Government's general policy outweighed his opposition to their particular policy with regard to the Clause as amended. He could, however, give that as a reason for reporting Progress so as to avoid a decision on the Clause, but he would not be able to give in any detail his reasons for so supporting the general policy of the Government or for deploring the untimeliness of destroying confidence in the Government, nor could he discuss in detail the constitutional relations between the Government and the House of Commons. That might be part of his reasons for wishing to avoid a decision on the Clause, but would quite obviously be far outside and irrelevant to the Clause itself. If it were the wish of the Committee to move such a Motion I would accept it.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

May I put it to you., Major Milner, that the Committee is entitled to something better from the Government than merely an opportunity of discussion on the Clause, or to report Progress. Yesterday the Prime Minister came down to the House and challenged the House very strongly, and made it a matter of general confidence in the Government, and I think he himself and the Leader of the House are entitled to put the Committee into a position where all the issues—

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. Member is debating the matter, and there is no Question before the Committee at the moment. Unless such a Question is proposèd I must at once put the Question, "That Clause 82, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

Does the hon. Member rise to a point of Order?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I was on a point of Order and you rose to interrupt me. I gave way, as it was my duty to do, but when you resumed your seat I was endeavouring to conclude the sentence. I am making an appeal.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

But there is no Question before the Committee. Is it a point of Order?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I have been long enough in the House, and you, Major Milner, have been here long enough, to know that in these circumstances it is advisable not to force the Rules very definitely. I am asking the Government to do what I think the Committee have a right to demand, and that is that they shall put the Debate on to a position which gives the Committee a fair chance. I am asking for a response from the Leader of the House.

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

When you announced the procedure to-day, Major Milner, I think you led the Committee to understand that the Debate on reporting Progress would be wider than the Debate upon the Question "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill". My reading of Erskine May, page 308, is that the matter of reporting Progress must be confined to the matter of such Motion, and I should humbly suggest that it would even be narrower than the Debate on the Question "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill".

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The Committee will appreciate that it is not permissible to argue the Rulings of the Chair. I have considered the matter very fully, and in fact such a Motion to report Progress as I have indicated would, to some extent, widen the Debate if it is desired to do so.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

May I put a point to you, Major Milner, asking for your guidance? You have been good enough to make a statement in definite terms, for which I think we are thankful, but we are in a dilemma. I put it to you that if someone moves to report Progress and the Government accept that Motion then there can be thrown open an opportunity to discuss the issues that are involved to-day. I would suggest that if we have any discussion, that might be found by the Government to be a reasonable way out of the difficulty.

Photo of Mr William Woolley Mr William Woolley , Spen Valley

If there is a Motion to report Progress, may I ask if there is any danger of the House losing the remainder of the day's Business?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

That lies in the hands of the Committee. It is not for me to judge as to the time that the Committee may desire to spend on the subject of the Motion.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

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

I move this in order to give the Government an opportunity to make a start on the Business arising out of the Ruling which you, Major Milner, have given. Yesterday the Prime Minister made a statement to the House—

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford

On a point of Order. Should not the Question be now put?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The Question will be put at the end of the hon. Member's speech, when those who want to speak on the Motion will have the opportunity of doing so and perhaps the hon. Member will be good enough to leave the conduct of the Committee's proceedings to the Chair.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

It was very clear to many of us yesterday, that the Ruling now given would be the Ruling that you, Major Milner, would be compelled to give, but the Government were able to avoid answering by saying that they would not anticipate the Ruling from the Chair. Now the Committee is in possession of a Ruling from the Chair, and the Chair has ruled that it would not be competent for anyone in the course of this Debate to argue any of the reasons why we are having a Debate at all. That is the position now before the Committee, and it is perfectly clear that after the Debate proceeds the whole of it is bound to be confined to the merits of the Clause itself. As the arguments put forward will be reported in the Press and over the radio, the Division which will subsequently take place will appear to people outside to be a Division on the merits of the Debate. Therefore, hon. Members who will go into the Lobby for the purpose of supporting the Government generally will be made to appear, by the nature of the Debate under the Ruling, to be against the principle to which they themselves had agreed.

I beg to submit that the embarrassment which the Committee is obviously in at the moment is a direct consequence of the behaviour of the Government. I warned the House twice yesterday about this. There are very many Members here to-day who were not attending their business yesterday, and who have been brought to the House of Commons to vote like sheep for the Government. [Interruption.] We are not barking, we are battling—

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

Hon. Members will please address themselves to the Chair.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

It is therefore clear that the Government have sought on this occasion to force a Division, a course which it will not only be very difficult for the country to understand but which is a source of embarrassment to the Committee itself, because even hon. Members who interrupted me are anxious unequivocally to state their confidence in the Government. If that be the case, then there should be a Motion of Confidence before the Committee; and not a Motion on an issue that has nothing at all to do with confidence. Would it not, therefore, be the right thing to allow the Committee to go on dealing with the Education Bill in the normal way and let the Government seek a more favourable instrument for the purpose of ascertaining whether the House has confidence in it or not? That would be satisfactory to the House and intelligible to the country.

I am bound to say that the mood displayed by several hon. Members on this matter will make it fairly certain that they will not have a Division for many hours, because, in fact, when we come to discuss the Clause in Committee there will be very many Members who will want to address themselves to the merits of the Clause itself. But hon. Members who interrupted me will not be in the Committee to discuss the Clause, they will be elsewhere, but will be here for the purpose of giving a vote on the Clause which they themselves do not want to discuss. I do not want to carry on the argument on this matter too far, but I do think the Committee is entitled to receive from the Government more intelligent treatment than we have so far had from them.

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

The Government are not prepared to accept this Motion. We wish to go on with the Bill. The hon. Gentleman complained that the Government ought to choose some better method of obtaining a decision from the House. When the Government have been defeated, the Government are at least entitled to express their own views in the matter and how they wish to proceed with Business. The hon. Gentleman has suggested that we should report Progress. We wish to go on with the Bill and I invite the Committee to do so.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

If that is the intention of the Government, nothing we can say here can alter it. I, myself, do not propose to be obstructive on the matter. I imagine I have a very great deal in common with hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite. I want progress with the Education Bill. I want an early opportunity of voting that the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill. Hon. Members opposite want an early opportunity of voting that it shall not stand part of the Bill, but our desire for an early decision on the matter is a common one. The hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite also want an opportunity of declaring their unbounded confidence in the Government and I want the opportunity, as on other occasions, of showing that I have not that confidence.

These are all things which Members want, for they want to do their job properly. We all want these three things, but in different Lobbies. The Government come to us and say: "We are not going to allow you to do anything." [An HON. MEMBER: "Dictatorship"] I have been in opposition all the time and I think I have played the game. I have never been obstructive at any stage, and I think what I am saying is true of all critical elements in the House of Commons. I think there is something more than what the Leader of the House said to us just now. I do not know whether there could be any extended Debate on the general question if we decided to have that general Debate, but I ask, if this is possible, for the Motion to report Progress to be carried. Then the Speaker would come back into the Chair and the House would discuss for a long or a short period, according to its desires, the general question of confidence in the Government. The House would vote on that Motion and then resume proceedings in Committee on the Education Bill.

That seems to be a fair and decent way. If the Government are not prepared to come any distance to meet the Committee in that matter then I, as one Member, feel that we are being very badly treated and that the House is not being allowed to express its will in the free, precise way that the House of Commons wants to express it.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) that there are many hon. Members who find themselves in an embarrassing position. It is no good pretending that it is not so If there are hon. Members present who can, without any hesitation and without any prick of conscience, vote on a Motion to-day which reverses the vote they gave two days ago, I, at least, am not one of them. I want to say that I am very concerned at the suggestion made in some quarters of the Committee that there should necessarily be an early decision on this matter, because we have a responsibility to Parliament and also to our constituents, and we ought to be given the opportunity to explain in this Committee, so that our constituents may know why we have taken up this extraordinary position, many of our constituents finding it difficult to do so. I do hope that proper regard will be paid to the views of the minorities in this House. It has always been a great tradition in this House that minority opinions should be respected, and, therefore, I want to urge that a full opportunity should be given for discussion on the merits of the Clause and the reason why one has to vote against the Clause of which one verily approves.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

I do not desire to prevent the Committee from coming to an early decision on the Vote of Confidence in the Prime Minister and the Government, but I do want to avail myself of the opportunity, Major Milner, which you indicated from the Chair of speaking on this Motion. I do not agree with the hon. Member who spoke of the embarrassment of Members who voted in the Division on Tuesday last. Indeed, since this Vote of Confidence has been put forward we can now see that it is the Government who are embarrassed and not the Members who voted against it. Hon. Members who say that the vote which took place two days ago has done harm in the country might surely reflect that the mixing up of domestic policies and military issues and then having a Vote of Confidence on a Clause standing part of an Education Bill, will do far more harm to the prestige of Parliament in the country than anything else.

I wish to make my position perfectly clear, I cast my vote the other day because I believed that the principle of equal pay was the right one, and I find it difficult to understand why it should be inappropriate upon a Bill which has to do with education—

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

On a point of Order. The Motion before the Committee, I understand, is to report Progress, and I also understand that on such a Motion the matter is very closely confined. In fact, as I understand it, the Motion is the only thing we can discuss.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. and gallant Member is giving his reasons as he is entitled to do for not wishing to come to a decision on the original Question that the Clause stand part of the Bill. Similarly, those who desire a decision to be taken on that Clause are entitled to give their reasons.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Thank you, Major Milner. I want to state why we should report Progress before we come to this decision. When I was interrupted, I was about to say that the issue to be decided will be taken on the Motion that the Clause should stand part of the Bill but will not really have anything to do with that Clause. The issue will be whether we have confidence in the Prime Minister and the Government or not. That is what we shall be telling the world, and before we embark on the Debate we owe it to ourselves and to our constituents to make it perfectly clear that that is what we shall be voting upon when the Question is put. I voted as I did the other day because I believe in the broad principle of equal pay for equal work and I also believe that the question of equal pay is something which, inevitably, will have to come. I find it difficult to understand why it should be inappropriate to discuss the question of equal payment for teachers during a debate on an Education Bill, which will have a profound effect on this country after the war. I accept the Government's point of view that to raise the question then raised wider issues, and that that is why they consider it necessary now to have a Vote of Confidence. But I am bound to protest at the Vote of Confidence being taken on the Motion that the Clause should stand part of the Bill. It cannot be understood in the country. We are now on the eve of very great events and everybody wishes to give the Prime Minister and the Government every possible support.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

Quite clearly, under this Motion the hon. and gallant Gentleman cannot discuss the general conduct of the war.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

I am much obliged. It is obvious how difficult it is for the House of Commons to exercise its proper function under these circumstances. This is where we get through having a Vote of Confidence—which is a clear cut issue—on a piece of domestic legislation. What the Prime Minister said yesterday meant, in fact, that every piece of domestic legislation which we shall discuss in this House or in Committee may, in fact, be the subject of a Vote of Confidence. While we are fighting this war we are, at the same time, planning ahead. This Education Bill is a major piece of planning which will affect the people of this country after the war. Surely Members have the right to discuss a Bill on its merits without being accused of any lack of confidence in the prosecution of the military part of the war by the Prime Minister. I do not abate one jot or tittle of my belief that ultimately equal pay for men and women doing equal work, equally well, and with equal qualifications, is something which will have to come. On the clear understanding that the present issue is purely one of confidence in the Prime Minister's direction of the war, I shall vote on this occasion for the Government.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

If this Motion to report Progress goes to a division I shall feel obliged to vote for it. I think that Members, individually, are being put in an impossible position by the conjunction of what happened yesterday and what is happening to-day. Members individually, and the House as a whole, are being put in an impossible situation. Let me deal with both aspects. There is a Motion on the Order Paper, signed by me and about 160 Members, in favour of the principle of equal pay. In order to demonstrate confidence in the Government I shall be required later today, although my name is put to that Motion, to go into the Lobby and vote against equal pay for teachers. That puts me, personally, into an intolerable position. The House as a whole is also being put in an intolerable position. The reasons given to us yesterday by the Government for their decision to move the deletion of Clause 82 were two-fold. One of their objects was an educational object—the restoring of the position as it was before the Amendment was passed. The other reason was a broad political reason—that they wanted to have a demonstration of confidence in the Government. If we are to proceed on those lines I should like to be able to discuss whether this new technique of government is appropriate in the House of Commons. I should like to be able to discuss what the effect of this will be on the relations between the Executive and Parliament. I should like to be able to discuss what the effect of this will be on the standing of Parliament in the country. But none of these things —which are all relevant to what the Government have done—can be discussed in the situation into which we have been put. I submit that the Government ought not to put their friends or critics in the position in which we find ourselves today. In these circumstances, therefore, if the Motion goes to a division, I shall vote for it.

Photo of Miss Thelma Cazalet Miss Thelma Cazalet , Islington East

The Prime Minister has left no possible course open to us other than to support him in this Vote of Confidence. I shall vote against the Clause embodying my own Amendment, not because my views have changed on equal pay, but because more vital issues have been superimposed upon it. In this great—

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

On a point of Order. May I respectfully submit, Major Milner, that the hon. Lady's statement would be relevant to a discussion on the Clause but is entirely irrelevant on the Motion to report Progress?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

I think the hon. Lady is in Order, but she must not go into detail on the matter of vital issues.

Photo of Miss Thelma Cazalet Miss Thelma Cazalet , Islington East

I was about to say that in this great democracy of ours, convention, for once, seems to have overruled common sense. I believe in the Clause as it stands, but I shall vote against it, to show my measureless confidence in the Prime Minister now, in view of the stupendous days that lie ahead.

Photo of Mr John Wardlaw-Milne Mr John Wardlaw-Milne , Kidderminster

I think the Government were completely right the other day in the course they took and I was glad to be able to support them. Putting the matter of equal pay into the Education Bill seemed to me to be entirely wrong. That does not mean that I do not believe equal pay to be right; I believe it is, and I believe it is bound to come. But I think the Government were profoundly right in objecting to its being brought into the Education Bill in the way it was brought in. I regret very much, however, the course which the Government have subsequently followed. I believe it would have been more in keeping with the traditions of Parliament if the Government had introduced a Motion, on which the whole House would have been able to show their unbounded support for the Government in the war effort on a Vote of Confidence, instead of putting the House into the position in which it is in to-day, in which Members have to eat their own words and vote against themselves and the Measure which they have supported. However, the Government have so decided, and there is no other course open but to take a decision on this matter. I suggest it would be more dignified in these circumstances—much as I regret the Government's action in this particular matter—to come to a decision and get back to work and complete the Bill, which every section in the House desires to see completed as quickly as possible.

Photo of Mr Ivor Thomas Mr Ivor Thomas , Keighley

I rise for only two minutes to support the view that we should come to an early decision. It is true that we shall be speaking about one subject to-day and voting about another. That is the procedure which is liable to be misunderstood in the country but it is well understood in Parliament. It happens every Session. There is one right hon. Member who remembers a discussion in 1895 about cordite, which involved the fate of the last Liberal Government of that century. This sort of thing has happened repeatedly since. Here we are under no illusions about this, and the argument I wish to give in support of an early decision is more powerful than any I could give myself, because it comes from the hon. Lady the Member for East Islington (Mrs. Cazalet Keir). I have the feeling that we have been here before, because on 6th April, 1936, after the Government had been similarly defeated on a question of equal pay, and an issue of confidence was raised, the hon. Lady used these words, every one of which is relevant to-day: I am sorry that it has been thought necessary to make the vote to-night a Vote of Confidence in the Government, but since it has been thought necessary I shall certainly vote for the Government, because no matter what my views may be in regard to equal pay I think it is of the utmost importance that the National Government should be in power at this serious period in our history. I hope, however, that the Government will consider again, seriously, the whole question which occasioned their defeat last Wednesday."—[Official Report, 6th April, 1936; col. 2477.Vol. 310.]

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

On a point of Order. Is this quotation really in Order, Major Milner? Is it in Order to give all this in connection with a previous Vote of Confidence, in view of what you have ruled to-day?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The point of the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Ivor Thomas) is not, at the moment, clear, but I imagine he is giving reasons for coming to a decision and not reporting Progress and so avoiding coming to a decision.

Photo of Mr Ivor Thomas Mr Ivor Thomas , Keighley

Perhaps I may be allowed to complete my quotation: —because I am convinced it was a real manifestation of the way that public opinion is moving in this country on the question of equal pay for equal work. The argument which applied then, in what we now regard as the piping days of peace, to a bogus National Government, is very much stronger now, on the eve of great operations and when we have a real National Government. Therefore, I think that on this occasion we should show our general support of the Government.

Photo of Mr Stanley Prescott Mr Stanley Prescott , Darwen

I want to detain the Committee only for a few minutes. The other day I voted for the Government and I would suggest to the Committee that we must to-day consider the circumstances in which that vote was taken. I would like to emphasise that the President of the Board of Education expressed again and again the view that the Amendment which was proposed was a vital Amendment, and went to the root of the Clause and even of the Bill itself. He stated that the question of equal pay involved equal pay for civil servants throughout the country and said that if the Amendment were pressed, it might involve the fate of himself and even the Government.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

On a point of Order. Are we discussing the Motion to report Progress, or are we repeating the Debate we had previously?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

We are discussing the Motion to report Progress and the hon. and gallant Member must not rediscuss the Debate of the other night except in general terms.

Photo of Mr Stanley Prescott Mr Stanley Prescott , Darwen

It is in view of what the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) said, which in some respects impressed me, that I wish to address a few observations to the Committee. In considering this question one must bear in mind what happened when the Division took place on Tuesday. It was obvious that the Government considered the Amendment to be quite out of the question, and it was equally obvious that very large sections of hon. Members were determined to press the Amendment on the Government. They did so, and the Government were defeated. No one was more surprised or shocked than many who voted for it. What was the position of the Government in those circumstances? They have been defeated and they now say, "We wish to re-introduce the matter and reverse the decision previously reached." That is objected to by many, and the hon. Member for Bridgeton and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) say, "It should not be done in that way. Table a Motion of Confidence and nearly the whole House will vote for it." One understands that argument, but surely there is very little logic in it. If it is correct, the result is that Members can defeat the Government and then expect the Government to say, "You have gone completely contrary to our wishes, you have beaten us; now pass a Motion of Confidence but, of course, leave what we have done exactly where it is." Surely there is very little logic in that.

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

I can see no reason why the Debate should be unduly curtailed. It involves matters of the greatest possible interest and the greatest constitutional importance, though they cannot be referred to. Of course, the Government are quite within their technical rights in bringing before the Committee a Motion in this form, bat there is serious doubt as to the wisdom of so doing, because it is inevitably bound to be misunderstood in the country. It will be understood not as a Vote of Confidence, but as an attempt by the executive to dragoon Parliament. I understand that, if a more careful explanation had been given at the time the matter was being discussed perhaps the Government might not have had to face this very serious difficulty. I do not feel the embarrassment to which certain hon. Members have referred. I see no reason why any Member of Parliament, following his conviction and his duty—words used by the Prime Minister yesterday—should feel embarrassed by whatever consequences outflow from them. I believe that under the Clause as originally drafted, it would have been possible for women teachers to get equal pay. It might have been brought before the Burnham Committee, and I am informed that the reason why it was not brought before the Burnham Committee was not that the National Union of Teachers did not wish it brought before them, but because the local authorities said that if it was brought before them, they would refuse to work the Burnham machinery.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. Member's argument might be relevant to the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" but not to the Motion now before the Committee.

Dr. Guest:

I think the country and the forces who are about to engage in the tremendous operations which have been referred to would feel much easier if some other method of dealing with the situation were found by the Government. The Forces take a very great interest in what goes on in the House of Commons and I think they have a right to have matters put so that they can clearly understand what is going on. They will understand this Motion to report Progress as being a way of shelving the matter. They will not understand a vote which makes Members register to-day an opinion, the exact contrary of that which they registered yesterday. I am fortified in my belief of the tremendous interest the Forces take in the matter by the fact that I visited the general headquarters of the British army at Arras just before Hitler's advance into France and I found that all ranks, from the headquarters staff to privates, were keenly discussing the political situation. I have no doubt whatever that they are keenly discussing the political situation now, and I do not think they will be able to understand what is going on. Those Members who are so embarrassed should look the facts in the face and consider that, if they discard their embarrassment and vote according to their convictions, they will fortify the Government by forcing a reconstruction which would in my view be a highly desirable thing.

Photo of Mr Samuel Adams Mr Samuel Adams , Leeds West

Though I expect to be one of a great majority who will support the Government, I am at the moment one of a small minority, which does not wish to see this discussion curtailed, because I regard, the issue on which we are engaged as one of primary importance. I should like to ask the Leader of the House if he appreciates the degree of perplexity in which he has involved some who, like myself, are extremely anxious to support the Government. The Prime Minister said yesterday that this issue right up to the Report stage was going to be treated as a matter of confidence throughout, and I have come down to-day hoping I should be allowed to give my reasons for confidence in the Government pitted against any desire, on the part of myself or any other Member, for amending Clause 82. I regard that as an important privilege and right for any Member to discharge, and I am still not clear, even at this stage of the discussion, though I have paid the closest attention to what has gone before, whether I am entitled to do that. Apparently the subject-matter of the Debate has been narrowed to a needle's end and it seems that the only reasonable thing to do is to go on talking until one is stopped. The hon. Lady who, in a disorderly manner, displays her emotion below the Bar, need not be alarmed. I am not going to speak for long; all I mean is that I hope I shall not be stopped too early.

Whereas it is always difficult to speak in this honourable House, the Government have made it virtually impossible for anyone to make a rational or a properly articulated speech. These are not the best circumstances in which to try to address oneself to an important issue, such as confidence in the Government at this stage of the war. The Government may not have handled this incident in the best possible way, but if we now go into the Lobby against them, we shall be doing the worst possible thing. Every one to whom I have spoken agrees that we are in a deplorable situation. I know no one who is not of that opinion But there, as far as I am aware, complete agreement ends.

I am not sure what line I should have taken had I been here on Tuesday. An hon. Member has mentioned a Debate that took place in 1936. On that same occasion, I voted against the then Government on this question of equal pay for equal work. I remember that that Government also then made it an issue of confidence. I, alone, I believe, on the second occasion, of those who were supposed officially to support the Government, again voted against the Government of that day. One can imagine, in the political circumstances of 1936, how uncomfortable a proceeding that was for me. But I am not going to vote against the Government to-night, chiefly because it is a different Government and the circumstances are different. For what it is worth, the Government, having made this matter a question of confidence, are going to have my support. At this moment there is no possible course open to us except that. I am aware of all the criticisms that may be made and charges against the Government—and there may be some truth in them—indifference to the will of Parliament, making nonsense of our Debates, proceedings and Divisions—

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

The hon. and gallant Gentleman cannot go into those details on this occasion.

Photo of Mr Samuel Adams Mr Samuel Adams , Leeds West

I am afraid I am already enmeshed in the kind of crisis which I anticipated when I began speaking. Whether or not criticisms of the Government's action to which I am not allowed to allude—even to refute—are valid, the situation is now quite changed. There is before the Committee the simple question: Is the war now at so delicate a stage and are the Government so valuable, that we are going to allow the present Administration to continue? There is no other issue. I am not going to ask the country to replace the present Administration by the political chaos which would result from the resignation of the Prime Minister the split in the Coalition, and the seeking of the suffrages of the electors. We should do well to close our ranks. This will not be the last opportunity that we shall have of vindicating the sovereignity of Parliament against the power of the Executive.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

This is the first time I have taken the opportunity of making a few remarks since Tuesday. While the Government in my opinion are taking a wrong attitude in not accepting the Motion to report Progress, I am also bound to say that much of the trouble has arisen because those of us who voted were not prepared to take responsibility for the votes that we gave. When they found that the decision had gone against the Government their attitude should not have been how to get out of it, but to take the responsibility of demanding, on the strength of the vote, a reconstruction of the Government for the carrying out of their obligations to the people and to the war effort generally. I will say this to the Leader of the House; he cannot avoid facing it and he knows that it is true. By refusing the Motion to report Progress and by taking the line the Government are taking, they will gather round them the major forces of the three parties in the House and there will be an expression of unity round the Government in the House, but that is not the important thing for the Government. The important thing for the Government is that, while they can see the possibility of unity in the House, they will find in the country a growing disintegration and disorganisation.

While this action of the Government will bring about an expression of unity in the House, will it lessen or increase the disunity and disintegration that exist in the country? It is all right for the Prime Minister to say that with the great events that lie before us the Government require to be fortified by a vote in this House, but it will not necessarily fortify him. If, however, Progress were reported and we were able to get a wider discussion, it might be possible as a result to get a greater measure of fortification for the Government in the country where it is actually needed. Do the Government, with the most critical tasks ahead of them, view the situation in the country without any anxiety and without continual thought? It is a foregone conclusion that the Government will get an overwhelming vote to-day, but the necessity for drawing the people of the country together is more important than drawing Members of the House of Commons together. The importance of drawing the people of the country together demands that there should be a wider discussion so that the people can thoroughly understand what is taking place.

Photo of Colonel Sir Henry Evans Colonel Sir Henry Evans , Cardiff South

I completely fail to understand the charges which have been made against the Government to-day. The charge of putting the House and its Members in an embarrassing position, the charge that the Prime Minister in particular is attempting to dragoon the House of Commons according to his will, have not been substantiated by any evidence. I understand, of course, the motives of hon. Members who are anxious—

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

On a point of Order. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, with his usual capacity, has made a point that the charges against the Government that they were dragooning the House have not been substantiated. Would I be in Order in replying to him by substantiating those charges? If so, I hope to follow the hon. and gallant Gentleman and substantiate them.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

No, it would not be possible, as I have indicated, to give reasons either for supporting or not supporting the charges against the Government.

Photo of Colonel Sir Henry Evans Colonel Sir Henry Evans , Cardiff South

I think that my hon. Friend who raised the point of Order will at least admit that charges have been made. We will leave their substantiation on one side. Members have been content to make those charges. What are their motives?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The hon. and gallant Member is now asking what are the motives of hon. Members. Is he to be entitled to discuss motives? Is he an alienist?

Photo of Colonel Sir Henry Evans Colonel Sir Henry Evans , Cardiff South

I think that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) is anticipating my thoughts, and, as usual, anticipating them wrongly. There has been extraordinary anxiety on the part of hon. Members on all sides to explain why they have cast their votes in a particular way on Tuesday last, and why they are going to cast their votes in an entirely opposite way to-day. One understands that anxiety, but the truth is that those hon. Gentlemen are not prepared to face the responsibility for casting their votes in the way they did. The hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg)—and I am sorry he is not in his place—charged the Government with blackmail. I agree that he, later, withdrew it, and spoke of undue pressure brought to bear on the House by the Government. I suggest that the shoe is on the opposite foot. The hon. Gentleman and the House know full well that this question of equalisation of pay as between the sexes has been and now is receiving the attention of the Government. Hon. Members have been at some pains to say that because we are on the eve of an invasion—and they could not develop that point because of the rules of Order—it was not an opportune time in which to raise this matter to-day. Why then was it raised on an Amendment to Clause 82 of the Education Bill?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

There is a lot of confusion about this. It was just as legitimate to raise this question as to raise the question whether parried women teachers should be employed. That Amendment happened to be accepted. Therefore my hon. and gallant Friend must not think that we raised this question for any motive other than that it vitally affects education.

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

That statement is a complete denial of what was deliberately stated on the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

We cannot discuss on this Motion the proceedings on the Bill.

Photo of Colonel Sir Henry Evans Colonel Sir Henry Evans , Cardiff South

Obviously I am not permitted to develop that point. I was tempted to do so owing to some remarks of the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) who made his own position clear. He left the Committee in no doubt. But I hope that there will be no continuation of that point. We were not discussing the question of confidence in the Government in the prosecution of the war on Tuesday last. It is clear that the House is practically of one mind on that issue. We were discussing the Education Bill. The President of the Board of Education frankly told the Committee that he had neither the authority nor the desire to deal with the question of broad principle of equal pay as between men and women which affected not only his Department hut Government policy. Let us be quite clear that when the question of whether the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill is put, the Committee will be voting for one thing only, that is, whether, in their opinion, Clause 82 of the Education Bill is a fit and proper instrument to deal with the question of the equalisation of pay for men and women employed by the State and by local authorities.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Is it not the case that they will not be voting on that question? Every other speaker has made it plain that they will be voting not on the question of equal pay, but because they are compelled to vote in favour of a Vote of Confidence in the Government.

Photo of Sir Adam Maitland Sir Adam Maitland , Faversham

Speaking as a private Member who is untramelled and unemcumbered by the responsibilities of office, and who is never likely to be in office, I should like to state the position as I see it. The Government have been defeated and they are entitled to take the line which they consider best not only for the House but for the country. They are right to treat the defeat seriously and to have regard to influences and forces outside our Island. There are friends and enemies looking today at the working of Parliament with great admiration. We look from time to time to the Government for a determined and definite lead on many matters. We ask them for it and often taunt them as vacillating and hesitant. If we want a strong Government let us support them when they are strong in their actions. Although what is being done to-day may be embarrassing to some Members, that does not mean that the Government are not right in the line they have taken in expressing their determination to proceed with the Education Bill on the conditions they have outlined to the House. The issue which is being raised to-day is not as I see it that of entrenching upon the position of private Members as against the power of the Executive. It is a question of how the Government view the situation arising from their defeat, and they are entitled to have a view. I am profoundly glad that the Government have dug their toes in and said, "We treat this as a matter of confidence." Members who object to the Government tying up the Vote of Confidence with the Education Bill are, I think, under a misapprehension. The Government have treated the House very fairly in saying that they regard this as a matter of first-class importance and that they will treat it as a matter of confidence throughout the whole issue. That was a frank statement and they have told the House that in other stages of the Bill the issue already raised must be treated as embodying confidence. In these circumstances I am glad they are strong and resolute, and in the heavy tasks they have ahead of them in other matters of which we are all thinking I wish them good luck and success.

Photo of Mr William Kendall Mr William Kendall , Grantham

I rise solely to recall to hon. Members what has been happening since yesterday. Though I am a comparatively new Member, it seems to me that the Prime Minister and other Members of the Government, after their many years of experience in this House, should have been able to find some other means of bringing forward a Motion of Confidence. If the Prime Minister wants my personal Vote of Confidence for him as leader of the war effort, he can have it, but I would not say that for all the Members on the Government front Bench. There are a lot of them I do not like and

Division No. 12.AYES.
Acland-Troyte Lt.-Col. G. J.Bower, Norman (Harrow)Clarry, Sir Reginald
Adamson, Mrs. Jennie L. (Dartford)Bracken, Rt. Hon. B.Cluse, W. S.
Adamson, W. M. (Cannock)Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)Cobb, Captain E. C.
Agnew, Comdr. P. G.Brass, Capt. Sir W.Colegate, W. A.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Colman, N. C. D.
Alexander, Bg.-Gn. Sir W. (G'g'w C.)Broad, F. A.Conant, Major R. J. E.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)Broadbridge, Sir G. T.Cook, Lt.-Col. Sir T. R. A. M.(N'flk, N.)
Apsley, LadyBrocklebank, Sir C. E. R.Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)
Aske, Sir R. W.Brooke, H. (Lewisham)Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)Cove, W. G.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)Craven-Ellis, W.
Baillie, Major Sir A. W. M.Brown, T. J. (Ince)Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir Stafford
Balfour, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. H.Bullock, Capt. M.Crooke, Sir J. Smedley
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P.Burden, T. W.Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C.Burke, W. A.Crowder, Capt. J. F. E.
Beaumont, Hubert (Batley)Burton, Col. H. W.Davidson, Viscountess (H'm'l H'mst'd)
Beaumont, Maj. Hn. R. E. B. (P'ts'h)Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A.Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)
Beech, Major F. W.Cadogan, Major Sir E.Davison, Sir W. H.
Beechman, N. A.Caine, G. R. HallDe Chair, Capt. S. S.
Beit, Sir A. L.Campbell, Dermot (Antrim)Denville, Alfred
Bennett, Sir P. F. B. (Edgbaston)Campbell, Sir E. T. (Bromley)Digby, Capt. K. S. D. W.
Benson, G.Cary, R. A.Dobbie, W.
Bernays, R. H.Castlereagh, ViscountDodd, J. S.
Berry, Hon. G. L. (Buckingham)Challen, Flight-Lieut. C.Doland, G. F.
Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)Channon, H.Donner, Squadron-Leader P. W.
Blair, Sir R.Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)Douglas, F. C. R.
Blaker, Sir R.Charleton, H. C.Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C.Chater, D.Drewe, C.
Boothby, R. J. G.Charlton, A. E. L.Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)
Bossom, A. C.Christie, J. A.Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)
Boulton, W. W.Churchill, Rt. Hn. Winston S. (Epping)Dugdale, John (W. Bromwich)

who, I think, ought not to be there. I voted two nights ago on the Education Bill for something in which I believe, and I am not going to adopt the excuse which, it has been suggested might enable some hon. Members to change their minds. I am still going to vote according to the principles in which I believe, which means that I am going to vote against the Government, without question, on this issue of equal pay for equal work done. If the Government were to do the big thing, and come before us with a Motion of Confidence on all matters affecting the war effort, they could have that Vote of Confidence from me, but they cannot have it on this present issue, which is, to my mind, a petty and miserable way of driving many hon. Members to vote for them, who otherwise would not have done so. The Government are telling them, in effect, to vote for the Government, regardless of the merits of the case. I believe that I am stating the opinion of many hon. Members, and in particular of the Independents who are not here to be destructive but have every desire to be constructive, in their attitude to the Government.

Photo of Mr Bartle Bull Mr Bartle Bull , Enfield

Mr. Bartle Bull (Enfield) 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, 378; Noes, 43.

Dugdale, Major T. L. (Richmond)Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Peat, C. U.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. (Kens'gt'n, N.)Jennings, R.Perkins, W. R. D.
Dunn, E.Jewson, P. W.Peters, Dr. S. J.
Eccles, D. M.Johnstone, Rt. Hon. H. (Mid'sbre W.)Petherick, M.
Ede, J. C.Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k Newington)Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)Peto, Major B. A. J.
Edmondson, Major Sir J.Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Comd. Hn. L. W.Pilkington, Captain R. A.
Edwards, Walter J. (Whitechapel)Keatinge, Major E. M.Plugge, Capt. L. F.
Ellis, Sir G.Keir, Mrs. CazaletPonsonby, Cot. C. E.
Emery, J. F.Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)Poole, Captain C. C.
Emmott, C. E. G. C.Kerr, Sir John Graham (Scottish U's.)Power, Sir J. C.
Emrys-Evans, P. V.Key, C. W.Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton
Entwistle, Sir C. F.King-Hall, Commander W. S. R.Prescott, Capt. W. R. S.
Erskine-Hill, A. G.Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.Price, M. P.
Etherton, RalphLamb, Sir J. Q.Procter, Major H. A.
Evans, Colonel A. (Cardiff, S.)Lancaster, Lieut.-Col. C. G.Pym, L. R.
Everard, Sir w. LindsayLawson, J. J. (Chester-le-Street)Quibell, D. J. K.
Fildes, Sir H.Leigh, Sir J.Raikes, Flight-Lieut. H. V. A. M.
Foot, D. M.Leighton, Major B. E. P.Ramsden, Sir E.
Foster, W.Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.Rankin, Sir R.
Fraser, Lt.-Col. Sir Ian (Lonsdale)Levy, T.Rathbone, Eleanor
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Lewis, O.Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)
Fyfe, Major Sir D. P. M.Liddall, W. S.Raid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Galbraith, Comdr. T. D.Lindsay, K. M.Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Garro Jones, G. M.Linstead, H. N.Ritson, J.
Gates, Major E. E.Lipson, D. L.Robertson, D. (Streatham)
George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Lloyd (P'b'ke)Little, Sir E. Graham- (London Univ.)Robertson, Rt. Hn. Sir M. A. (M'ham)
Gibbins, J.Llewellin, Col. Rt. Hon. J. J.Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Gibson, Sir C. G.Lloyd, C. E. (Dudley)Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Glanville, J. E.Lloyd, Major E. G. R. (Renfrew, E.)Rowlands, G.
Gledhill, G.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Ladywood)Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Gluckstein, Lt.-Col. L. H.Locker-Lampson, Commander O. S.Russell, Sir A. (Tynemouth)
Goldie, N. B.Loftus, P. C.Salt, E. W.
Gower, Sir R. V.Longhurst, Captain H. C.Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Graham, Captain A. C.Lucas, Major Sir J. M.Sandys, E. D.
Grant-Ferris, Wing Commander R.Lyle, Sir C. E. LeonardSavory, Professor D. L.
Greenwell, Colonel T. G.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. OliverSchuster, Sir G. E.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.Mabane, Rt. Hon. W.Scott, Donald (Wansbeck)
Gretton, J. F.MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.Scott, Lord William (Ro'b'h & Selk'[...])
Gridley, Sir A. B.MeCallum, Major D.Selley, Sir H. R.
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)McCorquodale, Malcolm S.Shakespeare, Sir G. H.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)
Grigg, Sir E. W. M. (Altrincham)McEntee, V. La T.Shephard, S.
Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans)McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury)McKie, J. H.Shuts, Col. Sir J. J.
Guinness, T. L. E. B.Magnay, TSimmonds, Sir O. E.
Gunston, Major Sir D. W.Maitland, Sir A.Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.Makins, Brig-Gen. Sir E.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Hall, W. G, (Colne Valley)Manningham-Buller, Major R. E.Smith, E. (Stoke)
Hambro, Capt. A. V.Marlowe, Lt.-Col. A,Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Hammersley, S. S.Marshall, F.Smith, T. (Narmanton)
Hannen, Sir P. J. H.Mathers, G.Smithers, Sir W.
Harris, Rt. Hon. Sir P. A.Mayhew, Lt.-Col J.Snadden, W. McN.
Haslam, HenryMedlicott, Colonel FrankSomervell, Rt. Hon. Sir D. B.
Hayday, A.Mellor, Sir J. S. P.Spearman, A. C. M.
Helmore, Air Commodore W.Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. Oliver
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Storey, S
Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Mitchell, Colonel H. P.Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Henderson, J. J. Craik (Leeds, N.E.)Mitcheson, Sir G. G.Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Molson, A. H. E.Strickland, Capt. W. F.
Heneage, Lt.-Col. A. P.Montague, F.Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Hepburn, Major P. G. T. Buchan-Moore, Lieut.-Col Sir T. C. R.Studholme, Capt. H. G.
Hepworth, J.Morgan, R. H. (Stourbridge)Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Hewlett, T. H.Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)Suirdale, Viscount
Higgs, W. F.Morrison, G. A, (Scottish Universities)Sutcliffe, H.
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMorrison, Major J. G. (Salisbury)Tasker, Sir R. I.
Holdsworth, Sir H.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Tate, Mrs. Mavis C.
Hollins, J. H. (Silvertown)Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)Taylor, Major C. S. (Eastboarne)
Holmes, J. S.Mort, D. L.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'd'ton, S.)
Hopkinson, A.Muff, G.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Howitt, Dr. A. B.Murray, Sir D. K. (Midlothian, N.)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hubbard, T. F.Murray, J. D. (Spennymoor)Teeling, Flight-Lieut. W.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Naylor, T. E.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Hughes, R. MoelwynNeven-Spence, Major B. H. H.Thomas, Or. W. S. Russell (S'mpton)
Hulbert, Wing-Commander N. J.Nield, Major B. E.Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Hutchinson, G. C. (Ilford)Nunn, W.Thorne, W.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. G. I. C. (E'burgh)Oldfield, W. H.Thorneycroft, Major G. E. P. (Stafford)
Hynd, J. B.Oliver, G. H.Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Isaacs, G. A.O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.Thornton-Kemsley, Lt.-Col. C. N.
Jackson, W. F.Orr-Ewing, I. L.Thurtle, E.
James, Wing-Com. A. (Well'borough)Owen, Major Sir G.Tomlinson, G.
James, Admiral Sir W. (Ports'th, N.)Paling, Rt. Hon. W.Touche, G. C.
Jarvis, Sir J. J.Palmer, G. E. H.Tree, A. R. L. F.
Jeffreys, General Sir G. D.Pearson, A.Tufnell, Lieut.-Comdr. R. L.
Turton, R. H.Weston, W. GarfieldWoodburn, A.
Wakefield, W. W.Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Walkden, A. G. (Bristol, S.)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. (Blaydon)Woolley, Major W. E.
Walkden, E. (Doncaster)Wilkinson, EllenWootton-Davies, J. H.
Ward, Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)Wright, Mrs. Beatrice F. (Bodmin)
Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)York, Major C.
Waterhouse, Captain Rt. Hon. C.Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Watkins, F. C.Windsor, W.
Watt, F. C. (Edinburgh Central)Windsor-dive, Lt.-Col. G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Watt, Brig. G. S. Harvie (Richmond)Womersley, Rt. Hon. Sir W.Mr. Bartle Bull and Sir Gilford Fox
Wells, Sir S. RichardWood, Hon. C. I. C. (York)
NOES.
Acland, Sir R. T. D.Granville, E. L.Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham (St. M.)
Adams, Major S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)Green, W. H. (Deptford)Riley, B.
Barr, J.Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Islington, H.)Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey, W.)
Barstow, P. G.Harvey, T. E.Stokes, R. R.
Baxter, A. BeverleyHorabin, T. L.Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Bevan, A. (Ebbw Vale)Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Bowles, F. G.Kendall, W. D.Thomas, I. (Keighley)
Brown, W. J. (Rugby)Kirby, B. V.Tinker, J. J.
Buchanan, G.Lawson, H. M. (Skipton)Watson, W. McL.
Cocks, F. S.McGhee, H. G.White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughten)Mack, J. D,White, H. (Derby, N.E.)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Maclean, N. (Govan)Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Driberg, T. E. N.McNeill, H.Wright, Group-Capt. J. (Erdington)
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)Maxton, J.
Gallacher, W.Reakes, G. L. (Wallasey)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—
Mr. McGovern and Mr. Silverman

Question put accordingly, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

Division No. 13.AYES.
Acland, Sir R. T. DGuest, Dr. L. Haden (Islington, N.)Reakes, G. L. (Wallasey)
Bevan, A. (Ebbw Vale)Hardie, AgnesReid, Capt. A. Cunningham (St. M.)
Bowles, F. G.Horabin, T. L.Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey, W.)
Brown, W. J. (Rugby)Kendall, W. D.Stokes, R. R.
Buchanan, G.Lawson, H. M. (Skipton)Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Cocks, F. S.MeGhee, H. G.Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Mack, J. D.Tinker, J. J.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Maclean, N. (Gavan)White, C. F. (Derby, W.)
Gallacher, W.Martin, J. H.
Granville, E. L.Maxton, J,TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Mr. McGovern and Mr. Silverman
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.Bower, Norman (Harrow)Cluse, W. S.
Adams, Major S. V. T. (Loads, W.)Bracken, Rt. Hon. B.Cobb, Captain E. C.
Adamson, Mrs. Jennie L. (Dartford)Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)Colegate, W. A.
Adamton, W. M. (Cannock)Brass, Capt. Sir W.Colman, N. C. D.
Agnew, Comdr. P. G.Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Conant, Major R. J. E.
Alexander, Bt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Broad, F. A.Cook, Lt.-Col. Sir T..R. A. M. (N'flk, N.)
Alexander, Bg.-Gn. Sir W. (G'gow C.)Broadbridge, Sir G. T.Cooke, J, D. (Hammersmith, S.)
Allen, U.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)Brooklebank, Sir C. E. R.Courlhope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.
Apsley, LadyBrooke, H. (Lewisham)Cove, W. G.
Aske, Sir R. W.Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)Craven-Ellis, W.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir Stafford
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Brown, T. J. (Ince)Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.
Baillie, Major Sir A. W. M.Bull, B. B.Crowder, Capt. J. F. E.
Balfour, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. H.Bullock, Capt. M.Davidson, Viscountess (H'm'l H'mst'd)
Barnes, A. J.Burden, T W.Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)
Barr, J.Burke, W. A.Davison, Sir W. H.
Baxter, A. BeverleyBurton, Col. H. W.De Chair, Cant. S. S.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P.Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A.Denman, Hon. R. D.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C.Cadogan, Maj. Sir E.Denville, Alfred
Beaumont, Hubert (Batley)Caine, G. R. HallDigby, Capt. K. S. D. W.
Beaumont, Maj. Hn. R. E. B. (P'ts'h)Campbell, Sir E. T. (Bromley)Dabble, W.
Beech, Major F. W.Campbell, Dermot (Antrim)Dodd, J. S.
Beéhman, N. A.Cary, R. A.Do land, G. F.
Beit, Sir A. L.Castlereagh, ViscountDormer, Squadron-Leader P. W
Bennett, Sir P. F. B. (Edgbaston)Challen, Flight-Lieut. C.Douglas, F. C. R.
Benson, G.Channon, H.Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G.
Bernays, Captain R. H.Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)Drewe, C.
Berry, Hon. G. L. (Buckingham)Charleton, H. C.Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)
Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)Chater, D.Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)
Blair, Sir R.Chorlton, A. E. L.Dugdale, John (W. Bromwich)
Blaker, Sir R.Christie, J. A.Dugdale, Major T. L. (Richmond)
Boles, Lt. Col. D. CChurchill, Rt. Hn. Winston S. (Ep'ing)Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. (Kens'gt'n, N.)
Bossom, A. C.Clarry, Sir ReginaldDunn, E.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 28, Noes, 394.

Eccles, D. M.Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Palmer, G. E. H.
Ede, J. C.Jennings, R.Parker, J.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Jewson, P. W.Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Edmondson, Major Sir J.Johnstone, Rt. Hon. H. (Mid'sbro W.)Pearson, A.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k Newington)Peat, C. U.
Edwards, Walter J. (Whitechapel)Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)Perkins, W. R. D.
Emery, J. F.Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Peters, Dr. S. J.
Emmott, C. E. G. C.Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Comdr. Hn. L. W-Petherick, M.
Emrys-Evans, P. V.Keatings, Major E. M.Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Entwistle, Sir C. F.Keir, Mrs. CazaletPeto, Major B. A. J.
Erskine-Hill, A. G.Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Etherton, RalphKerr, Sir John Graham (Scottish U's)Pilkington, Captain R. A.
Evans, Colonel A. (Cardiff, S.)Key, C. W.Plugge, Capt. L. F.
Everard, Sir W. LindsayKing-Hall, Commander W. S. R.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Fildes, Sir H.Kirby, B. V.Poole, Captain C. C.
Fleming, Squadron Leader E. L.Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.Power, Sir J. C.
Fool, D. M.Lamb, Sir J. Q.Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton
Foster, W.Lancaster, Lieut.-Col. C. G.Prescott, Capt. W. R. S.
Fox, Squadron-Leader Sir G. W. G.Lawson, J. J. (Chester-le-Street)Price, M. P.
Fraser, Lt.-Col. Sir Ian (Lonsdale)Leigh, Sir J.Procter, Major H. A.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Pym, L. R.
Fyfe, Major Sir D. P. M.Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.Quibell, D. J. K.
Galbraith, Comdr, T. D.Levy, T.Raikes, Flight-Lieut. H. V. A. M.
Garro Jones, G. M.Lewis, O.Ramsden, Sir E.
Gates, Major E. E.Liddall, W. S.Rankin, Sir R.
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'broke)Lindsay, K. M.Rathbone, Eleanor
Gibbins, J.Linstead, H. N.Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)
Gibson, Sir C. G.Lipson, O. L.Raid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Glanville, J. E.Llewellin, Col. Rt. Hon. J. J.Raid, W. Allan (Derby)
Gledhill, G.Lloyd, C. E. (Dudley)Ritson, J.
Gluckttein, Lt.-Col. L. H.Lloyd, Major E. G. R. (Renfrew, E.)Roberts, W.
Goldie, N. B.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Ladywood)Robertson, D. (Streatham)
Gower, Sir R. V.Locker-Lampson, Commander O. S.Robertson, Rt. Hon. Sir M. A. (M'ham)
Graham, Captain A. D. (Wirral)Loftus, P. C.Ross, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Gram-Ferris, Wing-Commander R.Longhurst, Captain H. C.Rowlands, G.
Green, W. H. (Deptford)Lucas, Major Sir J. M.Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Greenwell, Colonel T. G.Lyle, Sir C. E. LeonardRussell, Sir A. (Tynemouth)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. OliverSalt, E. W.
Gretton, J. F.Mabane, Rt. Hon. W.Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Gridley, Sir A. B.MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.Sandys, E. D.
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)McCallum, Major D.Savory, Professor D. L.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)McCorquedale, Malcolm S.Schuster, Sir G. E.
Grigg, Sir E. W. M. (Altrincham)MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)Scott, Donald (Wansbeck)
Grimslon, Hon. J. (St. Albans)McEntee, V. La T.Scott, Lord William (Ro'b'h & Selk'k)
Grimston, R. V. (Westbury)McKie, J. H.Selley, Sir H. R.
Guinness, T. L. E. B.McNeil, H.Shakespeare, Sir G. H.
Gunston, Major Sir D. W.Magnay, T.Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.Maitland, Sir A.Shephard, S.
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)Makins, Brig.-Gen. Sir E.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Hambro, Capt. A. V.Manningham-Buller, Major R. E.
Hammersley, S. S.Marlowe, Lt.-Col. A.Shute, Col. Sir J. J.
Hannon, Sir P. J. H.Marshall, F.Simmonds, Sir O. E.
Harris, Rt. Hon. Sir P. A.Mathers, G.Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A.
Harvey, T. E.Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Haslam, HenryMedlicott, Colonel FrankSmith, E. (Stoke)
Hayday, A.Mellor, Sir J. S. P.Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Helmore, Air Commodore W.Messer, F.Smith, T. (Normanton)
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)Smithers, Sir W.
Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Snadden, W. MoN.
Henderson, J, J. Craik (Leeds, N.E.)Mitchell, Colonel H. P.Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir D. B.
Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Mitcheson, Sir G. G.Southby, Comdr. Sir A. R. J.
Heneage, Lt.-Col. A. P.Molson, A. H. E.Spearman, A. C. M.
Hepburn, Major P. G. T. Buchan-Montague, F.Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. Oliver
Hepworth, J.Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.Storey, S.
Hewlett, T. H.Morgan, R. H. (Stourbridge)Stourton, Major Hon J. J.
Higgs, W. F.Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMorrison, G. A. (Scottish Universities)Strickland, Capt. W. F.
Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.Morrison, Major J. G. (Salisbury)Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Holdsworth, Sir H.Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Studholme, Captain H. G.
Holmes, J. S.Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Hopkinson, A.Mort, D. L.Suirdale, Viscount
Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.Muff, G.Sutcliffe, H.
Howitt, Dr. A. B.Murray, Sir D. K. (Midlothian, N.)Tasker, Sir R. I.
Hubbard, T. F.Murray, J. D. (Spennymoor)Tale, Mrs. Mavis C.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Naylor, T. E.Taylor, Major C. S. (Eastbourne)
Hughes, R. MoelwynNeven-Spence, Major B. H. H.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'd'ton, S.)
Hulbert, Wing Commander N. J.Nicholson, G. (Farnham)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hutchinson, G. C. (Ilford)Nield, Major B. E.Teeling, Flight-Lieut. W-
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. G. I. C. (E'burgh)Nunn, W.Thomas, I. (Keighley)
Isaacs, G. A.Oldfield, W. H.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Jackson, W. F.Oliver, G. H.Thomas, Dr. W. S. Russell (S'th'm'tn)
James, Wing-Com. A. (Well'borough)O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
James, Admiral Sir W. (Ports'th, N.)Orr-Ewing, I. L.Thorne, W.
Jarvis, Sir J. J.Owen, Major Sir G.Thorneycroft, Major G. E. P. (Stafford)
Jeffreys, Gen. Sir G. D.Paling, Rt. Hon. W.Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton)
Thornton-Kemsley, Lt.-Col. C. N.Watkins, F. C.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Thurtle, E.Watt, F. C. (Edinburgh Cen.)Womersley, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Tomlinton, G.Watt, Brig. G. S. Harvie (Richmond)Wood, Hon. C. I. C. (York)
Touche, G. C.Wells, Sir S. RichardWoodburn, A.
Tree, A. R. L. F.Weston, W. GarfieldWoods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Tufnell, Lieut.-Comdr. R. L.Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.Woolley, Major W. E.
Turton, R. H.White, Sir Dymoke (Fareham)Wootton-Davies, J. H.
Viant, S. P.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. (Blaydon)Wright, Mrs. Beatrice F. (Bodmin)
Wakefield, W. W.Wilkinson, EllenWright, Group Capt. J. (Erdington)
Walkden, A. G. (Bristol, S.)Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)York, Major C.
Walkden, E. (Doncaster)Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Ward, Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.Windsor, W.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—
Waterhouse, Captain Rt. Hon. C.Windsor-dive, Lt.-Col. G.Mr. Boulton and Capt. McEwen

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

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

My task in to-day's proceedings is to oppose, on behalf of the Government, the Motion that this Clause stand part of the Bill. The Clause, as amended, is, in our view, unsuitable; and, therefore, contrary to my usual practice on the Education Bill of desiring to get Clauses through, I must advise the Committee to reject this Clause. It will, as I shall show, not achieve the reform which hon. Members supporting the Amendment desired, and it will upset the free negotiating machinery of the Burnham Committee for the determination of teachers' salaries, which has worked so successfully for the last 25 years. Indeed, I think I should make it clear to the Committee and to those who study our deliberations outside that the issue raised by the Amendment is not that of equal pay for equal work—upon which we all have our own ideas, and upon which I could make as good a speech as anybody else—but of interference with the negotiations of an independent body dealing with wage questions.

Any interference, of whatever character it may be—and I do not just refer to the particular form of interference suggested by the Amendment—would create a new and most undesirable precedent, which would be keenly resented, not only by the authorities but, as I have reason to know, by the accredited representatives of the teachers. I stated this information quite definitely in our last Debate on this matter, and I may relieve the feelings of the Committee by telling them that I have very little to add to what I said then. I stated my views definitely on that occasion, because I foresaw danger to the Education Bill. In some quarters it was thought that I was wrong to state them so definitely, but I do not regret it now, because the fact is that we have come up against difficulties which might have been avoided had the course taken by the movers of the Amendment been rather different. I foresaw that this incursion into the Education Bill was likely to have grievous results; and those results I have regretted very much indeed.

I regret that an issue of this sort should have arisen on the Bill. I suppose that, in the course of preparing this Bill, I have had, and the Government have had, to handle as many religious and political problems as can be imagined. In many cases the two streams of religious and political feeling have crossed, making eddies of extreme difficulty for the political navigator, but I have tried to bring nothing to the Committee which was not thoroughly discussed and worked out before, and I have tried to save the Committee from getting into a jam. I, therefore, regret all the more that this issue was forced upon me in a manner which led to a clash. No one can possibly say that on this Bill the Government have not been patient and conciliatory; and also, on the other side—

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Nobody can say that the Committee have not.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Perhaps the hon. Member will let me make my reply. The next words of my notes are exactly the same as those he has used. If he thought that I was not going to pay tribute to the Committee, he was wrong. Perhaps he will now get up again, and pay a tribute to me.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

The right hon. Gentleman was defending himself, and I was defending the Committee.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I was going to say that we have been greatly aided by the Committee in the course of this Measure. I was going to explain that the Committee stage of the Bill has been so much helped by members of the Committee that a number of Amendments which have been moved by hon. Members have resulted in considerable improvement of the Measure.

The number of Amendments accepted, including the small ones, is about 50, of which 40, at least, are substantial. We have by no means finished the Bill yet, and I anticipate that, as we proceed with the more important Clauses, there will be other favours to come which may well please those who are taking an interest in the Bill. I do not want to arouse hopes, but I have accepted useful suggestions from every part of the House, including one from the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) himself, who took part in our discussions on the question of adult education, in a manner which was thoroughly worthy of our discussions and in a manner likely to have an effect on educational policy in this country and not in the country from which he comes, because this Measure deals with England and Wales. I am sure we are very much obliged to him and to other hon. Members of the Committee. I would remind the Committee of one or two examples to show how really useful the Committee stage of the Bill has been, and how unreal is the view that the Committee stage is—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I regret to have to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but there was a Ruling given by my predecessor earlier, which will be in the memory of the Committee, and I would like to point out that, if we have very many illustrations of other Amendments, which are not in this Clause, the position of the Chair is going to be very difficult.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

This really does make it difficult for the Government. The Government have been sitting here listening to a very interesting Debate for two hours, and I am trying to answer doubts in the minds of hon. Members. One of the doubts in the minds of hon. Members has been whether the Committee stage is a reality, and I was simply trying to illustrate the fact that hon. Members have been helpful to me. Perhaps I had better leave it at that.

I was about to give other illustrations, which I am now unable to do, to indicate that, even from the quarter from which this Amendment was moved, the Govern- ment have received great assistance in the course of the Committee stage. I would not like to leave that out of my speech, for fear of the impression that I was giving bouquets to some quarters but not to others. The general conclusion of this has been that the Government have not, I think, ever used more often the phrase, that they will look into the point, or—what is the classical phrase of a Minister piloting through a big Measure—more frequently undertaken, at this or a later stage to examine particular matters. We have purposely done that because all of us have taken part in this Committee stage, in fashioning this great Measure together, and there has been, apart from this unfortunate incident, no dash which any of us have any cause to regret whatever.

The time comes, however, when the Government cannot use formulas to escape from issues forced upon them. The time comes when the Minister and the Government must state their views very clearly, if, as I found in my case, one cannot administer the Clause as amended. It is especially important, I think, that Ministers should be careful in fashioning this great social legislation, that they should not undertake to the Committee or the House to carry out anything they cannot perform. That was the reason why I stated so clearly my view that I was unable to accept the Amendment as moved. Now I must oppose the Clause standing part. As Minister of Education working in partnership with the local authorities and the teachers, I know that the method suggested by the hon. Lady the Member for East Islington (Mrs. Cazalet Keir), with great sincerity, was not the best method of securing equal pay for equal work.

Let us examine the Clause and the Amendment to see if I was justified in what I have done. The object of the Clause was to enforce upon local authorities the duty of paying scales agreed by the voluntary negotiating machinery—the Burnham Committee. We have depended and shall depend upon this machinery. Up to the drafting of this Clause 82, the Board had depended, in administering the question of the scales of teachers' salaries, on their grant regulations, and this Clause is an improvement on that procedure, since, under the regulations, the Board's only power to ensure that authorities pay the scales agreed by the Burnham Panels is to make deductions from the authorities' grants if they do not pay the Burnham Scales, and if, in consequence, the efficiency of education is endangered. We therefore inserted this Clause to make the payment of the scales mandatory upon the authorities. The object of this Clause was not to substitute the decision of the Minister for the free negotiating machinery by which these scales are agreed between the partners in education.

If I may digress for a moment, it is simply to say that the value of the negotiating machinery is not confined simply to the world of education. I was for a short period Under-Secretary to the Minister of Labour, and there I learned to appreciate the value of the Joint Industrial Councils and the negotiating machinery that takes place in industry. Similarly, in the world of agriculture, wages are finally decided by impartial persons. The difficulty the Government are in about the Clause as amended is that the hon. Lady's Amendment would radically alter this position, and insert it in the Clause. It would bind the Minister not to differentiate between men and women. Thus, if the recommendations of the Burnham Panel were submitted to the Minister, as they are now, with scales different for men and women, the Minister would be obliged to step in and regulate the whole wages by equalising the amount as between men and women. This would not be a position that I, for one, or the Government, would be ready to take up, and that is the reason why we are unable to administer the Clause as amended by the hon. Lady's Amendment. It would be quite another matter if the Burnham Panel were to submit recommendations, through their ordinary machinery, that men and women teachers should be paid equal rates. That is the constitutional method to adopt.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Might I ask a question? That, surely does not mean that, at any future time, if there was a general decision to have equal pay for men and women, in all Government Departments, the Ministry of Education would be devoid of any methods of obtaining it?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

May I go on with my speech, to explain the point made by the Noble Lord? I was about to say that, if hon. Members of the Committee wonder where this matter can be raised and, therefore, where this principle of equal pay for equal work can be introduced into the world of teaching, this is, I think, how the thing would work out. I can assure the Committee, from my reexamination of the question since the last Debate, that this question has been very much on the agenda, and I am informed that it is now one of the items of the salary policy of the Teachers' Elementary Panel. That means, if the Committee is interested in the matter, that they can be assured that the question is already to the fore in the world of education. It is naturally a subject of great interest to women teachers, who are in the majority. The answer to the Noble Lord's point is that it is not the Government who employ or pay the teachers. It is the local authorities who employ and pay the teachers, and I feel quite certain that it is best for this Committee not to force the authorities to pay the teachers equal salaries and make this change, but to leave it to them, the authorities and the teachers, to discuss it and agree it together.

Photo of Miss Thelma Cazalet Miss Thelma Cazalet , Islington East

May I ask one question? Does not the Government pay 60 per cent. of the grant for teachers' salaries?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I said that in the course of my speech. The Government make their grants, of which the teachers' salaries form one of the main burdens, but that does not mean that the Government are the employers of the teachers, nor does it mean that it would be right for the Government, or the teachers or the authorities, to overthrow this priceless machinery by which wages are regulated between the two sides.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Is it not the case that the employers of the teachers are the taxpayers, and that Parliament is the representative of the taxpayers and Parliament surely is the right place in which to give a lead to the local authorities and the Burnham Panel on the principles of the payment of salaries?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The ratepayers are just as much involved as the taxpayers, and I think it would be wise for the Committee to rely upon the view of the teachers themselves, and of the authorities and the Government, that it would be wrong to interfere with the method by which teachers' salaries have, with such success, been regulated for the last 25 years, and I certainly am quite unwilling to disturb that machinery, which has led to such excellent results. The truth is that the only way to influence this, is to encourage the teachers and the authorities to discuss it together, and they will discuss it much more easily together when the subject is regarded as a wider one than that involving only the world of education. It is part of a much wider question, and should be raised as a wider issue, and not decided in the course of an Amendment to the Education Bill, because, as I pointed out, by insisting on that Amendment, the Committee would be overturning the very machinery upon which we depend so much for the regulation of teachers' salaries. I think it would be wrong to upset the particular negotiating machinery by which both sides set store, in order to force the Government to declare its hand on major policy.

Surely, the best policy of the Committee is not to support this Clause as amended standing part, but to enable the Government to consider this matter as part of a wider issue, in the company and with the help of hon. Members themselves. We are here and now considering the Education Bill in Committee, before a distinguished audience, whom we are glad to welcome to our discussions, and it would be better to continue with the Education Bill and discuss these questions elsewhere on another occasion. So far as I am concerned, my interest is in the Education Bill. I think it was inappropriate to amend this Clause in the way suggested, but I have nothing to say about the motives of those who moved the Amendment. I am sure that they were actuated by the highest principles, but I think the result of their actions and of their supporters will not work out as happily as they desire. I, therefore, hope that they will support the Government in opposing the Motion, "That the Clause stand part," in the belief that the wider question must be raised in a wider way, and that the world of education will, no doubt, wish to take steps to march forward to that wider world.

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

I did not take part in that somewhat dis- organised discussion which took place before my right hon. Friend opposed the Motion now before the Committee. I have done my best to help my right hon. Friend, both before the Bill was introduced and during its consideration, and I feel that, if our personal relationships were disturbed, it would be a very serious loss to me. I hope the Minister is not going to attribute to me any sort of narrow motives. I am going to support my right hon. Friend though we were in different Lobbies on Tuesday. I believe in equal pay for equal work. My party has stood for it so many years, and has re-affirmed its view on so many occasions, that it is part of my being and it is a good democratic principle, however difficult it may be to apply in practice. But this Clause is a very simple Clause. It is devoted to one issue, that of making obligatory on all local authorities those conclusions of the Burnham Committee approved by the Minister. The Clause, therefore, is a very good Clause, and, personally, I would not like to lose it. We have carried the matter further by introducing Amendments dealing with a much wider issue and I repeat that this Bill could have gone forward before either without Clause 82 or with Clause 82. It was, perhaps, using the opportunity, not unknown in this House during the many years that I have been a Member of it, of introducing something which is really extraneous to the main purpose of a Bill. That I freely admit. This matter has been before the House on many occasions. In 1936 the Government of the day got into very serious difficulties on this question of equal pay for equal work. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security herself introduced a Bill into the House, which accepted that principle during this Parliament. Really the Government cannot absolve themselves from their responsibilities for dealing with this principle.

I would, to ease the situation, make two suggestions. The first, which I think would not be adequate in itself, is, that this general principle ought to be discussed by the House of Commons. [Interruption.] Members on the opposite side of the Committee know that I have said in private and I have said it at this Box, that I object to, general principles being determined on particular instances. Hon. Members know that I have objected to the whole question of delegated legislation being dealt with on particular Bills. I have supported the view of hon. Members opposite, that we ought to have a discussion on the principle. Delegated legislation is not a simple problem. There are different forms of it, and different methods of application. That seems to me to be sound, and I should have thought that, on this item, admitting, as I have, that perhaps this principle of equal pay for equal work was rather dragged in, the Government might, at a very early stage, let us have a discussion of the principle on the major problem. It is unfair to shackle my right hon. Friend with a responsibility which is not his—I had that in mind last Tuesday—and I would not do it. Clearly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have a voice in such an important and far-reaching matter. A discussion on the general principle is what the House desires. I believe that those who spoke in favour of the Amendment the other night were not concerned with this as a teachers' problem. The people who raised this were concerned with the principle of equality of pay.

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

That is in direct contradiction to almost the very first words of the speech of the hon. Member for East Islington (Mrs. Cazalet Keir).

Photo of Miss Thelma Cazalet Miss Thelma Cazalet , Islington East

If I had raised the issue generally, I would have been out of Order.

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

I am talking about the general trend of the speeches, as Members of the Committee know well, and the hon. Member must not try to browbeat me on this. The people who spoke had in their minds the application of the general principle. That is what they wanted. I am trying to help the hon. Lady. I would like to see an early Debate in this House on the principle. I would go further—though no doubt the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister would wish to consider this—and say that surely the time has arrived when the House of Commons, by Select Committee, or such other form of inquiry as might be thought most fitted for the purpose, should inquire into this wide range of problems affecting the equality of the sexes in employment. I believe that it would aid the Committee in the Debate to-day, if some sort of undertaking of that kind were given. Then, the position of the teachers would fall into place as part of a larger problem of the employ- ment of women. One further point I would like to make. There have been one or two occasions when I have voted against the Government. They have been very few. I accept the responsibility of my office in my party, and I have no mandate to do anything until I have further instructions from a higher authority than even hon. Members here.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

If we are to go into questions as to why everyone voted, this Debate will take a very long time. I ought to remind the Committee that we must keep as firmly as we can to the Clause itself.

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Williams, but I was not explaining the reasons why I voted on Tuesday. I was only saying that, if the Government feel that their position is endangered and that this Bill is to be endangered by the Committee insisting on the attitude taken on Tuesday, I have no authority to change it. I shall—and I always declare my intentions to the House—ask my hon. Friends to vote with me at the end of the discussion in support of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

I should like to associate myself with what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) said in the closing words of his speech, but in so far as it is in Order to do so on the Clause, I would also like to say a word in support of what the right hon. Gentleman said on the general principle. I feel sure that what I am going to say will fall upon sympathetic ears as far as the Government are concerned, and, I hope, as far as the Prime Minister is concerned. Perhaps I may have the attention of my right hon. Friend for a moment.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I thought that the Noble Lord was addressing the whole Committee and not particularly addressing me. I very often notice him engaged in active conversation himself, no doubt on public business.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

I am sorry if I appeared discourteous. I was making an appeal. I will do it in few words, and it will not interrupt any business of my right hon. Friend. It would make it much easier for those who are going to support the Government, if we could have some sort of assurance from the Government on the lines of what has just been laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, namely, that, at some not too distant date, we shall have an opportunity of putting our views before the Government on the whole question of equal pay for equal work. May I make one further personal reminder to my right hon. Friend? He will have very much in mind, as I have very much in my own recollection, the days when this question of the position of women in our polity was an embarrassment to all political parties. I say with the greatest respect to my right hon. Friend, that sooner or later, in the circumstances in which this House and the Government find themselves, the Government and the House will have to make up their minds on the main question. Is it possible to give an assurance —it may well not be—in view of the speech made by the Leader of the Labour Party, one of the most important parties supporting the Government—[Laughter]. Is that denied? What is the joke about that? If hon. Gentlemen who laugh at that wish the National Government to come to an end, let them say so. I repeat my observation, that the Labour Party is one of the important elements supporting the Government, and when the Leader of that party makes an appeal to the Government, it is, to say the least of it, discourteous of hon. Gentlemen opposite to treat that statement as being of no importance. I am sure that the Prime Minister would not take that attitude and I do not ask him to intervene personally now, but I commend to his notice what my right hon. Friend has said, and suggest that it would make the position very much easier.

The Primé Minister (Mr. Churchill):

I do not intend to detain the Committee because, owing to the Rulings that have been given as to what may be and may not be urged in this discussion—which I of course, accept with the greatest respect —I do not feel that I would be justified in attempting to unfold the arguments which I would otherwise have done to the Committee on this particular Measure and the significance attaching to it. Therefore, I will not do so, and I rise only for the purpose of assuring the Committee that my not taking part in the Debate, is not due to any want of respect for them or any desire to shirk my duty of laying before them arguments which I conceive would be likely to influence them on this occasion.

With regard to the proposal which was made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and which the Noble Lord has sustained, the position of the Government is, that until they are fortified by a Vote of Confidence from the House, taking the form of the deletion of this Clause, they do not feel entitled to embark upon promises for the future. I may say that I cannot conceive how anyone who cares about the equality of payment for equal work between men and women could feel damnified, in presenting that case in the future, by the fact that they do not to-day wish to tack it on to the end of Clause 82. Their rights remain absolutely unimpeached. Everyone knows what opportunities there are in every Session. Everyone knows that it is the duty of the Government to give effect to what is known to be the general wish of the House, even if the particular Parliamentary moments do not occur. Therefore, I say there cannot be any question of conscientious clash upon that subject but I do not wish to trespass beyond the strict limits to which it is our duty to confine ourselves, in what we say, as I am sure it will be the desire of the Committee to expedite the proceedings on this Bill.

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

May I ask the Prime Minister a simple question? I quite appreciate that he would not wish to make any statement at this moment, but the issue having been raised and having now become a public issue, if I were to ask him one day in the next series of Sittings whether the Government were prepared to consider an early Debate and, I hope, the establishment of an inquiry, would it be appropriate for me to do so?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

If I should find myself in that position, I would gladly give an answer to my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

Now we go back to Clause 82 and discuss the merits of that Clause. I understand from the statement of the Prime Minister that the wider issue can be discussed on another occasion. I want to say at once that as far as I am concerned I am quite willing and ready to delete this Clause. I have never regarded is as germane to the Bill itself. I always thought it was somewhat extraneous, and I do hope that the Minister will not attempt on a future occasion to reimpose it on us. Let this Clause go. Do not try to revive it in any form whatever. In saying that, I am quite sure I am voicing the opinion both of the teachers and, I think, of the education authorities. Let this Clause go out of the Bill as a whole. We regard it on the educational side as giving too much dictatorial power to the Minister himself. We regard it as interfering with the normal working of the Burnham Committee. I suppose I am the only Member of the House who has been a member of that Committee. It has now been working successfully for 25 years and has been a most successful instrument for arranging the salaries of teachers during that period.

I say quite bluntly that what the profession is afraid of, what the National Union of Teachers is afraid of, is that if this is carried it will break down that negotiating party. Therefore, the teachers are very concerned indeed that the Burnham Committee should remain in being in all its functions. It is not true to say that the National Union of Teachers are not in favour of equal pay, for it has put that case forward on every revision of the scale of salaries of teachers over a period. On the other side of the table, of course, are the local authorities, and they have resisted up till now the principle of equal pay. If, however, the Burnham Committee agrees to equal pay and the Government turn it down afterwards, then we can indict the Government, whatever Government is in power, but quite frankly the Burnham Committee as a whole does not want instructions given to it. The Burnham Committee wants to be free, it does not want any remit even from the Government. It wants the people round the table, the teachers on the one side and the authorities on the other side, to discuss what rates of remuneration shall be paid to the profession. I hope the Minister will correct me if I am wrong but, up till now, that body has been very successful in meeting the salaried position as far as the teachers are concerned, and I hope therefore, that the Committee will join the Government in deleting this Clause. The teachers do not want it, neither do the authorities want it, and I hope the Prime Minister will not try to reimpose it at a later stage. Let it go. Let the situation be met quite sweetly and reasonably, let the Burnham Committee resume negotia- tions, as they have in the past, and I am quite sure there will be satisfaction among the teachers.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I understand that my hon. Friend wishes the Vote of Confidence to be called off and wishes us simply to discuss the Clause.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

I am not concerned about the Vote of Confidence. I say, quite frankly, let the Clause go.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I should be very annoyed, and I am sure the Government would be annoyed if, after seeing all the backwoodsmen turning up to-day—

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

The hon. Gentleman should not talk about backwoodsmen. Many hon. Members on the back benches are doing public work and are often in the Services.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

That interruption from the Prime Minister indicates that on this matter he is getting much too sensitive. I used a term that has been common parlance in the House of Commons for all his time here, probably for a bit of his father's time, too, and it is not a term of contempt—or at least it is not entirely a term of contempt. I was really going to say that I am sure the Prime Minister would be annoyed if his more loyal, but more frequently absent Members, did not have the opportunity of indicating their 100 per cent. support for him today. I know, whether it is his view or not, that I would be annoyed if I did not have the opportunity of casting my vote against the Government. The right hon. Gentleman may remember that on the day he took office there was a Vote of Confidence then, and I challenged the wisdom of a National Government formed on the basis of a coalition of parties that had nothing much in common beyond the exigencies of that moment—

Mr. Maxtor:

I do not know that was just the issue there on that day, but we will not go into that. Certainly that was not the issue on Tuesday when the Committee, by a very narrow majority of one, at an hour much beyond our normal times of sittings, with only two-fifths of the House of Commons present, carried an Amendment that was inconvenient to the Government. I am not going to argue for one moment that this House is a bankrupt House and that when a Committee can carry a thing by one vote it has got to stand for ever and ever, however obviously awkward and inconvenient it is, for we have within our machinery the capacity to change a ad decision. I am not objecting in the least to the House taking steps to consider whether the decision on Tuesday was its wisest decision or not. I do not object to that at all. I think that the decision on Tuesday was a correct one. I am not impressed with the laudation of the Burnham Committee. I can remember that I was keenly interested in the welfare of the teaching profession when the Burnham Committee and its Scottish equivalent the Craik Committee was set up. They were set up by the authority of this House with certain terms of reference and certain rules governing their conduct. The Burnham Committee did not evolve out of struggles between the local authorities and the teachers; it was a machine created by the Government of the day through the agency of this House of Commons.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

The noble Lady may be more interested in other parts of the city than listening to me, and I would not object if she went.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I cannot accept the view either of my hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) or of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education that any Committee set up by this House—I see some hon. Members are about to go. Obviously they have still to decide their policy.

Photo of Mr Robert Bernays Mr Robert Bernays , Bristol North

I want to make it plain to the Committee why some of my hon. Friends and myself are going away. It is to make a presentation to one of our colleagues who is being married shortly.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I thought they were arranging to make up their minds to follow the normal procedure to agree to differ. Obviously the hon. Member who is remaining has not subscribed.

Photo of Sir George Schuster Sir George Schuster , Walsall

The hon. Gentleman is not quite correct. I have a better sense of values.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I apologise. This has created the atmosphere I desired. This House could never accept for one minute that a committee outside of itself, created by itself, should have such dominating power as to say to the House "No."

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have taken the opportunity of verifying the establishment of the Burnham Committees, and it appears they were established in the summer of 1918. The President of the Board at that time took the initiative of summoning a series of conferences, but the Committees were established by the teachers representatives and the authorities.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

The Burnham Committee was composed, as the right hon. Gentleman says, of representatives of teachers and of the authorities. They came together because at that time there was a great disturbance in the educational world and they wanted to prevent a series of strikes among the teachers. I led one of those strikes. The Burnham Committee then proceeded on the basis of an ordinary committee, but it is fundamentally representative of teachers and local authorities.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have summoned a good many conferences myself, but the President of the Board of Education at the time simply got the people together and they then set up the Committees on their own motion.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I modify what I said after hearing this explanation. I was misled before. There must be some difference in the attitude and status with the corresponding body in Scotland. I was a member of an education authority in Scotland and I know that, as a member of that authority, I did not walk in with an absolutely free hand to vote for whatever salary I wanted. I know I was handed a whole lot of principles that had to be observed in the establishment of scales and salaries. It would 'have been no terrible thing for this House to have said that the Burnham Committee was still the negotiating machinery, that the local authorities were still the people who were to apply the scheme and to pay the bills, but that they must be governed by this general principle that where men and women are doing equal work and have similar qualifications they must be paid at the same rate. That was a legitimate and a right and proper thing for the British House of Commons to say. Let me say this. If the Bill is to work—and I am anxious to see it through and will continue to help to see it through—it must be a real living reality. What is going to make it that is what the Prime Minister talked about on Sunday night over the air as a first-rate contribution to the post-war world. Unless your young women teachers going to these schools every morning feel that they have a job worth doing and that they are recognised as being fitted for that job the Bill is just worthless. It needs the vitality of the young women teachers of this country.

There has been much talk by the Leader of the Opposition, as he has been called, this week in reference to setting about this thing in the right way. But the House had already to face this principle this Session in reference to the compensation of men and women for civil injuries. That is the same principle on a very small scale.

Photo of Captain Edward Cobb Captain Edward Cobb , Preston

Does my hon. Friend realise that the same applies to wages? A woman would not expect to be paid less for her car which had been damaged than a man. It is a question of compensation.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I know there is a big difference between compensation and a job and you do not expect the same. There is a principle involved there. What does it cost a person to live? What does it cost a person to carry on? One of the elements is the same whether it is for injury or for employment. Therefore, I am not satisfied that the Government has made out its case. The strongest case made out is this. If the House of Commons insists on doing this, then the Burnham Committee will not break. Would that be accepted by the miners? If there is one section of the community that can easily be coerced by the Government of the day, it is the local authorities.

I do not think the Minister was right when he came to us and made this a matter of confidence. He made an error of judgment. He assumed he was going to get through on that day and he threw everything in, including himself, which, I think, was a mistake. When it was reported to the Prime Minister, he was not content with the President of the Board of Education throwing everything in; he threw everything in as well. The Committee meets to-day, not to insert the original Clause, but to wipe out the Amendment, and we are told that if we want to pursue our attitude of no confidence in the Government, we love the Germans better than our own country. I, personally, am prepared to take the risk of being misrepresented.

I want to conclude on this note. I think that a great deal of this trouble has arisen because the House of Commons has for four years—since the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister took office—not been run as the House of Commons requires to be run. We have a Government and an Opposition derived from the same sources, so that Members, to a very large extent, have got into their heads that they can be Government supporters on one day and oppositionists on another, and something different, again, on yet another. It is an unenviable alliance. I am very amused at the part which the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) has played in all this, because not so many months ago, at the time when we were discussing the Gracious Speech from the Throne, the hon. Member, on behalf of the Government, talked out the Amendment on which I and a number of my hon. Friends of the Opposition were anxious to divide the House. He gave as his reasons that he did not want to play into my hands by having a Division in this House in the face of the enemy. Well, he has come a hell of a long way since then—

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

I think the hon. Gentleman is going a little too far from Clause 82, as amended.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

The word I meant to use was "considerable." Yesterday or the day before, the hon. Member for Oxford was leader of the Opposition.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg Mr Quintin Hogg , Oxford

Mr. Hogg indicated dissent.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Take it from me, I have worked at that job. To-day, the hon. Member is one of the patient oxen. I should have thought that, having regard to who the bridegroom was, there would have been a banquet. The lesson of this week's happenings is this: that the time to resume party government in this House is more than overdue, that the time to get a Government that is a Government and an Opposition that is an Opposition, has now arrived. I know many people are restrained by the thought that it would look bad abroad, but it would only look bad for about 24 hours, for about two nights on the wireless. We must resume a genuine position, in which the parties in this country are aligned on the basis of principles. If we do that, we shall be able to get, in the House of Commons, the free expression of different trends of public thought that are disclosing themselves in the country. This huge amalgam, which has been running along for the last four years, with no common political principles at all, and which is held together purely by—

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

I hope the hon. Member will keep in Order and deal with Clause 82, as amended.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

The Ruling your predecessor gave earlier, Sir Charles, was an extended one and I recollect that the Prime Minister was very insistent that this should be a Vote of Confidence. I want to conclude by indicating that I propose to vote against the Government, because I do not think that they are now worthy of the confidence of this House. I believe it is not good for the social future of this country that the present Government should remain as they are to-day. I go so far as to say that I do not think it is the best Government to control what I hope will be the final stages of this world war. It is because I believe in equal pay for men and women, because I do not believe the House of Commons should be made subordinate to any outside Committee in its decisions, because I do not believe that the present Government, even for this purpose or any other of the major purposes that lie in front of them is the best Government, and because the Prime Minister has demanded that this shall be a Vote of Confidence, that I propose to go into the Lobby to-day to vote against that Vote of Confidence.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

I hold the view that this Clause is both a good and an important Clause from the point of view of educational progress in this country. In its original form, where it gave the Minister power to implement all the findings of the Burnham Committee with regard to salaries it was doing something which is very necessary and in its amended form, by which equal pay is to be given to women teachers, it was rendering a service to educational progress. I cannot agree with those who say that the question of equal pay for men and women teachers is something extraneous to the Bill. If this Bill is to be carried out we know very well that we shall require a large number of teachers. The number of those teachers is important but of equal importance is their quality. By agreeing to equal pay to women teachers we shall be doing an act of justice to the majority of teachers who are already in our schools. I believe that that act would encourage them in their tasks. We also want to attract more able women into the teaching profession. At the present time the profession, both for men and women, is underpaid but it is especially true as regards women teachers. By making the pay of women teachers equal to that of men you would be increasing substantially their remuneration and removing the sense of inferiority of status which obtains at the present time.

Photo of Mr Oswald Lewis Mr Oswald Lewis , Colchester

Does my hon. Friend think that women's wages would be put up? There is nothing hi the Amendment to say so.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

I am quite satisfied that if the purpose of those who voted for the Amendment was implemented it would mean a substantial increase in the present rate of pay of women teachers, because they would, at least, be placed on the same scale as men. I also believe that by giving equal pay to women teachers you would be taking a long step towards bringing about greater unity among the teaching profession. You cannot have unity in a profession where you have men and women paid on different scales, and I consider that it is in the interests of education that this should be brought about.

It is, therefore, extremely hard that, holding the views I do about the value and the importance of the Clause, I should be asked by the Government to agree that it should be deleted. Their argument for doing this is that the question of equal pay for men and women teachers cannot be treated in isolation. I am prepared to accept that, but what is sauce for the Government goose is also sauce for the back bench gander and, if they cannot regard this question in isolation, neither can I regard in isolation the vote that I am asked to give. A Latin quotation comes to my mind—facilis descensus Averno. "Easy is the descent to Hell." I am asked by the Government to enter on a slippery slope. I am asked to do something that I have never done as a Member of this House, to vote against something that I believe in, and if the Government ask me, for reasons which they consider good, to do this, I feel that I have a right to appeal to them to do two things. The first is that they will pause before they ask Members of this House to vote again against things in which they believe, and the second is that they will bring before the Burnham Committee what took place on Tuesday night, and the views expressed by the Committee, and ask them to give consideration to this question of equal pay for men and women. I am not asking them to instruct the Burnham Committee or to be bound by their decision, but the least the Government can do after what has taken place is to ask the Burnham Committee to do something they have not done before and that is to give consideration to this question. If the Government would agree to do that I believe that those who will vote for them to-day because it has been treated as a Vote of Confidence will find it easier to do so.

Photo of Reverend James Barr Reverend James Barr , Coatbridge

I entirely agree with what has fallen from the last speaker. I am also unable to take action to-day which would cancel the vote that I cast the other night. I also entirely agree with the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) when he says in, effect that, if there had been a willing mind on the part of the Government, they could have overcome all the difficulties about the Burnham Committee. I disagree with what has fallen, I think from the right hon. Gentleman who was leading the Opposition, when he said we must settle these things not on particular questions but on general principles. It was said that we must first of all take up the wider issue. To that my reply is, that in my reading of history great reforms have been begun as a rule in individual cases. Particular questions have often come in a haphazard way and created anomalies which have had to be rectified by those concerned in other questions and other industries. So I hope very strongly that we shall not be called upon to cancel out what we did on Tuesday.

It might perhaps have been an argument for cancelling it out, if we had been able to say it was a snatch Division. I do not believe it was. It was a large Division, and it had been advertised in our House of Commons Papers. The Amendment had been on the Paper for a long time. It was no incidental vote that I gave. I belong to a Church which gives equal rights, as well as equal pay, to men and women and which has opened up all offices, including the pulpit, to women on equal terms with men. I am proud to say that my own daughter walks into a pulpit every Sunday, and I am proud to say that in her examinations at Glasgow University she took the Degree of Bachelor of Divinity with distinction, which is only awarded to one or two candidates in the course of a year. This is no new subject to me, is very dear to my heart and, for that very reason, I cannot now wipe out even in this roundabout way the vote that I gave.

Another reason that might be given for expunging the Clause is that the Amendment was carried by a majority of only one. Some of the greatest events in the country's history were carried by a majority of only one. In the pages of Macaulay you will find one of the most graphic descriptions that we have of the scene in the House of Commons when the first Reform Bill on 21st March, 1831, was carried by 302 votes to 301. That is one of the great outstanding advances in our country. I hope that, even in this roundabout way, this Clause will be a new milestone in our country's history and in acclaiming the rights of women.

I see that we are getting names thrown at us in the public Press. We are "rebels." Rebels against what? Rebels against our own past? Surely not. We are not rebels against our lifelong testimony and actions in this regard. Some of the Press goes further and hints that we are traitors to our country's cause. I would say of myself and of the Government what the Battle Song of the Civil War says of John Brown of Harper's Ferry: They hanged him for a traitor, themselves the traitor crew;But his soul goes marching on‡

Photo of Sir George Schuster Sir George Schuster , Walsall

I rise only to make one point which I should have made on the Motion "That the Clause stand part" even if all this interruption had not occurred. This Clause deals with the salaries of teachers. We have had our attention diverted by the claim for equality, a principle with which I sympathise, but there is a much more important issue, and that is the whole question of the salaries and status of teachers, both men and women. I know that we cannot ask for a promise from my right hon. Friend to-day, but I want to put on record a strong request that when we get the McNair Report, which I understand we are likely to get very soon, we shall have an opportunity in the House to discuss the whole question of the salaries and status of the teaching profession. That is the key to the success of this scheme which we are starting.

I had not meant to say anything on the question that has been so much in controversy. I speak as one who is an unrepentant supporter of my hon. Friend in what he thought was right on Tuesday and in what the Government have done to-day. I should like to have had the opportunity to explain my reasons, but I am sure that you, Sir Charles, would find difficulty in allowing me the latitude allowed the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton).

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

I cannot allow that to be said. It is not true.

Photo of Sir George Schuster Sir George Schuster , Walsall

I meant no reflection on the Chair. May I put it in this way, that I would not feel myself qualified to run so near the limits as my hon. Friend did. I have not the same skill as he has. But I want to make one point because it enables me to pay a tribute to the teachers. I felt that it was not fair to ask me as a Member of this House to express a judgment on the Amendment on Tuesday, because I regarded it as outside the principle of the Bill, as a question on which I was not fully instructed, on which I had had no representation from my constituency, and on which I did not know their views. I felt that there were all sorts of implications as to which I desired to be fully informed before I gave a judgment. I have tried, and I know that there are a great many other Members who have tried, to inform myself on all the phases of the Education Bill. I have kept in constant touch with my constituency and have had meetings with teachers. I had a meeting only on Saturday with representatives of the National Union of Teachers. Nobody raised this question. I think that a tribute should be paid to the teachers whom I have seen because, in all the discussions I have had with them, they have been interested in only one thing, that there should be as good as possible a system of education for the children, They have never raised with me the question of their own status. I do not say that this is a question that ought not to be raised, and I got up in order to put in my plea that at the right time it shall be raised and discussed in its full setting, with regard not only to women teachers, but to men teachers also, so that we may make the teaching profession one of the most honoured and attractive professions in the country.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The other day when the Division took place I had not spoken in the Committee on the issue, because I felt that anything I wanted to say had already been said effectively by many other hon. Members. Something has happened since then which entitles me to make an observation on the principle at stake. The circumstances in which this Debate has taken place to-day have had one or two good consequences. It has given an enormous amount of publicity to this principle, and it has brought to the House many Members who I did not know were Members of the House. I am very glad to see them, and I think they ought to thank some of us for being the occasion of their presence. I am disappointed that the Prime Minister was not able to speak. I was not surprised because I am bound to remind the Committee that I used these words yesterday. I challenged the right hon. Gentleman to sustain certain arguments, and said: He will not do so in the forthcoming Debate because he will not speak in it. The reason why he will not speak is that he does not know anything about the issues before the House, and he cannot talk about anything outside those issues."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th March, 1944; col. 1486, Vol. 398.] I was perfectly convinced yesterday that we would be denied the benefit of the Prime Minister's eloquence to-day. [An HON. MEMBER: "He did speak."] He did not speak. He only spoke in the same way as the hon. Member is speaking now. I want to challenge the President of the Board of Education on his central argument, and I think that I will be able to show that there is nothing in it. He says that if the principle of equal pay is ac- cepted it will be administratively impossible to operate it, and that he resisted it on Tuesday for that reason.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I resisted it because I was not prepared to operate it. I think it is administratively possible to operate anything, but what I am not prepared to do is to operate this.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I think I am within the recollection of the Committee that, both on Tuesday and to-day, the right hon. Gentleman said that it was administratively too difficult. What does that mean? I want hon. Members to face the implication of that statement. It was administratively too difficult because it would impose a limitation upon the Burnham Committee. Some hon. Members have said to-day, and the right hon. Gentleman has said, that it would he all right to discuss this matter as an abstract principle but not in connection with the Education Bill. If we carry it as an abstract principle, is it made administratively possible to operate it? What does the right hon. Gentleman mean? Suppose we decide that we are to have equality of pay in the public services: does the fact that we carry the principle abstractly mean that it becomes administratively possible to carry it out, but that if we carry it concretely it does not? I invite the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman said: I have been put in a difficult position, and it would be much worse for me to undertake to do what I know I cannot conscientiously carry out."—[OFFICIAL, REPORT, 28th March, 1944; col. 1,389, Vol. 398.] I think the Committee will agree with me that the point that I am putting is one of substance. We know how some hon. Members and right hon. Members are always ready to say: "I should like to discuss this matter some other time." Oh, the brave music of a distant drum. It is always the other battle and never this one; always some other time, and never this time. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee whether, if the House of Commons carried, as an abstract principle, the desirability of equality, he would accept the wishes of the House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]

Hon. Members are proposing to vote for the Government on the ground that the principle of equality of pay ought not to be attached to the Education Bill. They would support the principle in its general form. Right you are. I will put the matter from another angle. If hon. Members who propose to excuse themselves in that spurious fashion subsequently have the opportunity of voting for the general principle, and the House carries it—I again challenge the right hon. Gentleman —does the right hon. Gentleman inform the Committee that he would resign rather than operate it? I await an answer. The fact of the matter is that the right hon. Gentleman is not honest with the Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] That is being dishonest. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I say that the right hon. Gentleman is not being honest with the Committee, because, in point of fact, he has referred over and over again to the administrative difficulties of operating this principle without giving a specific argument at all in favour of it. The answer is that he is against equality of pay. The real answer is that most hon. Members are against equality of pay, and that the Government are using their whole prestige as a Government against the principle of equality of pay. If not, why do they not accept the verdict? The right hon. Gentleman laughs, but he cannot answer.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

If the hon. Member will give way I will answer for my right hon. Friend. What he said was that he could not conscientiously recommend the Committee to adopt a princple that he could not carry out. That was very fair. There was nothing dishonest about it. It was an honest reply.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

That is precisely the point I was making. If the House decides on the general principle that equality of pay is desirable, does it then become administratively possible? [Interruption.] We know the capacity of the hon. Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison) to rescue the right hon. Gentleman from a difficulty.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

We are left with the position that hon. Members who say that they want to discuss this matter as an abstract principle are really excusing themselves on very spurious grounds. [HON. MEMBERS: "Do not point."]

Photo of Sir George Schuster Sir George Schuster , Walsall

Is the hon. Gentleman referring to me? I see that he is point- ing to me. That is not exactly my position, but he was pointing at me. I can understand the position of a Member who said that he was going to vote for the principle of equal pay because he wanted the view of the Committee passed across to the Burnham Committee. That is quite a different thing from asking the Minister to take power to impose his view on the Burnham Committee.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The hon. Gentleman has not really illumined the matter any further. There is nothing that the Burnham Committee can do to make it more administratively possible to operate a principle voluntarily adopted by them than to operate it when the same principle is imposed upon that Committee by the Minister.

Photo of Sir George Schuster Sir George Schuster , Walsall

We are talking of the relations between the Minister and the Burnham Committee.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I do not disagree with that for a moment, but I wanted it put on record that hon. Members who always want to discuss these matters at some other time are, in fact, running away. The second point is, that we are informed that the Burnham Committee would be allowed to adopt the principle for themselves. If the Burnham Committee, on application either from the local authorities or from the teachers' representatives, adopted the principle, we are informed that the Government would not resist it. Is that true? This is very important. Suppose the House of Commons has not adopted it, but the free use of the Burnham machinery undertakes it; we are informed on this side of the Committee, we have had assurances, that the Government will not resist the principle. Is that true? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] I am prepared to give way. I understand that the Minister is not going to reply to my question, so that on this side of the Committee we must conclude that the assurances that we have received are inaccurate. [AN HON. MEMBER: "There were no assurances at all from the Government."] We have received on this side of the Committee, and indeed it is implied in the whole argument of the Government, that it is not the House of Commons that should decide this matter but the free use of the negotiating machinery available to the teaching profession.

Photo of Mr Robert Morgan Mr Robert Morgan , Stourbridge

I understand that the Bill gives mandatory power to the Burnham Committee.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

That is not the point that I am asking about. I am asking whether if the Burnham Committee reported that it was going to adopt this principle, the Government would then resist it. We have been told that the Government will accept it. This is a very serious matter, because in that case my charge of dishonesty is wholly established, seeing that the main reason given by the Minister is that he does not want to interfere with the Burnham Committee machinery. If, therefore, the Burnham Committee machinery adopts it and he resists it, then his argument is dishonest. [Interruption.] I will deal with the hon. Member in a moment, but that is one of the reasons why we are in this difficulty, because the National Union of Teachers has not done its job. If it had it would have got better conditions for its women teachers long ago.

Photo of Sir Charles MacAndrew Sir Charles MacAndrew , Bute and Northern

We are dealing with Clause 82 as amended.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

That is the only thing I was talking about, about the Burnham Committee and the principle of equality of pay contained in the Clause. I know very well that Members opposite do not like it. The fact is that the Government have been dodging the whole matter. What does the right hon. Gentleman say in effect? We are informed that the N.U.T. have, in fact, asked over and over again for the same pay for women teachers, but they have not got that.

Photo of Viscountess Nancy Astor Viscountess Nancy Astor , Plymouth, Sutton

Stop quarrelling, and let us get on.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

What, then, is the position that has been maintained by the right hon. Gentleman opposite? It is this, that if a county council decides on equality of pay the House of Commons can accept it, but the House of Commons must not decide it.

Photo of Mr Bartle Bull Mr Bartle Bull , Enfield

Even the Chairman has gone out.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Now we have got a fresh Chairman. Members of the Government and the supporters of the Government have, ever since this incident started, denigrated the status of the House of Commons more than ever before. It will be a remarkable encouragement to all the women in the Forces that we have opposite a lot of frivolous incompetents. We are now informed that if the employers' side of the Burnham Committee, who are the local authorities, decide to agree to the principle of equality of pay and go to the Burnham Committee and accept the application of the N.U.T. that we are to understand that the House of Commons will adopt it. So that a county council can adopt a principle which the House of Commons is denied the right to adopt. That is exactly where we are.

We subscribe 60 per cent. of the cost of education and the body which finds 40 per cent.—for teachers—can decide a principle that it is undesirable for the House of Commons to pronounce upon. That is what the right hon. Gentleman is telling the Committee. That is what the Prime Minister is telling the House of Commons. That is what the House of Commons is asked to accept. Furthermore, it goes even beyond this, because I have heard some of my hon. Friends and right hon. Friends on this side saying that such a decision here would make nonsense of 120 years of trade union history. It has been said that it is undesirable for the House of Commons to lay down principles or limitations which interfere with the free negotiating machinery evolved between employers and workpeople. What becomes of the miners' minimum wage; what becomes of hours of labour; what becomes of trade boards, of agricultural wages, the Catering Bill, and what becomes of the Minister of Labour's principle of the rate for the job? He shook his head very angrily the other day because his poor followers here are actually in favour of operating the thing he has been a propagandist about for years.

What is the matter with the Government? What is wrong? What is wrong is this: it is not that this is done in the wrong way, but that there are a large number of Members opposite who just do not want it at all. They want cheap woman labour. They want to perpetuate the inequality of the sexes, because it provides cheap woman labour and keeps down the level of the rate for man labour too. The reason why the industrial organisations of this country are in favour of equality for women is that they do not want women to cut down the men's rates, which might happen if the labour market becomes depressed as it has been before. Therefore, we on this side of the House stand by this principle, because it is an umbrella we put over our heads against the prospect of industrial depression. The Government will not have it. I say therefore that on any count the Committee ought to-day to vote against the Government on this matter because, and this applies particularly to the Labour Party, it is not we who have made this a Vote of Confidence at all. It is the Government who have done that. Certainly the Labour Ministers in the Government have approved it, but then I am beginning to wonder to what extent Labour Ministers are exerting any influence at all over Government policy. They have run away in this instance as they have run away over all the others. I say it would be a very good thing for the vitality of representative institutions in Great Britain, certainly a source of encouragement for millions of men and women, if the House of Commons exerted itself, and on this particular occasion voted against the Government, and said that this much-needed reform must be put on the Statute Rook, and that all organisations should adapt themselves to it afterwards.

Photo of Viscountess Nancy Astor Viscountess Nancy Astor , Plymouth, Sutton

All I want to say is that although we feel very strongly about this matter we know perfectly well that no speech in this Committee will change the mind of the Government, so I want the Committee, for its own sake, to divide and let Ministers get on with their work and with the Bill.

Photo of Sir Arthur Baxter Sir Arthur Baxter , Wood Green

I will not stand between the Committee and the Division for more than a minute. This Vote of Confidence is being discussed in at atmosphere quite unworthy of a Vote of Confidence. Here we are, at a most critical moment in the war, with our Forces about to hurl themselves into the final battle against the enemy, with our Allies, the neutrals, and our enemies asking where this nation stands. Here are practically all Members of the House anxious to go into the Lobby and loyally express our confidence in the Prime Minister and our gratitude for all that he has done.

Photo of Captain Edward Cobb Captain Edward Cobb , Preston

May I ask with what part of the Clause the hon. Member is dealing?

Photo of Sir Arthur Baxter Sir Arthur Baxter , Wood Green

I am not concerned with the interruptions or lamentations of a party hack, such as the hon. and gallant gentleman who has just spoken. We are being herded into the Lobby. The interruption by the hon. and gallant Gentleman only emphasises the relevancy of what I have to say. We are being drummed into the Lobby to-day, when we wanted to go there in quite another spirit. This Committee, rightly or wrongly, took a decision the other day on something which was selected by the Chair for debate. The only terms now offered to us who voted against it are these: Without argument by the Government we must eat our words. That, I think, is not worthy of the Government. The public so often say that the House consists of a lot of rubber stamps. The Government are saying to the public, "You are quite right, and we will prove it." Again I say that that is unworthy. May I ask the Leader of House, as I would ask the Prime Minister if he were here, whether, in order to add dignity to this whole occasion, and to safeguard the dignity of the House itself, he will, on behalf of the Government, say that it is necessary—I know that this point has been already made—for this Education Bill to proceed without the complication of the Amendment which was carried the other day, but that the Government are impressed by. the carrying of this Amendment, that they will bear it closely in mind, consider it in Cabinet, and go as far as they can to tell us that what this House decides the Government do not throw aside without some consideration? Will the Leader of the House then say, in a sentence or two, that he asks us to go into the Lobby to express our confidence in the Prime Minister and the Government? Even if he has to break some rule of the Committee to do it, let him say that, and be called to Order. That will raise the whole tone of this Debate from the trivial level to which it has descended.

Hon. Members:

Divide.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

It is all very well for hon. Members to say "Divide," but there happen to be exactly seven hon. Members in this House who have had the courage to declare over and over again, quite unequivocally, that they have no confidence in this Government, not on one individual issue or another, but as a matter of consistent principle. As well as those seven of us, there is a number of hon. Members who from time to time pretend to oppose the Government when they are in fact supporting it, and a certain number of others who pretend to support it when they in fact oppose it. But there are only seven in this House who quite steadily and consistently oppose the Government. [An HON. MEMBER: "Do the electors of Barnstaple oppose the Government?"]

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

There is nothing about Barnstaple in this Clause.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

Does the hon. and gallant Member want to put a point of Order?

Photo of Commander Sir Peter Agnew Commander Sir Peter Agnew , Camborne

No, it is not a point of Order.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

Then perhaps we might allow the hon. Baronet to continue his speech.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

I cannot give exact figures, but the seven of us to whom I am referring represent something like half the electors of this country to-day. [Laughter.] Laugh if you will, but it is a plain statement of fact that in one by-election after another—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

There is nothing about by-elections in this Clause. The hon. Baronet must restrict his remarks to the Clause, as other hon. Members have done.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

We know that we are speaking on behalf of far more people than is suggested by our numbers here, and we say, quite plainly, that we have no confidence in the basic principles on Which this Government operate. [Interruption.] I am willing to give way to the Chair, and I have done so, but it would expedite matters if the functions of the Chair were not usurped by so many other Members. Of these principles this Clause is just one of the symptoms. What have we had in these last few days? The Committee, after hearing the sort of argument which the President of the Board of Education has put before it, decides that it wants equal pay for men and women teachers. The Government come to the Committee now, and say, "You cannot have equal pay for men and women teachers." The point which I want to put, which nobody has put up to now, is that it is not an accident that this Government say, "You cannot have equal pay for men and women teachers." It would be impossible to grant equal pay for men and women teachers without leading on inexorably to a position in which you would have to challenge the wrong principles which this Government exist to maintain, and the wrong principles which will he made the basis of peace under this Government.

There is an inexorable connection between these things. You cannot start equal pay for men and women teachers without knowing that you have to grant equal pay throughout the whole of the Civil Service within a very short time. Meanwhile, the business of government becomes more and more tangled up with the whole of industry and that will happen no matter which party is in power. Therefore, you cannot give it throughout the whole of the Civil Service without knowing that you are committed to equal pay for men and women throughout the whole of our national life. I do not want to argue this point at great length, but I am going to take enough time to state what I believe to be the views and the principles of a very large section of the men and women who are fighting and working in this war effort.

If we find ourselves up against this principle of unequal pay for men and women, and if we want to get to the condition in which we have equal pay for men and women, we must be prepared to examine the principles on which our forefathers thought it right that men should have greater pay than women. Let us just consider this. The unequal pay of men and women is based on the principle that it is the individual responsibility of the male to carve out of the community, by his individual efforts, enough money or—[Interruption]. I do not think the mood of the Committee now, or at the time when some other hon. Members were speaking, does this House any credit. [Interruption.] To turn these matters into occasions for hilarity is not a credit to hon. Members. To go back to the point, it has been assumed in the past, in considering all wages, that the male is, individually, responsible for carving out a family income for himself and his family, and it has been assumed that, when a female comes into the labour market, she is to be treated as someone who will either remain single all her life, and will therefore have no dependants, or she will, quickly, creep under the protecting shoulder of some male who will provide the necessary money for her and for the family. These are the principles which have been accepted in the past, and upon which the party opposite now wants to continue to act. Unfortunately, the facts of the situation do not fit these principles any longer. We have to advance to new principles, and this is a point upon which I do not want to spend too much time because I think it is conceded by everyone who has given sufficient attention to these problems. The principle of equal pay for men and women is absolutely dependent upon the acceptance of family allowances. When I say family allowances, I do not mean a trivial—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I think there is nothing about family allowances in this Clause, and it is really carrying illustrations too far for hon. Members to bring in anything of that sort just now.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

If that is your view, Mr. Williams, it will necessarily take me some little time to explain—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

. My Ruling is that family allowances are outside the scope of the Clause, and therefore the hon. Member should not discuss them now.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

May I ask whether on a Clause about equal pay, the hon. Member is not allowed to show how equal pay can be made practical policy?

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

That may be the hon. Lady's opinion. It is my opinion that the question does not arise on this Clause.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

I am not going to challenge your Ruling, Mr. Williams, but it surely is the fact that, as long as there is any trace of the past in the minds of this Committee, you are acting on the old principle that the male is responsible for carving out an income which will support the family; and as long as that principle is accepted as fundamental, it is perfectly childish to talk about equal pay for men and women. Either you are going to run this country on the basis of continuing into the future this principle, which seemed good enough to our ancestors, or you are going to accept the new principle of equal pay for men and women. If you try to do both these things, if you go forward while retaining any trace of the idea that each individual male has this continuing responsibility, you will find yourselves in this inescapable situation—that all unmarried adults and all childless couples will be grossly overpaid, while all parents of families will be grossly underpaid. [HON. MEMBERS "Family allowances."] Speaking as a Socialist I accept absolutely the inescapable rule that you cannot eat your cake and have it. If you are going to give women more and more, to bring them up to the level of men, simply treating men and women as equals, that must mean, if you leave it all by itself, that there is sufficient available for the support of families, as such.

Although it has been a little difficult for me, I hope I have established the point. In fact, it comes to a good deal more than this. You are going to embark upon equal pay for men and women with its inescapable commitments of family allowances, but you are, in fact, engaged upon a complete re-adjustment and re-allocation of the incomes of the entire population of this country.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Member cannot enlarge on the whole question of the incomes of the population, and I must ask him to keep to the point of the Clause.

Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

As the hon. Member is evincing such a passionate interest in favour of women receiving equal pay with that of men, can he say why none of his party was here to support the Amendment?

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

At the moment I am saying what are some of the inescapable consequences of equal pay.

Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

The inescapable past.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

On a point of Order. Would it be possible to have a little more silence in the Committee, as many of us are anxious to listen to this really epoch-making speech by the hon. Member in possession of the Committee? Would it be possible to listen in silence, as it is of great value and importance to us all, to hear what he has to say?

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

It is not possible for me to judge the value of the speech, but probably it would help if we had a little more silence.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

On this little issue of equal pay for men and women, many people would have expected the Government to say, "If the House is against us, we will accept the verdict and carry out the policy according to the democratic wishes of the House." But this little issue has been elevated to the status of a Vote of Confidence in the Government, and in my view one is entitled to show how this apparently trivial incident is linked inescapably to the bad principles which the party opposite exist to maintain. In treating this as a Vote of Confidence, we welcome it as such, treat it as such and intend to vote against the Government precisely because we have no confidence whatever in a Government who maintain these principles. I believe, the matter having been raised on such an issue, it is relevant to show, as I think I was showing, that this absolutely trivial—[Interruption]—I am sorry, I withdraw that—this relatively small point, does lead on to the necessity of making a complete re-adjustment of the incomes of millions of citizens, some of which, particularly those of parents, will need to be adjusted relatively upwards, and some of which, particularly those of young men and young women who are not married or who are childless, will need an adjustment which will be relatively downwards.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Member is getting back again on to the wider ground. I ask the hon. Member to realise that this is a rather small point and not an occasion on which to open up a whole series of platform speeches.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

This is just my complaint. The House of Commons, which is supposed to determine the very principles on Which our country shall be governed, is confronted, over and over again, with a series of relatively unimportant little issues, which are put before it in such a way that, without any disrespect to the Chair the Chair is obliged to rule that the issue shall be discussed within blinkers. Any attempt to bring us face to face with fundamental principles which underlie the trivial little issues we are discussing day after day is invariably frustrated by the way in which these issues are presented. I am only going to say this in conclusion—

Hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

On a point of Order. Obviously this Committee cannot be expected to sit and listen to any speech silently without interjection and in perfect order but surely an hon. Member of this House representing a minority, and unpopular, view in the House is entitled to the protection of the Chair against the misbehaviour of hon. Members opposite who are trying to rescue their own Ministers, some of whom are hardly ever here, from embarrassment.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) has asked me whether the hon. Baronet needs protection. I can assure him that, as far as I am concerned, I ask the Committee to allow the hon. Member to finish his speech with quietness and attention.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

I thank you, Mr. Williams, for the protection which I have received at your hands and I appreciate the Ruling which you have been obliged to give because of the particular way this comes before us. I only want to point out again that the House of Commons is getting into the dangerous position of endlessly discussing little incidents without coming to a decision on wider issues. The reason why the Conservative Party is unable to give equal pay to women and men teachers is because, to do that would throw into issue the whole problem of the distribution of national income and would expose to a searching examination a whole set of principles which the party opposite do not want to be exposed. It would bring under challenge the whole question of the distribution of incomes by which some people, without reference to service or needs, are drawing pounds and pounds per day, while next to nothing is available to mothers of families and children, because of this inequality of pay and the absence of decent treatment for children generally—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Member really must keep within the Clause and not use this illustration for that purpose.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

I thank you, Mr. Williams, for the liberty you have given me, and the Committee for their considerate hearing of what I have had to say. I would hardly be able to sum it up again without being called to Order, but I have made my point.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

I rise, if it is still in Order and not out of taste, to refer to Clause 82, to ask my right hon. Friend a question because I want to come back to his original speech and particularly that of the speech made by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove). Speaking, I presume, with the full authority of the National Union of Teachers the hon. Member said to my right hon. Friend, "I hope we shall never see this Clause back in the Bill." The President of the Board said just now that he had brought nothing into this Bill which was not fully thought out before, so I presume that this Clause was brought in with the full knowledge of a very important contracting power, the National Union of Teachers. It is really a travesty if we have to go back and think out again a Clause of the Bill after all the trouble that my right hon. Friend has taken to get it inserted as Clause 82. I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson), the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) that this Clause gives the President of the Board authority because he pays 60 per cent. of the money and entitles him to say to local authorities and teachers "The House of Commons takes this or that view." Speaking from some inside knowledge, I think the President of the Board has given guidance to the Burnham Committee in the past. There is nothing novel in that. Obviously he does it with great discretion. If this were the place I would give more precise examples. Therefore, I do not think the President of the Board ought to be quite so cavalier in dismissing the obligations which rest on him because, after all, we pay 60 per cent. and he has placed local education authorities under his direction and control.

I want to raise this point and I am very glad to see the Chancellor of the Exchequer here. I have already said that this Bill will not work on its present financial basis. I cannot go into that question at this time but what is to happen? This Amendment, as far as I am con- cerned, had nothing whatever to do with the issues outside education. That is why I say that my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham was dead right. I do not believe you can make this Bill work unless you have a greater incentive to bring in women teachers. Secondly, I do not believe it will work unless you change the relation between central and local finance. Supposing next week we have a Division on that matter. I personally hope that my right hon. Friend is going to find accommodations beforehand. But I warn the Government on this point, that if we conscientiously believe that Clause 93 might militate against the success of the Bill and there is a Division of 117–116—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Member cannot discuss that here.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

No, Mr. Williams, I realise I have gone as far as I can. At any rate there is the issue and I wish the President were here although I know he has to get a cup of tea—

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

My right hon. Friend has sat in here from the commencement of the Debate and neither he nor I, have had lunch or tea to-day.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

I am in the same position. Perhaps my hon. Friend would be good enough to convey these remarks to the President? I am not worried at the moment. Unlike other hon. Members I am going to do the absurd thing and give a Vote of Confidence in the Government on the deletion of this Clause, but I am, at the moment, discussing a Clause which is before the Committee. I say that if the President is going to treat this Clause in the way in which his speech indicated to-day, he must expect further Debate and I hope that between now and then he will consider some of the very powerful arguments raised by my hon. Friend to-day which have nothing at all to do with the Vote of Confidence but which deal with education and local government. Because I hope that may shorten any further Debate, which I certainly want to do, I will sit down at this point.

Photo of Mr Robert Morgan Mr Robert Morgan , Stourbridge

There are many of us in this Commitee who are very anxious to get on with the Bill. This Clause has been discussed from every possible angle.

Would it be in Order now to move that the Question be now put?

Photo of Mr Robert Morgan Mr Robert Morgan , Stourbridge

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

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

The Committee proceeded to a Division, and there being no Member willing to act as Teller for the Ayes, The CHAIRMAN declared that the Noes had it.

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

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I rise to say that I intend to vote for the Government to-day, and to state the reasons that lead me to do so. In the first place, I take the view that the promoters of the Amendment, on Tuesday, were not well advised in the ground that they chose to fight upon. The Amendment which was then moved not merely supplemented, but superseded, the ordinary wage negotiation machinery of the teaching profession. Now, while I hold that this House is properly a Court of Appeal when ordinary wage machinery fails to solve the problem, I do not think it should be appealed to until the ordinary wage machinery has first been tried. In the second place, I doubt whether this Bill was the appropriate occasion for the raising of the general issue of equal pay for equal work. That issue is one that does not affect only the teaching profession; it affects all State civil servants, and local government servants, as well as the teaching profession, and it has reactions throughout industry. In the third place, I regard the moving of this Amendment as putting, on the doorstep of the President of the Board of Education, a baby which did not properly belong to him. First, last, and all the time, this issue of equal pay is not a Board of Education issue. It is a Treasury issue. And it is the Treasury with whom we have to deal on this issue of equal pay.

For those reasons, I take the view that the promoters of the Amendment were not well advised in their choke of ground. [An HON. MEMBER: "It was in Order."] A thing can be in Order, but it can, at the same time, be ill advised; and my submission is that that choice of ground was ill-advised. But if the promoters of the Amendment were ill-advised, I do not think the Government emerge, with any greater credit. Why were we discussing this the other day? Because Government after Government declined to take any notice of the House of Commons on this equal pay issue. Twice within the last 20 years this House, by a majority vote, has declared itself in favour of equal pay for men and women in the public service. If we were discussing this the other day, the only reason was that Government after Government has ignored what the House of Commons has had to say on this issue. If we are discussing it to-day—and we are—the main reason is that there were absent from this House the other day about 200 Tory Members of Parliament, who come here only when the Government are in danger through their own previous absenteeism.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The hon. Gentleman is not in Order now.

Photo of Mr William Guy Mr William Guy , Poplar South Poplar

Why was the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Brown) not present on that occasion?

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

If the hon. Member knows, why does he ask me?

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I think we must let this point drop.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

We are asked to-day to undo what was done the other day. We are asked to cast out of the Bill an Amendment which was imported into it two days ago. I wish very much that the Government had not asked us to do this. There were other ways in which the Government could have handled the situation. There is, on the Order Paper, a Motion dealing with equal pay in the public service, signed by a large number of Members. I shall not discuss the merits of that Motion, but I want to point out that, if the Government had desired to take note of the sense of the House the other day, it could have made a statement something like this.

Photo of Mr William Guy Mr William Guy , Poplar South Poplar

It would have shown where the hon. Member was.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I do not mind the hon. Member's earnestness; I merely deplore his inarticulateness.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I hope the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Brown) will be allowed to go on with his speech.

Major Proctor:

The hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Brown) did not tell us why he was not here the other day to put that point of view, which would have been effective then.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

The answer is very simple—

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

On a point of Order. Are we not in danger, in this present atmosphere, of making ourselves perfectly ridiculous in the eyes of the country? I think the hon. Member should be allowed to develop his case.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I have already said that the hon. Member should be allowed to make his speech without interruptions.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I do not mind the interruptions, provided I can hear what they are, so that I can answer them. I was challenged on why I was not present when the vote was taken the other day—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

That is not in Order.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

In that case I will take the opportunity of imparting, in private to the hon. and gallant Member for Accrington (Major Procter) the information which I am forbidden to give him in public. I was suggesting that the Government would have taken another line. I was saying that there is a Motion on the Order Paper, signed by many Members, in favour of equal pay for men and women in the public service, and that if the Government had desired simultaneously to preserve their position on the Education Bill, and, at the same time, to take notice of the view of the House, what they could have done was to make a statement something like this: "This issue of equal pay is wider than the teaching profession. We will therefore arrange, before the Report Stage of the Education Bill is reached, for a discussion on the principle of equal pay, either on the Motion which appears on the Order Paper, or in some other way. The House will determine its view about that issue of its principle, and in accordance with its decision we will then come back to the Education Bill, and qualify it or amend it to make it correspond with the sense of the House." If that had been done, there would have been no Parliamentary crisis at all to-day. The Government could have taken account of the view of the House, and progress on the Education Bill would not have been delayed. [An HON. MEMBER: "The democratic method."] That would have been not merely the democratic method but, I submit, the commonsense method of dealing with the situation created the other day. But the Government take another line. They tell us we must eat our own words, and regurgitate our own deeds, as a condition of demonstrating confidence in them.

Photo of Mr George Reakes Mr George Reakes , Wallasey

Is the hon. Member prepared to eat his words?

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I do not know which is more embarrassing in this Committee, one's friends or one's opponents. It seems to me that the line the Government are asking us to take raises two issues. The first is the freedom of the House of Commons to express itself on a domestic issue such as this. And the second is whether the line the Government ask us to adopt, that is, to treat this as a Vote of Confidence, will in fact secure the end that they desire. It is not the case that the present Government rest upon the concensus of opinion in the House on domestic issues—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

That might have been in Order in the previous Debate but it is not in Order on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

The very decision to ask us to delete the Clause is based upon certain reasons—not my reasons but reasons stated by the Government. One was that they wanted to restore the position of the Education Bill to what it was before Tuesday, and the other was that the right hon. Gentleman wanted a demonstration of confidence from the House.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

I must ask the hon. Member to try to narrow it down to the actual Clause itself, which most other speakers have succeeded in doing.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I wish above all things to conform to your Ruling, Mr. Williams, but, if I am in Order, I want to submit that one of the reasons given us, by the Prime Minister himself, for the decision to make the Motion we are now discussing, was for the purpose of demonstrating confidence in the Government—"fortifying the Government," to use his own phrase. The Government cannot be fortified by political doses of "M. and B." The mere act of compelling us to go into the Lobby—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

It was ruled at the beginning that the Debate on the Motion "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" must be confined to the Clause as amended.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

One of our difficulties is the conjunction of two things which have no necessary connection and which land us in a very awkward situation. It was not I who proposed that there should be a Vote of Confidence, it was the Prime Minister. It was not on my Amendment that this issue arose. But the conjunction of the Prime Minister's statement, plus the treatment of the issue as if there were only educational considerations involved in the discussion, puts the Committee in an extraordinarily difficult position. I doubt very much whether confidence in the Government will be restored by driving us into the Lobby upon this Amendment.

I should like to ask for an assurance from the Leader of the House. I asked earlier whether we should have an opportunity, after Easter, of a Debate on the equal pay issue in its wider connotation. I got a non-committal reply. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman now, assuming that the Committee goes into the Lobby in support of the Motion—

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

The Leader of the House would not be in Order in answering that.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Again, I am in your hands, Mr. Williams, but I think, if it were someone else, for instance the Prime Minister, who was putting that question to the Leader of the Opposition, or vice versa, means would be found of providing an answer. The point is a simple one. I want to know whether I can vote for the Government on this Amendment, without prejudicing the future of the equal pay issue. I trust that that is in Order.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I wonder if the hon. Member was in the Committee when the Prime Minister spoke. I think the Prime Minister's words provide an adequate answer to what he says.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

In that case the Prime Minister must have been out of Order, but in Order, or out of Order, if the Prime Minister did say that a discussion of the general issue of equal pay would not be affected by the result of to-day's Vote on this Clause, I am very much obliged. And I understand the President of the Board of Education to say that that is so.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I must refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's words. He had better acquaint himself with the Prime Minister's words, and I think he will be satisfied.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

The unfortunate point is that we vote on this to-day, and HANSARD comes out to-morrow, I wish the President of the Board of Education would be a little more co-operative, or I may revise my decision to vote with the Government.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

The Prime Minister intervened for a short time to say that if he were still in his position, he would answer the question at a later date. That appeared to be satisfactory to the Committee. I think it is a pity the hon. Member was not in the Committee.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

I take a little unkindly that last observation. All of us leave the Chamber at various points for certain reasons. I should not criticise the right hon. Gentleman for going out to get a bit of lunch, and I hope he will not criticise me. My wrath is rising momentarily. I feel that we cannot possibly vote the Government out of office on this issue. That is not the popular view, but it is my view. I am received with massive silence on the other side, and with an obvious lack of applause on this side. I take the view that if the Prime Minister, however wrongly—and I think it is wrongly—says he will regard this as a Vote of Confidence, the issue for me is whether I am prepared to turn the Government out, on the eve of the Second Front, on an issue of this magnitude. The answer, as far as I am concerned, is "No." I shall vote for the Government, but I beg them never again to put us in this position, because it ought to be possible for the House of Commons to express itself on matters of this kind, and to have some notice taken of what we say. Later, I imagine, we shall have a Debate on equal pay. When it comes, I hope the Government will recognise that no fewer than three times the House has given a verdict on this question, and when the next discussion comes—if it ends, as I think it will, in another vote in favour of equal pay—I hope this Parliament will not be reduced to a complete farce by the Government making that vote a Vote of Confidence in the Government. I do not take the view that they will, but I am prepared to give them the opportunity of proving that they will not. For all those reasons I shall vote with the Government to-day. But that involves no abandonment on my part of support of the principle of equal pay, and I hope that we shall have the opportunity of dealing with that question, with all its implications, on the Motion that stands in my name and that of 160 other Members.

Photo of Sir Ernest Graham-Little Sir Ernest Graham-Little , London University

I propose to give some reasons why this Clause, as amended, should stand part of the Bill, and confine myself to that issue. I have some special reason for taking that step because I signed the Amendment that was carried last Tuesday—I had other reasons for doing that. One of the principal reasons is that I have represented here for 20 years a University which was the first of British Universities to give in all its degrees and examinations complete equality to women with men. For that reason I feel personally compelled to make this stand. Besides the plea of justice, which ought to be sufficient in itself, there is another which is perhaps equally strong, namely, the critical necessity to attract teachers of whom the large majority must be women. What does this Bill depend upon? It surely depends upon the recruitment of teachers in sufficient numbers to make the Bill work. It is probable that we shall require 70,000 more women teachers to operate the Bill. With the present position of women teachers can we expect that they will come to this service with any kind of enthusiasm and in any numbers? I gave the right hon. Gentleman a few weeks ago an instance of the payment of women teachers. A lady has been 20 years teacher in an elementary school. She is doing admirable work, and her salary is £3 6s. 8d. a week. If she stays on another 10 years she will get the maximum pension of 25s. a week, which is less than 1s. a week for every year of service. That is the current Burnham scale. Whatever may be the machinery for altering such scales, they ought to be altered at once. Is it possible to have contentment among teachers with such a system of pay? Although I put my name down to the Amendment, I am going to vote for the Government because I realise that the threat of a General Election if the amended Clause is not deleted by the

Division No. 14.AYES.
Acland, Sir R. T. D.Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Islington, N.)Sorensen, R. W.
Barr, J.Hardie, AgnesStokes, R. R.
Bevan, A. (Ebbw Vale)Kendall, W. D.Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Bowles, F. G.Maxton, J.Watson, W. McL.
Buchanan, G.Morgan, Dr. H. B. W. (Rochdale)White, H. (Derby, N.E.)
Davies, Clement (Montgomery)Oliver, G. H.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Reakes, G. L. (Wallasey)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey, W.)Mr. McGovern and Mr. Hugh
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)Sloan, A.Lawson.
NOES.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.Burton, Col. H. W.Edmondson, Major Sir J.
Adams, Major S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A.Edwards, Walter J. (Whitechapel)
Adamson, Mrs. Jennie L. (Dartford)Cadogan, Maj. Sir E.Ellis, Sir G.
Adamson, W. M. (Cannock)Caine, G. R. HallElliston, Captain Sir G. S.
Agnew, Comdr. P. G.Campbell, Sir E. T. (Bromley)Emery, J. F.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)Campbell, Dermot (Antrim)Emmott, C. E. G. C.
Alexander, Bg.-Gn. Sir W. (G'g'w, C.)Carver, Colonel W. H.Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)Cary, R. A.Entwistle, Sir C. F.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.Castlereagh, ViscountErrington, Squadron-Leader E
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h, Univ.)Challen, Flight-Lieut. C.Erskine-Hill, A. G.
Apsley, LadyChannon, H.Etherton, Ralph
Aske, Sir R. W.Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)Evans, Colonel A. (Cardiff, S.)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Charleton, H. C.Everard, Sir W. Lindsay
Astor, Visc'tess (Plymouth, Sutton)Chater, D.Fermoy, Lord
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.)Chorlton, A. E. L.Fildes Sir H.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Christle, J. A.Fleming, Squadron-Leader E. L.
Baillie, Major Sir A. W. M.Churchill, Rt. Hn. Winston S. (Epping)Foot, D. M.
Balfour, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. H.Clarry, Sir ReginaldFox, Squadron-Leader Sir G. W. G.
Barnes, A. J.Cluse, W. S.Fraser, Lt.-Col. Sir Ian (Lonsdale)
Baxter, A. BeverleyCobb, Captain E. C.Fyfe, Major Sir D. P. M.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P.Colegate, W. A.Galbraith, Comdr. T. D.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C.Colman, N. C. D.Garro Jones, G. M.
Beaumont, Hubert (Batley)Conant, Major R. J. E.Gates, Major E. E.
Beaumont, Maj. Hn. R. E. B. {P'tsm'h)Cook, Lt.-Col. Sir T. R. A. M. (N'flk, N.)George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'broke)
Beech, Major F. W.Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)Gibbins, J.
Beechman, N. A.Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.Gibson, Sir C. G.
Beit, Sir A. L.Cove, W. G.Glanville, J. E.
Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir StaffordGledhill, G.
Bennett, Sir P. F. B. (Edgbaston)Crooke, Sir J. SmedleyGluckstein, Lt.-Col. L. H.
Bernays, Captain R. H.Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Glyn, Sir R. G. C.
Berry, Hon. G. L. (Buckingham)Crowder, Capt. J. F. E.Goldie, N. B.
Bevin, Rt. Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)Culverwell, C. T.Gower, Sir R. V.
Bird, Sir R. B.Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)
Blair, Sir R.Davidson, Viscountess (H'm'l H'mst'd)Grant-Ferris, Wing-Commander R.
Blaker, Sir R.Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil)Granville, E. L.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C.Davison, Sir W. H.Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)
Boothby, R. J. G.De Chair, Capt. S. S.Greenwell, Colonel T. G.
Bossom, A. C.De la Bère, R.Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
Boulton, W. W.Denman, Hon. R. D.Gretton, J. F.
Bower, Norman (Harrow)Denville, AlfredGridley, Sir A. B.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. (Cleveland)Digby, Capt. K. S. D. W.Grigg, Sir E. W. M. (Altrincham)
Boyce, H. LeslieDobbie, W.Grigg, Rt. Hon. Sir P. J. (Cardiff, E.)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. B.Dodd, J. S.Grimston, Hon. J. (St. Albans)
Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)Doland, G. F.Grimston, R. V. (Westbury)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. J. G. (H'dern's)Donner, Squadron-Leader P. W.Groves, T. E.
Brass, Capt. Sir W.Douglas, F. C. R.Guest, Lt.-Col. H. (Drake)
Briscoe, Capt. R. G.Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G.Guest, Lt.-Col. Hn. O. (Camberwell)
Broad, F. A.Drewe, C.Guinness, T. L. E. B.
Broadbridge, Sir G. T.Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)Gunston, Major Sir D. W.
Brocklebank, Sir C. E. R.Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)Guy, W. H.
Brooke, H. (Lewisham)Dugdale, John (W. Bromwich)Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)Dugdale, Major T. L. (Richmond)Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley)
Brown, Brig.-Gen, H. C. (Newbury)Duncan, Rt. Hon. Sir A. R. (C. Ldn.)Hammersley, S. S.
Brown, T. J. (Ince)Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. (Kens'gt'n, N.)Hannon, Sir P. J. H.
Brown, W. J. (Rugby)Dunn, E.Harris, Rt. Hon. Sir P. A.
Bull, B. B.Eccles, D. M.Haslam, Henry
Bullock, Capt. M.Ede, J. C.Helmore, Air Commodore W.
Burden, T. W.Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)

Committee is so serious at a time of crisis involving the very existence of this country, that no one in his senses would wish to see it carried out.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 23; Noes, 425.

Henderson, J. (Ardwick)Manningnam-Buller, R. E.Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Henderson, J. J. Craik (Leeds, N.E.)Marlowe, Lt.-Col. A.Shute, Col. Sir J. J.
Henderson, T. (Tradeston)Marshall, F.Silkin, L.
Heneage, Lt.-Col. A. P.Martin, J. H.Simmonds, Sir O. E
Hepburn, Major P. C. T. Buchan-Mathers, G.Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A.
Hepworth, J.Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)
Herbert, Petty Officer A. P. (Oxford U.)Medlicott, Colonel FrankSmith, E. (Stoke)
Hewiett, T. H.Mellor, Sir J. S. P.Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Hicks, E. G.Messer, F.Smith, T. (Normanton)
Higgs, W. F.Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.)Smithers, Sir W.
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMills, Major J. D. (New Forest)Snadden, W. McN.
Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.Mitchell, Colonel H. P.Somerset, Sir T.
Holdsworth, Sir H.Mitcheson, Sir G. G.Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir D. B.
Hollins, J. H. (Silvertown)Molson, A. H. E.Southby, Comdr. Sir A. R. J.
Holmes, J. S.Montague, F.Spearman, A. C. M.
Hopkinson, A.Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.Stanley, Col. Rt. Hon. Oliver
Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.Morgan, R. H. (Stourbridge)Storey, S.
Howitt, Dr. A. B.Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.)Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Hubbard, T. F.Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Hudson, Sir A. (Hackney, N.)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)Strickland, Capt. W. F.
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Morrison, Major J. G. (Salisbury)Studholme, Captain H. G.
Hughes, R. MoelwynMorrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)Sueter, Roar-Admiral Sir M. F
Hulbert, Wing-Commander N. J.Morrison, Rt. Hn. W. S. (Cirencester)Suirdale, Viscount
Hume, Sir G. H.Muff, G.Summers, G. S.
Hutchinson, G. C. (Ilford)Murray, Sir D. K. (Midlothian, N.)Sutcliffe, H.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. G. I. C. (E'burgh)Murray, J. D. (Spennymoor)Tate, Mrs. Mavis C.
Isaacs, G. A.Nall, Sir J.Taylor, Major C. S. (Eastbourne)
Jackson, W. F.Naylor, T. E.Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'd'ton, S.)
James, Wing-Com. A. (Well'borough)Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
James, Admiral Sir W. (Ports'th, N.>Nicholson, G. (Farnham)Teellng, Flight-Lieut. W.
Jarvis, Sir J. J.Nicolson, Hon. H. G. (Leicester, W.)Thomas, I. (Keighley)
Jeffreys, General Sir G. D.Nield, Major B. E.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)Nunn, W.Thomas, Dr. W. S. Russell (S'mpton)
Jennings, R.Oldfield, W. H.Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Jewson, P. W.O'Neill Rt. Hon. Sir H.Thorne, W.
Johnstone, Rt. Hon. H. (Mid'sbro W.)Orr-Ewing, I. L.Thorneycroft, Major G. E. P. (Stafford)
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)Paling, Rt Hon. W.Thornton-Kemsley, Lt.-Col. C. N.
Jones, L. (Swansea, W.)Palmer, G. E. H.Tinker, J. J.
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Parker, J.Tomlinson, G.
Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Comdr. Hn. L. W.Peake, Rt. Hon. O.Touche, G. C.
Keatinge, Major E. M.Pearson, A.Tree, A. R. L. F.
Keeling, E. H.Peat, C. U.Tufnell, Lieut.-Comdr R. L.
Keir, Mrs. CazaletPerkins, W. R. D.Turton, R. H.
Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)Peters, Dr. S. J.Wakefield, W. W.
King-Hall, Commander W. S. R.Petherick, M.Walkden, A. G. (Bristol, S.)
Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon, F. W.Walkden, E. (Doncaster)
Lamb, Sir J. Q.Peto, Major B. A. J.Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Lancaster, Lieut.-Col. C. G.Pickthorn, K. W. M.Ward, Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Pilkington, Captain R. A.Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Lawson, J. J. (Chester-le-Street)Plugge, Capt. L. F.Waterhouse, Captain Rt. Hon. C.
Lees-Jones, J.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.Watkins, F. C.
Leigh, Sir J.Power, Sir J. C.Watt, F. C. (Edinburgh Cen.)
Leighton, Major B. E. P.Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir AsshetonWatt, Brig. G. S. Harvie (Richmond)
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.Prescott, Capt. W. R. S.Wayland, Sir W. A.
Levy, T.Price, M. P.Webbe, Sir W. Harold
Lewis, O.Proctor, Major H. A.Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Liddall, W. S.Purbrick, R.Wells, Sir S. Richard
Lindsay, K. M.Pym, L. R.Weston, W. Garfield
Linstead, H. N.Quibell, D. J. K.Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.
Lipson, D. L.Raikes, Flight-Lieut. H. V. A. M.White, Sir Dymoke (Fareham)
Little, Sir E. Graham- (London Univ.)Ramsden, Sir E.White, H. Graham (Birkenhead, E.)
Llewellin, Col. Rt. Hon. J. J.Rankin, Sir R.Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Lloyd, C. E. (Dudley)Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)Wilkinson, Ellen
Lloyd, Major E. G. R. (Renfrew, E.)Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Ladywood)Reid, W. Allan (Derby)Williams, Sir H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.Ritson, J.Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Loftus, P. C.Robertson, D. (Streatham)Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Longhurst, Captain H. C.Robertson, Rt. Hn. Sir M. A. (Mitcham)Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Lucas, Major Sir J. M.Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)Windsor, W.
Lyle, Sir C. E. LeonardRoss, Sir R. D. (Londonderry)Windsor-Clive, Lt.-Col. G.
Lyons, Major A. M.Rothschild, J. A. deWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. OliverRowlands, G.Womersley, Rt. Hon. Sir W.
Mabane, Rt. Hon. W.Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.Wood, Hon. C. I. C. (York)
MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.Russell, Sir A. (Tynemouth)Woodburn, A.
McCallum, Major D.Salt, E. W.Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
McCorquodale, Malcolm S.Sanderson, Sir F. B.Woolley, Major W. E.
MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)Sandys, E. D.Wootton-Davies, J. H.
McEntee, V. La T.Savory, Professor D. L.Wright, Mrs. Beatrice F. (Bodmin)
McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.Schuster, Sir G. E.Wright, Group Capt. J. (Erdington)
McKie, J. H.Scott, Donald (Wansbeck)York, Major C.
MacLaren, A.Scott, Lord William (Ro'b'h & Selk'[...])Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
McNeil, H.Selley, Sir H. R.
Magnay, T.Shakespeare, Sir G. H.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—
Maitland, Sir A.Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)Mr. James Stuart nad Mr.
Makins, Brig. Gen. Sir E.Shephard, S.Whiteley.