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Mr George Hardie: asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how soon the Government will alter the present Act relating to contributory old age pensions, giving to the wife, irrespective of her age, the pension at the same time as her husband?
Mr George Hardie: The hon. Gentleman has stated that the insuring body or society does not require to give notice individually to each Member, but that automatically these people, without signing, will keep on the list.
Mr George Hardie: If the circular is to make no difference, why send it out? Will not the Minister answer the question? The House has been very friendly this morning in regard to this very serious and intricate business of insurance. The bulk of hon. Members on this side of the House have had some experience of insurance and are up against this kind of problem almost every week. Is it not in order to demand...
Mr George Hardie: Without any figures?
Mr George Hardie: I should like to ask why the Home Secretary keeps repeating the statement that the sum of £10,000 a year is reduced by so much Income Tax, because if anyone accepts a post outside at £10,000 a year, he has to face the payment of Income Tax. The Home Secretary repeats that a Cabinet Minister's salary is only worth so much after Income Tax has been taken off, as if there were cases outside...
Mr George Hardie: Not on this particular point.
Mr George Hardie: I understood that the Rules of the House were that you must not repeat yourself in the same Debate.
Mr George Hardie: I will conclude by saying that since there are doubts whether these men spend the money or not the Government should make the thing clean, and cut out all those things that raise doubts.
Mr George Hardie: This is the second time that this subject has been discussed by hon. Members, and I have listened as carefully as I could in order to hear some reason given as to why this Bill is necessary. From the history of the British House of Commons, I had always understood that when people aspired to do public service, the last thing in their minds was money. When reading hon. Member's speeches...
Mr George Hardie: I am dealing with the qualifications, which are connected with the claims made for payment. If £4,000 a year is to be justified, then the qualifications of the individual holding the position must justify it. Outside it is the qualification which is the basis of payment. If I can do so without going beyond your Ruling, I will give other instances. With regard to the post of Minister of...
Mr George Hardie: I will only say that I am sure the hon. and gallant Member who interrupted me does not run his business on the same lines as those on which the House of Commons is run. Payment should always be made for services rendered, but since all Members of Parliament are equal on election day, they ought to remain equal here, and whoever is called upon to fill one of these offices should feel that the...
Mr George Hardie: asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, the number of tons of steel tubes, beams, and other sections used in the erection of seat-stands for the Coronation?
Mr George Hardie: If there is a shortage of steel for really urgent domestic requirements, why was permission given to divert so much of it from its proper use into this kind of thing? Was no consideration given to the matter?
Mr George Hardie: Where is the Minister who ought to be here to-day to answer this question?
Mr George Hardie: asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the circular, dated 12th March, issued by the Scottish National Building Trades Federation (Employers) advising a lock-out of their workers; and what action he proposes to take?
Mr George Hardie: Is not the Minister aware that this is the third time that he has denied the existence of this threat which is contained in the circular, and why does he persist in trying to make out that anyone on this side is not speaking the truth?
Mr George Hardie: The Minister is quite wrong. Is he aware that in the circular, which was issued on the 12th, there is a reference to a lock-out of the whole trade—it is printed there—as against the Corporation of Glasgow trying to run a 51-hour continuous week, and is not that something that is against the corporation?
Mr George Hardie: Is it not a fact that the Mines Department already have reports from Glasgow mining engineers on the subject of de-watering the mines by gravitation and statements of the depths, etc., and do the Government intend to take any steps to clear the mines of water in view of the demand for coal?
Mr George Hardie: And what I am asking is whether the Secretary for Mines is not aware of the reports in existence showing the depths as measured by competent mining engineers in the city of Glasgow? Cannot the Government say what steps they are going to take in order to get at the coal lying there, seeing that there is a great shortage of coal? Surely the Minister should be able to tell us that.
Mr George Hardie: What detail is there to prevent the Minister saying ' Yes "or" No "to whether the Government are going to take action?