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Orders Of The Day

Volume 235: debated on Wednesday 26 February 1930

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Coal Mines Bill

Considered in Committee. [ Progress, 25th February.]

[Mr. DUNNICO in the Chair.]

New Clause—(General Functions Of Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission)

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 5, to leave out the words "and otherwise."

Those are two simple, completely comprehensive, and therefore thoroughly insidious words to find in a Clause of this sort, and my reason for moving to omit them is, first, to find out from the President of the Board of Trade what is meant by those words, and how far they are intended to carry us. We find that the purpose of this Commission is to make schemes, and if we look through the following Clauses we see that schemes are the whole essence of this Commission. The words "and otherwise" are completely comprehensive, and they may include the use by the Commission of some kind of threats, may include cajoling the owners of the different mines, and may even include buying up or even destroying the works of some recalcitrant owner; or, perhaps, as is the more usual way in commercial undertakings nowadays, the words may impose a duty upon the commissioners to take the directors out to lunch in order to promote and assist the amalgamation of the undertakings. The words cast a duty on the commissioners, and not merely empower them to do something. Therefore, it is necessary for us to know how far the President of the Board of Trade intends the commissioners to go.

In the second place, I would like to see the words deleted because I think they are superfluous. In a case of this sort, where a duty is put upon the commissioners, they have a right to know in what their duties consist, and Parliament ought to lay down what their duties are. The coalowners, upon whom this Commission is being thrust against their consent, also have a right to know exactly how far these commissioners have been empowered by Parliament to go. It will not be enough that the commissioners and the coalowners should have to look up a particular volume of the OFFICIAL REPORT of the proceedings of the House to see what the President of the Board of Trade intends; that ought to be incorporated in the Statute itself. I do not know myself, and I do not think the Committee have yet had any indication, where this Clause will eventually nestle in the Bill. If it comes finally into Part I of the Bill, one has to contempate the position that if Clause 8 is passed as it is now drafted, to commit a breach of duty under this Act will be an offence. But if the duties are drawn so broadly as they are by these vague words "or otherwise," the commissioners will not know where they stand under this Act. In setting up a new Commission of this sort, it ought to be made perfectly clear what the duties of the comsioners are and just how far they extend.

I would like to reinforce what my hon. and gallant Friend has said as to the desirability of omitting these words. As he has said, the Amendment was put down to a great extent to find out exactly why the words were inserted. An Amendment of much the same kind was discussed yesterday, and we then heard from the President of the Board of Trade the extraordinary statement that really the words meant nothing at all and were redundant, but, on the other hand, he would not withdraw them. I hope we shall not have that statement repeated in this case. When we read what the Clause says

"to promote and assist, by the preparation of schemes and otherwise,"
it makes us wonder why the words were put in. After the debates we have had on the reorganisation Commission, it is difficult to see in what other way the Commission is expected to work except by the preparation of schemes. I trust that the President will give us some information as to the actual reasons for the insertion of these words, and if, as he stated yesterday, he thinks they are really redundant, I hope he will consent to accept this Amendment and withdraw them.

The two hon. and gallant Members who have spoken on this Amendment have raised a perfectly simple point. I do not for a moment assent to what they have said about the words we dealt with last night being redundant. Under the proposed new Clause power is given to these commissioners to assist in the preparation of schemes and the amalgamations of collieries, and the introduction of the words "and otherwise" is simply to enable the commissioners to make the necessary inquiries and investigations which would be a very important part of their task and which ought not to be limited to the strict and narrow preparation of schemes. There are no dangers in those words such as the hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Amendment indicated, and they are intended to cover only investigations which are a necessary and valuable part of their work.

I am afraid that the President of the Board of Trade does not realise that our objection is that the words "and otherwise" are redundant. In objecting to an Amendment which was proposed last night, the right hon. Gentleman said that the words which it was sought to delete were redundant and that

"if the words remain it is my duty to advise the Committee that they have no legislative effect."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th February, 1930; col. 2201, Vol. 235.]
Although it may be technically correct that these words have no legislative effect when the right hon. Gentleman brings in the words "and otherwise," it looks as if he is giving those wider powers which were objected to last evening with regard to the duties of the central council, the executive boards, and the investigating committees which are to have the powers under Part I of the Bill for the further reorganisation of the coal mining industry, and they are covered by the words "and otherwise." If those words have no legislative effect, I still submit that they should be left out. We have not to consider what is in the mind of the President, and we are not considering his intentions in regard to the insertion of these words, but, when we pass these words, we have to consider their legal effect, and they are connected with the words which we seek to leave out. I maintain that they give a legislative power to the Reorganisation Commission which the President himself said he does not intend.

In the earlier part of the proposed Clause it is stated that the primary duty of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission is

"to further the reorganisation of the coal mining industry."
I should like to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether those words are not enough to cover completely the object which he has in view by including the words "and otherwise.' The right hon. Gentleman says that without those words the Commission would not be empowered to make inquires which are a very necessary part of their duties, but the proposed Clause states that their duty is
"to further the reorganisation of the coal mining industry,"
and they could not possibly carry out that duty without preliminary investigation and inquiry. Therefore, I do not see any reason for the retention of those words.

I support the proposal to leave out the words "and otherwise," because my object all through has been to try to show my distaste for compulsory amalgamation. This Bill is apparently going to be carried, and therefore we shall have to accept the decision of the House when it allows certain commissioners appointed by the President of the Board of Trade to submit their schemes. I do not want these commissioners to have powers to make further investigations not connected with the schemes, and I would suggest that if between now and the Report stage the President can see his way to leave out the words "and otherwise," and put in some such words as "for the purpose of making inquiries necessary to put forward the proposals of the scheme" that would be giving them power to get the information necessary for their schemes. If the words "and otherwise" were left in, they would be solely connected with the preparation of these schemes if the right hon. Gentleman adopts my suggestion.

I am extremely dissatisfied with what the President of the Board of Trade has said. It seems perfectly clear that this proposed Clause is primarily meant for the reorganisation of the coal industry and that is provided for, as was clearly pointed out by the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) at the beginning of the Clause. Now the President is proposing to take additional powers far and above that, and he gave no answer to the arguments put forward by the Mover of this Amendment that there was a danger that duress might be brought to bear on the owners of any pits who were not willing to amalgamate. As far as I am concerned, I am not at all satisfied that those words are necessary. After all, it is perfectly clear that the question of amalgamation and

Division No. 187.]

AYES.

[4.54 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Elmley, ViscountKennedy, Thomas
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)England, Colonel A.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Kinley, J.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Forgan, Dr. RobertKirkwood, D.
Alpass, J. H.Freeman, PeterKnight, Holford
Ammon, Charles GeorgeGardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton)Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Angell, NormanGeorge, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Lang, Gordon
Arnott, JohnGibbins, JosephLansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Aske, Sir RobertGibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)Lathan, G.
Attlee, Clement RichardGill, T. H.Law, Albert (Bolton)
Ayles, WalterGillett, George M.Law, A. (Rosendale)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Glassey, A. E.Lawrence, Susan
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Gossling, A. G.Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Barnes, Alfred JohnGould, F.Lawson, John James
Batey, JosephGraham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)Graham, Rt. Hon. Win. (Edin., Cent.)Leach, W.
Bellamy, AlbertGranville, E.Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodGray, MilnerLee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Bennett, William (Battersea, South)Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine)Lees, J.
Benson, G.Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Bentham, Dr. EthelGriffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Lloyd, C. Ellis
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Logan, David Gilbert
Blindell, JamesGroves, Thomas E.Longbottom, A. W.
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. MargaretGrundy, Thomas W.Longden, F.
Bowen, J. W.Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Lowth, Thomas
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hall, G. H Merthyr Tydvil)Lunn, William
Brockway, A. FennerHall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Bromfield, WilliamHamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Bromley, J.Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)McElwee, A.
Brooke, W.Harbison, T. J.McEntee, V. L.
Brothers, M.Harbord, A.McKinlay, A.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Hardie, George D.MacLaren, Andrew
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Harris, Percy A.Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMacNeill-Weir, L.
Burgess, F. G.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMcShane, John James
Burgin, Dr. E. L.Haycock, A. W.Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Hayday, ArthurMander, Geoffrey le M.
Caine, Derwent Hall-Hayes, John HenryMansfield, W.
Cameron, A. G.Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)March, S.
Cape, ThomasHenderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)Marcus, M.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Markham, S. F.
Charleton, H. C.Herriotts, J.Marley, J.
Chater, DanielHirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Marshall, Fred
Church, Major A. G.Hoffman, P. C.Mathers, George
Clarke, J. S.Hollins, A.Matters, L. W.
Cluse, W. S.Hore-Belisha, LeslieMaxton, James
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Horrabin, J. F.Melville, Sir James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour.Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Messer, Fred
Compton, JosephHunter, Dr. JosephMillar, J. D.
Cove, William G.Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Mills, J. E.
Daggar, GeorgeIsaacs, GeorgeMilner, J.
Dallas, GeorgeJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Montague, Frederick
Dalton, HughJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Morley, Ralph
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Johnston, ThomasMorris, Rhys Hopkins
Day, HarryJones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Devlin, JosephJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Dudgeon, Major C. R.Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Dukes, C.Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)Mort, D. L.
Duncan, CharlesJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Moses, J. J. H.
Ede, James ChuterJones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)
Edmunds, J. E.Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Muff, G.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Muggeridge, H. T.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth)Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)Nathan, Major H. L.
Egan, W. H.Kelly, W. T.Naylor, T. E.

reorganisation is already dealt with, and the words "or otherwise" are entirely unnecessary for this purpose. I think the Committee will be well advised to support this Amendment.

Question put, "That the words 'and otherwise' stand part of the proposed Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 293; Noes, 142.

Noel Baker, P. J.Sexton, JamesTinker, John Joseph
Oldfield, J. R.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)Toole, Joseph
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)Shepherd, Arthur LewisTout, W. J.
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)Sherwood, G. H.Townend, A. E.
Palin, John Henry.Shield, George WilliamTurner, B.
Paling, WilfridShiels, Dr. DrummondVaughan, D. J.
Palmer, E. T.Shillaker, J. F.Walkden, A. G.
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Shinwell, E.Walker, J.
Perry, S. F.Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)Wallace, H. W.
Peters, Dr. Sidney JohnSimmons, C. J.Wallhead, Richard C.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)Watkins, F. C.
Phillips, Dr. MarlonSimon, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline).
Picton-Turbervill, EdithSinkinson, GeorgeWellock, Wilfred
Pole, Major D. G.Sitch, Charles H.Welsh, James (Paisley)
Potts, John S.Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Price, M. P.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)West, F. R.
Pybus, Percy JohnSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)Westwood, Joseph
Quibell, D. J. K.Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Ramsay, T. B. WilsonSmith, Rennie (Penistone)Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Raynes, W. R.Smith, Tom (Pontefract)Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Richards, R.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Snell, HarryWilliams, David (Swansea, East)
Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)Sorensen, R.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Stamford, Thomas W.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Romeril, H. G.Stephen, CampbellWilson, J. (Oldham)
Rosbotham, D. S. T.Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)Wilson R. J. (Jarrow)
Rowson, GuyStrachey, E. J. St. LoeWinterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Runciman, Rt. Hon. WalterStrauss, G. R.Wise, E. F.
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Sullivan, J.Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Salter, Dr. AlfredSutton, J. E.Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Sawyer, G. F.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Scott, JamesThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T. Henderson.

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelEverard, W. LindsayNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Albery, Irving JamesFalle, Sir Bertram G.Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., w.)Fermoy, LordNield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)Fison, F. G. ClaveringOman, Sir Charles William C.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Forestier-Walker, Sir L.O'Neill, Sir H.
Astor, ViscountessFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Peake, Capt. Osbert
Atholl, Duchess ofGanzonl, Sir JohnPeto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonPownall, Sir Assheton
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Preston, Sir Walter Rueben
Balniel, LordGlyn, Major R. G. C.Ramsbotham, H.
Bellairs, Commander CarlyonGrace, JohnReid, David D. (County Down)
Berry, Sir GeorgeGunston, Captain D. W.Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Betterton, Sir Henry B.Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Bird, Ernest RoyHanbury, C.Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHartington, Marquess ofRussell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartHarvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Boyce, H. L.Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Savery, S. S.
Bracken, B.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Simms, Major-General J.
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHoward-Bury, Colonel C. K.Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Skelton, A. N.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Hurst, Sir Gerald B.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Buckingham, Sir H.King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Knox, Sir AlfredSmithers, Waldron
Butler, R. A.Lamb, Sir J. Q.Somerset, Thomas
Castle Stewart, Earl ofLane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonLewis, Oswald (Colchester)Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)Llewellin, Major J. J.Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)
Christie, J. A.Long, Major EricSueter, Rcar-Admiral M. F.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeMcConnell, Sir JosephThomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Colman, N. C. D.Macquisten, F. A.Thomson, Sir F.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Tinne, J. A.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)Makins, Brigadier-General E.Todd, Capt. A. J.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipMargesson, Captain H. D.Train, J.
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyMarjoribanks, E. C.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Dr. VernonMerriman, Sir F. BoydTurton, Robert Hugh
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Dawson, Sir PhilipMonsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Duckworth, G. A. V.Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Edmondson, Major A. J.Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Wells, Sydney R.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur CliveWilliams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Muirhead, A. J.Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)

Windsor-dive, Lieut.-Colonel GeorgeWomersley, W. J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Winterton, Rt. Hon. EarlWood, Rt. Hon. Sir KingsleySir George Penny and Captain Wallace.
Withers, Sir John JamesWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 6, to leave out the words "or comprising."

This short Amendment raises, as I think the President of the Board of Trade will agree, a very important point. Without these words, the Clause would read:
"It shall be the duty of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission … to promote and assist, by the preparation of schemes and otherwise the amalgamation of undertakings consisting of coal mines,"
and so on. I am well aware that in the Act of 1936 the word "comprising" finds a place, but there you are dealing with a different situation, where a scheme is put forward by someone who is willing to promote it. This Clause gives new and wide powers. I do not propose to enter into those powers now, but the Clause does raise a very plain distinction, and I want to know from the President of the Board of Trade whether it is in his mind—and, if so, it should be in his Bill—that these commissioners shall only have power to propose the amalgamation of coal mines, or whether they will have power to propose an amalgamation of a colliery undertaking with another undertaking, say a steel works, which owns a coal mine. The words "or comprising" would apparently give them power to get together two coal mines, and then to find some other' undertaking—a steel works, a shipyard, or any trading or manufacturing concern—and propose that there should be an amalgamation, not only of the collieries, but of the whole of those undertakings. I am quite sure that the Committee, in discussing these Clauses so far, never contemplated anything as wide as that, and, in order to safeguard ourselves, I have put down one or two specific Amendments, which, however, will probably be unnecessary if these words are taken out now. I think the Committee would wish to know clearly whether what is proposed here is that coal mine and coal mine should be amalgamated, and to be perfectly certain that it is not proposed that, under the aegis of this Commission, there should be taken before the Railway and Canal Commission a large number of undertakings, primarily manafacturing concerns, who find themselves included, very likely against their will, in some proposed amalgamation merely because their concern happens to own a coal mine. That is the short point. I am sure that the President of the Board of Trade will agree that it is a point of real importance, and I hope that in the circumstances he will be able to accept this Amendment.

My right hon. Friend, in moving this Amendment, was plainly in some difficulty, having regard to the Act which our predecessors passed in 1926. Strictly speaking, the compulsory powers to be applied under this Clause proceed quite definitely on that basis. The only effect of the acceptance of an Amendment of this kind would be to put beyond the reach of these commissioners for all time, or at all events for so long as this legislation lasted, the mixed undertaking which owns iron and steel works, or whatever other undertaking it may happen to be. There is not the least doubt that in many parts of the country that would prevent any amalgamation at all between very important colliery undertakings, and that is a restriction which could never be permitted in any scheme of this kind. The Committee has already been informed on innumerable occasions that the commissioners must decide what is in the national interest, taking into account all the circumstances—the nature of the undertaking, whether it is primarily or largely a coal undertaking, and the rest. I am afraid that the Government could never accept this Amendment. It would, in fact, be going back on the Act of 1926.

The President of the Board of Trade takes refuge under the Act of 1926, but, surely, he has overlooked the fact that under that Act rights were given, to those who were not pleased with amalgamation, to receive, on appeal, compensation for the rights that were taken from them. There was compulsion, but subject to the right of the individual to appeal. There is an Amendment later which will deal with that question, because I observe that the right hon. Gentleman has tried to cut out from these Clauses the right of compensation reserved in the Act of 1926. He really has said something which to me is quite new, namely, that the Government do definitely intend to take power to cause the bringing about of amalgamations of mixed undertakings, that is to say, not of coal mines only, but of coal mines which are now owned on a vertical amalgamation with steel works or other undertakings. It is the intention of the Government that these commissioners should be entitled to bring in schemes for such amalgamations, and that they should be made compulsory. That, to me, is a great revelation. I do not believe that the Committee generally have recognised, although they may have suspected, the extent to which the Government are prepared to go. It is quite true that this very Clause provides that:

"with a view to facilitating the… sale of coal,"
the commissioners will be entitled to bring in schemes of amalgamation, and I presume that the Government are going to say that it will facilitate the sale of coal if they amalgamate steel works and so on with coal mines. That is an entirely new position, and I very much doubt whether the Committer- have really understood it. It reinforces immensely my opposition to this Clause.

The Amendment now before the Committee provides an illustration of the difficulties in which the Committee are bound to find themselves when they make this amalgamation system compulsory. I have always had very grave doubts about the good effect of amalgamations which were not voluntary, or not partially voluntary. If they become compulsory, we may be landed into all sorts of difficulties, and this is one of the practical difficulties that will have to be faced. It ought to be faced now by this Committee. If it be not faced by this Committee, it will have to be faced by the Government and by the commissioners, for there are many cases all over the country where coal mines are owned, not only by steel works, but by chemical undertakings. Most of these mixed concerns have been brought together in an effort to form a virtual monopoly, or something akin to it. Perhaps that is an unkind way of expressing it, but very often they are cases in which a steel works wants to make quite sure that it will have an aim pie supply of coal for its own purposes. The steel works, in turn, may be owned by a combination, say of shipbuilders, who want to make quite sure that they will have their steel supplies and will not be held up at any moment. But where is the "comprising" to end?

There is one case that I know of where a great shipyard on the Clyde and another at Belfast own their own steel works, which in turn own their own coal mines, and, as the Clause now stands, these words "or comprising" might bring in the whole lot. I am sure that that cannot be the intention of the Government. I do not bow what was the intention of those who have most keenly advocated amalgamation, but I am less persuaded than ever I was as to the effectiveness of this method of dealing with some of the problems which we have to face.

Let me give a single illustration of what must be in the mind of my right hon. Friend. He has aimed at providing the owners with a means, by re-organisation, or regulation of prices, or otherwise, of paying for the half-hour. That is really what is giving him all this trouble. In providing for that why should it be necessary to take in these other concerns? If they have profits they go to one of the other concerns. If the colliery has a profit it goes to the steel company. If a steel company has a profit it goes to the shipyard. Why should it be necessary to do this? I cannot see that it is necessary within the objects the right hon. Gentleman has himself provided. If the commissioners go quite outside the range of collieries and bring in these other mixed concerns, it will lead to unutterable confusion, it will bring about combinations which are really not necessary, as the problem is row presented to us, and certainly are not justified by the half-hour which has brought the whole of this into being. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will see if he cannot devise some words later which will prevent this unnecessary confusion.

I have an Amendment later on to provide that no undertaking which owns coal mines as a subsidiary part of its business shall be forced into an amalgamation without its consent. I think that really is the issue that lies before us. The right hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman) rightly says, "Why do you want to force these undertakings, which are not primarily colliery undertakings at all but large industrial undertakings, into these amalgamation schemes?" If the President of the Board of Trade will say that he will at a later stage accept an Amendment to exclude from the purview of the commissioners and of these Clauses any colliery undertaking that is owned by some other concern, and used primarily for its own purposes, we shall have gone a long way to meet the case. If he is not prepared to accept an Amendment in those terms, an issue of absolutely first-class importance is now raised. I thought it was bad enough when every colliery undertaking in the country, existing simply as a colliery undertaking, was going to be hunted round and have schemes made for it whether it liked it or not. But if this process of uncertainty is to be applied to all undertakings which happen to own collieries—and those are probably most of the large industrial undertakings—we are creating a machine which will embarrass and encumber the whole industrial progress of the country. The right hon. Gentleman is trying to face the problem of a certain number of coal mines. He has not been greatly helped in his attempt to do so by accepting these long Clauses, which have apparently been drafted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel). If he were here, we should probably better understand what is intended. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman does not want to cause more uncertainty in these trades than is necessary and, if he would be prepared to accept an Amendment later that no company that owned a coal mine as a subsidiary undertaking is to be forced into an amalgamation against its will, he would go a long way to meet the real difficulty that has been presented. If he cannot give us such an assurance, he is obviously raising an issue of first-class importance which we must fight to the full extent of our power.

I beg the President of the Board of Trade not to give way to the specious plea that has just been made. The position we are facing at the moment is that the Government have accepted the principle of com- pulsory amalgamation, with the support of the majority of the House. In all these Amendments we have to proceed on the basis that the Government are prepared to accept the decision of the majority of the House, which is in favour of compulsory amalgamation. If the right hon. Member who moved the Amendment is prepared to say that this object is to defeat amalgamations, I agree with him that lie is going a very long way towards doing it, and if the Committee is going to adhere to its decision to accept compulsory amalgamation, the acceptance of this Amendment will destroy it. The right hon. Gentleman below me said this arises out of the decision to accept compulsory amalgamation. If we want to turn it down, let us do it honestly and openly. Let us not do it by a side issue of this sort, because if these words are accepted, there are very few colliery undertakings, which under our decision may be amalgamated if the Commission so decide, which cannot defeat that object, because you are asking the people who, you have said, must submit to compulsory amalgamation to adopt a method of evading it. I do not think that is honest. If we want to do that, let us reverse our decision, but as long as the decision stands, let us understand what we are doing. The late President of the Board of Trade (said if we cannot do that lot us accept his Amendment, that any undertaking which owns a coal mine is to be exempt. There is very little difference between that and what we have decided beforehand. The safeguard is here in the Clause that has been put down by the Government and which in principle we have accepted.

"Where such amalgamations appear to the Commission to be in the national interest."
Either we are going to have faith in the Commission or we are not. There is nothing new in "saying it shall be left to a Commission to decide whether a thing is or is not in the national interest. It is already included in previous Acts of Parliament affecting the mining and the railway industries. Unless we are going to defeat the principle that we have already accepted, I hope the President of the Board of Trade will stick to the position he has taken up.

I had not intended to intervene, but I feel that I must speak on behalf of thousands of co-operators, not only in my division but throughout the country. The Government must be aware that the Co-operative Wholesale Society owns three pits in Northumberland and, if this Clause remains as it stands, the savings of all those thousands of poor people will be liable to be used for bolstering up he promises of the Government. I cannot believe it was the intention of the Government to use that money to pay for the promises they made at the last election. Unless they accept some form of revision of this Clause, there is nothing to prevent the Commission ruling that the Co-operative Wholesale Society shall be amalgamated with a variety of pits in their neighbourhood which are insolvent. On behalf of the co-operators I most sincerely beg the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider his decision with regard to this Amendment.

Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman been asked by the co-operators to make this statement?

I was returned as the representative of the Berwick-on-Tweed Division. The moment I was returned here I dropped party politics and I am here to represent all classes.

Have the co-operators in the hon. and gallant Gentleman's division asked him to make this statement?

I will be quite honest. I have not had representations from the co-operators, but I know that in my own district the majority of them are not supporters of the present Government, and when I go there I have no doubt I shall be received with acclamation.

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give us a little more explanation in regard to the actual limits within which this can be interpreted, because everybody recognises that these vertical trusts or monopolies have been very fruitful in enabling workers in different branches of an industry to have employment which otherwise it would be much more difficult to ensure. I know a good many works on the Clyde where ship-building yards, engine shops and coal mines are all intimately connected, and it seems to me, when you are reorganising industry and doing all you can to get rid of inefficiency, if there is a phrase in a very important Bill like this which may sweep all kinds of interests into something that should be confined to one trade, we are entitled to ask within what limits the Government propose to sweep these outside businesses within the orbit of the coal trade. I once represented a constituency where there are a great many miners, and I was always told they were full of suspicion that the actual profits made, either in the pits or in the works, were being in some way hidden. What will be the confusion if this proposal of the Government is carried out? It will be almost impossible to trace what actually is the business that is going to be switched about within an area. I believe it will be a great blow at the reorganisation of British industry on modern lines, which is the practice in Germany and in the United States. I do not like the expression "vertical trust," but I am certain, if you are going to get active co-operation between the workers' organisations and the management, you are more easily going to get it if you have all these things, from the raw material to the finished article, under one umbrella, as it were. I am quite certain the President of the Board of Trade is the last man in the House who wishes to have any confusion in the matter and, if he could explain what are the limits within which he thinks this sort of adjustment may be made without doing harm to what is known as vertical trusts, he will remove a great main- doubts that exist in the minds of some of us on this side of the House.

I think there is a slight flaw in the argument of the hon. Member for the University of Wales (Mr. Evans). I understood him to say the House had already given its assent to the principle of compulsory amalgamation. But compulsory amalgamation of what? Of coal mines. As I understand the Clause without the Amendment, it is not merely compulsory amalgamation of coal mines; it is compulsory amalgamation of steel works, chemical works and other industries which have coal mines within their resources. That is a different principle, to which this House has not yet given its assent, and it takes the matter which the hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Wales was using a few minutes ago out of the line of argument. If I may reinforce what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Captain Todd), I would state that the success of the German amalgamations in the Ruhr have largely been due to the fact that they are vertical and not horizontal. The Clause without this Amendment will do nothing whatever to encourage vertical amalgamations but will, unfortunately, discourage them. I think that the President of the Board of Trade would be well advised to accept the Amendment. If it is not accepted, the Committee should realise that an entirely new principle is being introduced. The principle of the compulsory amalgamation of coal mines is being made very much wider than the Committee has hitherto contemplated. I can understand the proposal being a welcome one to certain Members of the Socialist party who desire nationalisation to emerge from measures of this kind, because if this Clause is passed it will undoubtedly make the nationalisation of coal mines, and not merely coal mines but the heavy industries, very much easier.

I do not suppose that there is in this Committee a Member who is a more strict adherent than I am to compulsory amalgamations in the mining industry. I share the fears and the apprehensions of those who dislike the idea of leaving an independent mine geographically in the middle of another group. I agree that it might seriously handicap the sound physical development of that group. But there are other considerations. Is this Committee prepared to set itself definitely to obstruct the processes of vertical combinations altogether? In vertical combinations is to be found one of the most fruitful opportunities for reconstructing British industry along the lines which it should proceed. I say quite frankly that it never entered my head as a possibility—and, as a convinced adherent of the principle of compulsory amalgamations I would never support the Bill unless the principle of compulsory amalgamations were inserted—that the Government had it in mind to include mixed mines in vertical combinations. That, it seems to me, is not a constructive but a destructive measure. If the President of the Board of Trade will refer to the terms of the new Clause and read the Clause side by side with Section I of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, I may be able to bring him to the conclusion that he misinterpreted the position when he said just now in addressing the Committee that hon. Members above the Gangway were in a difficulty on account of the Act of 1926.

What does the Act of 1926 do? Section I defines the organisations which come within its purview with a view to amalgamation. It defines them as "undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines." Those undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines are not the undertakings which are to be amalgamated necessarily. They are the undertakings which are to take the initiative in putting into effect the machinery for securing the amalgamation of something else—amalgamations of their undertakings either wholly or partially. I would refer the President of the Board of Trade to the provisions of Sub-section (1) of the new Clause, and suggest that it is largely a drafting difficulty which has arisen, because here the "undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines" are not the properties which are to be amalgamated. It is merely to set the machinery of amalgamation in order. I think that, subject to the safeguarding of the final words of the Sub-section, the situation may be met by leaving the Clause as drawn and after the words "amalgamation of undertakings consisting," inserting the words "either wholly or partially," so as to leave it open to any Commission to refuse, if it should think fit, to amalgamate concerns which are not comparable. You might under this Clause have an iron manufacturing business amalgamated with a business which is purely a coal mining business. I, myself, would not support a condition of this character unless I was satisfied beyond any ambiguity that what was in mind was a compulsory amalgamation of coal mines in the coal-mining industry, and no other business whatever.

We are entitled, I think, to a further explanation from the President of the Board of Trade, because he has given us this new sidelight, and one which hon. Members who have been supporting these amalgamations did not realise when they were pressing for them. He has en- visaged the amalgamation of mines into trusts belonging to coke ovens, the steel industry and so on. Hon. Members opposite thought it was an extremely exaggerated view when ray hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Berwick-on-Tweed (Captain Todd) said that he spoke for co-operative societies. Under the terms of this Clause co-operative societies will be liable to be brought in if they own coal mines. Co-operative societies, in view of the suggestion of the President of the Board of Trade, would come under this Clause in exactly the same way as iron and steel works, or any of the other vertical combines or amalgamations to which he has referred. Therefore, I ask him to give us more definite information on that point. With regard to his reference to any difficulty which we may have because of the words "or comprising" appearing in the Act of 1926, he leaves out of consideration the fact that agreement in all those things was one of the first principles. The hon. and gallant Member quoted from Section 1 of Part I of the Act of 1926, which reads:

"The owners of two or more undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines agree to amalgamate."
The position is dealt with there. Subsection (2) of the same Section goes on to speak of undertakings which are unwilling to agree to amalgamate, and how they are to be absorbed. Sub-section (3, d) says:
"No partial absorption scheme shall, without the consent of the owner."
It is all consent. There has to be consent.

If the hon. and learned Gentleman will look down the same Sub-section he will see:

"No partial absorption scheme shall, without the consent of the owner of the absorbed company, provide for the separation … or, in the case of an undertaking of which the primary object is not coal mining, provide for the separation from the undertaking of any coal mine worked as ancillary to such primary object."
Absorption schemes have to be by consent of the owner, and not otherwise. That does not raise any difficulty as far as we are concerned. It has always been by the agreement or consent of those concerned. Therefore, it is an entire innovation to bring in compulsion of undertakings comprising coal mines. It is quite a different situation which the right hon. Gentleman is seeking to bring in under this Clause.

"Not once or twice in our rough island story "has there seemed to be disagreement among my own party. I submit to the Committee that there is really no substance in the Amendment which is now proposed. As my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Wales (Mr. Evans) has pointed out, the Committee has already decided in favour of compulsory amalgamation. I agree that it is the compulsory amalgamation of mines. If hon. Members will look at the Sub-section which is now before the Committee they will realise that the primary function of the Commission is to further the reorganisation of the coal-mining industry. That is what they have to consider in the first place, with a view to facilitating the production, supply and sale of coal. But in considering that and in looking at the industry as a whole, they should not be defeated from furthering the industry by somebody suggesting that that industry is amalgamated or attached to some other small industry, and therefore saying that the whole amalgamation shall fall. We all know that there are, for example, coking industries attached to coal mines, and it might be that one coal-owner might come along and say: "You cannot bring me within your amalgamation scheme, because I have another industry, namely, coking, attached to it. You might have another one saying," I have bought a colliery and I am using the coal from that colliery in order to supply my steel works, and therefore you shall not bring that colliery into the scheme. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Surely the Commission which is to be appointed is going to consist of men who will consider all these matters and will decide them fairly. The power is to be given to them, as is given to other Commissions, to decide fairly what is necessary to promote the interests of the industry as a whole, and they should not be defeated in their decision by the mere attachment to any colliery industry of some other business which might be used as a legal quibble to defeat the real objects of this Bill.

We have never disputed that in introducing the principle of compulsory amalgamations the difficulties are enormous, but I am unable to accept the view that there is anything new in the principle, apart from compulsion, that the Government are now seeking to bring into force. For all practical purposes this decision was taken in the Act of 1926, and these words, "consisting of or comprising coal mines," were definitely inserted in the first Section. What is the real difference in the proposals which are now before the House and what was done under the Act of 1926? It is this, as I tried to explain last night, that you get here a guarantee of initiative in regard to amalgamations. Under the Act of 1926, there was provision for the voluntary submission of schemes before the Railway and Canal Commission. If one individual owner does not go forward, as he might go forward under the Act of 1926, to the Railway and Canal Commission, the new statutory commissioners under these proposals can take the step of initiating the amalgamation and carrying it, if necessary, up to the Railway and Canal Commission. That position is in no way changed.

All that has happened here is that the initiative is supplied, and we proceed strictly under the terms of the Act of 1926. Under that Act a single owner might have come forward. He might propose a certain amalgamation scheme consisting, as that Act provides, of a mixed concern, and if he could establish his case before the Railway and Canal Commission they might sanction amalgamations exclusively of coal mines or amalgamations not only including coal mines, but mixed concerns. All that could take place under the Act of 1926, and it would be futile to go back upon that process by excluding the words "or comprising," because that would go to the heart of the scheme, and would destroy a considerable part of it. I appreciate the difficulty that many hon. Members have in mind, and I have never denied that a very great responsibility and discretion will rest upon the amalgamation commissioners. Several hon. Members have suggested that there might be concerns which are overwhelmingly iron and steel which, incidentally, own a single colliery, which forms a very small part of the undertaking. If that were brought into amalgamation, it would not be so much amalgamating a colliery, because it would be only an incidental part of the concern, but it would be amalgamating an iron and steel concern. I cannot exclude that possibility, I cannot put something into this legislation which takes away discretion from the commissioners, but it is perfectly plain that in a state of affairs like that, with very responsible men handling the problem, they would consider what is in the national interest and if the case went to the Railway and Canal Commission that Commission would have to decide whether it was in the public interest and whether it was fair to all parties. There would never be forced on the parties in such a case an amalgamation which would not be a coal amalgamation at all, but something that was overwhelmingly concerned with other industrial processes, with which, by accident or otherwise, a coal mine might be associated. What would be the position if this Amendment were accepted? There might be undertakings which are very largely coal undertakings, but not exclusively coal undertakings. They might own something other than coal, which might be a minor part of their undertakings, but if we do not insert these words, that concern would be placed beyond the reach of amalgamation. I have only to state such a case to show that it could not for one moment be accepted.

The right hon. Gentleman in his general statement seemed to be coming near to the point of agreement, because his general statement was that the commissioners are to be such substantial people that they would not dream of enforcing an amalgamation which ought not to take place. If he could put that provision in the Bill, we should come much closer together. Instead of the words "or comprising," could not such words as "or primarily concerned in working" be put in? Provided that the undertakings are primarily concerned in working coal, then, if there is to be compulsion those would be proper subjects for compulsion. If they are not primarily concerned in working coal but are primarily steel works or other works, then, surely, from the statement of the right hon. Gentleman he does not want them in, and he does not expect the commissioners to put them in. Why not introduce that safeguard? If the words to which we object are left in, there will be a doubt for a long time, and we shall not be able to get rid of the doubt so long as the commissioners are going about and it can be said, as it might be said truthfully, that they have power to cause a forcible amalgamation. Then there will be doubt and difficulty, and interruption of business and interference with the expansion of business, and all that sort of uncertainty which helps to create unemployment. If, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman means what he has said, it ought not to be beyond his power to insert words which will remove doubts but which will give him what he wants, namely, power, if there is to be compulsory power, to deal with amalgamations.

May I put a purely practical question? I am not a dodger of this Clause or any other Clauses of the Bill. When I have opposed them I have opposed them openly. I would remind the hon. Member for the Welsh University (Mr. Evans) that I have not dodged them either in this House or elsewhere.

I hope that my right hon. Friend will not think that I was making any reference to him. All that I said was that I did not want other people to have any chance of dodging the operations of this Measure. I was not referring to the right hon. Gentleman.

I hope my hon. Friend will acquit me of being a dodger. I am not seeking to dodge anything. I want to prevent what I believe would be industrial confusion. My right hon. Friend does not want to bring steel works within the purview of the Bill. He says that he is sure that the commissioners, if they are sensible men, will not want to do that, nor do any of us want to do that. There is no necessity to do it. Surely some means can be taken in the Bill to separate an industry. One suggestion was made by an hon. Member that the words "wholly or partially concerned" should be inserted. As I read the Clause, the commissioners have to take the whole undertaking or nothing; it is one or the other. If the words "wholly or partially" were in- serted, it would be left to the discretion of the commissioners to exclude a portion of an industrial concern. I cannot now express an opinion about the proper drafting, but I am sure that must be the intention of the Government, for I cannot believe that they want to go any further than dealing with coal mines and that they do not want to step into the category of other industries. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to meet the point in regard to the separation of an industry by a definition in the Bill or by leaving to the commissioners a sufficient amount of free play to deal with the whole problem that must arise in our growing organisation of industry on vertical lines.

I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that this point might be met if he would put in some words limiting the expression "undertaking," which would make it clear that, for example, an engineering works or a shipbuilding yard or anything of that kind would not be amalgamated. By a little care in drafting, some words might be found which would deal with the question in such a way as to make it certain that works in which a coal mine was only a subsidiary would not come within the Clause.

There have been a series of interesting speeches from below the Gangway, and it would not be courteous to leave them neglected. The hon. Member for the University of Wales (Mr. Evans) was kind enough to say something verging on the impolite with regard to the right hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman).

I must protest against that statement. It is most unfair. I was not referring to the right hon. Gentleman. I have already explained that what I said was that I did not want other people to have the chance of dodging the operations of the Act. It is most unfair of the hon. Member to make such an accusation.

Up to the present I have said nothing. I have accomplished one object, and that was to enable the hon. Member to make it clear that he was not saying anything in any way depreciating a representative of a Cornish Division.

The hon. Member must bear in mind that the hon. Member for the University of Wales had already disclaimed any such intention.

6.0 p.m.

I will leave that point and come to the speech of the President of the Board of Trade. He said that as far as this Clause was concerned the object was to guarantee initiative, but as he proceeded it became clearer and clearer that the object of this Clause is to interfere in the largest possible way with the organisation and working of the industry. That is one of the reasons why I object to this provision. So far as the Amendment is concerned, one point has been neglected. We have heard about the advantage of a mine working in connection with a co-operative society or in connection with a steel works. One point which has been raised frequently during the Debates on this Bill and in other coal Debates has been the necessity for the elimination of the middlemen in the coal trade. If these words are left in the Clause, it will make it more and more difficult to bring about the amalgamation of industries where you can get the raw material of coal straight into the manufactured article. The right hon. Member for St. Ives, who has vast knowledge of business, sees that words of this kind in the Bill can only be meant to enable the Government to interfere in business at every turn. It may be that we shall be forced by the Government to accept the Clause as it stands, with the inclusion of the words in question, but it seems to me that the effect of these words will do more to injure the coal trade than would have been the case if they had left the matter alone. We do not know how these two words arose. It would be interesting to find who put them in. I do not think they came from any practical source, and I suspect that they have been put in by some person with very little knowledge of industry.

We have an enormous number of Amendments before us, and I think the Committee might now come to a decision on this point. I just want to say two or three sentences in reply. Hon. Members must not read into my earlier statement anything more than it contains. The kind of case I visualised was an iron and steel under- taking or a large business which was only interested in coal to a small extent. In a case of that kind obviously the discretion of the commissioners would be exercised as to whether it was in the national interest or fair to the parties concerned to amalgamate such an undertaking with others. That stands. But it must be clearly distinguished from what is contemplated by hon. Members in various parts of the House. Hon. Members will recall that in the 1926 Act this was settled in plain and explicit terms; "consisting of or comprising coal mines." From that point you get all the protection—and this is the reply to the right hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman)—not only of the investigation of the statutory Commissioners but beyond them, the Railway and Canal Commission, who have to determine whether it is in the public interest and fair to the parties concerned. Observe the words which I am invited to put into the Bill. In place of these explicit terms, it is suggested that I' should accept the words "relating to an undertaking primarily concerned in the production of coal." What does that mean? What is the limit? Is it to be 50 per cent. or 65 per cent.? There is no instruction; and, of course, that goes back on the Act of 1926. The right hon. Member for St. Ives suggested the words "wholly or partially." There you get into a very vague field.

The President of the Board of Trade has said that there is great difficulty in adopting such words as "primary purpose." May I refer him to Clause 1 of the very Act from which he is quoting, the Mining Industry Act, 1926, where he will find in Clause 1 the words:

"or, in the case of an undertaking of which the primary object is not coal mining."
Those are the exact words suggested by the distinguished lawyer on this side, and are exactly the point raised in the Amendment. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to incorporate in this Bill the very words which are found in the Act of 1926.

That is not the view I take. All I am concerned with at the moment is that I cannot modify the words "consisting of or comprising coal mines." I will consider the other requests which have been put before me when, we reach later Amendments; but I cannot now or on Report Stage go back on the words in the 1926 Act which we are using for the purpose of compulsion as opposed to the modified compulsion which was possible under that Act.

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer one point in regard to the position of the pottery industry? A very large amount of coal is used in the pottery industry and many of the firms have amalgamated together and bought their own colliery. Would that colliery come under the scheme of amalgamation?

I am not sure whether the hon. Member was in the House when I made my earlier statement. If the colliery is merely one small incident on the lines I described I should not think, although I cannot bind the commissioners, that it would be in the national interest to amalgamate, but if it is a large part or a substantial part it clearly comes within the Act of 1926 or the extension of that Act which we now propose, and they might regard it as being in the national interest to amalgamate.

The commissioners may. That is what I want to avoid. The colliery is bought for the purpose of supplying the potteries with coal for their industry. They do not sell to the general public; it is used entirely in the industry, and for the purpose of the industry they have to get coal of a particular quality and have bought a particular mine to secure the supply. Would that colliery he taken over, or may it be taken over, and amalgamated with other collieries in the district?

rose in his place, and claimed to move," That the Question be now put," but THE CHAIRMAN withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.

Division No. 188.]

AYES.

[6.9 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Aske, Sir RobertBenn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood
Adamson, W. M. (Stall., Cannock)Attlee, Clement RichardBennett, William (Battersea, South)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherAyles, WalterBenson, G.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Bentham, Dr. Ethel
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)
Alpass, J. H.Barnes, Alfred JohnBunden, James
Ammon, Charles GeorgeBatey, JosephBondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret
Angell, NormanBeckett, John (Camberwetl, Peckham)Bowen, J. W.
Arnott, JohnBellamy, AlbertBowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.

I only intervene for the purpose of pointing out that there is a misunderstanding on the part of the President of the Board of Trade. May I again direct his attention to Clause 1 of the Act of 1926, to which he has referred, where he will find the words, in just such a context as they are here, "wholly or partially". He has told us that this Bill follows the terms of the 1926 Act. I ask him to follow it in its terms.

The present Government seem to be always anxious to shelter themselves behind the last Government, and now they are sheltering themselves behind the Act of 1926; an Act which they opposed. The right hon. Gentleman says that these words were in that very Ace. We are supposed to be passing a Coal Mines Bill and to be dealing with a Clause enabling amalgamations of the coal mines to be undertaken. It seems to me that the Clause, as drafted, will enable every other sort of industry to be amalgamated. If the Amendment is not accepted it will be perfectly possible for the commissioners to amalgamate co-operative societies and broken down steel companies, and coke ovens. We are passing laws but they should be reasonable. The commissioners may be a most worthy body of men but we ought not to trust them entirely, and we ought to see that they do not have power to do a thing which would be completely wrong. I maintain that it would be completely wrong to amalgamate a co-operative society and a steel factory. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give further attention to this matter and will take out these words or find a more suitable form of words.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 301; Noes, 162.

Broad, Francis AlfredHerriotts, J.Nathan, Major H. L.
Brockway, A. FennerHint, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Naylor, T. E.
Bromfield, WilliamHoffman, P. C.Noel Baker, P. J.
Bromley, J.Hoilins, A.Oldfield, J. R.
Brooke, W.Hore-Belisha, LeslieOliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Brothers, M.Horrabin, J. F.Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Palin, John Henry.
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hunter, Dr. JosephPaling, Wilfrid
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Palmer, E. T.
Buchanan, G.Isaacs, GeorgeParkinson, John Allan (Wigan)
Burgess, F. G.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Perry, S. F.
Burgin, Dr. E. L.John, William (Rhondda, West)Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Buxton, C. Ft. (Yorks. W. Ft. Elland)Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Pethick- Lawrence, F. W.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk. N.)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Phillips, Dr. Marion
Caine, Derwent Halt-Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Cameron, A. G.Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)Pole, Major D. G.
Cape, ThomasJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Price, M. P.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Pybus, Percy John
Charleton, H. C.Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Quibell, D. J. K.
Chater, DanielJowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Church, Major A. G.Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)Raynes, W. R.
Clarke, J. S.Kelly, W. T.Richards, R.
Cluse, W. S.Kennedy, ThomasRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour.Kinley, J.Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Compton, JosephKirkwood, D.Ritson, J.
Cove, William G.Knight, HolfordRoberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Daggar, GeorgeLambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Moiton)Romeril, H. G.
Dallas, GeorgeLang, GordonRosbotham, D. S. T.
Dalton, HughLansbury, Rt. Hon. GeorgeRowson, Guy
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Lathan, G.Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Day, HarryLaw, Albert (Bolton)Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Denman, Hon. R. D.Law, A. (Rosendale)Salter, Dr. Alfred
Devlin, JosephLawrence, SusanSamuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Dudgeon, Major C. R.Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Dukes, C.Lawson, John JamesSanders, W. S.
Duncan, CharlesLawther, W, (Barnard Castle)Sawyer, G. F.
Ede, James ChuterLeach, W.Scott, James
Edmunds, J. E.Lee, Frank (Derby. N. E.)Sexton, James
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth)Lees, J.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Egan, W. H.Lewis, T. (Southampton)Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Elmley, ViscountLloyd, C. EllisSherwood, G. H.
England, Colonel A.Logan, David GilbertShield, George William
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Longbottom, A. W.Shillaker, J. F.
Foot, IsaacLongden, F.Shinwell, E.
Forgan, Dr. RobertLowth, ThomasShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Freeman, PeterLunn, WilliamSimmons, C. J.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Macdonald, Gerdon (Ince)Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)McElwee, A.Sinkinson, George
Gibbins, JosephMcEntee, V. L.Sitch, Charles H.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)McKinlay, A.Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gill, T. H.MacLaren, AndrewSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Gillett, George M.Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Gossling, A. G.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Gould, F.MacNeill-Weir, L.Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)McShane, John JamesSmith, W. R. (Norwich)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)Snell, Harry
Granville, E.Mander, Geoffrey le M.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Gray, MilnerMansfield, W.Stamford, Thomas W.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine)March, S.Stephen, Campbell
Grenfell, D. R, (Glamorgan)Marcus, M.Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Markham, S. F.Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Marley, J.Strauss, G. R.
Groves, Thomas E.Marshall, FredSullivan, J.
Grundy, Thomas W.Mathers, GeorgeSutton, J. E.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Matters, L. W.Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Maxton, JamesTaylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)Melville, Sir JamesThomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Messer, FredThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)Millar, J. D.Thurtle, Ernest
Harbison, T. J.Mills, J. E.Tillett, Ben
Harbord, A.M liner, J.Tinker, John Joseph
Hardie, George D.Montague, FrederickToole, Joseph
Harris, Percy A.Morgan, Dr. H. B.Tout, W. J.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMorley, RalphTownend, A. E.
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMorris, Rhys HopkinsTrevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Haycock, A. W.Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Turner, B.
Hayday, ArthurMorrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)Vaughan, D. J.
Hayes, John HenryMorrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Viant, S. P.
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Mort, D. L.Walkden, A. G.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Moses, J. J. H.Walker, J.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Muff, G.Wallace, H. W.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Muggeridge, H. T.Wallhead, Richard C.

Watkins, F. C.Wilkinson, Ellen C.Wise, E. F.
Watson, w. M. (Dunfermline)Williams, David (Swansea, East)Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Wellock, WilfredWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)Wright, W, (Rutherglen)
Welsh, James (Paisley)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Westwood, JosephWilson, J. (Oldham)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)Mr. Whiteley and Mr. B. Smith.
Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)Winterton, G. E. (Lelcester, Loughb'gh)

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGanzonl, Sir JohnPeake, Capt. Osbert
Albery, Irving JamesGault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonPeto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Pownall, Sir Assheton
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPreston, Sir Walter Rueben
Astor, ViscountessGlyn, Major R. G. C.Ramsbotham, H.
Atholl, Duchess ofGrace, JohnReid, David D. (County Down)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Richardson, Sir P. W (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterRodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Balniel, LordGrenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Ross, Major Ronald D.
Bellairs, Commander CarlyonGritten, W. G. HowardRussell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Berry, Sir GeorgeGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Gunston, Captain D. W.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Birchall, Major Sir John DearmanHacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bird, Ernest RoyHamilton, Sir George (Ilford)Savery, S. S.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHanbury, C.Simms, Major-General J.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartHartington, Marquess ofSinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Skelton, A. N.
Boyce, H. L.Haslam, Henry C.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHills, Major Rt. Hon. John WallerSmith-Carington, Neville W.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Smithers, Waldron
Buckingham, Sir H.Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Burton, Colonel H. W.Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Butler, R. A.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHurst, Sir Gerald B.Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Castle Stewart, Earl ofJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertStewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)
Cautley, Sir Henry S.King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Knox, Sir AlfredThomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Lamb, Sir J. Q.Thomson, Sir F.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Tinne, J. A.
Christie, J. A.Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeLeighton, Major B. E. P.Todd, Capt. A. J.
Colman, N. C. D.Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)Train, J.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Llewellin, Major J. J.Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.Locker- Lampson, Rt. Hon. GodfreyTurton, Robert Hugh
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)McConnell, Sir JosephVaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipMacquisten, F. A.Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyMacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Davies, Dr. VernonMakins, Brigadier-General E.Wells, Sydney R.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Margesson, Captain H. D.Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Dawson, Sir PhilipMarjoribanks, E. C.Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Duckworth, G. A. V.Mason, Colonel Glyn K.Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George
Dugdale, Capt. T. L.Merriman, Sir F. BoydWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Edmondson, Major A J.Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Withers, Sir John James
Elliot, Major Walter E.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)Womersley, W. J.
Everard, W. LindsayMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur CliveWorthington-Evans. Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Fermoy, LordMuirhead, A. J.Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Fielden, E. B.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Fison, F. G. ClaveringNicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir HerbertMajor Sir George Hennessy and Sir
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.O'Neill, Sir H.George Penny.

Question put accordingly, "That the words' or comprising' stand part of the proposed Clause."

Division No. 189.]

AYES.

[6.20 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Aske, Sir RobertBenn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Attlee, Clement RichardBennett, William (Battersea, South)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherAyles, WalterBenson, G.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Bentham, Dr. Ethel
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)
Alpass, J. H.Barnes, Alfred JohnBlindell, James
Ammon, Charles GeorgeBatey, JosephBondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret
Angell, Norman.Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)Bowen, J. W.
Arnott, JohnBellamy, AlbertBowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 303; Noes, 160.

Broad, Francis AlfredHirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Naylor, T. E.
Brockway, A. FennerHoffman, P. C.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Bromfield, WilliamHollins, ANoel Baker, P. J.
Bromley, J.Hore-Belisha, LeslieOldfield, J. R.
Brooke, W.Horrabin, J. F.Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Brothers, M.Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)Hunter, Dr. JosephPalin, John Henry.
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Paling, Wilfrid
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Isaacs, GeorgePalmer, E. T.
Buchanan, G.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Burgess, F. G.John, William (Rhondda, West)Perry, S. F.
Burgin, Dr. E. L.Johnston, ThomasPeters, Dr. Sidney John
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Phillips, Dr. Marlon
Caine, Derwent Hail-Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Cameron, A. G.Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)Pole, Major D. G.
Cape, ThomasJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Potts, John S.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Price, M. P.
Charleton, H. C.Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Pybus, Percy John
Chater, DanielJowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Quibell, D. J. K.
Clarke, J. S.Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Cluse, W. S.Kelly, W. T.Rathbone, Eleanor
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Kennedy, ThomasRaynes, W. R.
Cocks, Frederick Seymour.Kenworfhy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Richards, R.
Compton, JosephKinley, J.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Cove, William G.Kirkwood, D.Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Daggar, GeorgeKnight, HolfordRiley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Dallas, GeorgeLambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Moiton)Ritson, J.
Dalton, HughLang, GordonRoberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Lansbury, Rt. Hon. GeorgeRomeril, H. G.
Day, HarryLathan, G.Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Denman, Hon. R. D.Law, Albert (Bolton)Rowson, Guy
Devlin, JosephLaw, A. (Rosendale)Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Dudgeon, Major C. R.Lawrence, SusanRussell, Richard John (Eddisbury)
Dukes, C.Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)Salter, Dr. Alfred
Duncan, CharlesLawson, John JamesSamuel Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Ede, James ChuterLawther, W. (Barnard Castle)Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Edmunds, J. E.Leach, W.Sanders, W. S.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)Sawyer, G. F.
Edwards, E. (Morpeth)Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)Scott, James
Egan, W. H.Lees, J.Sexton, James
Elmley, ViscountLewis, T. (Southampton)Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
England, Colonel A.Lloyd, C. EllisShaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Logan, David GilbertShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Foot, IsaacLongbottom, A. W.Sherwood, G. H.
Forgan, Dr. RobertLongden, F.Shield, George William
Freeman, PeterLowth, ThomasShillaker, J. F.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Lunn, WilliamShinwell, E.
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)Simmons, C. J.
Gibbins, JosephMcElwee, A.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)McEntee, V. L.Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Gill, T. H.McKinlay, A.Sinkinson, George
Gillett, George M.MacLaren, AndrewSitch, Charles H.
Gossling, A. G.Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Gould, F.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)MacNeill-Weir, L.Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)McShane, John JamesSmith, Rennie (Penistone)
Granville, E.Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Gray, MilnerMansfield, W.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine).March, S.Snell, Harry
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Marcus, M.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Griffith, F. Kingtley (Middlsbro' W.)Markham, S. F.Stamford, Thomas W.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Marley, J.Stephen, Campbell.
Groves, Thomas E.Marshall, FredStewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Grundy, Thomas W.Mathers, GeorgeStrachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Matters, L. W.Strauss, G. R.
Hall, G. H Merthyr Tydvil)Maxton, JamesSullivan, J.
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)Melville, Sir JamesSutton, J. E.
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Messer, FredTaylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)Millar, J. D.Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Harbison, T. J.Milts, J. E.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Harbord, A.Milner, J.Thorns, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hardie, George D.Montague, FrederickThurtle, Ernest
Harris, Percy A.Morgan, Dr. H. B.Tillett, Ben
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMorley, RalphTinker, John Joseph
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMorris, Rhys HopkinsToole, Joseph
Haycock, A. W.Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Tout, W. J.
Hayday, ArthurMorrison, Herbert (Hackney. South)Townend, A. E.
Hayes, John HenryMorrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Mort, D. L.Turner, B.
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Moses, J. J. H.Vaughan, D. J.
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Muff, G.Viant, S. P.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Muggeridge, H. T.Walkden, A. G.
Herriotts, J.Nathan, Major H. L.Walker, J.

Wallace, H. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Wallhead, Richard C.Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Watkins, F. C.Wilkinson, Ellen C.Wise, E. F.
Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)Williams, David (Swansea, East)Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Wellock, WilfredWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Welsh, James (Paisley)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Westwood, JosephWilson, J. (Oldham)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Whiteley.

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Muirhead, A. J.
Albery, Irving JamesFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)Ganzoni, Sir JohnNicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'l'd)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonNield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Astor, ViscountessGibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)O'Neill, Sir H.
Atholl, Duchess ofGilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPeake, Captain Osbert
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Glyn, Major R. G. C.Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Grace, JohnPownall, Sir Assheton
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Preston, Sir Walter Rucben
Balniel, LordGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Ramsbotham, H.
Bellairs, Commander CarlyonGreaves-Lord, Sir WalterReid, David D. (County Down)
Berry, Sir GeorgeGrenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Gritten, W. G. HowardRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Birchall, Major Sir John DearmanGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Bird, Ernest RoyGunston, Captain D. W.Ross, Major Ronald D.
Boothby, R. J. G.Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartHanbury, C.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney;
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Hartington, Marquess ofSandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Boyce, H. L.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Savery, S. S.
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHaslam, Henry C.Simms, Major-General J.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexkam)Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Skelton, A. N.
Buckingham, Sir H.Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John WallerSmith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Butler, R. AHerne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHoward-Bury, Colonel C. K.Smithers, Waldron
Castle Stewart, Earl ofHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hurd, Percy A.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Hurst, Sir Gerald B.Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSteel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)
Christie, J. A.King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeKnox, Sir AlfredThomson, Sir F.
Colman, N. C. D.Lamb, Sir J. Q.Tinne, J. A.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Todd, Capt. A. J.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Train, J.
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipLewis, Oswald (Colchester)Turton, Robert Hugh
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyLlewellin, Major J. J.Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. GodfreyWard, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Davies, Dr. VernonMcConnell, Sir JosephWaterhouse, Captain Charles
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Wells, Sydney R.
Dawson, Sir PhilipMaitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Duckworth, G. A. V.Makins, Brigadier-General E.Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L.Margesson, Captain H. D.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Edmondson, Major A. J.Marjoribanks, E. C.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Elliot, Major Walter E.Mason, Colonel Glyn K.Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Merriman, Sir F. BoydWood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Everard, W. LindsayMitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Fermoy, LordMoore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)
Fielden, E. B.Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Fison, F. G. ClaveringMorrison-Bell, Sir Arthur CliveSir George Penny and Captain Wallace.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 12, after "1921," to insert the words "other than paragraph (a) of section two thereof."

I would be glad if the hon. Member would come a little nearer to me, in order that I may hear him.

This matter is not one which requires much explanation. The proposed new Clause provides that in respect of any meeting of the Commission at which a quorum of the commissioners is present for the purpose of any inquiry under this Measure, the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, shall apply to the Commission. Paragraph (a) of Section 2 of that Act provides that a tribunal to which the Act is applied

"shall not refuse to allow the public or any portion of the public to be present at any of the proceedings of the tribunal unless in the opinion of the tribunal it is in the public interest expedient so to do for reasons connected with the subject matter of the inquiry or the nature of the evidence to be given."
I think it is quite obvious that a provision of that kind was never intended to apply to inquiries such as these concerning the question of whether various undertakings should be amalgamated or not, and I therefore move the Amendment that

Division No. 190.]

AYES.

[6.34 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Edwards, E. (Morpeth)Kennedy, Thomas
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Egan, w. H.Kinley, J.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherElmley, ViscountKirkwood, D.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.England, Colonel A.Knight, Holford
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Alpass, J. H.Foot, IsaacLang, Gordon
Ammon, Charles GeorgeForgan, Dr. RobertLansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Angell, NormanFreeman, PeterLathan, G.
Arnott, JohnGardner, B. W. (West Ham. Upton)Law, Albert (Bolton)
Aske, Sir RobertGeorge, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Law, A. (Rosendale)
Attlee, Clement RichardGibbins, JosephLawrence, Susan
Ayles, WalterGibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Gill, T. H.Lawson, John James
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Gillett, George M.Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Barnes, Alfred JohnGossling, A. G.Leach, W.
Batey, JosephGould, F.Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Bellamy, AlbertGraham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Lees, J.
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodGranville, E.Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Benson, G.Gray, MilnerLogan, David Gilbert
Bentham, Dr. EthelGreenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine)Longbottom, A. W.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Longden, F.
Birkett, W. NormanGriffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Lowth, Thomas
Blindell, JamesGriffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Lunn, William
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. MargaretGroves, Thomas E.Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Bowen, J. W.Grundy, Thomas W.MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)McElwee, A.
Broad, Francis AlfredHall, G. K Merthyr Tydvil)McEntee, V. L.
Brockway, A. FennerHall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)McKinlay, A.
Bromfield, WilliamHamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)MacLaren, Andrew
Bromley, J.Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)
Brooke, W.Harbison, T. J.Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Brothers, M.Harbord, A.MacNeill-Weir, L.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)Hardie, George D.McShane, John James
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Harris, Percy A.Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMansfield, W.
Buchanan, G.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMarch, S.
Burgess, F. G.Haycock, A. W.Marcus, M.
Burgin, Dr. E. L.Hayday, ArthurMarkham, S. F.
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Hayes, John HenryMarley, J.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Marshall, Fred
Caine, Derwent HallHenderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Mathers, George
Cameron, A. G.Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Matters, L. W.
Cape, ThomasHerriotts, J.Maxton, James
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wontworth)Melville, Sir James
Charleton, H. C.Hoffman, P. C.Messer, Fred
Chater, DanielHollins, A.Millar, J. D.
Clarke, J. S.Hore-Belisha, LeslieMills, J. E.
Cluse, W. S.Horrabin, J. F.Milner, J.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Montague, Frederick
Cocks, Frederick Seymour.Hunter, Dr. JosephMorgan, Dr. H. B.
Compton, JosephHutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Morley, Ralph
Cove, William G.Jsaacs, GeorgeMorris, Rhys Hopkins
Daggar, GeorgeJenkins, W. (Glamorgan. Neath)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Dallas, GeorgeJohn, William (Rhondda, West)Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Dalton, HughJohnston, ThomasMorrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Mort, D. L.
Day, HarryJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Moses, J. J. H.
Denman, Hon. R. D.Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Muff, G.
Devlin, JosephJones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)Muggeridge, H. T.
Dudgeon, Major C. R.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Nathan, Major H. L.
Dukes, C.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Nayfor, T. E.
Duncan, CharlesJowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Ede, James ChutarJawitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Noel Baker. P. J.
Edmunds, J. E.Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)Oldfield, J. R.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth. Bedwellty)Kelly, W. T.Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)

paragraph ( a) should not apply in this case.

Amendment to the proposed Clause agreed to.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 303; Noes, 150.

Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)Sexton, JamesToole, Joseph
Owen, H. F. (Hereford)Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.Tout, W. J.
Palin, John Henry.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)Townend, A. E.
Paling, WilfridShepherd, Arthur LewisTrevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Palmer, E. T.Sherwood, G. H.Turner, B.
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Shield, George WilliamVaughan, D. J.
Perry, S. F.Shillaker, J. F.Viant, S. P.
Peters, Dr. Sidney JohnShinwell, E.Walkden, A. G.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)Walker, J.
Phillips, Dr. MarlonSimmons, C. J.Wallace, H. W.
Picton-Tubervill, EdithSimon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)Wallhead, Richard C.
Pole, Major D. G.Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)Watkins, F. C.
Potts, John S.Sinkinson, GeorgeWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Price, M. P.Sitch, Charles H.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Pybus, Percy JohnSmith, Alfred (Sunderland)Wellock, Wilfred
Quibell, D. J. K.Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)Welsh, James (Paisley)
Ramsay, T. B. WilsonSmith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Rathbone, EleanorSmith, Rennie (Penistone)Westwood, Joseph
Raynes, W. R.Smith, Tom (Pontefract)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Richards, R.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Snell, HarryWhiteley, William (Btaydon)
Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)Stamford, Thomas W.Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Ritson, J.Stephen, CampbellWilliams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Romeril, H. G.Strachey, E. J. St. LoeWilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Rosbotham, D. S. T.Strauss, G. R.Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Rowson, GuySullivan, J.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Runciman, Rt. Hon. WalterSutton, J. E.Winterton, G. E. (Lelcester, Loughb'gh)
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)Wise, E. F.
Salter, Dr. AlfredTaylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Samuel Rt. Ron. Sir H. (Darwen)Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Sanders, W. S.Thurtle, Ernest
Sawyer, G. F.Tillett, Ben

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Scott, JamesTinker, John JosephMr. B. Smith and Mr. T. Henderson.

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)Margesson, Captain H. D.
Albery, Irving JamesEverard, W. LindsayMarjoribanks, E. C.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Falle, Sir Bertram G.Mason, Colonel Glyn K.
Astor, ViscountessFermoy, LordMerriman, Sir F. Boyd
Atholl, Duchess ofFielden, E. B.Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Fison, F. G. ClaveringMoore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Balniel, LordGanzonl, Sir JohnMuirhead, A. J.
Bellairs, Commander CarlyonGault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Berry, Sir GeorgeGibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Glyn, Major R. G. C.Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Bird, Ernest RoyGrace, JohnO'Neill, Sir H.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Peake, Captain Osbert
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartGrattan-Doyle, Sir N.Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Pownall, Sir Assheton
Boyce, H. L.Gritten, W. G. HowardPreston, Sir Walter Rueben
Bracken, B.Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Ramsbotham, H.
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeHacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Reid, David D. (County Down)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Hanbury, C.Reynolds, Col. Sir James
Buckingham, Sir H.Hartington, Marquess ofRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Butler, R. A.Haslam, Henry C.Ross, Major Ronald D.
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Castle Stewart, Earl ofHennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John WallerSamuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Savery, S. S.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.Simms, Major-General J.
Christie, J. A.Hudson, Capt. A. u. M. (Hackney, N.)Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHurd, Percy A.Skelton, A. N.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Hurst, Sir Gerald B.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSmith, R. W. (Aberd'n A Kinc'dine, C)
Croom-Johnson, R. P.Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Smithers, Waldron
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipLaw, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyLeighton, Major B. E. P.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Davies, Dr. VernonLlewellin, Major J. J.Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. GodfreySteel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Dawson, Sir PhilipMcConnell, Sir JosephStewart, W. J. (Belfast South)
Duckworth, G. A. V.Macquisten, F. A.Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L.MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Tinne, J. A.
Elliot, Major Walter E.Makins, Brigadier-General E.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of

Train, J.Wells, Sydney R.Womersley, W. J.
Tarton, Robert HushWilliams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Vaughan-Morgan, Sir KenyonWilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. LambertWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.Wolmer, Rt. Hon. ViscountSir Frederick Thomson and Sir George Penny.

New Clause—(Amendments Of Part 1 Of 16 And 17 Geo V, C 28)

(1) If it appears to the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission that it is expedient for the purpose of promoting the more economical and efficient working, treating, or disposing of coal that an amalgamation scheme or an absorption scheme, tinder Part I of the Mining Industry Act, 1926 (hereinafter in this section referred to as "the Act of 1926"), should be prepared and submitted with respect to any two or more undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines, but that the owners of such undertakings entitled under that Act to prepare and submit such a scheme are not prepared to do so, the commissioners shall themselves prepare and submit to the Board of Trade an amalgamation scheme or absorption scheme with respect to those undertakings framed in accordance with the provisions of Part I of the Act of 1926, and for the purposes of that Part of that Act any scheme so prepared and submitted by the Commission shall he deemed to have been prepared and submitted in manner provided by sub-section (1) or (2), as the case may be, of section one of that Act, and that Act shall apply accordingly.

(2) Where a scheme prepared and submitted by the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission is referred by the Board of Trade to the Railway and Canal Commission under section six of the Act of 1926, the first-mentioned Commission shall be entitled to appear and be heard at any proceedings in connection with the scheme.

(3) No scheme shall be submitted or certificate granted by the Commission under

Division No. 191.]

AYES.

[6.45 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Cove, William G.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Broad, Francis AlfredDaggar, George
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherBrockway, A. FennerDallas, George
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.Bromfield, WilliamDalton, Hugh
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Bromley, J.Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)
Alpass, J. H.Brooke, W.Day, Harry
Ammon, Charles GeorgeBrothers, M.Denman, Hon. R. D.
Angell, NormanBrown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Devlin, Joseph
Arnott, JohnBrown, Ernest (Leith)Dudgeon, Major C. R.
Aske, Sir RobertBrown, James (Ayr and Bute)Dukes, C.
Attlee, Clement RichardBuchanan, G.Duncan, Charles
Ayles, WalterBurgess, F. G.Ede, James Chuter
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Burgin, Dr. E. L.Edmunds, J. E.
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)
Barnes, Alfred JohnBuxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)Edwards, E. (Morpeth)
Batey, JosephCaine, Derwent Hall-Egan, W. H.
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)Cameron, A. G.Elmley, Viscount
Bellamy, AlbertCape, ThomasEngland, Colonel A.
Bonn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodCarter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer)
Benson, G.Charleton, H. C.Foot, Isaac
Bentham, Dr. EthelChater, DanielForgan, Dr. Robert
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw vale)Clarke, J. S.Freeman, Peter
Birkett, W. NormanCluse, W. S.Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Blindell, JamesClynes, Rt. Hon. John R.George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. MargaretCocks, Frederick Seymour.Gibbins, Joseph
Bowen, J. W.Compton, JosephGibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)

this section except in pursuance of a decision made at a meeting at which a quorum of the commissioners is present.

(4) Where an amalgamation scheme submitted to the Board of Trade by the owners of two or more undertakings under sub-section (1) of section one of the Act of 1926 is certified by the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission to be in the national interest, and the owners submitting the scheme represent to the Board that it is unnecessary for the purpose of giving effect to the scheme that it should be confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commission under the Act of 1926, it shall not be necessary for the Board to refer the scheme to the Railway and Canal Commission under that Act, but if the Board certify that the provisions of the scheme as to any debentures or as to the issue of any share or loan capital are reasonably required for the purpose of the amalgamation, sub-section (2) of section five of the Act of 1926 (which grants certain exemptions from stamp duty in respect of schemes confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commission) shall apply in respect of the scheme and of anything done in pursuance thereof as if the scheme had been confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commission.

(5) This section shall be construed as one with Part I of the Act of 1926.—[Mr. W. Graham.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 2S7; Noes, 148.

Gill, T. H.Longbottom, A. W.Samuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)
Gillett, George M.Longden, F.Sanders, W. S.
Gossling, A. G.Lowth, ThomasSawyer, G. F.
Gould, F.Lunn, WilliamScott, James
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)Sexton, James
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)Shakespeare, Graffrey H.
Granville, E.McElwee, A.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Gray, MilnerMcEntee, v. L.Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)McKinlay, A.Sherwood, G. H.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)MacLaren, AndrewShield, George William
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Shillaker, J. F
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)MacNeill-Weir, L.Shinwell, E.
Groves, Thomas E.McShane, John JamesShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Grundy, Thomas W.Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)Simmons, C. J.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Mansfield, W.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)March, S.Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)Marcus, M.Sinkinson, George
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Markham, S. F.Sitch, Charles H.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)Marley, J.Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Harbison, T. J.Marshall, FredSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Harbord, A.Mathers, GeorgeSmith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Hardie, George D.Matters, L. W.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Harris, Percy A.Maxton, JamesSmith, Tom (Pontefract)
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMelville, Sir JamesSmith, W. R. (Norwich)
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMesser, FredSnell, Harry
Haycock, A. W.Millar, J. D.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Hayday, ArthurMills, J. E.Stamford, Thomas W.
Hayes, John HenryM liner, J.Stephen, Campbell
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Montague, FrederickStewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Morgan, Dr. H. B.Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Morley, RalphStrauss, G. R.
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Sullivan, J.
Herriotts, J.Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)Sutton, J. E.
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Hoffman, P. C.Mort, D. L.Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Hollins, A.Moses, J. J. H.Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hore-Belisha, Leslie.Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)Thurtle, Ernest
Horrabin, J. F.Muff, G.Tillett, Ben
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Muggeridge, H. T.Tinker, John Joseph
Hunter, Dr. JosephNathan, Major H. L.Toole, Joseph
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Naylor, T. E.Tout, W. J.
Isaacs, GeorgeNewman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Townend, A. E.
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Noel Baker, P. J.Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
John, William (Rhondda, West)Oldfield, J. R.Turner, B.
Johnston, ThomasOliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)Vaughan, D. J.
Jones, F. Llewellyn (Flint)Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)Viant, S. P.
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Owen, H. F. (Hereford)Walkden, A. G.
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)Palin, John Henry.Walker, J.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Paling, WilfridWallace, H. W.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Palmer, E. T.Wallhead, Richard C.
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Perry, S. F.Watkins, F. C.
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Peters, Dr. Sidney JohnWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Kedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wellock, Wilfred
Kelly, W. T.Phillips, Dr. MarionWelsh, James (Paisley)
Kennedy, ThomasPole, Major D. G.Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Kinley, J.Potts, John S.Westwood, Joseph
Kirkwood, D.Price, M. P.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Knight, HolfordPybus, Percy JohnWhiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)Quibell, D. J. K.Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Lang, GordonRamsay, T. B. WilsonWilkinson, Ellen C.
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. GeorgeRathbone, EleanorWilliams, David (Swansea, East)
Lathan, G.Raynes, W. R.Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llaneliy)
Law, Albert (Bolton)Richards, R.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Law, A. (Rosendale)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Lawrence, SusanRiley, Ben (Dewsbury)Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Lawson, John JamesRitson, J.Wise, E. F.
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Leach, W.Romeril, H. G.Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)Rosbotham, D. S. T.Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)Rowson, Guy
Lees, J.Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Lewis, T. (Southampton)Salter, Dr. AlfredMr. B. Smith and Mr. Allen Parkinson.
Logan, David GilbertSamuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.Balniel, LordBowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.
Albery, Irving JamesBellairs, Commander CarlyonBoyce, H. L.
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)Berry, Sir GeorgeBracken, B.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Briscoe, Richard George
Atholl, Duchess ofBirchall, Major Sir John DearmanBrown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Bird, Ernest RoyBuckingham, Sir H.
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Bourne, Captain Robert CroftBurton, Colonel H. W.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartButler, R. A.

Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardHarvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Ross, Major Ronald D.
Castle Stewart, Earl ofHaslam, Henry C.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cautley, Sir Henry S.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John WallerSandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Savery, S. S.
Christie, J. A.Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.Simms, Major-General J.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir GeorgeHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)
Courtauld, Major J. S.Hurd, Percy A.Skelton, A. N.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.Hurst, Sir Gerald B.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Croom-Johnson, R. P.James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSmith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cunllffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipKing, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Smithers, Waldron
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyLaw, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Davies, Dr. VernonLewis, Oswald (Colchester)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Llewellin, Major J. J.Stanley, Maj. Hon. O. (W'morland)
Dawson, Sir PhilipLocker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. GodfreySteel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Duckworth, G. A. V.McConnell, Sir JosephStewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)
Dugdale, Capt. T. L.Macquisten, F. A.Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Edmondson, Major A. J.MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Elliot, Major Walter E.Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Tinne, J. A.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)Makins, Brigadier-General E.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Everard, W. LindsayMarjoribanks, E. C.Todd, Capt. A. J.
Falie, Sir Bertram G.Merriman, Sir F. BoydTrain, J.
Fermoy, LordMitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Turton, Robert Hugh
Fielden, E. B.Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon
Fison, F. G. ClaveringMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur CliveWard, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Muirhead, A. J.Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Ganzonf, Sir JohnNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)Wells, Sydney R.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonNicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otlcy)Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir HerbertWilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Glyn, Major R. G. C.O'Neill. Sir H.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel Georgs
Grace, JohnPeake, Capt. OsaertWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)Womersley, W. J.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Pownall, Sir AsshetonWorthington- Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Preston, Sir Waller RuebenYoung, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Gritten, W. G. HowardRamsbotham, H.
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Reid, David D. (County Down)

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Reynolds, Col. Sir JamesSir Frederick Thomson and Sir George Penny.
Hanbury, C.Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)
Hartington, Marquess ofRodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 3, to leave out the word "treating."

I am moving this Amendment in order to find out from the President of the Board of Trade what is in his mind in putting this word in the proposed Clause. This is a Bill which applies to the sale of coal, but it does not suggest any means of dealing with coal other than by sale. I am not clear what the right hon. Gentleman wishes to do in granting this permission to promote amalgamations. Does he desire to give power to set up low-temperature carbonisation plant or any other of the various processes for dealing with coal? It seems to me that we are going a long way further than we know and may be putting on the shoulders of the Commission something far greater than was intended. There are a large number of methods of treating coal, but they have not got far beyond the laboratory stage. That being so, a great difficulty arises in the matter of treating coal on a commercial scale, and we should be very careful not to give to the Commis- sion powers, which this seems to suggest. In order to get the matter clear and an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman, I have put down this Amendment to the proposed Clause.

I am afraid I cannot say that there is anything new in my mind on this subject. The words included in this Section are on all-fours with the provisions of the Act of 1926, which, of course, covers the treating of coal as well as its production and other processes. If these words were left out, it would limit the Act of 1926 and make it impossible for these commissioners to prepare a scheme which was directed not only to the production but to the treating of coal, and it would severely limit the commissioners in an important branch of their work. After this explanation, I hope the hon. and gallant Member will not press his Amendment.

Amendment to proposed Clause negatived.

The following Amendments to the proposed Clause stood upon the Order Paper:

In line 6, leave out from the word "mines" to the word "the," in line 8.

In line 8, leave out the word "themselves," and to insert instead thereof the words "require the owners of those undertakings to."

In line 11, after "1926," to insert the words:

"and if the owners fail so to submit such a scheme within such a time as may have been specified by the commissioners, the commissioners shall themselves prepare and submit such a scheme to the Board of Trade."—[Mr. C. Davies.]

The discussion on these three Amendments to the proposed Clause may be taken together.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 6, to leave out from the word "mines" to the word "the," in line 8.

The object of these Amendments standing in my name are that as the Clause stands at present it puts power in the hands of those who might defeat the whole object of the Commission, for they can now prepare their scheme and submit it to the Commission, and then the Commission can refuse the scheme. Then they can prepare another one again. They can go on doing that, saying that they are about to prepare one and not preparing one until the whole object of these Clauses, which are intended to bring about compulsory amalgamation, is completely defeated. What I propose here is that the Commission, once they have made up their minds that there should be an amalgamation, should then communicate with the owners and ask them to prepare this scheme. They give the owners time to prepare such a scheme, and, if the owners prepare it, the Commission will consider it, and, if they think fit, adopt it with the necessary modifications. If the owners do not put forward a scheme, then the Commission can do so, and it can go to the Board of Trade and to the Railway and Canal Commission. That is the object the Committee had in view in giving a Second Reading to this Clause, namely, that, if compulsory amalgamation is assented to, then it should be a proper scheme which should be reasonable and practicable and not one which can be defeated by those who can devise ways and means of defeating an Act of Parliament. As it stands at present, the Clause would enable capable people to defeat the very object which the Committee has in view.

It is not easy to follow a proposal to leave out certain words and insert others, but I think I am clear as to what is in the mind of the Mover. I am not very clear, however, as to whether the words he is proposing will give effect to what is in his mind. The intention of the President of the Board of Trade, as I understand it, is that, before the Commission starts preparing a scheme themselves and putting it before the Railway and Canal Commission, they should ask what are the views of the owners and see if the owners or some of them are themselves prepared to work such a scheme. If that is the intention, it is one with which I agree, because obviously it is only common-sense that you should, first of all, ascertain the views of the people whose undertakings are to be amalgamated and find out from them before you start trying to make a scheme, what are their views and whether in their opinion an amalgamation will tie worth while and whether they are prepared to put forward such a scheme. That, I gather, is the intention of the President of the Board of Trade, and the Commission will not frame a scheme until they have first consulted the owners and found out whether they will father a scheme themselves. That is obviously common-sense, and I cannot understand any body of intelligent men proceeding in any other way.

I do not contemplate the possibility of a number of owners putting forward a great many fantastic schemes of amalgamation in which they do not believe and then producing one more fantastic than the other. If we approach this problem of amalgamation in the expectation that everybody is going to do something more fantastic even than what the commissioners are invited to do, we cannot have very much faith in these proposals. I do not believe anybody is likely to put themselves to that trouble. I am not sure however, that, if the President of the Board of Trade accepts the words of the proposed Amendment, it would not be in the power of the Commission to frame a scheme before they had consulted the owners in the first instance. If that would be the effect, it is bad. If all the words of the Amendment do is to re-write in a more convenient form the proposal of the President of the Board of Trade that the owners are to be consulted first and are to express their opinion and to have an opportunity of promoting a scheme before the commissioners get busy, then the most convenient phraseology should be adopted. If, however, there is a difference of substance, I am on the side of the President of the Board of Trade.

There is no difference of substance in this proposal. Quite briefly, as I have explained on previous occasions, amalgamations can proceed under the ordinary company law, or as a purely voluntary act by the owners of the district before bringing this machinery into force. My hon. Friend who has proposed this Amendment has dealt with circumstances under which there might be a suggested scheme by the owners and, as I understand his words, they merely remove doubt in the Government's draft, and, later, by the insertion of a time limit, bring it to more concrete form. For that reason, the Government are prepared to accept these Amendments, and I think there will be no difficulty in the Committee passing them in the amended form.

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

Further Amendments made to proposed Clause: In line 8, leave out the word "themselves," and insert instead thereof the words "require the owners of those undertakings to."

In line 11, after "1926," insert the words:

"and if the owners fail so to submit such a scheme within such a time as may have been specified by the Commissioners, the Commissioners shall themselves prepare and submit such a scheme to the Board of Trade."—[Mr. C. navies.]

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 14, after the first word "Act," to insert the words:

"and for the purposes of sub-section (2) (a) of section seven of that Act (which provides, inter alia, that the Railway and Canal Commission shall confirm a scheme if satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so) confirmation by the Railway and Canal Commission of any scheme prepared by the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission and submitted to the Board of Trade shall be deemed to be in the national interest."
The Committee will recall, on reference to the first of the new Clauses which we have been discussing, that the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission is given the discretion to frame schemes subject to a condition, that condition being—
"if the amalgamations appear to the Commission to be in the national interest."
Subject to that over-riding condition, the new Commission have, under the Clause which we are now discussing, to place before the Railway and Canal Commission, which, for clarity's sake, I call the tribunal, a scheme for amalgamation under the Mining Industry Act, 1926. It goes to the tribunal by way of the Board of Trade and, when it goes before the tribunal, that tribunal is under a mandatory obligation by para, (a) of Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act to confirm the scheme, if satisfied that it will be in the national interest to do so. My Amendment to the proposed Clause is designed to clarify what appears to me may be a rather odd situation, because, if the matter be left where it stands at the moment without my Amendment, this peculiar situation will arise. First, this Reorganisation Commission, which with so much pomp and circumstance we have at last succeeded in establishing, will sit in solemn conclave to decide that a scheme is in the national interest. It is to be a Commission of men of high standing and great technical ability. The responsibility is reposed on them of determining whether the scheme is in the national interest or not. Having done that and framed the scheme, it comes, under the provisions of the Act of 1926, before the Railway and Canal Commission, and the first question the Railway and Canal Commission have to decide is whether the scheme is in the national interest. There will then be two tribunals deciding what is and what is not in the national interest.

My Amendment is designed to overcome that difficulty and, if passed, the result will be that the decision of the new Reorganisation Commission will be conclusive, and that the tribunal will accept the decision of the new Reorganisation Commission as determining that the scheme is in the national interest under Section 7 (2, a) of the 1926 Act. It is not a very exciting and is possibly a dull Amendment, but I believe it is essential in order to maintain the authority of the Reorganisation Commission that, when it has once determined that a scheme is in the national interest, it shall not be open for any other commission to question that decision.

I have much less doubt about this Amendment to the proposed Clause, because it is certainly much more than a drafting Amendment. I was not sure I understood it until the hon. Gentleman explained it so clearly. It seemed to me either unnecessary or that it took away from the established court, the Railway and Canal Commission, an important discretion. He has explained that his Amendment is to take away a very important jurisdiction from the Railway and Canal Commission. The President of the Board of Trade, in rejecting certain proposals of ours earlier in the evening, defended himself on the ground that the whole structure of his new Clause was to leave in the full powers and the safeguards which found their place in the Act of 1926. Perhaps the most important safeguard of all in the Act of 1926 was the double safeguard that, wherever an amalgamation scheme was put forward, the Railway and Canal Commission, the judicial tribunal which bad to decide the issue, had to be satisfied with two things, namely, that the scheme was in the national interest, and that it was fair and equitable to the parties concerned.

Obviously, that is the case to be tried, and, if it is necessary and desirable to give that jurisdiction to the Railway and Canal Commission in the case of schemes put forward by willing parties, or at any rate where some of the parties are willing, it is doubly important that we should have that safeguard absolutely unrestricted in the hands of the Railway and Canal Commission. When they come to consider any proposals which are being put forward by these commissioners, it may be they are against the opinion of the whole of the parties concerned. In such a case, you will be absolutely ousting the main jurisdiction of the Railway and Canal Commission if you do not allow the parties to lay before them the question whether the proposal of the Commission was in the national interest and was fair. Indeed, if this Amendment to the proposed Clause were carried, you would oust the jurisdiction of the Railway and Canal Commission, and you might just as well leave them out altogether. What this Amendment would do would be to make the commissioners judges in their own cause of the very thing to be tried, which is whether the commissioners' proposals are in the national interest and whether they are fair and equitable. The whole framework of these proposals would be undermined, and all the safeguards upon which the President of the Board of Trade has based himself and defended his plan would go by the board, if you take away the jurisdiction from the Railway and Canal Commission. I hope, therefore, that the President will not accept the Amendment to the proposed Clause.

I find it difficult to appreciate the point which is strictly before the Committee, because, as I explained, these proposals would appear to take away the functions of the Railway and Canal Commission, which make the whole of the structure of the Act of 1926. I will read the actual words which are proposed by the hon. and gallant Gentleman:

"For the purposes of Sub-section (2) (a) of Section seven of that Act,… confirmation by the Railway and Canal Commission of any scheme prepared by the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission and submitted to the Board of Trade shall be deemed to he in the national interest."
That plainly is the function of the Railway and Canal Commission and their duty is to approve on the ground that it is in the national interest and fair and equitable to the parties. This would not happen according to the Amendment to the proposed Clause so far as I can follow it and it appears quite unnecessary.

The Amendment proposes to take away from the jurisdiction of the Railway and Canal Commission one of their principal functions, which is consider whether schemes put before them are in the national interest. The hon. Member for North-East Bethnal Green (Major Nathan) tells us that if this august Commission, which he congratulates himself on being set up, brings a scheme before the Railway and Canal Commission, it is to be deemed to be in the national interest, and no more is to be said about it. We have already heard on the previous Clause that the Liberal party think that these new commissioners are better able than anybody in the industry to decide what is in the interest of the industry. Now in this proposed Clause they want to say that the commissioners are better able to decide than the Railway and Canal Commission what is in the national interest. It is another step towards nationalisation, and it will be instructive to see how far the Liberal party will go in that direction; what divides them from nationalisation now is next to nothing. The new Commission will, in fact, be merely a branch of a Government Department, and therefore we have this new doctrine, that, although we have an independent Court in the Railway and Canal Commission, yet on these questions of vital public interest, the members of the Liberal party would wish to take away from the Court all jurisdiction, and invest the whole authority in what is, in effect, a branch of a Department of the public service. I cannot conceive anybody who believes in individual enterprise possibly voting for the Amendment to the proposed Clause.

I am sorry that I have not made the object of the Amendment to the proposed Clause clear. May I make another attempt? It seems to me essential to preserve the dignity of the Courts of Justice in this country, and I ask the Attorney-General if he will express his view on this matter. Here we have set up by this Bill a Commission consisting of five men, whose first function is to say whether a scheme is or is not in the national interest. That scheme has then to be sent to the Tribunal under the Act of 1926. It is not a scheme prepared under that Act; it is expressly stated in the Bill that it is to be deemed to be prepared under the Act of 1926, which is a different thing. Then it goes before the Tribunal. The Tribunal has to consider a number of matters—whether the scheme is fair and equitable to all the parties concerned, and whether it is in the national interest. In other words, they have to consider exactly the same question which has already been considered and determined by the Commission before the scheme ever goes before the Tribunal at all.

You have on the new Commission five technical men; you have on the Tribunal three eminent lawyers. I would recall to the learned Attorney-General a dictum of the present Lord Chancellor, when as Mr. Justice Sankey, he sat as Chairman of the Railway and Canal Commission in considering just such a case as this under the Mining Industry Act of 1926. In that case, after considering the whole of the evidence—and in another case, too—and when delivering judgment on behalf of the Railway and Canal Commission, he said that this very question of whether or not a scheme is in the national interest is not a suitable subject for a judicial tribunal. His words were:
"This is a matter, not for the High Court of Justice, but for the High Court of Parliament."
He expressed some regret that this question, which he considered it was impossible for a judicial tribunal to answer, should have been remitted by the Act of 1926 to the Railway and Canal Commission in its judicial capacity. Here is an opportunity for meeting the criticisms of the Lord Chancellor of the present Government. A technical tribunal set up by the High Court of Parliament should decide whether or not a scheme is in the national interest, and we should relieve the Railway and Canal Commission of the responsibility of making a decision which that Tribunal itself has said is a constitutional question which they regretted should have been remitted to it.

I am glad that the Government have resisted the Amendment to the proposed Clause, for it would have removed all safeguards. These commissioners are, after all, human, and, being human, they will be keen on their work; and, as it will be their business to bring about amalgamations, they will naturally tend to consider an amalgamation to be in the national interest. It is all the more important, therefore, that there should be the safeguard of the Railway and Canal Commission. It will be very interesting, if this Amendment goes to a Division, to see the Liberals vote for nationalisation, and the supporters of the Government vote against nationalisation.

It is quite impossible for us to accept this Amendment to the proposed Clause. The scheme under which this Bill is framed is that you can only get compulsory amalgamation if the amalgamation is approved by this Commission. That is the whole scheme of the Bill.

Amendment to proposed Clause negatived.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 14, at the end, to insert the words:

"Provided that no such scheme of amalgamation shall provide, without the consent of the owner of the undertaking, for the separation of the treating and disposing of coal from the working thereof, or, in the case of an undertaking of which the primary object is not coal mining, for the separation from the undertaking of any coal mine worked as ancillary to such primary object."
This afternoon we have been sticking very close to the words of the 1926 Act and as the words of this Amendment to the proposed Clause, which stands in the name of myself and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir B. Home), are taken direct from that Act, I hope that will commend them to the President of the Board of Trade. The new Clause enables the commissioners to prepare and submit either an amalgamation scheme or an absorption scheme. The difference between an amalgamation scheme and an absorption scheme, if we refer to the 1926 Act, appears to be this: an amalgamation scheme is one where all the parties are willing, and an absorption scheme is one where some one or other of the parties is not willing. I am glad to see the learned Attorney-General agreeing with my construction of the law, because such law as I know I learned in his chambers. It seems to me to be a contradiction in terms to have an amalgamation scheme in which all the parties are unwilling proposed at all by these commissioners. If the scheme propounded by the commissioners is an absorption scheme, then these words which I am asking the Committee to insert are unnecessary, because they are already imported, they exist in the 1926 Act. If the scheme be an absorption scheme, then we have this proviso, which I suggest should be included, applied. On the other hand, if the commissioners call the scheme an amalgamation, scheme, this proviso would not apply. Therefore, we have this position, that although everybody may be unwilling to come into an amalgamation, the commissioners, if they call it an absorption scheme, will have this proviso applying; but if they just call it an amalgamation scheme the proviso will not apply. I suggest, therefore, that it is reasonable to insert this proviso where a scheme is an amalgamation scheme, so as to put the two things on exactly the same footing.

On the merits of this proposal, I want to say this: The object is exactly the reverse of the Amendment on which we had a discussion earlier this afternoon, because the idea here is that it shall not be in the power of the commissioners to split up into its component parts an undertaking already existing which is of a mixed nature. The earlier discussion sought to prevent an undertaking of a mixed nature being brought into a purely coal mining amalgamation. If we are to have a compulsory amalgamation, the commissioners ought not to be in the position of being able to pick and choose the plums of any particular undertaking for amalgamation, or for exclusion from the amalgamation. If you are going to have compulsion, and are saying to a man that he has got to come in, you should be compelled either to take his whole undertaking or not to take it at all.

That is exactly what you can do, as the Bill now stands. The commissioners can propound a partial amalgamation scheme or a partial absorption scheme, taking, we will say, all the by-product plants in a particular district and making them into an absorbed or amalgamated undertaking, and that is exactly what I say should not be done.

But how would you do that? There are collieries belonging to Dorman Long and Company; they have blast furnaces at Middlesbrough and work collieries in order to supply those blast furnaces.

That is exactly the case which I am trying to meet. I am saying that in a case such as that of Dorman Long and Company you shall not amalgamate their collieries with collieries which are simply putting coal on the open market. It is perfectly obvious they could never get on. The object of Dorman Long and Company is to produce and sell their coal as cheap as they can, and the object of an ordinary coalowner is to sell his coal as dear as he can, and an amalgamation of the two would never work. The view which I am putting forward received considerable support, when the Mining Industry Act was being discussed in Committee in 1926, from Members representing mining constituencies who are now on the opposite side of the House. These very words were discussed in Standing Committee. What happened then was that the right hon. Gentleman the ex-Secretary of State for War added to the 1926 Bill an Amendment containing these words, and the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), who, I am sorry to say, has just left the Committee, said, speaking on the Amendment:

"I hope the Government are going to stand by their printed Amendment rather than by the suggested alternative, which allows the owners, if they think fit, to agree to the separation of the treating and the disposing from the working of the coal. Those closely associated with the industry and the conciliation boards and wages boards know that one of the burning questions over the last 20 years has been, not only the selling, but also this question of the treating of coal."
He went on to say:
"If the separation of treatment is allowed to go on under the amalgamation schemes, which enlarge the size of the concerns and make them much more effective from our point of view, the net result of the suggested alteration in the Amendment would be to intensify this question of transfer prices rather than to minimise it."
That is exactly what my Amendment to the proposed Clause is going to prevent. It will prevent these commissioners separating the treatment of coal from the working of it or the disposing of it. It will prevent the very evil which hon. Members opposite have been arguing against for so many years. That is the first wing of my Amendment to the proposed Clause. The second wing is to meet the case of the vertical undertaking which at present has its own coal mines for its own purposes. It is to prevent the absorption of such coal mines into a group of mines whose interests must be immediately and completely opposed to the interests of the group with whom it is proposed to make them work.

I cannot help thinking there is a good deal of misapprehension about this matter in various quarters of the Committee. May I put the matter quite simply, as I understand it? Before you can get any compulsory element at all—I am not dealing with voluntary schemes which any two people may make—you must get an order of the Railway and Canal Commission Court. Whenever the Railway and Canal Com mission Court functions, it does so under the terms and provisions of the Act of 1926. All these terms of the Act of 1926 are, therefore, operated here, and this Amendment is wholly unnecessary. If the hon. and gallant Member will look at the terms of the Clause we are discussing, he will see that line 14 expressly provides

"and that Act shall apply accordingly."
and he will see that the last words of the proposed new Clause are:
"This section shall be construed as one with Part I of the Act of 1926."
Whenever, therefore, you go to the Railway and Canal Commission Court and ask it to approve something which could not be done without its approval, you operate under the Act of 1926—that is the territory and the ground upon which they have to act. As the hon. Member has told its, he borrowed the words from the Act of 1926.

My point is that in the 1926 Act this proviso applies only to absorption schemes and not to amalgamation schemes, and what I want to know from the right hon. Gentleman is, Will a scheme proposed by the commissioners to which any single party is an unwilling party fall within the definition of an absorption scheme under the 1926 Act—if that is so, I am perfectly well satisfied—or will it be deemed to be an amalgamation scheme, in which case this proviso does not apply?

Surely the distinction between absorption and amalgamation must be looked at from the point of view of the person who is being taken over. The distinction is simply this. If a person is being taken over against his will, he is being absorbed, and there is a provision in the 1926 Act to the effect that you cannot take a person over against his will unless you take him over in such a way that you do not separate the concern. You must not provide for the separation of the treating and the disposal from the working. That is the whole point of absorption. A man who is being taken over against his will has a right to insist on those provisions in the 1926 Act. We are dealing in the hon. Member's Amendment with a case in which neither party is willing, and it is quite manifest that the provisions of the 1926 Act, which apply to a man who is being taken over against his will, must apply then. We are advised, and I personally consider it is so, that there is no need to accept the hon. and gallant Member's Amendment because it is unecessary.

This Clause appears to me to pre-suppose that some one party at any rate is unwilling, because the commissioners are only going to promote the scheme where the owners entitled to submit schemes are not prepared to do so. If that is the case, are not the words "an amalgamation scheme" in this new Clause unnecessary? Whatever scheme they prepare is bound to be an absorption scheme, there is no possibility of its being an amalgamation scheme, and therefore would it not be more reasonable to leave out the words "an amalgamation scheme" and simply leave it as an absorption scheme, in which case we should know where we stand?

It seems to me that it ought to be made perfectly clear that wherever there is a dissension, and somebody does not want to be brought in to these amalgamations, that will be an absorption, and it could not be an amalgamation. I rely upon the Attorney-General to instruct the Committee as to what is the right position. Let us assume that the commissioners have made a scheme which includes one undertaking that does not agree. Will that constitute an absorption or an amalgamation? If it is an absorption scheme, then it is covered by the last part of Section 1 of the Act of 1926. If it is covered, why use the words "amalgamation scheme" in the proposed new Clause? For what reason is this being done, if whenever there is a dissentient it must be an absorption scheme to be treated under the Act of 1926? I ask the Attorney-General to advise the Committee on that point.

I did not mean to do anything more than call attention to the fact that I did not know what the qualifying words are, and I want to be told.

Then I cannot understand why the right hon. Gentleman used the words which he did use. The position is this: You may have a scheme in which A, B, C and D wish to come together. A, B and C may be willing, and D may be unwilling. The first three would say, "We are being amalgamated" and D would say, "I am being absorbed." The provisions of the Act would protect D, and therefore these words are unnecessary from his point of view.

That seems to me to be a satisfactory explanation. If the single dissentient is being brought in and that is an absorption scheme, and that is covered by the Act, then I think this part of the Amendment is unnecessary.

That is the first part of the Amendment. The second part of the Amendment provides that the amalgamation shall not provide, without the consent of the owner of the undertaking,

"for the separation from the undertaking of any coal mine worked as ancillary to such primary object."
I understand from what the Attorney-General has said that amalgamation may bring in not only undertakings of which the primary object is not coal mining, but also a coal mine worked as ancillary to such primary object. I do not see how you could possibly separate a company of that kind from the scheme or undertaking. Is the Attorney-General satisfied that no undertaking which is a coal mine worked as ancillary to its main purpose could be forced into an amalgamation without its consent? Is the Attorney-General satisfied on that point?

Amendment to proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 14, at the end, to insert the words

"Provided that no such scheme of amalgamation or absorption shall provide, without the consent of the owner of the undertaking, for the taking by the amalgamated or absorbing concern any investments, securities, money, or other property belonging to such undertaking and not essential for the coal workings of such undertaking."
I move this Amendment in the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Ecclesall (Sir S. Roberts). The point is quite a short one, but it is one of some substance, and if it is not carried it may cause a sense of injustice, or, at any rate, dissatisfaction amongst a good many colliery companies. I have in mind the case of such a company which has been in operation for some considerable time, and the termination of its life is now within measurable and foreseeable distance. This company has naturally in the past provided full reserves, regarding its property as a wasting asset, with the result that it has large sums invested in outside securities such as War Loans and Treasury Bonds, with the intention, when the colliery is no longer workable, of replacing the shareholders' money out of its investments which have been prudently made for a number of years.

As the Bill stands at present, its funds quite possibly would be taken over by the collieries absorbing the undertaking, possibly with a view to providing themselves with much needed working capital, and they might offer in exchange debentures or other securities in the amalgamation. My remarks also apply to land or other investments made outside the collieries, and not essential for its workings. Perhaps it may be said that this is covered by Section 7 of the Act of 1926, but I doubt if that is the case. While provision is made for the holder of any securities, if he is going to be absorbed, to lodge an objection, and if the Commission are satisfied that the substitution would not be fair, they can order in lieu of the proposed substitution that the securities shall be purchased at a price to be determined by the Commission. In the first place, it seems rather a waste of time for the Commission to purchase gilt-edged securities or Treasury Bonds from the absorbed company as not being essential to its business, and it would be very unjust should they purchase other securities such as land and investments which the colliery may not wish to sell, and which are not essential to the working of the new group. My Amendment will cover those points if it is accepted by the President of the Board of Trade.

From many points of view this is a very difficult question. I notice that the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Ramsbotham) suggests that in any scheme of amalgamation or absorption it should be provided:

"that no such scheme of amalgamation or absorption, shall provide, without the consent of the owner of the undertaking, for the taking by the amalgamated or absorbing concern any investments securities, money or other property belonging to such undertaking and not essential for the coal workings of such undertaking."
I gather that the hon. Member wishes to protect the interests of a concern from being appropriated by amalgamation in order to provide cash for other parts of the amalgamated undertaking. A question of that kind would be under the terms of the Act of 1926 for the Railway and Canal Commission to decide. I quite see the point raised by the hon. Member, but, strictly speaking, I do not think that an Amendment of this kind is necessary under the Act of 1926, and, although I do not think there is the slightest doubt about this matter, I am quite willing to reconsider it. With that explanation I hope the hon. Member will he satisfied.

Then I understand that the President will reconsider this point before the Report stage, because it is a very important question. I am not quite sure whether without some direction in the Bill the Reorganisation Commission will have to perform that duty or whether the Railway and Canal Commission have any such power. I do not think that Parliament has provided any means of securing working capital for amalgamations, and whatever working capital is invested in the undertakings will form the working capital of the new undertakings. I do not think there is any provision that if two undertakings are Compulsorily amalgamated any provision has been made to find the working capital. I know that in the case of voluntary schemes when one undertaking sets out to amalgamate with another it has always been up to the one proposing the amalgamation to find the working capital. Now that the com- missioners are going to arrange these amalgamations, there is no power to carry out this object, and unless we give some direction in the Bill there will be a great temptation to amalgamate undertakings not so much for the coal as for the working capital they will bring in to strengthen the amalgamation. That is not fair and it is not the intention of the Bill. If the President of the Board of Trade will say definitely that he will meet this point between now and the Report stage, I shall be prepared to recommend my hon. Friend not to press this Amendment further to-night.

I am still of the opinion that there will be no difficulty in this matter, but I will certainly give such an undertaking, because I have no doubt about it in my own mind.

Amendment to proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 14, at the end, to insert the words:

"(2) For the purposes of any scheme under Part I of the Act of 1926 the value of the undertaking of every constituent or absorbed company shall be assessed upon the basis of what would have been the value thereof as between a willing buyer and a willing seller if this Act had not been passed, and no such scheme "hall be submitted to the Board of Trade under the said Part I unless the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission have certified that such values have been so assessed for the purposes of that scheme."
8.0 p.m.

This proposed Clause is, I think, the most important of the many new Clauses proposed by the President of the Board of Trade. Probably what was in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman when he put this Clause on the Paper, as it was also in my mind, was that an amalgamation should be on a fair basis, and the speeches in this Committee against amalgamation have been directed more against financial combinations such as have been disastrous to the coal trade. The purpose of this Amendment is that there shall be a definite instruction to the Commission and to those who propose to amalgamate under the powers conferred by this Measure that they shall only do so on a fair basis, and not on a purely financial basis with watered capital—that the constituent companies which form or are absorbed into the new amalgamation shall come in upon their fair valuation as between a willing seller and a willing buyer, shall pool their resources in the new undertaking, and shall hold in it the exact equivalent of what they have contributed. The Amendment is designed to make it clear that there shall be no financial juggling in the future with these amalgamated undertakings, but that, if there is to be compulsion, it shall be fair to everyone.

If we were dealing only with the ordinary amalgamations which have hitherto taken place—which, indeed, are the only kind of amalgamations contemplated by any-practical business man that. I have ever encountered, namely, amalgamations where at any rate some of the parties are willing—this, I think, would be a reasonable Amendment. But we are invited to contemplate the strange business proposition that we should have amalgamations which may include collieries which the so-called buyer does not in the least want to buy—that a colliery may be amalgamated, in what the Government are pleased to call the national interest, with its neighbours, although those neighbours may consider that their association with that colliery will depreciate and not enhance the value of their existing undertaking. I understand very well what is meant by the value as between a willing buyer and a willing seller, where the one wishes to sell and the other wishes to buy; but how are you going to value in a case where the buyer, as he is in fact, does not in fact desire to buy the undertaking which is being thrust upon him, and considers that it is a liability and not an asset? I do not see how any valuer could attempt to make such a valuation under this or any other Clause, and I should like to know, before we part with this Amendment to the proposed Clause, how a valuation in that case is going to be made.

In everyday practice valuers have to make valuations as between a willing buyer and a willing seller where in fact there is no evidence that there is actually a buyer or a seller at all. Take the ordinary case of the valuation of land for the pur- pose of Estate Duty. It may be that there is no question of buying or selling at all, but the valuation has to be carried through on the basis of a willing buyer and a willing seller. The phrase is perfectly well understood. I understand that the object of this Amendment is merely to provide safeguards against watered capital, and, as such, I am authorised to say that the Government are prepared to accept it.

Amendment to proposed Clause agreed to.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 15, to leave out from the word "scheme" to the word "is," in line 16.

This Amendment is purely consequential upon the last Amendment. The object is to provide that in the case of any scheme the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission shall be entitled to appear and be heard at any proceedings in connection with the scheme.

Amendment to proposed Clause' agreed to.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 17, to leave out the word "first-mentioned," and to insert instead thereof the words "Coal Mines Reorganisation."

This Amendment also is consequential on those which have been moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Montgomeryshire (Mr. C. Davies). The result of his Amendments, read with mine, will be that the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission will be entitled to appear as a party before the tribunal under the Mining Industry Act, 1926, whenever any scheme for amalgamation or absorption is presented to that tribunal, irrespective of whether the scheme is brought forward by the Reorganisation Commission or by other parties.

Amendment to proposed Clause agreed to.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 19, at the end, to insert the words:

"(3) The Railway and Canal Commission shall have power in their absolute discretion to order that the costs of and incidental to any proceedings before the Railway and Canal Commission in connection with any scheme prepared and submitted under this Section shall be paid by the Treasury out of moneys provided by Parliament to the owners of any undertaking included in the scheme who successfully object before the Railway and Canal Commission to the confirmation of the scheme, and the payment of such costs shall be deemed to be an expense required to be defrayed for the purpose of this Act."
I move this Amendment in the absence of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Major Llewellin). The object is to make some provision for cases in which the Railway and Canal Commissioners decide that a scheme presented to them is not an appropriate scheme, and desire to award costs against the Reorganisation Commissioners for at any rate part of the expenses incurred in presenting the scheme. Unless I am very much mistaken, there is nothing in the Bill which provides for what this Amendment seeks to do, nor, indeed, is any fund provided out of which these costs can be obtained. Obviously, it would produce great injustice if parties were haled before the Railway and Canal Commission by these Reorganisation Commissioners, and the Railway and Canal Commission were not satisfied that a good case had been made out for the proposed amalgamation, and yet, in spite of all the expense involved, there was no power to award costs and no fund at the disposal of the Court from which costs could be awarded to the successful party and against the unsuccessful commissioners. I am fortified in asking for this by the remarks of the President of the Board of Trade last night, when he said:
"Where the statutory commissioners have formed a scheme and taken it to the Railway and Canal Commissioners, who have to decide, and those commissioners decide that the scheme is not an appropriate one, the Railway and Canal Commission will give costs against the statutory commissioners." [OFFICAL. REPOT, 25the February, 1930: col. 2190, Vol. 235.]
I am sure that that was the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, and I move this Amendment in the hope that we may be assured that there is provision for the Railway and Canal Commissioners to give costs against the Reorganisation Commissioners, should they not approve' of a proposal, and that there are also resources from which such costs can be provided.

I only rise because I am afraid that we are going to get no reply from the Government. It really would be an intolerable situa- tion if, certain unwilling parties having been taken before the Railway and Canal Commission by the Reorganisation Commissioners, and the Railway and Canal Commission having turned down the scheme, those unwilling parties should have to bear their own expenses without any redress or possibility of' obtaining the expenses which they have been compelled to incur. This is a very reasonable and, if I may say so, just Amendment, and I can hardly think that the Attorney-General will disagree with it. I think he will agree that in the ordinary way, if people are needlessly put to the trouble and expense of defending an action, and if they successfully defend it, there should be some source from which they can be repaid the expense to which they have been put.

I quite agree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the Amendment to the proposed Clause asks for that which is perfectly-reasonable, but it is wholly unnecessary. There really is a very large measure of misapprehension. If a compulsory scheme is made, the whole of the provisions of the Act of 1926 apply, and one of the provisions of the Act is that the Railway and Canal Commission have full discretion as to costs, the only qualification being by reason of the first Clause on the Order Paper. The proviso at the end of the Clause says:

"Provided that a sum equal to the amount of any expenses incurred by the employment of such agents as aforesaid for the purpose of promoting or assisting the amalgamation of any undertakings shall, in the event of the undertakings being amalgamated, be repaid to the board by the owners of the amalgamated undertaking."
It is plain that the qualification, in express terms, only applies where the undertakings are amalgamated. The Amendment deals with a case where the application foe amalgamation or absorption is not successful, and consequently that qualification does not apply. I will trace the exact steps by which the Railway and Canal Commission get their complete and absolute discretion and power over costs. First of all, in Section 19 of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1888, there is this provision:
"The costs of and incidental to every proceeding before the commissioners shall be in the discretion of the commissioners, who can order by whom and to whom the same are to be paid and by whom the same are to be attached and allowed."
That Section gives in terms a very wide and complete discretion. Section 2 of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1894, says:
"In proceedings before the Railway and Canal Commissioners other than disputes between two or more companies, the commissioners shall not have power to award costs on either side unless they are of opinion that either the claim or the defence has been frivolous and vexatious."
That imposed a bar, and, if the matter had stood so, the bar would have remained. Then you come to Section 10 of the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act, 1923, which provides:
"The provisions of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1888, as amended by any subsequent enactments relating to the procedure for the determination of questions under that Act (including the provisions relating to appeals), shall apply to the determination of questions relating to applications under this Act as if they were herein re-enacted and in terms made applicable to the provisions of this Act. Provided that (c) the discretion of the Commission with respect to costs shall not be limited in the manner provided by Section two of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1894."
I have given three steps. The first is a perfectly wide discretion, the second a limitation in certain events and the third removing for the purposes of the Mines Act the limitations imposed by the Section. Then you come to the Mining Industry Act of 1926. Section 24 (1) says:
"The jurisdiction of the Railway and Canal Commission under this Act shall be deemed to be part of their jurisdiction under and for the purposes of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act. 1888, and Section 10 of the Mines Working Facilities and Support Act, 1923, as amended by any subsequent enactment, shall apply in respect to proceedings under this Act in like manner as it applies to the determination of questions relating to applications under that Act."
Under the last words of Sub-section (5), there is that qualification to which I have referred but for the reasons I have given it does not apply. The hon. Member may take it from me that there is ample power and discretion in the Railway and Canal Commission Court to award costs so long as the application is unsuccessful. I was also asked out of what funds will those costs be provided. Last night, we passed this Clause.
"The Board of Trade may appoint a secretary to the Commission, and the Commission may employ such officers and servants as the Board may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine, and there shall he paid by the Board such remuneration to the commissioners and to the secretary, officers and servants of the Commission, and such other expenses of the Commission, as the Board may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine."
It is obvious that any costs which the Commission might be ordered to pay clearly fall within the words "other expenses of the Commission." If they do not, the unhappy commissioners of course will have to pay them out of their own pockets, and in that case we shall have to take steps to reimburse them, but it is plain that they fall within those words, and you have here ample discretion in the Railway and Canal Commission Court to do what is proper and a fund out of which the costs shall be paid. For these reasons I quite agree that the steps here proposed are reasonable, but I oppose the Amendment, not because I quarrel with the principle which it seeks to set forth, but because it is wholly unnecessary.

I hope the Attorney-General will give an undertaking that the wording of this matter shall be considered before Report, because it seems to me to be more than doubtful whether we can possibly say that the costs to be paid to a successful party before the Railway and Canal Commission are expenses of the Commission. It seems to me to be a very dangerous prop for those whom everyone wants to safeguard to lean upon. As long as we are agreed about the principle, it is not necessary to take up time about it, but I consider that this Clause, or something like it, is necessary.

If the hon. and learned Gentleman entertains any doubt about it I certainly will reconsider it Doubt in such a quarter should be a matter for consideration. But it is only fair to say that I have already considered the matter and I have had the very able assistance that one gets on these occasions and I entertain not the smallest doubt. But I will gladly reconsider it.

Amendment to proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 30, after the word "Act," to insert the words

"except for the purpose of determining any question upon an objection lodged under proviso (b) of section seven (2) of that Act."
Sub-section (4) of the Clause provides that, as long as the coal Mines Reorganisation Commission certifies a particular scheme to be in the national interest, it shall not be necessary to refer it to the Railway and Canal Commission, and so far I agree that that is perfectly reasonable. But in Section 7 of the Act of 1926 it is obligatory upon the Railway and Canal Commission, to whom a scheme is referred, to confirm it provided they are satisfied that it is in the national interest and that its terms are fair and equitable to all persons affected thereby. It is clear, therefore, that merely for the purpose of having the question determined whether or not a scheme is in the national interest, it is unnecessary to go to the Railway and Canal Commission if we have already the certificate of the Coal Mines Reorganisation Commission. But there is an omission. One point has either been overlooked or intentionally left out. If it has intentionally been left out it is a very serious point which ought to be dealt with. It is this: The Railway and Canal Commission, of course, have also to be satisfied that the terms are fair and equitable to all persons affected thereby.

Let the Committee remember that the persons affected thereby are not merely the owners of the various units which may be amalgamated, but the shareholders in any given unit. In paragraph (b) of the same Section it was provided that if, upon an objection lodged by the holder of any securities in one of the constituent or absorbed companies to whom by the scheme securities in the amalgamated or principal company were allocated in substitution therefor, the commissioners were satisfied that the substitution would not be fair in his case, they might order that, instead, his existing securities should be purchased. You have there the case of the shareholder or the class of shareholders whose interests might be unfairly affected by what was otherwise a perfectly proper amalgamation between the units concerned protected by the Railway and Canal Com- mission having power to order the purchase of his shares. In the case in which the Goal Mines Reorganisation Commission say that the scheme is in the national interest, we are agreed that it is not necessary that for that purpose it should go before the Railway and Canal Commission. Indeed under the proposed Clause the scheme has not to go before them at all. That automatically deprives the shareholder or class of shareholders who might be injured by such a scheme of this very necessary protection which is provided in paragraph (b) of Section 7 of the Act of 1926.

The words which I propose to insert are designed to safeguard and to maintain that provision in the interest of those shareholders. It may be said in answer, "It is not only when merely the Commission certifies that a scheme is in the national interest that this has not to go before the Railway and Canal Commission, but you have also the owners submitting a scheme representing that it is not necessary to go to the Railway and Canal Commission." It might be said that that is a safeguard to the shareholders. That does not really cover the point at all. The particular unit, the colliery company as a whole, may very definitely wish to be amalgamated. That was so in the Act of 1926, yet where there were voluntary amalgamations, pure and simple, it was thought necessary to protect the minority of shareholders. The mere fact, therefore, that the owner, that is, the colliery itself, desires to be amalgamated and does not think that the matter need go before the Railway and Canal Commission, is not in itself any protection at all. The interests of shareholders or groups of shareholders which have to be protected are separate from the interests of the colliery unit.

What we are discussing is the substitution of shares in a colliery with which a man may be perfectly satisfied to hold for shares in a compulsory amalgamation in which it is uncertain as to who is to find the working capital, and an amalgamation which may be handicapped at the start by the obligation to pay all the costs of amalgamation, if there is an amalgamation, to which the learned Attorney-General referred in the course of the discussion on the previous Amend- ment. I would point out further that this may affect, not merely dissentient shareholders, and minority shareholders, but, in the case obviously of a great many persons engaged in the coal mining industry, it may affect banks and others to whom shares may have been mortgaged. Up and down the country there must be a great many instances where shares in existing colliery undertakings have been mortgaged as security to banks, and their interests have to be protected as well as the interests of the shareholders. I submit that this Amendment is really necessary to afford protection, and that it is at least as necessary under the present Measure as it was when it was put into the Act of 1926.

Were it not that this Amendment has been moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rusholme (Sir B. Merriman), for whose legal acumen and powers I have such a profound regard, I should have ventured to say that there was here a complete misapprehension. Perhaps he will allow me to see if I cannot do that most satisfactory of all things, convince even him.

Because it is so very difficult for a man to be convinced that he is wrong. In his concluding words, the hon. and learned Gentleman said something about the man who might have to exchange his shares in an undertaking which he liked very much for shares in some compulsorily amalgamated undertaking. I would point out to him, first of all, that this Sub-section (4) with which we are dealing, and in the middle of which the Amendment which he proposes comes, deals with this. It deals with the amalgamation scheme submitted to the Board of Trade by the owners of two or more undertakings under Section I (1) of the Act of 1926. Let us be quite clear about that. The hon. and learned Member will agree with me that this Clause applies only to wholly voluntary schemes where everybody agrees. These are the only schemes which come under Section I (1) of the Act of 1926. The words are:

"Where… two or more undertakings consisting of or comprising coal mines agree to amalgamate their undertakings wholly or partially."
What happens at the present time? It two or more people agree to amalgamate their undertakings, there is no earthly reason in the world why they should go before the Railway and Canal Commission at all, save for one purpose, and for one purpose only. It may be considered necessary by the amalgamated undertaking that there should be some new issue of capital and the Railway and Canal Commission have the power in such cases as are proper to provide that such new capital or issue shall be exempt from certain Stamp Duties and so on. That is the sole reason today why two people who are agreeing to amalgamate go before the Railway and Canal Commission Court at all. The sole object of this Clause is that, without having the trouble of going to the Railway and Canal Commission Court, you can effect the purpose and the sole purpose for which the Canal Commission exists in this matter, namely, the remission of Stamp Duty. It has nothing to do, as the hon. and learned Member, I hope, will realise, with any other case at all. That is the sole purpose for which this Sub-section is here inserted.

I entirely agree with him that, although we are dealing here with a case where undertakings agree, and want to amalgamate, we must remember that the undertakings may be companies, and that there may be a dissentient shareholder or a group of dissentient shareholders who, although the two companies as a whole wish to be amalgamated, dissent, and dissent vigorously. The hon. and learned Member said that we must provide for such a case as that, but I would point out that the protection of the right of a dissentient shareholder, who regards himself as being prejudiced by the action of the majority of the shareholders of the company, is provided for, altogether apart from this legislation, in the recent Companies Act. In the Companies Act, 1929, Sections 154 and 155, there is set out an elaborate code which prevents a dissentient shareholder in cases such as these from being "put upon," if I may use such a phrase, by the majority. Section 154 makes
"Provision for facilitating reconstruction and amalgamation of companies."
Section 155 gives:
"Power to acquire shares of shareholders dissenting from scheme or contract approved by majority."
There is set out a very elaborate code under which a dissentient minority, who regard themselves as being ill-treated in the case of any proposed amalgamation, have the right to go to Court and to ask the Court to protect them. That can be done under he ordinary law of the land which applies to companies. We are dealing simply and solely in this Clause with a purely voluntary matter, where two companies agree, and any relief to which a dissentient shareholder is entitled, by virtue of holding shares in the company, can be got under the Companies Act, 1929, where his position is fully provided for. Therefore, I suggest to the hon. and learned Member that he has not appreciated quite clearly that the sole object of Sub-section 4 is to enable the Board of Trade to give remission from Stamp Duty without it being necessary to go to the Railway and Canal Commission, which previously was the only body that could give it.

I followed the first part of the Attorney-General's explanation, with which I thoroughly agreed, but I am reluctantly compelled to say that I am not convinced by the second part, because we have here, admittedly, a case which, but for this proviso, would have to go before the Railway and Canal Commission.

It would only have to go before the Railway and Canal Commission if the new amalgamated company wanted to issue fresh capital. Otherwise, there is no earthly reason for going before that Court.

In a great many cases it would be necessary. My point is that you are taking away from a dissentient shareholder, in a case where he now has to go before the Railway and Canal Commission, the right which he would have under Section 7 (2, b). If he has to go before the Railway and Canal Commission I suppose there can be no doubt that they would have powers, which they have under Section 7 (2, b), of protecting minority shareholders. I am afraid that I am not convinced that the right which shareholders in any ordinary company have under the Companies Act is really an efficient substitute for the right that exists when you have the Railway and Canal Commission in a position to give a particular form of compensation in a case which they themselves think just. I would invite the Attorney-General to consider whether it is not right that in a limited class of case in which that

Division No. 192]

AYES.

[8.42 p.m.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.Fermoy, LordMuirhead, A. J.
Albery, Irving JamesFison, F. G. ClaveringNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Atholl, Duchess ofFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Peake, Captain Osbert
Atkinson, C.Ganzoni, Sir JohnPenny, Sir George
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Pownall, Sir Assheton
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Ramsbotham, H.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Reid, David D. (County Down)
Balniel, LordGreene, W. P. CrawfordRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Berry, Sir GeorgeGunston, Captain D. W.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Birchall, Major Sir John DearmanHarvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bird, Ernest RoyHaslam, Henry C.Simms, Major-General J.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Skelton, A. N.
Boyce, H. L.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Haliam)
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Somerset, Thomas
Butler, R. A.Hurd, Percy A.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Castle Stewart, Earl ofHurst, Sir Gerald B.Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cautley, Sir Henry S.James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSteel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonKing, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Christie, J. A.Lamb, Sir J. Q.Thomson, Sir F.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Law, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Todd, Capt. A. J.
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Little, Dr. E. GrahamTrain, J.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. GodfreyTurton, Robert Hugh
Croukshank, Cpt. H. (Llndsey, Gainsbro)McConnell, Sir JosephWard, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Croom-Johnson, R. P.Macquisten, F. A.Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipMaltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Wells, Sydney R.
Dalrymple-White. Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyMargesson, Captain H. D.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Marjoribanks, E. C.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Mason, Colonel Glyn K.Withers, Sir John James
Davies, Dr. VernonMerriman, Sir F. BoydWomersley, W. J.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington. S.)Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Dawson, Sir PhilipMond, Hon. Henry
Dixey, A. C.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Edmondson, Major A. J.Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)Captain Sir George Bowyer and
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Major the Marquess of Titchfield.
Everard, W. LindsayMorrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive

NOES.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Brothers, M.Duncan, Charles
Adamson, W. M. (Start., Cannock)Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Ede, James Chuter
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M.Brown, Ernest (Leith)Edge, Sir William
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Edmunds, J. E.
Alpass, J. H.Burgess, F. G.Edwards, E. (Morpeth)
Ammon, Charles GeorgeBuxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Egan, W. H.
Angell, NormanBuxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N.)Elmley, Viscount
Arnott, JohnCaine, Derwent HallEngland, Colonel A.
Aske, Sir RobertCameron, A. G.Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)
Ayles, WalterCape, ThomasForgan, Dr. Robert
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Freeman, Peter
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Charleton, H. C.Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)
Barnes, Alfred JohnChater, DanielGeorge, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Batey, JosephClarke, J. S.Gibbins, Joseph
Bellamy, AlbertCluse, W. S.Gill, T. H.
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodClynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Gillett, George M.
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central)Cocks, Frederick SeymourGossling, A. G.
Benson, G.Compton, JosephGould, F.
Bentham, Dr. EthelCove, William GGraham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)Daggar, GeorgeGraham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)
Birkett, W. NormanDallas, GeorgeGranville, E.
Blindell, JamesDalton, HughGray, Milner
Bowen, J. W.Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine).
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Broad, Francis AlfredDay, HarryGriffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)
Brockway, A. FennerDenrnan, Hon. R. D.Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Bromfield, WilliamDevlin, JosephGroves, Thomas E.
Bromley, J.Dudgeon, Major C. R.Grundy, Thomas W.
Brooke, W.Dukes, C.Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)

protection would otherwise be available, that protection should be maintained.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 115; Noes, 271.

Hall, G. H Merthyr Tydvil)McKinlay, A.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C)MacLaren, AndrewShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)Sherwood, G. H.
Hamilton, Sir H. (Orkney & Zetland)Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Shield, George William
Harbison, T. J.McShane, John JamesShillaker, J. F.
Harbord, A.Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)Shinwell, E.
Hardie, George D.Mansfield, W.Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Harris, Percy A.March, S.Simmons, C. J.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMarcus, M.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMarkham, S. F.Sinkinson, George
Haycock, A. W.Marley, J.Sitch, Charles H.
Hayday, ArthurMarshall, FredSmith, Alfred (Sunderland)
Hayes, John HenryMathers, GeorgeSmith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)Melville, Sir JamesSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Henderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S)Messer, FredSmith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Millar, J. D.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Mills, J. E.Smith, Tom (Pontefract)
Herriotts, J.M liner, J.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Montague, FrederickSnell, Harry
Hoffman, P. C.Morgan, Dr. H. B.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Horrabin, J. F.Morely, RalphStamford, Thomas W.
Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Hunter, Dr. JosephMort, D. L.Strachey, E. J. St. Loe
Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Moses, J. J. H.Strauss, G. R.
Isaacs, GeorgeMosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)Sullivan, J.
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Muff, G.Sutton, J. E.
John, William (Rhondda, West)Muggeridge, H. T.Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Johnston, ThomasNathan, Major H. L.Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Naylor, T. E.Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Noel Baker, P. J.Thurtle, Ernest
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silver-town)Oldfield, J. R.Tinker, John Joseph
Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)Toole, Joseph
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)Tout, W. J.
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Owen, H. F. (Hereford)Townend, A. E.
Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.Palin, John Henry.Turner, B.
Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.Paling, WilfridVaughan, D. J.
Kedward, R. M. (Kent. Ashford)Palmer, E. T.Viant, S. P.
Kelly, W. T.Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Walkden, A. G.
Kennedy, ThomasPerry, S. F.Walker, J.
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Wallace, H. W.
Kinley, J.Phillips, Dr. MarionWallhead, Richard C.
Kirkwood, D.Potts, John S.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Knight, HolfordPrice, M. P.Wellock, Wilfred
Lang, GordonPybus, Percy JohnWelsh, James (Paisley)
Lathan, G.Quibell, D. J. K.Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Law, Albert (Bolton)Ramsay, T. B. WilsonWestwood, Joseph
Law, A (Roesendale)Raynes, W. R.Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Lawrence, SusanRichards, R.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Leach, W.Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)Ritson, J.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Lees, J.Romeril, H. G.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Lewis, T. (Southampton)Rosbotham, D. S. T.Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Logan, David GilbertRowson, GuyWood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Longbottom, A. W.Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Longden, F.Salter, Dr. AlfredYoung, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Lowth, ThomasSamuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Lunn, WilliamSamuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)Sawyer, G. F.Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.
McElwee, A.Scott, James
McEntee, V. L.Sexton, James

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 41, to leave out from the word "scheme" to the word "are" in line 32.

This proposed Clause has already been the subject of much discussion. The learned Attorney-General, in answer to the late Solicitor-General, if I understood him aright, said that the object of Section 5, Sub-section (2) of the Mining Industry Act, 1926, was to exempt an amalgamating concern from the application of the duty in respect of capital, but that is by no means the whole of the relief given by Sub-section (2). It also relieves the amalgamating concern of Stamp Duty in respect of conveyances, assignments or transfer of any of the property or securities of any constituent or absorbed company in pursuance of any scheme. It is one of the great advantages of the Act of 1926 that there is this exemption not only from capital duty but also from transfer and conveyance duties, which are sometimes far in excess of the capital duty involved. The scheme of Sub-section (4) of this new Clause, as I understand it, and as I followed the explanation of the Attorney-General, is this; that where an amalgamation scheme is voluntarily agreed to and the amalgamating concerns do not require to go to the Railway and Canal Commission under the Act of 1926, then, subject to a condition, the amalgamating concerns will have certain advantages under that Act. Those conditions are two. In the first place, the Reorganisation Commission shall certify that the scheme is in the national interest and, in the second place, the Board of Trade shall certify, as regards certain particulars—namely, capital, new share capital and debentures; that the scheme is reasonable. Then, and only then, is the concern to be entitled to the advantages of Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Act of 1926. If that is so, a concern which voluntarily comes together to form an amalgamation, and which decides to avail itself of the opportunity of settling its own affairs instead of troubling the Railway and Canal Commission, is in a worse position than if it actually had to go through all the routine and embark upon all the expense of proceedings before the Railway and Canal Commission.

My Amendment to the proposed Clause simply involves the deletion of the limiting words that the Board of Trade's consent shall be required in reference to share capital and debenture capital. The Clause would read, with my Amendment incorporated, that if the Board of Trade certify that the provisions of the scheme are reasonably required for the purpose of the amalgamation, then all the advantages of the Act, under Section 7, Subsection (2), shall flow to the amalgamated concern. It seems to me that coal mining undertakings ought to be encouraged to make their own arrangements voluntarily without recourse to the new Organisation Commission, and without recourse to the long and difficult and expensive procedure of the Railway and Canal Commission. If the learned Attorney-General's object is to safeguard the revenue as regards the capital duties, that is not affected by the Amendment, because the Sub-section as it remains will read that the Board of Trade must be satisfied that the proposals are reasonably required for the purpose of the amalgamation. If they be in the national interest as certified by the Organisation Commission, and if they be certified by the Board of Trade to be reasonably required for the purpose of the amalgamation, I cannot understand why those concerned should be in a worse position than if they had embarked upon all the circumlocution of proceedings before the tribunal.

Notwithstanding the discussion which we have had, there still seems to be some misapprehension with regard to the effect of this Sub-section (4) of the proposed Clause. May I state again, in order to make matters clear, that this applies and applies only where two concerns voluntarily agree to amalgamate. There is no element of compulsion in this at all. Where two concerns voluntarily agree to amalgamate, the only reason why they come before the Railway and Canal Commission Court is to get the benefits of exemption from certain Stamp Duties which they otherwise might have to pay if the amalgamated concern issued additional capital.

Will the Attorney-General allow me to draw his attention not only to the explicit provisions of the Section, but to my own practical experience in operating the Act? If I understood aright the information which he has just given to the Committee, I fail to see how it complies with the provisions of the Statute, because it is not merely for the sake of saving on capital duty that willing amalgamators voluntarily proceed under the Mines Act of 1926. It is for other and larger benefits, of which some are comprised in Sub-section (2) of Section 5. These are in a sense capital duty, but they relate to what may be far more important, namely, conveyance, assignment, or transfer. It is not merely for the purpose of obviating the payment of further capital duty.

9.0 p.m.

I quite agree, and I am sorry if I said anything to the contrary. I used a general word, and I was about to give details. They do get certain financial concessions. That is the sole reason why two concerns, each of whom wants to amalgamate, go before the Railway and Canal Commission Court. Under the new scheme of this Sub-section (4) all that happens is this: We say, "You can get your financial concessions without taking the trouble to go to the Railway and Canal Commission Court. The Board of Trade can, in given circumstances, give you those same concessions." if the hon. and gallant Member read the words he will see that it is provided that Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Act of 1926 shall apply. Therefore, if the Board give their certificate, Sub-section (2) of Section 5 applies in toto. Part of it is capital, and part of it is financial concessions in regard to conveyance and assessment and transfers. We have to guard against one possible contingency: Stamp Duty, as the Committee realises well, is payable on nominal capital, and not only on issued capital. Suppose you have two companies agreeing to amalgamate. They might, in view of possible contingencies of future requirements, put in a very large sum as the nominal capital, and if the Board of Trade then approves they will get the benefit of that nominal capital without any Stamp Duty at all.

To prevent any misuse being made of that, we say that the Board of Trade is to look at this thing not from one point of view only, just as the Railway and Canal Commission Court looks at these agreements from one point of view only; we say that the Board of Trade has to consider any debentures, or the issue of any share or loan capital. We say, in substance, that so long as the Board of Trade is satisfied that the nominal capital which the amalgamated concern is proposing to have is not in excess of requirements, the Board of Trade can do that which previously the Railway and Canal Commission Court used to do, and confer on the amalgamated concerns the whole benefit of Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Act of 1926. If any further answer was needed, I would point out to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that under Section 55 of the Finance Act of 1927 it is now only necessary to deal with additional capital, since this other relief can be given under that Section. With all respect, I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman has moved his Amendment under a misapprehension.

I am very much obliged and I am sure all the Members of the Committee are obliged, to the Attorney-General for the explanation which we have just heard. The right hon. and learned Gentleman must realise how extraordinarily difficult it is for any person who has not had a legal training to follow the various ramifications of these proposals, and we would be further obliged to him if he could state in language, shall we say, fitted for childish readers, what is the actual effect of this Amendment. To me it seems to make absolutely no difference, but apparently there is some subtle difference involved in the retention or otherwise of these words in the Clause. Does this proposal mean that any fresh capital which was raised would not be chargeable with Stamp Duty, but that existing capital transferred would be chargeable?

Then what would be the effect of leaving out these words? Would it have an adverse effect upon the receipts of the Treasury, and if so, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman give any estimate of the amount involved in normal transfers concerning those collieries which will probably come under this scheme? Is it possible to give the Committee any indication of what the loss would be? I am only asking that this matter should be explained because we may be called upon to vote on the Amendment in a very short time and I should like to be as clear upon it as it is possible for a non-legal mind to be on a complicated subject of this character.

Amendment to proposed Clause negatived.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Clause, in line 35, after the word "Commission," to insert the words

"and sub-section (4) and (5) of section seven of that Act (which provide, inter alia, that a scheme under the Act of 1926 shall, when confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commission, be binding on all persons, and that trustees may hold securities of the amalgamated company in substitution for securities in a constituent company)."
It will be observed that the proposed new Clause as it stands provides that certain provisions of the Act of 1926 shall apply to an amalgamation scheme, even though that scheme has not been submitted to the Railway and Canal Commission, subject to the conditions mentioned in Sub-section (4). Now Section 7, Sub-section (4) of the Act of 1926 provides that a scheme when confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commission shall be binding on all persons and Section 7, Subsection (5) of the same Act authorises trustees to hold securities in the amalgamated concerns:
"any trustee… who at the date of the amalgamation held… any securities of the constituent or absorbed company, shall be entitled to hold the securities of the amalgamated or principal company."

It is hardly necessary for me to repeat that this Sub-section (4) of the proposed new Clause deals simply and solely with voluntary amalgamations and it would be quite improper to make such amalgamations binding upon all persons. The whole scheme of this legislation is that if you are going to make these schemes binding on persons who do not consent, they must have the protection of being able to go before a court of law—the Raliway and Canal Commission—and it is the Railway and Canal Commission, and that Commission alone, which can make a scheme binding on a person who does not want it to be made binding upon him. If we did what is suggested, we should be, in fact, usurping the proper functions of the court, and allowing the Board of Trade by executive order to make these schemes binding on all sorts of persons. I cannot state too plainly that the Subsection of the proposed new Clause which we are now discussing derives its whole force and effect from the fact that it deals only with cases in which all the parties concerned voluntarily come together and say that they want to amalgamate. That being so, the hon. and gallant Gentleman I am sure will appreciate the fact that it is quite impossible for us to accept here an Amendment whch is, I think, quite out of place.

Amendment to proposed Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."

Before we part with this Clause, I should like to register one more protest against the arguments which we have heard from the Government with regard to the procedure under this compulsory scheme, as compared with the procedure laid down in the Act of 1926 where a certain measure of agreement was contemplated. We have under this Measure to deal with cases where every single unit of the proposed amalgamation disagrees with it. We have been told several times to-day that all these cases—even though there is complete disagreement and though everybody is being compelled—are covered in the terms of Section 1 of the Act of 1926. I cannot see how that argument can be maintained. In the first place, in the proposed new Clause itself we are specifically told that where

"the owners of such undertakings entitled under that Act to prepare and submit such schemes, are not prepared to do so, the commissioners shall themselves prepare and submit to the Board of Trade an. amalgamation scheme or absorption scheme framed in accordance with the provisions of Part I of the Act of 1926 and for the purposes of that part of that Act, any scheme so prepared and submitted by the commissioners shall be deemed to have been prepared and submitted in manner provided by Sub-section (1) or (2) of Section 1 of that Act.'"
We know that the law does peculiar things and sometimes we think it does very stupid things, but when there is a Section of the Act of 1926, which applies only to cases in which there is a measure of agreement, how can the Government say that a case where everybody disagrees, shall be deemed to come within that Section. The Attorney-General quite clearly pointed out to us what was laid down in Section 1, Sub-section (1) of the Act of 1926. It most distinctly applies to coal mines which agree to amalgamate. Where everybody disagrees, it is futile to refer us to the procedure under a Section which contemplates cases where everybody agrees. Again we find that Sub-section (2) of Section 1 of the Act of 1926, to which we are also referred, deals with cases where a certain number of the units proposed to be amalgamated, disagree, but even there a certain number of the units which wish to be amalgamated, have to put forwar a scheme. Under the Act of 1926 absorption is dealt with. One can understand, where you have at least one willing concern wishing to be amalgamated, that such a firm would be capable of absorbing the others. But when no one agrees, how can you point to that procedure and say there is to be absorption schemes? Who are to do the absorbing? It might be said that the Commission are to pick out one of the unwilling owners and say he must do it. How is that unwilling owner going to meet the burden? I maintain that it is futile. It is hardly giving due regard to the common-sense of the Committee to be told that one matter is white and that it shall be deemed to be black because the Government put it into the Clause of the Bill. You cannot make that cover the case of the present Clause, where it is agreed that in some cases every single owner may be in disagreement. I have not been convinced, from the opinion expressed, as to how that procedure is going to be made to apply, and therefore I make this final protest before we take the Clause.

I do not speak as a coalowner or as one who has anything to do with coal, but I submit that a Clause of this kind is an extraordinarily dangerous one to pass without protest by one, or more than one, Member on these

Division No. 193.]

AYES.

[9.19 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, Watt)Day, HarryHoffman, P. C.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Denman, Hon. R. D.Horrabin, J. F.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.Devlin, JosephHudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Dudgeon, Major C. R.Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Alpass, J. H.Dukes, C.Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeDuncan, CharlesIsaacs, George
Angell, NormanEde, James ChuterJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Arnott, JohnEdge, Sir WilliamJohn, William (Rhondda, West)
Atke, Sir RobertEdmunds, J. E.Johnston, Thomas
Ayles, WalterEdwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Edwards, E. (Morpeth)Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Egan, W. H.Jones, J. J. (west Ham, Silvertown)
Barnes, Alfred JohnElmley, ViscountJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Batey, JosephEngland, Colonel A.Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Bellamy, AlbertEvans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer)Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodForgan, Dr. RobertJowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A.
Bennett, Captain E. N. (Cardiff, Central)Freeman, PeterKedward, R. M. (Kent, Ashford)
Benson, G.Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Kelly, W. T.
Bentham, Dr. EthelGeorge, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Kennedy, Thomas
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)Gibbins, JosephKenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Birkett, W. NormanGill, T. H.Kinley, J.
Blindell, JamesGillett, George M.Kirkwood, D.
Bowen, J. W.Gossling, A. G.Knight, Holford
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Gould, F.Lang, Gordon
Broad, Francis AlfredGraham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lathan, G.
Brockway, A. FennarGraham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Law, Albert (Bolton)
Bromfield, WilliamGranville, E.Law, A. (Rosendale)
Bromley, J.Gray, MilnerLawrence, Susan
Brooke, W.Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Coine)Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridgs)
Brothers, M.Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Lawson, John James
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Leach, W.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Groves, Thomas E.Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Burgess, F. G.Grundy, Thomas W.Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Lees, J.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk, N)Halt, G. H, (Merthyr Tydvil)Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Caine, Derwent Hall.Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth, C.)Logan, David Gilbert
Cameron, A. G.Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Longbottom, A. W.
Cape, ThomasHamilton, Sir R. (Orkneys & Zetland)Longden, F.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Harbison, T. J.Lowth, Thomas
Charleton, H. C.Harbord, A.Lunn, William
Chater, DanielHardie, George D.Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Clarke, J. S.Harris, Percy A.McElwee, A.
Cluse, W. S.Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonMcEntee, V. L.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleMcKinlay, A.
Cocks, Frederick SeymourHaycock, A. W.MacLaren, Andrew
Compton, JosephHayday, ArthurMaclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Cove, William G.Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)McShane, John James
Daggar, GeorgeHenderson, Arthur, junr. (Cardiff, S.)Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)
Dallas, GeorgeHenderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Mansfield, W.
Dalton, HughHenderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)March, S.
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)Herriotts, J.Marcus, M.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Markham, S. F.

benches. The question raised by my hon. Friend seems to be one of great substance, indeed. As an ordinary backbencher I must join with him in registering a strong protest against a Clause of this kind for compulsory amalgamation, even where every party disagrees. I say that it is a dangerous proposition. Another matter that seems not to have been sufficiently considered is that of capital. Perhaps they are not familiar as to the way in which capital is raised for these undertakings. I do not wish to extend the Debate, but will content myself with these few words of protest.

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 269; Noes, 115.

Marley, J.Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)Sullivan, J.
Marshall, FredRomeril, H. G.Sutton, J. E.
Mathers, GeorgeRosbotham, D. S. T.Taylor R. A. (Lincoln)
Messer, FredRowson, GuyTaylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
Millar, J. D.Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Thorne, W. (West Ham. Plaistow)
Mills, J. E.Salter, Dr. AlfredTinker, John Joseph
Montague, FrederickSamuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)Toole, Joseph
Morley, RalphSamuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)Tout, W. J.
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Sawyer, G. F.Townend, A. E.
Mort, D. L.Scott, JamesTurner, B.
Moses, J. J. H.Sexton, JamesVaughan, D. J.
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.Viant, S. P.
Muff, G.Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)Walkden, A. G.
Muggeridge, H. T.Shepherd, Arthur LewisWalker, J.
Naylor, T. E.Sherwood, G. H.Wallace, H. W.
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Shield, George WilliamWallhead, Richard C.
Noel Baker, P. J.Shiels, Dr. DrummondWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Oldfield, J. R.Shillaker, J. F.Wellock, Wilfred
Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)Shinwell, E.Welsh, James (Paisley)
Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Owen, H. F. (Hereford)Simmons, C. J.Westwood, Joseph
Palin, John Henry.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Paling, WilfridSinkinson, GeorgeWhiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Sitch, Charles H.Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Perry, S. F.Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)Williams Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Phillips, Dr. MarionSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Potts, John S.Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Price, M. P.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Pybus, Percy JohnSmith, Tom (Pontefract)Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Quibell, D. J. K.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)Winterton, G. E. (Leicester. Loughb'gh)
Ramsay, T. B. WilsonSnell, HarryWood, Major McKenzie (Banff)
Raynes, W. R.Snowden, Rt. Hon. PhilipWright, W. (Rutherglen)
Richards, R.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)Young, R. S. (Islington, North)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Stamford, Thomas W.
Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)Strachey, E. J. St. LoeMr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.
Ritson, J.Strauss, G. R.

NOES.

Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.Fermoy, LordPenny, Sir George
Albery, Irving JamesFison, F. G. ClaveringPownall, Sir Assheton
Allen, W. E. D. (Belfast, W.)Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Ramsbotham, H.
Atholl, Duchess ofFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Reid, David U. (County Down)
Atkinson, C.Ganzonl, Sir JohnRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Balniel, LordGreene, W. P. CrawfordSandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Gunston, Captain D. W.Savery, S. S.
Birchall, Major Sir John DearmanHacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Simms, Major-General J.
Bird, Ernest RoyHarvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Skelton, A. N.
Bourne, Captain Robert CroftHaslam, Henry C.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Boyce, H. L.Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)Somerset, Thomas
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Butler, R. A.Hurd, Percy A.Steel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertStuart, J. C. (Moray and Nairn)
Castle Stewart, Earl ofJones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Cautley, Sir Henry S.King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)Lamb, Sir J. O.Thomson, Sir F.
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonLaw, Sir Alfred (Derby, High Peak)Todd, Capt. A. J.
Christie, J. A.Leighton, Major B. E. P.Train, J.
Courtauld, Major J. S.Little, Dr. E. GrahamTurton, Robert Hugh
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Llewellin, Major J. J.Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.Long, Major ErieWardlaw-Milne, J. S.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.McConnell, Sir JosephWaterhouse, Captain Charles
Croom-Johnson, R. P.MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Wells, Sydney R.
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir PhilipMason, Colonel Glyn K.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Dalkeith, Earl ofMerriman, Sir F. BoydWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyMitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Withers, Sir John James
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)Mond, Hon. HenryWomersley, W. J.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Davies, Dr. VernonMoore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)
Dawson, Sir PhilipMoore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Edmondson, Major A. J.Muirhead, A. J.Captain Margesson and Major the
Everard, W. LindsayOman, Sir Charles William C.Marquess of Titchfield.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Peake, Capt. Osbert

New Clause—(Exclusion Of 10 And 11 Geo V, C 50, S 5 (2))

The expenses of the Board of Trade which are by this Act directed to be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament shall not be taken into account in computing the amount of the expenses of the Department of Mines for the purposes of the limit imposed by sub-section (2) of section five of the Mining Industry Act, 1920, upon the expenses of that department.—[ Mr. W. Graham.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

As hon. Members are aware under the Mining Industry Act, 1920, there is a limit to the animal expenditure of the Mines Department of £250,000. Clearly, if the expenditure incurred under this Bill upon amalgamation schemes were included in the ordinary Mines Department Vote, that amount would be very greatly exceeded, and in order to get rid of that difficulty we separate that expenditure, that is to say, we take it outside the limitation altogether. The Clause is necessary for that purpose.

I have only one question to ask. If the expenditure is not to be shown under the Vote of the Mines Department, where will it be given in the Estimates and where will the House have an opportunity of discussing it? I have no objection to the Clause, but I wish to know where it will be discussed, as the right hon. Gentleman says it will not come on the Vote of the Mines Department.

I cannot say precisely off-hand on which Vote it will be borne. I am in a little doubt, at the moment, as to whether it may be on the Board of Trade Vote or which Vote, but in any case it will be shown in one Vote or the other. The only object of the Clause is to get round the restriction in the Act of 1920.

It is vital that there should be the fullest opportunity of discussing any expenditure which may take place under this Clause. The hon. Gentleman defeated, on a Division, a Motion of mine that certain matters should be put in order, and he defended his resistance to the proposal on the ground that there would be the fullest opportunity of discussion, on some Vote or other, of every single thing spent under this provision. I, equally, have no objection to this Clause going through, as long as it is clearly understood that we cannot let it go through without a Division except on the clear understanding that the whole expenditure will be shown on the appropriate Vote and the proper Parliamentary opportunity will be available for discussing it.

My right hon. Friend need not have the smallest hesitation on that point. Whatever the precise Vote may be, the expenditure will be shown and against that expenditure, in so far as these expenses are recovered from the amalgamated undertakings, they will be shown in the form of an Appropriation-in-Aid. At the moment it is a little difficult to say on what precise Vote it will be, but it will be shown on a Vote for which there will be an opportunity for discussion in this House.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause—(Selling-Price Of Coal For Export)

No owner of a coal mine shall sell for export any class of coal at a price lower than the price charged by him for such class of coal when sold for bunkering ships, [Sir B. Chadwick.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This Clause standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Runciman), myself and others, is on a matter of most vital interest to the shipping industry. As I understand it, my right hon. Friend has had a conversation with the President of the Board of Trade, who desires that this particular Clause should be moved in the latter part of Clause 1 of the Bill. If that is so, and he will assure me that there will be every opportunity then of moving it, I am quite willing to withdraw the Clause.

The explanation, subject to the Ruling of the Chair, of our preferring to take this Clause with Part I of the Bill, is that Part I has not yet been reached, and that it clearly relates to Part I. It deals with a class of coal with a particular definition and, strictly speaking, this is not a new Clause, but an Amendment which should come at an appropriate point in Part I of the Bill. If the hon. Member will withdraw it, he will have a full opportunity of discussion when Part I is reached.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Resolved, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[ Mr. T. Kennedy.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

Poor Law Bill Lords

Considered in Committee, and re ported, without Amendment; to be read the Third time To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read to and postponed.

Adjournment

Resolved, "That this House do now adjourn."—[ Mr. T. Kennedy.]

Adjourned accordingly at Seventeen minutes before Ten o'Clock.