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Ministry Of Mines Bill

Volume 41: debated on Wednesday 4 August 1920

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Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.

other stages of the Bill until the autumn. If they do that, we shall have time to go into the matter carefully instead of at the fag end of these sittings, and, in that case, I think that perhaps the noble Duke would be wise not to press his rejection of the Bill now. If, however, the Government insist upon proceeding with the Bill I for one shall have no course before me except to vote with the noble Duke.

May I be allowed to say two words? I am afraid I cannot give the pledge suggested—namely, that if the Second Reading is granted now no objection will be taken to an amendment of the actual figure later on. I have had no consultation and am not in a position to give a pledge. With regard to postponing the Bill until the autumn, the authorities in Scotland are already overdrawn under the penny rate and I suggest, therefore, that your Lordships should go to a Division.

On Question, Whether the word "now" shall stand part of the Motion?—

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 21; Not-Contents, 17.

May I suggest that your Lordships should adjourn now and re-assemble after dinner.

I desire to enter a protest against taking this Bill in Committee at this late hour. Your Lordships have done a great deal of very excellent work. You have passed several measures of great importance, and you have discussed the Turkish Treaty and other matters. The question is, What does the country want? Does it want its legislation properly considered or not? Does it want the coal mines properly dealt with or not? If it does, surely it is out of the question that we can properly discuss it after dinner.

I beg your Lordships to consider what has happened. This Bill was only read a second time last night. It is by a very grave strain upon the proper practice of the House that the Committee stage was put down for to-day. And that a Bill of the first magnitude should be taken in Committee, beginning after dinner, in a House which I venture to say will be a very small One, is really not a reasonable proceeding. Of course, if we were only playing a game it would not so much matter, but as what we are engaged upon is trying to produce good legislation for the country I suggest that this is an altogether impossible proceeding. No decision that we may come to will command any confidence in the country. No one will respect decisions come to in that way.

A NOBLE LORD: Why not?

Because there will not be the wisdom of your Lordships' House devoted to it, and there will be very few Peers here. The proper course is to debate this Bill, say on Tuesday next. The noble Earl has met us very kindly about the Report stage; he thought there ought to be an interval of a good many days between the Committee and the Report stage. Of course, if the Committee stage were put off until Tuesday it would not be necessary to have a great interval between the two stages. That is for him to consider. I suggest that this procedure is the only one that will really corespond to the true interests of the country.

For the purpose of putting the matter in order I beg to move that the debate be now adjourned.

Moved, That the debate be now adjourned.— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

It is hoped that the adjournment of the House may take place about Thursday of next week. I therefore think it would be rather risky to postpone the Committee stage of this Bill until Tuesday. I believe noble Lords have Amendments to which they attach great importance, and which they desire to make in the Bill. It would be unfortunate if we postponed consideration of those Amendments until Tuesday. It might prolong the sittings by several days, which personally I should be inclined to regret.

I explained to the noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, last night that to-day was not fixed for the Committee State of this Bill at my instance. It had not occurred to me that we should take the Committee stage the day after the Second Reading, but when I found that a large number of noble Lords very closely interested in this subject desired to have the Second Reading immediately—noble Lords who are familiar with the Bill from end to end—I consented, and it was put down for to-day with the object in view that the interval between the Report stage and the Committee stage should be as long as possible. I therefore hoped that there would be no occasion to take the Report stage of the Bill until an early day next week when the noble Earl, Lord Curzon, proposes to move that Standing Order No. XXXIX should he abrogated for the remainder of the sittings up to the adjournment.

I would therefore urge your Lordships to go on with the Bill to-night, especially as to-morrow the whole day is devoted to the Motion about Ireland. On Friday it is very necessary that the Second Reading of the Ministry of Food Bill—an important and in some ways a controversial measure—should be taken, and also the Committee stage of the Indemnity Bill, and a variety of other Bills, which may not be controversial in the true sense of the word, but which must provoke a certain amount of discussion. Even if your Lordships accept Lord Salisbury's Motion I hope you will not do it on his assertion that the House of Lords cannot do profitable and useful work after dinner.

I am in the hands of the House. If noble Lords on both sides want to do business after dinner, I shall certainly be here after dinner, and if other noble Lords are willing to come, so much the better. If other noble Lords do not agree with my protest I shall certainly not press the matter. I think the noble Earl will find the result very unsatisfactory.

NO, I do not think so at all. I think it quite as likely that the Government will win.

In that case I do not mind. I do not think it will be unsatisfactory in the sense that very well qualified Peers will not be here.

Motion, by ledge, withdrawn.

The sitting was suspended at ten minutes past eight o'clock and resumed at twenty-five minutes past nine.]

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee on the Ministry of Mines Bill.— (Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Motion agreed to. House in Committee accordingly.

[The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Appointment of Minister of Mines.

1. For the purpose of securing the most effective development and utilisation of the mineral resources of the United Kingdom and the safety and welfare of those engaged in the mining industry, it shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint a Minister of Mines, who shall, by virtue of his office, be an additional Parliamentary secretary of the Board of Trade and shall hold office during His Majesty's pleasure.

moved to delete "a Minister of Mines, who shall, by virtue of his office, be." The noble Marquess said: The first Amendment upon the Paper, which stands in my name, is for the purpose of clearing up the position of the Minister of Mines. Your Lordships will remember that when the Bill was considered upon the Second Reading it was pointed out that the Minister will occupy an ambiguous position. In the phrase of the Bill he is Minister of Mines, and, in virtue of his office, is also an Under-Secretary. I cannot believe that this was the original drafting of the Bill. Whether it was or not, it certainly seems to me to be an extremely unfortunate form of words. The first object which probably the Government has in view is to give this Ministry all the appearance of an independent Department. It appears, I think, in the speech of the noble Viscount, Lord Peel, that they are anxious to invest this new office with all the dignity of a special Department, but for some reason they do not appear to have carried their policy to its logical conclusion.

These new Departments are, in the opinion of a great number of your Lordships and, I believe, of a great many good judges outside this House, a great mistake. There has been a great deal too much multiplication and creation of new Departments in recent years. They are not good things in themselves, and they gradually dilute responsibility. Above all things, a Department which is not required makes work for itself. By the law of its being, any unnecessary machinery makes work. There is no such thing as an office which is purely otiose. As soon as it is started on its career, if there is no work which naturally comes to it, it occupies its time in writing minutes, inditing despatches, and making work. And work always involves expense.

The noble Viscount explained, I know, that the expense of the Department was limited under Clause 5, and although I am quite certain that he used that argument in absolute good faith I venture to say that if we all live ten years longer we shall find, if this Bill passes in its present form, that the Minister of Mines will gradually become a more and more expensive article, and that the small sum of £250,000 a year—a little trifle of a quarter of a million!—will slowly increase. We want to avoid this grandiose policy, and we want to go back to normal methods, to our old English conception of what is fitting, and these Ministries in all directions do nothing but harm. They are part of what I may call, if your Lordships will allow me, the "swank" of modern administration. Instead of the old conception of doing all your work with as little parade as possible and with little desire to increase expenses, the whole atmosphere in which the present Government works is one or grandiose conceptions with a consequent increase of expenditure. That is my first objection to the Minister of Mines—that he is not likely to be a source of economy.

But there are always two sides to a question. There is the side or economy, and then there is the side of efficiency. What are we to expect on the side of efficiency? When we come to efficiency the first thing that occurs to us is the ambiguity of the Minister's position. I dwelt on this during the Second Reading, and called your Lordships' attention to the fact that he is only to act subject to any directions that may be given by the President of the Board of Trade. My noble friend the Under-Secretary of State for War thought he had a precedent in the case of the Minister of Blockade. He is a cautions man, and on looking at the report of his admirable speech I find that he did not express himself with any very great confidence on the point. Unless I am much mistaken, the Minister of Blockade is no precedent at all He was not subject to any direction from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether in right at his office or in any other right. It is perfectly true that during the war he was also Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs but the two offices were quite distinct, and unless I am very much mistaken—I have not refreshed my memory—he was absolutely independent, so far as one Minister can be independent of another, of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. There is nothing to correspond with the provision that he shall act subject to the direction of the other Minister. The precedent, therefore, of my noble friend entirely breaks down.

There is no precedent for the proposal, which I cannot help believing is expressly designed in order to throw an element of doubt over the responsibilities which will attach to the Minister of Mines. No one will be able to say whether in any of his acts the Minister acted proprio motu or subject to the directions of the Board of Trade. It is, I am sure, bad legislation. If Parliament wants to have real control over the Executive you must be able always to bring home responsibilitv for any Ministerial act to one particular Minister. You can bring it home no doubt to the Cabinet as a whole, but in so far as it attaches to any particular Minister it must be one Minister and not more than one; otherwise you are quite certain to get bad administration; and this Bill fails to provide for that. I shall be very much surprised if any noble Lord, wherever he may sit, will get up and deny that thesis—that it is an objectionable thing per se to have vagueness of responsibility. There are two issues, of course to the dilemma. Where a man is partly Minister of Mines and partly Under-Secretary at the Board of Trade, and where he there-

fore occupies an ambiguous position, the issue to the dilemma may be either to make him independent of the Board of Trade altogether or to make him nothing more nor less than an Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade.

I have considered to the best of my ability those two alternatives. The first alternative is excluded by the noble Viscount himself. He dealt with the point in his speech yesterday, and said that it was quite impossible that this Minister of Mines should be independent, because he would have the status of a full-blown Cabinet Minister—I do not say that that was his exact phrase—and enjoy an emolument of £5,000 a year, and that it was not in the least likely that Parliament would grant it. He rejected that alternative, and I agree with him. Then there is only one exit, and it is the exit which I have put upon the Paper, namely, that he should be recognised as nothing more nor less than an Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade. That really, so far as one can see through the maze of this ambiguity, corresponds to the form which the Government have impressed upon him. He is under the President of the Board of Trade, and it is better that there should be no mistake about it, and that it should be stated in the Act of Parliament.

I want to add just one word to explain the effect of the Amendment. I am not in this Amendment prejudging any of what remains of the position of the Department of Mines. The noble Viscount said that the Department of Mines was a very important thing. That may or may not be, but its attributes Will no doubt be subject to discussion in this House as we get on further; but whether it is an important thing or not, at any rate this Amendment does not prejudge the issue. A Secretary to the Board of Trade, which is what he would be if you saw fit to approve of this Amendment, would have all the necessary equipment for dealing with the Mines; that is to say, all the powers of the different departments which are under the Bill assigned to the Minister of Mines would become assigned to the President of the Board of Trade, who would act through his Secretary. So, if there is any merit in this special Department of the Mines, that would be preserved, so far as this Amendment is concerned, no doubt subject to ally alterations which your Lordships may see fit to make—but so far as this Amendment is concerned it does not prejudge the issue. All it says is, We will get rid of the grandiose unnecessary expense of the institution of a Minister of Mines. We will get rid of the ambiguity of his position, and recognise that, being subject to the President of the Board of Trade, his position shall be clearly described on the face of the Bill, and in that capacity he should act like other Secretaries to the Board of Trade under the directions of the President of the Board. I cannot help thinking that the Amendment is justified and I hope your Lordships will give it your support. I might explain that this Amendment and the other Amendments upon Clause 1 and also the Amendment on Clause 2 are all upon the same point.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 11, leave out from beginning of line to ("an").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

The Amendment of the noble Marquess is to alter, in form at any rate, the position of the Minister of Mines, and to reduce the Minister of Mines to the position of an ordinary sort of Under-Secretary, and make the President of the Board of Trade, I suppose, the Minister of Mines.

Make him wholly responsible. A large portion of the noble Marquess's speech was directed not so much to the exact position of the Under-Secretary or Minister of Mines, but really was an attack on the whole Bill. The noble Marquess told us in his speech that he objected to the increase and multiplication of these Departments, and, as I understood his speech, he did not desire to have a Ministry of Mines at all.

I do not complain of the noble Viscount, but he has not quite accurately described what I said. I said that I was quite willing that there should be a Mines Department, but not a Minister.

But that was prefaced by a general statement that the noble Marquess did not like any increase in these Ministries. The noble Marquess attacked what he called the grandiose conception of the Government in multiplying these Departments. Nobody wants to multiply. the Departments, and no one desires merely for amusement to multiply officials. But I do not think I need argue in your Lordships' House the necessity of a Mines Department, or a Ministry of Mines. On the Second Reading I went very fully into the whole question, and showed the extraordinary weight of authority there was, coming from no less than six different Commissions and Committees which examined into the subject, all of them approaching it from different points of view, and all recommending that this Ministry or Department should be set up. Therefore I do not think I need dwell further on that point, nor upon the point of whether there should be a special Department.

In regard to the point dealt with by the noble Marquess as to the exact position and responsibility of the representative of the Department of Mines, I do not wish to press unduly any analogy between this particular official and the Minister of Blockade. I was myself an official in the Ministry of Blockade for about a year, and I was constantly visiting the Minister or the Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, and, being at the Foreign Office, I perhaps was deluded into a belief that the Minister of Blockade was to some extent under the directions of the Foreign Minister. And I believe that he was. But the distinguished noble Lord who was Minister of Blockade is a man who takes orders from nobody with great pleasure or readiness, and it may be that the noble Marquess may have been misled as to the exact position occupied by the Minister of Blockade with reference to the Foreign Minister. But the matter is a larger one than that. To some extent this new position, which the noble Marquess says is anomalous, is ambiguous, and is new, arises out of that very development of Departments and the increase of the area of Government. It arises to some extent from certain proposals that were made in one of the Reconstruction Committees, which suggested that, as it was obviously unwise to have your Cabinet too large and to have too many men of the first position responsible for the general Government of the country, it was as well, if possible, to group various Departments under certain leading men. But, of course, if you are going to group these Departments under certain leading Ministers it is quite im- possible that any leading Minister should be so fully conversant with all the details of the Department as he would be if he had only one Under-Secretary or two Under-Secretaries under him. This is an effort, therefore, to concentrate the main responsibility for the Government of the country in comparatively few hands, by this device, or this attempt, to give the fullest possible responsibility for all the ordinary details of administration and so on to the Under-Secretary and make him responsible as regards details to the Minister, while, at the same time, preserving the general directional control in the hands of the supreme Minister.

What does the noble Marquess want to do? He wants to do away with this device or experiment, to bring the Under-Secretary into the position of an ordinary Under-Secretary and to make the President of the Board of Trade wholly responsible in the fullest sense for all the details of administration. Of course, that would defeat the whole object of this new effort, because it would place an overwhelming responsibility upon the President of the Board of Trade. This device is adopted precisely to free the President from all the mass of detail of administration and so enable him to deal more generally with principles on which the work is conducted; to enable him, in fact, to do the thinking part rather than be responsible for the mass of administrative detail. Then the noble Marquess says, "But you have your responsibility rather split up and scattered. Who is responsible? Is the Minister of Mines or the President of the Board of Trade responsible?" He suggested now and, I think, two days ago in discussing the same question—

it seems a very long time ago—that the ball of responsibility would be tossed from one Minister to another so that no one would know where it could be fixed. We are all agreed that it is a good thing that responsibility should be fixed on somebody. Of course, responsibility is fixed upon the Minister of Mines. After all, he is fully responsible for administration. It is true that he has to follow the general directions of the President of the Board of Trade, but he is fully responsible for these direction and for carrying them out. If the Minister of Mines does not agree with any of the directions given him, if he does not accept full responsibility for them, it is his duty to resign. If he acts upon them he accepts full responsibility. There really can be no question whatever of the Minister of Mines or the Additional Under-Secretary trying to repudiate any responsibility; nor, indeed, can the President of the Board of Trade repudiate responsibility. He is responsible for the general directions that he gives, and though he is not actually responsible for all the details of administration he is, no doubt, technically responsible.

Obviously if they both disagree with what they both did they would both resign. That is quite clear. If the Under-Secretary objects to what is being done by the Minister he is bound to resign, and if the House of Commons, or if your Lordships criticise, and carry effectively your criticism against the Minister, he would also have to resign. There is no mystery, and no ambiguity about it. It merely is an effort to try and relieve these leading Ministers of the tremendous burden of being responsible for the whole of the detail of administration—not in one Department but in ten Departments—and to concentrate more responsibility than has hitherto been laid upon an Under-Secretary and to give hint the greater status of the Ministry of Mines.

And there is another matter of policy connected with it, because it is, in fact, to make clear to the mining industry that they have some special Minister before whom they can lay their quarrels and their difficulties, and whose sole business it is to consider and carefully to go into these difficulties. Whereas they know that, if they are only made responsible to a Minister who has a thousand and one other duties to perform, it is ten to one that he will not be able to give them the same attention that they would get if they went to this single Minister.

Therefore I present this to your Lordships as something in the nature of an administrative experiment, and I hope that you will not reject it merely on the ground that possibly it may be new, or that there may be less analogy than I have claimed with the Ministry of Blockade. I do not dwell upon that, but I entirely deny that any difficulty will arise from the division of responsibility, and that for all that is done the Minister of Mines will be responsible, and above him the President of the Board of Trade will be wholly responsible for the general directions that he may give.

I should like to support the Amendment moved by the noble Marquess. All that has been said yesterday and to-day by my noble friend Lord Peel only goes to strengthen my opinion that the appointment of a Minister of Mines is both unnecessary and inexpedient. My noble friend can only present this Minister as a glorified Under-Secretary, the only difference being that he will draw a salary of £2,000 a year, instead of about £1,200 a year. I think it would be very much better to state quite clearly in the Bill—as it would be stated in the Bill if this Amendment were carried—that his position is one of Under-Secretary, instead of leaving it, as it is now, open and very ambiguous, and leaving it in a position which entails a series of open questions as to whether he or the President of the Board of Trade is to be responsible for questions in connection with the mining industry.

The really grave decisions that will have to be come to, after consideration, by the Government will always have to be dealt with under this Bill by the President of the Board of Trade. It is quite clear that a Minister of Mines will not be able to deal with those big and menacing questions which from time to time crop up and have to be dealt with by Government in regard to great industrial quarrels. None of these questions could be dealt with by an Under-Secretary, nor could they be dealt with, as I read the Bill, by the Minister of Mines.

My noble friend made his case yesterday for a Minister of Mines upon the authorities that had recommended the concentration and co-ordination of the various departments which now control the different elements of this industry. I venture to think that he interpreted the recommendations of some at least of those authorities in a somewhat fallacious direction. In reading through his speech your Lordships will see that some of those authorities merely recommend, quite properly, the co-ordination of the functions in regard to the mining industry which are at present being dealt with by various Departments. But in some of those authorities it is quite specifically proposed that it should be confined to co-ordination, and should not take the form of an independent and new Ministry. I venture to say that all these functions which are at present in the hands of various Departments can quite well be co-ordinated and concentrated in the hands of the Board of Trade. It can be done under this Bill without the intervention of a new Minister. I am sure it is a mistake to institute, at this particular juncture and at this grave financial time in our history, a kind of hybrid Minister who is neither one thing nor the other.


My noble friend likened the proposed Minister to the Minister of Blockade, but I do not think that is at all a happy example. The Minister of Blockade was appointed, quite properly, during the war for most emergent purposes. He became as essential for the prosecution of the war as any Minister. At the same time, whatever his individual disposition might have been, it was necessary for the proper prosecution of his office that he should work in complete alliance with, and, indeed, in subordination to, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, because it would have been impossible for him to prosecute his work in connection with the blockade without having a very careful eve upon the effect it would have on non-belligerent countries. Therefore I do not think that the Minister proposed to be created by this Bill can in any way be likened to the Minister of Blockade. I should liken him to a Minister who was appointed last year by His Majesty's Government, known, I think, as the Secretary for Overseas Trade, who was made a kind of Minister and at the same time an Under-Secretary subordinate to the Board of Trade and the Foreign Office. Butt the position was found to be so untenable and impossible by the gentleman who occupied it last year that he had to resign his position, and publicly give his reasons for doing so. I should be much more inclined to give him as a fair example of what is now being proposed, though I do not think it is a very happy precedent.

That I have nothing to say about; I cannot, go into what his successor feels. I can only go into what Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland experienced. I fully remember the reasons he gave for resigning, and they impressed me very much at the time. Apart from the difficulties and inconsistencies which must arise from the very nature of this appointment, I would ask whether it is wise, in the present state of our finances, to set up a new Ministry. We are told that the expense is to be limited to £250,000 a year. I understand that in another place this was moved as an Amendment and carried, the Government resisting it to the last moment. The original Bill never suggested any such limits. The noble Viscount has tried to lead us along the path, in his speech yesterday, by a very eloquent reassurance that the only effect of this new Ministry will be the additional cost to the State of the salary of the Minister—namely, £2,000. I could not quite follow his mathematical argument yesterday, and still less have I been able to follow it after reading the OFFICIAL REPORT this morning. I would suggest that of that £250,000, which the noble Viscount tells us will have to be defrayed in necessary expenses, a very large portion of it ought now to be abolished and extinguished with the termination of the war. That sum of money undoubtedly was necessary during the period of the war with all the additional work and responsibilities imposed upon the coal industry during that period, but I can hardly believe that such an amount is necessary for the establishment of the staff in normal times.

There is an increasing volume of opinion in the country that the Government have already far too many Ministries. The establishment of these Ministries has been proved more and more to stifle and paralyse the recovery of trade. And this adds one more to the long list, and one of a very paradoxical character but certainly sufficiently pronounced to offer an ample opportunity for larger bureaucratic expenditure in the days to come. It is quite obvious, the moment you establish a new Ministry, that it is only a question of time before it will ask for larger sums of money to defray the expenses which it will find inevitable for its existence.

To those who advocate the nationalisation of mines this part of the Bill will be very welcome. I can conceive, under a Labour Government, that it would facilitate progress in this direction to an extraordinary degree. It would afford appropriate Ministerial machinery for its future developments. In Clause 18 the Bill, so far as Part II is concerned, is only provisional. And that is really the main operative Part of the measure. It sets up the various committees. If the miners, as at present they are disposed, continue to refuse to operate this Bill then in a year's time that Part of the Bill is to cease to have effect. Where will the country be then? It would leave a skeleton Ministry, because Part I of the Bill would he preserved and Part II omitted. It would leave a skeleton Ministry in existence with power to spend £250,000 a year of the taxpayers' money and ready to hand for the immediate establishment of a nationalised system of mines whenever it was thought fit to introduce that new scheme. Surely that is a very unwise provision. It is for these reasons, without delaying your Lordships any longer, that I hope my noble friend will press his Amendment, and if he does I shall give it my most cordial support.

To a large extent I agree with the view which has just been expressed but I must honestly say, with all respect to the oratorical aptitude of nix noble friend Lord Peel, I do not think that I ever heard a weaker defence of the proposal to make this official into a Minister. The Bill is a hotchpotch of the worst description. The Minister is to be a hybrid animal, and is to be partially subject to the Board of Trade, of which he might be an official, and partially the head of a very great Department.

Now look at the powers of the new Minister. In the first Part of the Bill he is limited as to his principal actions to about a year. In the second Part of the Bill the Government have already so discounted the probability of the Bill being taken advantage of that they take a clause in order to annul the whole of the second Part if it is not taken advantage of; and the third Part of the Bill is mainly concerned with schemes as to drainage and special regulations as to metalliferous mines and the establishment of a fund for the improvement of social conditions under an official of the Board of Trade who is to carry them out.

I do not think that either in the Bill or in the speech of the noble Viscount, there is any indication of the necessity of forming a new Department at great expense to the country, in order to carry out the projects in the Bill. The whole object of the Bill is contained in the clause to make £250,000 worth of officials, who are to be in violation of all the pledges of economy given by the Government, contrary to the views expressed by this House in 1915, and in violation of the views expressed and carried by a majority of three or four to one in this House the other day. It is to start a variety of new committees which have never been asked for, and to exercise powers which the Government have not the courage to say shall be under a new Department but which are to be done under the camouflage of the Board of Trade. I do not deny that it may be necessary for the mining industry to have a Secretary specially responsible for that industry, but what I suggest is that this system of pit committess, which may be necessary, of area committees, of district committees and of national committees—four different machineries, followed by ail advisory committee which is to be the last stage by which you are to reach the Minister, who is not to be a Minister, but a secretary to somebody else—the whole thing is really an attempt to graft a system of nationalisation, which has been condemned, on to the system of private ownership, which has not been abandoned, and to do so at the expense of the country.

Look at two of the most recently established Ministries. Take the Ministry of Shipping. I have not heard a word of defence of this, and if I trouble you again for a moment I think I have a right to do so because I put this case about a month ago and no answer has been forthcoming either then or at any subsequent period. I object to these appointments of Ministers who are not paid and who are not responsible to Parliament. I have noticed that by far the greatest extravagance usually takes place in the case of some individual who, being eminent in his own profession, is asked to act as a Minister without payment, and, having to give time which he can ill afford to the country's service, he leaves matters to be dealt with by a mass of directors. I put a question regarding the Ministry of Shipping some time ago. The Ministry of Shipping in the year 1920–21, dealing with a turnover of £17,500,000 as against £45,000,000, had expenses of salaries, wages, etc., of £133,000 as against £115,000—in other words, dealing with about 40 per cent. of the work it is costing about £10,000 a year more. Then we have a Ministry of Transport. Your Lordships took a very strong view on this question a year ago, but those with whom I am Associated were out-voted. The Ministry was consequently established, and what is the result? Salaries, wages, law charges, etc., amount already to £340,000 a year.

What are we to get for the £250,000 a year which is to be spent by the Minister of Mines who is to be a Secretary of the Board of Trade? I do not believe that we shall get any advantage for the mining industry. What will be done will be to establish a national system under a camouflage. Your Lordships therefore could not do better than to strike out altogether, not merely the Ministry which is proposed, but Clause 5 which gives that Ministry an enormous staff that is not needed. This Bill is said to be an important one, yet there is not one among the three or four Cabinet Ministers who represent the Government in this House who is present to defend it. It is defended by my noble friend who has no connection whatever with the Board of Trade. I am not in any way impugning his ability to deal with it, but there is no attempt to show either by the attendance of Ministers or by the arguments advanced that this is an important or serious Bill. On the contrary, it is a Bill framed at a time when the idea of nationalisation was defeated by vigorous action on the part of the Duke of Northumberland and other members of this House. Every step you take on the road to nationalisation is, I believe, a faulty step, and is a violation of a vote given on several occasions in this House. With regard to the formation of new Ministries, I think this new Ministry is the one least required, and I sincerely hope that this Amendment will be pressed to a Division.

I will not detain the House more than a few minutes, but I should like to say a word or two in support of the Amendment that has been moved by the noble Marquess opposite. In the speech of the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill delivered yesterday, in which he justified the appointment of this Ministry, some of the quotations that he made in support of the Bill did not really support it. For instance, Sir Lionel Phillips's Report speaks of the absence of a properly organised Mines Department in the United Kingdom having been most detrimental to that industry. It does not follow that you are going to get a better organised Mines Department by appointing an Under-Secretary who is called a Minister rather than by appointing an Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade who is not called a Minister of Mines.

Then again, as to the quotation from Mr. Leslie Scott's Committee, the noble Viscount said that this Committee—
"advised the creation, as a branch of the Home Office or of any Ministry which might be set up, of a Mining Department which should be entrusted 'with all powers and duties which are necessary to enable them to supervise and control development of the mineral resources of the United Kingdom.'"
That is really not recommending a Ministry of Mines.

Another argument which the noble Viscount used in regard to this point was that the industry was of such a great size that it required a Minister. If we are going to have a Minister for every industry whose products are of the value of the mining industry in this country at present we are going to have a great many other Ministries. The total value of the products of the textile industry to-clay is far greater than £440,000,000, but I should be very sorry to see a Ministry set up for the textile industry. I maintain that there should be an irresistible case for the formation of any new Ministry at present. After all, the interests of this country in coal mines, coal mining and coal has been very great of late because of the labour troubles with which we have had to deal and with which we are still threatened. What has happened? Wages have been dealt with, not by the Minister of Mines who is Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade, nor by the President of the Board of Trade. They have, I regret to say, for the most part been dealt with by the Prime Minister of the country. I do not know that the appointment of a Minister of Mines is going to alter that very materially if the circumstances are to remain the same. As to prices, these have been regulated by the Board of Trade, and I venture to say that only a Government Department would have lowered the price for domestic coal by 10s. one week and increased it by 14s 2d. a few weeks later. Are these things going to be bettered by the appointment of a Minister of Mines who is Under-Secretary to the Board of Trade? I fear not.

As to the other duties, I admit that there is a good deal of opinion in favour of their all coming under one Department. I am not quite clear, however, that in regard to health and some other matters that would cause any great improvement. I believe that health matters are better looked after by a Department which has a large staff dealing with them rather than by a Department which cannot have the same command of experts, and the Ministry of Mines could not possibly have the same medical opinion at its disposal that the Home Office or the Ministry of Health has. For all these reasons, if the noble Marquess goes to a division, I shall certainly support him.

I must, with your Lordships' leave, say one or two words in reply, because I think the observation I made in answer to the noble Marquess was fully justified—namely, that the gravamen of this debate was not so much what he called the ambiguous position of the Under-Secretary, whether he was Under-Secretary or Minister of Mines and his precise relation to the Minister of Mines, but it is, in fact, really a Second Reading attack on the whole of the Bill. If your Lordships felt as strongly as your speeches have indicated to-night with regard to the setting up of this sub-Ministry and the gathering together of all these powers into one hand, you ought to have divided frankly against the Second Reading and not have developed these strong arguments merely upon what is a very minor issue in the Bill. I heard all these arguments with much more surprise because it is only two or three months since your Lordships passed without a Division a Bill which was introduced and promoted by the noble Lord opposite who speaks for the mine owners (Lord Gainford) for setting up such a Department. I was astounded, therefore, at the inconsistency of some of your Lordships in passing that Bill, and then in directing the whole artillery of your cloquence against time concentration of these different powers in one Ministry. Really the inconsistency is astounding.

What is Lord Islington's point? He says, "Having had all this control of the coal industry during the war, why are you not reducing expense? How is it you come out with this vast sum of £250,000 a year?" I am sorry that I apparently made the finance of the Bill so obscure in my speech on the Second Reading. But, as I am challenged, I must give a short reply. What were the expenses of the Department up to July last? Not £250,000 but £551,000. When my noble friend attacks the Government for not reducing expenditure I. would reply to him that the expenses are absolutely halved, and that, after all, is a very considerable reduction. Moreover, I did show on the Second Reading that this £250,000 is not for an increase of staff. There is something like £75,000 which was the staff less the staff that has been disbanded owing to the necessity of no longer rationing coal and setting up the big distribution system in the provinces. Then there was £125,000 for the officials taken over from that Department in order to concentrate them under this Minister.

And now, after these duties have been discussed, my noble friend Lord Emmott comes here and says he objects to taking away these health duties from the Ministry of Health and the Home Department, and that they are now much better performed than they will be under the Ministry of Mines—entirely forgetting that he voted for, or made no criticism of that kind against, the Bill that was introduced by Lord Gainford. My noble friend says "The noble Viscount bases one of his arguments for the introduction of this Bill on the fact that the value of the produce is £440,000,000, and therefore other. industries with equally large products ought also to have separate Ministers." I appeal to you, what is the fairness of taking out one figure that I gave about the Ministry and basing the whole of the argument upon it? I brought forward the overwhelming mass of opinion in favour of setting up some sort of Ministry of Mines, and I cited also the fact that the mining industry was of vast importance, which almost justified it in having a Ministry of its own, because it employed something like 1,200,000 men, the value of its output was £440,000,000, and the amount of wages paid was £278,000,000. My noble friend picks out one figure I have given and states it as the reason I urged that there should be a separate Ministry of Mines. I think the whole of my argument ought to be taken together and one figure should not be picked out as the basis upon which it rests.

My noble friend Lord Islington points out that Clause 18 provides that at the end of a year the pit, district, and area committees, the National Board, and all this elaborate hierarchy of committees may come to an end. He asks, What is the use of this big Department which, after that, will be a shrunken Department with no duties; it will be necessary then to have nationalisation and turn it into a really big Department. If, unfortunately, this system of committees is not accepted, what will follow will be a reduction in the staff of the Department, a point which I should have thought would not have been deplored by my noble friend. With all respect to him he is entirely wrong, and even then it will not be a skeleton Department. I have enumerated, and it will be seen in the Bill, that what is taken over is all the powers of the existing Coal Department and all that elaborate list of duties and officials from other Departments. That is where the bulk of the work and the expense of the Bill comes in.

Then my noble friend says, Look at the danger there is if you have a Ministry of Mines instead of an Under-Secretary; you will pave the way for nationalisation in the future. Is that really possible? My noble friend says, further, that if this gentleman is called an Under-Secretary of State and has not the status of a Minister of Mines, nationalisation will be prevented; whereas if he is called a Minister of Mines and is made subordinate to the Board of Trade then you will have nationalisation. One wishes sometimes that very large decisions of policy of that kind might be so easily avoided, but I very much doubt whether, if any other Government—because tins Government is pledged against nationalisation—came in and desired to carry it, they would be deterred because of the particular nomenclature of the Under-Secretary or a Minister of Mines.

I fear I cannot follow the noble Earl into his discussion of other Ministries, but I submit that no case has been made out at all for objecting to this particular provision. I submit also that the criticism that has been brought to bear upon the Bill is just as much against having an Under-Secretary as having a Minister of Mines subordinate to the general direction of the Board of Trade; and seeing that your Lordships have passed the Second Reading, you ought also to vote against this Amendment, because the only thing it does is to relieve the Minister of Mines from some of the overwhelming mass of administrative details with which he must


Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)Peel, V.Joicey, L.
Ranksborough, L.
Bradford, E.Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)Riddell, L.
Lucan, E.Colebrooke, L.Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
Lytton, E.Cozens-Hardy, L.Southwark, L.
Onslow, E.Gainford, L.Stanmore, L. [Teller.]
Glenarthur, L.Wester Wemyss, L.
Astor, V.Hylton, L.Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)


Northumberland, D.Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)Faringdon, L.
Islington, L.
Linlithgow, M.Lamington, L.
Salisbury, M.Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)O'Hagan, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)
Cottesloe, L.
Midleton, E.Denman, L.Strachie, L. [Teller.]
Morton, E.Dynevor, L.Summer, L.
Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)Sydenham, L.
Cowdray, V.Teynham, L.
Goschen, V.Emmott, L.Treowen, L.
Hood, V.Erskine, L. [Teller.]Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)

Resolved in the negative and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 12, leave out from ("Trade") to end of clause 1.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 2:

General powers and duties.

2.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Minister of Mines, in the exercise and performance of the powers and duties transferred to or conferred or imposed on him by or in pursuance of this Act, subject to any directions which may be given by the Board of Trade, to take steps to carry out the purposes aforesaid, and there shall, as from such date or dates as His Majesty in Council may determine, be transferred to the Minister of Mines—

(a) the powers and duties of the Board of Trade with respect to the Mining industry;

be burdened if the office is placed more directly under him.

On Question, whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the clause?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 23; Not-Contents, 28.

(b) all the powers of a Secretary of State under enactments relating to mines and quarries.

Amendments moved—

Page 1, line 14, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 1, line 16, leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board of Trade")

Page 1, lines 17 and 18, leave out from ("'Act") to the first ("to") in line 18.

Page 1, line 21, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 1, lines 22 and 23, leave out parargaph (a)(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3:

Powers of regulating export and price of coal.

3.—(1) During a period of one year after the thirty-first day of August, nineteen hundred

and twenty, it shall be lawful for the Minister of Mines, subject to the approval of the Board of Trade, from time to time to give directions—

  • (a) regulating the export of coal and the supply of coal for the bunkering of vessels; and
  • (b) regulating the pithead price to be charged for coal sold for consumption in the British Islands and for coal sold for the bunkering of vessels.
  • (2) When any such directions are given it shall be lawful for the Minister of Mines, subject to the like approval, also to give directions as to the wages to be paid to workers in coal mines and by order to regulate the distribution of profits, and any such order shall contain provisions framed on principles similar to the principles on which the provisions of the Coal Mines (Emergency) Act, 1920, are framed, so as to secure, as far as practicable, an equitable distribution as between different collieries:

    (4) The powers of giving such directions and making such orders as aforesaid may be exercised till the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-two, by the Minister of Mines subject to the like approval after the expiration of the said one year if the exercise of such powers is authorised by a resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament.

    (7) The provisions of this section relating to the export of coal shall apply to coke, briquettes, and other solid fuel of which coal or coke is a constituent, in like manner as they to coal.

    Your Lordships are aware that these Amendments were, owing to the arrangement of business, drafted in the greatest hurry, and I am afraid I was not able to go through the Bill and draft all the consequential Amendments. Of course, I rely upon the Government to put their Bill into proper shape on the Report Stage, and no doubt they will do so.

    moved, in subsection (1), after "give" ["from time to time give directions"], to insert "and enforce." The noble Lord said: The first Amendment in my name is with a view of making it quite clear that any order or direction given during a period of a year after the first day of August, 1920, should not extend beyond the period of that year. It was suggested to me that the insertion of these words "and enforce" would make it quite clear. If, however, the Government can assure me that the words as they stand secure that object I shall not press my Amendment, which I move pro forma.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 3, line 4, after ("give") insert ("and enforce").—(Lord Gainford.)

    I can assure the noble Lord that both orders and directions and orders resulting from directions will perish together when the guillotine falls. Therefore these words are not necessary.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    In reply to the noble Marquess, I will do my best to remedy his faulty drafting.

    moved, in subsection (1) (b), after "vessels" to insert "trading between ports in the United Kingdom." The noble Lord said: This Amendment is one of considerable substance, and I am going to ask you to agree with me in limiting the powers sought by the Government to vessels trading between ports in the United Kingdom. The shipping interest did not desire in previous Acts of Parliament to have the price of coal limited for bunker purposes. Under D.O.R.A. the Government have assumed that it possessed certain powers to control prices in regard to bunker coal, but as a matter of fact they have not done so and are now seeking new powers—in other words, to extend their bureaucratic control over the coal industry by extending their powers to the price of bunkers, not merely for British ships sailing abroad but for all ships coming into the United Kingdom to obtain bunker coals.

    We as a coal trade are quite prepared to give those vessels which trade in home waters between British ports the same limitation of price as other home industries, but we ate not prepared to agree to these new powers being given to the Government in connection with bunkers for vessels sailing into foreign areas. Under our treaty obligations all vessels, whatever flag they fly, can come and obtain bunker coals on the same terms. We have agreed voluntarily to a reduction of price quite recently in the interest of the shipping community, but we are not prepared to part with a power of obtaining such prices as we think reasonable in connection with foreign going ships.

    I am armed with no less an authority than Sir John Simon for saying that under the provisions of D.O.R.A. the Government have no power whatever to enforce control of prices in connection with bunker coals. Therefore a new power would be conceded in the event of this clause remaining as it is drawn in the Bill. The shipping interests notoriously have made very much larger profits in the past than the coal industry, and in the event of the present price of bunker coals being reduced to the price of domestic coal—which is the demand of certain shipowners—it would mean that the pool might be reduced to the extent of something like £25,000,000.

    The President of the Board of Trade, when interviewing Mr. Smillie and Mr. Hodges the other day, made it quite clear that he was not prepared to take anything from that fund, as it was a right contribution to the Exchequer from the coal industry, and if powers are obtained from the Board of Trade to reduce the prices it is possible that the contribution to the Exchequer which was regraded by Sir Robert Horne when meeting the deputation as sacrosanct would no longer be possible.

    I do not want at this period of the evening to dwell on further arguments, but I can assure the shipping interest that if we secure our object—which is within a very few weeks to become less controlled in regard to prices —the natural competition which will result will, while safeguarding all home industries and home consumers, tend to reduce, by the natural operation of economic laws, the prices of bunker coals in favour of the British shipowner. That is coming, I think, within a reasonable period, and I do not think there is any justification whatever for the coal industry pool to be dipped into in the interests of the shipping class.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 3, line 9, after ("vessels") insert ("trading between ports in the United Kingdom").—(Lord Gainford.)

    In introducing his Amendment to your Lordships the noble Lord spoke of the Government desiring to obtain new powers in order to deal, if necessary, with the case of bunker coal, and he quoted an opinion from Sir John Simon on the point. I have not seen that opinion, but I am advised that these powers are not new powers, and therefore all that the Government are doing is not to ask for new powers but merely to carry on existing powers during the short period for which this control is likely to last.

    I would remind your Lordships that Clause 3 only endures for one year, and can be prolonged for only a few months beyond that period by a Resolution of both Houses of Parliament. Therefore we are dealing only with transitory powers. The noble Lord has said that they have not suffered from these powers because they have not been put into operation, and he suggests that it is unnecessary to have them because owing to natural competition there will be an equalisation of prices of bunker coal and coal sold inland. If that happens the whole of the control will go; therefore it is not necessary to lay stress on these particular powers. The only necessity for keeping this control is the great gap in price between export and bunker coal and supplies of home coal. The Government lay much stress on the retention of these powers because, though it is hoped they might not be exercised very often, occasions might arise when it would be of the utmost importance for the great shipping industry that some use should be made of them, though not, of course, to the extent suggested by the noble Lord.

    I should like to point out, as regards the trading community, that it is quite as important that coal should not be supplied at too high a price for bunker coal as that it should not be supplied at too high a price for local industries. Therefore, I hope your Lordships will not shut off this power from the Government but will allow them to use it with the same discretion as before during the short period for which control will last. I trust the noble Lord will not press the Amendment.

    I hope my noble friend will press it. There is a large pool in the shape of profits of which possession is taken by His Majesty's Government, and all that we are seeking for is that bunker coals should pay the same price as our export coals. A large proportion of the bunker coal is used by foreign ships which have been earning enormous rates during the war. They have been subject to no limitation of profits, and the sums received by some of the Norwegian and Scandinavian ships, and those of other countries not engaged in the war, have been fabulous.

    If we permit His Majesty's Government to give an allowance upon bunker coal we are giving these people a special advantage and taking money from our own Government which they propose to use in connection with our various Exchequer battles. We are content to allow them to charge the same price as is charged home consumers for coal used up and down the coast and really interded for home industries. That is a proper charge to make, and when you consider the taxation we have to bear and the sacrifices we have made by taking lower prices from France and Italy, I think the Government ought not to be in the position to give this special advantage to bunker coals. If the whole question were understood, I feel sure your Lordships would favour the Amendment.

    We are not fighting this battle for ourselves. You know that coal owners have not been profiteers. While every other industry has been receiving from 40 per cent. to 60 per cent. of excess profits the coal trade excess profits, with the exception of a small margin of 5 per cent. or 10 per cent., have been taken by His Majesty's Government. We are fighting this question not for ourselves but for the nation, and I hope we are not going to allow foreign shipowners, through this bunker coal, to make such enormous profits.

    I do not know whether the position of other noble Lords is like mine, but I do not quite understand the case. I understand Lord Gainford to say that these powers. have never been put into force, that is to say, that there has been no restriction. Is there any restriction at the present time on the price of bunker coal?

    In practice there has been no restriction whatsoever, but certain indications have been given to the trade by the Coal Department that bunkers should only be supplied from certain ports. In regard to the quantity of bunker coals which could be supplied no restriction has been placed upon the industry. In regard to the price of the coal no effort has been made by the Government to restrict our powers of obtaining the current market price under the Limitation of Prices Act, or under the provisions of the Defence of the Realm Acts. But it has been assumed by the Government that they had behind them certain powers which they could exercise under the Defence of the Realm Acts. We as a coal trade have always felt that they were not on sound ground when they thought that they had those powers behind them. As a matter of fact, those powers have never been exercised. We have made voluntary efforts in regard to alterations and reductions of bunker prices from time to time, but under no compulsion. The Government now seek by this provision to secure definite powers, which they never have assumed hitherto. The coal trade have taken the opinion of Sir John Simon— and, after all, there is no greater authority on this Act than Sir John Simon, who was the main author of it, and who has also taken steps to prove that some of the powers which the Government assumed they possessed under this Act were erroneously assumed— and he advises us that if we went into a Court against any effort on the part of the Government to exercise those powers we should uphold our position against the Government. It is under these circumstances that the trade feel that they ought to resist an extension of the sphere of control which the Government are now trying to secure under this Bill.

    I certainly think it lies with the Government to make out a case for this restriction if it is to be imposed, and I do not gather that they have done so. There is one case that will present itself to everybody, and that is the case of serious dispute in the coal trade, but I am quite sure that in a case of that kind the coal trade could be relied upon to do their best for the interests of the country.

    There is no intention, as Lord Joicey said of diminishing the pool for the coal trade, nor is there any foundation for the suggestion which he made that this is a method of giving a subsidy to foreign shipowners. I deny that altogether, and if that point was made by Lord Gainford I must again repeat—because I thought Lord Emmott was accepting his statement a little more freely and fully than I should like—that that contention is entirely denied by the Government. The noble Lord is only relying upon the opinion of a distinguished barrister, which has not, of course, been tested in the Courts. The Government have also advice.

    If it was not affecting the mind of my noble friend I will not discuss it further. I entirely accept what has been stated by Lord Gainford that it has not been put in force, but there might very easily arise an occasion in the next year when it might be necessary in the interests of trade to put it into force. Therefore very naturally the Government do not wish, for the very short period of control this year, to lose the power which they consider they, and are certainly understood already to, possess.


    Northumberland, D.Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)Joicey, L. [Teller.]
    Lamington, L.
    Linlithgow, M.Cottesloe, L.Southwark, L.
    Salisbury, M.Dynevor, L.Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)
    Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)
    Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)Strachie, L.
    Emmott, L.Sumner, L.
    Eldon, E.Erskine, L.Sydenham, L.
    Midleton, E.Faringdon, L.Treowen, L.
    Morton, E.Gainford, L. [Teller.]Vernon, L.
    Glenarthur, L.Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
    Cowdray, V.Islington, L.Wester Wemyss, L.
    Armaghdale, L.


    Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)Astor, V.Ranksborough, L.
    Peel, V.Riddell, L.
    Bradford, E.Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
    Lucan, E.Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)Stanmore, L. [Teller.]
    Lytton, E.Cole brooke, L.Teynham, L.
    Malmesbury, E.Cozens-Hardy, L.Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)
    Onslow, E.Hylton, L.

    Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

    the Government do not wish to give any subsidy to the foreign shipowner or to interfere with the pool. But as a matter of fact they are charging him so many shillings less than he ought to pay for his bunker coal. This is taken off the pool and is, undoubtedly, in the nature of a subsidy to the foreign shipowner. I feel quite sure that my statement is accurate.

    I am afraid that does not give a very correct exposition of the condition of things, because Lord Joicey talks about taking some shillings off the price of bunker coal for the foreign shipowner and says it is specially done in his behalf. It is done for the British shipowner and we have to do it also for the foreign shipowner in our ports, because there would be a great many international troubles if it were not done.

    On Question, whether the words proposed to be inserted shall stand part of the clause?—

    Their Lordships divided: Contents, 30; Not-Contents, 18.

    had on the Paper an Amendment, in subsection (2), to leave out "framed on principles similar to the principles on which," and insert "not less favourable than." The noble Lord said: The object of this Amendment, which I desire to move in a slightly different form—that is, "not less favourable to the owners of undertakings than," is to make quite clear that the coal trade, which has accepted for the past fifteen months the provisions of the Emergency Act, shall not in the future be placed in a worse or less favourable position than during the last fifteen months. The trade is naturally apprehensive in regard to the future. Sir Robert Horne in another place said that the rights under the Emergency Act would be preserved, but no words have been inserted in the Bill, which will, in the opinion of the trade, preserve those rights. We desire to be treated not less favourably than under the Emergency Act—we ought to be treated more generously and liberally—and hope to suggest schemes by which this may be possible; and we desire an assurance that the Government will treat us as generously as we have been treated under the Emergency Act and words to ensure this should be placed in the Bill. The present Government may be followed by a different Government, and we want them to be legally as well as morally bound to accept the assurance which the noble Viscount no doubt will be prepared to give.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 3, lines 14 and 15, leave out ("framed on principles similar to the principles on which ") and insert ("not less favourable to the owners of undertakings than")—(Lord Gainford.)

    My noble friend asks me to accept these words because he thinks that a future Coal Controller or Government may come in that will be less favourable to the coal industry. I would point out that these powers last for only a year, and I suggest that such a possibility seems hardly credible.

    As regards the particular Amendment I do not think it will carry him very much further. It is a little difficult to understand what safeguard he would get from the introduction of these words. They seem to be very indefinite and I do not think they would give the noble Lord very much assistance. I am ready to give the assurance that has been given already by the President of the Board of Trade—namely, that there is no intention of introducing a fresh scheme unless a new scheme is voluntarily agreed to by the coal-owners themselves. Therefore, they will be in a perfectly safe and secure position. Of course, I can give him these actual words, that there is no intention that the Ministry of Mines shall impose upon the industry a fresh pooling scheme against their will. I hope that an assurance as definite as that will be sufficient.

    I had intended to press my Amendment, but after the assurance of the noble Viscount—which, of course, I assume, must be binding on any successor—that no alteration will be made which is prejudicial to the views of the coal-owners in regard to any less favourable terms being secured to them than are already secured to them under the Coal Mines (Emergency) Act, and that no order or direction will be given unless it has the approval of the coalowners, I shall not trouble the House with a division.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    moved to leave out subsection (7). The noble Lord said: This Amendment is not moved on behalf of the coal trade but on behalf of the Coke and By-Products Association, of which I happen to be Chairman. The coke industry, have hitherto been exempted from both the Agreement Act and the Coal Emergency Act, and we do not see why the coke industry should be for the first time brought under the operations of the Coal Control. It is true that D.O.R.A., so far as I know, may be applicable to the control of the coke industry, but that really has not been exercised in the past, and as D.O.R.A. is going to end within a month it is not likely to be exercised within the next month, and would then naturally expire. It is because it is a new proposal to place manufactured articles such as coke and briquettes under the provisions of this Bill and give what we regard as fresh powers to the Coal Controller to limit the quantity of coke which may be exported, that I move the omission of this subsection.

    I might point out that the amount involved is not very considerable. After all, there is only a limited quantity of machinery capable of making briquettes in the country, and only a limited number of coke ovens in the country. Their first interest, obviously, is to support home industries and help the smelting of iron, which is the greatest consumer of coke, but when home requirements are met we claim that we ought not to be limited with regard to the amount of coke which we can export. In 1903 the total amount of coke sent to foreign countries was 1,177,000 tons in the year; to British possessions, 58,000 tons. The manufactured fuel amounted to—foreign countries, 1,926,000 tons; British possessions, 127,000 tons. That gives an aggregate of 3,288,000 tons. When the amount of coke which can be exported is taken into consideration as compared with the total production of coal (which is now 210,000,000 a year) it is only a small matter.

    At the same time a principle is involved, and the coke industry very much objects to being placed under the provisions of this section. They regard it as a novel effort on the part of the Government to place them under fresh control and they take strong exception to it. On their behalf I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 4, lines 22 to 25, leave out subsection (7).—(Lord Gainford.)

    The object of the noble Lord's Amendment is to free the export of coke from the restrictions that are applied to the export of coal. The whole object of this control is to retain in the country sufficient coal and coke for home requirements. Though the home demand for coke may not be so great as that for coal, coke is just as important, and it would be quite a mistake to allow coke to be freely exported when coal is not allowed to be freely exported.

    I am advised that if the restriction were not applied to coke as well as to coal, the restriction on coal could be to some extent defeated by increasing the amount of coal coked at the expense of the home market. It would appear from this that it would be necessary to apply the same restriction to the export of coke as is applied in the case of coal. I hope, therefore, the noble Lord will not press the Amendment.

    I quite understand the feeling of the noble Lord who sits behind me in wishing to exempt from the operation of the Bill that which hitherto has not been subject to restrictive conditions, but I am impressed with the argument of the noble Viscount opposite. I find it very difficult to distinguish in argument between coal and briquettes, and if it be right that the export of coal should be regulated I cannot see how you can escape from the logical conclusion that coke and briquettes and other solid fuel should be placed upon a similar footing. I almost hope—though I have no right to say so—that the noble Lord who sits behind me will not press the Amendment. I understand from him that it does not involve a very large quantity of fuel, and the arguments advanced by the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill seemed to me to be very cogent.

    I think the Amendment is a very reasonable one. Hitherto coke has not been controlled by His Majesty's Government, and we have not found any ill-effects resulting. The various furnaces have been well supplied with coke and so far as my experience goes the coke manufacturers have been very reasonable in regard to the prices that they have charged. Coke is a manufactured article and upon it depended many important things during the war. It was not only coke that was required, but the encouragement of the manufacture of coke enabled us to deal with all kinds of high explosives. Various chemicals which were obtained from the patent ovens in which the coke was made became of the greatest value for our high explosives and I think it is a wise thing to encourage, rather than deprecate, coke making. I cannot see why the Government should seek further powers when they are wishing to decontrol the industry. I hope your Lordships will accept the Amendment.

    I am advised that my noble friend behind me is mistaken as to these being new powers. They are old powers already possessed under the Defence of the Realm Act. I am gratified that my argument has at last impressed the noble Marquess.

    On Question, Amendment negatived.

    Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

    Clause 4 agreed to.

    Clause 5:

    Staff remuneration and expenses.

    5.—(1) The Minister of Mines may appoint such secretaries, assistant secretaries, officers, and servants as the Minister of Mines may, subject to the consent of the Treasury as to number, determine.

    (2) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament to the Minister of Mines an annual salary not exceeding two thousand pounds, and to the secretaries, assistant secretaries, officers, and servants of the Ministry of Mines such salaries or remuneration as the Treasury may from time to time determine.

    (3) The expenses of the Ministry of Mines, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the Treasury, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament:

    Provided that the total amount of such salaries and expenses shall not in any year exceed two hundred and fifty thousand pounds.

    (4) There shall be transferred and attached to the Ministry of Mines Snell of the persons employed under any other Government department in or about the execution of the powers and duties transferred by or under this Act to the Minister of Mines, as the Minister of Mines and the other Government department, with the sanction of the Treasury, may determine

    (5) The Minister of Mines may from time to time distribute the business of the department amongst the several persons transferred and attached thereto in pursuance of this Act, in such manner as he may think right, and those officers shall perform such duties in relation to that business as may be directed by the Minister of Mines:

    Provided that such persons shall be in no worse position as respects the tenure of office, salary, or superannuation allowances than they would have been if this Act had not been passed.

    moved to omit Clause 5. The noble Earl said: After the decision reached by your Lordships a short time ago, that the proposed Minister should be a Secretary of the Board of Trade, it is unnecessary to include this clause in the Bill. The Treasury have power, with regard to the Board of Trade, to appoint any staff necessary, and, of course, the Secretary of the Board of Trade who acts in respect of the mines will have whatever staff the Treasury may assign to him and any transfer of staff that may be required. It may be argued that by the omission of the clause no salary is provided for the Secretary, but, as your Lordships are aware, it is not in our power, as a matter of precedent, to provide a salary of any description. Therefore, I submit that the only course for us to take is to strike out the clause and leave it to the House of Commons, when the Bill returns to them, to insert such salary as they may desire for the Secretary. It would be absurd to propose a salary of £2,000 for the Secretary—that would be out of all keeping with the salaries of other Secretaries—and it certainly is not necessary to provide a staff at a cost of £250,000 a year.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 5, line 20 to line 12 on page 6, leave out Clause 5.—(The Earl of Midlelon.)

    I have little to say on this point. If your Lordships omit Clause 5 the whole of the staff remuneration and expenses of the Department will be cut out. This would show that your Lordships are not concerned so much with questions of detail as that you are objecting to the whole Bill. I should point out also that if you leave out the clause you also leave out the limitation of £250,000 a year inserted in another place and the Treasury will be able to do what it likes. I cannot prevent your Lordships if you desire to cut it out, but such action not only prevents the setting up of the Ministry of Mines but the provision of a staff also.

    The difficulty which my noble friend has pointed out is that the Secretary would be unprovided with a salary. My noble friend is quite accurate in saying that it would not be in accordance with the practice of your Lordships' House to suggest a salary. That is a matter for the House of Commons. I should have thought the wise plan was to strike out the Clause and then, if there should be certain provisions in it which are necessary, we will, with the consent of your Lordships, put it in on the next stage of the Bill. Evidently the Clause cannot stand as it is, for the reason I have given. I think the simplest plan would be to cut the Clause out, and between now and Report the Government and ourselves will consider what words should be inserted, if any. We are up against all sorts of questions of privilege which are very difficult to manage, and the simplest thing to do would be to cut the Clause out and leave the House of Commons to deal with it, but we should be very glad to hear what the Chancellor of the Duchy has to say about it.

    I hope that if Lord Salisbury strikes this clause out he will not expect the Government to draft an alternative clause. This is a vital clause in the Bill, and it makes it ridiculous if you strike it out.

    Does not the noble Earl see that if there is to be no Minister of Mines it is not very sensible that the Clause should begin with "The Minister of Mines." I realise that there is going to be a Mines Department of the Board of Trade, and I am very glad that there is going to be one, but it is obvious that the words as framed in Clause 5 are no longer congruous with the Amendment already passed. Would it not be better for the Government to consider how best to bring the Clause into consonance with the previous decision, and bring up an Amendment on Report after consideration with the noble Marquess?

    It strikes me that if the Question is put that Clause 5 stand part, and that is affirmed, then it cannot be amended. But it is quite clear that the words "the Minister of Mines" occur no less than nine times in this clause. If the noble Lord in charge of the Bill undertakes to bring it into harmony with the previous Amendment there can be no harm in having the clause in or out. If it is kept in we should have an opportunity of bringing it into conformity with our previous decision.

    I hope again that Lord Salisbury will not assume that the Government can accept the Amendment passed to Clause 1, which in our opinion cuts at the very root of the Bill. I do not think we can be asked under these conditions to make nine consequential amendments in this clause. It cuts out not only this salary, which is only one detail of Clause 5, but it affects also the power of transferring and attaching to the Ministry persons from other Departments, the distribution of work among various Departments, and, finally, the status and position of the Civil Service as transferred.

    This is really a matter of drafting. The House having seen fit to make a certain Amendment to Clause 1, there are certain conse- quential Amendments which follow from that. Those Amendments will affect vitally Clause 5, and subsection (1) will have to be altered, because, in the first place, the mention of the Minister of Mines will have to disappear. Then it will not be necessary to say that the President of the Board of Trade, who will take his place, may appoint servants, because he already can. That would be nonsense. When we come to subsection (2) we find there is a salary of £2,000 appropriated for the Minister of Mines. That would be an inappropriate salary to a Secretary of the Board of Trade, but we cannot alter it without making a breach of privilege. The only way in which we can deal with it is by striking out the subsection altogether.

    Then subsection altogether.
    "The expenses of the Ministry of Mints, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the Treasury, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament,"
    is unnecessary, because they will be the expenses of the President of the Board of Trade; they are already paid in that way, and there is legislative power for them. If my noble friend will go through the subsections, I think he will probably find that they are all in exactly the same position.

    I say this not by way of argument as to the merits of the case, but merely of appealing to my noble friend as representing His Majesty's Government. We are clearly bound to put in words which are consequential upon the Amendment that has already been passed. I do not; want. to insist upon it at the present stage if he prefers not, but obviously the proper course is to strike out the clause. Certain fragments of it might be re-enacted—I do not see how they can be, but they might be—in which case, if my noble friend would confer with us, we could do that before the next stage of the Bill. I am in your Lordships' hands in the matter.

    I do not wish to detain the Committee any longer, but I shall vote for the clause for the reasons I have stated, and because, quite apart from drafting questions, I think it essential to the Bill. There are at least 25 other drafting Amendments which have not been put in but will have to be inserted later on if the decision on Clause 1 holds good.

    We ought net, I think, to vote upon the question that the clause stands part until we have had an opportunity of amending it. If we vote on the clause itself it cuts out all Amendments; whereas, if we vote on an Amendment to the clause, such as to strike out the words "the Minister of Mines" where-ever it is necessary to give effect to your Lordships' decision upon Clause 1, it always can be put at the end as to whether the clause shall stand part or not.

    That is true, but under your Lordships' direction I have already put the Question that the clause shall stand part.

    We have already passed Clauses 2, 3, and 4, in which the Minister of Mines is constantly mentioned. I am afraid that every single clause must be altered.

    If that is the general view, I should certainly let the clause stand without a Division, until the Report stage; but to allow it to stand in the Bill after your Lordships' decision is impossible.

    On Question, That Clause 5 stand part of the Bill.

    The noble Lord has made no Motion. It is not necessary to make a Motion that the clause stand part.

    I move, in line 20, to strike out "the Minister of Mines" and insert "the Board of Trade."

    The Question before the House is that Clause 5 stand part of the Bill.

    On Question, Clause 5 agreed to.

    Clause 6:

    I think that exactly the same observation applies to Clause 6, and it should come out.

    And a great number of others; we should have to leave out nearly all the clauses in that case.

    No. The noble Viscount is not generally a pessimist, but on this occasion I think he is taking an unduly gloomy view of the situation.

    Clause 6 agreed to.

    Clauses 7 and 8 agreed to.

    Clause 9:

    Constitution and functions of pit committees.

    9.—(1) A pit committee shall consist of representatives of the owners and management of the mine appointed by the owners and of workers employed in or about the mine selected by ballot of the workers in accordance with the regulations from amongst their own number, so however that the representatives of the workers shall constitute half of the number of the pit committee.

    (4) The regulations shall provide for the holding of meetings of pit committees at intervals of not more than a month, and for matters which cannot be satisfactorily disposed of by the pit committee being referred to the district committee, or in the case of questions to which the Coal Mines Act, 1911, applies to the inspector of the division.

    had an Amendment on the Paper, in subsection (1), after "A pit committee," to insert "shall not exceed ten in number and." The noble Lord said: I desire to press this Amendment after having consulted the members of the coal trade. We think it desirable in the general interest that words should be inserted in the Bill limiting the number of individuals composing a pit committee. With your Lordships' permission I wish to propose the insertion of the words "not exceed ten in number and shall" after the word "shall" in line one, not after the word "committee."

    Amendment moved—

    Page 8, line I, after ("shall") insert ("not exceed ten in number and shall")—(Lord Gainford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    moved, in subsection (4), to leave out "for the holding of meetings of pit committees at intervals of not more than a month and." The noble Lord said: This Amendment is to enable the Regulations to deal with the number of meetings, maximum and minimum, which should be held. It is important that there should not be too many, but we are quite prepared to leave that to the Regulations.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 8, line 26, leave out ("for the holding of meetings of pit committees at intervals of not mom than a mouth and")—(Lord Gainford.)

    If the noble Lord wishes to press the Amendment I have no great objection to it, but as it is left by him there may be more than one meeting per month.

    I prefer to press it. Most of us believe that there should not be more than one meeting per month.

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 9, as amended, agreed to.

    Clauses 10 to 12 agreed to.

    Clause 13:

    Constitution and functions of National Board.

    13.—(1) The National 13oard shall consist of such number of members as may be prescribed by the regalations and shall comprise representatives of the owners and management of coal mines throughout the United Kingdom, and an equal number of representatives of workers employed in or about such mines.

    (2) The National Board shall take into consideration—

  • (a) questions, including wages questions, affecting the coal mining industry as a whole;
  • (b) any questions which may be referred to them by an area board;
  • (c) any questions which may be referred to them by the Minister of Mines;
  • and may make recommendations in respect thereof, and may in any case when their recommendations are not complied with, or in any other case where they think fit, forward their recommendations with a report on the matter to the Minister of Mines.

    I have two small manuscript Amendments to move in order to meet the point which Lord Haldane raised on the Second Reading.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 11, lines 13 and 14, leave out ("and shall comprise") and insert ("of whom one half shall be")

    Page 11, lines 15 and 16, leave out ("an equal number of") and insert ("one half shall be")— (Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    moved, in subsection (2) (a), to leave out "including wages questions" The noble Lord said: This is an Amendment of substance, because the clause suggests that the wages question—the remuneration of the workers—shall be determined not by the area boards but by the National Board. I am sure that there are extremists in the country, who desire nationalisation, who would jump to the conclusion that if wages questions were here inserted it was intended to enable the whole question of the remuneration of the workers to be settled by the National Board. Under subsection (3) of Clause 11 it is stated that the area board shall formulate schemes for adjusting the remuneration of the workers within the area, and it is most important that in Clause 13 nothing should be said which is inconsistent with the intention of the Government to allow the remuneration of the workers to be fixed by the area boards. The question of wages is one for localities and as Sir R. Horne said it is inconceivable in an industry like the coal industry that uniform rates of wages should prevail in all districts. in all sorts of seams and under all conditions. It is with the view of making it quite consistent with subsection (3) of Clause 11 that I move the Amendment. Questions such as those relating to the rate of wages paid for overtime might be dealt with on a national basis, but if the words remain as they originally were in the Bill, and if questions affecting the coal-mining industry as a whole are questions which the National Board may take into consideration, it will include all such subjects as I believe it is the intention of the Government should be considered. Therefore I move this Amendment, because I do not wish words to be inserted which would lead anyone to believe that nationalisation is going to be introduced into the coal trade by a national system of wages.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 11, line 18, leave out ("including wages questions")—(Lord Gainford.)

    This point, as the noble Lord has said, is important, but I want to show him one or two reasons why it is not possible for the Government to accept the Amendment. Indeed, I think to some extent it would be almost inconsistent with the words of subsection (3) of Clause 11. First of all it might be argued to some extent that the words are redundant, because it is possible, I think, to say that even if these words were left out, under the general words "questions affecting the coal mining industry as a whole," the wages question might be considered; but if after having put in the words, and after having definitely suggested to the coal trade that the wages question can be considered, you are going to cut them out now, it would have a most deplorable effect, and suggest a limitation in words which otherwise might have had a general application. Indeed, if you look at subsection (3) of Clause 11, "an area board shall formulate, at such intervals and on such principles as may be prescribed by the National Board, schemes for adjusting the remuneration of the workers within the area. …. and any such scheme when formulated shall be submitted to the National Board," it is obvious that the National Board is intended, under that subsection, to consider this question of wages. Therefore the Amendment is wholly inconsistent with subsection (3) and would make that subsection impossible to carry out. It is true the scheme of the Bill is that these matters of wages adjustment should be dealt with by the Districts, and in that way it is a return to the system which existed before the war, and a turning away from the system settled during the war of these matters being settled nationally. But that is a different thing from trying to cut out these words. The mine owners would be doing a most inconsistent thing if they pressed for it, because they have entered into an agreement with the Miners' Federation fixing overtime rates on a national basis, and having done that they cannot turn round and say the National Board shall not consider this wages question. I therefore trust the noble Lord will not press the Amendment.

    I naturally treat with the greatest possible respect any suggestion put forward by Lord Gainford relating to the coal industry, but I am impressed by what the noble Viscount has said and I do not see how you can exclude the wages question from the National Board.

    I think these words give a wrong impression. For centuries we have been accustomed to settled wages in our own districts, because the conditions are altogether different in different districts, and I think it would be giving a wrong impression if these words remained in the Clause. I think they will certainly give the impression that it is the intention of Parliament that wages should be settled by the National Board. I hope that the noble Viscount will accept this Amendment. He says that it will not make very much difference, and I cannot see in what way it is not in accordance with the other clauses to which he referred. I think it is quite in accordance with them.

    On Question, Amendment negatived.

    Clause 13 agreed to.

    Clauses 14 and 15 agreed to.

    Clause 16:

    Fees to members and expenses of committees and boards.

    16.—There shall be paid to the members of pit committees, district committees and area boards and of the National Board such fees for attendance at meetings thereof as may be prescribed by the regulations, and such payments, together with any expenses incurred by such committees and boards in the discharge of their functions, including the remuneration of the secretary and other officers of such committees and boards, shall—

  • (a) in the case of pit committees, be payable by the owner of the mine; and
  • (b) in the case of district committees and area boards and the National Board be apportioned amongst the owners of the various mines in the district or area or throughout the United Kingdom, as the case may be, in accordance with the regulations;
  • and the sums so payable by or apportioned to the owner of any mine shall be defrayed as part of the working expenses of the mine, and shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt at the instance of the secretary or other officer of the committee or board concerned.

    had on the Paper an Amendment, after "together with any expenses," to insert "prescribed by the regulations and". The noble Lord said: This is a small verbal Amendment, and I think the noble Viscount will accept it.

    I was going to suggest that after "incurred" you should insert "in accordance with the regulations."

    Amendment moved—

    Page 12, line 22, after ("incurred") insert ("in accordance with the regulations')—(Viscount Peel.).

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    moved, in paragraph (a), after "committees," to insert "as to the fees of the representatives of the owners and management of the mine, together with one-half of the expenses incurred by the committee." The noble Lord said: I have down three or four consequential Amendments all dealing with the question of expenses and fees. It is suggested by the Government that one party to these meetings should bear the expense not merely of conducting all the pit committees, the district committees, the area boards, and the national boards, but that they should pay the fees also. A more unfair or monstrous suggestion I think has hardly ever been submitted to reasonable men. The policy hitherto adopted as between the trade unions and the coalowners' associations has been that each pays the fees of its own representatives out of its own funds. When the miners send representatives to the Conciliation Boards they have always paid those representatives out of their own trade union funds. Similarly when the miners have agreed that coal prices should be ascertained they have always paid the fees of their own accountants, just as the owners have paid for their accountants. The men have never repudiated the view that they should pay the expenses of their own representatives, and it is an absolute innovation that one party to the proceedings should pay the whole cost of the proceedings. It is not because of the magnitude of the sum involved that I move this Amendment, but it is on principle. It is unfair and unnecessary, and if the whole payments came out of the pockets of one party there might be a tendency on the part of the other unduly to promote an excessive number of meetings. My proposal is that the expenses should be equally divided. I beg to move.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 12, line 26, after ("committees") insert ("as to the fees of the representatives of the owners and management of the mine, together with one-half of the expenses incurred by the the committee")—(Lord Gainford.)

    The suggestion made by the noble Lord is this, that in these particular conferences and meetings each side should pay its own expenses. I am bound to say that, at first sight, that would appear not unreasonable, but it becomes less reasonable when you consider the object of setting up these particular committees. It is in order that the members may feel that they are part of one industry and working together in its interests.

    What you do not want to do is to split the different committees into two hostile camps, consisting of men on the one side and representatives of owners on the other. What better way of doing that could be suggested than by paying their remuneration from different sides? If they are to be paid by different sides they will regard themselves as on different sides, whereas if the cost falls on the industry there will be no reason for them coming to the meetings feeling that they represent different interests. The suggestion that they should divide themselves in this way is utterly foreign to the whole principle of the Bill, whose object is to bring harmony between the representatives of the industry. I would press this upon the noble Lord opposite. Suppose these men are paid by the unions instead of out of the industry, what effect would that have? They would be apt to consider themselves as servants of the unions and they would come as representing the interests of the unions, instead of coming with minds pre-disposed to deal fairly with the subjects under consideration. I suggest to the noble Lord that it is hardly worth while fighting about.

    The cost would be very small and it would be far wiser, from the owners point of view, not to haggle upon the point, but to allow the clause to go through.

    The noble Viscount scarcely appreciates the importance of the Amendment. He thinks the proposal in the Bill will tend to bring the two parties together. I think that in all probability it will tend to create more friction. This is not a question affecting the coal trade only, but all the large industries of the country. In these organisations both masters and men are constantly meeting together and each side always pays its expenses. However you pay them I feel sure that the miners' and workmen's representatives will consider they represent the workmen and the workmen only. It is a new custom which you are introducing into the various industries of the country and I am sorry to say that His Majesty's Government, since they have had control of the coal mines, have introduced a great many customs which have been resisted for years by the employers and they have done infinite mischief by some of these customs. This is one more, and I hope my noble friend will press the Amendment, which is a very vital one. Instead of being a disadvantage to the working of the Bill it will be an advantage if each side pays its own share of the cost.

    I wish the Government would allow us to go to bed. I really think that most of us are past considering anything with any proper appreciation of it. Personally, I admit I do not feel qualified to deal with intricate legislation at this moment, and I do not know whether my noble friend recollects that we have a very important debate tomorrow, in which some of us have to take part.

    On behalf of Lord Joicey I desire to repudiate in the very strongest fashion the idea that he is anything but very fit indeed. He is alive to all the iniquities of this clause, and is quite prepared to fight it to the death. I


    Linlithgow, M.Hutchinson, v. (E. Donoughmore.)Gainford, L. [Teller.]
    Glenarthur, L.
    Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)Joicey, L. [Teller.]
    Armaghdale, L.Southwark, L.
    Eldon, E.Dynevor, L.Strachie, L.
    Malmesbury, E.Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)Treowen, L.
    Midleton, E.Wester Wemyss, L.
    Morton, E.Fairfax of Cameron, L.


    Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)Peel, V.Ranksborough, L.
    Bradford, E.Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
    Lucan, E.Colebrooke, L.Stanmore, L. [Teller.]
    Lytton, E.Cozens-Hardy, L.Vernon, L.
    Onslow, E.Faringdon, L.Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)
    Astor, V.Hylton, L.

    Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 12, line 27, after ("mine") insert ("and as to the fees of the representatives of the workers employed in or about the mine, together with one-half of the expenses incurred by the committee be payable by the workers employed in or about the mine")

    Page 12, line 29, after ("Board") insert ("as to the fees of the representatives of the owners and management, together with one-half of the expenses incurred by the respective committees and boards and the National Board, be payable by the owners of mines, and as to the fees of the representatives of the workers, together with one-half of the said expenses, be payable by the workers employed in and about the mines and shall")

    Page 12, line 30, after ("of") insert ("and the workers in and about")

    Page 12, line 35, after ("and") insert ("all sums payable under tins section")— (Lord Gainford.)

    suggest that we should go to the end of Part II of the Bill—that is, two clauses further on, neither of which, I believe, raises any serious point. I think Lord Salisbury's point, which will arise on one of those clauses, is not a very debatable one. It is an amendment which can be very clearly stated and counter-stated. My noble friend Lord Curzon will hand in a Motion tonight, to be moved tomorrow, empowering the Government to take the continuation of this Bill after the Motions standing in the names of the Duke of Sutherland and the Duke of Northumberland, so that we shall be able to finish the Committee stage tomorrow evening. Will that suit Lord Salisbury?

    On Question, whether the words proposed to be inserted shall stand part of the clause?—

    Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 18; Not-Contents, 17.

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 16, as amended, agreed to.

    I suggest that we move to report progress. It is now midnight; there is a very small House and the progress that has been made is as good as the Government could expect. There is, moreover, an important clause coming on immediately.

    I do not think my noble friend can have been present when the arrangement was arrived at between the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, and the noble Earl, Lord Crawford, that the Bill should be taken to the end.

    I hope your Lordships will go on with the Bill. We are all young men, and I shall be very glad if, having got so far, we can complete the Bill. We have made great sacrifices to get so far, and I hope we shall finish the Committee stage tonight.

    I earnestly hope that your Lordships will not insist upon it. It is really a very discreditable thing for your Lordships to deal with Amendments eighteen voting on one side and seventeen on the other, and I do not think the noble Lord realises how very humiliating such a position is. We are not here for the purpose of getting through legislation anyhow, but for the purpose of deliberating upon it. Therefore, as I have said, I trust your Lordships will now adjourn. There is a very important debate tomorrow and some of us desire to take part in it. I suggest that to proceed any further with the Bill tonight is asking much more than is fair.

    I hope the noble Marquess will agree to go to Clause 18, and thus have dealt with Part II.

    I know something about the Amendment on Clause 18, as I am going to move it myself. It is an important Amendment and not a small point.

    Perhaps we could deal with the Amendment on Clause 17 and leave Clause 18 until tomorrow.

    I was anxious to hear the noble Marquess, and do not like postponing that pleasure until a late hour tomorrow night.

    I sympathise with you. It is quite obvious the House should resume. If it is convenient to take Clause 17, on which there is no controversial point, I am sure my noble friend will allow it.

    Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

    Clause 17:

    Provisions as to regulations under Part II.

    17.—Regulations made under this Part of this Act shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after they are made and shall have effect as if enacted in this Act:

    Provided that, if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House of Parliament within twenty-one days on which that House has sat next after any such regulation is laid before it praying that the regulation may be annulled, His Majesty in Council may annul the regulation and it shall thenceforth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

    moved, at the beginning of the clause, to insert ("The provisions of section eighty-six and one hundred and seventeen and Part I of the Second Schedule to the Coal Mines Act, 1911, which relate to general regulations shall apply with the necessary modifications to ") and leave out ("made") and leave out from ("Act") to the end of the clause. The noble Lord said: This has been adopted in the case of metalliferous mines, and this procedure is preferred.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 12, line 38, at the beginning insert the said words and leave out ("made") and leave out from ("Act") to the end of the clause.—(Lord Grainford.).

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 17, as amended, agreed to.

    House to be again in Committee tomorrow.

    [From Minutes of to-day.]

    The Lord Digby—Sat first in Parliament after the death of his father.

    The Lord Romilly—Sat first in Parliament after the death of his father.