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Lords Chamber

Volume 41: debated on Tuesday 10 August 1920

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House Of Lords

Tuesday, l0th August, 1920.

The House met at a quarter past three of the clock, The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Breach Of Privilege

My Lords, as Lord Great Chamberlain I have to call attention to a regrettable incident which took place yesterday during the sitting of the House.* The Right Hon. A. Carlisle, a Privy Councillor for Ireland, standing upon the steps of the Throne, took upon himself to interrupt the proceedings of your Lordships' House by a disorderly observation. This is a grave offence against the dignity and decorum of the House of Lords, and I have felt it my duty to bring the matter to your Lordships' notice.

If I may say so, my Lords, I think the Lord Great Chamberlain is entirely justified in bringing this incident before your Lordships' House and in characterising it in the strong language which he has employed. I was not here myself yesterday afternoon, and therefore I only became acquainted with the incident when I returned to London late in the evening and when I perused in the papers this morning exactly what had passed. The Lord Great Chamberlain has described the incident as "regrettable." It was indeed a deplorable incident—an incident, I believe, without precedent in the previous history of this House, and without desiring to magnify its importance I think the Lord Great Chamberlain was quite justified in saying that it involved a grave affront to the dignity of your Lordships' House.

In these circumstances we have to decide what to do. Not having been present I can form no opinion as to how far the incident in question and the interruption by the Irish Privy Councillor (whose name has been given) may have been deliberate, or may have been the result of sudden impulse; it may have been one or the other. In
* See OFFICIAL REFORT of 9th August, column 1026.
either case I think it would be in consonance with our dignity to give the right hon. gentleman who thus offended an opportunity of making an explanation, and, if he so thinks fit, of tendering an ample apology to your Lordships' House. I would therefore suggest to your Lordships that on the whole the best way to proceed would be that a letter should be written to the right hon. gentleman in question, calling his attention to the gravity. of the offence that he committed and inviting an explanation from him. When that explanation has been received, it will be my duty to offer such advice to your Lordships' House upon the matter as I can and for you to decide what further action, if you so desire, you will take.

If my advice be followed, there only remains the question as to the manner in which and the source from which this letter should emanate. The Lord Great Chamberlain is the official custodian of the Palace of Westminster, and this offence was committed on territory which is under his control. At the same time the affront was one which was directed at your Lordships' House; you were the sufferers; it was your dignity that was impugned. If your Lordships are inclined to favour the course that I propose, I should be willing myself to assume the responsibility on behalf of the House of addressing to the right hon. gentleman, Mr. Carlisle, a letter of the nature I have indicated.

I think your Lordships will probably all agree that the course proposed by the noble Earl the Leader of the House is one which would be thoroughly satisfactory. Having been present, I am sorry to say, on the occasion in question, I am sure it was not an incident which your Lordships would wish to pass over without very serious notice, and the course which the noble Earl proposes seems to me to be quite adequate to meet the occasion.

The Situation In Poland

My Lords, in pursuance of what took place at the beginning of business yesterday, I now beg to ask the noble Earl the Leader of the House whether he is in a position to make any statement to the House.

My Lords, in answering in the negative the question put by my noble friend I think I owe to him and to your Lordships' House an explanation of the reason for which I so reply. In my absence yesterday afternoon the noble Lord, who has for long taken a great interest in the question of Poland, and who, not unnaturally, desires to have an opportunity of expressing his views upon the matter, asked a question as to whether it was likely that a statement would be made.

In the course of his observations he remarked that His Majesty's Government had steadily and continually departed from the long established precedent of making statements in your Lordships' House in regard to such a crisis as now exists. Let me assure my noble friend that he is entirely mistaken. There has been no departure from precedent in this case, nor indeed, so far as I know, in the practice that has been adopted in your Lordships' House since I have had the great honour of being its Leader. On many occasions during the last three or four years in which I have occupied this position I have had the honour of making at this Table statements simultaneously with and, as far as could be arranged, identical with the information which was given in another place, and on no occasion justified by precedent have I failed in that which I regard as a duty of respect to your Lordships' House. I will go further than that and say that on many occasions when such a duty has not arisen I have intervened, whether in response to questions or otherwise, to give to your Lordships' House information on foreign affairs which I venture to think has been as full and as exhaustive as, indeed I think I might say more full and more exhaustive than, has usually been given by the representative of the Foreign Office on this Bench. My noble friend Lord Crawford defended me in this particular yesterday, and, if I may say so, defended me with justice.

I can recall, not I hope in a spirit of self-gratulation, more than one case—cases, for instance, relating to the position in Egypt and in Turkey—when I have volunteered very full and ample statements to your Lordships' House which have not simultaneously been made in another place, and which have exposed the Government there to the charge of having withheld from the House of Commons information which had been given in abundance to your Lordships' House. I therefore, with all respect, regard my withers as unwrung in this matter.

Now arises the question whether this particular case is one in which such a statement ought to be made. My noble friend Lord Salisbury, in his remarks yesterday, appeared to answer that question in the affirmative. May I point out to him that I think he is mistaken. The question is whether the present situation is one in which such a statement as I have been speaking of ought to be made to your Lordships' House, and I am answering that question in the negative for the following reasons. During the last five or six years, years of war, there has necessarily grown up a practice quite without precedent in the previous history of polities in this country—namely, an exchange of opinions, Conferences, between your own Ministers and the Ministers of Foreign Powers. During the last six or seven months I have myself had to attend no fewer than seven or eight of these Conferences. But they did not begin with this Government; they equally existed in the time of the Government of Mr. Asquith, and I recall many occasions, on some of which T was present, when the French Prime Minister and the French Foreign Minister came over here and, correspondingly, British Ministers have frequently gone over to France or other parts of the Continent. They go to exchange views and to arrive at a common course of action.

In not one of these cases has it been thought necessary to make a simultaneous statement to both Houses of Parliament. I was present at three or four of such Conferences during Mr. Asquith's Government —I was not Foreign Secretary then—and no such statement was made. I think it is clear that, if an account of such Conferences is given, in so far as it ought to be given at all it is better that it should be given by the chief Plenipotentiary in the House of which he happens to be a member. Your Lordships can readily conceive that of any one of these Conferences, difficult and delicate as they are, an account given by two Ministers simultaneously might contain certain divergencies, I will not say contradictions, which might be a source of controversy and friction. Therefore we have adopted the plan of the statement, wherever a statement is required of the results of such Conferences, being made by the chief Plenipotentiary, who happens in this case to be the Prime Minister. I think that is the right procedure. The cases in which simultaneous statements of policy are involved are cases where the country has a right to know the decision or views or advice of the Cabinet, but in matters of this sort it is more often a narrative of what has taken place at these Conferences and of the general conclusions that have been arrived at.

If I may confirm my account of the correct procedure With regard to such Conferences, I would like to remind the House, if they do not recollect it, that in no less important a case than that of the Berlin Conference of 1878, when Lord Beaconsfield and the noble Marquess's father, the late Marquess of Salisbury, came back after that triumphant vindication of British authority and influence, no statement was made in both Houses of Parliament. The chief Plenipotentiary, Lord Beaconsfield, stood up in your Lordships' House and made a statement, and if you will look at the proceedings of the House of Commons on the same day—July 18, 1878—you will find that no statement was made there at all. A question was asked there as to whether a statement would be made, and if so when, and an answer was given that if a certain noble Lord of influence would put down a question on the Paper—Lord Hartington I think did—the question could be raised at a later date. Therefore I am relying on a precedent of the first value and importance when I speak of procedure that is normal being adopted with regard to Conferences of this nature.

It is for these reasons that I think it on the whole desirable not to make a statement to-day, but on the other hand I am most anxious to meet Lord Treowen in any way that I can. He has a Question on the subject on the Order Paper for to-morrow, but I gather from the course of business that it may not be reached until a late period in the evening. I think the best plan would be this. Arising out of what has been said in another place to-day, which will be in all the papers to-morrow, my noble friend or any other noble Lord may desire to put certain questions to the Government about Poland. They will not desire that 1 should repeat the state- ment made over the way to-day, but they may want to put a question or challenge the conduct of the Government in any particular. If my noble friend wishes to do so, or any noble Lord, and will give me notice of the particular point that he wants to raise, I will either give a reply when the Question of Lord Treowen comes up in its ordinary course upon the Paper, or if he likes to put the question at the commencement of public business to-morrow, I will answer it then. That suggestion is applicable to-morrow or the next day, whichever is more convenient to noble Lords. In that way your Lordships' House and my noble friend will have the opportunity desired, and at the same time I shall be acting in accordance with ordinary precedent in the manner I have described.

My Lords, perhaps you will allow me to say one word, as the noble Earl has been good enough to refer to me. I have certainly neither the historical knowledge nor the responsibility of the noble Earl to enable me for a moment to contest the conclusion at which he has arrived. It may be more convenient that the statement should be a single statement made by the Prime Minister in another place rather than a simultaneous statement in both Houses of Parliament. I certainly have a recollection, not perhaps so clear as that of the noble Earl, of a number of occasions on which there has been a simultaneous statement in both Houses; and there is this very special reason why we ventured to urge it upon the Government last night, although we did so with great diffidence. We have the great pleasure of having in your Lordships' House the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and we naturally expect that upon Foreign Office questions he would speak with at least as great authority as the Prime Minister. It was for these reasons that we made the suggestion.

We ought to be grateful to the noble Earl for the way in which he has met our wishes to hear what he has to say about Poland, and I am sure the noble Lord will accept the suggestion he has made and put his Question to-morrow; whether it be; before Public Business or at the end is a matter to be decided by private conference. We shall be grateful to the noble Earl if he will answer in the fullest degree as the matter is a very grave one. The noble Earl's statement will he accepted by the country equally with that of the statement of a still greater Minister in another place.

My Lords, I should like to express my regret if, in the heat of the moment, I in any way exaggerated what I believed to be a certain grievance which I thought your Lordships' House might feel, as I did, that we do not hear statements so often from the noble Earl as we should wish. He will believe me when I say that I was actuated not so much by a desire to criticise any action of the Government but by a desire, which is shared by many of your Lordships, that we should have the privilege of hearing direct from His Majesty's Ministers what they have to communicate on a great crisis such as the present. I thank the Loble Earl for the way in which he has considered my position in the matter and for the kind suggestion he had made. I can assure him and your Lordships that I do not wish unduly to press any of His Majesty's Ministers at such a time as the present, and I realise that, having placed this matter before your Lordships, I am in the hands of the House. It is possible that some other noble Lord may wish to raise questions with regard to Poland. I will therefore consider whether that be your desire before finally surrendering such rights as I may have to put the Question to the noble Earl.

Coatbridge Burgh Provisional Order Confirmation Bill Hl

Read 3a (according to Order) and passed and sent to the Commons.

Standing Orders (Private Bills)

My Lords, I can explain these alterations of the Standing Orders in three sentences. They cover three points only—first, a point that has arisen under our Private Bill Legislation as regards Bills coming from Scotland, which renders it necessary that I should make certain amendments; secondly, further points that have arisen through the creation of the Ministry of Transport; and, thirdly, No. 33 (4A) is an alteration involved by a Motion passed by the House at the instigation of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, which makes this one single alteration in the Standing Orders necessary, so that the decision should be carried out in the Standing Orders. Unless your Lordships wish me to explain the matter further I will content myself by moving that these Amendments of the Standing Orders be agreed to.

Moved, That the Standing .Orders relative to Private Bills be amended as follows:

15. Leave out "and lessee" and insert "lessee and occupier."

16. After the second "lessees" insert and "occupiers."

25B.Leave out "Board of Trade" and insert "Ministry of Transport."

26A, 30, 33 (6), 33 (12) (twice). Leave out "Board" and insert "Ministry."

33 (3). Leave out. "Ireland at the Irish Office" and insert "Scotland or Ireland at the office of the Secretary for Scotland or the Irish Office, as the case may be."

33 (4A). Leave out "water" and leave out "or to the generation or supply of electricity."

33 (4B). After "electricity" insert "at the office of the Ministry of Transport and."

36 (A). Leave out "Local Government Board" and insert "Ministry of Health."

61. After "Ireland" insert "and in the office of the sheriff clerk of every county in Scotland in which such alteration is proposed to be made and where any county in Scotland for sheriff-court purposes is divided into districts, then also in the office of the principal sheriff clerk in and for each district in which such alteration is proposed to be made" and after "London" insert "Edinburgh."

62, 64, 66. After "London" insert "Edinburgh."

106. Leave out from the second "the" in line 1 to "Promoters" in line 2 and insert "generation or supply of electricity," and leave out "Board of Trade and also" and insert "Ministry of Transport and, in the case of any Bill relating to the generation of electricity for supply to persons or bodies other than the promoters."

123A. Leave out "Board of Trade" and insert "Ministry of Transport,"— (The Chairman of Committees.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Ministry Of Mines Bill

Amendments reported (according to Order).

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 an additional Parliamentary secretary of the Board of Trade.

My Lords, now that we have reached the Ministry of Mines Bill I desire first of all to put a question to the Government with reference to the course which they propose to pursue. The Amendment which I am about to move is, of course, in its nature consequential on the Amendment which was carried in Committee, altering the Bill in such a way as to eliminate the Minister of Mines and substitute for him a Secretary of the Board of Trade. Naturally I should move it without any observations at all, but I notice that there stands in the name of the noble Viscount, Lord Peel, an Amendment immediately following this one, in which he proposes, as I understand, to ask your Lordships to reverse the decision which was come to in Committee. Now the question I desire to put to the Government before I proceed with my observations—and the noble Viscount can answer by a nod of the head—is whether it is proposed to proceed with the Amendment which stands in the name of the noble Viscount.

I wonder if I can answer with something more definite than a nod of the head. I certainly do propose to proceed with the Amendment. I do not know whether the noble Marquess wants to take the discussion on this point on his Amendment, which I do not think is in some way so satisfactory as if it were taken upon my Amendment, which raises a more direct issue. I am in his hands. If he or if the House thinks it would be better to take the discussion on the direct issue I am perfectly prepared, if I may say so without prejudice, not to oppose the present Amendment, if it is not to be taken as a general assent to the whole proposition.

If the noble Viscount does not object to my Amendment, I will not anticipate the discussion on his.

I cannot say I do not object, but I will not oppose, if it is understood to be without prejudice.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 6, leave out ("establishment of Ministry of Mines") and insert ("administration of mining industry").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

moved, after "lawful for His Majesty to appoint," to insert "A Minister or Mines, who shall, by virtue of his office, be."

The noble Viscount said: I think that your Lordships have taken the more convenient course, and I new have to move the Amendment which stands in my name. What I am thereby proposing, as the noble Viscount has already quite accurately stated, is to alter a decision arrived at by your Lordships on the previous occasion when, the House was in Committee. The reason I do that is this. First of all this decision was taken by a very small House, and was also passed. by a very small majority. I therefore think it fair to your Lordships to give you the opportunity of considering this point again, because your Lordships will see that much turns upon this particular point. The second reason why I ask your Lordships to reconsider this matter is that the discussion on the point was a very general one, as to the setting up of different Departments and so on, and the precise point at issue in this particular Amendment —namely, whether the officer at the head of the Mines should have a position of limited independence as a Minister, or merely be an Under-Secretary, and therefore subject to all the disabilities of the office of the Board of Trade—was not very much discussed, and I want to ask your Lordships to concentrate your attention upon that particular issue.

I think we may fairly say that we have gained something by the discussions which have already taken place, because I think we are all agreed that these different duties connected with the Ministry of Mines and connected with the administration of the mines which are now scattered between different Departments, should be concentrated under one officer. Whether he be called an Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade or a separate Minister I am not now discussing, but we are all agreed so far. Moreover, I think that was involved in the Bill which was passed by your Lordships, at the instance of Lord Gainford, some time ago.

We get down, therefore, to the smaller point as to what the head of this Department should be. There are three things which he might be. First of all the Government might propose that there should be a separate and independent Minister of Mines—an important officer not answerable to any other Department or to the head of any other Department. I think that is the type of grandiose scheme which would not have recommended itself to your Lordships. If I may interpret the feelings which you have displayed on other occasions towards the creation of new Ministries, I think there would have been what Lord Salisbury would call "some enthusiasm" in rejecting such a proposal. Therefore the Government have not taken that course, because they want to keep this off from any grandiosity of proposal. The other alternative is to merge all these duties in the Board of Trade and I suppose possibly to have an additional Under-Secretary to the Board of Trade.

The proposal of the Government is rather different. It is that the Parliamentary officer at the head of this Department shall be called a Minister, and shall have a rather larger salary—£500 a year more than the ordinary Under-Secretary is deemed to earn—and that this officer should have a certain amount of independence. That is to say, he should have to answer questions in Parliament and deal with the general routine, but that he should be, in matters of general policy, under the direction of the President of the Board of Trade. Thus you would have certain advantages. You would free the President of the Board of Trade from the enormous additional labour of dealing, as he must necessarily deal otherwise, with all the details of administration; and you would have a special officer, with a position of some dignity, to whom all persons con- neeted with the coal mines could resort with perfect freedom, knowing that it was his business, and his business alone, and that he had no other business except to attend to the mines. That proposal has been received with satisfaction by the coal industry. I use the term "coal industry" in a collective sense. It is rather remarkable as a point on which the miners and owners are alike united, and in the Division which we had in favour of the Ministry of Mines my noble friend Lord Gainford walked into the Lobby, if not with enthusiasm, with a whole-hearted satisfaction that these were the proposals of the Government and that he was acting with the miners themselves in the action which he took. Therefore, there is, so far, agreement.

At this stage I should like to deal also for a moment with the question of finance, because I think there was some impression among your Lordships that there would be more expense if there was this Ministry with limited independence than there would be if the duties were merged under the Board of Trade. That is not so. Your Lordships will see that in Clause 5 of the Bill there is a limitation of the expense. It is an unusual clause, but it was agreed by the Government that the expenses of this Ministry should be limited to a certain amount. They must not be more than £250,000 a year. Therefore, the question of expense which is involved centres round £500. If you think that the Government scheme should be adopted you will certainly support the payment of £500 more than the sum proposed by Lord Salisbury. The financial difference is a difference of £500 only, and I submit with great respect that if you are really going to secure (as we hope you will) harmony in the coal trade by the expenditure of this extra sum, there is not one of your Lordships who will not support it with great satisfaction.

There is one further point which I wish to press, and I desire to press it as forcibly as I can. It is this. There is some fear that this Bill and all its valuable provisions, and all Part II, setting up the hierarchy of committees, may not, be worked by the men. It would be a great misfortune if that were so, and there is a proposal, as your Lordships know, that in certain circumstances the Ministry of Mines, with, I suppose, the assent of Parliament, could indicate that Part II should no longer exist. It was thought that you could not keep elaborate arrangements of this kind open for ever. We hope that the fear I have mentioned will not be realised. Your Lordships may think that this question is perhaps one of nomenclature and of amour propre which may make a very great difference as to the acceptance of the whole scheme by the miners themselves. Your Lordships are very well aware that great masses of men are very often not governed by logic, though they are sensitive to the existence of sentiment, and there is no doubt that on this question of the nomenclature of the Ministry of Mines a good deal of sentiment among the miners is concentrated. This point was expressed very strongly by Mr. Brace in another place on the Third Reading of the Bill. He said that this was a matter to which their attention was very much directed.

What I want to urge upon your Lordships is this. If there is a risk that this Bill, with, as we hope, its beneficent effects, may not be successfully put into operation, and if the chance of its successful working would be a good deal lessened by the rejection of the Government proposal, is it worth while for your Lordships to take the risk of lessening the chance of the operation and success of the Bill by refusing to accept the Government's scheme and by quarrelling over this matter of £500? I strongly urge your Lordships to give the Bill the best chance that you can, to support the action of the Government, and thereby to satisfy the whole of the industry, not only the owners and employers but the great masses of the men themselves. Therefore, I ask your Lordships to support the Amendment which I have moved.

Amendment moved—

Page 1, line 11, after ("appoint") insert ("a Minister of Mines, who shall, by virtue of his office, be").—(Viscount Peel.)

My Lords, it is a very unusual procedure for your Lordships to be asked, upon Report, to reverse the decision come to in Committee. I do not mean to say that there is anything irregular about it—

but it is not the usual course to pursue. The noble Viscount complained that the Committee in which the Amendment was carried contained a small number of your Lordships. The noble Viscount will remember that I did my best to persuade the Government not to run that risk, but they were absolutely determined to do it and they forced your Lordships, much against the wishes of many noble Lords, to take this decision at an inconvenient time. It hardly lies in their mouths, I think, to complain of the result. But this is a small point. The real matter is the substance of this proposal. The question is whether there is any good ground for your Lordships to reverse the decision to which you have come. I put it in that way because obviously the burden of proof has changed. When we were in Committee the burden of proof rested upon those who wished to change the Government Bill. Now that your Lordships have decided in Committee that it should run in a certain way and the Government desire to go back to the original words, the burden of proof is upon them. Have they any ground to show why this should be done?

I do not intend to detain your Lordships more than a few minutes, but let me state the case briefly. Your Lordships' House, in conformity with the general opinion throughout the country, is opposed to the creation of these abundant new Ministries. There are too many new Ministries already. The feeling of the country is quite definite about it. It is against these new Ministries. It believes that they lead to expense; it believes that they lead to undue Government interference and the checking of private enterprise; and it believes that they lead to all sorts of bureaucratic activity. The country, with a sure instinct, knows all these things to be bad, and therefore there are everywhere evident symptoms of a desire to abolish many of those Ministries which exist and to prevent the creation of any more. The Government, notwithstanding that feeling, propose to create a new Ministry in the shape of a Ministry of Mines.

I dare say your Lordship's are aware that there is a large organisation, consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament and also of many gentlemen of great distinction in the business world, that has been formed in order to check as far as they can the growing expenditure under which the country suffers, and one of the main things they have put forward is that there should be a limitation of these new Ministries. That is the first branch of the case. The next branch is that the particular form in which this new Minister was proposed by the Government—the form which the noble Viscount now proposes to restore—seems to us to be thoroughly unworkable. He is to have a double nature. He is to be partly a Minister of Mines, quasi independent, and partly a Secretary of the Board of Trade, not at all independent, and he is to be a Minister of Mines "in virtue of his office" as Secretary to the Board of Trade. Of all astounding phrases that could have been used I think "in virtue of his office" is the most astounding, and the Government proposes to put these very words back into the Bill. What can those wonderful words mean? They can mean nothing other than this, that the Minister of Mines, so far from being entirely associated with mines, is to be "by virtue of his office" a Secretary of the Board of Trade in all respects. Otherwise there could be no meaning in the words. He is to be a joint Secretary of the Board of Trade in addition to being a special Minister of Mines. That is the proposal which the Government makes, and it appears to be entirely inconsistent with the argument that the noble Viscount has submitted to the House.

Our proposal is a much simpler, and a much more straightforward one. I do not use the word straightforward in any invidious sense. We say that the policy of the Government Bill makes, in the last resort, the President of the Board of Trade responsible. Very well. Let there be no doubt about it. Let there be no ambiguity. Let there be no question as to the Minister's responsibility for any act done. I have urged upon your Lordships—and except that the Government have forced us to consider it again, I should not dare to refer to it once more—that nothing makes bad administration more certain than an ambiguity as to the responsibility of the Minister, and as to the real control of Parliament. The real control of Parliament lies in this, that if anything is done wrong in administration you have somebody whom you can hold responsible—some one, as the phrase goes, to hang if things go wrong. Some mistake is made in the administration of mines and there is a Minister to whom you can say, "You are paid £5,000 a year, or £2,000, or £1,500 a year (or whatever the figure may be) to do this thing right, and you have done it wrong, and you must answer for it. "That is what Ministerial responsibility means. If you leave in doubt whether the Minister of Mines or the President of the Board of Trade is responsible, you can never bring home responsibility for any mistake that may be made. Therefore we must make it clear. The Under-Secretary fairly stated the alternatives in his speech just now, and I think he rightly eliminated the alternative of making the Minister of Mines entirely dependent, though he did not recommend—

We are very often agreed, but if the Under-Secretary had a free hand I think we should agree much more often. What I was saying was that the noble Viscount has very properly eliminated the alternative of making the Minister of Mines completely independent. The only other way out of the ambiguity of the Bill, as the Government introduced it, was the Amendment which your Lordships passed in Committee on my Motion. Let the Secretary of the Board of Trade who is constituted by this Bill have all the advantages that he requires, but let us get rid of the ambiguity, and let us make the President of the Board of Trade responsible and check extravagance and bureaucracy.

On the Committee stage of the Bill I thought the discussion was sufficiently prolonged, and I did not intervene upon this particular point, but I should like to mak it clear why it was that Lord Joicey and I, endeavouring to represent the interests of the coal industry, supported the Government on that occasion. We are absolutely at one in our strong objection to the creation of new Ministries, whether in connection with food, munitions, or anything else. We have felt that these Ministries have been extravagant, and the last thing that we want is to encourage a Ministry of Mines to become an all-powerful Government Department, as are the other independent Ministries to which reference has been made. But we have, as a coal trade, a very strong view—which may be regarded as prejudice by my noble friends on my left—in favour of officials who shall have exclusively work connected with coal mines at the Board of Trade, and who are not identified with any other interest. We have had sufficient experience of seeing how our interests, first in one Government Department and then in another, are put on one side whilst various other matters are discussed by the permanent heads who have interests in a large number of other questions. Take, for instance, the Board of Trade with their great shipping interest and all their varied interests connected with textiles, manufactured. goods, shipping, toys, leather, and innumerable other things.

What we desire is, if Parliament decides that there shall be a Mines Department, whether it be presided over by a Minister of Mines or by a Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, that he and all those under him should concentrate solely on work connected with mines. Coal mining is one of the chief industries, if not the key industry, of the country. The wages paid to miners are greater than are paid in any other industry in the country,. and we feel that we ought to have access to a Minister, whether he be a Minister of Mines or a Parliamentary Secretary, who shall have no duties to perform other than those of looking after the great interests of the coal-mining industry, and we further desire that the men under him should be-solely engaged in connection with the work of his Department. We believe that as control diminishes, so may the existing staff of the Coal Control Department be reduced. We do not want a body set up, which is going to be extravagant and to suffer from swelled head and unnecessarily to magnify itself. What we want is a co-ordinated body to whom we shall have access. It was because we thought this object would be better secured by a Ministry of Mines than by a Parliamentary Secretary that Lord Joicey and I voted with the Government, and I propose to vote with them again to-day.

I hope that your Lordships will adhere to the decision you came to with clearness and precision the other night, and will oppose the Amendment of my noble friend which is now before the House. I listened with interest to the speech of my noble friend Lord Gainford, and with the exception of the last remark that he made—a remark which he only made quite tentatively—I agree with every word that he said, and I think that those who support the proposal for confining this to an Under-Secretary would equally share that view. I think every one in this House fully realises the importance of a great industry like this having co-ordinated under one Department all its various functions, and that can perfectly well be done by the establishment of an Under-Secretary under the President of the Board of Trade.

As I read this Bill, the Under-Secretary who is to be appointed is to be an ad hoc Under-Secretary for exclusive purposes in regard to mines, and all the functions that will be applied to him and that he will be asked to perform will be functions which an Under-Secretary should be perfectly capable of undertaking. My noble friend Lord Peel, in urging your Lordships to support his Amendment, said that this Minister of Mines would be under the presidence of the Board of Trade for the general direction of policy. That is quite compatible with the duties of an UnderSecretary—in fact, I should venture to say very much more compatible with the duties of an Under-Secretary than of a Minister.

We must remember that there already exists a Minister for Labour. The really important functions that a Minister for Mines would have to perform would, in the ordinary course of events, be referred to the Minister for Labour. The ordinary routine work could perfectly well be carried out by an Under-Secretary. It is those larger and more grave questions, questions of differences of opinion which lead to strife between the two great bodies in the industry, that would, in the ordinary course, if there were a Minister of Mines, have to be referred either to the President of the Board of Trade or else to the Minister of Labour. I therefore cannot for the life of me see—and I listened with great care to my noble friend's speech—what function there is that an Under-Secretary could not perfectly well perform.

At the risk of being told that I am repeating an argument, in asking your Lordships to reject this Amendment I am going to repeat one which I advanced the other day, because I think it is of great importance. There at present appears to be very little likelihood that this Bill when it is on the Statute Book is going to be given effect to, because we are told that by a unanimous decision the miners are not going to associate themselves with these measures. There is a clause in the Bill which says that if this be the case, Part II—the operative part of the Bill-is to be brought to a termination at the expiration of a year. All this elaborate machinery of the various committees is to be brought to an end. Then there will merely be left, as I said the other night, a skeleton Ministry with a very substantial limit of expenditure—I venture to say it is a most excessive limit of expenditure—of £250,000 a year, with practically no functions to perform except those of the routine work connected with the Government in their relation to the Ministry. It is for these reasons that I sincerely hope your Lordships will reject this Amendment.

The noble Viscount, in his speech to which we have just listened, made a great point of the question of sentiment with regard to a Ministry of Mines. When you get on the ground of sentiment you get on very dangerous ground, and misunderstanding is very possible. What he said on that point did not carry conviction to my mind. There has been a great deal said in the country on a very much larger policy than any that he has adumbrated, and the question of a Ministry of Mines is very apt, when discussed by the less informed in the mining industry, to lead to the belief that it is the policy of His Majesty's Government. That, my Lords, is an argument which seems to me of such effect that it is quite sufficient to decide me to support the Bill as it has been amended.

I do not want to detain your Lordships, but I think I ought to say one or two words on points that have been raised, more particularly because I think they were stated under some lack of appreciation of the general position in which this Minister would be placed.

If your Lordships do not wish that I should reply to the points I will not do so.

It seems very ungracious, of course. If the noble Viscount wishes to make an explanation I am sure your Lordships would wish to hear it; but I understand it is the order of the House that on Report we only make one speech.

It is very good of your Lordships. There are two points which were made by the noble Marquess. One was that he took great. exception to the phrase "by virtue of his office," and seemed to think that there was some rather mysterious meaning attached to it. All that it means is that in the case of an ordinary Under-Secretary he would be appointed by and be responsible to the. Minister. Those words are a drafting expression to attach the Minister of Mines to the President of the. Board of Trade. If those words were not there, and if his position as a Secretary of the Board of Trade were not defined, then he would be a Minister of Mines independent of the Board of Trade; and it is to do precisely what the noble Marquess wants that those words were introduced to establish this connection and also the subordination of the Minister to the Board of Trade. Therefore I do not think the noble Marquess really ought to object to those words.

The noble Earl, Lord Curzon, reminds me that in speaking again I am doing so in the exercise of privilege. Therefore I am in a very favourable position indeed. The second point is that my noble friend made great play with the question of responsibility, and suggested that, in all Government matters there should be some head that could be definitely hit. Of course, there is a head to be hit to advantage. In most Departments you have two heads to hit, and it is much better to inflict punishment on two heads than on one. In the ordinary Department you can hit the Under-Secretary and also the Minister as well. In this case, of course, the President of the Board of Trade, as I explained, is ultimately responsible for the action of the Ministry of Mines; but the first front of action, as it were, falls upon the Minister himself, who has to answer questions whether in the House of Commons or in the House of Lords. He is in the first case responsible for the general administration of the office, but he is subordinate for all general directions of policy to the President of the Board of Trade, and therefore there is no question of avoiding responsibility, nor could the President of the Board of Trade in the last resort avoid that responsibility. Therefore I hope your Lordships will not think there is any question either of divided responsibility or of lack of responsibility in this case.

The other point made by Lord Islington also showed, I think, some lack of appreciation of the reasons why the employers and the miners and the Government are anxious for that particular proposition, because he said "Ah, but there are questions connected with mines that ought to be dealt with by the Ministry of Labour." Now, that is one of the reasons specially for setting up this Ministry. It is what the miners and the owners complain of. There is no more wearisome thing in the whole world than going about from Department to Department, and being sent on from Department to Department; it impairs your health and ruins your digestion and your patience.

I will discuss that on a later Amendment. The whole object is to concentrate these duties in one Minister, so that miners and employers may know where to go and place their laments and complaints before him, and not be sent off to a Ministry of Labour, as my noble friend suggests.

Lord Treowen took some exception to my observation about sentiment, and said he thought the fact that there was some sentiment in this thing would determine him to vote against the Government. I do not quite follow his argument. Although the miners are not represented in this House it surely would be unwise for this House to ignore their feelings. They are a very potent body outside, and upon their feelings, and upon the way in which they look on this Bill will depend whether this Bill is a success or not, and whether harmony is introduced into the industry or not. Therefore I submit most respectfully that your Lordships would be wise indeed to attach great importance to their feelings, to remember that they have, from their point of view, had a tremendous disappointment, that the whole policy of the Government has gone against them, that what they advocated—nationalisation—has been refused by the Government; and they are only asking now, as a concession to sentiment, that this Ministry should be called the Ministry of Mines, and should be regarded as wholly and solely devoted to their interests. There are many sources of difficulty and danger in this country and outside this country. It would be a great thing if in the coal industry at least harmony could be introduced and one source of trouble in this country in the years immediately to come were eliminated by the successful working of this Bill.

CONTENTS

Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)Astor, V.Ranksborough, L.
Peel, V.Shandon, L.
Bradford, E.Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)Sinha, L.
Curzon of Kedleston, E.Armaghdale, L.Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
Eldon, E.Colebrooke, L.Stanmore, L. [Teller.]
Lytton, E.Gainford, L.Sudeley, L.
Onslow, E.Hylton, L.Wester Wemyss, L.
Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)Inverforth, L.Wigan, L. (E.Crawford)

NOT-CONTENTS.

Argyll, D.Bertie of Thame, V.Erskine, L. [Teller.]
Bedford. D.Chaplin, V.Fairfax of Cameron, L.
Bath, M.Chilston, V.Farrer, L.
Salisbury, M.Hood, V.Gisborough, L.
Hutchinson, V.Harris, L.
Abingdon, M.

(E.Donoughmore.)

Inchcape, L.
Denbign, E.Knutsford, V.Islington, L. [Teller.]
Doncaster, E.Kintore, L. (E.Kintore.)

(D.Buccleuch and Queensberry.)

Ampthill, L.Lambourne, L.
Harewood, E.Anslow, L.Leigh, L.
Jersey, E.Askwith, L.O'Hagan, L.
Malmesbury, E.Avebury, L.Ruthven of Gowrie, L.
Midleton, E.Chaworth, L. (E.Meath.)Sandys, L.
Morton, E.Cheylesmore, L.Sumner, L.
Russell, E.Crawshaw, L.Treowen, L.
Selborne, EDenman, L.Vernon, L.
Stanhope, E.Desborough, L.Wemyss, L. (E.Wemyss)
Verulam, E.

Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Clause 2:

I have a series of Amendments on the Paper which are all consequential, carrying out the decision which your Lordships have just come to.

Amendments moved—

Page 2, lines 5 and 6, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2,lines 6 and 7, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2, line 10, leave out("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2, line 16 leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2, line 26, leave out ("Minister of Mines and his officers") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2, line 32, leave out ("Minister") and insert ("Board of Trade")

Page 2, line 37, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

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

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 23; Not-Contents, 48.

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 trading between ports in the United Kingdom.
  • Amendment moved—

    Page 3, line 1, leave out ("Minister of Mines subject to the approval of the").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    moved, in subsection (1) (b) to leave out "trading between ports in the United Kingdom." The noble Lord said: I must apologise for not having been in your Lordships' House on August 4 when this Bill was in Committee. Had I known that these words were to be proposed by Lord Gainford I would have made a point of being here. I do not know why he should want to restrict the powers of the Ministry of Mines or the Board of Trade, as it will be now, from fixing the price of coal for sea-going ships to oversea ships when he allows them to fix it for ships trading between ports of the United Kingdom. The ports of the United Kingdom are open to all the world. There is no restriction upon Japanese, French, German, Scandinavian, or. American ships from trading on the coast of England, and the idea I fancy may be that, if the Board of Trade fixes the price for bunker coal for British ships, they will be obliged to fix it at the same price for foreign ships; otherwise there will be retaliation.

    The quantity of bunker coal taken in this country amounts altogether, I think, to 14,000,000 tons, and of that only 14 per cent. is taken by foreign vessels. As things stand at present, the price of bunker coal in London is 100s. a ton, while the price to a factory in London is about 40s. to 4.5s. a ton. We cannot understand why one of the great industries of the country, the industry on which the salvation of the country practically depended during the war, should be penalised as against other industries. The shipowners suggest that the power given to the Board of Trade should be exercised, if the Board think fit, in regard to bunker coal for oversea ships as well as for coast-wise vessels.

    The shipping industry is now on the downward grade; I do not believe that any of your Lordships would be disposed to put a shilling into it at the present moment, and if that industry is to be penalised by having to pay this enormous sum for bunker coal you may depend upon it that in a very short time ships will be laid up and liners and vessels taking passengers to India, Australia, South America, and the West Indies will have to close down. Shipowners cannot possibly afford to run them, and, even if the rates of passage money are put up to compensate for this enormous price of hunker coal, it will stop people travelling. I sincerely hope that this Amendment to the Government Bill will be accepted by your Lordships' House.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 3, lines 7 and 8, leave out ("trading between ports in the United Kingdom").—(Lord Inchcape.)

    I have no objection to these words being omitted, but only with a view of inserting other words in their place. By accepting the Amendment which was moved on the Committee Stage your Lordships decided that no new powers of Government control should be given to the Ministry. But it has been pointed out to me that the words which were inserted— "vessels trading between ports in the United Kingdom"—were not sufficiently wide to include the tugs which work in the various ports of our country, nor the fishing vessels which go from and return into English ports. It is with a view of dealing with those kind of ships, in addition to the other ships which are trading between port and port, that I am prepared to accept the noble Lord's Amendment, with a view to inserting the following words, of which I have given notice to the noble Lord on the Woolsack —namely, to insert "other than vessels proceeding to ports outside the British Islands."

    May I remind those who were not present that the reason why your Lordships voted with me the other night was that the Government, by their proposal as it originally stood in the Bill, were for the first time taking powers in connection with control which they had never exercised. Moreover, in all previous Bills dealing with the coal trade the shipping interest had advocated that there should be no power to limit the present coal supplied for bunkers to foreign-going ships. It was assumed by the Board of Trade that they might possibly have powers under D.O.R.A., but, as I explained to your Lordships, we have taken the best counsel's opinion we could get, and Sir John Simon is quite positive that under the Defence of the Realm Act the Government have no powers whatsoever to impose any conditions as to the limitation of prices in connection with bunker coal for foreign-going ships. It is because we feel as a coal trade that at this hour no new powers should be given to the Government that I press your Lordships to support me in the same way as you supported me two or three nights ago.

    The shipping trade come to us ad misericordiam and say, "We want the price of coal lowered." They already get coal at a much lower price than it is supplied at to foreign countries. From time to time we have made voluntary arrangements with the shipping interest, and not very long ago we made an arrangement with them to reduce the price of bunkers, and we did that voluntarily. Now they ask us to do it again to-day. I can only speak for myself. I am always quite prepared to see that an article is sold to a consumer in accordance with the condition of his industry. If it can be proved to me that in the world's freight market a reduction of a few shillings on a ton of coal is going to make all the difference to the shipping interest, and that the money is really going into the pockets of the shipowners and going to keep the ships on the seas, every coal owner would, of course, be a fool if he was not prepared to sell coal to the shipping industry at a reduced figure in order to secure that market.

    There is one other point. We are hoping that this industry may be rapidly decontrolled and that a scheme may be put forward which will protect the public in regard to the quantity of coal required for home industries and domestic purposes, and also protect the shipping industry by keeping sufficient reserves of coal in this country before any coal is sent for export. If we could put up a scheme of that character for decontrol the prices which are now being obtained, the high prices obtained, would tend to he reduced. It will not be very long before in the natural competition which must take place between coalowners there will be a further drop in the price of bunker coal.

    Amendment moved

    Clause 3, page 3, lines 7 and 8, leave out ("trading between ports in the United Kingdom") and insert ("other than vessels proceeding to ports outside the British Islands").—(Lord Gainford.)

    Lord Inchcape, on behalf of the shipping interest, desires to delete the words "trading between ports in the United Kingdom." The effect will be that the Board of Trade can give directions over coal sold for the bunkering of vessels; it restores to the Government the power of dealing with the price of bunker coal. I pressed this strongly on the Committee stage but the decision was adverse. Obviously, as the proposal has been made again the Government cannot be expected to do otherwise than support their own Bill, and they will, of course, support my noble friend in the Lobby. It is much more than a question between shipowners and coalowners. The Government think it desirable that they should have this power. If there is less prosperity in the shipping trade they should have power, in the interests of the trade of the whole country, to regulate the price of bunker coal.

    May I make a personal explanation? I had hoped that my noble friend Lord Inchcape would have been present on the Committee stage. He kindly signed a "Whip" urging noble Lords to attend. If among the twenty-eight or so Amendments down in my name there was one to which he could not agree, I apologise to him for having apparently stolen a march upon him.

    There is no doubt that the words should be struck out because Lord Gainford is not quite satisfied with them and proposes to substitute other words which he has read. Therefore, there will be no division of opinion on the question of striking them out. Substantially we are on the same point as to whether the policy your Lordships pursued in Committee should be maintained. I see no reason for changing the vote I then gave and I shall support Lord Gainford in his Amendment.

    On Question, Lord Gainford's Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 3, line 9, leave out ("when") and insert ("whilst") and leave out ("given") and insert ("operative").—(Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 3, line 10, leave out ("Minister of Mines subject to the like approval") and insert ("Board of Trade").
    Page 4, lines 5 and 6, leave out ("Minister of Mines subject to the like approval") and insert ("Board of Trade").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 4:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 4, line 26, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 4, line 27, leave out ("to him") and insert ("the Board").

    Page 4, line 28, leave out ("his") and insert ("their").

    Page 4, line 31, leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board").

    Page 4, line 32, leave out ("his") and insert ("their").

    Page 4, line 34, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert. ("Board of Trade").

    Page 4, line 36, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 4, line 37, leave out ("their") and leave out ("his") and insert ("the").

    Page 4, line 38, after ("duties") insert ("of the Board under this Act"), and leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board").

    Page 4, line 40, leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments 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 Orr 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 such 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 leave out subsection (1). The noble Earl said: After the decision your Lordships have arrived at there will be no serious division of opinion on my Amendments to this clause.

    I do not want to interrupt the noble Earl but I understood his Amendments were consequential, and therefore is it worth while to discuss them?

    I only want to make it clear that the point raised by Lord Gainford is met—namely, that there will be a Department, under a Secretary, of individuals and persons employed for the sole purpose of dealing with mines. There will be no question, if we leave the Amendments as I propose, of the work being done in general by the Board of Trade, but there will be a distinct number of persons attached to the Beard of Trade for this particular work. What there will not be will be the appointment of a large number of secretaries and others and the whole paraphernalia of a new and exceedingly costly Ministry.

    I do not wish to detain the House on these consequential Amendments, but I do wish to point out that under the Bill there was a limitation on the expenditure of the Board of Trade. Under the proposals of the noble Earl there will be no limits at all.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 5, Page 5, lilies 20 to 23, leave out subsection (1).

    Page 5, line 25, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Parliamentary Secretary appointed under this Act").

    Page 5, lines 25 to 34, leave out from ("salary") to end of subsection(3).

    Page 5, lines 35 and 36, leave out ("Ministry of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 5, line 39, leave out ("Minister of Mines, as the Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade, as the Board of Trade").

    Page 6, line 3, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 6, line 6, leave out ("he") and insert ("they").

    Page 6, line 8, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Earl of Midleton.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 6:

    Seal, style, and acts of Minister of Mines.

    6—(1) The Minister. of Mines may sue and be sued as, and may for all purposes be described by the name of, the Minister of Mines.

    (2) The Minister of Mines shall have an official seal, which shall be officially and judicially noticed, and shall be authenticated by the signature of the Minister of Mines, or of a secretary, or any person authorised by the Minister of Mines to act in that behalf.

    (3) Upon and by virtue of the appointment of any person to be Minister of Mines, all property of whatever description, and the benefit of all deeds, contracts, bonds, securities, or things in action, vested in his predecessor at the time of his predecessor ceasing to hold office shall by virtue of this Act be deemed to have been transferred to and to vest in and enure for the benefit of the person so appointed, in the same manner as respects such deeds, contracts, bonds, and securities, as if he had been contracted with instead of his predecessor, and as if his name had been inserted therein instead of the name of his predecessor.

    (4) Subsections (2) to (4) of section eleven, and subsections (2) and (3) of section twelve, of the New Ministries and Secretaries Act, 1916, shall apply to the Minister of Mines and to the Ministry of Mines and to the office of Minister of Mines in like manner as they apply to the Ministers and Ministries mentioned in those sections.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 6, leave out clause 6.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 7:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 6, line 37, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert. ("a Parliamentary Secretary appointed under this Act").

    Page 7, lines 1 and 2, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("a Parliamentary Secretary under this Act").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 8:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 7, line 7, leave out ("The Minister of Mines shall subject to the approval of").

    Page 7,line 8, after ("Trade") insert ("shall").

    Page 7,line 31, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 10:

    My Amendments to this and the next four clauses are also consequential.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 9, line 21, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 9, line 28, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 11:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 10, line 4, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 10, line 12, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 10, line 20, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 10, line 28, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 10, line 29, leave out ("Minister") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 12:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 10, lines 36 and 37, leave out ("the Minister of Mines may subject to the approval of").

    Page 10, line 37, after ("Trade") insert ("may").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 13:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 11, line 24, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 11, lines 28 and 29, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 11, line 31, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 14:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 11, Page 11, line 39, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 11, line 40, leave out ("Minister") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 11, Page 12, line 1, leave out ("he thinks") and insert ("they think").

    Page 11, lines 1 and 2, leave out ("and subject so the approval of the Board of Trade").

    Page 11, line 10, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments 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 in accordance with the regulations 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 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, be payable by the owner of the mine, 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; and
  • (b) in the case of district committees and area boards and the National Board 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 be apportioned amongst the owners of and the workers in and about 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 all sums payable under this section 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 to omit from paragraph (a) the words "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 Viscount said: The effect of this Amendment is again to ask your Lordships to restore the Bill to the position in which it stood before your Lordships amended it on the Committee Stage. The original proposal was that the whole of the expenses of the district committees, area boards, and National Board should be paid by the owners. After the decision of your Lordships I do not desire to press for the restoration of this clause, especially as I know that although I had the support of the coal owners in the previous Division I am not going to get it in the present. I was, however, going to make a suggestion in the way of a compromise, and it is that the original arrangement should stand as regards the pit committees—that is to say, in the case of the pit committees the charge for their meetings and committees and so on should fall upon the industry, but in the case of the district committees, area hoards and National Board the expenses should be divided. I understand that there is really a good deal of difficulty in the case of the pit committees in collecting their share of the fees from the men in particular pits, and any excessive expenditure is of course safeguarded under the Regulations, by which the number of the meetings of these pit committees is regulated, defined, and limited. Therefore if such a proposal as I have suggested would meet with your Lordships' assent, I would move the Amendment in such a form that the expenditure only falls upon the industry in the case of the pit committees, and in the case of the larger committees is to be divided between the owners and the men. I suppose I must move formally to put myself in order, but if my suggestion is accepted I will move the Amendment in a limited form.

    Amendment movtd—

    Page 12, line 27, leave out from ("Committees") to ("be") in line 30.—(Viscount Peel.)

    I am in rather a difficult position, in making a compromise on behalf of those whom I represent, in not being able to see them. This question of the payment of fees of the men attending the pit committees and district committees and the fees of the men attending the area boards and National Board is one upon which the coal owners take a very strong view. They think that it is desirable that each party to an arrangement should pay its own expenses and its own fees. In the coal trade we have had conciliation boards, pit committees, and a large number of the men representing the miners interests have seats on the county councils. We have also had arrangements by which the price of coal should be ascertained. The men have never taken any exception to the principle that each side in connection with all these matters should bear its own expenses. The trade union funds can very well do it. If the expense is borne exclusively by one side it puts not merely a premium on a larger number of meetings being held than is required, but it is also a premium upon the trade unionists asking for as large fees as they possibly can exact out of the funds of the coal owners. Eventually, of course, that would react upon the price of coal. It is a good plan for individuals to contribute to the expenses connected with proceedings of this kind; and when the noble Viscount argued the other day that he hoped that if coalowners paid for both it would promote harmony between trade unionists and the owners, and that trade unionists might forget they were trade unionists, it seemed to me to be an argument which was rather thin. I do suggest that at any rate both sides should pay the fees for the attendance whether at pit committees, district committees, area or national boards, but I would be prepared, speaking only for myself, to meet the noble Viscount if he thought it was desirable that the expenses in connection with the staffs which will be created—expenses other than the fees and personal expenses—should be borne out of the funds of the owners. I am prepared to meet the noble Lord to that extent.

    The proposals of the Amendment which the House carried last week were these—that each party should bear their own fees, but that the staff expenses should be divided between the coal owners and the trade union funds respectively, and if the noble Lord would agree that that latter portion should come out of the coal trade but that the fees for the men attending these various meetings should come out of the respective pockets of the two parties, we may come to an agreement. I would point out further that if it is any advantage to the men for us as coal owners to make a deduction at their request from their wages in order that their fees shall be collected out of their wages by us, we shall be very glad to do so.

    My suggestion went rather further than that of the noble Lord. I suggested that the decision of the House should stand as regards the district and area committees and the National Board. In those cases the expenses should be shared by each side paying one half. That is exactly in accordance with the decision of your Lordships. All I was going to suggest was that an exception should be made in the case of the pit committees, and I should be glad if I might move an amendment in that form. That is to say I will move only the Amendments in page 12, line 27, page 12, line 31, and page 13, line 10. I will move it in that form. It is in the case of pit committees only that the expenses will be borne by the industry. I understand there is a good deal of difficulty in collecting the money in these cases.

    There is no danger of what the noble Lord suggests of unnecessary and exceptional meetings, because the meetings do not depend upon the men or upon the owners. They depend on the Regulations which are laid down. There is no fear of excessive sums being borne, and I am advised that, at any rate in the case of the pit committees, it would be eminently desirable that they should be paid in this way, in order that both the owners and the men, coming together in these discussions, should feel that they are in support of a common industry which bears their expenses, and that they do not come there as representatives of different and hostile camps. I strongly urge upon your Lordships that very small compromise—that the whole of your decision should stand except in regard to the pit committees, in which case the charges should fall on the industry.

    My Lords, I feel very much the force of the argument addressed to us by my noble friend Lord Gainford. It is true that these labour corporations are very rich and, upon the face of it, there seems no reason why they should not pay their share. At the same time, it is perhaps unwise to push the argument to its logical conclusion, and I must say that the noble Viscount has come forward with a very reasonable compromise. My noble friend will not get all he asks for, but he will get a good deal, and no doubt the case for paying the miners' side in the case of the pit committees is stronger than it is in regard to the other committees. They are not likely to be so expensive and they are more immediately attached to the industry than the larger committees which deal with wider considerations. I should be inclined to suggest to my noble friend that, having gained so much, he might be willing to accept the compromise.

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 12, line 31, leave out from ("mine") to ("and") in line 35.— (Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 13, line 3, leave out the first ("and") and insert ("or").—(Lord Gainford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 13, line 5, leave out ("and") and insert ("or").—(Lord Gainford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 13, line 10, leave out ("all sums payable under this section").—(Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 17

    Provisions as to regulations under Part II.

    17. The provisions of sections eighty-six and one hundred and seventeen of, 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 regulations under this Part of 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 there-under

    Amendment moved—

    Clause 17, page 13, line 18, leave out from ("Provided") to the end of the clause.— (Lord Gainford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 18:

    Cessation of Part II in certain eventualities.

    18. If at the expiration of one year from the passing of this Act it appears to the Board of Trade, on the recommendation of the Minister of Mines, that the scheme of this Part of the Act has been rendered abortive by reason of the failure on the part of those entitled to appoint representatives as members of the pit and district committees. area boards, and the National Board to avail themselves of such right, the Board of Trade shall issue and publish in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes a certificate to that effect, and thereupon all the provisions of this Part of the Act shall cease to have effect.

    moved, at the commencement of the clause, to leave out "at the expiration of one year from the passing of this Act," and to insert "on the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and twenty-one."

    The noble Marquess said: This is a substantial Amendment. which I hope the Government will see fit to accept. 1 can explain it; in a few words. There is a danger—I will not put it higher—that the miners may refuse to work Part II of the Bill. I think it would be a most unfortunate and deplorable thing if they did, as Part II, although certain criticisms have been made against. it—I myself have ventured to make criticisms—does, on the whole, embody the principle of partnership in the management of the mines. That is a principle to which we all, including, I believe, noble Lords of every shade of opinion, look for the solution of the industrial difficulties of this country. Therefore, I think it would be deplorable if the miners refused to work this scheme. At the same time, it is possible it may happen, and the Government, therefore, provide in the Bill as it stands that in that case the Minister himself is to have the right practically to strike out of the Bill the whole of Part II.

    I submitted in Committee, and I submit again, that that is much too great a power to entrust to a Minister. It is a matter which ought to be done by Parliament itself, and I suggest in this Amendment that in this deplorable event there should be substituted for the spontaneous action of the Minister the action of the two Houses of Parliament. I will only add one observation. Those of your Lordships who were in Committee are aware of the point, which I repeat in one form. It is not going to be necessarily a very simple issue to determine, because the case may arise where a certain number of committees are made operative by the miners while other committees are rendered nugatory by their refusal. Then the very difficult question will have to be decided as to whether that constitutes a sufficient amount of refusal to warrant the striking out of the whole of Part II. Every degree of difficulty may arise and it seems to me that it is very important indeed as to who is to decide whether Part II is to be repealed. It is not merely that certain parts of the country may operate the Bill while other parts refuse, but it may very well happen that the pit committees might be made operative and the superior committees not operative.

    That is not merely theory on my part. The miners object to these committees because of the authority which is given to them over wages and that wages point applies very much more to the larger committees than to the smaller committees. Therefore, it might easily be that the miners may say, "We are willing to have pit committees, but we will not have any share or part in operating the bigger committees." That is a difficult question. What is to be done in those circumstances? I say that it is not fair to trust an issue of that kind to a Minister who will be subject to all sorts of irregular and unofficial pressure. All sorts of visits to Downing-street will be going on perpetually. We are quite familiar with that kind of thing. That is what I am sure the country and the Government themselves would desire to avoid. Place the authority where it ought to be placed—namely, on both Houses of Parliament—and I am sure that we shall then do the best thing.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 13, line 25, leave out from ("If") to ("it") in line 26, and insert ("on the thirty-first day of duly, nineteen hundred and twenty-one"). —(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    I was rather surprised to see the Amendment of the noble Marquess on the Paper, because I undertook on behalf of the Government to look into this question myself, and it was in deference to the arguments used to your Lordships that I placed on the Paper an Amendment in slightly different words from those of the noble Marquess. Though I was very much interested to hear the admirable argument that the noble Marquess addressed to your Lordships upon it, I was also surprised to some extent, because what he desires is already given effect to in the Amendment that I myself have put down.

    I agree with the noble Marquess that this matter should not be decided merely by the. Minister of Mines—or shall I say by the Under-Secretary for Mines—but shall be decided by Parliament. I will, however, urge the noble Marquess to accept the form in which I have put down the Amendment— namely, that "a Report of the circumstances, and that Report shall be laid before Parliament, and at the expiration of one month from the date when it is so laid all the provisions of this Part of this Act shall cease to have effect unless in the meantime a Resolution to the contrary is passed by both Houses of Parliament."

    The reason for putting it down in this form is that the President of the Board of Trade does not himself report under this Bill unless he wants to put an end to Part II on the ground that it has failed to work. If he reports so strongly on a matter of that kind which so much affects his own Department, the probability is that there will be a prima facie case in its favour. My words suggest that the provisions of Part II shall cease to have effect unless during those days when the Report lies upon the Table both Houses say that the scheme ought to go on. If they differ from the view of the President of the Board of Trade and say it ought to go on, they should say so. I suggest that my form is the preferable one.

    I agree that there is very little difference between us, and we are much obliged to my noble friend for having accepted the weight of the arguments of my noble friend Lord Salisbury, and, in the interval between Committee and report, put down an Amendment. I would only put this forward for his consideration—Is not the positive resolution better in the circumstances? The President of the Board of Trade goes down to the House of Commons and lays a Report on the Table of that House, and says "I deeply regret that after the experience of the year we find that the miners as a class will not work this Bill, either in the pit, committees, in the districts, or in the areas; therefore I am bound with great regret to advise Parliament to put Part II of this Act out of operation." Would it not be better if we concluded that such a Report—which we all from the bottom of our hearts hope may be so—will never be made, and ask that Parliamentary sanction should be given directly for putting Part II out of operation rather than leave it in the air on the chance that no private member will take the matter up.

    There is not a great deal in it, but the noble Marquess's form of Amendment, it will be seen, forces a debate on both Houses, because unless they pass this Resolution Part II cannot come to an end. The advantage of the form that I have put down is that if the Report is generally accepted no debate is raised upon the matter, but if the Houses or Parliament object to it then a debate is raised. I think there is some slight advantage in my form of words, and I hope the noble Marquess will see his way to accept them.

    I am very anxious to meet the noble Viscount. I do not agree with him, of course, but it is a minor point of difference, and on the whole I think I must give way and allow the Government to put it in the form they suggest.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 13, line 32, leave out from ("issue") to the end of the clause and insert ("a report of the circumstances, and that report shall be laid before Parliament, and at the expiration of one month from the date when it is so laid all the provisions of this Part of this Act shall cease to have effect unless in the meantime a resolution to the contrary is passed by both Houses of Parliament"). —(Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 19:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 13, line 37, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").
    Page 14, line 1, leave out ("and subject to the approval of the Board of Trade").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    There is an Amendment which ought to have been put down on the Paper. It is page 14, line 8, to leave out in subsection (2) "Minister" and insert "Board of Trade." I beg to move.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 14, line 8, leave out ("Minister") and insert ("Board of Trade").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 14, line 10, leave out the first ("or") and insert ("of").—(Lord Gainford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    had an Amendment on the Paper to insert at the end of Clause 19: "Provided as follows: 'Before any scheme comes into force it shall be laid before each House of Parliament for a period of not less than thirty days during which that House is sitting, and if either House before the expiration presents an address to His Majesty against the scheme or any part thereof, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon without prejudice to the snaking of any new scheme.'" The noble Earl said: I have discussed this matter with the Government, and they are willing to accept the Amendment in the amended form in which I now submit it to the House.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 14, line 15, after ("section") insert ("Provided as follows: 'Before any scheme involving the amendment or repeal of any local Act of Parliament comes into force, it shall be laid before each House of Parliament for a period of not less than fourteen days during which that House is sitting, and if either House before the expiration presents an address to His Majesty against the scheme or any part thereof, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon without prejudice to the making of any new scheme'")—(The Earl of Donoughmore.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 21:

    Establishment of fund for improvement of social conditions of colliery workers,

    21.—(1) There shall be constituted a fund to be applied for such purposes connected with the social well-being, recreation, and conditions of living of workers in or about coal mines and with mining education and research as the Minister of Mines, after consultation with any Government Department concerned, and subject to the consent of the Board of Trade, may approve.

    (2) The owners of every coal mine shall before the thirty-first day of March nineteen hundred and twenty-one, and before the same day in each of the subsequent five years, pay into the said fund a suns equal to one penny a ton of the output of the mine during the previous calendar year, and the sums so payable in respect of any mine shall be defrayed as part of the working expenses of the mine and shall be recoverable either as a debt due to the Crown or by the Minister of Mines summarily as a civil debt:

    Provided that in the case of the first payment the amount shall be calculated with reference to the output during the six calendar months ending the thirty-first day of December nineteen hundred and twenty.

    (3) The duty of allocating the money from time to time standing to the credit of the said fund to the several purposes aforesaid shall be vested in a committee consisting of five persons, appointed by the Minister of Mines, of whom one shall be appointed by him after consultation with the Mining Association of Great Britain, and another after consultation with the Miners' Federation of Great Britain. The committee shall have the assistance of three assessors appointed by the Minister of Health, the Board of Education and the Secretary for Scotland respectively; the assessors shall have the right of attending meetings of the committee and of taking part in the deliberations thereof, but not of voting; and different persons may be appointed by the above-mentioned departments to act as assessors in relation to different matters:

    Provided that the Committee shall take into consideration any scheme submitted by a district committee, and that before allocating any money for a local purpose they shall consult with the district committee concerned.

    (4) The committee may invite a local authority to submit a scheme for any of the purposes to which the fund may be applied, and if such scheme be approved by the committee they may make such grants in aid to the said local authority out of the fund and upon such conditions as may seem to them desirable:

    Provided that in no case shall any grant be made out of the fund for building or repairing of dwelling-houses.

    (5) Where money is allocated for the purpose of meeting the cost in whole or in part of providing accommodation and facilities at a coal mine for the workmen taking baths and drying clothes, and such accommodation and facilities are so provided, section seventy-seven of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, shall apply as if such accommodation and facilities had been provided under that section, provided that (a) cost of maintenance shall not be deemed to include any interest on capital expenditure so far as that expenditure was met out of money allocated from this fund, and (b) the contribution of the workmen to the cost of maintenance shall be reduced by the proportion which the money so allocated from the fund bears to the total capital expenditure.

    (6) Payments out of and into the fund, and all other matters relating to the fund, and moneys standing to the credit of the fund (including temporary investments thereof) shall be made and regulated in such manner as the Minister of Mines, subject to the approval of the Treasury, may direct.

    (7) The Minister of Mines shall in each year cause an account to be prepared and transmitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General for examination showing the receipts into and issues out of the said fund in the financial year ended the thirty-first day of March preceding, and the Comptroller and Auditor-General shall certify and report upon the same, and such account and report shall be laid before Parliament.

    moved, in subsection (1), after "There shall be constituted," to insert "in each of the districts mentioned in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Act." The noble Earl said: My noble friend will recollect that it was clearly understood that this matter would be brought forward again on Report.

    Yes, Clause 21. The point of my Amendments, which all stand or fall together, is this. By the scheme of the Bill a large fund is created to be devoted to purposes of social improvement, recreation, research, and education, but the expenditure of this fund is in the hands of a specially appointed central committee, and so far as the words of the Bill go it looks as if this money would he spent wholly or mainly on big central objects. The purport of my Amendments is to divide this fund up so that there should be a fund in each district, and the fund of each district should be used for the scheduled purposes in respect of that district. But I further suggest that on the recommendation of the National Board to the Central Committee one-tenth of the fund in each district may be taken for some general purpose affecting the miners as a class, and not affecting them in any one locality. The nation has great reason to resent the attitude to it of Mr. Smillie and of those who act with him in making representations to the Government on behalf of the miners; but although the nation resents Mr. Smillie's attitude, it never associates with that attitude the miners themselves. It puts down Mr. Smillie's action to the faulty constitution of the Miners' Federation, and it never will forget the splendid part the miners played in the war.

    They, in a greater degree perhaps than almost any other class of the community, rallied to the Colours in the hour of danger. Therefore I think we all rejoice to see that this fund is to be established. It is a very large fund. It appears to be a fund that will eventually reach five and a-half millions sterling, which will then I understand be the capital of the fund, the interest on which will be administered for the purposes of social improvement, recreation, education, and research.

    What some of us fear is that this will become a general fund and, though used for purposes no doubt excellent in themselves, that it will lose all association with the men who have worked in the districts from which the fund has been derived. If you look at the Schedule you will see that the districts are all large districts. You have Fife and Clackmannan, the Lothians, and Lanarkshire. The vast majority of these are whole counties. Or you may have the South Wales coalfields. I suggest that the county area is a very real area for all purposes of English life, and that the miners who belong to a given county, such as Cumberland, ought not to have the benefit of the money contributed from the Cornish mines for the purposes of social improvement, recreation, and education.

    It is very important that the miners should associate this fund with their own locality and with the work they have done in the mines from which the fund is drawn. They should not come to regard it, as surely they will otherwise, as a central Lind taken from, heaven knows where, which comes to them like manna from heaven and has no connection with them or their work, and is administered by a Central Committee in London without any reference to the individual requirements of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Cumberland, Warwickshire, Kent, and so on.

    We think, in fact, that there is the greatest possible advantage in identifying the fund with the district, and making it the exception and not the rule that the fund should contribute to a central fund to be administered for the whole of the mining industry throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. That is the object of my Amendments. I suggest that we take the discussion of this first Amendment, because if that is carried everything else becomes consequential. If that is lost, it will indicate that the House does not approve of the suggestion I have made.

    Amendment, moved—

    Page 14, line 33, after ("constituted") insert ("in each of the districts mentioned in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Act").—(The Earl of Selborne.)

    I was rebuked at an earlier stage of the proceedings because I asked your Lordships to reverse a decision at which you had arrived on the Committee stage—

    I do not object to it at all, because I think anybody is perjectly justified in asking the House to reconsider its decision. I am only pointing out that there is some inconsistency in the action of gentlemen opposite, and that I feel perfectly justified in the action I took. I ask the House in this case to adhere to a decision which was arrived at in Committee, and to adhere to a decision reached not only after a long discussion but after a definite compromise had been arrived at as well.

    The noble Earl was not here. I will state what I mean by compromise. There was a special Amendment in the name of my noble friend Lord Joicey that in the spending of the money by this central committee there should be consultation with the districts, and he withdrew his Amendment on that under-standing—

    I really must protest against the attitude of the noble Viscount, because, it I may venture to say so, I think he is misleading your Lordships. It was never accepted. The Amendment, was undoubtedly put in, but I rose in my place immediately and said that the compromise m as unsatisfactory. It was the old compromise of the oyster and the shell. The Government got the oyster and we got the shell. There was nothing in it. I protested against it and said we should raise the matter again at the next stage.

    I did not understand that the noble Lord was to raise it again at the next stage. Of course, all compromises are unsatisfactory; neither side likes them. At all events no further action was taken upon it. I will deal with the case on its merits. All I am asking your Lordships to do is to say that this fund, so raised, should be spent, after consultation with the districts, under the general directions of this committee of five persons who are set up under the Bill, and who, I understand, the noble Earl wishes to retain under the Bill.

    Before I deal with the question of principle, may I say that I do not quite understand what this committee of five are going to do, because it is only under certain circumstances that they may spend on general objects one-tenth of the fund so raised. If that is all they are going to do it would obviously be hardly worth while to go to the trouble and expense of setting up this particular committee. At all events, the point is that this fund which is raised from 1d. per ton on coal is raised upon the industry all over the country and should be administered by a central committee. That is the proposal of the Government. The proposal of the noble Earl is that the money coming out of particular districts should be spent in those districts: that for this purpose the coal industry should be treated as split up into a number of units, instead of being treated as one industry.

    He said, first of all, that the miners would not pay much attention to this money if it came from a central unit, but would be much more interested in it if it came from their own district. I do not know whether the noble Earl is familiar with miners, but I do not think they would make much trouble as to where the money came from so long as it was going to be spent on objects of which they approved. If you isolate the expenditure in the different districts you split up the whole industry into certain specific districts; whereas the object of rasing this money was that it should be spent generally in the interest of the industry as a whole.

    Moreover there are a good many objects, as the noble Lord knows, for which this money can be spent. A great many of these objects are rather apt to, or certainly may, overlap or interfere with or affect schemes made by other authorities, such as the Ministry of Health, the education authority, and so on, because the money can be spent on recreation, on matters of health, and on matters of education. Therefore for good administration it is very important that you should have some central board that can be in touch with these great central organisations, and which will be able to decide whether or not the expenditure of this money does or does not overlap, or does or does not conflict with an object that has been otherwise carried out. If you do not do that, if you split up into districts what will happen, I suppose, will be this, that instead of the Board deciding it on general and, let us hope, impartial principles, you will have all these matters brought back to the Ministry itself, who will have to decide, with the natural consequence that you will get politics introduced into the expenditure of this money. I respectfully suggest that that would be a great misfortune, and it would be better to allow this money to be spent by this independent body of five persons who will have a general knowledge of the whole situation, who will be able to expend the money in the best interests of the trade, and who will not be exposed, as a Minister must necessarily be exposed, to the pressure of political interests, which inevitably must affect a Minister when he is spending public money.

    I urge on my noble friend that the suggestion which was repudiated by the noble Marquess is not really so bad a corn-promise, because you place the general responsibility for the spending of the fund on the central body, but they are bound to consult these local or district bodies and to ascertain from them therefore the general wishes of the locality. That is a middle way between entire centralisation and total decentralisation, and I submit that it is a fair compromise.

    My noble friend quite unintentionally has misrepresented the affect of my Amendment. I leave the central committee exactly as it is to administer the whole fund, only the instruction is that it is to administer in each district money raised in that district, to the extent of one-tenth, on the request of the National Board.

    That, I think, would be very much confining the usefulness of the fund, if only one-tenth can be spent.

    Yes, but that is quite different from £5,000,000, and it is not much use. You must either have centralisation or decentralisation. It is very little use setting up this central board and telling them they must spend in the locality the money raised in the locality.

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 14, line 35, after ("mines") insert ("the district").

    Page 14, line 36, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 14, line 38, leave out ("and subject to the consent of the Board of Trade ").

    Page 14, line 39, after ("mine") insert ("in each district").

    Page 14, Page 15, line 2, after ("fund") insert (" for the district ").

    Page 14, line 7, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 14, line 12, after ("allocating") insert ("in each district").

    Page 14, line 13, after ("fund") insert ("in the district").

    Page 14, line 15, leave out ("Ministry of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").

    Page 14, line 16, leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board of Trade").— (The Earl of Selborne.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 15, line 29, after ("Committee") insert ("if any").—(Viscount Peel.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 15, line 29, at end insert:

    ("Provided further that upon a recommendation in that behalf made from time to time by the National Board the said fund to an amount not exceeding one tenth of the aggregate annual total thereof for all the districts may, if the Committee think fit, be applied in any year to purposes authorised by this section being of benefit to the interests of workers in or about coal mines either generally or in more than one district").

    Page 15, line 31, after ("fund") insert ("in a district").

    Page 15, line 34, after ("fund") insert ("in the said district").— (The Earl of Selborne.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    moved to omit the proviso at the end of subsection (4), and to insert "grants may be made out of this fund for building or improving the dwelling houses of workers in or about any coal mine, provided that any such grant shall not exceed the amount contributed to the fund by that coal mine."

    The noble Lord said: In moving this Amendment I would ask permission to read one paragraph from the Report on which this clause is based, the Interim Report of the Sankey Commission, and I would draw attention to the fact that it was signed not by the miners but by Mr. Justice Sankey himself, and the other three independent members—namely, Mr. Arthur Balfour, Sir Arthur Duckham and Sir Thomas Roy-den, and it is therefore not prejudiced. Paragraph 21 says—
    "Evidence has been placed before the Commission as to the housing accommodation of the colliery workers in various districts. Although it is true that there is good housing accommodation in certain districts—and to some extent —there are houses in some districts which are a reproach to our civilisation. No judicial language is sufficiently strong or sufficiently severe to apply to their condemnation."
    Paragraph 22 goes on to say that this fund shall be raised at a rate of 1d. per ton to include the housing and amenities of each particular coliery district.

    As a coal owner myself I entirely agree with what Lord Joicey said during the Committee stage, that there are many collieries where things have been done properly in the past, but I cannot see that this is any reason why the provision which was recommended in the Report should not be carried out with reference to those collieries where the conditions are bad. I would even go further. I think it is a pity, when the Government get a Report of this kind, that they can devise no means of penalising the owners who have very bad conditions indeed. However that may be, a year after this Report the Government brings in this Bill, in which they set up the fund recommended by the Commission, and the one thing which is definitely excluded as being the only thing the money cannot be spent on is housing. About nine-tenths of the evidence, filling many pages of the Blue Book which contained the Report of the Commission was on this very subject of housing. It was the one point with regard to social well-being, as laid down in the Bill, to which great attention was devoted. It therefore does seem a most extraordinary procedure to bring in a clause which establishes this fund, and then exclude the one object for which those who originated the fund first thought of it.

    Furthermore, the creation of this very large fund of £5,000,000 to be spent on somewhat vague objects, is a very different matter when you have the recommendation of a Commission which has gone into the whole matter in the greatest possible detail and heard many witnesses. It might be said, "Well, on the strength of all that the Commission have done in the way of investigation we can go in for these vague objects." The way it has been done is quite different, because these vague objects to which the money is to be devoted were never considered at all by the Coal Commission, and have never been investigated by anybody. Housing is the first condition of social well-being, and much has been said upon it by many members of the Cabinet.

    I understand that the reason why this provision was inserted in another place was that it was stated that there would be overlapping with the other housing schemes of the Government. Personally, I fail to see why the money in this fund cannot be available without in any way interfering with the administration of a housing scheme by another Department. It is purely a question of money, and one has only got to walk round the country or. for that matter, quite close to your Lordships' House, to see placards inviting the public to subscribe to Housing Bonds. I cannot personally see why this money should not be usefully devoted to the same purpose. Furthermore, if the money is diverted from housing to these schemes of recreation and social well-being, which are so ill-defined, it only means that the £1,000,000 which would otherwise be available for housing next spring, would have to come out of the taxpayer's pocket. I would further point out to the noble Viscount, Lord Peel, that there is nothing compulsory about this Amendment. It merely says that the money may be used for housing; it does not in any way force the Central Committee so to use it.

    The second part of the Amendment, which limits the amount subscribed by the mine in question, is necessary because the Government have decided that the coal industry is to be decontrolled as soon as possible, and it would obviously be bad if, when that time came, the owner of bad houses was being subsidised by the men who had spent money on good ones. I would urge upon your Lordships the importance of this matter, because we are dealing with no less than £1,000,000 of public money, which, for the first year at any rate, comes out of the taxpayers' pockets. It is definitely laid down in the Bill that it is to be treated as working expenses, and so long as control goes on it does not come out of the owner's pocket because he is guaranteed his fixed profit, and it conies out of the pool. if it did not come out of the pool it would conic out of the Exchequer. Therefore that £1,000,000 is quite definitely to come out of the Exchequer. For that reason, my Lords, I hope that you will pass this Amendment.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 15, lines 35 to 37, leave out from ("desirable") to the end of subsection (4), and insert ("grants may be made out of this fund for building or improving the dwelling houses of workers in or about any coal mine, provided that any such grant shall not exceed the amount contributed to the fund by that coal mine").—(Lord Vernon.)

    Before the noble Viscount replies, I would appeal to him to accept this Amendment after the excellent case which has been made for it by my noble friend Lord Vernon. I do not want to go into the larger subject, but I have the strongest possible opinion that in the future it will be found absolutely necessary to force public companies to deal with their own housing when they require additional accommodation. The objection that might be made to giving the whole of this money to housing, if it could be done as a national question as is proposed by the Government, would be not merely the objection put up in another place, to which my noble friend alluded, but the objection that those who had been behindhand in housing would profit under the Bill, while collieries which had been more considerate would lose. That is entirely prevented by the Amendment, because my noble friend particularly suggests that any such grant shall not exceed the amount contributed to the fund by the coal mine in question.

    If the noble Viscount rejects the Amendment it really means that the Government propose to say that while there shall be a fund for luxuries in a particular locality, the luxuries may be provided while the necessaries have to wait until, perhaps, the distant future when the localities can deal with it. That is really why I hope the noble Viscount will accept the Amendment.

    I think your Lordships will agree that the noble Lord, Lord Vernon, made a vigorous and well-argued speech in favour of allowing this fund to be used for the building of houses. He was supported by my noble friend Lord Midleton, who, when the Housing Bill was before this House, expressed the desire that the building of houses should be made an incident of a particular industry. The effect of the Amendment moved by Lord Vernon is, of course, that the whole or part of this fund which has been collected for the purpose of research, recreation, education, and other matters, may be spent upon housing.

    My noble friend asks why it should not be spent upon housing. There are three grave reasons against it. First of all, very large sums are being spent by the taxpayer and smaller sums by the ratepayer, as noble Lords well know, on this matter of housing. Local authorities are, as we all know, in a grave difficulty about building houses. They are looking about them in all directions to try and limit their liabilities in this regard, and I think it is quite clear that if it once gets about that here is a large sum of money which may be spent on housing, not one shilling will be spent by local authorities, these houses will not be built for the miners, and you will be starving that immense industry of its houses. That alone Seems to me to be absolutely conclusive against accepting my noble friend's suggestion.

    Again, his Amendment renders it completely abortive. It says, "provided that any such grant shall not exceed the amount contributed to the fund by that coal mine." This is a fund for the whole of the industry of the country, and there is £1,000,000 a year to be drawn. The amount provided by each coal mine would produce how many houses?

    It might in some cases produce half a house a year or, possibly, one house in about five years. What would be the effect of it? You would, in those cases, draw out the whole of the fund provided for the recreation of the men. Your Lordships have already made your decision that the sum shall be spent locally and not generally. There would be indignation in the coal mines because the men would find they were getting nothing for education or recreation, but it was all being spent on houses which ought to be built by the local authorities, and which the men know ought to be built by the local authorities. With all respect to the noble Lord who so vigorously advocated this Amendment, I cannot imagine any suggestion which would produce such desperation and such trouble in the mining industry. The men would say, "There is money put up on the one hand to build houses which the local authority have the duty of spending. The local authority are spending this other money in building our houses; we have one or two houses built out of this fund, and all the hopes we had as to recreation, education, and so on, from this fund are going to be absolutely destroyed." I hope that your Lordships will not support this Amendment, which I consider would be most damaging to the harmony of the industry and to the way in which this fund will be spent.

    I can only speak for my own district in this matter, but I am quite sure that the money which is raised in the coal industry of Northumberland and Durham ought not to be diverted to housing. The miners are very well represented on our various local authorities, which are thoroughly qualified to look after housing schemes. I have just been making a calculation that in the five years at a comparatively fair colliery, raising say five thousand tons a week, which is a quarter of a million tons a year, if the fund was only raised in fivepences, it would realise something like £5,200.

    In the five years. That would mean that half-a-dozen houses would be put up in five years in connexion with improved housing accommodation at the colliery. The thing really would not work on the lines suggested by Lord Vernon, and I suggest that it should not be pressed to a division.

    The speech made by Lord Gainford introduces an element of difficulty, for it is no use enacting what may not be operative. It is a most astonishing thing when you read the clause. Here we have a clause raising a fund for the social well-being, recreation, and improved conditions of living of the workers. The subject which most constitutes their well-being and improves their conditions of life is excluded expressly by the Bill. That really is the proposal as the Government have presented it. The thing which every social reformer considers most important for the social well-being of the people is housing, and it is expressly barred by the terms of the Bill. It is a most astonishing proposal. I admit the argument of Lord Gainford, who speaks with experience, that there may be minor improvements in housing which might be extremely valuable and which will only absorb part of the fund; but these are absolutely barred by the Government. It is really most astonishing that we should have a clause which admits cinemas and excludes improvements in housing. Gardens, I suppose, would be excluded. It is surely a most astonishing proposal.

    I hope the noble Lord will not press the Amendment. On first reading the Bill this provision was one upon which I fixed as one I should like to have amended, but on going more closely into the matter I realised the great difficulty there would be of dealing with it or effecting Anything substantial by an alteration. With regard to the latter part of the Amendment, which limits the amount that can be taken from certain districts, I can say from my own knowledge of South Wales that it would be absolutely impossible. There are certain collieries there which are very poor, and not a great distance away there are rich collieries. It depends on the character of the coal they have to work, and the need for improvement in houses is invariably in the neighbourhood of poor pits. I hope the Amendment will not be pressed.

    The noble Marquess says it is a most astonishing thing that housing should be excluded. That seems to me a most astonishing argument coming from the noble Marquess. Only a few months ago we passed a tremendous Bill dealing with the whole housing of the country, and when you have placed the duty of dealing with this problem on a particular Department it is not necessary to bring in another Bill dealing with housing. For Heaven's sake let one authority deal with it and one authority alone— I commend that advice to the noble Marquess.

    But the one Department to whom we have entrusted the work has not done it, and as far as we can see is incapable of doing it. I hope, however, the Amendment will not be pressed. At the same time I should like to ask the noble Viscount whether he would be prepared to agree to a compromise that the words "Provided that in no case shall any grant be made out of the fund for building or repairing of dwelling-houses," should be taken out. They were not in the Bill as originally drafted. They were put in in the House of Commons, and they do seem to me to fetter unnecessarily the discretion of the Central Committee. It is quite easy to imagine cases in which a contribution might be made but which would be debarred by these words.

    I hope the noble Earl will not press any such Amendment because the effect of leaving out those two lines would be to allow the money to be used to housing. They were put in in order to prevent it.

    I understand that a large proportion of the money for housing is to be provided by the Exchequer, and therefore it is purely an Exchequer question. It appeared to me that by my Amendment the tax-payer might be saved at least half-a-million pounds, but in view of what has been said I will not, of course, press it.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    moved to omit the proviso at the end of subsection (4), which read—.

    Provided that in no case shall any grant be made out of the fund for building or repairing of dwelling-houses.

    I submit that this Amendment is out of order, because it is the subject we have been discussing. If your Lordships leave out these two lines it would mean that this money could be spent on housing.

    Not at all. The noble Lord proposed to leave out words and insert other words. I suggest that he should persist in moving his Amendment so far as leaving out the words are concerned, and then he would be wiser not to move the insertion of the other words

    I submit that the withdrawal of an Amendment is not a decision. If it had been negatived it would have been a decision. That is a well-established Parliamentary Practice.

    CONTENTS.

    Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)Peel, V.Ranksborough, L.
    Bath, M.Roe, L.
    Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)Rotherham, L.
    Bradford, E.Armaghdale, L.Sinha, L.
    Eldon, E.Clwyd, L.Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]
    Lytton, E.Colebrooke, L.Stanmore, L. [Teller.]
    Onslow, E.Cozens-Hardy, L.Strabolgi, L.
    Astor, V.Crawshaw, L.Sudeley, L.
    Bertie of Thame, V.Gainford, L.Swaythling, L.
    Chilston, V.Harris, L.Treowen, L.
    Goschen, V.Hylton, L.Wavertree, L.
    Hood, V.Islington, L.Wester Wemyss, L.
    Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)O'Hagan, L.Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)
    Queenborough, L.

    NOT-CONTENTS.

    Argyll, D.Morton, E.Ebury, L.
    Bedford, D.Selborne, E.Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)
    Stanhope, E.
    Salisbury, M.Erskine, L. [Teller.]
    Chaplin, V.Hindlip, L.
    Abingdon, E.Kintore, L. (E. Kintore. [Teller.]
    Denbigh, E.Ampthill, L.
    Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)Askwith, L.Leigh, L.
    Avebury, L.Sumner, L.
    Jersey, E.Denman, L.Vernon, L.
    Midleton, E.Desborough, L.

    Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 16, line 10, after ("fund") insert ("in each district")

    Amendment moved—

    Clause 21, page 15, lines 35 to 37, leave out from ("desirable") to the end of subsection(4). —(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    I do not want to speak again but this is exactly the same subject over again. The noble Lord has withdrawn his Amendment and now the noble Marquess wants to insert language which would allow of this money being spent on housing. I do not wish to state again the arguments against it. We must oppose it if it is pressed.

    I am well acquainted with many colliery districts in the country and I hope your Lordships will not accept the Amendment. I look upon it as a serious blow to the erection of new houses for our colliers.

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

    Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 38; Not-Contents, 25.

    Page 16, line 13, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16,line 15, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16,line 18, after ("fund") insert "in the several districts").— (The Earl of Selborne.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 22:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 16, line 24, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16, line 25, leave out ("he") and insert ("the Board").

    Page 16, Page 16, line 26, leave out ("he") and insert ("the Board")

    Page 16, line 27, leave out ("his") and insert ("their")

    Page 16, line 33, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 23:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 16, line 39, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16, line 40, leave out ("he considers") and insert ("they consider").

    Page 16, Page 17, line 1, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16, line 2, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16, lines 15 and 16, leave out ('Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade'")

    Page 16, line 17, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 16, line 19, leave out ("him") and insert ("the Board").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 24:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 17, line 21, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 17, lines 23 and 24, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 17, line 24, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 17, line 28, leave out ("Minister of Mines and his") and insert ("Board of Trade and their").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 26:

    I desire to ask whether the definition of "mines" ought to be amended with a view to excluding stratified iron-stone mines. The Cleveland iron-stone mines, by an arrangement with the Government, I believe, are not to be included at any rate in Part II of the Bill and in certain provisions of Part III of the Bill, but they are not satisfied, as they are advised by their legal adviser, that there are words sufficient in the Bill to exclude them from the operations of Part II and of part of Part III; and I should rather like to know whether, in the opinion of the Government, they are excluded, or whether this definition of mines ought to be so altered as to exclude them.

    I understand that Part II and Section 21 of Part III do not apply. They apply to coal mines only, and the rest of the Bill applies to mines generally.

    Clause 27:

    Amendment moved—

    Page 18, line 10, leave out ("Ministry of Mines") and insert ("Mining Industry").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    First Schedule:

    Amendments moved—

    Page 19, line 7, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 19, lines 7 and 8, leave out ("including the Board of Trade")

    Page 19, line 10, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 19, line 15, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 19, line 18, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade")

    Page 19, lines 22 and 23, leave out ("Minister of Mines") and insert ("Board of Trade").— (The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Title:

    Amendment moved—

    Page 1, leave out ("establish a Ministry") and insert ("provide for the better administration ").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Moved (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) that the Bill be now read 3a .— (Viscount Peel.)

    I am only desirous of meeting the convenience of your Lordships, and of the Government, but I understand there is a desire on the part of those who advise the Government to have a few moments in which to consider the Bill between Report and Third Reading. I think, if the Government agree, it would be easier to take the other Orders on the Paper first, and then come back to the Third Reading of this Bill afterwards. It seems to me that it might be right to postpone the Third Reading till to-morrow, for drafting purposes, but in any event we have been moving at such an immense pace that the draftsmen cannot be certain unless there is a little interval between the Report and the Third Reading.

    In any case perhaps a little interval would be desirable, whether it be followed by the Third Reading or not. I should like to point out that there is very little of substance on the Order Paper now, because I believe that Lord Sumner is prepared to accept a proposal which I shall make to him in regard to the point he raised in connection with the Ministry of Food Bill. I see very little to provoke discussion until we come to Lord Salisbury's Question, on which I shall have a long statement to make. I suggest, therefore, that we postpone the Third Reading of the Mines Bill until a later stage in the evening.

    Motion postponed accordingly.

    Pensions (Increase) Bill

    Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

    My Lords, I have to ask your Lordships to give a Second Reading to a Bill to authorise the increase of certain pensions. It is quite unnecessary for me to labour the point that, owing to the great cost of living during the last few years, the pensions granted previous to the outbreak of war, which might at that time have afforded more or less adequate means of livelihood to the pensioners, now entirely fail to meet that object. This matter was brought before the Cabinet, a Committee was appointed to consider it, evidence was taken, and the Bill was introduced into the House of Common authorising the increase of pensions. That Bill passed through another place and is now before your Lordships.

    If your Lordships will look at the Bill you will see that in Clause 1 subsection (2) the pensioners to whom the clause applies are pensioners who, at the date of the passing of the measure, are in receipt of pensions granted before the outbreak of war—the words are "before the fourth day of August nineteen hundred and fourteen"—and, subject to the limitations laid down in Part II of the Schedule, pensions granted on and after that date. In the first place the clause applies to pensions granted, under the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1914, to civil servants; secondly, under the Elementary School Teachers' (Superannuation) Acts, 1898 to 1912, or under the Code of Regulations for public elementary schools or under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1908, to English and Scottish teachers; thirdly, under the National School Teachers' (Ireland) Act, 1879, to Irish school teachers; and, fourthly, under the enactments relating to the pay and pensions of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police, to members of those two forces. The Bill provides that the increases shall have effect as from April 1, 1920.

    Clause 2 sets out the statutory conditions for the increase of pensions under this Bill, because it is not the intention of its framers that the increases of pensions shall apply to all pensioners, but only to those who, in the opinion of the framers, are at this moment suffering, or are liable to be suffering, from real hardships. In the first place, the pensioner must reside in the British Islands. In the second place, the pensioner must have attained the age of sixty years, or have retired on account of physical or mental infirmity, or, in the case of a pensioner who is a widow and is in receipt of a pension payable in respect of the services of her deceased husband, must have attained the age of forty years. In the third place, the pension authorities must be satisfied that the pensioner's means, including pension, are less than £150 a year, if unmarried, or £200 a year, if married.

    Clause 3 deals with the cases of police pensioners. It is proposed to grant an increase of pension to those who do not come within the four classes I have mentioned as being comprised in Clause 1. Your Lordships will see in this clause that the Treasury, after consultation with the appropriate Government Department, may by Order authorise the application of the foregoing provisions, including the Schedule, to pensioners in receipt of pensions granted by any police, local, or other public authority, and thereupon such police, local, or other public authority shall apply such provision to pensions granted by them. Roughly speaking, I think the clause applies only to the English and Scottish police. As I have already mentioned, the Irish police are included under the provisions of Clause 1. Your Lordships will, no doubt, note, with regard to pensioners in Clause 3, that half the cost will fall on the Treasury and half on the rates.

    I do not think I need say anything about the other clauses which appear to be mostly of a definition character. Part I of the Schedule gives the limitation to the amount of the increase of pensions, and Part II provides an additional limitation on pensions granted after August 4, 1914. Your Lordships will, no doubt, be interested to know that if this Bill is passed the total cost to the Exchequer of the increase of pensions is estimated at not more than £850,000 in the first year. The Bill does not provide for the increase of Naval and Military pensions, but additions to those pensions, corresponding to those provided in the Bill, will, I am informed, be made in the ordinary constitutional manner by Order in Council and Royal Warrant. With regard to the cost of these pensions and the number of persons affected I need not trouble your Lordships now.

    Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a .— (Lord Hylton.)

    On Question, Bill read 2a : Committee negatived.

    Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) Bill read 3a and passed.

    Telegraph (Money) Bill

    Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.

    My Lords, this Bill follows the normal custom where capital outlay is required for the improvement and development of the telephone system. The last Bill of this character was passed in 1913. This corresponds to that Bill in method and in the amount of money involved. It authorises the Treasury to raise a further sum of £10,000,000 for telephone development and the actual expenditure year by year is, of course, subject to Treasury control.

    Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a .— (The Earl of Crawford.)

    On Question, Bill read 2a : Committee negatived.

    Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) Bill read 3a and passed.

    Indemnity Bill

    Amendments reported (according to Order).

    Clause 2:

    Right to compensation for acts done in pursuance of prerogative and other powers.

    (6) A person may be compelled to attend and give evidence or produce documents in proceedings before the said Board of Arbitration or War Compensation Court in like manner as in proceedings before an arbitrator, and the Board or War Compensation Court shall have power to require any person appearing before them to give evidence on oath and to authorise any person to administer an oath for that purpose.

    had an Amendment on the Paper, after subsection (6) to insert the following words: "and the Board or Court shall have power to award and assess such sums by way of costs as they in their discretion may think just." The noble and learned Lord said: This Amendment gives effect to a suggestion made by my noble and learned friend Lord Sumner in the early stages of this discussion, and I think on the balance of the argument that justice will be met by inserting this Amendment.

    Amendment moved—

    Clause 2, page 6, line 5, after ("purpose") insert. ("and the Board or Court shall have power to award and assess such sums by way of costs as they in their discretion may think just").—(The Lord Chancellor.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) Bill read 3a and passed, and returned to the Commons.

    Ministry Of Food (Continuance) Bill

    Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

    Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a .— (The Earl of Cranford.)

    On Question, Bill read 3a .

    I desire to submit an Amendment dealing with the point raised by Lord Sumner yesterday. The terms of the Amendment are as follow: In the Schedule at the end of paragraph (2), insert "And the arbitrator shall not be bound by any provisions contained in any of the said Regulations as to the principles on which compensation or price is to be determined." At the instance of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Sumner, the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack has gone into this matter, and he agrees that the points raised by Lord Sumner yesterday are adequately met by the words I propose. In point of fact I think they meet the contention that paragraph (2) of the Schedule was a direction to the arbitrator to act in a reasonable manner. It did not exclude the principles as to assessment of compensation under the Regulations continued by the Bill, some of which, as Lord Sumner did not fail to remind us, have been recently declared by the Courts of Justice to be illegal. I hope that this Amendment will meet the point, and that the noble and learned Lord will be satisfied with the alteration proposed.

    Amendment moved—

    Page 5, line 20, at the end insert ("and the arbitrator shall not be bound by any provisions contained in any of the said regulations as to the principles on which compensation or price is to be determined").—(The Earl of Crawford.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.

    Resident Magistrates (Ireland) Bill

    Read 3a (according to Order) and passed.

    Blind Persons Bill

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

    Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.— (Viscount Astor.)

    On Question, Motion agreed to.

    House in Committee accordingly.

    [THE EARL OF DONOLIGFIMORE in the Chair.]

    Clause 1 agreed to.

    Clause 2:

    My Lords, owing to a misunderstanding there are one or two small Amendments to this Bill which were not circulated to your Lordships. The first Amendment that I have to move is in subsection (1) of Clause 2, to leave out the words "within six months of this Act coming into operation" and to insert "within twelve months after the passing of this Act prepare and submit to the Minister of Health any scheme for the exercise of their powers under this section." Your Lordships will remember that a duty has been imposed upon county councils to make provision for the blind, and the Bill has provided that they are to be given six months in which they are to prepare schemes. My right hon. friend the Minister for Health had intended to accept an Amendment on the Report stage in the House of Commons increasing that period to twelve months, but unfortunately the Member who had put the proposal down on the Paper was not present. I am therefore asking your Lordships to insert it in the Bill now. I may say that this has the support of the County Councils Association.

    Amendment moved—

    Page". 1, lines 20 and 21, leave out ("within six months of this Act coming into operation") and insert ("within twelve months after the passing of this Act prepare and submit to the Minister of Health a scheme for the exercise of their powers under this section").—(Viscount Astor.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

    Clause 3 agreed to.

    Clause 4:

    I have to move a certain number of Amendments to this clause which are purely drafting—they have been sent to me by the Scottish Office—in order to make the Bill applicable to Scotland.

    Amendments moved—

    Page 4, lines 19 to 21, leave out ("the section relating to the power of local authorities to promote welfare of blind persons") and insert ("Section 2")

    Page 4, line 21, leave out ("paragraph (c)") and insert ("paragraphs (d) and (e)")

    Page 4, lines 21 and 22, leave out ("the section relating to charities for the blind") and insect ("Section 3")

    Page 4, after line 23 insert the following new paragraph:

    ("(b) the following subsection shall be substituted for subsection (6) of Section 2:
    (6) Education authorities under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, shall make or otherwise secure adequate and suitable provision for the technical education of blind persons ordinarily resident in their areas who are capable of receiving and being benefited by such education").(Viscount Astor.)

    On Question, Amendments agreed to.

    Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

    Clause 5:

    Amendment moved—

    Page 5, line 9, leave out ("sixth day of August") and insert ("tenth day of September").—(Viscount Astor.)

    On Question, Amendment agreed to.

    Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

    Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) Amendments reported; Bill read 3a , and passed, and returned to the Commons.

    Merchant Shipping (Scottish Fishing Boats) Bill

    Read 3a (according to Order) and passed.

    Post Office And Telegraph Bill

    Committee negatived: Bill read 3a and passed.

    Census Bill Hl

    Order of the Day read for the consideration of the Commons Amendments.

    Commons Amendments

    [The references are to the Bill as amended in Committee.]

    Clause 1, page 2, line 7, after ("order") insert:

    ("Provided that if by part of any such order it is proposed to prescribe any particulars with respect to any of the matters mentioned in paragraph 8 of the Schedule to this Act, that part of the order shall not have effect unless both Houses by resolution approve that part of the draft, or, if any modifications in that part are agreed to by both Houses, except as so modified.")

    Clause 2, page 2, line 21, at end insert:

    ("(3) Any expenses incurred with the sanction of the Treasury by the Minister of Health or the Registrar-General in connection with the taking of a census or otherwise in connection with the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties under this Act shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament."

    Clause 4, page 3, line 33, after ("request") insert ("and cost").

    Clause 6, page 4, line 7, leave out ("by a local authority").

    Clause 6, line 8, after ("Health") insert ("by a local authority to which this section applies").

    Clause 6, line 30, leave out from ("an beginning, to") in line 37, and insert:

    ("(3) The local authorities to which this section applies are the common council of the City of London, Metropolitan borough councils, the councils of counties, the councils of boroughs, and urban district councils.
    "Provided that, without prejudice to the power of any other authority being a local authority to which this sect ion applies to make an application under this section.")
    After Clause 6, insert new clause A:

    Expenses of local authorities.

    A. Any expenses incurred in connection with the taking of a census under this Act in pursuance of an application made by a local authority, including the publication of any reports or returns relating to the census, shall be paid by the local authority by which the application for the census was made, and any expenses so incurred, and any other expenses incurred by a local authority under this Act, shall be defrayed in the case of the common council of the City of London and a metropolitan borough out of the general rate, in the case of a county council as expenses for general county purposes, and in the case of other councils as expenses incurred in the administration of the Public Health Acts, 1875 to 1908.

    Clause 7, page 5, line 23, after ("person") insert ("otherwise than in the ordinary course of such employment").

    Clause 8, page 5, line 38, leave out from the beginning to the end of line 40 and insert:

    ("(2) The local authorities to which the section of this Act relating to the taking of a local census applies shall be the councils of counties and burghs, and any expenses incurred by such councils under this Act shall be defrayed in the case of a county council out of the general purposes rate, and in the case of a town council out of the burgh general improvement assessment or any other assessment leviable in equal proportions on owners and occupiers, provided that the ratepayers of a police burgh shall not be assessed by the county council for any such expenses").

    In the Schedule, page 7, leave out lines 7 and 8\

    In the Schedule, page 7, line 9, leave out ("parentage")

    In the Schedule, page 7, line 10, after ("issue") insert ("born in marriage").

    I beg to move that the said Amendments be now considered. I hope that your Lordships will agree to all the Amendments which have been made in another place. They are mostly drafting, and those which are not drafting are to strengthen the control of Parliament over the Ministry. I do not know if your Lord- ships desire to ask any questions on any particular Amendment. I suggest that the Amendments should be agreed to.

    Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.— (Viscount Astor.)

    On Question, Motion agreed to.

    Karachi Troop Train Incident

    rose to ask His Majesty's Government whether they are willing to publish the official correspondence relating to the "Karachi Troop Train Incident," including the proceedings and findings of the Court of Inquiry held on the incident, the memorial submitted by Major-General D. Shaw to the Secretary of State and the correspondence between him and the India Office, and, if not, why not; and to move for Papers.

    The noble Lord said: My Lords, I rise to ask the Question and to make the Motion which stand in my name on the Notice Paper. It may be that some of your Lordships share the opinion which is held in some quarters to the effect that I am unduly persistent in this matter. If that is so I would only ask, Which of your Lordships, being convinced that any person or persons had been unjustly treated in a matter in which redress could only be obtained in Parliament, and having regard to your Lordships' duties and responsibilities as Members of one of the Houses of Legislature, would leave a single stone unturned to obtain redress of that injustice?

    Injustice to an individual in respect of official conduct is a matter of serious public importance, as the contentment, good order, and loyalty of a community depend first and foremost upon faith in the justice and impartiality of those in authority. When a large number of persons is convinced that those in the highest authority have treated an individual —particularly an official—unfairly, the fertile seeds of discontent are sown, and the result is that the credit of government and of those in authority is impaired. Most particularly is this the case when the man who has been made to suffer unfairly is an officer of one of those great public services upon whose loyalty and confidence in authority we depend for the security and the stability of the State.

    Public servants look to Parliament for an impartial umpire when officialdom has given a mistaken decision, and it would be indeed a bad lookout if their confidence in this supreme court of appeal were ever to be seriously impaired. I am not going to recapitulate the whole of this story. It is already recorded in the proceedings of your Lordships' House, and the facts are established so far as this House is concerned. Nothing that the friends of General Shaw and Colonel Macnamara have said in speech or writing as to the essential facts has been denied or controverted. It is therefore unnecessary to recapitulate those facts. On the contrary, so far from their having been controverted or denied, the spokesman of the India Office—my noble friend Lord Sinha—has made some important, though, if he will allow me to say so unnecessarily grudging, admissions. It is with these admissions and with them alone that I propose to deal this evening.

    If the Government will publish the Papers I shall be well content to leave the rest to public opinion, for those Papers contain absolute proof of the truth of all that has been said on behalf of General Shaw and Colonel Macnamara. But even this publication of the Papers would be unnecessary if only the Secretary of State would admit fully and frankly the fact that the statement upon which General Shaw was condemned and punished was entirely unfounded and inaccurate. That is all I ask the Secretary of State to do; and quite frankly I cannot understand why he is unwilling to do it, seeing that he himself has in express terms dissociated himself from that condemnatory statement. I do not ask him to declare General Shaw blameless. General Shaw does not ask for that himself. I only ask him to remove a condemnation which is not only unjust but irregular. As soon as that is done, General Shaw can easily prove his own blamelessness if a fair opportunity is given to him and if it is considered necessary that the case should be tried again.

    The Secretary of State has offered a fresh Inquiry. No doubt we shall be told this again, and no doubt the Under-Secretary will lay great stress upon it. But let me remind your Lordships of what I have said on former occasions. That offer was made upon conditions which General Shaw could not be expected to accept. It is one thing to go before a Court as an innocent person and to have your case tried ab initio, but it is quite another thing to go as one who has been condemned, and condemned by the highest authorities, particularly if the Court is subordinate to, and dependent upon, those very authorities whose decision is impugned.

    The Secretary of State, feeling as he does that the condemnation was too sweeping, that it was in many respects inaccurate and required much modification, should have ordered a fresh Inquiry. He should have done so long ago, when he first looked into the case and formed an opinion. I have tried by private negotiation to get this matter cleared up in the very simple way that I have suggested—namely, that the condemnation should be withdrawn in as public and as full a manner as it was made. I have written not only to the present Secretary of State, but I have written to his predecessor, Mr. Austen Chamberlain, and I have written to his representative in this House. I have also asked them privately to fall in with my suggestion so as to avoid the necessity of troubling either this House or the other House of Parliament. with Questions and Motions. I hope that my noble friend Lord Sinha will allow me to refer to the private correspondence which I have recently had with him, as if I may do so it will bring me most quickly to the point.

    The point, is this. The statement on which General Shaw was condemned was contained in a telegram from the Government of India dated July 30, 1916. That telegram was read out in the House of Commons by the then Secretary of State, Mr. Austen Chamberlain. He stated that he concurred in the finding and in the decision of the Government of India. But he had at that time not seen the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry, in which there was evidence entirely inconsistent with this statement. The statement was that General Shaw knew that the responsible members of his staff were, with one exception, inexperienced, and that he took no steps and gave no orders to see that the safety or comfort of the troops was provided for.

    I and some of my friends have elicited in this House that this statement was entirely inaccurate, and the India Office have not even attempted to prove that it was accurate. I have the statement made by my noble friend on July 21, which was as follows
    "The Secretary of State.… considers and has always considered that the censure passed on Major-General Shaw and Colonel Macnamara was not in all respects accurate."
    Then the Under-Secretary went on to say that the Secretary of State, while disassociating himself from the censure "which requires much modification" (I hope your Lordships will bear these words in mind) was advised that General Shaw and his Assistant-Director of Medical Services did not act up to "the full scope of their responsibilities." It is on this phrase that I want, to press the Under-Secretary. It is a very vague and unsatisfactory phrase. I do not think anyone will maintain for a moment that it is sufficient to satisfy an ordinary person that punishment amounting to the utter ruin and discredit of an officer with nearly forty years' service, against whom there had never been an adverse report, was justified.

    In writing to my noble friend some days ago I asked him to explain clearly in what respect General Shaw failed to act up to the full scope of his responsibilities. I hope he will be able to do so, because I am not springing this question upon him. I gave him full and fair notice that that was what I was going to ask him to-day. But if he cannot do this, will he say where these responsibilities, which the Secretary of State has in mind, are defined. They are certainly not defined in the Regulations. I am fairly well acquainted with the Regulations for the Army, both in this country and in India, and I can find nothing to answer to a definition of those responsibilities. I have also asked the Under-Secretary to specify and definite the modification of the censure which the Secretary of States admits to be necessary. I quoted just now the words of the Secretary of State in which he said that the censure from which he dissociated himself required much modification. What is the modification that is required? It would be an immense advantage to know exactly how far the Secretary of State admits that it was inaccurate and unfounded.

    I want to add two other questions. The first is—Is Mr. Montagu's opinion as to General Shaw's responsibility based upon ex parte and unofficial statements which have never been communicated to General Shaw? I have very good reasons for putting that question, and I hope that I shall receive an answer to it. Secondly, seeing that the Secretary of State at once, when he had to look into the case, dissociated himself from the censure, why did he not take steps to get it withdrawn? Why does he not take such steps now? He has the power to do so, and I submit he has the responsibility of doing so. He cannot wash his hands of the whole affair. It is an affair of his Department, and he cannot say "It is no affair of mine; I merely dissociate myself from it." I will ask my noble friend whether the Secretary himself is, in this matter, acting up to the full scope of his responsibilities, seeing that he cannot dissociate himself from anything that appertains to his Department.

    The Secretary of State himself has invalidated the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry so far as General Shaw was concerned by stating, as he did, through the mouth of Lord Sinha, that the Court which investigated the incident was not constituted, and did not deal with General Shaw's conduct in regard to the incident, in the manner prescribed by the Regulations. If anything invalidates a finding that statement does. There remains therefore (it is a logical consequence, from which you cannot escape) no authority whatever for the public statements in regard to General Shaw made so cruelly to the detriment and discredit of that officer by Mr. Austen Chamberlain in the House of Commons on information supplied to him by the Government of India. That is why I am asking that the unjust condemnation should be withdrawn as publicly and in as clear and explicit terms as those in which it was made.

    The noble Lord the Under-Secretary, speaking on July 21, said one of the things that the Court of Inquiry was asked to do was to indicate the persons liable for blame for the occurrence. "Liable to blame" is not synonymous with guilty. No man can be declared guilty until a charge has been brought against him, and proved before a competent tribunal. A mere statement that So-and-so is liable to blame does not in any way impair the innocence which we must attribute to every man, whatever charge may be brought against him, until he has been charged and condemned. Incidentally, I should like to say that the Under-Secretary has been misinformed by his Department in regard to several matters which were the subject of questions in this House—in regard to the Transport Regulations, and in regard to the assertions that General Shaw exceeded the Regulations on his own responsibility. I have here the Transport Regulations which were in force at that time, but I do not want to confuse the issue with any minor point. The only thing is, I do not want to pass over this opportunity without saying that I cannot accept the statements which the noble Lord was put up to make on these several points.

    The issue which I am putting to your Lordships is as simple as anything can be, and I shall state in terms of extreme moderation. General Shaw and Colonel Macnamara have been condemned and held up to odium in a manner which constituted the severest punishment, upon a statement which the Secretary of State himself admits to be inaccurate. The Secretary of State can, if he likes, declare that they were wrongly condemned. It is also open to him, if he thinks that they are liable to blame, to order—not to ask, but to order—that they shall be charged and tried—for those things have not yet been done. If he will not do this, will he let the public judge of the matter themselves by publishing the Papers. I beg to move.

    Moved, That there be laid on the Table of this House the official correspondence relating to the Karachi Troop Train Incident, including the proceedings and findings of the Court of Inquiry held on the incident, the memorial submitted by Major-General D. Shaw, to the Secretary of State and the correspondence between him and the India Office.— (Lord Ampthill.)

    My Lords, before I deal with the specific question which the noble Lord put at the end of his speech, I ought perhaps to say that, having regard to the time that has elapsed—the Karachi troop train incident took place in June, 1916, that is, more than four years ago, the Court of Inquiry submitted their Report in July of the same year, and the action taken by the Government of India with reference to General Shaw was also more than four years ago—it is impossible for the Secretary of State, who has more than once carefully considered the matter, to reopen the case, which was decided more than four years ago by his predecessor in office, and with regard to which he offered General Shaw the only possible alternative in his power—namely, a fresh Inquiry. Having regard to these facts the Secretary of State has come to the conclusion that there would be no justification for the presentation of Papers. In fact, he said that more than a year ago, when he was questioned on the subject and asked to lay Papers in the House of Commons in July last year.

    Coming to the merits of the question, I am not quite sure what exactly it is that the noble Lord wants the Secretary of State to do. I understood him to say—in fact he wrote me, as he said, to the same effect—that he does not ask the Secretary of State to declare that General Shaw is not liable to blame.

    To declare that General Shaw is blameless, which is a rather different thing.

    He was held to be liable to blame by the Report upon which the Government of India took action. The Secretary of State, therefore, could not cancel the finding of that Report and declare that General Shaw was not liable to blame, except as the result of another Inquiry which he offered General Shaw more than three years ago, which he kept open for 2½ years, but which General Shaw refused some little time ago to accept because he said it was impossible for him to go out to India, or something of that kind. He was offered all his expenses, including legal expenses and the expense of staying there, and every facility for getting out every witness he wanted to be examined before the fresh Court of Inquiry.

    My noble friend will misquote me. It is a very important point. I did not say that I do not ask the Secretary of State to declare General Shaw not liable to blame, but that I do not ask the Secretary of State to declare General Shaw blameless. That is a very different thing; there is all the difference in the world between being liable to blame and being blameless. I have admitted that the Court of Inquiry found General Shaw liable to blame, but that does not mean that he is blameworthy until it has been tried and proved.

    The Secretary of State, on the advice of the Military Committee at the India Office found it impossible to do anything more than offer General Shaw a fresh Inquiry on the ground that there were irregularities in the first Court of Inquiry that was held because there was no definite charge made against him, and that he had no opportunity of cross-examining witnesses and was not present throughout the Inquiry. That is the only thing the Secretary of State was advised he could do, and it was because he felt that some of the statements upon which Mr. Chamberlain based the statement that he made in the House of Commons were not strictly accurate and because of the irregularities in the procedure under the Regulations that he offered General Shaw the Inquiry I have mentioned. In those circumstances I venture to submit that it was not possible for the Secretary of State to do more than he did. After all, General Shaw is not complaining of the action that was taken either by the Commander-in-Chief or the Government of India in removing him from his command. That is not the point of complaint.

    What General Shaw complains of, as I understand my noble friend, is the statement made by the Secretary of State (Mr. Chamberlain) in the House of Commons based upon the telegram from the Government of India, which, again, purported to be based upon the findings of the Court of Inquiry. With regard to that, the Secretary of State said more than two years ago that some of the statements in that telegram from the Government of India were not quite accurate. For example, it is not correct to say that General Shaw took no steps whatsoever to ensure the safety and comfort of the troops. He did take certain steps, but those steps were not sufficient. The Secretary of State and his advisers, both then and now, think that if General Shaw had acted up to the full scope of his responsibilities he would have taken further steps which, if they had not prevented the deplorable incidents that happened, would certainly have made them less probable.

    The noble Lord asked me to specify to what extent the Secretary of State had modified the condemnation which was pronounced by Mr. Chamberlain in the House of Commons. I was under the impression that I had already done so. I have to-day again endeavoured to make it clear to my noble friend as well as to this House that nobody ever intended to charge General Shaw with callous indifference either to the comfort or safety of the troops which were put into that train. Nobody has ever charged him with that. But what appeared from the evidence given before the Court of Inquiry, upon which the Government of India took action, was that General Shaw as officer commanding at Karachi did not personally see the troop-train nor view the conditions under which the journey across the desert was to be undertaken at the hottest time of the year; that the unsuitability of the normal conditions of train accommodation and scheduled times for unacclimatised British troops ought to have suggested itself to him; that it was open to him to make, on receipt of instructions regarding the diversion of the "Ballarat" to Karachi—and he received that information days before the steamer arrived—and in view of his local knowledge ought to have made, representations to Army headquarters of the danger of sending those troops across the desert at that time of the year. Even if he did not consider that such a representation was advisable, the Secretary of State was advised that he ought to have considered it advisable. And even though it might have meant some displeasure, so far as he himself was concerned, at Army Headquarters he might have issued better instructions to promote the comfort of the troops, which would have been advantageous, and the omission to take special measures to meet the abnormal conditions suggested a want of forethought on the part of an officer in his position, by reason of which the Government of India and the Commander-in-Chief were entitled to take and did take the action that they took—namely, to remove him from his command.

    I want to make it clear again that the present Secretary of State as well as Mr. Austen Chamberlain never intended to suggest that, in being blameworthy with respect to the omissions I have mentioned, General Shaw had been in any way guilty of callous indifference to the welfare, the comfort, and the safety of the troops concerned. The incident is four years old, action was taken four years ago, the matter has been twice considered by the Government of India and by two successive Secretaries of State on the advice of their military advisers, and it is impossible, the Secretary of State is advised, to do away altogether with the Report and findings of the Court of Inquiry. In those circumstances I venture to submit to your Lordships that it would serve no useful purpose to publish, and the Secretary of State does not consider he would be justified in publishing, the Papers in question.

    My Lords, I cannot say that I am satisfied with the reply I have received, and I am perfectly certain that those of your Lordships who have done me the honour of attending to the matter cannot feel that it is in any way convincing. The reason given for saying that the presentation of Papers is not justified is that more than four years have elapsed since the incident took place, and that a fresh Court of Inquiry has been offered. If the Secretary of State would only lay these Papers your Lordships would see at once why General Shaw could not possibly accept the conditions on which the fresh Inquiry was offered. He has not refused a fresh Inquiry. What he has done is to say that he cannot accept the Inquiry on the particular conditions which were offered. The noble Lord has tried to palliate the matter by saying that no one has charged General Shaw with "callous indifference." I ask your Lordships whether the words in the telegram from the Government of India that General Shaw "knowing his staff was inexperienced"—an untruth— "took no steps and gave no orders," is not as direct a charge of callous indifference as could be made. That statement was not only inaccurate; it was deliberately and entirely untrue.

    The noble Lord has not satisfied me about this "defining the scope of General Shaw's responsibility." All that he has said is that General Shaw ought to have represented the danger of the journey. The noble Lord knows nothing about the Army or the responsibilities of a military officer. But let me say this. It was by, no means unusual to send troops that very journey at that time of the year. It had been done again and again, and there had been no previous trouble except in the case of the Connaught Rangers. Therefore he was not confronted with any unusual situation, and had every reason to think that these troops were sent that way because there was some urgent military necessity; and the officer who questions an order given to him, when he has reason to presume that it is given on account of military necessity, is simply asking to be dismissed from his post as unfit to hold it.

    Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

    The Bengali Regiment

    My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether the Bengali Regiment has been disbanded and whether the Government of India were satisfied with its military efficiency.

    My Lords, the 49th Bengali are being disbanded in the same way as other units raised during the war which are now surplus to requirements, but a part of the unit is being retained for the present. The unit was not well reported on whilst on field service in Mesopotamia.

    Chaplains For Military Patients

    rose to ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many military patients there are who have been transferred from the War Office to the Ministry of Pensions, and are still under treatment; what arrangements have been made for their spiritual care; how many hospitals devoted to the treatment of these patients require a full-time chaplain; whether these chaplains have been provided and what previous experience they have of hospital work; how many chaplains have been appointed to look after two or more hospitals; in how many cases officiating clergy have been appointed; what arrangements have been made in the Pensions Department in London for the supervision of these chaplains and officiating clergy; and what system of inspection has been set up.

    The noble Marquess said: My Lords, I apologise to your Lordships for having put this Question down at so late a period, but the truth is that I have been in communication with the Ministry of Pensions on this subject for many months past, and it was at the request of the Minister himself that I postponed it. The circumstances to which this Question alludes have arisen in this way. When the war was over the military patients under treatment were transferred from the care of the War Office to the care of the Ministry of Pensions. Every sort of precaution was taken with regard to their medical and nursing treatment, but one element was overlooked. It was quite forgotten what was to be done in respect of their spiritual care, and no chaplains were provided under the Ministry of Pensions to correspond with the military chaplains under the War Office.

    I need not tell your Lordships how very important the chaplain services are in connection with hospitals. It is more and more certain, according to modern medical and scientific experience, that the sort of help which chaplains can give is of tremendous importance in the cure of military patients, especially in all cases of shell-shock, in which there is a psychological side; the action of a minister of religion is of the greatest importance in the cure of patients suffering in this way. It is true in a lesser degree of patients who are not suffering from shell-shock, but especially true of those who are so suffering. It was, therefore, of vital importance to make this provision, and it was in consequence of a kind communication from the then Minister of Pensions that I ventured to interest myself in this subject. I may say that I have been connected for many years with the Chaplains Department of the War Office, and I therefore understood something of the subject.

    When these patients were transferred from military hospitals to the Ministry of Pensions the whole hospital was transferred, and they are still treated in hospitals devoted to them alone. In other cases these patients were in hospitals which were not specially military hospitals, but still under the care of the Government. It is necessary to provide for the spiritual ministrations of the patients in both kinds of hospitals. For that purpose you require a certain number of whole-time chaplains, and I am very anxious to know how many patients there are in these hospitals entirely devoted to military patients, and how many whole-time chaplains have been appointed. In some cases the hospitals are small, and whole-time chaplains can look after more than one such hospital. I want to know how many of these there are.

    There are three divisions—the large hospitals which occupy the whole time of a chaplain; small hospitals (more than one of which can be looked after by a whole-time chaplain); and then there are those patients in special hospitals who are looked after by officiating clergymen. I may say that "officiating clergymen," in the technical language of the War Office, is a minister of one denomination or another who is a civilian minister of religion, but who, in consideration of a certain remuneration, looks after military patients. I presume that a similar system is pursued under the Ministry of Pensions. They are all part of the Chaplains Department, and I ask the Government how many of each kind there are?

    I want to ask, in addition, what arrangements have been made at Headquarters for the supervision of this Chaplains Department? It is, of course, a very much smaller Department than that which existed under the War Office, but it is and must be a special Department, and there ought to be some central organisation at the Ministry of Pensions for the purpose of running it. Lastly, there ought to be a system of inspection. Your Lordships will realise that in the course of the war a great amount of experience was acquired, I am glad to say, of the proper action of chaplains in cases of this kind, of their duties and of the best method of treatment. An immense amount of knowledge was thus acquired of the particular methods of approaching a very sick man, and the sort of equipment and provision which you require in a large hospital. For instance, you require some small place corresponding to a chapel where the Sacrament can be administered, and among other things you require this special expert treatment of the sick. Therefore a system of inspection is of the greatest value. You want some first-rate expert chaplains at headquarters, whose business it shall be to inspect the chaplains in various parts of the country who are looking after these sick people, both in the hospitals where none but military patients are treated and in the civilian hospitals where only a few beds are occupied by military patients; that is to say, cases where whole-time chaplain's are used, and cases where the officiating clergy are used.

    I hope that a regular system of this kind has been set up, and that not only in the inspecting chaplains but in the whole-time chaplains themselves full use has been made of the great experience which has been gained in the war. It would be a thousand pities if this wonderful store of knowledge and experience were wasted. I urge this very much upon your Lordships. I am extremely sorry that it is so late in the session and that the natural fatigue which pursues us all makes it difficult to impress the House, but I am sure for any one who, like myself, has had the great privilege of being connected with these services the vital importance of them cannot be exaggerated.

    There is another aspect, and a pathetic aspect, which I would venture to urge upon the Government. After the Armistice was signed there was a curious change in public feeling and practies. Up to that date there was nothing that was not done for the Army, for the soldiers and for the military patients, but the moment the Armistice was signed people's minds were entirely changed, and were turned away, and nobody paid any more attention to this subject. It was a most lamentable result that all these sick people, who had had all sorts of visits and pleasures provided for them, were left to shift for themselves. Nobody went near them or endeavoured to make their lot happier. The whole thing closed down in a moment. Public attention was diverted elsewhere, and these patients were left deserted. At any rate, if a proper system of chaplains is created there will be some mitigation of that state of things, because you would have, wherever military patients are to be found, a minister of religion specially interested in seeing not only after their strictly spiritual care but after the little amenities and recreations which can be afforded them. He could also mobilise local public opinion to help them.

    This is not a matter of the Church of England only. I am speaking on behalf of patients of all denominations, and I am urging what I am sure the Government would desire to second, that ministers of all denominations should be provided for this service, whether Roman Catholic, Nonconformist, or Church of England. I hope that the Government. will not think I have said too much, and I confidently rely upon the answer of my noble friend to show that the Minister of Pensions is fully alive to the importance of this subject.

    My Lords, it was quite unnecessary for Lord Salisbury to assure the House that the case which he has made out this afternoon was a case irrespective of the Anglican Church. For many months past Lord Salisbury has been in very close communication with the present Minister of Pensions, and indeed with his predecessor as well, with the desire of securing an improved administration of the chaplains branch as regards this remanent of wounded soldiers. As long ago as May of last year it was necessary to inform Lord Salisbury that in view of the small number of institutions concerned it was not considered necessary to set up a chaplains branch as such, but at the same time that the Chaplain-General of the War Office had consented to nominate any full-time chaplain who might be employed, and that in the meantime work would be allotted to officiating clergy.

    Let me now deal with the specific question put upon the Paper by Lord Salisbury. In the first place it should be clear that the majority of ex-Service men receiving treatment under the provisions of the Warrants administered by the Ministry of Pensions are accommodated in civil hospitals over which the Ministry of Pensions as such has and can have no control; but I understand that the ex-Service patients participate fully in the arrangements made for the spiritual welfare of the civil patients.

    Perhaps. But I will give the figures. There are at present 12,186 patients, including 1,159 serving soldiers, distributed amongst 90 hospitals and institutions under the direct or indirect control of the Ministry, of which over 60 have less than 100 occupied beds. Therefore it will be seen that some of the institutions where sick and wounded men are cared for are extremely small. Mr. Macpherson thoroughly appreciates the necessity of meeting in full the spiritual requirements of the patients; and recognises the wide influence, apart from his purely religious functions, of an efficient chaplain towards the physical recovery of patients, especially those suffering from neurasthenia and kindred complaints.

    The spiritual services of ministry hospitals are at present carried out by officiating clergy who are nominated by the superintendent of the hospital from members of the local clergy, and sanction has been obtained for their remuneration on a capitation basis where the number of patients of the particular denomination is fifty or over. Where the number is less than fifty arrangements are made by the superintendent for clergy of the denominations concerned to act in this capacity, though the Ministry has no power to remunerate such officers. The number of appointments up to date is as follows. Twenty -six appointments have been made of paid officiating clergy and twenty of these are clergy of the Church of England. In addition, a large number—upwards of fifty—have agreed to officiate without remuneration. Therefore, at the present moment we have got seventy-five or more chaplains or one chaplain to 165 patients. Assuming the distribution to be tolerably equal, this percentage would be by no means unsatisfactory. As regards the question about supervision, the immediate supervision of the officiating clergy rests with the superintendents of the hospitals concerned.

    He may be a civilian or he may be a soldier, but he is under the Ministry of Pensions.

    I am not clear that he is an official of the Ministry of Pensions, but he is certainly under the Ministry. If he is an acting soldier he probably would not be called an official of the Ministry of Pensions, though he is under the Ministry. I think that is the case, but I can make quite sure. The immediate supervision of the officiating clergy rests with the superintendents of the hospitals concerned, and these superintendents are responsible to the Commissioner of Medical Services, who is an official of the Ministry of Pensions, and the Regional Director of the region—one of the areas, that is to say, into which the Ministry of Pensions has recently divided the country. The arrangement is part of the general scheme of decentralisation which has been recently set up by the Ministry of Pensions.

    No. The superintendent need not be a medical officer, I think. But perhaps Lord Salisbury will allow me to read my brief. There may be in it something more comforting. The arrangement in the regions is part of the general scheme of decentralisation under which the work of the Ministry has been delegated to the Regional Directors of the eleven regions into which the country has been divided. It gives every opportunity for those responsible to be in close touch with local circumstances and requirements. So far, no other system of inspection has been found to be necessary. The superintendents of the various institutions are fully alive to the need of securing the best available opportunities for those clergy, both as regards the spiritual welfare of the patients and the organisation of their recreation.

    As to the question of appointing full-time chaplains it is a difficult one and for some time it has been engaging the close attention of the Minister. Mr. Macpherson is of opinion that such a course would be desirable in the case of the very largest hospitals, of which there are fewer than twenty, and possibly also in the case of hospitals which are situated in such remote districts that resident clergy are not readily available. On this matter the Minister of Pensions is now in communication with the Treasury to obtain the necessary financial authority to appoint full-time chaplains in such hospitals as I have indicated. Let me add, in conclusion, that the reports received from the superintendents of hospitals indicate that every effort is being made, and with success, to provide efficient ministration. It is, however, realised that it may be possible to secure improvement in some cases and, as I have just mentioned, the Minister hopes that the present facilities will shortly be supplemented by the appointment of whole-time chaplains.

    My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Marquess for having raised this matter. I need hardly say to any of your Lordships who have followed the history of this subject that we owe a great debt to the noble Marquess for the pains and trouble he has taken in regard to it, not only during the war but since. On behalf both of the Church of England and, I am sure I may say; of many thousands of men in the Army, I want to thank him for the unfailing care and attention he has given to the whole complicated and difficult matter of Army chaplains, and not merely to this particular point, though this is one to which his energy has been most wholesomely directed. I am grateful to the noble Earl for the account he has given for the Government of what is being done, and I agree it is a most difficult question.

    It is not merely that, somehow or other, you have got to make arrangements in places where there are a few patients who need somebody who is not a "chance" man, who happens to be an incumbent in the neighbourhood with not too much to do, but that you want the very best type of man you can get. In some of the large hospitals with orthopædic and other departments which bring in a considerable number of these men, because the ordinary work of the hospital lies outside this particular sphere, they have fallen back, for the military part of it, upon—I do not like to say "chance help" in the sense that it is necessarily inefficient or unsuitable, but it is very liable to be so. It is not everywhere that you find the man who has the peculiar gifts wanted in this particular matter. So far as I have been able to follow the rather troublesome transactions and correspondence about it there has been this difficulty—that the Army chaplain, who would naturally be the man most competent to do it, cannot be put in a position in which he is to receive his pay from a source which is not an Army source, and, because of that difficulty about pay, you are in great danger of having the wrong men working in the hospitals.

    I am interested to learn that the matter is now under the further consideration of the Treasury and the Ministry of Pensions. I cannot help hoping that the financial matter will be put straight and that the difficulties will be solved by some arrangement in which the War Office will also be concerned. Once you arrange that proper pay is to be given, and that a War Office man may be applied to the work—a man who has served under the War Office and who has the kind of experience required—the difficulty will be largely removed. I do not mean that it is chiefly a matter of pay, but if you employ a local man who has to give some time to this extraordinarily difficult and delicate work, he must be able to find somebody else to do his own work. It is not that he is unwilling to do it, but that he cannot be in two places at once. It may be largely Sunday work and his Sunday work is elsewhere. I am quite sure that the subject is well worth the careful consideration of the Ministry of Pensions, the Treasury and the War Office. It really is important and the consequences are more far-reaching than people suppose. I am grateful to the noble Marquess for bringing the matter up and for the work he has done in connection with it and I am glad it is still receiving the attention of the Treasury, the Ministry of Pensions and, I hope, the War Office.

    Business Of The House

    My Lords, we propose that the Third Reading of the Ministry of Mines Bill shall be taken early to-morrow afternoon.

    The House will meet at a quarter past three. I cannot say that the Bill will be taken then. There are short Amendments from the Commons dealing with several Bills, and it is possible that there will be a statement about Poland—I do not know whether Lord Treowen is likely to raise that matter early. But we hope to take the Mines Bill as soon as possible in order that the House of Commons may consider the Amendments made by your Lordships.

    House adjourned at half past seven o'clock, till to-morrow, a quarter past three o'clock.

    From Minutes Of August 10

    Duplicands Of Feu-Duties (Scotland) Bill

    REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (No. 3) BILL.

    DUBLIN PORT AND DOCKS BILL.

    HUDDERSFIELD CORPORATION (GENERAL POWERS) BILL.

    YEOVIL CORPORATION BILL.

    LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL (MONEY) BILL.

    Returned from the Commons, with the Amendments, agreed to.

    Maintenance Orders (Facilities For Enforcement) Bill Hl

    OSBORNE'S DIVORCE BILL. [H.L.]

    SHEKLETON'S DIVORCE RILL. [H.L.]

    ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND BILL. [H.L.]

    Returned from the Commons agreed to.

    Census (Ireland) Bill Hl

    Returned from the Commons, agreed to, with an Amendment.

    Ministry Of Health Provisional Order (New Windsor Extension) Bill Hl

    Returned form the Commons, agreed to, with Amendments.

    Merthyr Tydfil Corporation Bill Hl

    CARDIFF CORPORATION BILL [H.L.]

    LLANELLY CORPORATION WATER BILL. [H.L.]

    Returned from the Commons, agreed to, with Amendments: The said Amendments considered, and agreed to.

    Salford Corporation Bill Hl

    Returned from the Commons, agreed to, with Amendments.

    Wear Navigation And Sunderland Dock (Finance) Bill

    Returned from the Commons, with the Amendment, agreed to.