MINISTRY OF MINES BILL.

From 8th JULY to 20th JULY, 1920.

343

The Committee consists of the following Members:—

Mount, Mr. (Chairman).

Armitage, Mr. (Leeds, Central)

Ashley, Colonel (Lancaster, Fylde)

Bagley, Captain (Lancaster, Farnworth)

Banner, Sir John Harmood (Liverpool, Everton)

Bethell, Sir John (East Ham, North)

Betterton, Mr. (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

Birchall, Major (Leeds, North-East)

Bramsdon, Sir Thomas (Portsmouth, Central)

*Bridgeman, Mr. (Salop, Oswestry)

Bruton, Sir James (Gloucester)

Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel (Lanark, Coatbridge)

Burdon, Colonel (Durham, Sedgefield)

Carter, Mr. William (Nottingham, Mansfield)

Chamberlain, Mr. Neville (Birmingham, Ladywood)

Cory, Sir Clifford (Cornwall, St. Ives)

Denniss, Mr. Bartley (Oldham)

Dockrell, Sir Maurice (Dublin Co., Rathmines)

Edwards, Mr. Charles (Monmouth, Bedwellty)

Gange, Mr. (Bristol, North)

Gardiner, Mr. (Perth and Kinross, Kinross and Western)

Gould, Mr. (Cardiff, Central)

Graham, Mr. Duncan (Lanark, Hamilton)

Graham, Mr. William (Edinburgh, Central)

Green, Mr. Albert (Derby)

Guest, Major (Leicester, Loughborough)

*Hartshorn, Mr. (Glamorgan, Ogmore)

Hayward, Mr. (Durham, Seaham)

*Hickman, Brigadier-General (Wolverhampton, Bilston)

*Horne, Sir Robert (Glasgow, Hillhead)

James, Lieut.-Colonel (Bromley)

Jodrell, Mr. (Norfolk, King's Lynn)

*Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)

*Kidd, Mr. (Linlithgow)

*Lawson, Mr. (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

Lewis, Mr. Thomas (Glamorgan, Pontypridd)

Lunn, Mr. (York, W.R., Rothwell)

McLaren, Mr. Robert (Lanark, Northern)

MacVeagh, Mr. (Down, South)

Mallalieu, Mr. (York, W.R., Colne Valley)

Mason, Mr. (Northumberland, Wansbeck)

*Munro, Mr. (Roxburgh and Selkirk)

Raffan, Mr. (Leigh)

Raper, Mr. (Islington, East)

Renwick, Mr. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central)

Seddon, Mr. (Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley)

Smith, Mr. Walter (Northampton, Wellingborough)

*Smith, Sir Allan (Croydon, South)

*Solicitor-General for Scotland, Mr. (Edinburgh, South)

Spencer, Mr. (Nottingham, Broxtowe)

Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander (Fife, Eastern)

Strauss, Mr. (Southwark, North)

*Thomas, Sir Robert (Denbigh, Wrexham)

*Thomson, Mr. Frederick (Aberdeen, South)

Thomson, Mr. Trevelyan (Middlesborough, West)

Tillett, Mr. (Salford, North)

Wallace, Mr. (Dunfermline District of Burghs)

*Walsh, Mr. Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)

*Walton, Mr. James (York, W.R., Don Valley)

Waring, Major (Durham, Blaydon)

Warner, Sir Courtenay (Stafford, Lichfield)

*White, Mr. Charles (Derby, Western)

Wood, Major Mackenzie (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)

Williams, Mr. John (Glamorgan, Gower)

Young, Lieut.-Commander Hilton (Norwich)

* Added in respect of the Ministry of Mines Bill.

Sir J. HORSBRUGH-PORTER Committee Clerks.

Mr. FELLOWES Committee Clerks.

344
345 STANDING COMMITTEE B Thursday, 8th July, 1920

[Mr. MOUNT in the Chair.]

MINISTRY OF MINES BILL.
[OFFICIAL REPORT.]

The CLERK to the COMMITTEE (Sir John Horsbrugh-Porter) read the Resolution of the House of 6th July, as follows: "That it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of an annual salary not exceeding £2,000 to the Minister of Mines, and of such other salaries, remuneration, and expenses of the Ministry as may become payable under any Act of the present Session for establishing a Ministry of Mines, and for regulating the coal industry and for other purposes connected with the mining industry and the persons employed therein, and of any sums that may become payable by the Treasury by way of temporary advances by reason of the extension by such Act of the continuance of the Coal Mines (Emergency) Act, 1920. "Provided that the total amount so paid in respect of the salaries, remuneration, and expenses of the Ministry and for regulating the coal industry shall not in any one year exceed the sum of £250,000. "Provided that fees or expenses of any pit or district committee or area or national board or any members thereof which may be constituted under the said Act will not be payable as expenses of the said Ministry."

Mr. LAWSON: I beg to move, "That the Committee do now adjourn." As the Committee will have noticed, I am the only miners' representative here this morning, and the only one who can be here as a member of the Committee. There are numbers of our people in the House, but they are not members of the Committee. The rest, as is well known, are attending the conference at Leamington and that conference does not finish until to-morrow. It may be asking a good deal of members of the Committee to adjourn for the convenience of someone else, but the fact is that the miners are no slight consideration in this Bill, and I think it is very important that their representatives should be able to be present in order that the Bill should have full consideration from beginning to end.

346

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD OF TRADE (Sir R. Home): I appreciate the consideration which has been stated by the hon. Member, but it is really in view of the fact he has mentioned that the Committee did not meet on Tuesday of this week. I had a consultation upon the matter with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Abertillery (Mr. Brace), whom I regarded as representing the mining Members of the House so far as our proceedings were concerned. He had taken a leading part in the debate on Second Beading, and while I had no reason to believe that he was specially delegated to represent the miners upon arrangements for our future procedure on the Bill, I took it that what he said upon the matter would be sanctioned by other mining Members. I told him that the Committee proposed to sit on Tuesday. He said that that would be very awkward and embarrassing for the Members of the House who belong to the mining community and had to attend the conference at Leamington. After some discussion I expressed my appreciation of that point. I said that the time at our disposal was very limited and I put it to him that we would postpone the first sitting of the Committee until to-day. I understood that he entirely agreed to that. He said nothing to me that in any way showed dissent from that proposal. The obvious matter which would be in his mind, I think, was that Thursday was only one day in the week and there would be some business in settling the procedure of the Committee. I had no doubt he was thinking of the initial clauses of the Bill and to what they referred. The Coal Controller also had some consultation with the representatives of the miners and he understood that they were perfectly agreeable to the Committee beginning its sittings this week, provided that we did not get beyond Clause 2. My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Bridgeman), had also some talk with the hon. Member for Ogmore (Mr. Hartshorn), who stated that so long as we did not get beyond Clause 2 to-day there would be no objection by the miners. Accordingly, I hope it will not be regarded as in any way stealing a march upon the representatives of the miners if we proceed, because I believe I was doing everything possible to meet their convenience. I thought, indeed, looking at the very 347 short time at our disposal, that we were making a considerable concession in agreeing even to this arrangement. I recognise that the miners are vitally interested in this Bill. It is embarrassing that a great and important conference like that of Leamington should be held while Parliament is sitting, but Parliament must, after all, get the first consideration, I think. I would deprecate our making this sitting entirely abortive by adjourning the Committee. I think if we go on with the first two clauses I shall be implementing to the full the understanding which all of us have come to with the miners' representatives.

The CHAIRMAN: I think it right to say that the first Amendment on the Paper [to insert in Clause 1 after the word "industry," the words "through the acquisition of the mines and minerals by the State"], which stands in the name of the hon. Members for Ince (Mr. Walsh) and Ogmore (Mr. Hartshorn), is outside the scope of the Bill, and therefore out of order. The Committee might think that the miners' representatives in the House would be prejudiced by not being here to move that Amendment. It is, therefore, right that the Committee should know it could not be moved in any case.

Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON: It is obvious that some misunderstanding has arisen on this matter. One does not wish to say who is responsible for that misunderstanding. In the circumstances, I should like to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is going to gain anything by getting the first two Clauses to-day, seeing that those Clauses cannot be discussed in the presence of those who are deeply interested. If it is a question of saving time, is it worth it? Will the right hon. Gentleman really gain time in the end if the miners' representatives say, "We must discuss this all over again on the floor of the House." Apart from that, surely it is desirable that in an important matter of this sort, where you want to carry the hearty cooperation of all sections of the community as far as possible, and where there is a certain amount of friction already, nothing should be done in any way to aggravate any friction which may exist. It is worth while going a long way in order to conciliate those who are in so large a measure affected by this Bill.

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Sir R. HORNE: I appreciate entirely what the hon. Gentleman has just said. I have gone a long way to meet the wishes of the Miners' representatives in this matter, and I do not believe there is any real misunderstanding. My impression is that when we see those with whom the conversations took place, it will not be suggested by them that they desired any adjournment to-day, provided we did not go beyond the two first Clauses. What the Chairman has referred to is a matter of great pertinence on this matter. There is only one Amendment down on the two first Clauses by the Miners' representatives. The Chairman has said that Amendment is out of Order. That being the case, it does not seem to me there can be any suggested prejudice in dealing with the two first Clauses at least, and with every desire to remove all causes of friction, and being very anxious to get the co-operation of the miners, nevertheless. I am prepared to take the risk of going through with these two Clauses.

Mr. R. McLAREN: I feel very much for the Minister in the position in which he has been put this morning. I think there is something seriously wrong when one party is consulted about convenience and others left out. I was told publicly that the sitting would not be before Monday or Tuesday.

Sir R. HORNE: Who told you?

Mr. McLAREN: And I had arranged to go to Scotland last night for an important meeting, but put it off for this meeting. I think it cannot be good, if any parties are consulted for convenience, that one party and not all parties should be consulted, and I do protest when there is anything on with miners' agents, the first consideration is about them and no other body. Others have got matters to deal with as well as they have, and, while I very much regret they are not present this morning, and while I should be the very last to say we should not do all we could to help them in this matter, still, as matters have turned out, if they are not present this morning, the fault lies with them, and I think we ought to go on as far as we can with the Clauses to-day.

Mr. LAWSON: We were informed last night by one of the officials that arrangements had been made to have the first Committee meeting next week. There may have been conversations with other 349 Members, as the right hon. Gentleman states, but, so far as we are concerned, we know nothing about that. We could not see, for the life of us, there was any difference in taking the first Committee meeting the beginning of the week or last Tuesday, and, so far as the conference is concerned at which many Members are present, it does not finish to-morrow, and, therefore, taking the Committee to-day as against last Tuesday could not make any difference at all. The right hon. Gentleman rather conveyed the impression that the first two Clauses are not very important so far as miners are concerned, I submit that they are extremly important so far as the miners are concerned. I do agree with the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) that any decision of this Committee to go forward, no matter where the blame lies, may seriously prejudice the further co-operation of the miners so far as the Bill is concerned.

Sir J. HARMOOD-BANNER: Surely if there are so few Amendments by the miners, though they had the opportunity of putting them down, it would be absurd for us to miss this opportunity of proceeding with the Bill as regards Clauses 1 and 2. Most of us are on more than one Committee at present. I ought to be on more Committees to-day, but this Bill being of real importance one puts them off to come here. We have very little time before the end of the Session and the miners have the opportunity of bringing up anything on Report. It is not as if we were shut ting the door against them. They have the opportunity on Report, and I believe they prefer discussions in the House to the Committee. Evidently they do on this occasion, because they have put no Amendments down. I hope, therefore, we shall proceed.

Brigadier-General HICKMAN: I should like to back up what the President of the Board of Trade has said. I do not think he ought to be intimidated by any manner of threat given out by the hon Gentleman opposite. It is quite clear we as a Committee must accept the word of the right hon. Gentleman that there was a distinct understanding and that the matter was put fairly and clearly before the right hon. Member for Abertillery (Mr. Brace), who is the miners' leader, and if he has neglected to send the miners' representatives here it is his own 350 look out. We have had to make our own arrangements to be here to-day, and I do think this Committee ought to proceed.

Question, "That the Committee do now adjourn," put, and negatived.

CLAUSE 1.
—(Appointment of Minister of Mines.)

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

Brigadier-General HICKMAN: I beg to move to leave out the words "it shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint a Minister of Mines" and to insert instead thereof the words "there shall be established under the Board of Trade (in this Act referred to as 'the Board') a Mines Department to which shall be transferred, as from such date or dates as His Majesty in Council may by order determine, all powers and duties of any Government department in relation to mines and minerals, and through which, under the direction of the President of the Board, shall he exercised and performed all powers and duties by this Act committed to the Board, and the head of the department." I move this Amendment in the absence of the hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Mr. Leslie Scott), who is not a member of this Committee, but who gave notice of the Amendment. Its object is practically that, instead of there being a Minister of Mines, there shall be a head of the Mines Department at the Board of Trade. The Mining Association of Great Britain are in favour of this, as it is wished to have continuity in the work. If the real responsibility for carrying out the business rests with a permanent official of the Board of Trade, who is not subject to the exigencies of political life, in that he may change his office at any General Election, then the mining community will have some confidence that their interests will be properly looked after. There is another reason also. We consider it will be a saving of expense to the country, and that is a very big item at the present time in the thoughts of the people. We do not see why there should be a Minister with £2,000 a year to do work which could really be very well done by a permanent 351 official, in whom we should all have great confidence, like the present one, instead of having a Minister who is a political entity, and changes with the political situation.

Sir R. HORNE: I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has moved this Amendment has rather mistaken its purport. I am not surprised at that, because the terms in which the hon. and learned Member for Liverpool has put it down are perhaps not at first sight very clear, but when they are read, the intention is not, as my hon. and gallant Friend seems to imagine, to put the control of mines simply under a permanent official, but to have a Parliamentary Secretary. The Amendment leaves standing words which will make the Clause run "and the head of the Department, who shall, by virtue of his office, be an additional Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade, and shall hold office during His Majesty's pleasure." Accordingly, the Amendment as it stands would create at least a new Parliamentary Secretary, and there would be involved necessarily in that the salary of such a Parliamentary Secretary. The whole difference accordingly between the Amendment and the Bill is that whereas we set up a Ministry of Mines, with a Minister at £2,000 a year, the Amendment would set up a Department of Mines with a Parliamentary Secretary, and, so far as I can see from any subsequent Amendment, it was not proposed by the drafts man of the Amendment that the salary of the Parliamentary Secretary should be anything less than the salary of the Minister of Mines. The whole difference between the proposal and the Amendment, therefore, is reduced to a mere matter of nomenclature. Upon that I should like simply to give these brief considerations in support of what the Government proposes. A Ministry of Mines is a concomitant of most Governments which are now in existence in our Colonies; certainly the subject is one of immense importance. I do not think there is any branch of industry or any portion of industry, which compares in importance in this country with the mining industry and the mining community. On the Second Reading I gave figures in the House in justification of this proposal to set up a Ministry. You have got over 1,000,000 men engaged in the in- 352 dustry, with the largest wage bill of any industry in the country, and producing a commodity of greater value than any other industry in the country produces. It is impossible to say that the subject is not, at least, important. What I have said refers to coal only. But we are proposing to take in other mines of the country, such as the metalliferous; once you see the matter in its true perspective I do not think it can be suggested by anybody that the mining industry, taken as a whole, is not of sufficient importance to justify a Ministry for itself. It has been suggested by various Commissions that a Ministry of Mines should be set up to deal specially with the mining industry. More than that, two, at least, of these Commissions suggested it should be a Ministry by itself, responsible to no other department of the Government. We have not gone so far as that. We have had very clearly in view the very consideration to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman referred, namely, the matter of expense. We do realise that this is not the time to go to any more expense than one can help, looking to the finances of the country. Accordingly, while we realise the importance of this industry, and think it necessary that something in the shape of a department should be set up we at the same time appreciate the financial condition of the country, and we propose a Ministry subordinate to the Board of Trade. The hon. and gallant Gentleman put another consideration, to wit, that they want to have this Department subject to the Board of Trade, and not, I think he used the word "independent." Certainly this Bill does propose to make the Department independent, but if its position in relation to the Board of Trade requires to be made any clearer, and its position made plain as a subordinate Ministry, I am perfectly prepared, in Clause 2, to take out the word "general" and make it read "subject to any directions which may be given by the Board of Trade" instead of "general" directions. This will make it quite plain that the Ministry of Mines and its Minister would be subject to any directions which may be given by the Board of Trade. Perhaps that will meet the last point of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. For the reasons which I have given, I think the Government must stand by its original proposal.

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Sir C. CORY: I understand the object of the proposer of this Amendment is really that we should not have a separate Ministry set up, and one which is liable to expand. The Minister in his reply seems to think that the suggestion in the Amendment does not carry out the object of the proposer. It may be so. The Amendment may be badly drafted. The right hon. Gentleman says that if it is passed in its present form you would set up a Parliamentary Secretary. That, I understand, is not the intention, or desire. The desire is to have a permanent Secretary of the Board of Trade who shall be head of this Department, and continue in office no matter what Government is in power, so that we might have some continuity in the matter. It is surely not impossible to have this Amendment re-arranged by the Report Stage so long as the Government accept the principle. It was laid down very wisely in the House the other day on the Second Reading as to the undesirability of setting up a further Ministry which would mean enormous extra expense; the possibilities are that the salary of that Minister would not long remain at £2,000, but very soon rise to £5,000, and the staff, being modest at the start, would very quickly be increased to large dimensions. It is most desirable that this Amendment should be accepted, and I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman will give an undertaking that he will accept the spirit of it, the wording to be altered by the Report stage.

Mr. McLAREN: I support the Amendment, but on different grounds altogether from my hon. Friends. The mining industry is one of the most important industries in the country. I have always held that it deserves a separate department altogether. I am entirely opposed to setting up a permanent secretariat in connection with the Board of Trade, because in those circumstances the Ministry of Mines would be very much under the control of the Board of Trade. If we bear in mind the number of persons employed in connection with the coal mines, which will possibly be about a million and a quarter at the end of this year, and the huge amount of work in connection with the whole Department, including not only statistical work, but mines inspection, and the various other 354 departments, I think it will be seen that the coal industry is of such a nature as to demand the very best men we can get in the country. I very much regret that the Government when they started to make a Minister of Mines did not go the whole length, and give that Minister a separate department, instead of putting him under the control of the Board of Trade. I certainly support the Amendment because the Government have not gone far enough in connection with the mining industry. When we consider that the mining industry is of such a complex nature and requires the highest scientific attainments in the men connected with it, it is perfectly plain to me that it deserves a Minister entirely to itself apart from the Board of Trade.

Amendment negatived.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 2.
—(General powers and duties.)

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

  • all the powers and duties of the Board of Trade with respect to the mining industry;
  • all the powers of a Secretary of State under enactments relating to coal mines, metalliferous mines, and quarries.
  • (2) If in regard to any other powers and duties of any Government department relating to mines, quarries, or minerals or the mining industry or the persons engaged therein, whether conferred by statute or otherwise, it is deemed expedient that such powers and duties should be transferred to the Minister of Mines, or be exercised or performed by the Minister of Mines, concurrently or in consultation with the Government department concerned, His Majesty in Council may by order make provision for the purpose.

    (3) The Minister of Mines shall undertake the collection, preparation, and publication of information and statistics relating to the mining industry, and shall cooperate with such Committees of the Privy Council as are formed for the purpose and any other Government Departments concerned in the initiation and direction of research in relation to matters connected with the powers and duties of the Minister of Mines.

    (4) His Majesty in Council may by order make such consequential and supplemental provisions as appear necessary or expedient 355 for the purpose of giving full effect to any transfer of powers or duties by or under this Act, including provision for the transfer and vesting of any property, rights, and liabilities held, enjoyed, or incurred by any Government department in connection with any powers or duties transferred, and may make such adaptations in the Acts or regulations relating to such powers or duties as appear necessary to make exerciseable by the Minister of Mines and his officers, the powers and duties so transferred.

    (5) In connection with the transfer of powers and duties to the Minister of Mines by or under this Act, the provisions set out in the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect.

    Sir R. HORNE: I beg to move in Subsection (1) to leave out the word "general" ["subject to any general directions."] I do this for the reason which I stated a little while ago.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Sir C. CORY: I beg to move in Subsection (3) after the word "of" ["publication of information and statistics"] to insert the word "such." This Amendment must be read in conjunction with my next, the effect of which is to limit the power of the Minister to ask for only necessary information. As the Clause stands now it would give the Minister power to ask for all sorts of information which might be quite outside the purview of this Bill, and quite unnecessary, and which would entail an enormous amount of labour in collecting and preparing. Therefore we desire to limit it to such information as might be prescribed by regulations to be made. He would then get such information as is requisite, and necessary but no further.

    Sir R. HORNE: I do not know whether I can meet my hon. Friend in this matter by agreeing to such words as these: "such information and statistics relating to the mining industry as he shall prescribe."

    Brigadier-General HICKMAN: That is the same thing.

    Sir R. HORNE: It is very difficult to prescribe what particular statistics you may want by regulations. Where I differ from my hon. Friend is in the suggestion that we should prescribe by regulation the statistic and informations we may require. Regulations once made take some time to alter. It may take 356 some considerable time, and it may be that at some particular time you want certain statistics and information for a particular purpose, and it would undoubtedly defeat the working efficiency of the department if you had first of all to get a regulation passed to allow you to collect such information or statistics. Accordingly, I must protest against the idea that we must wait for regulations before we can get the necessary statistics. But perhaps my hon. Friend will accept the words I have suggested?

    Brigadier-General HICKMAN: I do not quite follow my right hon. Friend. We do not want in the future to be badgered about for information and statistics as we were during the war, when we found it a most awful business. We had to engage more clerks, and it has been a most intolerable burden on the trade. If our Amendment is accepted and the thing is prescribed by regulation we shall be glad. We are going to have under this Bill an appeal to arbitration if we do not agree on a particular regulation. The regulations will probably be settled by agreement between the Minister and the Mining Association; and we can so arrange to safeguard our interests, and be saved from being asked for unnecessary information.

    Mr. McLAREN: I should like to make a suggestion to the Committee. It is true that, under the Coal Mines Regulation Act, there are certain things which must be and will be done, and that work is to be handed over from the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the new Ministry of Mines. I think that the difficulty would be met by inserting words providing that such work shall be as prescribed by the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1911.

    Mr. BARTLEY DENNISS: That would be too narrow.

    Mr. McLAREN: It is evident, from the Bill, that the duties connected with the Mining Department, presently undertaken by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, have to be taken over by the new Ministry of Mines. We know that certain regulations and forms must be complied with, and I suppose those must be provided as they have been in the past. To safeguard the matter, it might be as well to insert 357 words to the effect that no other things will be insisted upon than those presently done by the Mining Department under the charge of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

    Mr. BETTERTON: I hope the Minister will not give way on this point. The publication of information, and the power to collect it, is even more important than statistics. The hon. and gallant Member for Bilston (Brigadier-General Hickman) referred to what took place during the war. This country was put to endless expense during the war, in appointing commissions, directing inquiries, and so on, for the purpose of getting information which ought to have been in the possession of the Government already. From my own knowledge this country, at any rate with regard to metalliferous mines, is far behind the Dominions, and, I believe, far behind any other country, in respect of the information which it possesses with regard to its own mineral resources. So far as I can see, the limiting words proposed by my hon. Friends opposite would tend to limit the power of the Government with regard to the statistics and information which it should have. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not only take the power for which he asks, but will utilise it to the full, and that we shall, within a comparatively short time, have far more complete information with regard to the mineral resources of the country than we possess at present. The Committee will remember that there were

    Division No. 1.] AYES
    Armitage, Robert Gould, James C. McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)
    Cory, Sir C. J. (Cornwall, St. Ives) Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.
    NOES
    Bagley, Captain E. Ashton Jodrell, Neville Paul Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
    Betterton, Henry B. Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
    Bridgeman, William Clive Kidd, James Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
    Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H. Mallalieu, F. W. Wallace, J.
    Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham) Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South) Waring, Major Walter
    Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)

    Amendment made: At the end of Subsection (4), insert (4) Before any Order in Council under this section is made, notice of the proposal to make the order, and of the place where copies of a draft of the order can be obtained, shall be published in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes, as the case may require, and in such other manner as the Minister thinks best adapted for ensuring publicity.

    358

    many Committees and inquiries. One, under the Chairmanship of Sir Lionel Phillips, spent months during the war, in making most elaborate inquiries, which resulted in obtaining most valuable information which the Government ought to have had already.

    Sir C. CORY: I do not think that the words offered by the President of the Board of Trade will be of any effect at all in altering the Bill. As the Bill stands, the information and statistics would be prescribed by the Minister of Mines, and, therefore, I do not see what effect the words offered by the right hon. Gentleman would have.

    Sir R. HORNE: On that consideration, I withdraw my offer.

    Sir C. CORY: We do not think it is worth accepting. I desire to press the Amendment. The hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Betterton) seems to suggest the collection of information, but we would like to know what it is going to be. We think that we should have some say, and Parliament should have some say, as to what the regulations are going to be. This is giving the power to the Minister of Mines alone to lay down for himself what the information shall be. We only want the opportunity of appealing, if we consider that the information which it is proposed to collect is unnecessary.

    Question put, "That the word 'such' be there inserted."

    The Committee divided: Ayes, 5; Noes, 16.

    (5) An Order in Council under this section may be altered or revoked by a subsequent order.—[Mr. R. McLaren.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Sir R. HORNE: I beg to move, "That the Committee do now adjourn." In accordance with what I stated at the beginning, in reply to the Motion 359 for adjournment moved by the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), I am under a pledge not to ask the Committee to go further than Clause 2 to-day. Before we adjourn, I think we ought to settle our future procedure. It is obvious that we have a very short time at our disposal for dealing with this Bill, as it must be passed before the House rises, in order to carry on necessary functions which at present are being performed under the Coal Mines Emergency Act. I would, accordingly, venture to ask the Committee to give as much time as they possibly can to this Bill, in order to get it through its various stages as rapidly as possible. I do not know whether I am asking too much if I suggest that we should meet three days a week—Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; and, if the Committee will be so good, I think that, perhaps, we might sit until four o'clock each day. I would venture to suggest that we proceed on those lines.

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    The CHAIRMAN: I am afraid I can not sit on Wednesday afternoon, and I do not know whether I could sit on Wednesday morning, but I could get someone to take my place.

    Sir R. HORNE: We can see on Tuesday how we get on.

    The CHAIRMAN: Then we will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 11 o'clock, with the intention of sitting in the afternoon also. I do not know whether it is the wish of the Committee to sit from 2 o'clock till 4 o'clock, or from 4 o'clock till 6 o'clock, but I would suggest that we sit from 2 o'clock till 4 o'clock, as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman.

    Committee indicated assent to morning and afternoon sittings from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock and from 2 o'clock to 4 o'clock respectively.

    Question put and agreed to.

    Adjourned accordingly, at Five minutes before Twelve o'clock, until Tuesday, 13th July, at 11 o'clock

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:—

    Mr. Mount (Chairman)

    Armitage, Mr.

    Bagley, Captain

    Banner, Sir John Harmood-

    Betterton, Mr.

    Bridgeman, Mr.

    Buchanan, Lieutenant-Colonel

    Burdon, Colonel

    Cory, Sir Clifford

    Denniss, Mr. Bartley

    Gould, Mr.

    Hickman, Brigadier-General

    Horne, Sir Robert

    Jodrell, Mr.

    Jones, Sir Evan

    Kidd, Mr.

    Lawson, Mr.

    McLaren, Mr. Robert

    Mallalieu, Mr.

    Smith, Sir Allan

    Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander

    Thomas, Sir Robert

    Thomson, Mr. Frederick

    Thomson, Mr. Trevelyan

    Wallace, Mr.

    Waring, Major

    Warner, Sir Courtenay