[Mr. TURTON in the Chair.]
(1) The Summer Time Act, 1922, shall become a permanent Act, and Sub-section (3) of Section three of that Act is hereby repealed. (2) Sub-section (1) of Section three of the Summer Time Act, 1922 (which defines the period of summer time for the purposes of that Act) shall, as from the commencement of this Act, have effect as though the first Saturday in April, the last Saturday in March, and the first Saturday in October, were therein substituted respectively for the third Saturday in April, the second Saturday in April, and the third Saturday in September.
Sir HENRY CAUTLEY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "the first Saturday in April, the last Saturday in March, and"— I give full acceptance to the decision of the Committee yesterday. The object of the Amendment I am now moving is quite clear. The Committee, having decided that they would not accept the dates of the third Sunday in April and the third Sunday in September, I am now asking the Committee to shorten the period at the early end, and leave it exactly as the Bill provdes at the later end of the period. In doing that, I feel that I am giving away the Scottish case and Scottish desires. It may be that some Scotsmen might wish to question the later period, but I am making this proposal because, so far as my enquiries have gone, what I have been led to believe is that the desire of the townspeople really is to have September free for Summer Time, and that they are not really anxious, and do not really get any substantial benefit at all out of the first fortnight in April. Therefore, if my first 42 Amendment be carried, it would have the effect of making Summer Time begin as at present, but it would give the supporters of the Bill everything they desire, that is the whole of September and a part or the whole of the first week in October. I think I am right in saying there is really little benefit to the townspeople in the early part of April, and I think that will be clear to those hon. members who were in the House last year, when, on the 21th April, we discussed this very Measure, and at that time, and for the preceding 10 days, we had had continual frost and snow. As a matter of fact, on the 10th April we discussed this Measure at a time when there was a blinding snowstorm. In April, we constantly have early frosts, and it is a real hardship to a vast number of people whose business requires them to rise early, to have to get up in the dark, more especially on sharp frosty mornings. I also urge one other reason why we should accept this Amendment. The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. T. Thomson) said yesterday that the majority must rule. We quite agree with that argument, but that does not mean that great hardship should be put on a substantial minority. That is not the way we do things in this country, and, therefore, I urge upon this Committee, that if this Measure is to be forced through by the pure weight of numbers, it is not likely to lead to a final settlement, and it will cause intense resentment amongst a vast number of people who will suffer from it, and they will be constantly agitating—and possibly agitating against these proposals—and, certainly a large section will take care that they are not going to be put to this trouble. I have no hesitation in saying that if I were a farm servant in Scotland, having to get up at three o'clock in the morning to supply milk to Glasgow, I should take jolly good care that Glasgow did not have its fresh milk supply under those conditions. If there be a real desire to make this Measure workable I would suggest to the Committee that there should be a little consideration shown by the majority, and hon. Members should show some practical sympathy for the early risers, who will undoubtedly suffer very considerably by this Measure. Therefore, I ask that the Committee should agree to the curtailing 43 of this period by the fortnight for which we ask. I put it to the Committee that my Amendment is extremely reasonable, and is likely to lead to conciliation. I think it is desirable on that ground, and for the friendly and amicable working of this Bill, that my Amendment should be accepted.
Mr. LAMB: I do not propose to repeat all I said yesterday in regard to this Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear,] I do not think hon. Members who interrupt me can accuse me of having delayed the progress of this Committee in any way. The Bill, as it stands at present, asks the Committee to give a further two weeks at the commencement of the period, and also two weeks at the end of the period, as against the Act which will operate if this Bill does not pass. We as agriculturists, and those of us who oppose this extension, do not ask for the abolition of Summer Time, but what we do ask for is that there should be no further extension of the time arranged and agreed upon last year. In view of the attitude which has been adopted by the majority of those on this Committee, I think this Amendment should be accepted, because we are now giving away by this Amendment half of what we have asked for, and a still further concession to the community, which I think is a great concession for us to make. We now ask that we shall allow Summer Time to commence as under the present Act, and that we should give away that which we ask for at the other end of the period. I am asking for this as a matter of justice. I do not plead either to this Committee or to the House for justice for those on whose account we are speaking. I do not think it is right to plead for justice, because we can demand it, and that is the right of every individual. I would remind the Committee that to use the power which they happen to have by numbers, in favour of those for whom they speak, would not be justice. I wish to repeat my statement that the majority are only speaking on this question for the vociferous element, and not the opposite element, who are perhaps quite as numerous. It is no use hon. Members using their power and then saying that they are doing justice to those who oppose this change. I think it is wiser to admit that the use of power acknowledging freedom 44 and the rights of others is more just than the manipulation of power and a vote for their own use, and without due consideration for the rights of the minority.
Mr. H. WILLIAMS: I rise to oppose this Amendment, and I will first deal with the arguments used by the hon. Member who moved it. The mover of the Amendment asserted, that to intro duce Summer Time at the beginning of April would be of no advantage to the towns folk. May I point out that April is one of the most valuable times of the year in the garden and on allotments, and it will be of infinite advantage to those who do this kind of work, to be told that they will have this extra hour per day as soon as it is conveniently possible. With regard to the beginning of the day, I think the speech made by the hon. Member who moved the Amendment would have been much more to the point if it had been made before the War The outstanding industrial change which has taken place has been a change in the hour of starting work. Before the War, factories which worked on the two-break system customarily started at six, and those that worked on the one-break system customarily started at seven. When I was an apprentice, we used to start at seven in the summer and half-past seven in the winter. Under this Bill, those who start work to-day at 8 o'clock—which is becoming the customary hour of starting in factories—will, in effect, be getting up at the same time at which I used to get up when I was an apprentice and started work at seven, which is the same as the present 8 o'clock will be.
Sir H. CAUTLEY: My observations were directed to those who were early risers, not to factory operatives, who are not such early risers. I am aware of what the hon. Member has stated.
Mr. WILLIAMS: I understood that my hon. and learned Friend was directing his argument to the circumstances of the majority, and, therefore, I was considering the circumstances of the majority, who to-day, I suppose, start work at eight o'clock in the morning. On the 1st April, according to my diary, the sun is due to rise at 5.37; which means that it is light at somewhere about 10 minutes to 5. That will mean, when we have changed the clock by an hour, that it will be light at 10 minutes to 6. Therefore, the number 45 of people who, in fact, will be getting up in the dark, will be very small indeed. It may be that the circumstances in the very North of Scotland are peculiar, and that might be a case for having a different permanent standard time for Scotland than for the rest of the United Kingdom, but I do not think that that is a particular argument why we should deny to the town worker the opportunity of looking after his garden and his allotment for an extra hour during the whole month of April.
Mr. COOPER RAWSON: I only want to ask you, Mr. Turton, on a point of Order, whether this Amendment is quite intelligent? As it is proposed to be altered, the Sub-section will read as follows: "(2) Sub-section (1) of Section three of the Summer Time Act, 1922 (which defines the period of summer time for the purposes of that Act) shall, as from the commencement of this Act, have effect as though the first Saturday in October were therein substituted respectively."
The CHAIRMAN: It is perfectly in order. If the hon. Member will read the Order Paper with the list of Amendments, which have already been explained by the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Sir H. Cautley), he will see that it is put right at the bottom of the page.
Mr. D. GRENFELL: I rise again to support the Amendment, because I am convinced that I shall not be able to get my own way in this Committee, and so I have to choose what comes nearest to my opinion as to what should be done with the Bill. There has been no attempt to show any justification for extending this Bill to the beginning of the month of April. The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. H. Williams) spoke as if no gardens or allotments were ever cultivated before the Summer Time Bill, but the fact is that more allotments were cultivated and more gardening was done than is the case to-day.
Mr. WILLIAMS: No.
Mr. GRENFELL: The hon. Member may, perhaps, be able to speak for some urban districts which he knows, but, if you take the average of the people of this country, the people certainly did more gardening 20 years ago than they do to-day. People are more bent upon 46 tennis and other amusements than they were in those days. There is no reason at all why April should be brought into this Bill, and there is not a single advantage in doing so. People do not engage in outdoor games, whether tennis or other forms of sport, in the month of April, or, at any rate, there are very few who do so, and they are specially trained. The people of whom we have spoken to-day, namely, factory workers and workers in mines, certainly dare not go out in the evenings in April after their day's work and expose themselves to the weather. People who have to sweat during the day cannot expose their bodies in the chill of the April evenings without running very great risks indeed. I should like to say such stronger things against this Bill than I am permitted to say in this Committee, but I have said what I have said in the hope that sponsor of the Bill will accept this Amendment. If he does not, I am quite satisfied that we can kill the Bill in two or three years outside. I should be content the let Summer Time operate from the 1st April, and then to get our own way by allowing the discontent outside to manifest itself, and give it some slight encouragement. It would then kill Summer Time once and for all in this country. If the majority of the Committee believe that the country will accept this Bill as a permanent Measure they ought to consider some alleviation for the people of whom I have spoken, and give them this concession in the first month of the period. If they do not do that, it will be bad for them, because it will certainly focus discontent against the Bill much more strongly than in the past, and the fate of the Bill will be decided in two or three years' time.
Lieut.-Colonel LAMBERT WARD: I should like to say just a few words with regard to the advantage which April will confer upon the community in general. The hon. Member who has just spoken said that April would confer no advantage upon anybody under this Bill. If the Committee will allow me, I should like to read an extract from a letter which appeared this morning in the "Times" from Sir Henry Gauvain, than whom no man has done better work in the interests of crippled children throughout this country. No man has taken a greater 47 interest in the welfare of these children, who, from their youth upwards, have been handicapped by physical infirmities, and this is what he says, as the result of his observation and experience at the homes which he runs at Alton, in Hampshire: "It is not generally appreciated that, towards the end of the winter, many children are suffering from what may be termed shortly 'light-hunger.' It is the spring light in the morning hours, when the air is clear and cool, and the heat rays are as yet unable to exercise their antagonistic action, that is especially therapeutically valuable. If it were possible for me to invite the objectors to the Bill to see my little patients at Alton in February, and again in May, I venture to assert that none but the most selfish and callous would persist in their efforts to deny these helpless little sufferers an aid to recovery which no artificial substitute pan effectually replace. I do most earnestly plead for a generous recognition of the claims of our sick and our children. The countryman who enjoys the sunshine will, I am sure, not be deaf to such a plea when he realises what it means to his fellows, even if that generosity involves him in some slight personal inconvenience." One of the greatest tragedies, to my mind, of industrial life—and this applies also to the mining community—is the appalling infant mortality which industrial life seems to demand; and I cannot believe, in spite of what the hon. Member says, that the parents of these children would rather continue that infant mortality than, at the cost of some personal inconvenience, adopt a step by which it might be mitigated.
Mr. GREENALL: I am very much surprised that the last speaker should use the last few words that he used. In my opinion there was no need for them in this discussion. It is not that the miners and industrial workers are not prepared to make a sacrifice, but they are of opinion that the suggested lengthening of the Summer Time period would do otherwise than what has been said by the eminent writer of the letter which has been read. I contend that this is a reasonable Amendment, and if I felt that it would be of any use further taking up the time of the Committee I would put it before them more seriously and earnestly than I shall do now. What is the real condition of the workers to-day? Hon. Members talk about changes taking place in the hour of commencing work, but do 48 they realise the change that has taken place during the past few years, especially since the War, in regard to the distances that workpeople have to go from their home to their work, when there are, and have been for years past, no houses anywhere near where they have to work? Take the position of the miners. So far as the miners in Lancashire are concerned, we have heard very little complaint with regard to the Bill as it is now on the Statute-book, but we have had a tremendous amount of complaint against the extension which is now suggested. Here we have a reasonable Amendment, which I contend ought to receive the most serious consideration at the hands of this Committee. The miners, and other workpeople also in the industrial parts of Lancashire, have to get out of bed now at five in the morning, and 75 per cent. of them have a long distance to travel to their work. They have often to go some distance to a conveyance, either train, tram or bus, and then to travel a long distance to where they are going to work. That means that they will have to get up at four in the morning. I heard an hon. Gentleman talking yesterday about the saving of gas, but do the Committee realise that this means a larger consumption of gas in the morning in every industrial home in Great Britain? It would mean that people have to light up an hour earlier every morning than they did before. I would ask the Committee to consider this Amendment, because it is absolutely essential, in my opinion, if the Summer Time saving is to be continued in the future. I believe that this will be, as it were, the straw that may break the camel's back, in the dissatisfaction that would be created amongst the workpeople if this Amendment be not accepted. I hope the Committee will seriously look at it from that standpoint, and assist these people who are now complaining very much with regard to the extension, but who do not object to the Act as it is at present on the Statute Book. By that the Committee will be doing a good service to the whole community in assisting this Measure to continue in years to come.
Major COLFOX: This morning marks a very notable advance in the history of discussions and debates on the proposed Amendment. We have had this morning 49 two speeches from supporters of the Measure, and I should like, if I may, to thank the hon. and gallant Member for North-West Hull (Lieut.-Colonel Lambert Ward) and the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Rawson) for having, at any rate, favoured the Committee with some remarks in support of this Bill; but, having said that, I fear that is all I can say in commendation of the speeches they have delivered. The hon. Member for North-West Hull read a letter from a gentleman who is, no doubt, an eminent authority on the care of crippled children. He said that what crippled children require is—to paraphrase his words—exposure to the elements when the air is clear and cool. There is no doubt that between 6 and 7 a.m. in April the air is jelly cool, if not clear, and so there is no doubt that he can get what he requires in that respect by turning his little patients cut of bed an hour earlier, or even two hours, if he thinks fit, than at present; and it is quite unnecessary, in order to obtain that object of exposing their poor little bodies to the cool—I should say bitterly cold—air of an early April morning, to pass such a Bill as we are at present discussing, and to subject the whole population of this country, who do not like the cool and clear air of the early April mornings, to the acute discomfort and loss which must follow the adoption of this principle. The letter which the hon. and gallant Member read appeared to accuse those of us who are opposing this Bill of attempting to rob these poor unfortunate children of something which would be of inestimable value to them. Of course, if that accusation were founded on anything except imagination, there would be a great deal to be said for that point of view; but by refusing to adopt this Bill we are doing nothing whatever to rob anybody of any facilities for enjoying clear and cool air, or more daylight or anything else. If the authorities of this Alton sanatorium are so anxious that their patients should benefit in this way, all they have to do is to start their daily routine an hour before they do at present. There is absolutely no difficulty about it. That, to my mind, seems to sum up the bulk of the argument in support of this Bill. The supporters appear, in their utterances, which are very few and far between, to imagine that it is this Bill, 50 and this Bill alone, which can confer upon suffering and struggling humanity this benefit of longer hours of daylight or, what it really is, longer waking hours, but, after all, we are not going to lengthen the period of daylight. We are not going to put a twenty-fifth hour into it, or anything else, and anyone who likes the morning air and exercise is perfectly at liberty to get it for himself, by refusing to stop in bed as long as he at present does, and any community, such as shop assistants, or any type of people of that sort, can quite well adopt the principle of this Bill, without putting the whole nation to the acute disadvantage entailed, by merely going to their daily avocations, and returning therefrom an hour earlier than is done at present. I would appeal to the Committee to take a reasonable point of view, and to adopt what is, after all, a compromise between the extreme views on either side. The existing Statute is a compromise, and the supporters of this Measure are trying still further to modify that compromise. Those of us who differ from them realise that it is unlikely that we, a small minority, will receive full consideration at the hands of this powerful majority, which is doing as majorities sometimes, though, thank goodness, not always do—carrying all before it with the mere weight of its power and numbers. We realise that we are not likely to receive the full consideration which, in our opinion, our case deserves, and, therefore, we are now suggesting a compromise to modify the existing compromise. We are suggesting that the duration of Summer Time shall begin, as it does under the existing law, and as it must in any case do for this year, because the Home Secretary said yesterday that, in no circumstances, can this Bill be passed into law in time to operate this April.
The UNDER SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson): I do not think the Home Secretary said there was absolutely no chance of it this year, but he expressed a good deal of doubt, owing to the Parliamentary proceedings downstairs
Major COLFOX: I may, perhaps, have slightly exaggerated what the Home Secretary said. I think we may say with perfect fairness, that what I say is really 51 what the Home Secretary meant, because each of us in this room knows the extreme improbability of passing into law a highly contentious Bill of this sort in the short time available to give the necessary notice for changing clock time. Therefore, I think, we may safely say without much fear of argument that, whatever happens, this new system cannot be brought into operation this year. That being so, we who oppose this Measure are suggesting that the beginning of the period shall be as at present, and end after the second Saturday in September. We are giving away what, in our view, is a very valuable concession.
Mr. WILLIAMS: May I ask you, Sir, is it in order for an hon. Member to repeat the same arguments several times over?
The CHAIRMAN: I hardly think we have reached the stage of undue repetition.
Major COLFOX: I am obliged to the hon. Member, who has great experience in the House and, no doubt, is duly qualified to instruct you, Sir, in your conduct.
The CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member was perfectly entitled to take the point.
Major COLFOX: With regard to what the Home Secretary said yesterday, I have had my attention called to the actual words. He said: "I think it is only fair to say that I think it is not very likely that, whatever takes place this morning."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee C, 24th March, 1925; col. 34. I claim that what I have just said is a fair paraphrase of what the Home Secretary said yesterday. It is not impossible, but it is extremely improbable, which is next door to it. Therefore, though this Amendment presses hardly on those whose opinions we attempt in a plaintive way to voice in this House, we are prepared to sacrifice this one fortnight if we can persuade the supporters of the Measure to be reasonable at the early end of the period.
Captain MOREING: Some years ago it was the custom of certain illustrated magazines to produce composite photos of certain classes of people, such as artists or Statesmen, and generally to produce what they considered a characteristic 52 type. I have been trying to produce a characteristic type of the people who refuse to grant this very reasonable Amendment, and I see in their make-up a combination of three different kinds of person—an African witch doctor, a Prussian junker, and a sphinx. The Amendment we are asking for is a very simple and reasonable one, which will confer great benefits upon the agricultural community. It has the support of many sections of the industrial community, and the only reasons we have been given, so far, as to why we are to have this extra extension of Summer Time at the commencement of the year are, first, that some people at Calais or Boulogne will be incommoded in their travel connections; and, secondly, the very moving letter which was published by Sir Henry Gauvain this morning. When I saw the picture of the witch doctor, I came to the conclusion that the reason why the promoters of the Bill refused to accept the Amendment was that they had erected a kind of fetish, or totem, and they were falling down and worshipping that date, and the devotees of that date could not see their way to altering their opinion, as it would be a kind of act of impiety to their particular fetish. Then the Prussian emerged, the commander of the big battalions, threatening to overwhelm the small, but, I hope, gallant band which is attempting to obtain some consideration for the agricultural sections of the country. Then, over all, the sphinx. Time after time we have hoped to hear from the promoters of the Bill some explanation of their refusal to grant this very small and innocent Amendment, but no word—nothing. In fact, I may say that the witch doctor threatens us with the cooking-pot, the Prussian threatens to mobilise the big battalions, and the Sphinx turns a stony eye on the suppliants who attempt to obtain an explanation of the riddle. May I make one last appeal to the promoters of the Bill to give the agricultural community the boon for which we are asking? There seems to be very considerable doubt as to whether this extension of Summer Time in the earlier part of the year really meets with the support of the industrial community. The mining community—certainly not. Large sections of the industrial community—also certainly not. Agriculture is continually 53 sacrificed upon the altar of the supposed interests of the townsman. They are many, we are few, and nothing is done. We are helpless. We have to appeal ad misericordiam to the promoters of the Bill, and all they do is to threaten us with the cooking-pot, to mobilise the big battalions, and to refuse the slightest indication as to their reason for refusing this Amendment, and showing that, whether they be united in support of this Bill or not, which is extremely doubtful from the speeches we have heard, nothing is to be conceded to the country-side, because we are silent and we are few. We
The CHAIRMAN: I do not know what the hon. and gallant Member for West Dorset (Major Colfox) desires to do with regard to the remaining Amendments standing in his name on the Order Paper; but perhaps it would be for his convenience, and the convenience of the Committee, if I rule them out of Order. It is obvious, having regard to the Division which has just taken place, that the greater includes the less. I should be glad to hear what the hon. and gallant Member says. Does he propose to move all his Amendments?
Major COLFOX: No, Sir.
The CHAIRMAN: I propose to rule the remaining Amendments on the Paper out of Order, having regard to the Division which has just taken place.
Major COLFOX: In regard to that, may I suggest that the first two Amendments to leave out "April" and insert "May," and to leave out "March" and insert "April," are, obviously, out of Order; but the next Amendment, to leave out the words "first Saturday in October," and to insert instead thereof the words "second Saturday in Septem-54
are to be steam-rollered. We are to be submerged, because of the supposed interests of the inhabitants of the towns.
Colonel APPLIN rose in, his place, and claimed to move," That the Question be now put."
The CHAIRMAN: I am about to put the Question.
Question put, "That the word 'the' ['the first Saturday in April'] stand part of the Clause."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 22; Noes, 13.
|Division No. 3.]||AYES.|
|Allen, Mr. Sandeman||Harland, Mr.||Shiels, Dr.|
|Applin, Colonel||Kenyon, Mr.||Trevelyan, Mr.|
|Baker, Mr. John||Lawson, Mr.||Ward, Lieut.-Colonel Lambert|
|Bethel, Mr.||Lee, Mr. Frank||Wells, Mr.|
|Craig, Captain Charles||Power, Sir John||Whiteley, Mr.|
|England, Colonel||Rawson, Mr. Cooper||Williams, Mr. Herbert|
|Garro-Jones, Captain||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wilson, Mr. Cecil|
|Blundell, Mr.||Davies, Sir Thomas||Lamb, Mr.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry||Everard, Mr.||Moreing, Captain|
|Colfox, Major||Greenall, Mr.||Philipson, Mrs.|
|Connolly, Mr.||Grenfell, Mr. David||Shaw, Captain Walter|
ber," raises another issue, namely, the closing day of Summer Time, and not the opening.
The CHAIRMAN: The hon. and gallant Member is right on that point. There is a distinction between what we have already been discussing, namely, the month of April, and the Amendment affecting October or September. With regard to the latter Amendment, as to whether the date of closing should be the second Saturday in September or the first week in October, the hon. and gallant Member would be in order, if he desires to move it.
Major COLFOX: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "first Saturday in October," and to insert instead thereof the words "second Saturday in September." We have been discussing, and have arrived at a conclusion in regard to the date of opening Summer Time, but, so far, the opinion of the Committee has not been expressed regarding the closing date of Summer Time. I for one, and I think I speak the opinions of many hon. Members, would have been 55 prepared to give way as regards the date of closing Summer Time, provided we had got a concession with regard to the date of opening, but since the promoters of this Bill have not seen their way to give any concession, it is necessary for us to get a definite decision from the Committee as to the appropriate date of closing. I always object very strongly to any Member of the Committee doing anything which might even appear to be wasting time. Holding this view strongly, I will not take up the time of the Committee by repeating the arguments which have been so well and ably expressed, although I would point out that certain modifications of those arguments are necessary with regard to this particular fortnight at the end of the period, as compared with the arguments affecting the earlier part of the period. Therefore, I formally nove my Amendment.
Mr. LAMB: I should like to support the Amendment and to point out that the effects of the Bill are progressive. The only agricultural community which was mentioned on the floor of the House by the Home Secretary where the workers supported the Bill was the Isle of Wight. I claim that, as far as atmospheric conditions are concerned, in the Isle of Wight there is very little difference compared with the conditions in France, if you take into account the progressive conditions which take place in this country. To the workers in the Isle of Wight, probably the times do not make much difference, but as you progress up the country to the midlands, and then again to the north, you find that the difference increases considerably. When you get to Scotland, it is very much more important. I do not see why this Bill should not be made to apply to Iceland. Perhaps it would be a good thing for Iceland to get more sunlight, but we might consider that question later on. This matter is very much more acute in the north than in the south, or even in the Midlands.
Mr. WILLIAMS: May I remind the hon. Member that the time difference for Birmingham, which approximates very closely to the hon. Member's constituency, in May and June, is, roughly, ten minutes at each end of the day?
Mr. LAMB: Time is not the only thing which has an effect upon conditions.56
The CHAIRMAN: Does the hon. and gallant Member for West Dorset wish to take a Division?
Major COLFOX: No, Sir.
Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
This Act may be cited as the Summer Time Act, 1925, and shall be construed as one with, the Summer Time Act, 1922, and that Act and this Act may be cited together as the Summer Time Acts, 1922 to 1925.
The CHAIRMAN: A manuscript Amendment has been handed in with regard to Clause 2, to insert some words at the end of the Clause. It is not the business of the Chairman, but I would point out, for the information of the Committee, that it is very unlikely you will get a Report stage unless you have some Amendment. I understand that it was suggested yesterday that there might be an Amendment to the penultimate word of Clause 2, to leave out the word "to," and to insert instead thereof the word "and."
Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON: On a point of Order. When this question was raised yesterday, I thought that where there is no Amendment in Standing Committee there has to be a Report stage anyhow, and I have looked the matter up in the Standing Orders. I find that although a Bill is not amended in Standing Committee, it has to go through a Report stage. It is only where there is no Amendment in connection with the Committee stage of the whole House that there is no Report stage.
Sir H. CAUTLEY: As I raised this point yesterday, I should like to say now that I agree with the Under-Secretary. The universal rule was that, unless there was an Amendment in the Committee stage, no Amendment could be moved on the Report stage, but when the new system was adopted of sending Bills to Standing Committees, the Standing Orders were altered so as to give every Member of the House a chance of moving Amendments on the Report stage.
The CHAIRMAN: I thought it right to point the matter out to the Committee.
Captain MOREING: I beg to move, at the end, to add the words, "(2) This Act shall not apply to Scotland." 57 The reason for the Amendment is that the conditions in Scotland and England are very different. The day is very much longer in Scotland, especially in the north of Scotland, where there is no need for Summer Time whatever. The argument that the children will obtain more daylight under this Bill, is of no consequence, because up to midnight in that part of the world you can see to play golf qua golf according to the state of your handicap. It may be objected that this Amendment may cause some confusion or difficulty with regard to the train arrangements between the two countries. Europe annually is the scene of the utmost confusion and chaos between the various countries which adopt, and those who do not adopt Summer Time. It is proposed that while we fall into line with France and Belgium for train connections, we propose to disregard Holland, with what unfortunate results to the travellers arriving at the Hook I have not been able to make out. I am incapable of discovering whether the clock goes forward or backward, and, as a result, I have been caught in my sleeping berth because I have put the clock the wrong way. This is a reasonable Amendment. It will only cause a little delay at Berwick-on-Tweed or Carlisle on two days of the year. It will be flattering to our Scottish fellow-subjects if we adopt the Amendment. We have to recognise that, small as is the population of that country, the predominant partner has taken care in other matters to safeguard the interests of Scottish people, especially those living in the extreme north. After all a majority should not be tyrannical, and we should bear in mind the misfortunes of those living in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, who will be affected by this Amendment.
Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON: I have studiously avoided taking part in any of these discussions up to now, but I am afraid the Government cannot allow this Amendment to go through. It has already been explained that there might be a certain amount of confusion in regard to railways, by having a different time on the two sides of the Border. Under this proposal, you would have not only railway confusion, but postal and business confusion. Besides this, there is absolutely no evidence that Scotland does not want this Bill. Before accepting such a proposal as this, we must find out whether 58 Scotland is opposed to this Measure. As a matter of fact, we have evidence that a great many people in Scotland want this Bill. In the year 1923 no less than 52 Scottish burghs passed resolutions in favour of the longer period. So far as I know, we have had no representations made against the Bill from any of the Scottish agriculturists.
Mr. LAMB: I do not think that statement is correct. The fact that he hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope) is absent owing to illness, should not be taken advantage of in order to say that Scottish agriculturists have not raised their voices against this measure. I think if the hon. Member for Forfar had been present, he woud have been able to show that Scottish agriculturists were very much opposed to this measure.
Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON: Perhaps I was wrong in saying that no representations had been received from Scottish agriculturists against this Measure, and I withdraw that statement. As a matter of fact, no general representations have been received from Scotland at all, and until we really know the opinion of Scotland, and have consulted the various departments concerned, we could not possibly accept such a serious Amendment as this. It ought to be put down for the Report stage, in order to allow the necessary enquiries to be made.
Dr. SHIELS: As a representative of the city of Edinburgh, I wish to say a word or two upon this Amendment. I think it is somewhat extraordinary that the hon. Member who has moved this Amendment comes from a constituency about as far away from Scotland as it possibly could be, and his arguments might have had more weight if they had been used by a Scottish representative. The merits in regard to this Amendment are just the same as those which have been discussed upon the general question. The Under-Secretary has already pointed out the confusion which makes this change altogether undesirable and out of the question. As a matter of fact, while I cannot speak for the agricultural districts of Scotland, I know the urban areas very well, and they are very much in favour of this measure. The view in Edinburgh is that the additional time which will be gained for tennis, golf, bowling, and other things will be of immense 59 advantage to the community, and especially to the younger people. I am quite sure that this measure will make for the improved health and happiness of the people of Scotland, and although we have not expressed ourselves much before this Committee, it has been because we thought it was taken for granted that we acquiesced in the provisions of this Bill. Probably the agricultural interest in Scotland may be against it, as is the case elsewhere. We know that agriculturists are essentially conservative, and that is one unfortunate feature of that section of the community. I think when we have had experience of this new departure, it will be found that it does not make any very great difference to agriculturists. Personally, I cannot understand why people cannot go earlier to bed at night in order to get up earlier in the morning, and, if this be done, I think after a few weeks experience, it will be found that it does not make any difference. On behalf of the portion of Scotland which I represent, I oppose this Amendment.
Mrs. PHILIPSON: I would like to ask you, Mr. Chairman, if it will be possible for any hon. Member who wishes to do so to put down an Amendment on the Report stage in regard to other dates?
The CHAIRMAN: Certainly, every hon. Member will have a free hand with regard to the Report stage in the House.
Major COLFOX: I feel it would be an injustice to that usually very silent country of Scotland to pass from this particular Amendment without more than the very short discussion which has taken place so far upon it. I believe I am right in saying that the hon. Member who has just spoken is the only Scottish representative present on this Committee. That being so, I consider that it is most unjust that Scotland should have no other representative whatever upon this Committee. I am aware that the hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope) is a member of this Committee, but he has been prevented by illness from being present. Therefore, it is all the more incumbent on those of us who are not Scottish Members to take care that justice is done as far as we can ensure 60 it to Scottish agriculturists who are not represented here. The Under-Secretary for the Home Office gave us a speech a moment ago which, to my mind, did not carry any conviction with it. He told us that there was no evidence that Scotland desired to be excluded. With very great respect, I wish to say that that is not the impression which I gathered, because I know for a fact that a very large number of Scottish Members are very strongly opposed to this Bill, and would, if they had had a chance of sitting on this Committee, have raised their voices in opposition to it. The Under-Secretary stated that confusion would be caused by having a different system of time on the two sides of the Border, but that argument does not carry any conviction with it, because we know of so many instances now where there are two different systems of time divided by a definite line on the Continent of Europe. You cannot, by legislation, get over the fact that Summer Time must differ all over the world, and it is only possible to set our clocks at all by providing for a definite area in which a certain time shall operate. You have to define those areas, and there has to be a border line between one system of time and another, and it really matters very little where that border line is drawn. To suggest that if you have a border line between England and Scotland, confusion will arise, does not convince me at all. It is common knowledge that daylight lasts in the northern part of these islands very much longer than in the South, and, therefore, it is quite unnecessary that you should seek to prolong the period in a country where it is already unduly prolonged. For anyone to argue that you want an extra hour of daylight in the evening, in order to work in gardens or on allotments when it is already daylight up to 10 o'clock, or even later in the evening, is ridiculous on the face of it, and you are now proposing to penalise a large part of the population by imposing this illusory benefit.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: May I appeal to the hon. and gallant Member to conclude his remarks? There are many of us present who wish to pay a last tribute of respect to a very old personal friend—I may say, personally, that we went to Eton together—and if the hon. and gallant 61 Member will make his remarks as short as possible, it will enable many of us to get away.
Amendment put, and negatived.
The CHAIRMAN: I have had handed in a manuscript Amendment by the hon. and gallant Member for South Dorset (Major Colfox), to insert at the end of the Clause the words "and Northern Ireland."
Major COLFOX: I am afraid that you will rule it out of order.
The CHAIRMAN: It would be out of order, because the Parliament of 62 Northern Ireland has already decided to have its time similar to that which is provided in this Bill. I have intimated to the hon. and gallant Member for Camborne (Captain Moreing) that I cannot see my way to put his Amendment.
Captain MOREING: Probably the wording of my Amendment is not so good as it might be, but I will put it down on the Report stage.
Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Bill ordered to be Reported to the House, without Amendment.
The Committee rose at Fifteen Minutes before Twelve o'Clock.
THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:—
Turton, Mr. (Chairman)
Allen, Mr. Sandeman
Baker, Mr. John
Cautley, Sir Henry
Craig, Captain Charles
Davies, Sir Thomas
Grenfell, Mr. David
Jones, Mr. Mardy
Lee, Mr. Frank
Locker-Lampson, Mr. Godfrey
Power, Sir John
Rawson, Mr. Cooper
Sanderson, Sir Frank
Shaw, Captain Walter
Ward, Lieut.-Colonel Lambert
Williams, Mr. Herbert
Wilson, Mr. Cecil