THURSDAY, 30th JULY, 1925.1475
The Committee consisted of the following Members:
Sanders, Sir Robert (Chairman)
Adamson, Mr. William (Fife, Western)
*Advocate, The Lord (Mr. William Watson)
Alexander, Sir William (Glasgow, Central)
Atholl, Duchess of (Perth and Kinross, Kinross and Western)
*Balniel, Lord (Lancaster, Lonsdale)
Barr, Mr. (Lanark, Motherwell)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)
Berry, Sir George (Scottish Universities)
*Bethel, Mr. (Eccles)
Boothby, Mr. (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Eastern)
Broun - Lindsay, Major (Glasgow, Partick)
Brown, Mr. James (Ayr and Bute, South Ayrshire)
Buchanan, Mr. (Glasgow, Gorbals)
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, South)
Charteris, Brigadier-General (Dumfries)
Cochrane, Commander (Fife, Eastern)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)
Couper, Mr. J. B. (Glasgow, Maryhill)
Cowan, Mr. (Scottish Universities)
*Cowan, Sir Henry (Islington, North)
Craik, Sir Henry (Scottish Universities)
*Crawfurd, Major (Walthamstow, West)
Crookshank, Colonel (Berwick and Haddington)
Dalkeith, Earl of (Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Elliot, Captain (Glasgow, Kelvingrove)
Fanshawe, Commander (Stirling and Clackmannan, Western)
Ford, Mr. (Edinburgh, North)
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John (Glasgow, Pollok)
Graham, Mr. Duncan (Lanark, Hamilton)
Graham, Mr. William (Edinburgh, Central)
Hamilton, Sir Robert (Orkney and Zetland)
Hardie, Mr. (Glasgow, Springburn)
Harvey, Mr. Charles Barclay- (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Kincardine and Western)
Henderson, Mr. Thomas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Admiral Sir A. (Galloway)
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Horne, Sir Robert (Glasgow, Hillhead)
Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-General Sir A. (Ayr and Bute, Bute and Northern)
Hutchison, Mr. Clark (Midlothian and Peebles, Northern)
Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Johnston, Mr. (Dundee)
Kennedy, Mr. Thomas (Kirkcaldy District of Burghs)
Kidd, Mr. (Linlithgow)
Kirkwood, Mr. (Dumbarton District of Burghs)
Livingstone, Mr. MacKenzie (Inverness and Ross and Cromarty)
*Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh (Isle of Ely)
MacAndrew, Major (Ayr and Bute, Kilmarnock)
Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness, Inverness)
MacDonald, Mr. Robert (Glasgow, Cathcart)
MacIntyre, Mr. (Edinburgh, West)
Maclean, Mr. Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Macpherson, Mr. (Inverness, Ross and Cromarty)
Macquisten, Mr. (Argyll)
MacRobert, Mr. (Renfrew, Eastern)
Maxton, Mr. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Mitchell, Mr. Rosslyn (Paisley)
Mitchell, Mr. Stephen (Lanark, Lanark)
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel (Richmond)
*Morrison, Mr. Robert (Tottenham, North)
Murnin, Mr. (Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs)
*Palin, Mr. John (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, West)1476 1477
*Richardson, Mr. Robert (Durham, Houghton-le-Spring)
Robertson, Mr. John (Lanark, Bothwell)
Rose, Mr. (Aberdeen, North)
*Russell, Mr. (Tynemouth)
Scrymgeour, Mr. (Dundee)
Shaw, Lieut.-Colonel McInnes (Renfrew, Western)
Shiels, Dr. Drummond (Edinburgh, East)
*Simms, Mr. (Down)
Sinclair, Major Sir Archibald (Caithness and Sutherland)
*Sinclair, Colonel (Queen's University, Belfast)
Skelton, Mr. (Perth and Kinross, Perth)
Smith, Mr. Robert (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)
Solicitor-General for Scotland, The (Mr. Fleming)
Sprot, Sir Alexander (Lanark, Northern)
*Steel, Major (Kent, Ashford)
Stephen, Mr. (Glasgow, Camlachie)
Stewart, Mr. James (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
Stuart, Mr. (Moray and Nairn)
Templeton, Mr. (Banff)
Thomson, Mr. Frederick (Aberdeen, South)
*Warrender, Sir Victor (Parts of Kesteven and Rutland, Grantham)
Watson, Mr. Maclean (Dunfermline District of Burghs)
Weir, Mr. McNeill (Stirling and Clackmannan, Clackmannan and Kinross)
Welsh, Mr. (Lanark, Coatbridge)
Westwood, Mr. (Midlothian and Peebles, Peebles and Southern)
Wheatley, Mr. (Glasgow, Shettleston)
*Windsor, Mr. (Bethnal Green, North-East)
Wright, Mr. (Lanark, Rutherglen)
* Added in respect of the National Library of Scotland Bill.
MR. THROCKMORTON, Committee Clerks.
MR. FERGUSON, Committee Clerks.1478 1479 STANDING COMMITTEE ON SCOTTISH BILLS. Thursday, 30th July, 1925.
[Sir ROBERT SANDERS in the Chair.]
The CHAIRMAN: I was asked at the last moment to take the Chair at this Committee. There is great necessity to get on with the Bill at once, but I have to go away at 12.30, and I hope that the Committee will enable me to do so.
Mr. WESTWOOD: There is one Scottish Member who would not have the slightest objection to your leaving at once. As Scottish Members, we have always entered our protest against an English Member taking the Chair in this Standing Committee on Scottish Bills.
Mr. MAXTON: While we are very anxious to facilitate you, Mr. Chairman, in every possible way, that will depend a great deal on the extent to which the Secretary for Scotland is able to meet us on the one or two very moderate claims which we are making by way of Amendments.
Clauses 1 (Establishment of Library and constitution of Board of Trustees), 2 (Powers and duties of Board), 3 (Transfer of Advocates' Library), 4 (Transfer of funds of Endowment Trust), 5 (Transfer of privilege, under Copyright Act, 1911, 1 & 2 Geo. 5, c. 46, s. 15), 6 (Board and Faculty to make joint regulations), 7 (Gifts and bequests to Library), 8 (Provisions with respect to existing premises), 9 (Agreements for purposes of Act), 10 (Expenses of Board and Commissioners of Works), 11 (Interpretation), and 12 (Short title), ordered to stand part of the Bill.CLAUSE 13.
(1) With a view to the timeous appointment of members of the Board, the Keeper 1480 of the Advocates' Library shall, as soon as conveniently may be after the passing of this Act, send a copy of this Act to the Clerk to the Senate of the University of St. Andrews, the Clerk to the Senate of the University of Glasgow, the Secretary of the University of Aberdeen, the Secretary of the University of Edinburgh, the Clerk to the Convention of Royal Burghs, and the Clerk to the Association of County Councils in Scotland.
(2) Intimation of the first appointments of appointed members shall be made to the said Keeper.
(3) The first meeting of the Board shall be held in Edinburgh, at a glace and time not being later than three months after the passing of this Act, to be fixed by the chairman of the Board. Written notice of the place and time so fixed shall be given by the said Keeper to the ex-officio and the appointed members and the life member of the Board.
(4) Until otherwise provided by regulation of the Board, nine members present at any meeting of the Board shall be a quorum, and the proceedings at the first meeting shall not be invalidated by the circumstance that the full number of appointed members of the Board have not been appointed.
(5) At the first meeting of the Board or at any adjournment thereof the members present shall proceed to co-opt five Trustees in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule to this Act, and to make regulations with respect to the subsequent meetings and procedure of the Board.
The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour): I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "and" ["Burghs, and the Clerk"]. This is one of a series of Amendments which I am moving in order to meet the representations which have been made to me by some hon. Members that it would be desirable to have in the Bill some representation of education authorities in Scotland. In moving these Amendments I think I am meeting the views of hon. Members of all parties—that this body should be as widely representative as possible. Let me say that, while I have seen my way to meet them on this point, I am afraid that I cannot meet the wider point which other hon. Members have been raising. But if, when these nominations are made, it falls to me to make the nomination of five extra members, in common with hon. Members on the other side I am most anxious to see that representatives of the interests of the workers in Scotland should have an opportunity of being on this body. I will, therefore, give an undertaking now 1481 that, in making the appointment of the five, I will keep that fact in view, and no doubt I may be able to consult with the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. William Adamson) and his friends when the time comes. If that would facilitate matters, I am prepared to give that undertaking.
Mr. W. ADAMSON: I am bound to say that the explanation of the Secretary for Scotland is a little disappointing to myself, and I am certain that it will be disappointing to my friends. The Secretary for Scotland said he was very anxious that all parties should be represented, and he has made provision for one of the parties that was brought to his notice during a former discussion being represented by right on the Board of this Library. He also stated that when he came to appoint the five, he would keep in mind the Amendment that stands in the name of two of my hon. Friends. I am disappointed that he is not prepared to accept that Amendment. Why should not the labour forces of the country be represented by right on that Board as well as the education authorities? I am certain that there is no section of the people in Scotland which has more interest in a matter of this kind than the working classes have, and the Secretary for Scotland would be well advised to accept our Amendment.
Mr. WESTWOOD: I also am disappointed with the statement of the Secretary for Scotland. I agree with what he suggested, so far as representation of education authorities is concerned. They are the organised bodies which directly represent Scottish educational administration, and they are directly interested in this particular problem. But I want to make the claim that the Trades Union Congress of Scotland is equally interested. I am speaking as a member of an administrative body which has the largest representation of labour in Scotland, and I claim that it is the most advanced education authority in Scotland. I know that the Secretary for Scotland will scarcely dispute that, as it is in the county to which he himself belongs. I claim that the advancement has been made because of the interest that the working classes of the County of Fife have taken in education. What applies to Fife applies to Scotland generally. The working classes are more interested in 1482 education than the middle classes or the upper classes, because they have had so little education and they realise the disadvantage of their experience. I appeal to the Secretary for Scotland to say now that he is prepared to accept the Amendment which we are to move later. Even if there had been a guarantee that one of the five to be nominated by the right hon. Gentleman would be that of a person whose name was sent on to him in consultation with the right hon. Member to whom he has referred, from the Scottish Trade Union, Congress, that would meet our point—if there is a guarantee. But the right hon. Gentleman has given no guarantee. He has stated only that he will keep in mind the suggestion that we are to make in our Amendment later. Personally I prefer to have incorporated in an Act of Parliament the guarantee that the Trades Union Congress of Scotland shall have the right to a nominee in connection with this great National Library. I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will meet us in connection with the Amendment, or, if he cannot meet us, that he will at least give a guarantee that one of the five to be nominated by him will be a nominee of the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
Mr. D. GRAHAM: We cannot agree to accept this Amendment unless we are to have some understanding with respect to the Amendment that is to be moved later by us. I understand that this to be a National Library. These 34 persons who are to serve are to be members of only one section of the community in Scotland. If this is to be a National Library it is essential that every interest in Scotland should be represented. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman does not hold the view that the Labour movement in Scotland is either unintelligent or unrepresentative. Before I am prepared to agree to allow this Amendment to pass, I must have something more than a mere verbal assurance that the Secretary for Scotland will keep in mind the claim that we are making. We are entitled to more than one representative out of 34. We cannot look upon this library as a National Library if it is to be representative of a class rather than of a nation. There are as many intelligent men and women amongst the so-called ordinary working classes in Scotland as there are in the institutions that 1483 are mentioned here as having a right to nomination. Something more than the mere word of the Secretary for Scotland is required. The right hon. Gentleman may not be here five or 10 years hence. If his appointment were permanent I would accept his word without hesitation. But his position is temporary, and five years hence there may be an entirely different Secretary for Scotland, and the nomination then might be a very different one. The fact that we have allowed 12 Clauses to pass without opposition is evidence, at least, of our willingness to be generous and fair. That fact should have some weight, and, still more, the fact that the Labour movement is sufficiently representative and intelligent to have the right conceded to it of an appointment to this National Library Board.
Mr. MACLEAN WATSON: There is one point to which I would draw attention. There is a difficulty which stands in the way of the right hon. Gentleman. I may be anticipating events, but there is no use disguising the fact that during recent years there has been a divergence of opinion in the Association of Education Authorities in Scotland, and that division may lead to our having two associations of education authorities in Scotland. Between the four burghs that have their own education authorities and the county areas there has been a divergence of opinion which has led to at least one of the education authorities withdrawing from the Association. Before many more days have passed we may have two associations of education authorities in Scotland. It will be interesting to know if the Secretary for Scotland would be prepared to give the Association of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen representation on this Library Board, as well as the present Association of Education Authorities in Scotland. That is a difficulty which I think is in the way of the right hon. Gentleman, because he may, before long, have to decide whether it is the present Association only that is to have representation, or whether the new association, which is possible, is also to have representation.
Mr. KIDD: One does not want to leave the right hon. Gentleman entirely alone 1484 on the other side. It is quite clear what my right hon. friend desires. He wants to have some rule which can be clearly seen in the Clause. Outside the senates of the various universities, the representation which is given has been given, not perhaps directly, but indirectly, to bodies which are popularly elected. That is as good a test as any. The last speaker made quite a good point. At the same time it is a point for allowing the Clause, as drafted, to stand. He suggested that there might be more associations than one of education authorities in Scotland. That illustrates exactly the danger of departing from the wholesome rule which the Secretary for Scotland sought to follow here, namely, that as far as possible he should confine representations outside the senates to bodies that are themselves popularly elected.
Mr. WESTWOOD: That is exactly the position of education authorities.
Mr. KIDD: We are not disputing as to the education authorities. Suppose that I suggested that we should have a representation of the Federation of British Industries. That would sound ludicrous to my hon. Friends.
Mr. WATSON: They have got it here.
Mr. KIDD: They have no more representation here than the trade unions. It is because of the equality of the Clause, which is maintained in the Amendment now before us, that I ask my hon. Friends of the Labour party to accept the Clause as it stands.
Mr. JOHNSTON: I was rather sympathetic to the point of view of the Secretary for Scotland until I listened to the arguments used by the last speaker. He puts a different feature on it altogether. I understand from him that everyone here is popularly elected. I have just been jotting down the details. Law has eight representatives; politics has seven, nominated mostly. Theology has one. I have yet to hear what is the popular election in that case. University senates have four. There is no popular election there. Then there is the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer. When was he popularly elected? He is to have representation by right of law. I never heard of him until this moment, and I do not know what function he performs in the body politic.1485
Mr. KIDD: He is your servant.
Mr. JOHNSTON: He is my servant, I am told. Can the hon. Member tell us off-hand who he is?
Mr. KIDD: He represents the national cash on your behalf.
The CHAIRMAN: Order, order! The conversation must not be too general.
Mr. JOHNSTON: I was merely seeking enlightenment. I understand that the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer has something to do with the British Treasury.
Mr. KIDD: Yes.
Mr. JOHNSTON: It is the first time I ever heard about it, and I do not remember him putting in an appearance in the House of Commons during the Budget Debates
Mr. KIDD: Your election expenses are paid by him.
Sir HENRY CRAIK: Why should this Debate be carried on by whispered conversation between hon. Members opposite?
Mr. JOHNSTON: I am sure the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik) is sincerely anxious to hear the case for democracy put. I was drawing attention to the fact that the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd) had placed himself this morning in the attitude of being even more reactionary than the Secretary for Scotland, who was, at any rate, prepared to give an assurance that, so far as he was concerned, he would keep in remembrance—I think that was his phrase—the fact that there was an organised working-class in Scotland when he was filling up his five nominated appointments of the 33 or 34 who are to comprise this Board. We ask for one out of 34, and the Secretary for Scotland says he cannot very well agree to a revolutionary proposal like that; that is too much; one out of 34 is too many; "but," he says, "I will consider it, I will bear the thing in remembrance as long as I am on the job." I am sure he will, and that he will give it fair play, but there might be other Secretaries for Scotland who would follow him, who would be even less progressive than he is. I am not pointing to the right hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Adamson). There 1486 may be differences of opinion as to which of the two is the more progressive gentleman, but, at any rate, we have a pledge from the one now in office that he will consider it. But what about his successor? All that we are asking for is a firm guarantee of some kind that a representative of the organised workers in Scotland shall go on to this board. If we can get that, the right hon. Gentleman will finish the opposition this morning. Let him not make two bites at a small cherry like this. I am ashamed to think of how little we are asking for, that the organised workers of Scotland should ask to be put on the same level as the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer! I plead with the Secretary for Scotland to recognise that, with most other public bodies of this kind in Scotland, we do have it definitely part of their constitution that the organised workers shall have representation, and if the right hon. Gentleman will give us a firm pledge this morning that out of these five he—and, as far as he can recommend his successors, they—will make one of them at least a representative of organised labour, I will take the right hon. Gentleman's firm pledge, but it is not good enough to say that he will merely consider it, particularly when that consideration is backed up by hopelessly reactionary arguments such as were adduced by the hon. Member for Linlithgow.
Mr. MAXTON: When the Bill was up for Second Reading in the House, its presentation was the occasion for a pæan of praise from all quarters of the House. It was mainly Edinburgh Members who spoke, and, as we all know, Edinburgh people, when they are getting something for nothing, are immensely grateful. I think I was the only person who entered a slightly discordant note, and I made the suggestion to the right hon. Gentleman that, for the sake of symmetry, since he has taken in the town councils and the county councils, he should also take in the education authorities. Therefore, I am very anxious that he should get this first Amendment, but I also said that, while I was blessing the Bill on behalf of my colleagues, it was without prejudice to what we would do up here in Committee, and I think that, having regard to the arguments that have been used this morning, the Secretary for Scotland 1487 should meet us on this point. There can be practically no possibility of manual workers coming in through any of the other avenues that are open in the Bill. Is a manual worker ever going to be Lord President of the Court of Session?
Captain ELLIOT (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, Scotland): What about a Member for the Central Division of Edinburgh?
Mr. MAXTON: The Labour movement has not found that the Central Division of Edinburgh returns manual workers yet. He may be the Lord Provost of one of the five big cities, but, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) points out, these are just the cities in Scotland where it is most difficult for a manual worker to hold such a position as the Lord Provostship, because of the tremendous demand that is made on his time. To be Lord Provost of one of the five big cities is not like being the Provost of a minor burgh; I mean that he has practically to be in a position to devote his whole time to the job, and, as the Noble Lady the Member for Kinross and Western (Duchess of Atholl) knows very well, there are very few manual workers in Scotland who are in that position. There could be no possibility, certainly, of the manual workers ever having a majority. The Schedule says that five shall be appointed by the Faculty. They will not be manual workers. It says that one shall be appointed by the Senatus Academicus of each of the Universities. They will not be manual workers. Then, at the end, it says: "In addition to the thirty-three Trustees before-mentioned, Sir Alexander Grant, Baronet, or a person to be nominated by him, shall be a member during the lifetime of the said Sir Alexander Grant." He might conceivably be a manual worker, but I want the Committee to remember that it was Sir Alexander Grant who made this National Library a practical possibility, and I think that every Member of the Committee knows that one of the reasons was the influence of the Labour movement of this country in the direction of this particular gift, or, rather, the personal associations of the right hon. Gentleman who was Prime Minister during last year, and if for that 1488 reason alone, as a matter of decent good taste, I think the manual workers of Scotland ought to have this representation. It was the manual workers who made that money, who produced that wealth that went into giving this very handsome foundation for the National Library of Scotland. It was the toil of the biscuit makers in Edinburgh to produce that wealth that made it possible to found this library. This is what we are narrowing down our claim to, not to have this in the Bill, but, instead of a promise from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland to consider the question of including one manual worker, we are asking him to say definitely that, so far as he is concerned, one of the five persons whose appointment lies in his hands shall be a representative man among the manual workers of Scotland.
Sir J. GILMOUR: If, as I understand it, this is narrowed down to the point as put by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), I am quite prepared to give that undertaking. In fact, I am not only prepared, but very willing to do so, and I should like to point out that, whatever doubt there might be as to what future people holding my office may do in this matter, at any rate the expression of view which I have made to-day would be placed upon record, and that indeed will be a guidance, and ought to be a guidance, to anyone who occupies the position of Secretary for Scotland in the future. I hope that, with that assurance, we may now be able to proceed to take these Amendments.
Mr. D. GRAHAM: I have my doubts about the value of the record of the promise of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland. I am rather inclined at the moment to press to a vote the opinion, which I still hold, that this should be put in the Bill. We are good enough to have our claim recognised. There are in this House at the present time a very large number of Members directly representative of the class for whom we are claiming representation on this Board of Trustees, and I do not look upon it, and cannot look upon it, as a National Library so long as it is on a class foundation.
Sir H. CRAIK: I should be the last to find fault with the undertaking of the 1489 Secretary for Scotland, but I think we must look at this question from another aspect. This is to be a great National Library. I have heard various arguments put forward as to the representation of particular classes, but not one argument has been advanced as to what is most required for the management of a great library. What are the qualifications mast required for such a purpose? Representation of certain classes is, no doubt, a very good thing, and I have no doubt that there are excellent men who may be produced from any body of people in the community, but surely we might have a word said this morning as to which class is likely to produce the people who know most about books and are likely to be the best fitted to be trusted with the management, the inspection, the care, and the distribution of the books in a great National Library. That consideration seems to have been left out altogether. I have no doubt the Secretary for Scotland has found it expedient to give this pledge, and I am perfectly certain that his undertaking will be adhered to, but I must say, certain as I am that there might be found from the class that the hon. Members opposite represent, a worthy person for this purpose, that they are not the only representatives of them in this House. I think we might give a few moments' consideration to forming our body for this Library, not of the representatives of this class of workers, but of the men or women who are most likely to know most about the job and to manage it best.
Mr. ADAMSON: I was, like my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), quite willing that the matter should go through on the basis suggested by him, until again I heard the statement of a supporter of the Secretary for Scotland. He tells us that the Committee are to understand that this is a great National Library, but how you are to run a great National Library and shut 75 per cent. of the people of Scotland from representation, I cannot understand.
Sir H. CRAIK: One man could manage a National Library if he had the right qualifications. What does it matter about representing classes?
Mr. ADAMSON: If it does not matter anything, then it will be all the easier 1490 for the Secretary for Scotland to agree to what we are suggesting. Evidently it matters a good deal to those who are here by right in the Bill. You have them named. The Secretary for Scotland, in his Amendment, is adding to that number, and I, like the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham), do not see any reason why the Labour representative, whether it is to be the Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress or whether it is even to be given a wider term than that, should not be there by right as well as the others. I cannot understand the Secretary for Scotland not being ready to do it immediately. Why should not labour be represented on every one of the Committees? I do not care what they are appointed in connection with, I think the day is past for anybody to dispute the right of Labour to be represented on any of the Committees. So far as I am personally concerned, when in the position that the present Secretary for Scotland holds, I took care to see that on every one of these Committees that were appointed Labour had its fair share of the representation.
Mr. MAXTON: No, the right hon. Gentleman never did that If he will allow me to correct him, the fair share of Labour on any of these Committees was a majority, and the right hon. Gentleman never gave us a majority.
Mr. D. GRAHAM: May I draw the attention of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman the late Secretary for Scotland has given evidence this morning that he is much more advanced than the present Secretary for Scotland?
Mr. MAXTON: I do not see any reason why the Labour representative should not be named in the Bill, the same as the others, or why it should not be broadly and generally stated that a representative of Labour should be a member of this body.
Mr. R. RICHARDSON: I really should have thought that any true educationalist would have voted for what my hon. Friends seek to have incorporated in this Bill. Apparently people are still living in the past. The mentality of the workers has changed, and they are now seeking to have the same powers and the same rights as other people have had in the 1491 past. That is surely a very laudable object. One hon. Member spoke of the division between one trade union and another. If that were so, might I draw attention to this fact, that if you examine the balance-sheets of our trade unions you will find that there is a large amount of money being passed on for this laudable work of education, and I question whether the Federation of British Industries has given one penny to help on national education? I want to give that mentality to the worker that will make him think still further. Keep him ignorant, and your country is not quite safe. Educate him, and give him the possibility of examining into all these things, economic and otherwise, and it is safe. It is from books that he will get that mentality, and I am firmly convinced that the best thing we can do is to accept this Amendment, which will do honour to the people who are trying to no so much for education, as is shown by their spending their hard-earned pennies in that direction. I feel that this Committee will never have any reason to regret taking this step that is now proposed.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: I should not have spoken but for the speech by the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik), who made a statement to the effect that the names that are to be submitted by the Secretary for Scotland and by the organisations that are represented in the Bill are the best fitted for this position.
Sir H. CRAIK: I said that in selecting anybody to manage this library, you ought to select the men most fitted for dealing with books.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: That does not make it any different from my point of view. I take it as an insult to my class, because I hold—and I am now speaking as an engineer—that there is not a lawyer, not a professor in any University, not a member of any profession, that has any more intelligence than a miner or an engineer, and that our boys, when they get the chance, are capable of competing against the very best brains of your class. Having said that, I want to support the idea which has been put forward by my hon. Friend. I have seen times when a storm 1492 would have arisen on a point at the meeting of the Scottish Grand Committee, and I do not think it was ever more necessary to resent the insult which has been offered to our class on this occasion. After all we are only asking for one representative of our class. Already you have eight representatives of the lawyer fraternity, this band of robbers, who live on the flesh and blood of the working class, who produce nothing, and do nothing but live on the flesh and blood of the workers. This lawyer fraternity has organised the constitution of this country and they have the reins of government in their hands. They are a dominating factor, and when a representative of our party became Prime Minister of this country it was this same order and this same band of ruffians—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]—I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that I have taken legal opinion upon this language—I am not going to single out the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd), which I never would think of doing in this connection. I have been tried in the High Court of Edinburgh for high treason, and, consequently, I have some knowledge of the legal fraternity. Here we have this Public Library, given by a leader of our party, a gentleman worthy of the highest honour that our party could confer upon him—
The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. W. Watson): This Library is given by the same band of ruffians to whom the hon. Member has referred.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: I did not hear that remark.
The LORD ADVOCATE: This library was given by the same lawyers to whom the hon. Member has referred, and as a free gift.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: I have rights just like the Lord Advocate, and I ask you, Mr. Chairman, to protect me from personal attacks. When I criticised the legal fraternity just now I said I was not attacking any of them individually, and I am not attacking the individuals who gave this library.
The LORD ADVOCATE: I have already pointed out that it was not an individual, but a part of the legal profession, the Faculty of Advocates, who were the givers of this library.1493
Mr. MAXTON: As what has been said places me in the category of having made an untrue statement, is it not fair to say that what the Lord Advocate has just stated is not the whole truth, because the Faculty of Advocates found that they could not keep the library going.
The LORD ADVOCATE: That is quite true. This enormous library was kept up at very heavy expense by the Faculty of Advocates, and it proved too much for them, and it was a case of keeping it up to date and increasing it at the ordinary rate. I admit that if the nation had not taken it over the advocates could not have kept it going.
The CHAIRMAN: We seem to be travelling a very long way from the question before the Committee.
Mr. JOHNSTON: With reference to the correction which has been made by the Lord Advocate, is it not true to say that the Faculty of Advocates are only the trustees of this library, became by law authors are compelled to send free copies of their works to the library?
Sir ALEXANDER SPROT: What is the question before the Committee? It appears to me that we are now discussing the first three Amendments on the Paper at the same time.
The CHAIRMAN: That is quite true. On the first Amendment the Secretary for Scotland made a general statement as to what he was going to accept, and, that being so, I felt that I could not rule out replies to that statement.
Sir A. SPROT: Am I to understand that at the close of this discussion we shall proceed to vote on the first three Amendments, having apparently discussed them very fully on the first Amendment?
The CHAIRMAN: That is for the convenience of the Committee.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: I was disturbed by various points of Order, though my remarks evidently were quite in order. When I rise to a point of Order I do not always get the same courtesy extended to me. I view this question very seriously, because we have been sent here to represent the working classes. I am speaking now about my beloved land, Scotland, where our class has demonstrated beyond 1494 a shadow of doubt that there is no section of the community that has handled books with a greater care, and that it studies and understand books. It is monstrous that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik) should stand up and say what he did say before us who are the representatives of the working classes, who are members of this Committee, and who, man for man, are at least equal to the very best brains on the other side of the House, whether lawyers or people who have never worked in their lives. I say that, mentally or physically, here we are, and we are typical representatives of our class, and, man for man, we are equal to the best men they have got on the other side. That being so, I resent very much the language that has been used here by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Scottish Universities. Of course we do not expect anything else from him. I do not say that in any harsh terms, because I recognise perfectly well that it is his mentality. That is his outlook on society, and we have been sent here directly to smash and change that mentality, and to prove to all and sundry that our class is quite capable of looking after the interests of labour. Here we have a National Library in Edinburgh, which is the capital of our country, and it was our class that made that library possible, as the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) well said. That Library represents the flesh and blood and the sweat wrung out of the working classes. Nothing of this kind, done in Edinburgh or London, would have been possible but for the working classes. Here we are representing 75 per cent. of the people and we are denied a representative on the Board of Management of the Library. Yet we find the Secretary for Scotland rising up in his might, and in his generosity he says unto us, "After consideration and due deliberation, and after consultation with, the Lord Advocate and the Under-Secretary for Health, I have come to the serious conclusion that I will give my opinion upon this matter, and it is that I cannot go the length of actually putting the working class on an equal footing with what are considered to be the professions." 1495 My experience is that an ordinary working man employed at the coal face, an ordinary engineer or ship worker pursuing his ordinary daily occupation, is time and again faced with greater difficulties and exercises as much mental power and sagacious oversight as a lawyer or the member of any other profession, including even the doctors. I am not going to sit quietly here and see the working classes pushed on one side in this fashion. The Secretary for Scotland must remember that the working classes are watching what is going on here at the moment. This Committee is a concession to us aggressive Scotsmen who are anxious to look after the interests of our native land. We have demanded Home Rule and we cannot get it, and we got the Scottish Grand Committee set up to thrash out our differences here, because nobody in this country understands the conditions existing in Scotland except Scotsmen, and the British Parliament has recognised that fact, and they have given us the Scottish Grand Committee. The Scottish working classes take a great interest in the work of this Committee, and they read the papers very carefully to see what is going on here. I would say to the Secretary for Scotland that we do not want any concession from him as an individual. We are not asking for a concession, and we are not coming cap in hand asking for anything, but we are simply claiming our rights and we are going to demand them, and we are not going to be turned down in what is supposed to be a gentlemanly fashion. This is how we have been played with. We have been asked to be content with a little, You say to us: "We are going to give you this concession, and we assure you it will be carried." We do not want to place the Secretary for Scotland in a position of that description. We want him to understand that he is our representative, irrespective of all political views, in the Cabinet. The Secretary for Scotland is our representative, and we are anxious to back the right hon. Gentleman up as far as it is humanly possible, as long as his actions do not conflict with our Socialist principles. But we are going to see that the rights of Scotland are safeguarded as far as the whole of Scotland is concerned. 1496 But over and above that we are Socialists, and we are here representing the working classes of Scotland, and physically and mentally we are equal to the best brains in the Tory party. Yet we are told that the Secretary for Scotland cannot see his way to give us our rights. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will see that it is in the interests of Scotland that the working classes should be represented on the Board of Management. Hon. Members opposite are always trotting out the wealthy and the learned section of the community as the only people who have the interest of the workers at heart, and yet they are not prepared to do what we ask. In all matters connected with education, Scotland stands out prominently, and it has helped to build up the British Empire. The sons and daughters of Scotland have read books, and they have come out at the top through reading books. Most of these sons and daughters have sprung from my class, and not from the professional classes. The professional classes have sprung mostly from the working class, and here we are appealing on behalf of the working class to the individuals who are always rendering lip service to the working folk. They say that they will do anything to ameliorate the bad conditions in working-class life. I have heard it said more than once that the greatest enemy abroad in Scotland is ignorance—
The CHAIRMAN: I think the hon Gentleman is going a very long way from the question of a National Library.
Mr. KIRKWOOD: I have no desire to take up the time of the Committee any more than is necessary, but I have put the point of view as I see it, and it is the view of the man and woman in the workshop. In conclusion, I ask the Secretary for Scotland to place a direct representative of Labour on the Board of Management of this Library.
Mr. SCRYMGEOUR: It is a pity that this proposal should have to be urged so strongly and so repeatedly on the Secretary for Scotland. The situation is perfectly clear. I thought that the proposal would have been accepted readily. It would have been a politic movement for a Conservative Government to have conceded the point. There is nothing of principle involved. The 1497 concession would not endanger any special interest. There is no cause for fear of the representation of the organised Labour movement. The statement of the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik) suggests that the Bill will result in the selection of those who are best qualified to adjudicate upon the choice of literature. There are to be representatives of municipalities. I do not suppose that any of us would guarantee that any particular chief of a municipality was a man very well up in learning. Position in municipalities is obtained by canvassing for votes. This is to be a National Library. It seems to me that the organised Labour movement should have a representative who can speak from the standpoint of Labour interests as to the class of literature that would be acceptable to the workers. I I support most heartily the appeal that has been made. The Government put themselves in an absurd position by opposing the appeal.
Dr. DRUMMOND SHIELS: I rise with some trepidation as the representative of a profession which deals more literally with the flesh and blood of our fellows than even the legal profession. But I am glad to see that no representative of that profession is mentioned in the Bill. I also rise as one of the Edinburgh representatives who gave a welcome to this Bill on its Second Reading. I do not propose to delay the Committee by making any observations on the remarks of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) who showed that usual Glasgow envy and jealousy of the attractions and glories of the Capital of Scotland. I would make the point that on the library committees of the free libraries in the principal cities of Scotland there is already representation similar to what is asked for in connection with this Bill. I have served for some time as a member of the Edinburgh Free Library Committee. Divesting myself as much as possible of any political opinion, I can honestly say that the working-class and trade union representatives on that Library Committee give most excellent service. As the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. R. Richardson) has said, although the matters with which this Board would be dealing will probably be mostly business matters, there may come up some question as to the 1498 selection of particular books. There is no doubt that the class of book in which the working classes would be most interested and from which they would derive most benefit, might be mentioned by Labour representatives when otherwise it might be overlooked. I am speaking from my own experience, and I am sure within the knowledge of other members of the Committee, when I say that it would be a wise and politic thing for the Secretary for Scotland, in view of the very large representation of other more professional interests, to include in this body the representative suggested in the Labour Amendment.
Mr. WELSH: It is absolutely necessary that this thing should be faced. It is not merely a question of the selection of books. It is a question of ability to manage a concern. The training which trade union officials get—they may have gone raw into the business, but they have been at the work for years—in administrative and executive work, fully qualifies them for a position of this kind. This is a very modest demand, and I appeal to the Secretary for Scotland to grant it. It is a duty that we are asking him to perform rather than a concession that we are asking him to make, by giving us one representative out of 34. We will find, I am sure, that whoever may be the representative from the trade union movement, he would not be less in capacity or in training or ability than any of the others who have been suggested. I know many people in the trade union movement who would grace a Board of this description. I appeal to the Secretary for Scotland to give way.
Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: At the end of Sub-section (1) insert the words "and the Clerk to the Association of Education Authorities in Scotland."—[Sir J. Gilmour.]
Mr. WESTWOOD: I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the words last inserted, to insert the words "and the Secretary of the General Council of the Scottish Trades Union Congress." I have handed in a further manuscript Amendment to the Schedule, which would seek to make statutory the promise which has been made by the Secretary for Scotland. If it would be in order 1499 when we reach that manuscript Amendment to discuss the merits of the proposal which is made in that Amendment, then I am quite prepared to withdraw this particular Amendment.
Mr. ADAMSON: Before the Amendment is withdrawn, I would like to know what the manuscript Amendment is. I do not know how you can give statutory effect to the promise of the Secretary for Scotland.
The CHAIRMAN: The manuscript Amendment is, in paragraph (1) of the Schedule, after the word "Scotland" ["recommendation of the Secretary for Scotland"], to insert the words "one of whom shall be a representative nominated by the Scottish Trades Union Congress." That seems to be one and the same thing as the Amendment now before the Committee.
Mr. WESTWOOD: It is not the same thing. It will be necessary to move certain other Amendments before we get that length. We require to increase the 34 representatives to 35. But the Amendment by itself will not increase the number of representatives. It will guarantee that all future Secretaries for Scotland will carry out the promise which I know the present Secretary for Scotland will honourably carry out. There is no guarantee that the promise of the present Secretary for Scotland will be carried out by every Secretary for Scotland if the Bill stands as it is.
The CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member's Amendment will be in order, and can be debated on the Schedule.
Mr. D. GRAHAM: If the right hon. Gentleman would indicate his willingness to accept the manuscript Amendment later it would save any further discussion now.
Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and negatived.
Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 14 (Transfer of existing officer) ordered to stand part of the Bill.
1. The Board shall consist of thirty-three members, of whom twelve shall be ex-officio 1500 members, sixteen shall be appointed as hereinafter provided, and five, being persons of eminence in literature or public life, not otherwise members of the Board, shall be co-opted by the Trustees.
The ex-officio members shall consist of the following persons:—
Of the appointed members:—
2. The members of the Board appointed by His Majesty shall hold office during His Majesty's pleasure, and one of those members, nominated by His Majesty in that behalf, shall act as chairman of the Board.
The period of office of the other appointed members and of the co-opted members of the Board shall be five years from the date of appointment, or from the date on which the appointment is expressed to take effect: Provided that in the case of the five members appointed by the Faculty, and in the case of the five co-opted members, the first appointments shall be for the respective periods of one, two, three, four, and five years; and that, in the case of the four members appointed by the Senatus Academicus of the Universities, the first appointments shall be for the respective periods of one, two, three, and four years, in the order of the seniority of the Universities; and the periods of office of the 1501 members first appointed or first co-opted as aforesaid shall determine accordingly.
If any vacancy occurs by death, resignation, or any other cause other than effluxion of time, the vacancy shall be filled by His Majesty, or by the appropriate appointing body, or by the Trustees, as the case may be, and a person so appointed or co-opted to fill a vacancy shall hold office so long only as the member in whose place he is appointed or co-opted would have held office.
4. Any Trustee ceasing to hold office shall be eligible to be again appointed or co-opted.
5. The Board may appoint one of the Trustees to be vice-chairman of the Board, and in the absence of the chairman, the vice-chairman shall preside at meetings of the Board. In the absence of the chairman and vice-chairman, the Trustees present at a meeting may appoint one of their number to preside thereat. The chairman, vice-chairman, or Trustee presiding at any meeting shall have a casting as well as a deliberative vote.
6. The Board may make regulations—
7. The powers of the Board may be exercised notwithstanding any vacancy in their number.
Amendments made: In paragraph (1), leave out the word "thirty-three," and insert instead thereof the word "thirty-four."
Leave out the word "sixteen," and insert instead thereof the word "seventeen."—[Sir J. Gilmour.]
Mr. WESTWOOD: I beg to move, in paragraph (1), after the word "Scotland" ["recommendation of the Secretary for Scotland"] to insert the words "one of whom shall be a representative nominated by the Scottish Trades Union Congress."
Sir J. GILMOUR: I regret very much that I cannot accept this Amendment. It is quite clear that the duty of nomina- 1502 tion falling upon the Secretary for the Crown is not one which could be bound by words of this nature. I would point out to those who are interested in this matter that I have given them a most definite undertaking, and that their interests will be fully conserved by that undertaking. I regret that I cannot depart from that position.
Mr. WESTWOOD: I am rather disappointed with the attitude taken up by the right hon. Gentleman. I would be the last Member on this Committee to disbelieve in any way the promise which has been made by him. I know that, having given the promise, he will honourably fulfil it, but there is no guarantee that future Secretaries for Scotland will give effect to that promise. I shall press this Amendment to a Division, because we are entitled to have on record what is the attitude of the Government. When the Bill goes downstairs on Report, we shall continue the fight for direct representation of the Trades Union Congress of Scotland. I enter my emphatic protest against the suggestion made by the right hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik). He submitted what was quite a good argument in connection with the appointment of those representatives that were to be the trustees for this library. He said that they ought to be appointed simply because of their ability to look after this particular work. But there is no evidence that all those who are definitely provided for in the Bill will have the qualifications. There are two bodies mentioned in this Schedule. I know I am speaking for the Labour side of the Committee and for those outside when I say they are the two most reactionary public bodies in Scotland—the Convention of Royal Boroughs and the County Councils Association. What evidence is there that these particular bodies, when they nominate representatives, will nominate individuals who know anything at all about books or educational administration or the management of a National Library? I am satisfied that if they appoint some of those who are on those particular bodies, they will not know how to read, far less how to control and administer a National Library. The Scottish Trades Union Congress would 1503 not nominate anyone who had not the ability to give the very best service. I press the Secretary for Scotland to reconsider his decision.
Mr. ADAMSON: It is not with me a question of doubting for a moment the word of the Secretary for Scotland. If the right hon. Gentleman gives me his word, I accept it as his bond. But he cannot bind future Secretaries of Scotland—neither he, nor anyone else holding that office can do that. I also recognise his difficulty in accepting the Amendment in the form in which it is presented. I think my hon. Friend the Member for
Further Amendments made:
In paragraph 1, leave out the word "Six," and insert instead thereof the word "Seven."
Leave out the word "and" ["Royal Burghs, and"].
After the word "Scotland" ["Councils in Scotland"], insert the words "and one by the Association of Education Authorities in Scotland."1504
Peebles (Mr. Westwood) made a mistake in offering to withdraw his former Amendment and substituting for it the present Amendment. Why should not the Labour representative be specified in the Bill among the representatives of the other interests? On the Report Stage of the Bill the Secretary for Scotland will have another opportunity of discussing the matter. That will be in the right place. I do not think we are discussing it in the right place now.
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 11; Noes, 22.
|Division No. 1.]||AYES.|
|Adamson, Mr. William||Richardson, Mr. Robert||Welsh, Mr.|
|Graham, Mr. Duncan||Scrymgeour, Mr.||Westwood, Mr.|
|Kirkwood, Mr.||Shiels, Dr.||Windsor, Mr.|
|Maxton, Mr.||Watson, Mr. Maclean|
|Advocate, The Lord||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Mitchell, Mr. Stephen|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Harvey, Mr. Charles Barclay-||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel|
|Boothby, Mr.||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-General Sir A.||Simms, Mr.|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel||Hutchison, Mr. Clark||Smith, Mr. Robert|
|Cochrane, Commander||Kidd, Mr.||Solicitor-General for Scotland, Mr.|
|Craik, Sir Henry||MacAndrew, Major||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Elliot, Captain||MacRobert, Mr.||Stuart, Mr.|
|Thomson, Mr. Frederick|
Leave out the word "thirty-three" ["addition to the thirty-three"], and insert instead thereof the word "thirty-four."—[Sir J. Gilmour.]
Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported to the House.
The Committee rose at Twenty-two Minutes after Twelve o'Clock.1505
THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:—
Sanders, Sir Robert (Chairman)
Adamson, Mr. William
Advocate, The Lord
Atholl, Duchess of
Chapman, Sir Samuel
Craik, Sir Henry
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John
Graham, Mr. Duncan
Harvey, Mr. Charles Barclay-
Henderson, Mr. Thomas
Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-General Sir A.
Hutchison, Mr. Clark
Mitchell, Mr. Stephen
Richardson, Mr. Robert
Smith, Mr. Robert
Solicitor-General for Scotland, The
Sprot, Sir Alexander
Thomson, Mr. Frederick
Watson, Mr. Maclean
Weir, Mr. McNeill