It was the more remarkable that the right hon. Gentleman had not attempted to reply to the speech of his hon. Friend, because a more able, more fearless, or more valuable contribution to the discussion of the Industrial Crisis had never been delivered to the House.
Suppose that an Industrial Crisis arises, such as some persons imagine to be not far off, and supposing that just as mining in my native county has declined owing to competition with more lucrative fields of mining enterprize—supposing that employment in the crowded counties of the North diminished, you would have to face a similar necessity for reducing the population.
It is disgraceful to us that in times of Industrial Crisis the burden should fall with heaviest weight upon those least able to bear it, and that in our great cities particularly, London, Liverpool, Manchester, where the needs of the poorest are the keenest, there, because of private profit and the conditions appertaining thereto, we should make the burdens press most heavily upon them.
With all your inflated shipbuilding, you are putting too much pressure, and 1510 too many men in certain directions, and as soon as you begin to retrench—and you are always professing that you mean to retrench—you are faced with an exceedingly Grave Industrial Crisis.
Mr. OUTHWAITE asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can make any statement regarding the proclamation of a moratorium by the Federal Government of Australia and concerning the Industrial Crisis which has been precipitated?
We should have done something real to re-establish the reputation of this House in the country and to really make it what it ought to be, the great place where all the subjects which are causing anxiety in the country can be discussed, and we should not be driven to such an expedient as we have been driven, namely, that when we have a Great Industrial Crisis we have to summon a special assembly outside this House because this House is no longer regarded as the place for the ventilation of grievances affecting all Members and classes of the community.
I listened, too, with interest to right hon. Gentlemen opposite, and was delighted to hear them say that they hoped for a peaceful solution of the Industrial Crisis which faces the country at the present time, and, bearing in mind the immense influence they have in the labour world, I trust that such hope may be based on inside knowledge.
We are faced in this country with a Grave Industrial Crisis.
Generally speaking, that branch of the public service is the last to leave work at any time of Industrial Crisis.
Mr. JOHNSTON: Is the right hon. Gentleman unable to take any steps against newspapers that publish fabrications of this kind, which are likely to excite grave public feeling and disorder in an Industrial Crisis such as that with which we are at present faced?
This will also ultimately react on the smaller industries, and I am afraid that this winter will see us face to face with a very Grave Industrial Crisis.
Therefore we hope that the Government will see that the best thing to do from every point of view is to withdraw this Bill even now, and allow the Present Industrial Crisis to be passed over, so that in the future the legislation which is foreshadowed by the Government can be entered upon in a spirit of calmness and reason.
Assume for a moment that on account of a series of strikes the Government went to the country, as has been suggested, A great many people have suggested recently that the Prime Minister might appeal to the country in connection with the present strike in order to get a decision in favour of the views that he holds towards the Industrial Crisis.
The better class man in the trade unions have no time for the hot heads who are driving them into one in Industrial Crisis after another.
We are as the right hon. Gentleman has said, passing through a Great Industrial Crisis, and it behoves us from every point of 1209 view to meet that to the fullest extent possible.
Neutrality in Industrial Crisis , 1036.
Postponement of Payment owing to Industrial Crisis Proposed , 1702.
Now this Bill comes along on top of This Great Industrial Crisis to say that we have got to have special machinery, to dress foremen of the docks in uniform to prevent disputes taking place in the docks, and to intimidate the men who are out to prevent the reduction of wages.
I hope that the Government that is to take the place of the present Government will not wait until the last day of a Great Industrial Crisis before there is intervention in the interests of our countrymen.
I do not wish for one 1578 moment to suggest that if this country is faced by famine as the result of an Industrial Crisis, it is not the duty of any Government to see that that famine is averted.
That is human nature, and we all naturally expect it, but we must remember that we are going through probably the most Acute Industrial Crisis that this country has ever known, and that it is necessary to conserve our resources in every possible direction; and it is in the belief that economy is most essential at the present moment that I urge the First Lord and the Admiralty to think a long time before they commit the country to a large naval expenditure.
Industrial Crisis, July, 1925—" Worker Weekly," Quotation from, 2182.
Industrial Crisis, July, 1925 —"Workers Weekly," Quotation from, 2182.
It may be all very well for the Government now, with their big majority, and with their assurance that everything is going to go well for them, but if an Industrial Crisis takes place, they may be very glad of the services of the Army at no distant date.
We were confronted then with a very Serious Industrial Crisis; but I feel sure I am right in saying that not one soldier nor a single constable was moved from his post for any purpose whatsoever on account of that dispute.
Industrial Crisis — Arrests, Gateshead, 1091.
Resolutions—Discussion Withheld Owing to Industrial Crisis, 232.
Industrial Crisis, Debate on Adjournment, Motion, 682.
See Industrial Crisis.
Industrial Crisis — Special Police—Recruitment—West Ham, Situation at, 746, 748.
Industrial Crisis — Electricity Supply, Stepney, 802.
Parliamentary Procedure — Industrial Crisis — Labour Party, Statements Concerning, Withdrawal of, 649.
Industrial Crisis — Press Embargo — Journalists, Position of, 773.
Budget—Resolutions—Discussion Withheld Owing to Industrial Crisis, 232.
Industrial Crisis — Emergency Powers, Debate on, 297, 338.
Industrial Crisis, Transport Arrangements during, 815.
Industrial Crisis — Agents Provocateurs, Employment of—Victoria Station, Incident at, 758, 760.
What actuates these people, I submit is this: it is not that they want deliberately to do the person prosecuted a personal injury, only they have a sort of feeling that the Government of the day expect it of them, as a patriotic act, to punish these people who are regarded as being somewhat extreme in these days of Industrial Crisis.
I do not think the record of the Government in the handling of the Industrial Crisis has been honest and straightforward.
The hon. Member apparently forgets that last year we went through a Terrible Industrial Crisis.
Sir A. SINCLAIR: That was during the Industrial Crisis.
Sir J. GILMOUR: It was well known that this estate had to be put up and business cannot stand still because of an Industrial Crisis.
Deficiency owing to Industrial Crisis and Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act , 1916.
Approved Societies—Deficiency owing to Industrial Crisis and Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act , 1916.
Decrease due to Industrial Crisis , 239.
I beg the right hon. Gentleman specially to realise that he ought to consider whether the overburdened urban areas should not be specially met by some special grant in respect of the exceptional difficulties in which they are involved during the Present Industrial Crisis.
The fixing of the amount of the grant for fixed periods, based on a standard year, will tend to stop all progress, and, in the event of an Industrial Crisis or a period of severe unemployment, will place an overwhelming burden on the local ratepayers".
Whatever the theoretical justification of my hon. and gallant Friend's argument, surely this is not the moment, in the Present Industrial Crisis, to advocate reducing an Estimate which keeps in employment a very large number of worthy men and helps to preserve their skill.
Which Amendment was, at the end of the Question, to add the words: "But humbly regret the failure of Your Majesty's Government to propose any measures adequate to deal with the Crisis in the Industrial, agricultural, and commercial situation or to check the continued growth of unemployment".
We regret the failure of His Majesty's Government to propose any measures adequate to deal with the Crisis in the Industrial, agricultural and commercial situation, or to check the continued growth of unemployment.
We are staggering under a burden of taxation of almost incredible dimensions, and our will to recovery in an Industrial Crisis which is the greatest that this country has ever faced is crippled by the burden of taxation, a burden which has been increased by the right hon. Gentleman opposite since he has been in office.
As a matter of fact, the Unemployment Insurance Fund is the only efficient method of tiding over the Present Industrial Crisis and carrying the men and women who are unemployed.
We are going through a Great Industrial Crisis; trade is depressed; hundreds of factories are nearly bankrupt; many companies cannot pay dividends; most businesses are depressed, and their values are going down.
He would give anything to be able to abolish what is undeniably a burden upon industry, but the financial facts, arising from the Grave Industrial Crisis, are overwhelming, and that is the reason why we must reject this Amendment, if we are not to be drawn into an elaborate system of rebates and concessions which, administratively, it would be almost impossible to work.
As I have said before, we are passing through a Great Industrial Crisis.
Stalin has said in regard to the Industrial Crisis which is occurring throughout the world: "The industrial crisis will intensify the agricultural, and the agricultural crisis will protract the industrial, which cannot but lead to the deepening of the economic crisis as a whole".
In the Present Industrial Crisis it would not be fitting for this House to put an additional burden on these people.
This country has made great sacrifices, the industrial world has made great sacrifices for finance, and in the Present Industrial Crisis it is necessary for finance to be used in order to rescue industry, which is in such a parlous condition in this country.
That is one of the primary causes of the aggravation of Our Industrial Crisis.
If, for the purpose of meeting a great war, it was necessary to do that, surely for the purpose of meeting a Great Industrial Crisis like the present it is just as necessary, and just as wise?
As to the earlier retiring age, not much has been said about it, and for the very good reason that, however inconsistent they may be, hon. Members opposite can hardly carry their inconsistency to the length of opposing that proposal, because I have always understood that it is one of their suggestions for dealing with the Present Industrial Crisis that industrial workers should be placed on retirement at a much earlier age.
The statement which the hon. and gallant Member has just read to the House brings this country face to face with a Grave Industrial Crisis.
Some people think that the Industrial Crisis started in 1931 because the City of London got into a financial mess.
I must not disguise the fact that if that occurred there would be a grave risk of Industrial Crisis.
At one time together we bent our energies to settle a Grave Industrial Crisis.
The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Labour has gone out now, but he knows that whatever reputation I have it is for trying to avert Industrial Crisis.
Any attempt to use this at times of Industrial Crisis by banning demonstrations and preventing workers in constitutional ways expressing their sentiments will not lead to the preservation of order, but may be the means by which disorder is created.
For these reasons I think that the Clause might give the impression, and, I believe, will give the impression, if there is any attempt to utilise it - and no one can guarantee that there will be no such attempt during a time of Industrial Crisis- of fanning the kind of feeling that we desire to avoid.
It is remarkable, I think, to compare what has happened in this country with the effect upon the debts of other countries of the Great Industrial Crisis through which all have passed.
At the moment we are going through a financial rather than an Industrial Crisis, and I am apprehensive that, unless steps are taken to stop the deflationary movement in the financial world, we may find ourselves in a very severe industrial depression; but with the present rearmament programme, it is obvious that we cannot say that we are now in a severe industrial depression.
If there comes an Industrial Crisis caused by lack of coal for the war effort, the Government will have to take their responsibility for that position, as also will Members of the House, who see this position developing while this abortive scheme is put before them for consideration.
Every time there is an Industrial Crisis there is always a tendency for the people who are employers, the people who own capital, those representative of the banking industry and so on, to try by whatever means they can, and as a last resort, Fascism, to enslave the people and make them work for the general good, as they regard it.
I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to look once again at this question to see if something cannot be done quickly in This Industrial Crisis.
So what happened up to that time cannot be regarded as a Grave Industrial Crisis.
The only result has been to deprive them and us of an opportunity, which was legitimately ours, of pressing the Government much more closely, not on the Great Industrial Crisis, but on thequite real administrative difficulties which have arisen during the past three weeks and with which many of us are not quite satisfied that they have adequately dealt.
For the sake of accuracy, might I say that my right hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) said it was the most Serious Industrial Crisis we had had to go through in the last 20 years?
What is more, there is being added to the local authorities at the present moment responsibility for heating and lighting, and a great responsibility in the Present Industrial Crisis.
Mr. Austin asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of his assurance regarding the victimisation of employees on the resumption of work after the Recent Industrial Crisis, he will consider cancelling contracts placed by his Department with Messrs.
L. Gardener, alleged victimisation of employees on resumption of work after Industrial Crisis, 2208.
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in view of his assurance regarding the victimisation of employees on the resumption of work after the Recent Industrial Crisis, he will consider cancelling contracts placed by his Department with Messrs.
It has been patent for many years that the foundation of our social edifice, built on a capitalist economy, is unstable and cracking, and the root cause, as I see it, of Our Present Industrial Crisis lies in the fact that the capitalist economy has broken down, and indeed, had done so before 1938.
When the working population, in an area which has 17,000 men unemployed, sees that there is no alteration in the living standards of those who have always been in the position of being able to live well, it is perfectly obvious that it is very difficult to persuade them that there is an Industrial Crisis.
I do not see any other way out of it, because I know, as a Socialist, as one Eying among the ordinary workers and being in contact with them, that while they cannot see any difference at all in the method of life of those who have always been privileged, they will never be persuaded that we are in the midst of an Industrial Crisis, and they will never be persuaded to produce more in the interests of the country as a whole.
When Britain is in the middle of a Great Industrial Crisis, they do not care.
Do they agree that this is one of the ways by which we can escape from Our Industrial Crisis?
If we did that, we would simply have an Industrial Crisis on a major scale.
I maintain that we are approaching an Industrial Crisis, and that the manpower of the country is insufficient for the gigantic plans outlined by the Secretary of State for War.
All that I wish to say is that the evidence that has been produced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not impressed me, and that in this mood of sentimentalising and rhapsodising we are forgetting the essential fact that we are voting away a large sum of public money at a time when there is a very Great Industrial Crisis and when the working people are being asked to economise.
It is absolutely vital that all those in responsible positions today should concentrate as much as they can in explaining to all concerned the "why" of the Industrial Crisis with which we are confronted, and suggesting the "how" of overcoming that crisis.
If we continue in this way, if we take manpower away from useful industry, if we take materials and skill away, we shall inevitably go into an Industrial Crisis from which no amount of rearmament is likely to save us.
but I believe that, if we are to get through the Great Industrial Crisis which we face, the necessity for refurbishing our industries, modernising them and doing all the things necessary for survival will fail unless we make it possible to have a wages structure within those industries which can satisfy the men that they will get a fair deal for the work which they produce.
I do not want to go further with that argument; but I believe that, if we are to get through the Great Industrial Crisis which we face, the necessity for refurbishing our industries, modernising them and doing all the things necessary for survival will fail unless we make it possible to have a wages structure within those industries which can satisfy the men that they will get a fair deal for the work which they produce.
Little has so far been said, though more will probably be said before the debate ends, about the Grave Industrial Crisis now confronting us.
That is the essential character of the relationship which makes it inevitable that, in the event of an Industrial Crisis or a war, the most reactionary Government would have to introduce some kind of control.
We are now in the middle of a Real Industrial Crisis and both management and shop stewards have been discussing the position almost daily.
In the cut and thrust of an Industrial Crisis, circumvention must not be allowed for too long.
Industrial workers have said to successive Governments of both parties, since these stern warnings, "If this is an Industrial Crisis, may it go on for ever".
I assure my right hon. Friend that the country will forgive mistake after mistake, but it will never forgive lack of courage in taking, if necessary, unpalatable measures to deal with an Industrial Crisis.
If the powers are used, we shall be in the Biggest Industrial Crisis the country has known since 1926.
It is clear that Britain faces the most Serious Industrial Crisis since the war.
We have the Worst Industrial Crisis that we have experienced for many years.
It is a commentary on the sombre background against which this debate takes place that the C.B.I. has had to cancel its meeting tomorrow with its opposite numbers in the Six because of the Industrial Crisis.
They laboured it through Committee sitting after Committee sitting for five months, holding our noses grimly to the grindstone, while Another Industrial Crisis was developing.
It seems that both the Chair and hon. Members are placed in a very difficult situation when some of us think that there is a Serious Industrial Crisis and that Parliament ought to promote on its agenda the issue of that industrial crisis, if the only person who can give us any guidance whether such a discussion ought to take place is the Leader of the House.
Will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that there will be a recall of Parliament sooner than the date which he announced today should the Grave Industrial Crisis and the present industrial relations situation prevail and continue into the recess period and should it look like worsening, especially if the Government envisage using troops in any activity which is normally undertaken by workers?
During that period all we were getting was the Chairman of the Conservative Party, and all he was concerned about - and he was doing far more harm than the Prime Minister was doing - was the identification of scapegoats in the Industrial Crisis.
Heavens above, if that section in the Act is not to be used when the country is suffering the deadly and debilitating effects of the Industrial Crisis at the moment, when in Heaven's name is it to be used?
At a time when the nation is crying out for policies upon which the overwhelming majority of people can unite and work to overcome the most Grave Industrial Crisis that we have ever had, it is a Labour Government who will never compromise, who will never conciliate or move from their long-term declared aims, because co-operation with anyone other than themselves is not the language of Socialism.
A simple question has never been answered by Ministers - why do they feel that doctrinaire measures of nationalisation of land and extension of State control into industry will help to get Britain out of the Industrial Crisis which faces us?
I believe that the right hon. Gentleman's present package, if it had been introduced last March, might have prevented the Present Industrial Crisis from arising.
However, the Industrial Crisis, rooted in the upsurge of oil prices, rapid increases in commodity prices, unpredictable exchange rates and a substantial fall in world trade had a major industrial impact.
With the honourable exception of the speeches made by my hon. Friends the Members for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) and Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), there have been more contributions concerned with the consequences of the Industrial Crisis facing the country than with the core of that crisis.
Yet, very interestingly, on Tuesday there was not a single word mentioned of that proposal by the right hon. Lady in her opening speech on the debate about the Industrial Crisis.
Can he assure the House that there is no corresponding difference in the Government's approach to the Present Industrial Crisis, and that he is speaking for a united Cabinet?
9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the problem of increasing unemployment in the steel industry arising from the Present Industrial Crisis".
The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the problem of increasing unemployment in the steel industry arising from the Present Industrial Crisis".
It was introduced in the middle of an Industrial Crisis - last week, when the road haulage strike was at its absolute peak.
Is it implied that the Industrial Crisis that we have been through and are going through has had and will have no effect on prices?
However, will the intervention take place before 2 January, or will the Government leave it until the first week or the fourth week after Christmas, when we shall have sunk deeper into one Industrial Crisis after another?
We are heading for the most Serious Industrial Crisis for several years.
The right hon. Gentleman announced the targets that he had set for the BSC and from that reply has stemmed the Industrial Crisis facing us, for, in quick succession, we have had further announcements of closures and cash restrictions.
But there would equally be a strong body - especially in areas of high and growing unemployment - as Our Industrial Crisis deepens, which would clamour for the job opportunities and economic impulse that new airports would provide.
In the West Midlands there is an Industrial Crisis on a scale which has not been seen in my lifetime.
Will the right hon. Gentleman find time for a debate on the Serious Industrial Crisis that we are facing in the North of England, bearing in mind that it is due mainly to the policies of the Government?
Thus, in stable, sensible Stoke-on-Trent and north Staffordshire, we are facing an Industrial Crisis.
It is common sense to avert a growing Major Industrial Crisis.
I shall not stray into any reference to the Present Industrial Crisis, but BSC special steels has kept clear of recent industrial disruption.
What folly it is for the Government to tear down the very institutions that should prevent the kind of Industrial Crisis that we now have.
I shall address my remarks to what the right hon. Lady said at the end of her speech because, conceivably, we may be able to use this debate for the beneficent purpose of trying to ensure that we escape from This Serious Industrial Crisis.
Their overall strategy, if such it may be called, in the past five years was intended to provide regeneration of the economy and especially of industry, but it has landed us in the Worst Industrial Crisis since the 1930s, and the effects have been felt in manufacturing industry more than in any other sector of the economy.
Rather than a fire engine that rushes from Industrial Crisis to industrial crisis, it now has the opportunity to be constructive, and it has been exceptionally constructive in Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland in the last 12 months.
Is he unaware of the ever-deepening Industrial Crisis if such cuts were to take place next year?
Will the President of the Board of Trade do them the justice of now admitting that Britain faces a Real Industrial Crisis and needs an industrial strategy that tackles it?
The parliamentary Labour party believes that the House should not adjourn until the Industrial Crisis facing Tyneside has been discussed here.
If the finance is forthcoming - I sincerely hope that it is, and that manufacturers, trade unions and local authorities will take note - the local trade union studies information unit and the centre for urban and regional development studies at Newcastle university plan to embark on a research project to contribute to the formation of a policy for the development of the north's engineering and manufacturing base as a means of overcoming the Present Industrial Crisis and rebuilding the region's indigenous strengths.
Perhaps it is not right to attack the director general personally, but it has to be said that he seems somewhat lax to choose, in the middle of a Major Industrial Crisis ofthe kind that seems to be currently taking place, to go on his holidays.
This is a regulatory Government who are presiding over an Industrial Crisis.