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was quite enough for any human being of the miners of the North of England, to labour under such conditions. And, thanked the hon. Member for the kind finally, the right hon. Gentleman the and sympathetic expressions which he had Member for Montrose asserted used towards them. But he wished the also in the same year that public House to bear in mind that he and his opinion was unmistakably in favour of colleagues did not approach this question the proposal to limit the hours of work. merely from the point of view of miners. ing underground to eight at a time. They desired to face it in its general Miners were paid according to the amount aspect and to discuss on broad grounds of work they did, and experience had its merits and demerits. The hon. Mentaught them that shorter hours meant ber had pleaded ignorance on the question, concentrated energy,
while longer and he was bound to say if hon. Members hours involved dilatory application. In generally were more versed in the techni. his opinion long hours meant useless, calities of the question, and knew the inefficient, and bad work. It had been difference that existed between the mines urged that because the Northumberland in the Midlands and the North, they would and Durham miners were opposed to the not be so ready to support the measure. proposal the House ought to reject it, He acknowledged the pathetic truth of but he had yet to learn that any the hon. Member's description of the law had ever been the product of effects of a mining accident, but he would unanimous assent. It was because have liked him to explain how this Bill unanimity was impossible in a com- would lessen the number of these accidents. munity that law became necessary. He It had been stated that the great majority did not wish to pass lightly over the of the accidents in mines occurred during opposition of a valuable contingent of the latter part of the day. That was not mining labour to the Bill. He was pre- so, for the return secured by the hon. pared to give every consideration to the Member for Wansbeck showed that a views of that group. The respect and large proportion of the accidents in mines esteem in which its representatives were occurred in the early part of the day. It held in this House by every Member of had further been suggested that long it, and by himself in a special degree, hours in the mine tended to conduce to were such that had he them on his side careless kind of work, but there again the burden of his task would be light they must bear in mind that in many cases indeed. He felt sure had he this assis- men worked by themselves and that their tance it would have such an effect upon lives were in their own hands, and it was to the judgment of this House as would be feared that if the hours were shortened ensure the passing of the Second Reading the desire would be to crowd more work with accord. He begged to move. into the time so as to make more money,
Motion made, and Question proposed, and this eagerness might in itself beget “ That the Bill be now read a second carelessness, and an unintentional disre
gard of the necessity for taking all proper time.”
safeguards. As he had said, the return *MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid.) on obtained by the hon. Member for Wansrising to move the rejection of the Bill on beck had disproved the assertion that behalf of the representatives in the House accidents in mines occurred with greater
frequency in the latter part of the day. be his obstinacy, they all acknowledged It should be borne in mind that work in his sincerity, and they believed that he a mine was quite different from any promoted this Bill firmly believing it other occupation. Its technicalities, would be for the benefit of the men he conditions, and circumstances varied, represented. But they who opposed the whereas in the case, say, of engineering, Bill contended that it would be unjust to the conditions that surrounded the men the men themselves. Some worked in were uniform and constant. This fact the fresh air at the shaft; others worked had been the principal groundwork of the in the wagon-ways where the air was opposition of the North to this Bill. fresh and the work light; others were There was a great difference in techni- engaged in the arduous coal-getting in calities between the North and the cramped positions, sometimes in seams Midlands, and to apply this Bill in its eighteen inches or two feet high; thererigid form would be an impossibility. fore, if the measure was to conduce to the
welfare of the men all round it should The mover of the Bill had said it was a allow an arrangement to be made whereby simple measure. That was true. He
the men engaged in the lighter forms remembered reading at school the old of labour inight work longer hours to meet story of the bull-dog and the bull, in the necessities of the mine, while the men which the bull-dog said it was his breeding employed in the more arduous departthat made him attack the bull, where- ments worked less. It was this want of upon the bull replied that in that case elasticity of which the North complained. his breeding had destroyed him. The
average number of hours of the coalsimplicity of this Bill was its danger. It
getters in Durham was not 6 per day from declared that every man in a mine, bank to bank. The men could not be regardless of the nature of his work or down the mine for longer than seven hours the necessities of the mine, should work
a day. By an arrangement which had eight hours a day, no more and no less. been in existence for fourteen years a Suppose there were 300 or 400 men going difference was made between the lighter down the mine.
Between the going and the more arduous forms of work, and down of the first and the last of those men thus justice was done to the men themhalf an hour would elapse. What
selves. Two ideas had prompted guarantee was there that the first man
both the promotion of and the down would be the first man up?
opposition to this Bill. One was expediDifferent men had different distances to
ency. If he admitted that his colleagues go when they reached the bottom of the in the Midland Federation were anxious shaft, and that fact alone showed that for the welfare of their men, he claimed the Bill required some modification in
that the leaders in Durham and Norththat particular. The measure was promoted by the Midland Federation. It umberland were equally solicitous with was with much sorrow he remembered regard to the men in the North, and it that since last session the most prominent was because of the expediency of the figure in that Federation had been taken matter, the difficulty of the universal from them. Though at times some of application of the principle, and the them regretted what they considered to revolution that it would cause in the
Mr. John Wilson.
coal mines of Durham and Northumber employed underground therein in the manner land, that they strongly opposed the hereinafter provided it should become law.”
He regretted exceedingly Immediately that resolution the difference of opinion that existed carried the promoters refused to proceed between the miners' leaders on this further. Why? There was no humanity matter, but he and his friends spoke of in it, for one of their own spokesman, what they knew and with the sanction of Mr. S. Woods, saidthe great majority of the men they repre- “It would put the districts in a very unequal sented. If the Bill passed he believed it position with regard to competing one with
another. What we want is not to create in. would be the worst day's work the House equality, but to cure it by putting all on the same of Commons ever did so far as miners level. . We want to give them equal rights were concerned.
and equal facilities for competing in the markets
of the world." Reference had been made to the
That showed that Durham and Northviews of three statesmen, but he
umberland had not stood in the way of assumed that the idea they had in their minds was that of eight hours the other districts getting an eight hours actually at work, not eight hours in the day. They were willing then, as they were
, mine. He had shown that in the North willing now to vote, for an optional Bill
The Midland districts could then have they considered eight hours' work too much, as their average was 67, and the their eight hours, and the men of the
North if they came to the same way of men were allowed twenty-five minutes to
thinking could do the same. travel a mile, so that if a man's work was
They had a mile from the shaft he was allowed
recommended option; they had recom
mended negotiation. Parliament in its fifty minutes for travelling in and out. Numbers of people in the country believed care for the welfare of the people had the Bill meant eight hours' work in the
certain functions to perform, but there
were certain matters that were better mine, but that was not its meaning at all. What it meant was eight hours from taken out of the purview of this House the time the man left the surface.
and placed in the hands of the people
themselves. To settle these matters he When the proposal was first brought forward
suggested negotiation between men who two main
knew the circumstances, whose minds urged—the necessity of the men for more leisure and an opportunity to
were full of compromise and mutuality, improve their minds. “Humanity”
and who were willing to arrange matters in
a manner that would conduce to the was the generic term for the motive that
welfare of the mining community as a prompted the Bill. But what was the
whole. Many Members would vote for reason now ? It was not humanity, but a desire to settle competition between
this Bill who ought first to put their own districts. [“No.”] In 1894 the Bill was house in order—men whose employes in
" read a second time, and on the Committee shops and elsewhere worked fourteen or
sixteen hours a day under conditions not stage the senior Member for Merthyr Tydvil secured the insertion of the local conducive to health. How could they
consistently vote for such a Bill? His option resolution,” viz.
teaching was “Physician, heal thyself.” “In any county in which this Act should be adopted by a majority of the working men If he wanted a thing done for other
people he first of all did it for his own and they could not work at the pace required then he was able without hypocrisy to bý such conditions. The reduction of vote for it in regard to other people. the output would reduce the wages and
increase the price of coal. Cheap coal COLONEL PILKINGTON (Lancashire, was one of the vital necessities of the Newton), who spoke amid cries of country; it was the basis of all our large "Speak up" and "We cannot hear a manufactures, the foundation of the word,” was understood to say that the wages and occupation of the workmen, opponents of this Bill deplored the and the material of all others which accidents in mines as much as anybody was required in every hamlet in the could, but it was well known that every land. care was taken to prevent them. The Bill was an impossibility. It provided
MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS rose in his for eight hours in the pit from bank to place, and claimed to move, “That the bank, but of that eight hours a large part Question be now put;” but Mr. SPEAKER would be occupied in going to and withheld his assent, and declined then to coming from the work. Persons un put that Question. acquainted with the conditions of work
And, it being half-past Five of the in the mines when they read about an clock, the debate stood adjourned. “eight hours day,” naturally supposed it meant eight hours' work, but that was
Debate to he resumed upon Thursday, not the case. Out of the eight hours
14th April would have to be taken the dinner hour and the time occupied in going to and
NEW BILL. coming from the work, so that the actual labour would be reduced to about six TOWN AND COUNTY COUNCILS (QUALI. hours. Therefore all the work of the
FICATION OF WOMEN) (SCOTLAND). mines would have to be carried on under
Bill to enable women to be elected an? conditions of rush and hurry, and matters act as members of Town and County which were now carried out at
Councils in Scotland, ordered to be siderable leisure would have to be brought in by Mr. Parker Smith, Mr. crammed into the six hours. All authori. Baird, Colonel Denny, Mr. Charles ties connected with mining considered Douglas, Mr. Munro Ferguson, and M:. that the passing of the Bill would lead Ure. to an increase in the number of accidents.
TOWN AND COUNTY COUNCILS (QUALI. It would certainly reduce the amount of FICATION OF WOMEN) (SCOTLAND) BILL. work done, as it would be perfectly im. “To enable Women to be elected ani possible for the men to do their present act as members of Town and County work in six hours. In all probability Councils in Scotland,” presented accordthe output would be reduced by 25 per ingly, and read the first time; to be read cent. Moreover, it would be impossible a second time upon Monday next, and to to employ any except the younger be printed. (Bill 99.] All middle-aged men and men eliminated
Adjourned at twenty-eight minutes of experience would be elim
before Six o'clock till Monday from the mines. ["Why?"] Because
“ Mr. John Wilson.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
HOUSE OF COMMONS. Monday, 29th February, 1904.
Monday, 29th February, 1904.
The House met at Two of the Cloc".
PRIVATE BILL BUSINESS.
Speech indicates revision by the Member
An Asterisk (*) at the commencement of a
UNOPPOSED PRIVATE BILL Trafford Park Dock and Railway Bill
BUSINESS. [H.L.]. Read 2a, and committed. The Committee to be proposed by the Com
PRIVATE BILLS (STANDING ORDERS 62 mittee of Selection.
AND 66 COMPLIED WITH).
Mr. SPEAKER laid upon the Table [H...]; Maidenhead Bridge Bill (H...]; Report from one of the Examiners of Manchester Corporation (General Powers) Petitions for Private Bills
, That, in the Bill (1.l.); St. Bartholomew's Hospital case of the following Bill, referred on the Bill[H...); St. Mary Woolnoth Bill [H.l.).
First Reading thereof, Standing Orders Reports from His Majesty's Attorney- Nos. 62 and 66 have been complied with, General received, and ordered to lie on
viz. :-Strabane, Raphoe, and Convoy the Table.
Report from one of the Examiners of
Petitions for Private Bills, That, in the BRIDLINGTON PIERS AND HARBOUR. Abstract of the Annual General Account the First Reading thereof, Standing Order
case of the following Bills, referred on for the year ended 26th July, 1903. No. 62 has been complied with, viz. :Delivered (pursuant to Act), and ordered Brymbo Water Bill; Great Central and to lie on the Table.
Midland Joint Railways Bill ; Great
Yorkshire Railway (Steam Vessels) Bill;
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (Various Powers) Bill; Sheppy Gas Bill.
Ordered, That the Bills be read a second PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO
time. CHILDREN (AMENDMENT) BILL (H.L.].
PRIVATE BILLS (STANDING ORDER 67 A Bill to amend the Prevention of
NOT COMPLIED WITH). Cruelty to Children Act, 1894, and to
Mr. SPEAKER laid upon the Table provide for the punishment of incest. Report from one of the Examiners of Was presented by the Lord Alverstone; Petitions for Private Bills, That, in (the read la; and to be printed. (No. 18.) case of the following Bill, referred on the
First Reading thereof, Standing Order No.
67 has not been complied with, viz. :WEIGHTS AND MEASURES (METRIC Strabane, Raphoe, and Convoy Railway SYSTEM) BILL (H.L.].
Bill. Ordered, That the Report be The following Lords were named of the referred to the Select Committee on Select Committee:- L. Belhaven and Standing Orders. Stenton; L. Colchester; L. Wolverton;
Bexhill Water and Gas Bill; Croydon L. Kelvin; L. Farrer.
Gas Bill; Midland Railway Bill; Watford The Committee to appoint their own and District Tramways (Extension of Chairman.
Time) Bill. Read a second time, and com
Arlesey Gas Bill. Order [4th February), half-past Ten o'clock. that the Arlesey Gas Bill be referred to VOL. CXXX. [FOURTH SERIES.] 2 S