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7 May, 1908.]
Mr. WILLETT, F.R.A.S.
inconvenience do you see that there is any difficulty in their keeping their particular offices open for another hour and 20 minutes ?— I should say not. 132. Your contention, I understand, is that the great benefit to the mass of the people will outweigh the slight inconvenience in these particular offices keeping open slightly later ?—Yes, especially if the principals deal with their staff fairly and, inasmuch as they stay later, allow them to come later. They certainly would cease to get their leisure all at one end of the day, they would have a bit in the morning and a bit in the evening. 133. The second point is about the railways, which I regard as the most important point we have to consider. But, concerning the French traffic, were you correct in saying that Sir Charles Owens is in favour of this Bill ?—Absolutely. 134. Is Sir Charles Owens the General Manager of the London and South Western Railway ?— He is. 135. And are not the London and South Western Railway Company specially interested in crosschannel traffic 2–Yes, and so are the London, Brighton and South Coast Company, and Lord Bessborough, their Chairman, is in favour of it. 136. Probably the London and South Western channel cross traffic is almost the most important traffic across the channel ?—I should think the Brighton Company is as important. 137. I want to bring out advocates on the other side. Sir Charles Owens is well known as the General Manager, and the very efficient General Manager of the London and South Western Railway ?–Yes, and Lord Bessborough is Chairman of the Brighton line, and he has written me a letter in support of the proposal.
138. On that point, is it not the case that on the frontiers between France and Spain, and between France and Germany, especially east and west, the trains when they arrive from the one take up the time of the other ?—Yes.
139. But in those cases the difference in time is the same all the year round ?–Yes.
140. It is not a difference in time during certain months only ?–No.
141. Is not the whole purpose of this Bill to bring the hours of work and pleasure in the summer time nearer to sunrise ?—Yes. 142. Now with regard to the great bulk of the population, are about two-thirds of it in towns and one-third of it in the country?—Yes, I should think so; I do not know. 143. You may take that from me. Do the agricultural population in the country regulate their business by the sun ?—Yes. 144. They do so now 2–Yes, by the sun. 145. And seamen also regulate their business by daylight, do they not ?—Yes. 146. So that this Bill affects mainly the population resident in the towns ?—That is so. 147. One of the factors that you mentioned as
fixing the custom now was the railways 2– Yes. 148. Is not the other great factor in fixing the hours of work the establishment of factories and workshops within the last 100 years ?—I should say so. 149. And that the beginning of work in winter time at six o'clock—the usual hour in factories— has run over into the summer ?—Yes. 150. To the detriment of the general population ?—That is so. . 151. It is suggested that there is some hardship in making your change in the hours, by reason of the effect that it may have on the cotton and corn trade with America; but there is nothing proposed in the Bill to prevent all traders from keeping their hours such as they please, is there? —No. 152. As long as they like 2–As long as they like. 153. And if in any particular occupation it is necessary to keep the present hours there is nothing to prevent it 2–No. 154. I want to get these points clear. Speaking of the necessity for the Continent or any other country adopting our proposed rule, is it not a fact that this Bill only affects the United Kingdom?—The Bill only affects the United Kingdom and Ireland. 155. Will you agree with me that there is no need at all for any alteration abroad for them to accommodate themselves to us?—There is no necessity. It would facilitate and help. 156. But there is no necessity ?—There is no necessity. 157. Is not the proportion of people who are affected by continental time very small in proportion to the whole population of Great Britain 7 —Extremely small. 158. The number of passengers who would have to accommodate themselves to it would be very small ?—Extremely small. 159. Some questions have arisen already as to whether the change proposed, namely four changes of 20 minutes, is the best method. Will you explain to us why that is better than one change of an hour in the summer time 2—I have printed the reasons; you will find them on page 10 of my pamphlet. I may say that Sir Robert Ball objected to my scheme on that ground at first— that he thought having several alterations was objectionable and that one would be better. He had two objections: first of all, as to alterations by fractions; and, secondly, as to the date when it should commence. He thought it would be better that it should commence at the spring solstice and end at the autumn solstice; that is to say, that it should begin on March 21st and end on September 21st. I wrote and explained to him why I thought that my scheme was better, and he wrote back to say that my reasons were entirely satisfactory on both points; and he will say that, of course, himself when he comes. 160. You have a diagram, I think, that shows in a red patch the amount of time that is gained for work by this proposal in summer ?—Yes. 161. Will you kindly let the Committee have copies of that diagram ?—Yes (handing in the same). 162. Does 7 May, 1908.]
SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL. 11
Mr. WILLETT, F.R.A.s.
162. Does it also show on the thin red line the hours gained for recreation in the afternoon ?— Yes. This is not my dragram. My diagram you have already got. This is another diagram. 163. Do you know whose diagram it is ?—I believe it is Mr. Wright's. 164. No, it is a diagram by Mr. Scantlebury ? —Yes, it is. 165. Is Mr. Scantlebury in the employment of Messrs. Wickers, Son and Maxim, at Barrow-inFurness 2—Yes. 166. He is draughtsman there ?—Yes.
167. I am afraid I am not au fait with this; there is only one question that occurs to me. Supposing you go from a British port, you may communicate with two foreign ports; one of them may have adopted this arrangement and the other may not ?—You would not go to two foreign ports and one British port on the same day. 168. But you might have communications with them ?—Yes. 169. A train goes down from London to Dover and runs in communication with boats both to France and Belgium ?–Yes. 170. Supposing that France adopts the system and Belgium does not—and Grimsby the same thing?—Then Belgium would be like Stephenson's engine and the cow—so much the worse for Belgium. If France and England adopt it Belgium will find the arrangement very awkward. 171. It will be punishing our own people and our own railway companies 2–If France and Belgium did not make their arrangements synchronise. 172. If one did and the other did not ?—I venture to submit that that is not a reasonable suggestion to make. If France and England are in agreement about this matter, I cannot suppose that a small country like Belgium would stand Out 2 173. Germany might do so, and our boats go to Hamburg 2–Germany might stand out. Everybody must form his own opinion of what is likely to take place if this matter turns out all right. If it is a success, other nations will not be so foolish as not to adopt it. 174. But they cannot adopt it all at once 2– No, you may have inconvenience for 12 months; but surely we should not stop an advantage that is to last for all time because there is to be a certain amount of inconvenience for one twelvemonth. 175. It is not a question of inconvenience only, it is a question of cost as well ?–Cost to whom ? 176. To our railway companies and shipowners ?—With regard to the railway companies, Sir Charles Owens' own words the other day were these. He said to the chief of his staff : “I think there is £2,000 a week in this for us.”
177 Is Sir Charles Owens going to appear as a witness 2–He or his representative. It is perfectly clear that there is a great saving for the railway companies in the matter of artificial
light, to start with ; then I claim also that there is a certainty of increased traffic; people will travel further to go to their river or their game of golf or their game of tennis on Saturday afterInOOnS.
178. Have you approached any other railway companies who are opposed to the scheme 2—I had a letter this morning from Mr. Turnbull, the superintendent of the London and North Western line. I will read it to you. I have told you of Sir Charles Owens. Here is a letter from Mr. Robert Turnbull, superintendent of the North Western line. This is headed “London and North Western Railway. Office of Superintendent of the Line, Euston Station.”
179. Was it a reply to a letter from you?— Yes.
180. To him ?–Yes.
181. Is he General Manager ?—He is Superintendent of the Line. .
182. He is certainly not General Manager ?— It is in reply to a letter to the General Manager.
183. Your letter was addressed to the General Manager, I understand?–Yes. Mr. Turnbull writes: “Dear Sir, The General Manager has handed me your letter of May 1st, with regard to the Daylight Saving Bill. I shall be happy to give evidence before the Committee if you so desire”; and Mr. Grindley, who sends the letter says: “Dear Sir, In reply to your letter of the 5th instant ’’—we asked Mr. Grindley to give evidence, I understand, “as my chief, Mr. Robert Turnbull, is willing to give evidence in support of your Bill (you will receive a letter from him to-day to this effect), it will be unnecessary for me to do so. I am sure Mr. Turnbull will be an excellent witness for you—he is very much in favour of the Bill. Probably you will communicate with him direct.” I may tell you that we know that one of the directors of the London and North Western Railway Company interviewed the staff at Euston, and he found that they were in favour of the Bill. They said that the slight difficulties to be overcome they could overcome, and they said that they would very much prefer to have their leisure in the light of the sun at the end of the day.
184. Can you tell the Committee what railway companies, if any, are opposed to the Bill ?— Not one. Although I have asked in the newspapers for people to send me objections, not a single person or railway company has taken any notice of my request in the newspapers to that effect. £185. Do you know what is the view taken by the general managers of steamboat companies plying a channel service?—I have not approached the steamboat companies. I regard the railway companies as the determining factor in this problem. With regard to witnesses, I should like to read some proofs that I have to put before you, and you will see what gentlemen are willing 7 May, 1908.]
to give evidence. 4* 186. Who
Mr. WILLETT, F.R.A.S.
186. Who are they ?—The first is the Bishop of London. 187. Before we go to that point, I want to know whether you have approached any of the labour leaders or prominent managers of large shops ? —Yes, I have got it all here.—I put the Bishop of London first, as his letter happened to be on the top. He says “If such a change could be made it would tend to the health and happiness of thousands of young people in my diocese, especially in enabling them to get an hour and more's fresh air and exercise before dark, after their business hours.” That is signed by the Bishop of London. Then I give you a proof by Mr. Harry Thomas Holdron, director of a #' company known as the Bon Marche, rixton, employing in summer from 800 to 1,000 shop assistants. 188. That is very important ?—He says: “The benefit of one hour and 20 minutes more daylight to these and the hundreds and thousands of shop hands throughout the country, would be inestimable, not only on account of the time it would place at their disposal for rational recreation, but from a health point of view as well, inasmuch as their work could be done without the aid (in many cases) of artificial light, thereby avoiding the heated and vitiated atmosphere so detrimental to health. It would, I am sure, be one of the greatest boons that could be conferred upon shop workers of all grades. I do not consider that there is any ground for the fear which has been expressed, that with the increase in daylight, during the summer evenings, shopkeepers will keep their shops open later and so frustrate the benefits of the proposed change, by causing the assistants to work longer hours. The tendency and desire of shop-keepers is rather to lessen than lengthen the working hours of the assistants.” I have also a letter from Messrs. Morel Brothers, in Piccadilly.
Mr. Pirie. 189. That is in the pamphlet?–Yes.
190. If you will mention the names, and say whether they are in favour or against, I think that will be sufficient ?–It is on the question of health, which is a very important point here, from Morel Brothers, Piccadilly, large Italian warehouseman. Then I have Colonel Edward Somerville. I put these before you in order that you may say who amongst those gentlemen you will call.
191. What the Committee would prefer would be to know the names of those who, according to your knowledge, are opposed to your scheme * ~I have given you Sir Norman Lockyer and Sir David Gill.
192. Those are technical people. We want business and professional people 2—I have not come across a single one, except Mr. Holt, up to the present time.
193. I know a great many people who are opposed to it, but I am afraid it was not taken
seriously ?—I am attacked on every golf course, and in the train every morning, by people who say: “I do hope this will go through.” One man did say it would be too much trouble to alter his watch 20 minutes.
; : Chairman.
194. I think that Lord Roberts, in blessing your scheme, said that he thought it was somewhat impracticable 2–No, what he said was that the practical difficulties seemed to him almost insurmountable, but he wished me success. Here is the proof from Colonel Edward Somerville, Colonel commanding the 5th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He says: “I am a solicitor in Doncaster, Yorkshire, of 28 years' standing, and senior member of the firm of Messrs. Baxter and Company. For the last 27 years I have been an officer in the local Volunteer Battalion, which has lately, under Mr. Haldane's scheme, been entitled the 5th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, with companies at Doncaster, Pontefract, Goole, Normanton, and Castleford. I consider that the passing of the Bill would be of the greatest assistance to Mr. Haldane's Territorial scheme. All our drills are held after the men have finished work, and we generally fall in at 7.30 p.m. We have to march some distance to a field, where we have to put in one hour's drill at least. We rarely leave the field before 9.15, sometimes later, but by then it is twilight and even dark. It is impossible to have steady drill in the dark, and I am sure regular troops would never attempt it. Again, for musketry, the lengthening of the daylight would be most valuable. We have to go over 23 miles to our range, and after work it is scarcely worth going down for half an hour's practice. An hour and a half would be a very different thing, and many more men would practise and so become better soldiers.” Then the next is from Mr. Carl Armbruster, Bandmaster of the London County Council. He says, “I am musical adviser to the London County Council and have occupied that position for the past seven years. The London County Council engages about 90 bands each season to give performances in the various parks and open spaces of London. The number of those performances is between 1,200 and 1,300, and they are given upon about 60 band-stands. The bands play for three hours at each evening performance, starting at the commencement of the season, namely, in the middle of May, at 5 o'clock and finishing at 8. These times gradually lengthen out week by week until by midsummer-day the bands commence at 5.45 and continue until 8.45. The hours are, of course, regulated by the available daylight, as only upon half-a-dozen stands is it possible to have artificial light. After midsummer the time of commencing and finishing the performances gets earlier week by week, until by the end of the season, towards the latter end of August, the performances commence at 4.15 and finish at 7.15. Many of the performances, especially those at the beginning and end of the season, are to a very great extent wasted, because, for the reason above stated, they have to take place at such an early
SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL.
7 May, 1908.]
early hour of the evening, and in fact at some of the performances the audience consists mainly of women, children and cripples, the time of the band playing being such as to make it impossible for the working men to get to the bandstands. The Council spends £12,000 per annum on its band performances, which are presented to the public free. There is no question that they afford delight and recreation to many thousands, the Council’s only regret being that it is not able to extend them. I am satisfied that if the Daylight Saving Bill becomes law, the result will be that the attendance of the public to hear the bands will be almost doubled, and thus more value be obtained for the money spent by the Council in providing the music; and while people are listening to music it keeps them from public houses and other similar places where they would otherwise spend their leisure hours.” Then there is Mr. Basil Holmes, Secretary of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. He writes in favour of the Bill, and concludes by saying, “Such an increase of time available for recreation in the fresh air and sunlight cannot fail to be of the utmost value to the physique of the nation, and to the improvement of the mental and moral characteristics. The Association, therefore, has passed the following resolution in favour of the Daylight Saving Bill, as follows: “That this Association approves the principle of the Daylight Saving Bill and authorises the chairman of the meeting to sign the manifesto which it is proposed to publish in the Press.” (Meeting 4th March, 1908), signed by Sir William Vincent, Bart., Vice-chairman. The Chairman of the Association, the Right Honourable the Earl of Meath, SK.P., has written in favour of the Bill, and in support of the views of the Association as follows: “Anyone who can bring more sunshine into the life of the average Briton will be a benefactor to his country, and although your scheme might be carried without legislative enactment were we not such slaves to custom, I fear that no common action is to be hoped for without the intervention of the Legislature. I thank you, therefore, for having had the courage to advocate so simple a proposal, and trust that before long your ideas may be the means of adding to the amount of sunshine enjoyed by Britons . . . . sunshine destroys germs, raises the vitality, and consequently the spirits. Future generations will, I believe, rise up and call you blessed.’”
195. As regards the Press, have you any definite expression of opinion from important newspapers?—Yes, I have hundreds of them. I did not bring the books down with me this morning, but I could have done so; there are actually hundreds.
196. Have you a list of all the journals that have made observations upon your scheme 2– I have not made such a list, but it can be made.
197. Is there such a list ?–Yes.
198. Can you put it in, distinguishing those that have approved and those that have opposed ? —Yes.
199. One question arises out of an answer that you gave to Mr. Pearce. He said that there was nothing to prevent particular trades from adhering to their present hours, by what I call true time, and you said that was so ?—The question Mr. Pearce asked was whether there was anything in this Bill to prevent various trades from keeping any hours that they liked, not keeping their present hours.
200. Let me put it to you in this way: if by a general concensus of opinion the various trades decided to adhere to their present hours by true time, the whole object of the Bill would be defeated; there would be no object in it unless you are able to satisfy the Committee that all the traders and all the people in the country will adopt it. If they will stick to their present nominal hours and are not going to alter their nominal hours in consequence of this Bill, then the Bill is worse than useless 2–Yes
201. In other words, the Bill must be backed by public opinion ?—Absolutely, and it is backed by public opinion. I have it here.
202. The point, I think, that we want to bring out is the point about labour. I appreciate that it will benefit a certain class of labour which now has limited hours, such as clerks to bankers, solicitors and barristers, and all the men who have got fixed limited hours now ; but have you considered how much it may affect those people who have not got limited hours and whose work may be increased owing to the day being longer ? —Will you instance such a trade 2
203. Shop assistants. We have a Bill before the House which may not go further this year, in which it has been brought out very strongly that there are very long hours of labour. Will not this Bill have a tendency to increase the hours of labour of those people 2–No, on the contrary, it restricts them. Shop people do not keep their shops open, I may say, unless there are customers about to trade with them. When customers cease to come, whatever hour it may be, the traders will close their shops. If this Bill becomes law, there will be a vast increase in the number of those who spend their leisure out of doors in games and other physical exercises, and if they are engaged in such occupations they cannot be shopping; consequently the number of shopping people will be reduced, and therefore the disposition on the part of shopkeepers to keep open will also be reduced. At the present time they say that it is no good closing early, because there is no daylight if they do. But if the Bill passes the probabilities are, in my opinion, that the shops will close earlier and not later, because they will say: “We have really something that we can use now when we have got two or three hours' good daylight.”
204. Is anybody in the banking world prepared to give evidence 2–Yes. I have not asked Mr. Bevan yet, but I am sure that Mr. Higginson, the General Manager of the National Bank, would give evidence.
(The Witness withdrew.)
205. You are General Manager of the Great Eastern Railway ?—I am.
206. Will you develop in your own way your views as regards the scheme of Mr. Willett 2–I quite approve of the object which it is desired to attain by this Bill, viz., to gain more daylight; but I do not think the way it is proposed to attain it, by putting the clock forward 20 minutes on each four Sundays in April and back again 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in September, is practicable. I would far rather see England adopt Mid-European time, which the Committee is aware is an hour in advance of English time. When you have crossed the frontier into Germany you get into Mid-European time, which is an hour's difference.
207. When you say Mid-European time, to what countries do you allude as having adopted it 2–It is a zone in Europe that has adopted an hour faster than Greenwich time; and then Eastern European time is an hour in advance of Mid-European time. Roughly speaking, MidEuropean time extends, I think, from Cologne to Berlin, or a little beyond, I will not be sure whether it is Breslau—but it is Central European time.
208. Does it not go further south than Cologne : —Yes, it goes right away south.
209. Would it go so far as Buda Pesth?—I think Buda Pesth has Eastern European time. Vienna would be Mid-European time, I fancy. But, if the Committee desire it, I can give the exact limits very easily.
I have sent for the Continental Bradshaw, which will show it.
Mr. Pearce. Whitaker's Almanack has got it all in.
210. Perhaps I might as well ask you how Holland time affects either Mid-European or Eastern European time 2—For the railways, Holland has Greenwich time, but for the local time Holland is 20 minutes in advance of Greenwich time, and it is most inconvenient. When you are at a hotel there, you look at the clock and think that is the time, and when you get to the station you find that you are 20 minutes before your time at the station.
211. How long have they had that extraordinary time 2—It must be 12 or 14 years, I should think.
212. In consequence of what?—Before MidEuropean time was established, you used, as you travelled through the Continent, to have different time at every station, or practically so. Cologne would be 19 minutes in front of Greenwich, and Berlin would be 27 minutes in front of Greenwich, and so forth. But all that was altered; a line was drawn—the same as is done in America, at Pittsburg, I believe, where you change on the frontier exactly an hour. You arrive at the German frontier at 11, and when you get there it is 12 by German time.