The motion was “That, in view especially of the economy in fuel and its transport that would be effected by shortening the hours of artificial lighting, this House would welcome a measure for the advancement of clock time by one hour during the summer months of this year".
The article went on : It is hoped that saving an hour of daylight each day from May 20 to September 31, the situation in regard to the supply of coal will be improved immensely. This matter of coal supply has been giving the Government grave concern. He urged that the very simplicity of the proposal constituted one of its most attractive features, and he believed that it had almost unanimous public support. (Cheers.)
His proposal was to advance the clock by one hour on Saturday night and at the end the summer to put the clock back again one hour. This simple change would give the workers an hour more daylight every day, or 130 hours more daylight in the summer.
They discussed what in fact 'Time' meant and what would happen if we played with it - "There were many definitions of the word time. It was clock time alone which controlled the time relations of a man with his fellow men. If the hands of all clocks were moved ahead simultaneously the time relations of men would remain unaltered. Our present system of sleeping in the best hours of daylight was wasteful, senseless, and unhygienic." I'm not quite sure why it was considered unhygienic to sleep during during daylight ...... no more Saturday afternoon naps !
Scores of accidents which now happened in the streets owing to the darkness would be avoided.
The principal argument in favour of the proposal was that of economy. Every family in the country, every railway company, tramway company, gas company, mills, works, etc, would save on lighting expenses. He agreed that they would have to guard against the danger of unscrupulous employers trying to get another hours work out of their employees.
To those who objected to the change and said they would not alter their clocks, he joked "A bird cannot go into a corner and flock by itself.”
The French Government would certainly adopt the proposal if we did and other countries would be bound to follow suit.The domination of the British Empire, I guess, to dictate the time for the rest of the world.
One Member obviously worried about how animals would react to the changing clocks said in his view the alteration would deal a very serious blow to farmers generally and at a time when it was difficult for them to carry on their work and obtain the necessary labour. Another said speaking from the point of view of agriculture, I see no reason why the change should interfere with the present system of milk delivery or with the farming industry generally. Another asked if a cow which was accustomed to yield its milk at five o’clock could be relied upon give the lacteal fluid an hour earlier ? I think the cows cope pretty well but not sure about our dog !