At the beginning of the session of 1919 he was elected vice-chairman of the party, and he took a considerable share in debate, speaking with a moderation and appreciation of the standpoint of other classes not always manifested by Labour members.
The Port of London Authority, as constituted by the act of 1908, is a body corporate consisting of a chairman, vice-chairman, 17 members elected by payers of dues, wharfingers and owners of river craft, I member elected by wharfingers exclusively, and To members appointed by the following existing bodies - Admiralty (one); Board of Trade (two); London County Council (two from among its own members and two others); City Corporation (one from among its own members and one other); Trinity House (one).
In 1911 he became Democratic leader in the Assembly and was appointed vice-chairman of the Factory Investigating Committee which made a searching inquiry into industrial conditions in the state, resulting in remedial legislation.
In 1912 he was vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee and during most of the campaign was acting chairman because of the illness of Chairman McCombs.
The council may also appoint a vice-chairman who holds office during the term of office of the chairman; in London the council have power to appoint a paid deputy chairman.